Monday, April 5th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Orange Lipstick
Bobbi Brown Orange Lipstick

The Summer Season: Bobbi Brown Orange Lipstick

Bobbi Brown Orange Lip Color ($22.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a vibrant shade of deep orange. This is orange without being neon, flashy, or so unnatural that it looks weird–this is an orange you can wear that looks and feels like an orange, but it’s wearable. It’s a rich, opaque orange with a creamy finish and lightweight feel. It has a subtle glossy sheen and no scent or taste that I could distinguish. Bobbi Brown describes it as a “pumpkin orange,” but I’d say it’s a bit redder than a pumpkin. Nonetheless, count me amongst the surprised, because I never expected such a bold shade to come from Bobbi Brown!

Is this the right orange 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 →

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Two-Minute Reviews: CoverGirl Eyeshadow Palette, Physicians Formula Healthy Glow, Smashbox Heartbreaker

The concept behind two-minute reviews is mostly products that I photographed, swatched, but I never ended up reviewing.  Rather than just bury the photos into the “Unlikely to Review” folder and never let them see the light of day, I decided that perhaps a quickie review was better than no review at all… Let me know if you’d rather a quickie review than no review :)

CoverGirl Vibrant Browns (#700) Eyeshadow Palette ($7.49) is a palette that features four shades of eyeshadow: a softened, matte black with glitter overlay, subdued blue-toned sheer gray with silver sheen, muted copper with orange-gold shimmer and frost finish, and an incredibly sheer white with sheen. The colors are all on the sheerer side, and the shadows themselves just don’t grab me. I think one or two more muted shades might work, but these altogether just don’t. I find the gold too warm to work with the coolness of the black and gray. Quick Rating: C-

Physicians Formula Healthy Glow Shimmer Strips ($11.95) reminded me of Bobbi Brown’s Shimmerbricks. Healthy Glow is a gradation of light, icy pink to a muted raspberry pink. The colors are better used together rather than alone, as individually, they’re not very pigmented. Together, they create a lightened raspberry with a frosty white sheen. This is great for those with closer-to-flawless skin, because it’s pretty and shimmery–but if you have larger pores, the high frost finish will accentuate them. For a drugstore blush, though, the price is a little steeper than I’d like to see. Quick Rating: B

Smashbox Heartbreaker Collection looked super cute in the promos, but I wasn’t loving it when I saw some of the pieces in person. In fact, I loved the actual box packaging infinitely more than the product packaging! The boxes are cute with doodles and polaroids on it–just sweet and fitting for the theme. The shiny white plastic makes it look and feel on the cheap side, and Smashbox really isn’t a cheap brand. I tend to think of Smashbox as more of a mid-to-high end brand. I tried three products: Starlight Fusion Soft Lights ($30), Rollerball Lip Gloss ($21), and Liquid Liner Pen ($24). I reviewed the eyeliner previously, but I never got around to the other two products. Despite looking rather vibrant in the pan, Starlight is a very soft, lightened raspberry sorbet with a soft champagne sheen. It didn’t show up very well on my medium skin tone, so I wasn’t never driven to wear it in a look (hence this quickie review!). Quick Rating: C+

The Rollerball Lip Gloss was very much the same — it’s clear gloss with icy white shimmer. It’s very slightly pink tinged, but on lips, it looks clear. I also felt like the Rollerball packaging made me feel like I was using Bonne Bell (which is fine… if I’m paying Bonne Bell prices!). Quick Rating: C-

See product photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Chanel Venus (124) Glossimer
Chanel Venus Glossimer

The Summer Season: Chanel Venus (#124) Glossimer

Chanel Venus (#124) Glossimer ($27.00) is a dazzling shade of brightened rosy pink with iridescent fuchsia and gold sparkle. This shade, apparently, released last summer, but it’s still available at Nordstrom (which means I’m still allowed to feature it, woo!), so you can grab it there if you love it enough to buy! :) I love this shade in particular for its color pay off and glittering shimmer. Glossimers always look best in the sunlight, by the by, because they look phenomenal–truly like shimmering water. It’s a very slicked, wet, and dazzling look. Glossimers are incredibly glossy with a medium-thick formula that’s not overly sticky. I get about three to four hours of wear when I wear a Glossimer on its lonesome.

P.S. — Wouldn’t this look FABULOUS over Guerlain Giulette? I think I may have to do that this week!

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 →

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

Korres #18 Peach Lipstick
Korres #18 Peach Lipstick

The Summer Season: Korres #18 Peach Lipstick

Korres #18 Peach Mango Butter Lipstick ($18.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a semi-vibrant darkened rose with gold shimmer and a glossy sheen. I don’t have any idea why it’s named “Peach,” because there isn’t anything peach about it. In fact, I swatched this twice and had to have the tube next to me to ensure I wasn’t going crazy. It’s a gorgeous shade of pink for the summer that’s bright enough to perk up your pucker, but it’s not electric, so those who aren’t sure about their bright lipsticks might enjoy this one as a nice stepping stone. Korres’ Mango Butter lipsticks have a lightly sweetened fruit scent (“mango”) with a moisturizing, creamy lipstick formula that glides onto lips and looks even without drying them out.

Is this the right pink 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 →

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

Urban Decay Pocket Rockets

Urban Decay’s Summer Pocket Rockets: Max & Colin

Urban Decay’s Pocket Rocket Lip Glosses ($19.00 for 0.27 oz.) are non-sticky, thick enough to be moisturizing but thin enough not to feel heavy, and have a burnt caramel scent (well, creme brulee, officially). I’ve always found the Pocket Rockets to be a little gimmicky for my taste, but the formula is really cushy–it gives lips a slightly plumper, fuller look (without actually plumping).

After reviewing a fair amount of Urban Decay lip products, I’ve noticed that there’s a definite debate on whether the scent of their lip products is yay or nay. It doesn’t bother me, but if you’re sensitive or particular about your scents, you may want to give these a sniff in-store before purchasing.

  • Max is a semi-opaque pinky-nude cream with a glossy finish. Since it’s creamy and pale, it does settle a bit into lip lines, but it’s not too bad.
  • Colin is almost like a coral-red that applies sheerly for the most part, but it does add quite a bit of red to your pucker. It kind of looks like you’ve been eating cherries and slicked some gloss on afterward. I found it did fall into my lip lines a tad, but again, from a normal viewing distance, it’s not a big deal. I did, however, think this one tended to give my lips a more splotchy look–I think the color may not work for me so much!

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

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

Recommendation: If you love the idea of a gloss that also features a half-naked man, you might get a kick out of Urban Decay’s Pocket Rockets. There’s a nice non-sticky and moisturizing gloss that comes along with the near-nude model, too!

Availability: Urban Decay

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Chanel Gloss Fluo de Chanel

Chanel Les Pop-Up de Chanel:  Gloss Fluo de Chanel

I admit, when I initially saw photos the new Gloss Fluo de Chanel ($27) from Chanel’s Les Pop-Up de Chanel Collection, I was pretty excited. Bright fuchsia AND coral? That’s so me. Of course I’d be drawn to them! But I am sad to report that they’re incredibly sheer. (This is why one should not get excited purely by looking at photos!) I was curious as to why they appeared fluorescent in their tubes but ultra sheer on lips, so I figured I’d better take a harder look at what they are *supposed* to be.

Chanel describes Gloss Fluo de Chanel as, “Hot colour and high-wattage shine. The electric effect of bright, sheer, light GLOSS FLUO DE CHANEL Brilliant Lip Shine mixes and matches with equally vivid shades of ROUGE ALLURE Luminous Satin Lip Colour and LE VERNIS Nail Colour — perfect for going from the beach to a night out.”

So, they had me. They suckered me in! Gloss Fluo is *designed* to be “bright, sheer, light.” Is it just me or is that description kind of confusing? Bright and sheer? What? The way I review and rate a product is always based on what the product is supposed to do, not necessarily what I think it should do. I’m going to give Chanel the benefit of the doubt and just go with these are supposed to be sheer, lightweight “glosses” rather than over the top, electric color. Okay, now that that’s out of the way…

Gloss Fluo makes an excellent lip balm. It’s one of the weirdest “glosses” I’ve played with, because it doesn’t have the texture of the gloss. It’s like a squishy jelly in a glossimer tube. They’re sheer with no real shimmer but have a fairly glossy sheen/look to them.

  • Laser looks like a brightened fuchsia pink in the tube but applies more like a lightened baby pink with just a smidgen of fuchsia in it. On my lips, it just gives it that slicked pinked pucker look — a tiny bit of enhanced rosiness to my natural lip color with lots of pretty glossiness.
  • Pop looks like an electric coral-orange, but when swatched on skin, it takes on a much pinker hue. It’s more like a pink-coral than orange at all. On my lips, Pop looks like I put on a clear lipgloss–seriously. It does less for me than Laser, unfortunately.

So, they’re some of the sheerest lip products I’ve used that weren’t actually lip balm, but Gloss Fluos are ridiculously moisturizing without being heavy. I’d wear this to bed! For those who love glossier, thicker lip balms but hate that most of them are only available in pot-form, this might be something to consider. Since they apply straight out of a tube with a doe-foot wand, it makes it easy to apply, travel with, and use on the go. Not to mention, the sheerness makes it easy to apply without making mistakes. Gloss Fluos feel like a slippery jelly on lips–non-sticky, thick without being heavy or goopy. They did remind me a bit of MAC’s Tendertones, but in a gloss tube instead.

I want to reiterate that as far as I can tell, Chanel wanted these to be sheer. They will work well with the lipsticks from the launch, as those are more vibrant (I’ve tried only one, but the other two seem promising), and designed to be more pigmented. I think these work as a moisturizing lip balm with a glossy finish, but I’m not sure I’d put my $27 towards a Chanel lip balm. It’s heaven on the lips, but I’d probably opt for one of Chanel’s Glossimers or Rouge Allures for the price and opt for a cheaper lip balm.

Don’t get me wrong, though, because these made my lips sigh in relief after a round of lip swatching. They were instantly hydrating, smooth, and wore for hours and kept my lips moisturized all afternoon.

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 the idea of a clear but glossy, ultra moisturizing lip balm in a tube gets your engine running and you don’t mind paying a little extra to get Chanel, you may like these.  Not a must-have if you’ve found a solid balm that doesn’t break the bank already!

Availability: May 2010

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →