Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

La Prairie Whisper Lipgloss
La Prairie Cellular Lip Colour Effects

La Prairie Cellular Lip Colour Effects: Breezy Coral, Pink Shell

La Prairie Cellular Lip Colour Effects ($40.00 for 0.25 oz.) saw the release of two new shades–Breezy Coral and Pink Shell last year. Though both are limited edition, they seem to be readily available where La Prairie is sold. La Prairie’s gloss contains their Cellular Complex, plus Vitamin C and Aloe Vera, while giving lips a slight plumping effect along with moisture.

From La Prairie: This irresistible semi-gloss transparent glaze with lip-plumping properties helps restore youthful fullness while producing a natural luminosity that lasts and lasts. Fortified with vitamins and moisturizers, it soothes, conditions and prevents dryness. It is luxuriously smooth and easy to apply, without feathering or bleeding. Designed to be used alone or applied over your lipstick for added gloss and depth of colour.

  • Breezy Coral is a semi-sheer coral-pink with peachy gold shimmer.
  • Pink Shell is a semi-sheer pale pinked beige with muted champagne and soft pink shimmer.

These are very decadent glosses; both in the packaging which is long, sleek, and secure as well as the formula itself, which is thicker but not thick. They are moisturizing, and they do last a solid four hours without being a sticky gloss at all. I’m not sure why, but the scent reminds me of something clean – it doesn’t have any of the classic scents like rose, vanilla, berry, but there is something there. A little soapy, I suppose.

Lips do look and appear fuller and softer, not necessarily ultra plump, and there’s nary a tingle from start to finish from the formula, so the effect is subtle.  There is a nice shine on this that’s not too over the top with some color though designed to be sheer.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: It’s a nice gloss, though I’m not sure it greatly improves the health of my lips overall, so some of the marketing spiel gets lost on me.   I like them–they’re soft, smooth, easy to apply, and look fantastic.  The shades are universally appealing with soft color and sophisticated shimmer that’s never too much.  I like that after fifteen to twenty minutes of wear, lip lines are de-emphasized and softened.

WHERE TO BUY: Saks

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Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Philosophy Silent Night 3-in-1 Shower Gel
Philosophy Silent Night 3-in-1 Shower Gel

Philosophy Silent Night 3-in-1 Shower Gel

Philosophy Silent Night 3-in-1 Shower Gel ($16.00 for 0.16 oz.) is an earthy lavender-scented multi-purpose product (body wash, shampoo, or bubble bath).  It really smells like… well, lavender.  If you’re used to sweeter, more vanilla-based lavender scents, you might find this too earthy.  I love lavender, and it’s one of my favorite scents to use before I go to sleep, so it’s great for a night time bath or shower.

Philosophy Shower Gels are one of my personal favorites for body washes, because they come in an assortment of scents, with new ones each season. They lather up well and leave skin feeling clean without any tightness or dryness. I wouldn’t call these a moisturizing body wash nor do their scents linger. If you prefer your body wash to leave behind a long-lasting scent, these won’t be for you, but if you like to enjoy the scent while you shower but don’t want it to linger beyond, then these are perfect. (I belong to the latter category!) I don’t find them to lather quite as well in the hair, and they work in a pinch to clean hair, but I prefer many other shampoos over this one. It does, however, work well as a bubble bath, too–a little goes a long way.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: If you like more earthy, herb-inspired scents, I think you’ll like Silent Night (given you enjoy lavender as a base, of course).

WHERE TO BUY: Sephora

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Wet 'n' Wild 520E Lipstpick
Wet ‘n’ Wild Hot Paris Pink Lipstick

Wet ‘n’ Wild Hot Paris Pink Lipstick

Wet ‘n’ Wild Hot Paris Pink (520E) Silky Finish Lipstick ($0.99 for 0.13 oz.) is a bright, summery pink with a tiny bit of red-coral pull. It has a creamy, slightly shiny, finish with nearly opaque color. The color pay off is fantastic, and it applies fairly easily and doesn’t drag or pull. This wore for three hours on me before it was significantly faded (my average is four hours), but it managed to pull through a couple sips of water at least.

There is a faint sweetened berry scent that’s a touch synthetic but rather subtle so I wouldn’t say it’s bothersome. I have noticed that some shades have a stronger scent while others seem scent-free, which leads me to believe the scent doesn’t last long (possibly a good thing for some). The cap popped off too easily for my liking; I ended up with lipstick smeared in a makeup bag, which wasn’t so fun to clean-up.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 10/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: At just under a buck, it’s hard to go wrong with these. Those who are often bothered by the synthetic sweet scents of other drugstore brands may want to avoid these, because as faint as the scent is, it is still there. The color itself was beautiful, the lipstick easy to apply, and it lasted decently, if a bit below average.

WHERE TO BUY: Local drugstores

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Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Hourglass Gypsy Eyeshadow Duo
Hourglass Gypsy Eyeshadow Duo

Hourglass Gypsy Eyeshadow Duo

Hourglass Gypsy Visionaire Eyeshadow Duo ($38.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a beautiful neutral duo featuring a shimmering, warmed-up champagne beige and a rich, coppered chocolate brown. Hourglass’ Eyeshadow Duos are such an underrated and underappreciated product–the quality is absolutely phenomenal and the shades are infinitely flattering.
Selfishly, I wish they had about a dozen more duos, because their eyeshadows are easily some of the best I’ve come across–and better yet, the quality is fantastic across the range. There are no duds in their duo line-up. Soft, smooth as silk, and buttery texture paired with intense color pigmentation that glides on, blends effortlessly, and can be used wet or dry.

The $38 may seem steep, but don’t let it fool you: there are two full-sized (actually, more than that) eyeshadows inside. Each eyeshadow is 0.10 oz., which is double the average full-sized eyeshadow, for a total of 0.20 oz. The packaging is also this pewter bronze with a swivel top that reveals a mirror inside along with a pint-sized brush (with real bristles) that’s usable and not scratchy.

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: Hourglass as a brand is underrated, but their eyeshadows are easily my favorite product from the brand.  There is something to be said for a brand that puts out consistently high quality products with to-die-for textures.  This duo will naturally flatter warmer skin tones but they are not too warm–they will work well on cooler and neutral-toned skin, too.

WHERE TO BUY: Sephora

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Monday, January 10th, 2011

Hourglass Siren Extreme Sheen Lipgloss
Hourglass Siren Extreme Sheen Lipgloss

Hourglass Siren Extreme Sheen Lipgloss

Hourglass Siren Extreme Sheen Lipgloss ($28.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a wicked shade of fiery red with a part-chrome, part-metallic finish. It has a definite orange-base, but this the strength of the red really is pulled to the forefront. Think Kat Von D Adora… but more. It is such a rich, luxurious gloss that applies beautifully and evenly while delivering opaque color with very little product. The wear is fantastic (four to six hours), and it’s moisturizing while you wear it. There is a light, sweet scent–reminiscent of perhaps creme brulee–that doesn’t feel overwhelming nor smell synthetic.

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: Yes, yes, and yes. I have to try more to see if the whole range performs as well as Siren, but I look forward to whatever shade I try next. I just wish they’d inject a wee bit more into each tube — at 0.12 oz., they fall below average, and though it certainly is a vibrant, pigmented gloss and doesn’t need a lot of product to deliver that color, it’s still a little low.

WHERE TO BUY: Hourglass

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Monday, January 10th, 2011

Clarins Barocco Gold Shimmering Powder
Clarins Barocco Gold Shimmering Powder

Clarins Barocco Gold Shimmering Powder

Clarins Barocco Gold Shimmering Powder ($35.00 for 1.2 oz.) looks so beautiful on the inside, it’s hard to believe that the insides did not make such a splash. Inside, there are gold “nuggets,” which are incredibly soft and delicate. Every time I opened this, there was a cloud of sparkly dust that hovered and spilled over the edges and on my desk.

I had presumed these would be more like Guerlain’s Meteorites, which are shimmering spheres that impart a soft, subtle shimmer-sheen glow–these produce a bronzy, glittery bonanza. It does impart an orange-toned bronze brown with chunky bronze and gold glitter. Even when buffed, the chunky glitter is hard to disguise. This looked absolutely disastrous on face, and I did not find it worked well for decolletage either. The only place that seemed to work so-so was on legs, but it still had to be really blended and buffed so it looked natural and used considerably more product per use than I’d like.

Given that it is supposed to be face and decolletage, going as far as using it on legs was more to see if it worked anywhere than something I’d use this as a go-to for. I can do shimmer, sheen, and even glitter; I’m not at all scared of glitter, and while I don’t need to wear it every day, I have no problem wearing even heavier glitter on face or cheeks or lips. But this powder goes beyond what I see even glitter fanatics wanting in a face/decolletage glitter.  I would also not recommend using the provided pouf unless you want to be a bronze sculpture — one pat packs far too much product!

The concept is nice but there needs to be serious improvement on execution in order to make it work.  I would have loved to see this impart a much subtler, softer micro-glitter or shimmer.

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: This is a product that was beautiful in concept and dressed to impress in the beautiful filigreed canister, but the product itself just doesn’t work well in real life. It’s a mess to open but doesn’t work anywhere but legs–everywhere else is just too much. From Clarins, I would have expected something subtler and sophisticated.

WHERE TO BUY: Bloomingdale’s

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