Sunday, October 10th, 2010

Chanel Magnolia Rouge Coco Lipstick
Chanel Magnolia Rouge Coco Lipstick

Chanel Holiday 2010: Magnolia

Chanel Magnolia Rouge Coco Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a slightly milky medium pink with subtle blue undertones and a glossy finish. It seemed glossier and smoother than other Rouge Cocos I’ve tried–very creamy. It also had less of a shimmer/frost finish.  Rouge Coco is a little drier and less opaque, tending to have more shimmer/frost finishes in its line-up than the Rouge Allure family.  It’s a lightweight lipstick, and the line has a lot of universally appealing shades.  It has a slight vanilla-ish rose scent, but it’s quite subtle, and I never notice it when I use my Rouge Cocos.  This shade of pink is nice for both cooler and warmer skin tones, as it’s not too strong of a blue base.

Cle de Peau #106 Extra Silky Lipstick is a smidgen lighter but otherwise similar, including that slightly glossy finish; Maybelline Warm Me Up is warmer but close; Urban Decay Naked seems the closest in color but has less of a naturally glossy finish.

You can read my past reviews for this formula here.

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 beautiful shade of pink that’s very wearable and perfect for everyday; which simultaneously makes it not necessarily the most original shade either.

AVAILABILITY: Chanel

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Friday, October 8th, 2010

Maybelline Bit of Berry Lipstick

The Sultry Season: Maybelline Bit of Berry Lipstick

Maybelline Bit of Berry Lipstick ($8.29 for 0.15 oz.) is a beautiful plummy pink cream with rich, opaque color and a slightly glossy sheen.  This is what I consider a drugstore gem, and it’s definitely one of the best Color Sensational lipsticks I’ve come across in texture and consistency, as well.  It’s very creamy, which makes application a cinch, but it’s also incredibly pigmented and completely covers my lip freckle!  I love that the color isn’t too cool, either.  It lasts three to four hours on me, which is about average.  I wish the lipstick smelled less synthetic and sweet, but otherwise, this one’s a keeper.

(You should be able to pick one up for less than $8, which is full retail price–drugstore.com has it for $6.22 at the moment.)

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 →

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Face Atelier Revenge Lipstick

The Sultry Season: Face Atelier Revenge Lipstick

Face Atelier Revenge Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a deepened red with subtle brown undertones running through it.  It’s extremely pigmented–I only needed one swipe to get opaque color.  There is enough creaminess in the formula to apply the color evenly and easily, but it’s not so creamy that it migrates or pools in places.  Face Atelier’s lipsticks are scent- and taste-free, too.  This shade wore for quite a stretch of time at six hours, and it left behind a soft stain as it faded away.

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 →

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Urban Decay Mary Jane Eyeshadow
Urban Decay Mary Jane Eyeshadow

Cool Down with Mary Jane!

Urban Decay Mary Jane Eyeshadow ($17.00 for 0.05 oz.) is a steely blue with a frost finish. It’s a pale, icy blue with a silver sheen–perfect for the cooler season and for brightening up eyes. Mary Jane has a very soft, smooth texture with rich pigmentation. Easily one of my favorite Urban Decay eyeshadows!  This is a stunning example of why Urban Decay’s eyeshadows are often listed as readers’ favorites–especially if you love yourself some color.

Edited: Fixed images!

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: For my cooler beauties, most definitely. For my warmer lovelies, still yes! It works well with silver and gray smoky eyes, but it can be worn with your favorite navy blues, too.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Sara Happ Almond Creme Lip Scrub
Sara Happ Almond Creme Lip Scrub

Still Lovin’ Ya: Sara Happ The Lip Scrub

Sara Happ Almond Creme Lip Scrub ($24.00 for 1.0 oz.) is an excellent way to keep lips soft and supple for those of us who like a little convenience in our lives.   This particular one has a nutty vanilla scent, sweet like dessert, but not cloying nor does it linger, since you don’t keep it on your lips.  Sara Happ’s scrub is very basic but effective; the granules are large enough to do the job but not too coarse that they feel rough against the lips.  The oils and petroleum base make it solid enough that it keeps the scrub on your lips and not all over your face (or sink).  If you wipe away with a tissue, then some of the oils and petroleum are left over and lock in moisture.

For me, if I have to DIY something, I just know that I won’t make it part of my routine, because I’m too lazy busy and can’t be bothered.  It’s one of those things that I remember to do when I see the tub of Lip Scrub in my drawer, and I go, “OH! Should do that…”  If left to my own devices to concoct it myself, I don’t see myself doing it often, if ever.  That’s just me.  Some of us are born to be product developers, others of us are born to be product testers.  I am the latter! :)

I actually still have my original pot of Lip Scrub, which I’ll be tossing (I think that sucker is three or four years old), and I never even got halfway through it.   I love the little brown box and white ribbon it comes in, but the tub itself is pretty basic–could be a little more luxe for the price tag.  The fact that it’ll be difficult to get through a tub of this quickly saves the value grade, though.

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: This is one of my favorite lip scrubs, because the sugary bits actually stay on my lips while I massage the granules on my lips, and then they rinse (or wipe) off pretty easily.  There’s just enough residual base left to give a bit of moisture, too.  For those who are less apt to splurge on a lip scrub, check out the ingredient list (in the photo) to DIY.

AVAILABILITY: Kiss and Makeup

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Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer
MAC Pro Longwear Concealer

The Mysterious Case of Tired Face

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer ($16.50 for 0.30 fl. oz.) has been a product I’ve felt compelled to test for the past two weeks straight. I don’t like to review a product until I have a good handle on how I feel about it, and I’m not big on reviewing anything that I’m waffling over.

Admittedly, I’ve been sleeping a lot less and not nearly as well as I usually do, which is good news for concealer-testing purposes, given that my under eye circles are more prevalent this week than they normally are! Often when I’m running on low sleep, I suffer from a phenomenon I’ve named TIREDFACE. The primary symptom is tightness around the eye area (at least for me). So, one of the things I’ve had going on has been this feeling of tightness when I’ve been wearing this concealer, and I wasn’t sure whether it was due to the concealer itself or more to the exhaustion. For about three days, I wore concealer under one eye and none under the other. The concealer does contribute to some of the feeling of tightness.

The concealer does last a miraculous twelve hours, though, without creasing or budging. It is a very dry product, and if you have a lot of dryness around the areas you’re trying to conceal, I think this may emphasize those areas rather than hide them. I felt like it pulled a little underneath my eyes (which is where I used it most of the time), which is why I felt that tightness despite no discernible dryness in the area.  It conceals good, though for the heaviest of dark circles, it may not be enough, and it’s difficult to layer this product for additional coverage due to its fast drying time.

It has a creamy feel when dispensed, and it’s not too thick–there’s a good consistency to it, but it dries quickly, so you’ll have to work just as quickly. I actually recommend doing one eye at a time, because if you don’t move fast enough, it can be difficult to blend out! I also liked using a flat concealer brush like the 195 for application; the 217 seemed to sheer it out too much. I have noticed that it will settle a little into fine lines if you don’t blend out the area first. Once you’ve blended it out, though, it won’t creep back in.

I originally tried this in NC30, but it’s definitely a little on the orange side. I received a sample of NC20, so I figured I might as well give that a shot, though I’m ultimately thinking that NC25 or even NW25 might be the best match for me (I am NC25). NC20 seemed like a pretty good match, but next time I’m at the counter, I’m going to grab samples of NC25 and NW25 to see if either of those is a better match.

I was incredibly frustrated by the inclusion of a pump that–wait for it–pumps out enough to cover half your face in concealer. If the technology is not available to create a pump that easily distributes just enough for the product’s purpose, why use something inferior? It is certainly possible to get just the right amount out, but after two weeks of use, I couldn’t do so consistently. Sometimes I got just enough, sometimes a nice blob that went down the sink. If you’re having pump troubles like I have had, I recommend pumping once or twice into a small sampling jar. No need to pump it all into there, just whatever excess–that way you can go back and use that during the week and not let it go to waste.

All in all, this concealer does last all day long for me. It doesn’t crease later on during the day, and this is a big deal for a lot of us. I do feel a little tightness around my under eye when I wear this, though, so I probably won’t wear this every day.  It’s definitely worth trying out for its long-wearing prowess–but if you can, grab a sample, so you can find your shade and decide if you like it without having to purchase from the get-go.

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: 2/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you have really dry skin that you’re looking to use this concealer on, I think this may be too drying and end up just looking cakey on you.  The wear of this is fantastic, and the coverage is good for light to moderate under eye circles or blemishes.  If you have really heavy under eye circles, this might not be enough coverage.  Overall, it’s worth a try, particularly if you’re able to grab a sample.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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