Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

MAC Golden Lariat Mineralize Skinfinish
MAC Golden Lariat Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC Wonder Woman: Golden Lariat Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC GOLDEN LARIAT MINERALIZE SKINFINISH ($35.00 for 0.70 oz.) is a super-mega-jumbo-sized tri-colored mineralize skinfinish. MAC describes the colors as true coral with fine gold shimmer, soft suntanned bronze, and soft gold with fine shimmer.

The oversize mineralize skinfinish does allow for easy use of each color individually, and I could see mixing and matching, though they’re wearable on an individual level. The way I looked at these mineralize skinfinishes was they included a “highlighter” shade, “bronzing” shdae, and “blushing” shade.

There is a yellowed gold with pale white-gold shimmer that seems best used as a highlighter (virtually colorless when applied with a blush on my medium skin tone), while the middle shade is a reddened brown with a pearly sheen and seems more appropriate for bronzing (should work nicely on darker skin tones in particular). The final shade is a lightened rusted orange with pale gold shimmer and sheen; it’s less shimmery than the “highlighter” but more pigmented and does best as a blush–too much color to highlight, too orange to bronze.

my thoughts on the formula: Mineralize Skinfinishes can be used for a variety of things–from blush to bronzer to highlighter. The way you use it depends on your skin tone, how pigmented the particular shade of mineralize skinfinish is, the texture, and what you want to use it for. These are baked products, so they can be used wet or dry without fear of ruining the product. The texture is soft, but the fineness of the shimmer depends on the individual shade. Stippling brushes like the 187 and 188 are ideal for applying mineralize skinfinishes.

Normally, mineralize skinfinishes retail for $28 (0.35 oz.), so this is double the size for $7 more. To put it simply, you’re paying $50/oz. rather than $80/oz. Whether you’ll ever use all whopping 0.70 oz. of it depends on you! It does feel huge, though, and the size makes it less convenient to tote around in your bag or makeup bag. I also think that for its gigantic-size, I would have loved to see a mirror included.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 10/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

final thoughts: I like this best for warmer, more golden complexions. It reminded me somewhat of Cheeky Bronze Mineralize Skinfinish, because of the orange-y pull of the shades.  I think this product is good but not great–keep in mind that ultimately the value metric boosts up the overall rating of this product.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011


MAC Wonder Woman Packaging

MAC Wonder Woman: Stay Tuned!

I’ve been working non-stop (so hungry!) since these arrived (10AM) and hopefully will start on writing up reviews in the next hour.  Thank you for your patience in advance!

MAC Wonder Woman will be available in-stores on February 10th, 2011 (North America) and March 2011 (International). It will be online approximately February 8th, possibly as early as the 7th. Many stores are holding unveilings on February 1st–call your local store to ask (or ask if they know of any in your area) to RSVP.

See more packaging photos! Continue reading →

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

NYX Brown Sugar Lipstick
NYX Brown Sugar Lipstick

The Sultry Season: NYX Brown Sugar Lipstick

NYX Brown Sugar Round Lipstick ($4.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a rich bronzy, reddened brown with copper shimmer.  It has opaque color coverage with a frosted finish, so it is less creamy than some other NYX Round Lipsticks I’ve tried, but on the plus side, lasts for four hours as compared to my usual two to three.

my thoughts on the formula: NYX Round Lipsticks are really creamy and generally opaque in color. The texture and shade range are great. However, the scent of them can run from waxy to synthetic sweetness (neither are particularly pleasant)–and sometimes they smell like nothing at all.  I typically get two to three hours of wear.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: If you tend to stay away from brown lipsticks for fear of wearing a more dated shade, this copper-shimmered brown is a modern take on a classic look.

where to buy: NYX

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Smashbox Heather Soft Focus Powder Eye Liner
Smashbox Heather Soft Focus Powder Eye Liner

Smashbox Spring 2011: Heather

Smashbox Heather Soft Focus Powder Eye Liner ($22.00 for 0.025 oz.) is a soft brownish-gray. It’s new and limited edition for spring, but it is a powder eyeliner to create a “soft, smoldering look.” It delivers on the softer color, and it will draw in a nice line, but it leaves product everywhere.

The photo above was not intended to be artsy, but upon opening it for the first time, it dropped that much product onto my desk. Now, imagine that on your face–because that’s exactly what I ended up with when I tried applying this for the first time (my carpet is less than pleased). At a mere 0.025 oz. of product, I’m not exactly sure one wants to deal with any wasted product–even by wiping excess on a tissue.

Aside from the packaging woes, application worked out well, and I liked the softer lined look it yielded. I think those who find gel eyeliner too crisp and stark would enjoy a powder liner like this. Unfortunately, it only wore four hours before it started to flake.

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

  • Product: 21/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 2/5

final thoughts: Between the messy packaging and below average wear, it just didn’t work out.

where to buy: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Guerlain Rose Desir Rouge G Lipstick
Guerlain Rose Desir Rouge G Lipstick

Guerlain Spring 2011: Rose Desir

Guerlain Rose Desir (71) Rouge G Lipstick ($47.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a soft rosy pink with pale pink and white shimmer. It has a slightly glossy finish and semi-opaque color. It has a little milkiness to the base color. This particular shade is new and limited edition for spring and comes in special edition black lacquered packaging. (You can see the black lacquered packaging here.)  It actually feels a bit more like the Rouge G Brilliant formula than the typical Rouge G–not quite as opaque, still very emollient and creamy but not as long-wearing.

my thoughts on the formula: Long-time readers will know that Guerlain’s Rouge G formula is one of my absolute favorite lipsticks, so I always look forward to new and seasonal shade releases. Rouge G colors have certain nuances to them just seem to make them more flattering when worn. The formula is moisturizing, long-wearing (four to six hours), and comfortable to wear–never heavy but generally opaque in color. I’m still crossing my fingers for refills, because as elegant as the case is, so much of the price must be attributed to it, and it would be nice to be able to reuse it.

The one thing I noticed about these is though the weight feels the same (we actually whipped out the scale, it was a 0.06 oz. lighter), the magnet enclosure seemed slightly weaker. If you throw ‘em around, the black lacquered case’s lid will fall off easier than the metal one (which also slips off if you put it through the tests we did, haha). I carried one in my purse all day, though, and it was fine.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: It’s a beautiful springtime pink, and though I don’t have a laundry list of dupes for this exact shade, there are enough springy pinks that you could pass on this shade if you only want to save your $47 for the most unique of the Rouge G line-up.  This shade will work for warm and cooler skin tones.

where to buy: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Philosophy Crispy Marshmallow Bars 3-in-1 Shower Gel
Philosophy Crispy Marshmallow 3-in-1 Shower Gel

Anyone for a rice krispie treat?

Philosophy Crispy Marshmallow Bars 3-in-1 Shower Gel ($16.00 for 16 oz.) is a sugary-sweet confection of rich, decadent creamy and vanilla and butter.  It is a definite food scent, and if you aren’t into sweet scents, pass on this particular version of the 3-in-1 Shower Gel.

my thoughts on the formula: Philosophy Shower Gels are one of my personal favorites for body washes, because they come in an assortment of scents, with new ones each season. They lather up well and leave skin feeling clean without any tightness or dryness. I wouldn’t call these a moisturizing body wash nor do their scents linger. If you prefer your body wash to leave behind a long-lasting scent, these won’t be for you, but if you like to enjoy the scent while you shower but don’t want it to linger beyond, then these are perfect. (I belong to the latter category!) I don’t find them to lather quite as well in the hair, and they work in a pinch to clean hair, but I prefer many other shampoos over this one. It does, however, work well as a bubble bath, too–a little goes a long way.

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

final thoughts: If you love the scent of rice krispie treats, you’ll adore this!

where to buy: Philosophy