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Best Lipsticks | Holiday 2016 Gift Guide

Best Lipsticks | Holiday 2016 Gift Guide

It’s that time of the year again:  holiday gift guides aplenty!  This year, I’ve broken out my gift guides into best of selections for blush, eyeshadow, highlighter, lipstick, lipgloss, palettes, and brushes.  These guides feature permanent formulas so that they can be useful anytime during the holiday season or even into next year.  For limited edition holiday products, you can check out our list of the top 50 highest-rated holiday products, which updates as I post more reviews for holiday products. Here’s a look at the best lipstick formulas I’ve tried:

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick ($26.00 for 0.15 oz.) is supposed to have “bold, creamy color” with “extreme moisture, soft texture, and creamy wear.” The majority of the range is very pigmented–typically opaque with one pass–with a few shades being semi-opaque but usually buildable. The majority of the shades I’ve tested have been lightly hydrating to non-drying and fairly comfortable to wear for the long-haul. They wear longer than average, from four to eight hours, depending on the intensity and propensity of the shade to stain. The range is rather extensive with over 30 shades, so you may find our top 15 best Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipsticks list useful. Some of my favorite shades are: Pickled Ginger, Kale, Sour Cherry, and Spritzer.

Availability

Sephora

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Best Highlighters | Holiday 2016 Gift Guide

Best Highlighters | Holiday 2016 Gift Guide

It’s that time of the year again:  holiday gift guides aplenty!  This year, I’ve broken out my gift guides into best of selections for blush, eyeshadow, highlighter, lipstick, lipgloss, palettes, and brushes.  These guides feature permanent formulas so that they can be useful anytime during the holiday season or even into next year.  For limited edition holiday products, you can check out our list of the top 50 highest-rated holiday products, which updates as I post more reviews for holiday products.  I hope you find this list of top performing highlighters useful 🙂

Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder

Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder

Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder ($44.00 for 0.11 oz.) is a luminous, powder highlighter that strikes the right balance between being noticeable without emphasizing the skin’s natural texture. The shimmer is fine, while the powder is silky and smooth. There are only three shades at the moment, and the one I use the most is Starlight, which works as a highlighting blush on my skin tone.

Availability

Sephora, Nordstrom, Beautylish, Neiman Marcus,

Bobbi Brown Bobbi to Glow Shimmer Brick Trio

Bobbi Brown Bobbi to Glow Shimmer Brick Palette
Bobbi Brown Bobbi to Glow Shimmer Brick Palette

Bobbi Brown Bobbi to Glow Shimmer Brick Palette ($69.00 for 0.52 oz.) includes three Shimmer Bricks, which are very shimmery powders. Each Shimmer Brick has five shades, so the color that you get can vary depending on where you concentrate your brush. All three shades have been released before, though only Bronze is part of the permanent range from what I could tell! It’s a powder highlight that features five colors, which are designed to be used together (though you can concentrate your brush in areas as well, or if you have an eye brush, you can use them individually) and applied to the face to highlight.

The three included in the palette all highlight the skin and add noticeable color on my light-medium complexion, so they be even more blush-like on fairer complexion and will likely show up on deeper skin tones with subtler tints. The texture of Gold and Bronze was smoother and more finely-milled with less overt sparkle, whereas Wild Rose was drier and seemed to have larger chunks of sparkle, which were more prone to emphasizing the skin’s natural texture. They were easy to apply, wore for about eight hours, and are well-worth a look for someone who likes a more intense, noticeable highlight. They’re the type of highlighter where a little can go a long way to adding luminosity, so they can definitely be too intense for some people’s preferences.

Value

  • Cost of full-size: $46.00 for 0.40 oz., $115.00/oz.
  • Cost of palette: $69.00 for 0.52 oz., $132.69/oz.
  • Value: $59.80

Gold is a light-medium gold with warm, yellow undertones paired with a frosted, lightly metallic finish. It had good pigmentation with a soft, smooth texture that blended out easily on the skin. I did not find that it emphasized my skin’s natural texture, but it does have a strong sheen to its finish. This shade wore well for eight hours before starting to fade. Looxi Beauty Centerfold (P, $7.50) is more shimmery, warmer, lower quality (95% similar). Chanel Routes des Indes de Chanel Illuminating Powder (LE, $70.00) is more shimmery, lighter (95% similar). Fenty Beauty Trophy Wife (P, $34.00) is more shimmery, darker (90% similar). Anastasia Dripping in Gold (LE, ) is more shimmery, darker, warmer (90% similar). Becca Champagne Gold (LE, $38.00) is less shimmery, warmer (90% similar). Looxi Beauty Luxe (P, $7.50) is warmer (90% similar). Laura Mercier Addiction (P, $44.00) is darker (90% similar). Anastasia Golden Dawn (LE, ) is darker (90% similar). L'Oreal Golden (P, $12.99) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Becca Prosecco Pop (P, $38.00) is more shimmery, lighter (95% similar). Anastasia White Sand (LE, ) is more shimmery, lighter (85% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Reflects Gilt (Top) (LE, ) is warmer (85% similar). Anastasia Butterscotch (LE, ) is more shimmery, lighter (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Bronze is a medium-dark, coppery brown with warm, reddish undertones and a softer, light-medium golden bronze shimmer. The pigmentation was rich, but the texture was soft and blendable, so it could easily be applied in sheerer layers or diffused for less intense coverage if desired–a little did go a long way, though, and I’d recommend using a lighter hand initially. On me, the powder lasted eight hours before fading. Colour Pop Glo Up (LE, $8.00) is lighter (95% similar). Colour Pop Candyman (P, $8.00) is darker (95% similar). Anastasia Bronzed (LE, ) is warmer (95% similar). Makeup Geek Ignite (P, $20.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). LORAC Spotlight (LE, $23.00) is less shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Bobbi Brown Sunkissed Glow (P, $48.00) is less shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Colour Pop Do Not Disturb (P, $8.00) is darker (90% similar). Cover FX Candlelight (P, $42.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). Cover FX Candlelight (P, $34.00) is more shimmery, lighter, warmer (90% similar). Colour Pop Avalon (LE, $8.00) is brighter, warmer (90% similar). BH Cosmetics Carli Bybel Deluxe Edition #21 (LE, ) is darker (90% similar). Dior #004 (P, $57.00) is lighter, cooler (85% similar). Bobbi Brown Nude Glow (LE, $46.00) is lighter, brighter (80% similar). Stila Kitten (LE, ) is more shimmery, lighter (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Wild Rose is a slightly muted, medium-dark pink with warm undertones and cooler, frosty pink shimmer. The shimmer particles in this shade seemed larger with both finer and more obvious flecks of sparkle used, which gave it a bit of a drier, looser consistency that was sheerer in coverage. The texture and shimmer in this one did emphasize my pores a bit, making them seem larger than they were. I didn’t have any trouble blending out the color, though, and it still wore for eight hours like the other two. Makeup Revolution Peach Kiss (P, $9.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Anastasia Sassy Grape (LE, ) is more shimmery, lighter, brighter (95% similar). Makeup Geek Starlight (LE, $20.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Wet 'n' Wild Botanic Dream (P, $4.99) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Bobbi Brown Sunrise Glow (P, $48.00) is cooler (90% similar). Make Up For Ever 10 Peach (P, $21.00) is more shimmery, lighter, cooler (90% similar). Becca Amethyst Flashes Geode (LE, $34.00) is more shimmery, lighter, cooler (90% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Starlight (P, $52.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). Bobbi Brown Lilac Rose (LE, $46.00) is cooler (90% similar). Colour Pop Full Service (LE, $8.00) is lighter, warmer (85% similar). Huda Beauty Ibiza (LE, ) is lighter, warmer (85% similar). Looxi Beauty Venom (P, $7.50) is warmer (85% similar). Huda Beauty Zanzibar (LE, ) is lighter, warmer (80% similar). Huda Beauty Copacabana (LE, ) is less shimmery, lighter, cooler (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Also In This Review

A

Gold

Limited Edition
Read Review
A

Bronze

Permanent
Read Review
B

Wild Rose

Limited Edition
Read Review
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Round-up: Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color Extensions (Fall 2016) Overview

Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Colors
Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Colors

Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is supposed to have one-stroke color coverage with a hydrating, smoothing formula, and “nourishing shine.” I was impressed with the formula as a whole, as the majority of the shades were very pigmented in one pass with a creamy consistency that glided on easily. There’s a richness to the texture that does feel more “luxe” in a way. The natural-to-luminous shine level gives lips a smoother, plumper look, while the formula itself is hydrating and many shades are longer wearing. I noticed that the lighter shades tended to perform more poorly relative to more light-medium to medium-dark-hued shades. There was a faint floral scent (that was a surprise, I wish they had gone the unscented!), but I didn’t have issues with taste and found it very subtle on.

