Thursday, July 14th, 2011

YSL Juicy Grapefruit (03) Volupte Sheer Candy Lipstick
YSL Juicy Grapefruit (03) Volupte Sheer Candy Lipstick

YSL Juicy Grapefruit (03) Volupte Sheer Candy Lipstick

YSL Juicy Grapefruit (03) Volupte Sheer Candy ($30.00 for 0.14 oz.) is, first and foremost, a balm. I say this to help set expectations, because for all of the fancy packaging, it is a lip balm, which means sheer color (YSL describes the color as “a sheer veil of brilliant color”). It is also described as lightweight with ingredients that will keep “lips feeling soft and hydrated for up to eight hours.” Juicy Grapefruit is clear when I wear it. It’s described as a “sheer, fresh baby pink” but it’s a glossy shine and not much else. I would expect to see more color in some of the darker shades in the range, but I haven’t tried them personally. Like other lip products in YSL’s line-up, these are mango-scented.

This product was a total miss for me–I was curious to see how it would work out, and the real point of these is something that’s moisturizing (and perhaps, lightly tinted), but it’s not moisturizing at all. I would apply this, and I would feel the need to reapply after an hour, because it would disappear in that time. I applied it before bed, and my lips felt chapped when I woke up. I don’t have high maintenance lips at all, but these made me feel like the queen of thirsty lips. I would actually describe this as drying, because after an hour of wearing this, all I wanted (and needed!) was more balm.  I tried using this and nothing but this for three days, and after those three days, my lips were on the verge of making a run for it.

It has a really emollient base, common to YSL’s Volupte line-up, and it glides on effortlessly, because it’s really creamy (without being thick or opaque). It feels nice on, and it doesn’t feel drying initially.  The packaging, too, is just like the Rouge Voluptes but with different coloring, and my favorite part has always been the filigree of YSL logo that wraps around the middle (but it will hold fingerprints). It’s always nice when a high-end brand uses high-end packaging to complement their product line. These were the only high points of this product–this was one of the more disappointing products I’ve tried in the past few months.

Remember, I can only review based on my personal experience with a product–if this formula worked for you, by all means, enjoy it for the both of us! :)  I’ve seen plenty of positive reviews on this product, but I didn’t experience it myself, unfortunately!

The Glossover

coming-soon

YSL Juicy Grapefruit (03) Volupte Sheer Candy Lipstick Review, Photos, Swatches

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If you purchase, make sure there is a return policy! This wasn't moisturizing, needed constant reapplication, and always left my lips feeling more parched than the time before.

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

2/10

Application

3/5

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Monday, May 9th, 2011

NARS Queen Soft Touch Shadow Pencil
NARS Queen Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Queen Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Queen Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as “majestic and modern citrus gold glitter, can be swiped on lids and blended with a fingertip.” Although I haven’t had good experiences with NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencils, I still held out hope, but Queen also disappointed. Despite NARS saying it can be applied to the lid and blended with a fingertip, it only lasts for a half hour or so, and even then, I’m not exactly sure what look NARS was going for.

Queen contains chartreuse glittery bits suspended in a colorless base–there is no color whatsoever, just glitter. It’s not a very densely-packed glitter, either, because it applies sheer and doesn’t seem to be buildable at all. The glitter is large and chunky, and though it didn’t feel quite like sandpaper, it wasn’t soft or smooth when used against the lid. I could definitely feel the grit and unevenness of the glitter as I attempted to apply it on my lid (I applied it directly, using the pencil against the lid).

When I used my fingertips to “blend,” I ended up with half the glitter on my finger with the rest on the lid. Just like several other shades I’ve tried, it creases within an hour (faster, too, but I just took a photo after an hour). The glitter migrated into the crease and collected with its friends. There was even some that had traveled beneath my lower lash line.

I attempted to apply it over an eyeshadow look to add glitter, but it made the look crease, and even before it creased, the glitter didn’t seem to apply evenly or smoothly at all. I also applied it over a clear eyeshadow base, and I still experienced the same creasing and migration of the glitter as without a base. When applied to the lower lash line, it travels down to cheeks and with the sheerness of the product (you can’t get a really dense, rich line of glitter), it just doesn’t apply well.

The Glossover

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product

Queen

It doesn't work alone, over a base, over eyeshadow, and if you apply eyeshadow over it, you end up covering a lot of the color of the glitter. You'd be better off applying glitter eyeliner (many are colored glitter suspended in a clear base) and applying that onto the lid, because at least it'll adhere for more than an hour.
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Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Urban Decay Urbanglow
Urban Decay Sin Urbanglow Cream Highlight

Urban Decay Urbanglows

Urban Decay Urbanglow Cream Highlight ($24.00 for 0.17 oz.) is described as a cream highlight with pearl powder, weightless formula, and “adds luminescence whenever you need it.” It can be used in the inner corners of your eyes, cheeks, or brow bones. The shade range includes four but all four are sheer enough to work across skin tones. It’s supposed to dry down “instantly” and work on top of makeup. The four shades include: Brown Sugar (warm taupey brown), Moonshine (iridescent shimmer), Sin (shimmering champagne), and Wicked (radiant pinky shimmer).

I received both Brown Sugar (which I’d describe as a gilded bronze) and Sin (which I’d describe as pale golden champagne) to review several months ago (back when they first released), they did not work for me at that time. I decided to hold off on a review and wait awhile before trying them again to see if perhaps it was something to do with the state of my skin or whatever. I tested both shades on and off since these launched (September, I believe), with each shade being trialed at least five times.

For me, these look lovely–initially–but do such a disservice to my skin after two hours of wear. I think these are best for those who have naturally beautiful skin and don’t typically wear makeup. They can work for that truly no makeup look, but once you involve foundation–and, if you dare, powder–the results took a nosedive. I could not get the highlighters to stay on for more than two to three hours before there was migration that made my cheeks look like there were chunks of glitter, rather than a dusting of sheen.

This effect worsened if you set your foundation/makeup with powder, which is something I find necessary as someone who wears liquid foundation. With powder to set, the highlighters stayed on for three to four hours, but they still migrated and bulking up so that wherever there was product, it accentuated my pores (and I never thought I had large ones, but this product made me question if I was simply delusional). They just tend to look cakey after a couple of hours of wear.

My results yielded glowy cheeks for two hours but the final look was rough-looking skin with accentuated pores and chunks of glitter and very little sheen left after two hours passed. I applied with brushes, sponges, and fingertips; over and under foundation; on bare skin alone. It seems to fade better over bare skin and doesn’t give skin such a rough textured look. When I tested it on the inner tearduct and brow bone, I had the same two-hour disappearing act and migration issues I had on the cheeks. They worked best on the brow bone, though, and wore for about four hours before fading.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Urban Decay Urbanglow Cream Highlight Review, Photos, Swatches

F
I have only seen others rave about Urbanglow, and so I would encourage you to research and read more reviews to balance with mine. I hate being that one naysayer, you know? Urban Decay's products are usually good, so find these so disappointing has left me in a bit of a quandary.  Between how quickly the Urbanglows faded to the overall look they gave after the initial dry-down, I just can't find much silver lining in this cloud.

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

3/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, January 24th, 2011

NARS Celebrate Soft Touch Shadow Pencil
NARS Celebrate Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Spring 2011: Celebrate

NARS Celebrate Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “parrot green” by NARS. The Soft Touch Shadow Pencils are supposed to be “smooth, creamy, and long-wearing.” They are touted as the “ideal base for layering with powder eyeshadow to increase color intensity.” It’s a multi-tasking pencil that can be used to “Shade the lid, line, or highlight the eye.”

Celebrate is a bright, chartreuse green with a strong yellow base. It applied semi-opaque but glided on easily. The problem with this shade was its complete inability to not crease. I tried it alone, and it creased within minutes. I layered eyeshadow on top (Giorgio Armani Transluminence palette–the teal–I just used whatever I had nearest to me), and it still creased in less than an hour. It’s not even a little creasing–it’s painful to see. Not to be daunted, I also tried it over NARS’ Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base with the same eyeshadow layered on top, and I still had the same results (a veritable creasing bonanza).

my thoughts on the formula: More often than not, the Soft Touch Shadow Pencils are a bust for me–they crease alone but also when layered with powder–and Celebrate continues to show that NARS’ Soft Touch Shadow Pencils really can be hit or miss.

The Glossover

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product

Celebrate

I'm not even sure what you can really use this with or for, if it's going to crease with two additional helpers (a base and shadow to set). It migrates on the lower lash line, too, so it's not something one could line with, either. Five points for the glide and color pay off!
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Monday, January 24th, 2011

NARS Hollywoodland Soft Touch Shadow Pencil
NARS Hollywoodland Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Spring 2011: Hollywoodland

NARS Hollywoodland Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “pale gold” by NARS. The Soft Touch Shadow Pencils are supposed to be “smooth, creamy, and long-wearing.” They are touted as the “ideal base for layering with powder eyeshadow to increase color intensity.” It’s a multi-tasking pencil that can be used to “Shade the lid, line, or highlight the eye.”

Hollywoodland is a muted yellow-based gold–kind of a gilded champagne-gold to me. It delivers a nice layer of color without a lot of tugging. Smooth without being greasy, it glides on the lid. I tested it alone, and within ten minutes, it was crease-city (photo included, for your viewing horror), and following that disaster, I tested it with Hourglass’ Dune eyeshadow on top–much better results (six hours of crease-free wear). However, I later tried it with NARS Brazil eyeshadow on it, and it creased a bit at the four hour mark. It seems like it really needs quite a bit of powder to really set it. I also wore it as a liner and honestly, when I went to check it after an hour, I couldn’t find it.

my thoughts on the formula: More often than not, the Soft Touch Shadow Pencils are a bust for me–they crease alone but also when layered with powder–but with enough powder, Hollywoodland managed to get through six hours without creasing, unlike the last one I tried (Palladium).

The Glossover

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product

Hollywoodland

F
For $24, this product needs a lot of help to make it usable. From a brand that can make my favorite eyeshadow primer, I'm It's a shame, because it was gorgeous as a base but also blended out on its own for a quick, everyday look.  Given that these are prone to creasing on my normal-to-dry lids, if you have to layer your eyeshadow primers normally, I don't think these are for you.

Product

3/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

2/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Monday, January 10th, 2011

Clarins Barocco Gold Shimmering Powder
Clarins Barocco Gold Shimmering Powder

Clarins Barocco Gold Shimmering Powder

Clarins Barocco Gold Shimmering Powder ($35.00 for 1.2 oz.) looks so beautiful on the inside, it’s hard to believe that the insides did not make such a splash. Inside, there are gold “nuggets,” which are incredibly soft and delicate. Every time I opened this, there was a cloud of sparkly dust that hovered and spilled over the edges and on my desk.

I had presumed these would be more like Guerlain’s Meteorites, which are shimmering spheres that impart a soft, subtle shimmer-sheen glow–these produce a bronzy, glittery bonanza. It does impart an orange-toned bronze brown with chunky bronze and gold glitter. Even when buffed, the chunky glitter is hard to disguise. This looked absolutely disastrous on face, and I did not find it worked well for decolletage either. The only place that seemed to work so-so was on legs, but it still had to be really blended and buffed so it looked natural and used considerably more product per use than I’d like.

Given that it is supposed to be face and decolletage, going as far as using it on legs was more to see if it worked anywhere than something I’d use this as a go-to for. I can do shimmer, sheen, and even glitter; I’m not at all scared of glitter, and while I don’t need to wear it every day, I have no problem wearing even heavier glitter on face or cheeks or lips. But this powder goes beyond what I see even glitter fanatics wanting in a face/decolletage glitter.  I would also not recommend using the provided pouf unless you want to be a bronze sculpture — one pat packs far too much product!

The concept is nice but there needs to be serious improvement on execution in order to make it work.  I would have loved to see this impart a much subtler, softer micro-glitter or shimmer.

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

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: This is a product that was beautiful in concept and dressed to impress in the beautiful filigreed canister, but the product itself just doesn’t work well in real life. It’s a mess to open but doesn’t work anywhere but legs–everywhere else is just too much. From Clarins, I would have expected something subtler and sophisticated.

WHERE TO BUY: Bloomingdale’s

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