Saturday, July 16th, 2011

MAC Craving Lipstick<
MAC Craving Lipstick

MAC Craving Lipstick

MAC Craving Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “burst of plum” and has an amplified creme finish. It’s a plummy pink with a subtle shine that applies opaque with very little product needed.

The amplified creme finish is designed to deliver opaque color coverage with a creamy texture and shiny finish. MAC Lipsticks are vanilla-scented but taste-free. Amplified cremes typically last four hours when I wear them, as they are more opaque and have a tendency to cling to lips (but are not drying).

Maybelline Bit of Berry is similar–less plum. Hourglass Nocturnal is redder. Guerlain Bee is darker but still similar in overall color.

The Glossover

P
product

Craving

B+
Pink-plums are great for fall when lip colors move towards the darker end of the spectrum--they're noticeable, darker, but they're not overwhelming.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

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Friday, July 15th, 2011


China Glaze Nail Lacquer: Concrete Catwalk, Loft-y Ambitions, Midtown Magic

China Glaze Metro Collection: Downtown

China Glaze Downtown Collection ($2.99 to $5.99, depending on retailer, for 0.5 fl. oz.) contains six shades: Concrete Catwalk (steel grey crème), Loft-y Ambitions (burgundy shimmer), Midtown Magic (burgundy base with flecks of gold shimmer), Skyscraper (sparkling, glitter blue), Trendsetter (mustard yellow shimmer), and Westside Warrior (camo green crème).

  • Concrete Catwalk is a dark gray cream that was opaque in two coats. Zoya Kelly was the closest I could think of, but it is very blue-based, so it looks different when worn.
  • Loft-y Ambitions is a deep, burgundy with very subtle micro-shimmer. I used two coats for opaque color. It’s similar to Rescue Beauty Lounge Bruised with shimmer, and perhaps, a touch cooler-toned.
  • Midtown Magic is a blackened, chocolate brown with multi-colored shimmer that is dominated by gold and copper. I used two coats for opaque color. It looks a lot like Dior Czarina Gold.
  • Skyscraper is a translucent blue-violet color base with lots of silver glitter. I used two coats in swatches, and it was mostly opaque. I couldn’t think of any dupes from shades I’ve reviewed in the past.
  • Trendsetter is a mustard yellow with a hint of chartreuse in it, accompanied by a gold shimmer. I used two coats for opaque color. It’s bolder and yellower compared to MAC In the Buff–actually, it reminded me of Sun Blonde eyeshadow initially.
  • Westside Warrior is a dusty army green with a cream finish. I used two coats for opaque color. It’s greener (and less yellow) compared to Rescue Beauty Lounge No More War and Zoya Dree.

The glittery shade (Skyscraper) will be difficult to remove, like any other glitter-based polish, if worn alone and as densely as shown in the swatches, so I recommend soaking a piece of felt in remover and pressing against the nail for 15-20 seconds, then pull to remove. The creams and shimmers will be much easier, as is the norm. Like Uptown, these had a good formula with nothing being too thick or thin. The polish spread evenly without streaking and drying time was about average. I used Zoya’s Anchor and Armor for base/top coats for all swatches. I typically get a week of wear with China Glaze’s polishes.

The Glossover

coming-soon

China Glaze Metro (Downtown) Collection Review, Photos, Swatches

A
Skyscraper and Trendsetter seem the most unique out of this set of six, and they're also the least fall-like colors, though I think they do fit with autumn still. The formula and pigmentation of all six were nice--even the glittery shade (Skyscraper) can be used alone for opaque color.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Friday, July 15th, 2011


China Glaze Nail Lacquer: Brownstone, CG in the City, City Siren

China Glaze Metro Collection: Uptown

China Glaze Uptown Collection ($2.99 to $5.99, depending on retailer, for 0.5 fl. oz.) contains six shades: Brownstone (burnt terracotta crème), CG in the City (glittering dusty purple, bronze and silver multi-tonal glitter), City Siren (deep, red crème), Street Chic (gorgeous beige crème), Traffic Jam (raspberry pink crème), and Urban-Night (rich purple crème).

  • Brownstone is a browned red cream. It was opaque in two coats, but one was quite dense in color. It’s darker and less brown compared to MAC Sly as a Fox and Nubar Sateen. Chanel Fatale and Essie Limited Addiction are redder and not as dark.
  • CG in the City contains light purple, purple, bronze, and silver glitter suspended in a clear base. I used three coats for swatches, so you can see how opaque it gets (not entirely). Given the clear base, I imagine it’s meant more for layering than as a standalone product. Rescue Beauty Lounge Frugalista is denser and the particles are larger–plus it’s silver and fuchsia, so they’re not really similar in color either, but it was the closest I could think of.
  • City Siren is a deep, red cream with a subtle blue base. I used two coats, but one was nearly opaque. It’s cooler in tone and looks more red than Chanel Fatale and Essie Limited Addiction.
  • Street Chic is a grayed, mushroom brown cream. It was opaque in two coats. Rescue Beauty Lounge Decorous is similar in base color, but it has shimmer and a cooler undertone. Both NARS Bad Influence and Nubar Chiffon are grayer, more taupe than brown.
  • Traffic Jam is a raspberry cream that is opaque in two coats. This is like a juicy raspberry jelly to me (obviously, jam is on the brain from the name!). The color reminds me of the base color of Cult Nails Iconic but Traffic Jam is slightly more berry than red. I think Zoya Ciara may be similar, but I don’t have a photo to compare it to.
  • Urban-Night is a darkened eggplant purple with a cream finish. This was opaque in two coats. It seems similar to Orly Plum Noir. Rescue Beauty Lounge Recherche is much darker and less red-toned.

With the exception of CG in the City (which is a glitter in a clear base), I only needed two coats for opaque color coverage. I typically get a week of wear out of China Glaze’s formulas, both for creams and glitters. The glitter will be difficult to remove, like any other glitter-based polish, if worn alone and as densely as shown in the swatches, so I recommend soaking a piece of felt in remover and pressing against the nail for 15-20 seconds, then pull to remove. I used Zoya’s Anchor and Armor for base/top coats for all swatches.

The formula of the five creams here was good overall. Street Chic was a touch thick, while the others were thinner without being watery. The polish spread evenly without streaking and drying time was about average.

The Glossover

product

China Glaze Metro (Uptown) Collection Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
It seems like a very understated collection with a lot of darker creams in hues of brown and red. The creams applied beautifully, and they were nicely pigmented.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Thursday, July 14th, 2011

YSL Juicy Grapefruit (03) Volupte Sheer Candy Lipstick
YSL Juicy Grapefruit (03) Volupte Sheer Candy Lipstick

YSL Juicy Grapefruit (03) Volupte Sheer Candy Lipstick

YSL Juicy Grapefruit (03) Volupte Sheer Candy ($30.00 for 0.14 oz.) is, first and foremost, a balm. I say this to help set expectations, because for all of the fancy packaging, it is a lip balm, which means sheer color (YSL describes the color as “a sheer veil of brilliant color”). It is also described as lightweight with ingredients that will keep “lips feeling soft and hydrated for up to eight hours.” Juicy Grapefruit is clear when I wear it. It’s described as a “sheer, fresh baby pink” but it’s a glossy shine and not much else. I would expect to see more color in some of the darker shades in the range, but I haven’t tried them personally. Like other lip products in YSL’s line-up, these are mango-scented.

This product was a total miss for me–I was curious to see how it would work out, and the real point of these is something that’s moisturizing (and perhaps, lightly tinted), but it’s not moisturizing at all. I would apply this, and I would feel the need to reapply after an hour, because it would disappear in that time. I applied it before bed, and my lips felt chapped when I woke up. I don’t have high maintenance lips at all, but these made me feel like the queen of thirsty lips. I would actually describe this as drying, because after an hour of wearing this, all I wanted (and needed!) was more balm.  I tried using this and nothing but this for three days, and after those three days, my lips were on the verge of making a run for it.

It has a really emollient base, common to YSL’s Volupte line-up, and it glides on effortlessly, because it’s really creamy (without being thick or opaque). It feels nice on, and it doesn’t feel drying initially.  The packaging, too, is just like the Rouge Voluptes but with different coloring, and my favorite part has always been the filigree of YSL logo that wraps around the middle (but it will hold fingerprints). It’s always nice when a high-end brand uses high-end packaging to complement their product line. These were the only high points of this product–this was one of the more disappointing products I’ve tried in the past few months.

Remember, I can only review based on my personal experience with a product–if this formula worked for you, by all means, enjoy it for the both of us! :)  I’ve seen plenty of positive reviews on this product, but I didn’t experience it myself, unfortunately!

The Glossover

coming-soon

YSL Juicy Grapefruit (03) Volupte Sheer Candy Lipstick Review, Photos, Swatches

F
If you purchase, make sure there is a return policy! This wasn't moisturizing, needed constant reapplication, and always left my lips feeling more parched than the time before.

