Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

NYX Purple Smokey Look Kit
NYX Purple Smokey Look Kit

More Purple Than You’ll Know What to Do With

NYX Purple Smokey Look Kit ($11.00 for 0.32 oz.) is an eye and lip palette; it contains nine eyeshadows and two lip colors. If you’re a fan of cool-toned, purple eyeshadows, this is a palette with your name on it! The palette includes: a smoked, blackened purple with violet sheen; brightened navy blue with a subtle sheen; softened fuchsia lilac with a satin sheen; light fuchsia pink with satin sheen; gray-tinged brown with cool undertones; pinked brown with sheen; softened violet with sheen; red-toned, medium purple with violet shimmer-sheen; and dusty brown. The lip shades included a pinky nude cream and a metallic bronze.

The majority of the eyeshadow shades were nicely pigmented, but three were on the sheerer side — the pink brown, softened violet, and dusty brown. The dusty brown was pretty pitiful for me; extremely sheer, almost chalky, and wasn’t working for me whatsoever. The other eight shades were much more workable, though, so it’s easy to forgive a palette of nine shades for only one bad apple. I liked that only a couple of the shades had a frostier finish, while the rest had a low satin sheen. Shimmers/satins are easier to blend but sometimes you can get too much of a good thing!

I didn’t like the lip colors very much–they’re a little sticky and the shades themselves don’t seem to fit with the palette. A metallic bronze lip is lovely, but I’m not so sure about pairing it with such cool purples. I wouldn’t grab this for the lip colors, but I do like that they’re in a separate pull-out drawer, which means they won’t get any cross-contamination from the powder eyeshadows. The included double-ended applicators aren’t anything to write home about; the bristled one is sparse and a little scratchy, while the sponge-tip is thin and a little scratchy.

The palette itself is housed in a square black palette, so it manages to look sleek and compact, and it would work really well for traveling. It’s a good palette overall, and for $11, it’s obviously a real gem!

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: The quality is good overall with just a couple of misses but enough hits to make it well worth the price.

AVAILABILITY: NYX

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Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Philosophy Rainbow Sherbet
Philosophy Rainbow Sherbet

Looking for Rainbows with Philosophy

Philosophy Everything’s Coming Up Rainbows Set ($28.00) includes a 4 oz. Rainbow Sherbet Shower Gel, 4 oz. Rainbow Sherbet Body Lotion, and 0.5 oz. Rainbow Sherbet Flavored Lip Shine. It pulls more like orange sherbet but it has that sweetness from pineapple, too. I loved the scent in the shower, because the getting a sniff of citrus was invigorating in the early morning.

The body lotion smelled exactly the same, but it’s a product that works best for someone who moisturizers daily or doesn’t suffer from dry skin–it’s a lotion, so it has a thin consistency. (My dragon scales need a body butter or cream!) It did absorb quickly, and the scent did not overwhelm me at all but still detectable after a few hours. Similarly, the Lip Shine shared the same scent, and it’s pretty much just a clear gloss with white shimmer. They’re fun and always give me an urge to lick my lips.

It’s a cute set, and I’m glad I bought it so I could try out a new scent. Even though it’s a fun set, it’s not a value set. Full-sized shower gels retail for $16 (for 16 oz.) and body lotions retail for $24 (for 16 oz.), while Lip Shines retail for $10. The set comes with $4 worth of shower gel, $6 worth of body lotion, and $10 worth of Lip Shine–$20 in sum but will set you back $28.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Depending on what product you like most, you may just want to grab that one (as all three are available separately in full-sizes).

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Monday, October 18th, 2010

Illamasqua Disciple Lipstick
Illamasqua Disciple Lipstick

Illamasqua Art of Darkness: Disciple

Illamasqua Disciple Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a deep navy blue with a near matte finish.  It’s pretty opaque, but it is a little dry, so it’s best applied with a lip brush.  Between the opacity and the more clinging nature of the formula, though, it’s incredibly long-wearing–yielding about six hours of wear for me.  Illamasqua’s lipsticks are also scent- and taste-free.

Most of probably wouldn’t wear this shade on the regular, but it’s always nice to have options, which is one of the fun parts about the Illamasqua brand. Disciple is surprisingly flattering even when worn on its own.  Normally, I’m not a huge fan of really dark lip colors on myself, but I kind of dug the way the blue worked with my skin tone here.   I also appreciate that it’s not a black-blue but a true navy blue on lips.

The Glossover

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Monday, October 18th, 2010

Chanel Charming Glossimer
Chanel Charming Glossimer

Chanel Holiday 2010: Charming

Chanel Charming Glossimer ($27.00 for 0.19 fl. oz.) is a sheer barely-there pink gloss with pink shimmer. It is new and limited edition from Chanel’s holiday collection. The gloss itself is nearly colorless, but the shimmer is colored enough that it’s noticeable when worn. It’s a very minimal, easy-to-wear kind of shade that will be a must for some and a, “So what?” kind of gloss for others. Charming can be worn alone for a little dazzle or layered on top of lipsticks to add shine and shimmer.

Glossimers are nearly non-sticky but still have a little tackiness to them, though they are lightweight, non-drying, and last three to four hours on me.   They’re scent- and taste-free as well.  Some of them are more pigmented but the majority have been on the sheerer side based on my experience.

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

RECOMMENDATION: It’s not the most unique or original shade, but it’s the kind of shade that one could wear all the time, too.

AVAILABILITY: Chanel

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Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Chanel Patchouli Rouge Coco Lipstick
Chanel Patchouli Rouge Coco Lipstick

Chanel Holiday 2010: Patchouli

Chanel Patchouli Rouge Coco Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a new and limited edition shade from the brand’s holiday collection.  Patchouli is a light semi-sheer coral with peach and gold shimmer–it’s also a little glossier than the average Rouge Coco and feels more moisturizing.  It seems to apply less evenly than some of the other shades in the range, but it makes for a really nice everyday color that pops on its own but still plays well with others.

Rouge Coco is a slightly drier formula, because most of the shades are frost finishes, but I don’t find it drying–it’s just not moisturizing.  It has a light vanilla-rose scent that’s rather faint but still detectable.  It doesn’t seem to linger, though.  On average, Rouge Cocos last four hours on me.

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

RECOMMENDATION: For those with warmer skin tones, I think this will be incredibly flattering.  It may be a bit orange-y on those with very cool toned skin, though.

AVAILABILITY: Chanel

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Sunday, October 17th, 2010

NYX Very Berry Lipstick

The Sultry Season: NYX Very Berry Lipstick

NYX Very Berry Lipstick ($4.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a darkened red-brown with a glossy finish.  It’s opaque, and it has a very creamy texture, so it applies beautifully.  It does fade away within three to four hours, but it’s a lovely color while it lasts.  There’s a slightly synthetic sweet scent in the tube, but I don’t notice it lingering once I’ve applied it.

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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