Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

MAC Media Lipstick

The Sultry Season: MAC Media Lipstick

MAC Media Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) is a deep, dark red wine.  This is a shade that also works particularly well as a lip stain–just layer a little on, blot, and then dab a touch of clear gloss on top and voila.   For a satin finish, Media is very… lustre-like.  It has that slicker feel of a lustre finish lipstick, but it also has the look of one.  I do find that Media settles into my lip lines more than I’d like, though.

Is this the right wine for you? Would you wear it?

The Sultry Season is a series of posts featuring deep, rich shades of brown, berry, plum, and wine lipsticks and lipglosses — just right for autumn — that runs through October 2010.

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Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Smashbox Golden Nude Photo Finish Lid Primer
Smashbox Golden Nude Photo Finish Lid Primer

Smashbox Photo Finish — Maybe for Face, Not for Eyes

Smashbox Golden Nude Photo Finish Lid Primer ($20.00 for 0.08 oz.) is a shimmering peach-gold colored eyeshadow primer. Smashbox says you can use this alone as a wash, lid corrector, or as a base underneath your eyeshadows.

This is a product that looks pretty when swatched, but it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do at all.  Despite being on the drying side, it creases within a few hours.  Whether worn alone or as an eyeshadow base, this primer left my makeup in ruins by the third hour.  The darker color of this particular shade makes it better as an all-over wash than an eyeshadow base, because it tends to eat color and be fussy when it comes to blending shadows on top of it.

I tried it three times, and I just gave up on it–I couldn’t get it to stay put whatsoever!  I liked how opaque it was, and I could see that it would be useful in camouflaging imperfections on the lid, but it’s such a shame that you’ll have raisin-like lids before the end of the day.  The best use from this, after all that, is as a brow highlighter–incredibly sheered out, but even that is a stretch if you don’t have a medium skin tone with warmer undertones.

I’m also disappointed in the amount you get.  Most primers are around 0.30 oz., but Smashbox is two-thirds less and just as expensive.  I feel like Smashbox really phoned it in with this one!  But keep in mind that like any review, it’s based on my experience–which involves my skin, my face, etc., so if this is a product that worked for you, I’m more than happy it did.  I’d always rather a product work amazing for you than anything else.

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  • Product: 15/30
  • Value: 5/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: For a brand that has such a popular face primer, it’s disappointing that their lid primer completely misses the mark.

AVAILABILITY: Beauty.com

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Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Cle de Peau T3 Extra Rich Lipstick
Cle de Peau T3 Extra Rich Lipstick

Cle de Peau Baby Julia (T3) Extra Rich Lipstick ($60.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a very subtly rose-tinted nude. It goes on opaque in just one layer, and it makes lips look very full. It has ultra fine white/soft gold shimmer and a slightly glossy finish. It borders on cool, but it’s almost neutral, so it’s a shade that will work across a wide range of skin tones.

The Extra Rich Lipsticks are absolutely a luxury item; they are head to toe decadence. The texture is incredibly smooth and creamy without being slippery or heavy. It imparts a nice level of moisture on lips and never feels drying. The formula also de-emphasizes lip lines after about fifteen minutes of wear.

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: Not only is this a product I’d recommend trying before buying, but it is all about finding a shade that really wows you. It’s that perfect, just-for-you shade that makes this lipstick worth its hefty price tag. Or if you’re in the mood for an indulgence!

AVAILABILITY: Saks

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Monday, August 9th, 2010

Sephora Eyelash Curler
Sephora Eyelash Curler

Sephora Eyelash Curler ($16.00) is a metal eyelash curler that comes with two replacement curling pads.  It does a good job of curling lashes without pinching or pulling, but shu’s curler ($19) still pulls ahead for me–and at the price tag, I’m not sold on Sephora’s. The biggest advantage that this curler has is that it has two replacement pads, as opposed to the one that shu comes with.

The curling pad seems a little thick on Sephora’s curler, which actually makes it easier to get a soft curled lash and no crimping or dreaded L-shape lashes.  But it doesn’t get as defined and as big of a curl because of it as well.  The padding on the handles is also a bit thick, so those with larger fingers may find it a little awkward to grip, because their fingers don’t quite fit in them.

Again, it does a good job–it curls softly, easily, and it doesn’t pinch or pull.  You never have to worry about getting bent lashes, either, because the pad makes it a breeze to get that soft curled look.  It just doesn’t give me the same amount of curl as my beloved shu curler does.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’ve found that other eyelash curlers have pulled or pinched, the thicker padding on Sephora’s curler might work better for you.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Monday, August 9th, 2010

Tarte Lock & Roll Eyeshadow
Tarte Lock & Roll Eyeshadow: Bronze & Moss

Eyeshadow that lasts and lasts and lasts…

Tarte Lock & Roll Eyeshadow ($17.00 for 0.14 oz./cream, 0.05 oz./loose) is a dual-ended eyeshadow product that has a cream eyeshadow on one side and loose eyeshadow on the other.

  • Bronze contains a loose, dirtied brown with a gray cast and green and gold shimmer, while the creamy side is a richer, more bronzy brown. When layered, it gives the loose shade a darker appearance with a smoother finish. Color-wise, it takes on much of the loose shade’s color rather than the cream ‘s color.
  • Moss contains a loose olive green with a green-gold sheen, while the creamy side is a cooler, darker green with subtler olive tones. When layered, the two create a slightly deepened yellowed olive green with a smoother finish.

If you have trouble with products staying on your lids without creasing or fading, you might want to try out Tarte’s Lock & Roll Eyeshadows–these don’t budge for nothing on my lids.  The cream is as budge- and smudge-proof worn alone as it is underneath the loose eyeshadow.  You can sheer out the cream shade for more of an all-over wash on the lids, or you can use it in its opaque form and layer on an eyeshadow.  I do find that loose shades seem to apply best over these.

The cream formula is really more of a liquid than a cream to me; it’s rather thin and almost runny but surprisingly pigmented and applies quite opaque.  Both the cream/liquid and the loose shades have a shimmery finish, with the cream side having a slightly metallic finish, too. Since both of the shades I tested out are on the darker side, lighter shades do tend to get eaten up, so it may take some packing to really lighten it up if that’s what you’re going for.  (There are, however, several lighter shades, too, for those who prefer softer looks.)

The packaging is functional, but the rollerball on my lid took a few tries to really get it down–the learning curve isn’t bad, though, but I recommend trying it once or twice before any big events!  The loose eyeshadow does go on very smoothly with the rollerball applicator, though (which I was surprised by!).

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you have incredibly oily lids, the creamy shadow makes an excellent base that just doesn’t move!

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Monday, August 9th, 2010

Burberry Union Red Lipstick
Burberry Union Red Lipstick

Burberry Union Red (17) Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.13 oz.) is an orange-based red lipstick with a subtle shine and nearly imperceptible shimmer.  It’s opaque in just one layer, and it wears comfortably on lips, as it feels lightweight and smooth.  With these deeper red shades from Burberry, I get about four hours of wear and then some staining for another hour or two.   It is scented with a rose-ish kind of scent that doesn’t bother me (nor does it linger on lips, just in the tube), but those with more sensitive noses may want to try before they buy.

The lipstick is embellished with the brand’s check pattern, and the packaging itself is a gunmetal square with a magnetic enclosure.  When you slip the case back on, it automatically twists into place and clicks together (very fun to play around with!).  You get a good amount (lipsticks average around 0.12 oz.), and the price is in line with other designer high-end brands.

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you like creamy, rich shades of red that lean a little orange, Union Red might be something right up your alley. I like orange-reds best on warmer skin tones, but this one doesn’t lean too orange, so it can definitely be worn by those with cooler skin tones as well.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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