Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Korres Thyme Honey Cream ($32.50 for 1.35 oz.) is a daily moisturizer designed for normal and dry skin.

Korres is known as a brand that doesn’t use a lot of those “bad” ingredients like parabens, suflates, petro-chemcials, and synthetic dyes. My personal stance is I’m not overly concerned by them, as research hasn’t proven otherwise (at least not to me) — one of my favorite beauty blogs, The Beauty Brains, did a write-up on parabens. So for me, a “natural” product just has to be a good product for me, but I’m not looking for anything explicitly natural. (It’s totally fine if you are, though! To each their own! :) )

This is a medium thick cream that comes in a jar, but it actually feels lightweight and absorbs very quickly. I went through my entire jar in about four or five weeks. It definitely felt a little faster than normal (normally I’ve spent the requisite four to six weeks testing it out, and then I move on and there’s still plenty left). To be clear, though, I was using this both AM and PM and typically I do have a separate AM and PM moisturizer. I’d expect if you just use this as a PM moisturizer, you’d get about two to three months of use out of one jar.

This doesn’t have any SPF, which does make it usable at night (without feeling like you’re wasting the SPF factor!), but consequently, you do need to wear something else that does have SPF. I found it moisturized my normal-to-dry skin very well, and I never felt dry or had any dry patches creep on me.

I will caution some on the scent, which is kind of like an earthy honey scent. It didn’t read synthetic honey to me, but it’s noticeable when you first apply it. I personally didn’t notice the scent linger on after it absorbed, but if you’re not a honey person, I’d recommend you choose one of Korres’ other moisturizers. I liked the scent, though I didn’t love it, but it wasn’t an issue for my nose!

Even though Korres does recommend this for normal skin, I think it’s more suited for those with drier skin, because it is quite hydrating and rich enough to soothe drier skin, it may be too heavy on normal skin. I wouldn’t recommend this one for oily skinned folks, either. If you have normal skin but sometimes need an extra boost in hydration, I’d suggest checking out Korres Thyme Honey Mask instead, as an as-needed intensive treatment.

I’m not a big fan of open-jar packaging. I’m just not keen on using fingers to scoop out product (let’s face it, most of us are not vigilant enough about using a separate, sterile spatula every time we go to moisturize), so I’d rather an airless pump in some form myself. The packaging feels nice (I think it’s glass) and has some heft to it, and the way Korres’ labels their products is cute and functional.

Overall, after using this for over a month (’til I ran out), I liked it, but I’m still on the hunt for something else. I don’t typically use up whole jars of anything, so it is a testament to how much I did enjoy using the product while it lasted. It moisturized and kept my skin moisturized throughout the day without causing breakouts or clogged pores. That’s pretty much what the product is supposed to do, and it definitely did that! I’m trying out Korres’ Wild Rose moisturizer now, will let you know how that works out…

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: For those with dry skin, Korres’ Thyme Honey Moisturizer will keep your skin hydrated and soothed!

Availability: Sephora

Thursday, October 1st, 2009


Chanel Dynastie Rouge Allure Laque

Chanel Dynastie Rouge Allure Laque ($32.00) is the third to be featured in our seven days of Chanel Rouge Allure Laque feature.

Dynastie is a beautiful shade of fiery coral. It’s not too red or orange–it’s a good mix of bold and bright without being over the top. It has an orange-coral base with a softer peachy-coral shimmer and glossy sheen. It feels like silk on the lips; weightless and just a smidgen creamy when you apply it, and then just long-lasting color for hours.

It’s opaque in just one layer (I only need to use whatever is on the applicator; no double-dipping required!) and easy to apply with precision. Being able to apply it with ease and not having to worry about it bleeding or dragging on my lips is such a relief. It just makes this a no-brainer for me. This shade is deep enough for the fall/winter, but it’s still appropriate for a lovely summer coral, too!

