Thursday, April 29th, 2010

MAC Opulash Mascara

MAC Opulash Mascara ($14.00) is the latest mascara from MAC, and it’s exclusively at Nordstrom until May 27th (when it will launch at all MAC locations).  It’s designed to give you “the most extreme volumization ever seen” along with curl without “clumping or Spider-Woman Syndrome” and “superlative separation.”  It’s only available in one shade–Bad, Bad Black.

The wand is incredibly large–probably the largest MAC wand to-date–and reminded me quite a bit of DiorShow, actually.  It’s large, kind of fluffy (but not actually fluffy), and it has a very tapered edge.  I do like the tapered edge, because it does make it easier to reach the lashes on the inner corner of the lid as well as coat the bottom lashes.  Even though the brush is on the larger side, I didn’t find it unwieldy–there wasn’t much of a learning curve.  If you prefer smaller mascara wands, though, this will definitely be a mascara to check out in person first.

The formula itself is very lengthening while doing an excellent job at separating lashes and not clumping–except if you wait too long between coats.  This is a drier mascara; there is no wet, glossy look, and it does dry down quickly, so you need to work fast in order to get the maximum effect with this mascara.  I found it gave me some volume, but it wasn’t over-the-top.  I didn’t encounter any smudging or flaking while test-driving this mascara for the past week either.

I liked the soft, feathery look Opulash gave my lashes along with some very nice length!  I’m actually surprised I didn’t see length pushed in the marketing write-up for Opulash, because I look at the before/after photos, and I see longer, slightly blacker lashes, but not necessarily a ton of volume.  I found two or three quick coats was all you needed to get the feathery lash effect going.  More than that resulted in a bit of clumping, but if you don’t load up your lashes with the product, it’s a nice, full and feathery lash that’s clump-free.

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

Recommendation:  If you love length and volume, Opulash might work well for your lashes.  If you have naturally lengthy lashes (lucky you!), you may want to pass on this one, because it may be super length… like obnoxious length (who knew there was such a thing!).

Availability: Nordstrom

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Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

MAC Morange Lipstick

The Summer Season: MAC Morange Lipstick

MAC Morange Lipstick ($14.00) is an amped up, vibrant shade of glistening orange.  This is not for the color-shy, because it is head-to-toe rich and creamy and opaque.  MAC describes it as “loudmouth orange,” and it is exactly that.  It’s so, so full of color.  It’s an amplified cream finish, and it’s easy to wear with smooth, intense color.

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.

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Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

YSL Gloss Pur
YSL Gloss Pur: Pure Watermelon (08), Pure Hibiscus (09)

In June, YSL will launch four new and permanent shades of Gloss Pur ($30.00 for 0.20 oz.). They are part of YSL’s Solaris Collection, which also features several coordinating shades in other product lines.

Currently, the Gloss Pur range includes: Pure Nude (01) (nude), Pure Rose (02) (soft pink), Pure Coral (03) (sheer coral), Pure Raspberry (04) (sheer raspberry pink), Pure Fuchsia (05) (sheer fuchsia), and Pure Plum (06) (sheer plum). New shades include: Pure Sorbet (07) (sheer pink), Pure Watermelon (08) (coral), Pure Hibiscus (09) (fuchsia), and Pure Redcurrant (10) (sheer red).

Gloss Pur is the perfect high-end lip gloss for someone who loves a little bit of color with a high gloss finish. I’m actually pleasantly surprised with the two new summery shades I tried, because they seem a bit more pigmented than previous Gloss Purs I’ve tested out. These glosses are neither ultra sheer nor ultra pigmented but fall on the sheerer side while still giving lips an added touch of color.

  • Pure Watermelon (08) is a coral-orange. On my lips, Pure Watermelon is semi-opaque and looks like a softened, toned-down coral.
  • Pure Hibiscus (09) is a softened fuchsia with a little violet edge. Applied to lips, Pure Hibiscus is a semi-opaque fuchsia that doesn’t look overwhelmingly bright, but it still feels and looks like a brighter pink.

I find Gloss Purs always make my lips look plumper, fuller–juicier–with soft color that’s great for everyday or paired with a more dramatic look. They have a sweet, mango-ish scent but have no taste/flavor that I could detect. The gloss itself is non-sticky, moisturizing, and incredibly glossy.

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’re not a shimmery lip gloss fan, I think you’ll like YSL’s Rouge Purs, which have nearly no detectable shimmer, soft color, and a high gloss finish!

Availability: June 2010

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Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Shiseido Hydro-Powder Eyeshadow
Shiseido Hydro-Powder Eyeshadow: H5 Aqua Shimmer, H10 Languid Lagoon, H12 Lemon Sugar

Shiseido Hydro-Powder Eye Shadow ($25.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a cream-to-powder eyeshadow that can be used as a cream eyeshadow or as an eyeshadow base.

It is available in several shades: H1 Goldlights (gold), H2 Whitelights (white), H3 Tiger Eye (peach-orange), H4 Spring Plum (plum), H5 Aqua Shimmer (aqua), H6 Violet Visions (purple), H7 Green Exotique (green), H8 Bare Pink (soft pink), H9 Glistening Sand (nude), H10 Languid Lagoon (teal), H11 Rose Tulle (rose), H12 Lemon Sugar (soft yellow), and H13 Clover Dew (soft green).

With summer coming up, we have to break out our most long-wearing, budge-proof makeup. It would so not be cute to have mascara smeared under our eyes, eyeliner running around, and eyeshadow creasing and swimming on the lid. I tried three shades of Hydro-Powder Eyeshadow

  • H5 Aqua Shimmer is a steely blue with a silver sheen/shimmer. It doesn’t actually read very aqua to me, but it’s like a darkened water blue.
  • H10 Languid Lagoon is a aqua-teal with flecks of green and gold shimmer.
  • Lemon Sugar is a softened golden yellow.  This would definitely make a nice, universal colored base.

The formula of the Hydro-Powder Eyeshadows is phenomenal. They have a very creamy, almost water-based feel (that’s not to say they’re running or thin, but they’re creamy and have a wet texture) that glides onto the eye easily. The three shades I tried were all pigmented and applied smoothly and evenly to the eye whether you used your finger or a brush.

But the real reason these are amazing is that they’re crease-proof, budge-proof, and smudge-proof once they’ve dried. The drying time is long enough to give you time to blend them together, if you choose to use them as eyeshadows, but not so long that you have to wait around for it to set.

My favorite way to use these are as eyeshadow bases, because they work well to emphasize or intensify your eyeshadows as well as keeping them locked in place all day long. Even though I don’t personally use them as individual eyeshadows, they’re some of the easiest cream eyeshadows to blend together.

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 have problems with your eyeshadows creasing, Shiseido’s Hydro-Powder Eyeshadows may rescue you from your makeup woes either alone or worn under eyeshadow!

Availability: Nordstrom, Sephora

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Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Lancome Juicy Tubes
Lancome 100% Natural Juicy Tubes: Rose Pretty, Blushing Beauty

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of Lancome’s Juicy Tubes, the brand has created four shades of 100% Natural Origins Juicy Tubes. The gloss is made out of 100% natural ingredients, natural flavors and fragrances, natural coloring agents, and FSC certified 100% recyclable material carton.

It is available in four shades: Blushing Beauty (sheer pale pink), Sheerfully Sweet (sheer nude-brown), Pink Precious (soft pink), and Rose Pretty (sheer strawberry). Each retails for $18.

Juicy Tubes are certainly on the sheerer side of things, and to be honest, I’m definitely not an expert on Juicy Tubes in general. These are some of the first Juicy Tubes I’ve tried in quite awhile. I like them for a slick of gloss, but if you’re looking for color, definitely look elsewhere. I tried three of the four shades and they all looked the same on me: clear but ultra glossy.

The gloss looks slick, juicy, and incredibly glossy. It’s a moisturizing gloss with a thicker, jelly texture. I find they last around two to three hours on my lips. I don’t find these particularly sticky–I’d say marginally sticky to non-sticky–but the thicker texture may make you feel like they’re a little sticky. They taste like sweetness (likely from the honey in it) and have an overall sweet scent that’s pleasing and not overwhelming.

I think they’re nice, but since they are on the sheerer side, I don’t see the need to own all four shades–just one will do. If you have very little natural pigment in your lip, you might see a smidgen of color, but on more pigmented lips, they’re definitely going to look pretty clear.

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: 5/5

Recommendation: Those who love glossy lips with little color will like Juicy Tubes. They’re a great gloss that doesn’t dry out lips with a sweet taste and scent. If you’re more of a colored lip gloss kind of person, you may find these not to your taste.

AvailabilityNordstrom

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Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Philosophy Raspberries & Cream Lotion

Philosophy Raspberries & Cream Body Lotion ($24.00 for 16 fl. oz.) smells EXACTLY like raspberries and cream.  It’s just ripened, perfectly sweet raspberries with the milkiness of cream to temper it.  Smells delicious… makes me want to hunker down with some dessert!  Philosophy really has a knack for nailing the scents they’re after.  You may not love the scent, but you can’t say it isn’t true to its name.  I picked this up at Nordstrom last week, because I couldn’t resist — I’m a sucker for raspberries.  They’re my favorite fruit!  But nevertheless, I’m glad I did.

It’s a lightweight lotion that feels creamy and absorbs in about five minutes.  You get a giant bottle (at least, it seems giant to me, I don’t know when I’ll finish it, if I ever do!), and you really don’t need more than a two pumps for a leg.  It’s not an ultra thick, ultra rich body cream–it’s definitely a lotion.  I like it for summer and as an everyday lotion, because it doesn’t take forever to sink into skin.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you love the scent of sweetened raspberries, you may want to give this a whiff next time you’re at a Philosophy counter!

AvailabilityNordstrom

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