Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Denim & Rose Palette
Bobbi Brown Denim & Rose Palette

Bobbi Brown Has the Denim Jeans Blues

Bobbi Brown Denim & Rose Face Palette ($60.00) is new for fall, but it works just as well for the summer, too. It’s available at Nordstrom’s now (at least online), and I suspect we’ll see it roll out to other retailers in the next couple of weeks.  It contains four eyeshadows, one blush, two lipsticks, and two lip glosses all housed in a single palette.

  • Navajo eyeshadow is a light white-beige with a matte finish. This is part of the permanent collection, but the rest of the shades in the palette are new (and limited, of course).
  • Gray Denim eyeshadow is a softened, browned gray with a near matte finish (seems like it has just a little satin in it).
  • Pink Granite eyeshadow is a shimmering pinky champagne with soft flecks of peach glitter-shimmer.
  • Dark Rinse eyeshadow is a blackened navy blue base with brighter blue shimmer and silver flecks.
  • Pink Rose blush is a neutral, matte pink blusher. It’s medium in darkness, and it’s quite wearable for all skin tones, cool or warm. On darker skin tones, it will be a very light flush.
  • Cool Rose lipstick is a semi-sheer light neutral pink with white shimmer.
  • Indie Rose lipstick is an opaque, darkened red with a plummy feel. It has a creamy finish and slightly glossy look.
  • Iced Lilac glitter lip gloss is a sheer confection of white and soft lilac shimmer.
  • Hot Rose lip gloss is a semi-sheer, blue-based milky medium pink. It’s definitely a cooler pink, but it should be wearable by both warm and cool skin tones, since it’s on the sheerer side.

I love the packaging — zipped-up, denim-clad palette. It’s fun without being cheesy, functional and still original, and I really think it fits the collection’s theme. I don’t love when palettes combine both cream and powder products, just because powder products have a tendency to get dust outside their borders and into those creams. I did notice that the palette itself is taller than each pan of product, so the pans sit below an edge, which should combat some powder migration.

Dark Rinse is easily my favorite eyeshadow–it’s just so delectably pigmented, it’s hard to resist. It’s a rather smoldering shade of blue, too, and it would make for an excellent smoky eye shade. It could also work well on the lower lash line for a pop of color.

Overall, I think all of the colors in the palette work with each other, which is really important to me when reviewing a palette. Most palettes are designed to be more of a one-stop-shop, so if shades don’t jive well, it’s an issue. The one downside to this product was the lack of included brushes, even if they do tend to be mediocre, because this does have lip products in it, a miniaturized lip brush is helpful for on-the-go touchups. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it’s something I noticed when going to swatch the products (I typically use included lip brushes to dig out the product to swatch).

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation:  I think it’s a solid palette with quality products, and better yet, the products work well together.  However, if you’re not a fan of lip products in palette form, this has four (which is nearly half of the products), so you’re better off skipping.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Chanel Enigma Eyeshadow Quad
Chanel Enigma Eyeshadow Quad

Fall Makeup: Dark & Smoky by Chanel

For fall, Chanel Les Contrastes de Chanel Collection is all about sultry, smoky eyes. It’s dark, sophisticated, and drawn out in hues of gray, purple, and olive. Chanel describes Enigma as a quad of “shimmering peach, chocolate grey, violet grey, and deep plum.

I found the description to be kind of close, but not quite: a shimmering petal pink with peach shimmer; olive-toned brown with flecks of silver; silver-shimmered gray with subtle mauve tones; and blackened plum with silver shimmer.  The lightest shade is the petal pink, and it’s lovely as an all-over lid color or paired with any of the other three shades.  I did find it a little too much for a highlighter on my skin tone, but I think those with cooler skin tones may find it works just right.

This is definitely all about the smoky eye–it’s hard to do anything but a smoky eye with these particular shades.  I see several combinations itching to be tried, but I know they’ll all be on the smoky side–which seems to be exactly the direction Chanel was heading for fall, so it works.  Whether you’re on the hunt for a smoky eye is another story!  I think if this had a less shimmery shade (and perhaps more neutral toned) that could double as a lid color and highlighter, it would make an excellent travel palette.

As usual, the pigmentation was rich and dark, particularly when applied onto the eyes.  Chanel shadows are ridiculously soft, silky, and smooth.  They almost feel powdery, but it’s more the effect of having such an ultra soft texture.  (Similarly, Stila is a brand that comes to mind with the same soft texture.)  All the shades can be intensified a notch or two by using them wet, rather than dry, which is always a nice option to have.

It feels very fall to me, and when the temperature starts to drop down come September, I can see myself using this more often.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re a fan of smoky eyes, Chanel has you covered with the Enigma eyeshadow quad. It’s very dark and seductive, but it seems a little limited in its combinations.

Availability: July 2010

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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

NARS Sephora Exclusive Lip Gloss
NARS Lip Glosses: Albatross, Luxor, Super Orgasm, Luster, Angelika, Oasis

NARS Sephora Exclusive Lip Glosses

…coming to a Sephora near you!  These officially launch on July 29th, and they are exclusive to Sephora and limited edition.  Each shade is designed and created after several of NARS’ best-selling blush shades that go by the same name. I showed you swatches and photos a week or so ago, but now I’m pleased to be able to give you lip swatches, too! :)

NARS Lip Glosses have a thinner texture, and they feel lightweight and don’t dry out lips.  They’re not ultra hydrating, but they impart some moisture into lips while you wear ‘em.  I find them a little tacky but not sticky, but it definitely depends on how much you apply.  They’re scent- and taste-free, and you get a good amount for your $24 (0.28 oz.).  Colors are on the sheerer side, like most lip glosses, but they all gave lips a different look than au natural, which is fantastic.

  • Albatross is a semi-sheer champagne beige base with brighter champagne gold shimmer with a glossy sheen.
  • Luxor is a sheer milky pink base with brighter pink shimmer and a glossy sheen. It’s very similar to Albatross, just pink-toned. Luxor has a bit of an iridescent flash to it, which makes it a step up from your ordinary lip gloss.  (This shade is a Nordstrom exclusive!)
  • Super Orgasm is a light pink with golden sparkle. It has a slight milky, jelly kind ofl ook, but it gives some color, though it’s hot opaque.
  • Luster is a brownish beige with orange-gold shimmer. It’s semi-sheer, and it’s one of the shades that didn’t seem to apply as evenly as I’d have liked. From a normal viewing distance, you couldn’t really tell, though.
  • Angelika is a bright pop of blue-based pink with a slight lilac edge. Despite the strong cool undertones, it’s definitely wearable on warmer skin tones.
  • Oasis is a mauvey pink with golden shimmer and a glossy look. This one was definitely my favorite, because it gave me some color but looked really lovely all on its own. More jelly, less milky, but still plenty glossy.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you’re a fan of NARS’ Lip Glosses (or even Blushes) and see a shade that suits you, they’re definitely worth a look-see once they launch.

Availability: July 29th at Sephora

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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Guerlain Gold Tint Meteorites

Summer Shimmer with Guerlain

Guerlain Teint Dore Meteorites Powder ($56.00 for 1.05 oz.) is one of three new permanent shades of Meteorites.  Meteorites are something of a phenomena, but they are beautiful highlighters that just add glow and warmth to the skin without going overboard with glitter or heavy shimmer.  I find the shimmer imparted by Meteorites to be part glow, part shimmer, because it’s subtle but still noticeable.  It’s light enough to be able to dusted on the face, but it also works beautifully on the top of the cheekbones.

The new Meteorites come in much-improved packaging, too.  Gone is the cardboard!  Instead, it’s this metal-like plastic (I don’t think it’s real metal based on touching and holding it), but it has the metallic sheen of metal.  I like that both the lid and the cylinder itself have detailing that is definitely a signature of higher end brands like Guerlain, so it’s just nice to see it fully translated into the Meteorites range.  I’m also happy that Meteorites still pack quite a punch in quantity–a full ounce or thirty grams of satin-y, shimmering pearls.

Teint Dore is a mixture of champagne, chocolate, and golden pearls.  Together, they create a very soft golden sheen with just a touch of bronze that’s just really barely there.  It’s almost like a bronze undertone.  I think this is easily worn by all skin tones, because it’s not overly warm.  It will warm up any complexion a smidgen, and I think it would be beautiful on both pale and darker skin tones as well.  I’d recommend trying this over a coral blush or bronzer!

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation:  It’s always nice to see a brand maintain or improve a product, particularly when they’re changing such a cult favorite!  If you already have the previous versions of Meteorites, you may find this shade redundant, but if you don’t yet have Meteorites in your stash, you should take a gander next time you’re at a Guerlain counter.

Availability: Nordstrom, Sephora

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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Bobbi Brown Pink Lipstick
Bobbi Brown Pink Lipstick

The Summer Season: Bobbi Brown Pink Lipstick

Bobbi Brown Pink Lip Color ($22.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a beautiful played-down rose pink with a glossy sheen.  It has fantastic full-color coverage that applied smoothly and evenly without trouble.  This is a particularly nice shade of pink, because it’s very wearable; it’s not too cool or warm, so it’s a great universal shade that can work across a variety of skin tones.  Like a lot of Bobbi Brown products, it is scent- and taste-free!

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.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

NARS Oasis Highlighting Blush
NARS Oasis Blush

Quick Vacation to a NARS Oasis

NARS Oasis Blush ($26.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “sparkling pink champagne.” I wonder how they settled on that description, because this shade is extremely difficult to describe aptly!

It actually looks like a rather muddy mess of pink, berry, and gold shimmer in the pan, but it’s quite beautiful when applied onto skin.  It really doesn’t look gorgeous in the pan, as many blushes often do, but don’t judge a book by its cover.  On skin, it becomes a rosy berry mauve with soft flecks of gold shimmer-glitter (not quite glitter, but larger than glitter!). The pigmentation is excellent, and like many NARS blushes, a light hand is a must!  (In fact, you may want to use a stippling brush or have a buffer brush on hand for diffusion of color.)

Despite being neutral to neutral-cool, it wears well on my warmer skin tone (which may be a little tanner, since I spent the weekend outdoors, though I was lathered in SPF for sure!) and is a great alternative to starkly cool pink blushes for those with stronger warm undertones.  There is some glittery bits in this blush, but it’s not overwhelming and doesn’t even seem to translate onto cheeks at all (just seems to disappears into a magical puff of glittery smoke and mirrors!), but cheeks do have a soft, subtle luminous sheen–that doesn’t emphasize pores–when all is said and done.

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

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