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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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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Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Burberry Cameo Lipgloss
Burberry Cameo Lipgloss

Burberry Cameo (08) Lipgloss ($27.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is a beautiful shade of peachy-melon with soft golden shimmer and a nice level of glossy sheen.  It’s semi-opaque, so it delivers a healthy dosage of color to lips, but it doesn’t cover or mask your natural lip color.  Those with redder lips may find that this turns their lips a rather pretty shade of coral, because that natural redness will peek through but be lightened up by the gloss’ coloring.

Burberry’s gloss is non-sticky, not too thin or thick, and feels rather comfortable on lips.  It’s not drying, and it lasts three to four hours on me (on the longer end of gloss for me).  It does have Burberry’s floral scent, though I did not notice it lingering while I wore it, but if you tend to be sensitive to scents, particularly rose or floral ones, this might not be something to pick up scent-un-sniffed.

The packaging is right in line with the brand’s makeup range; the gunmetal, checked cap with a clear tube (so you can see the gloss color).  Burberry didn’t skimp on the product with 0.20 fl. oz., which is about average for designer brands or above average for high-end brands.

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

RECOMMENDATION: For a non-sticky gloss with medium color coverage, staying power, and a sophisticated shimmer, Burberry’s lipglosses nails all three.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

MAC Explicit Lipglass
MAC Explicit Lipglass

The Sultry Season: MAC Explicit Lipglass

MAC Explicit Lipglass ($14.50 for 0.17 fl. oz.) is a sheer taupe-brown kind of lipgloss.  It’s gray, it’s taupe, it’s the grayest mauve.    I think Explicit is such an interesting shade, and it works really well layered over darker, vampier shades for some shimmer and glossiness while not reducing the boldness of the lipstick itself.  Worn alone, it darkens my natural lip color just a touch while adding a ton of taupe and light brown shimmer on lips while the base color is rather sheer.  Like all MAC lipglasses, it is one of the stickier glosses on the market and has a vanilla scent.

Is this the right brown 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 22nd, 2010

MAC Viva Glam Lipglass - Gaga and Cyndi
MAC Viva Glam Cyndi Lipglass

MAC Viva Glam Lipglass — Cyndi & Gaga

Coming at you on September 2nd, MAC will launch corresponding lipglasses to February’s roll out of Viva Glam Cyndi and Gaga Lipsticks. Like the lipsticks, the lipglasses are only around for a limited time (six months) — both the lipsticks and lipglasses will be available until February 2011.

Just like the same-named lipsticks, Cyndi is a coral with very subtle white micro-shimmer, while Gaga is a light pink with blue undertones and nearly imperceptible white micro-shimmer. Surprisingly, Gaga [lipglass] seems more wearable than its lipstick counterpart–it’s not as cool or blue toned, so its more flattering across skin tones.   Cyndi feels like there’s just a little less red to it–maybe a touch more coral, more orange, but certainly feels at least a smidgen brighter.  Both glosses are incredibly opaque for a gloss, which is nice–but they can, of course, be worn sheerly by simply using less.  It doesn’t take more than two or three swipes (depending on how big your lips are!) for a nice, opaque look.

When you’re looking for a lipstick/lipglass, Viva Glam is always a good way to go!

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Saturday, August 21st, 2010

theBalm To the Rescue Lip Balm
theBalm To the Rescue Lip Balm

Lip Balm for the Love of Pugs

TheBalm theBalm to the Rescue ($16.00 for 0.25 oz.) is a large, mirrored compact full of lip balm.  It’s a vegan lip gloss, which can sometimes be difficult to find–it uses carnauba wax and candelilla wax rather than beeswax to get its waxy base.  To the Rescue also contains both shea butter and various other oils (like jojoba and castord).  It does have a very slight minty scent and tingle (but very, very subtle) from the inclusion of peppermint oil.  There are also some exfoliating crystals, but I honestly couldn’t tell you I felt any of those nor that my lips were any more or less exfoliating post-use.

It’s also a product with a cause:  all net proceeds from To the Rescue go to Pug Rescue (note the pug on the cover of the packaging!).  I’m someone who advocates donating year-round, for whatever causes that are close to your heart, and not solely through purchasing products (especially since so many only donate a percentage)–unless you need or want the product, then it’s a nice bonus to have at least some of it go towards a cause.

IngredientsSimmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Esters, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea Butter), Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Ricinus communis (Castor) Seed Oil. Copernicia cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Euphorbia cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Cannabis sativa Seed Oil, Theobroma cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Olea europaea (Olive) Oil, Mentha piperita (Peppermint) Oil.

Overall, it’s a nice lip balm that does a good job of keeping my lips moisturized for a few hours.  It’s very thin, and if you’re not a fan of goopier, slicker or jelly-like kind of balms, this might be more up your alley.  The product size is great, though the price tag is a bit steep–I’ve found better balms at lower price points (Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm), but the compact is convenient (nice, full-size mirror), and of course, the donation of net proceeds is also nice.  I look at this as a product that lets me get my beauty fix while knowing that whatever I’m paying above your average lip balm is probably going to the cause.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

RECOMMENDATION: For mild to decently chapped and cracked lips, this balm could prove to be quite the champ to give you a smooth, extra kissable pucker.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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