Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Guerlain Gil Rouge G Lipstick
Guerlain Gil Rouge G Lipstick

The Summer Season: Guerlain Gil Rouge G Lipstick

Guerlain Gil (#40) Rouge G Lipstick ($46.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a beautiful shade of orange with subtle gold shimmer and a light sheen. It’s not quite a coral, but it has the lightness and brightness of one. It’s not a neon orange, nor is it overly dark, so it’s a much more wearable version of orange. I’m a huge fan of the Rouge G formula–it’s pigmented, smooth, and feels nearly weightless on lips. From the texture to the color pay off to the way it wears, Rouge G is one of my favorite lipstick formulas. For those with sensitive noses, though, may want to check it out in person first, because it does have a perfume-y scent in the tube (but I don’t notice it when I wear it).

Is this the right orange 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 →

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Clarins Instant Light

Light on the Gloss with Clarins Instant Sun Light Gloss

Clarins Instant Sun Light Gloss SPF 6 ($18.00 for 0.04 oz.) are new for summer and come in three shades — Vanilla, Coral, and Cinnamon. Each is housed in a silver bullet of a pen that clicks up the gloss on a brush applicator.

  • Vanilla (01) is ultra sheer with a golden champagne shimmer and glossy sheen. It’s probably better suited over a lipstick or for those who love to show off their natural lip color.
  • Coral (02) is a medium coral–it’s very much a true coral, because it doesn’t lean orange or pink but somewhere perfectly in-between. It has a cinnamon gold shimmer strewn through the color. It’s much, much more pigmented in comparison to Vanilla–more like semi-opaque (but surprisingly opaque for a gloss as thin as this).
  • Cinnamon (03) is a lightened cinnamon brown with a little red in it and golden shimmer. It’s semi-sheer but nowhere near as pigmented as Coral is, but it’s not as invisible as Vanilla. I found this one applied rather splotchily in comparison to the other two. I had issues with getting the color to distribute evenly.

The gloss isn’t sticky, and it’s very lightweight; it has a thin consistency but comes with a dazzling sparkle. They have a sweetened scent, which I can’t quite put my finger on, but it’s there in both the scent and the taste–it is subtle, though. I get only an hour of wear with these, which is below average for me (I typically get two to three), and they’re not as hydrating as I’d expect. My lips aren’t a dried out mess, but they do seem to need a little extra TLC post-wear.  The SPF 6 is nice, though, particularly since you can’t smell or taste it.

The packaging is sleek, but given how little is housed inside, they start to seem a little bulky. It’s actually in the quantity that I get frustrated–most glosses fall somewhere between 0.10 oz. and 0.20 oz. in product, and the price varies from $14 to 30. Clarins Instant Sun Light Gloss comes in at $450/oz. as compared to Chanel at $142/oz., Dior at $126/oz., and Guerlain at $165/oz. It’s really a shame that they didn’t give you a little more product, because at $18, they seem rather affordable for a high-end brand. Clarins Gloss Appeal, which is comparable, is available for $21 for 0.18 oz., and I really couldn’t say what makes the click gloss so much better that it’d be worth it.

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 5/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: I would pass on these, and if you were interested in checking our Clarins Lip Gloss, opt for the Gloss Appeal, which has pretty shimmer in a better formula and more for your money.

Availability: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Becca Loose Shadow

The Jewel of Your Eye with Becca

Becca Jewel Dust ($24.00 for 0.04 oz.) are loose multi-purpose powders made without talc or fillers. There are sixteen shades in the full range, from shimmering champagnes to baby blues.  I picked up three shades when Becca was on HauteLook a few weeks back.

  • Erzulie is a soft lavender with a gray cast and lighter lilac and blue shimmer.
  • Luella is a gold shimmered green-toned turquoise with a deeper turquoise base.
  • Erlina is a lightened, spring green with a strong yellow undertone with a near metallic, slightly frosty finish.

One thing I really enjoyed about these was that they work nearly as well dry as they do wet. When they are used wet, they do create a smoother, more solid color, but used dry, they hold together pretty well. They worked well over eyeshadow primers as well as cream eyeshadows.

All three shades I tried out are actually colors that I don’t quite have in loose form, and the way they shimmer is very reflective and sophisticated, actually–particularly when used on eyes. I could see some of the lighter, more neutral shades being used as an all-over dusting on lids for a little oomph without doing much else.

The packaging is stylish and easy to store–small, mostly square, and just elegant. I really wish you received more for the price, though — 0.04 oz. is so underwhelming for a product that costs $24 — and it’s a little less and a little more in cost than other loose shadows by high-end brands. I’m sure most of us will not get through a single container all that quickly, though, and like most loose colors, a little goes a long way.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: I wish you got a little more product in each container, but the colors I tried were beautiful and shades I haven’t seen too often. The quality was lovely with smooth, rich color and beautiful shimmering finishes.

Availability: Becca

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Saturday, June 19th, 2010

YSL #8 Rouge Volupte Lipstick
YSL Fetish Pink Rouge Volupte Lipstick

The Summer Season: YSL Fetish Pink Rouge Volupte Lipstick

YSL Fetish Pink Rouge Volupte Lipstick ($34.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a pretty-in-pink shade with no shimmer but a creamy feel and look.  It’s a cooler, slightly pastel and blue-based pink, so it definitely lends itself as more complementary on cooler skin tones, but with the right pairings, it can be lovely on warmer skin tones.  (I always like a gray or black smoky eye with light cheeks and a pale pink lip!)  It has a lightly sweetened mango scent, but I didn’t notice any taste.  Rouge Volupte is a very, very creamy formula that glides onto lips with ease, and it is very pigmented with just one stroke.

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 →

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

NARS Pro Prime Skin Smoothing Face Prep

How Pore-less Can You Be?

NARS Skin Smoothing Face Prep ($30.00 for 0.26 oz.) is a skin prepping product, not quite a primer, that’s supposed to minimize the appearance of fine lines and pores to give skin a smoother look.

Get closer to an Immaculate Complexion with NARS Skin Smoothing Face Prep. With one application, skin is smoother and the appearance of fine lines and pores is minimized. A truly multi-use product, it may be used before primer to create a flawlessly matte finish or used throughout the day to combat shine and rejuvenate the complexion. Apply to fine lines, large pores or rough spots for an instant smoothing effect. For all skin types.

I’ve seen some mentions about the product size being small for a primer–but it’s not meant to be used like a primer–perhaps a targeted primer, but even NARS describes it as being used before primer or as a blotting agent during the day. It still feels like it’s on the small size based on packaging, but I don’t see using too much per usage either. However, it does very much the same thing as MAC’s Prep + Prime Line Filler ($19.50 for 0.5 fl. oz.) (review here, swatches here), though Line Filler is listed as a primer.

NARS has a better consistency for on-the-go, since it’s almost like the consistency of a candle (yes, a candle!)–it’s thick and solid–but melts a bit when you apply it to the face or use your fingers to apply. It smooths out well against the skin, and it does minimize the appearance of the lines and imperfections on the back of my hand. It can be applied over or under foundation, but I think it may make a nice blot powder alternative, because of the silicone and silica in it, which both will help to give skin a softer, smoother appearance. The whole effect is very much a diffused, soft focus kind of look.

Because this is loaded with silicones, I didn’t (and won’t be) testing it fully on my face any time soon, so this is only a partial review (and why there is no rating) based on testing it on my hand and playing around for consistency and the like. I did notice that my hand slowly but surely made its way back to its usual state of more visible lines and the like after about two to three hours.

I also applied it on top of my cheeks and around my nose to see how it handled pores (I think mine are getting bigger… I never obsessed over them before, but now I feel like they’re about to become black holes and suck all life into them!).  Even though I didn’t test it for wear over time, the improvement in my fine lines and pores really just wasn’t significant.  It did, however, give my skin a very soft, silky feel when I ran my fingertip over the areas I used the product on, and it had a softer look.  Like as if someone blurred the skin there a bit, but the fine lines underneath my eyes were still as noticeable as ever, even if slightly diffused.

If you have the most minute fine lines and just the beginnings of the slightest wrinkle, this may fade those into oblivion, as it does an impressive job on the back of my hand.  It just didn’t show up to the party so much on my fine lines.  When it came to my pores, the side with the Face Prep looked softer and smoother, but the pores were still there.  It worked (hey, NARS doesn’t say it will erase all, just “minimize”), but it’s just not as effective as I’d want it to be in order to justify adding the product into my routine.

Recommendation:  This might be a nice product for those with more oily skin or for those with oilier and drier areas where a full-on primer may be too much on drier patches of skin.  It’s a product that can be applied both under and over makeup, which is nice, and it could definitely work to help keep the oilies at bay throughout the day.  It might be nice if NARS included a little sponge that fit inside the jar for those afternoon touch-ups, though.  If you’re looking for something to miraculously fill in your fine lines and shrink your pores to nothing, I think you may be disappointed.

Availability: NARS, Sephora.com

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, June 18th, 2010

NARS Niagara Lipstick
NARS Niagara Lipstick

The Summer Season: NARS Niagara Lipstick

NARS Niagara Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a smooth shade of lightly brightened coral-pink with a frost-gloss sheen.  It’s not a fully glossy look, but it’s not quite frosty, either.  Thus, frost-gloss sheen texture is born!  The shade is quite pigmented, giving pretty much full, opaque color without having to layer heaps on.  NARS Lipsticks are scent- and taste-free, though they have a little waxy scent to them (which is more of the “natural” scent, e.g. from the ingredients themselves, rather than infused with fragrance).  It’s lighter and not as shimmery as MAC Crosswires, which runs a little more coral, and this one leans a little pinker.

Is this the right coral 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 →

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