Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

NARS Pokerface Nail Polish
NARS Pokerface Nail Polish

NARS Holiday: Pokerface

NARS Pokerface Nail Polish ($16.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a new and limited edition shade described as a “vibrant lilac.” It’s one of two new polishes from NARS’ Holiday collection. I’m curious as to why NARS has started to push out more and more limited edition products; often, in the past, seasonal items were rolled into the permanent range.

Pokerface is a medium lilac with subtle pinky-red undertones and pale lilac micro-shimmer. It took three coats, but the end result was opaque, smooth, and beautiful. I see this looking particularly striking on paler, cooler skin tones, as well as deeper skin tones for a stunning contrast.

I’ve had good luck with NARS polish in terms of wear–about a week with just minor tip wear but no chipping–and this shade applied nicely. It wasn’t too thick or thin, and I didn’t experience any bubbling.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: It’s a very feminine without being over-the-top girly; there’s still that bit of edge despite the lilac base color.  I think it would work well on cooler skin tones, because it does lean towards the cool spectrum, but I still thought it worked with my warmer skin tone.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Dior Timeless Gold Nail Lacquer
Dior Timeless Gold Nail Lacquer

Dior Holiday: Timeless Gold

Dior Timeless Gold Nail Lacquer ($21.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is a light, tarnished gold with a glittery-shimmery finish.  It reminded me of China Glaze’s Midnight Kiss, but it’s nowhere near as gold.  It does, however, have a similar finish–it’s almost a foil but not quite, and brush strokes are nearly invisible despite the slight metallic sheen.  The drying time is faster than average, but it does dry to more of a semi-matte finish so you may want to use a shiny top coat for more oomph (swatches are shown without a top coat).

It took two coats to get opaque coverage, and it was actually incredibly easy to apply and to achieve no pesky brush strokes because of Dior’s brush.  This is the first Dior polish I’ve owned that has a wide, tapered brush.  I haven’t seen a brush like this before, and I thought it would be too wide to be practical, but it worked really well for me.  I do think if you have smaller nail beds, though, it may be more difficult (I know I have longer fingers than proportional to my body–thanks piano!).

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I love the color, but it’s definitely a personal preference.  The formula is very easy to work with and surprisingly opaque–I thought it would end up being rather sheer, but two coats worked beautifully.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale Colour Video Review

Well, if you have twenty minutes to spare… LOL! :)

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

NARS Etrusque Eyeshadow
NARS Etrusque Eyeshadow

NARS Holiday: Etrusque

NARS Etrusque Eyeshadow ($23.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a rich, metallic true yellow gold with a flashy shimmering sheen.   Ooh, I’m all over it!  It’s similar to MAC’s Goldmine, but it has more depth, and the finish is more metallic-sheen than frosted-sheen.  The texture is phenomenal–soft, smooth, nearly buttery–with rich pigmentation.  This is easily NARS’ best gold eyeshadow to-date; finally, a gold eyeshadow that’s not also accompanied by flecks of glitter.

It’s a bit pricey for high-end eyeshadows, but it is a shade that actually merits the hype often accompanying NARS eyeshadows, not just in color, but in the texture and application.

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: Yes, yes, and yes if you love gold, though not the most unique shade ever, the texture is fab.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Benefit Breakup Rumor Lipstick

The Sultry Season: Benefit Breakup Rumor Lipstick

Benefit Breakup Rumor Lipstick ($18.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a gorgeous reddened berry with gold sheen and glossy finish.  If you feel like you’ve seen this recently, you’re right — it’s very similar to MAC’s Baron’s Rose — but it’s not limited edition and you can purchase it on its own (rather than as part of a set).  I actually just swatched it shortly after Baron’s Rose, and I was struck by the similarity then.   It’s a lovely holiday shade, though, with the glinting gold sheen.

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 →

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Bobbi Brown Crystal Eye Palette
Bobbi Brown Crystal Eye Palette

Bobbi Brown Holiday: Crystal Eye Palette

Bobbi Brown Crystal Eye Palette ($45.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a newly released, limited edition holiday palette featuring four shades of eyeshadow:  Amethyst (deep violet), Diamond (light purple silver), Star (white silver), and Peacock (aqua green).

  • Amethyst is a deep reddened violet with soft sheen. It has a metallic finish. It had an incredibly soft, smooth texture, and it applied very opaquely.
  • Diamond is a purple-tinged silvery white with a frosted shimmer sheen. It has a shimmer wash finish. Like Amethyst, it was very smooth and packed a good amount of pigment.
  • Star is a semi-sheer silvery white–it is more white than silver. It has a sparkle finish. Though it has a glittery finish, it is still quite smooth, and I didn’t experience any fall out.
  • Peacock is a pop of aqua-green teal with flashes of green-gold shimmer-sheen. It has a metallic finish. It was pretty smooth, but a touch powdery. The pigmentation level was good but not as nice as Amethyst.

When it comes to value, it’s a wash–you get almost what you would expect based on a price/ounce comparison against full-sized, individual shades, but you do get to have four different shades for the price of about two individual shades. Bobbi Brown’s Metallic Eyeshadows go for $20.00 for 0.10 oz., Sparkle Eyeshadows for $24.00 for 0.13 oz., and Shimmer Wash Eyeshadows for $20.00 for 0.08 oz. This palette contains 0.20 oz. in total, but it’s not broken down per shade, so we’ll just assume it’s 0.05 oz. each. You’re getting $20.00 worth of Metallic Eyeshadows, $9.23 worth of Sparkle Eyeshadow, and $12.50 worth of Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow, for a total of $41.73–plus a miniaturized bristle-based brush.

I’m much more impressed by this palette than I was the Beauty Rules Palette.  The consistency of these eyeshadows is soft, smooth, and almost buttery with good pigmentation in nearly all four.  I also think these work together to create wintry cool-toned looks.  I would also like to give props to Bobbi Brown for including a real eyeshadow brush that’s usable!

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I think it’s definitely a worthy item for your holiday wish list — especially if you like the texture and quality of Bobbi Brown’s eyeshadows but have always wanted a little more zip in the color department.

AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →