Tuesday, October 27th, 2009


Guerlain Giovanna Rouge G Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: Guerlain Giovanna Rouge G Lipstick

Guerlain Giovanna Rouge G Lipstick ($45.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a sensational limited edition shade of coppery ruby red, which was launched as part of Guerlain’s Fall 2009 Collection (so it may still be available in-store). It’s got the smooth, silky feel of Rouge G lipsticks with a punch of pigment and the subtle, sparkling coppery shimmer that really just makes this red glow. This is definitely one of my favorite shades of Rouge G that I’ve tried out, and I wish it was part of the permanent line-up! The Rouge G line isn’t for everyone, since it is a particularly pricey lipstick, but the formula is divine (though you do pay a good bit for the packaging) and worth the splurge for the lipstick fiend.

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 more swatches and comparison photosContinue reading →

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Sephora FAME Lip Gloss ($10.00 for 0.5 oz.) are new, limited edition shades exclusive to Sephora (and branded by Sephora) inspired by the film. The launch includes five shades: In the Spotlight (shimmering violet), Raw Talent (shimmering light peach champagne), Rising Star (shimmering vibrant pink), Standing Ovation (shimmering bright red), and Starring Role (shimmering pink with gold sheen).

I tested out two shades: Standing Ovation, which is kind of a sheer, fiery red with golden shimmer, and Raw Talent, which is a sheer, milky champagne with iridescent shimmer. They both relatively sheer, but I did find both added some color to my lips. I liked Standing Ovation more for its wearability, as Raw Talent is a little pale to wear alone for me. These glosses are kind of like lip jellies to me, because they’re thick, non-sticky, and pretty hydrating while you wear them. They wear about average–nothing notable either positive or negative–which is about three to four hours on me.

The packaging is a simple and functional, and these are easy to keep in purses or pockets and reapplying without a mirror is easy enough with the squeeze-tube design. The price tag is easy to swallow at $10 a pop and you do get a good amount of gloss for your money (same size as MAC Lipglasses).

Bottom Line: They’re fun, slightly gimmicky glosses – they’re not the best gloss I’ve tried, but they’re decent.

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  Cute, and if you’re a FAME fan, they’re a decent gloss with a high glossy sheen and lots of pretty sparkle, so don’t feel bad just caving for the logo!

Availability: Sephora

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Monday, October 26th, 2009


L’Oreal HIP Chrome Eyeliner: Black Shock, Silver Lightning, Gold Charge, Violet Volt

L’Oreal HIP Chrome Eyeliner ($10.00) pencil eyeliners with a chrome detail to them. The formula currently has four shades available:

  • Black Shock is a deep black satin — this one didn’t really read metallic or chrome to me, but it’s such an ultra dark black, I love it and don’t care at all that it isn’t more chrome-d out!
  • Silver Lightning is a shiny bright silver with a definite chrome effect.
  • Gold Charge is a deep gold with a decent amount of brightness to it.
  • Violet Volt is a dark violet purple, almost a jewel-tone purple, with a slight metallic sheen (not quite as strong as Silver Lightning or Gold Charge).

I’m not often impressed by a lot of color products available at mass retailers, but when I am, I get very excited to share with others about my find! These are one of those instances where I was utterly blown away (and am a little annoyed with myself for sitting on these–not testing them, that is–for over two months) by the pigmentation, feel, and quality of the product.

These Chrome Eyeliners are ultra soft when you touch them, and the feel reminds me of an even softer version of Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liners, which I absolutely adore. These are so soft that I’d actually say it’s one of the minor issues with working with these – if you apply these with too much pressure (as is easy to do when swatching, ha!), the product may break a bit. I’m not sure if L’Oreal has a good sharpener for these, but they worked well with my Urban Decay one (which, coincidentally, works best on my 24/7 Liners, too).

The color pigmentation is amazing — very true to color and bright and bold. There’s no sheer color here. They apply easily because they’re so soft and smooth, and they just glide onto the lash line with no fuss. I will say the first time I applied these on my lower lash line and lower waterline, my eyes teared up and watered a fair amount. The liner stayed pretty well in place on the lower lash line and faded after an hour so of watery eyes on the waterline (to be expected).

I layered both Black Shock and Silver Lightning together a few days later, and I didn’t find my eyes teared up at all. I doubt very much that these are waterline tested or labeled safe, so just want to caution those looking for something to use on the waterline. Nonetheless, I found the liners wore well throughout the day and didn’t smudge or migrate on my lower lash line.

Bottom Line: Whether you find these at full price or are able to get a good deal (buy one, get one!), these are worth every penny. (I will say that $10 for an eyeliner at mass is a bit steep for me.) Soft, bold color that lasts for hours and stays put. I was just about to give up on L’Oreal, but these are totally amazing. Now, I’m a bit more eager to see what else L’Oreal releases in the future!

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

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

Recommendation: For metallic, chrome-a-licious eyeliner, L’Oreal HIP makes a fantastic product to check out next time you’re at the drugstore!

Availability: Drugstore.com

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Monday, October 26th, 2009


L’Oreal #301 Real Red Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: L’Oreal #301 Real Red Lipstick

L’Oreal #301 Colour Riche Anti-Aging Serum Lipstick ($9.99) may not be my favorite or choice in lipstick formula, but it is a more affordable line of decent lip color (the packaging really kills it for me, unfortunately). Colour Riche is very creamy and hydrating on lips, and the color is a slightly sheered out opaque orange-based red. It reminded me of a sheerer, lighter version of Giorgio Armani’s #401 Rouge d’Armani Lipstick. If I had to pick, I would go Armani, but I realize that it doesn’t fit everyone’s budget, so I thought it’d be good to feature this particular L’Oreal shade as a more budget-friendly alternative!

What do you think of this shade of scarlet?

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!

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Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Giorgio Armani #401 Rouge d’Armani Lipstick ($30.00) is the newest long-wear lipstick formula from Armani, only recently released last month. The new formula is available in eighteen shades, ranging from beiges to pinks to reds to browns. According to Giorgio Armani, Rouge d’Armani is designed to be a hydrating, long-wearing lipstick that lasts for “up to eight hours without fading or feathering,” as well as give lips “continuous hydration” for up to six hours.

I tested out #401, which is an orange-based red and made famous by songstress Rihanna. The lipstick feels like a dream when you first apply it – it’s lightweight, creamy, and the color is fairly opaque. I did find that it feathered/bled a bit when my lips were more on the drier side (a terrible side-effect of getting over a flu!) and less so when my lips were more naturally hydrated. I’d basically say if you have drier lips, you’ll still need a liner to keep your red looking pristine, but if you have lips less prone to feathering, you may be able to skip that step with this formula.

The color does wear well and begins to fade after about five or six hours, or faster if I’m eating/drinking. It’s a long-wearing lipstick formula for sure, but I didn’t find it made it through a meal intact. I was able to drink a bit with minimal fading, though. Like most reds, when it does fade away, it leaves a slight reddish stain behind, which is always nice, because you don’t have to feel like you have to reapply right that very second.

The packaging is sleek and classy – all black with a magnetic clasp (so you’ll hear a “click” when it closes) and a slightly raised logo where the cap and lipstick meet. The price is a bit steeper than other Armani lipsticks (like ArmaniSilk, which is $25), but it does offer stellar color and wear-time.

Bottom Line: I’m definitely going to stop by my Giorgio Armani counter next time I’m at Nordstrom, so I can see if any of the other colors appeal to me. #401 is a bit too orange for my personal preference, so the first shade I want to see in person is #400!

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

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

Recommendation: If you like creamy, hydrating lipsticks with full-color pigmentation, Rouge d’Armani may be the one for you!

Availability: Nordstrom

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 more photos and swatchesContinue reading →

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Bobbi Brown Earth Metal Lip & Eye Palette ($60.00) is a new, limited edition holiday palette from Bobbi Brown’s Holiday Collection, which also features a Velvet Plum Eye Palette, Glitter Lip Balm Palette, and Chrome Eyeshadows (I mentioned those last week–love them!!).

For Eyes

  • Autumn Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow is a slightly green-tinged golden brown with shimmer.
  • Earth Metal Metallic Eyeshadow is a plummy brown with shimmer.
  • Zinc Metallic Eyeshadow is a light taupe brown with kind of a silver sheen. This shade wasn’t quite as pigmented as the others (it was just so-so).
  • Black Spruce Metallic Eyeshadow is a dark forest green with metallic shimmer.
  • Sunset Gold Metallic Eyeshadow is a pale, light melon-y gold with light shimmer. Like Zinc, it wasn’t as pigmented the majority of the eyeshadows.
  • Antique Gold Metallic Eyeshadow is a coppery bronze with a metallic sheen. (It doesn’t look like antique gold to me!)

For Lips

  • Paisely Rose Creamy Lip Color is a pale, peachy pink.
  • Rose Garden Creamy Lip Color is a light medium yellow pink.
  • Rose Bud Creamy Lip Color is a plummy-pink.
  • Barefoot Shimmer Creamy Lip Color is a shimmery peach-brown.

First, as some of you know, I’m not of a fan of lip palettes. As such, I probably wouldn’t purchase this palette, just because I don’t extract any value out of the lip palette portion. I don’t think the eyeshadows are so stunning as to warrant the price tag ($60) by themselves, either. (I’d rather splurge on the Chrome Eyeshadows instead!) The lip colors, as in most lip palettes, are very sheer and don’t do much on my lips. They all kind of look the same, so this isn’t a lip palette designed to change my mind on how I feel about lip palettes in general.

I like the eyeshadows, because they’re definitely my kind of colors – earthy, metallic, and lots of gold thrown in. All of the eyeshadows felt very smooth and had a metallic look to them, and I only found pigmentation problems in two (Zinc and Sunset Gold), but the problems were minor – they just weren’t as pigmented as the majority of the palette, but there was still plenty of color pay off. I think this palette is actually a really good mix of shades that go together easily, and there’s just not much fuss when you use these.

Bottom Line: If you like the lip palette portion, I think this is a great buy. If you’re more like me and have no use for lip palettes, this is more of a skip item. I just can’t get with a palette knowing I’m not going to use half of it and still paying the full price for it, you know? I really wish they made these shades available separately or split the palette in half!

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  I would rather just be able to purchase the eyeshadow portion of the palette as a set over the lip and eye combination.  If you like both sides, I definitely think it’s a good buy in that instance!

Availability: Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom

See more photos and swatchesContinue reading →