Friday, February 11th, 2011

NARS Madere Pure Matte Lipstick
NARS Madere Pure Matte Lipstick

NARS Spring 2011: Madere

NARS Madere Pure Matte Lipstick ($25.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a pale pink-toned white-beige with a matte finish. It has great coverage, going opaque with little product, but as a matte, tends to cling to lips more than your average lipstick.

my thoughts on the formula: Pure Matte lipsticks have a matte finish, and while they’re not moisturizing, they don’t rob my lips of moisture. Lighter matte shades can take prep work, because the matte texture will emphasize any imperfections on your lips. Mattes do, however, last longer on lips, and NARS’ Pure Matte lipsticks last between four and five hours on me, though lighter shades like Madere are only three to four hours.

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

final thoughts: I will say that this is by no means a flattering shade on me, and I don’t see it working for a wide variety of skin tones. It’s so pale that it will provide great contrast on darker skin tones, but it is borders on zombie-lips when I wear it. The slight pink in the color does bring it up a notch, but I see this working best for a certain look or on paler skin tones.

where to buy: NARS

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Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Chanel Boy Rouge Coco Shine
Chanel Boy Rouge Coco Shine

Preview: Chanel Boy Rouge Coco Shine

Chanel Boy Rouge Coco Shine ($32.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a pale beige-y pink with a high shine and very soft, white micro-shimmer. It’s semi-sheer, and the fact that it’s more of a my-lips-but-better shade doesn’t yield a lot of noticeable color, but it’s pretty. The shade is available for a limited window of time (until February 14th) online and at select Nordstrom locations, and then it will return, along with the full range of Rouge Coco Shines, in April. Chanel describes the Rouge Coco Shine formula as a moisturizing, high-shine lipstick with a lightweight texture. The Hydratendre complex is supposed to hydrate and soften lips to give them a fuller look.

my thoughts on the formula: It’s a lightweight, nearly scent-free (I couldn’t distinguish what it was, but it was very faint), and has an emollient base. It applies evenly and smoothly, because it has that balm-like quality. Unfortunately, it only lasts two to three hours on me, but I would say it is on the moisturizing side.

The Glossover

P
product

Boy

B
The jury is still out for me--I'm going to have to see the other shades in the range before leaning one way or another (one shade is rarely enough to judge a brand by, particularly such a light shade). I'm curious to see the depth of the range and whether other shades will wear longer. Given that the wear is a below average, I'm also not pleased to see 0.10 oz. of product as compared to 0.12 for other lipsticks by Chanel.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Thursday, January 27th, 2011

MAC Valiant Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Valiant Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Wonder Woman: Valiant Eyeshadow Quad

MAC VALIANT EYESHADOW QUAD ($40.00 for 0.20 oz.) includes four shades of eyeshadow: Manila Paper (pale frost white gold), Valiant (light lime with yellow pearl), Diana Undercover (dark forest green), and Spinning Transformation (deep olive bronze with yellow pearl).

  • Manila Paper is a warm, white gold with excellent color payoff. This is a veluxe pearl finish. It is a repromote from Spring Colour Forecast. It is similar to Nylon but warmer.
  • Valiant is a yellowed, pale chartreuse green–extremely yellowed. It has so-so color pay off; it is a little sheer. This is a frost finish. It’s a yellower version of Juxt.
  • Diana Undercover is a darkened green with a brownish base. This is a satin finish. It had decent pigmentation but took a layer or two for it to show. It did work better in a look than swatched on the skin. The green is similar to the base color of NARS Blade Runner (but lacks the shmmer).
  • Spinning Transformation is a olive-tinged khaki brown with a soft bronze sheen. This is a frost finish. Pigmentation was decent but the texture was so thin–just not soft or silky smooth at all. It’s a less pigmented, less gold-shimmered NARS Star Sailor. It is a browner, less green-tinged Sumptuous Olive.

I feel like Valiant is just a little better than Lady Justice–decent but not as high quality as I’d like to see. Manila Paper is the standout shade in terms of color pay off and texture; creamy, smooth, and rich. Diana Undercover is a shade that MAC hasn’t done often, so I like it for its originality, but I wish it had a buttery texture. For a frost finish, Spinning Transformation wasn’t as soft and smooth as I’d expect.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: Though these shades lean warm, they do not lean so warm that they won’t also complement cooler skin tones. I think the pigmentation is decent across the board in this palette, but it’s not above and beyond excellent.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics

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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

MAC Wonder Woman Lipglasses
MAC Wonder Woman Lipglasses: Athena’s Kiss, Emancipation, Secret Identity, Wonder Woman

MAC Wonder Woman: Lipglasses

MAC WONDER WOMAN LIPGLASS ($19.50 for 0.37 oz.) include four shades: Athena’s Kiss (bright blue fuchsia), Emancipation (pale neutral pink), Secret Identity (mid-tone copper with soft pearl), and Wonder Woman (bright red with soft pearl). All four shades are new and limited edition.

  • Athena’s Kiss is a semi-opaque cool-toned fuchsia pink with white and fuchsia shimmer. It is more pigmented than Electric Fuchsia. It’s a touch darker and less creamy than True Babe.
  • Emancipation is a semi-sheer, champagne-shimmered pale beige. It is similar to Feeling Dreamy, Runway Fave, more pigmented Bare Necessities.
  • Secret Identity is a semi-sheer rusted orange with lighter orange shimmer. It applies rather unevenly, though. It’s a darker version of Kumquat.
  • Wonder Woman is a semi-opaque true red with gold shimmer. I really, really wanted to love this, but it applied a little unevenly and didn’t look as opaque on my lips as it did when swatched. It is less blue-based compared to Wicked Ways. It is also similar to Venetian, though more pigmented.

my thoughts on the formula: MAC Lipglasses are vanlla-scented, and they are typically thick and sticky. However, because of their tackiness, they do tend to wear better and longer (four hours for me). The Wonder Woman Lipglasses feel pretty thick, but they seem slightly less tacky than is the norm.

These are jumbo-sized, and for the extra $4-5 on the price tag (lipglass is normally $14.50, but with the special packaging, they would be $15.50), you are getting over double the amount in a regular lipglass (0.17 oz.). In essence, you are paying $52.70/oz. instead of $85.29/oz.

I did have trouble with these over-sized lipglasses, though.  Every time I went to pull out the applicator, a dollop of gloss would find its way on my desk, pants, or carpet.  Even when I gently and slowly pulled out the wand, it still occurred.  The fit is rather tight, so I suppose when you pull out the wand, the gloss has to go somewhere…

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

final thoughts: Emancipation and Wonder Woman should suit many skin tones from light to dark, cool to warm. Athena’s Kiss is workable on most, but it does complement cooler complexions more. Secret Identity is most suitable to warmer skin tones, because of the orange.  If you have thin lips, you probably won’t find the over-sized applicator so fun.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics

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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

MAC Wonder Woman Pigments/Reflects Glitters
Bright Fuchsia and Marine Ultra Pigments; Bronze and Pearl Reflects Glitters

MAC Wonder Woman: Pigments & Reflects Glitters

MAC PIGMENTS ($21.00 for 0.15 oz.) and MAC REFLECTS GLITTER ($21.00 for 0.15 oz.) are also included in the collection. The shades are: Bright Fuchsia (bright magenta), Marine Ultra (vivid marine blue), Reflects Bronze (sparkling rich gold), and Reflects Pearl (white glitter with pearl sheen).

All four shades are permanent shades available at MAC PRO stores. Supposedly, for licensing costs, these are priced ta $21.00 compared to the normal price of $19.50. Unless the packaging wins you over or you don’t have a PRO store nearby (and don’t want to order over the phone), I wouldn’t get these.

  • Bright Fuchsia is a brightened medium-dark fuchsia with fuchsia-pink shimmer. It has rich pigmentation and goes on smoothly. This shade is not eye safe.
  • Marine Ultra is a medium-dark ocean blue with a matte finish. It comes together very nicely and smoothly when applied. This shade is not lip safe.
  • Reflects Bronze is a coppery bronze glitter. This shade is not eye safe.
  • Reflects Pearl is a silvery-white glitter. This shade is not eye safe.

my thoughts on the formula: Both pigments and glitters are multi-use products, though their boxes come with safety warnings if they aren’t safe for a particular area of the face (usually eyes or lips). I noted the safety for each shade above. Both products are best used wet or over a tacky base (especially glitters). Glitters can be used in hair products (for glittered hair), nail polish, and lip gloss–just to name a few non-eye usages.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: Normally, I find pigments in the B+/A- range, but the bump in price and product quantity staying the same pushes it down to a B. I’m personally a little disappointed to see four shades from the permanent line being pushed in this collection. I’m also not sure why MAC always includes Reflects Glitters in collections clearly for regular consumers (not professional artists) if they’re not eye safe.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics

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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Guerlain Rose Desir Rouge G Lipstick
Guerlain Rose Desir Rouge G Lipstick

Guerlain Spring 2011: Rose Desir

Guerlain Rose Desir (71) Rouge G Lipstick ($47.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a soft rosy pink with pale pink and white shimmer. It has a slightly glossy finish and semi-opaque color. It has a little milkiness to the base color. This particular shade is new and limited edition for spring and comes in special edition black lacquered packaging. (You can see the black lacquered packaging here.)  It actually feels a bit more like the Rouge G Brilliant formula than the typical Rouge G–not quite as opaque, still very emollient and creamy but not as long-wearing.

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. I’m still crossing my fingers for refills, because as elegant as the case is, so much of the price must be attributed to it, and it would be nice to be able to reuse it.

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: 26/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: It’s a beautiful springtime pink, and though I don’t have a laundry list of dupes for this exact shade, there are enough springy pinks that you could pass on this shade if you only want to save your $47 for the most unique of the Rouge G line-up.  This shade will work for warm and cooler skin tones.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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