Sunday, August 8th, 2010

Make Up For Ever #37 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick
Make Up For Ever #37 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick

The New Lipstick on the Block

Make Up For Ever #37 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick ($19.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a vibrant shade of coral-pink with a satin finish; it’s almost fluorescent! It’s one of fifty shades launched by Make Up For Ever for fall (and the formula is permanent, just in case you were worried!). The Rouge Artist ranges from nudes to reds to vamps to corals–if there’s a color you seek, it’s hard to imagine not finding something to tickle your fancy within the range.

The formula is very opaque, and it’s not drying at all. It’s not a particularly creamy formula, though it looks like it when it’s applied. I’ve found that you need to apply a little more pressure than usual to get smooth, even color, and it doesn’t drag, but it doesn’t glide, either. I was expecting the formula to be a little drying, since it wasn’t incredibly creamy, but it wasn’t. I don’t think it imparts a ton of moisture, but it didn’t dry my lips out after four hours of wear. Speaking of wear, I got an average of four hours, with some shades extending to five or six, and several of them did stain, so they would wear a little longer.

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re looking for opaque color with minimal shimmer/frost, I think you may like Make Up For Ever’s new range.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

When Make Up For Ever sent over a few shades of Rouge Artist Intense, they also sent this cool “color” wheel–it shows four skin tones and four hair colors, and then you can move them to correspond with your characteristics to find the best shades for you. It’s totally awesome! I don’t know if Sephoras have it in-store or not, but it’s quite handy. I didn’t see any mention of it on Sephora (online), so I figured I’d type up what it says!

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Sunday, August 8th, 2010

Deborah Lippmann Across the Universe Nail Lacquer
Deborah Lippmann Across the Universe Nail Lacquer

It’s Blue, It’s Green, It’s Teal… It’s All Three!

Deborah Lippmann Across the Universe Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.5 oz.) is a deep, inky navy blue jelly base with electric blue glitter and teal and green hexagonal glitter.  I wasn’t quite able to get an opaque with three coats, but perhaps with a fourth coat or just a more precise application, it could get there.  I like the way the glitter is mixed in color, because it gives it a very interesting effect.  I feel like I haven’t seen a shade quite like this, which is often true of many Lippmann shades, just because of the way the glitter is used.  Application was smooth overall, but remember to wait for each coat to dry so that you don’t pull the glitter out of place.

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

RECOMMENDATION: This shade impresses me more–love the mix of glitter sizes, shapes, and colors.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Saturday, August 7th, 2010

Shiseido Black Sand Eyeliner
Shiseido Black Sand Eyeliner

There’s always room for one more black eyeliner!

Shiseido Black Sand (BK904) Smoothing Eyeliner Pencil ($20.00 for 0.04 oz.) is a really intense, smooth-applying black eyeliner with flecks of green and antique gold micro-shimmer. It’s really a stunning shade, and it’s definitely a color that appeals to my personal tastes. It formula is incredibly smooth and almost creamy, but it stays in place quite well. It doesn’t last more than an hour or two on my waterline, but it stays on my lash line just fine. The pencil itself is dual-ended with the eyeliner on one side and a smudging sponge on the other.

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re a fiend for black golds like I am, then you’ll want to check this out!

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Saturday, August 7th, 2010

Deborah Lippmann Bad Romance Nail Lacquer
Deborah Lippmann Bad Romance Nail Lacquer

A lil’ Lady Gaga for your nails…

Deborah Lippmann Bad Romance Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.5 oz.) has a black-burgundy jelly base with regular fuchsia glitter and hexagonal glitter.  I was able to get a very opaque look with three coats, but I didn’t get as many hexagonal pieces as I’d like on each nail.  The key is definitely to let each coat dry longer, so that you don’t drag any of the glitter elsewhere.  I’d also recommend doing one or two strokes for each coat, because each time you move the brush, you can displace some of the glitter, and get a patchier look.  The drying time seemed a little shorter than average, and it had a slightly glossy finish even without a top coat.

P.S. — China Glaze’s Mummy May I is very, very similar, but it doesn’t have the hexagonal glitter bits!

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

RECOMMENDATION: I like it — it’s pretty and dark and great for fall.  It doesn’t knock my socks off quite like some other Lippmann shades have in the past.  Perhaps it’s because the glitter is the same color, despite the shape differences.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Thursday, July 29th, 2010

NYX Nude on Nude Palette
NYX Nude on Nude Palette

Cheap, Tawdry Nudes

For a mere $11, you can grab NYX’s Nude on Nude Palette, which contains nine neutral eyeshadows, plus two complementing lip colors. It contains these eyeshadows: pale nude beige (semi-matte finish), semi-sheer mushroom taupe with warm undertones (light shimmer), cool-toned dark brown (satin finish), peachy copper (frosty/metallic sheen), muted copper (frosty), semi-sheer dark gray brown (light shimmer), brightened copper (frosty), browned gold (frosty), and warmed medium-dark chocolate brown (light shimmer). It also contains a reddish rose with lots of shimmer and sheer, medium bubblegum pink for lip colors.

Overall, the eyeshadow quality is pretty good; some shades kick-up a noticeable amount of powder, so you may experience some fall out when using the shades. Nearly all of the shades were nicely pigmented and had a soft, smooth texture.  I also like the packaging (except the pull out drawer–feels cheap) — on the outside, it looks sleek and classy.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: On a budget and want some neutrals? NYX makes it easy to do so without feeling guilty.

AVAILABILITY: NYX

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Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Dior Intimate Bronze Ultra Gloss
Dior Intimate Bronze Ultra Gloss

Nordstrom Beauty Exclusive:  Dior Ultra Gloss

Dior Intimate Bronze (522) Ultra Gloss ($26.50 for 0.21 fl. oz.) is a semi-sheer shade of bronzed nude with gold and copper micro-shimmer.   I’ve reviewed several other Ultra Glosses in the past, and Intimate Bronze has the same non-sticky, moisturizing formula.  It’s very comfortable to wear, even though it slips away within an hour or two and leaves behind a hint of shimmer as it wears away.  I like this particular shade because you can easily wear it alone, but you can also use it to add a bit of sunkissed bronze to your favorite lipstick.  It also works well for the summer and fall season!

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

RECOMMENDATION: If love sheer, non-sticky lipgloss, Dior Ultra Gloss is exactly that. And if you don’t mind reapplying every two hours or so, I think you’d really like these.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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