Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Guerlain Gwen Rouge G Lipstick
Guerlain Gwen Rouge G Lipstick

Fall Lipstick: Guerlain’s Gwen

Guerlain Gwen (69) Rouge G Lipstick ($46.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a deepened ruby red with a glossy sheen and nearly imperceptible micro-shimmer.  It’s opaque, and like many Rouge Gs, wears incredibly well–my lips still looked scarlet after drinking a full Starbucks, and the color continued on like a champ for about six hours before gradually fading.  It’s moisturizing without being heavy or slippery; it’s creamy but not slick.  It applies like a dream–even color, smooth texture–and feels lightweight.

I think you’ve probably seen me profess my love for Rouge G Lipsticks often enough on the blog.  It has and continues to be one of my favorite lipstick formulas, even if it comes at a price.  All Rouge Gs are scented with a rather perfume-y mix, but I’ve never noticed it linger and only detect it when I smell the tube itself.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If your wallet doesn’t scream and run far, far away from you, Guerlain Rouge Gs have always been worth the indulgence for me.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Monday, August 30th, 2010

MAC Smoked Purple Lipstick
MAC Smoked Purple Lipstick

The Sultry Season: MAC Smoked Purple Lipstick

MAC Smoked Purple Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) is a deep, dark reddened purple.  It’s not exactly the purple you first think of, but I find myself always gravitating back to using the word purple to describe the color.  It’s incredibly dark, certainly vampy, and it packs quite a bit of color.  It is a little on the dry side, though nothing overwhelmingly dry (a la Ruby Woo), so do take care and prep lips by exfoliating them prior to application.

Is this the right purple for you? Would you wear it?

The Sultry Season is a series of posts featuring deep, rich shades of brown, berry, plum, and wine lipsticks and lipglosses — just right for autumn — that runs through October 2010.

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Sunday, August 29th, 2010

NYX Hero Lipstick

The Sultry Season: NYX Hero Lipstick

NYX Hero Lipstick ($4.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a deepened neutral-cool blue-based red with a creamy, glossy finish and opaque color.  My NYX Round Lipsticks seem to be scent-free overall, but I do have a few that were brand new and smelled a little on the plastic side, while a couple had more of a general perfume-y feel.  I’m not entirely sure why there is so much variation across the board!   I love the texture and feel of their Round Lipsticks, though; incredibly creamy and the darker shades are certainly quite pigmented.  They do have a fair amount of slip, so they may bleed if you’re prone to to that, and I don’t find they last more than two to three hours, with darker shades on the three hour side and some leaving behind a soft stain.

Is this the right red for you? Would you wear it?

The Sultry Season is a series of posts featuring deep, rich shades of brown, berry, plum, and wine lipsticks and lipglosses — just right for autumn — that runs through October 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010


Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick: Excessive (67), Emotive (68)

Gotta Love the Richness of Fall

If you thought Chanel was skimping on the darker, vampier shades for fall… not so!  Part of the launch of the new Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss, there are a few new shades of Rouge Allure Lipsticks being launched alongside as well.  Rouge Allure Lipsticks ($30.00 for 0.12 oz.) are some of my favorites, because they pack a lot of color in a standout formula:  moisturizing, lightweight, and long-wearing.  I typically get four to five hours of wear, sometimes five to six, with some of the bolder shades (like these).

  • Excessive is this vibrant cherry red with slight blue undertones with a glossy, opaque finish.
  • Emotive is a raspberry pink with a slight fuchsia sheen.  It’s not quite opaque, but it does deliver a fair amount of color coverage.  I found Emotive a little less glossy than Excessive, so it didn’t quite apply as smoothly.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you love bolder, more opaque shades, you may want to consider these two shades.

AVAILABILITY:  Chanel

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Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

NARS Angelique Lip Treatment
NARS Angelique Lip Treatment

When Quantity Matters

NARS Angelique Lip Treament ($25.00 for 0.06 oz.) is an ultra sheer neutral rose that almost leans coral–it just brightens up my natural lip color a bit. It has a glossier finish than your average lipstick, but it feels very lightweight and is moisturizing if you have healthier lips. It’s not overly creamy, bit it glides on lips easily and doesn’t feel like you’re wearing enough, but this also means that it’s just as easy to over-apply the product. (And trust me, with the amount you get, you don’t want to do that.) It doesn’t keep my lips moisturized all day though, and I do find myself needing to reapply every three to four hours.  It also carries a rating of SPF 15 (titanium dioxide).

So, this is a situation where I’m really bothered by the product’s price/quantity ratio. I’m willing to give all products a fair shake, and I recognize that there are brands at different price points with some brands trying to be more accessible and others remaining at arm’s length and obviously in the luxury category. I expect pricing to be in line with the brand’s image, similar products, etc., and I expect quantity to be around the average for that brand and/or direct competitors.

I don’t understand why NARS’ Lip Treatments are $25 (which is $1 more than their lipsticks and glosses) and HALF the size.  This is not a product that packs a ton of pigment in a single swipe so you can put it up to using less, or it’s full of innovative, never-before-seen ingredients/technology.  This is a product I’d easily use 3-4 times a day:  two weeks of usage and it’s already over half gone.

And so many thought Fresh was a splurge at $22.50 (but for 0.15 oz.)… Dior (which tends to be pricier than NARS) has their Lip Glow ($28.00 for 0.12 oz.), Fusion Beauty has LipFusion Balm Lip Conditioning Stick ($22.00 for 0.17 oz.), and so on. If you want to go NARS, I’d suggest one of their lipsticks instead, which are quite moisturizing as far as lipsticks go (on average) with some colors on the sheer side, others more semi-opaque, but at least you’ll get twice as much product.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 5/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I would pass, because they’re just way too pricey for what you get. There are plenty of other more moisturizing tinted lip balms (that come in stick-form) with twice as much product for about the same price. If NARS was just a little below the average, it wouldn’t be so bad, but they’re half as much and the size is half as much as their own lipsticks (which are fairly moisturizing!).  If you have dry or peeling lips, this won’t be enough.

AVAILABILITY: NARS, Sephora

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Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Burberry Ruby Lipstick
Burberry Ruby Lipstick

Burberry Ruby (18) Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a gorgeous shade of bright, lush red with a faint blue-base but not at all too cool for warmer skin tones to wear.  A few weeks ago, when I reviewed Burberry’s Russet Blush, I had so many of you ask me about the lip color–in case you missed it, Ruby was it!

It’s a nearly opaque shade that packs lots of color without feeling heavy or slick on lips.  It’s lightweight in its feel, satiny in its texture.  The application is even and smooth and doesn’t require a lot of layering (just one or two passes).  There’s a soft sheen but not really a shimmer to it.  It does have a floral scent, which is noticeable in the tube but not when I wore it.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: For a beautiful, slightly blue-based red, Ruby would be a good pick.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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