Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Giorgio Armani Transluminence Eye Palette
Giorgio Armani Transluminence Eye Palette

Giorgio Armani Transluminence Eye Palette

Giorgio Armani Transluminence Eye Palette ($58.00 for 0.07 oz.) is new and limited edition from the brand’s Transluminence Collection. It includes four shades of eyeshadow, all of which can be used wet or dry.

It includes a blue-based violet purple with a satiny sheen; jewe-toned teal with a semi-frost finish; grayed white-beige with a soft satin sheen; and a soft black with satin sheen. The finishes of these eyeshadows were more satiny–a soft sheen, not too frosted, and less obvious shimmer. The violet shade was the only one that appeared a touch sheer, while the other three were silky smooth with nice color intensity. I thought the teal was particularly stunning–it’s exactly teal.

I found these eyeshadows to work similarly whether used wet or dry–I didn’t notice a major difference in pigmentation or saturation when used wet. I used the palette on its own over NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base, and it was blendable and none of the colors lost their vibrancy when layered and blended in a look. I’m bummed by the lack of product you get in the compact, though–it doesn’t seem tiny by any means, but once you look at the weight, it’s a different story.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: I’m a sucker for jewel-tones, so I love the way this palette looks together. All four shades coordinate well and can be used together in an assortment of ways, which is nice. It is a cooler-toned palette, but jewel-tones always look lovely on warmer skin tones, despite their often cooler appearance.  The lack of product in it, however, does bring down the overall grade in a noteworthy way.

WHERE TO BUY: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Smashbox In Bloom Cheek Duo
Smashbox Blushing/Peony In Bloom Cheek Duo

Smashbox In Bloom Collection: Blushing/Peony

Smashbox Blushing/Peony In Bloom Cream Cheek Duo ($26.00 for 0.26 oz.) contains two shades of cream blush: a dark pink with subtle lighter pink shimmer and a part-pearl, part-frost sheen and lightened pinky-coral with a pearled, frost finish.  It’s new and limited edition and is part of Smashbox’s spring collection.

Both shades have a dewy, natural finish that’s not really shimmery, but they are definitely not matte.  With a cream blush, I do like a more natural finish, because they give that very fresh, almost stained look that’s never heavy.  These dry down quick enough so they don’t slide down your cheeks but not so quickly that they’re difficult to blend.  Each shade packs a good amount of pigmentation so getting the color you want should be no problem, but of course, use a light hand if you want a subtler look.  When I tested these, they wore for five or six hours well before beginning to fade.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: I like it, but I wish these lasted just a touch longer on the cheeks.  The shades will work for a variety of skin tones, as well as light to dark skin tones, because these can be blended out for a sheerer look or built up for more intensity.

WHERE TO BUY: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

La Prairie Whisper Lipgloss
La Prairie Cellular Lip Colour Effects

La Prairie Cellular Lip Colour Effects: Breezy Coral, Pink Shell

La Prairie Cellular Lip Colour Effects ($40.00 for 0.25 oz.) saw the release of two new shades–Breezy Coral and Pink Shell last year. Though both are limited edition, they seem to be readily available where La Prairie is sold. La Prairie’s gloss contains their Cellular Complex, plus Vitamin C and Aloe Vera, while giving lips a slight plumping effect along with moisture.

From La Prairie: This irresistible semi-gloss transparent glaze with lip-plumping properties helps restore youthful fullness while producing a natural luminosity that lasts and lasts. Fortified with vitamins and moisturizers, it soothes, conditions and prevents dryness. It is luxuriously smooth and easy to apply, without feathering or bleeding. Designed to be used alone or applied over your lipstick for added gloss and depth of colour.

  • Breezy Coral is a semi-sheer coral-pink with peachy gold shimmer.
  • Pink Shell is a semi-sheer pale pinked beige with muted champagne and soft pink shimmer.

These are very decadent glosses; both in the packaging which is long, sleek, and secure as well as the formula itself, which is thicker but not thick. They are moisturizing, and they do last a solid four hours without being a sticky gloss at all. I’m not sure why, but the scent reminds me of something clean – it doesn’t have any of the classic scents like rose, vanilla, berry, but there is something there. A little soapy, I suppose.

Lips do look and appear fuller and softer, not necessarily ultra plump, and there’s nary a tingle from start to finish from the formula, so the effect is subtle.  There is a nice shine on this that’s not too over the top with some color though designed to be sheer.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: It’s a nice gloss, though I’m not sure it greatly improves the health of my lips overall, so some of the marketing spiel gets lost on me.   I like them–they’re soft, smooth, easy to apply, and look fantastic.  The shades are universally appealing with soft color and sophisticated shimmer that’s never too much.  I like that after fifteen to twenty minutes of wear, lip lines are de-emphasized and softened.

WHERE TO BUY: Saks

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Bobbi Brown Powerful Palette
Bobbi Brown Powerful Palette

Bobbi Brown Powerful Palette

Bobbi Brown Powerful Palette ($60.00 for 0.36 oz.) is an all-in-one palette with four eyeshadows, one blush, two lipglosses, and one lipstick. It includes:  Navajo (creamy pinkish white), Rose Gold (golden pink), Burnished Rose (warm rose), Chocolate Caviar (deep chocolate brown), Plum (deep pinky plum), Pink Pudding (bright medium pink), Pink Bouquet (baby pink with silver flecks), and Powerful (bright deep pink).

  • Navajo is a pale beige white with a matte finish. This is part of the permanent range.
  • Rose Gold is a rose-tinged bronze gold with a frosted finish.
  • Burnished Rose is a warmed-up, soft light-medium brown beige with a matte finish.
  • Chocolate Caviar is a deep, dark cool-toned chocolate brown with a matte finish.
  • Plum is a very pinked plum with lots of color pay off; it can be built up with ease or blended out for a softer look. It has a near matte finish.  This is a powder blush.
  • Pink Pudding is a sheer, medium pink with soft pink shimmer.  This is a Shimmer Lip Gloss.
  • Pink Bouquet is a semi-sheer rosy pink with petal pink shimmer.  This is a Glitter Lip Gloss.
  • Powerful is an opaque, rich, deep burgundy wine with a creamy, slightly shiny 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.

All four eyeshadows were pigmented, and Chocolate Caviar was the only one that didn’t have a really beautifully creamy, silky texture (just slightly drier), and the Plum blush was also nicely pigmented.  The two lip glosses are both on the sheer side as Bobbi Brown glosses often are, while the lipstick was gorgeous and rich in color.

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.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • 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 Powerful 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.  However, I am not sure just how keen I am with the way the eyeshadows coordinate with the blush and lip colors–they are almost too orange compared to the plum and pink of the other shades.

WHERE TO BUY: Bobbi Brown

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, January 7th, 2011


Chanel Taffeta Rose Rouge Coco Lipstick

Chanel Cote d’Azur: Taffeta Rose

Chanel Taffeta Rose (16) Rouge Coco Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.12 oz.) is brightened dark pink with subtle fuchsia micro-shimmer. It is shade from Chanel’s Cote d’Azur Collection.  The finish has a frostiness that’s not overwhelming but more noticeable here than in other Rouge Cocos.  I also felt like this one emphasized even the most minute imperfections on the lips.

Rouge Coco is a slightly drier formula, because most of the shades are frost finishes, but I don’t find it drying–it’s just not moisturizing. It has a light vanilla-rose scent that’s rather faint but still detectable. It doesn’t seem to linger, though. On average, Rouge Cocos last four hours on me. I like the formula overall, and the shade range tends to be very wearable with a wide variety of colors from pinks to browns to reds. Pigmentation ranges from semi-sheer to semi-opaque, with a few shades being quite opaque and a couple on the sheerer side.

P.S. — I’m wearing Benefit Sugarbomb blush on cheeks.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: The Rouge Coco formula is most suitable for those with relatively healthy lips; if  your lips are dry and cracking, I would recommend opting for a more moisturizing formula (perhaps  Rouge Allure, if you want to stay within Chanel).  Taffeta Rose would suit both cool and warmer skin tones, because while it is slightly cool, it doesn’t pull too blue.

WHERE TO BUY: Chanel

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, January 6th, 2011


Make Up For Ever Star Lab Shine Lipglosses

Make Up For Ever Lab Shine Lipglosses: Star Finish

For spring (although, these have been available at Make Up For Ever boutiques since last June), Make Up For Ever launches new Lab Sine Lip Gloss ($18.00 for 0.09 oz.) in three finishes with 35 shades in total.

I reviewed the Metal Lab Shines several months ago, when I first purchased the Lab Shines. My intention was always to review all of the ones I purchased (which is all except for three, which they did not have in-stock at the time), but I was never able to get through lip swatches for all of the new glosses. I do still hope to do lip swatches for them in the future, but for now, please enjoy swatches and photos.

The Star Collection includes 14 shades and contains Make Up For Ever’s Star Powder. This finish is supposed add a lot of shine with iridescent mother-of-pearl. All of the lip glosses have both hyaluronic acid and Camelina oil for help moisturize lips and improve elasticity. It is a non-sticky gloss with a slight, tropical fruit kind of scent. The scent is not overwhelming, and it doesn’t smell synthetically sweet. They are packaged in thick, clear tubes with a black cap and a brush-type applicator.

The shades included in this finish are: S0 (pearly nude), S2 (pearly light beige), S4 (pearly pink beige), S6 (pearly peach), S8 (pearly ruby red), S10 (pearly caramel), S12 (pearly praline), S14 (pearly blackcurrant), S16 (pearly raspberry), S18 (pearly rosewood), S20 (pearly violet), S22 (pearly candy pink), S24 (pearly coral), and S26 (pearly electric rose). All of the shades are featured in this post except #S2, which was not available for purchase when I purchased the rest of these.

  • S0 is a sheer, pearly champagne beige with pale champagne shimmer.
  • S4 is a sheer, pearly rose pink with soft yellow undertones and champagne shimmer.
  • S6 is a sheer, coral with peach and pale gold shimmer.
  • S8 is a semi-sheer, blue-based red with soft gold shimmer.
  • S10 is a sheer, burnt brown with slight orange tones and beige shimmer.
  • S12 is a sheer, neutral brown with gold and champagne shimmer.
  • S14 is a sheer, darkened plum with pink and pale gold shimmer.
  • S16 is a sheer, muted, medium fuchsia pink with icy pink and champagne shimmer.
  • S18 is sheer, rosy brown with pink and teal shimmer.
  • S20 is a sheer, milky cool-toned pink with gold shimmer.
  • S22 is a sheer, soft pink with subtle cool undertones and pale gold and pink shimmer.
  • S24 is a sheer pinked coral with subtle gold shimmer.
  • S26 is a semi-sheer dark fuchsia pink with fuchsia iridescence.

Star Lab Shines have a very smooth texture; they’re thick without being goopy, but they are very comfortable to wear. They’re some of the more moisturizing glosses I have tried, and with these lighter shades, I get about two to three hours of wear. I’d love ‘em more if they wore longer (three to four is average for me, two is below), but I do love that they have a huge shade range (that’s permanent!).

My big complaint is that these only have 0.09 oz. in them–the average lipgloss has about 0.20 oz., and even Make Up For Ever’s Fascinating Lipgloss contained that much, but they halved the size and kept the price. I understand these are a completely different formula and contain their various powders (Diamond, Star, and Metal), but whether that really merits what is in essence over a 50% price increase is up for debate.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: These are very nice gloss basics; they’re non-sticky, comfortable to wear, and there are lots of shades to choose from. The Star finish is probably my favorite, because it has a nice level of sparkle and iridescence that’s not glittery or over the top. These are generally on the sheerer side, though, but deposit more color than the Diamond finish.

WHERE TO BUY: Sephora.com

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →