Thursday, September 17th, 2009

MAC Lipsticks: Hipster, Red Full Stop, Faultlessly F/W, Our Pick

MAC Trend F/W ’09 Collection Review: Lipsticks

MAC Trend F/W Collection launches in-store today across North America locations, and the collection includes four lipsticks, three lipglasses, an eyeshadow quad, and a fragrance.

Lipstick

  • Hipster is a burgundy-berry with a hint of red shimmer laced through it that comes off as very holiday-esque. It is a frost finish lipstick, and it has been out previously (though I didn’t have it). It applies fairly evenly (though not super creamy–felt a little dry) and goes on opaque. This is kind of the same family as Odyssey.
  • Red Full-Stop is a glossy coral-pink with no shimmer but lots of shine. It is a lustre finish, but it is one of the most opaque lustre lipsticks I’ve ever seen. This shade reminded me of Fusion (PRO) or Eager (which may run a little pinker).
  • Faultlessly F/W is a deep, dark purple berry with cool-tones and just a pinch of red in the undertones. It has an amplified creme finish, and it applies opaque. It should be worn with a lip liner, as the creaminess tends to make this one have a propensity to bleed. It’s similar to Cyber, though not the same (but I haven’t swatched Cyber in awhile).
  • Our Pick is a light coffee brown shade with a creamy texture, no real shimmer, and a satin finish. This is not a shade I can wear alone, and even mixed with others, requires some planning and experimenting. I’d say this is in the family of Spirit and Mocha, but it feels a bit cool.

While none of the colors struck me as immediate, must-have colors for my fall makeup wardrobe, all four were different enough from previous launches and had good color pay off — even the lustre. I think Fautlessly F/W is an interesting shade, but it is also a shade that requires confidence to pull off; it’s very, very vampy and dark and everything the fall trend of dark lips is. Hipster would make a lovely holiday lip, and I could see it being even lovelier when layered with a red shimmered gloss to help bring out the redness in it.

Red Full-Stop is like a toned-down version of Fusion (PRO) or Eager. I thought Eager was permanent, but after checking, looks like it’s not. See Sheer or Vegas Volt are both similar, but they both run a bit more orange. Our Pick just looks terrible on me–it’s like a darker concealer on my lips–but layered with other shades, it’s more wearable, but not a favorite for me. I am sure it will work well on others, though!

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: None are really must-haves in my book; I think Hipster makes a greaty holiday shade, and I like the coral tone of Red Full-Stop (why call it red?) the most out of the four.

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

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Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Borghese Lipstick

Fall Trend: Bold Lips with Borghese

Borghese Grappa B Moisture Advanced Care Lipcolour ($24.00 for 0.15 oz.) is a creamy berry red wine with a soft sheen and high color. It is a creme finish, which accounts for how easily it glides over lips. It’s full color and very hydrating on lips and lasts me about five hours without eating/drinking. The color can bleed if your lips have this tendency already, so I do recommend a lip liner for best wear.

The packaging is a combination of black and silver metal, with the black portion kind of looking like a licorice twist, actually. I don’t love the packaging, but it’s functional and does the job. While the price is steep, you do get more lipstick for your dollar than usual, as the average lipstick size is about 0.12 oz. By the ounce, this lipstick is just a bit more expensive than MAC and Illamasqua, but cheaper than Urban Decay and NARS.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation:  If creamy, full color lipsticks are your passion, Borghese’s lipsticks are worth a peek!

Availability: Borghese.com

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Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Givenchy Gloss Poetique

Givenchy Gloss Poetique Lip Gloss in Poetique Rose

Givenchy Gloss Poetique Lip Gloss in Poetique Rose ($45.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a lightweight, non-sticky, lightly tinted lip balm released with Givenchy’s Les Poetiques Collection for the fall season.

The product does everything it is supposed to do: truly enhances your natural lip color to a slightly flushed, just-kissed glossy pucker. It’s not sticky in the least bit, and it feels a bit like a lip jelly than a lip balm. It is also incredibly hydrating on lips and keeps them feeling soft and smooth for hours. The product itself doesn’t actually tint your lips like a lip stain, but it does seem to bring out the natural hues in your lips.

My lips tend to look a bit dull and corpse-ish when left alone, but with this glossed on, my lips had a pretty rosy look to them that wasn’t really colored so much as enhanced. It looked very natural and as if I was wearing clear gloss (though I definitely wasn’t!).

Like Givenchy packaging typically it is, it is both pretty and functional with the logo on the cover. Inside is a mirror, and underneath the gloss are three applicators — two bristled brushes and one sponge-tipped applicator. They’re useable, though just a bit stiff. Interesting enough, the gloss looks like there’s a design of the Givenchy emblem, but it’s actually printed at the bottom of the pan, so you don’t disturb it whatsoever. The lip balm has kind of a perfume-y strawberry scent, which I like, but some may find too artificial to enjoy.

I’m not really going to get into value — the price tag is steep, and they don’t give you a tub of it to really merit such a splurge. But if you like it, enjoy it, and don’t worry about the price tag so long as it’s within your budget! :)

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: Looks incredibly lovely on lips–totally enhances your natural lip color and makes it the best it can be, but for a price!

Availability: Sephora

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Monday, September 7th, 2009

L'Oreal Color Riche Lipstick
Spicy Pink, Robust Raisin, Captivating Copper, Naturally Nude

L’Oreal Color Riche Anti-Aging Serum Lipstick: Robust Raisin, Captivating Copper, Naturally Nude

L’Oreal Color Riche Anti-Aging Serum Lipstick ($9.99) is a newly released lipstick formula from L’Oreal — similar to the orignial Color Riche line, but with an Anti-Aging Serum core. If you notice, there’s a small teardrop of “Anti-Aging Serum” that runs through the middle of the lipstick. These are designed to help improve the look of lips, including minimizing fine lines. The way the product does this is mostly by acting as a lip plumping lipstick thereby minimizing any lines.

