Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Giorgio Armani #401 Rouge d’Armani Lipstick ($30.00) is the newest long-wear lipstick formula from Armani, only recently released last month. The new formula is available in eighteen shades, ranging from beiges to pinks to reds to browns. According to Giorgio Armani, Rouge d’Armani is designed to be a hydrating, long-wearing lipstick that lasts for “up to eight hours without fading or feathering,” as well as give lips “continuous hydration” for up to six hours.

I tested out #401, which is an orange-based red and made famous by songstress Rihanna. The lipstick feels like a dream when you first apply it – it’s lightweight, creamy, and the color is fairly opaque. I did find that it feathered/bled a bit when my lips were more on the drier side (a terrible side-effect of getting over a flu!) and less so when my lips were more naturally hydrated. I’d basically say if you have drier lips, you’ll still need a liner to keep your red looking pristine, but if you have lips less prone to feathering, you may be able to skip that step with this formula.

The color does wear well and begins to fade after about five or six hours, or faster if I’m eating/drinking. It’s a long-wearing lipstick formula for sure, but I didn’t find it made it through a meal intact. I was able to drink a bit with minimal fading, though. Like most reds, when it does fade away, it leaves a slight reddish stain behind, which is always nice, because you don’t have to feel like you have to reapply right that very second.

The packaging is sleek and classy – all black with a magnetic clasp (so you’ll hear a “click” when it closes) and a slightly raised logo where the cap and lipstick meet. The price is a bit steeper than other Armani lipsticks (like ArmaniSilk, which is $25), but it does offer stellar color and wear-time.

Bottom Line: I’m definitely going to stop by my Giorgio Armani counter next time I’m at Nordstrom, so I can see if any of the other colors appeal to me. #401 is a bit too orange for my personal preference, so the first shade I want to see in person is #400!

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you like creamy, hydrating lipsticks with full-color pigmentation, Rouge d’Armani may be the one for you!

Availability: Nordstrom

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 photos and swatchesContinue reading →

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009


Guerlain Gemma Le Rouge G de Guerlain Lipstick

Guerlain Gemma Le Rouge G de Guerlain Lipstick ($45.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a dazzling confection of medium pink with a golden glimmer. It applies opaque in one to two layers, and it looks natural yet still more color pop than a my-lips-but-better (MLBB) shade. I’m really a big fan of how smoothly and evenly the Rouge Gs apply, and Gemma is no exception. I think this color is universally flattering, because it’s a nice, neutral medium pink. The gold shimmer adds a little oomph to the color, too. This is a shade you could wear year-round, so this is definitely going to make its way into my everyday lip color stash.

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: This is one of my favorite shades that I’ve seen from the Rouge G lineup — it’s a very pretty in pink shade with just the right amount of shimmer.

Availability: Nordstrom

See lip swatchesContinue reading →

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009


Chanel Aqualumiere Gloss: Canari, Colibri, Hirondelle

Chanel Aqualumiere Gloss ($27.00) will see an addition of three new, limited edition shades as part of Chanel’s Holiday Collection. The shades include Canari, which is a peachy-melon with golden-peach shimmer; Colibri, which is a shimmery champagne with iridescent shimmer; and Hirondelle, which is a medium pink with pink and gold shimmer.

All three Aqualumiere Glosses appearing with the holiday collection are very sheer shades. They pack pretty shimmer, but they don’t add much in the way of color. Canari goes on as a golden shimmer, which is pretty and definitely holiday-esque–I’d probably layer it over a red for a little extra glitz. Colibri makes my lips appear cooler and paler with iridescent silvery white shimmer. It actually reminds me a bit of MAC’s She-Zam Dazzleglass, but with a little more of a pinkish tone to it. Surprisingly, Hirondelle adds the most color to lips, and it appears as a soft, slightly milky pink with pink shimmer.

Aqualumiere Glosses are sheer, ultra glossy, and non-sticky. It comes with a brush-tipped applicator which makes for fairly easy application. I’m easygoing when it comes to gloss applicators – doe foot or brush, it’s all good! They’re not the most long-lasting lipgloss (I certainly wouldn’t dub them long-wearing) – I get about three hours of wear when I layer one on by itself. Over a lipstick, I do get better results (four to five hours overall for the average pairing). I still prefer some of the earlier released shades of Aqualumiere Glosses–I remember being really jazzed over them initially–but these new shades for holiday are a little too sheer for my liking. I’d suggest checking out permanent shades like Candy Glow and Ginger Shimmer instead.

Bottom Line: Aqualumiere Glosses are, by their nature, sheer, so I’m not going to knock a bunch of points off on that account.  These shades just aren’t to my particular taste, but if you like non-sticky, ultra glossy lipgloss, then Aqualumiere Glosses are always a good bet–just as long as you’re in the market for something on the sheerer side.

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re a fan of the feel and texture of Chanel’s Aqualumiere Glosses, you might want to peep the new shades. They’re very much on the sheer side, though!

Availability: October 2009 at CHANEL counters

See lip swatchesContinue reading →

Monday, October 19th, 2009


NYX Jumbo Lipstick Pencils: Hot Red, Hera

NYX Jumbo Lipstick Pencil ($3.50 each) is available in thirty different shades, as listed on the brand’s website, from browns to pinks to reds. I recently tested out two shades: Hot Red and Hera. Hot Red is a vibrant shade of orange-based tomato red, while Hera is a shimmery pink raspberry color.

I found Hot Red to apply quite opaque and has a very solid look to it. Hera, on the other hand, was sheerer and applied unevenly when used as an all-over lip color. Ironically, I didn’t find that the Jumbo Lip Pencils were stellar as lip liners, but they did make for quick and easy lip color. I’m not entirely sure what their official purpose is – is it to line lips and make them look defined? I want to say no, it can’t be, because they’re just too jumbo to work well for that purpose. The size alone makes them more suited for filling in lips entirely than actually providing definition. Plus, it is a Lipstick Pencil, so I think the idea is more of a two-in-one lipstick and liner combination, but it works better as a lipstick.

I found this to be true through trial as well, because neither shade I tested gave me clear, crisp definition. In fact, Hot Red feathered quite a bit, and I’d definitely use a lip liner before applying the pencil itself in the future. Hera didn’t feather as much, but it was decidedly uneven compared to Hot Red as well. I think the shimmer/frost of it makes for a less opaque product. The product itself feels fairly soft and creamy, with Hot Red definitely creamy and Hera only mildly creamy. I do, personally, detect a bit of “plasticness” to the taste/feel of the products, but it’s not really noticeable.

I really wish NYX’s website had a better showcase of color swatches, because the majority of the lip pencils actually look unappealing (seems like a lot of browns/mustards almost!), so I’m not sure if I’ll try additional shades or not. I also didn’t like how messy the pencil itself got when you use it directly – lip color kind of smudges and smears on the pencil edge, so it looks fairly dirty.

Bottom Line: For the price, I don’t think you could go wrong if you were looking for a product to use to create layered lip color. Alone, they didn’t have that precise application needed to really pull it off, but they could certainly be layered or used in conjunction with a lip liner for better definition.

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 10/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: If you’ve been curious about more opaque lip color, NYX Jumbo Lipstick Pencils are an affordable way to try out different shades. For those with naturally defined lips, these are an excellent choice for lip color. Others may want to double-up and use a lip liner for more intense shades like Hot Red.

Availability: NYXCosmetics.com

See additional photos and swatchesContinue reading →

Sunday, October 18th, 2009


Guerlain Gipsy Le Rouge G de Guerlain Lipstick ($45.00 for 0.12 oz.) is like a summer orange-based coral. It has just the slightest hint of pinkness to it to keep it from being overwhelmingly orange, but it still packs quite an orange punch. When I saw it in the tube, I wasn’t sure it would work, since it seems so orange-tastic, but on lips, it’s more subdued and wearable.

It’s like an orange-coral base color with orange-copper shimmer. It applies opaque in about one layer or so, and it wears well through the day (about four or five hours of wear-time). Like all Rouge Gs, the shimmer is fantastic — subtle, soft, but utterly dazzling. I think it’s ruby dust or something fancy like that, but it’s lovely. Personally, I’d love it if there was more pinkk to it, to make it more of a true coral, since orange and I don’t always get along well!

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Not my first choice in the Rouge G shade line-up, but if you like orange-based lipsticks, this shade may be more up your alley than mine.

Availability: Nordstrom

See more photosContinue reading →

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Korres Cherry Lip Kisses ($19.50) is a set of three 0.20 oz. lipglosses (that’s full size!) by Korres for the price of just a little more than one single lipgloss. After trying #52 in Red Pink, I wanted to see how the other shades stacked up and if they were as opaque as that one (which was already a darker gloss).

  • #33 Nude is a semi-sheer peachy-nude with golden copper sparkle. This one was just okay – there’s nothing really special that drives this color. It looks blah on my lips, and it’s the sheerest Korres’ lipgloss I’ve tried. It’s not a bad shade, it’s just not one I’d actively seek out.
  • #25 Natural Purple is a creamy, semi-opaque played down pink with no shimmer. I actually liked this one the most out of the three shades, because it gave me full color, lots of glossiness, and it looked natural. I don’t know why it’s called Natural Purple, but it’s definitely an easy, wearable shade.
  • #54 Fuchsia is a semi-opaque medium fuchsia with softer pink fuchsia sparkle. This one settled a bit into lines and applied streaky, so some care needs to be used to apply it and get a more even look. It’s a fun pop of pink, but I’ve seen this color before.

Korres’ Cherry Full Color Gloss is a moisturizing, non-sticky gloss with a high-shine glossy finish that tends to be more pigmented than the typical gloss. Not all shades are created equal, so some shades are more opaque than others. The gloss has a faint scent of cherry, but it’s hardly noticeable (which may or may not be a good thing for you).

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Availability: Sephora

See swatchesContinue reading →