Thursday, July 14th, 2011

YSL Juicy Grapefruit (03) Volupte Sheer Candy Lipstick
YSL Juicy Grapefruit (03) Volupte Sheer Candy Lipstick

YSL Juicy Grapefruit (03) Volupte Sheer Candy Lipstick

YSL Juicy Grapefruit (03) Volupte Sheer Candy ($30.00 for 0.14 oz.) is, first and foremost, a balm. I say this to help set expectations, because for all of the fancy packaging, it is a lip balm, which means sheer color (YSL describes the color as “a sheer veil of brilliant color”). It is also described as lightweight with ingredients that will keep “lips feeling soft and hydrated for up to eight hours.” Juicy Grapefruit is clear when I wear it. It’s described as a “sheer, fresh baby pink” but it’s a glossy shine and not much else. I would expect to see more color in some of the darker shades in the range, but I haven’t tried them personally. Like other lip products in YSL’s line-up, these are mango-scented.

This product was a total miss for me–I was curious to see how it would work out, and the real point of these is something that’s moisturizing (and perhaps, lightly tinted), but it’s not moisturizing at all. I would apply this, and I would feel the need to reapply after an hour, because it would disappear in that time. I applied it before bed, and my lips felt chapped when I woke up. I don’t have high maintenance lips at all, but these made me feel like the queen of thirsty lips. I would actually describe this as drying, because after an hour of wearing this, all I wanted (and needed!) was more balm.  I tried using this and nothing but this for three days, and after those three days, my lips were on the verge of making a run for it.

It has a really emollient base, common to YSL’s Volupte line-up, and it glides on effortlessly, because it’s really creamy (without being thick or opaque). It feels nice on, and it doesn’t feel drying initially.  The packaging, too, is just like the Rouge Voluptes but with different coloring, and my favorite part has always been the filigree of YSL logo that wraps around the middle (but it will hold fingerprints). It’s always nice when a high-end brand uses high-end packaging to complement their product line. These were the only high points of this product–this was one of the more disappointing products I’ve tried in the past few months.

Remember, I can only review based on my personal experience with a product–if this formula worked for you, by all means, enjoy it for the both of us! :)  I’ve seen plenty of positive reviews on this product, but I didn’t experience it myself, unfortunately!

The Glossover

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YSL Juicy Grapefruit (03) Volupte Sheer Candy Lipstick Review, Photos, Swatches

F
If you purchase, make sure there is a return policy! This wasn't moisturizing, needed constant reapplication, and always left my lips feeling more parched than the time before.

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

2/10

Application

3/5

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Thursday, July 14th, 2011

MAC Brick-o-la Lipstick<
MAC Brick-o-la Lipstick

MAC Brick-o-la Lipstick

MAC Brick-o-la Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “mid-tone berry” and has an amplified creme finish. It’s a creamy berry pink with a subtle shine and opaque color coverage. The creaminess in the texture allows for easy glide across the lips and little product is needed to achieve full color. This shade is part of MAC’s permanent range.

The amplified creme finish is designed to deliver opaque color coverage with a creamy texture and shiny finish. MAC Lipsticks are vanilla-scented but taste-free. Amplified cremes typically last four hours when I wear them, as they are more opaque and have a tendency to cling to lips (but are not drying).

MAC Capricious is similar but less pink, and the finish makes it appear a bit different on lips. Cle de Peau #117 is slightly redder and darker, but it is in the same family. Chanel Etole is redder and more muted. Hourglass Nocturnal comes close but is a bit more plum.

The Glossover

P
product

Brick-o-la

B+
It's a softer way to wear a dark color--it's plum, pink, and berry--and none of those really dominates, which makes it easy to wear with a variety of looks. It should work well on both cooler and warmer skin tones, as well as light to dark.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

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Thursday, July 14th, 2011


Giorgio Armani #502 Gloss d’Armani

Giorgio Armani #502 Gloss d’Armani

Giorgio Armani #502 Gloss d’Armani ($28.00 for 0.22 fl. oz.) is a pink-tinged beige with soft white shimmer–it looks more like slightly milky beige gloss with a healthy dose of shimmer when worn but light on actual color. I imagine it will soften those with naturally more pigmented lips.

Gloss d’Armani is supposed to last for eight hours (without fading), be moisturizing, and have a smooth, non-sticky texture. Color payoff is indeterminant, because on one hand, Giorgio Armani says “concentrated, high definition color” but then later describes some shades as “sheer chiffon.” For a more in-depth review of Gloss d’Armani, please read my original review here.

#502 certainly falls under “sheer chiffon,” I’d say! There is plenty of shimmer, though, so it gives the illusion of more color than it actually is. It always seems counter-intuitive to rank a sheer product with full marks on pigmentation, but if it’s supposed to be “sheer chiffon,” this lives up to the claim. This was the second shade I tried, and I alternated between this shade and #505 (the one I first reviewed) during testing, because it was such a light shade. I often test the light and darks of a new formula, because you do tend to get better wear out of more pigmented shades compared to sheerer ones.

To my complete surprise, #502 wears nearly as well as the more pigmented #505. Neither wears for as long as the brand claims, but #502 wore for five hours, and there was still residual shimmer an hour or so later. I would say reapplication was needed by five hours, though, and if you wanted to maintain the glossiness of the look, more along the lines of two and a half. Just as I did with #505, though, it’s non-sticky for only part of the time. It starts off as almost gel-like and non-sticky, but over time, it gets tackier and tackier. It’s not thick and sticky, but I wouldn’t describe it as non-sticky at all. I didn’t detect any fragrance or scent.

It’s one of my new favorites in gloss, just because six hours of wear for a gloss is excellent–as a reviewer, it’s almost painful to have to knock it down so severely because of their very specific claim of eight-hours of wear.

The Glossover

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product

#502

B
The shortcomings in wear (five hours compared to the eight hours claimed) and sticky texture (compared to the non-sticky texture promised) bring down the overall score for this product, but it's one of the longest-wearing glosses I've come across that is actually moisturizing and comfortable to wear.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, July 13th, 2011


Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color

Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color

Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color ($19.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a new-for-fall product, which is exclusive to Sephora. This product claims to deliver long-wearing opaque color without feathering and all with a glossy shine–oh, and they’re supposed to be moisturizing, too. There are currently five shades: F-Bomb (bright red cream), Punch Drunk (bright orange cream), Adrenaline (bright fuchsia sparkle), Crush (hot pink), and Big Bang (bright pink with sparkle).

  • F-Bomb is a bright, medium-dark red with subtle ruby shimmer. It’s opaque, and it does stain a little (but surprisingly, not as much as some reds). It does have a subtly glossy shine. Overall, it leans a touch blue, but it’s not strongly blue-based. Make Up For Ever #44 is similar but not quite as dark. Guerlain Gwen is less vibrant. NYX Hero is not as opaque, slightly darker. Burberry Hibiscus seems a touch lighter. Chanel Dragon is a bit darker and has more shimmer.
  • Punch Drunk is a vibrant, darkened orange with creamy finish and subtle shine. It’s completely opaque. MAC Strut Your Stuff ius similar, perhaps not as dark. Giorgio Armani #405 is similar in vibrancy, but it is brighter, less red-based. Dolce & Gabbana Sheer is very similar.
  • Adrenaline is a darkened raspberry red with ruby and pink shimmer and glitter. I did not find that this was really glossy at all–it felt a little dry when I applied it, and it looked more like a regular lipstick than a gloss. MAC Quite the Thing is similar, more iridescent. Estee Lauder Wild Violet is slightly redder. NYX Chloe is similar in base color but has more iridescence.
  • Crush is a creamy blue-based fuchsia pink with a glossy shine. It’s nearly opaque in color. NARS Schiap is pinker, not quite as blue-based. MAC Florida is similar in color but lighter.
  • Big Bang is medium-dark raspberry pink with fuchsia glitter. It is lighter, less opaque, and not nearly as red as Adrenaline. This is cooler-toned as well. MAC Pink Burst is very similar, while MAC Quite the Thing is darker.

The majority of these shades are vibrant and rich in color, which means they definitely wear longer rather than shorter. Shades like F-Bomb wear three to four hours with a subtle shine, but the color itself lasts through a meal and still looks presentable six hours later. I only tested the wear on F-Bomb and Big Bang, so I could test out different finishes. Both Adrenaline and Big Bang have a fair amount of glitter (“sparkle”) in their finishes, and as a result, they have a slightly gritty texture, which becomes more noticeable over time, as the creaminess of the product wears away. It doesn’t travel too much, but as fun as the sparkling glitter might be, it is more troublesome than the creamier finishes. I did get four hours of wear with Big Bang.

Crush was the only shade that had a high gloss shine–the kind expected from these–while the others fell a little flat. Adrenaline was the only shade that I felt really missed the shine. F-Bomb, Punch Drunk, and Big Bang all had a subtle shine. After I wore them, I’m pleased to report my lips did not dry out, so they delivered on their ability to moisturize while worn. I also did not experience any bleeding while wearing F-Bomb, which is the most likely to bleed as it is a rich red.

This product is easy to sharpen, but you’ll waste doing so (from what I can tell, 1-2 uses), and you won’t particularly enjoy cleaning out your sharpener afterward. It shaves off the actual product, while it sharpens, and because of the creaminess of the formula, it smears easily when you attempt to clean. I tested it twice by removing the entire sharpened portion (so initially, the entire tip, then I sharpened until about 3mm of product was exposed, removed that, repeated).

Aside from the sharpening issue, the new pencils are rather good–as long as you don’t mind the lack of glossy shine. They look more like lipsticks than glosses (except for Crush). It falls short of that particular claim, which is reflected in the product rating, but it is certainly something that may be easily overlooked.

The Glossover

product

Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
It's long-wearing, moisturizing, and four of the five deliver mostly opaque color coverage. Depending on how often you expect to use the lip pencil, the amount you lose from sharpening may be concerning.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, July 13th, 2011


Chanel Rouge Byzantin Rouge Allure Lipstick

Chanel Byzance: Rouge Byzantin Rouge Allure Lipstick

Chanel Rouge Byzantin Rouge Allure Lipstick ($32.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as “an iridescent ruby red with a hint of sapphire, for a rich, jewel-toned lip look.” On me, it’s a rich, pinked red with ruby micro-shimmer. It delivers nearly opaque color and even coverage. There is subtle iridescent sheen–looks almost fuchsia to me–that pops at a distance. It’s a very holiday-esque red to me. It’s bright and joyous, but the depth of the color gives it a luxurious richness.

Rouge Allure is a lovely formula–rich in color, moisturizing, and longer-wearing. I typically get five to six hours of wear, but with an intense shade of red like this, it tends to wear just past six. The color didn’t bleed or fade unevenly, either, which is excellent when you wear a high maintenance color like red.

It’s pinker and bluer than Chanel Lover, and similar but deeper than Dior Technicolor Red. You can see side-by-side comparisons here.

The Glossover

LE
product

Rouge Byzantin

A+
Blue-based reds are best on cooler skin tones, but the underlying pinkness to this red will make it wearable on warmer skin tones as well.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Wednesday, July 6th, 2011


Giorgio Armani #505 Gloss d’Armani

Giorgio Armani #505 Gloss d’Armani

Giorgio Armani #505 Gloss d’Armani ($28.00 for 0.22 fl. oz.) is a blue-based, raspberry-pink with iridescent fuchsia shimmer. It’s semi-opaque and upon application yields good color coverage for a gloss (that’s not closer to a liquid lipstick), but you do still see my lip freckle peeking through.

I feel the need to preface this review with: I LOVE these lipglosses. I am personally impressed and think these are an excellent new gloss on the market, but just because I personally think a product is great for my needs does not mean I can disregard what the product is supposed to do. I think they over-promise on the gloss, but the gloss itself is better in certain ways than your average lipgloss.

Gloss d’Armani makes a surprising amount of claims, many of them seemingly lofty, including: “concentrated, high definition color,” “stay-fast color is like a second skin that remains true for eight hours without fading or migrating,” and “hydrated, silky smooth feeling without any stickiness.” It sounds like we should expect a long-wearing gloss (8 hours, as specified–and more importantly, that is when it should start to fade) that’s rich in color (“concentrated, high definition color”), hydrating (‘hydrated, silky smooth”), and not sticky (“without any stickiness”). Although, later on in the product description, Giorgio Armani describes the “nude beiges” as “draping the lips in a sheer chiffon-like veil” and further describes shade #400 as a “sheer version for an astonishing, explosive effect” of one of their signature reds. This seems to say that the color range is ultimately going to vary in pigmentation, because “sheer” doesn’t mean “concentrated,” and “chiffon” is certainly not opaque. Talk about making things confusing!

The texture of the Gloss d’Armani’s is really complex, and I say this because it changes over time as you wear it. Initially, it feels thick without being heavy or goopy, and glides on much like a gel would. It feels squishy on the lips but doesn’t slip and slide around. Within fifteen minutes, I find it feels less like a gel and a little tacky. After two hours, it’s definitely a tackier lip product. It’s not thick and sticky like MAC Lipglass, but there is definitely a sticky quality to it. I find removal is best with a makeup removing wipe or cotton round (or the like) in eye/lip makeup remover.

It doesn’t quite wear for eight hours for me, and certainly not without noticeable fading. It lasts about five hours before beginning to fade, but by the sixth hour of wear, there is some fading. When I drink, some of the gloss did transfer onto the edge of the cup, but the gloss remains mostly intact. I think if one doesn’t drink or eat, six hours of decent wear is more attainable, but it’s not very realistic (I could not get to eight without fading). The good news is that six hours is still a long period of time to wear a single lip product, and you’ll certainly be able to tell if it wasn’t hydrating–this gloss is definitely moisturizing. After wearing nothing but this gloss on my lips for eight hours (including some of their lighter shades), my lips did not feel cracked dry afterward.

This product fell short of the eight-hour wear claim made, which hurts the rating of this product in longevity. I appreciate they specified what “long-wearing” meant, though. Many brands will say “long-wearing” but never give you any kind of time frame to expect, and thus, it can be difficult to determine where one marks normal wear and long-wear. I also found this product noticeably tacky; while it feels like a non-sticky gloss when swatched and initially worn, it becomes sticky over time for me. I thought maybe I was delusional on that point, so I actually tested out three colors several times just to determine the tackiness.

The three I have are scent- and taste-free. They come in rounded, slightly oval tubes and look a lot like the Rouge d’Armani Lipsticks. It has a slanted, doe-foot applicator (see photo below), that’s long and easy to maneuver across the lips. I did find that the applicator doesn’t get a lot of gloss on it, so it’s difficult to apply one full layer on lips with a single pull of gloss. It contains a good amount of gloss, too; it’s not all tube and little product inside.

Again, I loved this lipgloss, and it’s one I intend to purchase additional shades in. I am impressed by the length and quality of wear overall, but I review based on what a brand claims their product can do, not what I want it to do (or what I’m willing to forgive). While I have no problem with stickier glosses, since these are said to be non-sticky, it affected the texture rating, while the shortcomings in wear are reflected in the longevity (I considered 8 hours = perfect 10, so 5-6 hours of good wear means the brand fell short by about 30%). Characterstics of a product not specifically addressed quantify the overall product quality rating, which made sense to give 10, since it’s very moisturizing/hydrating, comfortable to wear, and had great shine.

The Glossover

P
product

#505

B+
If you're a gloss fiend and are on the lookout for moisturizing, longer-wearing glosses, you might like Gloss d'Armani--if you don't mind some tackiness.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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