Archive for the 'lipstick' Category

Lipstick Queen Mystery Chinatown Pencil Review & Swatches

March 18, 2010
Some weeks back Gilt had a Lipstick Queen sample sale, so naturally I hauled a few items including this Lipstick Queen Chinatown pencil.  This line isn’t too widely carried (I’ve pretty much only seen it at Barney’s), which is a small tragedy considering all the fun items they make, but I was more than happy to pick up this pencil for only $12!  
Lipstick Queen’s Chinatown pencils are sheer, moisturizing glosses in an easy-to-use draw-on pencil form and Mystery was love at first swipe for me.  Check out the full review and more photos after the jump!

So what’s to love?  Well pretty much everything – my inner child loves cosmetics that come in big fat pencil form – maybe I feel like I’m being naughty and drawing on my face, maybe it makes me think of coloring books and crayons – either way, there’s just something so pure and innocent about it all :).  And to top it all off, the Chinatown pencils come boxed with their own fat pencil-appropriate sharpener, meaning you won’t have to go hunting all over the place for something that’ll be the perfect fit.  Gotta love it when cosmetics companies take practicalities into consideration for us!
The formula is sheer so if you’re looking for color that’ll pack a punch, look away.  If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a lightweight, semi-sheer kiss of color with a glossy finish minus the stickiness of a conventional gloss, you’ve found your product.  
Mystery looks to be a dark, vampy, kinda scary shade of deep purpley brown, but on the lips it’s this gorgeous berry stain reminiscent of the “I just had a popsicle” look.  It’s a subtle look with buildable pigmentation, and a great option for those who’ve to add a little non-scary color to their makeup arsenals. 
Please ignore the splotchiness in the lip swatch – these photos were taken awhile back and I’d actually just burned my lip (long story short I bit into an extremely hot dumpling that dripped scalding liquid onto my lip, resulting in several raised welts).  
So while the Lipstick Queen Chinatown pencils aren’t the longest lasting (non-sticky = not too long wearing) as I’d say they disappears in about an hour or two, they really do make for some good clean fun and are definitely a nice addition to my lippie collection. 
I purchased this product myself as I’ve been dying to own some Lipstick Queen for years now.  Next on my list of things to do – to meet Lipstick Queen creator Poppy King, who I’ve heard as absolutely AMAZING and seriously just a gem of a person.  

It’s Snowing!

December 20, 2009

There is currently an honest-to goodness snowstorm raging outside my bedroom window, and having waded through at least a good 5 inches of snow while wearing 4 inch heels (not the smartest idea I know!), I can attest to the fact that it’s pretty darn cold outside! Nights like this make me think of sipping hot cocoa in front of a warm fireplace, and of course, festive holiday makeup.

So how’s your weekend been treating you thus far? I spent 11 hours Christmas shopping – can you believe it?! Of course some of that involved playing with makeup (it’s a hard task but somebody’s gotta do it =P) and I took a quick moment to test out Armani’s new Rouge D’Armani’s, which in a word are FABULOUS! It boasts 8-hour wear time and is just a gorgeous gorgeous formula ~ non-drying, long-wearing, pigmented, creamy, amazingly packaged.

More details after the jump!

Vogue editors chose Rouge d’Armani in shade #600 selected as a favorite, while Harper’s Bazaar declared Rouge d’Armani #500 a “must-have” – which is why I’ve ordered it for myself using my Saks Mystery Money. It was all of $20 this year, but that still meant I only had to pay $12 and change for my new lipstick, which I haven’t even swatched. Hopefully I love the shade!

Celebs who’ve been spotted in Rouge d’Armani include Rihanna (shade #401) and Kerry Washington (#100).

From what I remember, shade #503 was my favorite, but sadly it was sold out at Nordstrom and not available on the Saks site. I hope to get my hands on it soon though!

Guerlain Rouge G de Guerlain #11 ‘Grace’ Jewel Lipstick Compact from ‘Imperial Holiday’ 2009

November 5, 2009

Guerlain ‘Le Rouge G de Guerlain’ Lipstick in Grace #11 ($45) is one of the two limited edition holiday shades (the other being #12 Gems) available from their 2009 ‘Imperial Holiday’ release. The original case was designed by jeweller Lorenz Baumer, and the holiday packaging is enhanced by the addition of a black jewel clasp.

You already know that I’m a fan of the Rouge G formula – the ruby powder in them really gives them some gorgeous shimmer under sunlight, they last a good 4-5 hours, are creamy, pigmented, nourishing and non-drying, and all-around wear beautifully.

So how did I feel about Grace? Find out after the jump (and check out a ton of photos including lip swatches)!

Let’s just say that for me, Grace is that perfect lipstick I never knew that I needed, but now can’t imagine being without. While it’s probably not ideal for those of you with very pigmented lips, on my lips this is a medium pink with slight beigey brown undertones and gorgeous understated shimmer that really just makes my lips look lush and polished. It’s got that subtle ‘my lips but better’ quality to it that’s made it my go-to lipstick for basically any and every occasion.

While I love my engraved Rouge G that I picked up at Bergdorf for myself, this gem-adorned holiday packaging definitely rivals it to for top spot amongst my lippies!

While Grace may not look like much in the tube, I’d definitely check it out for yourself should you happen to find yourself near a Guerlain counter – it definitely surprised me! I’m constantly pulling mine out to reapply throughout the day and to admire my glistening lips in the attached mirror.

This review contains a press sample sent to ABS by the brand’s PR representative for blog consideration. I probably wouldn’t have picked this up as it looks a little brown in the tube, but boy would I have been missing out! Again why I love press samples – they give me the opportunity to try products I would never go for.

This review contains an affiliate link. If you have any questions regarding the foregoing, please feel free to contact me at

Tsumori Chisato for shu uemura Rouge Unlimited Lipstick in Jupiter Brown Review, Swatches & Lip Shot

October 26, 2009

Tsumori Chisato for shu uemura ‘Rouge Unlimited’ Lipstickicon ($25) is, at least for me, one of those items that any serious makeup collector will feel the compulsion to own. I purchased mine sight unseen at the counter at Nordstrom as the testers were all missing and there was just one of these little darlings remaining.

While I thought the packaging was super kawaii online, it’s nothing compared to the cuteness this lippie exudes in person! The ‘Lucky Cat’ peeking out at you from the cap, the gold star and paw prints and the overall color scheme make this Tsumori Chisato for shu uemura ‘Rouge Unlimited’ Lipstick in Jupiter Brown such a delight to look at and own.

More review plus and hand and lip swatches and close-ups after the jump!

This Tusmori Chisato lipstick comes in one loan shade, Jupiter Brown, and while I wasn’t too into the pinky brown shade at first glance, it’s actually pretty beautiful on the lips. If you check out the close-ups down below you’ll see that this lipstick is heavy on the gold shimmer housed within a rosy pink base with some barely there brown undertones.

On my lips this turns into a sheer, glossy pinky brown shade with a generous helping of gold shimmer (this really does look pretty pink on me) and while I was expecting to love the packaging and to just tolerate the lipstick shade itself, this one is actually pretty gorgeous. It’s not the muddy brown that I’d feared (I don’t know who came up with the name Juptier Brown but I’m not a fan) but more a fleshy rosy shade lightened up by all the gold shimmer – really a beauty!

Of course the top lip shot was taken with flash, the bottom without. It was ridiculously hard to get a good representation of this shade on camera for some reason, so the bottom shade shows the gold shimmer whereas the top showcases the color a little more accurately. The shade actually has a little more gold to it in person, but it is beautiful and, being a Rouge Unlimited, the formula is of course glossy and wonderful.

What do you think?

I purchased this product myself. Just couldn’t resist the star, pawprints and cute cat calling to me from the aisles of Nordstrom!

This review contains an affiliate link. If you have any questions regarding the foregoing, please feel free to contact me at

Swatches of Heidi Klum’s Exotic Jewels Collection on Me

October 22, 2009
Swatches: Perfect Lipstick in Exotic Spice, Lip Gloss in Passion Fruit, Glitter Liquid Liner in Majesty

I decided to split the last post into two since I had a million photos to share with you – so here are my lip swatches of Heidi Klum’s Exotic Jewels Collection for Victoria’s Secret!

Lip swatch of Perfect Lipstick in Exotic Spice – see that yummy creamy opacity I was telling you about? This lipstick really is full-coverage and smells delicious to boot (who doesn’t love the scent of hot chocolate?), but I’m still not entirely sold on the shade. I’m a creature of habit and it’s hard to drag myself away from the pinks!

Lip swatch of Lip Gloss in Passion Fruit. Love how this gives my lips a pretty smoothed-over look that eliminates all the little nooks and crannies on my lips, but I do wish this had more pigmentation to it. It’s a nice light non-sticky gloss with golden shimmer, but I was hoping it would have a bit more of a wow-factor to it.

Nonetheless these are two pretty wonderful holiday lip options and I’ve been getting plenty of use out of both!

DEX Modern Minerals Lipstick Review & Swatches

October 20, 2009
DEX Modern Minerals Lipstick ($22)

Encapsulated in sleek gunmental tubes that just epitomize contemporary minimalism, the DEX Modern Minerals lipsticks possess the same gorgeous pigmentation as every other piece of the line and really pack quite a punch.

While these won’t really be giving my Sensai Deep Moist Shine Rouges and Lasting Treatment Rouges a run for their money, the DEX Modern Minerals really are good solid lipsticks, and from what I’ve read, are ideal to use post-dermatological procedures (ie. collagen injections) as they’re very protective and conditioning.

Swatches: Court Street (a fleshy apricot); Atlantic Ave. (rosy bronze); Fulton Street (deep currant)

The DEX Modern Minerals lipsticks are nicely moisturizing and beautifully pigmented, but I did notice that some tended to feel a tad dryer than others. Court Street and Fulton Street are both wonderfully creamy and slick on beautifully, whereas Atlantic Ave. has a bit of a stiffer, dryer feel to it. I’m wondering if the difference is because Court & Fulton seem to be straight on creams whereas Atlantic Ave definitely has some metallic shimmer to it.

Notwithstanding my terrible lip shot of Fulton Street, I’d say it’s by far my favorite shade of the ones that I tried. I’m usually scared off by dark burgundy shades, but once on this has such a clear, bright finish to it that I just can’t resist.

If you’re on the hunt for richly pigmented non-drying lipsticks, these are a nice option, but if you happen to love lipsticks that are heavy on the shimmer (like I do), you may need to look elsewhere.

Availability: DEX Modern Minerals are available online at as well as at the Dex Beauty Atrium flagship location in NYC (224 West 30th Street). The line is also carried at select Maria Martin boutiques around the country and at PIR in Canada.

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

Sensai’s The Lipstick Lip Swatches and Close-Ups

September 22, 2009
Close-up of 07 Sekichiku

These lips swatches were hastily done, but I simply had to post a few as product photos alone really don’t do Sensai’s The Lipstick any justice. The Lipsticks really give the illusion of a fuller lip and have creamy opaque coverage that lasts for hours, even through eating and drinking.

07 Sekichiku has a beautiful vein of gold shimmer running throughout that’s very subtle in person but lends the lips a gorgeous luminosity that I absolutely love.

See more lip swatches and close-ups of Sensai’s The Lipstick the lipstick after the jump!

08 Araishu

If it’s not obvious, Araishu and Sekichiku are my two favorites. Araishu is a fully opaque creamy shade of medium milky pink with a tinge of coral to it that looks very sophisticated on the lips. I’m wearing it today and received many compliments!

14 Mahoso

Those who know me know that I just don’t do red lipstick, but Sensai’s Mahoso is the one exception to that rule. When I first swatched it I was a bit turned off by the slight orange tinge it had to it, but on my lips this turns into the perfect clear bright red that doesn’t give me clown mouth. I love it!

12 Sugiiro

And last but not least we have Sugiiro, a true fleshy beige that subtely tones down my natural lip color and pairs beautifully with a more dramatic eye.

Sensai’s The Lipstick Review and Swatches

September 22, 2009
Sensai The Lipstick/Le Rouge A Levres ($55)

A few weeks back I introduced you to the completely re-engineered, re-formulated and re-packaged The Lipstick from Sensai, a fabulous fusion of advanced anti-aging science with aristocratic colors, and now I’m back to provide you with swatches and a full review!

The Lipstick promises to increase moisture content in lips by 172% after two weeks of regular use and to accelerate microcirculation by 120% in 10 minutes.

So what were my thoughts? Find out and see swatches after the jump!

Sensai’s gold- and silk-enriched lipsticks have great moisturizing power, amazing pigmentation and coverage (you’ll see in the lip swatches ~ I’d say my lips look pretty great), a glowing creamy finish and color fidelity meaning your color won’t change on you throughout the day.

The subtely gold-toned packaging is weighty and very elegant feeling in your hands; combined with the black velvet pouches that each lipstick comes in, you’re really enveloped in a sense of luxury when using these.

Swatches (left to right):
07 Sekichiku (rosy pink with gold shimmer), 08 Araishu (medium pink with coral undertones), 12 Sugiiro (a true fleshy nude), 14 Mahoso (an orange-based red)

Containing ingredients like golden silk powder that is injected into silk granules which are able to hold 300 times their weight in water and golden phyto extract, an anti-aging component comprised of apricot oil, yuzu (japanese citron) extract and an exclusive Sensai ingredient derived from rice that coosts skin’s natural moisture content by up to 172% after 2 weeks, Sensai’s The Lipstick really does provide a nourishing, luxurious experience for the lips.

The Sensai Lipsticks are quickly becoming a celeb favorite as well – Jessica Lange was wearing shade #11 Kurumi during the Emmy’s two nights ago!

