Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

MAC Air of Style Scent Concentrate
MAC Air of Style Scent Concentrate

MAC Marcel Wanders: Air of Style Scent Concentrate

Air of Style ($30.00 for 0.07 fl. oz.) is a sweetened floral with a strong pull of jasmine. It has an initial strength, but it dries down to something incredibly subtle–probably too light. I’m glad it does weaken quickly, though, because it is rather cloying at first sniff. It’s not a groundbreaking scent; despite the abundance of notes, it is has a rather simple result. I have had readers in the past note that Air of Style is reminiscent of Michael Kors, but I don’t own it, so I couldn’t say for sure. I applied it two hours ago, but the majority of the scent has wafted away.

Top Notes: White pepper, dried red dates, wild peonies
Heart Notes: Tuberose, orange blossom, jasmin, ylang-ylang, orris
Bottom Notes: Touch of leather, antique woods, vetiver, amber crystals, tonka beans

The packaging is lovely. It’s a heavy, metal multifaceted pendant that hangs from a thin, black ribbon. For me, it would be too heavy to wear around my neck, but I tend to opt for very simplistic jewelry. I really enjoyed the weightiness of the pendant itself, because it feels more luxurious.  To me, this is the best packaging MAC has put the Air of Style scent in.  It was originally launched in an Italian glass vial, which while lovely, has to be stored in its box, as it will roll off your vanity.

It is rather small, as many bejeweled solid perfumes are, but inside contains more than the average ring/pendant solid perfume does. I wouldn’t say this is a value deal, but the price and quantity seem on par for MAC’s brand against higher-end brands with similar solid perfume offerings.

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you love your sweet florals, you may enjoy this. If you prefer woodier scents, this is probably not up your alley.

AVAILABILITY: MAC on November 24th

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Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

MAC Marcel Wanders Collection
MAC Marcel Wanders Collection

MAC Marcel Wanders: Coming Soon!

Working on the reviews right now! :)

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Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

NARS Bougainville Lip Gloss
NARS Bougainville Lip Gloss

NARS Holiday 2010:  Bougainville

NARS Bougainville Lip Gloss ($24.00 for 0.28 oz.) is described as a “sensual pomegranate … with dramatic, diva-esque color.” The description also goes on to say “deep in pigment yet sheer on the lips,” which is an interesting statement. NARS’ Lip Gloss is non-sticky and scent- and taste-free, though they have been known to smell a bit like plastic or wax. I did not notice any scent whatsoever with my Bougainville, though.

It is similar to fall’s Strawberry Fields in the way it is pigmented, creamy, lacks shimmer, and is non-sticky. The colors, however, are noticeably different. While Strawberry Fields is a bright raspberry pink-red, Bougainville is a rich berry. It has the same color-rich look with a glossy shine but no shimmer, though. This is Strawberry Fields’ older, more sophisticated best friend.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Because of the richness in color, it would look lovely on cooler, paler complexions for a strong contrast, but it would also flatter deeper skin tones. I think this is more wearable than Strawberry Fields, because it’s dark without being ultra vampy.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

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Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

NYX Vixen Lip Gloss
NYX Vixen Lipgloss

The Sultry Season: NYX Vixen Lip Gloss

NYX Vixen (116) Lip Gloss ($5.50 for 0.53 fl. oz.) is a semi-opaque, brown burgundy shimmered with muted red sparkle. It’s not totally opaque, so it does have a tendency to settle into lip lines, but it looks pretty good from a normal viewing distance, so it’s not particularly bothersome. This gloss was scent-free, but in the past, I’ve NYX glosses that have smelled like plastic as well as synthetic berry. If you’re not sensitive to those scents, this is an affordable gloss to get you into the holiday spirit.

Is this the right berry for you? Would you wear it?

The Sultry Season is a series of posts featuring deep, rich shades of brown, berry, plum, and wine lipsticks and lipglosses — just right for autumn — that runs through October 2010.

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Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Guerlain Velours d'Or Eyeshadow Palette
Guerlain Velours d’Or Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Les Ors: Velours d’Or

Guerlain Velours d’Or (410) Eyeshadow Palette ($59.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a smoky palette from Guerlain’s Holiday Collection.  I picked this up when Nordstrom was having some super point thing going on (I think it was triple points…), but I’m not sure I’m sold on it!

It contains four shades: a soft coppered gold with subtle gold sparkle; medium-dark violet plu m with blue-violet micro-shimmer; charcoal-mauve with a muted violet shimmer and slight sheen; and dark black with a matte finish. Upon first glance, the charcoal-mauve looked absolutely stunning–it almost gave off a duochrome sheen! It seemed like a mix of violet, plum, gray with green and violet shimmer/sheen. It’s less interesting when swatched, as it appears a bit flat in comparison.

The golden shade has Guerlain’s signature bee embossed, while the other three shades have a raised honeycomb pattern. The patterning will disappear after a few uses, though it doesn’t just disappear at first touch. I do, however, like that these patterns utilize each shade’s colors, rather than an overlay of another color, which ultimately affects the end color result but only as long as the overlay exists.

I found the golden shade to have a frostier finish and having some kick-up, whereas the remaining three colors were very smooth and were easy to apply.  Each shade had nice pigmentation–not sheer at all–and they built up easily, as Guerlain’s eyeshadows often do.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: It’s nice, but I don’t think it’s a must-have.  If these kinds of colors call to you, it’s worth checking out, but I do think there are enough dupes available that if you’re not sold on all four shades, you may want to look elsewhere.

AVAILABILITY:Nordstrom, Sephora

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Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Rescue Beauty Lounge Red Polishes
Rescue Beauty Lounge: Glamourpuss, Chinoise, Bangin’

Rescue Beauty Lounge: Glamourpuss, Chinoise, Bangin’

Rescue Beauty Lounge recently held their annual 50% off sale, and I must admit, I indulged. I’ve been waiting for this sale for months (ever since buying my first RBLs). I could have sworn I saw someone mention it may be the last 50% off sale… anyway, I couldn’t resist.

The next three I want to share with you are: Glamourpuss (classic true red), Chinoise (lacquered like a Chinese screen), and Bangin’ (hot red coral).  Like the first three, I don’t think these are particularly unique, never-before-seen kind of shades, but they are top-notch in quality.

  • Glamourpuss is a deep red cream with a hint of berry. What I like about this shade is it is definitely not a bright red cream, but it is still bright enough that it won’t be mistaken for black or brown either. This is a red that doesn’t lean blue or orange, which makes it suitable for a variety of skin tones.
    Two coats.
  • Chinoise is a bright red cream. It’s vibrant without being neon or flashy. On me, my skin seems to pull out very slight orange undertones.  I would say it’s similar to Essie’s Red Nouveau.  Two coats.
  • Bangin’ is rich, fiery red coral cream. It’s similar to China Glaze’s Revolution–but not quite as orange.  SpaRitual’s Love & Happiness would also make a decent dupe. Two coats.

All three shades featured in this post were richly pigmented, applied evenly and never streaked, and only needed two coats for full opacity. Each shade retails for $18, and due to the recent 50% off sale, many shades are sold out for the time being.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I don’t think you need all three of these, but they are nice vampier shades that lean on the red/brown side. Between Glamourpuss and Bangin’, I’d definitely only opt for one or the other if you’re on a budget.

AVAILABILITY: Rescue Beauty Lounge

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