Since I don’t want to just re-write what I say about the formula (since it is the same–if there are any variations, you can be sure I’ll call them out), here’s a quick bullet-point summary.

Pros

  • Satiny, creamy lip color that hydrates
  • Opaque color in one layer–very pigmented
  • Lasts for hours and even through eating/drinking
  • Glossy sheen
  • Looks like a lipstick AND a gloss
  • Easy to travel with
  • Sleek packaging

Cons

  • Pricey at $32 each

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 5/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love coral lips and want color that lasts for hours and looks gorgeous, try Dynastie!

Availability: Nordstrom

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Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner ($18.00 for 0.25 fl. oz.) is a glitter eyeliner with colored glitter suspended in a clear base.  Uncapped and you’ll find a thin eyeliner brush attached (much like the typical liquid liner).  There are currently eleven shades available–from fuchsia to blue to iridescent.

Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner

  • Catfight is a deep fuchsia-pink.
  • Groupie is a pale, muted pink–very muted.
  • Baked is a deep golden-toned brown.
  • Midnight Cowboy is a silvery taupe brown.
  • Spandex is a multi-colored array of blue and gold and brown glitter.  (Looks absolutely nothing like it does in the tube–the rest do.)
  • Air Guitar is a slightly lightened medium blue.
  • Stagedive is a blue-based teal.
  • Mullet is a slightly olive-toned green.
  • Metalhead is a medium dark violet purple.
  • Glam Rock is a medium silvery-gray.
  • Distortion is a whitish, iridescent mix of multi-colored and pink glitter.

What I like using these glitter eyeliners for is to layer over Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liners (or any liner, really–they just coordinate well with Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liners).  Alone, they’re just so-so, because the clear base makes them apply kind of sketchy. They can also be used over eyeshadow, too, for the same kind of effect.

In the swatches, you’ll see how it’s not a very clear, even or defined line of glitter.  When you use it over a liner, it works much better, because you get the sparkle of the glitter, but the colored liner fills in any gaps so the glitter actually pops.

I think I’d love these more if they had colored bases as well, just because it’d be more of a two-in-one and require a little less effort on my part.  They just may make excellent, super glittery bases if they were in a colored base, too… Hm!  Nevertheless, they were designed to have a clear base, so I won’t knock the product because my preference is different.  It’s much like Urban Decay describes, and I love the range of shades they have.

Oh!  One more idea, Urban Decay, how about a holiday set of miniature sized versions of these?  Would be awesome methinks!

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Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Chanel Noirs Obscurs Collection

Chanel Les Folie Noirs Eyeshadow Quad ($60.00) is from Chanel Noirs Obscurs Collection.  ( Be sure to check out reviews on the limited edition nail polishes and lipsticks, too!)  It’s a limited edition eyeshadow quad with each shade being embellished with the brand’s signature logo in black.

While I was impressed by the new Rouge Allure lipsticks and Le Vernis shades, the eyeshadow quad was a disappointment.  In fact, I had to let my disappointment simmer a bit in case I was too harsh/expected too much.  I do not recommend this eyeshadow quad unless you’re a Chanel collector–then you’re not really looking to use it so much as own it as a collector.

If you actually want to use it, the shades are poorly pigmented, go on unevenly, and just overall, look mediocre–even with a sponge applicator.  (Swatching with a brush always gives the least amount of pigmentation, whereas swatching with a sponge applicator usually yields the most.)   The swatches included in this post are with a sponge applicator, for your reference.

The dark brown shade (top left) goes on extremely sheerly and almost looks chalky on my skin.  The color itself is a cool-toned dark brown.  Next to it is a dark forest green with a slight bit of shimmer.  This one swatched better and had so-so pigmentation (just not quite as intense as I’d like).  On the bottom right, there’s a muted, dark navy blue with subtle navy shimmer.  This also swatched decently, though not quite as well as the green.  The last shade is a slightly warmed-up medium chocolate brown that isn’t as sheer as the other brown in the quad, but it’s still quite faded when swatched.

Ultimately, if you use a sponge applicator (or even use this product wet) and layer on the color–and I do mean layer–you may find this works well for a range of smoky eyes.  For me, at the price tag, I expect well-pigmented eyeshadows that feel soft, silky, and require minimal effort to work into my eyeshadow wardrobe.

Chanel, I love you, but this one is a miss for me!

  • Product: 16/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  Skip this — opt for a permanent Chanel eyeshadow quad if you’re in the market for eyeshadow or else sneak a peek at the limited edition Rouge Allure Lipsticks!

Availability:  October/November 2009

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Wednesday, September 30th, 2009


Chanel Imperial Rouge Allure Laque

Chanel Imperial Rouge Allure Laque ($32.00) is the second up in our seven days of Chanel Rouge Allure Laque feature.

Imperial is a slightly warmed-up, muted red-coral. It’s not quite the coral that comes to mind when I think “coral,” but it’s certainly not the “deep rose” that Chanel describes it as. I always find the descriptor “rose” to mean something pinky, but this has more red in it. It’s like a wearable version of a red with a touch of coral. I suppose if we think of red roses, maybe this is “deep rose.” I would say this is one of the harder shades to describe, because it’s beautiful, but I can’t find the words to aptly describe it! The shade has a dusting of slightly rosy-gold shimmer and the same glossy sheen as others in the line-up. It applies evenly without a fuss and goes on full-color right away.

Since I don’t want to just re-write what I say about the formula (since it is the same–if there are any variations, you can be sure I’ll call them out), here’s a quick bullet-point summary.

Pros

  • Satiny, creamy lip color that hydrates
  • Opaque color in one layer–very pigmented
  • Lasts for hours and even through eating/drinking
  • Glossy sheen
  • Looks like a lipstick AND a gloss
  • Easy to travel with
  • Sleek packaging

Cons

  • Pricey at $32 each

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 5/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  For a more muted, but still opaque lip look, consider Imperial.  Not too warm or cool, it can easily be worked into your lip wardrobe.

AvailabilityNordstrom

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Tuesday, September 29th, 2009


Chanel Coromandel Rouge Allure Laque

Chanel Coromandel Rouge Allure Laque ($32.00) is the first up in our seven days of Chanel Rouge Allure Laque feature. After last week’s experience with Chanel’s Dragon Rouge Allure Laque, I knew I had to have them all. There are eight shades in total, and I’ll introduce to each shade over the next week.

Coromandel is a fiery orange-based red with just a flicker of orange shimmer that’s very, very subtle. It applies evenly with ease (which is a huge OMG-YES! factor from this product, period), and it feels like a satiny, lightly creamy lip color that hugs lips without drying them out (in fact, hydrating). It has a glossy sheen that lasts for hours, which does fade when you eat/drink through a whole meal, but the color itself hangs on like a trooper–see the evidence here. Coromandel goes on opaque in one layer; there’s no real need to layer here. I usually just slip out the applicator and apply with whatever is on it and I’m good to go.

The only downsides of Rouge Allure Laques are that they’re pricey at $32 a pop. The packaging is solid black with a slight glossy appearance–it’s subtle and sleek. To rationalize the price a bit (at least for myself), I consider this pretty much a wear-and-go lip color–that means it’s a gloss and a lipstick in one. There’s absolutely no need to layer on additional lip products with these, because the color is so intense and pigmented and the product itself has the look of a lipstick with a gloss over it… there’s literally no need. This makes it a two-for kind of deal, but it’s also superb for traveling or touch-ups. Get fancy lip color with no fuss!

I personally do prefer Dragon over Coromandel for a red, but I find myself drawn to more neutral reds–”true reds”–over orange-y reds. They’re both beautiful shades, and I’m sure there are some who prefer Coromandel over Dragon and vice versa!

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 5/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love orange-based reds with lots of sizzle and pop, check out Coromandel!

Availability: Nordstrom

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