Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Make Up For Ever #205 Lipstick
Make Up For Ever #205 Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: Make Up For Ever #205 Lipstick

Make Up For Ever #205 Lipstick ($19.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a deep, blue-based red. It’s fairly bright and most definitely noticeable, but it’s deep enough that it doesn’t come off too bright. It has a slightly glossy sheen, and it’s surprisingly hydrating. One of the best parts about Make Up For Ever’s lipsticks is how well they wear and how long they wear for. I find I get no less than four solid hours of amazing wear, but it easily extends into six or more, if I’ve only eaten a light meal or had one or two drinks. #205 is richly pigmented, goes opaque in just one layer, and it hugs lips.

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 →

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Chanel Passion Rouge Allure Lipstick
Chanel Passion Rouge Allure Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: Chanel Passion Rouge Allure Lipstick

Chanel Passion Rouge Allure Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a richly pigmented, medium bright red that leans only slightly blue, but otherwise reads fairly neutral on my lips. It applies easily and evenly (though it should be worn with a lip liner to keep it inside the lines so-to-speak) and has a glossy sheen. I like how hydrating the Rouge Allure formula is, and I can appreciate the high level of pigmentation that accompanies it, too. It doesn’t compete against Chanel’s Dragon for me, but it’s a very nice, more color and no shimmer kind of red lip color that’s nice on other occasions.

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 →

Monday, November 23rd, 2009


NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil: Pop Life & Toudra

NARS Pop Life & Toudra Velvet Matte Lip Pencils ($24.00 for 0.086 oz.) are two new shades from NARS’ Holiday Collection.  These are jumbo-sized lip pencils that are designed to be used more like a lipstick than a lip pencil.  The product is “enriched with Vitamin E” and is designed to last for “hours.”  NARS describes Toudra as a “richly pigmented Barolo wine shade is creamy, long-lasting and matte for strong, seamless color and a perfectly defined pout,” while Pop life is a “bold, bright and modernly matte holly–red hue that slips on with a velvety texture – a new holiday staple.”

Toudra is a bronzy, not quite coppery, brown-based wine.  It’s not really what I’d think of when someone tells me it’s a wine shade, though.  It’s in there, and yet it’s distinctly different.  It has a bit of a frosty/shimmery look, and I didn’t find it applied as easily as some other Velvet Matte Lip Pencils have in the past.  It even felt a little gritty, and dare I say… drying?  (Which these are specifically stated to not be!)  It is reasonably pigmented, though since it doesn’t apply smoothly, you end up using a fair amount of product get an even, full coverage look.

Pop Life looks very holiday-red when you check out the product, but on my lips, it was definitely not the case.  It was more of a brightened up orange-based coral shade.  It was smoother and gave a better look overall compared to Toudra, but even this still felt a little drying to me.  I didn’t get “hydrating” when testing either of these shades out myself.   If you’re looking for a red, you might consider Dragon Girl or Cruella instead–both of which are a lot redder than Pop Life.

These aren’t really your best bang for your buck lip product, considering you only get 0.086 oz. for $24–a NARS lipstick contains 0.12 oz. but also costs $24.00.  NARS has plenty of pigmented lipsticks in their collection (along with sheer shades, of course), so I’d probably start there in a lip color hunt.  I like these, in terms of the actual product (and discounting the price differential), more than NYX’s Jumbo Lip Pencils, because they feel a little more high quality and they do last much longer on me (about four to five hours).

Bottom Line: I don’t love the new shades from holiday.  I don’t own any of the permanent shades, but I’ve tested them in-store and have been more drawn to them there than I was when I swatched these two (and liked them even less when I actually used them!).  Neither color really pops for me, and I’m not sure why these aren’t as hydrating as NARS touts the product line to be.

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

  • Product: 21/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: I’d recommend trying these in-store before purchasing, to see if the texture meets your expectations!

Availability: Beauty.com, NARS Cosmetics, Sephora

See swatchesContinue reading →

Monday, November 16th, 2009


NYX Goddess of the Night Lip Gloss in Deep Bronze

Lipgloss on a Budget: NYX Deep Bronze Lip Gloss

NYX Goddess of the Night Lip Gloss in Deep Bronze ($5.00 for 0.53 fl. oz.) is just one of sixty shades (from what I counted on NYX‘s website) available in the Lipgloss with Mega Shine collection. Deep Bronze is part of the “Goddess of the Night” collection. It’s a deep plum burgundy with burnt burgundy and copper shimmer through it.

The formula has a very glossy, almost frosty look, and it goes on semi-opaque–it’s not completely opaque, but it certainly is noticeable.  I consider it pretty pigmented for a lip gloss, so that was a pleasant and happy surprise!  The gloss itself is non-sticky, thick without being gooey, and it doesn’t feel drying when you wear it.  The shade range is incredible, and you’re sure to find at least one or two that catches your eye.  I wish NYX represented their colors with more true-to-life photos (rather than flat, graphical color swatches), because it would make purchasing online easier.

I did notice that it didn’t last as long as the average gloss does on me; it went about two hours before I felt I needed to reapply, as opposed to my typical gloss wear-time of four hours. I also found that, at least in this deeper shade, the color did have a tendency to settle into the lines of my lips. I like these glosses, and I think that aside from the wearing time, the formula and product are certainly well worth the five dollar price tag.  It’s not a big deal to reapply, because it does fade evenly and doesn’t leave any rings behind, so reapply and be on your way.  (However, if you need long-wearing lip color, these won’t meet that need.)

For me, the only part I really had trouble with was the very synthetic, almost plastic scent of sweetened cherries. I know that they were going for a cherry scent, but it just read synthetic and almost as if it went bad.  The scent doesn’t linger, thankfully, though so just breathe through your mouth while applying! :) I have also noticed that my NYX glosses and lipsticks don’t last as long on the shelf as my other lipsticks (they noticeably change in smell/texture after a year or so)–I had some NYX glosses from a year or so ago, but Deep Bronze is new. I also wish the applicator grabbed more product, because I felt like I had to get a few swipes to get the amount I needed for the best coverage.

Bottom Line: These are good glosses and worth checking out, partially because they are so affordable.  The formula itself (aside from wear-time and the scent) wears well, feels nice on lips, and packs some pigmentation. If they only last a year, it’s not a big deal to chuck it and replace it the next (if you find yourself wanting it again), since they’re so inexpensive. It’s also a nice way to play and experiment with colors without blowing your budget–not to mention there’s an extensive selection of shades to choose from!

NYX is one of my favorite brands if you’re on a tight budget (and certainly worth looking into even if you aren’t on a tight budget!). NYX also regularly has these ridiculous blowout sales where you can nab a ton of product for 50-80% off the original price. For example, right now they’re offering a bundle of sixty lipsticks for a mere $48. Seriously. $48!  The sales change regularly, so you never know what they might offer next!

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 10/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: For an affordable non-sticky, high gloss lip gloss, NYX has enough shades to keep you busy!

Availability: NYX

See swatchesContinue reading →

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Clinique Parisian Red Lipstick
Clinique Parisian Red Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: Clinique Parisian Red Lipstick

Clinique Parisian Red Lipstick ($14.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a glossy, just-bitten red with pinky tones. Parisian Red is part of Clinique’s Butter Shine Lipstick line-up, which is described as “wearable color” with sheer to moderate coverage. Parisian Red was a limited edition shade from Clinique’s holiday collection last year, but you can still find Parisian Red at Nordstrom! :) The formula itself is creamy, smooth, and incredibly moisturizing. It does feel like a very glossy lipstick, actually. The color itself is opaque enough to give lips plenty of pop, but they’re not completely opaque. I really love this particular shade of red for the formula itself, because it’s so easy and comfortable to wear.

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 14th, 2009

Guerlain Rouge Sultan Cashmere Lip Gloss

The Scarlet Season: Guerlain Rouge Sultan Cashmere Lip Gloss

Guerlain Rouge Sultan Cashmere Lip Gloss ($28.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a liquid lipstick in the shade of vibrant, orange-based red. It’s a fiery red that’s definitely a showstopping shade of scarlet. It has a semi-matte finish (even though it’s described as matte), because it still has a slight sheen to it. I would describe Guerlain’s Cashmere Lip Glosses to having a similar feel as Chanel’s Rouge Allure Laques, but they’re thinner and a little more drying on the lips (though I wouldn’t say that they are drying!). Rouge Sultan wears incredibly well, because it really hugs lips and lasts me hours and gets through a cup of coffee. Although Rouge Sultan is a limited edition shade from Guerlain’s Terracotta collection, it is still available for purchase through both Nordstrom and Sephora.

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 →