Monday, February 21st, 2011

Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color Lipstick
Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color Lipstick: Bare Pink (9), Plum Rose (10), Rose Blossom (11), Heather Pink (12), Mod Pink (13)

Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color: Part 2

We’re back with the second set of five Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color SPF 12 ($22.00 for 0.12 oz.). These shades are officially described as: Bare Pink (beige), Plum Rose (rich plum), Rose Blossom (pink rose), Heather Pink (dusty rose), and Mod Pink (bright pink). The Rich Lip Color is new lipstick formula for spring (and being added to the permanent range). According to Bobbi Brown, these are “lightweight, yet intense” and have “a clear base to deliver pure, crisp color with just one swipe.” The formula is also “creamy and moisturizing.” (Be sure to check out part one.)

I’ve road tested three shades from the line-up specifically for wear: Bikini Pink, Soft Coral, Old Hollywood. The idea is to test for wear and to do so with shades with different intensities. Bikini Pink is the lightest, while Soft Coral lies in the middle, and Old Hollywood, being a red, was likely to last the longest. The lighter colors inevitably fade/last less than deeper shades, as deeper shades often stain, which is why I try to test from both ends of a spectrum when it comes to a new lipstick formula.

  • Bare Pink is a pink-tinged peach-beige with a creamy finish and soft shine. It remindedme of Guerlain’s Guerlinade, without the shimmer, and perhaps a touch darker. It is also lighter and less orange in compraison to Korres #34 Nude Guava.
  • Plum Rose is a plummy pink with a creamy finish and soft shine. It is similar to Hourglass Nocturnal, just a little less plum, along with Maybelline Bit of Berry (but also less plum).
  • Rose Blossom is a brighter plum pink–it is very similar to Plum Rose, but it’s a touch brighter. It is less plum in comparison to both Houglass Nocturnal and Maybelline Bit of Berry, but it is also brighter.
  • Heather Pink is a dusty, muted pink–a little beige-brown in it. It is a little pinker than Benefit Lala Land.
  • Mod Pink is a cool-toned, brighter medium pink with blue undertones. It is similar to Dolce & Gabbana Splendid and Lancome Pink Sapphire.

my thoughts on the formula: These are really comfortable to wear,with their semi-matte finishes, creamy but lightweight texture, and rich color coverage.  Every shade was opaque and needed very little product to achieve full color coverage.  They are also scent- and taste-free, which should appeal to some.  Wear was anywhere from four to six hours, with deeper shades like Old Hollywood lasting a full six and beginning to fade after that.  Lighter shades hung on for about four hours.

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

final thoughts: I actually really liked these; I love how pigmented they are, but they’re creamy without actually being creamy.  They have the feel, glide, and finish of creamier formulas, but there is very little slip and very little product is on the lips, giving a rather featherweight feel.  These colors do not have a full matte finish, but they still wear well–no clinging or seeping into lip lines.

where to buy: Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom

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Monday, February 21st, 2011

Estee Lauder Untamed Violet Eyeshadow
Estee Lauder Untamed Violet Eyeshadow

Estee Lauder Spring 2011: Untamed Violet

Estee Lauder Untamed Violet Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a new and limited edition shade of cool-toned violet with soft flecks of gold shimmer. It is part of Estee Lauder’s Wild Violet collection for spring. The shade itself should suit cool skin tones with ease, and warmer skin tones can make it work by pairing it with warmer shades.

my thoughts on the formula: Pure Color Eyeshadow is very soft and smooth but not powdery and has no fall out. With a nice level of pigmentation, the shadow is easy to work with.

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

final thoughts: It’s a lovely color with a silky texture that makes it blend when applied.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Sunday, February 20th, 2011


Quick Review: Milani Glamorous Gems

Milani Glamorous Gems Eyeshadow Palette ($8.99 for 0.32 oz.) includes six shades of eyeshadow, all coordinated and in thin, raised strips. They can be used wet or dry, but I found the color pay off too sheer to work with when used dry that I had to use them wet (all swatches are of them wet). I liked the colors in the palette and felt like they coordinated well with each other.

When you use them wet, the color pay off is decent for the first three shades and a little better for the bottom three shades. The palette contains a shimmery white, soft grassy green, teal-tinged forest green, pale yellow gold, softened copper, and bronze. The first three shades have a frostier finish, while the bottom three shades have more a metallic finish.  They all looked more intense in the palette than when swatched, though; most of the shades looked rather muted.

My biggest issue with the palette is actually the packaging/set-up. Each strip is very thin, so it can be difficult to maneuver your brush so that you only get one color–it’s very easy to pick up whatever shade is above or below. The shadows also break down very easily, so use a light touch or else you risk crumbling.

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 2/5

final thoughts: If these colors popped a little more swatched as they do in the pan, I think it could be a real winner.  I also wish these could be used dry–they just weren’t holding together for me when I tried to swatch (and later attempted to apply).

where to buy: Milani

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Saturday, February 19th, 2011

Video Review: China Glaze Crackle Glaze

Check out how it crackles in real-time! That’s probably a few minutes in, so skip forward if that’s all you want to see :)

Saturday, February 19th, 2011


China Glaze Crackle Glaze: Crushed Candy, Fault Line, Broken Hearted

China Glaze Crackle Glaze: Part 2

China Glaze Crackle Collection ($6.49 for 0.50 fl. oz.) has three more shades, as featured here.  Together, they feature one of my favorite combos — gotta love aqua and bright pink!  All the shades dry to a matte finish, so if you want a shiny finish, just use a shiny top coat (I used Seche Vite for swatches).

  • Crushed Candy is a matte aqua teal. It looks very much like For Audrey, actually. For me, this was the toughest shade to work; I could get it to splinter, but it was just very thick. I did a thinner (which looks fairly streaky when you apply it) coat to the middle nail, and it has a lot of cracks running through it with smaller pieces of color. I did thicker coats on the index and ring fingers and found wider cracks and large chunks of color.
  • Fault Line is a matte, vibrant, royal purple with violet and fuchsia micro-shimmer. I thought this shade was so beautiful and surprisingly easy to work with. This one looked especially nice with a top coat on top.
  • Broken Hearted is a bright, dark candy pink with a matte finish. This has a thicker consistency than Black Mesh but nowhere near as thick as Crushed Candy. I did a thinner coat on the ring finger, which resulted in more cracks and smaller pieces, while I did thicker coats on the index and middle fingers, and they had larger cracks but fewer of them.

Half of the fun of these Crackles is finding good base colors to layer underneath one of the Crackle Glazes. I can’t compare the formula to any other brands, past or present, as I really don’t have any experience with them. I vaguely remember CoverGirl Crackles, but I don’t think I owned any (I wasn’t allowed to wear nail polish until I was in my late teens). I like these, and they were easy enough to work with–hey, the look itself is edgy and a little messy, so minor mistakes are easily forgiven. Lightning Bolt might take one or two attempts, but I think I just went too thick.

Tips

  • Do 2 coats maximum of your base color and let it dry completely.
  • Apply the Crackle Glaze in one coat and as quickly as possible as it dries down very fast!
  • Use a thicker coat of Crackle Glaze for more opaque color or thicker cracks (but less of them).
  • Use a thinner coat of Crackle Claze if you want a very crackled, piece-y look.

P.S. — I’ll be posting a video later today showing the polish as it crackles, because I found it pretty cool.

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

final thoughts: dd

where to buy: Sally’s

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Saturday, February 19th, 2011


China Glaze Crackle Glaze: Black Mesh, Cracked Concrete, Lightning Bolt

China Glaze Crackle Glaze: Part 1

China Glaze Crackle Collection ($6.49 for 0.50 fl. oz.) consists of six shades, and I wanted to break it into two parts because of how many photos the collection ended up being. Crackle nail polish is just that, polish that cracks. It’s a layering polish, so it is something you apply after you have applied your base color/coat. All the shades dry to a matte finish, so if you want a shiny finish, just use a shiny top coat (I used Seche Vite for swatches).

  • Black Mesh is a matte, deep black. This was the easiest shade to work with out of the six, and it cracks really well. The formula was thin but very pigmented.
  • Cracked Concrete is a matte, medium-dark gray. It’s definitely the color of freshly poured concrete. The formula was thin but pigmented and cracked well without having to trial it.
  • Lightning Bolt is a matte, bright white. I recommend using a medium-thick coat of this if you want it to look more opaque, as thinner coats, while they will show more splintering, also show a lot of the base coming through, so it has a streaky look to it. I used a a fairly thick coat for swatches, and while it splintered, it didn’t do as much as I’d like.

Half of the fun of these Crackles is finding good base colors to layer underneath one of the Crackle Glazes. I can’t compare the formula to any other brands, past or present, as I really don’t have any experience with them. I vaguely remember CoverGirl Crackles, but I don’t think I owned any (I wasn’t allowed to wear nail polish until I was in my late teens). I like these, and they were easy enough to work with–hey, the look itself is edgy and a little messy, so minor mistakes are easily forgiven. Lightning Bolt might take one or two attempts, but I think I just went too thick.

Tips

  • Do 2 coats maximum of your base color and let it dry completely.
  • Apply the Crackle Glaze in one coat and as quickly as possible as it dries down very fast!
  • Use a thicker coat of Crackle Glaze for more opaque color or thicker cracks (but less of them).
  • Use a thinner coat of Crackle Glaze if you want a very crackled, piece-y look.

P.S. — I’ll be posting a video later today showing the polish as it crackles, because I found it pretty cool.

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

final thoughts: If you dig the effect, definitely worth picking up a couple of shades.  I think Black Mesh performed the best out of the six, followed by Cracked Concrete.

where to buy: Sally’s

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