Availability: All 15 shades are available at Bergdorf Goodman and at For more info on Kanebo INTERNATIONAL, check out

Perfecting Pink: Urban Decay Lipsticks in Naked & Lovechild Review + Swatches

September 14, 2009
Urban Decay Lipstick ($22)
Leaving no shade unturned, our huge assortment of colors and textures tempt you to stray from an otherwise predicable palette. The luxuriously creamy formula nourishes and protects lips with Vitamins A, C, and E. Hyaluronic Spheres (found naturally in the body) are added to stimulate cellular function, prevent dehydration, and fill-in lines and wrinkles—now, how many Lipsticks can do that?! The teardrop-shape bullet (etched with an Urban Decay logo) is infused with a decadent crème caramel scent and flavor. Yum.

I’m on a perpetual hunt for that perfect shade of nude pink – that holy grail “my lips but better” shade that will give my lips the subtle enhancement they need without screaming “I’m wearing lipstick!” to the world. Well I’d say search over (or at least temporarily halted) thanks to Urban Decay’s wonderful lipsticks which I’ve waited way too long to try!

Lovechild on top, Naked on the bottom.

The packaging on Urban Decay’s lipsticks is unique, stunning, and difficult not to love. I know there are those of you that dislike the impracticality of having to pull out your lipstick by a tiny little not-so-finger-friendly spear, but I for one couldn’t care less – I’m all about the pretty!

Close-up of the etching on the Urban Decay lipsticks (Lovechild on top, Naked on the bottom).

These wonderfully creamy, glossy, hydrating lipsticks also have the Urban Decay logo etched onto the sides of the lipsticks, a small touch that again brings on that warm fuzzy happy feeling.

Close-up of the mini gunmetal dagger pull.

But of course a lipstick is nothing if its formula is rubbish ~ and thankfully Urban Decay’s is rather wonderful! Naked and Lovechild both impart a beautifully glossy sheen to the lips while leaving them sheathed in wonderfully hydrating color.

The one negative that I’ve been hearing a lot about this formula is the scent/flavor. The Urban Decay lippies have a very distinct caramel flavor which I actually quite enjoy, but I know there are others out there who just can’t get over the intensity of it, so this may be one of those products you definitely want to sniff/test before buying.

Swatches: Naked (left), Lovechild (right)

So of course, onto the colors! Naked is a full-coverage nude pink that has been touted by so many as their HG my lips but better shade, and I’d have to say it gets pretty close to that status for me as well. My lips bring out a little more of the nude than the pink in Naked, but all in all it’s a shade that succeeds in subtly enhancing my natural lip shade.

Lip Swatch of Naked.

Lovechild is a semi-sheer light cool pink shade that, compared to Naked, has more of a milky mauvey tinge to it. I happen to absolutely adore this shade on my lips. It’s a little lighter than my natural lip color but super-flattering nonetheless and really give my lips the illusion of lushness/plumpness that I’d be crazy not to love!

Lip Swatch of Lovechild.

The Verdict: Urban Decay’s Lipsticks are really rather reasonable at $22, especially consdering how wonderful their formula is. Two things to keep in mind are that it’s rather strongly scented of caramel so if you’re not into scented products, this may be a no-no for you, and also that it is a glossy/creamy formula, meaning that this isn’t going to be nearly as long-wearing as other lipsticks you may have. I definitely plan to check out many many more of the Urban Decay lipstick shades, and thanks to Elaine for sending these two to me!

Introducing Sensai The Lipstick!

August 28, 2009

One of my favorite brands, Kanebo Sensai, has completely re-engineered, re-formulated and re-packaged (oh have they repackaged – the new tubes are just so elegant and gorgeous!) their lipstick line called THE LIPSTICK to represent an elegant fusion of advanced anti-aging skin science with timeless shades. The beautifully distinctive hues are disperted with golden silk powder and particles of Japan’s most precious silk, Koishimaru Silk, which encapsulate pure gold particles that have been microscopically injected into the silk.

Sensai’s THE LIPSTICK claims to provide immediate and long-term anti-aging benefits with the ability to increase moisture content in lips by 172% after two weeks of regular use and accelerate microcirculation by 120% in 10 minutes among other benefits.

Sensai’s previous lipstick release have quickly risen to be amongst the most prized in my collection (the Lasting Treatment Rouge in Hitoeume which I’ve reviewed HERE is easily my favorite, along with their Deep Moist Shine Rouge in Botan which I’ve reviewed HERE), and so I’m excited to get my hand on these new additions to the line!

Sensai’s THE LIPSTICK will be available in 15 luxurious shades ($55 each), each selected from over 200 core color used by the Japanese aristocracy in their silk kimonos during the Heian Period (794-1185). I plan to have reviews/swatches coming for you soon!

All 15 shades are available at Bergdorf Goodman and at For more info on Kanebo INTERNATIONAL, check out