The new shades are nice to see to the line, as it shows that the range has been successful enough to merit shade extensions!

01

Bobbi Brown Bond

PPermanent. $35.00/0.13 oz.

Bobbi Brown Bond Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a deep, muted plum with subtle, warm undertones and a lightly glossy, cream finish. Read full review.

Wishlist
Vanity

02. Bobbi Brown Uber Rose

Bobbi Brown Uber Rose Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a medium-dark plum with subtle, cool undertones and a creamy, lightly glossy finish. Read full review.

A

03. Bobbi Brown Flame

Bobbi Brown Flame Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) was a bright, medium-dark orange-red with strong, red undertones and a satiny sheen. Read full review.

A

04. Bobbi Brown Bahama Brown

Bobbi Brown Bahama Brown Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a muted, medium rosy mauve with warm undertones and a cream finish. Read full review.

A

05. Bobbi Brown Bobbi

Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is supposed to have one-stroke color coverage with a hydrating, smoothing formula, and "nourishing shine." Read full review.

A

06. Bobbi Brown Uber Beige

Bobbi Brown Uber Beige Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a medium brown with subtle warm, rosy undertones and a creamy finish. Read full review.

A-

07. Bobbi Brown Imperial Red

Bobbi Brown Imperial Red Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a deep red with subtle, cooler, pink undertones and a glossy finish. Read full review.

A-

08. Bobbi Brown Bellini

Bobbi Brown Bellini Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a medium, coral-orange with warm undertones and a creamy finish with a light sheen. Read full review.

B+

09. Bobbi Brown Tahiti Pink

Bobbi Brown Tahiti Pink Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a bright, medium pink with warmer undertones and a lightly glossy finish. Read full review.

B+

Glossover Breakdown

93%

Average Score
A
7
B
2
C
0
D
0
F
0
Glossover Averages
product
9
pigmentation
9.5
texture
9
longevity
9.5
application
5
Total
93%
product
9
pigmentation
9.5
texture
9
longevity
9.5
application
5
Total
93%

Bobbi Brown Flame, Imperial Red, Bobbi Luxe Lip Colors

Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color
Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color

Bobbi Brown Flame Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) was a bright, medium-dark orange-red with strong, red undertones and a satiny sheen. This shade wasn’t as glossy as others in the range, but it was still a more luminous finish overall. The texture was smooth, lightly creamy, and glided on easily. It had mostly opaque pigmentation that covered my lips evenly. I was able to wear this for six hours, and it felt moisturizing during that time. NYX Pure Red (P, $6.00) is lighter (95% similar). Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Psycho (P, $18.00) is less glossy (95% similar). Pat McGrath Obsessed (LE, $38.00) is lighter (90% similar). Urban Decay Bang (P, $17.00) is lighter, brighter (95% similar). NARS Marlene (P, $34.00) is lighter, brighter (95% similar). MAC Habanero (P, $21.00) is darker, cooler (95% similar). Bite Beauty Cayenne (P, $26.00) is lighter, brighter (95% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Connor (P, $36.00) is lighter (90% similar). MAC Sail La Vie (LE, $17.50) is warmer (90% similar). Chanel Rouge Feu (57) (P, $37.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Estee Lauder Uninhibited (P, $32.00) is lighter, brighter (90% similar). Dior Trafalgar (844) (P, $34.00) is lighter, brighter (90% similar). Bobbi Brown Sunset Orange (P, $35.00) is lighter (90% similar). Bite Beauty Flambé (P, $24.00) is cooler (90% similar). Giorgio Armani Notorious (408) (LE, $38.00) is more shimmery, lighter, brighter (90% similar). Buxom Rogue (P, $21.00) is brighter (90% similar). MAC Lady Danger (P, $17.50) is lighter, brighter (90% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Gala (LE, $36.00) is lighter (90% similar). NYX Indie Flick (P, $6.00) is lighter (90% similar). Maybelline Orange Danger (P, $7.49) is darker, cooler (90% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Bobbi Brown Imperial Red Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a deep red with subtle, cooler, pink undertones and a glossy finish. It had semi-opaque pigmentation, which did apply evenly and smoothly, so it looked like stain glass on the lips as there was still very rich, pronounced color on the lips. The texture was moderately emollient, so it didn’t tug while I applied, but it had more slip. I did not personally experience feathering or bleeding around the edges of my lips, but the consistency makes me think it might on others more prone to those things. This shade wore well for five and a half hours and left behind a strong stain. Make Up For Ever Raspberry Red (401) (P, $24.00) is warmer (95% similar). Chanel Memoire (224) (P, $37.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). MAC Carmine Rouge (LE, $17.50) is lighter, less glossy (95% similar). Bite Beauty Tannin (P, $24.00) is less glossy (95% similar). MAC Just a Bite (LE, $17.50) is less glossy (95% similar). Tarte Miami Vice (P, $21.00) is warmer (95% similar). Shiseido Ruby Copper (RD501) (P, $28.00) is less glossy (95% similar). Hourglass Icon (P, $32.00) is lighter (95% similar). Cle de Peau Pillow Book (P, $65.00) is darker (95% similar). Stellar Beauty Super Sonic 04 (P, $22.00) is lighter (95% similar). Urban Decay Spiderweb (P, $17.00) is warmer (95% similar). Makeup Geek Elegant (P, $15.00) is cooler (95% similar). MAC MAC Red (P, $17.50) is less glossy (95% similar). Tarte Sandals (LE, $21.00) is darker (95% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Tony (P, $36.00) is less glossy (95% similar). Burberry Ruby (434) (P, $35.00) is less glossy (95% similar). Make Up For Ever C405 (P, $22.00) is lighter (95% similar). Estee Lauder Boldface (P, $32.00) is lighter (95% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Naomi (LE, $36.00) is lighter (90% similar). Make Up For Ever C404 (P, $22.00) is lighter (90% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Bobbi Brown Bobbi Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a muted, medium pinky-brown with subtle, warm undertones and a creamy finish. The texture was lightweight, smooth, and creamy, so it was easy to apply and comfortable to wear. It had nearly opaque pigmentation, which applied evenly, and lasted a solid four and a half hours on my lips. I felt the formula was lightly hydrating over time. Bobbi Brown Bahama Brown (P, $35.00) is darker, brighter, warmer (90% similar). Chanel Stunt (LE, $32.00) is cooler, glossier (90% similar). Tarte Honey (LE, $20.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Bite Beauty Cashew (P, $24.00) is lighter, warmer, less glossy (85% similar). MAC Spirit (P, $17.50) is warmer (90% similar). MAC Spice (LE, $17.50) is warmer (85% similar). MAC Half 'n' Half (P, $17.50) is lighter, warmer (85% similar). Smashbox On Set (P, $21.00) is lighter, cooler (80% similar). Bite Beauty Pepper (P, $26.00) is cooler (80% similar). Make Up For Ever C107 (P, $22.00) is darker, warmer (80% similar). Urban Decay Liar (P, $17.00) is lighter, warmer (80% similar). MAC Double Shot (P, $17.50) is darker, warmer (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Formula Overview

Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is supposed to have one-stroke color coverage with a hydrating, smoothing formula, and “nourishing shine.” I was impressed with the formula as a whole, as the majority of the shades were very pigmented in one pass with a creamy consistency that glided on easily. There’s a richness to the texture that does feel more “luxe” in a way. The natural-to-luminous shine level gives lips a smoother, plumper look, while the formula itself is hydrating and many shades are longer wearing. I noticed that the lighter shades tended to perform more poorly relative to more light-medium to medium-dark-hued shades. There was a faint floral scent (that was a surprise, I wish they had gone the unscented!), but I didn’t have issues with taste and found it very subtle on (it’s no Dior/Chanel-level scent!). In general, I like Bobbi Brown’s lipstick formulas, and this one feels creamier and more hydrating than others, but for pigmentation, you can’t go wrong with this or the Rich Lip Color formula.

See more photos & swatches!

Sneak Peek: Bobbi Brown Bobbi to Glow Shimmer Brick Palette Photos & Swatches

Bobbi Brown Bobbi to Glow Shimmer Brick Palette
Bobbi Brown Bobbi to Glow Shimmer Brick Palette

Bobbi Brown Bobbi to Glow Shimmer Brick Palette ($69.00 for 1.02 oz.) includes three Shimmer Bricks, which are very shimmery powders. Each Shimmer Brick has five shades, so the color that you get can vary depending on where you concentrate your brush. All three shades have been relased before, though only Bronze is part of the permanent range from what I could tell!

See more photos & swatches!