Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick

Chanel Rouge Coco:  Sneak Preview

Rouge Coco promises to be one of Chanel’s biggest launches this year. According to Peter Philips’, Global Creative Director of Chanel Makeup, “Rouge Coco fascinates me, because I’ve never seen a texture this comfortable and easy to apply. It’s the ready-to-wear lipstick. Just one sweep over the lips colours them and covers them in a melt-away balm … I like the idea that women from the gloss generation, who are afraid of lipstick, can return to this essentially feminine beauty step with Rouge Coco.”

I’m a big fan of Chanel’s lip products. It took me awhile before I came around, but once I did, woo, boy! Those Rouge Allure Laques just made me fall head over heels in lurve.  I remember first reading about Rouge Coco in WWD back in January, and I was all over it.  I was like, “When? Where?  I WANT!”

Rouge Coco comes in a metal case, but it’s still housed in sleek, black packaging with signature Chanel details. Funny enough, according the press materials, engineers opened and closed hundreds of tubes of lipstick to settle on just the right “click.” Each lipstick is lightly scented with a vanilla rose scent (also supposed to have a “fruity raspberry accord,” but I didn’t catch it–my nose is far from sophisticated!).

When asked, “How do we apply Rouge Coco?” Peter Philips says, “[It] stands out by the freedom that it offers women. It allows you to adjust the intensity of the colour, even though the very first coat offers dense lip pigmentation.”

I wanted to give you the back story behind Rouge Coco, because I know that I enjoy reading about the inspiration behind a new product or collection. It just makes it come alive to me! There is just something special about really seeing and envisioning all of the work that went into a product, whether you buy into the back story or not.

But now, let’s move away from the press release and onto the real deal — do they deliver? what are they like? Based on the back story, Rouge Coco is designed to be a hydrating, satin lip color that can deliver smooth, pigmented color. After testing five shades, I can confirm that back story for you.

  • Perle (02) is a soft pinky-brown with subtle champagne sheen. It gives good coverage without being heavy.
  • Mademoiselle (05) is a medium pink with a brown edge. It’s pink without being bubblegum-pink or pale or frosty. This was one of the richer colors of the five I tried as well. I didn’t feel like this shade had any noticeable shimmer; it had a slight sheen, but it wasn’t frosty or glossy.
  • La Pausa (08) is an orange-based coral with coppery orange shimmer. It applied smoothly and provided good color coverage, though it had a frostier finish than the other four I tested out. I’m not sure why this is put in the “Beige” family, since I wouldn’t say it’s anywhere near beige.
  • Legende (11) is a raspberry pink with a pearl shimmer. It applies evenly to lips and is rich in color. It had less of a satin finish as it did frost. There was a noticeable sheen once applied. What I did like about this particular shade is it could be blotted down for a lighter, more of a pink-stained lip for less intense color.
  • Cambon (31) is a rich, raspberry-tinged red. This one is wickedly pigmented; it’s a vibrant, glowing red. The color didn’t bleed on me, but I would use a lip liner (in practice) just to give it a more defined edge. Cambon had a light sheen, almost a glossy look to it, though still definitely a lipstick look.

Rouge Coco is a surprisingly pigmented, subtle, and smooth formula.  Way better than Hydrabase (which it is replacing).  I wouldn’t even describe these as creamy lipsticks (like Rouge Allures can be), but they apply smoothly, richly, and feel incredibly lightweight.

I tested the wear with two colors, once with Mademoiselle and the second time with Cambon–I got a solid four hours of wear with Mademoiselle before it looked faded (but it persisted decently for another hour); with Cambon, I experienced only minimally fading after five hours of wear with no bleeding (but note, lip color doesn’t tend to bleed on me).

These don’t surpass my Rouge Allure Laques (but they’re almost a completely different animal, let’s be honest) as an all-time favorite Chanel lip product, but they hold their own in the Chanel lip color range.  The wear is excellent, because the color hugs lips without sucking the moisture from them.  I think this is why it’s the bridge between lipstick and gloss–because it feels lightweight, soft, and smooth.  But it’s not a lip balm.  It doesn’t feel slick or move all over your lips.

Overall, Rouge Coco is a good step-up from Aqualumieres and not overshadowed by Rouge Allures.  It’s like the middle ground–pigmented enough for medium-to-full coverage but light enough for sheer.  I like the new formula quite a bit but not quite in love with it yet… perhaps my heart is just waiting to be swept away by that perfect shade.

The Rouge Coco line includes four color families with a total of twenty shades (at least, that’s what the press book listed), each retailing for $30. I believe there may be up to an additional ten shades that rotate internationally. The lipstick will launch February 25th, both online and on-counter. You’ll definitely find me at Nordstrom first thing on the 25th to check out the other shades!

See the range of shades, plus photos, swatches, & lip swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Milani Hi-Tech Holographic Nail Lacquer

Beauty on a Budget: Glitter-tastic Nails with Milani Holographic Nail Lacquer

Milani Hi-Tech 3D Holographic Nail Lacquer ($4.99) is one of six new holographic shades from Milani this spring. Other shades include: HD (silver), 3D (gold), Cyberspace (blue), Digital (eggplant purple), Hi-Res (purple).

According to Milani, “New specialty nail lacquer that exhibits a unique 3D Holographic effect that no other nail lacquer has ever achieved. The nail lacquer appears to color-shift as the illumination source or the viewing angle changes. This color phenomenon is based on Holographic Image Technology that makes a very thin, bright, embossed metallic flake look like a rainbow. It allows the color to travel from red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet; seven distinctive colors of the color spectrum.”

Hi-Tech is wickedly shimmery with larger shimmer particles (but they don’t feel gritty like a glitter polish often does). It’s a spring-y, yellow-green with different flecks of, predominantly, gold and green shimmer. It reflects and catches the light in a way that I can’t capture on film–definitely one of those “you gotta be there” moments. Really stunning, though. I’ll be sure to post again if I try any of the other five shades available.

Have you tried any of the new Holographic shades yet?

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: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love glitter polishes but not the removal process, Milani’s 3D Holographic polish might be another way to get your glitter on.

Availability: Local drugstores, MilaniCosmetics.com

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Cabana Corals Collection

Bobbi Brown Cabana Corals Collection:  Cabo Coral Pot Rouge

Bobbi Brown Cabo Coral Pot Rouge ($22.00) is one of two new shades from the Bobbi Brown Cabana Corals Collection. The other shade is Calypso Coral (a bright coral).

Cabo Coral is a very peachy coral. It’s more peach than coral–but it does have a slight pinkness to it that makes it read a little coral. I found it looked more coral on my lips (I imagine from some of the natural pinkness of my lips) than on my cheeks (which was peachier).

Pot Rouges are designed to be used on both lips and cheeks. It has a creamy formula that feels like like a hardened cream almost, because it’s not actually that creamy in the pot. On the cheeks, it’s easy to apply with a stippling brush or blended with fingertips or a sponge for soft, natural color. It’s peach enough to work well on cooler skin tones, while it also works on those with warmer skin tones.

What I really like about the Pot Rouges is the staying power. This is more of a blush stain than a cream blush, because it really does grab and stay on cheeks throughout the day. It doesn’t fade or melt away by mid-afternoon, which is a huge plus for when you need your makeup to look on point all day long. It’s pigmented enough to give you nice color on both lips and cheeks, but not so pigmented that it’s easy to overapply.

This is my first Pot Rouge, but it makes me excited to check out some other shades. What are your favorites?

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’ve always wanted to wear coral, but you couldn’t find the right shade, Bobbi Brown has five different versions to check out.

Availability: Bobbi Brown

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Milani Liquif'eye Liner

Long-lasting Eyeliner on a Budget:  Milani Liquif’Eye

Milani Liquif’Eye Metallic Eye Liner Pencils ($5.49 each) are new for spring and available in five shades: Black, Silver, Gold, Aqua, and Brown. As far as I’m concerned, there is always more room in the world for metallic/chrome eyeliner. These do remind me of L’Oreal HIP Chrome Eyeliners in many ways, though these are a little firmer and more metallic than chrome finish. They’re definitely similar, though.

Liquif’Eye is soft, smooth, and richly pigmented eyeliner. It glides on like my beloved Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Liners and looks just as smooth. I get good wear out of these–no smudging, budging, or migration eight hours later. They don’t look faded either! Surprisingly, they stay well on my waterline, too, for several hours (but I do have a more watery waterline at times), which isn’t something most liners can do for me.

At just $5.49 each, they’re hard to resist. Not only are they excellent in every way–quality, long-lasting liner that is rich in color and smooth in texture–but they’re priced just right. I tried out four of the five shades, and I found each one to be just as good. I hope to see Milani release more shades in the future–how about a green, copper, and violet?

  • Black (#01) is a rich, deep dark black. It’s an absolutely smoldering black that’s truly black–there’s no gray here.
  • Silver (#02) is a bright and shiny silver with a metallic finish.
  • Gold (#03) is a toned down, burnished gold. It’s not a true yellow gold, but it’a step down from that. Little more “antique” gold in it.
  • Aqua (#04) is a bright aqua-blue. It isn’t quite as metallic as either the gold or silver shades, but it still has that metallic sheen.

Even the packaging is anything but cheap.  It’s a matte black that looks and feels sleek.  If you blindfolded me, I couldn’t tell you that these didn’t feel like other high-end eyeliners, like Smashbox and Urban Decay.

Have you tried these yet?

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: Next time you’re near a Milani display, these are definitely worth a little look-see.

Availability: Local drugstores, MilaniCosmetics.com

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Cabana Corals Collection

Bobbi Brown Cabana Corals Collection:  Shimmer Lip Glosses

Bobbi Brown Cabana Corals Collection includes three new shades of Shimmer Lip Gloss (Coral Sand – a golden peach; Golden Nectar — a peach coral shimmer; and Sunset Beach — a golden pink coral). Both Coral Sand and Sunset Beach are limited edition. Each gloss retails for $20.00 and contains 0.14 fl. oz.

  • Sunset Beach is a sheer, peachy-coral with golden shimmer. It has a very wet, kind of creamy/milky look on lips with just a hint of shimmer.
  • Coral Sand is a sheer, bronzy peach with peach-gold shimmer. This has more of a traditional shimmer gloss look — sheer with noticeable golden shimmer.

Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Lip Glosses are thick, sticky, and always run on the sheer side (so those who love pigmented glosses, look elsewhere). They are designed to be subtle and glossy with light shimmer–not thick, opaque, richly colored glosses, for reference. Because they are thicker and tackier, they last longer than most glosses (I get about three to four hours).

Two things I wish would change about this product, though: a better applicator and more for your money. The applicator is a stubby plastic-y bristled brush that’s tiny and doesn’t feel great on lips. I wish it had a doe-foot applicator or a more traditional brush applicator. For the price tag, even against its competitors in the price range, you just don’t get that much gloss in each tube for the price, so they are on the pricier side.  (Realistically, if you have a ton of glosses, the amount probably isn’t a big deal, since you’re unlikely to finish it.)

Did you grab any of the new Shimmer Lip Glosses?

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: If you’ve always wanted to wear coral, but you couldn’t find the right shade, Bobbi Brown has five different versions to check out.

Availability: Bobbi Brown

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Guerlain Georgia Rouge G Lipstick
Guerlain Georgia Rouge G Lipstick

The Spring Season: Guerlain Georgia Rouge G Lipstick

Guerlain Georgia (#62) Rouge G Lipstick ($45.00) is a rosy, pretty-in-pink lipstick with a slight glossy sheen and no real shimmer. It applies opaque with just one or two light layers and really hugs your natural lip. Rouge Gs really do have a fantastic formula for those who can afford to indulge in it at such a hefty price tag. The packaging is, in my opinion, makes up for most of the price difference between Guerlain’s Kiss Kiss Lipstick and Rouge G Lipstick. It’s kind of a spage age packaging and weighs quite a bit (so on one hand, it feels like “Ohh, quality!” but then again, you don’t want to carry five of these in your purse). I get about four to six hours of wear with Rouge Gs, and they do have Guerlain’s sweet strawberry-ish scent, though I feel like it’s not quite as potent as their normal lipstick and gloss range.

Is this the right sheer 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 →