Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009


MAC New York Apple Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: MAC New York Apple Lipstick

MAC New York Apple Lipstick ($14.00) is a classic berry-based red. It’s a deep raspberry red with lots of lighter raspberry shimmer. This has always been one of my favorite MAC lipstick shades, red or not, and it’s something that suits a lot of skin tones. It can be worn alone or topped with gloss for an extra kick. MAC lipsticks usually last four to six hours on me, depending on the finish (lustres wear off the fastest), and this one stays on for somewhere in-between–five hours or so. I love layering this with a gold gloss to make it perfect for the holidays!

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

Cream/Gel Eyeliner Breakdown

Cream/gel eyeliners are usually thick creams (the consistency of a cream, but the thickness of more like a paste… or a lipstick, for a better beauty reference!). They usually require a brush to apply it, and most use these on the upper lash line (they can be irritating on the lower lash line, particularly for those with more sensitive eyes). They’re a very, very popular item with numerous brands having their own take on the cream/gel eyeliner product type.

At the end of the day, they’re all quality cream/gel eyeliners and none are not worth paying for. As with many cosmetic products, some will work better on others–we’re not all going to fall in love with the same formula–but I do think these are all good picks. Personally, I tend to choose by the color/shade rather than the brand! If I had to give you a top three (in alphabetical order), they would be: Bobbi Brown, MAC, and shu uemura.

Here’s a comparison across eight different brands and their cream/gel eyeliners… Continue reading →

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Dolce & Gabbana Ruby Lipstick
Dolce & Gabbana Ruby Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: Dolce & Gabbana Ruby Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Ruby Classic Cream Lipstick ($30.00) is a creamy, opaque shade of ruby red with a subtle blue-base. I like that it runs more neutral-cool than totally cool, as sometimes blue-reds look off against my warm-toned skin. It does have a stronger, more floral scent than other lipsticks, so if you’re sensitive to scented makeup products, you might not find this one to your liking, purely from a nose-standpoint! It doesn’t bother me (I couldn’t say I love it, but I’m indifferent), because the texture is really soft, smooth, and it doesn’t settle or enhance lip lines.

If you’re confused about this shade, saying to yourself, “She reviewed this already… and it doesn’t look like this!” — you’re not wrong. Dolce & Gabbana also has Ruby Lipstick, but in their Shine formula. They’re totally different shades, and I’ll say Dolce & Gabbana could have made it less confusing by giving them different names.

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 →

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Rustic Copper:  Chanel Imprevu Blush

Chanel Imprevu Joues Contraste ($42.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a coppery-toned blush from Les Impressions de Chanel. The spring launch is slowly heading on-counter and online, and I imagine most counters will have it in the next two weeks. I totally recommend buying from Saks right now, ’cause they have *free* express shipping. Have I ever told you how much I loathe paying for shipping? So, yeah, Saks = awesome.

Imprevu is like a rustic, muted copper. Chanel describes it simply has copper, and it’s accurate… and yet I just want to throw the word rustic in there, too. It has little shimmer, a soft sheen, and is plenty pigmented for a cheek product. I found I had to tap excess off my brush before applying or else I’d end up with a very dirty look–so not sexy. I think this kind of blush color requires a light-handed application, and it can often look a bit dirty if you’re not careful. I actually think this would be particularly lovely on darker skin tones, though.

A part of me feels like this is out of place in the collection, because I wasn’t feeling it when worn with the Kaska Beige Eyeshadow Quad. I guess I have a tendency to want an entire collection work together. It also feels more like a fall or winter cheek color, rather than spring–which means it is first, surprising, and second, throws me off a bit.

I’m also not on board with the price for the amount you get (just 0.13 oz.!) — Chanel is one of the priciest blushes you can purchase (by the ounce). Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, and Givenchy are all equally high-end and often priced similarly to Chanel, but their blushes are all a better value than Chanel’s.  Don’t get me wrong — the quality and feel of the blush is lovely, but the price tag is inflated, even for high-end.

What do you think? Is Imprevu worth the splurge? Love the color?

