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NARS Dragon Girl Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Dragon Girl Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
NARS Dragon Girl Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Dragon Girl Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Dragon Girl Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($24.00 for 0.086 oz.) is described as a “siren red.” This is an extremely intense, vibrant cherry red with pink undertones and a blue base. It’s very cool-toned and equally bright. It’s bluer than Maybelline Very Cherry. It’s more vibrant than Giorgio Armani #406. CoverGirl Hot has a similar brightness level but not the same blue undertones. Chanel Rouge Byzantin is darker. MAC Ruby Woo is redder and darker.

The Velvet Matte Lip Pencil formula is designed to allow you the precision of a lip pencil with the ease of all-over application like a lipstick. It’s supposed to be opaque, matte, creamy, long-wearing, and non-drying. Dragon Girl wears and wears and wears; its strongest suit is in how well and long it wears–a full six hours of excellent coverage and looks good enough not to need a reapplication until eight hours. It hardly transfers, so it lasts through a cup of coffee with ease. It’s not moisturizing, but it isn’t drying; you’ll want to properly moisturize and prep lips in advance (or just have a good lip health routine), since it’s not adding any moisture over the course of the day.

Dragon Girl has to be one of my favorites within the range, because it applies evenly and easily without tugging or pulling on the lip, so there’s just enough glide and waxiness in the base to get that even, opaque color, but it clings to lips so it wears a long time (not in a bad clingy way, though). It has a matte finish, but it appears so bright that it almost has a sheen.

The Velvet Matte Lip Pencils are large, jumbo-sized crayons, and you’ll need to sharpen them periodically. You will lose some product, but because the texture of this is fairly dry and firm, there is less product loss than from the brand’s Velvet Gloss Lip Pencils. Many readers have suggested freezing a pencil briefly prior to sharpening to help minimize waste.

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Dragon Girl
Dragon Girl

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Eve Lom Cleanser Review


Eve Lom Cleanser

Eve Lom Cleanser ($80.00 for 100ml) is the brand’s iconic product, and there are numerous raves for it, so I was very curious to try it. It’s supposed to cleanse, tone, and exfoliate by using a “powerful blend of Egyptian chamomile, hops, clove, and eucalyptus oil together with cocoa butter.” It purports to remove “even the most stubborn makeup and eye makeup.” It comes with a muslin cloth that’s intended to be used (in fact, a key piece to using this product) alongside the cleanser.

For someone who loathes to spend time in the evening on their skincare routine, this is not the product for you. Just stop reading right now, because this is a cleanser for someone who has made their night time skincare routine a ritual and enjoys it. Eve Lom instructs you to massage the cleanser onto face and neck, then soak the muslin cloth in hot water, press the cloth against the neck for a few seconds–and repeat up to three times–before working the muslin cloth against the skin in small, circular movements to remove the cleanser. The brand recommends rinsing the cloth in cool water and pressing against the skin as a final step. It doesn’t take twenty minutes (think three to five), but it’s not a thirty-second cleanser, and it really needs a couple of minutes to do its job effectively.

Within all the instructions, there is talk about the hot cloth opening pores and the cold cloth closing pores. I was peeved with this, because pores do not open and close like a door. The way heat, or a hot cloth, and steam works is that it actually loosens any build-up and makes it easier to remove. I haven’t yet read anything about what cold water will do (since you can’t close your pores) other than feel refreshing. This is a common myth, but I hate seeing it on a skincare product, particularly from a brand that wants to create simple, highly effective products to market. (I don’t think I’d categorize this product as all that simple, given the extensive ingredient list and routine.)

Using this product really does feel like you’ve brought the spa home with you, both because of the slower, more methodical approach to cleansing, but also the general consistency, feel, and post-cleanse results. It has a thick, waxy consistency, like a balm, but it does spread easily enough (I’ve actually come across some body balms that feel like a tub of cold butter, which are a pain to spread). There are tiny granules in it, and these feel lightly exfoliating on the skin when you actually start removing the cleanser, but they do make applying to areas like the eyes less palatable.

