Monday, April 4th, 2011

Rescue Beauty Lounge Iconoclast Nail Lacquer
Rescue Beauty Lounge Iconoclast Nail Lacquer

Rescue Beauty Lounge Iconoclast Nail Lacquer

Rescue Beauty Lounge Iconoclast Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is a new and limited shade from the Iconic/Ironic Collection. It’s described as “a richly pigmented ebony with layers of fine glitter, giving it depth and a metallic, mica-like finish.” Iconoclast is an inky black with moments of purple and blue, depending on just how the light hits the lacquer and the strength of the light. In natural light, you can clearly see the micro-shimmer but the iridescence and play of color doesn’t really come through until you’re in the sunlight–then the multi-colored shimmers reflect and shine.

my thoughts on the formula: These are richly pigmented lacquers that have nuances in both the color and finishes. Each color is well-thought out, and I’ve yet to come across a poor performer in the brand’s color range. I used two coats for opaque coverage.

The Glossover

LE
product

Iconoclast

A
In natural light, you can clearly see the micro-shimmer but the iridescence and play of color doesn’t really come through until you’re in the sunlight–then the multi-colored shimmers reflect and shine.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

MAC Quite Cute Collection: Video Review

Not just first impressions but a video review, since I filmed this after swatching/reviewing 70% of the collection and could speak more deeply about the products.

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Guerlain Champs-Elysees (165) Rouge Automatique Lipstick
Guerlain Champs-Elysees (165) Rouge Automatique Lipstick

Guerlain Rouge Automatique

Guerlain Champs-Elysees (165) Rouge Automatique Lipstick ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a raspberry pink-red with a naturally semi-glossy finish and soft fuchsia micro-shimmer. Rouge Automatique is a new lipstick range slated for an April release with 25 shades (all permanent), and each shade is named after various Guerlain creations and places.

I wanted to try a deeper/darker shade first to test out the wear (and also to get started off on the right foot–with a more decadent color). I put Champs-Elysees through an all-day test that included drinking Starbucks and an Italian dinner of calamari fritti and fettuccine alfredo (oil + cream = known enemies of long-wearing lip color). It held up spectacularly! By the time I got home from dinner, I had been wearing it for six hours and didn’t feel the need to reapply. Some of the glossiness wore off, but there was still some reflective sheen, and the color was semi-opaque around the inner area of the lower lip, but overall, it looked remarkably well.

It does not have any of the usual hallmarks of a long-wearing lip color–it’s not clingy, drying, or matte. Instead, it is creamy (but thin, not thick at all), and feels a bit like lip balm when initially applied. It’s moisturizing, too, which is something one wouldn’t expect from a long-wearing lip color. It is amazing how lip color technology has improved so much in the past few years that clingy, drying, and painful-to-wear long-wearing products are being phased out. Deeper/richer shades like Champs-Elysees last six to eight hours, while lighter shades last four to five hours.

Rouge Automatique is really comfortable to wear, and the color range is definitely reminiscent (will be reviewing more shades soon) of the higher priced Rouge G line-up. The Rouge Gs wear a touch better and are slightly more moisturizing than the four shades I’ve tried from the Rouge Automatique line, but the formulas are certainly similar. Guerlain lipsticks are violet-scented but I found the scent rather subtle with these.

To open Rouge Automatique, one slides down a square pull, and the lid pulls down and the lipstick pushes out. I beat up mine quite a bit, probably sliding it down fifty times or more, to test the durability of the mechanism. It didn’t show any signs of catching or wear. It’s solid enough that it shouldn’t slide down on its own–it requires enough pressure and push from a third party that I wouldn’t expect it to open up in your bag. The slider also needs to pushed own about a quarter of the way before the lid pulls downwards enough to reveal the lipstick, and it’s quite difficult to exert enough pressure to push the lid (without pushing the slider) to open the lipstick.

If you’ve had issues with lipstick caps coming off and exposing tubes in your bag, these might remedy that problem! After opening and closing the tube so often, I feel good saying that I also don’t see the lipstick catching on the lid accidentally or smooshing on the lid if you closed it too quickly. I did this many, many times and the lipstick stayed in perfect condition.

The only downsides to the packaging are the lack of the product name (just number) on the tube itself and lack of heft. It is lighter than the KissKiss Lipsticks (by about 5-7 grams), and the tube feels like plastic (and sounds like it). I tried to catch a magnet on the Rouge Automatique casing, but I had no luck–but I was able to feel the magnetic pull when I slid it against both the KissKiss and Rouge G lipstick cases.

It launches later this April at select Saks, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Bergdorf Goodman stores.

The Glossover

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product

Champs-Elysees

A
It’s an excellent alternative to the luxury Rouge G lipstick–the formulas are comparable (and certainly so with a $11 price difference!), while the packaging gives up the luxury heft of Rouge G, it makes up for in the practicality. It’s a creamy, moisturizing, long-wearing formula with the subtle nuances and finishes I expect from Guerlain.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Thursday, March 31st, 2011

MAC Quite Cute Plushglasses
MAC Quite Cute Plushglass in Bubble Tea and I Love U

MAC Quite Cute:  Plushglass

MAC Quite Cute Plushglass ($18.50 for 0.14 fl. oz.) include four new and limited edition shades from the upcoming collection, which launches in-stores on April 7th. The four shades include: Bubble Tea (creamy pale nude), I Love U (creamy mid-tone purple), Fashion Fanatic (creamy pale pink), and Girl Love Boy (bright light blue pink).

  • Bubble Tea is a semi-sheer peach beige with soft white micro-shimmer.  It seems like it would be similar to Big Baby.  (Note:  this looks pinker/redder  on my lips, because my lips were reacting to the plumping ingredient in the formula.)
  • I Love U is a semi-sheer, pink-tinged lilac with soft white micro-shimmer. It’s a bit milky, though it doesn’t settle into lip lines too badly.  It seems similar to Ever So Rich, which was limited edition.
  • Fashion Fanatic is a sheer, pale yellow-based pink with white shimmer. On my lips, it doesn’t add much color, just adds glossiness and shimmer. Any clear gloss with shimmer will dupe this.
  • Girl Loves Boy is a semi-opaque, blue-based cotton candy pink with a cream finish. I hurried through the swatching of this, but I did try to even it out, since it moves around and will push and pull in places. It has some milkiness to it, so it will settle into lip lines. This is the most pigmented shade of the four. It’s more pigmented than Fashion Scoop but paler than Right Image.

my thoughts on the formula: MAC Plushglass is heavily vanilla scented (sweeter and more potent than any other MAC lip product I’ve come across) and is a plumping gloss. These seemed to have a much stronger plumping factor (because I couldn’t wear them, see below) than I remember them having, but it has been years since I have tried one. Plushglass is non-sticky and tends to be sheer to semi-sheer. The texture is not quite as creamy as Cremesheen Glass but reminiscent of them.

I cannot wear Plushglass. It causes an allergic reaction (you can actually see how my lips are turning splotchy), so I swatched these as quickly as I could, so they are a bit messy — my lips were already splotchy just from doing one swatch, but I know that without lip swatches the post would be worthless. It is a bit weird, because previously, I don’t remember having problems wearing Plushglass and considered it a rather mild plumping formula (I actually remember not feeling any tingle before), but whether my reaction has changed or these are more potent, that is no longer the case for me.

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Thursday, March 31st, 2011

MAC Quite Cute Lipsticks
MAC Quite Cute Lipsticks in Candy Yum-Yum and Quite Cute

MAC Quite Cute Lipstick Swatches, Photos, Reviews

MAC Quite Cute Lipsticks ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) feature four shades new and limited edition shades, plus one repromote (Saint Germain). The shades included are: Candy Yum-Yum (matte neon pink), Quite Cute (creamy bright whitened lavender), Saint Germain (clean pastel pink), Playing Koi (creamy white peach pink), and Playtime (creamy intense violet).

  • Candy Yum-Yum is a neon, magenta pink with a matte finish. It’s nearly glowing in its brightness. On me, the blue undertones seem to be pulled out. I feel like I’ve seen this color, but whenever I compare it to a possible dupe, it isn’t pink enough (purpler instead). It’s pinker than Madly Magenta cream colour base (from Stylishly Yours, ’10). It is surprisingly creamy and not at all clingy for a matte. The closest I found was Petals & Peacocks, which is several degrees brighter (Give Me Liberty of London, ’10).
  • Quite Cute is a semi-opaque pale lavender with a semi-glossy finish. It has a cremesheen finish, and it has the same texture, but the finish seems glossier to me. It’s a paler, sheerer version of Blooming Lovely (Give Me Liberty of London, ’10). Pinker than Lavender Whip.  On cooler skin tones, this is easier to work with, while warmer skin tones may want to pair with a more pigmented lipstick/gloss.
  • Saint Germain is a really pale, cool-toned pink that is blue-based. It’s been released several times, and you can see an older swatch here. It is best suited for those with cooler skin tones. The closest permanent dupe is Snob, but I believe this was mad epermanent last year.
  • Playing Koi is an opaque pinky peach with a satin finish. Honestly, this lipstick looked like garbage on my lips–it highlighted every single imperfection and amplified them ten-fold. I exfoliate my lips every few days, and for reference, I exfoliated right before doing this swatch! The color itself is like Angel and Hue had a baby.
  • Playtime is a semi-sheer magenta purple with soft sheen and shimmer. It has a cremesheen finish. It’s similar to Style Curve (from Stylishly Yours), but this is purpler, less fuchsia.

my thoughts on the formula: MAC Lipsticks are vanilla-scented but taste-free. I typically get four hours of wear, but some of the lighter lustre and glaze finishes tend to disappear by hour three. Amplified cremes and amplified finishes, however, tend to go beyond four. I find the formula comfortable to wear and not drying (but not moisturizing–a couple of the matte shades can be drying).

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Quite Cute Lipstick Swatches, Photos, Reviews

B-
They act and feel like your average MAC lipstick (according to its finish). Actually, the matte finish of Candy Yum-Yum was surprisingly comfortable (and not at all matte-like). Playing Koi’s texture brings out the imperfections of the lips and makes them look dry, even though it does not feel like a particularly dry lipstick.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

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Thursday, March 31st, 2011

MAC Quite Cute Nail Lacquers
Ice Cream Cake, Little Girl Type, Mischievous Mint

MAC Quite Cute Collection: Nail Lacquers

MAC Quite Cute Collection ($14.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) features three light shades of limited edition nail lacquer. They include: Ice Cream Cake (creamy blue pink), Little Girl Type (creamy pale lavender), and Mischievous Mint (creamy pale blue mint).

  • Ice Cream Cake is a darkened cotton candy pink with a strong blue base with a cream finish. I used two coats. It is similar to Essie’s Splash of Grenandine–slightly more blue-based.
  • Little Girl Type is a light lavender with a cream finish. I used two coats. It is similar to China Glaze’s Light as Air.
  • Mischievous Mint is a bluish mint green with a cream finish. I used two coats. It is bluer but similar in lightness to China Glaze’s Re-Fresh Mint. This is much, much lighter than last year’s Peppermint Patti, and it is a blue-based mint green.

my thoughts on the formula: The consistency was thick but watery–not terribly so, but noteworthy nonetheless. I used two coats on all, because it was difficult to get thin to medium-thin coats because of how the brush splayed out. In all three polishes, the bristles of each brush were a bit wonky, which made it more difficult to get really clean, even coats. I recommend being patient, because the slight wateriness in the formula will cause streaking if you apply before the coat dries down.

The Glossover

macQuiteCuteNail

MAC Quite Cute Nail Lacquers Swatches, Photos, Review

B-
The formula wasn't too difficult to work with, but it could be improved. Make sure you roll these before applying, because these definitely needed some mixing to minimize the watery consistency.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

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