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  • Birchbox20% off 6 and 12-month gift subscriptions with code GIFT4ALL, ends 12/11.
  • Lord & Taylor30% off almost everything + 10% off cosmetics & fragrances with code FRIENDS, ends 12/15.
  • Tarte30% off with code BESTIES, ends 12/11.

Challenge: Felines — Emily, Aracely, Elli, El, Jessica, Etaoi

Challenge: Felines — Emily, Aracely, Elli, El, Jessica, Etaoin

It was such a pleasure to see all of the different looks and takes on the feline theme of this month’s challenge!  We have subtle and natural to bolder and more dramatic in these first looks.  As always, I post in the order that entries are received.  I will be posting one or two sets per day ’til we’ve showcased all challenge-takers (which is around 30 lovelies!).

Check out the first six looks!

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MAC Venomous Villains: Discussion

MAC Venomous Villains: Discussion

I know many of you are getting ready to head out to Venomous Villains’ unveiling parties across the U.S., and I thought it might be fun to create a place for everyone to discuss the collection.  Last minute decisions, hauls, wish lists… ask for recommendations or insight from other readers.  Even if you’re not going to an unveiling, feel free to join in with your thoughts, to-buy lists, or what have you.

Chatter away! 🙂

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Dolce & Gabbana Orchid Shine Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Evocative Collection
Dolce & Gabbana Orchid (115) Shine Lipstick

A Deep Fuchsia Lip for Fall

Dolce & Gabbana Orchid (115) Shine Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.13 oz.) is an paque, deep fuchsia pink with a high glossy shine. It’s bright without being neon, but still a very rich, noticeable color when worn. It doesn’t seem to pull very blue, as many fuchsias do, but it still brightens teeth, giving the illusion of a whiter smile. The consistency is great: creamy without being heavy or overly slippery, while the color is intense in one or one and a half layers of product. I like the rose-scent of Dolce & Gabbana’s lipsticks, but if you’re more sensitive to scent, you might want to sniff before buying.

MAC’s Rebel Lipstick was the closest shade I could find to this particular color, but it pulls a lot redder and a couple of hues darker, while Orchid is distinctly pink (compare the full face photos–the difference is so dramatic!).

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Rich color, moisturizing, and flattering on cool and warm skin tones — if you’re in the mood for a deep fuchsia, it’s a good choice!

AVAILABILITY: Saks

Win $1500+ in Beauty, Makeup, & Skincare!

Win $1500+ in Beauty, Makeup, & Skincare!

One (1) lucky winner will receive $1385+ of beauty, makeup, and skincare products, courtesy of HauteLook! The prize package contains products from many of the beauty brands on sale this week during HauteLook’s Beauty Week!

Favorites such as DDF, Stila, LORAC, and NYX will be up for grabs. If you’re unfamiliar with HauteLook, it’s a members-only website (free sign-up) that offers daily sales on name brands, and sometimes, it also has beauty brands from 30-60% off.

Winner will receive…

  • Amika Tourmaline Curler
  • InStyler
  • NuFace Professional Facial Protocol
  • DDF Matifying Oil Control Moisturizer
  • Lorac Snake Charmer Palette
  • GO SMiLE Limited Edition Whitening System
  • Freeze 24-7 Instant Smoother and Brightener
  • Red Ginger Professional Eye Shadow Palette
  • Somme Institute Mobile Travel Kit
  • LightStim Anti-Aging Light
  • D’Arcy Formula No. 17 Overnight Drying Lotion
  • Enessa Clove Oil
  • Ellen Sirot Hand Perfection Nail & Cuticle Treatment
  • Stila Jewel Lip Glaze Trio
  • NYX For Your Eyes Only Smokey Eye Kit , Jumbo Eyeliner, and Eyebrow Pencil

RULES: All entries must be submitted by September 24th, 2010 at 11:59 PM PST. This contest is open to U.S. readers as pursuant to your local state/country’s laws. Winner will be chosen randomly and notified via e-mail. This post will be updated with the winner once the winner confirms.

Congratulations Kelsey!

Dolce & Gabbana Divine Eyeshadow Quad

Dolce & Gabbana Divine Eyeshadow Quad
Dolce & Gabbana Divine Eyeshadow Quad

Dolce & Gabbana Divine Eyeshadow Quad ($59.00 for 0.16 oz.) looks like a beautiful, elegant mix of feminine colors that seem neutral–not too cool, not too warm.  I’ve always liked Dolce & Gabbana’s eyeshadows in the past (like Dazzling, Gold, Laguna), and I really haven’t had trouble with application of them.

In addition to having trouble with this palette, I also found similar issues with Ocean eyeshadow duo (also from fall, to be reviewed separately).  I thought perhaps it was due to my usage of NARS’ Smudgeproof as a base, so I tried Urban Decay’s Primer Potion, and I experienced the exact same issues:  sheer, faded colors that looked lovely at first but seemed to fade away as quickly as I applied them; slight muddying of color when blended.  It’s like there was nothing to bind the shadow to my lid, despite the eyeshadow base.

The best solution I was able to come up with was to use a shimmery, white gold cream shadow base (Shiseido Lemon Sugar).  Cream bases can sometimes be more adhesive, which can help softer or more difficult shadows stay on better, and shimmery bases always seem to emphasize colors in my experience.   It’s better–decent to just below good–but it’s not fabulous.

Divine consists of a barely-there beige with a subtle cool tone; medium mauve-tinged beige; frosted cotton candy pink; and darkened blue-toned purple with a semi-matte finish.  After using the quad in three look attempts, the lightest shade was my favorite, because it worked really well as a highlighter on my skin tone.  Though the pink shade swatches the best, it is the worst performer of the bunch, because despite its brightness in the swatch, it looks faded and flat on the lid.  The other three shades are more on the matte/satin side, so they already have a softer look and don’t fall flat when used.

I’m also mildly amused that the Eyeshadow Duos contain 0.17 oz. of product for $36, while the quads hold 0.16 oz. and go for $59.  This quad was a total miss for me, and I really wanted to love it.  It’s stunning when you first open the compact, but it’s such a let-down in practice.  Nothing will get a product onto my skip list faster than requiring me to give it three tries just to yield decent results.  As they say, three strikes and you’re out!

I mentioned it previously, but the nude shades worked just fine; they’re soft, smooth, and apply the same.  I don’t think they’re going to work well on anyone that’s medium-dark to dark in skin tone–they’re just going to be way too light and look chalky rather than subtle.  These shades would work well on light to medium skin tones for a contoured nude eye.  So in a sense, half the palette is… palatable (ha, ha).  I already spoke on the pink shade, and the purplish shade is so-so; it applies smoothly, but it seems to go sheer and fade pretty quickly.

Edited 10/01: Despite calling the Saks’ Dolce & Gabbana counter and being told not to use these eyeshadows wet or else I would ruin them, I did use them wet–it did solve a lot of smoothness/evenness of the eyeshadows on the lid, though the colors were still a bit faded and flat.  I changed the product grade from 20 to 23 as a result, which raised the overall grade from a C- to a C+.  A new issue, as a result of using them wet, was a bit of difficulty in blending out the darker shade.

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

  • Product: 23/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I’d rather get two lipsticks for the price of one eyeshadow quad. (I have reviewed many of Dolce & Gabbana’s lipsticks with happy results!)

AVAILABILITY: Saks

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