Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

MAC Decorative Lustreglass
MAC Decorative Lustreglass

The Sultry Season: MAC Decorative Lustreglass

MAC Decorative Lustreglass ($14.50 for 0.17 oz.) is a semi-sheer, darkened red-plum with gold, pink, and red shimmer.  It has a thin texture but still delivers some color along with plenty of shimmer and glossiness.

my thoughts on the formula: Lustreglass is thinner and less sticky than MAC’s Lipglsas.  Lustreglass still has a very glass-like shine, though.  It also comes with a brush-type applicator, rather than a sponge-tipped one.  Opacity varies from shade to shade, with some being ultra sheer and others being semi-sheer to semi-opaque.  I get three to four hours of wear with Lustreglass.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: If lipglass is too heavy, thick, or sticky for you, consider trying Lustreglass.  I think MAC’s Lustreglasses are a bit underrated, because they have the same beautiful sparkle and shine of Lipglasses but a thinner texture and are barely tacky.  Decorative works well with both cool and warmer skin tones, though it does pull a bit cool on me.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

NARS Nouveau Monde Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Nouveau Monde Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Spring 2011: Nouveau Monde

NARS Nouveau Monde Eyeshadow Duo ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “metallic silver lilac” and “rich olive gold.” The duo includes a cool-toned lilac with silver-gray shimmer and flecks of larger shimmer (seems smaller than micro-glitter but not as fine as shimmer), which goes on smoothly but a touch sheer; alongside the lilac shade is a khaki olive brown with a smooth, satin finish. The khaki shade has excellent pigmentation and texture–very rich and smooth.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: It’s an interesting pair of colors–would not have thought to put a lilac and olive brown together at all.  Though I was slightly concerned about fall out issues with the lilac shade, due to the more apparent flecks of shimmer-glitter, it seemed minimal at worst.

where to buy: NARS

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Friday, January 21st, 2011

Bobbi Brown Pretty Palette
Bobbi Brown Pretty Palette

Pretty in Pink with Bobbi Brown

Bobbi Brown Pretty Palette ($60.00 for 0.36 oz.) is an all-inclusive face palette with four eyeshadows, one blush, two lip glosses, and one lip color. It includes: Ivory (creamy white), Pink Flannel (nude pink), Pink Chiffon (bright pink with shimmer), Chocolate Caviar (deep chocolate brown), Pretty Pink (warm baby pink), Soiree Pink (baby pink with silver flecks), Bubble Bath (bright neutral pink), and Sandwash (beige pink). It shares one overlapping shade (Chocolate Caviar) with the Powerful palette.

  • Ivory is neutral-cool white. This is a matte eyeshadow, and it is part of the permanent range.
  • Pink Flannel is a muted gray-rose with great color pay off and no chalkiness. It is nicely pigmented and very creamy, not at all chalky. This is a matte eyeshadow.
  • Pink Chiffon is a white-shimmered petal pink with an inherent sheerness because of its finish. This is a shimmer wash eyeshadow.
  • Chocolate Caviar is a deep, dark cool-toned chocolate brown This is a matte eyeshadow.
  • Pretty Pink is a blue-based medium pink with a near matte finish. This is a blush.
  • Soiree Pink is a sheer confection of gold and pink shimmer; it has a milky pink base, but it really didn’t seem to show up on lips. This is a glitter lip gloss.
  • Bubble Bath is a cool-toned medium pink with a glossy shine. This is a lip gloss.
  • Sandwash is a nearly opaque, plummy pink with a cream finish. This is a lipstick.

The palette contains 0.09 oz. of Eyeshadow ($22.50 value), 0.04 oz. Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow ($7.50 value), 0.14 oz. of blush ($23.69 value), 0.028 oz. of Shimmer Lip Gloss ($4.00 value), 0.028 of Glitter Lip Gloss ($4.00 value), and 0.035 oz. of Lip Color ($6.42 value). It total value of the products inside the palette sums to $68.11, while the palette itself costs $60. It’s not a value-packed palette, but you’re getting your money’s worth.

Just like the Powerful, all of the shades were pigmented, and the matte shades were nice and creamy, with the exception of Chocolate Caviar which was slightly drier. Again, both glosses are rather sheer with the lip color being more opaque. The Pretty palette coordinates better within itself, though, which is really nice to see.

I love the sleek packaging, and I think the typography on the outside cover of the palette is beautiful. Bobbi Brown’s campaign of Pretty. Powerful. is really a fantastic slogan, so I’m all for it being emblazoned across the palette itself. Though I’m not personally that fond of palettes that mix powders with gloss or creams, I do like that Bobbi Brown’s palettes always seem to have deeper wells and a very tightly clasping palette to minimize powder migration.

P.S. — In case you missed it, I reviewed the Powerful palette earlier.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: For those who like palettes that make their mornings easier, Bobbi Brown’s Pretty palette may just be one of those. With eyeshadows, blush, and lip color all in one go all housed in a slim palette, it is easy to travel with. This one certainly works better as a standalone palette, and the cooler tones of the palette make it more flattering on cooler skin tones.

where to buy: Bobbi Brown

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Friday, January 21st, 2011


Giorgio Armani Transluminence Face Palette

A Shy Blush for Pale Beauties

Giorgio Armani Transluminence Face Palette ($49.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a muted rose with peachiness. It has a satin-matte finish, and it applies very sheerly on the face. It is a called a sheer blush, however, so it was rather expected. It does provide some color on my medium skin tone, but it is certainly a subtle effect. I could see lighter skin tones really working well with this shade for a pop of color good for everyday looks. The sheen is soft and barely-there but delivers a glowiness when applied to cheeks.  Though the texture was silky smooth, it did feel a little powdery, but because the formula is sheer, it is very easy to blend.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: The blush has a very smooth, soft texture though it’s almost chalky on my medium skin-tone, which is why I think this could easily be a much loved item in paler beauties’ stashes while not so favored if you have a darker skin tone.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Rimmel Latino Moisture Renew Lipstick
Rimmel Latino Moisture Renew Lipstick

A Frosted Pink by Rimmel

Rimmel Latino Moisture Renew Lipstick ($5.47 for 0.14 oz.) is a deep rusted pink–it almost seems like a coral, but it has more of that pink-raspberry sorbet kind of feel than that of a pink or red-based coral. It has a heavy dose of frost in the finish, coming from a mixture of wihte, pale pink, and fuchsia shimmer. The color is seim-opaque; it gives my lips plenty of color but doesn’t entirely cover my natural lip color (you can still see my lip freckle peeking through).

my thoughts on the formula: Rimmel’s Moisture Renew Lipsticks applies smoothly, but some shades, like frosted ones like Latino, are less creamy than ones with less shimmer (more of a satin or cream finish). I typically get between two and three hours of wear with this lipstick formula, and I do not find it to be very moisturizing, though not drying.

P.S. – Am I the only one who raised eyebrows at the name?

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  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: I wish it was as moisturizing as it claimed, because then it would be slightly more comfortable to wear and live up to its claims. Aside from the wear time, it’s a decent lipstick.

WHERE TO BUY: Walmart

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Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Estee Lauder Wild Violet Eyeshadow Palette
Estee Lauder Wild Violet Eyeshadow Palette

A Look at Estee Lauder’s New Spring Palette

Estee Lauder Wild Violet Eyeshadow Palette ($42.00 for 0.27 oz.) is a new and limited edition palette just in time for spring. In the past year or two, Estee Lauder has really stepped up their game. I think they’ve been listening to evolving customer demands and have given their texture and themes some facelifts. I could still do with some tweaking of the packaging, but I very much appreciate their foray into color, into real color, and not just washes.

The palette contains five different shades: a soft, pale beige with a frosted champagne shimmer; medium-dark chocolate brown with subtle warm undertones in a shimmer-sheen finish; cool-toned gray-taupe brown with a satin finish; rich, smoldering; deep dark purple with white and blue flecks of shimmer over a matte base; and a brightened metallic copper. I think the shades individually are stunning, but the palette is an excellent composition of warm and cool, rich and luxe. With soft, silky smooth textures and beautiful color pay offs, all five eyeshadows are easy to use.

Do you remember NARS Daphne? There was a shade that swatched terribly but worked beautifully on the eye itself–the matte texture needed the delicate touch of a brush to work–but Estee Lauder gives us this rich, decadent purple that’s so deep and luxurious, like a violet velveteen. Estee Lauder’s violet is deeper and darker, while Daphne has a stronger bluer base and lighter overall look so it appears brighter.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: I think going with a more neutral palette overall with that pop of violet in the center works well here. There is also a nice mix of cool and warm that it’s workable on both skin tones. One of the best palettes I’ve ever seen by Estee Lauder and an overall stunning palette–period.

WHERE TO BUY: Nordstrom

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