Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

MAC Baroque Boudoir Collection:  Photos & Swatches
MAC The Lap of Luxury Lipgloss

MAC Baroque Boudoir Collection: Lipgloss & Lipstick Lip Swatches

As promised, here are lip swatches for the new, limited edition lipglosses and lipsticks from MAC’s Baroque Boudoir Collection. My lip swatches are always done trying to use what the “reasonable” user would use — so I’m not in the business of spending ten minutes layering a lipstick on nor will I goop on gloss just to get it to show!

I mentioned earlier, in the individual reviews, but D’Nouveau was the most pigmented of the lipglosses, and all three lipsticks were fairly opaque.

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Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

MAC Baroque Boudoir Collection:  Photos & Swatches

MAC Baroque Boudoir Collection: Lipsticks

Every year, MAC presents us with a very limited edition, small-sized collection that’s decked out in more luxe packaging accompanied by equally more luxe prices. This year’s collection is Baroque Boudoir, which is in matte silver with shiny silver and black filigree overlay. This year’s collection contains a whopping nine items to covet: three lipsticks, three lipglosses, two shades of Sheer Mystery Powder, and a clutch.

The lipsticks are creamy, contain no shimmer, tend to be a little more pigmented, and apply more opaquely on lips, though this year’s are less pigmented than some of the previous years’ launches. Like the Lipglosses, I felt like these shades weren’t particularly special or standout. I’m am surprised, yet again, to not see a really excellent holiday red launched. And again, the price on these? Really obscene. They’re definitely not better than MAC’s lipsticks at $14 a pop; you could say these are, perhaps, a little more moisturizing, but not any more so than MAC’s Amplified Creme finish.

P.S. – I will do lip swatches this afternoon!

Baroque Boudoir Lipstick ($22.00 U.S. / $26.00 CDN)

  • Prive is a blue-based medium pink with a light sheen. It’s creamy, and it goes on so-so, not totally opaque, but still adds plenty of color to my lips. It reminded me of a more subtle Speed Dial Lipstick.
  • Baroque Boudoir is a plummy brown with a light sheen. It’s semi-opaque (you can kind of tell in the swatch) both on the skin and on the lips. I think it’s similar to Spice It Up! (a little redder) or Sheer Plum (a little browner) Lipstick.
  • Treasured is a creamy, semi-opaque neutral beige. MAC says it’s warm, it seemed neutral on me. It really didn’t jump out at me as warm (I almost wanted to say it was cool!). It reminded me of Jubilee! or even a more pigmented Fresh Brew Lipstick.

Let me also give you a quick run-down of the Sheer Mystery Powder, which I chose not to spend solely for the sake of photographing it. My bottom line is I don’t think it’s a particularly good pressed powder, and therefore not even close to being worth the $60 price tag attached to it. The compact is very similar to the Hello Kitty Kouture compacts, just with different embellishments. It’s also similar to Monogram’s from last year. It has some heft to it, but it’s not too heavy (unlike Couture and Stylistic’s compacts).

Sheer Mystery Powder is an extremely lightweight pressed powder. I find it a little too dusty and chalky to really enjoy it, and the shade range is incredibly limited. As NC30, I felt too dark for Light Medium and yet too light for Medium Plus. If you love the packaging, there’s no shame in purchasing it for the compact alone! If it makes you happy, it makes me happy! (Please note, the rating below is only for the lipsticks. For the compact, I’d give it an overall score of C for an average product housed in an overpriced compact.)

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: Like the Lipglosses, if you’re a big fan of the packaging, you might find it’s worth picking up one or two!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

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Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

MAC Baroque Boudoir Collection:  Photos & Swatches
MAC Baroque Boudoir Lipgloss: The Lap of Luxury, Preciousness, D’Nouveau

MAC Baroque Boudoir Collection: Lipglosses

Every year, MAC presents us with a very limited edition, small-sized collection that’s decked out in more luxe packaging accompanied by equally more luxe prices. This year’s collection is Baroque Boudoir, which is in clear packaging with filigree in semi-opaque white overlayed (but to be sure, they’re not stickers). This year’s collection contains a whopping nine items to covet: three lipsticks, three lipglosses, two shades of Sheer Mystery Powder, and a clutch.

The lipglosses are creamy, hydrating, and they’re non-sticky. They do feel a lot like MAC’s Cremesheen Glass, to be honest. They’re about as sheer, too! The glosses themselves are quality and feel very nice on the lips, but my big issue with these is that they’re just out of sync with MAC pricing (which is part of the point of their luxe collection, I’m sure).

They’re not any better or worse than MAC’s Lustreglass (these are completely non-sticky, Lustreglass is mostly non-sticky), which is priced at $14. I will also point out that this year’s shade range is less unique than years’ past, which is a little disappointing. Pretty colors, but you can find decent dupes or similar shades in the permanent range.

P.S. – I will do lip swatches this afternoon!

