Friday, November 30, 2012

Color Series - Reds: A Pair of Ruby Red Lippers

Want a little red sparkle for the holidays?  Well, then have I got a pair for you!  Each one is on the opposite side of the retail spectrum, both offer radiance and shine: Guerlain's Rouge Automatique in Coque D'Or 120 and Revlon's ColorStay Ultimate Lipcolor in Top Tomato.  Let's first take a look at Coque D'Or, shall we?

Coque D'Or 120 is described as a "red with gold shimmer" and it is from Guerlain's Rouge Automatique line of lipsticks where one-handed application can be achieved simply by sliding the button on the side of the tube up or down to reveal/close the lipstick.  And while I do not have this lovely version, I do have the sample size which is just as elegant looking.

Coque D'Or applies smoothly and feels soft and somewhat moisturizing on the lips.  The gold shimmer does not translate as glitter on the lips, but rather gives them a subtle radiance in addition to the shine it promotes.  It is, however, more on the sheer side as you will see in my swatch further down.  It reminds me of a heavily tinted balm that gives you the benefit of wearing red without the full drama it usually demands: you could easily wear it without a liner and the shade is not intimidating at all.  There is also a light fragrance to the lipstick that I found to be pleasant.  I could smell it during the initial application, but it dissipated after a short time.

Next up is Revlon's ColorStay Lipcolor in Top Tomato and it is a lovely, sparkly tomato red.  This is a liquid lipstick, therefore, it applies like a gloss, but is slightly thicker and dries down to a lacquer after application.

Top Tomato in direct sunlight
Top Tomato has beautiful red shimmers that, again, do not translate as glitter or anything coarse while wearing.  The shimmer is subtle on the lips, slightly more noticeable in the light, but not obnoxiously so.  The color is semi-opaque to opaque and buildable.

Top Tomato's doe foot applicator

In sunlight: Guerlain above, Revlon below

Guerlain above, Revlon below

And when Revlon says "Color STAY", they mean it!  Top Tomato did not budge at all on me.  In fact, it barely moved when I attempted to wash the swatches off with soap and water (see above).   Guerlain politely relented, but Top Tomato was down right ornery!  I had to wipe vigorously with a makeup remover cloth before it finally let my arm go!  LOL.

Revlon's Top Tomato can be found at most drugstores and retails for about $8; Guerlain's Coque D'Or can be found at Neiman Marcus, Nordstroms and Sephora - retail, $35.

**Next up: this Waitress is serving up cherry red for your cherry pickers...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Color Series - Reds: An Urban Red That Cuts Deep

Ok, so I'm going to keep rolling with the red series for the rest of the week since Xmas is drawing nigh and people are already decorating their houses and setting up their Christmas trees and such.  I have a beautiful red eyeshadow that I'm anxious to share with you - Urban Decay's Gash.

Urban Decay is well known for delivering soft, velvety shadows that pack a color punch and this is no exception.  Gash is a frosty, rusty red eyeshadow that used to be a part of Urban Decay's line up of single shadows.  Of course, after conducting a little research, I found out that they have since discontinued this as well as a lot of their "vintage" shadows and replaced them with newer and more improved colors and formulations.  With that being said, I don't believe you can buy this eyeshadow any longer, HOWEVER, don't despair!  I would NOT leave you hangin' like that; I have found the perfect dupe for this color if it tickles your fancy like it did mine.  

It's really hard to find red eyeshadows, let alone ones that are as pretty in the pan as they are on the skin.  There aren't a lot of brands that even bother with the color so when you find one that you like that is made really well and looks good on you, you become helplessly devoted.   Well, UD's Gash may no longer be available, but Rust by NYX is more than willing to take its empty spot.

NYX Jumbo Eyeshadow Pencils come in just about every color you can think of and are used primarily as bases for powered shadows, but can be used on their own as well.  They are very creamy so you must use a good eyeshadow primer underneath to prevent creasing, otherwise it's a pretty nifty product.  NYX Jumbo pencils can be found at Ulta or countless urban beauty supply stores and retail for about $3.

And see?  A perfect match.

UD Gash above, NYX Rust below.

They even have the same finish.  Totally gorge, totally in line with the season (and/or beyond) and totally worth having in your cosmetic repertoire.  And besides wearing it as a shadow on the eye, you could totally rock it on your cheek as a blush.  It's a win-win!  Totally.

**Next up: two sparkly red rouges for the lips...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Color Series - Reds: A Ravishing Duo

I touched a little on red lipsticks in my About Face post and since Christmas is practically around the corner, I figured I would follow up with a little color series featuring the shade.  I have a few eyeshadows and nail polishes I'd like to share with you, but first we're going to start with the lipsticks.

The two lippies I have for you are both warm, or more what I would call "tomato-like" in shade.  They are not as blue-based as, for instance, MAC's Ruby Woo.  These warmer shades fit my complexion better than the blue-based, cooler ones.  

MAC's Russian Red
MAC's Russian Red is a warm and beautiful, robust red.  I love this lipstick.  It retails for about $15.  I would also, however, like to offer an adequate alternative to Russian for those that may desire one with Revlon's Certainly Red, which retails for about $8.

Certainly Red is part of Revlon's Super Lustrous lipstick line.  It is rich, full of opaque color and leaves a nice sheen/shine on the lips. 

