Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

NARS Etrusque Eyeshadow
NARS Etrusque Eyeshadow

NARS Holiday: Etrusque

NARS Etrusque Eyeshadow ($23.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a rich, metallic true yellow gold with a flashy shimmering sheen.   Ooh, I’m all over it!  It’s similar to MAC’s Goldmine, but it has more depth, and the finish is more metallic-sheen than frosted-sheen.  The texture is phenomenal–soft, smooth, nearly buttery–with rich pigmentation.  This is easily NARS’ best gold eyeshadow to-date; finally, a gold eyeshadow that’s not also accompanied by flecks of glitter.

It’s a bit pricey for high-end eyeshadows, but it is a shade that actually merits the hype often accompanying NARS eyeshadows, not just in color, but in the texture and application.

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

RECOMMENDATION: Yes, yes, and yes if you love gold, though not the most unique shade ever, the texture is fab.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

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Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Benefit Breakup Rumor Lipstick

The Sultry Season: Benefit Breakup Rumor Lipstick

Benefit Breakup Rumor Lipstick ($18.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a gorgeous reddened berry with gold sheen and glossy finish.  If you feel like you’ve seen this recently, you’re right — it’s very similar to MAC’s Baron’s Rose — but it’s not limited edition and you can purchase it on its own (rather than as part of a set).  I actually just swatched it shortly after Baron’s Rose, and I was struck by the similarity then.   It’s a lovely holiday shade, though, with the glinting gold sheen.

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.

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Monday, November 1st, 2010

Bobbi Brown Crystal Eye Palette
Bobbi Brown Crystal Eye Palette

Bobbi Brown Holiday: Crystal Eye Palette

Bobbi Brown Crystal Eye Palette ($45.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a newly released, limited edition holiday palette featuring four shades of eyeshadow:  Amethyst (deep violet), Diamond (light purple silver), Star (white silver), and Peacock (aqua green).

  • Amethyst is a deep reddened violet with soft sheen. It has a metallic finish. It had an incredibly soft, smooth texture, and it applied very opaquely.
  • Diamond is a purple-tinged silvery white with a frosted shimmer sheen. It has a shimmer wash finish. Like Amethyst, it was very smooth and packed a good amount of pigment.
  • Star is a semi-sheer silvery white–it is more white than silver. It has a sparkle finish. Though it has a glittery finish, it is still quite smooth, and I didn’t experience any fall out.
  • Peacock is a pop of aqua-green teal with flashes of green-gold shimmer-sheen. It has a metallic finish. It was pretty smooth, but a touch powdery. The pigmentation level was good but not as nice as Amethyst.

When it comes to value, it’s a wash–you get almost what you would expect based on a price/ounce comparison against full-sized, individual shades, but you do get to have four different shades for the price of about two individual shades. Bobbi Brown’s Metallic Eyeshadows go for $20.00 for 0.10 oz., Sparkle Eyeshadows for $24.00 for 0.13 oz., and Shimmer Wash Eyeshadows for $20.00 for 0.08 oz. This palette contains 0.20 oz. in total, but it’s not broken down per shade, so we’ll just assume it’s 0.05 oz. each. You’re getting $20.00 worth of Metallic Eyeshadows, $9.23 worth of Sparkle Eyeshadow, and $12.50 worth of Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow, for a total of $41.73–plus a miniaturized bristle-based brush.

I’m much more impressed by this palette than I was the Beauty Rules Palette.  The consistency of these eyeshadows is soft, smooth, and almost buttery with good pigmentation in nearly all four.  I also think these work together to create wintry cool-toned looks.  I would also like to give props to Bobbi Brown for including a real eyeshadow brush that’s usable!

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: I think it’s definitely a worthy item for your holiday wish list — especially if you like the texture and quality of Bobbi Brown’s eyeshadows but have always wanted a little more zip in the color department.

AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown

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Monday, November 1st, 2010

Rescue Beauty Lounge Frugalista Nail Lacquer
Rescue Beauty Lounge Frugalista Nail Lacquer (Natural Light)

Rescue Beauty Lounge: Frugalista

With the RBL sale just around the bend, I figured I’d post reviews of the remaining shades I own!

Rescue Beauty Lounge Frugalista Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.4 oz.) is a clear base with fuchsia-purple and bright silver glitter. I think this is actually my favorite of the three glitter polishes from RBL. It’s flashy without being over the top. It would look even better on cooler skin tones, though I still love to wear it myself!

It takes me a full three coats to get a fairly opaque result, and it’s important to use less brush strokes so you don’t displace the glitter. I also recommend being patient and letting each coat dry a bit. And yes, you’ll need a good polish remover and patience to remove it, as it is a glitter polish.

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: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: This is definitely my top pick for cooler skin tones!

AVAILABILITY: Rescue Beauty Lounge

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Monday, November 1st, 2010

Rescue Beauty Lounge Look Rich, Be Cheap Nail Lacquer
Rescue Beauty Lounge Look Rich, Be Cheap Nail Lacquer (Natural Light)

Rescue Beauty Lounge: Look Rich, Be Cheap

With the RBL sale just around the bend, I figured I’d post reviews of the remaining shades I own!

Rescue Beauty Lounge Look Rich, Be Cheap Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.4 oz.) is a clear base with violet and dirty gold glitter. I actually wore this when I went to the MAC Venomous Villains press event, because it reminded me of Maleficent for some reason.

It takes me a full three coats to get a fairly opaque result, and it’s important to use less brush strokes so you don’t displace the glitter. I also recommend being patient and letting each coat dry a bit. And yes, you’ll need a good polish remover and patience to remove it, as it is a glitter polish.

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: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re a fan of glitter polish and like the color mix, I think it’s a good formula that packs a nice amount of glitter in each coat.

AVAILABILITY: Rescue Beauty Lounge

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Monday, November 1st, 2010

Rescue Beauty Lounge Locavore Nail Lacquer
Rescue Beauty Lounge Locavore Nail Lacquer (Natural Light)

Rescue Beauty Lounge: Locavore

With the RBL sale just around the bend, I figured I’d post reviews of the remaining shades I own!

Rescue Beauty Lounge Locavore Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.4 oz.) is a clear polish with multi-colored glitter. The glitter includes a chartreuse green, aqua blue, and fuchsia.

It takes me a full three coats to get a fairly opaque result, and it’s important to use less brush strokes so you don’t displace the glitter. I also recommend being patient and letting each coat dry a bit. And yes, you’ll need a good polish remover and patience to remove it, as it is a glitter polish. It’s a really fun mix of colors, though–so sometimes it’s worth the extra work!

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: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re a fan of glitter polish, this is a really fun mix of colors. It’s so celebratory!

AVAILABILITY: Rescue Beauty Lounge

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →