Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Laura Mercier St. Tropez Lipstick
Laura Mercier St. Tropez Lipstick (Right)

Laura Mercier St. Tropez Lipstick

Laura Mercier St. Tropez Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a semi-opaque, darkened beige with a little peachiness and marigold shimmer. The texture is really smooth, soft, and delicate; these remind me a lot of Guerlain’s Rouge G finishes–just the way the shimmer plays with the lip color and how it sinks into lips (in a good way, such that the color looks one with your lips).

Laura Mercier’s Shimmer Lipsticks have a rather strong floral scent to them, while several of her other lip products are heavily vanilla scented (not sure why these are different). I get three to four hours of wear (about average), and I find these neither drying nor particularly moisturizing, but they are comfortable to wear. Sandcastle applied evenly and easily without having to layer on a lot to get opaque color.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Laura Mercier St. Tropez Lipstick Review, Photos, Swatches

A
It applies and wears so beautifully while looking natural on lips, despite the darker hue, and the way the shimmer warms up the color is very fine and subtle.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Giorgio Armani Rock Sand (9) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow
Giorgio Armani Rock Sand (9) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

More Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow with #9

Giorgio Armani Rock Sand (9) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a warm, golden champagne with a little beige and bronze finished with a metallic sheen.  I liked this one better dry than wet, just because it seemed to give a smoother finish when applied dry.  As one of the lighter shades of the line-up, it seems less intense, but in reality, I think it’s merely the color’s natural lightness that gives that illusion, because it covers my skin fully so it’s not sheer.

The eyeshadow can be worn alone, as a base, on top of bases, with other eyeshadows, and so on and so forth.  They’re really versatile products, and when I wore this as a wash (without a base), I had no creasing or fading after twelve hours.  It has a really interesting texture, too, because it almost feels like a cream, kind of wet, very smooth, but it’s a really tightly packed loose powder.  You can use it wet or dry, and you can use fingers or brushes, though I tend to use a brush (I like MAC’s 239 or 242).

Though pricey, each shade comes with 0.14 oz. worth of product, which is a hefty amount (normal eyeshadow averages around 0.05 oz., no matter the price).  The only aspect I didn’t love was the little black stopper inside the jar (once you unscrew the black lid), because my longer fingers felt awkward grabbing it (so I just unscrew it upside down so it falls into the cap).

The Glossover

P
product

#9

A
I only took away half a point from texture since it didn't apply as smoothly wet as it did dry, but it's a really minor thing that I really don't think takes away from how well this wears.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, April 30th, 2011


Candles By Victoria – Scent Shots

Candles By Victoria – Scent Shots

Candles By Victoria Scent Shots ($1.95 for 2 oz.) are individually sized tarts that release their scent when melted. If you’re not familiar with tarts (I wasn’t!), you’ll also need to make sure to grab a tart warmer, too (I got mine via Amazon, since I did not realize I needed one when I placed my order). I decided on Scent Shots, because I couldn’t commit to a few scents and would have rather tried a wide variety to find my favorites for future purchases. I couldn’t even tell you which scents I ordered by memory, and I haven’t gotten through all of them, but I will describe the ones I have tried so far!

  • Bear Claws was a sweetened scent of nuts and caramel–definitely smells like the treat by the same name.
  • Christmas Kitchen is mostly a cinnamon spiced scent with a touch of orange.
  • Harvest is a decadent spiced scent that’s not as warm as Home Sweet Home.
  • Hazelnut Spice has the nuttiness of the hazelnut warmed by the spiciness of cinnamon.
  • Home Sweet Home was a warm, spicy blend that kind of reminded me of Christmas but not quite.
  • Poison Apple smelled like a mix of sweetened green apples and spice.
  • Sunflower had a floral scent with a lot of rose and jasmine that ended up smelling a little soapy to me.
  • Ylang & Amber is dominated by ylang ylang, which is a strong floral, with just a touch of amber.

Candles By Victoria carries an insane amount of scents (they boast “over 640″), and you can read through scent descriptions here.  I was entirely overwhelmed by the variety, but I am thankful they did have descriptions and broke out the scents into a few categories.

My friend Brooke always raved about the brand, so when they held a sale several months ago, I knew I had to bite the bullet! I’m really glad I did, because they do exactly what I want a candle to do–give me lots and lots of scent. The throw is fantastic, as my two-bedroom apartment smells of whatever I’ve melted. A lot of the candles I’ve used in the past (all of those used wicks and burned) failed to really permeate my living space (trust me, it’s not a lot — like 750 square feet).

I usually get 8-12 hours of melting time–I tend to just turn on the warmer and let it go for a few hours.  I’ve re-used the melted tarts (which will form a small disc) as well, and the scent is lessened but still noticeable (depends on how long you’ve already melted it for).  My best advice is to melt for a couple of hours and turn off, because the scent lingers for hours afterward so you can save the scent for the next day.

In fact, after writing this post, I placed an order for a few more scent shots that I haven’t tried and two candles (Hazelnut Spice and Christmas Kitchen).  They currently have 10% off if you use the code CBVICTORIA.  The only downside is while shipping is at a flat rate, it is $8.50, so make your order count or split with a friend/relative :)  Hey! Mother’s Day gift idea!

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Saturday, April 30th, 2011


MAC Packed to Go: Warm Smokey Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Packed to Go: Warm Smokey Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Packed to Go Warm Smokey Eyeshadow Palette ($38.00 for 0.19 oz.) includes: Shroom (soft beige with shimmer), Naked Lunch (minimal pink with shimmer), Tempting (sinfully rich coco), Greensmoke (tarnished olive), Stormy Love (dirty brown with green frost), and Showstopper (deep blackened brown). Stormy Love is the only new and exclusive shade here, while Showstopper isn’t available in the permanent range, it has been released several times in the past (it is a favorite to be repromoted).

  • Shroom is a pale, soft beige with a soft frost finish. It’s a slightly sheered shade and popular highlighter color. This has a satin finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Naked Lunch is a pinked beige with a smooth, frost finish. This has a frost finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Tempting is a warm, golden bronze. This has a lustre finish and is part of the permanent range. It is one of the few lustres that I like, because it has a smooth texture and doesn’t have lots of glittery bits.
  • Greensmoke is a blackened olive green with subtle gold shimmer, and it is rather sheer and stiff here. This has a lustre finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Stormy Love is a duochrome of teal and brown–it’s like a richer, tealer version of Blue Brown pigment… Club on steroids. This has a frost finish and is exclusive to this palette.
  • Showstopper is a dark, cool-toned brown. It has a matte finish, and it has been out in several other collections.

If you’re familiar with MAC’s holiday palettes from last year, the packaging is very similar–this palette is just all black and has no special design on the outside. The palette contains $55.10 worth of eyeshadow ($14.50 for 0.05 oz. for individual eyeshadows), so unlike the lip/face palette, this one is a much better deal.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Packed to Go Warm Smokey Eyeshadow Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

B+

For a "warm" palette, I actually felt the color selection was more neutral to slightly cool. Shades like Stormy Love and Showstopper are cool-toned, while Tempting is the only really warmed over shade here. It's a nice color selection, and it's a shame that a shade like Stormy Love is only available with four permanent shades and the ever-repromoted Showstopper! Greensmoke is the only dud in this palette.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, April 30th, 2011


MAC Packed to Go: Cool Smokey Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Packed to Go: Cool Smokey Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Packed to Go Cool Smokey Eyeshadow Palette ($38.00 for 0.19 oz.) includes: Seedy Pearl (chilled lavender pink), Tendersmoke (muted silver lilac), Satin Taupe (taupe with silver shimmer), A Brown Suit (rich deep red), Beauty Marked (black.red with sparkle pearl), and Carbon (intense black).

