Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara
L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara

Do you need a million lashes for a million dollar lash look?

L’Oreal Blackest Black (635) Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara ($8.99 for 0.30 fl. oz.) is designed as a volumizing mascara that will make your sparse lil’ lashes go from two to a million with a couple of coats of mascara. Obviously, like all mascaras, the claims are exaggerated, but what we can take out of all the marketing brouhaha is that it should give the illusion of a fuller fringe of lashes.

The good thing about mascara is a picture is worth at least 1,000 words, if not a few more. The wand on Voluminous Million Lashes works brilliantly to define and separate lashes–even after a couple of coats–and no clumping. My lashes look longer and thicker certainly, though increased volume? I’m not entirely sold. It’s there in some capacity, but perhaps not as volumizing as I’d expect from a full-on volumizing mascara.

I wore this for twelve hours, and I have no smudging or flaking issues to report. It also held my curl during the twelve hours I trialed this mascara (on five separate occasions). They added new technology to the tube itself so that when the wand pulls through the opening, it minimizes the amount of excess mascara on the brush/wand, for a cleaner application.  Blackest Black is a nice, inky black, too.

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  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

final thoughts: Love the brush and the packaging — could be more volumizing, though it is a nice mascara overall (but I rate based on how well a product performs relative to its claims).

where to buy: drugstore.com

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Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

NARS Desperado Nail Polish
NARS Desperado Nail Polish

NARS Spring 2011: Desperado

NARS Desperado Nail Polish ($16.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is deep yellow gold with a golden-bronze base. NARS describes it as an “antique brass.” I think it’s a gorgeous take on gold–it’s clearly gold but so much deeper and richer. It’s kind of like NARS Etrusque in polish form. This polish is a bit sheer, though; at two coats, it was almost opaque but there was still visible nail line, and the thickness of NARS’ formula made me hesitant to put on a third coat (I also didn’t feel confident that it was going to get me to total opaqueness).

my thoughts on the formula: NARS’ Nail Polish wears a solid week on me with minor tip wear (along with a proper base and top coat, of course).  The polish tends to be on the thicker side but not goopy.  Desperado had a mix of being thick but seemingly watery, which I imagine is why it was still semi-sheer after two thicker coats.

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

final thoughts: The color is spectacular; I see it really complementing skin tones with yellow and olive under tones.  It’s rich and deep and luxurious.  As a polish with a slightly metallic finish, some brush strokes are visible though.

where to buy: NARS

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Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

MAC Decorative Lustreglass
MAC Decorative Lustreglass

The Sultry Season: MAC Decorative Lustreglass

MAC Decorative Lustreglass ($14.50 for 0.17 oz.) is a semi-sheer, darkened red-plum with gold, pink, and red shimmer.  It has a thin texture but still delivers some color along with plenty of shimmer and glossiness.

my thoughts on the formula: Lustreglass is thinner and less sticky than MAC’s Lipglsas.  Lustreglass still has a very glass-like shine, though.  It also comes with a brush-type applicator, rather than a sponge-tipped one.  Opacity varies from shade to shade, with some being ultra sheer and others being semi-sheer to semi-opaque.  I get three to four hours of wear with Lustreglass.

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

final thoughts: If lipglass is too heavy, thick, or sticky for you, consider trying Lustreglass.  I think MAC’s Lustreglasses are a bit underrated, because they have the same beautiful sparkle and shine of Lipglasses but a thinner texture and are barely tacky.  Decorative works well with both cool and warmer skin tones, though it does pull a bit cool on me.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Friday, January 21st, 2011

Bobbi Brown Pretty Palette
Bobbi Brown Pretty Palette

Pretty in Pink with Bobbi Brown

Bobbi Brown Pretty Palette ($60.00 for 0.36 oz.) is an all-inclusive face palette with four eyeshadows, one blush, two lip glosses, and one lip color. It includes: Ivory (creamy white), Pink Flannel (nude pink), Pink Chiffon (bright pink with shimmer), Chocolate Caviar (deep chocolate brown), Pretty Pink (warm baby pink), Soiree Pink (baby pink with silver flecks), Bubble Bath (bright neutral pink), and Sandwash (beige pink). It shares one overlapping shade (Chocolate Caviar) with the Powerful palette.

  • Ivory is neutral-cool white. This is a matte eyeshadow, and it is part of the permanent range.
  • Pink Flannel is a muted gray-rose with great color pay off and no chalkiness. It is nicely pigmented and very creamy, not at all chalky. This is a matte eyeshadow.
  • Pink Chiffon is a white-shimmered petal pink with an inherent sheerness because of its finish. This is a shimmer wash eyeshadow.
  • Chocolate Caviar is a deep, dark cool-toned chocolate brown This is a matte eyeshadow.
  • Pretty Pink is a blue-based medium pink with a near matte finish. This is a blush.
  • Soiree Pink is a sheer confection of gold and pink shimmer; it has a milky pink base, but it really didn’t seem to show up on lips. This is a glitter lip gloss.
  • Bubble Bath is a cool-toned medium pink with a glossy shine. This is a lip gloss.
  • Sandwash is a nearly opaque, plummy pink with a cream finish. This is a lipstick.

The palette contains 0.09 oz. of Eyeshadow ($22.50 value), 0.04 oz. Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow ($7.50 value), 0.14 oz. of blush ($23.69 value), 0.028 oz. of Shimmer Lip Gloss ($4.00 value), 0.028 of Glitter Lip Gloss ($4.00 value), and 0.035 oz. of Lip Color ($6.42 value). It total value of the products inside the palette sums to $68.11, while the palette itself costs $60. It’s not a value-packed palette, but you’re getting your money’s worth.

Just like the Powerful, all of the shades were pigmented, and the matte shades were nice and creamy, with the exception of Chocolate Caviar which was slightly drier. Again, both glosses are rather sheer with the lip color being more opaque. The Pretty palette coordinates better within itself, though, which is really nice to see.

I love the sleek packaging, and I think the typography on the outside cover of the palette is beautiful. Bobbi Brown’s campaign of Pretty. Powerful. is really a fantastic slogan, so I’m all for it being emblazoned across the palette itself. Though I’m not personally that fond of palettes that mix powders with gloss or creams, I do like that Bobbi Brown’s palettes always seem to have deeper wells and a very tightly clasping palette to minimize powder migration.

P.S. — In case you missed it, I reviewed the Powerful palette earlier.

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

final thoughts: For those who like palettes that make their mornings easier, Bobbi Brown’s Pretty palette may just be one of those. With eyeshadows, blush, and lip color all in one go all housed in a slim palette, it is easy to travel with. This one certainly works better as a standalone palette, and the cooler tones of the palette make it more flattering on cooler skin tones.

where to buy: Bobbi Brown

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Friday, January 21st, 2011


Giorgio Armani Transluminence Face Palette

A Shy Blush for Pale Beauties

Giorgio Armani Transluminence Face Palette ($49.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a muted rose with peachiness. It has a satin-matte finish, and it applies very sheerly on the face. It is a called a sheer blush, however, so it was rather expected. It does provide some color on my medium skin tone, but it is certainly a subtle effect. I could see lighter skin tones really working well with this shade for a pop of color good for everyday looks. The sheen is soft and barely-there but delivers a glowiness when applied to cheeks.  Though the texture was silky smooth, it did feel a little powdery, but because the formula is sheer, it is very easy to blend.

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

final thoughts: The blush has a very smooth, soft texture though it’s almost chalky on my medium skin-tone, which is why I think this could easily be a much loved item in paler beauties’ stashes while not so favored if you have a darker skin tone.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Rimmel Latino Moisture Renew Lipstick
Rimmel Latino Moisture Renew Lipstick

A Frosted Pink by Rimmel

Rimmel Latino Moisture Renew Lipstick ($5.47 for 0.14 oz.) is a deep rusted pink–it almost seems like a coral, but it has more of that pink-raspberry sorbet kind of feel than that of a pink or red-based coral. It has a heavy dose of frost in the finish, coming from a mixture of wihte, pale pink, and fuchsia shimmer. The color is seim-opaque; it gives my lips plenty of color but doesn’t entirely cover my natural lip color (you can still see my lip freckle peeking through).

my thoughts on the formula: Rimmel’s Moisture Renew Lipsticks applies smoothly, but some shades, like frosted ones like Latino, are less creamy than ones with less shimmer (more of a satin or cream finish). I typically get between two and three hours of wear with this lipstick formula, and I do not find it to be very moisturizing, though not drying.

P.S. – Am I the only one who raised eyebrows at the name?

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  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: I wish it was as moisturizing as it claimed, because then it would be slightly more comfortable to wear and live up to its claims. Aside from the wear time, it’s a decent lipstick.

WHERE TO BUY: Walmart

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