Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Rescue Beauty Lounge Recherche Nail Lacquer
Rescue Beauty Lounge Recherche Nail Lacquer

Rescue Beauty Lounge Recherche Nail Lacquer

Rescue Beauty Lounge Recherche Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is a new and limited shade from the Iconic/Ironic Collection. It’s described as “a purplish dark brown.” I almost re-took the photos for this polish, because on my desk, it looked rather brownish when I peeked at it from the corner of my eye, but upon closer inspection, it does have this purpled murkiness.

It looks like muddied eggplant purple in the bottle, but on nails, it’s much more sophisticated than that. The subtle red undertones seemed to pull out quite a bit for me, despite my warmer skin tone, but it gave it a brightened quality that added interest. It’s a smoky, blackened eggplant with a little red, little brown.

my thoughts on the formula: These are richly pigmented lacquers that have nuances in both the color and finishes. Each color is well-thought out, and I’ve yet to come across a poor performer in the brand’s color range. I used two coats for opaque coverage.

The Glossover

rescueBeautyRecherche

Rescue Beauty Lounge Recherche Nail Lacquer

A
I think this is a great dark shade for spring, because there is a little dustiness within the smoky purple that makes it less intimidating as your traditional vamp.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters
MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters ($23.00 for 0.12 fl. oz.) are a new and permanent product that will release in-stores on April 7th. There are three shades: Bright Forecast (mid-tone peachy coral), Light Boost (soft yellow cream), and Radiant Rose (light shell pink). They come in a twist-up, pen-type applicator. These highlighters are designed to provide a “sheer wash of color to highlight, brighten, and perfect.”

  • Bright Forecast is a soft peach with subtle orange tones. The peachy tones of this shade are good for brightening and lightening dark under eye circles without creating a green cast (that yellow-based correctors can cause). I found this one did the best to minimize my dark under eye circles while still looking natural.
  • Light Boost is a pale beiged yellow. Yellow is good for lightening darkness. This would work well as a subtle cheek or brow highlighter on those with yellow undertones.
  • Radiant Rose is a soft, pale pastel pink. Pink helps to brighten the skin tone. It can also be used to brighten the under eye area, like Benefit’s Eye Bright. This shade felt more opaque than the other two, and when I used it underneath my eye (without concealer on top), it was a little pale on me. I loved it more as an eyeshadow base and brow highlighter.

The Prep + Prime Highlighters come in a click-type brush pen that takes several initial twists to release the product, but after that, you should only need a couple clicks to dispense the product. Over time, I’ve become less of a fan of brush-type products, just because I hate the way the brush feels and looks as you use it and the product seems to just sit in there. I’d much rather use a separate brush that you can wash without fear of getting water back into the product. I did find that while it can be easily applied onto the skin with the applicator, blending and application went better using a fluffy brush like the 217 for small areas (or fingers).

I applied each shade over my cheeks and under eye area, because I really wanted the effect to stand out. I felt like when I just did the under eye, it was difficult to really see what was going on. I wouldn’t normally use these as I did for the swatch photos, but I figured what good are photos if you can’t spot the difference? These have a subtle effect, and if you layer concealer over them, the effect is even harder to pick up–not necessarily in a bad way (like, ooh, so subtle it’s not worth it), but it’s a subtle, natural effect that works well and looks lovely. More like, “Oh, you look pretty today, did you cut your hair?” kind of way.

These wore really well for me, and I even used Radian Rose as an eyeshadow base.  It looked really beautiful as a brow highlighter and lid brightener by itself, but it also held up as an eyeshadow base, too.  I didn’t notice any fading and certainly no creasing or settling into fine lines over eight hours of wear.

There are numerous brands with highlighter pens, including:

  • Dior (Sun Beam may be comparable to Bright Forecast; Roseglow to Radiant Rose)
  • Fresh (nothing seems comparable in color–these are skintone shades)
  • Fusion Beauty (nothing seems comparable in color–these are skintone shades)
  • Givenchy (Moon Light seems most comparable to Radiant Rose)
  • Guerlain (nothing seems comparable in color–these are skintone shades)
  • Sephora (#01 seems like Radiant Rose, #02 seems like Light Boost; #06 seems like Bright Forecast)
  • YSL (Light Peach seems comparable to Bright Forecast, Luminous Ivory to Light Boost, and Luminous Radiance to Radiant Rose)

These can help correct and brighten but they won’t necessarily conceal on their own. Bright Forecast can help a good deal with under eye circles, but it’s not opaque, so for some, it may be enough on its own. They’re definitely comparable to cult-favorite YSL Touche Eclat. Sephora also seems to offer a very comparable color range in their variation on the highlighter pen, and at $12 a pop, it might be worth trying (overall Sephora ratings show it to be good, though I have not tried it myself, so I cannot weigh in).

MAC is roughly half the price of the higher-end highlighter pens, and they seem to provide double the product (I saw many listed at 0.05 oz., a couple closer to 0.10 oz.), so the product seems to be priced in line with quantity and MAC’s price range.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
These are easy to use, difficult to mess up or go overboard with, and work well to brighten, lighten, and add radiance for brows, eyes, or cheeks (depending on your skin tone!).

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, April 4th, 2011


MAC Quite Cute: Overall & Recommendations

OVERALL, Quite Cute is a cool-toned, pastel-themed collection that will prove tricky for those with warmer and/or darker complexions.  The lipsticks, nail lacquers, and plushglasses are the better products from the collection, based on quality, with Playing Koi being a total miss within the lipsticks launched (very dry, clingy texture).  Plushglasses are relatively sheer, as designed to be, and so they’re easier to wear and more suitable across skin tones than some of the other products from Quite Cute.  I found the mineralize blushes from this launch rather powdery, and combined with the pastel color palette, the blush can easily look more powdery and almost ashy on medium to dark complexions.

