Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Dolce & Gabbana Midnight Bloom Collection
Dolce & Gabbana Shine Lipstick: Emotion (56) & Delicate (53)

Summer Preview: Dolce & Gabbana Midnight Bloom — Shine Lipsticks & Lipgloss

To finish off our Dolce & Gabbana summer preview of the Midnight Bloom Collection, today we’ll look at two new shades of Shine Lipstick (Delicate and Emotion) and one new shade of Lipgloss (Delicious). Shine Lipsticks retail for $30, while Lipglosses retail for $29. Dolce & Gabbana (the makeup!) is only available at Saks.

Shine Lipstick ($30.00)

  • Emotion (53) is a pinked mauve with a champagne-pink-gold shimmer. It’s like a champagne bronze kissed with fairytale plum. It really does deserve such a whimsical description. These two shades of Shine Lipsticks are particularly lovely–it’s almost like a duochrome eyeshadow, but you know, *lipstick*!
  • Delicate (56) is a softened coral-peach color base with golden peach and gold shimmer and a champagne sheen. Like Delicate, it has that mix of sheen, frost, shimmer, and color. I’d say this wasn’t quite as opaque as Delicate, but it is still a medium coverage lipstick.

I tried Gold Shine Lipstick last December, and even though the color was totally fun and funky (and definitely not similar to anything I already owned, which is kind of a big deal for me!), it didn’t sell me on the Shine formula like these do. Gold showed me lots of shimmer–borderline glitter–but these are softer, smoother. They wear well (four to six hours on me) without drying out lips. Both shades applied evenly and gave nearly opaque color (you can always tell by my lip “freckle”), even though “shine” makes me think sheerer coverage.

If you’re sensitive to scent, you may not like the rosy scent that accompanies Dolce & Gabbana’s lipsticks, though. Packaging is in line with the rest of Dolce & Gabbana: gold metal that looks and feels luxe (nice weight to the lipsticks) but still holds fingerprints. (Seriously, isn’t it about time sometime invented fingerprint-proof metal for cosmetics?)

Lipgloss ($29.00)

  • Delicious (73) is a medium coral-orange cream finish gloss. It is nearly opaque (again, my lip “freckle” is nearly hidden). Dolce & Gabbana described the shade as “candy pink,” but I really don’t think it fits. I just don’t see any pink whatsoever in this. I even have a slightly naturally rosy pucker, so you’d think it would emphasize the pink, but this reads coral on my lips. Not that that’s an issue, though, because it’s a very fun, summer-appropriate shade. It’s creamy enough to give you that no-shimmer, high-gloss look and doesn’t settle into lip lines much (less noticeable from a normal viewing distance than upclose!).

Dolce & Gabbana’s Lipgloss is slightly tacky, though I wouldn’t describe it as sticky–just not non-sticky entirely. I typically get about three hours of wear with the gloss alone, which is about average to a little above average for a gloss on me. Like the Shine Lipsticks, it is rose-scented, so sensitive-sniffers beware! Packaging is a clear base with a “gold” metal cap, and of course, pricing is that of a high-end, more luxe brand (think Chanel, Guerlain, etc.).

Dolce & Gabbana is always an indulgence, but in the past few months, I’ve found more products to love than ones that disappoint. I remember being a little wary in the beginning, but their products have really worked well for me so far!

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’re a fan of shimmer and sheen in your lipstick and don’t mind paying for it, the two new shades of Shine Lipstick are beautiful. Delicate will work beautifully on both cool and warm skin tones, while Emotion will work better on warmer skin tones but is still wearable for those with cooler skin tones (but you may want to pair it with cooler eyes!). Delicious Lipgloss is fun but it’s a warmer coral, so it is better suited for warmer skin tones and would look nice over Emotion.

Availability: May 2010 at Saks

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Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Givenchy Pardas'Eyes Liner

Givenchy New Impressions Collection: Parad’Eyes

Givenchy Parad’Eyes Eye Liner ($27.00 for 0.1 oz.) includes two new shades as part of Givenchy’s New Impressions Collection for Spring 2010. The two shades are…

  • Mauve Impression (8) is more pink than move. It’s a clear base with lots of shimmering pink sparkle. It’s very pretty and spring-y, but it didn’t show up mauve at all on me! Sephora described the shade as “metallic lilac,” which is a little easier to get behind than “Mauve.”
  • Nude Impression (9) is a metallic bronze with champagne and bronze shimmer. Like Mauve Impression, it seems like a clear base with colored shimmer rather than a colored base.

The Parad’Eyes Eyeliners come in square tubes with predominantly black packaging with the bottom of the top with Givenchy’s logo in blue and the bottom of the product in a bronzy-gold and the label. I find that these liners do stay on well, once they dry (which takes a little longer than the average liquid liner), but with these being more glitter/shimmer based, they look best layered over a solid-colored liner. These can also be fun on lashes for a little extra bling-bling over mascara. They stay on without budging or flaking, but they may be a little pricey just for a glitter/shimmer eye liner!

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 bit of added sparkle to your spring look, these certainly will do the trick! They’re sheer enough to be versatile and universal, but they have plenty o’ bling to give you that glitz and glam. They’re on the pricey side, though in line with high-end prices, so they may be more of an indulgence. Both shades should work nicely on both cool and warm skin tones, because neither is so warm/cool–though naturally Nude pairs the best with warmer skin tones and Mauve with cooler skin tones.

Availability: Sephora

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Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Dolce & Gabbana Midnight Bloom Collection

Dolce & Gabbana — Summer Preview — Laguna Eyeshadow Duo

Laguna Eyeshadow Duo ($36.00 for 0.17 oz.) is new for Dolce & Gabbana’s summer collection (due out in May), and I’m excited to show you a sneak preview of this perfect-for-summer duo! It includes a softly teal-shimmered muted sky blue and a rich, blackened forest green with gold and green shimmer.

At first, I thought that the bluish side was like Benefit’s Mermaid Eyeshadow, but it’s not. It’s more like a blue version, if anything, but after looking at both, they’re definitely not similar. The forest green shade originally reminded me of NARS Night Porter, but the finish is softer and smoother and it’s a shimmer/sheen rather than a glitter finish.

The texture of Dolce & Gabbana eyeshadows is amazing. It’s soft, smooth, and buttery. I love that Dolce & Gabbana puts out colors amongst more muted shades, too, because I think it gives them more variety. But even better is that their colors actually show-up true-to-pan!

Surprisingly, Dolce & Gabbana is cheaper by the ounce than NARS Eyeshadow Duos–$211/oz. vs. $228/oz. (and not so surprisingly, cheaper than NARS, Make Up For Ever, and MAC singles), but you do get the luxe, “gold” metal casing for your buck, too (but it does hold fingerprints as is typical with metal packaging). I’m actually surprised that these are priced so similarly to NARS Eyeshadow Duos, because the Dolce & Gabbana line-up is more comparable to Chanel and Dior in terms of pricing, typically.

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 really smooth eyeshadows that go on like butter, Dolce & Gabbana Eyeshadow Duos hit the mark. If you’ve been hunting for a blue that’s not too bright or overwhelming, you may find this duo works well. I think this duo in particularly is suitable for both cool and warm skin tones, too!

Availability: May 2010 at Saks Fith Avenue

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Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Lime Crime Lipstick

Lime Crime: Lipsticks Reviews, Photos, Swatches

Over the months, I have been hemming and hawing over whether or not to do this review.  Doe sent me these just around the time they were available to pre-order.  Recently, Dusty, a long-time reader, asked me if I had tried them and what my opinion was. I’ve decided that it’s time to review these, despite the controversy over the brand itself, for my readers–for good or bad. I only ask that you leave me out of the drama! (In fact, Dusty said I could blame him, so I’m going to!)

Lipsticks ($16.00)

  • Airborne Unicorn is a pinky-purple lilac with a mostly opaque look. On me, it’s similar to MAC’s Lavender Whip and Lady Gaga.
  • Centrifuchsia is a brightened medium-dark pink. This is one of the more wearable shades of the ten released. I felt like this shade had the best feel/texture out of the entire line.
  • Cosmopop is a lightened peachy-orange. This one looks a little chalky on my lips, and it was a bit on the drier side for application, which ended up with a streakier application.
  • Countessa Fluorescent is a brightened blue-based pink with a little smidgen of purple. It’s like a slightly more neon version of Pepto Bismal. (No, seriously!)
  • D’Lilac is a very cool-toned lilac, almost more like a light purple than a lilac. I had trouble getting this one to apply evenly–it was very streaky, a bit dry, and it required some effort to apply opaquely. One of my least favorites in terms of feel/texture.
  • Great Pink Planet is like a more toned version of Countessa Fluorescent–a milky pink with a smidgen of lilac. Like D’Lilac, I had a lot of trouble applying this one evenly.
  • My Beautiful Rocket is a medium-darkened orange. This applied decently, much like Centrifuchsia, and it went opaque without much trouble. I thought this one’s color differed quite a bit from the brand’s swatch on their website (which almost shows a duo-tone of orange and gold).
  • No She Didn’t is a medium aqua blue that applies mostly opaque, but it can be a little on the streaky side so it looks a bit dry and chalky. Though it’s pigmented, for an unusual color like this, I’d probably opt for an OCC Lip Tar instead.
  • Retrofuturist is a blue-based red that applies nearly opaque and does so in about two layers.
  • Styletto is a slightly glossy black. It applies opaque, but it’s really a pain. I suppose most black lipsticks are a pain, so this one is no exception. It bleeds more than any of the other shades, and it requires a few layers to build solid, even color. I think it needs to be a little creamier in order to apply more evenly and crisply.

The good: The lipsticks are quite pigmented overall, and I didn’t have to layer them a zillion times to get solid, opaque color–this is really the standout feature of these lipsticks. They have a light vanilla scent to them when you first open, so I think most people will be pleased with the scent. The darker shades leave a stain behind, which may or may not be what you want (you may not want slightly blue-tinged lips for a day later, but you might enjoy a pink stain!).

I also really liked and appreciated that the lipsticks had a customized design and look to them.  They weren’t just stock tubes, so I can see that time and care went into them.  It also seems particularly unusual for a more “indie” brand, so definite kudos for that!

The bad: With all of the shades, I found I needed to wear a lip liner if I was actually going to wear them out, because they had a tendency to bleed around the edges, particularly with the darker shades (and of course, less so with lighter shades). After wearing these for a few hours, several shades are particularly drying–the only shades I found that didn’t feel drying were Centrifuchsia, My Beautiful Rocket, and Retrofuturist.I think this is because the formula itself is so full of pigments that the formula itself is drier and clings to lips and doesn’t provide any added moisture or a barrier to lock moisture in.

Some of the chalkier shades like Cosmopop, D’Lilac, and Great Pink Planet applied unevenly and these shades left a color-ring around the edges of my lips as they faded.  To cover up the streakiness, I found applying a semi-opaque lipgloss on top helped out quite a bit.

The packaging is not for everyone–it’s kind of a fuchsia-purple tube decorated with holographic unicorns–but I personally found the case itself to feel a little cheap. It’s just not as heavy or as solid as I’d expect (or prefer). Not quite as light as one of the worst lipsticks (in terms of packaging) I’ve tried, but it’s just not as high quality as I’d expect.

Something curious I found was the vanilla scent seemed to disappear significantly once I used these. While they have a pleasing vanilla scent, they have a waxy feel and taste. It’s not terrible, but it’s not exactly delicious!

Overall:  These lipsticks are just okay.  If I’m going to shell out $16 a pop, I expect it to rival other mid- to high-end lipsticks, but it really doesn’t, overall.  Centrifuchsia had the best texture–it was pigmented, didn’t dry lips out, felt lightweight, and it left a stain behind.  Many of the other shades, though, felt too thick, which is something that can emphasize dryness on the lips and settle into lip lines.  The biggest reason these lost so many points is they don’t live up to the claims — most colors require at least two layers for smooth, even, opaque coverage, and I wouldn’t describe these as creamy, either.

It seemed like the closer you got to “normal” color, the better the formula was, but the further you got from “normal” color, the worse it was!  For better results, make sure you moisturize and hydrate lips well in advance, apply lip liner to keep color from bleeding and migrating, and then apply with a lip brush to ensure more even coverage.

My picks: Centrifuchsia, Countessa Flurorescent

Skip: D’Lilac, Great Pink Planet

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

  • Product: 22/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: If you’ve been on the hunt for a really off-the-wall color and see it here, it may be worth getting to satisfy that need. These just don’t stack up to most mid- to high-end lipstick formulas, so I’d opt for another brand instead, if you were just looking for a new shade of lipstick.

Availability: Lime Crime

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Friday, March 19th, 2010

MAC Art Supplies Collection
Zinc Zone, Uniformly Blue, Slick Black, Greengrease, Dirty, Charred Mauve, Brown Now, Below Ground

MAC Art Supplies Collection — Sneak Peek

Some Art Supplies’ samples just arrived this morning, and I’ll do a review and write-up of these later this afternoon, but I wanted to get you guys some photos and swatches ASAP! :) It’s not everything, mind you — there are a total of six Pearlglide shades and nine Lipstain Marker shades being released with the full collection.

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Friday, March 19th, 2010

Guerlain Brit Rouge G Le Brilliant Lipstick
Guerlain Brit Rouge G de Brilliant Lipstick

The Spring Season: Guerlain Brit Rouge G de Brilliant Lipstick

Guerlain Brit (B40) Rouge G Le Brillant Lipstick ($46.00) is a softened coral-orange with a rich, glossy sheen and subtle gold shimmer. As I mentioned in my review of a few shades of Rouge G Le Brilliant, the formula is smooth, glossy, lightweight, and moisturizing. It feels almost like a lipstick-gloss hybrid on lips, and the color is sheer but not ultra sheer.

You get enough color pay off, but it’s sheer enough that those with more pigmented lips will find more variation in how these shades look on their lips. Brit lasts around three or four hours on me, as compared to the original Rouge G line-up that lasts an average of five hours.

I love this kind of color for spring, though. It’s a pop of color without being bright or overwhelming and can be worn alone with just mascara or paired with a heavier eye look.

Is this the right coral lipstick for you? Would you wear it?

The Spring Season is a series of posts featuring my favorite soft beige, coral, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for the first blossom of spring — that runs through March 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →