Thursday, April 8th, 2010

An Intro to Paul & Joe Beaute with Purple Clover

Paul & Joe Purple Clover (066) Face & Eye Color ($20.00 for 0.10 oz.) is one of three limited edition shades from Paul & Joe’s Sparkle Collection. What always stands out about Paul & Joe, to me, is how cute the products are from top to bottom. The packaging is elegant, despite being made out of paper (and cardboard) — it’s cute, lightweight, and fun to look at.

Purple Clover is decorated in a purple with teal butterflies outlined in orange and an orange polka dot overlay. Inside, there are little clovers in a deeper, darker purple with the surrounding shade a plummy pink mauve. Together, they create a sultry, smoky plum-mauve with silver sparkle. It’s a really stunning color — it reminded me a bit of Cle de Peau #107 Eyeshadow initially, but #107 is a little lighter and has a golden sheen. The texture of Purple Clover is smooth, soft, and blendable with a nice level of pigmentation that’s not overpowering or sheer.

And oh, did you see that you get a whopping 0.10 oz.? Most eyeshadows are about 0.05 oz., and the largest single eyeshadow (that I know of) is made by Guerlain (at 0.12 oz.). Nice to see that you’re not just paying for pretty packaging! :)

This is/was my first Paul & Joe beauty product, and I’m so happy I liked it! Sometimes, I fear that I’ll try a new brand, be less-than-impressed with it, and then there’s always this hesitant to try it again in the future.

What are your favorite Paul & Joe products?

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation:  If you’re a sucker for cute packaging, soft and smooth eyeshadow, Paul & Joe may have your number.  If you live in NYC, you can head on down to the counter at Bergdorf!

Availability: BeautyHabit.com, Bergdorf Goodman (in-store only)

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Thursday, April 8th, 2010


Orly Nail Lacquer: Ole, La Playa, Bailamos, Fiesta

Orly Viva Collection for Summer 2010

Viva is a short and sweet lacquer collection featuring four bold, summer-ready shades. The formula on all four shades was excellent — thin enough that it wasn’t goopy or hard to work with, but the formula was richly pigmented. You could do just two coats on all of these shades, but I did three because that’s my style :) These were easy to work with and required no trickery or playing around to get a smooth, even application. I also love Orly’s rubber-grip bottles, because it makes it easier for me to hold onto the polish when applying!

  • Ole is a vibrant orange cream with just a hint of redness in it, but it’s still very much an orange. It’s not neon or construction orange, because it’s much, much deeper. This easily goes opaque in two coats, though the swatches feature three.
  • La Playa is a darkened navy blue cream. It has a very glossy finish on its own, and it’s quite pigmented. This had the thinnest consistency, but I had no troubles with it. It applied evenly and smoothly, and this one could get nearly opaque with two coats, but I did three just for good measure. It’s a very inky blue.
  • Bailamos is a teal-shimmered turquoise-blue. This is exactly what I think of when it comes to summer–lots and lots of aqua, teal, and turquoise. Two coats and it’s opaque, but the swatches are with three, for reference.
  • Fiesta is a bright medium pink with iridescent pink sparkle. It’s a fun, totally-pefect-pink for summer kind of shade. I think this would look particularly fitting on summer toes.

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: 5/5

Recommendation:  If you love bolder, vibrant shades for summer nails, Orly’s Viva Collection offers an excellent formula in four fun-for-summer shades.

Availability: Orly in May 2010

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Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Cle de Peau #26 Lipstick
Cle de Peau #26 Lipstick

The Summer Season: Cle de Peau #26 Lipstick

Cle de Peau #26 Lipstick ($55.00 for 0.15 oz.) is a glossy, lightly champagne-shimmered coral-orange with a mostly opaque finish. What makes a Cle de Peau lipstick stand out from other high-end lipsticks is its ability to give lips a plumper, fuller appearance while minimizing lip lines. I always notice my lips look better when I wear one of Cle de Peau’s shades–right from the get go–compared to some other mid-to-high end lipsticks. Whether that effect is necessarily worth $55 is for you to decide, but this lipstick is certainly luxe with its weightless, glossy full-coverage color that lasts a solid four to five hours (though the sheen fades around two or three hours, the color itself lingers).

Is this the right coral 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 7th, 2010

MAC Show Orchid Lipstick

The Summer Season: MAC Show Orchid Lipstick

MAC Show Orchid Lipstick ($14.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a vibrant shade of fuchsia-pink with iridescent fuchsia-purple sheen. It’s a bold and bright shade that’s definitely eye-catching. It is a full-color coverage lipstick with a creamy feel and light sheen. It has an amplified creme finish, which means it has a creamy (but not too creamy–there’s no real slip here) and incredibly pigmented. It smells like vanilla, has no taste (at least, not to me), and wears for a good four hours before it needs a reapplication.

