Friday, June 25th, 2010

Urban Decay Lip Junkie Lip Gloss
Urban Decay Lip Junkies: Red Light, Crush, Peroxide, Wallflower, Heavy, Love Junkie

Say Hello to the New Gloss on the Block

Urban Decay Lip Junkie Lip Gloss ($19.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is an entirely new product line for the fall season. They’ve released eleven shades in total (WHY! eleven! Even Steven, please!), and I’ve split them into creamy shades and shimmery shades. This post features the shades: Red Light (sheer candy apple red), Crush (sheer coral), Peroxide (palest pink), Wallflower (medium nude), Heavy (shimmering nude), and Love Junkie (deep but very sheer wine).

  • Red Light is a semi-opaque apple red that’s not overly bright or in-your-face, since it’s not fully opaque. No distinguishable shimmer really–gives off a jelly kind of look. It’s actually not as red as it appears in the tube, so those who prefer lighter lip glosses, don’t despair from the tube alone!
  • Crush is a semi-sheer magenta pink. It’s almost like magenta met bubblegum pink, and then they had a lovechild. I don’t know why it’s described as a “sheer coral,” because I did not get any coral feel from this at all! It has the same jelly look as Red Light.
  • Peroxide is a pale, milky pink. I didn’t love how this looked alone on lips, just because the milkiness of it tends to emphasize lip lines as the product settles into them, and it’s difficult to make the gloss look even (see the lip swatch). I like that it’s pale and light without being ultra cool.
  • Wallflower is a nearly opaque shade of pink with a nude edge. It’s very wearable, and I think this would be universally flattering. It has only a little milkiness, but overall, it applies smoothly and evenly without a fuss. It is also one of the more opaque shades of the bunch.
  • Heavy is a darkened peach-nude with subtle white shimmer. In the tube, it looked pretty creamy to me, but it does have subtle shimmer in it. It is surprisingly opaque, and it has the best coverage and look overall out of all eleven shades–beautifully even and smooth while making lips look lush.
  • Love Junkie is a semi-sheer reddened plum (think the inside of a plumcot!). This one did have a tendency to settle into lip lines, but I didn’t find it terribly noticeable from an average viewing distance. It looked a little splotchy on my lips, though.

Lip Junkie has a jelly feel and the less shimmery shades look it, too.  They’re not nearly as thin as Pocket Rockets, but they don’t reach the weight or texture of XXX Shines, either–they’re a little jelly, not thick but noticeably not thin.  These glosses do include Maxi Lip, which is a lip plumper, and normally, my lips don’t seem to do well with lip plumpers–but I managed to get through swatching all eleven shades back-to-back without any damage to my lips.  (The last time I did a session of swatches of a lip plumper, my lips looked and felt like hell for a week–bleeding, peeling, and painful!)

There is a little tingle, but I wouldn’t call it a sting or a burn at all.  They smell quite peppermint-y, so I actually thought that it was just more of a cooling, minty tingle rather than a particular plumping ingredient like Maxi Lip.  It seemed to dissipate after a few minutes, and it really wasn’t that big of a deal.  The sensation was more noticeable than MAC’s Plushglasses (which I barely notice and thus rank lowest on the painful-lip-plumper scale–DuWop’s Lip Venom is the highest for me).  But then again?  I really didn’t see much, if any, plumping of my lips.  Pictures of my lips on the first swatch (Red Light) compared against to pictures of my lips on the last swatch (Perversion) didn’t show any plumping action.

These are non-sticky, peppermint-scented, sweet-tasting lip glosses with a medium thickness and a moisturizing, jelly feel.  I wore Naked (in the next post!), and it lasted a solid two hours, with it beginning to fade and become just a thin layer with some glossiness in hour three.  I did notice that these seemed particularly glossy, which helps give the illusion of juicier, plumper lips, too.

According to Urban Decay, the lip glosses are packaged in a single piece, rather than a lot of other squeeze-tube glosses which have a crimped end–and that crimped end can sometimes lead to lip gloss explosion extravaganzas in your purse or pocket (soooo not fun!).  The cap is metallic-looking but feels plastic and a little cheap to me.  I don’t love the way the packaging feels in my hands, but I do like that it feels solid and the cap screws-on and pulls off–both characteristics which should keep it from staying on your lips and not all over your bag!

I do like that these have good value in them–a little less than double of your average lip gloss (but in line with other squeeze-tube glosses like MAC Lipgelees and Make Up For Ever Glossy Full Couleurs).  I did find that I needed what seemed like more than the usual lip gloss for full coverage, but it didn’t seem or feel heavy or obnoxious in the amount I applied.

So here’s the rub:  these are supposed to plump, but I didn’t see any plumping.  Though Lip Junkies seem to be a perfectly good gloss, I’m just not seeing any results on something that the marketing material was really pumping up (you’re lucky I didn’t say plumping up!).  It purports to increase lip collagen by 40% in a month, and on the tube, it says “cools and plumps.”  If you’ve managed to read this far into the review–first, kudos–but more importantly, these are like B+ glosses; not perfect, not the greatest ever, but they’re good.  But since they don’t do everything they’re supposed to based on my experience, I have to lower the score down.

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: This is a solid gloss, but I don’t think it’s necessarily groundbreaking, you know? It’s another good lip gloss that’s non-sticky, smells nice (much better than the creme brulee scent typical to Urban Decay lip products), and feels lovely on the lips.

AVAILABILITY: June 29th @ UrbanDecay.com; August 1st @ Sephora, ULTA, Macy’s, and Beauty.com

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Friday, June 25th, 2010

NARS Taj Mahal Blush
NARS Taj Mahal Blush

Orange You Glad for Blush?

NARS Taj Mahal Blush ($26.00 for 0.16 oz.) is a vibrant tangerine orange with a soft, golden sheen.  It is pigmented to the max, as many NARS blushes are, but this one is even more so than the average NARS blush.  I found it really difficult to get the amount I needed, so keep a buffing brush on standby for quick fixes.

When worn lightly, it can be a beautiful shade of lightened peach-orange with a golden shimmer-sheen.  It looks absolutely gorgeous on warmer skin tones, especially those with deeper complexions.  It can, quite obviously, be built up for a very intense look, if so desired.  Texture is soft, smooth, and the blush looks luminous when applied to skin.  It gives skin an added warmth and subtle glow from the shimmer-sheen, and if you go easy, it’s very, very wearable and flattering.

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Friday, June 25th, 2010

 

Urban Decay Naked Palette
Urban Decay Naked Palette

Ready to Get Naked?

Urban Decay Naked Palette ($44.00) is new-for-fall and contains twelve shades–eight are incredibly neutral, but four pack a little–much welcome–color punch. There are six permanent and existing shades, one repromoted shade, and five new shades.

The palette includes: Virgin (satin chamois), Sin (champagne), Naked (matte buff nude), Sidecar (cocoa with golden sparkle sheen), Buck (matte nutmeg), Half Baked (subtle, lustrous bronze), Smog (deep coppery bronze), Darkhorse (bronze patina), Toasted (rich copper), Hustle (plum brown satin), Creep (onyx with gold sparkle), Gunmetal (gunmetal gray with silver glitter). The final piece is a double-ended 24/7 Liner with Zero (black) on one side and Whiskey (creamy rich brown) on the other.

