Review & Swatches: Selections from the L’Oreal Project Runway “Colors Take Flight” Collection

I really hate to say this, but it’s been quite some time since I’ve watched Project Runway, which is why I was surprised to be so excited about the L’Oreal Project Runway “Colors Take Flight” Collection—and I know I’m not alone. I went to three places in one day and the displays were practically wiped out, that was fast! I’m thinking my local CVS received more pieces than other stores, when I returned on a second visit, there were more available and I was able to see almost all of the collection in-person finally. Some of the shades were kind of gutsy for mass retailing—a quality I’ve grown to appreciate from L’Oreal on a consistent basis in their limited edition collections. Project Runway featured artist Collier Strong helped develop this tasty assortment of shadow quads, blush shades, lipsticks, and nail polishes to represent the show’s product partner for fall 2011. I most certainly could not wear about 95% of the fashions featured on the show, but I’m happy to say that Colors Take Flight features a dramatic, yet pretty wearable palette. I wish I had more to share with you!

The collection was created around four very distinctive looks with an exotic bird theme; The Audacious Amazon, The Charming Cockatoo, The Watchful Owl, and The Sultry Raven.

The Audacious Amazon — Bright eyes with a dramatic fuchsia lip
The Charming Cockatoo — romantic eyes with a deep burgundy lip
The Watchful Owl — Metallic eyes with a red lip
The Sultry Raven — Smoky eyes with a nude lip

L’Oreal Paris Studio Secrets Professional Eyeshadow quad in Audacious Amazon’s Gaze [Read more…]

Review & Swatches: Two New Shades from OPI’s Designer Series Collection—Bold and Temptation

OPI Offers Two New Diamond Dust-Infused Designer Series Nail Lacquers for Fall 2011

Confession time. Would you believe, out of all of the nail polish I’ve owned over the years—I’ve never owned a Designer Series color from OPI? Luckily, that just changed. With two new fall releases from the maven of polish, Suzi-Weiss Fischmann is ensuring the DS line stays on-trend with the addition of these vibrant hues…

“This Fall, bold and rich colors like purple and red will be used as accent shades, adding a pop of pigmented color to any look.  Designer Series lacquers enhance these colors with intense shimmer and unique texture,” says Suzi-Weiss Fischmann, OPI Executive VP & Artistic Director. “Adding dazzling diamond-dust and saturated color to these trendy hues makes a bold, high-fashion statement.”

Bold is a ton of rich, red shimmer in a red jelly base that almost leans toward fuchsia during application. Two coats will suffice with this shade, but three looks a little better in my opinion. Of note, I thought the graininess of the glitter smoothed down considerably after top coat.  [Read more…]

What’s New: Make Up For Ever Fluo Night Black Light Pigment

I thought this was so cool, and timely for your upcoming Halloween costumes! Make Up For Ever just released a blacklight-activated pigment exclusively for Sephora that can take your fun look to the next level. Fluo Night is a transparent, universal pigment that can only be picked up under UV lights. You can use this unique pigment on eyes, cheeks, lips, and your body—either in pure form or mixed in with another product texture. Add it to your lipstick, liquid liner…the sky is the limit—you’ll be the coolest looking ghoul at the haunted house for sure!

Price & Availability: $31, Sephora exclusive

An editorial sample was provided by the company and evaluated to determine our opinion of the product in this post. Please see the Disclosures page for further information regarding our policies for using editorial samples.

Review: L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Carbon Black Mascara

You’d think that it was physically impossible by now to create yet another great mascara with how many there are on the market—but good thing for us mascara junkies! They keep on coming. L’Oreal released their Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara to much fanfare last year, but only recently introduced the Carbon Black and Waterproof formulas. Having missed the original, I have been wearing Voluminous Million Lashes in Carbon Black recently, and here’s what I learned!

The brush is like a fortress of webs; evenly spaced, with the perfect amount of flexibility to separate and coat the lashes equally at the same time, without any clumping. The combination of both short and longer bristles really allows me to get in there and separate. The formula is a little more moist than most, without any dryness and comes out of the tube with just the right amount on the brush. That tells me that the wiper at the nape of the tube is doing its job and was designed with keeping clumps out of the picture in mind.

Before & after photo:

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Review & Swatches: Essie Winter Collection 2011 — Bling it On!

Here we go with holiday! I literally (and by that, I mean not even five minutes ago) just put our Halloween decoration on the front door. And when I say decoration, I mean one, because we live in an apartment—I wish we could do so much more! But the holiday collections are already launching, and here we have the latest from Essie for Winter 2011, Bling it On!

“Like any great accessory, jewelry makes a statement. So I say, the bigger the better! Whether you wear rings, bangles, pendants or brooches—size matters!” says Essie Weingarten, founder of essie cosmetics. “The same is true with color for Winter 2011—the bolder the better.”

The quality of this collection meets my expectations for polishes from Essie, but the one thing I did notice was that the darker shades seemed to have a little bit of a thicker base which caught me off-guard. It wasn’t bad, but I’ve just grown accustomed to more lightweight polishes from Essie. While I used two coats in each set of swatches, I almost could have used one coat with Bobbing for Baubles and Size Matters.

Swatches & shade descriptions…

Bangle Jangle — lavender amethyst  [Read more…]

Sneak Peek: Tarina Tarantino Jewel Eyeshadow Palette for Sephora

At one point in time, I had enough Tarina Tarantino pieces to knock your socks off. Hardly a day went by where I wasn’t bejeweled by Tarina before walking out the door for work. Now that I’ve moved about a billion times since then, I can only locate two of my beloved TT pieces—but knock me over with a feather! I can now get my TT fix at Sephora through her beauty line. Something is right with this picture…FINALLY!

For fall, her line revolves around brilliant, luminous colors for a jeweled look—and features six eyeshadow palettes that will make your head a little woozy and your heart beat a little faster.

Sleek graphite-colored packaging, jewel tone accents, illustrations of iconic Tarina designs and new must-have palettes add a multi-faceted dimension to the line. The luxe, long-lasting formulas remain the same, luxuriously infused with crushed pearl, micronized diamond powder and finely milled gemstones to reflect the brilliance, luminosity and sophistication of a jewel.

I road-tested the Delightful Jewel Shadow Palette (think pearly beiges with matte chocolate, brown and pink), and was pleasantly surprised with just how pigmented all five shades in the compact really are. Another thing I appreciated was the larger oval mirror inside, so I feel like I can actually see something than just my lips or my eyes at one time.

See more photos and swatches…

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Review & Swatches: Shades from Bobbi Brown Marrakesh Chic Collection for Fall 2011

Bobbi Brown has this way of creating collections that ooze sophistication, no matter what season it is. In my humble opinion, she creates products that everyone can wear—whether you’re 19 or 75, and they still look appropriate, classy, and well—just GREAT. Same thing goes for her fall offering this year, the Marrakesh Chic Collection. While I didn’t have a chance to wear the entire collection or show it to you here on the site, I have seen it in-person and it stays true to my theory that Bobbi knows how to bring out the best in you without making you feel uncomfortable with color, or look like a clown.

Of the two eyeshadows I had, Rich Kashmir and Pink Silk, I felt they were fab everyday shades for a natural look that still looks polished. These were two of the more muted shades (and you can see the rest of the shades after the jump), but they felt so creamy to the touch and the darker Rich Kashmir didn’t leave behind a hard line of demarcation because these blend so easily. According to Bobbi, these new shades contain a “unique adherence quality that feels lightweight but is super long lasting.” I believe her.

My eye look with Pink Silk and Rich Kashmir is simple and clean—but still polished, and one I would feel comfortable wearing anytime. I definitely could have amped up the color had I wanted to, but I just wanted clean and classic. (Pink Silk from lid to brow, Rich Kashmir lightly in the crease, and Rich Kashmir on the bottom lash line as liner.)

More Rich Color Eye Shadow shades from the Marrakesh Chic Fall Collection…

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Review & Swatches: IT Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush 4-in-1 Reviver

Contrary to popular belief, not all lip stains are created equally. Case in point, the latest from IT Cosmetics—their Vitality Lip Flush 4-in-1 Reviver. I love lip stains as much as you do, but I don’t like the dry, flaky look they leave behind once they’ve worked their magic. Enter Vitality Lip Flush into your life, and you’ll never look at lip stains the same again. Pinkie swear, ladies.

At first look, they look like an ordinary lipstick, and heck! One of them even looks clear. (But hang on just a sec, there’s a little magic involved with that one and I’ll prove it to you.) Inside these tubes contains a myriad of lip-loving ingredients; argan oil (my FAVORITE ingredient!), green and white tea, plum and cherry oil, acai, shea butter, aloe, and vitamins A, C, and E—plus a flattering lip flush/tint/stain. In my almost 10 years in the biz, I can’t say I’ve ever seen such a thing all wrapped up in one package.

Shades and swatches…

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Review & Swatches: nails inc. LONDON Magnetic Attraction Nail Polish in Big Ben

JUST when you think you’ve seen it all, you really haven’t! Over the summer I reviewed a few shades of polish from London-based nails inc. during their U.S. debut at Sephora stores—and I was impressed. While the concept of magnetic nail polishes might not be new to most nail polish fanatics, it is new to this nail polish fanatic! New this month at Sephora, I wasted no time opening up this bottle of Magnetic Attraction to have a little nail art fun.

How magnetic nail polish works…

This unique formula has been specially developed with metallic particles to create a pattern on the nail using magnetic forces. As the magnet is held over the nail, the iron powder in the formulation gravitates toward the magnet forming the pattern secretly hidden in the magnet for an astonishing finish. The magnet is included in the cap of the nail polish.

Now that you can see how it works, here’s how Big Ben, a metallic gold shade worked on my nails:  [Read more…]