Monday, April 30, 2012

Dior Dior Addict Extreme Lipstick - Review

I've stated before I'm not a lipstick girl. I'm not. Really. But, I've also stated that I am a big fan, and easily sucked in to purchasing products with nice packaging. This has led me to pick up expensive lip products in the past, and it's happened again. Dior got me with their new Dior Addict Extreme lipsticks. At $30 a piece, they had better make me look perfect, right? And they had better wear nicely on the lips, with no drying or odd wear patterns?

I can happily say, I'm becoming a convert. Dior makes a great lipstick, and I'm falling in love with this formula. I never thought I could say that regarding a lipstick, but, things change.

Sephora says:
This long-wearing lipstick goes the distance, resisting fading while adding bold color and beautiful shine. The expert formula combines waxes, radiant oils, and hyaluronic microspheres for ultimate comfort and a lip-plumping effect.
So, the packaging. Sleek? Check. Very highend in appearance? Check. Picked up fingerprints easily? Check. Kinda awkward? Check. I love the way this lipstick looks, but the packaging, while gorgeous, has it's quirks. I would think, as most people tend to, that the silver band on the tube indicates where you pull to remove the cap. That is not the case. Instead, it's just the silver, logo-laden, knob at the end of the lipstick. That's it. It can be tricky to open, especially if you have large fingers. The cap is Lucite with a black core, and Dior embossed into one side. The end has a black sticker with the product name, color and color number in silver. The tube itself is shiny silver.
The color I selected, Silhouette, isn't particularly bold. A nude-pink, it wears easily as a my lips but better look. The color isn't particularly special, but that's my own fault for picking it, and I don't hold it against the product in anyway. The lipstick, even in the tube, looks like a tinted balm, however, one swipe of the lipstick across your lips, and you see noticeable color. What I really like about this formula is how non-lipstick like it feels. It doesn't feel like a lipstick, long-wearing or otherwise. It feels like a balm, slightly thin, not sticky, and just a bit slick. I can feel it on my lips for up to 4 hours (light eating and drinking included). Towards the end of the wear time, I can feel my lips just starting to dry out, but a fresh application takes care of that. I don't feel like my lips are tight or peeling because of this lipstick at all (which has happened with other long-wear lipsticks, usually the two-step process ones, though).

So, are these worth $30? If you have the money to spend, sure. Would I go in to debit buying them? Nope. The only way this answer would change is if they lasted longer, ie, all day. Since they don't, I'm not jumping over the moon with happiness. I do like the feel of the lipstick, and have already added a few colors to my "must look at closely" list for the next time I'm in Sephora. I got Silhouette during the 15% sale, so I paid $25.50, which is still a bit high.

Friday, April 20, 2012

TheBalm Frat Boy Blush - Review

TheBalm is a quirky brand that for some reason, I almost always skip over. When I do purchase something, it's usually good, but it's never really remarkable in anyway. In fact, they usually end up getting swapped for something else, because there's something about them that bugs me. Some small facet prevents me from just loving them. Maybe it's the name of the branch, their kitschy packaging, their strange marketing, I don't know.

I do know that I have a peachy-pink blush problem. I love them. I collect them all, like Pokemon. It's a disease, but I don't want to be cured. I'd been lusting after Frat Boy (I hate the name) for a while, and finally broke down and picked it up during Hautelook's recent TheBalm sale. Normally, this blush retails for $21. For your money, you get 0.3 ounces of blush.
The package is, as indicated before, kitschy, just like the rest of the line. It has a football theme, which is kinda cute, but since it's cardboard, I'm not super impressed. I will say it's very sturdy, and the "compact" stays closed on it's own, without the cardboard sleeve. It does include a mirror on the inside of the lid. The sleeve (which is exactly the same as the outer packaging) is a tight fit, making it somewhat difficult to remove the compact.
The color, of course, its a peachy pink. Sephora calls it "peachy apricot," but, to my eye, it's a peachy-pink. Less pink than peach, though. It's not glittery, like NARS Orgasm or TheBalms' Hot Mama. It's more satin/matte. It's not too soft, not to hard. The pigmentation is nice, not too much, and not too light (it must be a Goldilocks kind of day).
The blush wears well enough on my cheeks, and lasts all day (which is more than I can say for some powder blushes). It blends well enough to suit my needs, and doesn't seem to morph or change over time.

My only issue with this blush is, I'm not overjoyed with it. It's nice, easy to wear, and right up my alley, colorwise. But, my overall feeling about it is meh. I could easily swap or sell it, and wouldn't know it was gone. I also think for $21, the packaging could be nicer. Cardboard has it's place, but I'd prefer something a little more substantial.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

NARS Lhasa Eyeshadow - Review

NARS is one of those brands that puts out awesome stuff that I happily buy, and am constantly disappointed in. Usually, it's not because the product is bad - it's because it's just like something else that I own. Usually. I picked up Lhasa, a relatively new eyeshadow single, from, and was super happy to look at it in the pan. Swatched, it seemed sort of meh. On the lid, even worse.

NARS shadow singles are $24 for 0.07 oz of product, which isn't a terrible value. They come packaged in a sleek, soft-touch rubber compact, with a ridiculously sized mirror that is useful to no one. They look nice, though, as long as you keep the compact clean. Keeping it clean can be a challenge, which is why I typically store them in their boxes.
MAC Moth Brown on top, NARS Lhasa on bottom
Lhasa is a "lavender grey," according to NARS. I'm not inclined to disagree. I thought initially it may be close in color to MAC's Moth Brown, but it's not. Moth Brown is brown/lavender/grey, where Lhasa lacks that touch of brown.

So, it's pretty, it's NARS, and you get a decent amount of shadow. What's wrong? Well, it's crappy shadow. Seriously. Maybe mine was defective, or something, but I had to really work to get that swatch. Like, multiple passes over the shadow, and my wrist. Using my trusty MAC 239 to pat the shadow on my lid was equally bad - a brush that performs beautifully for 90%+ of the shadows I use it for, could barely make this shadow appear on my lid. Barely. No pigmentation, or a super-hard pressed shadow, I guess, were to blame.

I don't typically return cosmetics. I returned this. And I will definitely think long and hard about purchasing NARS shadows in the future.