Thursday, December 10th, 2009


Guerlain Gentiane Rouge G Lipstick

Lip Luxury: Guerlain Gentiane Rouge G Lipstick

Guerlain Gentiane Rouge G de Guerlain Lipstick ($45.00) is a smooth, lightly shimmered rose. This is exactly what I picture when I think of a rose lipstick. It’s pigmented, goes on opaque in just one layer, and it feels amazing (as all Rouge Gs do). It’s soft color that looks feminine and very wearable for a variety of skin tones.

This is definitely one of my favorite shades from the Rouge G line that I’ve tried, because it’s a color that works on so many levels. You can wear it alone, for the everyday, with a smoky eye, or with a neutral eye. It’s versatile, and I can appreciate a lip color that I can work into my look wardrobe with no fuss.

Of course, the price is steep, so this isn’t a product for everyone!

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re on the hunt for a rosy pink, Gentiane might be it!

Availability: Nordstrom, Sephora

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Thursday, December 10th, 2009

LORAC Silver Screen Palette ($30.00) is a face palette that contains eight shades of eyeshadow, two shades of blush, a double-ended brush, and a lipgloss. It’s from LORAC’s Hollywood Ice Collection.

The palette is actually divided with both cool and warm eyeshadows — the first row of eyeshadows are warm, while the second row of eyeshadows are cool. The idea behind the palette is having the ability to go from day to night within a single palette. I definitely think LORAC hit a home run on that mark — this can be easily used to create several softer, more neutral looks, while the mauve, silver, and black-blue shade can add drama to any look.

  • Warm eyeshadows: a warmed up champagne, a peachy-pink, copper-brown, chocolate brown
  • Cool eyeshadows: an icy, semi-matte white, a silvery mauve-plum, a brownish-green-blue (reminded me of MAC’s Club eyeshadow), and a blue-black with blue-green sparkles.
  • Blushes: a bright, peachy-apricot and a semi-matte to matte dirty pink
  • Lip Polish: a semi-sheer, reddish-brown with gold shimmer

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use palette with both eyeshadows and blushes in one (but thankfully no lip color wells!), I think you might find LORAC to your liking. The quality of the eyeshadows is great — they’re smooth, soft, and pigmented. They’re not ultra pigmented, but I don’t think ultra pigmentation is always necessary (good pigmentation is enough — ultra can actually make a color harder to work with at times!).

The palette is housed in sleek, silver packaging and it’s pretty lightweight. The brush is a throw-in; it’s not spectacular, but it’ll do ya in a pinch. I think they could have gone with a more neutral lip color (I know, gasp!), because I’m not sure that deep of a shade will work for the majority of looks.

Bottom Line: The colors weren’t necessarily to my personal taste, but these are quality shades at an affordable price. It’s hard to beat $30 for this much product!

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Still hunting for a holiday palette? Wanting something with variety? Try LORAC!

Availability: LORAC Cosmetics, Ulta

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Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Givenchy Pearl Shine Rouge Interdit Shine Lipstick ($27.00) is an extremely sheer bright white-gold shimmered lipstick. This is the equivalent of the ultra sheer lipgloss that just adds a glossy sheen to your lips — because that’s about all this lipstick does for me. It’s kind of cool to look at, and on lips, it’s definitely a shimmery/frosty confection, but there’s no real color to it. I found it’s a lipstick you use to layer under lipglosses, but it’s not really something I’d wear alone.

It’s hydrating and has a fun, glossy sheen, but without the color, this lipstick falls flat, and for $27 and not even a smidgen of color? I don’t know if it’s worth it. I tried layering it underneath Givenchy’s Tender Pearl Lipgloss (also from the same collection), and it really didn’t add as much as I had hoped for. It adds a little extra shimmer here and there, but the gloss could have just as easily stood alone.

This lipstick gives “sheer” a new meaning, and while I can handle sheer, this seems a little too sheer even for sheer fans. I’m not sure if it’s a “shade” or we should just chalk it up to sheerness, so I’m a bit troubled by how to rate this product overall. (If it’s more of a shade issue, I don’t rate a product down simply because I don’t dig the shade personally.)

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  • Product: 23/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re looking for a layering shade chocked full of shimmer… this might be it!

Availability: Sephora

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Wednesday, December 9th, 2009


Giorgio Armani #600 Rouge d’Armani Lipstick

Venturing Into Plums:  Giorgio Armani #600

Giorgio Armani #600 Rouge d’Armani Lipstick ($30.00) is a fuchsia-plum shade in Giorgio Armani’s new long-wearing lipstick formula. The formula is supposed to deliver up to eight hours of wear-time without fading or feathering while feeling moisturizing.

Previously, I reviewed #401, which is more of an orange-based red (more orange than red, I’d say, though) — and the shade didn’t suit me personally, so it was onto the next… #600 is certainly a shade much more up my alley! It’s a bright plummy shade (which is why I’d describe it as a fuchsia-plum) that’s not so bright it’s hard to wear, but bright enough that it can be worn alone or as the star feature of a look.

On my lips, it certainly hugs and adheres to them – looks like it’s natural and yet obviously not (since it’s clearly a brightened up pucker!). It has a very glossy sheen and full color coverage. I initially thought it might be a little sheer, since the swatch wasn’t quite as opaque as it was with #401, but it proved me wrong once I applied it to my lips.

It’s definitely hydrating and wears well — I don’t know about a full eight hours, but I get around five or six, which is good enough for me. It’ll hold on decently through some drinking and a bit of eating, but I didn’t get stellar results through a full meal myself.

I found myself liking this shade much more than #401, and I was happy to see that it wears very similar to #401 as well (reds tend to wear the longest and best, because they’re so deep and richly pigmented!). I’m also still digging the packaging – there’s a magnetic clasp that keeps it locked into place.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Looking for a plum with a lil’ kick? #600 might be it!

Availability: Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue

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Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Holiday Makeup: Subtle Glam?

Sonia Kashuk Starry Eyes Eye Palette ($14.99) is a mix of six eyeshadows–three glittery, three matte–for the holiday season.

My favorite part about this palette is the outside casing — it’s this shimmery, sequin-y black case that sparkles in the light. It’s really stunning, and it’s probably one of the best holiday-themed packaging jobs I’ve seen in awhile. Unfortunately, the inside of the palette, which is more important, just fell a little flat for me.

While I liked Sonia Kashuk’s Showstopper Eyeshadow Quad, which had the same shimmery shadow texture, these colors just seem drab–muted. They’re so muted and subtle and yet have so much shimmer, it seems contradictory. The texture is smooth, and they look wet when applied and have surprisingly little fall out (though there is some). For me, the colors don’t jump out at me, so I’m just not excited over it.

Included in the palette are three glittery shades: a muted warm-toned medium-dark brown, a glitzy warmed up champagne gold, and a muted mauvey-brown, along with three matte shades: a cool-toned chocolate brown, a dusty white, and a plummy mauve.  The matte shades didn’t feel chalky or dusty, though they were a little sheerer than I’d like–overall, they felt smooth to the touch.

I did like how the shimmery shades were coordinated with the matte shades – almost like reflections of each other. I think I liked the actual shades of the matte colors more than the shimmery ones, though!

Bottom Line: This just isn’t the palette for me, but it’s still a quality palette. The shadows were smooth, had decent color pay off, and they’re shades that can definitely be worn by many. Though they’re muted and subtle (and inexplicably, it just didn’t work for me in this palette–because I know I can appreciate a subtle color palette!), they would make for some more nuanced, less in-your-face holiday looks for sure.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: If you enjoy more subtle, muted shades, you might like this!

Availability: Target

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Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Add a Little Holiday Opulence to Your Look

Estee Lauder Opulent Shimmer Powder ($32.00) is a limited edition, holiday highlighter from Este Lauder’s Ultimate Red Collection.

It has this kind of basketweave-esque pattern on the outer portion of it, which is slightly bronzer, while the inner hexagon is flat and more of a beige-y shade. Nevertheless, you swirl and mix both sections together to get a shimmery shade of beige-y gold. It was surprisingly subtle and not at all frosty or glittery — very smooth, soft, and appropriate In my swatch, you can see that it doesn’t show up too bright or look glittery, but it lays on skin quite well. I’d say my arm is somewhere around NC20 or so, for reference.

Certainly not as pretty (just as far as the pattern goes!) as Lancome’s Sparkling Cherub, but it’s more my style and something I’d reach for more often. I found Lancome’s Sparkling Cherub to run deeper and have more of a semi-matte finish–it just felt more like a bronzer than a highlighter to me. I do feel like they’re very different products, so it’s more a matter of what you’re looking for and what you want the product to do. If you’re just looking for a shimmery highlighter, Estee Lauder’s is your better bet; if you’re looking to add more warmth to your skin, Lancome’s is the way to go.

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’re in the market for a soft, smooth golden highlighter, you might like this limited edition holiday offering.

Availability: Nordstrom

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