Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Estee Lauder Wild Violet Lipstick
Estee Lauder Wild Violet Lipstick

Estee Lauder Spring 2011: Wild Violet Lipstick

Estee Lauder Wild Violet Pure Color Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a berried dark pink with fuchsia and violet micro-shimmer strewn through the near-opaque color. It has a soft shine in the finish along. It is a new and limited edition shade from Estee Lauder’s spring collection.

my thoughts on the formula: The coverage is excellent, and it feels lightweight despite its pigmentation. It’s also more moisturizing than your average lipstick, which makes it comfortable to wear. I get about five hours of wear with this shade in particular, because it is more pigmented. Estee Lauder’s lipsticks are scented with a lightly sweetened fig but are taste-free to me.

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

final thoughts: Estee Lauder’s Pure Color Lipsticks have a creamy, moisturizing formula with richer, near-opaque shades.  Wild Violet is a beautiful way to wear pink and fuchsia without going for a full-on neon shade.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Monday, January 24th, 2011

NARS Bateau Ivre Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Bateau Ivre Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Spring 2011: Bateau Ivre

NARS Bateau Ivre Eyeshadow Duo ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “rich sky blue” and “deep denim blue” by NARS.  It is a new and limited edition eyeshadow duo from NARS’ Spring Collection (now available).

Bateau Ivre is a combo of a rich periwinkle blue with a satin-matte finish (seems more periwinkle than sky blue to me, though I can see the sky blue reference working) and dark, grayish-cast blue with a matte finish. This is a really beautiful combination of colors; it is also a very pretty way to wear blue in a less neon/vibrant way. These softer, almost muted blues remind me of sailors and boats and cruise ships. The texture of the eyeshadows are both soft and smooth, with the lighter blue shade seemingly more pigmented but both work nicely when applied to the lid.

my thoughts on the formula: NARS Eyeshadow Duos usually contain complementary colors, though sometimes you’ll see a duo and go, “There’s no way!” NARS states that you can use their eyeshadows wet or dry, though. The texutre is soft, smooth, and very blendable, with the colors being nicely pigmented.

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

final thoughts: The classic way to wear this duo would be to use the lighter blue all over the lid with the darker blue in the crease, then highlight with your favorite highlighter. These blues will suit the gamut of skin tones with their slightly muted appearance.

where to buy: NARS

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Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Guerlain D'une Etreinte Eyeshadow
Guerlain D’une Etreinte Eyeshadow

As White as Snow

Guerlain D’une Etreinte (143) Eyeshadow ($36.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a bright snow white; it’s not quite icy–there is some hidden warmth there that keeps it from being cool-toned. It is definitely a near-blinding kind of white, though, with a rich metallic finish. When applied dry, it is still nicely pigmented, but used wet, it seems slightly smoother and the metallic sheen is more visible.

my thoughts on the formula: Guerlain’s eyeshadow texture is phenomenal in their singles–smooth, silky, very buttery. The color is true-to-pan and delivers rich results with little product needed. This particular formula can be used wet or dry, though the color already reaches full intensity used dry. Guerlain’s eyeshadows are massive–over double the average single eyeshadow–and so by the ounce, Guerlain is as expensive ($300/oz.) (or as affordable) as MAC eyeshadows ($290/oz.).

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: This could work really nicely with a smoky eye–think blacks and whites and shades of gray.  It has a beautiful texture:  silky smooth, buttery, and excellent pigmentation.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Estee Lauder Wild Violet Eyeshadow Palette
Estee Lauder Wild Violet Eyeshadow Palette

A Look at Estee Lauder’s New Spring Palette

Estee Lauder Wild Violet Eyeshadow Palette ($42.00 for 0.27 oz.) is a new and limited edition palette just in time for spring. In the past year or two, Estee Lauder has really stepped up their game. I think they’ve been listening to evolving customer demands and have given their texture and themes some facelifts. I could still do with some tweaking of the packaging, but I very much appreciate their foray into color, into real color, and not just washes.

The palette contains five different shades: a soft, pale beige with a frosted champagne shimmer; medium-dark chocolate brown with subtle warm undertones in a shimmer-sheen finish; cool-toned gray-taupe brown with a satin finish; rich, smoldering; deep dark purple with white and blue flecks of shimmer over a matte base; and a brightened metallic copper. I think the shades individually are stunning, but the palette is an excellent composition of warm and cool, rich and luxe. With soft, silky smooth textures and beautiful color pay offs, all five eyeshadows are easy to use.

Do you remember NARS Daphne? There was a shade that swatched terribly but worked beautifully on the eye itself–the matte texture needed the delicate touch of a brush to work–but Estee Lauder gives us this rich, decadent purple that’s so deep and luxurious, like a violet velveteen. Estee Lauder’s violet is deeper and darker, while Daphne has a stronger bluer base and lighter overall look so it appears brighter.

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: I think going with a more neutral palette overall with that pop of violet in the center works well here. There is also a nice mix of cool and warm that it’s workable on both skin tones. One of the best palettes I’ve ever seen by Estee Lauder and an overall stunning palette–period.

WHERE TO BUY: Nordstrom

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Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Guerlain D'une Ondee Eyeshadow
Guerlain D’une Ondee Eyeshadow

Guerlain D’une Ondee Eyeshadow

Guerlain D’une Ondee (186) Eyeshadow ($36.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a mega-sized medium-dark, silvery gray with a frosted finish. When applied wet, it has more of a frosted sheen, but the color is very much the same whether used wet or dry.  Guerlain’s eyeshadow texture is phenomenal in their singles–smooth, silky, very buttery.  The color is true-to-pan and delivers rich results with little product needed.

I bought this the other day when I saw Nordstrom put up three new Guerlain eyeshadows, and the online photo makes it look rather… pewter-esque, and you know me and my pewters. Unfortunately, in real life, it’s just a silver-gray. It’s a nice shade, but it is rather easy to replicate. It does have slight multi-colored micro-shimmer, but I did not see much of an effect when used. Guerlain’s eyeshadows are massive–over double the average single eyeshadow–and so by the ounce, Guerlain is as expensive ($300/oz.) (or as affordable) as MAC eyeshadows ($290/oz.).

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: Even though it’s a shade you may already own, it is still lovely.  I don’t take away points because a product may be duped by another brand or shade, as that element does not take away from the product’s quality.  I have always really liked their single shadows for their silky smooth texture.

WHERE TO BUY: Nordstrom

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Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Guerlain Teint Rose Meteorites Illuminating & Mattifying Pressed Powder
Guerlain Teint Rose Meteorites Illuminating & Mattifying Pressed Powder

Guerlain Meteorites Illuminating & Mattifying Pressed Powder

Guerlain Teint Rose Meteorites Illuminating & Mattifying Pressed Powder ($56.00 for 0.23 oz.) is designed to provide a fine, lightweight all-over powder that helps to minimize imperfections and enhance the natural glow of the complexion. It also sets and mattifies the skin, which makes it one multi-tasking powder.

Upon trying it, I was a bit bothered by the lightness of the compact–it feels like plastic, and from Guerlain, it’s not what I’d expect. It sounds like plastic when I knock on it, which could account for the lack of weight. On the flip side, because it is not metal or metal-esque, it still has that gunmetal look without the accompanying fingerprints. I’m torn: I love the heft of a good luxe compact, but I love that this stays fingerprint-free. The Meteorites Illuminating Pressed Powders actually come in rather different packaging, which also felt plastic, so perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised. The ones prior are shimmering and less flesh-toned as they are enhancing (think highlighters). Those go for $65 a pop but come with 0.35 oz. of product.

I tend to get a touch oily around the t-zone after six to eight hours of wearing full makeup, but I was pleased to see that a sheer layer of Rose Teint did wonders and kept me shine-free for twelve hours. It also illuminates in a very soft, refined way; it’s there but so slight that it really does seem like your skin is naturally radiant and aglow. It has a beautifully silky texture that’s so finely milled that it looks more like a pearly finish than anything else.

The sample I received was in Teint Rose, which is actually the lightest shade and ever-so-slightly pink-tinged (but really, it’s so slight, I could hardly tell), while Teint Beige and Teint Dore are darker, though from what I’ve seen, not by much. On me, it seemed virtually colorless and worked well even though it looks rather pale and light. (I think I may pick up Teint Beige, though, to see what that does for me, as I like this one quite a bit.)

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: It imparts a natural glow that’s impossible to overdo. It’s soft, demure, and perfect for use all over the face or as a subtle highlighter. This acts much like a setting powder and provides very little coverage, as it applies sheer.

WHERE TO BUY: Nordstrom

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