Baroque Boudoir Lipgloss ($22.00 U.S. / $26.00 CDN)

  • The Lap of Luxury is a sheer, peachy-melon nude with pink shimmer. On my lips, there’s really not much too it: glossy lips with a little bit of peach and pink shimmer. This shade reminded me of Enchantress Lipglass or Love Nectar Lustreglass.
  • Preciousness is an icy pink with a little bit of lilac in it. It is fairly sheer and sort of gives my lips a milky look to them, but it doesn’t add much color, mostly pinky-purple sparkle from the shimmer. This reminded me a lot of Cultured Lipglass or a slightly more purple Luminary Lustreglass (though it’s less noticeably different when applied on lips).
  • D’Nouveau is a raspberry-ish color base with lighter pink and copper flecks of shimmer throughout. It was the most pigmented of the three, but I’d still consider it fairly sheer. It brightened up and added a rosier look to my lips along with the shimmer. I was immediately reminded of Star Nova Lustreglass. This is also kind of like a more berry version of Love Alert Dazzleglass.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: If you’re a fan of the packaging or love non-sticky, creamy glosses like Cremesheen Glass, you might find these worth the splurge.

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

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Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Make Up For Ever #205 Lipstick
Make Up For Ever #205 Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: Make Up For Ever #205 Lipstick

Make Up For Ever #205 Lipstick ($19.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a deep, blue-based red. It’s fairly bright and most definitely noticeable, but it’s deep enough that it doesn’t come off too bright. It has a slightly glossy sheen, and it’s surprisingly hydrating. One of the best parts about Make Up For Ever’s lipsticks is how well they wear and how long they wear for. I find I get no less than four solid hours of amazing wear, but it easily extends into six or more, if I’ve only eaten a light meal or had one or two drinks. #205 is richly pigmented, goes opaque in just one layer, and it hugs lips.

What about you? Would you wear this red?

The Scarlet Season is a series of posts showcasing and featuring my favorite shades of red lips–from glosses to lipsticks that runs through December 2009. You can sure expect to see a lot of red this holiday season!

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Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Chanel Passion Rouge Allure Lipstick
Chanel Passion Rouge Allure Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: Chanel Passion Rouge Allure Lipstick

Chanel Passion Rouge Allure Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a richly pigmented, medium bright red that leans only slightly blue, but otherwise reads fairly neutral on my lips. It applies easily and evenly (though it should be worn with a lip liner to keep it inside the lines so-to-speak) and has a glossy sheen. I like how hydrating the Rouge Allure formula is, and I can appreciate the high level of pigmentation that accompanies it, too. It doesn’t compete against Chanel’s Dragon for me, but it’s a very nice, more color and no shimmer kind of red lip color that’s nice on other occasions.

What about you? Would you wear this red?

The Scarlet Season is a series of posts showcasing and featuring my favorite shades of red lips–from glosses to lipsticks that runs through December 2009. You can sure expect to see a lot of red this holiday season!

See more swatches and comparison photosContinue reading →

Monday, November 23rd, 2009


NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil: Pop Life & Toudra

NARS Pop Life & Toudra Velvet Matte Lip Pencils ($24.00 for 0.086 oz.) are two new shades from NARS’ Holiday Collection.  These are jumbo-sized lip pencils that are designed to be used more like a lipstick than a lip pencil.  The product is “enriched with Vitamin E” and is designed to last for “hours.”  NARS describes Toudra as a “richly pigmented Barolo wine shade is creamy, long-lasting and matte for strong, seamless color and a perfectly defined pout,” while Pop life is a “bold, bright and modernly matte holly–red hue that slips on with a velvety texture – a new holiday staple.”

Toudra is a bronzy, not quite coppery, brown-based wine.  It’s not really what I’d think of when someone tells me it’s a wine shade, though.  It’s in there, and yet it’s distinctly different.  It has a bit of a frosty/shimmery look, and I didn’t find it applied as easily as some other Velvet Matte Lip Pencils have in the past.  It even felt a little gritty, and dare I say… drying?  (Which these are specifically stated to not be!)  It is reasonably pigmented, though since it doesn’t apply smoothly, you end up using a fair amount of product get an even, full coverage look.

Pop Life looks very holiday-red when you check out the product, but on my lips, it was definitely not the case.  It was more of a brightened up orange-based coral shade.  It was smoother and gave a better look overall compared to Toudra, but even this still felt a little drying to me.  I didn’t get “hydrating” when testing either of these shades out myself.   If you’re looking for a red, you might consider Dragon Girl or Cruella instead–both of which are a lot redder than Pop Life.

These aren’t really your best bang for your buck lip product, considering you only get 0.086 oz. for $24–a NARS lipstick contains 0.12 oz. but also costs $24.00.  NARS has plenty of pigmented lipsticks in their collection (along with sheer shades, of course), so I’d probably start there in a lip color hunt.  I like these, in terms of the actual product (and discounting the price differential), more than NYX’s Jumbo Lip Pencils, because they feel a little more high quality and they do last much longer on me (about four to five hours).

Bottom Line: I don’t love the new shades from holiday.  I don’t own any of the permanent shades, but I’ve tested them in-store and have been more drawn to them there than I was when I swatched these two (and liked them even less when I actually used them!).  Neither color really pops for me, and I’m not sure why these aren’t as hydrating as NARS touts the product line to be.

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

  • Product: 21/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: I’d recommend trying these in-store before purchasing, to see if the texture meets your expectations!

Availability: Beauty.com, NARS Cosmetics, Sephora

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