Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Shiseido RD 629 Lipstick
Shiseido Natural Red RD 629 Perfect Rouge Lipstick

The Sultry Season: Shiseido Natural Red (RD629) Lipstick

Shiseido Natural Red (RD629) Perfect Rouge Sheer Lip Color ($25.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a muted, played-down semi-sheer red with a glossy sheen–it almost looks like a gloss when applied, but it is most definitely a lipstick.  It’s moisturizing, and it’s very comfortable to wear, because it’s lightweight and creamy.  Shiseido’s lipsticks are scent- and taste-free, too.

Is this the right red for you? Would you wear it?

The Sultry Season is a series of posts featuring deep, rich shades of brown, berry, plum, and wine lipsticks and lipglosses — just right for autumn — that runs through October 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Benefit Sunday Funday Palette

Sunday Funday… on Thursday!

Benefit Sunday Funday Palette ($38.00) features Hoola (0.1 oz., mining bronzing powder), Benetint (0.09 oz. rose-tinted lip & cheek stain), Shimmering Rose (0.18 oz., lip shine), Toasty (0.01 oz., eyeliner), four eyeshadows (0.10 oz. each), and two double-sided miniature-sized brushes. This is a companion palette to Scene Queen. Sunday Funday was created by Maggie Ford Danielson–the daughter of Jean Ford, one of Benefit’s co-founders–who is also one of Benefit’s makeup trend artists.

“Sunday Fun Day is all about pulling together a fresh, fabulous look after a late night. Whether you were up watching movies or dancing ’til dawn, this kit has the prettiest eyeshadows and complexion essentials to make you look beautifully revived…just in time for brunch. Waiter, coffee and mimosas, please!” —Maggie Ford Danielson, Benefit Makeup Trend Artist

  • Hoola is a neutral-toned medium-dark bronzer with a nearly matte finish.
  • Benetint is a very natural stain and one of Benefit’s iconic products. It leaves just the tiniest flush behind.
  • Shimmering Rose is a semi-sheer pinky gloss with gold shimmer. It looks rather melon-y in the tube, but it brought out a lot of the pink in my lips.
  • Shimmering Bronze is a softened bronze with a low warmth to it; for a bronze, it’s really not overly warm. Slight sheen, not too frosty, and nicely pigmented.
  • Pink Satin is a light pink with subtle peach tones–not a true pink, but not really peach, either. I could see this as a nice all-over lid color.
  • Light Champagne is a light yellow gold with a frosty sheen.
  • Pretty in Plum is a red-toned, medium plum purple with a satin sheen.
  • Toasty is a medium-dark brown with just a hint of warmth.

These palettes are an excellent way to try out Benefit products without blowing your budget. Sunday Funday gives you plenty of product, and it’s definitely a nice, all-in-one palette. I love that the lipgloss is packaged in a tube–you can tote it around with you later on, but you also don’t have to worry about it getting dust or eyeshadow in it, either. The eyeshadows were very smooth, buttery, and pigmented–they felt just like Benefit’s single eyeshadows. I think this particular mix of colors also works really well together; nothing feels out of place here.

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re a palette kind of beauty buff, Sunday Funday is a new favorite for me.  It makes sense, so you can travel with it and not worry about combining it with other products for a complete look.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Make Up For Ever #20 Rouge Artist Lipstick

The Sultry Season: Make Up For Ever #20 Rouge Artist Lipstick

Make Up For Ever #20 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick ($19.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “pearly rust,” and it’s exactly that–a shimmering, lightly frosted rusty red with subtle copper-red shimmer.  It’s opaque and wears four hours with ease on me.  Rouge Artist Intense has an interesting formula where it’s very thin, almost dry and takes more pressure to apply than your average lipstick, but it doesn’t actually feel drying when you wear it.  It’s scent- and taste-free–and it doesn’t have any waxy scent, either, which often plagues supposedly scent-free lip products!

Is this the right red for you? Would you wear it?

The Sultry Season is a series of posts featuring deep, rich shades of brown, berry, plum, and wine lipsticks and lipglosses — just right for autumn — that runs through October 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010


Plum Crazy, Dirt Bag, Brown Sugar, Handcuffs, Blackout

Quickie Reviews: Too Faced Metal Eyed Liquid Shimmer Eyeliners

Periodically, I do quickie reviews — these are products that I just don’t do full reviews for one reason or another, but I have photographed/swatched and–at the very least–briefly tested in some capacity, but perhaps not to the fullest extent. I figure if I’ve taken photos/swatches, the least I can do is show you!  (I can’t believe I’ve had these sitting in my photo folder since October.)

Too Faced Metal Eyed Liquid Shimmer Eyeliner Blackout ($17.50 each) are semi-sheer liquid eyeliners with lots of glitter and a fairly metallic finish. I swatched five shades…

  • Plum Crazy is a blue-based lilac violet with silver sparkle.
  • Dirt Bag is a deep cool-toned bronze with gold and red-brown sparkle.
  • Brown Sugar is a warmed-up molten chocolate brown with copper sparkle;
  • Handcuffs is a metallic silver with silver sparkle; and
  • Blackout is a charcoal black with silver sparkle.

These wear all day long, and the glitter stays put pretty well with only minor fall out, though all the shades are rather sheer when used as eyeliner. You really have to layer it on (and be sure to wait for each layer to dry) in order to get a richer, more opaque look. These do dry very quickly, so you’ll need to work fast to get that precise look. I like these best layered over a solid eyeliner (e.g. black) for a shimmer effect. As a water-based formula, they definitely feel wet and seem to have a thinner formula, but again, it dries down very quickly.

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: For layering, these can be fun; if you’re looking for a rich, opaque glitter eyeliner, not so much.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

MAC Heaux Lipstick
MAC Rebel Lipstick

The Sultry Season: MAC Rebel Lipstick

MAC Rebel Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) is a deep, fuchsia berry with a glossy finish and very subtle, nearly imperceptible shimmer.  It’s almost opaque (you can just barely see my freckle peeking through), but it applies easily, smoothly, and is a great shade to brighten up your skin tone.  It’s bold without being too dark or vampy–but still not a red, not a fuchsia.

Is this the right berry for you? Would you wear it?

The Sultry Season is a series of posts featuring deep, rich shades of brown, berry, plum, and wine lipsticks and lipglosses — just right for autumn — that runs through October 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Zoya Wicked Collection
Nail Lacquers:: Kelly, Stacy, Burke

Less Wicked, More Wonderful

Zoya Wonderful Collection ($36.00 for all 6, or $7 each) is second of two fall collections from Zoya. It contains six shades: Kelly (rich gray shade with soft purple and blue undertones), Stacy (dark raspberry creme with purple and wine undertones), Burke (soft, dusty light red mulberry with very subtle brick and mauve tones), Kristi (pure, true crisp medium red cream with no strong warm or cool undertones), Cola (warm light brown cream with strong terracotta undertones), Shawn (warm, mossy yellow-toned medium green cream with olive undertones).

  • Kelly is a smoky, grayish blue that looks stormy and smoky at the same time. It’s not gray, it’s not blue, it’s not purple – it’s some variation that includes all three. Two coats.
  • Stacy is a dark burgundy wine–very vampy and dark. I like that it still looks like a wine; it never looks so dark that you can’t distinguish it from black. Two coats.
  • Burke is a softened berry red. I’ve seen this look dustier in other swatches, but it comes out pretty red for me. Two coats.
  • Kristi is a bright pop of neutral cherry red. Very close to pure/true red. Two coats.
  • Cola is a red-toned medium-dark brown–kind of reminds me of what cola looks like when it stains a white shirt, ha.
  • Shawn is a dark, mossy green with yellow undertones. Two coats.

All six have a cream finish, so there is absolutely no shimmer or glitter in these.  They dry down to a slightly glossy finish, but I always finish with a top coat in a regular manicure, though.  I didn’t need more than two coats for crisp, opaque color, and each shade was a dream to apply–pigmented, smooth, and even.   There really isn’t anything to complain about — either you love the colors or you don’t, but the formula will not disappoint!  My must-haves from this collection would be Kelly and Shawn.

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: Excellent pigmentation for all six shades, easy to apply, and none needed more than two coats for a smooth, opaque finish. If you see a color you like, I think you’ll be happy with it.

AVAILABILITY: Zoya

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →