Sunday, September 26th, 2010

YSL Forbidden Burgundy Rouge Volupte Lipstick
YSL Forbidden Burgundy Rouge Volupte Lipstick

The Sultry Season: YSL Forbidden Burgundy Rouge Volupte Lipstick

YSL Forbidden Burgundy (12) Rouge Volupte Lipstick ($34.00 for 0.12 oz.) is an opaque, reddened plum with a glossy shine.  All Rouge Voluptes have this lightly sweetened mango-y scent (I note it as just generally, but my nose might not be sophisticated enough…), but I don’t notice any taste.  It’s moisturizing and wears four to six hours on me.

When I first tried Rouge Voluptes, they were one of the first high-end lipsticks I had ever tried, and I thought they were the bee’s knees. Over time, I’ve discovered lipsticks that I prefer (formula-wise), but Forbidden Burgundy is still one of my favorite shades of Rouge Voluptes. The Rouge Volupte formula is incredibly creamy, and while some of the lighter shades are almost thick in their creaminess, their darker, almost glossy, shades like Forbidden Burgundy are not.

I do recommend a lip liner on deeper shades like this one if you’re prone to your lip color bleeding, because the creaminess of Rouge Voluptes make it more likely to bleed.

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.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Illamasqua Scarab Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Scarab Nail Varnish

Illamasqua’s Art of Darkness: Scarab

Illamasqua Scarab Nail Varnish (£13.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is a fiery ruby red with copper and scarlet shimmer strewn through the color. It almost looks metallic but not quite. It’s a very cool shade with depth; I envision flames licking through the ruby red, because it just has on-fire look to it.   This shade was extremely rich in pigment–one coat was nearly enough, but I still wound up with two, just because it feels more complete (to me) that way.

Nonetheless, smooth, even application with no fuss.  The formula itself was of a medium-thick consistency–the norm for Illamasqua’s varnishes.  It has a slight shine in its natural finish, but I recommend a shiny top coat to really finish it.  I noticed very subtle brush strokes in close-ups, but everything looked pretty smooth at a normal viewing distance.  Illamasqua described this as a metallic, but it feels more like a shimmer with only a touch of metallic-ness.

The Glossover

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Saturday, September 25th, 2010

Rimmel Dizzy Lipstick
Rimmel Dizzy Lipstick

Bright-but-Wearable Pink Lips by Rimmel

Rimmel Dizzy Lasting Finish Lipstick ($5.19 for 0.14 oz.) is a beautiful shade of brightened medium pink with a soft blue undertone. It has a subtle frosted sheen, but it doesn’t feel or lean too frosty to me. The color coverage is excellent; it delivers opaque color and nearly covers my lip freckle. Lasting Lipstick has a creamy feel when applied, and while I wouldn’t describe it as moisturizing, it doesn’t dry out my lips either. It has a synthetic, fruity scent that’s a bit sweet but tolerable and doesn’t linger once applied.

From the get-go, this lipstick has all the makings of a great lipstick. My issue with this lipstick has to do with the claims it’s making about how long it wears. Rimmel says that it “locks colour to lips for up to 8 hours of wear.” Try one, maybe two. I typically get four hours of wear out of the average lipstick, but with Rimmel, I find the color has faded substantially by hour two. We don’t even get close to eight.

It’s really disappointing, because I can’t give this product high marks when it falls so short of the claims it makes. I evaluate products based on what they’re supposed to do, not what I want to do or what’s “good enough.” I recognize that this is a remarkably pigmented, smooth, creamy lipstick formula with an affordable price tag, but it’s not enough: it does not do what it’s supposed to do.

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

  • Product: 21/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re on a budget and looking for more pigmented lipstick, Rimmel’s Lasting Finish seems to have some good options, as long as you don’t mind reapplying every couple hours.  I think this is one of the better budget-friendly lipsticks I’ve tried, but it doesn’t last long on lips at all.

AVAILABILITY: ULTA

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Saturday, September 25th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Black Sparkle Eyeshadow
Bobbi Brown Black Sparkle Eyeshadow

More Glitter Fun with Bobbi Brown!

Bobbi Brown Black Sparkle Eyeshadow ($24.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a gray-black color base with layers of teal shimmer, lilac and silver glitter, and wet finish. I think the coolest characteristic about Bobbi Brown’s Sparkle Eyeshadows (or this breed of glitter eyeshadows in general) is how they look slick and wet.

The glitter eyeshadows of yesteryear were just powder eyeshadows with glittery bits in them (think MAC Lustres), but this newer breed has a creamier consistency–everything clings together and then smooths out when applied. There is significantly less fall out with these creamier glitter shades (but they are not cream eyeshadows!)–there is a bit, but nothing undue given how dark the shade is.

Upon first swatching, I thought it was exactly like Black Velvet, but swatched side-by-side, the differences are easily seen! (I actually went back and double-checked the shade name, and I thought maybe mine was mislabeled–that’s how close they seemed at first glance!) Black has a soft black color base with multi-colored glitter that flashes blue, teal, purple, and silver. It looks very blue when swatched next to Black Velvet.

It’s richer and multi-faceted compared to Stila’s Black Diamond, which is just a gray black base with silver glitter. Similarly, Urban Decay’s Void is grayer and sheerer than Stila’s Black Diamond, so that doesn’t really compare either.

Do you rock the glitter eyeshadow or is it too much bling for you?

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Bobbi Brown’s Sparkle Eyeshadows are some of the better glitter eyeshadows on the market–they’re pigmented, smooth, and hold together really well.

AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown

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Saturday, September 25th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Black Cocoa Metallic Eyeshadow
Bobbi Brown Black Cocoa Metallic Eyeshadow

Try a Little Warm Cocoa for Fall

Bobbi Brown Black Cocoa Metallic Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a rich, chocolate brown with flecks of pale gold, gold, and copper shimmer. It has such a smooth texture with incredible color pay off that really just looks luxurious when worn. This shade would work well for a brown smoky eye as well as smudged on the lower lash line to add warmth to the eyes. I love this on warmer beauties, though it has that blackened cocoa laced with the warmer brown, so it could also be worn by those on the cooler side, too.

I also love that $20 will get you 0.10 oz. of eyeshadow–double the amount of most single shadows! This particular shade launched with Bobbi Brown’s Black Velvet Collection, but it is permanent to the line.

What are your favorite Bobbi Brown eyeshadows?

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re a fan of warmer, chocolate browns and enjoy yours with shimmer, Black Cocoa makes an excellent choice!

AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown

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Friday, September 24th, 2010

Estee Lauder Plumberry Lipstick

The Sultry Season: Estee Lauder Plumberry Lipstick

Estee Lauder ‘Pure Color’ Long Lasting Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a plum-tinged red with subtle fuchsia shimmer. It has a medium glossy glint and rich, opaque color. The coverage is excellent, and it feels lightweight despite its pigmentation. It’s also more moisturizing than your average lipstick, which makes it comfortable to wear. I get about five hours of wear with this shade in particular, because it is more pigmented. Estee Lauder’s lipsticks are scented with a lightly sweetened fig but are taste-free to me.

Is this the right red 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.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →