Friday, July 25, 2014

DIOR ADDICT FLUID STICKS: Mirage, Kiss Me, Tiny Pink, Rieuse, Magique, Vertigo, Artifice, Aventure, Pandore, and Vie D'Enfer

Hey y'all! I am very excited to present to you my review of the new collections liquid lipsticks recently released by Dior.  The Dior Addict Fluid Sticks made their debut in store in late Spring / early Summer.  It has taken quite a bit of time and effort to collect these shades and put together this post.  

Colors: One of the shades, Rieuse, is not shown in the first two pictures because I exchanged it with Vie D' Enfer and did not have time to retake the pictures.  Vie D'Enfer is the only shade that I was not fascinated with, so I returned it.  Rieuse, Magique, and Vertigo are quite similar and these shades appear especially similar in the color-lip-swatch pictures above. Rieuse is a peachy-pink coral.  Magique is a light magenta (pinkish-red).  Vertigo is a deep mid-tone pink with mauve and plummy undertones. Vie D'Enfer is a deep apple red with a brown undertone (more appropriate for Autumn/Winter seasons).  Mirage is a peachy nude with a brown undertone. Artifice is a fierce, pure orange.  Aventure looks very different from Artifice; it is an orange-red coral.  Pandore is a bright red-orange shade; this shades looks brighter and more vivid on lighter skin-tones.  

Availability and Price: I purchased the Dior Addict Fluid Sticks ($35) over a span of a few months. I bought a few shades during Dillard's 10% off beauty event and others online through Macy's and Sephora's websites when Ebates was having their 15% cash-back anniversary sale event.  I plan to purchase two more shades called 219 Whisper Beige and 669 Rose Tricheuse in the future. I will add pictures of these shades to this post or create an additional post.  I am waiting for a sale / coupon (Sephora VIB Sale 15% / 20% off in Nov./Dec. or Nordstrom / Dillard's cardholder rewards) because this lip product is much too expensive otherwise.  Dior Addict Fluid Sticks are available everywhere (Sephora, Dillard's, Nordstrom, Macy's), but a few shades are available in certain stores only.  This lip product is quite a splurge, but worth it! 

Formula / Application: The formula of the Dior Addict Fluid Sticks is their best feature and selling point.  The Dior Fluid Sticks are marketed as a hybrid product – gloss, color, and stain.  Although I have tested a few other new comparable lip products, such as Revlon Moisture Stains and Smashbox Be Legendary Lip Lacquers, since my introduction to the Dior Fluid Sticks, I still find that the formula of the Dior Fluid Sticks is quite unique and innovative. When I first tried the Dior Fluid Sticks at my local Dillard’s Dior counter, I was definitely surprised by the formula.  This lip product goes through three stages after you apply it to your lips.  I observed that one side of the applicator functions like a scoop, which grabs just the right amount of product, so you do not have to keep putting the applicator back in and out of the tube.  The other side of the applicator spreads and sets the product on your lips, like a good butter knife spreading out peanut butter onto bread – spreading and melting the product at once.  Stage one: you feel like your applied a cooling, water-based liquid to your lips.  At this stage, some of shades appear very bright, almost neon-like. Stage two: you feel your lips warm up (not uncomfortably), like you had a cup of chicken noodle soup on a cold day, and then the liquid sticks / seals onto your lips.  This is not at all a tacky, sticky, or uncomfortable sensation.  You almost no longer realize that you have something on your lips, unless you press your lips together.  Also, as I mentioned above, the shades appears bright, some neon-like, when first applied, but as your lips warm up, the shades become deeper.  For example, Tiny Pink looks like a pastel baby pink when I first apply it and within seconds it transforms into a muted, floral, light pink.  Magique looks like a neon hot-pink-magenta shade, which transforms into a pinky-red. Although the glossiness has sobered down by this stage, your lips still have a subtle sheen and look plump, smooth, and youthful.  Stage three: by this stage, if you have consumed food or three to four hours have passed by, the gloss and color has faded, but your lips still look deeper than their natural pigmentation or tinted.  The longevity of this lip product decreases if food or beverage(s) are consumed. 

Staying Power: The staying power is not exceptional, but it is good for a lightweight, liquid lip product. All of these shades transfer. The lighter shades such as Mirage, Kiss Me, Tiny Pink, and Rieuse do not stain your lips, while the deeper shades such Magique, Vertigo, Artifice, Aventure, Pandore, and Vie D'Enfer have a staining effect and do not disappear off of the lips as quickly. Pandore and Vie D'Enfer stayed on the lips even after eating a full meal, but still required touching up. On average these shades remain on the lips for about three to fours hours and as I mentioned above the longevity decreases if you consume a solid meal. 

I hope this post was informative and helpful. Your friendly comments are much appreciated.  Come back soon. Please follow, like, share, connect, and subscribe. Thank you!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

BOBBI BROWN ART STICK: Dusty Pink, Rose Brown, Sunset Orange, and Harlow Red (Kylie Jenner Lip Color Dupe)

Hey y'all! Happy Monday! It has been a long while since I posted a review.  

Today, I am reviewing the new Bobbi Brown Art Sticks.  The Bobbi Brown Art Stick collection was released this past spring, so I suppose this product is already "so last season." In case these Art Sticks no longer intrigue you, perhaps I can attract your attention by sharing a Kylie Jenner "trade-mark" lip color "dupe." This particular mauve-brown-nude shade has caught on like fire.  I am not sure why suddenly this shade has become so popular because for some of us, like me, it is a staple, everyday, natural lip color. 

 I have four shades to show you - Dusty Pink, Rose Brown, Sunset Orange, and Harlow Red.  The collection includes a total of eight shades. The Bobbi Brown Art Sticks cost $26 each and are sold in Sephora, Bobbi Brown counters in Nordstrom, Belk, and Macy's, and online. I purchased mine from Sephora during the spring VIB sale event (15% off discount).  
These boxes (pictured above) are finger-print magnets. The condition of these boxes is not really that important.  The design of the Art Sticks (see below) is nice and simple, nothing spectacular.  Bobbi Brown Art Sticks are basically jumbo sized lip pencils.  The Art Sticks are a hybrid lip product; pointed enough to outline the lips (lip liner) and wide enough to color the lips (lipstick).  Also, these Art Stick do not tug at your lips like traditional lip liners.  The Bobbi Brown Art Sticks apply very smoothly and feel soft during the application.  Unfortunately, a few minutes after applying this product, your lips begin to look very matte and dry. See the pictures at the end of this post and note that each and every line / wrinkle of my lips is emphasized.  I am not a fan of true matte or retro matte lips. I can tolerate semi-matte or creamy matte lip colors, but my dislike of true matte or retro matte lip colors is as strong as my aversion to frosty or shimmery lip colors or glosses. Even if frosty lip colors become a trend again in the future, I will not endorse it, not even if coffee (currently cannot live without one cup a day) becomes a rare commodity and I am offered a supply of it in exchange. 
Dusty PinkRose BrownSunset Orange, and Harlow Red (top to bottom) 
Dusty PinkRose BrownSunset Orange, and Harlow Red (top to bottom) 
These Art Sticks are not retractable or twist-up, so a sharpener is included with each Art Stick.  I wonder if the cost of the Art Sticks would be slightly lower if the sharpener was not included. Perhaps it would have been more cost efficient to sell (or buy) the sharpener separately? So, the customer would only have to invest once in a sharpener rather than having a separate one for each Art Stick.  Cost efficient for whom though, right? I don't think the company is concerned with what is cost efficient for the consumer or maybe they do. I am not sure! Anyway, at first the included sharpener seemed like a selling point, but once I gave it some thought, it just seemed excessive. 
Dusty Pink, Rose Brown, Sunset Orange, and Harlow Red (top to bottom) 
Dusty Pink is a blue-toned, cool-toned baby pink with a lilac undertone. 
Rose Brown is a deep mauve.  This sort of shade suits my olive-yellow-beige complexion very nicely and looks clean because it is only a bit darker than my natural lip color. Rose Brown does not appear as matte on the lips as Dusty Pink. This is my recommendation for those of you looking for a dupe for Kylie Jenner's "trade-mark" lip color that has been "trending" for a hot minute. 

Dusty Pink and Rose Brown (top to bottom) 
Sunset Orange is a bright, warm-toned orange with a red undertone.  I love this shade.  It is my favorite one of the four.  This shade is the one that first caught my attention and the only one I should have purchased.  I wish the formula was emollient because I would whole heartedly recommend this product as a must-have.  Unfortunately, wearing a lip balm underneath this shade dilutes the vibrant effect of this shade. I don't want to settle for a peachy orange tint! I would gladly sacrifice the wear-time of this product for a bit of moisture.  
Harlow Red is a classic cherry red.  The red of the red, white, and blue.  This is the least drying or dry-looking shade of the bunch. I am not sure why.  

Sunset Orange and Harlow Red (top to bottom) 
Recap... Drying. Long-lasting. True matte lip colors. Hybrid lip colors - lip liner plus lipstick. Expensive. Beautiful and trendy shades. Only eye-catching / seasonal shade - Sunset Orange. Not retractable / mechanical. Smell like No. 2 pencils (Reminding me of standardized testing, yuck!). Somewhat deceptive - apply smoothly and feel creamy, but becomes so try and feel tight within minutes of application. Precise, controlled application. 
Recommendations... Use a lip balm underneath or a lip gloss on top.  I have worn Dusty Pink paired with the Dior Fluid Stick (new) in the shade Kiss Me (#389) and Sunset Orange paired with Dior Fluid Stick (new) in the shade Mirage (#338).  

I hope this post was informative and helpful. Your friendly comments are much appreciated.  Come back soon. Thanks!
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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

L'OREAL GLOSSY BALM Lip Crayons: Innocent Coral, Lovely Mocha, and Vintage Rose

Hey y'all! Today, I am sharing my review of the new L'Oreal Glossy Balms.  I first heard about this product through the Nouveau Cheap blog. 

Sidebar! I think most people, especially those of us who are actively engaged in social media and beauty blogging or v-logging, are familiar with blogs like Temptalia, Nouveau Cheap, and Musings of a Muse.  These three beauty blogs are the best source, in my opinion, for learning about new and upcoming makeup, skincare, and other beauty products. I became familiar with these blogs while in law school.  Often my study breaks involved a visit to these websites.  I found it quite refreshing to read a blog post in between reading cases.  Eventually, I was motivated by these blogs to create my own blog and hopefully I can also become a valued source of product reviews and pictures.  

After reading a brief post - mainly a preview - on Nouveau Cheap, I decided that I would not to try out any of the L'Oreal Glossy Balms because the shades did not seem unique or inviting.  A few days later, I visited Target to purchase protein bars.  The protein bars that I like are not found in the grocery/breakfast foods isle, but in the pharmacy department.  Well, the beauty and pharmacy department are almost always in the same vicinity in Target. So, I could not really resist taking a glance through the beauty isle, which is when I found the L'Oreal Glossy Balms.  During this trip, I purchased the shades Innocent Coral and Lovely Mocha.  Afterwards, I purchased three more shades - Vintage Rose, Baby Berry, and Pink Me Up. I was also tempted to purchase Petite Plum, but decided to get it at a later time.  Let me begin by saying that I absolutely loved Innocent Coral and Lovely Mocha and extremely disliked the Baby Berry and Pink Me Up.  Thus, I decided not to bother talking about the latter two shades.  If you have a similar skin-tone to mine (reference: MAC NC35 or Revlon True Beige), I would not recommend Baby Berry at all, while Pink Me Up might suit you as per your personal taste. Another point I would like to note is that Vintage Rose and Lovely Mocha are similar enough that both are not needed. Of the two, I would recommend Lovely Mocha because Vintage Rose is more sheer and has very subtle shimmer, while Lovely Mocha is creamy and opaque.  

All in all, I am quite fond of Innocent Coral and Lovely Mocha and recommend them to you.  Both shades are beautiful and suit my skin-tone.  Also, I categorize these shades as work-appropaite without looking boring, like the ever-popular muted rosy brown lip color. These days I am working as a judicial extern, so I obviously, yet sadly, do not feel comfortable wearing bright or bold lip colors.  This week I wore a muted orange manicure and felt overly conscious and awkward. Vagabond status! I felt more comfortable once I observed a law clerk and another extern wearing gorgeous statement necklaces that added a pop of color to their dress-suits.  

So, what all features of the L'Oreal Glossy Balms do I like? L'Oreal Glossy Balms offer excellent pigmentation and medium coverage, which can become full coverage in a couple additional swipes. In my experience, sometimes lip products that are nicely pigmented, fall short in regards to formula, and vise versa.  The lip crayon do not compromise on the formula/texture.  In this case,"balm" was appropriately used as part of the product's name.  I found this product to be non-drying, lightweight, smooth, but not overly emollient, and decently moisturizing* (*not a lip treatment balm though). Lastly, this may only be my experience, but I felt that once these Glossy Balms wore off, my lips were subtly stained or looked slightly deeper than their natural pigmentation. (emphasis added).  The staying power is neither weak, no exceptional.  I am constantly drinking water and consume coffee twice a day, so my lip products tend to transfer onto the cup or bottle and gradually fade off in about three hours on average. 

Although I like both Innocent Coral and Lovely Mocha, the former is my favorite of the two.  Innocent Coral is a medium pink, while Lovely Mocha is a rich light mauve, with cool purple-blue base.  Innocent Coral appears to have a red base on my arm, but on the lips it looks neutral to blue-toned.  Lovely Mocha also looks like it has neutral undertones, but at times it looks cool-toned on the lips. Vintage Rose is basically identical to the natural pigmentation of my lips.  I would describe it as a muted pink with a subtle rosy brown base. 

Innocent Coral, Lovely Mocha, Vintage Rose (top --> bottom)
Innocent Coral, Lovely Mocha, Vintage Rose (left --> right)
Innocent Coral, Lovely Mocha, Vintage Rose (bottom --> top)
Innocent Coral, Lovely Mocha, Vintage Rose (top --> bottom) 
Wearing Lovely Mocha... 
I hope this post was informative and helpful. Your friendly comments are much appreciated.  Come back soon. Thanks!
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