Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Milani Runway Eyeshadow
Milani Caribbean Sea Runway Eyeshadow

Milani Runway Eyeshadow: Caribbean Sea

Milani Caribbean Sea Runway Eyeshadow ($5.99 for 0.07 oz.) is such a pretty shade of aqua blue… if you use it wet.  When used dry, it’s rather lackluster and almost takes on a greenish cast; it’s also on the sheer side.  However, add just a touch of fixing spray or water to your brush before picking up the shadow yields a much more intense, pigmented shade of lightened aqua blue.  You’ll need to pack on the color, rather than sweep on, to get the best results.  It’s not a great eyeshadow, but it’s workable when wet.

Check out my original review for my thoughts on the packaging.

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  • Product: 23/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 2/5

RECOMMENDATION: Color eyeshadow fiends should probably pass, just because it’s nowhere near as pigmented as many top brands for color–but if you just want to play around and experiment with color, this is an affordable way to do so.

AVAILABILITY: Cherry Culture

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Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Chanel Les Khakis de Chanel Collection
Nail Lacquers: Khaki Brun, Khaki Rose, Khaki Vert

Fashion’s Night Out with Chanel

In honor of Fashion’s Night Out, Chanel has put together Les Khakis de Chanel, a collection featuring a trio of nail lacquers. These will be available on September 10th at chanel.com, Chanel boutiques, and select department store counters.  Each shade retails for $25.00.

Edited @ 2:42pm:  Added comparison photos of Khaki Vert against Sew Psyched, because I don’t think they’re dupes, but I’ve had a lot of questions asking if they are!  Pics or shut up, right?  I like Sew Psyched, too, but they are different enough on me that I wouldn’t call ‘em dupes.

  • Khaki Brun is a deep olive green-tinged brown. It’s a rather murky brown with just this touch of green to it; it’s distinctly brown but in natural light, the olive tones are pulled out more. Just two coats.
  • Khaki Rose is a rose-tinged medium-dark brown. It has such a subtle rosiness to it that it’s almost not there, but yet you can’t say it’s not, because there’s something about how the rose warms up the brown. Two coats.
  • Khaki Vert is a grayish-cast medium green. Not really murky, but it’s not bright or happy either; a rather neutral green, I’d say. It’s not quite camo green, because it doesn’t have strong yellow or live undertones. Two coats.  I don’t think this is really similar to Essie’s Sew Psyched–this is much greener, while Sew Psyched pulls almost blue/teal in comparison.

The formula on these was a bit thicker than usual, but it didn’t make for difficult application–quite the opposite!  Application was nearly flawless with each coat being incredibly pigmented.  One coat would have almost been enough on each one, but two coats created that smooth, opaque look.  I always hate how these end up being B+ products, which is really due to the price, not the quality of the product (which is excellent).

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

RECOMMENDATION: All three had fantastic pigmentation and applied flawlessly, so if a color catches your eye and you don’t mind the price tag of Chanel, I definitely recommend trying it out.

AVAILABILITY: September 10th @ chanel.com

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Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Video Review:  Philosophy Cookies ‘n Creme Shower Gel

Who doesn’t love Cookies ‘n Creme? What, you don’t? Are you serious? Can you make me not like Cookies ‘n Creme, ’cause my waistline would appreciate it? :)  I will probably do a regular review write-up for this, though I’ve reviewed so many shower gels before, and this one smells as the name describes, so there’s really nothing to report… but anyway, video!  I can’t believe I spent five minutes talking about shower gel, sigh!

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: If you like sweet scents, you might like Cookies ‘n Creme!

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Milani Runway Eyeshadow
Milani Blue Lagoon Runway Eyeshadow

Milani Runway Eyeshadow: Blue Lagoon

Milani Blue Lagoon Runway Eyeshadow ($5.99 for 0.07 oz.) looks so full of beautiful blue promise, but it really falls flat.  This was the worst shade that I tried out of the six (there are twelve in total, so I don’t know how it compares against the six I haven’t tried)–it’s just so sheer.  It’s even ridiculously sheer when used wet.  The color practically disappears, and instead of a brightened medium blue, you get this sheered navy blue with flashes of lighter blue sheen.  I think the swatches speak for themselves, to be honest!

Check out my original review for my thoughts on the packaging.

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

  • Product: 14/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

RECOMMENDATION: Pass. Skip.  Run away!

AVAILABILITY: Cherry Culture

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Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Laura Mercier Courtisane Lipstick

Part Lipstick, Part Gloss — Laura Mercier Stick Gloss

Laura Mercier Courtisane Stick Gloss ($20.00 for 0.12 oz.) is one of four shades of Stick Gloss, which is described as “part lip balm, part lip color, and part lip glace.” Courtisane is a deepened rose color base with gold and copper shimmer. On me, it’s semi-sheer but delivers enough shimmer that it almost looks like it’s opaque from afar. It actually reminded me of a sheerer, bronzier version of La Prairie’s Rose Bronze Lipstick (oh, and you know, half the price!).

Stick Gloss is an incredibly moisturizing lipstick that feels lightweight, balm-like, and doesn’t emphasize lip lines. It’s very comfortable to wear, and despite its moisturizing properties, it lasts a solid three to four hours on me. It has a pleasant berry-ish scent that’s not too sweet nor synthetic, and it’s not a scent that lingers after you’ve applied. I really enjoyed this shade, and Sephora carries three others–I would love to see more shades added 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 find most lipsticks too drying, I’d encourage you to test out Laura Mercier’s Stick Gloss!

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara
Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara (One coat!)

Multi-Tasking Mascara… That Actually Works!

Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara ($30.00) is designed to be a more intense version of the multi-tasking Inimitable (which I have not tried), which lengthens, thickens, curls, and separates without clumping, spiking, or flaking.

This is one of those mascaras where you can really see the difference between the before and after photos; not all mascaras represent themselves well, but this is one that definitely does. My bare lashes look like a big ol’ tangled mess of short, sparse lashes. With a single coat of Inimitable Intense, my lashes look fuller, much, much longer, and a little thicker. This mascara does lengthening best, but it does thicken and add an illusion of more voluminous lashes, too. Often, I find multi-tasking mascaras rarely deliver on all the claims they make, but Chanel does a particularly noteworthy job of meeting their claims.

The mascara is not overly wet, though the black is so intense it can look wet when on, but it’s not dry either, so it doesn’t flake when you apply it nor does it take too long to dry. I’ve been wearing it on and off for the past two weeks or so, and I haven’t had any issues with smudging, flaking, or the like even with all day wear (twelve or more hours). I found it held a curl quite nicely, though I think my lashes are on the “lighter” side so they take to curling better than the average set of lashes (because holding a curl has never been a major issue for me with mascara).

It does a nice job of keeping lashes separated and clump-free with the first two coats, but if you start getting greedy and going for a third or fourth coat, you may get some clumping. I’ve also noticed that on occasion there is too much product on the wand, and then I will have a touch of clumping from the get-go. Inimitable Intense actually adds quite a bit with just one coat that I don’t find myself going for a full second coat.

What does “one coat” of mascara mean to you?

I actually sent out a tweet asking about it on Monday, because I’m curious if we’re on the same page.  So much of the terminology used in makeup can be ambiguous!  Based on the responses I received on Twitter, the majority (like 90%) consider one coat to be using whatever is on the wand on your lashes; if you go back and re-insert the wand into the tube to get more mascara, that’s the second coat.

I would also say that the second coat occurs when you give the first layer/coat of mascara time to dry.  My general mascara routine is to pull the wand out, apply to my right lashes using short strokes from inside to out (I can’t get all my lashes at once!), and then I apply to my left lashes–and I haven’t gone back for more–and I’d say one out of three times I’ll re-insert the wand for another helping of mascara to finish up both sets of lashes (more for touch-ups than a full coat!).

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: If your lashes are like mine–aka need all the help they can get–a multi-tasking mascara that actually delivers is definitely worth a try.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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