Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Raspberry Shimmer Lip Gloss
Bobbi Brown Raspberry Shimmer Lip Gloss

Bobbi Brown Denim & Rose: Raspberry Shimmer Lip Gloss

Bobbi Brown Raspberry Shimmer Lip Gloss ($20.00 for 0.14 fl. oz.) is a softened rosy brown with light pink micro-shimmer. It’s not at all raspberry on me (it’s not even very pink!), which was kind of disappointing as an avid consumer of raspberries (as in the fruit!).

One of the best attributes of Bobbi Brown’s lipgloss is they’re longer wearing than your usual lip gloss–I get around three to four hours myself. It’s a thicker, stickier gloss, and I’ve yet to run into an ultra opaque, pigmented shade–but this is the brand’s credo. (I’m actually surprised that these are touted as “non-sticky shine” on the brand’s website, because I find them rather tacky!)

I still have the same complaints I did the last time I reviewed the Shimmer Lip Glosses: not enough product for the price (why, by ounce, is it as expensive as Chanel?) and the plastic-bristled brush applicator doesn’t do it for me. I find it a little stubby and prickly; I’d prefer something with more length and softer feel.

I do love how long and well these lipglosses wear, though, and they’re great to layer over your favorite bolder, more opaque lipsticks for fun color combinations.   Luckily, I like my glosses stickier (always makes for longer wear), so I have no issues with the texture.  But I am finding it curious they’re supposed to be non-sticky.  Raspberry is surprisingly pigmented for the range–it’s semi-sheer to semi-opaque–and delivers nice, even color and shimmer coverage.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you like your lipglosses on the sheerer side and are looking for muted pinky-brown with a healthy dose of shimmer, Raspberry might be the shade your heart (and lips) long for. If you like your gloss non-sticky or opaque, I’d recommend you try before you buy.

AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom

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Friday, June 25th, 2010

Urban Decay Lip Junkie Lip Gloss
Urban Decay Lip Junkies: Midnight Cowboy, Naked, Runaway, Jilted, Perversion

Five Shimmery Shades from Urban Decay

Now, part two of new Urban Decay Lip Junkie Lip Gloss ($19.00 for oz.)! This post features the shades: Midnight CowboyNaked (pink nude with pink shift), Runaway (shimmering deep coral), Jilted (hot pink with blue shift), and Perversion (sheer sparkling obsidian). (shimmering beige),

  • Midnight Cowboy is a sheer, pale champagne-shimmered gloss. It really has no color, but it adds some shimmer to lips.
  • Naked is a lightened peach-pink base with nearly iridescent pink micro-shimmer. The shimmer in this gloss felt smaller than Midnight Cowboy, and it has more of a reflective quality to it. This seems to be a your-lips-but-better kind of gloss–not a ton of color, some shimmer.
  • Runaway is a semi-sheer, light coral with white shimmer. The shimmer here is average in size and like Midnight Cowboy’s. This one delivered more color on lips as well.
  • Jilted is a semi-sheer fuchsia-pink with iridescent fuchsia-purple shimmer and a very glossy finish. It’s like a jelly pink base with pretty shimmer in it. It added more pink to my lips, but it’s a very wearable shade–don’t let the tube fool you.
  • Perversion is a blackened plum with almost silver shimmer. Like most dark glosses, it does settle into lip lines and may bleed on those who find themselves prone to bleeding lip color (I didn’t experience it myself). The color is semi-opaque, but it’s not an opaque black gloss at all, so never fear the way a product looks in the tube–at least not until you swatch it. Oh, and this will make your teeth look a little yellow.

Make sure you’ve read part one to get a full review of the formula and all that jazz!

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: This is a solid gloss, but I don’t think it’s necessarily groundbreaking, you know? It’s another good lip gloss that’s non-sticky, smells nice (much better than the creme brulee scent typical to Urban Decay lip products), and feels lovely on the lips.

AVAILABILITY: June 29th @ UrbanDecay.com; August 1st @ Sephora, ULTA, Macy’s, and Beauty.com

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Friday, June 25th, 2010

Urban Decay Lip Junkie Lip Gloss
Urban Decay Lip Junkies: Red Light, Crush, Peroxide, Wallflower, Heavy, Love Junkie

Say Hello to the New Gloss on the Block

Urban Decay Lip Junkie Lip Gloss ($19.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is an entirely new product line for the fall season. They’ve released eleven shades in total (WHY! eleven! Even Steven, please!), and I’ve split them into creamy shades and shimmery shades. This post features the shades: Red Light (sheer candy apple red), Crush (sheer coral), Peroxide (palest pink), Wallflower (medium nude), Heavy (shimmering nude), and Love Junkie (deep but very sheer wine).

  • Red Light is a semi-opaque apple red that’s not overly bright or in-your-face, since it’s not fully opaque. No distinguishable shimmer really–gives off a jelly kind of look. It’s actually not as red as it appears in the tube, so those who prefer lighter lip glosses, don’t despair from the tube alone!
  • Crush is a semi-sheer magenta pink. It’s almost like magenta met bubblegum pink, and then they had a lovechild. I don’t know why it’s described as a “sheer coral,” because I did not get any coral feel from this at all! It has the same jelly look as Red Light.
  • Peroxide is a pale, milky pink. I didn’t love how this looked alone on lips, just because the milkiness of it tends to emphasize lip lines as the product settles into them, and it’s difficult to make the gloss look even (see the lip swatch). I like that it’s pale and light without being ultra cool.
  • Wallflower is a nearly opaque shade of pink with a nude edge. It’s very wearable, and I think this would be universally flattering. It has only a little milkiness, but overall, it applies smoothly and evenly without a fuss. It is also one of the more opaque shades of the bunch.
  • Heavy is a darkened peach-nude with subtle white shimmer. In the tube, it looked pretty creamy to me, but it does have subtle shimmer in it. It is surprisingly opaque, and it has the best coverage and look overall out of all eleven shades–beautifully even and smooth while making lips look lush.
  • Love Junkie is a semi-sheer reddened plum (think the inside of a plumcot!). This one did have a tendency to settle into lip lines, but I didn’t find it terribly noticeable from an average viewing distance. It looked a little splotchy on my lips, though.

Lip Junkie has a jelly feel and the less shimmery shades look it, too.  They’re not nearly as thin as Pocket Rockets, but they don’t reach the weight or texture of XXX Shines, either–they’re a little jelly, not thick but noticeably not thin.  These glosses do include Maxi Lip, which is a lip plumper, and normally, my lips don’t seem to do well with lip plumpers–but I managed to get through swatching all eleven shades back-to-back without any damage to my lips.  (The last time I did a session of swatches of a lip plumper, my lips looked and felt like hell for a week–bleeding, peeling, and painful!)

There is a little tingle, but I wouldn’t call it a sting or a burn at all.  They smell quite peppermint-y, so I actually thought that it was just more of a cooling, minty tingle rather than a particular plumping ingredient like Maxi Lip.  It seemed to dissipate after a few minutes, and it really wasn’t that big of a deal.  The sensation was more noticeable than MAC’s Plushglasses (which I barely notice and thus rank lowest on the painful-lip-plumper scale–DuWop’s Lip Venom is the highest for me).  But then again?  I really didn’t see much, if any, plumping of my lips.  Pictures of my lips on the first swatch (Red Light) compared against to pictures of my lips on the last swatch (Perversion) didn’t show any plumping action.

These are non-sticky, peppermint-scented, sweet-tasting lip glosses with a medium thickness and a moisturizing, jelly feel.  I wore Naked (in the next post!), and it lasted a solid two hours, with it beginning to fade and become just a thin layer with some glossiness in hour three.  I did notice that these seemed particularly glossy, which helps give the illusion of juicier, plumper lips, too.

