Friday, June 22nd, 2012

NARS Albatross Highlighting Blush
NARS Albatross Highlighting Blush

NARS Albatross Highlighting Blush

NARS Albatross Highlighting Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “sheer, light golden sheen.” The base color is a a pale, almost cool-toned ivory and then it has a healthy dose of light-medim gold shimmer-sheen. MAC Lightscapade doesn’t have as strong of a golden sheen, and it has a slightly pinker base color. MAC Chez Chez Lame is more golden and beige. MAC Too Chic is more beige and uniform. theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer is much more golden.

I swear, I thought I reviewed this product previously, but I couldn’t find one! I’m in the process of reviewing all of NARS’ permanent blushes (including re-reviewing some shades), and Albatross is the first one up. It’s part of the Highlighting Blush series, which are blushes designed to illuminate the skin rather than add lots of color. This shade has won numerous distincts, even winning awards in Temptalia’s Readers’ Choice Awards over the years, for its highlighting prowess.

On my skin tone (about medium in color with warmer, yellower undertones), Albatross isn’t the most flattering on its own–that cooler ivory base color gives me a washed out look. On the flip side, cooler skin tones from light to medium could wear this alone and have it be much more flattering. When it’s paired with another blusher, it is more flattering across a greater number of skin tones, because that lighter base color mixes with your blush color, so it doesn’t look as pale or as cool-toned.

There’s a nice balance of glow and sheen without emphasizing pores and the natural texture of the skin.  The way it reflects gives it a very creamy, luminous look–definitely more along the lines of a sheen than a frosted or shimmery look.  It can be used as a barely-there highlighter or more intensely, depending on whether you’re going for a low-key cheek or wearing it alone.  When I wore Albatross to test out the wear, it managed seven and a half hours of excellent wear and looked a bit faded after eight and a half hours.

The texture is soft and silky without being too dense or dry–you don’t have excess powder being kicked up when you go to use it, but you don’t have to stab at it to get enough product onto your brush.  I like using a small stippling brush to apply it lightly, or a small, tapered face brush for a more concentrated application.

The Glossover

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Albatross

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Cooler skin tones from light to medium could wear this alone and have it be very flattering. When it's paired with another blusher, it is more flattering across a greater number of skin tones, because that lighter base color mixes with your blush color, so it doesn't look as pale or as cool-toned.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Bobbi Brown Black Ruby High Shimmer Lipgloss
Bobbi Brown Black Ruby High Shimmer Lipgloss

Bobbi Brown Black Ruby High Shimmer Lipgloss ($23.00 for 0.24 fl. oz.) is described as a “crimson with gold pearl.” It’s a semi-opaque, vibrant ruby red base with gold shimmer. Chanel Triomphal is more opaque and has pink shimmer. MAC Sonoran Rain is warmer. MAC Driven by Love is rdder, less sparkly. YSL Golden Red is warmer.  I can’t wait to wear this during the holidays–I can be very traditional sometimes, and in the case of the holidays, I love a red lip with gold shimmer).  I love how the red is a deeper kind of red–it’s not a bright, cherry red, and it’s not strongly blue-based, yet it isn’t orange-based, either. It’s just barely cool-toned, with a berry/wine kind of pull, and it can be harder to find gold-shimmered reds that aren’t orange-based.

For a gloss that’s not quite opaque and this dark, it applied rather evenly–you don’t notice any unevenness at a normal viewing distance, just in the up-close and personal lip photos (which are, of course, larger than life).  I really can’t say it enough: these are my favorite glosses.  At the moment, I have three or four of them in my purse (I just came back from traveling).  When I went down to Irvine, CA for my sister’s graduation last weekend, I didn’t even bother pulling lipsticks for the trip–I knew I’d just wear these.  More often than not, if I’m not testing something, I’m probably wearing this formula.

It’s comfortable to wear, moisturizing, has the loveliest sparkle, and they wear well on me.  With Black Ruby, it lasted for four and a half hours.  The texture isn’t too thick or too thin, non-sticky, and have a mint-scented.  They come in black-capped clear tubes with a doe-foot applicator.

The Glossover

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Black Ruby

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I love how the red is a deeper kind of red--it's not a bright, cherry red, and it's not strongly blue-based, yet it isn't orange-based, either. It's just barely cool-toned, with a berry/wine kind of pull, and it can be harder to find gold-shimmered reds that aren't orange-based.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Tom Ford Violet Fatale Lip Color
Tom Ford Violet Fatale Lip Color

Tom Ford Violet Fatale Lip Color ($48.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a semi-opaque fuchsia-shimmered deep raspberry red. It has a natural glossy shine. Revlon Raspberry Pie is redder, less pink, no fuchsia shimmer. NARS Carthage is brighter, pinker. MAC Quite the Thing! is very similar, glossier. NYX Chloe has a fuchsia sheen rather than a shimmer. While the name isn’t much to go off, and one should never really trust a name to be descriptive, I wouldn’t classify this as a violet; this is more of a berry shade overall.

The formula on Violet Fatale is a little different compared to a lot of the other shades I’ve tried by Tom Ford; it has fine shimmer, a thinner consistency, and the finish isn’t the typical creamy, semi-matte finish that much of the range embodies. It’s nice to see something different, though I’m still finding the shade to be more dupeable than not. At this price point, it’s hard to justify a color you’ve seen half a dozen times, you know? The quality of the product is there–it’s long-wearing with six hours of wear, moisturizing (actually, more hydrating than a lot of other shades I’ve tried by the brand), and comfortable to wear.  It has a lightly sweetened vanilla scent (similar to MAC’s) but no taste. The lipstick is housed in a brown and gold, square-shaped tube with the logo carved into the slant of the bullet.

The Glossover

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Violet Fatale

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I'm still finding the shade to be more dupeable than not. At this price point, it's hard to justify a color you've seen half a dozen times, you know? The quality of the product is there, though--so if you're comfortable with the price point, it's certainly worth a look.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

MAC Ruffian Gold Lipstick
MAC Ruffian Gold Lipstick

MAC & Ruffian: Lipsticks

MAC and Ruffian have teamed up to launch an online-only collection that features three sets of glue-on nails (to be shown shortly) and three lipsticks: Ruffian Gold (gold glitter metallic), Ruffian Naked (pale peachy nude), and Ruffian Red (classic rich blue red). The collection is available online now. Each lipstick is housed in traditional MAC packaging–a matte black tube with a rounded cap–and has the same vanilla-scent as other MAC lipsticks. Each of these is $14.50.

  • Ruffian Gold is a semi-sheer sparkling bronzy gold. It’s mostly gold and more molten gold micro-glitter suspended in a sheer color base. This has a frost finish. MAC Liquid Lurex is more multi-colored. MAC Front Lit is paler and more opaque. Dior Or Etoile is similar but lighter. MAC Tanarama is lighter. MAC Gel is fairly similar applied, though it is more bronze. I would recommend layering this over a red lipstick (and I have an upcoming post with it over Ruffian Red–stay tuned).
  • Ruffian Naked is a rosy beige with a creamy texture. This has a matte finish, though it felt more like a satin to me. I didn’t see much peach in this; it kept looking pink on me. It’s similar to MAC Myth, perhaps slightly lighter. MAC Innocence, Beware! is pinker. MAC Fleshpot is a touch lighter.
  • Ruffian Red is a just slightly blue-based medium-dark red with a fair amount of brightness. This has a matte finish. I swear, on me, this reads almost neutral to warm, even though it’s described as a blue-based lipstick. MAC Russian Red is darker, deeper. MAC Red Racer is a little brighter. Maybelline Very Cherry is bluer. MAC Ruby Woo is slightly darker and bluer-based. Giorgio Armani #404 is similar but shimmery. Make Up For Ever #43 seems fairly close. Guerlain Garconne is darker.

I didn’t have any problems with the three shades.  They applied as they should–Ruffian Gold didn’t feel too gritty and the glitter spread evenly for the most part, while Ruffian Naked and Ruffian Red had just enough creaminess to glide easily across the lips to deposit rich, opaque color. Ruffian Naked is slightly creamier than Ruffian Red.  I typically get four hours of wear with MAC’s lipsticks, and a shade like Ruffian Red would wear longer (as most reds do), around six to eight hours. Ruffian Red did stain my arm after only being on it for 10-15 minutes (as did Russian Red and Ruby Woo).

The Glossover

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MAC & Ruffian: Lipsticks Review, Photos, Swatches

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All three have a few potential dupes from previous launches, so you may not find any of these essential. They're good products, and the red is very classic. The nude shade may be too pale for some--if you like shades like Myth and Fleshpot, it'll be right up your alley!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Cult Nails Feelin' Froggy Nail Lacquer
Cult Nails Feelin’ Froggy Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Feelin’ Froggy Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is medium-dark green green with subtle yellow undertones and emerald green shimmer. I think this might look more emerald green against those with cooler undertones (my yellow undertones seem to bring out the subtle yellow undertones in the polish). I love that I don’t have anything that’s close to this shade! There’s a soft, muted quality to it that is missing from possible dupes. Sinful Colors HD Nails is brighter, more yellow-toned. China Glaze Starboard is a grassy green and has a cream finish–same with Essie Pretty Edgy.

It was opaque after two coats, and it was easy to apply.  I thought it was going to be slightly sheer, because the initial coat was fairly sheer, but it builds well.  The consistency was a good balance of thickness/thinness (though I’d say it’s on the thinner side), so it was a cinch to apply and guide the polish across the nail bed without having it pool along the sides.  There seems to be very faint brush strokes that only appear under really bright light (like flash photography), which I didn’t notice at all when wearing it.  Typically, I get a full week or longer of wear with Cult Nails’ polish with no chipping and very minimal tip wear.

The Glossover

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Feelin' Froggy

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I think this might look more emerald green against those with cooler undertones (my yellow undertones seem to bring out the subtle yellow undertones in the polish). If you find a lot of greens are too warm on you, but you'd like something a little more summery, this seems to have a good balance!

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Sunday, June 17th, 2012

Le Metier de Beaute Paris Colour Core Moisture Stain Lipstick
Le Metier de Beaute Paris Colour Core Moisture Stain Lipstick

Le Metier de Beaute Paris Colour Core Moisture Stain Lipstick

Le Metier de Beaute Paris Colour Core Moisture Stain Lipstick ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is an opaque magenta-fuchsia with a cream finish. It has the barest of a sheen, which does wear away after a couple of hours and results in a more matte finish. MAC Zen Rose is similar, glossier. Shiseido Fuchsia RS 320 is comparable, slightly purpler. MAC Pink Pigeon is brighter, pinker. MAC Love Forever is purpler. MAC Something New is pinker. NARS Schiap is pinker, slightly brighter.

The Colour Core Moisture Stain is designed to be both a lip stain and lipstick with full color coverage and a moisturizing formula. It’s also supposed to be long-wearing without bleeding or feathering. The texture is soft, barely creamy, but somehow still manages to glide across lips easily and deposits opaque color with little product.  Paris wore for six and a half hours, and there was a residual stain that lingered noticeably for another hour after that. My lips felt hydrated both during and after wear.

I also want to note something I’ve found common with these lipsticks: more often than not, the tip of the lipstick is slightly smooshed upon arrival. It might be an overfilling problem that occurs during manufacturing, but it’s not just one but more like every other one where this problem occurs.

The Glossover

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Paris

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It's a darker pink that still retains a lot of brightness--but it's not neon or electric--and there's some magenta, but not so much that it turns purple. It's a great pick for summer, and the formula is moisturizing and long-wearing, just as advertised!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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