Saturday, April 10th, 2010

Philosophy Kiss Me Exfoliator

Gentle Lip Exfoliator:  Philosophy Kiss Me

Philosophy Kiss Me Exfoliating Lip Scrub ($15.00 for 0.5 oz.) is a very thin, sugar-based scrub with a strong peppermint scent (and the tingle that comes from it).

This works when it works, but it needs to be stored with the cap facing upwards, and you might have to squeeze the tube around. The oils separate quite a bit from the rest of the product, which means you’ll end up squeezing out mostly oil and very little sugar–rendering it way less effective as a scrub. The sugar crystals are incredibly fine, so if you have sensitive lips, this might be an option for a lip exfoliator as compared to more traditional sugar scrubs, which definitely have thicker, grittier crystals.

The peppermint oil in it is the most noticeable scent of the product, and it also makes lips tingle–but it’s not a painful tingle, just a sort of minty-fresh tingle. I find that it doesn’t taste so hot, and I think it might be due to the peppermint oil (I’ve never found any lip product that has peppermint oil in it to taste good!), so I usually rinse it off rather than simply blot with a tissue or paper towel (as recommended).

I think this product needs a better delivery system, because the existing packaging is too finicky and prone to providing less-than-stellar results. I can imagine people purchasing this, squeezing out a bunch of oil, and being utterly confused as to why this is called a lip exfoliator. Even though the packaging disappoints, the product is decent and the price tag makes it affordable.

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: 2/5

Recommendation: If you’re willing to work with the squeeze tube a bit, you might get a nice, gentle exfoliator out of this product. It’s particularly nice for those who find traditional sugar scrubs too thick/gritty for their lips.

Availability: Sephora

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

YSL #17 Eyeshadow Duo

YSL #17 Ivory Beige/Deep Black Eyeshadow Duo ($41.00 for 0.09 oz.) features a yellow-toned beige with a matte finish and a deep black with a near matte finish (just a smidgen of shimmer).
I purchased this eons ago when YSL had their (first!) Friends & Family Sale, because I fell in love with it when they promoted it during a fall or holiday launch (I think in 2009). I was totally head-over-heels for the depth in the black, so I figured, maybe it was time to splurge on it finally. It’s a very dark, rich black, but it’s probably not the darkest black I’ve tried. Funny how memory blurs those things!

This is an excellent smoky eye duo, and surprisingly, the yellowed beige is pretty workable on my warmer toned skin without looking too chalky (as some light mattes can be). The eyeshadows are soft, smooth, and both are pigmented. The matte isn’t chalky, but it isn’t the softest matte eyeshadow I’ve tried. The black shade is really the star of the duo, though.

It’s packaged in classy, traditional YSL packaging with the faux gold metal look and logo emblazoned on the top of the compact. The logo is also embedded into the eyeshadows themselves as well. Even with the hefty price tag, you don’t get that much eyeshadow — it’s about the same as buying other high-end eyeshadows in singles. Usually, you do see a little bit of value savings when you buy duos, even in high-end brands like YSL, but not so much here. This was definitely a splurge item to satisfy a long-time want, so I’m happy with it.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Pretty but incredibly pricey, so I’d consider it an indulgence and luxury, rather than a must-have.

Availability: Sephora

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Saturday, April 10th, 2010

Urban Decay 5150 Lipstick

The Summer Season: Urban Decay 5150 Lipstick

Urban Decay 5150 Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a reddish-coral with an orange edge and lots of shimmer. It’s nearly opaque and finishes with a glossy sheen. Even though it’s described as a coral, it reads quite redder than coral on my lips, but it’s a nice, juicy shade of orange-red that works for the summer season (and doesn’t strike me as a holiday red so much). Urban Decay’s lipsticks are always creamy and moisturizing, though they only wear about three hours on me and have a burnt sugar scent that I know is a turn-off for some (I don’t notice it once I apply it).

Is this the right coral 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 →

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Dolce & Gabbana Pink Lipstick
Dolce & Gabbana Pink Lipstick

The Summer Season: Dolce & Gabbana Pink Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Pink Lipstick ($30) is a pretty-in-strawberry-pink with a soft, frosted sheen. It’s not an ultra cool pink, though it does have cooler undertones. It is a semi-sheer lipstick that delivers some color but doesn’t totally block out the natural lip color. It wears well–about three to four hours–and feels incredibly smooth and creamy on lips without ever drying them out. Dolce & Gabbana lipsticks do have a particularly stronger rose scent, so those who prefer unscented lipsticks should probabyl pass on this one.

Is this the right 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 →

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Chanel Les Pop-up de Chanel Collection
Chanel Le Vernis:
Mistral (517), Riviera (537)

Chanel Les Pop-Up de Chanel:  Mistral & Riviera

Along with Nouvelle Vague, which I reviewed last week, Chanel launched two other shades of lacquer ($23) in their Les Pop-Up de Chanel Collection.

I bought these at my local Chanel counter (in Nordstrom) today, so if your Chanel counter hasn’t gotten stock in yet, I imagine it should be soon–I had done a pre-sale on these, so my favorite Chanel artist gave me a call when these were in (funny enough, her name is also Christine!). She said they only got fifteen Nouvelle Vagues in! Unfortunate for my pocketbook, along with my Chanel items, I also bought just as much in headbands… including one that matches Nouvelle Vague!! I couldn’t resist! Anyway…

  • Mistral is a baby petal pink with champagne micro-glitter It goes opaque in three coats and looks kind of squishy on. I had no issues applying this shade–standard fair for Chanel in my experience.
  • Riviera is a darkened bright pink cream. It’s opaque in two coats, though I swatched it with three. It was easy to apply and looked flawless on.

Neither Mistral nor Riviera is as eye-catching (or unique) as Nouvelle Vague, which I fully expect to sell out and see on eBay for triple digits at some point. I don’t have previous nail shades memorized, but I’m sure you could dupe Mistral or Riviera without too much trouble–hopefully our lovely nail fanatics can chime in with their dupe recommendations! That’s not to say that these aren’t fun, feminine shades, because they are, but typically when I shell out $23 for a Chanel polish, I do so for the uniqueness of the shade!

By the by, I actually asked both my parents (who are so not beauty mavens!) if they could tell the difference between the $3 and $23 polishes (China Glaze For Audrey vs. Chanel Nouvelle Vague), and they both immediately pointed out the Chanel-shaded fingers as the $23 one. My boyfriend, on the other hand, was boggled by it, because he couldn’t, even after scrutinizing!

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

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

Recommendation: Nouvelle Vague is the most unique shade of the bunch, even if it similar to China Glaze’s For Audrey. Mistral and Riviera are pretty and have no formulation issues, but they’re less “ooh!” shades.

Availability: May 2010

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Thursday, April 8th, 2010

MAC Prep for Colour Collection
Just Add Colour Lipglass (note, sample packaging)

MAC Prep for Colour Collection

The Prep for Colour Collection is a short and sweet collection. I’m not even sure why they bothered with any color cosmetics, and I could have gone for repromotes of great permanent neutrals, too — just because MAC does have a great neutral range. The collection includes one lipglass ($14), three eyeshadows ($14.50), Prep + Prime Skin Brightening Serum ($40), Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50 ($30), and Prep + Prime Fortified Skin Enhancer SPF 35/PA+++ ($30).  I don’t have photos of Prepped for Glamour Eyeshadow yet, which I will purchase when it launches in-store on Thursday (so check back then!).

  • Hey Eyeshadow is is a gilded beige-champagne with a touch of peach.  It was a very shimmery, frosty finish.  For reference, it is a veluxe pearl finish, though!  This is a repromote from Fafi, but I know a lot of you love this shade.
  • Sorcery Eyeshadow is a burgundy-brown with a satin finish–it’s not entirely matte, but it’s not overly shimmery, either.  It has more of a satin sheen.  It reminded me of a a lighter version of Sketch.
  • Prepped for Glamour Eyeshadow is a darkened chocolate brown with a taupe edge to it.  It’s sheerer and lighter than Satin Taupe, but it also has less of a frosty sheen.  Pretty, but if you already have Satin Taupe, you could probably skip this.
  • Just Add Colour Lipglass is a reddened, dark fuchsia pink with fuchsia-pink shimmer.  It’s a frost finish lipglass, and though my sample comes in a square tube, online shows it in a regular lipglass tube, so don’t buy because it’s square :)  It’s a very pigmented, color-rich gloss–so if you’ve always wanted a darker pink than Pink Poodle but still very intense, this might be it.
  • Prep + Prime Brightening Serum is a clear, slightly watery liquid that pumps out.  It’s hard to describe — it’s cool and thin, and it absorbs into skin quite quickly.  I haven’t used it long enough to really be able to tell you about results, but I can at least tell you about the consistency!  Hopefully will have more for you later on in April…

There are no must-haves in this collection from me. While all the color products in this launch are high quality and well-pigmented, they’re not necessarily must-haves.  Hey is the closest to a must-have, but I think you could easily substitute All That Glitters, Gleam, or Retrospeck in its place.  Sorcery is too similar to Sketch and Beautymarked, while Prepped for Glamour is quite similar to Satin TaupeJust Add Colour Lipglass is pretty, but again, just doesn’t strike me as a must-have.  You can’t go wrong with any of the four, so this is more of a “there’s nothing super-duper original or so awesomely pigmented you have to get it” kind of a review.

Skip if you have…

  • Skip Hey if you have All That Glitters, Gleam, or Retrospeck (unless you use these 24/7, then you’ll probably love Hey!).
  • Skip Sorcery if you have Sketch or Beautymarked, particularly if you don’t use those very often.
  • Skip Prepped for Glamour if you have Satin Taupe, unless you’ve always secretly wanted Satin Taupe but didn’t like how frosty it was.

So, are you stopping by MAC (or shopping online!) for Prep for Colour or are you waiting until Pret-a-Papier?

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

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