Saturday, January 17th, 2009

Guerlain’s Exotic Paradise Collection saw the release of four new shades of KissKiss Lipstick and four new shades of Kiss Kiss Maxi Shine Lipstick. All of the lipsticks retail for $30 a pop, which makes them pretty pricey for most of us. To be honest, I liked all of the new shades, but I wouldn’t say any of them are absolute must-haves.

I think the Maxi Shines are the perfect answer to anyone hunting for a subtly pigmented, sheer lipstick that goes on smoothly and gives a nice sheen. Grenadine Shine was particularly lovely for me, just because it is a subtle coral, making it an easy, everyday shade for me to wear. I was thinking Forever Beige would be a nice way to do a more neutral lip that wasn’t nude, but I wasn’t lovin’ how it turned out in my lips, so I’ll probably have to take that one back. On the other hand, Flushy Beige is a really lovely shade of rosy beige, which is incredibly natural-looking when applied but it amps up my natural lip color quite a bit. It makes my lips look slightly puckered, flushed, and subtly pink.

Right now, I’m leaning towards giong back and picking up Corial Passion and Baby Shine. I have some cool pink lipsticks, but they tend to be too cool to wear easily, so Baby Shine might give me a less intense cool pink to wear more often. Corail Passion is coral, and well, I love coral lipsticks–do I need to justify it anymore? ;)

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Friday, January 16th, 2009

Guerlain’s Exotic Paradise Collection featured three stunning shades of KissKiss Gloss ($28.00).  I was just so drawn to the glosses, because they looked stunning (and Guerlain packaging is tops)–most especially together. I have to admit that these colors do remind me more of summery months than they do spring, but whatever, I’ll take pretty colors any day of the year, seasonally appropriate or not!

Pomme du Desir is a springy golden-toned green gloss that goes on pretty sheer, but the green glitter flecks are noticeable.  I find the gloss kind of cools down my lip color when worn alone.  It is similar to MAC’s Springbean lipglass (or was it lustreglass?).

Orange Interdit is actually fairly stunning.  It just has so much multi-colored glitter in the sheer formula.  It reminds me of dazzleglass in that sense.  The photo of the gloss on my lips doesn’t do this gloss justice at all when it comes to just how dazzling the glitter looks.  It’s very fun and OTT in a way, because it is quite glittery.

Cerise Tentation was my least favorite of the three, because it’s a sheer wash of coral-red (which pretty much just adds a little more red tone to my natural lip color) and not quite as much sparkle as the other two.

KissKiss Gloss is scented with Guerlain’s strawberry-rose scent (I think it’s something like this…).  I don’t know, I just remember their Meteorites reminded me of Mr. Bubble (not in a bad way, but it was an interesting connection for me).  The glitter in the gloss does feel a bit gritty once all of the gloss fades (about three hours later for me), but MAC Dazzleglass does the same for me (but doesn’t last as long), so it’s probably not a deterrent for most of you.  I gotta say that pulling out a green gloss can be quite fun, especially when people’s eyes bug out and they go, “GREEN?!”

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Tuesday, January 13th, 2009


Lip Plumpers:  Pink Pearl, Rose Flush, Peach Glow;
Palette: Buff, Tawny Apricot, Granite; Blushing Peach, Blushing Pink

Laura Mercier’s First Blush Collection recently debuted at retailers and Nordstrom.com.  I believe just this morning it launched on LauraMercier.com, as well!  It’s a fairly small launch, relative to many of the other major beauty brands this season, with just a palette, brush set, three lip plumpers, and two nail polishes.

The First Blush Palette ($55.00) contains three eyeshadows (Buff, Tawny Apricot, and Granite), two blushes (Blushing Peach and Blushing Pink), and three lip glazes (Flushed, Natural, and Naked).  My favorites of the palette are both blushes; they’re both soft, smooth powder blushes in complimentary tones.  The peach is soft and light, while the pink is pretty neutral and subtle.  The eyeshadows didn’t impress me overly so, as I’ve definitely seen these shades many times before.  Buff was a little chalky, which totally turned me off.  The lip glazes were pretty, but I imagine they are at least semi-sheer when actually applied to lips (my swatches ran thicker).  The shades of lip glazes are flattering on most skin tones, and they’re soft and springy for sure.

The First Blush Lip Plumpers ($30.00 each) are pretty, but with a price tag like that, I had to pass.  I don’t need a lip plumper, so I see no reason to pay that much for a Laura Mercier gloss (their Lip Glace is $22 a pop).  Pink Pearl is a sheer, pastel pink–not terribly unique–but it’s a face friendly color that works easily and can be used everyday.  Rose Flush is a brownish red that goes on sheer and glossy.  Similarly, Peach Glow is just as glossy, but the color is a brighter coral-orange shade.

I didn’t have much time to play with the brush set, though from what I could tell, it felt nice enough.  I have plenty of brush sets myself, so I don’t see myself buying more at this time, which is probably why I didn’t fight through the crowd at the Laura Mercier counter to see them better!  The nail lacquers were also being used, but they were both soft, subtle shades designed with spring in mind.

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Monday, January 12th, 2009


Mystic Eyes Quad

Chanel’s Bohemian Fantasy Collection for Spring 2009 is a stunning combination of light and dark shades, sheer glossimers, and potent lipsticks.

Mystic Eyes Quad ($56.00) contains four neutral shades of eyeshadow: a light grayish-silver; a soft milky pink; near neutral shimmer brown; and a dark, charcoal-brown. Even though the shades themselves are not original or unique, they are classic shades perfect for neutral eyes, work-safe/school-safe/court-safe (ha!) looks. The shimmer in them is low, with some having a velvety finish with just a subtle sparkle to them. I will say I do prefer Chanel’s Beiges de Chanel quad much more (from winter), but these have more shimmer than winter’s quad, which may make it more agreeable for others. I decided to wait before buying this quad, because I wanted to see if Dior’s quints for spring caught my eye first (they didn’t–not enough to purchase, at least). I may go back for this, but I’m going to hold out and see how long my lemming lasts before committing!

Liberty Eyeshadow ($28.50) is a pretty shade of whitish-apricot with a lot of frostiness to it. It would make a nice all over wash or highlighter, and being the Soft Touch Eyeshadow, it does feel like silk. Magic Night Eyeshadow ($28.50) is kind of what I wanted 100 Strokes to be–it’s a rich, smooth burgundy-black with subtle shimmer. Fandango Powder Blush ($42.00) is a pretty shade of peachy-brown with a sheen of gold shimmer. It’s well pigmented, and I’m not entirely sure if it’ll be too dark for complexion or if it’ll end up muddying me more than giving me a nice blush color! But it sure LOOKS pretty!

Beige Guitar Glossimer ($27.00) is a very sheer but shimmery shade of gloss; it has a lot of pinky-peach shimmer, but it definitely appeared multi-colored to me. Wild Rose Glossimer ($27.00) swatched like a gorgeous, subtly shimmered rose-pink. I thought it was just gorgeous, and I bought it right away. I was more disappointed when I tried it on at home (I really oughta try things on in-store!), because it fit the definition of “my lips but better.” Of course, that’s not inherently a bad thing, but I was expecting a little more.

Bohemian Fantasy released a lot of lipsticks, most of them in the Hydrabase formula ($28.50 each) with a few in Aqualumiere ($28.50) and two Ultra Wear Lip Color ($34.00). Here is a quick run-through of the colors:

Rose Rebelle is a soft, reddish rose shade that’s not too intense nor too sheer.

Euphoria is a pinkish-coral with red tones to it. Not quite as intense as Gipsy Scarlet.

Fiesta is a softer version of Fuego–a coral-red with some sheerness to it.

Fuego is an intense coral-red with orange tones.

Beige Desire is a high sheen brownish-beige shade.

Gipsy Scarlet is an intense pinky-red with a good amount of sheen.

Malta is a beige/nude shade with a rosiness to it, so it could work out really well for those afraid of going too nude.

Positano is a sheer nude shade with a slight gold sheen to it.

Opal Rose is a bright, warm-toned pink–perfect for a spring pout–that goes on creamy then dries down.

Alexandrite is a phenomenal shade of deep red; it’s one of those shades of red that just grabs your attention. It reminded me of Perpetuate by MAC, which I dearly love.

I will review the two Nail Colours (Django and Vendetta) in a separate post, to be written soon :)  I also hope to get some Chanel lip swatches done in the next few days.

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Saturday, January 10th, 2009


Row 1: Color Fever Plumper in City Mauve, Downtown Pink, Fuchsia Flaunt,
Rose Punk; Color Fever Lipstick in Forget Me Not
Row 2: Color Fever Lipstick in Mademoiselle, Pink Attitude;
Color Fever Gloss Piha Black

Lancome’s Pink Irreverence Spring Collection is currently available on Lancome Online, as well as your major retailers for Lancome, like Nordsrom’s.  I must admit I did not immediately want anything from this launch; the original promo photo I saw didn’t get me excited.  Having seen this collection, I’ve totally changed my mind!

