Friday, May 11th, 2012

NYX Be Jeweled Nail Lacquer
NYX Be Jeweled Nail Lacquer

NYX Be Jeweled Nail Lacquer

NYX Be Jeweled Nail Lacquer ($4.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a blue-teal with teal and gold sparkle that shifts from green to gold. Wet ‘n’ Wild Teal or No Teal is similar in the base color but doesn’t have the same sparkle. ORLY Haley’s Comet is darker, more densely packed with glitter. NYX Paradise has a similar duochrome, but the color is more metallic. Zoya Charla is also similar but is a bit darker and doesn’t seem to shift quite as much.

I fell in love with this color the very first time I used it (which was actually, for once, not for swatches but as a manicure color as I was heading on a trip). I love that it’s very nearly opaque after two coats (there is the slightest hint of visible nail line at certain angles).  It really sparkles in a lovely way that’s hard to capture in a still photo, so if you have the opportunity to see it in person, it’s not to be missed!  The consistency was on the thicker side but not too thick and didn’t impede application.  The glitter distributes evenly overall, but you may need to do a couple of pushes with the brush around the edges. When I wore this on my trip, it lasted a full week with no chips and minor tip wear.  NYX’s bottle design is very similar to Deborah Lippmann’s, except the handle is shiny plastic.

The Glossover

coming-soon

NYX Be Jeweled Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
It really sparkles in a lovely way that's hard to capture in a still photo, so if you have the opportunity to see it in person, it's not to be missed! For a glitter, it has great color coverage, though it isn't fully opaque after two coats.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

NARS Falbala Lipstick
NARS Falbala Lipstick

NARS Falbala Lipstick

NARS Falbala Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “shimmering rose.” It’s a a berry-rose with gold shimmer. MAC Offshoot is more plum. Chanel Bel Ami is redder. MAC Oh Oh Oh is a little more plum. MAC Fun Bathing is a little darker with a more golden sheen. Clarins Blackberry is more plum. Chanel Impertinente is browner. Bobbi Brown Plumberry is redder. Chanel Etole is a little darker. Guerlain Gracia is a bit lighter.

It’s part of the Sheer lipstick family, so it’s designed to be “sheer, long-lasting” with a “sophisticated shine” and contains hydrating ingredients. It’s more semi-opaque than sheer, but there is a distinguishable translucency where you can see the natural lip color coming through. There’s also a glossy sheen in the finish. Falbala actually reminds me of a sheerer, more muted version of NARS Christina.

I really like NARS’ line of Sheer Lipsticks, though they tend to be more semi-sheer to semi-opaque than sheer.  They have this really great lightweight feel that’s comfortable to wear, and they look almost like a stain–they sit very naturally against the lips.  It’s scent- and taste-free–good news for those more sensitive to scents and tastes!  Falbala wears just over five hours, while the glossy sheen does fade away after three to four hours.  The only downside is that it’s not moisturizing (and it’s supposed to be), though it is not drying.

The Glossover

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Falbala

A-
I really like NARS' line of Sheer Lipsticks, though they tend to be more semi-sheer to semi-opaque than sheer.  They have this really great lightweight feel that's comfortable to wear, and they look almost like a stain--they sit very naturally against the lips.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Milani Pitch Black Powder Eyeshadow
Milani Pitch Black Powder Eyeshadow

Milani Pitch Black Powder Eyeshadow

Milani Pitch Black Powder Eyeshadow ($4.49 for 0.11 oz.) is an intense dark black with a matte finish–though there appears to be a very, very faint sheen, it doesn’t translate on the lid or from afar. It also seems to have very subtle blue undertones (rather than brown), but it’s hard to tell–it’s that close to neutral. Urban Decay Blackout is just slightly richer. Tarina Tarantino Lovely is a little softer. Guerlain Les Ombres de Nuit is similar. Inglot #391 is not quite as dark.

The formula is supposed to be “super pigmented, easily blendable, creaseproof, [and] silk-like.”  This is the second shade I’ve tried from the line-up, and I’m not disappointed.  I think the texture is a little drier than Shocking Pink, but it’s very intense and pigmented.  It’s soft, finely-milled, and doesn’t look chalky when applied.  It blends out fairly easily, though it could be just a little softer and denser.  The good news is that it’s not powdery, so you don’t end up with lots of excess product underneath your lid during application as you might with a more powdery formula.  This particular shade is closer in texture to MAC’s mattes, but it’s not quite as dry.  When I trialed Pitch Black on the bare lid, it wore for eight hours with some slight fading around the edges but no creasing.

It will be available exclusively at select CVS stores this May. I’ve linked to Milani’s website for the time being, as it’s a good starting point for tracking down where Milani is sold near you.  These are packaged in a clear-cover plastic compact and contain over double the amount of product as the average eyeshadow (0.11 oz. vs. 0.05 oz.).

The Glossover

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product

Pitch Black

A-
It's definitely one of the better budget-friendly blacks--I love that it doesn't have a super dry, chalky texture, and it actually goes on as intense as it looks in the pan.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Monday, May 7th, 2012

Cle de Peau #2 Lipgloss
Cle de Peau #2 Lipgloss

Cle de Peau #2 Lipgloss Review, Photos, Swatches

One question I regularly receive about products (and not just luxury priced products) is, “Is it worth it?” This is also iterated in other ways, like: 1) “Do I need this?” 2) “Should I save up for this?” and 3) “Should I buy the original or the cheaper dupe?” Sometimes someone will want to be convinced to buy something, other times someone will want to be reminded that it’s totally dupeable or below-the-bar in quality. The problem with these questions is it’s really, really hard for me to tell you if a product is worth it to you or not. It’s undeniably subjective and completely based upon your budget and personal preferences!

I thought maybe it would be a good reference post going forward whenever I review a more expensive product, because “worth” and “value” are measured differently by each of us. Some of us prefer to look at how much you’re getting for the price, others look purely at the price tag because they never expect to go through a product, and others look at price per use (because you expect to use it up). I’m more in the camp of the last one–if you are only going to wear a product once or twice before moving onto something else, there’s absolutely no reason to save up for it. If you’re going to use it everyday for months, then maybe it’s worth saving up for.

From time to time, I re-review one of my all-time favorite products (and thankfully, it’s permanent!) that I continue to love each and every time I wear as much as I did the first time (and I’m often motivated to do a more thorough job reviewing the product each time and with better photos!). There are a few reasons why I love it, but they’re all personal reasons and justifications. I just re-purchased it from Saks a week or so ago.

Cle de Peau #2 Lipgloss ($48.00 for 0.21 fl. oz.) is a peach and gold shimmered peach-pink with a nearly metallic finish. It’s semi-opaque in coverage–there is a lot of shimmer in it, while the base color itself is fairly close to my natural lip color (warmer and pinker). Le Metier de Beaute Papaya Creme is the closest dupe to this shade, and it has a slightly darker color base (less pink, a little more coral), but it has a very similar shimmer component that gives off the same metallic-like finish. MAC Nymphette is sheerer, more golden (less peach), and doesn’t have nearly as much shimmer–but it is a gorgeous shade and similarly flattering. Benefit I’m With the Band is pinker, less peach, almost gold-copper in shimmer. Chanel Pin-Up is similar but has less shimmer. NARS Orgasm is also similar but lacks the heavy shimmer finish. NP Set Mauritius is milkier and a little less peach.

First and foremost, I’m absolutely in love with the color. It’s warm, peach, and gold; all shades that flatter my particular skin tone and overall coloring. It’s not sheer, but it’s not totally opaque, so it can be layered with other lipsticks but also wore on its own (I usually wear it on its own). There are, however, as you can see from above, numerous shades that are similar to this one–and for most, I suspect, similar enough to opt for a version that’s half or even a third of the price of this one. The only thing that really makes it slightly different is how much shimmer is in the gloss, and the resulting more metallic-like finish (which Papaya Creme also has but the base color is a wee different, though not by much–and still $12 cheaper).

The texture is lightweight and comfortable to wear without being too thin or too thick; it doesn’t slip around once applied, but it doesn’t cling. It’s non-sticky, and there was no discernible scent or taste. I love that it wears five to six hours on me, and it fades evenly and none of the shimmer (and there’s a lot of it!) travels while it’s worn. The formula is moisturizing and never leaves my lips feeling dehydrated, even after wearing it all day.  It’s not my favorite gloss formula of all time, but it’s a really good one (though I haven’t tried many other shades beyond #2–I can’t even remember trying another shade on).  If it was a poorly made gloss with a stellar color, I would probably end up moving to a dupe with a better formula and only keep my original tube as nostalgia.

