Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

LORAC Multiplex Lipgloss
LORAC Multiplex Lipgloss: Intermix, Cliche

Move Over Dazzleglass!

LORAC Multiplex 3D Lip Gloss ($22.00 for 0.17 oz.) is an ultra shimmering, light-reflecting non-sticky lipgloss that gives MAC’s Dazzleglass a run for its money. Giving you nearly three times as much product for $4 more, Multiplex just might dazzle your socks off.

It has a lightweight feel with just the right level of thickness–it’s not so thin that you need to keep going back for more, but it’s not so thick that it feels gooey. There’s no tackiness either, but despite the non-sticky feel, it still lasts a good two to three hours on me–which is average to a little above average for me. A lot of the non-sticky glosses I try tend to disappear in an hour’s time, which I definitely find frustrating.

These glosses are also moisturizing–they don’t dry out lips, even when worn alone, and in fact, my lips feel pretty good after wearing one for several hours. There is a very faint sweetly citrus scent, but I had a tough time detecting it enough to settle on a descriptor for it. Packaging is so-so — it looks cute, but it feels a little cheap in my hand. Not super cheap, but it doesn’t feel as nice as Dazzleglass.

  • Cliche is a semi-sheer fuchsia pink. It has a very sheer, pale pink base, but it’s full of fuchsia and iridescent shimmer that it gives it a much fuller coverage look.
  • Intermix is a browned nude base with peach-copper shimmer and sheen. I think this would be a really flattering everyday shade for those with warmer skin tones.

According to LORAC, the glosses contain holographic pigments, which is where the dazzling, shimmering, and glistening comes in. They have this rich, glossy sheen mixed with flashes of iridescence and lots of microshimmer. It doesn’t feel like shimmer or glitter, so even when it fades, it’s not gritty. The way the shimmer works is that it almost delivers the color of the lipgloss, rather than the gloss itself. Very cool!

I really loved this gloss–great texture, look, and feel–and I hope LORAC will release many more shades in the future.

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 love the way MAC Dazzleglass shimmers and shines but find yourself running through a tube too quickly, Multiplex offers the fun, shimmering, dazzling look with a non-sticky, lightweight texture with more pigmentation to boot!

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Stript

Going Brazilian @ Stript

Last week, I had my first-ever waxing experience (of any body part), and I just took the bull by its horns and had a Brazilian done. I went to Stript Wax Bar. Stript is owned by the lovely, puts-you-right-at-comfort Katherine Goldman, a local Bay Area esthetician. Stript is all about waxing, whether it’s brows, legs, or down under for ladies AND gents. They have three locations: San Francisco, Oakland, and Palo Alto. I visited their Palo Alto location near Stanford University for an appointment with Katherine, and I was so impressed by the service, I immediately booked my maintenance appointment for four weeks out!

First up, a quick Q&A session with Katherine on some of those first-time waxer questions I had to get answers on before I went under the… wax.  Then, a more detailed rundown of the experience itself–but let me just say getting my upper lip threaded was 10x more painful than getting a Brazilian. Continue reading →

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

NARS Cadaques Multiple=
NARS Cadaques Multiple Tint

Perfect for Perfect Skin

NARS Cadaques Multiple Tint ($38 for 0.52 oz.) is a fantastic barely-there flush if you have naturally lovely skin.  If your skin has enough imperfections where you tend to use foundation or powder for coverage, the new Multiple Tints just don’t seem to be worthwhile. I swatched all three of the Multiple Tints at Nordstrom a few weeks ago, but I also tested Cadaques at home.

The staying power of Cadaques is excellent–really lasts all day and then some.  It’s not heavy or greasy once it finally dries down, but it took at least fifteen minutes before it seemed to settle on the skin.  I experienced this issue with drying when I swatched them on my arm, too–imagine holding your arm away from your beige shirt for twenty minutes!  Personally, this is a total deal-breaker for me, because the last thing I want to do is add another fifteen minutes to my makeup routine.

It layers best directly onto skin, and the best application method is straight from the tube, because the product is very sheer.  It gave my medium skin a nice, subtle flush without a fuss, but it did not seem to be buildable other than that initial flush.   The application wasn’t as smooth or as even when applied over foundation (even liquid), and it seemed kind of gross (to me) to smear the stick on top of foundation, too.

This is kind of where the perfect skin bit kicks in — it’s best on natural skin, but it’s so subtle, layering foundation on top, even lightly, nearly covers up all the blush.  I also found that the staying power definitely lived up to expectations when applied directly to skin, but on top of foundation, it seemed to fade by mid-day.  It really is just better over the skin rather than over foundation.  If you rock the no-foundation look often and like gel-like blushes, I think the Multiple Tints may be up your alley.

I found the texture of them to be almost watery/slippery on the surface, even though they’re completely solid.  You get plenty of product, but these are actually incredibly reminiscent of Tarte’s Cheek Stains ($30 for 1 oz. — nearly double the product for a little less).  The subtle raspberry pink of Cadaques will complement cooler skin tones beautifully, but it is not so cool that it doesn’t work just as well as warmer skin tones.  It has a soft sheen that’s not oily or greasy-looking, and if I have another good skin week, I’ll definitely give this another go.

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you don’t wear foundation often and want a subtle flush for cheeks that doesn’t fade during the day, NARS’ Multiple Tints were made for you!

AVAILABILITY: NARS, Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Chanel Taupe Gris Eyeshadow
Chanel Taupe Gris Eyeshadow

It’s Taupe, It’s Gray, It’s Taupe Gris!

In addition to Vert Khaki, Chanel will launch Taupe Gris ($28.50 for 0.07 oz.) with their fall collection. The name is completely spot-on–it’s a grayed taupe brown with a soft sheen. It has the same silky smooth texture of Chanel’s single eyeshadows, and while the pigmentation is there, it’s not quite as rich as Vert Khaki’s. Fans of shades like MAC Smoke & Diamonds and Stila’s Lil’ Diamond may want to consider adding this smoky taupe shade to their collection.

I like Taupe Gris for a subtler smoky eye–when you don’t want to go silver and gray and black. It can work well with plums and burgundies, as it almost looks like it takes on a purple tone when paired with them. Similarly, it is just as nice to add darkness to the crease in a smoky brown eye, too.

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

RECOMMENDATION: The formula is good but not quite as great as I’d expect from Chanel. It’s just a little sheerer than other single shades, but it’s still smooth and buttery, and on the lid, the pigmentation difference is further minimized as it blends out beautifully.

AVAILABILITY: July 2010

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Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Milani Cabana Coral Lipstick

The Summer Season: Milani Cabana Coral Lipstick

Milani Cabana Coral Lipstick ($4.99) is a shimmering coral-orange with a frosty golden shimmer-sheen. It’s nearly opaque, and it’s bright without being blinding. It wears for two to three hours, but the formula is smooth, rich in color, and lightweight on lips.  I like that it’s noticeably orange, but it’s a lot more wearable than true oranges.

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

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Monday, June 28th, 2010

MAC Neon Orange Lipstick

The Summer Season: MAC Neon Orange Lipstick

MAC Neon Orange Lipstick ($14.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a traffic-stopping opaque neon orange.  The name really says it all — it’s bright, in-your-face, and exactly orange.  It’s unabashedly orange, and you won’t see it apologizing for anything any time soon!  It has such a smooth texture with incredibly rich, opaque color.  The finish is creamy, but it has a little bit of a sheen that lights it up.   It really has an amazing feel, and it is one of MAC’s best lipsticks in terms of quality–even if the color may be a little hard to wear!

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

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →