Wednesday, October 28th, 2009


MAC Wild ‘Bout You Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: MAC Wild ‘Bout You Lipstick

MAC Wild ‘Bout You Lipstick ($14.00 for 0.10 oz.) was a limited edition shade of amazingness launched with the Rockocco Collection back in fall of 2006. MAC described it as a “rich raspberry with pink pearlized pigments” with a matte frost finish (who knew you could have a matte frost!).  This shade is almost not quite a red, but I couldn’t resist including it, because 1) it does have a red tinge to it, and 2) I tend to reach for it when I’m feeling like wearing red.

It’s a very amped up raspberry red with kind of an icy pearl fuchsia-pink sheen, but otherwise, the lipstick itself is matte.  I will also say that Wild ‘Bout You is a particularly dry matte, so it’s not the easiest to use on imperfect lips.  Because it does have a tendency to be quite dry, I usually wear it with a gloss on top, which makes it look and feel the way I like it to.  Don’t forget – you can see looks/lip combinations of me wearing this lipstick here.

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


Wearing Guerlain Parure Gold Liquid Foundation

Guerlain Parure Gold Fluid Foundation ($78.00 for 1 oz.) is a recently released liquid foundation by Guerlain that’s designed to add a bit of a glow to skin with medium coverage. The product itself is also supposed to have a bit of skincare in it, as Guerlain says it should, restor[e] luster and revitaliz[e] skin in the long term, thanks to the exclusive double-sided Gold Radiance Pigment” along with “the regenerating properties of Myrrh Oil, and the lifting and smoothing properties of Peptides, long-term results include the diminishment of fine lines and smoother, softer skin.”

First, as I feel it’s necessary to do in any reviews relating to a product with anti-aging properties, I’m 23. I’m still in my so-called youth, so I don’t have too many signs of aging yet (thankfully), and I think it’s important to note that. It’s a lot harder to see a measurable change when there are few areas that might even get changed. I have some fine lines around my eyes, but these tend to be exacerbated if I don’t drink enough water or get enough sleep. Personally, I don’t seek out anti-aging products in my skincare regimen at this time. I feel the best regimen is preventative care vs. reversal care, for me, and at this stage in my life.

I’m just not going to be able to give you much insight on whether this product actually diminishes your fine lines with much substance. I will say my skin has never looked better since using it, and I do feel like my skin has a healthier look when it’s au natural. I used to be a little more self conscious about going out nekkid faced, but after using this pretty consistently (I did/do alternate with tinted moisturizer), I like the way my skin looks. With most things, it’s easy to create causal links that may not really be there–skin is so faceted, so it could be a change in hormones, better diet, getting sick (seriously, my skin never looked better!), etc.

What’s more important to me is how well it acts as a foundation, and it that area, I can definitely tell you, from my experience, that it excels. It’s a great lightweight, medium-coverage liquid foundation that makes skin look smoother, softer, and very, very natural. It’s not heavy, never gets cakey, and is so easy to smooth onto skin. I don’t normally like foundations that purport to give you a “glow,” because it tends to translate to oiliness for me. I’m normal-to-dry, and typically, “glowy” foundations make me look oily, which is so not my thing. Parure Gold doesn’t. It really does give you that natural glow. Just that little, “Oh, did you cut your hair?” kind of glow that people don’t attribute to your foundation. It feels like heaven on, and it hasn’t broken me out after using it for these past few months (always a good thing!).

Application: I always apply my liquid foundation in the same manner: apply the foundation in spots all over my face with a concealer brush, then I spritz a fluffy brush (I’m loving MAC 109 for liquid) with plain ol’ water. I then work the foundation out and all over my skin and the brush both applies and blends at the same time. If that was confusing, I did do a video tutorial for applying foundation with the 109 brush. I use this method with Guerlain’s foundation, because it stretches out the product (I just find it’s so easy to overwear foundation, and the water stretches it out and gives you a more natural look where you can go back and apply more in the areas you need it) and makes it incredibly easy to blend and smooth onto the skin.

It has the traditional sort of perfume-y scent of most Guerlain skincare/face products, though, which may be something those who are more sensitive to perfumes and scents can’t tolerate. The price tag is another obstacle for some, as it is considerably pricey at $78 per ounce. I’ve sinced swapped this for my previous find DiorSkin Nude Liquid Foundation, which was also a bit more expensive at $45 per ounce. I imagine the price hike is attributable to the skincare properties in the foundation itself (which isn’t a bad idea, considering you often wear foundation for eight hours or more).

It is available in six shades: #02 Beige Clair, #03 Beige Naturel, #04 Beige Moyen, #05 Beige Intense, #06 Beige Profond, and #13 Rose Naturel. The shade I’m currently using is #03 Beige Naturel, which I think matches my skintone quite well (I’m around NC25/NC30 in MAC foundation, for reference). The packaging does hold some fingerprints, which can make the product itself look messy, but it comes with a pump, and I use one to do my whole face.

Bottom Line: For a splurge foundation, Guerlain Parure Gold Liquid Foundation gives amazing coverage, feels lovely on, and looks even more amazing. I’ve loved it enough to have stuck with it for the past two or three months, and it’s my go-to for liquid foundation. I do wear a lot of tinted moisturizer, just because if I’m not doing a full face of makeup, tinted moisturizer is all I need (but to be honest, I do go bare-faced quite often). The only real drawback (to me) of the product is the price tag.

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

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

Recommendation:  A stellar liquid foundation that covers well, feels like nothing on, and looks fantastic — if you can get past the price tag, there’s a lot of great things to say about this foundation!

Availability: Nordstrom, Saks

See more photos of me wearing this foundationContinue reading →

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Lippmann Collection Funky Chunky Nail Lacquer ($35.00 for 3 0.5 oz. lacquers) is third polish from Lippmann’s Celebrate Set, which also contained my new polish love Ruby Red Slippers and the gorgeous Superstar.

I had several readers ask me why I didn’t review this polish alongside the other two, and the simple reason is it looked unexciting in the bottle, so I didn’t reach for it when I was trying out the other two, much more eye-catching shades! A follow-up to that would be that it’s such a subpar lacquer from Lippmann that it’s such a real disappointment–not just within the set, but overall. Lippmann has such a fantastic formula and color selection, I’m quite surprised at how dismal Funky Chunky is.

Funky Chunky is a black jelly base lacquer with black hexagon glitter bits. It’s very similar Ruby Red Slippers, but it lacks dimension, pizazz, and pretty much anything that would make it pop. It ends up looking like a sloppy black polish, because the glitter is nearly undetectable in terms of sparkle – it just looks uneven and messy. The black base doesn’t go opaque in two coats either, so you do need to go for three thinner coats for better coverage.

One of the big reasons this product just doesn’t hit the mark is that the chunky glitter actually makes the black base look sloppy and messy–uneven without any reason as to why it would be that way.  Glitter polishes always tend to have a bit of an uneven texture and feel to them, but you can see the glitter so it’s all good.  Since you can’t visibly see the glitter here, it just looks like you don’t know how to paint your nails!

Normally, a Lipppmann lacquer is priced at $16 a pop, so you pay an extra $3 for the other two and you do get this polish. It’s disappointing, but maybe you can add some extra glitter and make it pop for fun. Call it a chance to experiment!

Bottom Line: It’s a bad sign when glitter isn’t even detectable with flash photography (which can always amplify the sparkles of glitter!). This polish is just a total miss for me, and if you could purchase the other two separately, I’d advocate for that, but since you can’t, I still think the set is worth every penny for the two standout shades Ruby Red Slippers and Superstar.

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

  • Product: 15/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: I don’t recommend this shade whatsoever on its own, but I do recommend the set it comes with overall, just because the other two shades are amazing.

Availability: Beauty.com, Nordstrom

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

See more swatches and comparison photosContinue reading →

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

See swatchesContinue reading →