Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009


Benefit Lipglosses: Almost Famous, Fresh Squeezed, Zone Out

Benefit Lip Gloss: Review, Photos, Swatches

Benefit Lip Gloss ($18.00 for 0.17 fl. oz.) is available in eight shades from copper to berry to gold. Each is scented with an apricot-lychee scent with a non-sticky, slick-feeling texture. They’re fairly glossy with lots of shimmer.

  • Almost Famous is a sheer rosy-bronze with amber bronze glitter throughout. This one felt a little glittery to me.
  • Fresh Squeezed is a pinky-coral with smoother, more shimmer-esque multicolored shimmer.
  • Zone Out is a sheer nude gloss with golden shimmer to add some sparkle.

These glosses wear about average (four hours), and they don’t dry out lips but don’t feel extra hydrating either. I like them, but I don’t love them. Both Fresh Squeezed and Zone Out felt nice on my lips, but Almost Famous has a gritty glittery texture that I didn’t appreciate. (Luckily, neither Fresh Squeezed or Zone Out felt like that!)

These lip glosses are slightly pricier (by the ounce) compared to Make Up For Ever and NARS, but they’re a better value than Dior and Chanel. At $18, I’d probably opt for a NARS gloss instead (though these smell much, much better).

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: If you sheer, shimmery lipgloss, you may want to snoop at the Benefit counter for these!

Availability: Benefit

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Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009


Benefit Lipsticks: Fame Game, Label Lover, No Competition, Breakup Rumor

Benefit Full Finish Lipsticks: Review, Photos, Swatches

Benefit Full Finish Lipstick ($18.00 for .10 oz.) are slim lipsticks available in fourteen different shades and two finishes (cream and pearl). Today, let’s look at four shades — Fame Game, Label Lover, No Competition, Breakup Rumor.

  • Fame Game is a soft frosty pink with silvery-white shimmer. It’s opaque and has a pearl finish.
  • Label Lover is a bronzy, russet rose kind of color with a gold-bronze shimmer and pearl finish. It goes on semi-opaque on lips.
  • No Competition is a creamy, opaque muted berry that is dark and bold, but not overly so.
  • Breakup Rumor is a shimming rosy plum with gold and rose shimmer and pearl finish. It applies mostly opaque on lips.

Benefit’s Full Finish Lipsticks are mostly opaque to opaque in color, feel creamy, and don’t leave lips dried out while you’re wearing them. They wear well (I get about six hours of wear-time with minimal drinking/light eating), too, which is always a plus. I love the shade range Benefit has, because I feel like they offer a good mix of shades that flatter many skin tones. Their pearl finishes aren’t drying in the least, as some frost-finish lipsticks often can be. I love all four of these shades, though I love the way Breakup Rumor shimmers.

The packaging is slim and compact, and it looks sleek in an all slightly shiny all-black case with Benefit’s logo wrapping around it in white. The value is so-so; it comes in as slightly more expensive (by the ounce) than Urban Decay and MAC, but it’s still less than brands like NARS and Dior.

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: If you love more opaque lip colors, these lipsticks are a great place to start your search!

Availability: Benefit

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Monday, September 21st, 2009


MAC Blackware Glimmerglass, Bling Black Glimmerglass, Blackfire Glimmerglass

MAC Style Black: Glimmerglass Review, Swatches, Lip Swatches

MAC Style Black is a deep, dark collection with the rich tones of black as inspiration.  MAC introduces a new lipgloss formula, Glimmerglass, and launches three shades:  Blackware, Bling Black, and Blackfire.

Glimmerglass

  • Blackware is a sheer gray-black tinged gloss.  It is a creamy finish with no real shimmer.
  • Bling Black is a sheer black that casts a little green from the gold-green-olive shimmer.
  • Blackfire is a sheer black that casts slightly burgundy, which probably comes from the burgundy-red shimmer.

All three shades are incredibly sheer and not even close to being opaque.  The only way to get something more than sheer is to layer with a base lip color or to really slather on the gloss (which doesn’t work well either).  It’s a thick, jelly-textured lipgloss with a non-sticky feel.  These feel thicker than cremesheen glass and nowhere near as gritty as dazzleglass.  I liked Bling Black the most, because I felt like the green-gold cast was different and fun to see.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 9/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation:  Gloss fiends will likely enjoy this non-sticky new gloss from MAC.  They’re not the best in value relative to other MAC glosses, but they’re not out of line with other competing brands.

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

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Monday, September 21st, 2009


MAC Midnight Media Mattene

MAC Style Black: Lipstick/Mattene Review, Swatches, Lip Swatches

MAC Style Black is a deep, dark collection with the rich tones of black as inspiration.  Included in the launch that’ll hit stores on the 24th are two mattenes, Midnight Media and Night Violet, as well as one lipstick in Black Knight.

Mattenes

  • Midnight Media is a near-black, creamy semi-matte lip color that goes on semi-opaque.  It’s a red-toned or burgundy-toned black.  It appears mostly black on lips, but there’s a bit of a burgundy punch that keeps it from going monotone.  I don’t recommend applying this without a lip brush — it is not forgiving!  (My lip swatch is evidence of thus.)
  • Night Violet is a burgundy-wine shade with a creamy, semi-matte finish and goes on mostly opaque.  It doesn’t bleed nearly as much as Midnight Media and is much more forgiving when you apply it directly from the tube.

Lipstick

  • Black Knight is a slightly creamy, monotone black with a glossy sheen.  It’s a cremesheen finish, which can be drying at times, but this one didn’t feel that way to me.  I had a terrible time getting this to apply even remotely evenly.  Up close (as in the lip swatch), every flaw is enhanced.  I assure you it looked relatively even in the mirror.   I’d probably pass on this and just use Bat CCB on my lips (but I gotta double-check the safety on that).

Out of the three, Night Violet is the most wearable, and then Midnight Media is more wearable than Black Knight, because it has that reddish tone to it.  I don’t personally love any of the three, but I do like Night Violet enough to own.  If you don’t have any black lipstick, Midnight Media isn’t a bad way to go.

  • Product: 7/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: If you love yourself dark and vampy lip color… this is for you!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

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Thursday, September 17th, 2009

MAC Lipglasses:  Runway Fave, New Berry, So This Season

MAC Trend F/W ’09 Collection Review: Lipglasses

MAC Trend F/W Collection launches in-store today across North America locations, and the collection includes four lipsticks, three lipglasses, an eyeshadow quad, and a fragrance.

Lipglass

  • Runway Fave is a creamy nude with gold and pink shimmer that goes on semi-opaque but still sheer enough that your natural lip color will pop through. It’s pretty, but it’s probably a shade you have something similar to already.
  • New Berry is a darker berry with just a touch of burgundy to it that looks lovely and very holiday. It would pair well with Hipster lipstick for sure. It does have a tendency to settle into the lines of your lips, but I find that it’s not really noticeable in-person so much as it is when in photos that are magnified! I like that it’s fairly opaque–not solid to be sure–but opaque enough that it gives me plenty of color.
  • So This Season is a red-based purple shade that looks more intimidating in the tube than on. It is definitely a darker shade and casts purple, though. For those who want to try a vampy lip, I actually think this might be one way to go, because it’s sheerer and softer than many purple lipsticks that have come out for fall. Like New Berry, this one can settle into lines on your lips, but again, in person, the effect is not so noticeable.

I liked the lipglasses more than the lipsticks this time around! I felt like all three lipglasses were pretty and wearable, but they also are perfect shades for the fall season. I also appreciated how pigmented they were, even Runway Fave, because I tire of sheer glosses easily. New Berry may not be a must for those who already have indulged in red and berry glosses before, but it’s a nice, non-shimmery shade.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: I think So This Season is a must, just because it’s different and fun. The other two are nice, but not as necessary!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

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Thursday, September 17th, 2009

MAC Lipsticks: Hipster, Red Full Stop, Faultlessly F/W, Our Pick

MAC Trend F/W ’09 Collection Review: Lipsticks

MAC Trend F/W Collection launches in-store today across North America locations, and the collection includes four lipsticks, three lipglasses, an eyeshadow quad, and a fragrance.

Lipstick

  • Hipster is a burgundy-berry with a hint of red shimmer laced through it that comes off as very holiday-esque. It is a frost finish lipstick, and it has been out previously (though I didn’t have it). It applies fairly evenly (though not super creamy–felt a little dry) and goes on opaque. This is kind of the same family as Odyssey.
  • Red Full-Stop is a glossy coral-pink with no shimmer but lots of shine. It is a lustre finish, but it is one of the most opaque lustre lipsticks I’ve ever seen. This shade reminded me of Fusion (PRO) or Eager (which may run a little pinker).
  • Faultlessly F/W is a deep, dark purple berry with cool-tones and just a pinch of red in the undertones. It has an amplified creme finish, and it applies opaque. It should be worn with a lip liner, as the creaminess tends to make this one have a propensity to bleed. It’s similar to Cyber, though not the same (but I haven’t swatched Cyber in awhile).
  • Our Pick is a light coffee brown shade with a creamy texture, no real shimmer, and a satin finish. This is not a shade I can wear alone, and even mixed with others, requires some planning and experimenting. I’d say this is in the family of Spirit and Mocha, but it feels a bit cool.

While none of the colors struck me as immediate, must-have colors for my fall makeup wardrobe, all four were different enough from previous launches and had good color pay off — even the lustre. I think Fautlessly F/W is an interesting shade, but it is also a shade that requires confidence to pull off; it’s very, very vampy and dark and everything the fall trend of dark lips is. Hipster would make a lovely holiday lip, and I could see it being even lovelier when layered with a red shimmered gloss to help bring out the redness in it.

Red Full-Stop is like a toned-down version of Fusion (PRO) or Eager. I thought Eager was permanent, but after checking, looks like it’s not. See Sheer or Vegas Volt are both similar, but they both run a bit more orange. Our Pick just looks terrible on me–it’s like a darker concealer on my lips–but layered with other shades, it’s more wearable, but not a favorite for me. I am sure it will work well on others, though!

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: None are really must-haves in my book; I think Hipster makes a greaty holiday shade, and I like the coral tone of Red Full-Stop (why call it red?) the most out of the four.

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

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