“Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.” -Gwyneth Paltrow

Chanel Rouge Allure Laque: #78 Phoenix and #79 Mandarin

All Photos Courtesy of Me.

Oh, how I love my Chanel lip products! I fell in love with Glossimers last Spring, I can't live without Rouge Coco lipsticks, and the Rouge Allure Laque Luminous Satin Lip Lacquers are no exception to the rule. Sit me at the Chanel counter and start swatching lip products on me, and you basically have a slave at your disposal. My Chanel SA's have figured this out, and they exploit it relentlessly, by the way. They're merciless. I have to skirt around the far side of the cosmetics department at Macy's now purely in self-defense. 

So anyway, the Rouge Allure Laques were not exactly a tough sell. They are unlike any other lip product I've tried. Not a lipstick, yet definitely not merely a gloss, Lacques combine the best of both worlds. Described as a liquid lip lacquer, Rouge Allure Laque lipsticks are just that: a beautiful, liquid lipstick that literally applies like a lacquer to your lips, staying glossy for hours. Highly pigmented for brilliant color payoff, these lipsticks stay on for hours and moisturize continuously. Applied with a doe foot applicator, they are remarkably easy to wear and come in a range of 8 shades, from the most subtle neutral to the daringly famous Dragon Red. 

When I was choosing my Rouge Allure Laques, I was terribly tempted to buy the Dragon. Anyone who reads beauty blogs with any regularity has heard of this acclaimed color. Plus, who doesn't want to literally be the Dragon Lady? Seriously? However, since I already have a dozen red lipsticks, I decided to go a bit more low-key (for me) and opt for more the more neutral but still beautiful #78 Phoenix and #79 Mandarin. 

Phoenix, Mandarin

Phoenix is a raspberry pink with extremely subtle shimmer; the shimmer is not enough to show on the lips, but  is enough to add some depth to the color and to keep it from being a straight creme formula. On me, it brightens up considerably from the color in the tube, probably due to my extremely pale lips. On my friends with darker lips, it becomes a deep raspberry. The pigmentation is excellent, and the color is strong without being overwhelming. It's a beautiful color, capable of brightening up my face without calling undue attention to itself. 


Mandarin is a deep coral with a hint of brown. It's a very neutral coral, if there is such a thing. It has a hint of shimmer to it, but not enough to be overtly noticeable. Again, the shimmer is there to add depth to the color. 


I love both of these colors and use them on a near-daily basis, especially during Spring and Summer. The formula is so outstanding and does such a great job of keeping my lips hydrated, yet it's so light I forget I even have it on. The finish is amazing...the gloss lasts for hours, and only towards the very end of the Laque's wear time does it finally dry down to a more matte appearance. Even when it becomes more matte in appearance, the hydrating properties remain. 

As Fall approaches, I plan to purchase more shades of this outstanding lipstick. I only hope they come out with some more shades. However, in the meantime, I see a Dragon in my future...

Revlon Doubletwist Volumizing Mascara

All Images Courtesy of Me. 

I'm on a never-ending quest for the perfect mascara. I used to use only drugstore mascaras, then I switched to only high-end mascaras for a while, and now I'm back to drugstore brands again. Why, you ask? Well, because for hygienic reasons, you should really toss your mascara about every 3 months. Since I don't use up an entire tube of mascara in 3 months, and since I'm prone to pink eye and refuse to take the chance that it my mascara will become some nasty bacteria soup,  it seems like a major waste of $30 to get a high-end mascara just to toss it, half-used, in such a short amount of time. Plus, I've found during my forays into the mascara world that there are many, many good drugstore brands and many, many bad high-end brands. 

All that being said, I still haven't found my Holy Grail of mascaras. I'm looking for a lot, I admit. I like dramatic lashes. My natural lashes are already fairly long, but very straight and light in color, so I need something that will: 
  • Darken them dramatically 
  • Add a LOT of volume
  • Lengthen them at least a touch
  • Not pull out the curl I painstakingly bend into my lashes each morning
  • Not become a clumpy, spidery mess
Now, I know I'm asking a lot here. Volume AND lengthening? Without clumps? HA!!! Well, at least that's been my experience. It seems every formula I try either adds volume OR length, but not both, OR it adds both but clumps up so horribly I end up with mascara everywhere and the appearance of two huge, fat lashes instead of the lovely fringe I was going for, or the formula is so wet that it pulls the curl right out of my lashes, leaving them stick-straight and pointing down instead of up. There's always a flaw somewhere. So the search continues. 

Today I'm going to talk about one of Revlon's new mascaras, the Doubletwist Volumizing Mascara. In this particular formula, Revlon doesn't make any claims about the mascara itself...rather, it's the "revolutionary" brush that apparently does all the work. Made with a combination of traditional and "innovative defining" (read: long, hard, inflexible plastic) bristles, the brush is supposed to give both volume and definition. Here's a shot: 

As you can more or less see from my photo, the red plastic bristles are in alternating rows with more traditional bristles. The brush itself is huge, and a little hard to maneuver. It covers a lot of ground very quickly, but you definitely can't get into the corners easily, and the tip of the brush always holds extra product, so it can get messy fast. 

The first coat applied beautifully. It went on smoothly and thinly, coating my lashes with a layer of deep, dark black pigment. I could tell immediately that this would not be a lengthening formula and that I would need to use several coats to get the volume I desired, but with the ease of application and the smoothness of the formula, I had high hopes. 

However, on the second coat we had a major disaster. All of a sudden, I was confronted with MASSIVE clumps across my entire lash line. I had to do immediate damage control with a lash comb to keep from ending up with two huge eyelashes. Even working as quickly as possible, I ended up with a somewhat mangled mess on my left eye. I realized that the "revolutionary" brush was the problem. It seems all those traditional and non-traditional bristles were picking up a boatload of mascara, and there was nowhere for it to go but on my lashes. ALL OF IT. It just glopped right on and wouldn't let go without a fight.  Even after I got rid of most of the clumps, several of my eyelashes were stuck together and had odd little balls on the ends of them.

Here's a shot of both eyes done: 

In this shot, you can see the damage done by the clumping. As a matter of fact, what appears to be volume is, in reality, lashes that got glued together before I could separate them, especially on the eye on the right. You can especially see this if you click on the picture for an enlargement. 

Even without the clumping, the formula is merely ordinary. I often find mascaras that make my lashes so long they nearly reach my eyebrows...as you can see, that was not the case with Doubletwist. Couple that with the fact that I got clumps instead of volume, and I can't recommend this one. I may try to use it again, blotting first to remove excess product, just to see if I can get some use out of it. If that doesn't work, I'm afraid this one may be headed for the trash.