On the surface, Quite Cute is reminiscent of Sugarsweet, but this launch lacks balance.  Too many pastels, too many cool-toned colors without brighter, warmer, or contrasting colors to support the color palette of Quite Cute.  This collection will best suit those with paler skin tones, because pigmentation is lower overall, and then naturally, cooler undertones will find this more flattering than warmer skin tones.  Please understand that by no means am I saying warmer or medium/dark skin tones cannot wear this collection–but you may find it less flattering right out of the box and need to figure out how to pair it and with what–most likely products outside of the collection.  I’m a firm believer in anyone can wear any color–it’s about having confidence and how you wear it that matters.

If you love pastels, I think you may still like this collection–but the quality seems lower here and makes this a less-than-impressive collection.

Photos, Reviews, Swatches

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Monday, April 4th, 2011

Rescue Beauty Lounge Iconoclast Nail Lacquer
Rescue Beauty Lounge Iconoclast Nail Lacquer

Rescue Beauty Lounge Iconoclast Nail Lacquer

Rescue Beauty Lounge Iconoclast Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is a new and limited shade from the Iconic/Ironic Collection. It’s described as “a richly pigmented ebony with layers of fine glitter, giving it depth and a metallic, mica-like finish.” Iconoclast is an inky black with moments of purple and blue, depending on just how the light hits the lacquer and the strength of the light. In natural light, you can clearly see the micro-shimmer but the iridescence and play of color doesn’t really come through until you’re in the sunlight–then the multi-colored shimmers reflect and shine.

my thoughts on the formula: These are richly pigmented lacquers that have nuances in both the color and finishes. Each color is well-thought out, and I’ve yet to come across a poor performer in the brand’s color range. I used two coats for opaque coverage.

The Glossover

LE
product

Iconoclast

A
In natural light, you can clearly see the micro-shimmer but the iridescence and play of color doesn’t really come through until you’re in the sunlight–then the multi-colored shimmers reflect and shine.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

MAC Quite Cute Collection: Video Review

Not just first impressions but a video review, since I filmed this after swatching/reviewing 70% of the collection and could speak more deeply about the products.

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Guerlain Champs-Elysees (165) Rouge Automatique Lipstick
Guerlain Champs-Elysees (165) Rouge Automatique Lipstick

Guerlain Rouge Automatique

Guerlain Champs-Elysees (165) Rouge Automatique Lipstick ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a raspberry pink-red with a naturally semi-glossy finish and soft fuchsia micro-shimmer. Rouge Automatique is a new lipstick range slated for an April release with 25 shades (all permanent), and each shade is named after various Guerlain creations and places.

I wanted to try a deeper/darker shade first to test out the wear (and also to get started off on the right foot–with a more decadent color). I put Champs-Elysees through an all-day test that included drinking Starbucks and an Italian dinner of calamari fritti and fettuccine alfredo (oil + cream = known enemies of long-wearing lip color). It held up spectacularly! By the time I got home from dinner, I had been wearing it for six hours and didn’t feel the need to reapply. Some of the glossiness wore off, but there was still some reflective sheen, and the color was semi-opaque around the inner area of the lower lip, but overall, it looked remarkably well.

It does not have any of the usual hallmarks of a long-wearing lip color–it’s not clingy, drying, or matte. Instead, it is creamy (but thin, not thick at all), and feels a bit like lip balm when initially applied. It’s moisturizing, too, which is something one wouldn’t expect from a long-wearing lip color. It is amazing how lip color technology has improved so much in the past few years that clingy, drying, and painful-to-wear long-wearing products are being phased out. Deeper/richer shades like Champs-Elysees last six to eight hours, while lighter shades last four to five hours.

Rouge Automatique is really comfortable to wear, and the color range is definitely reminiscent (will be reviewing more shades soon) of the higher priced Rouge G line-up. The Rouge Gs wear a touch better and are slightly more moisturizing than the four shades I’ve tried from the Rouge Automatique line, but the formulas are certainly similar. Guerlain lipsticks are violet-scented but I found the scent rather subtle with these.

To open Rouge Automatique, one slides down a square pull, and the lid pulls down and the lipstick pushes out. I beat up mine quite a bit, probably sliding it down fifty times or more, to test the durability of the mechanism. It didn’t show any signs of catching or wear. It’s solid enough that it shouldn’t slide down on its own–it requires enough pressure and push from a third party that I wouldn’t expect it to open up in your bag. The slider also needs to pushed own about a quarter of the way before the lid pulls downwards enough to reveal the lipstick, and it’s quite difficult to exert enough pressure to push the lid (without pushing the slider) to open the lipstick.

If you’ve had issues with lipstick caps coming off and exposing tubes in your bag, these might remedy that problem! After opening and closing the tube so often, I feel good saying that I also don’t see the lipstick catching on the lid accidentally or smooshing on the lid if you closed it too quickly. I did this many, many times and the lipstick stayed in perfect condition.

The only downsides to the packaging are the lack of the product name (just number) on the tube itself and lack of heft. It is lighter than the KissKiss Lipsticks (by about 5-7 grams), and the tube feels like plastic (and sounds like it). I tried to catch a magnet on the Rouge Automatique casing, but I had no luck–but I was able to feel the magnetic pull when I slid it against both the KissKiss and Rouge G lipstick cases.

It launches later this April at select Saks, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Bergdorf Goodman stores.

The Glossover

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product

Champs-Elysees

A
It’s an excellent alternative to the luxury Rouge G lipstick–the formulas are comparable (and certainly so with a $11 price difference!), while the packaging gives up the luxury heft of Rouge G, it makes up for in the practicality. It’s a creamy, moisturizing, long-wearing formula with the subtle nuances and finishes I expect from Guerlain.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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