  • Seedy Pearl is a pale, cool-toned iridescent lilac pink that is a touch sheer. It has a frost finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Tendersmoke is a muted, grayish purple with plum. It had a really smooth texture and was nicely pigmented. It has a frost finish and is a palette exclusive. It is a grayer, less red-toned Satellite Dreams–no dupe in the permanent range.
  • Satin Taupe is a cool-toned, medium-dark brown. It had excellent color pay off with a really smooth feel. It has a frost finish and is part of the permanent range, but this seems lighter and more golden.
  • A Brown Suit is a berried red with a soft frost finish. It has a frost finish and is a palette exclusive. It resembles Cranberry quite a bit, slightly less berry.
  • Beauty Marked is a semi-sheer blackened brown with flecks of burgundy and silver glitter. It has a rather dusty texture and not very pigmented. It has a velvet finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Carbon is a dark, blue-based black. It’s a finicky shade that doesn’t always swatch well but works better when applied. It has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range.

If you’re familiar with MAC’s holiday palettes from last year, the packaging is very similar–this palette is just all black and has no special design on the outside. The palette contains $55.10 worth of eyeshadow ($14.50 for 0.05 oz. for individual eyeshadows), so unlike the lip/face palette, this one is a much better deal.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Packed to Go Cool Smokey Eyeshadow Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
With the exception of Beauty Marked (and to a lesser extent, Carbon--but Carbon works decently applied, while Beauty Marked is still a miss), the eyeshadows were pigmented and smooth. The palette is definitely cool-toned, and the shades themselves coordinate well with each other.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, April 30th, 2011


MAC Packed to Go: 4 Lips & Pressed Powder

MAC Packed to Go: 4 Lips & Pressed Powder

MAC Packed to Go was originally a duty free launch, but it’s landed online at maccosmetics.com now. It features several sets of products, and I’m reviewing three of the offerings. The reason I am not reviewing the rest is because they contain products I’ve reviewed in the past or are permanent shades. 4 Lips & Pressed Powder ($38.00) contains four lipglasses: Riviera Ready (warm light nude), Poetic License (pale apricot), Rosehips (mid-tone rosy pink), and Quick Change (mid-tone cool blue rose) along with one powder:  Belightful (gilded peach bronze). Poetic License, Rosehips, and Belightful are repromotes.

  • Riviera Ready is a warm, yellow-based nude with soft gold shimmer. It is semi-sheer on lips. C-Thru is the closest permanent gloss, but it is less warm and creamier.
  • Poetic License is a milky peach-pink with subtle pink and gold micro-shimmer. It is semi-sheer on lips. It seems closest to Florabundance.
  • Rosehips is a rosy plum with a creamy finish. It is semi-opaque on lips. It is lighter than Lust.
  • Quick Change is a rpasberry pink with lots of golden shimmer. It is semi-sheer on lips. I can’t think of a permanent dupe in MAC’s line for this, but it is similar to Korres #18 Peach lipstick.
  • Belightful is a champagne bronze with flecks of bronze glitter. The glitter is noticeable on skin but not chunky. I did feel it emphasized the texture of my skin, though. Try theBalm’s Mary Lou-manizer as a dupe.

If you’re familiar with MAC’s holiday palettes from last year, the packaging is very similar–this palette is just all black and has no special design on the outside. Each lipglass well contains 0.049 oz. of product (total of 0.196 oz.), while the powder is 0.17 oz. In the palette, you’re getting $16.72 worth of lipglass and $13.96 worth of powder (I believe the Iridescent Powder retailed for $23 for 0.28 oz.). The palette is actually more expensive than the amount of product you actually get, though you do get to try five different products for $38.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Packed to Go 4 Lips & Pressed Powder Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
The lipglasses are always sheerer in the palettes than they are in tubes, which makes application frustrating. Belightful was sheer and difficult to apply evenly.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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