According to Urban Decay, the lip glosses are packaged in a single piece, rather than a lot of other squeeze-tube glosses which have a crimped end–and that crimped end can sometimes lead to lip gloss explosion extravaganzas in your purse or pocket (soooo not fun!).  The cap is metallic-looking but feels plastic and a little cheap to me.  I don’t love the way the packaging feels in my hands, but I do like that it feels solid and the cap screws-on and pulls off–both characteristics which should keep it from staying on your lips and not all over your bag!

I do like that these have good value in them–a little less than double of your average lip gloss (but in line with other squeeze-tube glosses like MAC Lipgelees and Make Up For Ever Glossy Full Couleurs).  I did find that I needed what seemed like more than the usual lip gloss for full coverage, but it didn’t seem or feel heavy or obnoxious in the amount I applied.

So here’s the rub:  these are supposed to plump, but I didn’t see any plumping.  Though Lip Junkies seem to be a perfectly good gloss, I’m just not seeing any results on something that the marketing material was really pumping up (you’re lucky I didn’t say plumping up!).  It purports to increase lip collagen by 40% in a month, and on the tube, it says “cools and plumps.”  If you’ve managed to read this far into the review–first, kudos–but more importantly, these are like B+ glosses; not perfect, not the greatest ever, but they’re good.  But since they don’t do everything they’re supposed to based on my experience, I have to lower the score down.

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: This is a solid gloss, but I don’t think it’s necessarily groundbreaking, you know? It’s another good lip gloss that’s non-sticky, smells nice (much better than the creme brulee scent typical to Urban Decay lip products), and feels lovely on the lips.

AVAILABILITY: June 29th @ UrbanDecay.com; August 1st @ Sephora, ULTA, Macy’s, and Beauty.com

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Friday, June 25th, 2010

Illamasqua Follow Intense Lip Gloss

The Summer Season: Illamasqua Follow Intense Lipgloss

Illamasqua Follow Intense Lipgloss ($20.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a fluorescent red-pink. It’s ridiculously bright–totally retina burning, actually! It is completely opaque and ultra glossy. It’s almost like a really, really amped up watermelon pink… except red.  Sorry, I’m so blinded, I’m almost at a loss as to what to say about this!  Like other Intense Lipglosses, Follow is richly pigmented and looks opaque when applied to lips.  They’re scent- and taste-free, too, and wear well–about four to six hours in total, but the glossiness does fade around hour two.

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

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

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Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick
Chanel Rouge Cocos: Chintz, Rose Dentelle, Chalys

Rouge Coco is Sweet on Summer, Still

With Chanel’s fall collection, we’ll see an introduction of three new and permanent additions to the Rouge Coco ($30.00) line-up: Chintz (peach rose), Rose Dentelle (rose pink), and Chalys (luminous coral). These three shades pair well with the darker, smokier Enigma eyeshadow quad, but they’re also ridiculously perfect for summer. Considering these launch in July (officially! word on the counter is it’s already popping up at some locations), that’s a very, very good thing.

  • Chintz is a peach nude with a subtle hint of rose. It has a barely there shimmer-frost finish with semi-opaque color. I can see this being a great shade to pair with dark smoky eyes or a stronger cheek.
  • Rose Dentelle is a soft neutral rose with a part glossy, part frosty finish. It has light shimmer of iridescent lilac and pink that flash when the light hits your lips just right. Like Chintz, it gives nearly opaque coverage but not quite. Chintz and Rose Dentelle look very, very similar when swatched on skin, but they look more distinct on lips.
  • Chalys is a darkened coral with a stronger orange tone. It has the same half-glossy, half-shimmery finish that most Rouge Cocos have. I found Chalys to be more opaque than the other two, which was nice.