On the Natural Front--Collective Wellbeing Whirled Peas Hydrating Mask

All Images Courtesy of Me. 
I have to admit I'm not a huge natural-product advocate. Don't get me wrong--I love  it when I see on the label that ingredients are natural or that a product is paraben-free,  and especially that there is no animal testing. The problem is, I seldom remember to check for these things when making my purchases. I'm much more swayed by positive reviews, textures, colors, performance, and  frankly, the company's claims as to what the product will do to make me beautiful.  So when I go into a natural foods store I always try to stop by the beauty section to check out the more natural  offerings.  There are some great lines out there offering natural skin care and makeup  that are both effective and ethical, and I'm always up for giving them a try. On a recent trip to Whole Foods, I discovered Collective Wellbeing and decided to give them a try.
Whirled Peas Mask by Collective Wellbeing is a hydrating mask made with peas, which contain goodies such as magnesium and vitamins A and C, which are good for the skin. Certified organic oils help bind moisture to the skin. This mask can be used as often as daily, and is meant to give you a relaxing 15-minute break in your day. 

The mask itself is not exactly luxurious. It looks like thick pea soup and smells (to me) of black licorice.  There are several fragrant essential oils listed, such as sage, lavender, ylang-ylang, etc., but no licorice, so I don't know where that fragrance comes from. The scent lingers the entire time the mask is on the face. However, it does rinse off with the mask. There are tiny granules of what I assume are peas in the mask as well, which lend a slight exfoliating quality. Whirled Peas dried on my skin when I used a very, very thin layer, but when I used a thicker layer as directed, it stayed relatively intact. 

As far as the hydrating properties of the mask go, I did not find there to be many. The mask did not dry my skin, but it didn't feel noticeably hydrated, either. The mask felt good while on and was very soothing.  Upon rinsing the mask off, my skin was left smooth and soft, but not noticeably moisturized. I did find that I had to do some mild scrubbing to remove the "peas" from my skin. 

Bottom line: A soothing 10-minute mask, but no real lasting benefits. Will probably not repurchase, although I'll enjoy it while I have it.

Givenchy Rouge Interdit #19--Black Plum

Photo Courtesy Givenchy Beauty

I owe a lot of my obsession with the cosmetic world to the women in my life. My mother was literally a beauty queen (Miss Rice Queen, thank you very much!), and  was the type of mom who would stand at the foot of the stairs and critique me as I walked out the door. It was not at all unusual for her to ask me if I was absolutely sure I didn't want to go back upstairs and put on a little makeup (especially during college, when I was raging against the machine and refused to wear so much as a swipe of mascara for about a year). My grandmother  MiMi was much the same. She always had a vanity full of jars, bottles, pots and tubes of wonderful-smelling, beautiful concoctions. My sister and I were allowed free reign in her bathroom when we went to visit, powdering and painting ourselves and spraying ourselves with ungodly amounts of perfume, until only a Silkwood-level decontamination shower would return us to our natural state. 

MiMi also introduced me to high-end makeup and fragrance. Although my mother had me using Clinique skin care by the time I was 13, it was MiMi who bought me one of those huge Estee Lauder makeup purchase-with--purchase sets for Christmas when I was 14. And when I was 15, she bought me a huge bottle of Givenchy's Ysatis perfume. To this day, whenever I get a whiff of that scent, I think of her. 

So when I was in Sephora recently and caught sight of the Givenchy Rouge Interdit lipstick display, I decided to take a walk down memory lane and check it out. Always up for a reason to buy a new lippie, I rationalized that I hadn't had a chance to try anything from the French line yet, and it was just high time I did. 

The color I chose was #19, Black Plum. It does live up to its name, too---it's a very dark, blackened plum color in the tube. So dark, as a matter of fact, that the SA I was working with tried her hardest to dissuade me from even trying it on. I'm not even sure myself why I insisted on giving it a try---as fair as I am, it looked to be far to deep for my coloring, and goth is not my chosen look. However, I was insistent, and tried it anyway. Here's a shot of the color in the tube. Please forgive the sweating; it's 98 degrees and 92% humidity here, and nothing could be done once it began. 

As you can see, this color is dark. However, watch what happens upon application, both as an arm swatch and on my lips: 

On me it turns a deep, brilliant, yet sheer plum. Trust me though, this isn't your everyday plum lipstick! It's deeper and darker than fuschia, and even deep for a plum, yet somehow too bright to be goth, and has much more depth of color than the average sheer lipstick...yet I can still see my lips beneath it. The color itself is a plummy, berry-ish, deep bordeaux  with the sheerness of a stain, with a satin finish. That's the closest I can come to describing it, at least. It isn't really a true sheer, yet it isn't opaque, either. The texture, in my opinion, is truly unique.

Rouge Interdit lipstick feels wonderful on the lips and gives a plumping effect due to the slight shine. It is not, however, a moisturizing lipstick. As with the texture, the feel of this lipstick is hard to describe. It goes on very smoothly and has a very creamy quality, yet it doesn't feel moisturizing as such. Rather, it simply cushions the lips, much as sheer lipsticks tend to do. However, it does not dry out the lips as with sheer lipsticks. It's simply neutral as far as lip conditioning qualities go.

Staying power is average at best. As this is definitely not a matte formula, and is honestly a bit less than even a cream, it's to be expected that it will not be a long-wearing formula. I got as much wear from it as I do from my Glossimers...about 3-4 hours, depending on the normal factors like eating, drinking, and talking. I do recommend using a lip pencil with this one or you may have some bleeding, but that's to be expected with any lipstick this dark. Of course, with a pencil the wear time increased as well.

Overall, I find this to be a wonderful lipstick. It's a shade I would normally never be able to wear due to my pale skin, yet it works fantastically well due to its sheer, slightly shiny finish and brighter undertones, despite the fact that at the end of the day, it's a deep, deep plum color (hence the name, Black Plum). It's most definitely a very cool color, so warmer girls may need to steer clear, but I'm very neutral and it works fantastically well on me, with the fuschia undertones really brightening my face and picking up what little pink I do have in my skin. This is a definite staple for Fall and Winter, and even for those sultry summer evenings when pink just isn't enough.

Le Sourcil de Chanel--Perfect Brows

Photo Courtesy Chanel Beaute

Eyebrows are very important to me. My natural brows are not bad; they're nicely arched and don't need to be plucked often, so I guess I'm pretty lucky. The problem with my brows is that they are blonde and fairly transparent, and now that I dye my hair dark brunette, they are totally unacceptable in their natural state. Therefore, I have to rely completely on brow products such as pencils, waxes, and powders to fill them in and shade them every day, or I literally look as if I have no eyebrows at all. 

The problem with being in a situation like mine is that it's really difficult to find natural-looking eyebrow products. There are about a million pencils, waxes and powders out there, but you'd be amazed at how many of them just, well, suck. Powders often aren't the right color and look faded, waxes just look flat-out funky, and as for pencils...well, I'm sure all of us know what happens when a woman "draws" on her eyebrows incorrectly. NOT a good look! 

So I've been searching high and low for something that can darken my blonde brows by about 10 shades without being too dark or too light, that will stay on all day without melting or fading, and most importantly, something that won't look as if I took to my face with a crayon. 

Enter Le Sourcil de Chanel, a wonderful little compact of three brow powders in shades ranging from light brown to soft black. The compact is classic Chanel black and includes a large, slightly magnified mirror, which makes it remarkably useful. It also includes a tiny, very well-designed pair of tweezers, a brow groomer, and a miniature brow brush, which is also actually quite useable. All together, the compact is well thought-out and very portable should you feel the need to carry your brow grooming kit with you. There is no need to bring along additional brushes, as those included are perfectly acceptable for on-the-go use. 

As for the actual powder, it's pretty amazing. It's extremely hard and almost waxy in consistency. It almost needs to be scraped onto the brush. It takes a little getting used to and there is a learning curve for application, but I believe the slight stickiness is what helps it adhere to the skin and hair and makes it last all day. The colors can be blended together to achieve a perfect match for just about anyone except those who need red tones. This set is definitely pure neutral, leaning toward cool. I use the medium brown and the soft black together to get the look I like, with extra touches of the black where I want more definition. Here's a shot of the difference Le Sourcils makes: 

As you can see, I wasn't kidding about how much I darken my brows! Sorry for the jarring image. Below is a shot of both brows done, which looks a little more natural: 

My hair is nearly black, and with Le Sourcils de Chanel I am able to get brows that are dark enough to match but soft enough that they don't look harsh. I've had friends ask me if I dye my eyebrows, because they can't tell I've filled them in with this powder. It's incredibly easy to use and gives a very natural appearance. 

Of all the products in my brow collection, Le Sourcil de Chanel is my favorite, and the one I go to most often. I like the versatility of the three colors, the ease of application, and the natural look it imparts. I also like that it will literally last me forever, and love the packaging with the tiny but very user-friendly tweezers and brush. As far as I've seen, it's the best on the market today. 

Le Sourcil de Chanel can be found at fine department stores everywhere. 

This product was purchased by me for my own personal use.

Lancome Juicy Tubes Lip Gloss in Dreamsicle

All photos taken by me.

I've been on a lip gloss kick this summer. Normally, I'm firmly in the lipstick camp, but this summer I've been going with much sheerer makeup in general...nude eye shadow, tinted moisturizer, a touch of rosy blush, and gloss, and I'm out the door. 

Ordinarily I prefer the deeper, more opaque glosses. The ones that look like shiny, sheer lipsticks. They keep me in my comfort zone and don't make me feel like I'm leaving the house with my sad, pale lips just hanging out there for the whole world to see. So when I got a tiny little Juicy Tubes lip gloss in Dreamsicle in a Gift with Purchase recently, I tossed it in my sample drawer and forgot about it. It had very little color, so for me, it had very little use. 

So last week, as I was rooting around looking for another sample I had misplaced, I rediscovered Dreamsicle and decided to give it a try. In the tube, it's not terribly remarkable. It's a pale pink color, opaque but not very sparkly, with just a touch of opalescence. Here's a swatch on my pale, pale arm to give you an idea of just how LIGHT a pink it is:

So I wasn't holding out much hope that Dreamsicle would "wow" me too much, seeing as it is pretty much a fail in my two main lip gloss criteria: color and sparkle (yes, I'm proudly anti-"natural-looking" makeup!--what's the point in that?)  However, this little gloss had a couple of surprises for me!

First of all, as you can see from the picture above, Dreamsicle did not completely wash out my lips. It didn't exactly add anything to them colorwise, but it gave a great plumping effect and added the iridescence I mentioned. And at least it didn't lighten my lips to an even paler state than normal, which was remarkable given how light it is. It also smells and tastes like a Creamsicle, which I think is kind of cute, although some of you might just find it annoying. The fragrance and flavor go away very quickly, but are pleasant while they last. 

While the color is not for me, the quality of the Juicy Tubes glosses is. Dreamsicle applied very well. Although I'm not a fan of the slant-tip applicators, this one was easy to work with and gave very smooth application of product. The gloss itself is wonderful. It's a little on the thick side, but isn't sticky. It's simply thick enough to last, and last it does...for several hours of shine and moisture. I had no bleeding with Juicy Tubes Dreamsicle, either. Overall, I was extremely impressed with the formulation of this lip gloss. 

I don't plan to wear this gloss alone (still not ready for bare lips!), but I have worn it over stains and pencils, and it's wonderful. It adds a beautiful shine and sheen to my lips that lasts and lasts. It gives my lips a plumped, pouty look that I'm really liking. I'm actually looking forward to trying some of the actual colors in the line, as I'm sure they'll be fantastic as well.

Juicy Tubes can be found in fine department stores everywhere and at Lancome.com.

I received this product as part of a Gift With Purchase from Lancome, and I purchased the qualifying product myself.

Chanel Intensive Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate

Image Courtesy of Chanel Beaute

Chanel's new Ultra Correction Line Repair skincare line has been getting all sorts of hype. I know my Chanel SA's have been excited about it, and have been touting it as the Second Coming in skincare ever since they got their first preview. Photos in the promotional material show women with amazing before-and-after shots taken 4 weeks apart...and if the photos are truly undoctored, a picture truly is worth a thousand words. The line is based on something called "deglycation", at the heart of which is something called Bay Cedar PFA. This is supposed to restore elasticity to the skin, restoring suppleness and minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. Then there's the "Suppleness Peptide" found in the Intensive Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate, which supposedly increases suppleness and elasticity from within. Essentially, the claim is that Chanel has found a way to push the wrinkles out from the inside. Up, up, and away!!!

Now, I don't buy in to a lot of the bunk these companies throw around. It seems every company has a "Suppleness Peptide" (whatever it may be) of some sort, and of course every product on the market promises to destroy your wrinkles or change your DNA or some such thing. I'm surprised none of the creams on the market have claimed to be able to change the shape of your nose or make your eyes bigger yet, quite frankly. So when I see campaigns like the one Chanel is running for the Ultra Correction Line Repair Line, I tend to view them with a bit of skepticism, even when they are from my beloved Chanel. However, I was hooked up with two samples of the Intensive Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate the last time I hit my Chanel counter, so I figured I might as well give it a try, just to see what a "Suppleness Peptide" could do for a girl like me.

The Concentrate itself is a dream to work with. It has a lotion-like consistency with enough silkiness and slip that it's easy to spread across the face without having to use much product. I didn't have any irritation or stinging, even when I got it close to my eyes. It does have a strong, but pleasant, floral fragrance, so if you are sensitive, beware. However, it sinks into the skin beautifully, leaving no trace behind, yet hydrates just a bit, giving a boost to moisturizer.

As for long-term effects, I have had noticeable immediate diminishing of the fine lines around my eyes. The area appears somewhat plumper and more relaxed. I especially notice this late in the afternoon, when my eyes begin to look dry and tired. With the Intensive Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate, my eyes hold up much better throughout the day and don't get that "crepey" look they are so prone to get otherwise. I've been very impressed with this. In addition, my skin feels like velvet whenever I use this product. I've had no negative effects with the Concentrate. No breakouts, redness, or sensitivity. Simply smooth, glowing, hydrated skin.

Once again, Chanel has come through with an excellent product. I highly recommend this Concentrate for anyone looking for soft, velvety skin and truly diminished lines and wrinkles. On my skin, it actually diminished the fine lines and crepiness around my eyes, which few products have done.

Chanel products can be found at fine department stores everywhere. 

I received this product as a sample from Chanel.

Ole Henriksen 3 Little Wonders Box Set

Image Courtesy Ole Henriksen

Ole Henriksen, a self-proclaimed "media darling" and skincare expert, has built his line around natural, cruelty-free, effective products. Based on botanicals and the healing properties of water, his line has garnered much praise and many awards throughout the years. His three standout products are Truth Serum Collagen Booster, Sheer Transformation Renewing Creme and Invigorating Night Gel-Firming Treatment, all of which can be found in his 3 Little Wonders Box Set.

The set itself is very generous. Unlike many box sets which offer a mere sample size of at least one included product, the 3 Little Wonders set includes full 1-oz sizes of all three items, packaged as they are in their full-size counterparts. The price is also reasonable at $70 when you consider that a 1 oz Truth Serum sells for $48 by itself. This kit is a great way to sample all three products without too much of an investment. Of the three products, two are decent and one is outstanding, which makes it even more of a deal.

The Truth Serum Collagen Booster is a 10% Vitamin C serum. It has many beneficial ingredients such as green tea, rosehips and licorice extracts among others, and it professes to help even out skin tone, smooth out fine lines and wrinkles and prevent further damage. Truth Serum is a somewhat watery gel in a pump dispenser and is a deep orange color. It spreads easily across the skin, and a little goes a long way; I found that if I applied too much it tended to be sticky and tacky. I also found the fragrance to be overwhelming. I don't know exactly why it's necessary to add additional fragrance to a product that already has grapefruit and orange extracts, as they have fairly strong scents of their own, but Ole Henriksen decided to do it and the result is a very, very strong citrus fragrance that lingers on the skin. To me, it's also a very synthetic smell, more of an orange-candy smell than an essential-oil scent. Not unpleasant, just unnecessary. 

The major drawback to this serum is the packaging. While I like the pump, I don't like the clear bottle it's in. Vitamin C breaks down when exposed to light. Given the fact that my kit was probably sitting on the shelf for a while before I purchased it, I have no way of knowing if there is any viable Vitamin C left in the bottle at all now that I have the serum for myself. It feels good to apply it to my skin and I can tell myself I'm doing something good, but I don't know if there's anything in there that's actually accomplishing anything.

The Invigorating Night Gel is a thick, clear gel meant to be applied in the evening. This is an AHA product with botanical extracts, meant to help exfoliate the skin. It, too, will leave a tacky film behind if too much is used. The gel itself feels wonderful on application. It's cool and hydrating and easy to spread, and a little goes a long way. However, a moment after application, my skin begins to tingle.  I'm accustomed to high levels of glycolic acids, so either this gel has an incredibly high percentage of AHA's or it is formulated at the wrong pH, causing it to be harsh on the skin. Since there is absolutely no information about the AHA percentage on the packaging or the website, I can't be sure which is the case. All I can say is that I didn't notice any accelerated exfoliation while using this gel, but I did notice my skin becoming smoother with extended use. As far as the firming goes, Invigorating Night Gel does give a firming effect, but I believe that's more from the feeling of the gel itself tightening up as it dries than from any true skin-firming effect.

Finally, there's the Sheer Transformation, which to me is by far the standout product of this set. A light, whipped creme, Sheer Transformation is an excellent moisturizer. The texture is to die for. It is rich, yet it's also whipped, so it doesn't seem heavy. As it is applied to the skin, it literally melts into an almost watery consistency, sinking completely into the skin and disappearing. Hydration lasts for hours. This creme works beautifully over the Truth Serum, the Invigorating Night Gel and on its own. It's become one of my favorite moisturizers, particularly for those temperate Spring and Fall days, when I need more than a lotion but less than a true creme moisturizer. It's like perfection in a jar. 

As far as how they all work together...well, I didn't notice any massive transformations in my skin, but I also didn't have any problems. I suffered no breakouts, and I didn't have any backslide in the texture or tone of my skin. I did get good exfoliation from the Invigorating Night Gel and noticed that my skin was smoother after using it for several weeks. The hydration of my skin was drastically improved after several weeks of use of the Sheer Transformation, by far my favorite product in this kit.

Overall, this isn't a "miracle" set, but it is a good one. I highly, highly recommend the Sheer Transformation Creme. The Truth Serum is a great concept and has a good concentration of Vitamin C, but I don't trust the packaging. I believe the Invigorating Night Gel, while not a firming product, is definitely an above-average AHA gel, and good especially for those with oilier skin types. The products work well together and I saw definite improvements in my skin over time with the use of these three items.

I definitely recommend this set for those who have been wanting to try the Ole Henriksen line. It's a great value and has enough product to allow you to really evaluate whether the various items will work for you. 

This item was purchased by me. 

LORAC Soon-to-be-Discontinued Shades YOU NEED!

Persuasion, Innocence, Reverie

One of my favorite looks is the neutral eye. I love that it goes with anything, can be understated or dramatic, and is versatile. You can do a dramatic eye based on any neutral...gray, brown, even green or blue depending on the shade. However, my favorite neutral eyes are based on taupe. Taupe, that wonder of colors, not quite a brown, not quite a gray, it can have all types of undertones as well, from purple to red to yellow to green. Taupe looks good on everyone, and offends nobody. There are light taupes and dark taupes, taupes for every occasion. Plus, it's really hard to screw up a look built around taupe. It's basically a foolproof color. It goes with everything, and as long as you have taupe on your lid, everything else typically will pretty much fall into place. 

So imagine how excited I was when I was browsing one of the latest HauteLook blowout sales and came across some LORAC eye shadows on sale for only $4...including some taupes! Ordinarily I don't like purchasing eye shadows sight-unseen over the internet because lighting changes the appearance too much, but for $4, I felt I really had nothing to lose. I chose three colors for what I thought would be a perfect neutral eye: Persuasion, Innocence, and Reverie.

Persuasion, Innocence, Reverie

As you can see from the swatches above, Persuasion is my highlight shade. A buttery cream in the pan, this is a very neutral, shimmery cream color on the brow bone. I was worried it would be too yellow on my cool/neutral skin, but it simply melted in and gave me a great highlighting effect without adding color at all. There is just enough sheen to lift the brow, but not too much for a daytime look. 

Innocence is a truly remarkable shade. Described on the LORAC website as "lilac with silver shimmer," I tend to disagree. I find it to be more of a pewter gray color with a lilac shimmer. It's a definite neutral, light enough to brighten the eye yet deep enough to use as a lid color rather than as a highlighter. With the lilac shimmer, it sets off brown eyes beautifully. It's a color for any season, and makes a great base for any number of colors, including grays, purples, and even smokey eyes. 

Finally, there's Reverie. Reverie is the whole reason I purchased Persuasion and Innocence. Reverie is described as "espresso with shimmer," but it is so much more than that. A beautiful brown with a hint of a purple undertone and a sheen rather than a shimmer, Reverie is one of the most beautiful and neutral taupes I've ever worked with. It's on the browner side of taupe, yet the undertones are cool, ensuring that it will work well with grays and purples. It has wonderful depth and versatility.

Innocence on lid, Reverie in crease, Persuasion on brow bone.

All three of these LORAC shadows are outstanding in quality. Not only are the shades amazing in their complexity, the shadows themselves are incredible to work with. They are very high-quality, with excellent pigmentation and unbelievable blendability. They are a pleasure to work with. In addition, they last all day without creasing or fading. 

I almost never read about LORAC shadows, and I feel they don't get the love they deserve. I've been incredibly impressed with these, and I plan to purchase more. Now, for the good news/bad news: Persuasion, Innocence and Reverie are all being discontinued, so you need to act fast to get them before they're gone. The good news is, they're only $4 on the LORAC website. There are plenty of other great colors listed, as well (several of which I may try myself). Good luck!

These products were purchased by me at my own personal expense.

Chanel UV Essentiel Multi-Protection Daily UV Care SPF 50

I love sunscreen. I'm naturally pale and don't look good with a tan (I turn a mottled reddish color...not a good look), so I decided long ago to embrace my whiteness and protect it with everything I had in me. Since then, I've tried literally dozens of sunscreens, most not so great. However, some have been outstanding, and I will be discussing them over the next few weeks. I'm going to start with my current favorite, Chanel's UV Essentiel Multi-Protection Daily UV Care SPF 50.

This is the newest incarnation of Chanel's facial sunblock, now in SPF 50 instead of SPF 30. UV Essentiel Multi-Protection Daily UV Care SPF 50 is a thin, milky white sunscreen with the active ingredients Octinoxate 7.5%, Titanium Dioxide 2% and Zinc Oxide 17.1%.

I especially like the ingredients in this formula because it is a physical-based sunblock rather than relying solely on chemicals. While I am not a chemical sunscreen alarmist, I do need my sunscreen to last for up to 10 hours. From everything I have read, chemical sunscreens must be reapplied every few hours due to the fact that they break down as time goes by. However, physical sunscreens (Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide) retain their efficacy until they are sweated off or rubbed off. For me, this scenario works best. 

According to the Chanel website, "Skin’s guardian angel provides invisible daily protection against environmental aggressors. A free-radical and anti-pollution shield with a Vitamin E derivative and plant extracts empowers this oil-free, lightweight formula to safeguard skin against environmental pollutants. Licorice Root Extract and a highly effective combination of UVA and UVB filters help diminish and prevent the appearance of dark spots and signs of premature aging."

Now, I don't know about all that. According to the ingredients list, the licorice root extract is included in very small quantity, as are any other antioxidants, but at least the zinc oxide percentage is quite high. And the good news about zinc oxide is that it offers excellent broad-spectrum UVA and UVB coverage. Supplemented by the Octinoxate and the small amount of Titanium Dioxide, this is a very good formulation for sun protection. 

Even with the high Zinc Oxide content, this sunscreen does not leave a white cast (at least on my fair skin) on dry down...even compared to the relatively clear Clarins UV Plus, and even when applied at the proper rate of 1/4 teaspoon for the face and 1/4 teaspoon for the neck. It does apply as a sheer white, but upon drying (which it does remarkably fast), it gives a soft matte finish and blurs imperfections. I have found that it can double as a makeup primer for my clear, normal/combo skin. It wears beautifully throughout the day without getting shiny. Makeup applies well over it without pilling. 

As with all Chanel products, there is a fragrance to it, so be aware if you are sensitive or averse. However, application is so pleasant and easy, and the finish is so lovely, I can overlook the fragrance. I have yet to find another facial sunscreen that is as cosmetically elegant as this one, and I've tried many, many, many products. 

Of course, being Chanel, the price tag is obscene at $52 for 1 oz. I don't recommend skimping on the product, either. Although a very small amount will cover your face due to the thin and easily spreadable texture, you still need 1/4 teaspoon to get adequate sunscreen coverage or you are essentially just wasting product. Because of the cost, I will probably use it exclusively on my face and use one of my much less expensive sunscreens on my neck and chest. However, in my opinion, this one is well worth the cost for the ultimate payoff...a clear, smooth, matte finish that can double as a primer and offers superb, high-level protection.

Julie Hewett Sin Noir Lipstick

All photos taken by Me. 

As I've mentioned in the past, Julie Hewett is a goddess in the world of lipstick. Her formulas are rich, creamy, long-lasting, and perhaps most importantly, double-pigmented, giving them a one-coat impact that few can rival. Her Noir line has two finishes:  sheer and matte. Today I will be talking about one of the mattes, Sin Noir. 

When I first opened Sin Noir, I was a little shocked. Described as an "aubergine wine red" on the website, Sin Noir is just that...a deep, deep, eggplant red. I don't know why I was shocked, since the description Julie gives is truly spot-on, at least of the color as it is in the tube, but somehow I was expecting something...redder. Brighter. More...dramatic? Less potentially goth, I think. So I was a little, shall we say, concerned, when I got a good look at the color for the first time. 

However, once I began swatching and applying, I found that Sin Noir does something amazing on contact with the skin. Put simply, it transforms. Undertones that were not apparent in the tube come alive on the skin, giving what appeared to be a dark, deep, almost deadly red a life of its own, pulling it out of goth territory and into the world of old-school glamour. This is the shade Greta Garbo would have worn in her black-and-white films. The color that makes men stop and take notice. It's full of mystery and allure, and hints of an era years' gone by, when women "dressed" for dinner and carried gold cigarette lighters. It is certainly not an everyday color, and it is not for the faint of heart. 

Here is a swatch on my arm in full daylight: 

As you can see, this isn't an everyday red. It's deep, dark, with undertones of fucshia and hints of wine. Although it's extremely deep in color, it has enough brightness in its undertones to keep it very alive...it doesn't become simply a "dark red" color. On the lips, it is simply full-on, Old-Hollywood Red.  The picture below was taken in daylight. In inside lighting, the color does appear a good bit darker.  

Sin Noir is your "Little Black Dress" Red Lipstick. It screams sophistication. This is the type of color that gets attention without trying, and polishes an evening look. It works with all skin tones because it is so deep, so dark, yet has such vivid undertones that it still manages to have a hint of brightness to it. It doesn't come off as too dark or dull on fair complexions, yet it's deep enough for the deeper-toned girls out there. 

However, for all my lipstick love for Sin Noir, there are some drawbacks to this formula. First of all, application can be tricky. Be sure to exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate before application or every flake will show up on your lips, and will only get worse as the lipstick dries down over time. And dry down it will. This is, after all, a matte formula. Although it applies very creamily for a matte, it does still dry  down quite a bit and does not leave much slip behind. If you have chapped lips, avoid this formula. If you prefer creamier consistencies, you may want to start off with a balm underneath for some moisturizing, because you will not get conditioning from this lipstick. 

Color payoff is outstanding. These lipsticks are double-pigmented and it shows. One to two coats gives full, lasting coverage that stays put unless I consume oily foods. I don't have issues with the color transferring to my teeth, with bleeding, or with uneven wear...Sin Noir simply fades slowly from my lips, leaving a soft fucshia-wine stain behind. 

Speaking of stains, that's another notable way to wear this color. If you are afraid of the deadly red that Sin Noir is meant to be, you can blot it down to a lovely stain, as pictured below: 

As you can see, blotted well and topped with balm, Sin Noir is a very wearable berry red...beautiful for daytime wear or for those just venturing into the world of reds. 

Of all my matte red lipsticks, Sin Noir is my favorite. It gives me great versatility and sophistication without denying me color or impact. I can wear my red without worrying that my lips are screaming "Look at me!" This is the color I turn to when I want to be a grown-up. It isn't playful or frivolous or fun...it's sexy, glamorous and adult. 

Julie Hewett lipsticks can be found at Julie Hewett Los Angeles.

Milani Buzz Worthy Lip Gloss 07 Bee-Utiful

All photos in this post taken by me. 

Milani has a great line of lip glosses called 3D Glitzy Glamour Gloss, which I reviewed here. So when I saw the Buzz Worth Glosses, I got all excited.  These glosses are formulated with Honey Extracts, Cranberry Seed Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, and enriched with vitamins A&E. The packaging is different, this time in a soft plastic tube similar to Lancome's Juicy tubes (but better, really. It's shiny. I like shiny.) The applicator, for the record, is a slanted plastic applicator with a hole in it just like the Juicy tubes, as well. Just squeeze the tube and apply. 

The color I chose is called BEE-Utiful. Cute, huh? Get it? The whole line has names like that. There's Bee Mine, Bee Gone, Bee Bold, Busy Bee, etc. How adorable! Actually, I could live without it. Milani may be a good line, but their marketing department must be smoking some good stuff, because they come up with the corniest names for products I've ever seen. First there was the 3D Glitzy Glamour Gloss, which honestly sounds like something only Barbie and her friends would wear, and now we have the Buzz Worthy line with the Bee names. I'd love to meet the guy (and it has to be a guy) approving this stuff. 

Okay, Shannon, back on track, back on track. On to the Buzz Worthy lip gloss in Bee-Utiful. As you can see in the photo above, in the tube it appears to be a deep plum color, shot through with gold. It's absolutely gorgeous. It reminds me of a Givenchy Rouge Interdit lipstick I love to wear in the winter , #19, Black Plum. It's the same deep, dark, purple with a hint of black and a hint of fuchsia, this time shot through with gold shimmers. I was really looking forward to this one. 

When I got it home, I did an immediate swatch and experienced my first disappointment. Although there appeared to be some pigmentation, it was pretty weak and very brown as opposed to the deep plum it had appeared to be. Here's a swatch:

As you can see, the formula is sort of thin and runny and not a black plum color! False advertising, I say! It's not even a pretty color, like fuchsia or mauve. It's flat-out BROWN. I don't look good in brown. Brown makes me look like I've been eating mud, and makes my white skin veer straight into zombieland.

So anyway, by now I'm starting to get a little worried about this lip gloss. It's looking like a total fail, and I don't even have it on my lips yet. As a matter of fact, based on my arm swatch, I just about tossed it and gave up the ghost right there, but at the end of the day I'm an eternal optimist, and I had it in my head that Bee-utiful would somehow morph into something a-may-zing on my lips. Like a magical lip gloss. Yes, that's it! I thought maybe it would be a magical lip gloss that would turn my sad, pale little lips into something plump and perfect and NOT BROWN once I slicked it on. 

Sigh. This is what I got: 

What you are seeing above are my completely non-pigmented lips covered with a very heavy application of Bee-utiful. Yes, I said very heavy. It's important that you understand that so you can absorb the full uselessness of this gloss. Notice the almost total lack of color? (I wasn't kidding when I said my lips have no pigment). And don't get me started on the random chunks of glitter scattered all over my lips---if you can't see them, enlarge the picture. It's a sight to behold. My daughters have lip glosses that do this...that they got in their Disney makeup kits. 

