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

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

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

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

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 →

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

NYX Nude on Nude Palette
NYX Nude on Nude Palette

Cheap, Tawdry Nudes

For a mere $11, you can grab NYX’s Nude on Nude Palette, which contains nine neutral eyeshadows, plus two complementing lip colors. It contains these eyeshadows: pale nude beige (semi-matte finish), semi-sheer mushroom taupe with warm undertones (light shimmer), cool-toned dark brown (satin finish), peachy copper (frosty/metallic sheen), muted copper (frosty), semi-sheer dark gray brown (light shimmer), brightened copper (frosty), browned gold (frosty), and warmed medium-dark chocolate brown (light shimmer). It also contains a reddish rose with lots of shimmer and sheer, medium bubblegum pink for lip colors.

Overall, the eyeshadow quality is pretty good; some shades kick-up a noticeable amount of powder, so you may experience some fall out when using the shades. Nearly all of the shades were nicely pigmented and had a soft, smooth texture.  I also like the packaging (except the pull out drawer–feels cheap) — on the outside, it looks sleek and classy.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: On a budget and want some neutrals? NYX makes it easy to do so without feeling guilty.

AVAILABILITY: NYX

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

MAC Dare to Wear Eyeshadow
MAC Dare to Wear Eyeshadows

MAC Dare to Wear: Eyeshadows, Part 2

First, make sure you’ve read Part 1. In this post, you’ll notice four blue-based shades–this collection is definitely skewed towards blue. There are three permanent shades here: Sky Blue, Atlantic Blue, and Winkle; the first available only at PRO, the latter two at all freestanding stores.

  • Zingy is a medium blue that leans just a little green. It’s a less intense version of Electric Eel eyeshadow. It was also a little fussy to get to layer right in a swatch–though it’s pretty once it comes together.
  • Sky Blue is a soft, pale sky blue with silvery-white shimmer in a frost finish. It’s a little on the sheer side and can be a bit dusty. This is a permanent PRO shade.
  • Atlantic Blue is an intense shade of deep blue with a violet undertone in a matte finish. This is one of my favorite shades–period! This is a permanent PRO shade.
  • Winkle is a softened cornflower blue with a satin finish. It needs to be layered to get a nice level of intensity, but it has a very buttery texture. This is a permanent shade.
  • Shock-a-holic is a medium-dark purple with strong red undertones in a matte finish. It’s a little brighter, richer version of Vibrant Grape; brighter/purpler version of Nocturnelle or Fig 1.
  • Crazy Cool is a shimmery cool-toned lilac with a silver-white sheen in a veluxe pearl finish. It’s a darker version of Digit and a lighter version of Beautiful Iris. It’s a little on the sheer side and not as smooth as I’d expect for a veluxe pearl.

Temptalia’s Recommendations

  • Must-Haves:  Atlantic Blue, Winkle
  • Nice-to-Haves: Zingy, Sky Blue, Shock-a-holic
  • Skip: Crazy Cool

Recommendations by Skin Tone

  • Light: Zingy, Sky Blue, Winkle, Shock-a-holic, Crazy Cool
  • Medium: Zingy, Atlantic Blue, Winkle, Shock-a-holic
  • Dark: Zingy, Atlantic Blue, Winkle, Shock-a-holic, Crazy Cool

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

MAC Dare to Wear Eyeshadows
MAC Dare to Wear Eyeshadows

MAC Dare to Wear: Eyeshadows, Part 1

There are twelve brightly colored eyeshadows releasing with MAC’s Dare to Wear Collection, which is Lady Gaga “inspired.” This is a collection that will appeal to some and hold absolutely zero appeal to others. Not only are the shades on the brighter side, the majority of them have a matte finish.

The collection also has a lot of permanent shades, so check your stash before you run over to the store–and if you’re near a store, keep in mind you can purchase the permanent shades in palette form. The permanent shades are Free to Be, Lime, and Aqua, with Free to Be available at all freestanding stores and the latter two only at PRO stores.

  • Louder, Please is a pinked red with a matte finish. This shade was quite pigmented and required very little fussing to get a nice layer of smooth, rich color. This is the closest to red I’ve seen from MAC (but it is not a true red, to be clear).
  • Free to Be is a pinky coral with a matte finish. It has some pigmentation, but it can be a rather difficult shade to really punch up. This is a permanent shade.
  • Going Bananas is a soft, medium yellow with a frosty finish. It has a nice level of pigmentation, and it’s a particularly flattering yellow because it doesn’t run too bright or full-on yellow. This is a repromote.
  • Sassy Grass is a medium-dark grass green with a matte finish. I thought it might resemble Wondergrass (limited edition, released with C-Shock), but it’s much darker and a wee bit greener.
  • Lime is a muted, medium-dark chartreuse green with slight yellow undertones and a matte finish. This was probably one of the harder shades to work with out of the twelve; it’s a bit stiff and takes some layering. This is a permanent PRO shade.
  • Aqua is a bright pastel aqua-blue with a matte finish. This is one of the more powdery matte shades by MAC, and it can be layered to get a nice level of color intensity, but it may look chalky on some complexions. This is a permanent PRO shade.

Temptalia’s Recommendations

  • Must-Haves: Going Bananas, Sassy Grass
  • Nice-to-Haves: Louder, Please, Free to Be, Aqua
  • Skip: Lime

Recommendations by Skin Tone

  • Light: Free to Be, Going Bananas, Lime, Aqua
  • Medium: Louder, Please, Going Bananas, Sassy Grass, Lime
  • Dark: Louder, Please, Going Bananas, Sassy Grass, Lime, Aqua

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →