Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Illamasqua Frenzy Intense Lipgloss
Illamasqua Frenzy Intense Lipgloss

The Summer Season: Illamasqua Frenzy Intense Lipgloss

Illamasqua Frenzy Intense Lipgloss ($19.00 of 0.20 oz.) is a fierce, ultra-pigmented hot pink lipgloss. Illamasqua is totally on the money when they named this lipgloss of theirs–INTENSE! is the word for sure. This is a completely opaque color with a high gloss finish. It feels and looks very much like a liquid lipstick. It’s non-sticky and hydrating enough that you won’t have any parched lips after you wear it. I find it lasts about average–three to four hours–before it starts to fade. It has a slightly fruity scent, but it was pretty subtle, because I didn’t even remember what it smelled like and had to revisit my notes.

Illamasqua (at least, at Sephora) also has eight other shades — Fierce (bright grape), Follow (reddish hot pink), Fume (dark rose), Indulge (neon pink), Mistress (bright coral orange), Move (muted thistle heather), Petulant (hot magenta), Temper (bright tangerine).

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Is this the right pink gloss 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.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Guerlain Giuliana Rouge G Lipstick
Guerlain Giuliana Rouge G Lipstick

The Summer Season: Guerlain Giuliana Rouge G Lipstick

Guerlain Giuliana (#42) Rouge G Lipstick ($45.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a brilliant shade of orange-coral. It’s almost all orange, but it’s not quite a full-blown orange. This was definitely a love-at-first-swatch kind of shade. I saw it in the tube, and I wasn’t too excited, but on the lips? Oh, it’s gorgeous! It has such a beautiful subtle golden shimmer topped with this vibrant shade of orange that doesn’t pull too orange. The Rouge G formula is just icing on the cake, because the color itself is so spectacular.

I’m not typically a big fan of orange-based shades on my lips, but this could easily be my favorite–let’s not be hasty, this is only the kick-off of the Summer Season!

P.S. – For whatever reason, it’s not spelled correctly at a lot of retailers – it’s called “Guliana,” but the name on my lipstick case is “Giuliana.”

Is this the right coral lipstick 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.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

MAC Art Supplies Collection
Lipstain Markers: A Classic, Full of Flare, Modern Mocha, Point of View,
Purposefully Red, Runway Ripened, Stylesetter, Sunset, Tomorrow’s Coral

MAC Art Supplies Collection: Pro Longwear Lipstain Markers Review, Photos, Swatches

There are nine new and limited edition shades of Pro Longwear Lipstain Marker ($16.00) in MAC’s Art Supplies Collection. I really, really wanted to love these–I have been wanting a good lip stain forever–a superb formula in various shades, not just one great shade (e.g. Benetint). I was most excited for the Lipstain Markers when I first read about Art Supplies, but they just didn’t work well for me.

Update @ 4/1: Reviews, photos, & swatches for ALL shades now available.  Enjoy!

Pro Longwear Lipstain Marker ($16.00)

  • Full of Flare is a brightened coral with a tinge of orange-red in it.  Probably one of the loveliest shades of the five I’ve tried so far!
  • Runway Ripened is a raspberry-ish red, but it’s still fairly red.  It gives good coverage and applies evenly.
  • Modern Mocha is slightly reddened coffee brown.  It’s not the most flattering color on my skin tone, but I could see some deeper skin tones using it for a natural lip tint.
  • Point of View is a darker and redder version of Modern Mocha.  It’s a rasberry-ish brown.
  • Purposefully Red is a vibrant cherry red.  I think this and Full of Flare are the best bang-for-your-buck colors of the nine.  If you love red but hate reapplying, bleeding, etc., Purposefully Red might be worth trying.
  • Sunset is a darkened, slightly reddish, coral.  This would look nice on both cool tones and deeper skin tones, because it’s not an overtly warm coral, which isn’t always easy to find.
  • Tomorrow’s Coral is a rich red with only a smidgen of coral in it. It’s definitely redder than I anticipated–I don’t think I’d have even picked up on any coral tones to it if it wasn’t for the name!
  • Stylesetter is a brightened pink with blue undertones. Reminded me a bit of Impassioned, perhaps, but more blue-based.
  • A Classic is a muted red–significantly lighter/less bold in comparison to Tomorrow’s Coral.

The good: The color applies quite evenly from the marker tip. I didn’t experience problems getting the color to apply evenly onto my lips. The stain will also last for hours if you don’t eat or drink (sounds like lipstick/gloss, eh?) and doesn’t come off on skin (or someone else’s lips…). You can layer a lip balm on top to keep it from looking so dry without disturbing the color itself as well. I also didn’t find that the lip stain would bleed on my lips, which is always a good thing!

You can wear the lip stain as a way to add more color or deepen color of your lipglosses and lipsticks.  They seem to work and look best when layered underneath something, rather than worn alone, which is kind of how I like to wear my lip stains–just a shift in natural lip color that looks exactly natural, no heavy gloss, no sheen, no shimmer, no weight.  To use it as a layering product, it acts a lot like a lip pencil or lip liner.

The bad: If you have dry, cracked, peeling, or otherwise imperfect lips, these are going to be a pain in the behind to use. I don’t consider myself to have any lip issues, and I even made sure to exfoliate promptly before applying these, but they are brutal on my lips. They’re incredibly unforgiving and will accentuate any dryness on your lips. If you wear a lip stain, make sure to exfoliate lips and moisturize well beforehand so that lips are hydrated before applying the stain on top. You may want to layer clear lip balm or a gloss on top to keep lips from drying out during the day as well.

Like other stains, the color will also have a tendency to deposit more in lip lines, but the effect of this isn’t noticeable until after two or three hours of wear when the stain starts to fade a bit. I’m not sure if perhaps my lips are more sensitive than others, but I found the marker tip to be more abrasive than I’d expect in a lip product. It really does feel like a regular marker on the lips–it’s not like sandpaper, but it’s not like a sponge-tip lipgloss wand either. It made my lips tingle and feel a bit irritated for about twenty minutes after application.

I also found that these stains wore off significantly when drinking or eating. I actually brushed my teeth wearing one of these, and it was almost completely gone. It’s surprisingly easy to remove, but that’s not exactly why you’d opt for a stain, is it? I did several wear tests since receiving these on Friday morning, and I did wear tests with two of the three shades I currently have. I wore Tomorrow’s Coral while sleeping (approximately eight hours total), which allowed me to wear it without eating/drinking. I didn’t wake up with perfectly stained lips, but there was still a good amount of color left–too bad my lips looked like raisins left out in the sun to further dry out! I also wore Stylesetter for another eight-hour test, but during the day, to see how it would survive eating/drinking–it didn’t. I’d say about 80% of it disappeared by the time I had finished lunch.

They smell like vanilla, but they have kind of an odd taste. It’s not gross or chemical-y, but there’s something about it that’s a little unpleasant (but not wholly so). The packaging is cute and sleek, but they look 95% like CoverGirl’s Outlast Lipstains, which I thought was interesting.

My picks: None at this time. Based on lack of long-wearing power, I don’t think any of these shades are must-haves. I’ll be buying the other six shades to photograph and swatch so you can see what they look like when it launches in-store, so perhaps one of those shades will wow me enough to recommend it!

See photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Urban Decay Peroxide Lipstick
Urban Decay Peroxide Lipstick

The Spring Season: Urban Decay Peroxide Lipstick

Urban Decay Peroxide Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.13 oz.) is an icy champagne shimmered yellow pink. When I swatched it on my arm, it had a glossy look to it, but on my lips, it looked less glossy and more shimmery/frosty. Peroxide is a semi-opaque shade that lightens up my natural lip color while giving it more of a soft rose look and feel. Surprisingly, with a name like Peroxide, it’s quite wearable. It’s lightened but not so light that it’s hard to pull off. Urban Decay lipsticks have a creme brulee-ish scent (kind of a sweetened, kind of burnt–but not in a bad way–smell), and I didn’t taste anything off with this shade.

Is this the right pink lipstick for you? Would you wear it?

The Spring Season is a series of posts featuring my favorite soft beige, coral, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for the first blossom of spring — that runs through March 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Shiseido PK 327 Lipstick
Shiseido PK 327 Perfect Rouge Sheer Lip Color

The Spring Season: Shiseido PK 327 Perfect Rouge Sheer Lip Color

Shiseido PK 327 Perfect Rouge Sheer Lip Color ($25.00) is a soft, sheered rosy pink with a very glossy finish and subtle color. On me, it really enhances the natural rosiness of my lips and takes it to the next level. It’s definitely a my-lips-but-better (MLBB) shade, but it’s easy to wear, feels great, and looks very natural for those days when you need a toned-down lip. The lipstick itself has no scent or taste, which is great for those with more sensitive senses.

Is this the right pink lipstick for you? Would you wear it?

The Spring Season is a series of posts featuring my favorite soft beige, coral, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for the first blossom of spring — that runs through March 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Shiseido Pop Life (PK 406) Lipgloss
Shiseido Pop Life Lipgloss

The Spring Season: Shiseido Pop Life (PK 406) Lipgloss

Shiseido Pop Life (PK 406) Luminizing Lip Gloss ($22.00 for 0.25 oz.) is a very milky, creamy pale blue-pink that applies with some color coverage, but it has the translucent look of milkier lipglosses. It has a champagne sparkle and high gloss sheen. It’s a very creamy, lightweight lip gloss that’s not-sticky and has no real scent/taste to me while keeping lips pretty moisturized while it wears (about two hours on me).

Is this the right pink gloss for you? Would you wear it?

The Spring Season is a series of posts featuring my favorite soft beige, coral, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for the first blossom of spring — that runs through March 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →