Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Guerlain Gaela Le Rouge G de Guerlain Lipstick ($45.00 for 0.12 oz.) is the ultimate in lip luxury. This lipstick’s compact was designed by Lorenz Bäumer, a famous jeweler from the Place Vendôme in Paris, which is one reason this lipstick compact comes with a high price tag.

Gaela is a pretty-in-pink shade. It’s a medium pink with a slight sheen but not a whole lot of shimmer. I’d classify it as a neutral-warm pink, and it’s bright enough to add a pop of color to lips, but it’s not so bright that it stands out from miles away. It applies opaquely with one layer, and even from the tube, it goes on fairly evenly.

Le Rouge G de Guerlain Lipsticks are creamy, long-wearing, often opaque to semi-opaque in color pay off, and they feel hydrating once slicked onto lips. The wear-time depends on the intensity of the shades (e.g. darker shades like reds and burgundies will last longer and easily get through a meal with minimal fading, but lighter shades disappear a bit faster), but I get no less than six hours of wear with these babies. I can even get through drinking/eating, too. I do find that there is some noticeable fading after eating a meal, but it’s not a deal-breaker. These just feel very lightweight and yet give you amazing color with a few swipes. They last long enough to get me through the day without worrying about fading lip color, and they leave my lips feeling hydrated.

The packaging is sleek, luxe, and more than most look for in lipstick packaging. It’s a heavy, metal-based compact (the heaviest lipstick I’ve personally owned) with a flip-top mirror on the outside casing, which can be handy for re-application. Now, I’m not willing to fork over extra money for a mirror (hey, I can buy a $2 mirror and keep that in my purse instead!), and even though I love innovative packaging, I’m not sold on paying for it, you know? The packaging does keep fingerprints like other Guerlain packaging, but I will say that fingerprints are a lot less noticeable (hardly noticeable, in fact) compared to their other packaging. It’s most noticeable when I take flash photography of the product (ha!), but not when you’re just looking (admiring?) it. Bottom line: packaging is gorgeous and every bit luxe, but I’d rather pay $35 and skip some of the bells and whistles of the case.

For those who love to splurge on luxury beauty items, Guerlain Le Rouge G de Guerlain didn’t disappoint me. In fact, I really love the lipstick formula itself, and I’d love to see it offered sans the heavy-duty luxe packaging if only so I could feel better about purchasing these!

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

Recommendation: If you’re feeling like a splurge, Guerlain’s Le Rouge G de Guerlain Lipsticks aren’t a bad place to start. The formula is outstanding, but the price tag is tough to swallow–pretty much the only reason this product isn’t rated an A.

Availability: Nordstrom, Saks 5th Avenue, Sephora

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Monday, September 28th, 2009

Chanel Noirs Obscur Collection
Chanel Rouge Allure: Hysteria, Maniac, Obscure

Chanel Noirs Obscurs Collection features three shades of Rouge Allure Lipsticks: Maniac (deep black red), Hysteria (eggplant black), and Obscure (brown black).

Rouge Allure Lipstick ($30.00)

  • Hysteria is a deep, dark cool-toned blackened, red-toned purple.  It goes on very opaque and layers well.  Applied with a lip brush and/or over a dark lip liner, this color is very intense and completely solid.  It has subtle violet-purple shimmer and a glossy finish.
  • Maniac is a dark brown-based red–almost reminds me of a deep, dark blood red in a way.  Like Hysteria, it applies better with a lip brush rather than straight outta the tube (which is often the course you’d take with such a dark and bold lip color like this anyway).  This one has very subtle reddish shimmer that’s almost missed by the eye.  It has the same glossy finish as Hysteria.
  • Obscure is a dark, terracotta-warmed brown.  It also has a glossy finish with just a slight bit of coppery orange shimmer.  This one applied the best straight from the tube, but it, too, applies better when you use a lip brush.

I’m a big fan of Chanel lip products.  Their eye products are often misses for me, but their lip products rarely disappoint.  I’m so pleased to see truly opaque, richly pigmented colors release from this high-end brand.  These aren’t imitations of bold, fall lip colors at all–they’re intense and well-pigmented.  My advice is to line with a lip liner and potentially fill in all of your lips with it (you can try a flesh-toned, lip-toned, or similar-toned shade) and then apply using a lip brush for precision.  Bold lips look best when they’re well-defined, so a lip brush for application is really necessary!

Rouge Allure lipsticks are creamy, silky, and are nearly always pigmented.  They wear incredibly well throughout the day (several hours and still hang on a bit after eating/drinking) and fade in such a way that doesn’t leave any funny rings or the like around your mouth.  They’re hydrating and just feel good on the lips.

What do you think?  Are these colors drawing you in?

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  For luxe, long-lasting and intense bold lips, Chanel’s new, limited edition Rouge Allure shades are a top choice.

Availability: October/November 2009 at Chanel.

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Monday, September 28th, 2009

Chanel Noirs Obscur Collection
Chanel Diabolic Le Vernis

Chanel Noirs Obscurs Collection features three shades of Le Vernis ($23.00 each): Diabolic (deep black), Vendetta (deep violet), and Forbidden (deep black burgundy brown).

Le Vernis ($23.00)

  • Diabolic is a rich, wine-berry burgundy that looks darkest in natural light–like a deep, berry-brown. It has more of a cream finish as it doesn’t have any shimmer.
  • Vendetta is a delicious shade of a deep violet-black with violet shimmer that’s most noticeable in bright light. This shade actually made an appearance a year or so ago, so check your stash if you’re an avid Chanel polish collector. I love this shade, though!
  • Forbidden is a deep, dark reddish-tinged brown. It’s very dark, very sultry, and it’s such a sexy way to wear red without really wearing red. Surprisingly, I really loved this shade on my nails. It’s also a cream texture, like Diabolic (ignore any residual sparkles–I’m pretty sure that’s MAC’s Seriously Hip leftovers).

There’s no real need to discuss value here–it’s a double C nail lacquer, so pick your poison. I’ve always had good luck with Chanel polishes. For my nails, I tend to use Zoya’s Color Lock System for base, top, and fast drying coats, and my nails always last forever. I just get tip wear (which is normal), but I never get chips. Chanel’s formula is consistent, too, which I can appreciate. I just need two medium-thick coats to achieve solid, intense color. I think these colors are perfect for the fall/winter season, and I love how they coordinate so well with the rest of the Noirs Obscurs collection.  If I had to rank ‘em, I’d recommend them in this order:  Forbidden, Vendetta, and Diabolic.

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

Recommendation: Love vampy nails? Love Chanel? Then check these out!

Availability: October/November 2009 at Chanel.

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Monday, September 28th, 2009

MAC DSquared Collection
Bone Beige/Emphasize

MAC Cosmetics DSquared Collection: Sculpt & Shape Duos

MAC DSquared Collection is small launch in-stores today, the 28th. The collection includes two Sculpt & Shape Powder Duos — Bone Beige/Emphasize and Accentuate/Sculpt.

Sculpt & Shape Powder Duos

  • Bone Beige/Emphasize is a duo of a soft, lightly shimmered palest cream for highlighting and a reddish-toned light-medium brown for contouring. This is supposed to be most ideal for lighter skin tones (think NC/NW15).
  • Accentuate/Sculpt is a duo of a soft, pinky-peach shimmered highlighter and a neutral-cool medium matte brown for contouring. This is most ideal for light and medium skin tones.

Accentuate/Sculpt is my favorite duo, as I feel it’s very universal and can work for a wide variety of skin tones. Sculpt can be layered for deeper color or used lightly for softer color. I personally have all of MAC’s Sculpt & Shape powder line in full-size (they’re the size of blushes–but they can be purchased individually rather than as a duo at PRO), and I love them. They’re great for cheeks and the face, but they’re also outstanding on the eyes for a very natural, sculpted look.

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re looking for a non-bronzer contouring product, try MAC’s Sculpt & Shape line!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

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Monday, September 28th, 2009

MAC DSquared Collection
MAC Lipsticks: Blood Red, Nude Rose

MAC Cosmetics DSquared Collection: Lipsticks & Fuchsia Fix

MAC DSquared Collection is small launch in-stores today, the 28th. The collection includes two new, limited edition shades of lipstick–Nude Rose and Blood Red–as well as specially packaged, permanent item Fuchsia Fix tinted lip conditioner.

Lipstick

  • Nude Rose is a semi-sheer, milky pale pink-beige. It’s kind of like a nude lip color, but it has enough pink tones to it that it warms it up and gives it color.
  • Blood Red is a semi-opaque pinky-raspberry shade. It’s not red on me at all; it’s definitely pink and maybe a deep pink at that, but given its name, I was expecting something quite different.

Tinted Lip Conditioner

  • Fuchsia Fix is a bright pinky-fuchsia creamy lip color that is really only meant to add a bit of a tint to lips. Fuchsia Fix has always been a favorite, because it does tint my lips a brighter pink shade, but it’s not actually a hot or bright pink on.

These are surprisingly soft lip colors in comparison to the Style Black collection from last week!

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: If you like rosy, pinky shades, you should consider these.

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

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Monday, September 28th, 2009

MAC DSquared Collection
MAC Greasepaint Sticks: V, B, Black

MAC Cosmetics DSquared Collection: Greasepaint Stick & Feline Kohl Power

MAC DSquared Collection is small launch in-stores today, the 28th. The collection includes three shades of Greasepaint Sticks and repromotion of Feline kohl power.

Greasepaint Stick

  • B is a deep, dark navy blue with lighter blue shimmer and a metallic sheen.
  • V is a deep, dark purple-violet with lighter purple shimmer and a metallic sheen.
  • Black is a dark black-purple with a violet cast and shimmer that’s more noticeable when swatched than when used as a liner.

Kohl Power

  • Feline is an intense, richly pigmented black liner that goes on incredibly dark. One of my favorite black liners!

Per my review of the Greasepaint Stick from Style Black, I haven’t yet found these to be rockin’ my world yet. They migrate on my lower lash line quite a bit – kind of smudgy and creasing on the lower lash line. It’s great that I can smudge the product when I’m applying it, but after I smudge it, I expect it to stay put!

On the water line, it holds up better, but it seems to aggravate my eyes, so I think I’m too sensitive to wear it on my water line. I wish the Black Greasepaint Stick was actually a true black, particularly since V exists so soon after the original release. The Greasepaint Sticks can be a bit thick to work with, so you may find yourself using a separate brush to apply this product in thinner, more precise lines. They feel a bit like a shadestick to me, actually.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: If you like shadesticks, you may find these to be great bases for darker looks!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

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