Friday, December 10th, 2010

Chanel Energizing Multi-Protection Cream SPF 15
Chanel Energizing Multi-Protection Cream SPF 15

Chanl Beaute Initiale — Is it love?

Chanel Energizing Multi-Protection Cream SPF 15 ($75.00 for 0.1.7 oz.) is a quick-absorbing moisturizer with a cream consistency but the feeling and behavior of a lotion. It is designed to be used daily to “keep early signs of age and fatigue at bay.”

I wanted to try this particular moisturizer, because I really enjoyed Chanel’s Ultra Correction Lift Day Cream SPF 15 ($150.00 for 1.7 oz.). Chanel has several different product families available in skincare, and Beaute Initiale seems to be their “entry-level” range. It also seemed like it would be a good fit for my skin and aging concerns (more about preventation than reversal at this time). Hydramax + Active seems like another alternative for getting your foot in Chanel’s skincare.

My Skin: I’m 24 years-old with some fine lines around my eyes, slight but noticeable lip lines when I smile. My skin type is normal-to-dry in the fall/winter and mostly normal in the spring/summer. I am acne-prone and suffer from minor breakouts that seem to be more hormone or stress related than anything else.

There were so many things I loved about this cream, but it just doesn’t work with my skin type (normal-to-dry). I need more moisture, and I found my skin felt parched after a couple of hours after using this. I think those with oily skin  (but I would still recommend the Fluid for very oily skin types) could definitely consider this as an option for a daytime moisturizer. The cream dries down very quickly, within a few minutes, which is something I always keep an eye on when it comes to creams. Nobody wants to wait thirty minutes for their moisturizer to absorb!

It also spreads very evenly and well without leaving any streaks of white–it feels and looks like a cream, but the way it evens out so quickly makes it seem more like a gel. It dries down to a semi-matte, smooth finish. It is scented, but I found it pleasant–a fresh floral that didn’t feel heavy. I loved using it and wearing it for two to three hours, but for my skin, I need something heavier.

I’m not entirely sure why this isn’t sufficient, because I don’t have particularly dry skin, and there is a Fluid version (which I imagine is lighter and designed for oilier skin types). It is listed as a cream, so it should be heavier and more suitable for drier skin types, but it does not seem to be hydrating enough for my normal-to-dry skin, let alone dry skin.

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

RECOMMENDATION: I recommend trying a sample of this for normal-to-oily and oily skin types. If you are oily or very oily, you may consider using the Fluid version, which comes in a pump and may be lighter (but I haven’t tried it myself).

AVAILABILITY: Nordtsrom

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Sunday, December 5th, 2010

Urban Decay Afterglow Cheek Tints

Urban Decay Spring 2011: Afterglow Glide-On Cheek Tints

Urban Decay Afterglow Glide-On Cheek Tints ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) are a new way to get a hint of color with the “glow of a cream without any greasy feel.” The shades have “lightweight, sheer, buildable color” that can be used on bare skin or over foundation. There are seven shades: Bang (sheer coral red), Crush (sheer hot pink), Fetish (sheer mauve with fine pearlized finish), Greedy (sheer blackberry), Indecent (sheer apricot with pearly gold shimmer), Quickie (sheer bubble-pop-electric pink), and Score (sheer pink lemonade with fine pearlized finish).

  • Bang is a sheer darkened orange–almost like a burnt orange but not burnt in a bad way. I think this is a shade suitable for medium to dark skin tones, likely with yellower undertones.
  • Crush is a semi-bright Barbie pink. It seems to blend seamlessly against my warmer complexion in a way that makes it look natural, and I think it’s due to the very subtle blue undertone.
  • Fetish is a pinked mauve with soft white shimmer. It looks more like a soft rose on my cheeks, and the shimmer is detectable but not overpowering.
  • Greedy is a cool-toned purple-berry. It looks intimidating in the pan, but like all of the shades, it is sheer, so it is more workable. I think this is a shade that suits cooler skin tones in particular.
  • Indecent is a shimmering peach-orange with soft gold shimmer. On me, it kind of disappears, but it gives a natural glow/flush that I do like. Lighter skin tones will see more color pay off, though.
  • Quickie is a cotton candy pink with blue undertones and a light white shimmer. Despite the bluer undertones, it doesn’t look too cool or pale on my skin tone.
  • Score is a rosy pink-brown with pale champagne shimmer. I’m not sure what about this is really “pink lemonade.” On my medium skin tone, this gives a slight rosiness to cheeks, but it would work better on lighter skin tones.

I always find that cheek stains/tints always do better on bare skin than on foundation-covered skin, and it held true (for me) when I was testing out these new tints. They are touted as a tint, and there is nothing in the marketing materials that speaks on expected wear time. With shimmering shades, wear definitely seemed reduced with three to four hours of nice wear, but then some fading as the day worn on. For the shimmer-less shades, wear was better and gave four to six hours of color and began fading thereafter. I could extend the wear (for either finish) by another hour or so by applying it directly on bare skin. (I, unfortunately, do not have perfect or anywhere close to perfect skin, so I don’t see myself wearing the tints on their own very often.)

They are very easy to use, and Urban Decay is right when they say they are difficult to mess up. These blend into the skin very well, just with fingertips alone, but they also worked well with a small stippling brush (I used MAC’s 188). My preferred method of application is to use a brush to deposit the color on the cheeks and a (clean) fingertip to blend out the edges.

These can be used on the lips, but they work best on freshly exfoliated lips. I also felt like I needed several swipes of product to get enough to give my lips a boost in color. I don’t feel like it works much like a stain, because it easily wipes off (napkins, coffee cups). The consistency is also thin, so it does not seem to lock moisture in. It has a slightly creamy, but more gel-like consistency and texture–I would say they are a cross between MAC’s Cremeblends (that were limited edition) and Tarte’s Cheek Stains. They would also be comparable to Stila’s Convertible Color.

When compared to Tarte’s Cheek Stains, these are a lot less for your money, but against other high-end brands (like NARS, Stila, etc.) for cream or gel blushes, Urban Decay’s pricing/quantity seems to be right there on average.

All seven shades looked natural, and all but Indecent gave my medium skin tone noticeable color. I see Crush, Fetish, and Quickie being popular amongst most skin tones. Indecent is lovely for fairer skin tones or as a highlighter on medium to dark skin tones. I like Bang and Quickie for cooler skin tones, while Bang and Indecent seem best for warmer skin tones.

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you are a fan of Tarte’s Cheek Stains, I think you will like these. They have a similar consistency, but they come in pot form.

AVAILABILITY: January 2011 @ urbandecay.com, early February 2011 @ Beauty.com, Macy’s, Sephora, ULTA

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Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Illamasqua Welt Lipstick
Illamasqua Welt Lipstick

Illamasqua Welt Lipstick

Illamasqua Welt Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a bright fuchsia pink with a blue base. There is a subtle iridescent shimmer-sheen to the matte finish, too–it’s not a frost, but it’s not quite a sheen. It’s a rich, opaque color that really clings to lips, but the formula does not pull moisture out. Illamasqua’s Lipstick formula feels a little dry when applied, but let it warm up on your lips, because it really isn’t the drying kind. It does hug the lips, though, which makes it a much longer wearing lipstick (six hours or more).

The Glossover

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Welt

If you're looking for long-wearing, matte finishes, you may like Illamasqua's lipsticks.  I do not recommend them for those with chapped, cracked, or peeling lips, though.
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Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Estee Lauder Star Pink Pure Color Gloss
Estee Lauder Star Pink Pure Color Gloss

Estee Lauder Pure Color Gloss: Star Pink

Estee Lauder Star Pink Pure Color Gloss ($20.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a milky pale pink with fine golden shimmer. It’s described as a “cool light lilac,” and it swatches that way on my arm, but on my lips, it ends up looking a lot pinker. I could see the lilac being pulled out if your lips are naturally cooler or paler.

Pure Color Glosses have a sponge-tipped applicator, and they are all fig-scented (as the majority of Estee Lauder’s lip products are), which is a slightly sweetened fruit scent. This gloss is just barely tacky; I hate to say it has any tackiness, but there is a touch there. I get about two to three hours of wear, which is average, and I don’t find these glosses to be drying either.

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

RECOMMENDATION: It’s a nice gloss, and with so many shades to choose from, if this particular shade of pink isn’t up your alley, you may find another one that is.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Clarins Rosewood Rouge Prodige Lipstick
Clarins Rosewood Rouge Prodige Lipstick

Going Beyond Nude with Rosewood

Clarins Rosewood Rouge Prodige Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a rosy nude with a glistening shine.  This is my kind of nude–it doesn’t wash you out or make you look like a corpse.  It’s soft and muted, the way a good nude should be, but it still brightens up the face.  This is the kind of shade that works well for everyday or paired with a heavier eye/cheek look.  I find it more neutral-cool, which makes it a very wearable shade.

It does have that shiny, glossy finish the description boasts, and it doesn’t feel like the traditional long-wearing lipstick does. There is nothing drying about it when you apply it, because it applies like a thin gloss or a gloss/lipstick hybrid. The color pay off is excellent, though, and really delivers opaque color with a lightweight feel. It doesn’t transfer much when drinking from a glass, but for whatever reason, it just doesn’t extend past four hours.

The Rouge Prodige is a comfortable lipstick to wear, because it doesn’t cling or dry lips out (but while it has a glossy feel when applied, I do not find it moisturizing). There is a faint sweetened berry scent that is detectable but not overpowering (and doesn’t read synthetic or syrupy sweet), and there was no noticeable taste.

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

RECOMMENDATION: I always welcome a new line with opaque lip color (because it’s easier to sheer out an opaque color than it is to build up the color of a sheer shade!), and Rouge Prodige is a nice lipstick overall–it just falls short of its long-wearing claims for me. If it didn’t have that claim, I would have given it a higher score.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Clarins Blackberry Rouge Prodige Lipstick
Clarins Blackberry Rouge Prodige Lipstick

First Look at Clarins Rouge Prodige

Clarins Blackberry Rouge Prodige Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.10 oz.) is Clarins’ latest in lipstick formulas–it’s supposed to be a long-wearing lipstick with intense color that smooths away lip lines with high shine. Blackberry is an opaque, muted, pinked plum with a glossy shine. It’s actually a lovely shade for fall and winter that’s perfect for the season without being overwhelming.

It does have that shiny, glossy finish the description boasts, and it doesn’t feel like the traditional long-wearing lipstick does. There is nothing drying about it when you apply it, because it applies like a thin gloss or a gloss/lipstick hybrid. The color pay off is excellent, though, and really delivers opaque color with a lightweight feel. I only get four hours of wear with this shade, and for me, that’s the average time a lipstick wears on me–it’s just not that long-wearing. It doesn’t transfer much when drinking from a glass, but for whatever reason, it just doesn’t extend past four hours.

The Rouge Prodige is a comfortable lipstick to wear, because it doesn’t cling or dry lips out (but while it has a glossy feel when applied, I do not find it moisturizing).  There is a faint sweetened berry scent that is detectable but not overpowering (and doesn’t read synthetic or syrupy sweet), and there was no noticeable taste.

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

RECOMMENDATION: I always welcome a new line with opaque lip color (because it’s easier to sheer out an opaque color than it is to build up the color of a sheer shade!), and Rouge Prodige is a nice lipstick overall–it just falls short of its long-wearing claims for me.  If it didn’t have that claim, I would have given it a higher score.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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