Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Guerlain D'une Etreinte Eyeshadow
Guerlain D’une Etreinte Eyeshadow

As White as Snow

Guerlain D’une Etreinte (143) Eyeshadow ($36.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a bright snow white; it’s not quite icy–there is some hidden warmth there that keeps it from being cool-toned. It is definitely a near-blinding kind of white, though, with a rich metallic finish. When applied dry, it is still nicely pigmented, but used wet, it seems slightly smoother and the metallic sheen is more visible.

my thoughts on the formula: Guerlain’s eyeshadow texture is phenomenal in their singles–smooth, silky, very buttery. The color is true-to-pan and delivers rich results with little product needed. This particular formula can be used wet or dry, though the color already reaches full intensity used dry. Guerlain’s eyeshadows are massive–over double the average single eyeshadow–and so by the ounce, Guerlain is as expensive ($300/oz.) (or as affordable) as MAC eyeshadows ($290/oz.).

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

final thoughts: This could work really nicely with a smoky eye–think blacks and whites and shades of gray.  It has a beautiful texture:  silky smooth, buttery, and excellent pigmentation.

where to buy: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Bobbi Brown Blackberry Lipstick
Bobbi Brown Blackberry Lipstick

The Sultry Season: Bobbi Brown Blackberry Lipstick

Bobbi Brown Blackberry Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a deep red-brown with opaque color coverage and a glossy, cream finish. It’s a nice way to go brown without going full-on chocolate, and it’s also a way to go red on a much deeper, less in-your-face kind of way.

my thoughts on the formula: Bobbi Brown’s Lip Colors are scent- and taste-free. With a vibrant shade like this, I easily get four hours of wear, but it usually extends to five or six. Many of the shades from the Lip Color range are incredibly rich in pigmentation–lots of creamy, opaque shades to go around.

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: This is a suitable shade for both cool and warm skin tones, and it should look lovely on light to dark complexions, too. Pair it with neutrals to let the lips be the star!

where to buy: Bobbi Brown

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

NARS Desperado Nail Polish
NARS Desperado Nail Polish

NARS Spring 2011: Desperado

NARS Desperado Nail Polish ($16.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is deep yellow gold with a golden-bronze base. NARS describes it as an “antique brass.” I think it’s a gorgeous take on gold–it’s clearly gold but so much deeper and richer. It’s kind of like NARS Etrusque in polish form. This polish is a bit sheer, though; at two coats, it was almost opaque but there was still visible nail line, and the thickness of NARS’ formula made me hesitant to put on a third coat (I also didn’t feel confident that it was going to get me to total opaqueness).

my thoughts on the formula: NARS’ Nail Polish wears a solid week on me with minor tip wear (along with a proper base and top coat, of course).  The polish tends to be on the thicker side but not goopy.  Desperado had a mix of being thick but seemingly watery, which I imagine is why it was still semi-sheer after two thicker coats.

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

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

final thoughts: The color is spectacular; I see it really complementing skin tones with yellow and olive under tones.  It’s rich and deep and luxurious.  As a polish with a slightly metallic finish, some brush strokes are visible though.

where to buy: NARS

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

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.

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

  • 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

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

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.

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

  • 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

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

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.

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

  • 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

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →