Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

MAC Tabloid Beauty Collection
MAC Pro Longwear Lustre Lipcolour: Jazz-Y-Razz, Night Rose, Lishious,
Boss Brown, Betwixt, Sappho

MAC Tabloid Beauty: Pro Longwear Lustre Lipcolour Reviews, Photos, Swatches, Lip Swatches

Pro Longwear Lustre Lipcolours only vary from the regular PLWs in one way: they have a shimmery gloss on the end. However, you can actually purchase replacement gloss ends (just alone), and you can always opt to swap it for the regular clear gloss or replace it with the shimmery one. I’d recommend the same application technique with these as I did in the previous post. Oh, and while I’m remembering, last I checked, you can B2M for these as well… (Hopefully, someone who has done B2M more recently than I–it’s been many months for me–can confirm or deny!)

Pro Longwear Lustre Lipcolour ($21.00)

  • Jazz-Y-Razz is a shimmery, almost frost finish shade of muted pinky-beige. MAC describes this shade as “dirty plum with pearl,” but I really didn’t see much plum in it myself. Despite its frostiness, it applies well and looks even on.
  • Night Rose is a beautiful shade of rosy pink with a soft shimmer (which is emphasized by the shimmery gloss coat). This has always been one of my favorites, because it’s so wearable and looks good on a variety of skin tones.
  • Lishious is a peachy-brown with champagne shimmer. It looks a little creamy once applied, but it has that shimmer to it as well.
  • Boss Brown is a warmed-up brown with a copper/orange tone to it and gold shimmer. Nice, full color coverage.
  • Betwixt is a coppery red with copper-bronze shimmer. This is a nice mix of red without being overwhelmingly red. It applies smoothly and gives opaque color.
  • Sappho is a plummy berry that really doesn’t have much shimmer in its color coat, but the shimmery gloss coat adds it. This one blends really well with the lip, because it seems to meld with your natural lip color.

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Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

MAC Tabloid Beauty Collection
Pro Longwear Lipcolour: Durashell, Clingpeach, Unchanging, For Keeps, Loyal;
Stuck on You, Passion Preserved, Lasting Lust, Perennial Rose, Commitment

MAC Tabloid Beauty: Pro Longwear Lipcolour Reviews, Photos, Swatches, Lip Swatches

Tabloid Beauty is a “collection” of sorts, but all of the products included in the collection are permanent products. MAC is showcasing some of their products that have some stellar results that are scientifically proven (according to the website). I’m only reviewing and showcasing the Pro Longwears — also included in the launch is Penultimate Eye Liner ($16.50), Plushlash ($13.00), Prep + Prime Line Filler ($19.50), and Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone ($19.50) — all of which I’ve reviewed previously.  Tabloid Beauty launches in-store on February 25th!

Though the Pro Longwears are permanent, since I’ve never done lip swatches for the majority before, I thought this was a good excuse to do so. Pro Longwears are one of the longest wearing lip products I’ve ever put on my lips. No, seriously. I could only manage to swatch four or five at a time, because they cling onto lips, which makes removal more grueling than typical lipstick/lipgloss. You’ll need an oil-based makeup remover to get this guy off, and you’ll likely want to blot and smear the oil-based makeup remover around to let it “sink” in and break down the product.

Pro Longwears are really great… once you know how to apply them.

A half hour before you apply, slather on lip balm, then blot off prior to application. I like to apply from the tube using the included doe-foot applicator and start on the bottom lip, smoosh lips together gently, then round out the top lip color. You have to be patient and use a steady hand, because this stuff dries fast and doesn’t budge after it dries, so you need to make sure to stay inside your natural lip line.

Next, let your mouth hang open a bit to dry. I like to wait about a minute to a minute and a half for it dry. After all of that, top with gloss. You’ll need to reapply the gloss every few hours as that part will fade away–the lip color itself stays on pretty well. It will breakdown if you eat really greasy/oily food, but it holds up decently through that, in my experience.

Just for clarity, I purchased 10 of the 16 featured here (six were press samples). I’m actually going to bestow most of these on my Mom as a little surprise gift when I see her next! (She loves PLWs–her favorite is Night Rose!) Also, for reference, if you purchase during the Tabloid Beauty collection is up (and “while supplies last”), they come in specially printed sleeves (they slip around the normal black box packaging).

