Monday, February 21st, 2011

Rescue Beauty Lounge Yellow Fever Nail Lacquer
Rescue Beauty Lounge Yellow Fever Nail Lacquer

Rescue Beauty Lounge Yellow Fever Nail Lacquer

Rescue Beauty Lounge Yellow Fever Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is a bright, sunshine yellow with soft, pale gold micro-shimmer. The micro-shimmer is really, really faint but it catches light beautifully. It almost looks like a cream finish in lower light conditions. The first coat looked rather streaky, but the second coat made it look perfect–smooth, opaque, and gorgeous.

my thoughts on the formula: These are richly pigmented lacquers that have nuances in both the color and finishes. Each color is well-thought out, and I’ve yet to come across a poor performer in the brand’s color range. Yellow, which can be streaky and hard to work with, is excellently formulated here.

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  • Product: 30/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: This is a great shade for spring and summer. Especially in spring, because it reminds me that summer is near!

where to buy: Rescue Beauty Lounge

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Monday, February 21st, 2011

NARS Nana Lipgloss
NARS Nana Lipgloss

NARS Spring 2011: Nana

NARS Nana Lipgloss ($24.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a blackened plum that applies semi-opaque. It is still quite dark, but it is nowhere near as dark applied as it appears in the tube (which almost photographs black!). Though I really liked the color itself, and it gave a rather stained glass look to lips, it isn’t so easy to work with by itself. I would recommend layering it over a lipstick or lip liner in order to minimize the gloss settling into lip lines. I also found that if you touch your lips together at all, it really moved the gloss around and made it look blotchy.

my thoughts on the formula: The texture of this particular gloss felt so different from other NARS’ Lipglosses, it was rather sticky. It wasn’t thick like holiday’s Downtown, but I still found this gloss rather tacky, while other NARS glosses are non-sticky (and it is a trait that these lipglosses are known for). In the past, NARS glosses have had plastic-y smells, but I haven’t noticed this in the latest seasonal launches, including Nana.

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  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: If you don’t mind some prep work (like lip liner) or layering (over a lipstick), I think it’s a nice shade. It should suit both cooler and warmer skin tones, though it is naturally cool toned. It is a more high-maintenance kind of lip color, unfortunately!

where to buy: NARS

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Monday, February 21st, 2011

Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color Lipstick
Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color Lipstick: Bare Pink (9), Plum Rose (10), Rose Blossom (11), Heather Pink (12), Mod Pink (13)

Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color: Part 2

We’re back with the second set of five Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color SPF 12 ($22.00 for 0.12 oz.). These shades are officially described as: Bare Pink (beige), Plum Rose (rich plum), Rose Blossom (pink rose), Heather Pink (dusty rose), and Mod Pink (bright pink). The Rich Lip Color is new lipstick formula for spring (and being added to the permanent range). According to Bobbi Brown, these are “lightweight, yet intense” and have “a clear base to deliver pure, crisp color with just one swipe.” The formula is also “creamy and moisturizing.” (Be sure to check out part one.)

I’ve road tested three shades from the line-up specifically for wear: Bikini Pink, Soft Coral, Old Hollywood. The idea is to test for wear and to do so with shades with different intensities. Bikini Pink is the lightest, while Soft Coral lies in the middle, and Old Hollywood, being a red, was likely to last the longest. The lighter colors inevitably fade/last less than deeper shades, as deeper shades often stain, which is why I try to test from both ends of a spectrum when it comes to a new lipstick formula.

  • Bare Pink is a pink-tinged peach-beige with a creamy finish and soft shine. It remindedme of Guerlain’s Guerlinade, without the shimmer, and perhaps a touch darker. It is also lighter and less orange in compraison to Korres #34 Nude Guava.
  • Plum Rose is a plummy pink with a creamy finish and soft shine. It is similar to Hourglass Nocturnal, just a little less plum, along with Maybelline Bit of Berry (but also less plum).
  • Rose Blossom is a brighter plum pink–it is very similar to Plum Rose, but it’s a touch brighter. It is less plum in comparison to both Houglass Nocturnal and Maybelline Bit of Berry, but it is also brighter.
  • Heather Pink is a dusty, muted pink–a little beige-brown in it. It is a little pinker than Benefit Lala Land.
  • Mod Pink is a cool-toned, brighter medium pink with blue undertones. It is similar to Dolce & Gabbana Splendid and Lancome Pink Sapphire.

my thoughts on the formula: These are really comfortable to wear,with their semi-matte finishes, creamy but lightweight texture, and rich color coverage.  Every shade was opaque and needed very little product to achieve full color coverage.  They are also scent- and taste-free, which should appeal to some.  Wear was anywhere from four to six hours, with deeper shades like Old Hollywood lasting a full six and beginning to fade after that.  Lighter shades hung on for about four hours.

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

final thoughts: I actually really liked these; I love how pigmented they are, but they’re creamy without actually being creamy.  They have the feel, glide, and finish of creamier formulas, but there is very little slip and very little product is on the lips, giving a rather featherweight feel.  These colors do not have a full matte finish, but they still wear well–no clinging or seeping into lip lines.

where to buy: Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom

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Monday, February 21st, 2011

Estee Lauder Untamed Violet Eyeshadow
Estee Lauder Untamed Violet Eyeshadow

Estee Lauder Spring 2011: Untamed Violet

Estee Lauder Untamed Violet Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a new and limited edition shade of cool-toned violet with soft flecks of gold shimmer. It is part of Estee Lauder’s Wild Violet collection for spring. The shade itself should suit cool skin tones with ease, and warmer skin tones can make it work by pairing it with warmer shades.

my thoughts on the formula: Pure Color Eyeshadow is very soft and smooth but not powdery and has no fall out. With a nice level of pigmentation, the shadow is easy to work with.

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

final thoughts: It’s a lovely color with a silky texture that makes it blend when applied.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Sunday, February 20th, 2011


Quick Review: Milani Glamorous Gems

Milani Glamorous Gems Eyeshadow Palette ($8.99 for 0.32 oz.) includes six shades of eyeshadow, all coordinated and in thin, raised strips. They can be used wet or dry, but I found the color pay off too sheer to work with when used dry that I had to use them wet (all swatches are of them wet). I liked the colors in the palette and felt like they coordinated well with each other.

When you use them wet, the color pay off is decent for the first three shades and a little better for the bottom three shades. The palette contains a shimmery white, soft grassy green, teal-tinged forest green, pale yellow gold, softened copper, and bronze. The first three shades have a frostier finish, while the bottom three shades have more a metallic finish.  They all looked more intense in the palette than when swatched, though; most of the shades looked rather muted.

My biggest issue with the palette is actually the packaging/set-up. Each strip is very thin, so it can be difficult to maneuver your brush so that you only get one color–it’s very easy to pick up whatever shade is above or below. The shadows also break down very easily, so use a light touch or else you risk crumbling.

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  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 2/5

final thoughts: If these colors popped a little more swatched as they do in the pan, I think it could be a real winner.  I also wish these could be used dry–they just weren’t holding together for me when I tried to swatch (and later attempted to apply).

where to buy: Milani

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Saturday, February 19th, 2011

Video Review: China Glaze Crackle Glaze

Check out how it crackles in real-time! That’s probably a few minutes in, so skip forward if that’s all you want to see :)