Essie Sweet Time of the Year Collection

Essie Sweet Time of the Year Collection

For winter, Essie put out a trio of shades: Mint Candy Apple, Rock Candy, and Lollipop. A sweet lil’ treat–something I’d consider putting in someone’s stocking this year. Two of the three are distinct creme finishes, while one is more of a sheer, though still creamy looking. The only shade I really liked was Mint Candy Apple; it’s unique enough to merit a purchase, and it’s fun and wearable as well. The other two just seem like shades I’ve seen before, so they’re must-haves.

All swatches shown are two-coats with a China Glaze base coat and Zoya top coat.

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Recommendation:  Three sweet treats from Essie for winter — if any of these shades grab you, they’re all worthy of a peek–it’s just a matter of your color tastes!

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The Scarlet Season: Julie Hewett Rouge Noir Lipstick

Julie Hewett Rouge Noir Lipstick ($22.50) is a rich, ultra pigmented blue-based red with a nice sheen. It’s not glossy nor shimmery–just very bold and goes on opaque with little product. I want to say it’s creamy, but on the other hand, it’s really not creamy. It applies very smoothly and evenly, so it’s not dry, but yet it’s not actually that creamy.

One of the best parts about this lipstick (and Julie Hewett lipsticks in general) is that it clings to lips for several hours before wearing off. I just wish that when it wore off (after about five or six hours), it left more of a stain than a ring around my lips! Nonetheless, if you’re not planning to be out for more than six hours or you can reapply after about five, this is a great pick!

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!

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Benefit Cosmetics Sugarbomb

The powder comes with four triangles of color, which Benefit describes as “rose, shimmering pink, soft plum, and peach.” The powder is designed to be used all at once, rather than one triangle at a time. I’d completely agree with that notion, particularly because the space is just not big enough to really grab one shade over another that well.

When swirled together, the outcome is a beautiful peachy-pink shade with a very, very subtle golden sheen. This is half blush, half highlighter, because it’s not ultra pigmented and on my skin tone (which you could describe as “medium”), while it shows up, it looks very soft. It’s certainly not invisible (which would make it more like a highlighter), but it’s not vibrant. This is good and bad, depending on your usage — but it’s a good thing to me.

It actually reminded me of a peachier version of CORALista, but they are different, since CORALista is much more pigmented and pinker. On my skin, it gives me just enough color and really gives me that “glow.” That super sought after glowy cheek look? That’s what this is in a cute lil’ box.

Both the texture and the results reminded me quite a bit of my beloved Dior Skin Shimmers (particularly Pop Diamond). The shade itself is a reminiscent of NARS’ Orgasm, but it’s less orange (on me) and the shimmer more refined. But here’s something fun: Benefit is way, way cheaper than both. Benefit’s Powders are HUGE–a whopping 0.42 oz.–compared to the average blush that weighs in at a mere 0.20 oz. NARS’ blushes are $156/oz., MAC’s are $88/oz., and Dior’s are $150/oz., but Benefit is $67/oz.

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