4.28.2012

One Month Blogiversary!

Image: Witthaya Phonsawat / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 


Nicole Reviews Beauty has passed its first major milestone -- one full month of blogging. Time to party hard with lists and data!

Here's an overview of the action that took place in Nicole Reviews Beauty's first month:
  • 45 posts, including this one
  • 43 comments
  • 9,238 pageviews
  • 20 followers and subscribers

Please take note of the subscription options in the top navigation bar and right hand column. I would love to have more regular readers to chat with!

These were some of the most popular posts this month:

These next posts were underloved, in my opinion. I was happy with the quality but they did not reach as many readers as I hoped:

Now it's your turn to sound off.  What do you like and dislike about Nicole Reviews Beauty?  What do you think would make the site better?

I can't wait to have a second fabulous month with you!



FEED your skin, FEED your soul

4.27.2012

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in 36 Satin Fuchsia Review and Swatches

I am continuing to get acquainted with Make Up For Ever (or MUFE for short), a popular brand created by French painter & sculptor Dany Sanz.  Ms. Sanz and Make Up For Ever strive to offer a beauty brand that meets every makeup desire, whether it be to achieve an everyday neutral style or master a theatrical, avant-garde look. 

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in 36 Satin Fuchsia ($19) definitely falls in the latter category! This is some bold lipstick.

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in 36 Satin Fuchsia
Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in 36 Satin Fuchsia -
Artificial Light

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in 36 Satin Fuchsia
Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in 36 Satin Fuchsia -
Natural Light

The bottom picture in natural light is a better representation of the true color of Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in 36 Satin Fuchsia. It is a very bright fuchsia that leans more purple than pink:

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in 36 Satin Fuchsia
Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in 36 Satin Fuchsia
Swatched on Arm

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in 36 has a satin finish. This means that it is creamier than a matte lipstick and has a little sheen, but it is not glossy by any means.

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in 36 Satin Fuchsia
Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in 36 Satin Fuchsia
Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in 36 Satin Fuchsia comes in a sleek black tube. I love packaging like this. The clean lines are so chic! 

I've been experimenting with fuchsia lip products lately, but Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in 36 Satin Fuchsia is just too purple to look good on me. I think this might work much better on gals with darker or cooler skin tones.

Color matching aside, the pigmentation of Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick is great and the price is a little lower than comparable high-end brands. I was very happy with Make Up For Ever's new Aqua Shadows as well. I think all of the MUFE fans may be on to something!

Will you love Make Up For Ever for ever and ever?


4.26.2012

Celebrity Makeup Match Up: MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Blossom Culture Review and Swatches

When I try new makeup, I love to imagine what celebrity would wear it. I picked Marilyn Monroe for NARS Jungle Red and Barbie (yes, she is a celebrity) for MAC Force of Love Lipglass.

So who do you think would rock MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Blossom Culture ($14.50)?

MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Blossom Culture
MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Blossom Culture

In my opinion, the nude pink-peach shimmer of MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Blossom Culture is a perfect fit for Brigitte Bardot's iconic makeup look!

Brigitte Bardot MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Blossom Culture
Brigitte Bardot
1960s Screen Goddess

In addition to her voluminous blonde locks, Brigitte Bardot's signature look included heavy lashes, winged eyeliner and natural blush, all topped off with a nude pink-peach lipstick to subtly accentuate her pouty lips.

MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Blossom Culture
MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Blossom Culture


Sounds perfect, but we run into a problem with the lipstick formula. MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Blossom Culture is a very moisturizing, glossy lipstick, and Brigitte Bardot favored matte lips.

MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Blossom Culture
MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Blossom Culture Swatched on Arm
More Pink in Person

Glossy lips weren't in vogue in the 60s, but they certainly are now. Hmm, maybe getting glossy with MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Blossom Culture is just what Brigitte needs to fast forward to 2012!

MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Blossom Culture has great pigmentation and lovely shine. The color may not be for everyone, but I can think of one Sixties sex kitten who would wear it well.

Do you think Brigitte would agree?  Who is your celebrity makeup muse?


4.25.2012

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Coral Review and Swatches

I'm beginning to see what the hype is all about...

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Coral
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Coral

I don't generally care about lip balm. My lips don't usually get dry, so it was never a necessity for me. But Fresh's Sugar Lip Treatments ($22.50) have been getting SO much buzz for SO long that I thought I must be missing something.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Coral
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Coral

Turns out I was. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Coral gives a gorgeous tint, leaves your lips feeling soft and smooth, and smells delicious.

Plus, it includes SPF 15 to help combat sun damage and wrinkles. Considering how much your lips show age, I'm surprised more lip products don't contain SPF.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 is available in six shades. The newest shade, Coral, is much more pigmented than the popular Rose version.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 Rose and Coral
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Rose and Coral



Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Rose is pretty, but it is very subtle. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Coral, on the other hand, gives a nice slick of color that amps up your naturally gorgeous look.

I love the moisturizing properties and soft, glossy color of Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15, but I have two big problems with this product:

1. The price is very high for a tinted lip balm. I don't think I can rationalize paying $22.50 for Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Coral when my lips aren't dry to begin with. I received mini versions of the Rose and Clear shades as my Beauty Insider Birthday Gift from Sephora, so I think I'm just going to use those and return the Coral, even though I prefer that color.

2. Although the packaging is beautiful, the cap is annoying to get off. You have to unscrew it! I would much rather just pull it off than twist it every time. I know, big deal, right? But at this high of a price, I want everything about this balm to be perfect.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Coral
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Coral -
Needlessly Infuriating!

Bottom Line: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Coral is a gorgeous shade that leaves your lips delectably soft and smooth. Unfortunately, it is very expensive and the packaging isn't ideal. I like this product overall, but I don't think I will repurchase because I don't use lip balm that frequently.  Lip balm lovers, on the other hand, might consider this as a luxe, delicious way to give their lips a treat.


Sephora 500 Point Perk: Too Faced "The Naked Look" Palette Photos

Sephora 500 Point Perk: Too Faced "The Naked Look" Palette
Sephora 500 Point Perk: Too Faced "The Naked Look" Palette



I cashed in some Beauty Insider points at Sephora this weekend and got the current 500 point perk from Too Faced, "The Naked Look" palette. The palette is a greatest hits compilation that includes two eyeshadows, one blush, and two lip glosses from Too Faced's bestselling Naked Eye, Natural Face, and Natural Kiss collections.

Sephora 500 Point Perk: Too Faced "The Naked Look" Palette
Sephora 500 Point Perk: Too Faced "The Naked Look" Palette


Pink Cheeks is a pale pink shimmer eyeshadow and Lap Dance is a violet-grey shimmer eyeshadow. Shimmer Veil is an ivory-pink luminizer. Pink Swan is a light peach gloss with glitter and Air Kiss is a peachy nude creme gloss. 

The palette's lid is imprinted with a how-to card to help you use the palette for some quick and easy looks.

Sephora 500 Point Perk: Too Faced "The Naked Look" Palette
Sephora 500 Point Perk: Too Faced "The Naked Look" Palette

What do you think of Too Faced's "The Naked Look?"  Are you gonna cash in some of those hard-earned Beauty Insider points or hold out for something else?


Everything You Need To Get Summertime Sexy! Shop Too Faced Cosmetics + Free Shipping!

4.24.2012

MAC Chen Man Lipglass in Force of Love Review and Swatches

MAC Force of Love Chen Man Lipglass
MAC Force of Love Chen Man Lipglass -
Artificial Light

MAC Force of Love Chen Man Lipglass
MAC Force of Love Chen Man Lipglass -
Natural Light

I feel like I am copping Barbie's steez when I wear MAC Chen Man Lipglass in Force of Love ($14.50). Just look at that blue, purple, and silver glitter!

MAC Lipglass in Force of Love was released in March 2012 as part of the Love & Water Collection, the brand's collaboration with Chinese fashion photographer Chen Man.  Chen Man's photography is distinctively color-saturated, and that sensibility is reflected in the bright, upbeat Love & Water collection.

MAC Lipglass in Force of Love is described as a "vivid honeysuckle pink."  I consider honeysuckle to be a bright, warm pink with some red. Given that, I don't think MAC Lipglass in Force of Love should be called honeysuckle pink. It is too cool and leans more purple.

MAC Chen Man Lipglass in Force of Love
MAC Chen Man Lipglass in Force of Love -
Swatched on Arm

Color nit-picking aside, MAC Chen Man Lipglass in Force of Love is quite nice.  It's vibrant and adds a lovely pop of color that is perfect for spring and summer. I don't typically wear glitter, but I might use MAC Chen Man Lipglass in Force of Love when I'm feeling more adventurous.

What do you think?  Does MAC Chen Man Lipglass in Force of Love look like your kind of lip gloss?


