Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Paul & Joe Beaute #4 Lip Lacquer

Paul & Joe Beaute Tenderness (#4) Lip Lacquer ($20.00 for 0.13 ml) is a beige-peach with surprisingly opaque coverage.  It has no shimmer but lots of glossiness–it has the pigmentation of a lipstick but the cushy feel of a gloss.  I love that despite it’s creaminess it doesn’t emphasize lip lines like some creamier shades do.  I’m also really impressed by the coverage.The packaging is cute from the box it comes in to the tube itself, and it’s easy to apply on the go, so it may become a shade I keep in my bag to have a go-to color (can you believe that I have absolutely no lipstick or lipgloss in my purse?).  I couldn’t really detect any scent, maybe the faintest sweet fruit aroma, but I really couldn’t tell.

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 love the feel and look of a gloss but want the pigmentation of a lipstick, you might like Tenderness Lip Lacquer.

Availability: Beauty Habit

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Monday, April 12th, 2010

Milani Mandarina Lipstick

The Summer Season: Milani Mandarina Lipstick

Milani Mandarina Lipstick ($4.99 for 0.13 oz.) is a vibrant, tangerine-orange with a glossy sheen and completely opaque color. This is not an orange for the faint of heart! This is a bold, unabashedly orange lipstick. The best part of this lipstick is how truly pigmented it is–trust me, I was impressed upon swatching at just how opaque the color is on lips. It lasts about three hours on me, but it fades evenly enough that it’s not a big deal when it does. I wish the scent was a little less synthetic/waxy–even just vanilla would work for me. Otherwise, the intense color pay off and creamy look and feel of the formula is well worth the five dollar price tag.

Is this the right orange 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 12th, 2010

Urban Decay De-Slick in a Tube

Mattify Oily Skin with De-Slick… in a Tube

Urban Decay De-Slick In A Tube ($28.00 for 0.67 oz.) is a mattifying gel as a follow-up to De-Slick Mattifying Powder ($30.00 for 0.40 oz.). Both products are designed to help those with oilier skin combat oiliness by providing a matte finish.

What’s interesting is that when you compare the ingredients, there’s nothing (at least not to me–I’m no chemist) in common. One thing to note is for those who prefer their products paraben-free, De-Slick in a Tube is just that. While the Mattifying Powder is supposed to have a translucent finish, it does seem to show up a bit on those with deeper skin tones (think medium and deeper). This makes the new Tube formulation a better option, because it’s not a powder. In fact, it really feels and seems like a mattifying primer.

Ingredients in De-Slick Mattifying Powder: Talc, Calcium Carbonate, Tricaprylin, Methylparaben, Sorbic Acid, Propylparaben, Tetrasodium EDTA, Butylparaben, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate. May Contain: CI 77007 (Ultramarines), CI 77742 (Manganese Violet).

Ingredients in De-Slick in a Tube: Aqua (Water), Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Propylene Glycol, Allantoin, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Fragrance.

This feels like a gel-to-powder kind of product–it doesn’t have a traditional silicone-feel, and I didn’t notice the product pilling on my skin, either, which is something that may happen with silicone-based primers. After reading the ingredient list, it looks like De-Slick uses a clay-based ingredient (Magnesium Aluminum Silicate) to help absorb the oilies. It feels thick when you squeeze it out, but it applies smoothly, evenly, and feels incredibly lightweight. One problem I had with application, though, was the product dries down pretty quick, so I’d advise working in small areas, rather than the whole face at once.

Even though I like it best as a primer, you can use it over makeup for touch-ups throughout the day, if you need to. It’s kind of cool that you can do that without smearing your makeup all over the place. I do find it’s better on places without color product (e.g. cheeks), but it’s pretty workable as a touch-up product. Personally, I’d opt for a powder for touch-ups, just because this tube is pretty small and you shouldn’t need much touching up if you use this in the AM.

De-Slick in a Tube works well to provide a smoother, silkier surface for applying your makeup, and I definitely felt like I got better, longer wear out of my foundation as I went on past hour eight–though I am more normal-to-dry with just a little oiliness towards the very, very end of the day on my T-zone. De-Slick definitely made my T-zone less noticeably oily (though still somewhat) at the end of the day. I’d say that instead of being noticeably oily after eight hours, I didn’t notice any oiliness until after twelve hours.

It is pricier than I’d expect from Urban Decay–at least for the amount you get. For reference, Smashbox Photofinish Primer is $36/1 oz., Make Up For Ever HD Primer is $32/1.01 oz., and Korres is $28/1.01 oz. For $28, you’re only getting 0.67 oz. — not totally dismal, but it’s noticeably less than other high-end brands.  I find I use just as much product with De-Slick in a Tube as I would with other primers, so I really would have liked to see this better priced or the quantity bumped up to a full ounce.

Oh, and psst, Smashbox Anti-Shine is $27/1.01 oz. and the ingredients are very much the same (but it does have parabens).  I haven’t tried it myself, but now I’m curious about it, since you’ll get 0.33 oz. more for a $1 less.

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: If you have particularly oily skin, De-Slick in a Tube makes a great mattifying gel-based primer that will help keep the oilies at bay for a few hours longer than without. Those with drier skin may want to avoid this primer, as the matte finish may accentuate dryness.

Availability: Urban Decay (Sephora in May)

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Monday, April 12th, 2010

Chanel Super Lipstick
Chanel Super Rouge Allure Lipstick

Go Pretty in Pink with Chanel

Just in time for summer, Chanel’s Les Pop-Up de Chanel Collection (which is now starting to pop-up–pardon the pun–in stores) introduces two new and limited edition shades of Rouge Allure LipstickSuper (rose) and Genial (coral). When I visited my local Chanel counter, Darling was also listed. Rouge Allure Lipsticks retail for $30 a pop. I picked up both Genial and Darling last week but I’ll show you those later this week–not to worry! :)

Super is a brightened pink subtly splashed with fuchsia with just a subtle blue-base to it–normally blue-based pinks can make me look a little corpse-ish, but this one has just enough to give it a cool edge (which also helps make my teeth look a bit whiter!). It has a naturally glossy sheen and semi-opaque color coverage. It looks pretty solid on my lips when pictured from a distance, but you’ll notice in the close-up that you can still see my lil’ lip beauty mark!

When I first swatched this on my arm, it seemed really vibrant and almost neon, but on lips it’s a lot more wearable. I think on more pigmented lips, this might read a stronger red-pink than as light as it is on my lips, and for those with very un-pigmented lips, I imagine you will find this looks a little brighter (more true-to-skin-swatch).

It’s a cute, perfect-for-summer shade with the fabulous Rouge Allure formula–smooth, moisturizing, and wears for a nice four to five hours. It’s almost a must-have, but it’s not quite there for me; perhaps if it was more opaque, I’d be totally loving it. But hey, it almost matches Riviera, so matching lips and nails… could be cute!

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 always wanted a bright pink in Chanel’s Rouge Allure formula, you should definitely check this shade out.  If you’re looking for a totally opaque bright pink, this isn’t quite there.

Availability: May 2010

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Monday, April 12th, 2010

MAC Violetta Lipstick

The Summer Season: MAC Violetta Lipstick

MAC Violetta Lipstick ($14.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a red-based violet purple with a glossy sheen. It has an amplified creme finish and a permanent PRO shade (which does, occasionally, make an appearance on maccosmetics.com as part of seasonal trend reports). It has a very reddish-purple base with more of a true violet iridescent/overlay, but it looks cohesive once applied. Personally, I don’t wear Violetta on its own, but I love pairing it with iridescent or milky pinks as well as fuchsias to brighten it.

Is this the right purple 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 12th, 2010

Essie Resort Collection
Essie Nail Lacquers: Playa del Platinum, Lapis of Luxury,
Turquoise & Caicos, Splash of Grenadine (Natural Light)

Essie Resort Collection: Review, Photos, Swatches

For summer, Essie created the Resort Collection, which features four cream-finish shades: Playa del Platinum (elegant and sheer sandy gray), Lapis of Luxury (dreamy ocean blue), Turquoise & Caicos (flirt and pretty tropical aqua), and Splash of Grenadine (playful magenta pink). The collection will launch in May, and each bottle retails for $8.

  • Playa del Platinum is a coffee-shaded gray. It reads more like a very light, grayish-taupe on me and not really flat out gray. This shade needed three coats for a solid, smooth look.
  • Lapis of Luxury is a bluer periwinkle. It’s not quite a true periwinkle cream, because it does run a little bluer, but that was the first descriptor that came to mind. I found I needed three coats to get a smooth finish with no streaks.
  • Turquoise & Caicos is a green-teal cream. If you thought it might be like China Glaze’s For Audrey or Chanel’s Nouvelle Vague, it’s most definitely not. Both of those shades are blue-based teal,while this is distinctly green-based. I found it a little streaky, so I wound up using three coats on this one.
  • Splash of Grenadine is a red-based pinky purple. It’s not quite a purple, but it’s also not really a pink. This is the only shade I felt you could get away with just two coats on (which is what is pictured), and this also applied better than the other three.

All four colors are absolutely lovely–very fun and summery without being bright or neon. They’re playful, and I think they’ll be particularly pretty on toes. My only problem with the collection came with the formula. While definitely workable and worth working with, it’s a little on the watery/runny side, which made it a little more difficult to apply than I’d like. Because of the runny consistency, the polish has a tendency to apply streaky, necessitating three coats in most instances.

It’s not impossible or even that difficult to get a smooth, even look, it’s just a definite issue from the formula. I found that laying down a thin, streaky-as-all-get-out coat, and then building up with a slightly thicker second and third coat, produced the best results. Oh! and don’t forget to let each coat dry a bit before layering the next on top, totally crucial step with these. I think for those who have more than fifty polishes to their name won’t find these all that troublesome to work with. The formula is okay but not great; you can get good results, but you have to be patient.

Are you loving any of these shades?

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  I love the colors of the shades included in this launch but the formula is just okay, so if there’s a color that you absolutely love, it’s definitely worth picking up, but if it doesn’t leave you breathless, skip it.

Availability: Essie

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