Archive for the 'gift sets' Category

Korres Love Your Lips Set Review & Swatches

April 13, 2010
Korres Love Your Lips ($63.00 value for $34.50)

 I happen to love products that come packaged together – palettes, GWP makeup bags, face in a box sets, etc. – as they just make life so much easier, and lucky for us Korres has brought us all the essentials to whip your lips into prime-puckering shape with minimal effort in the form of the Korres Love Your Lips gift baggie.  Check out the full review, photos galore and some lip swatches after the jump!

Your $34.50 gets you two of Korres’ Cherry Oil Lip Glosses in Naked Rose 22 and Naked Beige 30, a Lip Butter in Jasmine (LOVE their Lip Butters – see my review HERE), and their Lemon Lip Scrub – a great value considering that each and every one of these products is one I’d use regularly.

I’d actually planned on purchased Naked Beige (a sheer neutral beige shimmer) at some point prior to receiving this set from Korres as it’s a great neutral shade that can pull together any dramatic eye look, but what really tugged at my heartstrings was the gorgeous golden shimmer in Naked Rose (a golden rose shimmer with light to medium pigmentation).  I’m a sucker for gold in my glosses, and so of course I proceeded to spend a good ten minutes or so just admiring the shade in the sunlight (weird I know).

Korres’ Cherry Full Color glosses have an addictive light cherry scent and nice color pay-off (although some shades are definitely sheerer than others), but what I really love about them is that they stay put remarkably well despite the fact that they’re not sticky or tacky.  Admittedly the shade range is rather limited, but I like to think that the selection is well-edited and hope that Korres will bring us more shades in the future!

As for the Lip Butter, well you need only read my initial review of Korres’ Lip Butter in Quince for my thoughts.  The Lip Butters are smooth, creamy, delicious, and slip right on like butter.  On me Jasmine is pretty much invisible making it much more of a balm than a tint, but it does make a great lipstick underlayer.

So having been continually disappointed by Lip Scrubs that don’t actually scrub over the years (I’ve tried so so many and they really don’t do much of anything for me), I was expecting more of the same from Korres’ Lemon Lip Scrub, but lo and behold this product actually leaves my lips feeling soft, supple and exfoliated.  I was a little disappointed at the lack of lemony scent and the fact that it didn’t get rid of all of my lip flakies, but I did love how fine the exfoliating granules were, which I’m pretty sure is what made this so much more effective than products I’ve tried in the past.

Swatches (from L to R): Jasmine Lip Butter, Naked Rose, Naked Beige
And a close up of Naked Rose and Naked Beige for your viewing pleasure (you know you love the shimmer as much as I do!).
And lip swatches as promised!  Naked Rose on top, Naked Beige down below.
The Verdict: All in all I’d have to say that the handy little package that is Korres’ Love Your Lips set is pretty great value and would make somebody a nice, simple all-in-one gift.  Next time your lips are in need of a little pick-me-up, definitely check this out!
This review contains a press sample sent to ABS by the brand’s PR representative for blog consideration.  If you have any questions regarding the foregoing, please feel free to contact me at

Holiday Gift Guide: For the Skincare Lover

December 8, 2009

My first installation of the ABS 2010 Holiday Gift Guide was created with my mother in mind – she, like me, is a true skincare lover, and I’d love to be able to purchase one of each and every skincare gift set on this list. What better way to show your love than to provide a certain special someone with all their skincare essentials beautifully pre-packaged for gift-giving?

La Mer’s The Connoisseur Collection ($395) brings together three of my favorite La Mer daily essentials in one serene seafoam-hued box. The products work in tandem to deliver a softer, healthier, more luminous appearance each day. My mother and I both happen to be HUGE La Mer fans (the Creme is her holy grail moisturizer) so this set is definitely a must-have for both of us.
Set includes:
• Creme de la Mer 2 ounces
• The Lifting Face Serum 0.3 ounces
• The Eye Concentrate 0.5 ounces

Amore Pacific’s Limited-Edition Time Response Set (a $600 value for $400) is chock full of anti-aging therapies geared towards continuously correcting, protecting, and reprogramming skin. Pure EGCG, a potent and rare botanical compound derived from green tea, protects skin from damage and premature aging. I’ve continually been impressed by the quality and efficacy of Amore Pacific’s products, and now is as good a time as any to introduce someone new to an amazing brand that doesn’t get nearly enough press! And if your budget won’t stretch quite that far, check out the Bio-Enzyme Refining Complex Holiday Set, a holiday duo I’m seriously lemming.