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

2/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Thursday, July 14th, 2011

MAC Brick-o-la Lipstick<
MAC Brick-o-la Lipstick

MAC Brick-o-la Lipstick

MAC Brick-o-la Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “mid-tone berry” and has an amplified creme finish. It’s a creamy berry pink with a subtle shine and opaque color coverage. The creaminess in the texture allows for easy glide across the lips and little product is needed to achieve full color. This shade is part of MAC’s permanent range.

The amplified creme finish is designed to deliver opaque color coverage with a creamy texture and shiny finish. MAC Lipsticks are vanilla-scented but taste-free. Amplified cremes typically last four hours when I wear them, as they are more opaque and have a tendency to cling to lips (but are not drying).

MAC Capricious is similar but less pink, and the finish makes it appear a bit different on lips. Cle de Peau #117 is slightly redder and darker, but it is in the same family. Chanel Etole is redder and more muted. Hourglass Nocturnal comes close but is a bit more plum.

The Glossover

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product

Brick-o-la

B+
It's a softer way to wear a dark color--it's plum, pink, and berry--and none of those really dominates, which makes it easy to wear with a variety of looks. It should work well on both cooler and warmer skin tones, as well as light to dark.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Thursday, July 14th, 2011


Coola Sport SPF 45

Coola Mango Sport Suncare SPF 45

Coola Mango Sport Suncare SPF 45 ($32.00 for 5 oz.) smells like a tropical cocktail and the beach. It just has that “beach” scent with a fruity sweetness that seems part mango, part something else. It’s pleasant and certainly masks any “sunscreen” scent. This particular sunscreen is available unscented, though. I needed a sunscreen to bring to my parents’ house, because I knew I was going to be outside watching Mellan swim, and I found this in my SPF bin and threw it in my bag.

active ingredients: Octocrylene (Sunscreen) 7.50%, Octinoxate (Sunscreen) 7.50%, Oxybenzone (Sunscreen) 5.0%, Octisalate (Sunscreen) 5.0%, Homosalate (Sunscreen) 5.0%, Avobenzone (Sunscreen) 3.0%

It’s a completely chemical-based sunscreen (although zinc oxide is listed as the last ingredient–presumably the concentration is so low that it doesn’t make it on the active ingredients list or isn’t used as sunscreen here). For a great dialogue about different chemical sunscreens, check out the discussion in this post. Avobenzone has been said to be unstabilized, but the presence of octocrylene will make it photostable (Reference).  For their claims of natural/organic ingredients, check their website, but the version I’m reviewing here is slightly different (possibly an older formulation).

As far as a body sunscreen goes, this isn’t cost-effective at all (you should be using about an ounce of sunscreen to cover the entire body, which means this tube is the equivalent of five uses) (Reference). Chemical sunscreens, like this one, should be applied approximately thirty minutes (Reference). From a consistency/texture standpoint, I liked it enough–it spreads easily over the skin, and it dries down within a few minutes to a non-greasy finish. It doesn’t get greasy in the heat, but it did feel a little sticky after an hour outdoors.  Coola says it can be used on face and body, though, so perhaps, for some, it would be a possible option.

It’s nice but not something I’d purchase in the future, just because I don’t need a high-end sunscreen for my body (I’m more willing to for facial sunscreens, since I take photos often and sometimes breakout).  We all skimp somewhere!

inactive ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, C12 15 Alkyl Benzoate, PVP/Eicosene Copolymer, Sorbitan, Retinyl Acetate (Vitamin A), Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) Root Extract (Organic), Nylon-12, Allantoin (Comfrey Root), Dimethicone, DEA Cetyl Phosphate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Acrylates Crosspolymer, Glycerin, Acrylates/Steareth 20 Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Stearic Acid, PEG 100 Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E) (Organic), Rosa Canina (Rose Hip) Flower Extract (Organic), Cucumis Sativa (Cucumber) Fruit Extract (Organic), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit (Organic), Borage (Borago Officinalis) Seed Oil (Organic), Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Extract (Organic), Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil (Organic), Prunus Serotina (Wild Cherry) Bark Extract (Organic), Chamomilla Recutita (Chamomile) Flower Extract (Organic), Hydrastis Canadensis (Goldenseal) Extract (Organic), Parfum, Equisetum Hyemale (Horsetail) Extract, Calendula (Calendula Officinalis) Flower Extract (Organic), Arnica Montana (Montana Flower) Extract (Organic), Mangifera Indica (Mango) Extract (Organic), Zinc Oxide

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