Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Chanel Cassis Eyeliner
Chanel Cassis Eyeliner

Just a Hint of Plum

Chanel Cassis Eyeliner ($28.00 for 0.01 oz.) is a smoked plum with subtle red undertones in Chanel’s long-wearing, waterproof liner formula. It really is a lovely color, and it applies evenly with good pigmentation. There’s also a built-in sharpener, and I love that you can twist the eyeliner up and down (sometimes it only goes up!).

I’m continually surprised at how little product is included in twist-up eyeliners–it’s typically 0.02 oz. or so–while pencil eyeliners run around 0.04 oz. I’ve only finished one eyeliner in my life (MAC Graphblack, which is also a twist-up eyeliner); and going off memory, I know that, despite daily usage, I didn’t run through it in a matter of days–probably around two or three months. I am curious as to why they’re only designed to fit that much, though. I don’t feel like I use any less/more between twist-up/pencil liners! Anyway, this is to point out that you’re only getting 0.01 oz., which is below average, so if you’re looking for a daily eyeliner, you might want to prepare yourself for frequent repurchasing.

The formula of this eyeliner is excellent, and if you’ve had trouble with eyeliner staying in place, you may want to test drive Chanel sometime (they also have several other lovely shades). It is, indeed, waterproof. It wears all day without smudging, budging, or fading. It doesn’t stick well on my waterline (just an hour or two), but it stays put on my lower lash line. I wore it across my crease (rather than my upper lash line to avoid irritation), and it didn’t crease there either.

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

RECOMMENDATION: For a nice, long-wearing plummy shade, Chanel’s Cassis makes a nice choice–if you don’t mind the price tag.

AVAILABILITY: Saks

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Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Tom Ford Bruised Plum Lip Color
Tom Ford Bruised Plum Lip Color

Tom Ford for Lipstick — Test #4

Tom Ford Bruised Plum Lip Color ($45.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a deep, reddened plum with subtle pink, fuchsia, and ruby micro-shimmer.  It goes on opaque, and it’s the most glistening/shimmering shade I’ve tried so far.  It does settle a bit into lip lines, but from a normal viewing distance, it’s really not noticeable.  This is a shade that stains very well and wears for four to five hours with a lingering stain for an additional two or so.  It’s vampy without being too blackened but not too much of a red shade either.  I can definitely see this being a perfect shade for fall.

Tom Ford’s Private Blend Lip Color collection are all vanilla scented and come in a white and gold square tube. It’s a very clean and elegant look, and the tube itself is weighty, so it feels more luxurious when you hold it in your hand. I like that the usage of the white paneling means no fingerprints, since that is a common problem when brands use more metallic/metal kind of packaging. The top and bottom are both “gold,” with the top having “Tom Ford” imprinted on it. It does click shut and stay closed well.

The formula itself is creamy and lightweight–it doesn’t feel slippery or nearly as creamy as YSL Rouge Voluptes, nor does it glide on as smoothly and effortlessly as Guerlain Rouge Gs. Tom Ford’s color range is full with twelve different shades ranging from nudes to deep plums. The textures of Tom Ford’s lipsticks are semi-matte–they’re not shimmery at all–and so they have a smidgen of sheen/glisten but overall, a much flatter finish.

Come August, I might have more possible dupes to share, since that will kick off the Sultry Season (all about vampy lip colors!), but for now, MAC’s Hang Up is the closest I’ve found–it’s a little lighter, not as shimmery.  These are all the Tom Ford shades I have to share with you for now, but I hope it’s given you a nice introduction to the range.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re in the mood for a decadent luxury and prefer your lip color on the more matte side, Tom Ford’s range of twelve might interest you.

AVAILABILITY: Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus

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Saturday, July 24th, 2010

China Glaze Fight Like a Woman Collection
Nail Lacquers: Encouragement, Empowerment, Endurance

China Glaze Fight Like a Woman Collection

Though we’re still a few months out, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and this year, China Glaze has created three shades inspired by the women who are fighting their battles. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is an agency of the World Health Organization. The collection will start to roll out at beauty supply stores and select salons in September.

  • Encouragement is a pale, milky pink with silvery-white shimmer. Even with three coats, it wasn’t quite opaque, but it’s pretty close to it. Very pretty-in-pink.
  • Enpowerment is a creamy slightly cooled blue-based pink. I used three coats to get an opaque look. It looked less cool-toned under brighter/direct sunlight, though!
  • Endurance is a darkened fuchsia jelly base with fuchsia shimmer. I also used three coats here.

I like when pretty products also give back! It makes buying them just a little good for the soul, too. I’m a believer in purchasing products you want, not solely so you can give to a cause–because if you want to give a cause, a donation from you to them is always the best way, since 100% will go towards the cause you’re looking to support. However, when there’s an item you’d normally buy AND it gives back in some capacity, it’s a nice bonus.

China Glaze’s three shades are perfect to represent BCA month, and they’re lovely, feminine shades. My favorite shade was Endurance, just because it’s bold and beautiful and fun. I didn’t have any application issues with any of the three shades, though they all needed a full three coats.

But I really fell in love with the names used for these polishes–uplifting and inspiring.

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you love yourself some pink polish, this collection was designed with you in mind! Nothing necessarily ultra original color-wise, but all live up to the quality I’ve come to expect from China Glaze.

AVAILABILITY: September 2010

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Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Tom Ford True Coral Lipstick
Tom Ford True Coral Lipstick

Tom Ford for Lipstick — Test #3

Tom Ford True Coral Lip Color ($45.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a devilishly bright true coral.  It is as it is named!  It’s a vibrant coral that leans a little orange, but overall, it’s exactly what I envision coral being in its purest form.  Like the other shades I’ve reviewed so far, the color itself is rich and true-to-tube.  Just one layer and you get a very opaque look.  It also wears well throughout the day, giving me around four to five hours of wear and a bit of a lingering stain for another hour or so.

Tom Ford’s Private Blend Lip Color collection are all vanilla scented and come in a white and gold square tube. It’s a very clean and elegant look, and the tube itself is weighty, so it feels more luxurious when you hold it in your hand. I like that the usage of the white paneling means no fingerprints, since that is a common problem when brands use more metallic/metal kind of packaging. The top and bottom are both “gold,” with the top having “Tom Ford” imprinted on it. It does click shut and stay closed well.

The formula itself is creamy and lightweight–it doesn’t feel slippery or nearly as creamy as YSL Rouge Voluptes, nor does it glide on as smoothly and effortlessly as Guerlain Rouge Gs. Tom Ford’s color range is full with twelve different shades ranging from nudes to deep plums. The textures of Tom Ford’s lipsticks are semi-matte–they’re not shimmery at all–and so they have a smidgen of sheen/glisten but overall, a much flatter finish.

The two closest, possible dupes I found were Illamasqua Mistress Intense Lipgloss (different finish) and MAC Vegas Volt Lipstick (lighter, less bright, more orange).

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re in the mood for a decadent luxury and prefer your lip color on the more matte side, Tom Ford’s range of twelve might interest you.

AVAILABILITY: Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus

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Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Tom Ford Pure Pink Lipstick
Tom Ford Pure Pink Lipstick

Tom Ford for Lipstick — Test #2

Tom Ford Pure Pink Lip Color ($45.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a tantalizingly bright fuchsia pink with a satin-matte finish.  It might have the most subtle dusting of shimmer in it, but it’s really hard to make a clear distinction.  It’s almost like shimmer dust–maybe even fairy dust, since I’m not entirely sold that I’m not just seeing things…  The pigmentation is excellent with full-color coverage in one to two layers (depending on your application technique).

Tom Ford’s Private Blend Lip Color collection are all vanilla scented and come in a white and gold square tube. It’s a very clean and elegant look, and the tube itself is weighty, so it feels more luxurious when you hold it in your hand. I like that the usage of the white paneling means no fingerprints, since that is a common problem when brands use more metallic/metal kind of packaging. The top and bottom are both “gold,” with the top having “Tom Ford” imprinted on it. It does click shut and stay closed well.

The formula itself is creamy and lightweight–it doesn’t feel slippery or nearly as creamy as YSL Rouge Voluptes, nor does it glide on as smoothly and effortlessly as Guerlain Rouge Gs. Tom Ford’s color range is full with twelve different shades ranging from nudes to deep plums. The textures of Tom Ford’s lipsticks are semi-matte–they’re not shimmery at all–and so they have a smidgen of sheen/glisten but overall, a much flatter finish.

This shade wears very, very well, particularly because it’s a much darker/deeper shade than Pink Dusk.  The majority of the color lasts four to five hours, but a fuchsia stain persists for a couple more after that.  I like that it’s long-wearing without feeling drying.   With Pure Pink, it is more of a blue-based pink, so it suits those with cooler complexions best, but if you have a warmer complexion, I still think it would work.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re in the mood for a decadent luxury and prefer your lip color on the more matte side, Tom Ford’s range of twelve might interest you.

AVAILABILITY: Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus

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Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

NARS Mangrove Eyeshadow
NARS Mangrove Eyeshadow

Finally, a Mustard I Like!

NARS Mangrove Eyeshadow ($23.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a mustard yellow with just a tinge of green. It has a satin sheen, and it’s nicely pigmented. This is a color you just don’t see very often, because it’s not always an easy to wear shade.

The only other comparable color I have in my stash is an old, discontinued shade by MAC called Jasmine (which is not quite as yellow). I’m not normally a big fan of yellow eyeshadow on me–if it leans gold or it’s more like a chartreuse, I’m totally for it, but truer yellows don’t seem to work well for me.

Mangrove is an interesting shade to work with, because it takes on much of the tones of whatever it’s paired with or layered on top of. When I used it with Palladium, it looked like a chartreuse green, but when I wore it over a regular eyeshadow base, I was able to get a much more true-to-pan kind of color. On my skin tone, I just can’t wear it easily — with golds and coppers, it works; with greens and teals, it works — but when I tried it alongside Daphne, I just couldn’t rock it myself.

I like the uniqueness of the color, which is something that would make compel me to get it. The quality is lovely, and it’s one of the better textured single shadows–very soft, smooth, but still pigmented. For those who have trouble pulling off warmer yellows and golds, Mangrove may be an answer to that problem–because it is as cool of a yellow as one can get!

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

RECOMMENDATION: I think this may be more of a try-before-you-buy shade unless you’re always on the hunt for something a little different than the norm, because mustard yellow isn’t a common shade in makeup!

AVAILABILITY: NARS — Use code TEMPTALIA for a mini lipgloss trio featuring Turkish Delight, Gothika, & Greek Holiday, expires 8/15.

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