Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Giorgio Armani #404 Rouge d'Armani Lipstick
Giorgio Armani #404 Rouge d’Armani Lipstick

Quick! Snatch Up This Limited Edition Holiday Red!

Giorgio Armani #404 Rouge d’Armani Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a bright pink-tinged ruby red with a subtle metallic sheen in its finish. It has lots of ruby micro-shimmer–it’s subtle but it’s there. The color applies nearly opaque, and it wears beautifully (at least six hours). This is a gorgeous holiday red!

my thoughts on the formula: The formula itself is moisturizing, long-wearing (six to eight hours), and comfortable to wear. It’s not clingy nor heavy, and there’s enough slip to give it that creamy look where the color nearly melts against your lips. Rouge d’Armani Lipsticks are also scent- and taste-free (and no waxy scent, either!). It comes in a sleek, glossy black case with a magnetic enclosure to ensure your lipstick is closed at all times.

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

final thoughts: Infinitely flattering on both cooler and warmer skin tones, pigmented and rich enough to work on pale and dark complexions, #404 is one of those darling holiday reds that many covet.

where to buy: Giorgio Armani

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Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Estee Lauder Wild Violet Lipstick
Estee Lauder Wild Violet Lipstick

Estee Lauder Spring 2011: Wild Violet Lipstick

Estee Lauder Wild Violet Pure Color Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a berried dark pink with fuchsia and violet micro-shimmer strewn through the near-opaque color. It has a soft shine in the finish along. It is a new and limited edition shade from Estee Lauder’s spring collection.

my thoughts on the formula: The coverage is excellent, and it feels lightweight despite its pigmentation. It’s also more moisturizing than your average lipstick, which makes it comfortable to wear. I get about five hours of wear with this shade in particular, because it is more pigmented. Estee Lauder’s lipsticks are scented with a lightly sweetened fig but are taste-free to me.

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

final thoughts: Estee Lauder’s Pure Color Lipsticks have a creamy, moisturizing formula with richer, near-opaque shades.  Wild Violet is a beautiful way to wear pink and fuchsia without going for a full-on neon shade.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

MAC Sophisto Lipstick
MAC Sophisto Lipstick

The Sultry Season: MAC Sophisto Lipstick

MAC Sophisto Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) is a semi-sheer berry pink with gold shimmer. It is a lustre finish, which means it is on the sheerer side but has a glossier finish (more like a lip gloss than a traditional lipstick).

my thoughts on the formula: MAC Lipsticks are vanilla-scented but taste-free. I typically get four hours of wear, but some of the lighter lustre and glaze finishes tend to disappear by hour three. Amplified cremes and amplified finishes, however, tend to go beyond four. I find the formula comfortable to wear and not drying (but not moisturizing–a couple of the matte and lustre shades can be drying).

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: This shade will work well across all skin tones, because it’s not too bold, bright, or pigmented; it’s soft and sheer but still deposits noticeable color on the lips. It will work best on those with less pigmented lips, however, because it is a sheerer shade.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Bobbi Brown Blackberry Lipstick
Bobbi Brown Blackberry Lipstick

The Sultry Season: Bobbi Brown Blackberry Lipstick

Bobbi Brown Blackberry Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a deep red-brown with opaque color coverage and a glossy, cream finish. It’s a nice way to go brown without going full-on chocolate, and it’s also a way to go red on a much deeper, less in-your-face kind of way.

my thoughts on the formula: Bobbi Brown’s Lip Colors are scent- and taste-free. With a vibrant shade like this, I easily get four hours of wear, but it usually extends to five or six. Many of the shades from the Lip Color range are incredibly rich in pigmentation–lots of creamy, opaque shades to go around.

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

final thoughts: This is a suitable shade for both cool and warm skin tones, and it should look lovely on light to dark complexions, too. Pair it with neutrals to let the lips be the star!

where to buy: Bobbi Brown

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Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

MAC Decorative Lustreglass
MAC Decorative Lustreglass

The Sultry Season: MAC Decorative Lustreglass

MAC Decorative Lustreglass ($14.50 for 0.17 oz.) is a semi-sheer, darkened red-plum with gold, pink, and red shimmer.  It has a thin texture but still delivers some color along with plenty of shimmer and glossiness.

my thoughts on the formula: Lustreglass is thinner and less sticky than MAC’s Lipglsas.  Lustreglass still has a very glass-like shine, though.  It also comes with a brush-type applicator, rather than a sponge-tipped one.  Opacity varies from shade to shade, with some being ultra sheer and others being semi-sheer to semi-opaque.  I get three to four hours of wear with Lustreglass.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: If lipglass is too heavy, thick, or sticky for you, consider trying Lustreglass.  I think MAC’s Lustreglasses are a bit underrated, because they have the same beautiful sparkle and shine of Lipglasses but a thinner texture and are barely tacky.  Decorative works well with both cool and warmer skin tones, though it does pull a bit cool on me.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Friday, January 21st, 2011

Bobbi Brown Pretty Palette
Bobbi Brown Pretty Palette

Pretty in Pink with Bobbi Brown

Bobbi Brown Pretty Palette ($60.00 for 0.36 oz.) is an all-inclusive face palette with four eyeshadows, one blush, two lip glosses, and one lip color. It includes: Ivory (creamy white), Pink Flannel (nude pink), Pink Chiffon (bright pink with shimmer), Chocolate Caviar (deep chocolate brown), Pretty Pink (warm baby pink), Soiree Pink (baby pink with silver flecks), Bubble Bath (bright neutral pink), and Sandwash (beige pink). It shares one overlapping shade (Chocolate Caviar) with the Powerful palette.

  • Ivory is neutral-cool white. This is a matte eyeshadow, and it is part of the permanent range.
  • Pink Flannel is a muted gray-rose with great color pay off and no chalkiness. It is nicely pigmented and very creamy, not at all chalky. This is a matte eyeshadow.
  • Pink Chiffon is a white-shimmered petal pink with an inherent sheerness because of its finish. This is a shimmer wash eyeshadow.
  • Chocolate Caviar is a deep, dark cool-toned chocolate brown This is a matte eyeshadow.
  • Pretty Pink is a blue-based medium pink with a near matte finish. This is a blush.
  • Soiree Pink is a sheer confection of gold and pink shimmer; it has a milky pink base, but it really didn’t seem to show up on lips. This is a glitter lip gloss.
  • Bubble Bath is a cool-toned medium pink with a glossy shine. This is a lip gloss.
  • Sandwash is a nearly opaque, plummy pink with a cream finish. This is a lipstick.

The palette contains 0.09 oz. of Eyeshadow ($22.50 value), 0.04 oz. Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow ($7.50 value), 0.14 oz. of blush ($23.69 value), 0.028 oz. of Shimmer Lip Gloss ($4.00 value), 0.028 of Glitter Lip Gloss ($4.00 value), and 0.035 oz. of Lip Color ($6.42 value). It total value of the products inside the palette sums to $68.11, while the palette itself costs $60. It’s not a value-packed palette, but you’re getting your money’s worth.

Just like the Powerful, all of the shades were pigmented, and the matte shades were nice and creamy, with the exception of Chocolate Caviar which was slightly drier. Again, both glosses are rather sheer with the lip color being more opaque. The Pretty palette coordinates better within itself, though, which is really nice to see.

I love the sleek packaging, and I think the typography on the outside cover of the palette is beautiful. Bobbi Brown’s campaign of Pretty. Powerful. is really a fantastic slogan, so I’m all for it being emblazoned across the palette itself. Though I’m not personally that fond of palettes that mix powders with gloss or creams, I do like that Bobbi Brown’s palettes always seem to have deeper wells and a very tightly clasping palette to minimize powder migration.

P.S. — In case you missed it, I reviewed the Powerful palette earlier.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: For those who like palettes that make their mornings easier, Bobbi Brown’s Pretty palette may just be one of those. With eyeshadows, blush, and lip color all in one go all housed in a slim palette, it is easy to travel with. This one certainly works better as a standalone palette, and the cooler tones of the palette make it more flattering on cooler skin tones.

where to buy: Bobbi Brown

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