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Deborah Lippmann Mermaid’s Dream Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann Mermaid's Dream Nail Lacquer
Deborah Lippmann Mermaid’s Dream Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann Mermaid’s Dream Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann Mermaid’s Dream Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “seafoam splendor.” It has a “glittered shimmer” finish. It’s a green-gold shimmered aqua-blue base with larger blue glitter. I don’t have anything similar to this to my recollection. The mixture of shimmer and glitter makes it rather different.  It was extremely pigmented; I actually thought it was a one-coater, so the swatches are done with a single coat of polish. While editing, I could see that at least one nail would have benefited from a second coat, so I’d say two coats is best unless you’re really good and get it done in one.

The texture of the polish on the nail is chunky/gritty; you’ll need a really thick top coat (or two layers of top coat) if you’re bothered by the feel of the glitter/shimmer.  As far as the consistency went, it applied pretty evenly and fluidly without pooling against the sides. It’s not “thick” in the traditional way, but it’s densely packed with both pigment and shimmer/glitter. I really liked how evenly the glitter spread–I didn’t have to finagle the pieces around at all.  I typically get a week of wear with very minimal tip wear with Deborah Lippmann’s formula.

Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer Mermaid's Dream
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
98%
Total

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bareMinerals The Hidden Agenda Ready Eyeshadow Duo

bareMinerals The Hidden Agenda Eyeshadow Duo
bareMinerals The Hidden Agenda Ready Eyeshadow Duo

bareMinerals The Hidden Agenda Ready Eyeshadow Duo ($20.00 for 0.10 oz.) contains two shades: Stealth (apricot chiffon) and Undercover (glistening granite). This is one of seven new duos for spring/summer.  Each duo is packaged in a rubberized plastic compact with a full-size mirror inside and a sponge-tipped applicator. Each eyeshadow is the size of the average full-size eyeshadow (0.05 oz.).

Stealth is a soft, pastel orange (very much the apricot they describe) with a satiny finish. The texture is soft, dense, and buttery, which resulted in excellent color payoff. MAC Orb is more beige. Inglot #330 is lighter, yellower. Dolce & Gabbana Jewels is slightly darker. bareMinerals Nirvana is more orange and frosted.

Undercover is a dark, steely taupe–very gray with a hint of brown and almost plum undertones. The texture is still soft but not as dense as Stealth. It has great pigmentation. MAC Dynamic Duo 3 is similar, slightly darker. Urban Decay Mushroom is darker and browner. MAC Keep Your Cool is very similar. Giorgio Armani #4 is browner. Chanel Illusoire is more frosted.

It’s an interesting color combination; Stealth is very warm-toned, while Undercover has strong gray tones, so it is a cooler color. They can work together, but it’s not as classic of a combination (which isn’t a bad thing!).  Both shades applied beautifully, and they were easy to blend on the eyes.  When I tested the wear, I was able to get eight hours of wear with and without a primer; there was some minor fading around the very edges after nine hours when worn without a primer.  bareMinerals’ duos are some of the best eyeshadows on the market.

bareMinerals The Hidden Agenda Ready Eyeshadow Duo

A
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
98%
Total

Lancome Dress-up Teal (401) Liner Design Long Wear Calligraphy Gel Eyeliner

Lancome Dress-up Teal (401) Liner Design Long Wear Calligraphy Gel Eyeliner
Lancome Dress-up Teal (401) Liner Design Long Wear Calligraphy Gel Eyeliner

Lancome Dress-up Teal (401) Liner Design Long Wear Calligraphy Gel Eyeliner

Lancome Dress-up Teal (401) Liner Design Long Wear Calligraphy Gel Eyeliner ($24.50 for 0.07 oz.) is described simply as “turquoise.” It’s a very subtly green-tinted blue, less than what I’d envision teal being (which is a perfect–and hard to achieve–balance of blue and green). If you’re familiar with bluer turquoise gem stones, the color is reminiscent of those. There is a faint teal shimmer throughout. Urban Decay Flipside is a little more teal. It looks like it does in the pot, which is fairly blue, but the name says “teal,” so I was a bit disappointed to see it apply as more of a blue hue.

The texture is creamy, smooth, and has a slightly thicker consistency than a lot of other gel eyeliners I’ve come across. I used MAC’s 266 to draw a line across my lid, and it applied evenly, opaquely, and didn’t skip or tug. Lancome states that the formula is long-wearing (up to twelve hours), smudge-proof, and waterproof. After six hours of wear, there was some transfer of the liner to my crease. I also wore on my lower lash line, and it appeared to wear better, but there was some faint smudging and fading after eight hours. I can’t say I cried a river when testing these, so I ran some water over the swatch and blotted lightly with a tissue, and the swatch was still intact and looked fairly good.

It’s packaged in a (mostly) clear glass pot with a shiny black screw-top lid.  It contains slightly less product than other popular gel eyeliners (both Bobbi Brown and MAC’s contain 0.10 oz. compared to Lancome’s, which has only 0.07 oz.), which is a bit of a bummer.

Lancome Liner Design Long-Wear Calligraphy Gel Eyeliner Dress-Up Teal

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Bobbi Brown Peach Sorbet Treatment Lip Shine SPF 15

Bobbi Brown Peach Sorbet Treatment Lip Shine SPF 15
Bobbi Brown Peach Sorbet Treatment Lip Shine SPF 15

Bobbi Brown Peach Sorbet Treatment Lip Shine SPF 15 ($23.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “pink coral.” I can’t say I’d agree with that, as it is a semi-sheer tangerine orange when it comes out of the tube (and even in it, it does not read pink coral). On lips, it doesn’t look tangerine or orange–it is closer to that pink coral description, which comes from the subtle natural pink tones of my inherent lip color. Since the product isn’t fully opaque, that pinkness comes through and “mixes” with the tangerine hue of the lipstick itself. (This is, of course, why lipsticks may look one way on someone and different on someone else.) Cle de Peau R9 is more opaque, slightly pinker. Burberry Devon Sunset is pinker, darker, and more opaque. MAC So Vain is more coral and opaque.

I like the soft, smooth, almost balm-like quality of the texture, as it slides across lips without tugging or skipping.  It’s a lightweight, comfortable formula to wear that doesn’t disappear as quickly as a lot of other similarly-textured products, though it’s not as long-wearing as a traditional lipstick.  For me, Peach Sorbet wore for three hours and needed a full reapplication after four hours. It’s a nicely moisturizing formula, and after wearing few of these over twelve hours, my lips did experience post-wear hydration.  It’s both scent- and taste-free, which is particularly noteworthy since sometimes lip products with sunscreen can have an odd taste.

Bobbi Brown Treatment Lip Shine Peach Sorbet
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
7.5
Longevity
5
Application
93%
Total

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster Review


Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster ($48.00 for 1.0 oz.) is described as “a high-potency vitamin C complex that prevents and corrects signs of aging while promoting brightness.” It contains 10% vitamin C. This is supposed to firm, smooth, feel weightless, absorb quickly, and provide “instant and long-term hydration.”

I had enough trouble with the packaging that was enough to make me hesitant to repurchase this in the future, even if it turned out to be a really good product. It’s great that it’s packaged in a glass bottle with a pump dispenser, and it is slim and travel-friendly from a size perspective (but it’s glass, so it’s much more fragile). The problem was with the pump–it pumps out far more product (I’d say almost twice the amount) than you really need. I always ended up having so much excess that I was still looking for places to apply it after my face and neck (and I don’t think my neck needs any brightening serums right now).

UPDATED @ 6/9/2012:  The folks at Ole Henriksen sent me a replacement bottle after reading this review, and I absolutely wanted to update this post to update you on my packaging woes. The bottle I have now is infinitely better! A full pump is certainly too much for me, but you can easily control how much you pump out. I was able to go a quarter, halfway, or three-quarters of the way.  I’m really glad they fixed the packaging problem, and it was actually a problem and not a feature! (e.g. Benefit Stay Don’t Stray didn’t really acknowledge it as a problem and tried to “teach” us how to tap the pump with a video even) It’s also really awesome to see a brand keeping tabs on what is being said about their product range.

It’s just a product where a little goes a long way, particularly because of how easily spreadable the liquid is. It’s very water-like, so it just slides and covers well without needing gobs of it. I often had the product harden in the pump as well, which meant that when I went to pump it, not only did I get too much, but it flew to parts unknown (OK, the counter top, my eye once, but you get the picture!). I went through a 1 oz. bottle in about three weeks of morning-only usage.

The Truth Serum smells like orange citrus, not overly sweet but definitively orange-like, so it’s pleasant, subtle, and doesn’t linger for long. Like the brand promises, it also absorbs incredibly quickly (that’s probably my favorite characteristic). I saw some brightening and evening out of my skin tone. I know some people have recommended using this alone, as both a serum and a moisturizer, but Ole Henriksen suggests applying face/eye cream after this (per the brand’s website). If you have oilier skin, you could more likely get away with it as a two-in-one product. My more normal-to-dry skin needed this plus a regular moisturizer.

With vitamin C products, you have to watch for whether it includes a stabilized form of vitamin C, which this does in the forms of sodium ascorbyl phosphate and calcium ascorbate. Sodium hylauronate is an excellent hydrator, which is likely one of the reasons that those who need less hydration can get away with using this alone.  The product has a lot of excellent, good-for-your-skin ingredients, and the best part is that they’re listed in the beginning of the ingredient’s list–not the end!

For me, I did not have powerful enough results to merit $48 every three weeks, but brightening can be difficult to “see” and gauge, especially when after only three weeks (but I had no more!).  It gets a lot of rave reviews (and a friend’s raves is what made me want to try it myself!), though, and with the strength of the ingredient list, I’d still say it’s worth checking out.

Ingredients

Water (Aqua), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Calcium Ascorbate, Sorbitol, Glycerin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Euphrasia Officinalis Extract, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Oleth-20, Hydroxyethylcellulose, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Benzophenone-4, Sodium Hyaluronate, Thioctic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Citric Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Limonene, Linalool, Citral, Fragrance (Parfum), Yellow 6

Make Up For Ever #25 Aqua Cream

Make Up For Ever #25 Aqua Cream
Make Up For Ever #25 Aqua Cream

Make Up For Ever #25 Aqua Cream

Make Up For Ever #25 Aqua Cream ($23.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “light blue shimmer.” It’s a light-medium sky blue with a frosted finish. Dior Swimming Pool is lighter, less cool-toned. Buxom Husky is lighter, softer. NYX Cool Blue isn’t as icy. MAC Styledriven is lighter, softer, almost yellow-toned in comparison. NARS South Pacific is darker.

There’s something about this color that makes it just a little different from the many other sky blue eyeshadows I’ve come across. There’s an iciness–an overall coolness–in it that doesn’t turn it silver or white, but it’s still there. It’s not as soft or as light as a really pastel, sky blue shade would be.  You can apply it as opaque as you’d like, you can use an itty bitty amount of product to get a sheer layer of product, or you can apply an opaque layer of color–these go on more opaque than not, but if you want sheer color, you’d deliberately apply very little and blend out right away. The finish on this particular shade is very high in frost content, so it can look more reflective as a result.

The texture is creamy but thick.  Because of the frosted finish, it seemed to dry down a little quicker than other Aqua Creams, but even with the less frosted finishes, it’s the kind of product that’s better to work with one eye at a time if you’re trying to apply several of them or need to do a lot of blending. If I use it as a base, I can blend out any edges without too much hurrying, but if I’m trying to blend two of these together, I work one eye at a time. I love the Aqua Cream formula, because it’s long-wearing, waterproof, and extremely pigmented. I don’t have any problems with creasing, fading, or smudging, whether I use it alone, sheered out, as a base, or over primer.

Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream #25
#25
#25
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
4
Application
96%
Total

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