Here's a picture of the overall effect of the gloss, just so you can see exactly how washed-out it made me: 

I was actually trying to smile for the photo, but I was so hacked off I couldn't quite manage it. How you can go from the beautiful color this lip gloss is in the tube to what you see above on my face is totally beyond me. I have a sneaking suspicion that all the pigment and golden shimmer is hiding inside the tube, refusing to come out and play with me. I tried everything I could to make it work...I rolled the tube around in my hands forever, I squeezed a ton of product out to make sure I was getting the "good stuff," everything. Nope. This stuff is just a lie. A big, fat, stinkin' lie. I feel betrayed. 

Since I always try to say something nice, I'll give it this: it does feel nice on my lips. It's slick and slightly thick, and it leaves my lips feeling conditioned. So I guess if you're looking for a clear lip conditioner that will give you a lot of shine and chunks of glitter spread randomly across your lips, this is your go-to gloss. 

In the event that you are the kind of masochist who has to test these things for yourself, you can find Milani Buzz Worthy Lip Gloss at CVS. 

This product was purchased by me at my own personal expense. Unfortunately. 

Chanel Rouge Coco La Pausa and Constellation Glossimer

I've already waxed poetic about my feelings for Chanel's Glossimers. What I haven't discussed yet is how much I love the Rouge Coco lipsticks. Today, I plan to describe how insanely wonderful they can be when worn together.

 Chanel's Rouge Coco line is most definitely one of the best lipstick lines on the market today. Lightweight, creamy, easy to apply and long-wearing, these lipsticks are truly top-notch and worth every penny. The range of colors is extraordinary, concentrating on truly beautiful and wearable shades. With more than 30 to choose from, there is something for everyone. The textures are mostly satins with quite a few shimmers (some nearly frosts), none over-the-top, all infinitely classic. You won't find shocking colors with the Rouge Coco's...what you'll find is true, timeless beauty for a wide range of women.

La Pausa is no exception. A mid-tone peach, it isn't too warm so it manages to be a great neutral for the summer, working with a variety of looks. It's probably too light for darker-skinned women, but for those of us who are fair-to-medium, it has just enough color to liven up our faces without interfering with anything else that's going on, and can work with all but the coolest-toned clothing.

Constellation is a lighter, very shimmery peach shade. As far as peaches go, it's very neutral, even with the fine gold shimmer shot throughout it. I find it too light and sheer to wear alone because of my fair skin and pale lips. It would probably be beautiful on darker skins and more pigmented lips, adding plenty of shimmer and gloss.

However, when paired together, La Pausa and Constellation are magical. They liven one another up, somehow staying neutral but bringing plenty of color and warmth to my face. There's just enough color to brighten up my skin, but not enough to impact the rest of my look. I'm able to wear La Pausa with the barest of looks or the brightest eye combinations, such as Chanel's Bird of Paradise Quad (which includes a shimmering orange, a blue teal, a sage green, and a mid-tone yellow). Here are swatches of La Pausa and Constellation together:

With a look like Bird of Paradise (which isn't for the faint of heart), La Pausa and Constellation tone things down before they get out of hand. On the flip side, the pair can be worn the way I'm wearing them today, with just a touch of blush, some eyeliner, and lots of mascara. Even though I'm wearing very little makeup, La Pausa and Constellation pull through for a great natural look, giving me plenty of color without looking like I'm wearing a lot of lip product...no minor feat! I stay pale in the summer but go much lighter on my makeup and it's hard to find colors that look fresh and summery without looking overdone. Oftentimes the lighter colors leave me looking washed-out but the bright corals and fuchsias give me that "made-up" look I'm trying to avoid. La Pausa and Constellation walk that fine line perfectly. Here's how today's look worked out: 

See there? Just enough color. What a great combination. Here's a closeup of the pair: 

I simply cannot recommend this combination enough for fair-to-medium toned women. It's probably too light for darker skin tones, and I imagine the frostiness would come out more on darker the skin, as well. However, for us fairer-skinned girls, this is a great alternative to the pinks, corals and nudes out there this summer! 

Chanel's La Pausa Rouge Coco and Constellation Glossimer can be found at finer department stores and online at Chanel Beaute

This product was purchased by me at my own personal expense.

Stila It Girl Eye Shadow Trio

 Image Courtesy of Stila Cosmetics

I love Stila. They're just such a fun little company, with their Barbie palettes and their music-playing makeup vanities...who could resist, right? They even have a Cat Eye Palette that talks to you as you do your makeup, coaching you through the entire process in case you don't know what you are doing. Gotta love that! Of course, I always found all of that to be kind of gimmicky and unnecessary. And despite all the rave reviews I read about Stila's eye shadows, I never got around to buying any of them. 

Then I got a look at the It Girl Trio. Retailing for only $10 at Sephora, it includes 3 full-size eye shadows in summer-perfect shades: Lame, Chloe, and Kitten. All three shades are shimmery and warm, and they work together beautifully to give a great soft, bronzed, summer eye look. 

 Lame, Chloe, Kitten swatched heavily over primer

First, let's start with Lame, which is unique to this set and is not sold elsewhere. It's a shimmering neutral mid-toned gold that works well as either a lid color or a highlighter. It's warm, but it doesn't scream "yellow!" on the lid. A soft swipe across the lid adds golden iridescence without being overly frosty, while heavier application (or applying wet) gives an almost metallic effect. I don't normally use yellows around my eyes, but this one did well for me on both the lid and on the brow bone.

Chloe, also only found in this set, is a beautiful light bronze. This color also packs a lot of shimmer, and although it's very pigmented, it isn't as dark on the skin as it is in the pan, so it's very soft in appearance. I've used this in my crease and it gives a very soft, subtle effect. This is definitely not a smokey-eye sort of brown. Rather, it's a sheer, glowing bronze, perfect for warmer weather and tan skin. It works incredibly well with brown eyes and sets off blue and green eyes to perfection. This color is my favorite of the three.

Finally we have Kitten, the only shade that is a permanent item in the Stila line. Kitten is a phenomenon among eye shadows. A lovely, shimmering nude pink, this shadow has achieved a true cult status among women across the world. To give you some idea of how popular this color is, I just checked Makeup Alley and there are currently 664 reviews for Kitten. Yes, 664. Kitten is the reason I bought this set in the first place. I couldn't continue to be one of the unwashed masses who hadn't experienced the apparent nirvana that is Kitten and still hold my head up high. Interestingly, though, Kitten has turned out to be my least favorite of the three colors in this set. Although I like the color itself the best (it's a great pinkish nude, perfect as a base color or highlighter), it has an enormous amount of shimmer. Actually, I wouldn't even call Kitten a shimmer--it's a flat-out frost. I just don't find it appropriate for day, and I don't get out too much at night, so I doubt I'll be using it. Or maybe I'll just do the logical thing and use my eye shadow as a reason to leave the kids at home and go hit the town with my husband for a change. Sort of like when I buy an entire outfit to go with the great pair of shoes I just bought.

But I digress. Back to the shadows. All three perform beautifully. Despite the fact that they are all a little (or a lot) too shimmery for me, they all hold true to Stila's reputation for quality. They are finely milled with a velvety, creamy texture. Blending is positively effortless; in fact, it's foolproof. The shadow is so good, you literally can't mess it up. This is a big plus for me considering that I have to be at work at 6:45 in the morning and I'm mostly without fine motor skills until around 9:00 each day. If I can find an eye shadow that can pretty much apply itself, I'm all about it. 

As a trio, these three colors work very well together. You can create several looks by combining them in any number of ways. All you need is the palette, some eyeliner and some mascara and you're good to go. The packaging is pretty good. It's plastic, which is a step up from the cardboard boxes that have become so popular recently. I don't know that I would travel with it since it doesn't really seem to close all that securely, but if you put it in a Zploc you should be fine. It is, after all, incredibly convenient for travel.

I would have to say everyone needs to get this one.  If you already know how good Stila eye shadows are, you know this is a great deal on three full-size shadows and you really just can't afford to pass this up. If you've never tried Stila, this is your perfect opportunity to jump right in and give it a whirl. You'll have plenty of product to work with and enough flexibility to create a multitude of looks. You can't beat that. I've become a Stila convert--maybe you will, too.

The Stila It Girl Trio can be found at Sephora

This item was purchased by me at my own personal expense.

Chanel Levres Scintillantes - Glossimers in Meteore (128) and Magnifique (83)

All photos taken by Me.

Imagine how surprised I was when I read the quote by Peter Phillips, Chanel's Global Creative Director for Makeup, where he says that "Women seem to have forgotten how to apply lipstick" because we have an entire generation of lip gloss girls. Seriously? An entire generation of lip gloss girls, and I missed the whole thing? Wow. Yes, you read that right. See, I apparently missed the entire lip gloss generation. Somehow, it just passed me right by as I gleefully swiped on my reds, fuschias and nudes, debated between satin and matte, oblivious to the concept of sheer and shiny. I had absolutely no idea what I was missing out on. On the lighter side, at least I never forgot how to apply my lipstick. That would have been an embarrassment like no other!

Despite my momentary mourning at having missed out on an entire lip trend (for a decade), I decided I was still perfectly content with my standard lippies. I am very fair and have very pale lips, and frankly the idea of super-sheer lip colors does not appeal to me. "Washed-out" is the word that comes to mind. Not my preferred look.

So when I wandered my happy self to the Chanel counter last March for the Rouge Coco launch, it was with every intention of buying as many  lipsticks as my wallet could bear. They were having the launch of the new Rouge Coco lipstick line, and I was one of the preferred guests (the SA's at my counter know a sucker when they see her). I sat down and the makeup artist began applying Rouge Coco color to my lips, and of course, I was in love.

After we narrowed my choices down, the makeup artist made a fateful choice. She asked if she could "try just one more thing" on me, and applied a touch of Magnifique Glossimer to my lips on top of the Taffetas Rose Rouge Coco I was wearing. The clouds parted, the angels began to sing. A convert was born.

My lips were suddenly fuller. My pout was poutier. The shine added a softness to the look that I was unused to. I was accustomed to sophisticated and/or sexy, but this was something entirely different. Not to mention the feel! My lips were soft, moist, and cushioned. They felt conditioned. I was sold.

Although Magnifique was my first Glossimer, it was not my last. To date, I have four, with several more on my wish list. However, my two favorites are the ones I will be reviewing today, Magnifique and Meteore.
Magnifique is a mid-tone, cool/neutral pink with tiny gold shimmers to warm it up just a bit. It goes on fairly sheer, but still has plenty of pigment for a good color payoff. It feels very creamy and slick on the lips with no grittiness and no stickiness. Lasting power is very good for a lip gloss, and it stays on me for several hours unless I eat or drink excessively. This is a wonderful Spring or Summer color, and is extremely natural. See below:

Meteore is a beautiful coppery rose. While Magnifique has subtle shimmer, Meteore, as its name suggests, has an out-of-this world effect, with shots of an almost holographic copper sparkle throughout. The gloss itself seems to be a mauvish-rose, while the primary color of the shimmer is a beautiful copper, giving the overall impression of a fiery nude unlike any other color I have seen. I have a difficult time wearing nudes due to my fair coloring, as they typically wash me out too much. Meteore comes alive on my lips and brings my face to life. The photo below gives an idea of the general tone and shine of Meteore, but I could not capture the true radiance of this color as it looks on my lips in a photo.

Here is a swatch shot taken in daylight that gives a better idea of the true beauty of these two Glossimers. Meteore is on the left and Magnifique on the right.

As you can see, Meteore is more highly pigmented, and it shows on application. Although it has a more subtle nude effect on the lips, it is also more opaque and darker than Magnifique and gives a more sophisticated look overall. In the above shot, you can especially see the difference in the amount of shimmer between the two colors. Meteore truly just comes alive in natural light, with coppery sparks shooting throughout.The only downfall of the shimmers in these two Glossimers (and all the shimmery Glossimers) is the wear-down. When they wear off, the shimmers remain, which means you need to pay attention to your gloss or you'll end up with quite the interesting lip look.

The texture, colors and performance of Glossimers truly set them apart from other glosses I have tried. Suspended in a moisturizing gel base, the colors glide onto the lips in a single coat and stay put for hours. They are slick yet don't migrate. The formula is thick but not sticky. The colors are pigmented enough to wear alone, yet sheer enough to pair with lipstick. Some are without shimmer at all, while others, like Meteore and one of my others, Constellation, fairly light on fire with sparkle. There is a color for every woman, every look. I will always be a Lipstick Diva, but because of Glossimers, I am never without a gloss now.

Truly setting the standard for lip glosses, Chanel Glossimers can be found at finer department stores and Chanel Beaute.

This product was purchased by me at my own personal expense.

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