Saturday, August 14th, 2010

MAC Venomous Villains - Cruella
MAC Venomous Villains — Cruella de Vil

MAC Disney Venomous Villains Collection: Cruella de Vil Review, Photos, Swatches

There are four “parts” to the collection, with each part being represented by each of the characters. After much indecision, I finally committed to reviewing everything by character, rather than product type! First up is Cruella de Vil, the villainness from 101 Dalmatians. Cruella’s “collection” includes two lipsticks, two lipglasses, three eyeshadows, one Penultimate eyeliner, one beauty powder, and one blush.

All of the character images are stamped on the products; they are not stickers. You can find official promotional imagery and color descriptions here. The collection launches on September 30th, 2010 at all MAC locations, October 2010 internationally, and approximately September 28th for online. You may also want to check your local store to see if they are holding an unveiling/preview party for the collection.

Lipglass ($15.50 U.S. / $18.50 CDN)

  • Wicked Ways is a brightened cherry red that’s semi-opaque with subtle golden shimmer.  I think this is going to be a very nice red on both warm and cool skin tones.  It leans just a tiny bit blue, I’d say… but very close to neutral.
  • Devilishly Stylish is a semi-sheer white-shimmered, slightly champagne nude. Not exactly the most original shade, but with some darker eye/lip products, will be a nice relief for those who need something softer.

Lipstick ($15.50 U.S. / $18.50 CDN)

  • Innocence, Beware! is a semi-opaque pinky nude with a cremesheen finish. It’s a little glossy, not overly creamy, and I found it accentuated every imperfection on my lips. Make sure to exfoliate shortly before applying this shade. It seems like a pinker Blankety or paler Plink!, as well as in the family of nudes like Creme d’Nude and Hue.  This shade is more opaque than the latter three, but the texture is best in Hue (smoother, less accentuating of flaws).
  • Heartless is an almost neutral red that applies nearly opaque; if it leans in any direction, I would say slightly orange, but it really seems closer to neutral. It has an amplified finish. The closest dupe in the permanent MAC range seems like it would be Brave Red or perhaps Ladybug (which is probably a bit sheerer).

Blush ($19.50 U.S. / $23.50 CDN)

  • Darkly My Dear dirtied brown with just a mere hint of plum. It looks plummer in the pan than it is in actuality–it’s rather brown when worn. It can be built up or used sheerly depending on the look you’re going for. It’s kind of like a browner, much darker version of Blushbaby. It’s supposed to have a matte finish, but it seems like it has a hint of pearl/satin sheen to it, though very near matte on cheeks.

Eyeshadow ($15.50 U.S. / $18.50 CDN)

  • Sweet Joy is a pale gold with soft yellow undertones and a frost finish. This was originally included in the Passions of Red holiday palette (quite awhile ago). It’s similar to Dreammaker (Starflash) but less frosty; also similar to Creme Royale (Hello Kitty) and Creme de Miel (Style Warriors). It’s yellower than Nylon, much less gold/yellow than Goldmine.
  • De-vil is darkened, orange-y copper with a veluxe pearl finish. It’s just the tiniest bit less red and a hair darker than Coppering, darker and deeper than Amber Lights (not even really comparable, IMO). It seems a little darker than Brash (Cult of Cherry), possibly similar to Courage (Untamed).  But it’s really close to Coppering.
  • Carbon is a matte black–can be packed on for an intense black, but like some mattes, better applied than swatched. This is a permanent shade.

Beauty Powder ($25.00 U.S. / $30.00 CDN)

  • Her Own Devices is a sheered out champagne-shimmered medium nude. It gives just a hint of color on my NC25 skin (“medium”), but I think it maybe a nice shade for highlighting medium to dark skin tones, because it’s natural but it has shimmer–since it’s not pale, it won’t turn darker complexions ashy.  I’ve had a few readers ask about how it compares to Shell Beauty Powder, but the two look completely different on me.

See product photos and swatches! Continue reading →

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

Deborah Lippmann Supermodel Nail Lacquer
Deborah Lippmann Supermodel Nail Lacquer

I’m Gonna be a Supermodel, and My Hair Will Shine Like the Sea!

Deborah Lippmann Supermodel Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is a sheer, jelly cherry red that leans a little orange-coral. It’s glossy, and it’s genuinely designed to be sheer–it’s not meant to be opaque, so keep that in mind. It has a very squishy, jelly look on nails. I do think this will complement warmer skin tones best, but it doesn’t pull extremely orange, so cooler skin tones may still enjoy it. Where Supermodel stands out is in the formula–streak-free, a dream to apply, and doesn’t take eons to dry. But really, the lack of streakiness makes it this sheer a pleasure to swatch.

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: This may not be the most unique shade, so it’s not a run-don’t-walk kind of purchase, but if it’s a color and look that you dig, it’s certainly worth a look. The formula is outstanding and true to Lippmann’s range.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Saturday, August 14th, 2010

Dolce & Gabbana Lipgloss
Dolce & Gabbana Lipgloss: Charm, Candy

Dolce & Gabbana Lipgloss: Charm & Candy

Dolce & Gabbana Lipgloss ($29.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a slightly tacky, mostly glossy, lipgloss. These have a shine that’s glossier than your average lipgloss, so lips look very lush and juicy. I’ve tried a few different shades of Dolce & Gabbana’s lipglosses, and they seem to be on the sheerer side, with nothing being completely opaque. I like that they’re moisturizing, and they fade really well when they wear away. I only get about two to three hours of wear, which is a little below average for me. These glosses are rose-scented but don’t seem to have any taste.

  • Charm is a sheer medium pink with fuchsia and ruby sparkle.
  • Candy is a semi-sheer milky medium pink with no shimmer just a glossy shine.

With just 0.13 oz. in a tube (compared to 0.20 oz. for other high-end brands like Chanel, Guerlain, and YSL), these are pricey.  Overall, they’re nice glosses, but it’s not quite the holy grail.  For the price tag, I’d probably opt for Chanel or Guerlain glosses instead–or perhaps Dior’s Ultra Gloss.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: These are definitely a splurge item.  If you’re able to check out the line in person and you find a shade that really works for you, I think it’s worth getting.  But if you’re just shopping around for a new gloss, there are a few others I’d consider before these.

AVAILABILITY: Dolce & Gabbana Lipgloss

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Friday, August 13th, 2010

Illamasqua Growl Lipstick

The Sultry Season: Illamasqua Growl Lipstick

Illamasqua Growl Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a deep reddened brown-wine with opaque color coverage and a low sheen.  This is a shade that will last six to eight hours without much work, because it has a drier formula, it really clings to lips.  I don’t find Illamasqua’s shades drying, but they do take a little more pressure to apply.  They’re creamy and yet not slippery.   This shade sits right between MAC Media and MAC Underworld.

Is this the right vamp 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.

The Glossover

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Thursday, August 12th, 2010

MAC underworld Lipglass

The Sultry Season: MAC Underworld Lipstick

MAC Underworld Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.17 oz.) deepened red-based brown with a glossy, satin finish.  It is similar in look and feel to Media, but it is darker and browner–not quite as wine/burgundy.  It works well as a stain (just blot after applying and add a touch of gloss), if you don’t want to wear it at full power.  Since it’s such a dark shade, I like it paired with a very simple nude eye and eggplant eyeliner.

Is this the right brown 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.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

ORLY Cosmic Collection
Nail Lacquers: Out of This World, It’s Not Rocket Science, Haley’s Comet

Intergalactic, Planetary, Planetary, Intergalactic

This September, ORLY’s Cosmic FX Collection will launch.  According to ORLY, these polishes have a textured finish that have multi-dimensional flashes of shine as a result of “MINERAL FX” technology.  This technology uses a mix of natural rock minerals, crystals, and glass that give these shades an optical effect.  All six shades will retail for $10 each and are limited edition.

From ORLY…

The MINERALFX technology includes specialty mica, that allows for a clearer, vibrantly bright lustrous shimmer. Crystals allow for a multi-dimensional color transformation. Glass particles carefully controlled in shape and size create a luminous phenomenon. This combination infused with the Silica and specific colors selected create this exclusive technology that gives nails a unique optical effect that’s magnified as the lighting source intensifies or viewing angle changes.

Nail Lacquers

  • Out of This World is a deep purple base with shimmer flecks of violet purple and green gold.  Three coats.
  • It’s Not Rocket Science is an olive green base with darkened chartreuse and teal shimmer. It looks rather chartreuse-y at some angles, while in others, it almost looks emerald green as the teal comes into play.  Two coats.
  • Haley’s Comet is an aqua-blue color base with flecks of green, teal, and blue shimmer. It looks bluer at some angles, more mermaid-esque at other angles. I found that this one had the least powerful duochrome.  This felt like the least pigmented, so it definitely needed a full three coats.  This also bears a strong resemblance to Zoya’s Charla.
  • Space Cadet is one of the coolest shades of the six. It has a very strong duochrome finish/effect. It looks like a mauvey plum but then it glints a chartreuse-y green with strong gold undertones. I can’t think of anything I have that’s quite like this.  Two coats.
  • Galaxy Girl is a beautiful deep wine-purple base with red undertones. It has flecks of teal and darkened fuchsia-purple shimmer. It’s dark and a little vampy, but I absolutely love the subtle but noticeable duochrome effect.  Two coats.
  • Lunar Eclipse is a glowing indigo blue that flashes violet, electric blue, and inky blue. It’s incredible–it’s my personal favorite. This was the most pigmented shade of the six, and it only needed two coats.

ORLY completely hit a homerun here for me.  Not only was this the collection I was most anticipating personally, but it fulfilled all my expectations.  It did not disappoint at any point.  The formula was nicely pigmented and not too thick, easy to work with, and the shimmer and glass flecks distributed evenly. I didn’t have any issues with drying time when I used Zoya’s Color Lock System, including their quick drying drops–I was typing away just minutes after applying the Hurry Up drops.  I also love the rubber caps of ORLY’s polish, because it makes handling them foolproof.

There’s only one downside and that’s the price–these are more expensive than your usual ORLYs (which retail at $7.50).  Don’t get me wrong, considering I’ll happily fork over $23 for a Chanel shade, I think these are completely worth it.  They’re interesting and complex shades that apply well, which is what makes a polish worth it for me.

But in the end, there’s really only one word to sum up this collection: BADASS.

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: If you love pops of color on your nails, ORLY’s Cosmic collection is NOT to be missed!

AVAILABILITY: September 2010 at orlybeauty.com, ULTA, and Sally Beauty

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →