NARS Lipgloss: Albatross, Angelika, Luster, Super Orgasm, Oasis
Preview: NARS Sephora Exclusive Lip Glosses
On July 29th, NARS will roll out five limited edition lip glosses at Sephora. Each will retail for $24 and is named after one of their best-selling blushes. The shades include: Albatross (luminous glow), Angelika (cotton candy pink with gold and silver sparkle), Oasis (sparkling pink champagne), Super Orgasm (peachy pink with gold glitter), and Luster (sheer golden apricot).
- Albatross is a sheer white-gold with pale gold shimmer.
- Angelika is a semi-sheer brightened blue-based pink with very subtle silver shimmer.
- Luster is a sheer muted tangerine-peach with copper-gold shimmer.
- Super Orgasm is a sheer played down pink with gold shimmer.
- Oasis is a plummy mauve with gold shimmer.
NARS Lip Gloss has a thin, slightly tacky texture. I found these a little stickier than the average NARS Lip Gloss. Though I’ve only tried Albatross on my lips, they seemed on the sheerer side (which is standard for the brand’s glosses), so don’t expect a big pop of pigment. They’re all easy-to-wear, everyday kind of shades. Angelika is the brightest, but it sheers out quite a bit–it has a creamier, jelly-ish look in comparison to the other four, which definitely have more of a shimmer finish.
(I would happily do lip swatches for you, but these photos were taken at a NARS preview event that I attended in San Francisco yesterday, so all I got are swatches for now! Apologies!)
My New Favorite Summer Blush: Le Metier de Beaute Echo
Le Metier de Beaute Traviata Blushing Bronzed Duet ($65.00 for 0.49 oz.) is a blush-bronzer duo that includes Echo Radiance Rouge Blush (delicate coral-pink) and Sun Kissed Bronzer (sheer, light bronze powder). Normally, the blush retails for $30 and the bronzer retails for $55. I don’t own either (and couldn’t find it via googling), so I’m not sure of the size of each individually. All I know is that 0.49 oz. of product is a good deal of product no matter how you slice it. (The average blush is around 0.15 oz.!)
Traviata is part of Le Metier de Beaute’s Endless Summer Collection for the summer season. They also have Romeo & Juliet (which I will review soon as well!). The collection includes Bella Bronze Liquid Illuminator ($85); Canvas, Spicy, Jade, Sequoia True Color Eyeshadows ($30 each); Tamarack Dualistic Eye Pencil ($36); San TropezManhattan Color Core Moisture Stain Lipstick ($32); Lip Creme Lip Gloss ($36).
Echo is pure gorgeousness swatched and applied. Warm-toned beauties will love this shade in particular–it has the depth and dimension and sophistication that every blush should have. It’s smooth, soft, and wickedly pigmented but easy to use. It’s buildable, but it’s a richly pigmented product if you want it to be. It has a lovely soft, subtle shimmer-sheen of gold over a coral-pink base. I wore it lightly in this look. This is definitely a very “me” color, so I’m obviously a bit biased/partial to it! I love that it gives my cheeks a warmed-over glow but doesn’t emphasize pores with frostiness.
Sun Kissed is nice, but I was a little gaga for Echo that Sun Kissed didn’t leave much of an impression on me! It has the same soft, smooth texture of Echo, but it’s not quite as pigmented. It’s a nice subtle bronzer that doesn’t turn orange nor pull too red, which makes it a nice, universally appealing shade. There is a slight golden sheen but very little shimmer.
Even though the duo may give you more product for your money, Echo is really the star in this product for me. If you’re as sold on it as me, luckily you can buy it on its own for $30 rather than $65. I like that, to be honest, just because you aren’t roped into buying one product you’re so-so on and one you’re dying for simultaneously! (Hello, most palettes, I’m talking to you!)
If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ!
- Product: 29/30
- Value: 9/10
- Ease of Use: 4/5
- Packaging: 4/5
RECOMMENDATION: Echo is to-die-for if you’re a coral blush fiend like myself. Truly a gorgeous, stunning shade that looks every bit as beautiful on as it does in the pan. Sun Kissed is a nice bronzer, and if you’re a regular bronzer wearer, the duo is certainly something worth looking into.
WHERE TO BUY: Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus
AmorePacific Natural Protector SPF 30/PA+++ ($65.00 for 2 oz.) is a non-greasy, broad-spectrum moisturizing sunscreen that’s great if you have no aversion to heavily fragranced skincare.
I could only use this for an hour before I had to remove it. It wasn’t that the fragrance was unpleasant, but the particular scent is very floral, and I couldn’t stop sneezing and my eyes wouldn’t quit itching. It pretty much set off an allergy attack for me, and as much as I wanted to test this product for at least a full day for how well it would wear during the day, I just couldn’t.
In general, fragrance in products happens more often than not, and I don’t find myself particularly sensitive skin-wise to products with it in it. I’ve never encountered a skincare product this heavily scented, though. Typically, I’ll notice a subtle scent when I sniff directly from the jar, but the scent doesn’t linger once applied to skin. Completely the opposite here — it was lingering and noticeable, not just to me, but my boyfriend. (Yes, I totally made him smell my face!)
Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Stearyl Dimethicone, C12- 15 Alkyl Benzoate, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Caprylyl Carbonate, Titanium Dioxide, PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, Glyceryl Stearate, Polysorbate 60, Cetearyl Alcohol, Silica, Sodium Hyaluronate, Beta-Glucan, Tricholoma Matsutake Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Nymphaea Alba Flower Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Phyllostachis Bambusoides Juice, Hydrolyzed Ginseng Saponins, PEG-100 Stearate, PEG-40 Stearate, Stearic Acid, Aluminum Stearate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Glycerin, Polyacrylate-13, Alumina, Polyisobutene, Zincoxide, Polysorbate 20, Dimethicone, Myristic Acid, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Propylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, PEG-5 Rapeseed Sterol, Ethyl Hexanediol, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, BHT, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, CI77491, CI77492, Fragrance.
On the upside, it dries to a lovely velvety smooth finish. It’s not a dry matte, but it’s that velvety matte kind of feeling. I loved that it applied smoothly and easily, and it didn’t feel greasy for even a second. This is the result of the silicone in it (dimethicone), so if you’re sensitive to silicone-based products, you may want to skip this one. I really wish I didn’t break out something awful when using products with dimethicone anywhere near the top half of a list. (I’ve noticed that I can handle smaller quantities of it, say towards the end of an ingredient list, but it can’t be a significant part of the product.) However, if you’re not, it’s a great way to keep oily skin under control and give you a lovely matte looking finish.
The sunscreen ingredients are: ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (aka octinoxcate) (7.0%), titanium dioxide (19.9%), and zinc oxide (0.025%). The titanium dioxide and zinc oxide cover the full spectrum of UVA and UVB. Octinoxate covers the UVB spectrum. (See our Sunscreen 101 post.)
It’s a real shame! If it wasn’t so heavily scented, it has all the makings to be a really great sunscreen overall. Because I really couldn’t give it a good wear test, I’m not going to give this product a rating. I do believe the scent is way too heavy, and there’s no real benefit or possible reason for it to smell stronger than a perfumed body lotion.
Bobbi Brown Beach Collection: Long-Wear Cream Shadows
For summer, Bobbi Brown’s collection includes Metallic Long-Wear Cream Shadows ($22.00 for 0.12 oz.) in four new shades: Moonstone (pale shimmering green), Opal (opalescent pink), Pink Oyster (shimmering pink), and Surf (pale shimmering blue), as well as Long-Wear Cream Shadow ($22.00 for 0.12 oz.) in Shore (pale nude).
- Opal is an opalescent pinky-purple. It’s very sheer and light–it’s nice as an all-over wash on the lid. It could possibly be used as an eyeshadow base, too, since it’s more on the neutral side. Since the base almost feels and goes on clear, it looks glittery on the lid.
- Surf is a cool-toned baby blue with a silver-white sparkle-sheen. It has a soft colored base, so it looks smoother on the lid compared to Opal and more metallic and less glittery. It’s not a deep blue, but it’s a lot more representative of the color it looks like in the pot, so it’s the color I would expect!
- Shore is a creamy, matte beige. This is not an exciting color, but it’s incredibly versatile. It can be used to brighten up lids a bit, but it can be used as an eyeshadow base, too. It’s neutral and easy-to-use, particularly because of the matte finish.
I’m actually not a huge fan of Bobbi Brown’s Metallic Long-Wear Eyeshadows — they’re just incredibly sheer and more glittery than metallic. I reviewed a few shades earlier, when they first launched. I still wish they had more of a metallic finish, because they do feel more on the glittery side. The Metallics have an almost wet feel to them–it’s a thinner creamy consistency with a wet feel and applies very smoothly and evenly without any trouble (better than the other three I tried!). They also last all day without creasing or budging or fading.
I prefer the texture, feel, and color pay off of the original Long-Wear Eyeshadows for sure. I think having a couple of the Metallics can be fun, but they’re not as versatile as the more opaque ones. Like the Metallics, the original Long-Wear Eyeshadows last all day without budging, smudging, or fading. I just don’t think the Metallics are nearly as versatile or as multi-tasking as the original ones, which are more pigmented and very, very smooth.
Because these are two different products, I’m not going to give out an overall rating for all three. Instead, I’m going to break it down between the two — for Metallics, they work really well in terms of staying power and not creasing, but the color payoff is sheer and not buildable as purported, so they’re more of a B product for me. They’re better than the first ones I tried, because I do think these have a smoother finish and are truer-to-color in the pot. Shore, on the other hand, has excellent pay off and quality, so it’s much more of an A- product and shade.
RECOMMENDATION: Shore is an excellent neutral base that works well and looks great. It’s something that doesn’t inspire excitement, but it’s a very useable product. The Metallics don’t grab me and neither shade gets me any closer to loving them at the moment.
AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown
Illamasqua Pure Pigment in Furore
Illamasqua Furore Pure Pigment ($24.00 for 0.04 oz.) is a gorgeous shade of gilded, muted copper-bronze. It’s really a beautiful color that can be used as a loose highlighter dusted on cheeks or decolletage or used wet as an easy all-over lid color or as an eyeshadow base for neutral and bronzy looks.
I thought I had reviewed a Pure Pigment before, but apparently I never got around to it, other than this brief rant in a look I used it in originally. The first Pure Pigment I tried was Static, which was a gorgeous color, but the texture wasn’t very smooth (even when used wet) and the packaging drove me batty.
Furore has a much, much nicer texture. It’s almost like night and day! It’s smooth, soft, and really melts together when used wet. The packaging is still the same — very bulky and it’s easy for the pigment to poof out, but I definitely noticed less “poof” than I had previously. I didn’t end up with more on my counter than my eye with Furore.
The worst part about Pure Pigments is the size. It’s a mere 0.04 oz. That’s tiny. That’s almost ridiculous when compared with MAC Pigments (even with the size reduction, they’re still 0.15 oz–almost 4 times the size). Make Up For Ever’s pigments also vary between 0.07 and 0.09 oz. No, you don’t need a lot, so it’s hard to imagine really going through even the 0.04 oz. particularly quickly, but I really can’t believe how little you get.
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: 3/5
RECOMMENDATION: If you don’t mind the small quantity you get, then Furore is a fantastic neutral shade. It’s not too bronzy or frosty–it’s kind of like a cross between a metallic and frost, but it’s not too much. I can see it working as a very versatile shade.
WHERE TO BUY: Sephora
Dolce & Gabbana Fascination Lipstick
The Summer Season: Dolce & Gabbana Fascination Lipstick
Dolce & Gabbana Fascination (#165) Shine Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a creamy, semi-opaque shade of pinky-lilac. It’s not exactly purple, but it’s not a perfect, petal pink, either. It lies closer to pink than purple, but there’s a definite lilac edge. The color is very wearable, both on warm and cool skin tones, which isn’t always easy to find when a lipstick is naturally cooler toned. I get three to four hours of wear with Dolce & Gabbana’s lipsticks, which are rose-scented and taste-free (to me!).
Is this the right pink for you? Would you wear it?
The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.