Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Make Up For Ever #44 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick
Make Up For Ever #44 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick

More Scarlet Hues by Make Up For Ever

Make Up For Ever #44 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick ($19.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a rich shade of neutral-cool red–a shade that’s just a hint blue but so close to neutral. This is a shimmer-free red that still has a slight sheen, so it’s not matte either. There is plenty of color pay off in a single layer, and between the formula and the richness of the hue, it stays on my lips for six hours with ease.

The Rouge Artist Intense formula is typically opaque, and while it’s not a moisturizing lipstick, it’s not a drying one either, though it does not feel creamy against the lips (it may take a little more pressure to apply than your average lipstick). With lighter shades, I see four hours of wear, but with richer or darker shades like #44, I get as much as six.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: For cooler and warmer skin tone, this is a nice shade of red that’s bright without being traffic-stopping.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Modern Classic Lip & Eye Palette

Bobbi Brown Goes Modern for the Holidays

Bobbi Brown Modern Classic Lip & Eye Palette ($75.00) contains ten eyeshadows and four lip glosses all housed in a sleek palette for the holidays.

It includes: Ivory (creamy white), Oyster Grey (silvery beige), Antique Pink (muted rose), Quarry (steely grey with golden flecks), Taffeta (pale pink bronze), Birch (soft brown), Heather Rose (golden plum), Navy Charcoal (navy charcoal grey), Gold Thread (deep golden copper), and Espresso (dark chocolate brown) eyeshadows; along with Grape (deep plum), Pink Bouquet (bright pink), Golden Topaz (golden bronze), and Paisley Rose (warm pink rose) lip glosses.

  • Ivory is a creamy muted white–it’s not too stark, but it’s not what I’d describe as beige, either. I’ve mentioned it before, but this color is routinely in Bobbi Brown’s palettes. This is a matte eyeshadow. It is also part of the permanent range.
  • Oyster Grey is a pale, frosted champagne. This is a metallic eyeshadow.
  • Antique Pink is a sheer, pink champagne.  I found the pigmentation on this shade to be underwhelming–it could use a boost.   This is a shimmer wash eyeshadow.
  • Quarry is a cool-toned muted brown with a white shimmer-sheen. This is a shimmer wash eyeshadow.
  • Taffeta is a softened bronze with golden sheen. This is a metallic eyeshadow.
  • Birch is a muted medium-dark brown–it has very subtle red undertones. This is a matte eyeshadow. It is also part of the permanent range.
  • Heather Rose is a plummy rose with bronze shimmer.  It is a touch sheer but only negligibly. This is a shimmer wash eyeshadow.
  • Navy Charcoal is a muted navy blue matte base with blue flecks of sparkle.
  • Gold Thread is a browned gold with a bright gold sheen. This is a metallic eyeshadow.
  • Espresso is a cool-toned, smoldering black-brown. This is a matte eyeshadow. It is also part of the permanent range.
  • Grape is a sheer plummy pink with plum and gold shimmer. This is a glitter lip gloss.
  • Pink Bouquet is a sheer medium rose pink. This is a glitter lip gloss.
  • Golden Topaz is a sheer beige nude with champagne shimmer. This is a glitter lip gloss.
  • Paisley Rose is a sheer peach-coral nude with faint champagne shimmer. This is a shimmer lip gloss.

Each regular eyeshadow is 0.02 oz.; metallic eyeshadow is 0.02 oz.; each shimmer wash eyeshadow is 0.02 oz.; shimmer lip gloss is 0.03 oz.; and glitter lip gloss is 0.03 oz. In sum, you are getting 0.08 oz. worth of regular eyeshadow ($20.00 value), 0.06 oz. of metallic eyeshadow ($12.00 value), and 0.06 oz. of shimmer wash eyeshadow ($15.00 value). For the gloss, you are getting 0.03 oz. worth of shimmer lip gloss ($4.30 value) and 0.09 oz. worth of glitter lip gloss ($12.86 value). There is also a lip brush and an eyeshadow brush, both functional and not too scratchy (nowhere near as soft as full-sized Bobbi Brown brushes, but they are decent), which I’d put at $10 of value. The palette contains $74.16 worth of product, but you do get 10 eyeshadows and 4 lip glosses (three lip glosses or three eyeshadows would run you right around ~$60 alone).

I really love that Bobbi Brown separates her eyeshadows and lip glosses; it’s not something we always see in palettes, but this brand often does it, and I can appreciate that. It’s just nice not having to worry about powder getting into your gloss products. I also like the inclusion of brushes over sponge-tipped applicators and wish more brands would do the same.

This is the kind of color palette I would expect from Bobbi Brown, and I think it does suit its name. If you’re after bright colors, this is obviously something quite different. However, this palette is excellent for creating work-safe looks as well as some heavier, smokier looks–but lighter, “safer” shades dominate and make it an easy palette for those needing work-friendly options on-the-go or all in one place. I did find that the pigmentation was a bit sheer in a few of the shades (indicated above), but overall, it’s a nice palette.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

RECOMMENDATION: At $75, I would want to make sure to purchase it (or gift it) to someone who would really enjoy and use the majority of the palette–not just for one or two shades, you know?

AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown

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Friday, November 26th, 2010

Clarins Clementine Rouge Prodige Lipstick
Clarins Clementine Rouge Prodige Lipstick

An Orange Good Enough to Eat

Clarins Clementine Rouge Prodige Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a vibrant, bright orange with a very fine dusting of yellow-gold shimmer.  I get five hours of wear with this shade, so this shade wore better than Blackberry by an hour.  I did like that it didn’t seem to leave a stain though.  An orange this bright is a shade I would recommend wearing with more minimal makeup, just because it will be the centerpiece of your look given its vibrancy.  It is not quite as blindingly neon as MAC’s Morange or Neon Orange, but it sure comes close.

It does have that shiny, glossy finish the description boasts, and it doesn’t feel like the traditional long-wearing lipstick does. There is nothing drying about it when you apply it, because it applies like a thin gloss or a gloss/lipstick hybrid. The color pay off is excellent, though, and really delivers opaque color with a lightweight feel.  It doesn’t transfer much when drinking from a glass, but for whatever reason, it just doesn’t extend past four hours.

The Rouge Prodige is a comfortable lipstick to wear, because it doesn’t cling or dry lips out (but while it has a glossy feel when applied, I do not find it moisturizing). There is a faint sweetened berry scent that is detectable but not overpowering (and doesn’t read synthetic or syrupy sweet), and there was no noticeable taste.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I always welcome a new line with opaque lip color (because it’s easier to sheer out an opaque color than it is to build up the color of a sheer shade!), and Rouge Prodige is a nice lipstick overall–it just falls short of its long-wearing claims for me. If it didn’t have that claim, I would have given it a higher score.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Glitter Eyeliner
Bobbi Brown Glitter Eyeliner: Silver, Gold

Haven’t We Met Before?

Bobbi Brown Glitter Liquid Eyeliner ($20.00 for 0.05 oz.) are felt-tipped liquid liners available in both Silver (bright silver) and Gold (bright gold).

These have a thin, almost watery consistency that’s been soaked into a long, narrowed pen. As I’ve mentioned a few times now (ha, ha!), I like the liner for its long-wearing capabilities, but the applicator is also very easy to use. It’s flexible without being all over the place, and it’s thin enough to allow for precision. (For a more in-depth review, you may want to consider my MAC Superslick Liquid Eyeliners Review).

The liner reminds me of tube mascara, because when you use remover on it, it flakes off, rather than just simply dissolving. I did find that taking a shower (heat and humidity) made it easy for these to flake off IF you rubbed your eyes, but they would stay put otherwise. It does stay tacky for a few minutes, so while you can’t do much if you make a mistake other than starting again, it will feel tacky to the touch.

It’s a good liner, but this is the third time I’ve seen it in the past six months, so it has me raising my eyebrows halfway off my forehead. MAC’s still comes in as the cheapest ($17.50, and it’s actually 0.06 oz.), and they are also permanent.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: This liner formula that seems to have a lot of brands on board is certainly worth checking out, but what brand you choose is really more about personal preference as I have not observed any noticeable differences across the three brands I’ve tested thus far.

AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown

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Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Smoldering Eyeshadow Palette
Bobbi Brown Smoldering Eyeshadow Palette

Choose Your Glam with Bobbi Brown: Smoldering

Bobbi Brown Smoldering Eyeshadow Palette ($45.00 for 0.15 oz.) includes three eyeshadows and one long-wear eye paint. It features: Ivory (creamy white), Heather Lilac (pink heather), Charcoal (dark grey), and Port (deep plum).

The Long-Wear Eye Paints are new and featured in the three palettes from Bobbi Brown’s Smoky, Sultry, Smoldering Collection. According to Bobbi Brown, they are “high-pigment metallic eyeshadow that can be worn wet or dry.” She recommends “[applying] them with a damp Cream Shadow Brush for a strong, luminous and long-lasting pop of shimmering color that won’t crease.”

  • Ivory is a creamy neutral white with a hint of beige–it’s not a stark white. This shade seems like it’s in the majority of Bobbi Brown’s palettes, though, so you probably have at least one! It is a permanent shade.
  • Heather Lilac is a pink mauve with a frosted metallic finish. It’s nicely pigmented and very smooth. This is exclusive to this palette.  It reminded me of NARS’ Night Rider, sans glitter; NARS Ondine is close, too, but leans brown.
  • Charcoal is a dark black with a matte finish. This is a permanent shade.
  • Port is a blackened burgundy with ruby and bright burgundy sparkle. It reminded me of a less black-based MAC Young Punk. From what I can tell, the Long-Wear Eye Paints are very similar to baked/mineralize eyeshadows–it has a small dome, the same sheer texture when applied dry, and it intensifies ten-fold when applied damp.  The shade is all reminiscent of a shadow from LORAC’s Private Affair palette.

Each of the eyeshadows is 0.04 oz. (full-sized are 0.08 oz. for $20.00; 0.10 oz. for $20.00 for metallic eyeshadow), while the Long-Wear Eye Paint is 0.03 oz. (not currently available on its lonesome; but for valuation purposes, we’ll assume 0.08 oz. for $20.00). In this palette, you receive $20.00 worth of regular Eyeshadow, $8 worth of Metallic Eyeshadow, and $7.50 worth of Long-Wear Eye Paint. This totals to $35.50 worth of product. You do also receive a double-ended brush in the palette, which is usable (and one of the better brushes included in palettes)– we’ll say it’s $7 worth–bringing us to $42.50. It’s not a value-packed palette, but I don’t think you’re losing out.

I see a lot of these shades working together, though I really wish Bobbi Brown would vary the lightest shade–Ivory is permanent and too often included in her limited edition palettes. The packaging is sleek and compact, and I love that they have an actual brush applicator included, rather than sponge-tipped ones!  It is a bit basic, with both a matte white and black eyeshadow, so it might not be the best holiday palette to pick up if you have a sizable stash.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: This would be excellent on cooler skin tones in particular, though warmer ones should be able to use it, too. You may want to opt elsewhere for a highlighter if you are medium to dark in skin tone, as Ivory may look stark.

AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown

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Saturday, November 20th, 2010

Dolce & Gabbana Lust Lipstick
Dolce & Gabbana Lust Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Evocative Beauty: Lust

Dolce & Gabbana Lust Classic Cream Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a dark, purpled berry with very fine, barely-there violet micro-shimmer. It has a glossier finish than many of Dolce & Gabbana’s other Classic Cream lipsticks, actually! It almost looks like a lip stain, because it has some sheerness.  I found that this particular shade was more prone to bleeding, and I don’t often find lipsticks to bleed–but the slicker feel of the formula combined with the dark color proved otherwise.

Dolce & Gabbana’s Cream Lipsticks wear an average of four hours on me, but this shade is pigmented and deep enough that I get around five and a half. It is heavily scented with rose, but I mostly smell it in the tube, not so much when worn.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: The color range is very classic–most shades, if not all, are universally flattering and come in hues that are quite wearable.

AVAILABILITY: Saks

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