Thursday, October 29th, 2009

The Scarlet Season: MAC So Scarlet Lipstick

MAC So Scarlet Lipstick ($14.00 for 0.10 oz.) was a limited edition shade of a mostly opaque deep ruby red released with the Cult of Cherry Collection. I love the creamy texture of this shade, because it really helps make application a breeze. It can be applied as more of a semi-opaque color with just one layer, but two layers yields you a bold ruby red with a glossy finish–it’s almost so pretty it doesn’t need gloss (though it does need lip liner to prevent it from bleeding). I love it with Jampacked Lipglass for a deeper red.

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 →

Thursday, October 29th, 2009


Guerlain: Grace Rouge G Lipstick

Guerlain Grace Rouge G Lipstick ($45.00 for 0.12 oz.) is one of two new, limited edition shades of Rouge G from Guerlain’s Holiday Collection. (The other shade is Gems.)

If you’ve been following my coverage of various permanent shades of Rouge G, you’ll know the formula is smooth, luxurious, and often, shades are opaque. The lipstick contains a smoother, softer shimmer that’s not frosty or glittery. Wear time is about four or five hours, though it’s not a long-wearing lipstick, so it won’t last through dinner and drinks.

Grace is a soft, beige-y pink with a soft pink-peach shimmer. On my lips, it does look a lot like a subtle enhancement of my natural color and doesn’t really pack a punch as far as color goes. Depending on your tastes/needs, you may l ike the subtly and softness of this holiday shade, while others may find the muted color too bland for their liking.

Bottom Line: It’s a nice shade, and it’s something you can easily wear any time–not just the holidays–and for any occasion. The price will always be a sticking factor for some, and Rouge G isn’t for everyone (I’m pretty sure Guerlain was well aware of that fact when they priced these at $45 a pop), but they are very nice splurge items, particularly when you find just the right shade for you.

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: Grace is a fitting name for this shade, because it’s perfect for wearing everyday or with a smoky eye — it’s a versatile shade even though some may find it’s too bland to warrant the splurge.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Philosophy:  Peppermint Hot Cocoa Shower Gel
Philosophy: Peppermint Hot Cocoa Shower Gel

Philosophy Peppermint Hot Cocoa Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath ($16.00 for 16 oz.) is a fun, holiday scent from Philosophy’s Holiday Collection.  The first time I lathered up with this product, I was instantly reminded of peppermint mochas from Starbucks.  It’s that chocolaty sweetness mixed with a pop of peppermint.  I think Philosophy nailed the scent, and the name is perfectly suited to it.  It’s a good mix of chocolate sweetness and richness and peppermint where neither scent overpowers the other.

Philosophy describes this scent as, “a minty spin on a chocolaty holiday favorite. this super-decadent, new peppermint hot cocoa shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath 16 oz. will surely become your favorite shower-time treat. the ultra-rich formula provides a moisturizing lather from head to toe to gently cleanse and condition your skin and hair. it even comes in a giftable holiday box.”

I am a big, and a long-time, fan of Philosophy’s 3-in-1 gels.  I only use mine as shower gels (I prefer other products for shampoo, and I rarely take baths), but I love these for two reasons:  1) sheer variety in scents available and 2) they lather up so easily and quickly and feel great when you’re using them in the shower.  I think these are affordable products, because one 16 oz. bottle lasts me about three or four months, easily.  You don’t need much to lather head to toe or to get the scent to fill your shower.  The only thing I don’t like about these is I find the bottle packaging to be of a very hard plastic, so it isn’t as easy as I’d like to squeeze out the product when it starts getting empty–requires a little strength!

Bottom Line: If you prefer shower gels that give you a lingering scent after the shower is over, Philosophy’s aren’t really designed for that purpose (they actually advertise them as scents that don’t linger past the shower/bath).  If, however, you want to enjoy a burst of scent in the shower in various fun scents like Peppermint Hot Cocoa, but don’t necessarily want to walk around smelling like that, these are amazing.

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:  As with most Philosophy shower gels… if you like this kind of scent or it sounds like one you might like, I urge you to give it a whiff!

Availability: Philosophy, Sephora

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Wednesday, October 28th, 2009


Guerlain: Rubis Rose KissKiss Gloss

Guerlain Rubis Rose KissKiss Gloss ($29.00 for 0.17 oz.) is a lovely semi-sheer shade of plummy brown with gold and plum shimmer throughout from Guerlain’s Holiday Collection.  KissKiss Gloss is one of my favorite gloss formulas, so I’m always excited to see what new, limited edition shades are launched by Guerlain.  It’s a non-sticky, moisturizing gloss that runs sheerer rather than ultra pigmented, but some shades are ultra sheer while others are semi-sheer and provide decent color to lips.  Rubis Rose is one of the latter types — it’s dark without being too dark, so you can wear it alone or over another color to add more depth.

It has a rose-floral scent, a slightly perfume-y scent, which I know some people really dislike, but I like it (I don’t love it, don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t bother me).  What I like about the KissKiss Gloss is that it lasts a good amount of time for a lipgloss when its worn on its own — I get about four to five hours of wear before it starts to fade/disappear.  I’ve always loved the sparkle factor, too, which is noticeable and bright and fun.

Price-wise, these aren’t the best bang for your buck, and by their nature, they’re not something everyone is going to rush out to buy.  To each their own, I say!   Price analysis tells us that Guerlain’s KissKiss Glosses are some of the pricier high-end lipglosses, being more expensive than many of its direct competitors like Dior and YSL, but still less expensive than Stila and Smashbox, by the ounce.

Bottom Line:
The packaging is pretty and elegant, the formula is stellar, and the color itself is perfect for the fall/winter seasons.  The only downside is the price, and I think Guerlain fans won’t find the price to be much of an obstacle.


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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: If you love the KissKiss formula and are looking for a nice plummy shade, check out the new Rubis Rose!

Availability: Nordstrom, Sephora.com

See swatches and comparison photosContinue reading →

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Rimmel Sexy Curves Mascara
Rimmel Sexy Curves Mascara

Rimmel Sexy Curves Mascara (Waterproof) ($7.50) is designed to give you full, curled lashes.  It purports to give you “70% curlier” lashes, and lashes look “lusciously curled, plumped and defined.”  Rimmel also advertises that you’ll see 7 times your natural volume and the curl will hold for a full twelve hours.  I gotta say, Rimmel is making a lot of very big claims about this mascara!

Unfortunately, my experience didn’t really live up to Rimmel’s claims of fuller, well-curled lashes–at least not to the degree that they advertised.  I’d say that my lashes are, perhaps, have a slight lift to them, but it’s not much–it’s just more pronounced by the lengthening of the mascara and slight volume it adds.  It just neither gives me fuller nor more curled lashes really.  I’d still feel like I needed to use an eyelash curler to really get the curl I’m looking for, and the mascara performs pretty average in all other aspects.

Out of personal taste, I tend to like incredibly rich black shades–the darker the better–so Rimmel’s level of blackness in pigmentation just doesn’t do it for me.  My lashes do look better when I use it, they just don’t stand out like they do with other mascaras that I have loved.  To be honest, I can be a harsh critic when it comes to mascara, because I always judge a mascara on how well it performs relative to the claims the brand makes about what it should do.  It’s great if it still turns out to be awesome in some other way, but usually if they fall flat on their claims, then it’s just so-so and nothing stellar.  This is definitely the case with Rimmel’s Sexy Curves mascara.

I will say that one thing I did really like about this mascara is the brush separated lashes really well and kept them from clumping despite layering on three coats of mascara.  The brush is relatively easy to use, and the packaging is definitely eye-catching in that bright, metallic teal tube.  (It does, however, hold finger prints, so big boo from me.)

Bottom Line: I’d say to skip this mascara.  It performs fairly average at the end of the day, because it really doesn’t do much but add a smidgen of length (and maybe a little volume).  It just looks like I’m wearing mascara, but it doesn’t look like I’m wearing a very good one!

Anyone like this mascara? I could have sworn some readers said this was their favorite!

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

  • Product: 15/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  I’d pass on this mascara–it just doesn’t live up to the lofty claims Rimmel makes about it at all.  I normally expect mascara claims to be rather outlandish, but I feel like this one doesn’t even get close.

Availability: Walgreens

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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 →