Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Edward Bess Island Blossom Ultra Slick Lipstick
Edward Bess Island Blossom Ultra Slick Lipstick

Edward Bess Island Blossom Ultra Slick Lipstick ($32.00 for 0.13 oz.) is described as a “soft coral.” It’s medium-dark coral-orange with a soft, satiny finish and warm undertones. NARS Lodhi is a shade or so lighter. MAC Style Surge is pinker. Chanel La Ravissante is darker and redder. Dolce & Gabbana Cosmopolitan is darker, redder. MAC Vegas Volt is a smidgen pinker.

The Ultra Slick formula is supposed to be creamy, hydrating, long-wearing, and “[deliver] rich pigment with a satin finish.” Island Blossom is very pigmented–it’s pretty much one-stroke color–that glides on evenly, smoothly, and without tugging on the lips. The consistency is lightly creamy, so it applies easily but doesn’t slide around once applied. It feels lightweight and comfortable to wear, and this particular shade wore for five hours, which is good but a little short of long-wear (based on my averages, which would be closer to six). My lips felt nicely hydrated during and for a couple hours after wear.

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Edward Bess Island Blossom Ultra Slick Lipstick Review, Photos, Swatches

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This will be a nice shade for late spring and summer, as it brightens and adds a lot of warmth to the face. It is a more orange coral, so if you prefer warmer corals, you may really like this shade.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Color Club Over the Moon Nail Lacquer
Color Club Over the Moon Nail Lacquer

Color Club Over the Moon Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is brightened, medium blue with holographic shimmer. Milani Cyberspace was the closest shade I could think of, as it does have holographic shimmer and is blue, but it’s a darker, almost grayish blue in comparison–and has a larger sparkle/shimmer finish overall.

This is a fun polish to play with and do some hand dancing with, because it lightens and darkens as the light hits the nail, along with the holographic shimmer that gets more and less pronounced, depending on the angle and lighting. It has a strong holographic finish, though, that’s noticeable even in low light, so you don’t have to hold your nails at just the right angle under bright sunlight to appreciate it. The coverage was totally opaque in two coats, and the consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin. It was a breeze to apply–no pooling or bubbling, and the polish didn’t accentuate the natural texture of the nails like some holographic polishes can. I usually get a week of wear out of Color Club’s formula with minor tip wear but no chips.

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Over the Moon

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Color Club continues to impress me with their holographic finishes! Over the Moon had excellent pigmentation, great application, and a dazzling holographic effect.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Guerlain Terra Nerolia Tan-Enhancing Bronzer
Guerlain Terra Nerolia Tan-Enhancing Bronzer

Guerlain Terra Nerolia Tan-Enhancing Bronzer ($69.00 for 0.67 oz.) is described as a mix of “shimmering peach, bronze, and gold shades.” The center ring is a warm-toned, peachy orange with a nearly matte finish. NARS Sex Appeal is lighter and pinker. MAC Cream Soda is similar but slightly pinker (not as orange). MAC My Highland Honey is darker and more orange. The outer ring is a medium-dark tan brown with a satiny finish. MAC Double Definition is browner with a stronger sheen. Burberry Summer Glow is very similar. Wet ‘n’ Wild Carnival in Rio is darker.

When I was playing with the product, the gold shimmer seemed like an over-spray, so I dusted it away with a large, fluffy brush, and the majority of it disappeared. There were some residual shimmer particles that remained over the entire surface, but after scraping away some of the bronzer shade later on, it looked nearly matte.

I applied the center color like a blush onto the apples of cheeks, and then I applied the darker, bronzer shade as more of a contour and darkening shade. The center shade had good color payoff, but it’s the kind of color that is going to show up better on fairer complexions than mine–if you mix it as a way to lighten or soften the darker ring of color, the combination would show up on medium skin tones.

The darker color also had good pigmentation, and it can be lightened by mixing it with the center shade. The powder as a whole had a smooth, velvety feel–very finely-milled and blendable without being powdery. Terra Nerolia wore eight hours well on me, and then after nine hours, there was some light fading. This powder is heavily scented with Guerlain’s tiare flower scent (like the Terracotta line), which is a very strong floral fragrance to me. I don’t smell it as much when it is applied, but it wafts from the compact quite noticeably. This is also a huge compact filled with bronzer, so it will last you quite awhile (maybe a lifetime?).

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Guerlain Terra Nerolia Tan-Enhancing Bronzer Review, Photos, Swatches

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If you prefer more natural and matte finishes to your bronzers, you'll like Terra Nerolia's finish, which is mostly matte (especially after a few swipes to remove the over-spray) but not powdery or chalky. Both shades are true-to-pan and have a lovely, silky texture that makes them easy to blend and diffuse on the skin.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

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Monday, April 15th, 2013

NARS Vertebra Nail Lacquer Pair
NARS Vertebra Nail Lacquer Pair

NARS Vertebra Nail Lacquer Pair ($29.00 for 1.0 fl. oz.) is described as a “coral” and “dusty rose.” Each nail lacquer duo comes in a “shoebox” with a NARS dustbag. The individual polishes don’t have names, but one is labeled as “Left” and the other as “Right” (building off the inspiration, which was Pierre Hardy’s spring shoe collection). However, each bottle is a full-sized bottle (0.50 fl. oz.), like regular NARS’ polishes, which retail for $19.00 normally–so the set is priced at $29.00 but has a value of $38.00. I typically get a week of wear out with very minor tip wear and no chipping with NARS’ formula.

Vertebra (Left) is a warm, pink-tinted coral cream. It was opaque in two coats, and I didn’t have any issues during application–no streaking, bubbling, or pooling along the edges. The consistency was nicely balanced so it wasn’t too thick or too thin. Butter London Trout Pout is a smidgen lighter. Essie Tart Deco is lighter. Essie Haute as Hello is similar. China Glaze Pink Plumeria is brighter and pinker.

Vertebra (Right) is a rosy, beige-brown with a cream finish. It applied beautifully with even, opaque color in two coats, and there were no streaks or bubbles in sight. The consistency was just slightly on the thicker side but not in any way that impeded application. Nubar Taffeta is darker. Barielle Cashmere or Loose Me is darker, warmer.

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NARS Vertebra Nail Lacquer Pair Review, Photos, Swatches

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This duo was the best-performing out of the six pairs NARS is launching in the collection. Both shades applied well, had great color payoff, and were easy to work with. The rosy brown had an ever-so-slightly thicker consistency.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Monday, April 15th, 2013

NARS Venemous Nail Lacquer Pair
NARS Venemous Nail Lacquer Pair

NARS Venemous Nail Lacquer Pair ($29.00 for 1.0 fl. oz.) is described as a “gunmetal” and “black.” Each nail lacquer duo comes in a “shoebox” with a NARS dustbag. The individual polishes don’t have names, but one is labeled as “Left” and the other as “Right” (building off the inspiration, which was Pierre Hardy’s spring shoe collection). However, each bottle is a full-sized bottle (0.50 fl. oz.), like regular NARS’ polishes, which retail for $19.00 normally–so the set is priced at $29.00 but has a value of $38.00. I typically get a week of wear out with very minor tip wear and no chipping with NARS’ formula. This duo is exclusive to NARS’ online and its boutiques.

Venemous (Left) is a high-shine, reflective silver metallic that dries down to a semi-matte finish–it’s not glossy shine, but it’s not a flat matte. It was opaque in two coats, and the consistency was thin but not watery. There were some visible brush strokes but a lot of them faded/disappeared as the polish dried down, and the polish leveled out a bit, too. I don’t have an extensive catalog of silvers that I’ve seen, but China Glaze Cheer You has a more textured/shimmery finish.

Venemous (Right) is a blue-based black cream. It was opaque after two coats, and it had a glossy, shiny finish. It really looked like NARS Back Room. MAC Beyond Jealous looked similar in the bottle but has a greener base.  Back Room is one of my favorite black creams, because it’s so rich, easy to apply, and shiny, but you may already have several black creams in your arsenal so it may be too much of a basic to be a must-have.

P.S. — NARS has confirmed that it is called Venemous (with an E, not an O).

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NARS Venemous Nail Lacquer Pair Review, Photos, Swatches

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I thought this duo really worked well together, and in particular, this duo is one I could really see working well to create various nail art. (The others, too, but this one in particular!) If you don't mind a few brush strokes, this would be my top pick.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Monday, April 15th, 2013

NARS Sharplines Nail Lacquer Pair
NARS Sharplines Nail Lacquer Pair

NARS Sharplines Nail Lacquer Pair ($29.00 for 1.0 fl. oz.) is described as a “peach” and “burgundy.” Each nail lacquer duo comes in a “shoebox” with a NARS dustbag. The individual polishes don’t have names, but one is labeled as “Left” and the other as “Right” (building off the inspiration, which was Pierre Hardy’s spring shoe collection). However, each bottle is a full-sized bottle (0.50 fl. oz.), like regular NARS’ polishes, which retail for $19.00 normally–so the set is priced at $29.00 but has a value of $38.00. I typically get a week of wear out with very minor tip wear and no chipping with NARS’ formula.

Sharplines (Left) is a medium peach-orange with warm undertones and a cream finish. It was opaque in two coats, and it was a trouble-free polish–no streaking, pooling, or bubbling. It just applied evenly and smoothly and was easy to apply. MAC Life and Beth is lighter, less orange. Cult Nails Scandalous is darker, more reddish/coral. Chanel June is very similar.

Sharplines (Right) is a deep, dark, blackened burgundy with a cream finish that almost feels and looks like a jelly… but not. It has a thinner consistency, but it wasn’t watery–it just tended to pool a little along the edges if you over-applied (I recommend very thin coats). It is opaque in two coats. This is the kind of color that absolutely makes sense to have somewhere in your stash, but it is one you’ll find in many brands’ ranges. MAC Gadabout Girl is a touch lighter. Urban Decay Wrecked is redder. MAC Purple Majesty is lighter. Zoya Anja is purpler. Rescue Beauty Lounge Drifter is lighter. Zoya Stacy is a little redder.

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NARS Sharplines Nail Lacquer Pair Review, Photos, Swatches

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Both shades performed fairly well, with the peachy/orange shade being excellent, and the blackened burgundy being good but with a slightly watery consistency.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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