Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

MAC Liberty of London Collection
MAC Beauty Powder Packaging

MAC Give Me Liberty of London: Beauty Powder Reviews, Photos, Swatches

The Beauty Powders are housed in all-white packaging with an opaque cover (they’re sometimes clear, sometimes not–usually not clear if it’s part of limited edition packaging) with the MAC for Liberty print printed in color on the top. Beauty Powders can be used for a variety of things–blushing, highlighting, setting, or what-have-you. Your usage depends on both the shade itself and how well it shows up on your skin tone. Shell Pearl may be a blush on fairer skin tones, but deeper skin tones will find it is more of a highlighter.

Beauty Powder ($25.00 U.S. / $30.00 CDN)

  • Summer Rose is a satin-y pinky-plum with very subtle, nearly invisible shimmer/sheen. This is a repromote from last year’s Rose Romance Collection, but it doesn’t have the rose petal embellished design–on the flip side, this one is housed in special packaging. It has a smooth texture and can be layered for more intensity, though on first swipe, it’s quite sheer and soft. It doesn’t build up to an ultra intense shade by any means, but with two or three layers, it should show up on light and medium skin tones. Deeper, darker skin tones may find that this can look ashy, so I’d recommend swatching in-store first if possible!
  • Shell Pearl is a beautiful peachy-coral with a soft golden peach sheen. For whatever reason, I never owned Shell Pearl when I first started my journey down the limited-edition lined path o’ MAC, but after I saw someone use it, I was like, “I need that!” So, finally, I get to have it, and it’s lovely. It’s soft, smooth, and delivers a beautiful glow to the skin. It’s not super pigmented, so for medium and darker skin tones, it’s more of a highlighter or potentially an all-over highlighter than a blush, but lighter skin tones may find it a suitable blusher as well as a highlighter.  Shell Pearl has also been released in the past, but I believe that was over a year ago.

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Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

MAC Liberty of London Collection

MAC Give Me Liberty of London: Nail Lacquer Reviews, Photos, Swatches

I like the level of detail of the packaging, from the boxes to the print on the actual products. I just think it’s a nice touch–the attention to detail is reminiscent of past major launches like last year’s Hello Kitty, to put it in perspective. The nail lacquers both have the Liberty bird printed on the front of the bottle.

Nail Lacquer ($12.00 U.S. / $14.50 CDN)

  • Blue India is a dusty, muted dark gray-blue with a creamy finish. It goes opaque in about two coats, but three coats makes it perfect. This is a surprisingly flattering shade, because even though it’s distinctly blue, it doesn’t run too cool against my warmer skin tone.  This is definitely one of the better formulated shades I’ve come across from MAC in the past year.
  • Vestral White is a creamy white. It’s not an ultra bright white, though. I had trouble getting this one to look even, and I did try three coats to get it to the level shown in the swatches. Not a stellar formula on this one–a little runny, almost watery–and takes some patience to get a smooth, even look.

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Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

MAC Liberty of London Collection

MAC Give Me Liberty of London: The Sneak Peek Begins!

With unveiling parties happening across the country tonight, I thought I’d share a little sneak peek of the MAC Liberty of London Collection that will release, officially, in-stores on March 11th. Today, I’ll share with you photos, swatches, and reviews of the products I’ve been able to try so far. Please keep in mind that I am missing a few pieces (Give Me Liberty of London Eyeshadow; Peachstock Lipstick; and Frankly Fresh & A Different Groove Lipglasses) and will have photos, swatches, and reviews of those items on the in-store launch date.

First, before we get to the good stuff, I thought I’d share some fun facts and insights on how the collection came to be.

The MAC Give Me Liberty of London design is based on William Morris’ Strawberry Thief print, which dates back to 1883. Because MAC wanted exclusivity, Liberty reworked the original print while MAC collaborated on colours and design to modernize it.

On the packaging, James Gager, Senior Vice President and Creative Director for MAC Cosmetics, says, “I’m particularly proud of the packaging… White [packaging] speaks to a reawakening of everyone’s sensibilities for spring. [It] has a remarkably fresh, springy look to it. Even if you don’t know what Liberty is, you want to own these pieces because they are so unique and special. It’s evident that something original has taken place here in terms of the collaboration.

On the promotional imagery, Gager says, “The inspiration was all Liberty and all London.” Miles Aldridge, photographer, shot the visuals in London, with Charlotte Tilbury, makeup artist, created the look. (Both Aldridge and Tilbury are English!) Gager goes on to say, “The idea was to capture the spirit of the famous Brit wit, bohemian chic girl. Katy England, another famous Brit, styled the shoot. She also designed the outfit worn by the model, using many Liberty prints and turning them into an over-the-top ruffled dress. With the MAC Give Me Liberty of London collection, we aspired to capture the spirit of this dreadfully chic, cool English girl, sitting on a chair, decked out in all the British regalia. She’s a Liberty freak and a MAC addict; she can’t get enough of either brand.

Give Me Liberty of London launches March 11th, 2010 at all North American MAC locations, 1.800.588.0070, and www.maccosmetics.com (expect online to put it up a day or two earlier, though!). The collection will launch April 2010 for international MAC locations.

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Guerlain Rouge Broderie Kiss Kiss Strass Lipstick

Guerlain Kiss Kiss Strass:  Rouge Broderie

Guerlain Rouge Broderie (#321) Kiss Kiss Strass Lip Color ($31.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a nearly opaque raspberry red with fuchsia and red shimmer. It has a very glittery, shimmery look with a particularly glossy finish. It’s a lipstick that doesn’t need a gloss to give it that wet look (though you could still certainly layer if you wanted to). Rouge Broderie may be the most standout shade of the ten shades released in the Kiss Kiss Strass formula, just because it’s vibrant and bold without being overwhelming.

Kiss Kiss Strass comes in typical Guerlain packaging, except it comes in silver casing rather than the gold casing of Kiss Kiss Strass. The lipstick still has the traditional sweetened rosy scent of Guerlain lip products, and it’s not quite as subtle as the Rouge G line, though not as heavy as the Kiss Kiss range either. The pricing is typical to Guerlain lip products, which doesn’t make them the most affordable brand if you’re on the hunt for a lipstick! However, Guerlain does exceptional lip color, both from the shades to the quality and feel of their formulas.

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:  Fans of Guerlain that love a little extra dosage of shimmer will likely enjoy Kiss Kiss Strass!

Availability: Nordstrom, Sephora

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Monday, March 1st, 2010

Lancome Pop 'n Cheeks Blush

Lancome O My Rose!:  Pop’n Cheeks Blush

Lancome Pop’n Cheeks Blush ($35.00) is a softly shimmered coral-orange blush, new and limited edition from Lancome’s O My Rose! Collection. The blush itself has a geometric rose design, and though there look to be a few shimmery pieces, it’s mostly just an overspray. Once you use it a few times, the glittery gold will disappear and a finer, more subtle shimmer is leftover.

It’s a fun shade for both spring and summer, which makes it a nice double-duty color. Hey, when cosmetic companies put out spring collections in January and the official start of spring isn’t until March 20th… colors that can be worn in both spring and summer are always nice pieces to add to your collection. I’m also totally partial to coral shades being a coral fanatic myself, so there’s no doubt I was going to enjoy this version released by Lancome!

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:  Love corals?  Might want to see if you can track down this spring blush from Lancome!

Availability: Nordstrom

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Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Smashbox Splendid Lipstick
Smashbox Splendid Lipstick

The Spring Season: Smashbox Splendid Lipstick

Smashbox Splendid Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a soft, semi-opaque coral-pink with a glossy finish. It has subtle golden/champagne shimmer throughout, but it has more of a glimmering effect. Despite having a very soft and sheer look to it, it’s surprisingly opaque. It really melds and blends with your natural lip color, so it is easy to wear. Smashbox’s Lipsticks are always very creamy and moisturizing and wear for a solid four hours on me.

More Smashbox Lipsticks…

Is this the right coral lipstick for you? Would you wear it?

The Spring Season is a series of posts featuring my favorite soft beige, coral, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for the first blossom of spring — that runs through March 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →