Thursday, February 24th, 2011

MAC Jeanius Lipsticks
MAC Jeanius Lipsticks: Acid Washed, Pretty Please, Riveting Rose

MAC Jeanius: Lipsticks

MAC Jeanius Lipsticks ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) come in three shades: Acid Washed (grayish beige with gold pearl), Pretty, Please (pale pink pearl), and Riveting Rose (deep burgundy with blue pearl).

  • Acid Washed is more shimmer than it is color; the base seems nearly clear to me, while it has pale white and gold-tinged white shimmer, plus a slight pink iridescence. It has a glaze finish. It is similar to Tanarama, just less beige.
  • Pretty, Please is a frosted pale pink with white shimmer that goes on semi-sheer. It has a lustre finish, and it is part of the permanent range.
  • Riveting Rose is a rich red-berry with purple and plum frost. It has a frost finish. It’s similar to Hang Up, but it is more berry (less red).

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, overall, comfortable to wear and not drying (but not moisturizing–a couple of the matte shades can be drying).

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

final thoughts: If you like layering lip products, you may find both Acid Washed and Pretty, Please fun shades to work with.  Acid Washed more so than Pretty, Please, have clearer bases and lots of shimmer.  They’re both true to their formula (sheer, shimmery), so you can’t fault them for that.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics, March 3rd, 2011

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Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Estee Lauder Wild Blossom Pure Color Lipstick
Estee Lauder Wild Blossom Pure Color Lipstick

Estee Lauder Wild Violet Collection: Wild Blossom

Estee Lauder Wild Blossom Pure Color Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a light-medium pink-beige with soft, pale gold micro-shimmer hidden within a creamy finish. It’s opaque on my lips, and the lightness of the color does make it seem creamier than other shades from this launch.

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

final thoughts: This is a nice shade that can be worn everyday and paired with any eye or cheek–whether it’s bold and smoky or soft and neutral.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Hourglass Primal Extreme Sheen Lipgloss
Hourglass Primal Extreme Sheen Lipgloss

Hourglass Primal Extreme Sheen Lipgloss

Hourglass Primal Extreme Sheen Lipgloss ($28.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a plum-tinged red with soft gold shimmer. It’s semi-sheer to semi-opaque on lips; close-up, it looks sheerer, but from further away, it seems to give the illusion of more coverage. It has the same rich texture of the other Extreme Sheen lipglosses, but this is the sheerest I’ve come across so far.

my thoughts on the formula: It is such a rich, luxurious gloss that applies nicely and doesn’t settle much into lips, given its darker and sheerer color. The formula is thick without being goopy, non-sticky, and very moisturizing. I get three to four hours of wear. There is a light, sweet scent–reminiscent of perhaps creme brulee–that doesn’t feel overwhelming nor smell synthetic.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: The sheerer, darker color of this gloss makes it slightly more difficult to ensure an even layer. It’s interesting to see how many different finishes are found within the Extreme Sheen line-up, though. Wish they’d put more in each tube, though–0.12 oz. is below average.

where to buy: Hourglass

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Monday, February 21st, 2011

NARS Nana Lipgloss
NARS Nana Lipgloss

NARS Spring 2011: Nana

NARS Nana Lipgloss ($24.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a blackened plum that applies semi-opaque. It is still quite dark, but it is nowhere near as dark applied as it appears in the tube (which almost photographs black!). Though I really liked the color itself, and it gave a rather stained glass look to lips, it isn’t so easy to work with by itself. I would recommend layering it over a lipstick or lip liner in order to minimize the gloss settling into lip lines. I also found that if you touch your lips together at all, it really moved the gloss around and made it look blotchy.

my thoughts on the formula: The texture of this particular gloss felt so different from other NARS’ Lipglosses, it was rather sticky. It wasn’t thick like holiday’s Downtown, but I still found this gloss rather tacky, while other NARS glosses are non-sticky (and it is a trait that these lipglosses are known for). In the past, NARS glosses have had plastic-y smells, but I haven’t noticed this in the latest seasonal launches, including Nana.

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  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: If you don’t mind some prep work (like lip liner) or layering (over a lipstick), I think it’s a nice shade. It should suit both cooler and warmer skin tones, though it is naturally cool toned. It is a more high-maintenance kind of lip color, unfortunately!

where to buy: NARS

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Monday, February 21st, 2011

Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color Lipstick
Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color Lipstick: Bare Pink (9), Plum Rose (10), Rose Blossom (11), Heather Pink (12), Mod Pink (13)

Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color: Part 2

We’re back with the second set of five Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color SPF 12 ($22.00 for 0.12 oz.). These shades are officially described as: Bare Pink (beige), Plum Rose (rich plum), Rose Blossom (pink rose), Heather Pink (dusty rose), and Mod Pink (bright pink). The Rich Lip Color is new lipstick formula for spring (and being added to the permanent range). According to Bobbi Brown, these are “lightweight, yet intense” and have “a clear base to deliver pure, crisp color with just one swipe.” The formula is also “creamy and moisturizing.” (Be sure to check out part one.)

I’ve road tested three shades from the line-up specifically for wear: Bikini Pink, Soft Coral, Old Hollywood. The idea is to test for wear and to do so with shades with different intensities. Bikini Pink is the lightest, while Soft Coral lies in the middle, and Old Hollywood, being a red, was likely to last the longest. The lighter colors inevitably fade/last less than deeper shades, as deeper shades often stain, which is why I try to test from both ends of a spectrum when it comes to a new lipstick formula.

  • Bare Pink is a pink-tinged peach-beige with a creamy finish and soft shine. It remindedme of Guerlain’s Guerlinade, without the shimmer, and perhaps a touch darker. It is also lighter and less orange in compraison to Korres #34 Nude Guava.
  • Plum Rose is a plummy pink with a creamy finish and soft shine. It is similar to Hourglass Nocturnal, just a little less plum, along with Maybelline Bit of Berry (but also less plum).
  • Rose Blossom is a brighter plum pink–it is very similar to Plum Rose, but it’s a touch brighter. It is less plum in comparison to both Houglass Nocturnal and Maybelline Bit of Berry, but it is also brighter.
  • Heather Pink is a dusty, muted pink–a little beige-brown in it. It is a little pinker than Benefit Lala Land.
  • Mod Pink is a cool-toned, brighter medium pink with blue undertones. It is similar to Dolce & Gabbana Splendid and Lancome Pink Sapphire.

my thoughts on the formula: These are really comfortable to wear,with their semi-matte finishes, creamy but lightweight texture, and rich color coverage.  Every shade was opaque and needed very little product to achieve full color coverage.  They are also scent- and taste-free, which should appeal to some.  Wear was anywhere from four to six hours, with deeper shades like Old Hollywood lasting a full six and beginning to fade after that.  Lighter shades hung on for about four hours.

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

final thoughts: I actually really liked these; I love how pigmented they are, but they’re creamy without actually being creamy.  They have the feel, glide, and finish of creamier formulas, but there is very little slip and very little product is on the lips, giving a rather featherweight feel.  These colors do not have a full matte finish, but they still wear well–no clinging or seeping into lip lines.

where to buy: Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom

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Thursday, February 17th, 2011

MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipstick
MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipstick

MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipstick

MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “light warm beige.” It’s a peach-tinged pale beige-nude with an amplified finish. The amplified finish gives is a creamier consistency, more color pigmentation, and a semi-matte finish. I did find this shade a little on the drier side, so I would recommend prepping lips accordingly (keep the moisturized, exfoliate prior).

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, but with lighter shades like Viva Glam Gaga 2, I expect around four.

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  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: The warm undertones are very slight and subtle; they’re not overwhelming, so this nude will still work on cooler skin tones. It’s like a peach version of Creme d’Nude; lighter version of Peachstock. I wish it was more forgiving on lips–perhaps less dry–because it tends to show imperfections on the lips.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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