Set includes:
• Time Response Cream, 1.7 ounces
• Time Response Hand Cream 0.34 ounces
• Time Response Body Cream, 0.34 ounces
• Time Response Serum, 0.17 ounces
• Time Response Gel Cream 0.27 ounces
• 1st Harvest Halla Green Tea 0.7 ounces

Guinot’s Age Logic Vanity Bag (a $220 value for $190) contains all the essentials to achieve beautiful, younger-looking skin, all neatly tucked into an elegant shimmering black vanity bag. The high-powered cocktail of Actinergie, 56 cellular actives and and anti-oxidants in the Age Logic formula work to combat the cellular aging process by supplying the energy cells need for optimal functioning. Guinot’s Red Logic cream has attained holy grail status for me, and this face and eye cream are pretty fantastic as well.

Set includes:
• Age Logic Cellulaire 1.6 ounces
• Age Logic Eye 0.5 ounces

See some more selections after the jump!

Cle de Peau Beaute’s Premier La Creme Collection (a $563 for $500) pairs the creme de la creme of Cle de Peau’s collection (well notwithstanding their new releases) to make for the ultimate in luxury. I happen to love the Creme and the cleansing foam really is second to none.

Set includes:
• La Creme, 30ml
• Gentle Cleansing Foam, 30ml
• Gentle Balancing Lotion, 30ml
• Gentle Nourishing Emulsion, 15ml
• Signature Facial Service Card

Chantecaille’s The 3 Indispensables ($210) contains its three best-selling products in a festive red pouch that’s ideal for holiday gift-giving. While I have yet to try a single Chantecaille product, the Vital Essence has been high on my wishlist for ages as I’ve heard nothing but good things. I really don’t need another facial essence but I’ve been wanting to test it out as an undereye serum of sorts.

Set includes:
• Rice and Geranium Foaming Cleanser, 70 grams
• Flower Harmonizing Cream, 1.7 ounces
• Vital Essence, 1.7 ounces

Armani Beauty’s Crema Nera Set (a $420 value for $350), gorgeously packaged in a sleek black logo box, makes a great introduction to the newer skincare releases from what many consider to be the master of foundations.

Set includes:
• Crema Nera Cream
• Mineral Soothing Lotion
• Mineral Cleansing Balm

And last but certainly not least, Chanel’s Sublimage Luxury Voyage Collection ($400), an elegant travel set exclusively created for a woman to experience an incomparable age-defying ritual any time, anywhere in the world. While pricey, the Sublimage line really is quite amazing on the skin and this set makes an amazing gift.

Set includes:
• Sublimage Essential Regenerating Cream
• Sublimage Essential Regenerating Eye Cream
• Ultra-comfortable eye mask
• Special travel case and plush bag

Urban Decay 24/7 Travel Size VIP Liner Set: Review, Swatches, and a Quick EOTD

December 10, 2008
Urban Decay VIP 24/7 Travel Size Set of 5 ($29)

Swatches (L to R): Zero (black), Lucky (deep copper), Covet (peacock green), Electric (bright aquamarine), and Lust (purple)

Liners after some vigorous rubbing with soap and water.

I’d been lemming this for so long but hesitated to purchase it as I don’t wear liners (especially pencil liners) all that often–but luckily somebody was kind enough to get this for me as a gift. Thanks so much Denise!!

Created with moisturizing ingredients, Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils are uber creamy, blendable, and waterproof. They apply like a dream, gliding over the eye area without dragging or pulling, and once set stay put nearly all day, even on my super-oily eyelids.

The VIP travel set consists of five bright and tropical shades that are a great deal for $29, since a full-sized pencil retails for $16. While the color does fade a bit after a long day of wear, Urban Decay’s 24/7 pencils are amongst the best that I’ve tried and I hope that they’ll continue to release great liner sets in the future.

Definitely pick up a set (especially since Sephora currently has a 15% off promotion going on) if you’ve been curious about Urban Decay’s liners–you won’t be disappointed!

A Quick EOTD using Zero (upper lash line) and Lust (waterline):

A Few Random MAC Little Darlings Swatches

November 17, 2008
I’m sure you’ve seen these all by now but I happened to be at a MAC counter picking up a thing or two so I figured I’d add these to the bunch of swatches I’m posting today!

MAC Little Darlings 5 Cool Pigments and Glitter Swatches: Blackened Red, Teal, Pinked Mauve, Quietly, Frost

I’d been looking forward to the mini pigment sets but sadly I wasn’t all that impressed. I’m not a big fan of the glitters and the pigments I either have or don’t really like all that much. Plus I had the hardest time actually getting pigment out of these mini vials–you should’ve seen the mess I made!

MAC Little Darlings 5 Coral Lipglass and Lustreglass Swatches: Pink Grapefruit, Ola Mango!, Underage, Budding, Wonderstruck

The lipglass and lustreglass sets I really liked on the other hand! They contain a flattering range of shades to suit any gloss lover and of course I love that they’re mini-sized.

MAC Little Darlings 5 Softsparkle Eye Pencils Swatches: Peacocked, Chocolight, Black Funk, Mint & Olive (missing Fab Orchid)

Korres Sugar Plums Set Swatches and Mini Review

November 17, 2008
Korres Sugar Plums Set
($41 value for $21.50)
What it is:
A limited-edition kit with a lip butter, a lip gloss, and an eyeshadow.

What it does: Korres Sugar Plums Kit has all you need for a dewy, flawless look. Plum 27 Cherry Lip Gloss is a sheer, high-shine, color lip gloss. Cherry oil hydrates the lips while vitamins E and C offer antioxidant protection. Plum Lip Butter is a buttery balm that melts on the lips and offers a shiny, tinted finish. A mixture of Shea Butter and Rice Wax offers deep hydration and softness. Plum Sunflower & Evening Primrose Shimmering Eyeshadow is a velvety, easy-to-apply, pressed eyeshadow with sunflower and evening primrose oils that care for the sensitive eye area.

What else you need to know: This Sephora-exclusive set contains products that are dermatologically tested and are mineral oil, silicone, propylene glycol, and ethanolamine free.

Swatches (L to R): Plum eyeshadow, Plum lip butter, Plum gloss

Korres’ approach to skincare and beauty is simple: using natural ingredients to create effective and affordable products. With a philosophy like that, what’s not to love? While I’ve had my eye on several Korres products since their launch at Sephora some time back, I only made my first Korres purchase (not this set but you’ll find out what it was soon enough) days ago. But enough about that–onto this set!

Korres’ Sugar Plums Set is a trio of plum products that all contain wonderful skin-nourishing ingreidents. This set is a way to indulge your love of beauty while also indulging your delicate lip and eye areas in a little TLC: the shadow contains nourishing sunflower and evening primrose oils, the lip butter has shea butter, and the gloss has cherry oil for hydration (as well as a slew of other great ingredients).

How was the pigmentation you ask? Well as you can see in the swatches above, it was pretty wonderful! The Plum shadow is a rich plum shade with shimmer interspersed throughout, and has a beautiful velvety consistecy that not only feels great going on but has good staying power. The Plum lip butter has an “oooh my lips feel so great and non-waxy” consistency and provides a slight tint to boot, and the Plum gloss has an almost liquid-lipstick like look to it.

While this set isn’t for the faint of heart, combine all three products and you’ve got a wonderfully dramatic holiday look. I highly recommend checking it out for yourself!

LORAC Croc Mocktail Collection Swatches and Mini Review

November 17, 2008
LORAC Croc Mocktail Collection – Flavored Lip Gloss
($55 value for $25)

What it does:
LORAC Croc Mocktail Collection Flavored Lip Gloss has a slew of special-edition, holiday-flavored glosses, fittingly named Mocktails. Each tube has a mini mirror so you slick and shine your pout with these dazzling and delicious lacquers on the go.

What else you need to know: Collection includes flavored lipglosses:
– Mistletoe Mojito (mint, sugar & melon)
– Champagne (sparkling pear)
– Sugarplumtini (plum & berry)
– Spiced Cider (red apple)
-Candy Cane Cosmo (peppermint)
– Irish Coffee (vanilla latte)

I bought this set as something of a holiday stocking stuffer for a special somebody primarily because of the great price and the fact that I remembered having been impressed with LORAC’s glosses in the past, but I definitely wasn’t prepared for how great this set was in person! My one little issue with this set had been that the stock photo made the packaging look a bit cheap, but in person the set looks luxe (and expensive!) and the glosses are absolutely stunning.

The glosses themselves were great as well: nice non sticky consistency (the texture was like Dior’s Creme de Glosses than the conventional thick and sticky glosses), beautifully pigmented, and of course deliciously flavored for the holiday season. Each gloss is a good size yet still perfectly portable and there wasn’t a single shade that I wouldn’t wear, which is pretty rare! (oooh I rhyme lol!)

While the set I picked up has already been wrapped up as a gift, it’s highly likely that I’ll be picking up a second set for myself in the near future. Definitely pick this up it makes a fabulous holiday gift!