Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Sneak Peek: MAC Cosmetics In High Def Collection

Launching on September 10th, MAC’s In High Def Collection (see full collection details here) contains several hand-picked products from the existing line as well as some new products that are designed to work well in the high definition environment. There are four new shades of lipstick: Close to Real, High Def, Resolutely Red, and Sharp Focus.

Lipstick ($14.00 U.S. / $16.50 CDN)

  • Close to Real is a pale, frosty peach. Despite having a lustre finish, it doesn’t feel like one to me. It feels much more like a frost lipstick, and it definitely looks like it on the lips. I found this one to seem to grab onto every imperfection on your lips–even after I had exfoliated–it just didn’t look very flattering. The color is really pale, so I’d vote on using this more as a layering shade than standalone.
  • High Def is a creamy, opaque pinky-coral color. It has a slight sheen, but it doesn’t contain any shimmer. On my lips, it doesn’t read very much coral (unfortunately, as MAC lacks corals!), but it’s still pretty. It looks more like my-lips-but-better with a bit more pinky-brown.
  • Resolutely Red is a mostly opaque, lightly creamy shade of reddish-wine. It’s not super bold or bright, so it’s more of a wearable red. It’s not too cool or warm, either, which I definitely like. It has a glossy look to it when applied.

Of the three I tried, none of them really jumped out at me as must-haves. High Def and Resolutely Red are flattering shades, while Close to Real may be more difficult for some to pull off (it is for me, at least!).

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

Recommendation: If you’re a fan of lustre finishes but have always wanted a bit more color… you might like these, because they pack a lot more pigmentation than your average lustre!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics (August 27th)

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Friday, August 21st, 2009


On Display Lipglass

MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection: Lipstick & Lipglass Lip Swatches

As I promised, here are lip swatches for all of the lipsticks and lipglasses released with MAC’s latest collection. I have to say that I don’t like any of the lipsticks on me! I don’t think they’re suitable to my coloring, or else the shades are just too blah. Front Lit is like Bubbles lipstick – lots of shimmer, and it’s one of those shades you use more for layering than to wear alone or to add color (instead, it adds shimmer). The lipglasses were definitely better, but my favorites remain as On Display and New Spirit lipglasses.

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Wednesday, August 19th, 2009


Givenchy Velvet Purple, Glamorous Fuchsia, Lilac Confession, Capricious Pink

Givenchy’s Latest Lip Gloss Launch

Givenchy Gloss Interdit Ultra-Shiny Color Plumping Effect ($24.50 for 0.21 oz.) is a new product launch by Givenchy which features twelve shades of the new lip gloss.  I tried out four of those twelve shades, and I gotta say, I like the new formula!

  • Velvet Purple is a semi-sheer berry-burgundy shade with subtle shimmer and lots of glossy sheen.
  • Glamorous Fuchsia is a semi-opaque, medium bubblegum pink that goes on more creamy in finish and look but still has lots of glossiness.
  • Lilac Confession is a semi-opaque, medium pink laced with lightly cooled lilac with a frosty shimmer finish.
  • Capricious Pink is semi-sheer, light shimmery pinky-beige shade that goes on more sheerly and more of a muted, light pink, which is a bit different compared to the swatch (which is more of a bright pinky-coral).

The gloss does lightly plump up lips, but there is no noticeable burn/tingle that is often associated with lip plumping products.  (Trust me, I am no fan of that lip plumping tingle.)  It’s a medium-thick, non-sticky gloss that can be semi-sheer to more opaque, depending on the shade chosen.  Glamorous Fuchsia and Lilac Confession both had good pigmentation, while Velvet Purple was most certainly noticeable, it still appeared as more of a sheer gloss.  Capricious Pink had the least color pay off of the four, but that is the nature of lighter lip glosses.

I find that these wear for four or five hours with minimal fading, and they don’t leave behind any residue when they do fade away after eating/drinking.  They’re also moisturizing and feel really lovely on your lips–lightweight and not thick or tacky.  They’re a bit pricey relative to other brands’ lipglosses, but the price is right in line with what I’d expect from Givenchy.

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

Recommendation:  Lipgloss lovers will likely enjoy this new formula, and if you want some fuller lips… even better.  The way the gloss looks helps to further amp up your natural lip shape, too.  A wee bit pricey for some, but if it’s within your budget or you feel like splurging… not a bad choice!

Availability: Sephora

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Monday, August 17th, 2009


Korres #52 Red Cherry Lipgloss

Real Lip Gloss Color & Shine with Korres Cherry Full Color Gloss

Korres Cherry Full Color Gloss ($16.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a richly pigmented, glossy lip gloss formula. It is available in thirteen shade varieties from light pinks to beiges to reds.

I tried #52 Red Pink, which is described as a sheer cherry red by Sephora, though I’d completely disagree! It’s more of a semi-opaque, glossy red doused with pink to tone it down and laced with just a smidgen of gold shimmer. The gloss formula is moisturizing, non-sticky, and it has a bit of a cherry scent to it. I wouldn’t call this a particularly long-wearing lipgloss, but I get around three to four hours of wear without the product fading or migrating.

Again, much like Korres’ Eyeshadow pricing, the lipgloss comes in as an affordable high-end brand. For comparison, MAC Lipglass goes for $14.00 for 0.17 oz.; Benefit Lip Gloss goes for $18.00 for 0.17 oz.; Guerlain KissKiss Gloss goes for $29.00 for 0.20 oz.; and Smashbox’s Limitless Long Wear Lip Gloss goes for $21.00 for 0.10 oz. As far as I can tell, Korres Cherry Full Color Gloss comes in as a great budget-friendly way to buy high-end without breaking the bank.

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: If a small but varied range of lipgloss that’s moisturizing and non-sticky is up your alley, check out Korres’ Cherry Full Color Gloss. If you like them sheer, be sure to research the shade or check it out in store to be sure it’s not too pigmented.

Availability: Sephora

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Monday, August 17th, 2009

Korres Guava Lipsticks: Gorgeous, but are they worth it?

Korres Guava Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.06 oz.) is a slim-sized lipstick with carnauba wax, beeswax, and shea to keep your lips hydrated as you wear the lipstick color. It’s currently available in ten different shades ranging from nude to red. I tried #17 Pink and #55 Red.

  • #17 Pink is a shimmery shade of rosy pink with no real shimmer so much as just a silver frosty sheen. It went on fairly pigmented, though I’d describe it as semi-opaque. It was smooth and creamy, and it definitely felt moisturizing on the lips.
  • #55 Red is a semi-opaque shade of vibrant blue-based red with a subtle sheen. This one was a bit more pigmented and intense compared to #17 Pink, but it is also red, so I was expecting a little more pay off with this shade.

I actually really loved the feel of these–very soft and silky. I felt like these wore well, too, and they gave me about four hours of wear with minimal fading. Though they made my lips feel hydrated, they’re not ultra creamy or glossy–I don’t think they’d give chapped lips enough hydration to quench their thirst, but for normal lips, they do quite well.

My biggest complaint was the price of the lipstick, particularly relative to how much product you get. To put it in perspective, a MAC lipstick goes for $14.00 for 0.10 oz.; a Guerlain lipstick goes for $30.00 for 0.12 oz.; Cargo’s PlantLove lipstickgoes for $20.00 for 0.14 oz.; and a Urban Decay lipstick goes for $22.00 for 0.13 oz.

I’d be more comfortable paying $22.00 if I was getting a decent amount of product. Korres’ Mango Butter Lipsticks are $18.00 for 0.12 oz. product, so while the Guava Lipstick may have fancier ingredients, it still felt and looked like a lipstick on me, so the extra $6 for half the product is hard to swallow.  Next time, I’m going to look into their regular lipsticks instead.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: Love pigmented lipsticks? Korres give just the right amount of pigmentation for a nice lip color. The packaging is slim and compact, but the price is not nearly as palatable. At $22 a pop, it’s a bit more than a treat for some. From Korres, I’d expect a price a bit lower (probably around $18) or else double the product. One of the major reasons I love Korres is that they’re an affordable and consistent brand.  The Guava Lipsticks are a great product, but they’re certainly a bit of a splurge!

Availability: Sephora

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Saturday, August 15th, 2009


Cloudaine Elegant Lip Gloss

Kevyn Aucoin: Elegant Lip Gloss

Cloudaine Elegant Lip Gloss ($27.00) is a potted lip gloss that goes on sheerly, but it does provide some color–it’s not really a lip balm, though it looks a bit like one. It has a glossy, lipgloss feel once you’ve broken through the top layer. It does come with a retractable lip brush, which makes the value go up a bit, since I do find the price tag a bit steep for this kind of a product. Cloudaine is a soft, sheer milky pink with multicolored shimmer and a fair amount of glossiness. It’s a very wearable shade–great for everyday. I’m, personally, not a big fan of potted lip balms or glosses, because it requires usage of a brush if you want to avoid bacteria and the ick-factor.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 6/10

Recommendation: If you need a travel-friendly option of lip gloss, consider this solid form of lip gloss. It’s easy to take with you anywhere, and the included retractable brush makes application easy.

Availability: KevynAucoinDirect.com

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