Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Guerlain Rose Ensoleille Rouge G Lipstick
Guerlain Rose Ensoleille Rouge G Lipstick

Guerlain Rose Ensoleille Rouge G Lipstick

Guerlain Rose Ensoleille Rouge G Lipstick ($48.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a soft tangerine orange with hints of pink around the edges. It is a really frustrating color to describe, because there’s a translucency to the color that makes this look just a little different depending on your natural lip color, no matter whether you have very pigmented lips or not. It ended up translating to this warm pink-coral once applied. Bobbi Brown Nude Rose reminded me of this in color, but it’s a bit darker and opaque. MAC Flamingo is lighter, less pink. Chanel Flirt is very similar. MAC Blossom Culture is pinker.

I’ve mentioned this before when reviewing another shade from the spring collection, but the formula of this Rouge G doesn’t feel like the typical Rouge G. It feels more like a cross between the Rouge G and Rouge G de Brilliant formulas. It’s too glossy, too translucent to be a genuine Rouge G, which has a creamier, more opaque formula. Rouge G de Brilliant is all about a really high shine finish combined with a pretty little translucent color and a fair amount of shimmer. Rose Ensoleille is more pigmented than the Brilliants, but it’s not nearly as pigmented as the regular Rouge Gs. This has a fair amount of slip to it, and the finish is much glossier. It seems to wear away faster, too, because Rouge Gs are more long-wearing (four to six hours, sometimes longer, if it’s a deeper hue), but Rose Ensoleille only lasted for three and a half hours during a wear test.

The Glossover

LE
product

Rose Ensoleille

B
The shorter wear time and less-than-opaque color coverage makes it out of sync with other Rouge G shades. I was a bit bummed after purchasing it, just because the consistency and coverage weren't as expected.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Laura Mercier Kissed Lips Sheer Lip Color
Laura Mercier Kissed Lips Sheer Lip Color

Laura Mercier Kissed Lips Sheer Lip Color

Laura Mercier Kissed Lips Sheer Lip Color ($22.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “fresh coral-pink.” It’s a vibrant coral-pink with a creamy finish and a hint of sheen.  As far as coral-pinks go, though, this is just barely on the edge.  Burberry Primrose Hill is slightly pinker. Guerlain Nahema is a little darker and more orange-based. MAC Watch Me Simmer is much more vibrant. NYX Haute Melon is very, very similar–a little less pink-hued.

The formula is described as a “hydrating, anti-aging, plumping, and conditioning lip color” while delivering a “sheer wash of color with a semi-matte finish.” For fans of more opaque lipsticks, you’ll want to keep reading, because this color is anything but sheer! It’s very nearly opaque on lips–the barest hint of my lip freckle peeks through. It’s vanilla-scented with no discernible taste.

Laura Mercier delivers a somewhat moisturizing formula that’s creamy and glides on fairly evenly and easily, and really, the only claim she missed was the sheer one. Just to reiterate, I rate products based on what the brand claims the product does, so if it’s a sheer product that ends up being opaque, they’re not living up to their claim–and this is why purchasing makeup is entirely subjective, because someone who loves sheer color wouldn’t like this and vice versa. My hope with reviews is to set expectations so that you know what you’re buying, for better or worse!

Kissed Lips wears really well and long–six hours in total–and it’s not drying at all. My lips felt all right after I removed the product seven hours later–not lovingly hydrated but not devoid of moisture. The texture, while creamy, seems to emphasize any and all lip imperfections–you can see that it’s managed to find every last bit of imperfect lip texture in the swatch. If you have drier, chapped lips, I would pass on this particular shade, because it will cling. Not drying yet it exhibits some of the characteristics of a drier formula!

The Glossover

coming-soon

Laura Mercier Kissed Lips Sheer Lip Color Review, Photos, Swatches

B
The texture, while creamy, seems to emphasize any and all lip imperfections--you can see that it's managed to find every last bit of imperfect lip texture in the swatch. If you have drier, chapped lips, I would pass on this particular shade, because it will cling. Not drying yet it exhibits some of the characteristics of a drier formula!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Monday, April 9th, 2012

Tom Ford Wet Violet Ultra Shine Lipgloss
Tom Ford Wet Violet Ultra Shine Lipgloss

Tom Ford Wet Violet Ultra Shine Lipgloss

Tom Ford Wet Violet Ultra shine Lipgloss ($45.00 for 0.24 fl. oz.) is a rich wine-berry with violet and pink shimmer. I couldn’t think of a perfect dupe for this exact hue, though I found some shades that are similar enough that they’re worth mentioning. MAC Color Saturation (because it recently debuted) is much, much lighter and appears more as a raspberry-pink. MAC Indigo Pink is pinker, redder, not as cool-toned or as berry. NARS Bougainville gives me a similar vibe, but the colors themselves are noticeably different–NARS’ shade is raspberry pink, not berry or purpled like Wet Violet. The closest shade I could think of was NARS Nana, which is redder and less purpled, but it has a similar vampy quality as well as similar application issues.

Tom Ford describes his gloss formula as being “high-shine” and “color-saturated.” He doesn’t mention any moisturizing benefits, just that the texture is “smooth and creamy.” It’s also noted that the gloss has a “high adherence,” which I assume is code for clings to lips better than your average gloss and, presumably, allows it to wear better/longer. The gloss is vanilla-scented but has no distinctive taste. It’s a sweet vanilla, less potent and not as sweet as MAC’s signature vanilla. Pleasing without being a confection of overblown sweetness.  It comes in a square tube with a brush-type applicator that doesn’t have any problems with random bristles being splayed out.

Wet Violet appears to be one of the deepest shades within the range of ten (I haven’t seen the range in person, so I can only make assumptions from the disappointing computer-generated swatches online), which means it is going to really push and test the limits of the overall quality and feel and look of the formula. Darker lipglosses are very difficult to master; they are naturally problematic, because you’re taking a very obvious, deep color and unless the gloss is opaque, there tends to be issues with color settling into lip lines (and being noticeable), evenness (which stands out, rather than disappears like it can with a lighter shade), and bleeding/feathering.

While the texture is undeniably lovely–soft, smooth, lightly tacky without being full-on sticky and thick (think MAC Lipglass), with a thicker feel that doesn’t end up feeling like goop–the color settles into lip lines and the color itself is tricky to apply evenly. The color coverage is semi-opaque; it adds plenty of color, but there’s enough translucency there that it enables a lot of your natural lip color to come through. This kind of gloss actually looks best on those with more pigmented lips!

Despite some of these drawbacks, Wet Violet wore for around five hours with most of the color intact, though the high-shine glossy finish had dwindled after three and a half hours. Tom Ford wasn’t able to overcome some tricky issues when working with really dark colors as glosses, and at this price tag, I had my fingers crossed. If you’re the type who only wears glosses over lipsticks, then it may still be worth checking out, as it will look much better over an opaque lipstick.

Overall, I can’t see myself shelling out the full $45 on this, but it makes me think of my favorite gloss of all-time (Cle de Peau #2), which is a whopping $55, but I adore it so much that it is still worth it to this day.  So perhaps not this shade but another shade, and if not for my wallet, for someone else’s wallet when the right color comes calling.  The formula seems good, as far as texture, feel, slip, and wear go, but it’s the color here that seems to take it down a peg with the color settling into lip lines.  I have a lighter shade I’ve yet to finish testing, so hopefully that one wears a bit better.

The Glossover

P
product

Wet Violet

B

Overall, I can't see myself shelling out the full $45 on this, but it makes me think of my favorite gloss of all-time (Cle de Peau #2), which is a whopping $55, but I adore it so much that it is still worth it to this day. So perhaps not this shade but another shade, and if not for my wallet, for someone else's wallet when the right color comes calling.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

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Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Bobbi Brown Citrus Sheer Color Lipgloss
Bobbi Brown Citrus Sheer Color Lipgloss

Bobbi Brown Citrus Sheer Color Lipgloss ($23.00 for 0.24 fl. oz.) is described as a “sheer neon orange.” It’s a sheer tangerine orange that gives lips a darker, warmer look. It adds subtle color without looking opaque, but it definitely does something. Le Metier de Beaute Orange Juiced looks very, very similar–it just has shimmer.

I like the lightweight feel of Bobbi Brown’s Sheer Color Lipgloss, and it has a mint scent (but no taste) like the rest of her gloss line. The color is certainly sheer, but there is a high gloss shine. It has a slightly sticky texture that develops over time (because initially, it feels non-sticky). Citrus managed to hang on for about two hours but had disappeared entirely after two and a half hours.  Not drying, not moisturizing; it’s just kind of a so-so lipgloss.

By the by, am I the only one who likes the color in the tube to look like what it does on the lips? If I want a sheer lipgloss, I want it to look sheer and lightly tinted in the tube! If it’s going to be rich and opaque on, then I want it to look that way in the tube. Bobbi Brown is just one of many brands who’ve come out with products that look bold and opaque in the tube but are formulated specifically to be sheer.

The Glossover

P
product

Citrus

B
It's sheer, just like it's supposed to be, but it does tint the lips just slightly and finishes them off with a high shine. If you've ever felt like you couldn't wear orange... I'm pretty sure you could get away with this one!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, March 30th, 2012

MAC In the Dark... Purple Nail Lacquer
MAC In the Dark… Purple Nail Lacquer

MAC Reel Sexy Nail Lacquers

MAC Reel Sexy Nail Lacquers ($16.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) include these three shades, all of which are creams: In the Dark… Purple (vivid violet), Screening Room (bright mid-tone teal), and Vivid Effect (vivid orange coral).

I’m still recovering from the shock of MAC polishes now being–permanently–available at a whopping $16 a pop.   They were $14 just a year ago.  A lot of brands increase prices every 12-18 months, and the increase can be as little as $0.50 to as much as $4-5, depending on the base price of the product.  MAC has historically raised prices on just about every product once a year, and on products at this price point, it has been $0.50–e.g. lipsticks, eyeshadows, and the like have gone up $0.50 a year, not $2 a year.  There’s only 0.34 fl. oz. of polish in the bottle!  C’mon!  Price aside…

In the Dark… Purple was streaky; it was still a little streaky with a thicker second coat yet not fully opaque after that either.   Screening Room was also on the streaky side, though it recovered mostly by the second coat.  Vivid Effect was not streaky, and it was opaque in two coats, so that was the best performer of the three shades.  It is the most dupeable, though.  I don’t have wear issues with MAC’s polish formula; I usually get a week of wear with minor tip wear but no chipping.

The Glossover

product

MAC Reel Sexy Nail Lacquers Review, Photos, Swatches

B
MAC needs to make sure their formula is on point if they're going to increase their polish prices by $2 every year. These are not the worst offenders in the past year, but they do not apply flawlessly and do take some patience and effort to ensure a streak-free finish.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Thursday, March 29th, 2012

MAC Pink Tea Blush
MAC Pink Tea Blush

MAC Pink Tea Blush

MAC Pink Tea Blush ($20.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “neutral beige pink” with a satin finish. These blushes are really interesting, just because they tend to swatch and apply darker on the skin than they look in the pan. As I write this post, I’m staring at the swatch on my forearm going, “Really?” In the pot, it looks exactly as described: pale, neutral pink–almost looks a little gray–but swatched it takes on a light-medium pink with a hint of berry hue. It loses the neutrality and grayness entirely! It is crazy how different it appears swatched as well as when applied to cheeks. On cheeks, it looks a little more neutral as a result of not being terribly pigmented.

Illamasqua Chased is a bit similar, though cooler-toned. Chanel Tweed Fuchsia is a little lighter and more shimmery. Bobbi Brown Pretty Pink is a bit yellower. NYX English Rose is cooler-toned. And yes, it does bear a resemblance to Lovecloud, which is a little warmer (and on, Pink Tea is softer, more neutral). Also, while it seemed like it might be similar to also-releasing (in Reel Sexy) Pink Cult, they’re not quite–Pink Cult actually retains the grayish, slightly neutral quality that you see in the pan when swatched, and it’s much more pigmented. Pink Cult swatches more true-to-pan, so if you saw this shade and wanted something more like the pan, you may want to hold out for Pink Cult. Not entirely different but not quite the same.

Pink Tea had the sheerest coverage out of the whole bunch; it took some layering to build it up enough so you could see it in the photograph. I think on pale complexions, it could easily become a go-to everyday/natural blusher, but on medium to deep skin tones, it’s just not going to do much. The texture is dry but soft, and blending isn’t difficult, but partially, it’s a result of how little color gets deposited on the skin! I really thought I was going to fall in love with this one, but the way it changed colors on me conflicted with my expectations.  Have you ever had that happen?

I’ve tested numerous MAC blushes in the past, and overall, they hold up between seven and eight hours. Out of this particular launch, I only specifically tested Full of Joy (which stayed true to the average) but hope to try a couple more shades. If there are any discrepancies, I’ll be sure to update the review to reflect that.

The Glossover

LE
product

Pink Tea

B
Pink Tea had the sheerest coverage out of the whole bunch; it took some layering to build it up enough so you could see it in the photograph. I think on pale complexions, it could easily become a go-to everyday/natural blusher, but on medium to deep skin tones, it's just not going to do much.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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