Thursday, January 6th, 2011


Make Up For Ever Diamond Lab Shine Lipglosses

Make Up For Ever Lab Shine Lipglosses: Diamond Finish

For spring (although, these have been available at Make Up For Ever boutiques since last June), Make Up For Ever launches new Lab Sine Lip Gloss ($18.00 for 0.09 oz.) in three finishes with 35 shades in total.

I reviewed the Metal Lab Shines several months ago, when I first purchased the Lab Shines. My intention was always to review all of the ones I purchased (which is all except for three, which they did not have in-stock at the time), but I was never able to get through lip swatches for all of the new glosses. I do still hope to do lip swatches for them in the future, but for now, please enjoy swatches and photos.

The Diamond Collection includes 12 shades and contains Make Up For Ever’s Diamond Powder. This finish is supposed to be transparent and natural-looking with a shimmering shine. All of the lip glosses have both hyaluronic acid and Camelina oil for help moisturize lips and improve elasticity. It is a non-sticky gloss with a slight, tropical fruit kind of scent. The scent is not overwhelming, and it doesn’t smell synthetically sweet. They are packaged in thick, clear tubes with a black cap and a brush-type applicator.

The shades included in this finish are: D0 (shimmering diamond), D2 (shimmering amethyst), D4 (shimmering grenadine), D6 (shimmering magenta), D8 (shimmering baby pink), D10 (shimmering fresh pink), D12 (shimmering quartz rose), D14 (shimmering Indian pink), D16 (shimmering beige), D18 (shimmering copper), D20 (shimmering tangerine), and D22 (shimmering papaya). Below are my descriptions of the shades, with the exception of D2, which was not available for me to purchase at the time.

  • D0 is a clear gloss with white-silver shimmer.
  • D4 is a sheer, pink-plum with soft pink shimmer.
  • D6 is a sheer, fuchsia pink with magenta shimmer.
  • D8 is a sheer, pale pink with silver and pink shimmer.
  • D10 is a sheer soft yellow-based pink with light pink shimmer.
  • D12 is a sheer milky pink with gold shimmer.
  • D14 is a sheer neutral pink with champagne shimmer.
  • D16 is a sheer, peach-beige with copper shimmer.
  • D18 is a semi-sheer, peach base with a heavy dose of light an dark copper shimmer.
  • D20 is a sheer, juicy tangerine orange with soft gold shimmer.
  • D22 is a milky rose pink with pale pink shimmer.

Diamond Lab Shines have a very smooth texture; they’re thick without being goopy, but they are very comfortable to wear. They’re some of the more moisturizing glosses I have tried, and with these lighter shades, I get about two to three hours of wear. With some of the darker shades, I have gotten up to four hours of wear. I’d love ‘em more if they wore longer (three to four is average for me, two is below), but I do love that they have a huge shade range (that’s permanent!).

My big complaint is that these only have 0.09 oz. in them–the average lip gloss has about 0.20 oz., and even Make Up For Ever’s Fascinating Lipgloss contained that much, but they halved the size and kept the price. I understand these are a completely different formula and contain their various powders (Diamond, Star, and Metal), but whether that really merits what is in essence over a 50% price increase is up for debate.  With the thicker nature of the gloss, I could see these being used up more quickly than other glosses, too.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: These are very nice gloss basics; they’re non-sticky, comfortable to wear, and there are lots of shades to choose from. The Diamond finish is a very sheer range, and if you are looking for something more pigmented, you are better off looking at the Star or Metal finish (the latter being the most pigmented/opaque).

WHERE TO BUY: Sephora.com

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Thursday, January 6th, 2011


China Glaze Anchors Away Collection

China Glaze Anchors Away: Part 2

China Glaze’s nautical-inspired collection consists of twelve new shades, and this post features these six: Lighthouse (multi-dimensional bright yellow glass speck), Pelican Grey (high shine, cool toned grey creme), Sea Spray (calming pale blue creme), Starboard (hip and playful green creme), Sunset Sail (delightful peachy pink high shine creme), and White Cap (whimsical and sparkling multi-dimensional white).