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re a Chanel blush fanatic, this is a nicely pigmented, copper-ish shade that’s not overly bronzy or shimmery.

Availability: Nordstrom, Saks

Check out more photos and swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, December 21st, 2009

A Fresh Face of… Roses?

Dolce & Gabbana Rose the One Shimmer Powder ($50.00 for 0.91 oz.) is a scented, subtle loose highlighter. It is scented with the same-named scent, Rose the One, also by Dolce & Gabbana (no surprise, I’m sure, ha!).

I know that some cosmetics are fragranced, but I can’t remember coming across a powder so deliberately scented before, so I was eager to try this (well, more to sniff it, I suppose!). It really does smell like Rose the One, which is a very feminine rose. There’s no better descriptor than fresh, sweetened roses. It’s not too sweet at all, which is something I was a little worried about. Surprisingly, you can even catch a little whiff of the rosy scent when it’s applied to your cheeks.

The loose powder itself is a soft, golden peach shimmer. It’s very finely milled, and it lays down quite well and doesn’t migrate all over the place, as some loose highlighters sometimes do. At $50, it is a splurge, but at least you can rest easy knowing you’ll likely have enough to last you a lifetime, with nearly an entire ounce of product. The product reminds me a bit of MAC’s Loose Beauty Powder ($22.00 for 0.28 oz.).

I would caution those with more sensitive skin that a fragrance-filled product may not be your best bet, at least not your face.  It does work quite nicely as a decolletage highlighter as well!  Otherwise, it’s kind of a fun product that puts a twist on wearing your favorite scent.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you’re in the market for a loose highlighter and wouldn’t mind smelling like a rose, check out Dolce & Gabbana’s Rose the One!

AvailabilitySaks


See photos and swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Chanel Les Impressions de Chanel Collection
Rouge Allure Lipstick: Insouciante (81), Incognito (82), Impertinente (79), Delicieuse (80)

New Rouge Allures for Spring

Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.12 oz.) has four new shades added to the bunch with Chanel’s Spring Collection.

  • Insouciante (81) is a pinky-beige nude shade with a bright sheen. It’s pigmented, but it’s not ultra pigmented as some of the deeper shades of Rouge Allures are.
  • Incognito (82) is a muted medium pink that goes on semi-opaque with a nice sheen. On lips, it looks like a slightly flushed rosy pink with a glossy sheen and just the tiniest bit of gold shimmer.
  • Impertinente (79) is a reddish-plum that goes on opaque and has a light sheen. On my lips, it seemed to lean a little more reddened plum than plum, as Chanel describes it, but it’s the darkest and deepest shade of the four.
  • Delicieuse (80) is a medium coral-orange that applies semi-opaque and has a soft sheen. I liked how it looked on my lips, which is a little more of a muted coral shade than when I swatched it on my skin. It’s very wearable, perfect for spring, and did I mention, it looks beautiful with Futile? Oh, yeah, it does.

I wouldn’t let the skin swatches fool you, though — even though they seem only semi-opaque, they look nearly opaque on my lips. It seems like your natural lip color ends up blending seamlessly with the lipstick shade, so the color looks very natural, effortless, and beautiful on. Rouge Allures are very smooth, soft, and feel utterly lightweight on lips.  Sometimes they’re insanely pigmented (a la Noirs Obscurs), but often, they’re just good pigmentation; not the ultra bold shades, but color that covers and you know you’re having on but the color looks effortless.

My favorite shade was Delicieuse, but I am a coral fiend, so obviously that makes me a bit biased. Like the new nail lacquers, I don’t think these shades are totally original, but they’re lovely in their own right.  They are incredibly fitting for spring, though.  The quality of the lipsticks is phenomenal but whether they’re worth $30?  That’s more for you to judge!

What do you think?  Worth the splurge?  Meet your expectations?

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: For easy-to-wear shades combined with the silky formula of Rouge Allure, Chanel has you covered.

Availability: Nordstrom and Saks

See more photos, swatches, and lip swatches! Continue reading →