  • Virgin is a pale, shimmered nude beige. It’s very, very light, but it’s such a beautiful neutral. It’s a little frosty for a highlighter, particularly on darker skin tones, but it would make for a great all-over wash or pop of light on the inner tear duct.
  • Sin is a champagne with a touch of pink and a frostier finish. This shade is permanently available.
  • Naked is a matte medium beige-brown. It has a very soft, smooth texture–not at all powdery or chalky.
  • Sidecar is a shimmered, medium bronze brown with almost a red undertone. This shade was in the first edition of the Book of Shadows. (I didn’t see it on Urban Decay’s website at all.)
  • Buck is a matte darkened beige-brown. It’s really a darker version of Naked. It has the same silky smooth texture and rich color pay off of Naked, too.
  • Half Baked is a coppery bronze with a frost-metallic finish. This shade is permanently available.
  • Smog is a medium dark bronze with a gilded bronze sheen. This shade is permanently available.
  • Darkhorse is a darkened deep chocolate brown with flecks of bronze.
  • Toasted is a medium dark pinky brown with a shimmery finish. This shade is permanently available.
  • Hustle is a dark plummy chocolate brown with a soft shimmer finish.
  • Creep is a darkened blue-black base with silver and teal shimmer. Urban Decay said “onyx with gold glitter” but I really didn’t see the gold.
  • Gunmetal is a blue-gray metallic that really must be seen to be appreciated. It almost feels like a duochrome, because it flashes blue but it’s dark and smoldering. This shade is permanently available.

The palette also contains a double-ended eyeliner, and Zero is your basic creamy black with a near-matte finish–if you’re an Urban Decay palette collector, you probably have enough Zero eyeliners to get you through the next twenty years. However, it also contains Whiskey, which is a brand new shade of creamy chocolate brown with red undertones. It’s very similar to Bourbon, but it seems a little lighter and doesn’t have the shimmer.

It’s packaged in a velvety chocolate brown exterior, which makes it look sleek and sophisticated–it’s probably one of the classier products I’ve seen come from the brand, actually. It feels very luxe and not quite Urban Decay–but I think it’s a good thing, and it’s nice to see. This is also an amazing value palette. The palette contains 12 x 0.05 oz. eyeshadows, plus 2 x 0.02 oz. liners and a miniature-sized Primer Potion of 0.13 fl. oz. (I actually originally thought it came sans UDPP, because I just received the palette… but the back of it says you do get it, so it probably tags along in a plastic package, but not included in the actual palette case.) The real coup here is the twelve full-size eyeshadows–yes, that’s right–a $17 full-size eyeshadow from Urban Decay contains 0.05 oz. of product, which is exactly what we have here–a value of $204.

I think this is one of Urban Decay’s best palettes to date, actually. It combines incomparable value for the price tag, but the high quality of their eyeshadows really comes through, too. There are no glittery, fussy shades here (and I can’t tell you how happy I am to NOT see Midnight Cowboy Rides Again!). Every shade is soft, smooth, and richly pigmented–even the mattes. For those with a lot of palettes, it may feel a bit redundant, as there are seven shades in it that we’ve seen again–but still five we haven’t. Not that I’m getting through an eyeshadow pan any time soon, but at least you can feel at ease if you fall in love with one of those seven.

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re an eyeshadow fiend and love yourself some shimmery finishes, Urban Decay’s new Naked palette won’t disappoint. It even includes two matte shades–something I’ve remarked on for the lack thereof in previous palettes–and a good mix of neutrals, smoldering neutrals, and darker, smokier colors. There is nothing about this palette that’s a miss.

AVAILABILITY: June 29th @ Urban Decay; around August 1st @ Sephora, ULTA, Macy’s, Beauty.com

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Friday, June 25th, 2010

Illamasqua Follow Intense Lip Gloss

The Summer Season: Illamasqua Follow Intense Lipgloss

Illamasqua Follow Intense Lipgloss ($20.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a fluorescent red-pink. It’s ridiculously bright–totally retina burning, actually! It is completely opaque and ultra glossy. It’s almost like a really, really amped up watermelon pink… except red.  Sorry, I’m so blinded, I’m almost at a loss as to what to say about this!  Like other Intense Lipglosses, Follow is richly pigmented and looks opaque when applied to lips.  They’re scent- and taste-free, too, and wear well–about four to six hours in total, but the glossiness does fade around hour two.

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Is this the right red 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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Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick
Chanel Rouge Cocos: Chintz, Rose Dentelle, Chalys

Rouge Coco is Sweet on Summer, Still

With Chanel’s fall collection, we’ll see an introduction of three new and permanent additions to the Rouge Coco ($30.00) line-up: Chintz (peach rose), Rose Dentelle (rose pink), and Chalys (luminous coral). These three shades pair well with the darker, smokier Enigma eyeshadow quad, but they’re also ridiculously perfect for summer. Considering these launch in July (officially! word on the counter is it’s already popping up at some locations), that’s a very, very good thing.

  • Chintz is a peach nude with a subtle hint of rose. It has a barely there shimmer-frost finish with semi-opaque color. I can see this being a great shade to pair with dark smoky eyes or a stronger cheek.
  • Rose Dentelle is a soft neutral rose with a part glossy, part frosty finish. It has light shimmer of iridescent lilac and pink that flash when the light hits your lips just right. Like Chintz, it gives nearly opaque coverage but not quite. Chintz and Rose Dentelle look very, very similar when swatched on skin, but they look more distinct on lips.
  • Chalys is a darkened coral with a stronger orange tone. It has the same half-glossy, half-shimmery finish that most Rouge Cocos have. I found Chalys to be more opaque than the other two, which was nice.

Admittedly, I am a huge fan of summery shades–I’m always drawn to them.  These shades feel very summer to me, though they’ll certainly pair well with fall’s more dramatic eyes and cheeks and be a nice reprieve from the darker, vampier lip trend we always see pop up in the season.

I like the Rouge Coco formula a lot–it feels incredibly lightweight on lips without being drying.  They’re not the most moisturizing lipsticks, but they’ve never deprived my lips of their natural moisture, either.  Each shade applied smoothly, evenly, and didn’t require a lot of product to get a good amount of color coverage.  I also find these shades to be practical and wearable, but they’re not boring either.

Which of the new Rouge Cocos is your favorite?

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: For a lightweight lipstick that still packs a good punch of color, Rouge Coco makes a good choice. If you’re jonesing for new-for-fall products but still want summer wearability, these shades are right on the money. You could probably opt for Chintz or Rose Dentelle rather than both, but if you’re a fan of lighter lip shades, you may find it hard to resist getting both!

AVAILABILITY: July 2010

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Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Chanel Vert Khaki Eyeshadow
Chanel Vert Khaki Eyeshadow

Crazy for Khaki!

There are two single eyeshadows included with the Chanel Les Contrastes de Chanel CollectionVert Khaki (khaki) and Taupe Grise (chocolate grey).  Each retails for $28.50 and contains 0.07 oz. of product.  I originally planned to review them together, but I adore Vert Khaki too much–it deserves its own post!

Confession time:  I ADORE OLIVE GREENS.  (Is it a confession if everybody already knows?  Guess not!)  No, but seriously, I totally have a thing for antique-y earth tones.  I’m so smitten over Vert Khaki as soon as I gazed down upon it… and then fell head-over-heels in love with it after swatching it.  It’s this beautiful concoction of darkened olive green with a metallic gold sheen and flashes of gold and emerald green shimmer.  Divine!  LOVE!

It has the same silky, soft texture of Chanel eyeshadow, and it’s richly pigmented and a little goes a long way.  It’s shimmering without being frosty, and it blends out beautifully with other shadows. Not the most affordable eyeshadow on the  market, but at least they don’t skimp on quantity–a little more than average.

I’m excited to try this over a gold base, just to bring out the golden tones in it!

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 a fan of smoky eyes, Chanel has you covered with the Enigma eyeshadow quad. It’s very dark and seductive, but it seems a little limited in its combinations.

Availability:  July 2010

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