  • Lighthouse is a bright, sunshine yellow gold with flecks of metallic gold sparkle. This shade just seems so fun and positive, and it’s gold, which means I’m all over it. I used two coats, and there was some nail line showing, so I think a third would make it opaque. It is a richer, more vibrant version of Cowardly Lyin’–well, that is the closest dupe I could come up with, and I wouldn’t say they’re that similar.
  • Pelican Grey is a soft, cool-toned gray with very faint white micro-shimmer. It is slightly bluer (and has shimmer) than Zoya’s Dove. I used two coats.
  • Sea Spray is a pale baby blue cream with silvery-blue micro-shimmer. I used two coats. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this one.
  • Starboard is a brightened grass green cream with a shiny dry down. I used two coats. It’s kind of like Four Leaf Clover–but with a yellow base (which makes them quite distinguishable from each other).
  • Sunset Sail is a warmed up, peach beige with soft beige micro-sparkle. I used two coats. It reminded me a bit of China Glaze III–lighter and more opaque.
  • White Cap is a gold-tinged white shimmer-glitter. It doesn’t go on opaque, and it actually reminded me a lot of Chanel Pearl Drop, but obviously the finishes are entirely different.

Though the formula on these seemed to be a bit thicker than average for China Glaze, application was still even and smooth. I ended up with at least two coats on all of these, though some I did three with. China Glaze is one of my personal favorite brands, because of their color and finish range–I really feel like they bring out a little something for everyone in each of their seasonal collections. China Glaze polishes last a good week on me with just minor tip wear by day seven.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: From thee six, my favorites were Lighthouse and Starboard, but I also found both of the more subdued shades like Pelican Grey and Sea Spray a refreshing change from the vamps of fall and winter.

WHERE TO BUY: January/February 2011

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Thursday, January 6th, 2011


China Glaze Anchors Away Collection

China Glaze Anchors Away: Part 1

China Glaze’s nautical-inspired collection consists of twelve new shades, and this post features these six:  Ahoy! (delightfully intense pink that flashes with reflective glitter), Below Deck (flirty mix of taupe and violet), First Mate (sophisticated and rich navy creme), Hey Sailor (vibrant creme red), Knotty (micro-particle beige shimmer), and Life Preserver (highly pigmented and luxurious poppy creme).

Edited @ 7:12 AM PST:  Hey Sailor images should show now!

  • Ahoy! is raspberry pink with flecks of subtle gold and ruby sparkle. In the promo photos, this shade looked a lot like Strawberry Fields, but Ahoy! is much, much darker; redder, too, and the gold is less noticeable. I used three coats.
  • Below Deck is a grayed mauve with a cream finish. I used two coats. It is a shade darker and more neutral than MAC Cool Reserve.
  • First Mate is a rich, luxurious navy blue cream. I did two coats, but you could almost get away with one–it’s that pigmented. I would compare First Mate to Rescue Beauty Lounge’s Dead Calm, which is perhaps only a smidgen darker.
  • Hey Sailor is a poppy red cream with lovely pigmentation. Like First Mate, one coat is nearly pigmented enough, though I did two. Zoya’s Maura is similar, slightly less red, though.
  • Knotty is a pale, yellowed, champagne beige with light champagne shimmer. With three coats, there is still some nail line showing, but I get the feeling this wasn’t designed to be 100% opaque. Not quite sure of a dupe for this one, though I wouldn’t go as far as saying this is unique, either.
  • Life Preserver is a brightened, rusted orange cream. I used two coats for an opaque result. I couldn’t think of just the right dupe for this shade–the rusted/burnt feeling makes it seem different compared to other orange creams I own.

Though the formula on these seemed to be a bit thicker than average for China Glaze, application was still even and smooth. I ended up with at least two coats on all of these, though some I did three with. China Glaze is one of my personal favorite brands, because of their color and finish range–I really feel like they bring out a little something for everyone in each of their seasonal collections. China Glaze polishes last a good week on me with just minor tip wear by day seven.

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: From this set, I really loved Ahoy! and First Mate–they’re bold, beautiful on, and apply flawlessly.

WHERE TO BUY: January/February 2011

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Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Milani Berry Rich Lipstick
Milani Berry Rich Lipstick

Milani Berry Rich Lipstick

Milani Berry Rich Lipstick ($4.99 for 0.13 oz.) is a vibrant pinked cherry red with a creamy finish and near opaque color. It applies beautifully and wears well. Milani’s Color Perfect Lipstick is a creamy, moisturizing formula with opaque color coverage. It does have a rather a synthetic/waxy scent, though, which may be too much for those with sensitive sniffers. I typically get three to four hours of wear on average with this formula.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: This is a great variation on red for those with cooler undertones!

WHERE TO BUY: Milani

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Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Estee Lauder Wild Storm Nail Lacquer
Estee Lauder Wild Storm Nail Lacquer

Estee Lauder Spring 2011: Wild Storm

Estee Lauder Wild Storm Nail Lacquer ($19.00 for 0.30 fl. oz.) is a steely gray with a hint of bluish-teal micro-shimmer with a faint metallic-frost finish. The blue-tinge is very subtle–it’s more noticeable in the bottle than it is on the hands. The blue comes out strongest in natural light (or low light), but it is there. I only need two coats for an opaque result, and it applied smoothly and fairly evenly, despite minor brushstrokes showing up under flash lighting.

I was initially reminded of Chanel Steel, but it’s nothing like it–it is far too black to be similar. Then, I thought perhaps it was in the same vein as Chanel Black Pearl, but Black Pearl is much more teal–not so much silver or blue. It is like a darker version of NARS Full Metal Jacket. It is also like Zoya Kelly–with shimmer.

The formula itself wasn’t too thick or thin and applied smoothly without any issues. Drying time seemed average, and there was a soft glossy shine, but I’d still recommend a top coat. The amount in the bottle is a little below average, I’d say, while the price tag is a bit hefty.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: While I’ve been really impressed with the uniqueness in some of Estee Lauder’s polishes lately, Wild Storm doesn’t quite hit those notes for me.

WHERE TO BUY: Estee Lauder

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Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Chanel Promesse Eyeshadow Quad
Chanel Promesse Eyeshadow Quad

Chanel Promesse Eyeshadow Quad

Chanel Promesse Eyeshadow Quad ($56.00 for 0.04 oz.) is a [relatively] new and limited edition pastel palette, which is exclusive to Chanel.com. For those of us in the U.S., the palette is in the “international style,” where the eyeshadows have more of a baked appearance and texture; they are noticeably different from the texture and design of most U.S. eyeshadow quads. I’m generally not a fan of Chanel’s quads in this formula, because the shades are often very sheer and nowhere near as soft–typically, the only way to use them is wet–this is based on my experience with three or four of this kind of quad.

Promesse delivers decent pigmentation across all four shades, both wet and dry, which I was really happy to see. These also didn’t seem to skip or drag at all when used dry. The palette includes a pale white with a blue tinge in a frosted metallic finish; pink-tinged champagne beige; warm bronze with a frosted finish; and pale, pastel green with a pearly finish. The beige shade was the sheerest when used dry, but the others were fine. When used wet, all four performed well. The texture also seemed softer and silkier than usual.

I’m always taken aback when I see how little is supposed to be in here, just 0.04 oz. (less than most single eyeshadows, and U.S. Chanel quads are typically 0.21 oz.), and I can say that it certainly doesn’t look like there isn’t enough product in it. From a weight perspective, it seems ridiculously low, but when I look at the product itself and the way they seem to fill the pan, it’s hard to align those two images.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: I like this quad best on paler skin tones, because two of the four shades are very, very pale and almost white, which may look too stark and almost ashy on medium to dark skin tones.

WHERE TO BUY: Chanel

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