Pro Longwear Lipcolour ($21.00)

  • Durashell is a milky pink with a golden, frosty sheen. Application with Durashell wasn’t as smooth or even as the other shades–it has a tendency to emphasize every flaw on your lips and can look a little streaky since it’s not quite as opaque as the other shades as well.
  • Clingpeach is a peach shimmered coral. This is one of my favorites, because it applies evenly and is totally opaque.
  • Unchanging is a pinky-nude with icy pink shimmer that looks pretty creamy once applied.
  • For Keeps is a reddened berry with multicolored shimmer. It has full color coverage and doesn’t settle into lip lines as much as some of the other shades.
  • Loyal is a milky-looking browned nude with no real shimmer. It looks creamier once you apply the gloss on top.
  • Stuck on You is a beautiful shade of berry-red with a gilded gold sheen. This one is such a stunning shade–you have to check it out in person to really see how it glows.
  • Passion Preserved is a brownish red with a little plum thrown in. It has a very creamy, opaque look when applied.
  • Lasting Lust is a retina-burning creamy red. It’s almost a neutral red, but it seems to lean orange-red just a smidgen. Super bright, opaque, and lush. This is a show-stopping red for sure. (Though, to be honest, Perpetuate is/was my favorite red PLW.)
  • Perennial Rose is a subdued, rosy red with golden shimmer. This has a shimmer, frost feel in the finish, but it still goes on opaque.
  • Commitment is a reddened brown with gold shimmer. It’s a very intense, bold shade when worn. It’s dark, vampy, and dare I say it? sultry!

Love or hate Pro Longwears?  What are your favorites?

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Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Guerlain Orange Sequin Lipstick
Guerlain Orange Sequin Lipstick

The Spring Season: Guerlain Orange Sequin Lipstick

Guerlain Orange Sequin (#342) Kiss Kiss Strass Lip Color ($31.00) is new (and permanent!) for spring. It’s a semi-sheer orange-coral base with copper and golden orange flecks of shimmer throughout. On my lips, it merely tints my natural lip color to lean a little more orange with a subtle milky-creamy look. The finish of it, when applied, is nicely glossy and the shimmer flecks show up the most. If you’ve been hunting for a semi-sheer, ultra shimmery coral, Orange Sequin is worth a peek.

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 →

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Illamasqua Lover Blush

First Blush of Spring:  Illamasqua Lover Blush

Illamasqua Lover Blush ($23.00) is one of the better blush shades I’ve tried from Illamasqua since its stateside launch. Lover is an orange-apricot color with a matte finish, but it’s matte without being chalky or powdery (which can sometimes be the case with matte blushes!). The color looks smooth and natural with nice color pigmentation. It has rich color that can be layered and built up for greater intensity or used with a light hand for a subtle flush.

I still don’t love the packaging, since it feels bulkier than it needs to be. I do like that the lid is clear, so you can see the color without opening the compact or reading the label. The price point is near similar priced brands, but it is a little higher than I’d expect (or at least, you get less than I’d expect for the price tag), but if you’re like me, you’ll never finish a blush in your life so it’s not a deal-breaker.

More Illamasqua Blush reviews…

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: 3/5

Recommendation:  If you love yourself some matte blush, try swatchin’ Illamasqua next time you’re at Sephora.

Availability: Sephora

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Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in #4L

Make Up For Ever #4L Aqua Eyes Liner ($17.00) is a reddened plum with subtle red shimmer. I like Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Eyes a lot–it’s budge-proof, smudge-proof, water-resistant, and it just really hangs on all day long. There are also many shades to choose from, so you’re bound to find at least one that appeals to you!

I personally wish they were a softer pencil eyeliner, though; they’re not too hard, but I definitely prefer mine to be on the softer, creamier side. They’re about average in price–not falling in the “affordable” category, but they’re not prohibitively expensive either.  The packaging is straightforward; it looks like a pencil with a glossy black casing.

I also reviewed Aqua Eyes in several other shades (seven, to be exact) last year.

What are your must have Aqua Eyes?

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 been looking for a pencil eyeliner that stays put, Make Up For Ever might have your number!

