Friday, December 25th, 2009

Dolce & Gabbana Ruby Lipstick
Dolce & Gabbana Sheer Shine Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: Dolce & Gabbana Sheer Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Sheer Shine Lipstick ($30.00) is a glossy, orange-based red. It’s smooth, feels moisturizing, and is richly pigmented. Even though the Shine formula is designed to deliver semi-sheer color, this particular shade definitely gives lips plenty of color. I’d personally consider it an opaque shade that gives full color coverage. It’s like a redder, slightly more tamed version of Fire. Since it’s a Shine lipstick, it doesn’t have the same richness or creamy feeling as The Classic Cream formula, but on the other hand, it has a glossier finish and feels more hydrating once on lips.

What about you? Would you wear this red?

The Scarlet Season is a series of posts showcasing and featuring my favorite shades of red lips–from glosses to lipsticks that runs through December 2009. You can sure expect to see a lot of red this holiday season!

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Lancome Red Stiletto Lipstick
Lancome Red Stiletto Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: Lancome Red Stiletto Lipstick

Lancome Red Stiletto Color Deseign Lipstick ($22.00) is a bold, ruby red with a very faint sheen with an otherwise played down, creamy finish. It’s bright and bold and yet not stop sign red, either. It feels creamy, hugs lips, and provides full color coverage in just one layer. It’s a solid blue-based red that lasts for a good five or six hours before subtly wearing away and leaving behind a red-tinged stain.

What about you? Would you wear this red?

The Scarlet Season is a series of posts showcasing and featuring my favorite shades of red lips–from glosses to lipsticks that runs through December 2009. You can sure expect to see a lot of red this holiday season!

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Rimmel Temptation Lipstick
Rimmel Temptation Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: Rimmel Temptation Lipstick

Rimmel Temptation Lasting Finish Lipstick ($5.19) is a bold, ruby red with subtle red shimmer (very fine!). It’s creamy, opaque, and wears for a good four or five hours. Even when it does fade, it leaves behind a nice stain (as many reds often do), so you could always slick on some lipgloss for a softer red pout later on. As far as drugstore brands go, Rimmel’s lipstick impressed me with its staying power and rich color. It had a sweet scent that felt a little synthetic, and the packaging feels cheaper than what I like, but overall, it was pretty good for $5! (As I mentioned previously, Temptation is Rimmel’s blue-based red, while Alarm is their more orange-based red!)

What about you? Would you wear this red?

The Scarlet Season is a series of posts showcasing and featuring my favorite shades of red lips–from glosses to lipsticks that runs through December 2009. You can sure expect to see a lot of red this holiday season!

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

MAC Warm & Cozy Collection
MAC Warm & Cozy Collection

MAC Warm & Cozy Collection: Round-up

OVERALL, Warm & Cozy is a nice collection to see in the dreary, cold winter season. It’s not my favorite launch ever, and if you aren’t into the shades, there’s not much to do about it. It’s like the lipsticks, lipglasses, and eyeshadows all mirror each other. This is a very warm collection, though I don’t think the majority runs so warm that cool-toned MAC fans will have any serious problems working with these products.

I haven’t had a chance to wear anything in a look yet (but I will, never fear!) since these just arrived this afternoon (yay overnight shipping!), but I’m a little worried that there’s not even variation–like one might look washed out if you just used these products together. Of course, that’s my goal, so definitely shall see…

When it comes to neutral eyeshadows, I’m going to hold MAC to a very high standard, because they have so many stunning neutrals in their permanent shade range. I think they’ve released better neutral shades in other limited edition collections, but moreover, I’d much rather put my money towards their permanent neutrals than the four released in this launch. They’re just okay; not terrible, but none of them really spoke to me. Chamomile seemed to be one shade that I could see picking up and using, because it has a satin finish, rather than a matte, yet it’s not too pale or chalky, so even medium to dark skin tones could use it.

The lipsticks and lipglasses were okay; I liked Siss and Warm Me Up the most out of all of the lip products. I think the lipglasses could have used a little more range, and part of me is just tired of seeing milky pinks… The tinted lip conditioners were lovely as always–in terms of the feel–but the germaphobe in me just wishes they would come in tubes instead! Both shades are wearable, give noticeable color, and work well for everyday wear.

I’m not sold, but I haven’t given up yet, on the mineralize skinfinishes this time around. By Candlelight really seems way too frosty to bear, while Comfort reads surprisingly orange (which isn’t a good look on me), but I’ll give them a chance. I do think mineralize skinfinish fans will like By Candlelight overall, even if it has an ultra frosty finish, when used with a lighter hand. Comfort is one of those shades best seen in person to determine whether it’s a must or not.

The shadesticks are nice, but they all run a bit heavy on the frost. I don’t mind shimmer or frost, but sometimes it can be too much and look garish. I think if layered with matte and satin finishes, these shadesticks could really deliver some lovely looks. I’d just be wary of using too many frost-finish eyeshadows alongside them!

The nail lacquers are interesting, but I think they’re both really a matter of personal preference. Neither formula was fussy to work with, and I think they gave a nice, opaque result.

Temptalia’s Recommendations

Must-haves: Warm Me Up Lipstick, 2N Lipglass, Feelin’ Good Tinted Lip Conditioner, Cuddle Shadestick

Nice-to-haves: Siss Lipstick, Light That Fire Lipglass, 3N Lipglass, By Candlelight Mineralize Skinfinish, Close for Comfort Tinted Lip Conditioner, Chamomile Eyeshadow, Nurture Shadestick

Skip: Spiced Tea Lipstick, Mulled Cider Eyeshadow

Product-by-Product Reviews

What do you love? What do you hate? What are you picking up from Warm & Cozy?

P.S. – MAC also launched one new product (Mineralize All-Over Lotion), alongside Care Blend Essential Oils (2), and repromoted their Lip Conditioner Tube and Lip Conditioner Stick.  I will review both the lotion and the essential oils tomorrow or the next day, after I’ve had a chance to test them a little more thoroughly.  I also forgot to purchase the new mascara, so I won’t be able to review that for a week or so, sorry! :(

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

MAC Warm & Cozy Collection
MAC Lipglasses: Feeling Dreamy, 2N, Light That Fire, 3N

MAC Warm & Cozy Collection: Lipglasses

At first glance, I thought I would be really in love with the lipglasses, but they weren’t as much my cup of tea as I had hoped. My favorite was definitely Light That Fire, while 2N was next.

  • Feeling Dreamy is a milky beige-pink with iridescent icy pink shimmer. It really has a tendency to settle into lip lines, so it wasn’t looking so dreamy on me (oh, pun!). It isn’t a particularly original shade – kind of typical of MAC.
  • 2N is a creamy fleshy peach-beige. It also has a milky look, so it also settled into lines like Feeling Dreamy, but it’s less noticeable from afar so it’s wearable on its own. I had 2N from the N Collection originally, but it looked different from this one (lighter, paler). I’m not sure if mine has changed over time or something, so I only photographed and swatched the one that released with this launch, for reference.
  • Light That Fire is a bright orange-based coral with lots of orange and gold shimmer. It’s very pigmented for a gloss, actually. It has a grittier texture than the other three glosses, because it does have a healthy dose of shimmer. It was like an orange version of Lychee Luxe. It’s a shade that appeals to me, but it’s not one I’m going to run out and buy a back-up of. I do like that I haven’t seen this shade too often (if at all–nothing comes to mind immediately) from MAC, though.
  • 3N is a brownish shade with orange–beige to keep it from being straight brown. It has lots of gold shimmer, and it looks very creamy on, despite the shimmer. This one looked the best on my lips — even coverage, softened edges, and didn’t settle into lines. It was also quite pigmented. When I compared 3N to my original 3N from the N Collection, it seemed about the same.

See more photos and swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

MAC Warm & Cozy Collection
MAC Lipsticks: Spiced Tea, Warm Me Up, Siss

MAC Warm & Cozy Collection: Lipsticks

I was pleasantly surprised by the texture and coverage of both Siss and Warm Me Up. Siss is permanent, by the way, so you don’t have to rush out and purchase that one if it catches your eye and you’re on a budget. (I didn’t own it previously, though, so I still picked one up.) My favorite was easily Warm Me Up — it’s totally a shade I’d gravitate towards, and the finish is truly lovely. Spiced Tea was definitely the disappointing one of the three.

  • Siss is a fleshy-beige with a peachy undertone. It reminded me of the color of foundation (well, a darker foundation than my own, I suppose). It’s not flattering on my lips, and I doubt I’d wear it alone — perhaps layered with a coral gloss or even a red.
  • Warm Me Up is a creamy medium pink with a little warmed-up yellow in it. I know MAC says it’s a neutral pink, but I think it has a lil’ warmth in it still! It has a nice amplified finish, so it’s rich in pigmentation and goes on smooth. It reminded me of a much pinker version of Brave New Bronze for some reason…
  • Spiced Tea is a semi-sheer coppery bronze with an orange warmth to it. It has a golden shimmer in it. I thought it wasn’t so bad at first, but on my lips, it looks a little splotchy. I just found it really trying to get an even finish/color with this particular shade.

See more photos and swatches! Continue reading →