Thursday, November 12th, 2009


China Glaze Atlantis Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Atlantis Nail Lacquer ($3.38 to $6.99) is just one of fifty new specialty shades slowly being released by China Glaze.Atlantis is a semi-opaque subdued teal jelly base with teal and multi-colored glitter laced throughout. I found two coats gave you a decent look, but three would really give you a more opaque look. The formula was easy to use, and I found it to be chip-proof and lasted all week. I like the color, but I’m confident that there are other shades I’d probably love more so. However, after trying this shade, I really want to check out Medallion, Solar Flare, and Treasure Chest…

Anyone else try China Glaze’s new glitter shades?

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re still lovin’ glittery nails, be sure to check out the slew of new shades from China Glaze!

Availability: 8ty8 Beauty, Head2Toe Beauty

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Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Bobbi Brown Extreme Party Mascara ($22.00 for 0.21 oz.) is the newest mascara formula to debut from Bobbi Brown. It is touted as Bobbi Brown’s “boldest mascara ever.” This mascara is designed to give you “unbelievable volume… endless build… exceptionable separation … with zero dragging, clumping, or flaking.”

Overall, I really liked this mascara, though it’s not my all-time favorite mascara or my personal holy grail. I love dramatic lashes, and I pretty much want a mascara that makes me look like I’m wearing false eyelashes 24/7–so that’s my taste. This mascara is not supposed to do that (despite the name, which perhaps would suggest otherwise), because it’s more of a volumizing and separating mascara that’s supposed to cling to lashes and not clump or flake on you later.

Extreme Party seems like it delivers on everything it’s supposed to. My lashes had a lovely, feathery volume to them–they looked lush and lightweight and never felt heavy. I got a smidgen of length, but not too much, and this mascara didn’t clump even after I tried to make it clump with a fourth coat (just for kicks!). It also separated beautifully (which is sort of a duh, if it doesn’t clump).

This mascara reminded me of Maybelline’s Full ‘n Soft mascara, which is a formula I like for softer, but still noticeable, lashes. Extreme Party is a little richer and a touch more dramatic in its overall look, but if you like Full ‘n Soft, I think you’d like Extreme Party, too.

Bottom Line: The name is a bit misleading–I wouldn’t describe the effect on my lashes as an “extreme party,” but I do like what it does and feel like it meets the marketed claims (which is very important to me). It’s a very nice mascara for separating lashes and giving you a more voluminous look.

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: For feathery, natural-with-a-kick lashes, Extreme Party may appeal to you!

Availability: Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom

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Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Lancome Red and Sensual Java Lipstick
Lancome Red & Sensual Java Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: Lancome Red and Sensual Java Lipstick

Lancome Red and Sensual Java Lipstick ($25.00 for 0.14 oz.) is an orange-based opaque red in Lancome’s Color Fever formula. The Color Fever formula makes it a more opaque, hydrating lip color that feels lightweight with a glossy sheen. I really like the richness in pigmentation in this shade, and it glides onto lips so easily. It’s definitely a bolder, brighter shade of red that will get your lips noticed when you wear it!

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, November 10th, 2009


Clinique Deep Comfort Hand & Cuticle Cream

Clinique Deep Comfort Hand & Cuticle Cream ($17.50 for 2.5 fl. oz.) is a rich (and thick!) cream designed to keep hands hydrated for up to twelve-hours and is touted as a “restorative cream” that’s fit for hands and cuticles.

Clinique has created a rich and creamy hand cream that sinks in quickly and doesn’t leave behind any greasy residue. These are pretty much must-have characteristics in any daytime hand cream I keep on my desk (which is where I must keep them, or else I’d never remember to use them ever!). It’s a hand cream that does exactly what it should and without any fuss. It’s scent-free, takes about an oversized pea-sized dollop to get an even application on both hands, and it lasts for hours.

I couldn’t tell you if it lasts twelve hours, but I’d say my hands are significantly less dry throughout the day, and I usually apply it once in the morning and once in the afternoon (if I’m good!). In terms of overall positioning in my hand cream favorites, Clinique comes in as a new favorite, but it’s still edged out of first by Ellen Sirot’s Hand Perfection. However, Hand Perfection is pricier and less accessible, whereas Clinique is more affordable and readily available.

Bottom Line: While Clinique’s new hand cream for the wintertime does seem a bit on the pricier side, but so far the tube has lasted me a month now, and I imagine it’ll take me to February, so three to four months of usage is good enough to justify the price to me. When I come across a hand cream that’s rich in moisture but zero on the grease-factor, I’m all over it, and Clinique wins on both counts!

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: For long-lasting moisturized hands, Clinique’s new Deep Comfort Hand & Cuticle Cream works well without any frills.

Availability: Clinique, Nordstrom

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009


Lippmann Collection: Happy Birthday

Lippmann Collection Happy Birthday Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.50 oz.) is a splattering of multi-colored, multi-sized confetti glitter in a clear base. Even though it’s a clear base, and a part of me wishes it had some sort of colored base, I think this is actually incredibly fitting and suits the name “Happy Birthday.” It’s definitely a party on your nails! Lippmann lacquers always last really well on me with an exceptionally durable and chip-resistant formula.

I find Lippmanns are some of the easier glitter polishes to remove as well–I know I’ve said it before, but my removal process is to soak a cotton pad in remover, then press against the nail, repeat on all the nails, then go back and start to actually remove the polish.

The only kicker of this product is the $18 price tag (which is notably $2 more than their usual shades), which is particularly hefty and starts to creep into the higher-end territory. I don’t really think any polish at $18 or $28 outdoes a polish that’s $8 so significantly to literally merit the extra bucks. As always, I compare brands against their competitors, and Lippmann seems more in line with the price points of Chanel and Dior lacquers.

Bottom Line: In the end, Lippmann is priced as a more high-end polish, so if it’s worth it to you, go for it — and if it’s not, no shame in that game. I will say I don’t have anything even remotely similar to this in my collection, and I haven’t (personally) seen anything like it, either.

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 fun, party-tastic nails, Happy Birthday is a winner in every way–except for the price.

Availability: Beauty.com, Nordstrom

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

MAC Check Please Lipglass
MAC Check Please Lipglass

The Scarlet Season: MAC Check Please Lipglass

MAC Check Please Lipglass ($14.00 for 0.17 oz.) is just a sexy bright red lip with the slightest reddish-gold shimmer laced through a rather opaque red base. It’s definitely one of those, “Yeah, my lips are sexy, what are you going to do about it?” kind of shades. It’s one of my favorite lipglasses ever, because the formula is so smooth, rich, and easy to apply. I really wish MAC would re-release this shade or launch one just like it (I’m down with a dupe!), because it is truly a stunning red. The closest permanent shade would be Russian Red, but I’d say you’d have to add a smidgen of Desire to really get something similar.

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 →