AvailabilitySephora

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Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Lancome Creme Brilliance
Amande Sucree, Berry Noir, Blush Classique, Champagne, Cherrywood Luxe,
Exotic Orchid, Rose Mythique, Sienne Ultime

Lancome L’Absolu Creme de Brilliance: Review, Photos, Swatches

This Spring, Lancome released eight shades of their newest lipgloss, L’Absolu Creme de Brilliance ($29.00 each). According to Lancome, Creme de Brilliance is a cross between lip gloss and balm designed to deliver “intense hydration that helps lips stay comfortable for up to 10 hours.” It contains “shine-boosting oils” and “light-diffusing pearls” for richer color pay off; Pro-Xylane™ for increased hydration, and glycerin and hyaluronic acid to hydrate lips and help color stay put.

Like you, fancy ingredient names don’t mean anything at first. I typically don’t even read the press release or description in its entirety until after I’ve tried it. (I prefer to try things as I would normally… diving in head-first, not caring about the science behind it, and just getting down to business!) Then I go back and read the product’s description, check out tips or insight on the website, etc. to see if my experience lines up with what the product was supposed to do.

Creme de Brilliance is definitely a cross between gloss and balm. I didn’t make that bridge myself, as I was thinking maybe it was more like a glossy lip stain, but the balm part makes sense. It’s glossy and liquid enough to pass for a gloss, but it’s thin and sort of melts into lips. It doesn’t impart an ultra glossy finish (which is more a preference than a necessity). The gloss isn’t drying, but I don’t think it’s particularly moisturizing either — it just doesn’t suck moisture out of your lips while you wear it and keeps it locked in, so your lips don’t dry out, but you should make sure your lips are moisturized prior to applying for best results.

The applicator is the same as most (all? can’t remember!) as Lancome glosses – a modified doe-foot applicator (always reminds me of a heart for some reason). I felt like the scent on these is very low-key–kind of a rosy scent, but it’s not nearly as strong as other Lancome lip products. I’m not loving the price –

  • Amande Sucree is a neutral chocolate brown with bronzy shimmer. I found this one applied beautifully on lips–completely opaque and lush.
  • Berry Noir is a creamy berry red with subtle silverish shimmer (but it’s very, very subtle, as you can tell from the swatch). This one really feels and looks like a stain (in fact, I think it stained my lips for about five hours!). Not quite as opaque as Amande Sucree, it’s still mostly full color coverage. On me, the redness of it certainly stands out, but there is still enough berry to keep it from being purely red. This had a creamier look with a glossier finish.
  • Blush Classique is a brightened up medium pink with shimmer. This brightened, yellower-toned pink is a pretty spring shade that goes on nearly opaque and is one of the more shimmery shades.
  • Champagne is a cooler toned medium pink with silvery-pink and gold shimmer. Side-by-side, Blush Classique and Champagne are similar, but I think the warmth/coolness of each is apparent. Do you need both? Probably not unless you’re a pink fiend! Not too cool, so still wearable by a variety of skin tones, Champagne applies mostly opaque and has the same shimmery look as Blush Classique.
  • Cherrywood Luxe is a coppery brown with subtle gold shimmer. This was an interesting shade, just because it’s not quite brown, but it’s not really a red-brown, so I went with coppery at the end of the day. I found this one to be a little streaky in application, whereas the other seven shades applied very evenly without much work. Cherrywood Luxe has a glossy sheen and shimmer like most glosses.
  • Exotic Orchid is a plummy pink with pinky-gold shimmer. This is a creamier but still glossy shade of plummed down pink. It’s pink enough that it’s not a true plum, but there’s enough plum in it that mutes the pink tones of it and darkens it a bit. It has an almost iridescent fuchsia shimmer in it.
  • Rose Mythique is a brightened cherry red with gold shimmer. Like Exotic Orchid, this is a creamier shade with a glossy finish. It has less noticeable shimmer–just a few bits of gold shimmer. This is the shade that Kate Winslet is wearing in the Creme de Brilliance promo (though there is also a lipstick shown in the advertisement, just to be clear). It’s not a true cherry red when applied to my lips–it’s more like a cherry stain. The color does make me feel like I have “juicy” lips, ha! Funny enough, Rose Mythique may be one of the lesser pigmented shades of the eight.
  • Sienne Ultime is a more muted, darkened red (with maybe a little brown) with soft gold shimmer. This is actually much more pigmented than Rose Mythique and redder, too, though still not a true red. Like the majority of the shades, this provided nearly opaque color coverage on my lips. (You can still see my lip freckle but barely.)

Which are your favorites?

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 love pigmented gloss that’s not too glossy and locks moisture in, you might like these!

Availability: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →