Saturday, November 20th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Raisin Lip Color

The Sultry Season: Bobbi Brown Raisin Lip Color

Bobbi Brown Raisin Lip Color ($22.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a muted rusted red-brown. It’s described as a “rich plum brown,” but it’s so hard for me to see the plum in shades like this. Once you tell me, I feel like maybe I can see it, but then maybe I’m just trying too hard! Raisin is an opaque shade with excellent color coverage and feel–very smooth and clings without pulling moisture out of lips. It has a slight glossiness to it but no real shimmer.  It’s also scent- and taste-free!

Oh, and psst, it’s a dead ringer for Chanel’s Imperial Rouge Allure Laque in color (doesn’t have the fine gold shimmer, but color-wise…)!

Is this the right “plum” for you? Would you wear it?

The Sultry Season is a series of posts featuring deep, rich shades of brown, berry, plum, and wine lipsticks and lipglosses — just right for autumn — that runs through November 2010.

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Friday, November 19th, 2010

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

Temptalia Staples: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder ($34.00 for 1.0 oz.) has been a long-time favorite for me — it’s been my go-to setting powder since I first started using it. It’s been used in over 70 posts!

The one I hav been using is actually a smaller size included in one of Laura Mercier’s gift sets or travel kits (can’t remember), but it was 0.33 oz., whereas the full-size version (which is pictured in this post) is a full 1 oz. It took me six months of regular usage to go through it, so I imagine a full-size should last at least a year with daily use or a year and a half with 3-4 uses a week. I just picked up the full-size during Sephora’s F&F sale last month.

I love it because it sets my makeup, keeps it in place throughout the day, and helps minimize oiliness. It never looks powdery, and it never looks obvious–it has a silky smooth texture as it is a finely milled loose powder that disappears on the skin. The soft, featherweight texture means it never feels heavy over foundation.  I like using this with MAC’s 134 brush and dusting all over after finishing foundation and blush.

The only area this product could improve on is working longer than six hours – I do find a hint of oiliness starts to peek through by hour seven or eight, and I’m normal-to-dry, so I imagine that very oily skin types may find they need a touch-up after three or so hours.

P.S. — I recommend only peeling back (or cutting) half of the label, because you don’t need that many holes exposed to get a good amount of product.

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: It’s fabulous on dry and normal skin types, but it may not produce as stellar results on the oiliest of skin types. I fully recommend giving it a shot, though – one of my staples!

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom and Sephora

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Friday, November 19th, 2010

NARS Melusine Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Melusine Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Holiday 2010: Melusine Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Melusine Eyeshadow Duo ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is one of two new and permanent products from NARS’ Holiday Collection (the other is Sex Appeal). NARS describes these shades as “pale silver lilac” and “bright deep purple.”

From NARS: In folklore tales, a melusine was described as a feminine, free spirited woman. Similarly, this duo eyeshadow is an ultra-modern union of two colors working in harmony. Sweep the bright deep purple across the lid and highlight under brow with the pale silver lilac.

First things first–this is by no means a dupe for NARS Daphne. The swatch tells the whole story! Daphne is a brightened violet with blue undertones, while Melusine (the purple side, of course!) is an eggplant purple with red undertones. Bottom line: they are quite distinct.

The light shade of the duo is a silvery gray, and if I look close enough, I can make out the finest misting of lilac–so light that it’s almost pink. On cooler skin tones, I imagine the lilac will be more pronounced, but the effect is still quite subtle. The finish is a frosted shimmer, smooth overall, but does have shimmer kick up. The darker shade is a rich eggplant purple with red undertones and has a matte finish. It swatches better than Daphne did, but they’re both lovely in use–very rich, smooth, and true-to-color.

I threw this duo on before running some errands, and I had three sweet ladies compliment me on my eyeshadow. There is a lot of contrast in the duo, with the silvered shade being so much lighter than the deeper purple, so it works well on its own. When I wore it, I wore the silvery shade all over the lid with the purple hue in the crease (to highlight, I used Burberry Trench Eyeshadow, which is just my-skintone-but-better!). I’ll try and post that look soon!

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I think as a duo these shades work really well together; you have the mix of textures, nice contrast, and overall, two nicely pigmented, smooth textured eyeshadows.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

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Thursday, November 18th, 2010

MAC Marcel Wanders:  Video Review/Swatches

For my audio learners! :)  Please note that this video is part review, part first impressions — if you are interested in specific dupes, check out the individual posts!  Thank you! :)

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

MAC Marcel Wanders Lip Gloss
Lipstick: Catharina, Digna, Gesina, Martha

MAC Marcel Wanders: Marcel Wanders Lipstick

MAC Marcel Wanders Lipsticks ($22.00 for 0.15 oz.) include four new, exclusive, and limited edition shades: Catharina (fuchsia), Digna (blackened red), Gesina (red with slight pinkish undertones), and Martha (golden champagne with pearl).  All of them are cream finishes except Martha, which is a frost.

These do not feel a whole lot different compared to MAC’s regular line of lipsticks–the biggest difference is these four seem creamier and glide on more smoothly than the typical MAC Lipstick.  They are a nice lipstick, but I like MAC’s Lipsticks a lot myself. I’m just not sure that I can tell the difference between these and other MAC lipsticks.  The ingredient lists are different but nothing stood out as being, “A-ha!”

  • Catharina is a brightened medium fuchsia pink with a creamy finish. It’s opaque with little product, and it hugs lips without being drying. It is a touch lighter than Full Fuchsia; also very similar to Girl About Town.
  • Digna is a berried red that’s semi-opaque. It has a glossier feel than the other lipsticks, but it also seems to pull into lip lines. I would expect it to bleed a bit around the edges of lips. MAC’s Dark Side is very similar–a little more pigmented.
  • Gesina is an opaque, bright, nearly neon, pinky-red. It reminded me of Illamasqua’s Follow but in lipstick form. It’s also a redder version (and lacks the fuchsia sheen) of Fusion Pink.
  • Martha is a peach-nude with soft golden shimmer. The golden shimmer is not as pronounced on the lips as I expected. This lipsticks is a less pink version of Strange Potion lipglass. It’s a little pinker than MAC Freckletone, peachier than Smashbox Splendid.

Surprisingly, each lipstick contains 50% more than the average MAC lipstick! MAC Lipsticks are $14.50 and contain 0.10 oz., which makes them equivalent to $145.00/oz. MAC Marvel Wanders Lipsticks are $22.00 and contain 0.15 oz., which makes them the equivalent of $146.67/oz. So even though it’s a higher investment cost, the price is proportional. Of course, if you have many lipsticks at your disposal, you may be more concerned over pure price.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: These shades are dupeable, which is the biggest drawback for them.  At $22, if there is a $14.50 option, that may be better–unless you see yourself using up a whole tube!  Despite the higher price tag, you get a proportional amount, so if you are a lipstick fiend, check ‘em out.

AVAILABILITY: MAC on November 24th

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Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

MAC Marcel Wanders Lip Gloss
Lip Gloss: Aleydis, Beatrix, Gertruyd, Mary

MAC Marcel Wanders: Lip Gloss

MAC Marcel Wanders Lip Glosses ($22.00 for 0.09 oz.) include four new, exclusive, and limited edition shades: Aleydis (fuchsia), Beatrix (golden nude), Gertruyd (blackened red), and Mary (light gold).

The texture of these is extremely similar to LORAC’s 3D Multiplex Lip Gloss. It is a smooth, creamy formula that’s not thick or thin. It’s non-sticky but doesn’t disappear instantly; I’ve been wearing Beatrix for three hours now (no eating/drinking), and it’s mostly there. They do not contain quite as much shimmer as the 3D Lip Glosses, though. The formula also reminded me of MAC’s 3D Lipglasses (ha, ha) that came out eons ago. They’re smoother than Cremesheen Glass, but they have a similar look–just more pigmented.  They have a brush-type applicator.

  • Aleydis is a semi-sheer, blue-based medium fuchsia pink with icy fuchsia micro-shimmer. As far as MAC permanent dupes go, though, Extra Amps would be the closest, but a bit more blue-based. Kind of like a low voltage version of Hot House. Very similar to Revenge is Sweet, too!  Dead-ringer for Radiant Jewels/Creme Allure… (both are more pigmented).
  • Beatrix is a semi-sheer beige base with melon gold shimmer. It reminded me of a sheerer version of Strange Potion Lipglass–not quite as pink. Also similar to Girl’s Delight.
  • Gertruyd is a semi-sheer, reddened burgundy with light pink sparkle. It’s similar to Ornamental–not quite as copper, though.
  • Mary is a sheer, almost milky nude with lots of melon-gold shimmer. It’s a little less yellow than Instant Gold. It’s a little more melon and less pigmented than NARS Albatross.

The way the glosses feel as well as how they are packaged makes me lump them in with products like Dazzleglass, Cremesheen Glass, etc. For price comparison, I think it is appropriate to look at that category, too, and not Lipglass so much. (For the record, I do think that Dazzleglasses should contain more per tube–they are far under what I would expect.) Dazzleglasses are $18 for 0.06 oz., while Cremesheen Glasses are $18 for 0.09 oz. These are $22 for 0.09 oz. You are paying more, but the pricing does not seem as out-of-line as when you compare Lipglasses ($14.50 for 0.17 oz.) against them.

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: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you don’t mind more shimmer, you may want to consider LORAC’s 3D Lip Glosses–more product, same price.

AVAILABILITY: MAC on November 24th

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →