Saturday, November 21st, 2009

Smashbox Starlet Lip Enhancing Lip Gloss
Smashbox Starlet Lip Enhancing Lip Gloss

The Scarlet Season: Smashbox Starlet Lip Enhancing Lip Gloss

Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss Siren ($18.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a semi-opaque shade of pinky-red with subtle golden shimmer and a high gloss sheen. Like previously mentioned Siren, the formula is all about high-shine without being sticky. It’s a moisturizing gloss that looks good and fades well, though it lasts about four hours on my lips. The scent is a lightly sweetened vanilla that’s pleasing without being cloying or synthetic. I do like Starlit over Siren, just because this has better coverage and doesn’t sink into lip lines much at all.

What about you? Would you wear this 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 →

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

China Glaze Medallion Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Medallion Nail Lacquer

Glitter Polish: China Glaze Medallion Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Medallion Nail Lacquer ($3.50 to $6.00) is a cool-toned gold with multi-sized, multi-colored shimmer suspended in a clear base. It has hexagonal multi-reflective bits of glitter amongst more square-shamed, smaller-sized dark gold glitter. It’s pretty much one of the most glittery polishes I’ve ever come across–and I say that in a good way… if you like glitter! Now, if you’re not a fan of glitter polish, I think I can safely say this isn’t for you.

I found application to require some effort, and you’ll get best results if you do let the layers dry substantially in-between. This lets you get better overall coverage of glitter so it doesn’t get bunched up or pushed around into certain spots. One issue I had if you moved too quickly was the glitter would bunch up a bit at the very edge of the nail (around the tip), which wasn’t so cute. I think this would work really well as a glitter top coat over your favorite lacquer as well, particularly since it has a clear base. It took me three solid coats to get the above (and below) results, and as you can see, it’s not opaque, though it’s still a fun shade to wear by itself.

Removal is about on par with what I’d expect from a glitter polish; it’s not the quickest removal process, but it doesn’t drive me batty.  I really just like how sparkle-tastic this shade is, and I think that alone wins me over, since I was looking for it China Glaze’s new glitter shades.  I will say it could have applied a little more smoothly, even for a glitter, but the finished result is still quite fun.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Looking for a cool gold, totally blinged out lacquer? Medallion might be it.

Availability: 8ty8beauty.com, Head2ToeBeauty.com, TransDesign.com

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Friday, November 20th, 2009

Le Metier de Beaute Framboise Creme Lip Creme Lip Gloss
Le Metier de Beaute Framboise Creme Lip Creme Lip Gloss

The Scarlet Season: Le Metier de Beaute Framboise Creme Lip Creme Lip Gloss

Le Metier de Beaute Framboise Creme Lip Creme Lip Gloss ($36.00 for 0.22 oz.) is a stunning shade of subdued ruby red with ruby and gold shimmer and the most amazing pigmentation. I remember when I first purchased this shade, which was also the first time I ever heard of or saw Le Metier de Beaute, back in February 2009 when I was in New York for fashion week. I completely fell head-over-heels in love with the shade; it was love at first swatch, as they’d say! The formula is out of this world; it’s moisturizing, glossy, ridiculously well-pigmented (it still feels more like a gloss than a lipstick or liquid lipstick), and it lasts for a good four to six hours on me. I’m still as pleased with it today as I was when I first purchased it.

I’m also pleased to note that Le Metier de Beaute has greatly improved their accessibility, available at many Neiman Marcus around the United States. (When I purchased this, they were only available at two stores or online at NeimanMarcus.com!)

What about you? Would you wear this 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 →

Friday, November 20th, 2009

China Glaze 5 Golden Rings Nail Lacquer
China Glaze 5 Golden Rings Nail Lacquer

For the Holidays:  China Glaze Love You Snow Much Nail Lacquer Set

China Glaze Love You Snow Much Nail Lacquer Set ($12.00 to $18.00) is a holiday-themed set, and it includes 5 Golden Rings (pale gold), Emerald Sparkle (emerald green), Tinsel (light silver), and Ruby Pumps (ruby red).

  • 5 Golden Rings is a paled yellow-gold with bright and muted yellow gold shimmer mixed in a sheer, tinted pale yellow base. Even with three coats, I couldn’t get this shade to look opaque on my nails. I like the color, but it’s a bit on the sheer side and I tend to gravitate towards more opaque choices myself. However, since it is so sheer in its base color, it gives you bling without being too much.
  • Emerald Sparkle is a shimmery rich emerald green. It is a deep, dark forest green base mixed with brighter, more emerald green shimmer. It’s also a dream to apply; smooth and pigmented, it only needs two coats to obtain a rich, lush green that is entirely opaque.
  • Tinsel is a bright silver shimmer suspended in a clear base. Since the base is clear, it is sheer and doesn’t apply completely opaque even with three coats. I think thicker coats and three or four of them might yield a slightly more opaque look, but some experimentation is necessary.
  • Ruby Pumps is a shimmery bright ruby red. It has a medium bright red base with darker ruby red shimmer sprinkled throughout. It applies evenly and without a fuss, plus it goes opaque in just two medium-thick coats.

Which of the four is your favorite?

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you don’t own Emerald Sparkle/Ruby Pumps, this is a good set to pick ‘em up in! 5 Golden Rings and Tinsel may not be your cup of tea if you prefer opaque color–but if you do like sheer shades, you may love this set entirely.

Availability: 8ty8beauty.com, Head2ToeBeauty.com, TransDesign.com

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Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Holiday Glitz: China Glaze Emerald Sparkle Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Emerald Sparkle Nail Lacquer ($3.50 to $6.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is a signature shade for the holidays. I remember practically fall over myself trying to track it down without paying ridiculously inflated eBay prices and failing. This year, it is part of the Love You Snow Much Set, which also includes Tinsel (light silver), Ruby Pumps (ruby red), and 5 Golden Rings (pale gold). I love Emerald Sparkle so much, I feel it deserves its own post. I’ll review the entire set tomorrow, so stay tuned! :)

Emerald Sparkle is a shimmery rich emerald green. It is a deep, dark forest green base mixed with brighter, more emerald green shimmer. The combination is absolutely stunning, both in natural light, sunlight, and indoor lighting. It sparkles and shimmers, and it is so suitable for the holiday season. It’s also a dream to apply; smooth and pigmented, it only needs two coats to obtain a rich, lush green that is entirely opaque. This is definitely one of my favorite China Glaze shades to date, and it also has one of the best formulations amongst the brand’s line-up.

Would you rock Emerald Sparkle?

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: 5/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you love lush green shades for your nails, I’m pretty sure you should be the owner of Emerald Sparkle… and make haste!

Availability: 8ty8beauty.com, Head2ToeBeauty.com, TransDesign.com

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Thursday, November 19th, 2009

MAC Port Red Lipstick
MAC Port Red Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: MAC Port Red Lipstick

MAC Port Red Lipstick ($14.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a gorgeous ruby red with gold sheen. I really love this shade, and it’s neck-and-neck with Queen’s Sin as one of MAC’s better red lipsticks. They aren’t identical, as Queen’s Sin is a little deeper, with more berry as an undertone and doesn’t have the same gold shimmer. I love the gold flecks that you see in this lipstick. Port Red isn’t too orange or too blue, it’s just that right shade of true red. Surprisingly, it was launched in May of 2008 (so you may have to do some hunting to find it, e.g. on eBay), but it’s an amazing shade of red for the holiday season as well.

What about you? Would you wear this 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 →