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 →

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 →