Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Laura Mercier Tangerine Lipstick
Laura Mercier Tangerine Lipstick

The Summer Season: Laura Mercier Tangerine Lipstick

Laura Mercier Tangerine Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a creamy shade of coral-pink with a glossy sheen and full-color coverage. It’s beautiful and bright without being overwhelming and in-your-face. The lipstick is moisturizing while it wears for three to four hours with ease. It has a nice lightweight feel though it still packs plenty of color and doesn’t have a lot of slip, even though it applies smoothly without trouble.  I can definitely see this shade becoming a new favorite!  It also reminds me a bit of Chanel Genial, but not as bright and a little more coral.

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 21st, 2010

Korres Watermelon SPF 30

Sunkissed Without the Risk: Korres Watermelon Sunscreen

Just in time for summer vacations, I’ve been roadtesting several face sunscreens over the past couple of months, and the first one I want to talk about is Korres Watermelon Sunscreen SPF 30 ($28.00 for 1.69 oz.), which contains the active ingredients Octocrylene, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Titanium Dioxide, and Zinc Oxide. (Learn more about sunscreen basics.)

Is it a broad spectrum SPF?

Yes! It includes active ingredients that cover the entire spectrum of UVA and UVB (290-400nm).

  • UVA Protection: Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide
  • UVB Protection: Octocrylene, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide

Ingredients: Aqua, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Butylene Glycol, Isocetyl stearoyl stearate, Dipentaerythrityl hexacaprylate/hexacaprate, Isononyl isononanoate, Isodecyl neopentanoate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Coco-Glucoside,Tribehenin PEG-20 esters, Tridecyl Salicylate, Acrylates/C12-22 Alkylmethacrylate Copolymer, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, Callophyllum Inophylum Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Behenyl Alcohol, Calendula Officinalis Flower Oil, Chamomilla Recutita Flower Oil, Caprylyl Glycol, Isostearic Acid, Citrullus Lanatus (Melon) Extract, Glycerine, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Palmitoylproline, Magnesium palmitoyl Glutamate, Sodium Palmitoyl Sarcosinate, Parfum, Phenoxyethanol, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Silica, Sodium Benzoate, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Xanthan Gum, Zinc Sulfate, Alumina.

After testing so many sunscreens these past several weeks, I’ve actually grown surprised at how few exclude silicone-based ingredients, so it is a nice to see Korres eliminate the silicones in this product! This sunscreen didn’t break me out, and it didn’t aggravate my skin whatsoever, but it wasn’t particularly comfortable to wear. It has a thicker texture, which makes it feel a bit heavy on skin initially, but I didn’t find it heavy overall.

It takes a solid fifteen to twenty minutes to absorb, but even then, it’s still a bit greasy and even a little sticky. I don’t think those with oily skin types would find this suitable for their skin, and those with drier skin types may find the greasiness is not very noticeable. However, with my normal-to-dry skin, I did have noticeable greasiness and a slight tackiness to the finish.

It doesn’t smell like sunscreen, though, and it has more of a watermelon scent that does a good job of masking it. I also didn’t get a white cast on my medium skin tone, which is always important to me, and it was easy to rub into skin (so it didn’t look white), but it just took awhile for it to fully sink in. Between the slow absorption time and the residual tacky/greasy feeling, it’s definitely not a favorite sunscreen, especially if you intend to wear makeup over it.

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

  • Product: 22/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you don’t mind a little tackiness and are on the hunt for a silicone-free sunscreen, Korres Watermelon SPF 30 may be worth looking into.

Availability: Sephora

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Monday, June 21st, 2010

Cle de Peau Extra Rich Lipstick
Cle de Peau Just Joey (T2) Extra Rich Lipstick

Decadence in Nude

Last week, I shared Red Abundance (R2), one of eight shades of Cle de Peau Extra Rich Lipsticks ($60.00 for 0.14 oz.). This week, I’m sharing Just Joey (T2), which is a browned-tan nude with a little peachiness to it. It is completely opaque in just one stroke, and it delivers a beautiful soft glossed finish without shimmer. This would be a beautiful, upgraded nude on both cool and warm skin tones, but particularly so on warmer skin tones.

The Extra Rich line-up includes a total of eight shades: R1 Black Bacara, R2 Red Abundance, R3 Leonardis, R4 Danse du Feu, T1 Halloween, T2 Just Joey, T3 Baby Julia, and T4 Calliope.

The Extra Rich Lipstick formula is opaque, smooth, and easy to wear. I get between three and five hours of wear, even with more nude shades like Just Joey. It clings and hugs lips without being drying (but actually hydrating), but it is still a lovely textured lipstick. It’s just not this thick or overly creamy lipstick that slips around lips, but it doesn’t feel tight or heavy either. I’ve also found that it de-emphasizes the lip lines with the effect really settling in after about fifteen minutes of wear.

Price aside, is this a nude you’d wear?

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: It’s a fabulously lightweight lipstick with excellent color pay off that delivers exceptional wear with a luxury-level price tag.

AvailabilitySaks Fifth Avenue

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Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Guerlain Gil Rouge G Lipstick
Guerlain Gil Rouge G Lipstick

The Summer Season: Guerlain Gil Rouge G Lipstick

Guerlain Gil (#40) Rouge G Lipstick ($46.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a beautiful shade of orange with subtle gold shimmer and a light sheen. It’s not quite a coral, but it has the lightness and brightness of one. It’s not a neon orange, nor is it overly dark, so it’s a much more wearable version of orange. I’m a huge fan of the Rouge G formula–it’s pigmented, smooth, and feels nearly weightless on lips. From the texture to the color pay off to the way it wears, Rouge G is one of my favorite lipstick formulas. For those with sensitive noses, though, may want to check it out in person first, because it does have a perfume-y scent in the tube (but I don’t notice it when I wear it).

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 →

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Clarins Instant Light

Light on the Gloss with Clarins Instant Sun Light Gloss

Clarins Instant Sun Light Gloss SPF 6 ($18.00 for 0.04 oz.) are new for summer and come in three shades — Vanilla, Coral, and Cinnamon. Each is housed in a silver bullet of a pen that clicks up the gloss on a brush applicator.

  • Vanilla (01) is ultra sheer with a golden champagne shimmer and glossy sheen. It’s probably better suited over a lipstick or for those who love to show off their natural lip color.
  • Coral (02) is a medium coral–it’s very much a true coral, because it doesn’t lean orange or pink but somewhere perfectly in-between. It has a cinnamon gold shimmer strewn through the color. It’s much, much more pigmented in comparison to Vanilla–more like semi-opaque (but surprisingly opaque for a gloss as thin as this).
  • Cinnamon (03) is a lightened cinnamon brown with a little red in it and golden shimmer. It’s semi-sheer but nowhere near as pigmented as Coral is, but it’s not as invisible as Vanilla. I found this one applied rather splotchily in comparison to the other two. I had issues with getting the color to distribute evenly.

The gloss isn’t sticky, and it’s very lightweight; it has a thin consistency but comes with a dazzling sparkle. They have a sweetened scent, which I can’t quite put my finger on, but it’s there in both the scent and the taste–it is subtle, though. I get only an hour of wear with these, which is below average for me (I typically get two to three), and they’re not as hydrating as I’d expect. My lips aren’t a dried out mess, but they do seem to need a little extra TLC post-wear.  The SPF 6 is nice, though, particularly since you can’t smell or taste it.

The packaging is sleek, but given how little is housed inside, they start to seem a little bulky. It’s actually in the quantity that I get frustrated–most glosses fall somewhere between 0.10 oz. and 0.20 oz. in product, and the price varies from $14 to 30. Clarins Instant Sun Light Gloss comes in at $450/oz. as compared to Chanel at $142/oz., Dior at $126/oz., and Guerlain at $165/oz. It’s really a shame that they didn’t give you a little more product, because at $18, they seem rather affordable for a high-end brand. Clarins Gloss Appeal, which is comparable, is available for $21 for 0.18 oz., and I really couldn’t say what makes the click gloss so much better that it’d be worth it.

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

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

Recommendation: I would pass on these, and if you were interested in checking our Clarins Lip Gloss, opt for the Gloss Appeal, which has pretty shimmer in a better formula and more for your money.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Becca Loose Shadow

The Jewel of Your Eye with Becca

Becca Jewel Dust ($24.00 for 0.04 oz.) are loose multi-purpose powders made without talc or fillers. There are sixteen shades in the full range, from shimmering champagnes to baby blues.  I picked up three shades when Becca was on HauteLook a few weeks back.

  • Erzulie is a soft lavender with a gray cast and lighter lilac and blue shimmer.
  • Luella is a gold shimmered green-toned turquoise with a deeper turquoise base.
  • Erlina is a lightened, spring green with a strong yellow undertone with a near metallic, slightly frosty finish.

One thing I really enjoyed about these was that they work nearly as well dry as they do wet. When they are used wet, they do create a smoother, more solid color, but used dry, they hold together pretty well. They worked well over eyeshadow primers as well as cream eyeshadows.

All three shades I tried out are actually colors that I don’t quite have in loose form, and the way they shimmer is very reflective and sophisticated, actually–particularly when used on eyes. I could see some of the lighter, more neutral shades being used as an all-over dusting on lids for a little oomph without doing much else.

The packaging is stylish and easy to store–small, mostly square, and just elegant. I really wish you received more for the price, though — 0.04 oz. is so underwhelming for a product that costs $24 — and it’s a little less and a little more in cost than other loose shadows by high-end brands. I’m sure most of us will not get through a single container all that quickly, though, and like most loose colors, a little goes a long way.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: I wish you got a little more product in each container, but the colors I tried were beautiful and shades I haven’t seen too often. The quality was lovely with smooth, rich color and beautiful shimmering finishes.

Availability: Becca

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