Friday, December 4th, 2009


China Glaze Flyin’ High Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Up & Away Collection: Flyin’ High

China Glaze Flyin’ High Nail Lacquer is an opaque, sky blue creme with a slight teal undertone — it can easily photograph more on the teal side, while it’s quite obviously blue. I’d also say it’s a little deeper than shown, though – but it’s kind of the difference when light reflects vs. you’re in the shade. Unlike Something Sweet, this one applied much more like a dreamy cream (harhar! couldn’t resist!) and just one medium-thick coat would probably be enough. I prefer my polish in layers (two to three), so I went for a thinner first coat and followed with a thicker second coat and left it at that. I used China Glaze for a base coat and Zoya for a top coat.

The formula in Flyin’ High is similar to the deeper shades from the Up & Away Collection; it’s thick, pigmented, and easier to apply than the lighter, paler shades from the same collection. It’s not runny at all, though, so you have a lot more control over the product, even if it is on the thicker side of things.  Again, be sure to keep hands flat while waiting for each coat to dry a bit, because the thickness of the formula can move to the sides if you hold your hand on the tilt. It also best to give each layer some time to dry and not just layer it on immediately.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:

Availability: January 2010

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Friday, December 4th, 2009


China Glaze Something Sweet Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Up & Away Collection: Something Sweet

China Glaze Something Sweet Nail Lacquer is a soft, baby girl pink with just a smidgen of lilac creme polish. It’s just pink enough to have color, but it’s still fairly pale and pastel, thus spring-appropriate.  It’s pinker in soft light/shade, but the lilac is more apparent in brighter light.  I did find this one to be a little harder to apply (the paler shades I had more trouble, overall, as compared to the deeper shades). I tried two different applications, and I found doing a thinner coat first (even though slightly streaky) and then layering a thicker coat on top ended up being a better route.

The formula itself is incredibly thick and very pigmented – if you go for a thick coat, you can easily go opaque with just one layer. If you’re not used to cremes, you may find it takes an application or two to figure out what works best with you. Also, be sure to keep hands flat while waiting for each coat to dry a bit, because the thickness of the formula can move to the sides if you hold your hand on the tilt. It also best to give each layer some time to dry and not just layer it on immediately.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If pastel, baby pinks appeal to you, Something Sweet is just sweet enough.

Availability:  January 2010

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Friday, December 4th, 2009

China Glaze Up & Away Collection
Top row: Heli-Yum, Sugar High, High Hopes, Peachykeen, Happy Go Lucky, Lemon Fizz
Bottom Row: Four Leaf Clover, Flyin’ High, Re-Fresh Mint, Grape Pop, Light As Air, Something Sweet

Sneak Peek: China Glaze Up & Away Collection

These *just* arrived like… fifteen minutes ago. I know how many of you were excited over the launch, so I figured I’d quickly snap some photos to whet your appetite :) I’ll be swatching these this afternoon and posting detailed reviews tomorrow, so stay tuned!

P.S. – I think most of them are fairly color accurate, but I was having trouble capturing Four Leaf Clover (at least with the other shades) – it’s way, way greener.

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Friday, December 4th, 2009

Affordable Makeup Brushes:  Sonia Kashuk’s Twist of Fate Brush Set

Sonia Kashuk Twist of Fate Brush Set ($19.99) is a limited edition holiday brush set with six brushes housed inside a gorgeous, shimmering black clutch.

The six brushes you get are: blush brush, foundation brush, blending brush, small eyeshadow brush, smudge brush, and lash/brow groomer brush. The only brush I felt was kind of a throwaway was the lash/brow groomer – it’s just not a great brush, and it certainly couldn’t comb my lashes worth a darn, so I wasn’t pleased with it. The other five brushes, however, are much better and certainly more useful.

Sonia Kashuk is an extremely reliable, trustworthy brand, particularly for beauty tools. Whenever someone asks me about a budget-friendly brush brand, Sonia Kashuk is my go-to for a reommendation. These brushes are soft, fluffy, and useable. They’re not as good as my MAC brushes overall (I would say MAC brushes are softer, particularly for face brushes), but they’re around 75% there. Close, but not the same – but much more affordable.

In comparison, I would say the blush brush is similar to MAC’s 129 (a little bigger and not as rounded), the foundation brush is closest to MAC’s 190 (but a little smaller and thicker), and the other brushes don’t have as close matches. If pressed, I’d say the small eyeshadow brush is similar to MAC’s 239, while the blending brush is similar to MAC’s 222. Finally, Sonia Kashuk’s smudge brush is closest to MAC’s 231.

Even though the brushes are totally great for the price (and pretty good, period), my favorite part about the set is the CLUTCH. I usually hate the bags, clutches, etc. that come with brush sets and never use them again (they just sit around collecting dust, because I feel guilty tossing them), but this one is really fun and perfect for the holidays. It’s big enough to actually be used as a clutch and looks elegant and festive. I’d probably pay $19.99 just for the clutch!

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation:  For affordable brushes, Sonia Kashuk always has you covered!

Availability: Target

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Friday, December 4th, 2009

Holiday Makeup Palettes:  Prescriptives Luster Baked Eye Color Quad — Cool

Prescriptives Luster Baked Eye Color Quad ($40.00) is available in two varieties: cool and warm. The one I’m reviewing is the cool palette, which contains four shades of lightly shimmered, soft sheen baked eyeshadows.

The four shades in the palette are: a soft, plummy pink with gold shimmer; copper-bronze with peachy gold shimmer; pinky bronze with soft sheen; and a neutral-cool chocolate brown with soft gold shimmer. The shades work extremely well together, which is something I love to see in a palette–just on principle–so this is something you can easily take with you during your holiday travels. (Or not, if you’re staying home like me!)

The texture is soft and smooth, and the shades themselves are fairly pigmented. They’re not ultra intense, but they have good pigmentation and aren’t too sheer or overwhelming to use. Since they’re baked, they can be used wet for more intensity, and you don’t have to worry about the wetness ruining the product like the typical powder product.

These are very similar to MAC’s Mineralize Eyeshadows, even down to the fact that they’re baked on a terracotta plate. Considering both brands are owned by Estee Lauder, I’m not too surprised. Props to Prescriptives for putting them in a palette, though, and also? not giving us an overly glittery mess of useless color! These are much less frosty than MAC Mineralize Eyeshadows tend to be as well, so that may also appeal to you.

I’m not a big baked/mineralize eyeshadow fan myself, so this palette didn’t get me dancing, but it was a nice piece to see for the holiday season, and I think those who do love themselves some mineralized goodness will want to check this out.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love MAC Mineralize Eyeshadows, you may find Prescriptives’ Baked Eyeshadow Palettes are right up your alley!

Availability: Nordstrom

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Friday, December 4th, 2009

Givenchy Elegant Pearl and Tender Pearl Gloss Interdit Ultra-Shiny Color Plumping Effect ($24.50 for 0.21 oz.) are two new, limited edition shades from Givenchy’s holiday collection. They’re sheer, pearlescent, and they pack a shimmering punch.

Elegant Pearl is a sheer, bright silver with white and silver shimmer. On lips, it gives lips a cooler, paler look with silver sparkle and a glossy sheen. It did remind me of MAC’s She-Zam Dazzleglass, which was another limited edition shade for the holiday season. Givenchy’s gloss is smoother and the shimmer much finer, which are both pluses in my book. (Oddly enough, MAC’s Dazzleglass is priced at $300/oz. while Givenchy is around $115/oz. — Dazzleglass only has 0.06 oz. of product!)

Tender Pearl is a sheer, neutral baby pink with gold and pink shimmer. It goes on as an almost milky, soft baby pink with sparkles of pink and gold – almost multicolored. It adds some color, but it’s not opaque – it really just made my lips look pinker, plusher, and paler.

This gloss formula is non-sticky and fairly hydrating with a perfume-y scent (though not as synthetic or as overwhelming as brands like Guerlain and YSL–neither of which I mind, but worth noting for those that do). It is supposed to plump up lips, but I didn’t notice any tingling or even noticeable plumping for that matter. The high gloss finish does make lips look more noticeable.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you like sheer, sparkling glosses, you might like these limited edition shades!

Availability: Sephora

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