Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Chanel SoHo de Chanel Highlighter & Blush
Chanel SoHo de Chanel Highlighter & Blush

Chanel SoHo Le Vernis: Should You?

Chanel SoHo de Chanel Highlighter & Blush ($65.00 for 0.45 oz.) is the star of the collection, is it not? It’s easily the prettiest, with the raised SoHo lettering and design of the powder. It has three distinct shades: rosy brown (it doesn’t read plum on me, though Chanel describes it as such), pale powder pink (but don’t expect to use that shade on its own–it’s such a thin strip!), and satiny pale white with subtle pink undertones (this is the highlighter). If you mix them altogether, the result is a lightly shimmered, glowy mix of muted rose.

Surprisingly, it swatches rather sheerly, but it applied much better with a blush brush on my cheeks–it was more pigmented than I anticipated (based on the subtler swatches). I actually loved the luminous sheen in the finish when they were swirled together–it’s glowy and rosy without being too pink. It is on the cooler side, but I think it still worked on my warmer skin tone, because it does have a touch of brown in it.

You could use the blush/highlighter shades separately if so desired, as both pieces are large enough to do so. The highlighter has such a fine sheen that I could see it being dusted all over as a finishing powder.  Overall, the powder applied really smoothly and evenly, and it was a cinch to blend out.

At $65, it’s not exactly a necessity item, but Chanel packed a surprising amount of product into this compact–a whopping 0.45 oz.–as compared to their blushes which weigh in at a mere 0.14 oz. By the ounce, it’s cheaper than NARS, can you believe it? This is one of those rare moments in beauty where I’m awarding Chanel 10/10 on value!

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

RECOMMENDATION: Chanel collectors should be pleased with the way SoHo looks and feels but also how smoothly it applies. For those less motivated by the brand itself, if you pick it up, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed–but don’t sell a kidney for it or anything!

AVAILABILITY: Chanel

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Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Chanel Steel Le Vernis
Chanel Steel Le Vernis

Chanel SoHo Le Vernis: Should You?

From Chanel’s exclusive and limited edition SoHo Story, we have two new and limited edition shades of polish. I am a fan of Chanel’s polish–I have no issues with wear or the formula (typically), and I think they often create unique, inspiring shades. Each retails for $25, and last I checked, were still available online.

  • Steel is a charcoal gray-black with silvery gray micro-shimmer. When the flash fired, it also illuminated flashes of teal, violet, and green micro-shimmer, but I really didn’t see the effect of these in natural light. It reminded me of a subtler, more micro-shimmered version of Nubar Night Sky (which is also matte). This doesn’t seem like an overly unique shade, and though I can’t name any other specific dupes, my stash and archives aren’t as exhaustive as I’d like for dupe-finding purposes. Two coats.
  • Strong is a deep, dark burgundy-brown with brighter burgundy micro-shimmer. Like Steel, when the flash fired, flecks of copper, amber, and burgundy micro-shimmer were noticeable. I feel like I’ve seen this shade before, but after half an hour of going through my photos, I couldn’t find anything.

The formula on these was consistent with Chanel overall–on the thicker side but very pigmented. I included a photo of Strong with only one coat to show you just how intense the color is. I still find that I can never get away with just one coat and always go for a second. Though I like both shades, they don’t inspire me as much as other past shades have (like the recent Paradoxal).

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: The formula was smooth and easy to apply with plenty of pigmentation. I’m not sold on these being over-the-top unique as many Chanel shades often are, though.

AVAILABILITY: Chanel

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Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Video Review:  Urban Decay Deluxe Eyeshadow, Eyeshadow, & Lipstick

This is a video review of a few of Urban Decay’s permanent products — their regular, circular eyeshadows, deluxe eyeshadows, and a few lipsticks.  I’ve reviewed these products before on the blog (though not these shades!), and I will be doing full write-ups of these products individually over the next couple of months, but if you can’t wait, this video should help you!  I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010


Body Luxury with Kate Somerville

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Body Intensive Exfoliating Treatment ($65.00 for 5 oz.) is an enzyme-based scrub that utilizes both papaya and pumpkin enzymes as well as beads to exfoliate away dead skin.  According to Kate Somerville, the enzymes “digest dead skin cells” while the beads “buff them away.”  The visual I get of enzymes digesting dead skin is partially gross… and yet hilarious.  Moving on!

I love me some ExfoliKate (for the face), and I like ExfoliKate Body, but I don’t think I’d repurchase it at full price.  I picked up mine through Gilt, when they had a sale, so I think I paid around $40.   What I like most about ExfoliKate Body is how it seemed to help moisturize my skin post-shower.  By no means is this a replacement for a moisturizer (unless you have pretty hydrated skin already, then perhaps it might)–on my dragon-scale legs, it just helps.  They also feel ridiculously soft and smooth and stay that way for a few hours, even without moisturizer.

Ingredients:  Water, Lactic Acid, Polyethylene, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Pectin, Carica Papaya Fruit, Lactobacillus/Cucurbita Pepo Fruit, Ferment Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Papain, Bromelain, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Mel, Acetic Acid, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Geranium Maculatum Oil, Pogostemon Cablin Oil, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Cinnamomum Cassia Leaf Oil, Salicylic Acid, Dehydroxanthan Gum, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cinnamal, Potassium Sorbate, Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Citral, Limonene, Linalool, Geraniol, Citronellol, Cinnamal, Eugenol, Benzyl Benzoate, Beta-Carotene (CI 75130), Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex (CI 75810).

The product is easy to apply but the process of application is not my cup of tea.  Just like ExfoliKate for face, this is a product that is supposed to sit on skin for a couple of minutes.  I don’t know about you, but this means I have to step to the back of the shower and just stand there, out of the spray, and well, it’s not as convenient.  I also feel like I’m wasting a ton of water, since I’m not enjoying it and it’s going right down the drain.

It’s a good product, but I don’t know if it’s that much better than so many other body scrubs and exfoliators.  Seeing how my body doesn’t seem all that particular or reactive to scrubs in general, shelling out for this one is probably not the way to go.  I’m more apt to spend more for good facial care, which is an area of skin that seems more finicky.


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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: A lovely exfoliating scrub that relies more on enzymes and lactic acid to slough off dead skin, rather than scrubby particles, but it is an indulgence.  Certainly worth trying if you don’t mind the price tag, but it’s not so above the rest that it’s necessarily worth saving up for.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Rescue Beauty Lounge:  Scrangie, Under the Stars, Black Russian
Rescue Beauty Lounge: Scrangie, Under the Stars, Black Russian

The $18 Splurge for Nail Fanatics

Rescue Beauty Lounge Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is a formula that always hits the right notes. It’s never thick, clumpy, or streaky–application is incredibly easy with a flawless, smooth finish in two coats (on average). Lasts a full week for me (that’s about as long as I wear a single shade) without chipping.

  • Scrangie is a pinky-purple base with stronger pink-red undertones that goes almost blue-violet from the flashes of blue and green shimmer. It almost has a duochrome effect! I’m such a sucker for anything remotely duochrome. This shade is named after Scrangie, a nail blogger, and it is inspired by the a beetle’s wings. Two coats.
  • Under the Stars is a blackened navy blue base with lighter blue micro-glitter pieces and blue shimmer strewn through its base. It’s unusual in the way it has this mixture of a cosmicly lit-up background and then more obvious specks of glitter, too. The name is quite fitting. Two coats.
  • Black Russian is a blackened brown-red base with flecks of glowing red glitter. The effect is similar to Under the Stars, but the “background” shimmer is much, much finer–it’s almost like a muted burgundy so it doesn’t come across as much as it does in Under the Stars. Two coats.

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: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: There are certainly worth the splurge, because the formula is tops–but they are a splurge.

AVAILABILITY: Rescue Beauty Lounge

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Tuesday, September 14th, 2010


Stila Smudge Stick Eyeliner: Stingray, Peacock, Koi

When Quality Beats Quantity: Stila Smudge Sticks

Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner Lionfish ($20.00 for 0.01 oz.) is a twist-up waterproof eyeliner available in eight shades: Blue Ribbon (slate blue sheen), Lionfish (deep bronze sheen), Moray (golden olive sheen), Purple Tang (dark purple sheen), Silver Dollar (metallic silver), Stingray (jet black), Peacock (vibrant teal sheen), and Koi (metallic gold).

Ever since learning that twist-up eyeliners give you such a TINY amount of product (the average is about 0.01 oz., can you believe it?), it’s been painful to find myself gravitating towards any of them. Stila’s Smudge Sticks are incredibly creamy, rich in color, and apply like butter on the water line or lash line. Their vibrancy is what really makes them worth checking out, because it doesn’t take much product to get an opaque line.  It’s also soft enough to apply gently to the lash line without tugging, but it’s not so soft that it just melts onto the lash line.

  • Stingray is a deep, dark black with a little sheen.
  • Peacock is a aqua-blue with a slight metallic sheen; it’s not really the teal I imagined of the shade–much bluer.
  • Koi is a metallic medium gold–very high sheen.

My experience wearing these has been fairly positive; they really stay put on  my lash line, even after twelve hours.  They’re budgeproof, smudgeproof, and waterproof, but I find if I apply it to my water line, I do get some irritation (which may just be my sensitivity) and it does seem to slide off after two or three hours.  I don’t really feel the irritation, but when I look in the mirror, my eyes are redder than usual.  So I’ll probably stick to wearing it just on the lower lash line rather than the water line (even though it lasts so well in comparison to most eyeliners), because red-tinged eyes are way un-sexy.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’ve had trouble with eyeliner staying put and feel as if you’ve exhausted all of your options, Stila’s Smudge Sticks just might do the trick.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora, Stila

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