MAC's Russian on the left, Revlon's Certainly on the right.
In a side-by-side comparison, Russian seems to look slightly darker or deeper in color.  Other than that, I would say that they are pretty comparable in shade.

Revlon's Certainly above, MAC's Russian below.
In direct sunlight: Revlon's Certainly above, MAC's Russian below.
Although MAC describes Russian Red as a matte, it is definitely not a flat matte lipstick.  As you can see from the pic above, it has almost as much sheen as the glossier Certainly Red.

There are many, many options out there for donning a red lip, from drugstore options like Revlon and CoverGirl to higher end brands like Make Up For Ever, MAC and Bobbi Brown.  Red lips are often considered sexy by the viewer and empowering by the wearer.  It is a bold, unapologetic color that has been known to dictate moods as well as attitudes and once you figure out what shade is right for you - cooler vs. warmer - you can really have fun with it.  I've shied away from its power for long enough... and now I'm ready to rock it unabashedly.

**Next up: an Urban red that cuts deep...

Friday, November 23, 2012

Sugar Lips

Hey, guys!  I just wanted to come in here with a quickie for you.  You know how Sephora has a little b'day gift for those that are signed up for their Beauty Insider or VIB (Very Important Beauty) program?  Well, I forgot to share with you that I picked mine up last week and this one, I think, is pretty cool.

If you've read any of my hair posts, you already know that I'm a huge fan of Fresh.  Their hair products are awesome and are an essential part of my holy grail haircare line-up.  However, I've never really ventured out and tried anything else from the brand.  I've been curious about their much talked about lip treatments, but never tried them because of the numerous miscellaneous lip balms/chapsticks I own and have yet to use up.   So, when I saw that Sephora was offering two of the minis as a gift, I figured it was worth fighting mall traffic to go and pick it up.

Fresh's line of Sugar Lip Treatments are made with real sugar as well as a blend of oils and waxes to provide your lips with long lasting moisture.  They are free of parabens, petroleum and other additives and have what I would describe as a lemony brown sugar scent, which is a signature of the brand.

The two Sugar Lip Treatments included in this mini-gift set are the regular (clear) and Rose (berry tinted).  They are both .08oz each, which is a little more than half of their full-sized balms which are .15oz.  (I put my full-sized .15oz Burt's Bees lip balm next to them as a reference.)

After seeing all the glowing reviews online and hearing people rave about them, I really can't wait to use them.  I don't have particularly dry lips, however, I do like to use a good balm before going to bed and as a base under lipsticks.  I know that besides Carmex, I prefer balms that contain wax rather than those that just deposit oils on the lips because wax helps to fill in the lines of your lips, thus allowing your lipsticks to apply and lay better - especially the drier ones which seem to amplify and exacerbate every dry crack and crevice.  So since these have wax in them, as well as nourishing oils, I have high hopes for this duo.  Plus, they smell delish!  And they were free!

I believe Sephora, and are all offering gift sets of the minis (.08oz) - price and quantity per set vary.  Otherwise, the full-size lip treatments (.15oz) retail for $22.50.

I will definitely give you an update on Fresh's Sugar Lip Treatments if they don't live up to expectations.  Until then, please enjoy your Black Friday weekend...  I already saw lines of people on the news ready to go HAM outside a Best Buy and I got three tweets from friends that were doing the whole "midnight shopping at the mall" thingy.  So glad it's not me!  But whatever you get into this holiday weekend, have fun and BE SAFE.   

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

About Face: Golden Eye, Scarlet Lip

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I don't know about you, but I don't want to be bothered with a whole bunch of makeup products just to look cute while I'm stuffing my face with an ungodly serving of candied yams.  I'm going to keep it simple, but festive.  I plan on wearing a little gold on the lid with a bold red lip.  Most save red for Christmas and such, but I'm going to go rogue and do red for turkey day.  Yep.  That's me, the rebel.  And I'm going to achieve this look with just a few products.  No fuss, no mess... just a look of uncomplicated simplicity.

For a very long time, I avoided wearing red lipstick because I never thought it looked good on me.  But, like all things, I learned that I just had to find the right shade of red that would work for me and my skin tone.  And for me, blue-based reds are not ideal.  I need a shade that is more "tomato" or warm like MAC's Russian Red.

MAC describes Russian Red's finish as a matte, but I promise that it is not a flat matte.  It definitely has a slight sheen to it.  I really like the finish on this lipstick.  And I will be pairing it with MAC's Nightmoth lipliner.

Can you see the sheen on Russian Red?
 Next up are the eyes:

I'll be using Wet N' Wild's Vanity palette - applying the gold on the lid, bronze in the crease.

I'll also be darkening the outer "v" with MAC's Carbon.  This is a matte black and although Carbon has been criticized for not being black enough, mine - as you can see below - is pretty sooty.   But I have had it for a while, so maybe it's from the old batch before they changed the formula?

So, do you think me a nerd for planning my face a day early?  I just didn't want to be fumbling around trying to figure it out the day of and then hauling a bunch of makeup around by default because I couldn't decide on what to wear on my face.  Turkey day is hectic enough with traveling, visiting family or having visitors that I wanted to at least keep this part frazzle-free.

Well, with that being said, no matter whether you're traveling for your meal, doing the cooking for a huge family gathering or maybe just a dinner for one, please have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving.  Stay in good spirits and keep in mind that despite certain things that may be going on in your life (or not going on), you ALWAYS have SOMETHING to be thankful for.