Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

YSL Dessin Eyeliner

YSL Dessin du Regard Eye Pencil ($28.00) are gorgeous, deeply pigmented eyeliners that apply evenly and smoothly.  I spent the past week testing between three shades — Turquoise (09), Oriental Blue (03), and Black Velvet (01).

  • Turquoise is a lightened aqua with a slight golden sheen to it.  It had the frostiest finish of the three I tried–definitely more of a shimmer sheen here, which works, since it’s light and bright enough to make your eyes pop but not over the top.
  • Oriental Blue is a brightened-up navy blue with silver sparkle.  It’s not quite a true navy blue, since it’s brighter — almost like a midnight sky blue lit up by the moon — it’s very pretty.
  • Black Velvet is an intense, deep dark black with an inky feel and look.

Recently, YSL reformulated their eye pencils “with highly pigmented color for a deep impact and long-lasting finish.”  They’ve included jojoba oil to “mak[e] the finish on the skin smooth and conformtable” along with “a wax adhesive [that] acts as a fixing agent to reinforce the intensity of the pigment for hours.”  The eye pencils are definitely easy to use and give you a smooth, creamy line with little effort.  The color is also highly pigmented, as advertised, but I didn’t quite get the long-lasting finish I expected (and would have loved!).  These are nowhere near as bad as NARS Eye Pencils were on me, though, thankfully!

I get about four hours of wear before these shades start to disappear on my lower lash line (maybe an hour or so on the lower water line).  The good news–at least as far as it can go–is that these fade away rather than migrate and smudge and otherwise give you raccoon eyes.  The first time I tried these, I wore Oriental Blue by itself on my lower lash line, and after five hours, when I went to inspect it, it was nearly all gone.  All that remained was a smidgen of faded, dark blue between my lashes.  I repeated testing with the other two shades as well, just to be sure, but they all performed the same on me–faded and nearly invisible by hour five.

Each pencil comes with a sharpener, and the pencil itself is dual-ended with an angled sponge-tip for smudging on one end and the pencil on the other.

It’s available in twelve shades: Black Velvet (black), Leather Brown (dark brown), Oriental Blue (navy blue), Smokey Purple (grayed purple), Deepest Green (forest green), Hazelnut Brown (reddish brown), Charcoal Grey (gray), Amber Brown (medium brown), Turquoise (teal), Purple Silk (purple), Stellar Green (green), and Silky Pink (pink).

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  • Product: 21/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you don’t find yourself having trouble with your eyeliner smudging or like to wear pencil on your upper lash line, these might be a product worth trying, because they do pack plenty of color pay off and look beautiful on.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Dior #760 Serum de Rouge

Dior Raspberry Serum (760) Serum de Rouge ($32.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a darkened, reddish-raspberry pink with a glossy sheen.  It has very, very fine (nearly invisible) shimmer, if you look really close.  The color isn’t quite as deep as I’d expect for raspberry, but it’s close.  It’s kind of like a muted, lightened raspberry, perhaps.  I like the creaminess, the way it feels lightweight and moisturizing on lips, but the wear time could be better (just under two hours for me).

I originally reviewed Serum de Rouge here, but in summary, these feel really nice on lips but do require frequent reapplication in my experience.  Normally, reapplication would not be an issue, but you only get 0.07 oz. (as compared to the 0.12 oz. average in many lipsticks).  In addition to the lesser quantity, the creamy quality of these makes it easy to over-apply the product (and thus use more faster than you need to!).

I’ve only tried two shades, but so far, they’re both very universal and wearable.  They were both pigmented and applied beautifully.  I love the formula but wish you either got more or these lasted longer on my lips!

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you don’t love lipstick and prefer gloss, I think you’ll like Dior’s Serum de Rouge–it has that glossy feel but the color payoff of a lipstick.

Availability: Serum

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Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Urban Decay Mildew Eyeliner

COMPLETION in the form of Urban Decay Mildew 24/7 Eyeliner

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil Mildew ($17.00) marked the completion of my 24/7 Eyeliners. I was really thrilled to see Urban Decay release the holiday shades (that were exclusive to the sets) show up in full-size and made part of the range.   There’s not much more to be said about Mildew that I haven’t already said in my original review (psst, check that out if you’re in need for an in-depth review!).  Color-wise, Mildew is a darkened forest green with a gold sheen.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you like green eyeliner, Mildew is a nice one!

Availability: Sephora

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Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Lancome Aqua Fusion Tinted Moisturizer

The Tinted Moisturizer Challenge: Lancome Aqua Fusion

Lancome Aqua Fusion Teinte Continuous Infusing Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20 ($38.50 for 1.7 oz.) is a lovely light to light-medium coverage tinted moisturizer available in four shades: Naturel 1, Sand 2, Bisque 3, and Bronze 4. The active ingredient for sun-protection is octinoxate (7.5%), which covers the UVB range, but it doesn’t get the UVA range, unfortunately, so you’ll still need a product with an ingredient like zinc oxide or avobenzone for broad spectrum coverage.

My favorite part about this tinted moisturizer is the coverage it gives. It still has an amazingly lightweight feel, but it delivers more than sheer coverage–I’d even go as far as to say light-medium (not quite medium). It covered some healing acne and post-acne marks on my face and gave me a lovely, natural finish. I also love that this moisturizer absorbs and sinks in quickly and doesn’t leave behind a dewy finish. It has a nearly matte finish, so it’s great for my oily-skinned friends, in particular.

It has a mango-ish scent–defintely fruity, but not overly sweet or tropical–and I’d say it lingers for about fifteen to twenty minutes before it fades away entirely (at least to my nose). The packaging is a slim tube, so it’s easy to apply the amount you need, plus it is travel friendly, being under 3 oz.

Even though I love, love the feel and coverage of the product, there are a few noteworthy drawbacks. If you’re pale, I don’t know if you’re going to find a good match. Surprisingly, I’m Naturel 1–the lightest shade–in Lancome’s Tinted Moisturizer. I originally tested out Sand 2, because I assumed it would work well for my medium skin tone, but it was definitely too dark on me. This is why I caution those with paler skin tones to try it at a counter first, if possible. Sand 2 would work for those who are definitely medium or medium-dark, though. I think Sand 2 might work for me after the summer, perhaps, but right now, Naturel 1 is a much better match.

I’d also prefer to see broad-spectrum protection here, because it is moisturizing enough (without being heavy or greasy) to be worn without an additional moisturizer, but since it lacks UVA protection, you’ll need to use another product to get broad-spectrum protection (like a moisturizer!). It’s not advertised as broad-spectrum, so I didn’t reduce points, but it’s certainly something I’d love to see in the future.

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

Recommendation: Fabulous coverage for those who want more than ultra sheer coverage that most tinted moisturizers provide but still has the lightweight feel of a tinted moisturizer.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Laura Mercier Hydrangea Lipstick
Laura Mercier Hydrangea Lipstick

The Summer Season: Laura Mercier Hydrangea Lipstick

Laura Mercier Hydrangea Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.14 oz.) is glistening shade of vibrant raspberry pink. It’s creamy, moisturizing, and it has absolutely no shimmer. It does, however, have a slight, glossy sheen that brightens it. It’s glossy enough that you could easily skip gloss if you’re a lipstick with lipgloss kind of person. The color is phenomenal, and the pigmentation is amazing. I truly did not expect such a vibrant, pigmented shade from Laura Mercier!

Is this the right pink lipstick for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

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Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Hourglass Prism

Why didn’t you tell me how amazing Hourglass’ Eyeshadows were?  I am now!

Hourglass Prism Visionaire Eye Shadow Duo ($38.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a stunning, smoky duo of steel blue with a silver sheen and an intense, deep dark black with flecks of teal and silver running through it. The pigmentation of the two shades is absolutely insane–so vibrant, so smooth. The texture is excellent; smooth, soft, buttery, and easy to blend.

The packaging is kind of a gunmetal silver-brown, very modern and sleek. It’s actually a swiveling compact, which is interesting. I like that the packaging is different and elegant, but I get the feeling that it obviously contributes a bit to the steeper cost of these.

Just to put things in perspective, MAC eyeshadows are $290/oz. and NARS eyeshadow duos at $228/oz. — with Hourglass at$190/oz.

The pricing may be off-putting for some, but if it’s within your budget, I’d urge you to at least give ‘em a swatch at your nearest Sephora sometime. They just might impress you as they did me!

I’m quite pleased with the quality and feel of the duo–I really didn’t expect it–and I’d say these are some of the best eyeshadows I’ve tried, from the texture to the pigmentation to the colors themselves. I definitely have to look into some of the other duos and see how those stack up against Prism (totally crossing fingers that they are just as amazing!).

Other duos include: Dune (champagne shimmer/deep olive shimmer), Exhibition (mauve shimmer/eggplant shimmer), Gypsy (peach ivory shimmer/bronze shimmer), Lagoon (seafoam blue shimmer/teal shimmer), and Suede (ivory shimmer/light beige shimmer).

Have you tried Hourglass’ Eyeshadow Duos?

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

  • Product: 30/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: I can’t believe nobody told me how amazing the texture of Hourglass’ eyeshadows are! Pricey but excellent in every way, Prism is certainly worth a look! (Seriously, did you see that I rate it 30/30 in terms of *quality*?!)

Availability: Sephora

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