Monday, February 14th, 2011

Lancome Taupe Craze Color Design Palette
Lancome Taupe Craze Color Design Palette

Lancome Color Design Shadow & Liner Palette: Taupe Craze

Lancome Taupe Craze Color Design Palette ($48.00 for 0.141 oz.) is one of ten new palettes from Lancome. It includes five shades, and each shade is labeled for a particular purpose. The way they are labeled is actually very much in the order that one would apply them. Of course, I think it is safe to say that one could easily use any combination of the five shades!

Taupe Craze is a cool-toned neutral palette; not all shades have strong, cool undertones, but overall, the palette leans cool. I liked how the palette was a mix of finishes–satin, shimmery, and almost matte. Initially, the two shimmery shades were concerning, because they looked almost glittery, but it seems like it’s more of the top layer than anything else–both shades are more shimmer than glitter.

The all-over color is a pale peach-beige with a satin-matte finish and excellent color pay off and a smooth texture. The lid shade is a neutral-cool medium brown with a soft taupe shimmer. The crease shade is a medium-dark taupe brown with a soft satin sheen. The highlighter shade is a smoky taupe with a bright metallic sheen and shimmer in its finish; when used wet, the metallic sheen is emphasized. I have no idea why Lancome would recommend this shade as a highlighter. Finally, the liner shade is a deep cool-toned taupe brown with silver flecks of shimmer; it is best used wet, if you want really smooth, richly colored line. The liner seemed the least pigmented–it’s a touch lighter swatched than what it is in the pan, but when used wet, it is a touch darker.

Both the shimmery shades (lid and highlighter) along with the liner shade worked whether wet/dry (with the liner shade being better wet). I did try the all-over base and crease shade wet, just to see if I could, and they worked better dry. There did seem to be a slight hardening and darkening over the crease shade from using it wet, though. I couldn’t find out whether these were to be used wet/dry on Lancome’s website, but from my experience, it did not negatively impact any of the shades, with the exception of the crease shade.

my thoughts on the formula: With the exception of the liner shade, the other four shades had very soft, smooth textures with nice color pay off. I really loved the all-over base shade–it had such a silky soft texture with beautiful pigmentation. It worked well as a lid shade and highlighter shade (which is good, because the “highlighter” shade is quite dark for a highlighter).

I’m disappointing in the quantity provided in the palette, though. Lancome’s Color Design Quads come in at 0.16 oz. and their Color Design Eyeshadow singles at 0.0458 oz., which works out to be $263/oz. and $371/oz. respectively. This palette is $340/oz., which makes it more expensive ($48 vs. $42) with less product (0.141 oz. vs. 0.16 oz) than the Color Design Quads.

I also know this palette invites a comparison to Urban Decay Naked Palette, but this one is cooler-toned, while Naked is warmer. If I had to pick the most similar shades, I would say Virgin (but Lancome’s all-over-base is much more pigmented and smooth, less shimmer), Toasted (Lancome’s lid shade is cooler), Buck (Lancome’s crease shade is cooler-toned, more taupe), while the highlighter and liner shades have no real similarities to shades from the Naked palette.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: This is a nice neutral palette for cooler skin tones, and there is a nice range of textures to create looks with depth. I wish they boosted up the quantity just a bit, perhaps to 0.18 to 0.20 oz.  It’s a shame how the below average value of this palette brings down the overall grade.

where to buy: Sephora

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Monday, February 14th, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Rosebud Shine Lipstick
Dolce & Gabbana Rosebud Shine Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Rosebud Shine Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Rosebud (170) Shine Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a glossy pale pink iwth a hint of rose and soft white micro-shimmer. It’s nearly opaque, and the paleness of the color makes the fuller coverage color look milky and creamy.

my thoughts on the formula: The Shine Lipsticks can be very creamy, when the finish is less shimmery, or more glimmering, if the finish is shimmery. Overall, they have a glossiness that isn’t there in the brand’s Classic Cream Lipsticks. The lipstick is rose-scented, and it is one of the heavier scented products I’ve come across, so if you are at all sensitive to scents, I would probably keep on looking. I usually average four hours of wear with this formula.

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

final thoughts: It is a surprisingly flattering milky pink, even on medium skin tones.  Milky pinks tend to wash me out, so I do find them hard to wear on their own, but I think this works.  I also like that it doesn’t have strong cool undertones.

where to buy: Saks

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Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Milani Black Cherry Lipstick
Milani Black Cherry Lipstick

The Sultry Season: Milani Black Cherry Lipstick

Milani Black Cherry Lipstick ($4.99 for 0.14 oz.) is a blackened berry-red with nearly opaque color–it did not apply quite as nicely as other Milani shades. It looks a little dry, though it didn’t feel that way, and the color seemed to get drawn into my lip lines.

my thoughts on the formula: Milani’s Color Perfect Lipstick is a nice formula that delivers opaque color and are usually creamy, though Black Cherry seemed rather dry and seemed to settle into lip lines. They do have a rather a synthetic/waxy scent, though, which may be too much for those with sensitive sniffers. I typically get three to four hours of wear on average with this formula.

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  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: It’s not my favorite Milani, just because the texture isn’t the same as other shades.  It’s not as creamy and doesn’t look as flattering when worn.

where to buy: Milani

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Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Video Review: NARS Spring 2011

This is an actual review of the entire NARS Spring 2011 collection, not just first impressions/swatches. I tried not to rant too much on those Soft Touch Shadow Pencils, but I’m not sure how successful I was there, ha! I will be reviewing Nana and Tzigane here on the blog soon.   Would love it if you subscribed to our YouTube channel, too! :)

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

Hourglass Edition Lipstick
Hourglass Edition Lipstick

Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipstick: Edition

Hourglass Edition Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a sheer muted pink–more like a natural pink–with very pale peach and champagne shimmer.  It’s an ultra wearable shade, suitable for any skin tone really, because it doesn’t lean overly warm or cool nor does it pack much color.  One noteworthy aspect of Hourglass’ lipstick range is that refills will eventually be available for $24 each–both Hourglass’ website and Sephora list them but they’re essentially coming soon still at this time.

my thoughts on the formula: Femme Rouge tends to be a creamy, moisturizing, and opaque lipstick formula that wears four to six hours, with deeper shades hitting the upper range of wear. Shades like Edition wear about three hours on me–it is really, really quite a sheer shade, the sheerest I’ve tried from the line, and it seems to wear off much more easily than other shades. Darker shades wear so well that one can drink a cup of coffee and not need to immediately reapply. Femme Rouge has a light vanilla scent and feels lightweight despite its creaminess.

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: The sheerness makes it universally wearable and will complement a variety of looks.  It is a more basic shade, so you may want to check your stash for something similar.

where to buy: Sephora

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Saturday, February 12th, 2011

Video Review: Urban Decay Dangerous, Feminine, & Fun Palettes

I managed to stay under 20 minutes, woo!

Photos & Reviews