The warmth of the cloth against the skin helps to melt the cleanser, which in turn seems to help it breakdown your makeup without having to scrub. I was skeptical, but it actually removed all traces of makeup wherever I applied it.  I just never liked the way it felt on the eyes, so I wasn’t exactly getting it on my lash line, you know? I ended up using a cotton swab dipped in makeup remover for removing along the lash line. Once you’ve rinsed off the cleanser, skin feels soft, smooth, and there is a feeling of very light hydration (I imagine from the oils and cocoa butter). I have read a few customer reviews from oily-skinned folks that skip moisturizer as a result.  I had no problems with breakouts, dry spots, or the like while using this over three weeks.

It has a very distinct scent of cloves, fruitcake, and grapes, with an overall medicinal flavor. The scent doesn’t linger or overwhelm, but it’s there. I’m more tolerant of scents, particularly ones that aren’t just a big blast of perfume (think Lancome), so I’m not bothered by it, but it was a little off-putting when I first started using the product. It comes in a plastic tub with a screw-top lid, so you’ll want to wash hands before dipping your paws into this (or using a clean spatula).

It’s an experience more than it is a cleanser, I’d say. There are plenty of cleansers that do just as excellent of a job removing dirt and makeup in half the time (I’m thinking along the lines of cleansing oils in particular) and leave skin prepped and ready for serums and creams. You could use a muslin cloth with any thicker cleanser for gentle exfoliation to get more of an experience out of your cleanser of choice. I’m anticipating that the ingredient list is not going to appeal to skincare enthusiasts, because of mineral oil, some of the natural oils included (like clove), and having five different paraben-based preservatives in it. I’m not knocking this–it works and feels great–but it’s pricey and more often than not, I reach for a shu cleansing oil over this when I’m wearing a lot of makeup.

Ingredients

paraffinum liquidum (mineral oil), cetearyl alcohol, peg-30 lanolin, bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2, aluminum stearate, theobroma cacao (cocoa butter), peg-75 lanolin, chamomilla recutita (chamomile oil), eugenia caryophyllus (clove oil), eucalyptus globulus (eucalyptus oil), humulus lupulus (hops oil), phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, p-chloro-m-cresol, eugenol, isoeugenol

Revlon Rosegold ColorBurst Lipgloss Lip Shine

Revlon Rosegold ColorBurst Lipgloss Lip Shine
Revlon Rosegold ColorBurst Lipgloss Lip Shine

Revlon Rosegold ColorBurst Lipgloss Lip Shine

Revlon Rosegold ColorBurst Lipgloss Lip Shine ($7.49 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is a semi-opaque pink-bronze with gold and pink shimmer. MAC Blessedly Rich is browner. Bobbi Brown Beach doesn’t have pink shimmer and appears a bit darker. Bobbi Brown Canary only contains gold sparkle. Bobbi Brown Raspberry is similar but not as bronzed. Revlon Sunset Peach is more orange, less shimmery.

The ColorBurst formula is supposed to feel lightweight, have a high-shine finish, and yield rich color. It’s also designed to be moisturizing. Rosegold has semi-opaque color coverage, and it wore for four hours on me when I tested out the wear. The texture of the gloss is thin, non-sticky, and lightweight and comfortable. It’s slightly moisturizing, and it has a vanilla scent. The applicator is paddle-shaped, so it tapers and is fairly wide with a flexible tip.

Revlon Colorburst Lipgloss Rosegold
Rosegold
Rosegold
A-

Discontinued

9
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
91%
Total

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Bobbi Brown Gold Shimmer Cheek Glow

Bobbi Brown Gold Shimmer Cheek Glow
Bobbi Brown Gold Shimmer Cheek Glow

Bobbi Brown Gold Shimmer Cheek Glow

Bobbi Brown Gold Shimmer Cheek Glow ($39.00 for 0.31 oz.) is described simply as a “yellow gold.” It’s exactly that: a sheer, sparkling traditional gold, so it has warm, yellow undertones. Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City has a comparable look but is a more opaque product. Chanel Empreinte de Chanel is more orange. MAC Sun Rush is slightly more orange. Chanel Shimmering Tweed is also similar.

According to Bobbi Brown, the Shimmer Cheek Glow is a gel and powder hybrid, and it’s supposed to give a “just back from vacation glow.” I think the brand should have done a better job describing this product, particularly the texture and the overall effect of the product. It’s very, very sparkly. It’s not really shimmer–the particles are larger than that, and the way it looks against the skin is more like Bobbi Brown’s Sparkle eyeshadows. This feels a little wetter, more gel-like compared to the Sparkle eyeshadows, but I felt like they were comparable. Also, something I noticed while photographing the compact was that the product had separated from the edges, and it will slide around. I’d describe it as shrinkage.

On the skin, I’m not sold. It’s too sheer and ends up giving a sprinkling of sparkles but doesn’t evenly highlight the area. I kept focusing on my cheeks and seeing the attention being drawn to my pores. This–to me–is that disco ball effect that some worry about with shimmery, frosted, and more metallic highlighters. It gives a certain look that does appeal, but I don’t think it’s something I’d reach for regularly; it’s a glistening, almost wet-like sparkle and metallic glow. I love that look on lips, but not so much on cheeks, because I think it emphasizes imperfections on the skin. The sparkle also travels while you wear it, so you may find sparkle on your nose, chin, or even in your mouth. It wore about four and a half hours on me before it seems to have disappeared or traveled elsewhere.

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Cheek Glow Gold
Gold

bareMinerals The 15 Minutes Ready Eyeshadow Duo

bareMinerals The 15 Minutes Eyeshadow Duo
bareMinerals The 15 Minutes Ready Eyeshadow Duo

bareMinerals The 15 Minutes Ready Eyeshadow Duo

bareMinerals The 15 Minutes Ready Eyeshadow Duo ($20.00 for 0.10 oz.) contains two shades: Page Six (sandy pink sheen) and Most Requested (burgundy sparkle). 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.).

Page Six is a warm strawberry pink with subtle golden shimmer and a frosted, metallic sheen. It’s soft, smooth, and opaque in color. MAC Rose Light is pinker, not as yellow-toned. Lancome Kitten Heel is a smidgen lighter and has a stronger golden sheen. Inglot #399 is darker. Giorgio Armani #7 is darker, less pink.

Most Requested is a red-toned medium-dark brown with burgundy tones. It also has subtle sivler and ruby sparkle. It has mostly opaque color coverage and applies smoothly. Dolce & Gabbana Cocoa is a little lighter and browner. bareMinerals Kismet is very similar, perhaps a touch browner, and doesn’t have sparkle. Chanel Ebloui is darker.

I’m a huge, huge fan of the Ready Eyeshadows.  The formula is soft, dense, and feels almost creamy, and it applies smooth as silk against the skin, whether over a primer or on bare lids. I get a full eight hours of wear without creasing or fading when I wear the formula on bare lids or over a primer, so it’s great to have that versatility. The 15 Minutes works together, which is always nice, though they are easily used alone or with other eyeshadows you have in your stash. Most Requested has noticeable sparkle, so there is some fall out during application and the majority of the sparkle doesn’t translate onto the lid (gets lost somewhere between the brush and the lid).

bareMinerals The 15 Minutes Ready Eyeshadow Duo

A-
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
91%
Total

NARS Koliary Nail Lacquer

NARS Koliary Nail Lacquer
NARS Koliary Nail Lacquer

NARS Koliary Nail Lacquer

NARS Koliary Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “cyan blue.” It’s a rich, light-medium blue–it’s almost cyan, though I’d say it’s a touch less intense. It doesn’t have the same brightness that traditional cyan has. Zoya Phoebe is darker and dries matte. Zoya Robyn is a smidgen lighter.

Koliary is opaque in two coats, and the formula is a dream to work with: not too thick or too thin, so it applies fluidly, evenly, and easily across the nail without pooling along the sides or bubbling. There wasn’t even streaking on the first coat, which made the resulting finish flawless. NARS did a tremendous job with their Thakoon nail collaboration; some really top notch shades with excellent formulas. I typically get a week of wear with NARS formula without chipping and just minor tip wear.

NARS Nail Polish Koliary
Koliary

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