This post features four shades:

  • Robust Raisin (#706) is a browned-down raspberry-wine shade with more of a glossy sheen than a frosty finish as is common with many of the other shades in this line.
  • Captivating Copper (#802) is a sheer brownish-nude that goes on glossy and doesn’t appear copper to me whatsoever on lips.
  • Naturally Nude (#803) is a coralish nude that goes on semi-sheer but still opaque enough to deliver color on my lips once applied. It has a slightly glossy sheen that also has a frost finish.

As in part one, these are lightly creamy, semi-glossy/frosty in finish (depends on the shade), and they can be sheer to semi-opaque in color pay off. The same two issues apply as well: packaging feels cheap (just give me plastic, don’t try to psyche me out!) and the scent is a bad mix of lipstick and stale perfume.

Again, I know some dislike lip plumping products, so I’d recommend checking out the original Color Riche line if that describes you. There’s a slight tingle, but it disappears quickly and isn’t painful (as far as lip plumpers go). I think these are a good buy when you can catch ‘em on sale — otherwise $9.99 a pop is more than I’d spend at the drugstore.

  • Product: 7/10
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 5/10

Recommendation: If you’re on a budget and are looking for non-drying lipsticks that give you decent color, L’Oreal’s new Color Riche Anti-Aging Serum Lipsticks are a good choice!

Availability: Drugstore.com

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Monday, September 7th, 2009

L'Oreal Color Riche Lipstick

L’Oreal Color Riche Anti-Aging Serum Lipstick:  Pucker Up Pink, Peach Parfait, Compelling Coral, Spicy Pink

L’Oreal Color Riche Anti-Aging Serum Lipstick ($9.99) is a newly released lipstick formula from L’Oreal — similar to the orignial Color Riche line, but with an Anti-Aging Serum core. If you notice, there’s a small teardrop of “Anti-Aging Serum” that runs through the middle of the lipstick. These are designed to help improve the look of lips, including minimizing fine lines. The way the product does this is mostly by acting as a lip plumping lipstick thereby minimizing any lines.

This post features four shades:

  • Pucker Up Pink (#102) is a neutral-cool raspberry pink with frosty shine that goes on fairly opaque.
  • Peach Parfait (#401) is an orange-y coral with a frosty shine that is semi-sheer when it’s actually applied. (It looks nowhere this bright on my lips–more like a peachy nude.)
  • Compelling Coral (#402) is a coral-pink with a frosty finish and goes mostly opaque.
  • Spicy Pink (#704) is a dark raspberry-pink with a soft sheen and a bit of frost in its finish. It goes on semi-opaque.

I haven’t tried the original Color Riche formula (at least not that I can recall), but this formula is soft and lightly creamy with decent color pay off. I find the average wear time is just about two hours (assuming no eating/drinking) before it’s faded away enough that it needs to be reapplied. In terms of colors, I liked Pucker Up Pink and Compelling Coral the most–I felt these shades flattered and delivered in terms of color. Peach Parfait was a bit misleading, going on much sheerer and paler than it appeared, and Spicy Pink wasn’t as dark as it looked in the tube as it was on lips.

I have two gripes: the packaging feels incredibly cheap. It has a metal look, but it’s either plastic or a very cheap metal–it’s extremely light and just feels cheap. The outside casing still holds fingerprints (always annoying). The scent of these lipsticks smells of stale perfume and a bit of the trademark scent of lipstick. It’s just not pleasing, and I’d love it more if L’Oreal would switch to something less cloying (like vanilla or whatever).

Also, if you dislike lip plumping products, you should opt for the regular Color Riche line, as these do have a slight tingle. The tingle is about a three on a ten point scale (with DuWop Lip Venom being a ten for me). These are best purchased when your local drugstore or mass retailer has these on sale for buy one, get one. I find $9.99 a bit steep otherwise.

  • Product: 7/10
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 5/10

Recommendation: If you’re on a budget and are looking for non-drying lipsticks that give you decent color, L’Oreal’s new Color Riche Anti-Aging Serum Lipsticks are a good choice!

Availability: Drugstore.com

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Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Illamasqua Fable Lipstick: Matte Bubblegum Pink

Illamasqua Fable Lipstick ($20.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “matte bubblegum pink” by Sephora.

Fable is an opaque, warmed-up bubblegum pink. I’ve found most bubblegum pink lipsticks to run a tad cool, while I find this one has a definite warm edge to it. I also wouldn’t call it matte, and I’d say it is more of a semi-matte finish, because there is some glossiness/sheen to it that I don’t normally see in matte textures. I do like the way it looks with just the hint of glossiness, because it keeps the lipstick from being too dry (it’s a smidgen creamy) or flat. Illamasqua packs plenty of pigmentation into this tube of lipstick; there’s no building or layering required to achieve the opacity as seen in the lip swatch.

Though a lipstick will cost you $20, the value is still strong, because you get 0.14 oz. for your troubles. Compared to other high-end brands, Illamasqua is just a bit more expensive than MAC ($140/oz. vs. $143/oz.), but not by much. Their lipsticks are priced right in line with other competitors like Cargo and Make Up For Ever, as well.

The packaging is functional and isn’t over-sized (like their eyeshadows/blushes can feel like)–there’s just nothing special to it. I will say I do feel like their labels tend to rub off all too quickly.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: If you like intense lip color, you may find Illamasqua’s matte lipsticks to be just the right kind for you.

Availability: Sephora.com

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