Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Guerlain Blonde Halee Bronzer

Guerlain Terracotta:  Blonde Halee

Guerlain Blondes (01) ‘Terracotta’ Light Sheer Bronzing Powder ($50.00 for 0.35 oz.) is a multi-colored bronzing powder.  There is also Brunette (02).  I actually thought these were new for this year, but after going back to the summer collection details, it’s the 4 Seasons bronzing powder that launched this year. Apparently, Guerlain launched two different types of bronzers, including the one pictured above–that are limited edition and new and different from the permanent versions.

Anyway, Blonde contains five different shades that come together to create a red-toned bronze.  It’s designed for our fairer, blonde-haired friends, but it’ll work just as nice on our warmer, brunette-haired friends, too–because I am the latter and find this lovely on my skin.  I tend to wear it more as a bronzer, but it’s subtle without being orange and the shimmer gives you a little glowiness that’s perfect for summer.   I wore it in a very natural look, and I felt like it worked incredibly well to give my cheeks a little definition, glow, and that I-just-got-back-from-vacation look (even though I went nowhere!).

It’s a very fine-milled powder, so it’s subtle and easy to use without going overboard–but you can layer it for a greater intensity.  It also has fine shimmer that goes through the compact (no overspray here!) that gives skin a healthier, more luminous look without looking like a glitter ball.  A huge bonus is that this bronzer photographs really well and natural, too!  I may have to check out the Brunette version to see how it stacks up, but Blonde totally wow-ed me (and I’m not even a bronzer person!).

The pricing is just about what I’d expect from Guerlain, but at least they don’t hold back on the quantity–they give you just a little more than the average bronzer, but it’s not significantly more.  Nevertheless, sometimes you’ll see higher prices and lesser quantities, so I always like to see the two still in line.  The packaging is also very pretty–it’s a glossy reddish-bronze with a shimmering sparkle almost!

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you’ve been searching for a light, natural bronzer that’s good on both fairer, cooler skin (aka one that doesn’t turn orange), Guerlain’s Blonde may be the answer!  It’s soft and silky with the perfect bronzing color for those with pinker or redder undertones, but it works equally well on those with warmer, yellower undertones–you’ll see the slightly reddish tinge in it, but it works!

Availability: Nordstrom

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Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Milani Rose Hip Lipstick

The Summer Season: Milani Rose Hip Lipstick

Milani Rose Hip (07) Lip Color ($3.49 for 0.13 oz.) is a beautiful, vibrant shade of fuchsia-pink. It has no shimmer but it does have a bit of a frosty sheen–not quite glossy. It’s intensely pigmented without having to pile on the layers, and it feels lightweight. The formula itself is creamy and moisturizing, but I find the color wears off considerably after two to three hours. (In all consideration, though I rate quality independent of price, $3.50 for a lipstick doesn’t make me feel guilty or worried about reapplying throughout the day!) I wish the scent was a little less synthetic and waxy, but I don’t notice it when I’m wearing it (though those with more sensitive sniffers may want to try before they buy).

Is this the right bright pink lipstick 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, April 19th, 2010

Chanel Phoenix Rouge Allure Laque
Chanel Phoenix Rouge Allure Lacque

The Summer Season: Chanel Phoenix Rouge Allure Laque

Chanel Phoenix (#78) Rouge Allure Laque
icon ($32.00) is a brightened, dark pink with a glossy sheen and very subtle pink shimmer. I love Rouge Allure Laques (I don’t think I’ve kept that a secret!), and Phoenix is gorgeous. It’s this beautiful strawberry-esque pink that’s bold and bright without being electric. I love the full-color coverage, too–totally and utterly opaque on my lips (see, covers my freckle!). Love, love the feel of it as well. It applies evenly and smoothly with ease in what is, essentially, a liquid lipstick formula.  On my lips, I get about three to four hours on average, with the gloss fading around hour two or three and the color lingering for a solid four to five hours. (The deeper Rouge Allure Laques have more lingering colors than the lighter shades, like Ming and Santal.) I hope Chanel is listening, ’cause I want MORE Rouge Allure Laques this year! Another eight? Yes, please!

Is this the right bright pink lipstick 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, April 19th, 2010

Chanel Noir et Or Palette

Out of Chanel’s ultra exclusive Noir et Or Collection, Ligne et Ombre de Chanel in Jet-Gold ($45.00) emerges. While not exactly groundbreaking in terms of color, it’s extremely fitting to the collection. It’s a matte black cake eyeliner paired with a golden peach flecked eyeshadow.

The black side is not meant to be used dry–it needs to be used wet so it can “activate.” I just gave the brush the tiniest bit of wetness, and I was already able to get a nice, intense black out of it. The gold, while it can be worn dry, also looks and wears better wet–and I like that with Chanel shadows, I can use them wet without leaving a wet spot behind. (Similarly, the gold would adhere and look more uniform used over a base rather than dry, since it is so shimmery.)

When used as an eyeliner, the black lasts for hours on me. I didn’t have any fading, smudging, or migration after eight hours of wear on my lower lash line (not my waterline, to be clear). If you really wanted, you could definitely use it with a brush to darken up the crease or any shadow you’re wearing, but it doesn’t excel at that (and again, it’s supposed to be used as an eyeliner).

It’s a fun product, but there’s nothing so standout about it that it’s necessarily worth hunting down and forking over $45 for. Chanel and luxury makeup collectors will likely enjoy it, but I think for others, it’s not going to knock your socks off–I’d say grab an eyeshadow duo, lipstick, or gloss instead (or even an eyeshadow quad, since this is just a little less than one!). I think if they made the gold a metallic cream finish, it could have gotten really interesting. It may not have been the most wearable, but it would have certainly played into the collection’s theme just a bit more.

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

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

Recommendation: The cake eyeliner is excellent, but the gold eyeshadow is almost like a throw-in–pretty but not amazing. Chanel collectors will likely covet the piece, as exclusive as it is, but non-collectors won’t miss out if they skip this.

Availability: Chanel Boutiques

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Monday, April 19th, 2010

Tokidoki Perfetto Eyeliner

tokidoki Perfetto Eyeliner — Love the Applicator, Not Sold on the Shades

tokidoki Perfetto Eyeliner ($16.00) is a felt-tip liquid liner pen. It comes in eight shades: Rondine Love (white), Donutella (medium pink), Ciao Ciao (periwinkle), Arlecchino (dark blue), Mostro (spring green), SANDy (dark green), Carina (eggplant), and Sabochan (black).

I bought two with my Sephora V.I.B. order, because I had a lot of readers request a review of these, so I figured now would be a good time to try :) I picked Mostro and Ciao Ciao as the two to try–I can never resist a green, and well, I’m always game to try anything periwinkle, too.

  • Mostro is a muted, yellowed green. Sephora describes it as “spring green,” and I’d say that’s an accurate description. It’s muted and blah–I wore it in this look and you’ll notice it doesn’t pop at all.
  • Ciao Ciao is a slightly brightened periwinkle blue. I’d say it’s a bluer periwinkle, but it’s still very much in the periwinkle family. Like Mostro, though, it seems a little muted.

Despite not loving either shade much, I love the applicator… like a TON. I am no pro at lining my upper lash line (because lining the area tends to cause my eyes to swell up or itch, so I don’t do it often!), but these made it a cinch. They’re stiff but not hard, and they deliver opaque color the entire time you’re lining. I can see that those who love really, really thin lining not loving the applicator, though. You can get a nice line that’s not ridiculously thick for sure, but you won’t be able to get a pencil-thin line.

It actually made me sad that I wasn’t into these colors at all but was totally crushing on the applicator. I might look out at the other shades to see if they are less muted. They’re supposed to be “bold shades,” but they just seem a little on the subtle/light side to me. It’s like they had so much more room to pop, but they didn’t go there.

The liner also lasts all day without fading, transferring, or smudging. I wore it on my lower lash line and across my lid (like a diagonal line across part of my lid and crease) to test, and I had no movement whatsoever. I’m really hoping to fall in love with one of the other shades (I’m thinking about trying the black one next), though, since it is such a great product.

Anyone else try these?

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: The product quality is fantastic on these–long-wearing, doesn’t budge or smudge, and stays true-to-color while you wear it. The color range might not be as fantastic, though, so you may want to swatch before you buy.

Availability: Sephora

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Monday, April 19th, 2010

Benefit Ultra Shines
Benefit Ultra Shines: Wild Child, Back to the Fuchsia, Spiked Punch

New Lipgloss in Town — Benefit High Shines

In June, Benefit will launch a new lipgloss called Ultra Shines Lip Shine, which will retail for $18 fo 0.17 fl. oz. There will be five shades available: Back to the Fuchsia (sparkling fuchsia), Dancing Queen (watermelon pink), Foxy Lady (diamond rose), Spiked Punch (juicy coral), and Wild Child (glimmering amethyst).

Benefit describes these as, “The newest, hottest beat on the gloss scene… back-to-the-disco drama! One gleaming stroke of our ultra-new pulse-pounding ultra shines will unleash your inner dancing queen. Loaded with bright patent-leather shine & sparkling crystal brilliance, these lip shines glide on smooth with the specially-designed custom brush for a gloss inferno pout. In a fevah of must-have vibrant shades so pumped up with pigment, you’ll be lettin’ loose in your boogie shoes… NOW!”

  • Back to the Fuchsia is a sheer, lightened raspberry pink with fuchsia sparkle.  The way it looked (but not the way it felt) reminded me of MAC Dazzleglass–maybe if Love Alert and Ms. Fizz had a baby.  Smoother and non-sticky, unlike Dazzleglass, though.
  • Wild Child is a semi-sheer, iridescent plum with a fuchsia shimmer and sheen.  I think this one would be exceptionally lovely over lipstick.  It also kind of reminded me of MAC’s Negligee, which is one of my favorite lipglosses (and it was limited edition).
  • Spiked Punch is a slightly creamy, semi-opaque lightened apricot-pink with subtle silver shimmer.

My favorite of the three was Spiked Punch, because it packed plenty of color, had a glossy sheen, and still felt and looked like a gloss rather than a lipstick (or even liquid lipstick). Back to the Fuchsia and Wild Child were both pretty but on the sheerer side–I think Wild Child would be lovely over some in-your-face bright pinks. Back to the Fuchsia was the sheerest and added more of a dazzling, glossy look rather than a ton of color. As you can tell, pigmentation definitely varied from shade to shade!

Ultra Shines have a kind of fruity scent that’s noticeable but not overwhelming (and not at all noticeable once worn). The packaging is sleek in a plastic tube with a clear end and a shiny black cap. The gloss applicator is a stubby brush rather than a doe-foot applicator, which I liked. I also found that they wore a little longer than average for a gloss (about three hours), which was definitely an added bonus!

Benefit’s Ultra Shines are ultra glossy with either a shimmer or more glittery sparkle with sheer to semi-opaque color. They smell good, feel moisturizing, and last longer than the usual gloss, too. I like that they feel thick and jelly-ish but aren’t sticky. I definitely like the new Ultra Shines more than Benefit’s regular Lipgloss!

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 love a super glossy finish in your lipgloss, you might like Benefit’s new Ultra Shines. If you love pigmented glosses, though, you may want to look elsewhere, as these do run a bit on the sheer side.

Availability: June 2010 at Benefit and Benefit counters

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