Is this the right bright pink 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.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Chanel Les Pop Up de Chanel Bronzer

Going Bronze with Style

Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel ($50.00) is available in two different shades – Terre d’or and Terre Halee — and new for Chanel Les Pop-Up de Chanel Collection.  Every Summer, Chanel releases a limited edition bronzer (or two!), and this year is no exception.  It has a soft raised wave pattern across the surface, the illusion of summer sand.  Both shades are a finely-milled bronzing powder that apply naturally to skin.

If you take a swatch with a sponge-tip applicator (or finger), you’ll find it seems too much for a bronzing product, but when used with a brush, you’ll get a much softer, more natural look more appropriate to bronzing powders.  What’s nice about the underlying pigmentation is it can be built up to your preference, plus it works well for a variety of skin tones, too.

  • Terre d’or is a lighter, more golden, peachy bronze.  It has a very soft, silky feel with a subtle shimmer-sheen.  This shade is ideal for light to medium skin tones.
  • Terre Halee is a deeper, dirtier bronze with a subtle golden sheen.  It has the same feel an dfinish of Terre d’ore–a smooth, silken powder with a light shimmer and soft sheen.  This shade is ideal for medium to deep skin tones.

I’m on the lighter side of medium, but I’d definitely classify myself as medium in skin tone.  I find I like Terre d’or just a little more than Terre Halee on me, but I like a softer, lighter application of bronzer.  The sand pattern is cute without being too-beautiful-to-use or just a mist of overspray, too.

With a whopping 0.38 oz. of bronzer, this should last you all summer and then some.  At least Chanel didn’t skimp on product, even if this is a pricier bronzer (but the same price as other permanent shades of Soleil Tan de Chanel).

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

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

Recommendation:  For a very silky smooth bronzer, Chanel’s Soleil Tan de Chanel range is always a good choice.  Terre d’or is suitable for light to medium skin tones, while Terre Halee is more suitable for those with deeper skin tones.

Availability:  May 2010

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Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Zoya Flash Collection
Zoya Nail Lacquer: Maura, Jolene, Jancyn, Robyn, Perrie, Dana (Natural Light)

Zoya Flash Collection Review, Photos, Swatches

Zoya Flash Collection includes six vibrant hues of cream finish polish. Each bottle will set you back $7 or you can grab the sampler (which is a set of all six in full-size) for $36.

  • Maura is a cherry tomato cream that goes opaque in one coat–seriously. You can easily use two or three, but this is one ultra pigmented red.
  • Jolene is a brightened blue-toned bubblegum pink. It’s very much a Barbie pink, and it only takes two coats to get solid color.
  • Jancyn is a brightened pumpkin orange cream with a slight lean towards yellow-orange. This is the only one of the six that I had slight formula problems with–it felt a little on the thick side, and I definitely needed three coats to get an even, streak-free look. It’s not a terrible polish, but compared to the others, it was a little more finnicky.
  • Robyn is a darkened, summer sky blue cream. It’s bright without being overwhelming or neon, and it’s easy to get total opaque color with just two coats.
  • Perrie is a darkened lilac cream with red undertones. Two coats is all you need for opaque color and a smooth, even finish.
  • Dana is a softly brightened fuchsia-red cream. It’s a pretty shade of rasperry-ish fuchsia that doesn’t look too bright, but it’s not going to hide in the background either. Like the other shades, this only needed two coats for full color coverage.

Had Zoya not also put out the Sparkle Collection, I could easily have seen myself enjoying these more, but I just find it pales in comparison to Sparkle. There are plenty of things to love about these brightened creams, but if I had to choose between the two collections, Sparkle gets my vote without question. Obviously, part of that is personal taste, but I felt like I hadn’t quite seen anything like the shades and finishes in Sparkle! Anyway…

The formula on all but Jancyn was smooth, even, and incredibly pigmented. You only needed two coats for solid, opaque color on each shade–again, with the exception of Jancyn–and on Maura, you could have gotten away with just one. It’s a smooth formula with a good consistency–not too thick, not too thin–which makes for an easy application. I didn’t have to experiment to find the “right” way to apply these. I liked that you could get nearly neon color without some of the application troubles neons pose. But to be clear, these are definitely creams and not neons, and they try with a slight glossiness rather than the near-matte of typical neons.

Even though the shades don’t seem completely unique or represent something new and totally different than ever before, the quality of the formula is excellent overall. Jancyn just felt a smidgen too thick, so perhaps a drop of thinner would solve that issue. Otherwise, these applied beautifully without streaking or bubbling and had a nice richness of color so you only needed two coats for full color.

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 love cream finish polishes and are in need of some summery shades, Flash might be made for you!

Availability: Zoya

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