Admittedly, I am a huge fan of summery shades–I’m always drawn to them.  These shades feel very summer to me, though they’ll certainly pair well with fall’s more dramatic eyes and cheeks and be a nice reprieve from the darker, vampier lip trend we always see pop up in the season.

I like the Rouge Coco formula a lot–it feels incredibly lightweight on lips without being drying.  They’re not the most moisturizing lipsticks, but they’ve never deprived my lips of their natural moisture, either.  Each shade applied smoothly, evenly, and didn’t require a lot of product to get a good amount of color coverage.  I also find these shades to be practical and wearable, but they’re not boring either.

Which of the new Rouge Cocos is your favorite?

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 lightweight lipstick that still packs a good punch of color, Rouge Coco makes a good choice. If you’re jonesing for new-for-fall products but still want summer wearability, these shades are right on the money. You could probably opt for Chintz or Rose Dentelle rather than both, but if you’re a fan of lighter lip shades, you may find it hard to resist getting both!

AVAILABILITY: July 2010

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Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Denim & Rose Palette
Bobbi Brown Denim & Rose Palette

Bobbi Brown Has the Denim Jeans Blues

Bobbi Brown Denim & Rose Face Palette ($60.00) is new for fall, but it works just as well for the summer, too. It’s available at Nordstrom’s now (at least online), and I suspect we’ll see it roll out to other retailers in the next couple of weeks.  It contains four eyeshadows, one blush, two lipsticks, and two lip glosses all housed in a single palette.

  • Navajo eyeshadow is a light white-beige with a matte finish. This is part of the permanent collection, but the rest of the shades in the palette are new (and limited, of course).
  • Gray Denim eyeshadow is a softened, browned gray with a near matte finish (seems like it has just a little satin in it).
  • Pink Granite eyeshadow is a shimmering pinky champagne with soft flecks of peach glitter-shimmer.
  • Dark Rinse eyeshadow is a blackened navy blue base with brighter blue shimmer and silver flecks.
  • Pink Rose blush is a neutral, matte pink blusher. It’s medium in darkness, and it’s quite wearable for all skin tones, cool or warm. On darker skin tones, it will be a very light flush.
  • Cool Rose lipstick is a semi-sheer light neutral pink with white shimmer.
  • Indie Rose lipstick is an opaque, darkened red with a plummy feel. It has a creamy finish and slightly glossy look.
  • Iced Lilac glitter lip gloss is a sheer confection of white and soft lilac shimmer.
  • Hot Rose lip gloss is a semi-sheer, blue-based milky medium pink. It’s definitely a cooler pink, but it should be wearable by both warm and cool skin tones, since it’s on the sheerer side.

I love the packaging — zipped-up, denim-clad palette. It’s fun without being cheesy, functional and still original, and I really think it fits the collection’s theme. I don’t love when palettes combine both cream and powder products, just because powder products have a tendency to get dust outside their borders and into those creams. I did notice that the palette itself is taller than each pan of product, so the pans sit below an edge, which should combat some powder migration.

Dark Rinse is easily my favorite eyeshadow–it’s just so delectably pigmented, it’s hard to resist. It’s a rather smoldering shade of blue, too, and it would make for an excellent smoky eye shade. It could also work well on the lower lash line for a pop of color.

Overall, I think all of the colors in the palette work with each other, which is really important to me when reviewing a palette. Most palettes are designed to be more of a one-stop-shop, so if shades don’t jive well, it’s an issue. The one downside to this product was the lack of included brushes, even if they do tend to be mediocre, because this does have lip products in it, a miniaturized lip brush is helpful for on-the-go touchups. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it’s something I noticed when going to swatch the products (I typically use included lip brushes to dig out the product to swatch).

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

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

Recommendation:  I think it’s a solid palette with quality products, and better yet, the products work well together.  However, if you’re not a fan of lip products in palette form, this has four (which is nearly half of the products), so you’re better off skipping.

Availability: Nordstrom

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