5.19.2012

Maybelline Super Stay 14 Hr Lipstick in Eternal Rose Review and Swatches

 Maybelline Super Stay 14 Hr Lipstick in Eternal Rose
 Maybelline Super Stay 14 Hr Lipstick in Eternal Rose

I have to say, Maybelline Super Stay 14 Hour Lipstick in Eternal Rose ($8.99) is a pretty good long wear lip color! It's easy to apply, the pigmentation is great, and the color lasts long and fades evenly.

Maybelline Super Stay 14 Hr Lipstick in Eternal Rose
Maybelline Super Stay 14 Hr Lipstick in Eternal Rose

Maybelline Super Stay 14 Hr Lipstick in Eternal Rose doesn't feel quite like a normal lipstick. The texture is a little hard, but the formula is so pigmented that you get full, bold color with a single swipe. 

Maybelline Super Stay 14 Hr Lipstick in Eternal Rose Swatch
Maybelline Super Stay 14 Hr Lipstick in Eternal Rose Swatch

Maybelline Super Stay 14 Hr Lipstick in Eternal Rose is a deep rosy pink with some red. It's not my favorite color, so I might prefer one of the other 19 shades. Still, I was impressed with the wear time of Maybelline Super Stay 14 Hr Lipstick.

Though it doesn't look freshly applied forever, Maybelline Super Stay 14 Hr Lipstick retains quite a bit of color throughout the day. It also fades pretty evenly and avoids unsightly clumping that is a common drawback of long wear lipstick formulas.

Maybelline Super Stay 14 Hr Lipstick in Eternal Rose is not a moisturizing lipstick. I didn't notice any dryness, but that's something to watch out for if your lips are prone to chapping.

Overall, Maybelline Super Stay 14 Hr Lipstick in Eternal Rose is a good, affordable option for long wear lip color. I think this would work well for people who want a little color on their lips all day without having to constantly reapply.


5.18.2012

NARS Larger Than Life Lip Gloss in 413 Bleecker Review and Swatches

413 Bleecker Street is the address of NARS' flagship storefront in downtown New York City. To celebrate its opening last year, NARS released a trio of downtown NYC-inspired products, including Larger Than Life Lip Gloss in 413 Bleecker.

NARS Larger Than Life Lip Gloss in 413 Bleecker
NARS Larger Than Life Lip Gloss in 413 Bleecker

NARS Larger Than Life Lip Gloss in 413 Bleecker ($26) is a bright, rich candy apple red. The super shiny formula is somewhat thick, so it fills in lip lines for an extra voluptuous look.

NARS Larger Than Life Lip Gloss in 413 Bleecker
NARS Larger Than Life Lip Gloss in 413 Bleecker

NARS Larger Than Life Lip Gloss in 413 Bleecker (or 413 BLKR) has some pink in it, though it pulls toward an orange red when you apply more layers. 

NARS Larger Than Life Lip Gloss in 413 Bleecker Swatch
NARS Larger Than Life Lip Gloss in 413 Bleecker Swatch

I am very happy with the texture, color, and finish of NARS Larger Than Life Lip Gloss in 413 Bleecker. My only problem is the applicator. 

NARS Larger Than Life Lip Gloss in 413 Bleecker
NARS Larger Than Life Lip Gloss in 413 Bleecker

The brush is so teeny tiny! It felt odd to use such a small applicator and it was hard not to make mistakes along the lip line. 

I would give this gloss my highest recommendation if the applicator was different. Your applicator preferences may vary, so just keep that in mind if you're considering a purchase.
Summer Makeup Collection 2010 by NARS Cosmetics

Is Caudalie Cruelty-Free?

Caudalie Premier Cru Cream
Caudalie Premier Cru Cream

When I wrote my review of Caudalie Paris Premier Cru Cream, I was under the impression that Caudalie was a cruelty-free company that does not test on animals. Jen Mathews of My Beauty Bunny quickly notified me that Caudalie had been removed from the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetic's Leaping Bunny Directory, which is widely regarded as the gold standard for evaluating whether a company is cruelty-free.

Jen had a hunch that Caudalie was removed because they sell their products in China, which requires companies to conduct skin and eye irritation tests on animals for certain cosmetic products. Estee Lauder, Mary Kay, and Avon all lost their cruelty-free status in order to comply with this regulation. I contacted Caudalie Client Services to find out if this was the case with Caudalie. After a series of emails, I am still unclear about the company's cruelty-free status.

The Caudalie representative informed me that she "confirmed that ALL brands that are currently sold in China have been removed from the leaping bunny. We are very against animal testing in the formulation of our products, as well as the origin of our ingredients."   

I thought this answer was pretty vague. Being "against" animal testing is not the same as refusing to do it! I then asked if Caudalie tests any of its ingredients or finished products on animals in order to comply with China's regulations.

The representative responded that "In the manufacturing of our products and ingredients, we do not test on animals. This is extremely important to Mathilde [creator of Caudalie] as she would like to keep the brand as environmentally sustainable as possible."

I'm still not sure what to make of this answer. If Caudalie don't test on animals, how are able to be sold in China? Is it possible that their products are not subject to the animal testing requirement? Or is Caudalie undertaking animal tests that the Client Services representative is unaware of or unwilling to share with me?

I have asked for further clarification and will notify you of the results. I truly hope that Caudalie has not caved to animal testing in order to access Chinese markets!

[UPDATE] I have confirmation that Caudalie Paris is no longer cruelty-free.



Afterglow Cosmetics, Inc

5.17.2012

L'Oreal HiP Studio Secrets Professional Crystal Shadow Duo in Precious Review and Swatches

L'Oreal should take this eyeshadow duo back to the drawing board.

L'Oreal HiP Studio Secrets Professional Crystal Shadow Duo in Precious
L'Oreal HiP Studio Secrets Professional Crystal Shadow Duo in Precious

The shimmery shades of L'Oreal HiP Studio Secrets Professional Crystal Shadow Duo in Precious ($5-$8) look pretty in the pan, but they are tragically chalky, flaky, and lacking in pigment when applied.

L'Oreal HiP Studio Secrets Professional Crystal Shadow Duo in Precious Swatches
L'Oreal HiP Studio Secrets Professional Crystal Shadow Duo in Precious Swatches

L'Oreal HiP Studio Secrets Professional Crystal Shadow Duo in Precious includes an ivory with gold shimmer and a bronze-y pink copper shade. The ivory is very sheer and requires many layers to show up. The copper is more pigmented but also chunkier with more fallout. Both are difficult to blend.

L'Oreal HiP Studio Secrets Professional Crystal Shadow Duo in Precious
L'Oreal HiP Studio Secrets Professional Crystal Shadow Duo in Precious

The packaging for L'Oreal HiP Studio Secrets Professional Crystal Shadow Duo in Precious is needlessly bulky. L'Oreal included a trapdoor at the bottom that contains an oh-so-thrilling sponge applicator. I think they should have left this compartment out and designed a more streamlined container instead.

I was really expecting better from this product. I love L'Oreal HiP Studio Secrets Shocking Shadow Pigments and I was hoping for more high quality shadow from L'Oreal's HiP line.

Readers, do you have any recommendations for better drugstore eyeshadow?


Latisse Confession

Latisse and All Day Chemist
Latisse Lashes

I make it a point to be honest in my reviews, but one of my very first posts contains a lie. 

In my Latisse: Before and After Review, I said that I paid $100 for Latisse, presumably through a doctor. In reality, I took a risk and ordered a generic version from a potentially sketchy website called All Day Chemist. I was scared to say that because I was worried the Internet Police would come get me. I feel guilty about not telling the truth and I hope you can forgive me.

To make up for it, let me tell you about this sketchy website.

All Day Chemist is an Indian generic drugs distributor that ships worldwide. Generic medications have the same active ingredient and composition as the brand name product; the only difference is the manufacturer and the price. Careprost, the generic version of Latisse, costs $10 when purchased from All Day Chemist instead of the usual $100.

The United States FDA allows residents to buy certain prescription products online in small quantities. Some insurance companies will even reimburse clients who opt to purchase medications online from distributors like All Day Chemist. Overall, it seems like you will be pretty square with the law if you order from All Day Chemist provided you have a prescription.

Here's where it gets iffy. The site says that you must email or fax a copy of your prescription in order to buy medication. However, this policy does not seem to be enforced. I never emailed or faxed a prescription and I still received my products.

I am very satisfied with the quality of my order. I love my Careprost/Latisse, and I plan to order more from All Day Chemist when I run out. I will probably order a few bottles because, although the cost of the products is quite low, the shipping fee from India is fairly large ($25).

I was pretty nervous about ordering from All Day Chemist, but it still seemed more appealing to me than going to a dermatologist ($$) and paying $100 for Latisse. Taking that risk will not be attractive for everyone, so I am not at all recommending that you do it.

It's just what I did and it worked for me.

MAC Lipstick in Impassioned Review and Swatches

MAC Lipstick in Impassioned
MAC Lipstick in Impassioned

Impassioned ($14.50) is one of MAC's most enduringly popular and iconic shades. The lipstick is a beyond bright warm pink-fuchsia that makes a statement every time you wear it.

MAC Lipstick in Impassioned Swatch
MAC Lipstick in Impassioned Swatch

MAC Lipstick in Impassioned is SO beloved that the shade was selected for one of MAC's new Fashion Sets.

MAC's newly-released Fashion Sets are mini-collections of Lipstick, Lipglass, and Nail Lacquer inspired by the brand's most popular lipstick shades. Yep, that means now you can wear Impassioned as a gloss and on your fingertips!

Picture this: MAC Lipstick in Impassioned + a perfectly coordinated gloss + matching nail lacquer + a pale, mint green shirtdress.

Sounds like a pretty killer ensemble to me! The bright fuchsia-pink hue of MAC Impassioned makes for a wonderful accessory, and I can't wait to try it on my nails.

Which Fashion Set are you dying to try the most?

5.16.2012

NARS Summer 2012: Blush in Liberte Review and Swatches

Sexy blush alert!

NARS Blush in Liberte
NARS Blush in Liberte

NARS Blush in Liberté ($28) is unlike any blush I have worn before. I thought that the deep, apricot red would look horrible with my complexion, but it actually flatters in a seriously gorgeous way. In the above picture, I'm wearing it with NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Moscow.

NARS Blush in Liberte
NARS Blush in Liberte

NARS Blush in Liberte is very silky and pigmented, so you only need a dab or two on each cheek to get a great flush. The blush has brown/beige undertones that allow the bold color to blend seamlessly into your skin. Imagine how amazing it would look on someone with a deeper complexion!

NARS Blush in Liberte Swatch
NARS Blush in Liberte Swatch

I love that the apricot color of NARS Blush in Liberte is red-based rather than pink-based. Pink cheeks are fantastic and all, but I think the red adds a unique, sultry edge to NARS Liberte that keeps drawing me in.

NARS may have created a new blush classic with Liberte.

What do you think, readers? Will you be giving Liberte a shot?


NARS Summer 2012: Pure Matte Lipstick in Moscow Review and Swatches

NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Moscow
NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Moscow

NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Moscow ($25) is not your typical summer lipstick. Instead of offering a light, sheer color, NARS has created something with serious punch.

NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Moscow Swatch
NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Moscow Swatch

Although NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Moscow is described as a "strawberry red," the color is quite deep and I definitely notice hints of brown. 

NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Moscow
NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Moscow

Personally, I find the color too deep for me to wear every day. I might try NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Moscow for a special occasion, but the bold shade could work as the perfect summer lipstick for someone with a darker complexion.

What do you think? How does NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Moscow fit into your summer plans?


Beat the Heat With Summer Makeup That Lasts

This article was written as a Guest Post for Daughter-in--Law Diaries. Drop by and say hi over there too!

As summer rapidly approaches, melting makeup is the last thing you want to worry about. How do you get your look to last while having tons of fun in the sun?

Too Faced Primed and Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer
Too Faced Primed and Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer
Face

To keep your face makeup pristine, start with a mattifying primer to control oil, ensure even foundation application, and help your makeup last all day. My favorite primer is Too Faced Primed and Poreless, and Hourglass No. 28 Primer Serum is another gorgeous, though pricey, option.

Matte finish foundations with SPF are ideal for hot weather. Givenchy Photo'Perfexion Fluid Foundation SPF 20 is long-lasting and gives a comfortable matte finish with plenty of glow. Almay TLC Truly Lasting 16 Hour Makeup SPF 15 is another great option at a much lower price.

To get even more mileage out of your foundation, consider topping with sheer powder or a spritz of makeup setting spray like Urban Decay All Nighter.


Eyes

Primer is essential for summer-ready eyeshadow as well. Too Faced Shadow Insurance Eyeshadow Primer ($18) basically revolutionized my eyeshadow experience. It makes colors pop, prevents creasing, and guarantees a full day of perfect wear time.

Cream and gel eyeliners last longer than pencil. I still can't seem to give up my pencil, so I layer powder eyeshadow on top to keep it from disappearing.


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

There are a couple ways you can approach summer lip color. If you're just looking for a light, sheer pop of color without exceptional staying power, try a tinted lip balm like Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter or Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Coral.

For long-lasting color, I like using lip stains that leave my lips tinted for hours. Charlotte Ronson Double XO Lipstick/Lip Stain and Revlon ColorStay Just Bitten Lipstain are great options that are available in pretty, flattering colors.


Those are my favorite tips and products for long-lasting looks. Now go play outside in your heat-proof makeup!

336602_Get a Healthy Glow with Somerville360 Tanning Towelettes

5.14.2012

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel Review

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel ($13 - $24.50) completely changed my life (or my beauty life, at least). This uber-effective skin care product managed to both:

1. Remove the complacency I had with my dull, slightly broken out complexion by showing me that pretty skin is attainable, and
2. Kickstart an obsession with makeup and beauty products that led to some unwise spending decisions and, eventually, the creation of this blog!

Seriously, this stuff is amazing. Without Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, I'd probably still be slapping tea tree oil on my face and calling it a day. Instead, I've learned that there are some products out there that really work to improve your skin, and it's worth sifting through the constant stream of advertising to find out what they are.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel is a skin care product you can count on. I noticed a significant difference in my skin tone, clarity and breakouts after just one use, and I continue to rely on its beautifying properties every day. I even started getting compliments on my skin for the first time in my life!

People with oily skin or acne trouble, have no fear. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel is super light and has a soft matte finish, so grease-induced breakouts are a non-issue. This is the first moisturizer I've used that actually reduces acne rather than increases it. My skin still develops problem areas, but I never get actual whiteheads/zits on my face anymore.

It makes sense too, after you take a look at the ingredients. In addition to skin clarifying and brightening antioxidants like Vitamin E, Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel contains anti-irritants like cucumber extract (also good for reducing skin discolorations) and chamomile extract that soothe and prevent breakouts. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel also includes a host of skin identical ingredients such as glycerin and sodium hyaluronate that maintain the skin's structure and prevent damage.

Bottom Line: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel is so effective that it single-handedly catalyzed my passion for makeup and beauty. This lightweight, non-greasy moisturizer brightens my complexion and guarantees that I never wake up with a zit. I am so in love with this stuff, and I bet you will be too.

Ingredients: Water Purified, Dimethicone, Isododecane, Butylene Glycol, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Glycerin, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Lactobacillus Ferment, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedcake, Caffeine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sucrose, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria), Polysilicone-11, Pentylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Oleth-10, Laureth-23, Laureth-4, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Carbomer, Tromethamine, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Yellow 5, Red 4, Yellow 6

5.13.2012

Thakoon for NARS Nail Polish in Lal Mirchi Review and Swatches

Thakoon for NARS Nail Polish in Lal Mirchi
Thakoon for NARS Nail Polish in Lal Mirchi

For Spring 2012, NARS collaborated with Thai-American fashion designer Thakoon Panichgul to present a collection of vibrant, limited-edition nail polishes inspired by the exuberant colors of an Indian spice market.

"Lal Mirchi" is the Indian name for red chili pepper, and the inspiration is clear in this nail color! Thakoon for NARS Nail Polish in Lal Mirchi ($18) is a bright, mandarin red that makes for some pretty fierce nails. 


Thakoon for NARS Nail Polish in Lal Mirchi
Thakoon for NARS Nail Polish in Lal Mirchi

I compared Thakoon for NARS Nail Polish in Lal Mirchi to some other red-orange nail polishes that I own: Maybelline Express Finish Nail Color in Speedy Hot Tamale, Revlon ColorStay Nail Enamel in Marmalade, and Boots Strictly Come Dancing Nail Polish in Cha Cha.

Thakoon for NARS Nail Polish in Lal Mirchi Revlon ColorStay Nail Enamel in Marmalade, Maybelline Express Finish Nail Color in Speedy Hot Tamale, and Boots Strictly Come Dancing Nail Polish in Cha Cha Swatches
NARS in Lal Mirchi, Revlon in Marmalade, Maybelline in Speedy Hot Tamale, and Boots in Strictly Come Dancing Swatches

No exact dupe here. Maybelline Express Finish Nail Color in Speedy Hot Tamale is more red and less orange than Lal Mirchi. Revlon ColorStay Nail Enamel in Marmalade and Boots Strictly Come Dancing Nail Polish in Cha Cha are both more orange.

While 5 of the 6 Thakoon for NARS Nail Polishes are available at Sephora, Lal Mirchi appears to only be available on NARS' Website.

It's worth the extra effort for fiery, chili pepper nails.


181398_NARS Cosmetics Summer 2012 468_2

Shiseido Shimmering Rouge in Sizzle Review and Swatches

Shiseido Shimmering Rouge in Sizzle ($25) is the best lipstick you've never heard of.

Shiseido Shimmering Rouge in Sizzle
Shiseido Shimmering Rouge in Sizzle

Shiseido Shimmering Rouges were released in Spring 2011 to little fanfare from the beauty blogosphere. I believe these lipsticks have been massively overlooked - they have a super glossy, moisturizing formula, gorgeous colors, and subtle shimmer that gives the appearance of a plumper pout.

With all of the glossy lipsticks that have been released subsequently (Lancome Rouge in Love, Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural), it seems to me that Shiseido Shimmering Rouges are somewhat of a forgotten forerunner!

Shiseido Shimmering Rouge in Sizzle
Shiseido Shimmering Rouge in Sizzle

Shiseido Shimmering Rouge is packaged in a sleek, chic tube with a dark blue-purple metallic finish. The lipstick itself is very narrow, which allows for more precise application.

Shiseido Shimmering Rouge in Sizzle
Shiseido Shimmering Rouge in Sizzle

Shiseido Shimmering Rouge in Sizzle is a bright, reddish pink coral with lots of shine. Coral is my favorite lipstick color, and I would go so far to say that Shiseido Shimmering Rouge in Sizzle is my favorite coral lipstick. The color is so cheery, it always puts me in a good mood.

Shiseido Shimmering Rouge in Sizzle Swatch
Shiseido Shimmering Rouge in Sizzle Swatch

Bottom Line: If you haven't tried these lipsticks, you're missing out! With abundant moisturizing shine and a beautiful array of colors, Shiseido Shimmering Rouges stand out of the glossy lipstick crowd. Try Sizzle for a bright, wearable coral that's perfect for warmer weather.