Saturday, July 31st, 2010


CoverGirl Blazing Blues

Still Hunting for Drugstore Brights

CoverGirl Blazing Blues Eyeshadow Trio ($5.19 for 0.14 oz.) looked like a promising trio of bright, vibrant eyeshadows.  Several years ago, you would have been hard-pressed to find any bright eyeshadows, let alone a whole trio of them!  It’s definitely great to see that drugstore brands have stepped things up and started putting out more fun, bold, and bright shades.  However, it’s too bad that the pigmentation is still sorely lacking.

After building up four or five layers of color, I was able to get decent color pay off, but it took more work than it should have.  The trio contains a medium-dark blue with a low level sheen, banana yellow with a soft frost finish, and an aqua-blue with silver sheen.  Personally, I was hoping that the yellow might be a MAC Going Bananas dupe, but it’s so faint, it’s difficult to compare the two.  The worst shade in the trio was the aqua-blue, because even after attempting to build up the intensity of the shade, it still looked sheer and washed out.

In terms of texture, these eyeshadows were a little chalky and powdery–not delectably smooth and buttery at all.

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

  • Product: 19/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you like your brights on the sheerer side, then CoverGirl’s Blazing Blues Trio might be more up your alley. But if you want your eyeshadows to be true-to-color, soft, and smooth, look elsewhere.

AVAILABILITY: Drugstore.com

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Saturday, July 31st, 2010

Lancome Fuchsia Clutch Lipstick
Lancome Fuchsia Clutch Lipstick

The Summer Season: Lancome Fuchsia Clutch Lipstick

Lancome Fuchsia Clutch Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a bright pink with fuchsia shimmer.  It’s not pure fuchsia, but it’s still quite bold and intense.  The base color is a deep, rich pink, while the fuchsia shimmer creates a brilliant, duochromed sheen–particularly when the light hits it just right.  I love the amount of color it delivers–it’s a nice, semi-opaque shade.  Lancome’s Color Design shades tend to give me about four hours of wear, and this particular shade will wear a little longer, as it stains just a touch.

Is this the right pink 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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Friday, July 30th, 2010

Philosophy Supernatural Superbeautiful
No foundation / Philosophy Supernatural Superbeautiful

Feels Like a Tinted Moisturizer, Looks Like Foundation

Philosophy Supernatural Superbeautiful SPF 20 ($30.00 for 1.25 oz.) is certainly the hybrid foundation it describes itself as. It delivers a nice, medium-coverage finish that’s just slightly dewy but not oily, but it feels more like a tinted moisturizer than a liquid foundation. It’s even on the moisturizing side (but I wouldn’t skip the moisturizer!).

The texture is very creamy and almost gel-like, though it is a water-based foundation with the first inactive ingredient being water. It’s easily applied with fingertips (again, like a tinted moisturizer) or with a foundation sponge/brush. I found it wore very well, without any fading, settling, or migration over an eight hour period. I have warm undertones and a light medium skin tone (NC25), and I found Beige to be a good color match for me. I think the semi-matte finish of the foundation helps it stay natural-looking, and the creaminess of the product (without being heavy or thick) also helps to keep it from accentuating dryness.

I so rarely think of Philosophy for anything but skincare and bodycare, but the foundation was a definite–pleasant–surprise.  I forgot to take photos of the packaging, and I’ve literally had that on my to-do list for three months along with a bajillion other things, so instead of waiting around for that to happen, I said on with the review!   The packaging is a flat, slim squeeze-tube that’s easy to control–it really looks exactly as it is pictured in retailer product photos.

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: If you like the feel of tinted moisturizer but need more coverage than they often offer, Philosophy’s Superbeautiful might be the best of both worlds.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Friday, July 30th, 2010

Burberry Hibiscus Lipstick
Burberry Hibiscus Lipstick

Burberry Hibiscus (20) Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.13 oz.) is an intense shade of ruby red–though more red than ruby, I’d say! When I was picking out three lipsticks to purchase, I thought Hibiscus might be a deep pink, rather than red, but it’s most certainly in the red family. There is a very subtle shimmer strewn through the color, but it’s not obvious nor is the end result shimmery in the least bit.

Burberry has created a solid lipstick formula–it’s creamy without being thick or slippery, and it’s moisturizing without sliding off in an hour. I picked only bold shades by chance, and Hibiscus was very rich and looked nearly opaque on my lips. It applied smoothly, evenly, and didn’t bleed on my lips (but very few lipsticks do). Being such a deep shade, it wore well–four hours and then left a stain behind.

Each lipstick has an embellished check pattern on the lipstick itself, as well as the same gunmetal, check-covered packaging that the other Burberry Bauty products have. The lipstick has a magnetic closure, and I was rather amused by how the lipstick would spin into place, no matter how you slipped the lid back on–just drop the lid on and it will swivel into place!

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: If you like your reds blue-based, a smidgen pinky and touch ruby, you may like Hibiscus.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Nubar Venetian Glass Collection
Nail Lacquer: Caramello, Oro, Verde, Vaso

Nubar: Venetian Glass Collection, Part 2

Don’t forget to read Part 1!

All Nubar shades are free of formaldehyde, DBP, and tuluene–as well as the collection is vegan and cruelty-free. Nubar describes Caramello as a rich bronze, Oro as a deep gold, Verde as a unique dark green, and Vaso as a striking light purple.

  • Caramello is a rich, burning bronze with flecks of gold and copper shimmer. Two coats.
  • Oro is a bright marigold with gold flecks of shimmer. Just two coats, but there were some noticeable brush strokes.
  • Verde is a deep, dark forest green with flecks of green-gold and emerald green shimmer. I used two coats, but this is one shade that just one might have done just fine.
  • Vaso is a nearly metallic lilac with silver and lilac flecks of shimmer. This also seemed to show some brush strokes.

Verde is absolutely stunning. It is hands down my favorite shade of the eight! Amid such rich shades, Vaso seems out of place to me. My dear Italian readers, can anyone tell me why Vaso would be lilac? I Google translated, and I just got jar/vase as suggestions.  I kind of missed having a really lush fuchsia-purple or even a rich violet here.  It doesn’t make or break the collection, but just an observation.

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: Nubar really hits it out of the park with this collection, just in time for fall. Lovely formula, easy application, and gorgeous shades.

AVAILABILITY: Nubar

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Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Nubar Venetian Glass Collection
Nail Lacquer: Vino, Rosso, Bronzo, Arencia

Nubar: Venetian Glass Collection, Part 1

Nubar’s latest collection, Venetian Glass ($49.95 for the entire collection or $7.49 each shade), features eight stunning shades that look very much like glass. The shades practically glow. All Nubar shades are free of formaldehyde, DBP, and tuluene–as well as the collection is vegan and cruelty-free. Nubar describes Vino as a deep shimmering wine, Rosso as a medium radiant red, Bronzo as a light red, and Arencia as a glowing orange.

Normally, I do swatches with a top coat (other than matte shades), but these have such a pretty look even without a top coat, I really wanted to show off the way the shades looked before a top coat went on. (I would wear all of these with a top coat, though, and I don’t find it interferes with the glass-look at all.)

  • Vino is a copper and ruby flecked deep wine red with a glassy finish. I did two coats, but even the first coat was incredibly pigmented.
  • Rosso is a glowing fiery copper flecked orange-based red. I did two coats, but you could likely get away with just one if you’re careful.
  • Bronzo is a gold and copper flecked deep ember orange that glows. Two coats.  I found this one showed just a touch of brush strokes, though.
  • Arencia is a gold flecked medium orange that looks lit from within. It’s lighter and more orange than Bronzo, though they are similar. Two coats.

The formula was excellent–not too thick, not too thin–and each coat was very pigmented. I used two coats on all of these with a thinner first coat and a medium-thick second coat, which is my standard application. Each color had a lot of depth, which is what made them stand out to me.  Of these four, Vino and Arencia were my favorites–Vino is just such a stunning, intense shade that’s perfect for fall and winter; Arencia makes my nails look like they’re almost on fire.

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: Nubar really hits it out of the park with this collection, just in time for fall. Lovely formula, easy application, and gorgeous shades.

AVAILABILITY: Nubar

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →