Saturday, July 24th, 2010

China Glaze Fight Like a Woman Collection
Nail Lacquers: Encouragement, Empowerment, Endurance

China Glaze Fight Like a Woman Collection

Though we’re still a few months out, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and this year, China Glaze has created three shades inspired by the women who are fighting their battles. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is an agency of the World Health Organization. The collection will start to roll out at beauty supply stores and select salons in September.

  • Encouragement is a pale, milky pink with silvery-white shimmer. Even with three coats, it wasn’t quite opaque, but it’s pretty close to it. Very pretty-in-pink.
  • Enpowerment is a creamy slightly cooled blue-based pink. I used three coats to get an opaque look. It looked less cool-toned under brighter/direct sunlight, though!
  • Endurance is a darkened fuchsia jelly base with fuchsia shimmer. I also used three coats here.

I like when pretty products also give back! It makes buying them just a little good for the soul, too. I’m a believer in purchasing products you want, not solely so you can give to a cause–because if you want to give a cause, a donation from you to them is always the best way, since 100% will go towards the cause you’re looking to support. However, when there’s an item you’d normally buy AND it gives back in some capacity, it’s a nice bonus.

China Glaze’s three shades are perfect to represent BCA month, and they’re lovely, feminine shades. My favorite shade was Endurance, just because it’s bold and beautiful and fun. I didn’t have any application issues with any of the three shades, though they all needed a full three coats.

But I really fell in love with the names used for these polishes–uplifting and inspiring.

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: If you love yourself some pink polish, this collection was designed with you in mind! Nothing necessarily ultra original color-wise, but all live up to the quality I’ve come to expect from China Glaze.

AVAILABILITY: September 2010

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Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Tom Ford True Coral Lipstick
Tom Ford True Coral Lipstick

Tom Ford for Lipstick — Test #3

Tom Ford True Coral Lip Color ($45.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a devilishly bright true coral.  It is as it is named!  It’s a vibrant coral that leans a little orange, but overall, it’s exactly what I envision coral being in its purest form.  Like the other shades I’ve reviewed so far, the color itself is rich and true-to-tube.  Just one layer and you get a very opaque look.  It also wears well throughout the day, giving me around four to five hours of wear and a bit of a lingering stain for another hour or so.

Tom Ford’s Private Blend Lip Color collection are all vanilla scented and come in a white and gold square tube. It’s a very clean and elegant look, and the tube itself is weighty, so it feels more luxurious when you hold it in your hand. I like that the usage of the white paneling means no fingerprints, since that is a common problem when brands use more metallic/metal kind of packaging. The top and bottom are both “gold,” with the top having “Tom Ford” imprinted on it. It does click shut and stay closed well.

The formula itself is creamy and lightweight–it doesn’t feel slippery or nearly as creamy as YSL Rouge Voluptes, nor does it glide on as smoothly and effortlessly as Guerlain Rouge Gs. Tom Ford’s color range is full with twelve different shades ranging from nudes to deep plums. The textures of Tom Ford’s lipsticks are semi-matte–they’re not shimmery at all–and so they have a smidgen of sheen/glisten but overall, a much flatter finish.

The two closest, possible dupes I found were Illamasqua Mistress Intense Lipgloss (different finish) and MAC Vegas Volt Lipstick (lighter, less bright, more orange).

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: If you’re in the mood for a decadent luxury and prefer your lip color on the more matte side, Tom Ford’s range of twelve might interest you.

AVAILABILITY: Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus

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Friday, July 23rd, 2010

NARS Daphne Eyeshadow
NARS Daphne Eyeshadow

Don’t Judge an Eyeshadow by a Swatch?!

NARS Daphne Eyeshadow ($23.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a rich shade of night violet purple. It’s dark and deep and bright. But I have to warn you: don’t judge by a mere swatching on your arm. I’ve often found that matte eyeshadows don’t swatch well on the arm but perform phenomenally when used on the eyes. A truly outstanding matte shade will do both well, but I’ve simply learned that you cannot judge a poor swatched matte without trying it, too.

When swatched with a sponge-tip applicator, I get a patchy mess of violet — it’s more of a red-based purple than blue-based, but it seems to flicker between the two depending on the lighting situation. (Sidenote, photographing this eyeshadow was a pain in the behind–it constantly wanted to photograph BLUE!) My arm wasn’t exactly the most moisturized environment to be sure, but wow! Daphne made it look like a desert. Even when I tried to use my finger to smooth out the color, it didn’t work out well (as reflected in the swatch).

Now, I say all this to show you that I did not get good results when I simply swatched for color. In fact, I had a sneaking suspicious this was going to be an issue. Nevertheless, I trudged on, and I tested it out by wearing it in a look. AND WE HAD LIFT OFF! Daphne looked as vibrant as pictured in the pan, but it applied smoothly, evenly, and it didn’t need much product at all–so it went on quite pigmented.

It’s similar to Make Up For Ever’s #92 Eyeshadow, but #92 is brighter and a little lighter–it’s not quite the darkened violet that Daphne is. #92 is also more pigmented and thicker/smoother, though they perform similarly on the eye–with Daphne having less fall out. You can see a couple of looks I did using #92, and you’ll notice it’s definitely not quite as dark.

Initially, they seem very comparable, but in use, they’re really not. Daphne is a several shades darker and not the bold, vibrant shade of violet that #92 is. They’re both nice shades to own that don’t dupe each other. I do, of course, wish Daphne was a little smoother, so it would swatch well even on skin.

P.S. — The first mini lipgloss set ran out, but NARS set y’all up with another set featuring Turkish Delight, Greek Holiday, and Gothika — use code TEMPTALIA at checkout, expires 8/15. :)

The Glossover

coming-soon

NARS Daphne Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches (Fall 2010)

C+
Give it a try in a look before dismissing it purely based on swatching--that is the biggest tip I can give you. If I had only swatched in-store, I would never have thought about picking it up, but after using it in a look, I'm much more inclined to recommend it.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Tom Ford Pure Pink Lipstick
Tom Ford Pure Pink Lipstick

Tom Ford for Lipstick — Test #2

Tom Ford Pure Pink Lip Color ($45.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a tantalizingly bright fuchsia pink with a satin-matte finish.  It might have the most subtle dusting of shimmer in it, but it’s really hard to make a clear distinction.  It’s almost like shimmer dust–maybe even fairy dust, since I’m not entirely sold that I’m not just seeing things…  The pigmentation is excellent with full-color coverage in one to two layers (depending on your application technique).

Tom Ford’s Private Blend Lip Color collection are all vanilla scented and come in a white and gold square tube. It’s a very clean and elegant look, and the tube itself is weighty, so it feels more luxurious when you hold it in your hand. I like that the usage of the white paneling means no fingerprints, since that is a common problem when brands use more metallic/metal kind of packaging. The top and bottom are both “gold,” with the top having “Tom Ford” imprinted on it. It does click shut and stay closed well.

The formula itself is creamy and lightweight–it doesn’t feel slippery or nearly as creamy as YSL Rouge Voluptes, nor does it glide on as smoothly and effortlessly as Guerlain Rouge Gs. Tom Ford’s color range is full with twelve different shades ranging from nudes to deep plums. The textures of Tom Ford’s lipsticks are semi-matte–they’re not shimmery at all–and so they have a smidgen of sheen/glisten but overall, a much flatter finish.

This shade wears very, very well, particularly because it’s a much darker/deeper shade than Pink Dusk.  The majority of the color lasts four to five hours, but a fuchsia stain persists for a couple more after that.  I like that it’s long-wearing without feeling drying.   With Pure Pink, it is more of a blue-based pink, so it suits those with cooler complexions best, but if you have a warmer complexion, I still think it would work.

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: If you’re in the mood for a decadent luxury and prefer your lip color on the more matte side, Tom Ford’s range of twelve might interest you.

AVAILABILITY: Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus

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Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

NARS Mangrove Eyeshadow
NARS Mangrove Eyeshadow

Finally, a Mustard I Like!

NARS Mangrove Eyeshadow ($23.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a mustard yellow with just a tinge of green. It has a satin sheen, and it’s nicely pigmented. This is a color you just don’t see very often, because it’s not always an easy to wear shade.

The only other comparable color I have in my stash is an old, discontinued shade by MAC called Jasmine (which is not quite as yellow). I’m not normally a big fan of yellow eyeshadow on me–if it leans gold or it’s more like a chartreuse, I’m totally for it, but truer yellows don’t seem to work well for me.

Mangrove is an interesting shade to work with, because it takes on much of the tones of whatever it’s paired with or layered on top of. When I used it with Palladium, it looked like a chartreuse green, but when I wore it over a regular eyeshadow base, I was able to get a much more true-to-pan kind of color. On my skin tone, I just can’t wear it easily — with golds and coppers, it works; with greens and teals, it works — but when I tried it alongside Daphne, I just couldn’t rock it myself.

I like the uniqueness of the color, which is something that would make compel me to get it. The quality is lovely, and it’s one of the better textured single shadows–very soft, smooth, but still pigmented. For those who have trouble pulling off warmer yellows and golds, Mangrove may be an answer to that problem–because it is as cool of a yellow as one can get!

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 this may be more of a try-before-you-buy shade unless you’re always on the hunt for something a little different than the norm, because mustard yellow isn’t a common shade in makeup!

AVAILABILITY: NARS — Use code TEMPTALIA for a mini lipgloss trio featuring Turkish Delight, Gothika, & Greek Holiday, expires 8/15.

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Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Tom Ford Pink Dusk Lipstick
Tom Ford Pink Dusk Lipstick

Tom Ford for Lipstick — Test #1

Tom Ford Pink Dusk Lip Color ($45.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a subtle, toned-down pink with a little fleshy nude to it. I wouldn’t describe it so much as a nude as I would a pale pink. I’d say it’s a rather neutral pink, too — in some light, it looks almost cool-toned, but if you turn your head, it turns warmer. It is a well-pigmented lipstick that looks opaque on lips without very little layering required.

Tom Ford’s Private Blend Lip Color collection are all vanilla scented and come in a white and gold square tube. It’s a very clean and elegant look, and the tube itself is weighty, so it feels more luxurious when you hold it in your hand. I like that the usage of the white paneling means no fingerprints, since that is a common problem when brands use more metallic/metal kind of packaging. The top and bottom are both “gold,” with the top having “Tom Ford” imprinted on it. It does click shut and stay closed well.

The formula itself is creamy and lightweight–it doesn’t feel slippery or nearly as creamy as YSL Rouge Voluptes, nor does it glide on as smoothly and effortlessly as Guerlain Rouge Gs. Tom Ford’s color range is full with twelve different shades ranging from nudes to deep plums. The textures of Tom Ford’s lipsticks are semi-matte–they’re not shimmery at all–and so they have a smidgen of sheen/glisten but overall, a much flatter finish.

Where Tom Ford excels is in the wear of his lipstick. These last for hours and hours, and depending on what you’re eating/drinking, may last through those as well. Without eating/drinking, I can easily get four to five hours of wear. I made it through a meal with the majority of the color intact, though the color looked nearly matte after the meal. It doesn’t cling and feel drying from the get-go nor when you go to remove it at the end of the day. These wear very well, and the darker shades do stain, which will give them even more wear. For a light shade such as Pink Dusk to last for five hours, it’s definitely a feat.

I love the rich, opaque color Tom Ford’s lipstick delivers, and I like that they’re comfortable to wear without being drying. Pink Dusk seems like a nice, universal shade that’s neither bold nor barely there that can be worn by all skin tones.

I will say that $45 is rather steep, and even for a designer brand like Tom Ford, it’s not where I would have pegged the price to come in at. I wish that, despite the high price tag, they would beef up the quantity — maybe 0.12 or 0.14 oz. — rather than a mere 0.10 oz. One tube should last you awhile, since you don’t need much for a single application and reapplication should be less frequent than your average lipstick, but the slightly below average quantity for a slightly above average price tag is worth noting.

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: If you’re in the mood for a decadent luxury and prefer your lip color on the more matte side, Tom Ford’s range of twelve might interest you.

AVAILABILITY: Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →