Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Chanel Les Pop Up de Chanel Bronzer

Going Bronze with Style

Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel ($50.00) is available in two different shades – Terre d’or and Terre Halee — and new for Chanel Les Pop-Up de Chanel Collection.  Every Summer, Chanel releases a limited edition bronzer (or two!), and this year is no exception.  It has a soft raised wave pattern across the surface, the illusion of summer sand.  Both shades are a finely-milled bronzing powder that apply naturally to skin.

If you take a swatch with a sponge-tip applicator (or finger), you’ll find it seems too much for a bronzing product, but when used with a brush, you’ll get a much softer, more natural look more appropriate to bronzing powders.  What’s nice about the underlying pigmentation is it can be built up to your preference, plus it works well for a variety of skin tones, too.

  • Terre d’or is a lighter, more golden, peachy bronze.  It has a very soft, silky feel with a subtle shimmer-sheen.  This shade is ideal for light to medium skin tones.
  • Terre Halee is a deeper, dirtier bronze with a subtle golden sheen.  It has the same feel an dfinish of Terre d’ore–a smooth, silken powder with a light shimmer and soft sheen.  This shade is ideal for medium to deep skin tones.

I’m on the lighter side of medium, but I’d definitely classify myself as medium in skin tone.  I find I like Terre d’or just a little more than Terre Halee on me, but I like a softer, lighter application of bronzer.  The sand pattern is cute without being too-beautiful-to-use or just a mist of overspray, too.

With a whopping 0.38 oz. of bronzer, this should last you all summer and then some.  At least Chanel didn’t skimp on product, even if this is a pricier bronzer (but the same price as other permanent shades of Soleil Tan de Chanel).

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  For a very silky smooth bronzer, Chanel’s Soleil Tan de Chanel range is always a good choice.  Terre d’or is suitable for light to medium skin tones, while Terre Halee is more suitable for those with deeper skin tones.

Availability:  May 2010

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Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Zoya Flash Collection
Zoya Nail Lacquer: Maura, Jolene, Jancyn, Robyn, Perrie, Dana (Natural Light)

Zoya Flash Collection Review, Photos, Swatches

Zoya Flash Collection includes six vibrant hues of cream finish polish. Each bottle will set you back $7 or you can grab the sampler (which is a set of all six in full-size) for $36.

  • Maura is a cherry tomato cream that goes opaque in one coat–seriously. You can easily use two or three, but this is one ultra pigmented red.
  • Jolene is a brightened blue-toned bubblegum pink. It’s very much a Barbie pink, and it only takes two coats to get solid color.
  • Jancyn is a brightened pumpkin orange cream with a slight lean towards yellow-orange. This is the only one of the six that I had slight formula problems with–it felt a little on the thick side, and I definitely needed three coats to get an even, streak-free look. It’s not a terrible polish, but compared to the others, it was a little more finnicky.
  • Robyn is a darkened, summer sky blue cream. It’s bright without being overwhelming or neon, and it’s easy to get total opaque color with just two coats.
  • Perrie is a darkened lilac cream with red undertones. Two coats is all you need for opaque color and a smooth, even finish.
  • Dana is a softly brightened fuchsia-red cream. It’s a pretty shade of rasperry-ish fuchsia that doesn’t look too bright, but it’s not going to hide in the background either. Like the other shades, this only needed two coats for full color coverage.

Had Zoya not also put out the Sparkle Collection, I could easily have seen myself enjoying these more, but I just find it pales in comparison to Sparkle. There are plenty of things to love about these brightened creams, but if I had to choose between the two collections, Sparkle gets my vote without question. Obviously, part of that is personal taste, but I felt like I hadn’t quite seen anything like the shades and finishes in Sparkle! Anyway…

The formula on all but Jancyn was smooth, even, and incredibly pigmented. You only needed two coats for solid, opaque color on each shade–again, with the exception of Jancyn–and on Maura, you could have gotten away with just one. It’s a smooth formula with a good consistency–not too thick, not too thin–which makes for an easy application. I didn’t have to experiment to find the “right” way to apply these. I liked that you could get nearly neon color without some of the application troubles neons pose. But to be clear, these are definitely creams and not neons, and they try with a slight glossiness rather than the near-matte of typical neons.

Even though the shades don’t seem completely unique or represent something new and totally different than ever before, the quality of the formula is excellent overall. Jancyn just felt a smidgen too thick, so perhaps a drop of thinner would solve that issue. Otherwise, these applied beautifully without streaking or bubbling and had a nice richness of color so you only needed two coats for full color.

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 love cream finish polishes and are in need of some summery shades, Flash might be made for you!

Availability: Zoya

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Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Soft Pink Lips for Summer

Chanel Les Pop-Up de Chanel Collection launches a new, but lonesome, shade of glossimer in Bikini Peach (#257). It’s a creamy, milky pink with yellow undertones and a soft, champagne shimmer with a glossy sheen. I can’t remember owning other creamy glossimers, so it’s an interesting shade for me. Despite its creaminess, it doesn’t settle too much into lip lines, and from a normal viewing distance, it just looks like a soft pink lip. I like that there’s enough color that it doesn’t read pasty on my warmer skin tone, as many milky pinks often do. It’s a fun, easy-to-wear shade that can be worn alone or layered over a lipstick, depending on what you’re going for.

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 a dazzling, moisturizing lip gloss in a milky pink shade, you may like this one. It’s suitable for both cool and warm skin tones, because it is more of a neutral, if slightly warm, pink.

Availability: May 2010

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Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Illamasqua Brink Lipstick
Illamasqua Brink Lipstick

The Summer Season: Illamasqua Brink Lipstick

Illamasqua Brink Lipstick ($20.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a brightened, peachy-coral with nearly matte finish–it does have a very subtle glossy sheen (but no shimmer). Because it has a more matte finish, it’s not an overly creamy lipstick–it doesn’t have a lot of slip–but it has enough creaminess to apply evenly, opaquely, and not dry out lips. This is a totally opaque lipstick, which is particularly good for those of you with more pigmented lips and never can find a coral that doesn’t look red on you.

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 →

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Orange Lipstick
Bobbi Brown Orange Lipstick

The Summer Season: Bobbi Brown Orange Lipstick

Bobbi Brown Orange Lip Color ($22.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a vibrant shade of deep orange. This is orange without being neon, flashy, or so unnatural that it looks weird–this is an orange you can wear that looks and feels like an orange, but it’s wearable. It’s a rich, opaque orange with a creamy finish and lightweight feel. It has a subtle glossy sheen and no scent or taste that I could distinguish. Bobbi Brown describes it as a “pumpkin orange,” but I’d say it’s a bit redder than a pumpkin. Nonetheless, count me amongst the surprised, because I never expected such a bold shade to come from Bobbi Brown!

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 5th, 2010

Zoya Sparkle Collection
Zoya Nail Lacquer: Alegra, Nidhi, Gilda, Ivanka, Charla, Mimi (Natural Light)

Summer Sparkle with Zoya

Zoya Sparkle Collection includes six sparkling shades of lacquer in fun, summery shades. Zoya Polishes are $7 a pop or else you can buy the Sparkle Sampler (includes full sizes of all six) for $36 (save $6!).

After reviewing several of this season’s nail lacquer collections, I might have to say this is my favorite in sum. (I think Chanel’s Nouvelle Vague is my ultimate favorite, but I have a penchant for Tiffany-blue polish, period, so I’d say that was a no-brainer.) I love me some glittering, sparkling polish, and Zoya does not disappoint here.

The glitter used in this feels very fine, more like a micro-glitter, so it has a smoother feel and look–and a huge plus is that it is easier to remove than traditional glitter polish. The polish has a very glassy look once you finish and apply a top coat, and the glitter shimmers across like sparkling water.

I found the formula to be consistent across all six shades, which is mostly a good thing. Despite having a very thin, almost watery feel and consistency, it works well and delivers stunning results. All of the shades required three coats for solid, opaque color, except Nidhi, which only needed two. Nonetheless, I found you could use thinner or thicker coats here–there wasn’t any concerns about application. I could get away with a thinner initial coat and go with medium-thick coats on two and three, or I could do three thin coats. The glitter spreads very evenly, which can sometimes be an issue in glittery lacquers. The drying time seemed faster than usual on these, and even without a top coat, these had quite a bit of gleam.

  • Alegra is a fuchsia-red jelly base with deeper red and fuchsia iridescence. I found I did need three coats in order to get an opaque look, but the glitter applied evenly, so it wasn’t a hassle at all.
  • Nidhi is a darkened squishy fire-orange with gold and red glitter flecks that are most noticeable when light catches them just right. I found this shade to be the most pigmented of the bunch–so pigmented that you only need two thin coats to get a solid color, though I still used three in the swatches.
  • Gilda is a brightened fuchsia-pink with iridescent fuchsia sparkle. I felt like this one almost glowed in the light! This was a three coater for me.
  • Ivanka is a dazzling emerald green with a darker, forest green base and brighter, more emerald-esque shimmer along with gold and green flecks. I thought this one applied and looked the most beautiful out of the six. I felt like you could get away with just two coats here, but I liked three better.
  • Charla is a glassy darkened sky blue with greenish-teal flecks of shimmer in it. Of the six, I found this to be the sheerest, surprisingly. You definitely need three thicker coats on this one. To be honest, though, you can only see a hint of the nail beneath when it’s under very strong light.
  • Mimi is a deep, royal purple with iridescent flecks of purple shimmer. I thought this one was stunning–what I love about it is how fantastic it looks even in low light conditions. It doesn’t turn into a muddy purpled black at all.

These are really some can’t-be-missed polishes for lacquer addicts out there. All six are fantastic in look, feel, and formula. There are absolutely no duds here, and I don’t think you could go wrong with any of them (or all!). Of course, I have my favorites, but they’re more based on my personal taste than anything else. For the curious, my favorites (in order) are: Ivanka, Mimi, Nidhi, and Charla. I liked Alegra and Gilda, but I don’t wear red-based shades so much as brighter shades. But I’m actually going to just wear all of them at once for fun, since I can’t decide! :)

Tell me, are you loving these as much as I am? I hope I’m not the only one swooning!

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 love sparkling nails without the chunkiness of real glitter, Zoya’s Sparkle Collection has your number.

Availability: Zoya

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