I imagine part of the love for this particular gloss is attached to memories; my first luxury cosmetic purchase, which was part souvenir (at my first Barney’s, which was in Vegas) and part reward, and one of those products that has endured over time. It doesn’t matter if others think it’s a waste of money or hate the color or don’t think it’s worth that much–my enjoyment is not dependent on others loving it.  Every time I apply this gloss, I smile. My spirits rise.  I get a little giddy.  I remember the very moment I swatched this and saw the crazy peach-gold duochrome and fell in love and indulged.

One thing that you’ll notice is I’m careful about saying what is and isn’t my favorite. There are lots of products I like and even love, but there are less products I consider true favorites–ones I go back to, ones I would repurchase, ones that I would use over and over again if I was a normal consumer.  So when I say something is my favorite, I say it with feeling.

There are a handful of lip products that I always reach for when I travel, this being one of them (others include Chanel Dragon–my power red–and a Guerlain Rouge G, which usually fluctuates between Garconne, Gems, and Ginny at the moment). This also has a permanent home in my purse (along with Jack Black Lip Balm), and if I don’t have a product I’m testing along with me and the product I was originally testing has worn off, I reach for this.

Is there a beauty product that holds a special place in your heart?

The Glossover

coming-soon

The Million Dollar "Is it worth it?" Question

A-
It's my favorite gloss for a few reasons, and it's a good gloss overall--it's not the best gloss formula of all time. What sold me originally was the color, and what keeps me sold is the total package plus the back story and the "meaning" of the gloss to me. There are several dupes worth considering at a more wallet-friendly price, though!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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Sunday, May 6th, 2012

Chanel Calypso Glossimer
Chanel Calypso Glossimer

Chanel Calypso Glossimer

Chanel Calypso Glossimer ($29.50 for 0.19 oz.) is a medium-dark burnt tangerine with soft gold shimmer. MAC Caqui is a bit redder and much more opaque, so it also looks more intense. MAC Knockout is darker, more vibrant, and redder. MAC Dare to Wear is more shimmery and a little lighter. Lancome Cherrywood Luxe is redder.

Calypso is semi-opaque and applies fairly evenly without settling into lip lines too noticeably.  It has a healthy glossy shine, and it wears for four and a half hours.  Chanel’s signature gloss formula is supposed to deliver shimmer and “high-shine glow” with shades that range from “sheer and natural” to “sparkling and rich.” The formula is supposed to be both comfortable and long-wearing.  The formula is moderately hydrating, and the texture isn’t too thin or too thick, lightweight, and comfortable to wear.

The Glossover

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product

Calypso

A-
This is one of Chanel's better Glossimers in the past six month! It has a great balance between glossiness, shimmer, and color. It's hard to find this particular shade of orange without strong red undertones.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, May 4th, 2012

Revlon Papaya ColorBurst Lipgloss Lip Shine
Revlon Papaya ColorBurst Lipgloss Lip Shine

Revlon Papaya ColorBurst Lipgloss Lip Shine

Revlon Papaya ColorBurst Lipgloss Lip Shine ($7.49 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is a semi-opaque coral-orange with soft white and gold micro-shimmer and a high-shine glossy finish. MAC Star Quality came to mind, because of its vibrancy, but it’s very pink in comparison. MAC Whoops! is much darker. It’s a lot like Hourglass Nectar, which doesn’t have any shimmer and is a touch more opaque (but doesn’t apply as evenly). MAC Exxxhibitionist differs a lot in texture, but the color is just a bit lighter. MAC Viva Glam Cyndi is less vibrant and slightly pinker. MAC Double Dare is redder.

This formula is described as giving “weightless color with vivid, mirror-like shine” with “rich color with a weightless feel” and contains “moisturizers and anti-oxdants such as sweet almond oil and vitamin E.” The pigmentation is lovely with this shade–not quite opaque but gives a lot of coverage for a gloss and doesn’t look or feel heavy (as really opaque glosses can sometimes look and feel). The thin, non-sticky lightweight texture makes it comfortable to wear and slightly moisturizing. Papaya wore for four hours when I tested it.

It comes with a paddle-shaped applicator, which is a little large and long, so I could see it being more difficult to use on thinner lips. On my lips, it was fine, but I do have fuller lips and it more than covered mine. This is scented with sweetened vanilla, but for whatever reason, the scent disappears after a month or two once I’ve opened it.

The Glossover

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product

Papaya

A-
Papaya has good pigmentation, even application, and a lightweight texture that feels comfortable to wear. If you're looking for a budget-friendly coral gloss, this is definitely one to start with!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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