Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

COVERGIRL LiquilineBlast Eyeliner
LiquilineBlast: Brown Blaze, Blue Boom, Silver Spark, Green Glow, Violet Voltage

Urban Decay Dupe?  Not Quite, But Close

COVERGIRL LiquilineBlast ($7.99 for 0.033 oz.) are touted to give you the “intensity and styaing power of a liquid with the ease and blendability of a waterproof pencil.” It also comes with a smudger on one end. There are six shades in all, and the one I don’t have to review here is Blackfire–will try to get my hands on it for a review soon.

  • Brown Blaze is a dark neutral-toned brown.
  • Blue Boom is a bright medium blue with a satin-y shimmer finish.
  • Silver Spark is a dark charcoal gray with silver flecks of shimmer-glitter.
  • Green Glow is a bright pop of chatreuse green with yellow shimmer-sheen.
  • Violet Voltage is a red-toned purple–very eggplant-y.

I really do like these, even if they don’t do quite as good of a job as some of my favorite high-end eyeliners (Make Up For Ever, Urban Decay). My favorite shades were Blue Boom and Green Glow, which I’m sure doesn’t come as a surprise!

The LiquilineBlasts have a very smooth, soft feel when used, and they do glide very well across the lid/lash line. However, they aren’t incredibly pigmented–you can layer it on to get more of that opaque, intense liner look, though, but it’s not one-stroke color here. It’s also better if you apply in the same direction, even in layers, because it keeps it from smearing/sheering out.

These excel in the wear department, though — I had no trouble with these lasting all day without smudging, budging, or migrating. They stay tacky enough to be smudged for about a minute or two, but they seem to set quite well after that. It’s a shame that the pigmentation is a little low, because these could have been a great affordable alternative to Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liners–they’re a good one, but they’re just not a perfect substitute.  I would also say these felt softer than Urban Decay’s liners.

But I really love Green Glow — I only have a liquid liner in this color, and I am very much an eyeliner fiend, so whenever I come across a shade I don’t quite have, it’s hard not to fall in love.

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

RECOMMENDATION: I really like these, and with their lower price tag, it might be worth looking into as long as you don’t mind a little layering to get it to be true-to-color. They wear well and long, which is the most important aspect of any eyeliner, in my eyes … or rather, on my eyes… Ha!

AVAILABILITY: Ulta

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Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Tom Ford Oud Wood
Tom Ford Oud Wood

Tom Ford Oud Wood ($180.00 for 1.7 oz.) is described as, “[a]n exotic rosewood and cardamom, blended with exuberant Chinese pepper, envelop the wearer in warmth … the center … a smokey blend of rare oud wood, sandalwood and vetiver … scents of tonka bean, vanilla and amber are revealed.”

When Oud Wood first explodes, it’s a spicy, smoky aroma with a heady mix of rosewood and cardamom. It’s a deep and dark with a certain sharpness. It’s a bit like incense burning in the background with the strength of the rosewood coming through with a certain peppered woodiness.

Oud Wood does not remain spicy, though, as it is enveloped by the scent of an ambered sandalwood peeking through with an underlying touch of vetiver. There’s still a lingering of smoke, but it’s musky, sultry, and delectably woody. It smells luxe–rich and earthy–and reminds me a little of what sexiness might embody if it were a scent (to me).

Finally, Oud Wood dries down and becomes a seductive mix of amber and vanilla with a lingering hint woodiness. The vanilla doesn’t bring in any sweetness–it is just a bit of warmth cloaking the amber and sandalwood.

I like scents that are musky and woody and maybe a little on the masculine side. Oud Wood is exactly a scent that I would gravitate towards. I’m particularly pleased that when I dab it on my wrists, I can smell it twelve hours later. It’s certainly subtler by hour twelve than it was at hour six, but it’s noticeably there. Even when I wake up, there’s a faint bit of Oud Wood still kissing my wrists (that makes it twenty-fours!). Again, it gradually fades, but I’d say it gave me great wear for ten hours or so. However, wear time may be affected by body chemistry.  The only thing I can warn you about is the price tag, which is steep.

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Monday, July 19th, 2010

NARS Strawberry Fields Lip Gloss
NARS Strawberry Fields Lip Gloss

Who knew NARS could do opaque lipgloss?

NARS Strawberry Fields Lip Gloss ($24.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a richly pigmented, near-opaque shade of deep strawberry pink (but I almost want to call it raspberry–the product name makes me want to stay on track, though). It’s the most pigmented lip gloss I’ve ever tried by NARS–and I’m really quite (pleasantly) surprised by it.

Of course, not every lip gloss needs to be opaque, and there is certainly a time and place for even the sheerest glosses. I’ve just come to accept that NARS glosses are generally sheer and that’s that. Strawberry Fields is a dominating shade in comparison to the NARS range. It’s bold and bright without being too much; it will give your lips definition and zero in the focus to them, but it’s not a traffic-stopping shade.

I got about three hours of wear this shade, and then a slight stain that wore on for another hour or two. It was scent- and taste-free (not even a hint of waxiness/plastic!). I do like NARS glosses for their moisturizing properties, too. Though $24 may seem steep for a lip gloss, NARS delivers much more than the average lip gloss does–0.28 oz.–which makes them as expensive (by the ounce) as MAC lipglasses.

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

RECOMMENDATION: NARS is really stepping it up with their fall collection from the select pieces I’ve tried so far. If you dig opaque lip glosses and have been looking for something in a deep pink shade, Strawberry Fields may be something to check out.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

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Monday, July 19th, 2010

NARS Rajasthan Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Rajasthan Eyeshadow Duo

Prettiest NARS Eyeshadow Duo? Perhaps!

NARS Rajasthan Eyeshadow Duo ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a stunning mix of golden taupe brown and smoky peacock blue. I’m not always a huge fan of NARS eyeshadows, to be honest–I’ve had a lot of misses, particularly with their singles in the past few seasonal collections–but Rajasthan blew me away. It is such a gorgeous duo that’s wearable and so perfect for fall. I love that it’s not a smoky plum but a charcoal black smoked out base with layers of metallic and navy blue all woven together. It may look a little on the cooler side, but warmer beauties will have no problem turning this into something lovely on the eyes.

The pigmentation is spot-on–it looks just like it does in the pan–while the texture is exactly what you’d expect from NARS: smooth and buttery. NARS’ eyeshadow duos are always a better value than their eyeshadow singles–you get twice as much for only $9 more.

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

RECOMMENDATION: This is a must-have in my book. The pigmentation and texture are exactly where they should be, and the colors are incredibly wearable for both cooler and warmer as well as lighter and deeper skin tones.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

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Sunday, July 18th, 2010

China Glaze Awakening Collection
China Glaze Nail Lacquer: Zombie Zest, Mummy May I, Ick-a-bod-y

China Glaze Awakening Collection for Fall 2010

To get in you in the Halloween spirit, China Glaze’s Awakening Collection contains three spook-tacular shades–Zombie Zest (mossy green shade with gold flecks of migro glitter), Mummy May I (vampy, wine colored purple with flecks of hot pink glitter), and Ick-a-bod-y (dark green base chock full of orange glitter). Come September, expect to see the full display at Sally’s Beauty Supply Stores, while a four-piece set (which includes the three shades plus a Fast forward Top Coat) at all other beauty and nail supply outlets, stores, and e-tailers.

  • Zombie Zest is a yellow-tinged green brown base with darkened chartreuse and emerald green micro glitter. I found I needed three coats to get an opaque look. This shade felt smooth to the touch, similar to most other polishes, while the other two shades dried with a more obvious glitter feel.
  • Mummy May I is a deep black-purple base with fuchsia pink glitter. It took about two coats to go opaque, and the formula itself was on the thicker side but did not feel unmanageable. You will definitely need a thicker top coat so you don’t feel the glitter on the surface.
  • Ick-a-bod-y is a blackened brown color base with lots of bright orange and copper glitter. It is much, much more glittery than Mummy May I, which has sparse glitter. I needed two coats here, and again, it will dry gritty without a thick top coat on top.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: As long as you don’t mind using a thicker top coat, Mummy May I and Ick-a-bod-y are both fun shades for Halloween. Zombie Zest is my favorite, just because it isn’t necessarily a pretty shade at first glance but looks quite lovely on.

AVAILABILITY: September 2010

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Sunday, July 18th, 2010

Guerlain Galante Rouge G Lipstick
Guerlain Galante Rouge G Lipstick

Ahh, Rouge G — I Still Love You

Guerlain Galante (09) Rouge G Lipstick ($46.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a slightly brown-tinged, plum-kissed pink. Sephora describes it as a “rosy plum,” and I see the plum, but I also feel like you can’t not say there’s some brown in there, too. It’s a shade that’s difficult to describe. Not that that really matters, because it’s such a beautiful shade.

Every time I apply one of the Rouge Gs, I am reminded of how amazing the formula is. It’s soft, smooth, and moisturizing while delivering rich color in a whole slew of universally flattering shades. Galante has this subtle light rose pink micro-shimmer that dazzles and shimmers in the light in such a lovely way. I love the way they feel and wear–I get anywhere from three to six hours, depending on the shade. With a shade like this, I usually hit the four or five hour mark.

Guerlain’s Rouge Gs are scented with fragrance, so if you’re sensitive to scents, you may want to stop by and give it a whiff before committing $46 to it. I don’t notice it when I wear it, only when I smell the tube itself, but I’m not bothered by it either way. I still have a secret wish that they made the Rouge G formula available without the fancy case (which is truly fancy with its substantial weighty feel and flip mirror), just so the price wouldn’t be as high.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: This is one of my favorite shades of Rouge G — it’s so flattering without being neither bold nor subtle!

AVAILABILITY: Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Sephora

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