4.23.2012

Revlon ColorStay Long Wear Nail Enamel in Rich Raspberry Review & Swatches

Revlon ColorStay Long Wear Nail Enamel in Rich Raspberry
Revlon ColorStay Long Wear Nail Enamel in Rich Raspberry

Rich Raspberry is the last shade of Revlon ColorStay Nail Enamel that I own, and it just might be my favorite.

Revlon ColorStay Long Wear Nail Enamel in Rich Raspberry is a lively magenta color. I can't decide if it's more pink or more purple! Either way, it is totally beautiful and manages to look trendy without being cliche.

For this manicure, I used the Revlon ColorStay base coat, one coat of Revlon ColorStay Long Wear Nail Enamel in Rich Raspberry, and the Revlon ColorStay top coat.  The dry time was reasonable and I expect to get 7-10 days of wear time like I did with Marmalade and Fall Mood.

I am quite happy with these long-lasting polishes, even if they aren't what I'd call "at home gel manicures."

Check out the other posts in my Revlon ColorStay series:


4.22.2012

Kiss, Kiss: Charlotte Ronson Double XO Lipstick/Lipstain in Katherine Review and Swatches

Charlotte Ronson Double XO Lipstick/Lipstain in Katherine
Charlotte Ronson Double XO Lipstick/Lipstain in Katherine -
Adorable Packaging

Charlotte Ronson is certainly a Jill-of-All-Trades in the style world.  Already a renowned fashion designer, trendsetter, and girl about town, Charlotte launched her own beauty collection at Sephora in 2011.

The collection started small, but Charlotte has been expanding her new beauty brand little by little over the past year. Each piece thus far has a youthful, easygoing vibe, and the line seems carefully curated to create an image of laid-back beauty.

Charlotte Ronson Double XO Lipstick/Lipstain in Katherine
Charlotte Ronson Double XO Lipstick/Lipstain in Katherine

Given my affinity for lipstains, I chose the Charlotte Ronson Double XO Lipstick/Lipstain in Katherine ($22) as my introduction to the line. Charlotte names her products after friends and family who inspire her, which I think is very adorable and sweet. This shade of Double XO was named after Katherine Power, co-founder and creative director of WhoWhatWear.com.

Charlotte Ronson Double XO Lipstick/Lipstain is double ended, with lipstick on one end and the lip stain on the other. 
Charlotte Ronson Double XO Lipstick/Lipstain in Katherine
Charlotte Ronson Double XO Lipstick/Lipstain in Katherine

The Charlotte Ronson Double XO lipstick and lipstain in Katherine look pretty similar in the tube, but you can see some differences when they are swatched side by side. The lipstick is more pink and pigmented. The stain dries pretty sheer, and it is a warmer than the lipstick.

Charlotte Ronson Double XO Lipstick/Lipstain in Katherine
Charlotte Ronson Double XO Lipstick/Lipstain in Katherine

The lipstain is a sheer warm red. One layer gives you a healthy, "my lips but better" wash, while two or more layers build the color to a deeper brick red. The stain also has a strong minty tingle that I found uncomfortable:

Charlotte Ronson Double XO Lipstick/Lipstain in Katherine
Charlotte Ronson Double XO Lipstick/Lipstain in Katherine -
One Coat of Lipstain

To my surprise, the lipstick is pretty sheer as well. I applied quite a few coats to get this bold red look:

Charlotte Ronson Double XO Lipstick/Lipstain in Katherine
Charlotte Ronson Double XO Lipstick/Lipstain in Katherine -
Three Coats of Lipstick over One Coat of Lipstain

Unlike Smashbox Limitless Lip Stain in Guava, I had good luck with the wear time of Charlotte Ronson Double XO Lipstick/Lipstain in Katherine. The color lasted on my lips for several hours and did not fade in an unsightly fashion:

Charlotte Ronson Double XO Lipstick/Lipstain in Katherine
Charlotte Ronson Double XO Lipstick/Lipstain in Katherine -
3 hours after application

Bottom Line:  Charlotte Ronson Double XO Lipstick/Lipstain in Katherine is perfect for women who prefer an "effortlessly pretty" makeup style. The colors are sheer but buildable, so they are low risk while still offering a range of looks to play with. I personally prefer more pigmentation, but I think that Charlotte Ronson Double XO Lipstick/Lipstain in Katherine is a good option for people who are new to makeup or just like to cultivate simple, breezy style. 

Have you tried anything by Charlotte Ronson? Tell me about her eyeshadow plz!