If there is one gloss you get this spring, make it La Laque Fever in Electric Pink. It is an amazing hot fuchsia-pink that’s utterly dazzling.  These photos do not do the color justice–I totally urge you to make a stop by your local Lancome counter and test it for yourself.  The other shades of La Laque are lovely; the high shimmer/glitter factor is really fun, but the texture doesn’t feel gritty.

I am really eying Color Fever Lipstick in Pink Attitude, because it looks exactly like Cle de Peau Gloss #2 in lipstick form.  You know, one of my favorite colors ever–so you know I have to have it in lipstick form, too.  Pure Black La Laque is an extremely intense, pitch-black black liner.  Like seriously black.  It also looks wet even when it’s dry, so it adds a lot of depth to any look when used.  Layer it with Pure Sparkle La Laque for added glimmer!

Everything else was lovely and pretty no doubt, but the products mentioned above are ones I felt stood out and really grabbed my attention.  I think the Color Fever Plumpers in Downtown Pink (glossy reddish pink) and Fuchsia Flaunt (coralish shimmer) are stunning, but they are drowned out by the Laque Fevers.  City Mauve is creamy without shimmer in a mauvey nude shade, while Rose Punk looks like clear gloss an shimmer to me.

The other lipsticks available in the launch are creamy and smooth, and of course, Rock Icon Fuchsia really stands out being such a bright shade of fuchsia.  Both Forget Me Not (rosy nude) and Mademoiselle (browny-nude) make good everyday colors, when you don’t want to wear Piha Black Color Fever Gloss (sheer, shimmery black).

Irreverent Madame is the quad with the pink shadows in it.  I wasn’t overly impressed by the four shades, but it isn’t a bad quad.  I’m just not in need of any of the colors, and none of them really wowed me in actual color.  You know me, I’m over the chalky black trend, so that killed one.  The deeper pink is nice, but since I have similar shades, I can easily pass. Mademoiselle Sass is a warmer quad with a peachy-pink shade that’s lovely, as well as a warm gold shimmered brown.

Lancome also featured two shades of Color Design Pro in Hard to Get and High Expectations, which can be used on eyes or face, apparently.  I only swatched these, so I don’t know how they actually work in practice.  The colors seemed fine to me, though High Expectations seemed a bit dark to use on the face–but it actually sheers out quite a bit and would look great on deeper complexions.

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Saturday, January 10th, 2009


MUSE Artist Eye Palette Row 1

If there’s one spring collection that’s been a sleeper, it’s Smashbox’s Muse Collection. It was one of the first collections to be available online (at Nordstrom’s), but I didn’t seem to hear about it much. I haven’t even seen a real review on it yet! So imagine my surprise when I happen upon it at Nordstrom’s last week, and the lovely Smashbox artist tells me they’re sold out!

The MUSE Artist Eye Palette ($48.00) contains ten eyeshadows along with an eyeshadow brush, and every eyeshadow has a great finish, texture, and color pay off. The first row is almost a lighter, pastel version of the second row of colors. It’s a great idea, because then you know you can do a lot of easy 2-3 color looks with this palette. The texture is buttery and smooth–no chalkiness, no skipping. The colors are rich and very much how they appear in the palette, which I can appreciate, since I hate feeling duped! Stila’s Precious Pearl Palette still has my heart, but Smashbox did a great job and offers bargain buy of ten shadows for $48 (Stila’s contains six and costs $40).

The MUSE Lip Paints ($21.00) are semi-sheer glosses with a colored base and then gold shimmer. Artiste is a reddish coral shade, and it is the darkest of the three. Virtuoso is a peachy, creamy shade, while Luminary is a warm baby pink. They’re all pretty, but none of them stood out and made me feel like I had to get one. The MUSE Rush Blush ($24.00) is a nice peach-toned pink shade that’ll go great on warm toned skin, and I think would still work well on cooler toned skin. It’s matte in its finish, and the pigmentation reminded me a bit of NARS blushes. Smooth and rich without being powdery. I must say, for the price of the Lip Paints or Blush, I’d rather just put my money towards the Eye Palette.

Finally, the MUSE Cream Eyeliner Artist Pencil Set ($36.00) contains three richly pigmented liners in Antique Gold, Imperial, Lapis, and Slate. At my counter, I only saw three out, which I believe are Antique Gold, Lapis, and Slate. These liners are really smooth with no skipping, an the colors are vibrant and true to color. The set of four for $36 means you get each for $9, which is pretty good when it comes to more high-end eye liners. I was tempted to get these, but since they were sold out, I had no choice but not!

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