Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Chanel Steel Le Vernis
Chanel Steel Le Vernis

Chanel SoHo Le Vernis: Should You?

From Chanel’s exclusive and limited edition SoHo Story, we have two new and limited edition shades of polish. I am a fan of Chanel’s polish–I have no issues with wear or the formula (typically), and I think they often create unique, inspiring shades. Each retails for $25, and last I checked, were still available online.

  • Steel is a charcoal gray-black with silvery gray micro-shimmer. When the flash fired, it also illuminated flashes of teal, violet, and green micro-shimmer, but I really didn’t see the effect of these in natural light. It reminded me of a subtler, more micro-shimmered version of Nubar Night Sky (which is also matte). This doesn’t seem like an overly unique shade, and though I can’t name any other specific dupes, my stash and archives aren’t as exhaustive as I’d like for dupe-finding purposes. Two coats.
  • Strong is a deep, dark burgundy-brown with brighter burgundy micro-shimmer. Like Steel, when the flash fired, flecks of copper, amber, and burgundy micro-shimmer were noticeable. I feel like I’ve seen this shade before, but after half an hour of going through my photos, I couldn’t find anything.

The formula on these was consistent with Chanel overall–on the thicker side but very pigmented. I included a photo of Strong with only one coat to show you just how intense the color is. I still find that I can never get away with just one coat and always go for a second. Though I like both shades, they don’t inspire me as much as other past shades have (like the recent Paradoxal).

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: The formula was smooth and easy to apply with plenty of pigmentation. I’m not sold on these being over-the-top unique as many Chanel shades often are, though.

AVAILABILITY: Chanel

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Tuesday, September 14th, 2010


Stila Smudge Stick Eyeliner: Stingray, Peacock, Koi

When Quality Beats Quantity: Stila Smudge Sticks

Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner Lionfish ($20.00 for 0.01 oz.) is a twist-up waterproof eyeliner available in eight shades: Blue Ribbon (slate blue sheen), Lionfish (deep bronze sheen), Moray (golden olive sheen), Purple Tang (dark purple sheen), Silver Dollar (metallic silver), Stingray (jet black), Peacock (vibrant teal sheen), and Koi (metallic gold).

Ever since learning that twist-up eyeliners give you such a TINY amount of product (the average is about 0.01 oz., can you believe it?), it’s been painful to find myself gravitating towards any of them. Stila’s Smudge Sticks are incredibly creamy, rich in color, and apply like butter on the water line or lash line. Their vibrancy is what really makes them worth checking out, because it doesn’t take much product to get an opaque line.  It’s also soft enough to apply gently to the lash line without tugging, but it’s not so soft that it just melts onto the lash line.

  • Stingray is a deep, dark black with a little sheen.
  • Peacock is a aqua-blue with a slight metallic sheen; it’s not really the teal I imagined of the shade–much bluer.
  • Koi is a metallic medium gold–very high sheen.

My experience wearing these has been fairly positive; they really stay put on  my lash line, even after twelve hours.  They’re budgeproof, smudgeproof, and waterproof, but I find if I apply it to my water line, I do get some irritation (which may just be my sensitivity) and it does seem to slide off after two or three hours.  I don’t really feel the irritation, but when I look in the mirror, my eyes are redder than usual.  So I’ll probably stick to wearing it just on the lower lash line rather than the water line (even though it lasts so well in comparison to most eyeliners), because red-tinged eyes are way un-sexy.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’ve had trouble with eyeliner staying put and feel as if you’ve exhausted all of your options, Stila’s Smudge Sticks just might do the trick.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora, Stila

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Monday, September 13th, 2010

Guerlain Violine Kiss Kiss Essence de Gloss
Guerlain Violine Kiss Kiss Essence de Gloss

For Fall: Pigmented Gloss

Guerlain Violine (462) Kiss Kiss Essence de Glossicon ($31.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is a juicy raspberry pink with subtle fuchsia and light pink micro-shimmer. The color itself is nearly opaque (my lip freckle is almost covered but it still peeked through). I love that this is a pink that’s not too cool for warmer skin tones to wear with ease–it has just a touch of blue such that it is a cooler shade if I were to classify it.

The formula itself is comfortable to wear; it’s lightweight, non-sticky, and keeps lips moisturized. It does seem to de-emphasize lip lines and the color, despite the pigmentation, did not settle into my lip lines much at all. It does have a high-shine finish, so there is no mistaking it for a lipstick, as it is most definitely a gloss! I get between three and four hours of wear with it, and it doesn’t completely disappear after having a cup of coffee either–which is nice!

Essence de Gloss is housed in a “gold” rectangular case with a thin cut out where the color of the gloss shows through (it really is the gloss that shows through–it is absolutely clear until you pull the wand out once!). The packaging looks pretty, though it lacks the heft typically associated with Guerlain’s products, which may be a good or bad thing, depending on your needs.

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

RECOMMENDATION: I love that there is pigmentation to the gloss without being entirely opaque or thick. It’s not sticky at all, too!

AVAILABILITY: Nordstromicon

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Monday, September 13th, 2010

Chanel Rose Confidential Le Vernis
Chanel Rose Confidential Le Vernis

Everything’s Coming Up Roses

Chanel Rose Confidentiel (491) Le Vernis (Nail Lacquer) ($23.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is a soft, medium rose pink cream with a slightly glossy finish. It almost looks like a cross between a jelly and cream on me, because it has that squishy look to it–just subtly so. It’s pretty pigmented, and I found two coats to be the right amount to yield a rich, opaque look. The formula wasn’t too thick as some Chanel polishes can be, and it was applied smoothly and evenly.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I think this is a nice way to go “darker” for fall without actually going dark.

AVAILABILITY: Chanel

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Sunday, September 12th, 2010

Philosophy Cookies 'n Creme Shower Gel
Philosophy Cookies ‘n Creme Shower Gel

Mmm, Cookies ‘n Creme

Philosophy Cookies n’ Creme Shower Gel ($16.00 for 16 fl. oz.) is a new-for-fall scent that is as sweet as you’d expect it to be. It starts with a very basic sweet vanilla aroma, but then the deliciousness of chocolate cookie comes through; it’s exactly what I remember Cookies ‘n Creme ice cream smelling like.

This is a rather foodie scent, and as such, quite sweet, but I don’t find it synthetic or overwhelming, but this is not a scent that lingers. One of my favorite things about Philosophy’s shower gels is that they smell amazing when you’re using them but don’t leave you smelling like food all day. It lathers up incredibly well, and a little dab will do you–probably a quarter’s worth (maybe a touch more) should get you sudsy in no time.

Before the boy started stealing my bath products (OMG, he uses TWO PUMPS of my Kate Somerville cleanser–I use half a pump, AHH!), a bottle like this would last me months. With his “generous” usage, a bottle lasts about a month and a half.  And can I just say I can’t wait until full-sizes of Pumpkin Spice are back?

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: Personally, I like it, but it’s not my all-time favorite scent, but I do love the formula and all that.  If you like sweeter, foodie scents, you might like this one!

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Video Review:  Chanel Les Khakis de Chanel Collection

Here’s a “thorough” video featuring the three new nail lacquers from Chanel’s Les Khakis de Chanel Collection, which is released in honor of Fashion’s Night Out.  It hits chanel.com, Chanel boutiques, and select department store counters on September 10th.  Each polish retails for $25 and contains 0.4 fl. oz.  You can read my full review and see photo swatches here.

Please excuse my horrible French pronunciation.  It was always my biggest issue that I was never able to overcome when I took French during high school–my dumb mouth never could cooperate with my brain that was speaking beautifully (at least, in my mind, LOL).  And to think I took French over Spanish because I couldn’t roll my Rs!