Saturday, February 19th, 2011


China Glaze Crackle Glaze: Black Mesh, Cracked Concrete, Lightning Bolt

China Glaze Crackle Glaze: Part 1

China Glaze Crackle Collection ($6.49 for 0.50 fl. oz.) consists of six shades, and I wanted to break it into two parts because of how many photos the collection ended up being. Crackle nail polish is just that, polish that cracks. It’s a layering polish, so it is something you apply after you have applied your base color/coat. All the shades dry to a matte finish, so if you want a shiny finish, just use a shiny top coat (I used Seche Vite for swatches).

  • Black Mesh is a matte, deep black. This was the easiest shade to work with out of the six, and it cracks really well. The formula was thin but very pigmented.
  • Cracked Concrete is a matte, medium-dark gray. It’s definitely the color of freshly poured concrete. The formula was thin but pigmented and cracked well without having to trial it.
  • Lightning Bolt is a matte, bright white. I recommend using a medium-thick coat of this if you want it to look more opaque, as thinner coats, while they will show more splintering, also show a lot of the base coming through, so it has a streaky look to it. I used a a fairly thick coat for swatches, and while it splintered, it didn’t do as much as I’d like.

Half of the fun of these Crackles is finding good base colors to layer underneath one of the Crackle Glazes. I can’t compare the formula to any other brands, past or present, as I really don’t have any experience with them. I vaguely remember CoverGirl Crackles, but I don’t think I owned any (I wasn’t allowed to wear nail polish until I was in my late teens). I like these, and they were easy enough to work with–hey, the look itself is edgy and a little messy, so minor mistakes are easily forgiven. Lightning Bolt might take one or two attempts, but I think I just went too thick.

Tips

  • Do 2 coats maximum of your base color and let it dry completely.
  • Apply the Crackle Glaze in one coat and as quickly as possible as it dries down very fast!
  • Use a thicker coat of Crackle Glaze for more opaque color or thicker cracks (but less of them).
  • Use a thinner coat of Crackle Glaze if you want a very crackled, piece-y look.

P.S. — I’ll be posting a video later today showing the polish as it crackles, because I found it pretty cool.

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

final thoughts: If you dig the effect, definitely worth picking up a couple of shades.  I think Black Mesh performed the best out of the six, followed by Cracked Concrete.

where to buy: Sally’s

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Friday, February 18th, 2011

Lancome Bronze Amour Eyeshadow Palette
Lancome Bronze Amour Eyeshadow Palette

Lancome Bronze Amour Eyeshadow Palette

Lancome Bronze Amour Shadow & Liner Palette ($48.00 for 0.141 oz.) consists of four eyeshadows and one eyeliner shade, though the eyeliner shade is equally available for use as an eyeshadow. I’ve found that the shimmery shades can be used wet or dry, while the satin and matte shades are better used dry.

The all-over base is a pink champagne with a frosted sheen of a finish. The lid shade is a metallic finished copper with strong orange undertones. The crease shade is a medium, warmed up brown with soft red-orange undertones and pale copper shimmer-sheen. The highlighter shade is a pale yellow gold that’s almost cool-toned; I found this shade had some fall out and worked best applied wet. The liner shade is a rich, dark chocolate brown with subtle red undertones and burgundy-bronze shimmer–best liner shade yet, because it works beautifully wet or dry.

my thoughts on the formula: The texture of Lancome’s eyeshadows are very smooth–soft, silky–and all of these shades were excellent in terms of pigmentation.  I only had minor fall out concerns with the highlighter shade, so I would recommend using it with a damp brush.

I’m disappointed in the quantity provided in the palette, though. Lancome’s Color Design Quads come in at 0.16 oz. and their Color Design Eyeshadow singles at 0.0458 oz., which works out to be $263/oz. and $371/oz. respectively. This palette is $340/oz., which makes it more expensive ($48 vs. $42) with less product (0.141 oz. vs. 0.16 oz) than the Color Design Quads.

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

final thoughts: This is a very warm palette, perhaps the opposite of Taupe Craze, with its dosage of amber, orange, and red undertones. I actually think this is the best palette I’ve tried so far from the line-up. Really bold, intense color and smooth finishes, with just the highlighter shade having some fall out.

where to buy: Sephora

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Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

NARS Tzigane Lipstick
NARS Tzigane Lipstick

NARS Spring 2011: Tzigane

NARS Tzigane Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “sheer, pink brandy” that gives “a whisper of subtle color to the lips.” The name was inspired by Maurice Ravel, a French composer, and it translates to “gypsy.” I can get down with the “pink brandy” descriptor, actually. I would describe it as a lightened, rosy brown with a subtle peachiness. It has a subtle shine but nothing glossy or over-the-top. While described as sheer, I found it surprisingly pigmented–I would say semi-opaque rather than semi-sheer.

my thoughts on the formula: NARS Lipstick typically wears four to six hours, with a shade like this lasting just under four. It has a creamier texture that’s moisturizing, and this particular shade is more opaque (some shades can be quite sheer). I didn’t notice any waxy scent, as NARS lipsticks are typically unscented but the scent of the waxy base sometimes come through.

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

final thoughts: I recommend this for both cool and warm undretones; I think it works well with both. Despite being described as sheer, I found it rather opaque, so while the color is more muted, it may be too dark for a really bold or dramatic eye. It should work nicely everyday to semi-dramatic looks, and it will pair best with neutrals, bronzes, and berries.

where to buy: NARS

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Monday, February 14th, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Rosebud Shine Lipstick
Dolce & Gabbana Rosebud Shine Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Rosebud Shine Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Rosebud (170) Shine Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a glossy pale pink iwth a hint of rose and soft white micro-shimmer. It’s nearly opaque, and the paleness of the color makes the fuller coverage color look milky and creamy.

my thoughts on the formula: The Shine Lipsticks can be very creamy, when the finish is less shimmery, or more glimmering, if the finish is shimmery. Overall, they have a glossiness that isn’t there in the brand’s Classic Cream Lipsticks. The lipstick is rose-scented, and it is one of the heavier scented products I’ve come across, so if you are at all sensitive to scents, I would probably keep on looking. I usually average four hours of wear with this formula.

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

final thoughts: It is a surprisingly flattering milky pink, even on medium skin tones.  Milky pinks tend to wash me out, so I do find them hard to wear on their own, but I think this works.  I also like that it doesn’t have strong cool undertones.

where to buy: Saks

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Saturday, February 12th, 2011

Hourglass Edition Lipstick
Hourglass Edition Lipstick

Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipstick: Edition

Hourglass Edition Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a sheer muted pink–more like a natural pink–with very pale peach and champagne shimmer.  It’s an ultra wearable shade, suitable for any skin tone really, because it doesn’t lean overly warm or cool nor does it pack much color.  One noteworthy aspect of Hourglass’ lipstick range is that refills will eventually be available for $24 each–both Hourglass’ website and Sephora list them but they’re essentially coming soon still at this time.

my thoughts on the formula: Femme Rouge tends to be a creamy, moisturizing, and opaque lipstick formula that wears four to six hours, with deeper shades hitting the upper range of wear. Shades like Edition wear about three hours on me–it is really, really quite a sheer shade, the sheerest I’ve tried from the line, and it seems to wear off much more easily than other shades. Darker shades wear so well that one can drink a cup of coffee and not need to immediately reapply. Femme Rouge has a light vanilla scent and feels lightweight despite its creaminess.

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

final thoughts: The sheerness makes it universally wearable and will complement a variety of looks.  It is a more basic shade, so you may want to check your stash for something similar.

where to buy: Sephora

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Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Guerlain Orange Euphorique Rouge G Lipstick
Guerlain Orange Euphorique Rouge G Lipstick

Guerlain Spring 2011: Orange Euphorique

Guerlain Orange Euphorique (45) Rouge G Lipstick ($46.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a muted tangerine orange with a little pinkiness in it, which is probably what keeps it from venturing into neon territory. It has soft, pale gold micro-shimmer and a glossy finish. Not quite opaque but nearly there (you can see a hint of my lip freckle peeking through).

my thoughts on the formula: Long-time readers will know that Guerlain’s Rouge G formula is one of my absolute favorite lipsticks, so I always look forward to new and seasonal shade releases. Rouge G colors have certain nuances to them just seem to make them more flattering when worn. The formula is moisturizing, long-wearing (four to six hours), and comfortable to wear–never heavy but generally opaque in color.

The one thing I noticed about these is though the weight feels the same (we actually whipped out the scale, it was a 0.06 oz. lighter), the magnet enclosure seemed slightly weaker. If you throw ‘em around, the black lacquered case’s lid will fall off easier than the metal one (which also slips off if you put it through the tests we did, haha). I carried one in my purse all day, though, and it was fine.

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

final thoughts: I know that cooler skin tones find orange lipstick more difficult to wear, as it is such a naturally warm color, but for once, here is an orange that just may suit cooler skin tones even better than warmer ones.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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