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

Lovely Lip Review: Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss #6, Hot

It's Spring, therefore it must be gloss season. Not typically a huge gloss fan, I nevertheless find them useful in the warmer months since they are sheer and usually lighter-toned than my preferred lipsticks. They're great for a no-makeup day. I have to say I've kind of gotten away from glosses this past year as formulas like the Rouge Coco and Armani sheers have come out. They're less sticky and often longer-lasting. However, if you're looking for sparkle and dimension, you usually have to stick with a traditional gloss. And sparkly definitely describes Bobbi Brown's High Shimmer Lip Gloss in Hot.

On the Bobbi Brown website, Hot is described as a fuchsia with pink pearl. I don't know that I agree with that. It's a pretty mid-tone pink with tons of pink shimmer, is what it is. Almost a bubblegum pink, but darker, I suppose. It's a fun color to wear, but fucshia it ain't. As a comparison, below you will see Hot compared with this summer's fuchsia gloss from Chanel, Jalousie:

Top, Hot. Bottom, Jalousie

See what I mean? Hot is a pretty pink and if you reaaaallllly stretch things, it may have a hint of fuchsia, but it's far from the brilliant, saturated color of Jalousie (which has been one of my favorites this season). Hot also doesn't have the density (and is therefore a bit less sticky) than Jalousie, and Hot is much sheerer. 

Here's Hot on its own: 

And finally, worn alone on my lips: 

Bottom Line: Hot is a nice addition to my lip gloss collection, as it's sheer but gives a bit of color and it complements my fair skin. It will probably show up as pinker and darker on deeper-toned lips, but due to the sheer formula, that color will always be a "hint" rather than a "statement".  It's nice to layer over pink or peach lipstick, and it adds some shimmer to any look. It might not be my personal favorite, but it's definitely got a place in my makeup bag!

Just for Fun

I don't have a "real" post today, so I thought I'd show you all how I spent my Saturday night. My 14-yo daughter only wears lipgloss so far, but has a mean creative streak. So last night we got together and dyed her hair. The purple perfectly matches a dress she's going to wear to her formal dance in a few weeks. 

I got to perfect my foiling techniques, and she gets to look like Rainbow Brite! Let me tell you, if this is the most rebellious she gets over the next few years, we've got it made. :0)

What do y'all think about the colored hair trend? 

Beauty Spotlight Team 4/28/12

15 Minute Beauty Fanatic finally tried out a few Darphin Paris skin care products that she's had her eye on! Check out which ones and enter to win some Darphin of your own!

Is OPI Number One Nemesis really a dupe for Chanel Graphite? Read polish insomniac's post to find out!

Pammy Blogs Beauty embraces the "Color of the Year" with Sephora + Pantone Universe's Blush Duo in Tangerine Tango. Has she found a new favorite blush?

Possibly the most silky matte shadows you will ever try, Visionary Beautyshows us the new matte shadow offerings from Rouge Bunny Rouge

Prime Beauty shows us that the French know their skincare. Not only does she teach you about Darphin Skincare but she has a giveaway for you too and it runs until May 24th.

Modesty Brown compares two neutral Guerlain eyeshadow palettes: Rue de Passy and Les Fumes. Prepare yourself for some palette perving!

London MakeUp Girl finds out if the Topshop Eye Crayon is a good substitute for By Terry Ombre Blackstar. See if the budget buy can stand up to the big name in her post on the Topshop Crayon in Ramble.

Has Shannon at Lipstick Musings finally found a neutral lipstick that doesn't look like mud on her lips? Come learn more about Lancome Color Design Lipstick in Lucky Kiss !

Adrift in a sea of Spring's warm corals, peaches, and bronzes, Zuzu's Petals at Everyday Beauty tries to be pretty in pink. Come read about what she's loving right now.

Ready to be blushing and glowing? Tarte Cosmetics has just the right duo to do the job right. Beauty Info Zone even shows you how to get a discount on them.

Check out what Paula, from Older Girl Beauty, thinks about this weeks foreign beauty product - Skinfood Lettuce & Cucumber Water Drop Essence.

Another Le Metier de Beaute Eyeshadow single has stolen Perilously Pale's heart. Take a look at her newest love Fig True Color Eyeshadow.

For the sole reason that Pink Sith hates shatter polishes, Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed spent the week swatching a whole bunch of new ones from Nicole by OPI - come check them out and feel the hate love!

Sephora + Pantone Color of the Year Collection: Tangerine Tango

One of the benefits of having pasty white skin with neutral undertones is the fact that I can wear almost any color. My skin is, literally, a blank canvas for makeup. I can do warm or cool, bold or subdued. Which is good for me since I'm incredibly fickle and easily bored and I like to mix it up a bit. So this year when Sephora announced it's Color of the Year collaboration with Pantone, I was pretty stoked to see it was...orange. Why, you ask? Because there really isn't much orange out there in the world of makeup. Coral, yes. Salmon, you bet. Peach, of course. But flat-out orange? Finally, a color I don't have in 200 incarnations already!

I chose the Collector's Edition set because it included pretty much everything I wanted, with the possible exception of nail polish. Sadly, I work in a kitchen during the school year, so for 9 months out of the year I'm not allowed to wear polish, so missing out on the four amazing lacquers didn't hurt as much as it otherwise might have.

The Collector's Edition has all the color you need to create a lovely tangerine look.

Left to right: Eyeliner in Tangerine Twist; Eyeshadow Quad in Scallop Shell, Carnelian, Sparrow, and Pavement; Prisma Chrome Blush in Apricot Brandy, Blush Duo in Coral and Desert Flower; Creme Lipstick  in Tangerine Tango Creme; and Lip Gloss in Tangerine Tango Luminous. 

Clockwise from top left: Sparrow, Pavement, Carnelian, Scallop Shell

Apricot Brandy

Coral and Desert Flower

Tangerine Tango Creme

Tangerine Tango Luminous

The collection is bright, happy, and totally hot. I love to mix and match the textures for different looks. The products are high-quality and apply and wear well. I'll be reviewing the items separately over the next week or so, but for now...enjoy the sneak peek!

We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties

You may have noticed that I only published one post last week. I realized this last Friday. Yes, I normally check my blog far more often than once a week, but last week was a killer and I didn't keep up as well as usual.

Turns out, Blogger's new interface has (surprise!!) gotten everything jacked up in the scheduling department. I now have to manually post everything. This wouldn't be a problem for most bloggers, but I work in a school where I can't just hop on Blogger whenever I want. I also have to be at said school at about 6:45 in the morning, so getting on my laptop at home before I head out the door isn't usually an option...I'm lucky to make it to work on time most days.

Soooo...I'm trying to remember to post as soon as I get home each afternoon. That is, if I'm not sidetracked by my three kids, three cats, and dog, plus helping with homework, getting dinner made, shoe-horning people into the bathtub before they resemble Pigpen, etc.

Please bear with me until Blogger gets it together and fixes the problem. If I miss a day, feel sorry for me, because it probably means I'm up to my ass in alligators at home. :)

Chanel Joues Contraste Review: #71, Malice

Ordinarily, I'm not a huge blush fan. I use it because I'm as pale as the dead, but it's always been more of a necessity than a pleasure. The exception to that rule, though, is (wait for it)...Chanel Joues Contrast blush. The colors are gorgeous, the texture is perfection, and the fragrance...ahhh, the fragrance. Fresh roses! What's not to love?!

So each season when Chanel releases new colors, I do stop to take a look at the new JC shades and most times I partake of at least one. Which is why my blush collection is pretty insane given that I'm not even a blush kind of girl. 

My latest indulgence is Joues Contraste #71, Malice. It's a perfect spring color that's a cross between a peach and a pink, with plenty of pigment and some subtle shimmer. 

In bright sunlight, the peachy tones really come forth, showing how warm this shade can be. You can also see the subtle microshimmer that's infused throughout the blush. 

Under cloudy skies with flash, you can see the shade more accurately. It's definitely a beautiful, warm pink.

Under cloudy skies without flash, the cooler pink tones show. 

Malice is really the perfect spring blush for everyone. Since it somehow manages to have both warm and cool, peach and pink, it works for pretty much every skin undertone. There's enough depth of color for it to be suitable for all but the darkest skin tones. I find it works best applied with a very light hand, but my darker girlfriends can wear it applied more heavily. Either way, it gives a warm, rosy glow to the cheeks and really warms up the face. 

Bottom Line: As usual, Chanel has hit a home run with this one. With its warm peach and cool pink undertones, it plays very neutral on the skin and gives just the right amount of color. Depending on how you apply it, Malice will give you the softest blush or a healthy flush. It should work for nearly everyone, color-wise. As is typical with Joues Contraste blush, it applies evenly and wears all day, and though it has some shimmer it doesn't appear at all frosty on the skin...the shimmer just adds some dimension to the color. Highly recommend. 

Lovely Lipstick Review: Lancome Color Design Lipstick in Lucky Kiss

Okay, time to record the date, people. I'm actually going to review a nude lipstick. And a matte one at that! Can you feel the chill as hell freezes over? Can you detect the soft breeze generated as pigs fly past? Yeah. Me too.

I saw Lancome's Color Design Lipstick in Lucky Kiss purely by chance. As a matter of fact, it was so completely by chance, I've pretty much forgotten how it happened. My guess is that I stopped at the display to see if there were any hot reds and somehow ended up reaching for this lovely subdued shade instead. I honestly can't tell you what possessed me to choose this shade given my adamant aversion to all things neutral, but I did it...and I'm glad I did.

In the tube, Lucky Kiss looks fairly pink. It's a warm, rosy, light pink with soft brown undertones. I think the pink is what got me with this one. Most neutrals are heavy on the brown, which is so completely not my color. Brown on my lips always makes me look like I've been eating mud. Typically, if there is any brown whatsoever in a shade, it pulls orangey or completely, utterly, brown. Not so with Lucky Kiss, which has a rosy glow about it, with the brown tones simply anchoring it and keeping it from going too girly (as if there was such a thing).

In this shot, you can see just how pink the shade is. I couldn't get the neutral tones to show in the photos, so you'll just have to trust me that they're there. However, I will say that in the tube the color does appear much pinker than it ends up on my skin. 

And here you can see what I'm talking about. The color in the tube and the color on my skin are completely, utterly different. See how brown it becomes on my skin? Can you now envision just how muddy a real brown would be on me? Ack. 

Finally, on my lips Lucky Kiss becomes a lovely light neutral that goes with anything. 

As for wear time, texture and the like, Lucky Kiss is a great formula. Although it's a matte, it isn't drying or cakey at all. As a matter of fact, it's quite creamy. Wear time is exceptional...I got a good 5-6 hours out of it. It wears off fairly evenly, although since it's roughly the same shade as my lips it was a bit hard to tell where the lipstick ended and I began. You will want to wipe all remnants off your lips before reapplying, but it never feels clumpy or gloppy. 

Bottom Line: Lucky Kiss may not ever be my favorite color (I'm not a convert to nudes quite yet), but it is a totally inoffensive and very pretty shade that goes with everything. I particularly like it when I go all dramatic on my eyes, as a little birdie told me it's not wise to have too much going on with both eyes and lips at the same time (HA! As if I've ever worried about that pesky advice). The formula is matte but creamy and lasts for hours. I'm going back for more. Who knows? Maybe next time I'll live on the edge and test out a brown. 

Beauty Blog Link Love 4/21/12

Check out these "Lust, Caution" inspired custom OCC Lip Tar mixes on My Funny Valentine, packaged with a lip brush applicator!

 Phyrra does a wearable bright pink video tutorial with BftE Cosmetics.

 A product that applies like a gloss, wears like a stain, and pH-adjusts like a grade school chemistry experiment is too good to be true - right? Find out if it is (or isn't) on theNotice.

 With spring in the air, it's time to invest in a gorgeous coral lipstick! Amy Antoinette reviews the beautiful new Clarins Joli Rouge Pink Coral Lipstick.

 Is OPI Just Spotted the Lizard really a dupe fore Chanel Peridot? Read polish insomniac's post to find out!

Prime Beauty tests out Laura Mercier's Limited Edition Belle Nouveau, a "new beautiful" diversion from the neons so popular this spring.

 How do the Sleek Eau La La Eyeliners hold up against other famous brands, like Urban Decay and MUFE? Musicalhouses puts them to the test, and pits them against each other!

 Ever undertaken a seemingly hopeless hunt for that elusive limited edition product that you just had to have? Lydia proves that good things come to those who wait after finding Guerlain's Cruel Gardenia Meteorites Illuminator.

 Tracy at Beauty Reflections finally has Mediterranean light every day thanks to Guerlain Meteorites Perles d'Azur by Emilio Pucci!

 Take a look at BUXOM's new Color Choreography Eye Shadow in Tango over at Makeup, Beauty and More.

 If there's anything better than new Dior lipstick, it would be new Dior lipstick and nail polish! Join Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed in admiring the beauty of the new Dior Addict Extreme Lipsticks and Colour Blocked polishes!
Want to update your hair colour this spring? Miss Beauty Nerd is giving away two Nutrisse Mousse Nourishing Colour Foams for wannabe redheads and blondes!

Beauty Spotlight Team 4/21/12

It's London MakeUp Girl's turn to do What's In My... and she's taking us to her special skincare corner. What are the skincare products that find a place in the corner of her bathroom, rather than sitting in a cupboard? These are the items she reaches for daily or weekly. Click on the link below to find out what they are!

London Make Up Girl's skincare corner!

Beauty Spotlight Team 4/14/12

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed hits up the experts for their tips on cuticle care in hopes that her nail swatch pictures will stop scaring small children. Check it out and feel free to offer up tips of your own for everyone's sake!

Layla Cosmetics have taken the nail polish world by storm and polish insomniac shows you why!

  The Pink Sith says the Too Faced Cosmetics Better Than False Lashes Nylon Lash Extension System may be just right for your special snowflake like lashes!

 Pretty pinks and wearable nudes, Visionary beauty has a look at some of the newly released Chanel lipstick shades.

 Another new MAC collection? We may find these appear too often but sometimes they come out with a winner. Beauty Info Zone wants to show how you can go the Extra Dimension.

  Prime Beauty embraces the bright trend with 5 bold lip looks for spring and summer!

 To celebrate the return of Le Metier de Beaute to the UK, Modesty Brown shares some of her favourite items from the brand.

 Shannon at Lipstick Musings joins the ranks of the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with the help of the famous Touche Eclat . Come see why this concealer and illuminator is such a hit!

  Pammy Blogs Beauty finally got to see the Hunger Games movie! Check out the Hunger Games-inspired manicures that she created with Pure Ice Nail Polish.

  London MakeUp Girl compares the new and old formula of Kevyn Aucoin's Expert Lip Tint in Samilke. Has the shade changed? See if you can spot the difference she swears she sees at Kevyn Aucoin Samilke - old versus new version.

  15 Minute Beauty Fanatic discovered the favorite beauty products of makeup artist Brandy Gomez-Duplessis. Which drugstore mascara is her favorite?

 Zuzu*s Petals wonders if facial exercises could be a worthy addition to her pro-youthful beauty arsenal. Come read about it at Everyday Beauty.

Lovely Lipstick Review: Lancome Rouge In Love Lipstick #391, Fiery Attitude

Well, it's been all of a week since I did a lipstick review, so let's just dive right in and get started!

Lancome's new Rouge In Love lipstick line is touted as being quite the bomb. According to Lancome, it lasts 6 hours, is featherlight, and is intensely pigmented. There's a wide range of shades, categorized into 3 "moods": 

  • Jolie Matins: Fresh shades for daytime wear, identified in the shade with the letter "M". 
  • Boudoir Time: Pop shades for cocktail hour, identified with the letter "B". 
  • Tonight is My Night: Intense shades for a magical night, identified with the letter "N". 
I, of course, would choose none other than one of the "Tonight Is My Night" shades, of course. I mean, seriously, if given a choice, why on earth would you choose anything other than a "magical" color? 

Fiery Attitude is a gorgeous deep blue-based plum with a creamy finish. I adore the color, but question the name. To me, "fiery" implies red, and this color, while deep and vibrant, is not red. It's definitely more of a blue-based cranberry-type color. It has a lot of depth to it, and despite the fact that there are many similar colors on the market, Fiery Attitude stands out, in my opinion. It's deep but not goth, and the color is a berry-plum that's really somewhat difficult to describe. Take a look and see what you think: 

There are definitely blue-purple undertones there, yet the tiniest hint of, perhaps, fuchsia comes through to keep it from being too dark against my fair skin. It's an elegant color, perfect to wear with your favorite LBD. The feel is creamy and moist yet lightweight, and the finish is slightly glossy. I found that it does last up to 6 hours if I don't eat, but food takes it off fairly easily. For me, this isn't a problem. I kind of assume most lipsticks will fall apart when faced with the oils in food...and the ones that don't tend to be very dry. As it wears off, it leaves behind a pretty stain rather than a ring around the lips. 

I enjoy wearing this shade not only on "magical" nights, but also during the day when it fits my mood. Fiery Attitude can be blotted down to a soft stain or left intact for full impact. I don't know that I'll be getting much use out of it this Summer (I usually go with lighter and brighter colors during the warmer months), but come Fall, I'm certain it will be in my regular rotation. 

Bottom Line: The Rouge In Love lipsticks are lovely, and Fiery Attitude won't be my last. Between the lightweight feel, moisturizing texture, ability to hold to the lips without feathering, and long wear time, I plan to add to my stash soon. 

Bigger, Brighter Eyes: YSL Touche Eclat Review

I know many of you have already read many, many reviews of Yves Saint Laurent's famed Touche Eclat. I know I have. And frankly, I'm sure the world doesn't need another. But I don't care, because Touche Eclat has officially become a re-purchase for me, so I feel compelled to review it. You see, I don't re-purchase much of anything. As I'm sure you can imagine, I have boatloads of cosmetics and skin care products, and if you've been reading this blog for any time, you know I have the attention span of a gnat, so you can probably guess that I'm always getting distracted by new pretties, bigger promises, newer products. I almost never buy the same item twice--so when I do, if I've somehow neglected to tell you about it already, I make a point of doing it then. 

My most recent Touche Eclat purchase was a find at Nordstrom. It's a little set that includes TE plus a deluxe travel sized Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Shocking Mascara. Those of you who know me know I'm a total mascara addict, so you know I couldn't resist (and I'll be reviewing the mascara soon). 

Touche Eclat is housed in a pen with a brush applicator. Simply click the pen, and the magical liquid-creme comes right out, as seen here: 

Now, I love pen applicators. They're precise, gentle, and fairly sanitary. This one has the added benefit of not needing 500 clicks to get it primed before the first use. I did have to click it quite a few times, but there was none of that annoying sensation of "Oh my God, will this ever come out?!" that I've gotten with some other pen products I've tried. Touche Eclat's pen also delivers a perfect amount of product with each click and doesn't continue oozing (and oozing, and oozing) after you think you've finished dispensing the way other pens are prone to do. One click gives a small measured portion, enough for a swipe or so. Additional clicks give enough for the entire eye area. The tip can be easily wiped off to avoid drying and clumping in between uses. 

Touche Eclat has been pretty much universally hailed as a miracle in a pen. It's concealer for all of us who hate concealer, but need it anyway. It adds radiance, blurs lines, and dissipates circles without settling into lines or creases, without making your under eye area look like crepe, and without drying out halfway through the day. It stays put for hours and doesn't flash white in photos. In short, it's perfection for the eye area. I absolutely love using it, unlike my total aversion to concealers. It doesn't give a lot of coverage, but still manages to lighten the entire eye area. When I use this, my eyes appear bright and refreshed, no matter how I'm feeling and regardless of how early I have to be at work. Touche Eclat literally erases years from my eyes. 

Finally, here's a shot of my eyes, one with Touche Eclat and one without. It was very difficult to capture the effect in a picture, but hopefully you can see that the eye on the left (my right eye) is much brighter than the other. 

Bottom Line: Touche Eclat is, by far, one of my favorite products. It lightens and brightens the eye without creasing or drying the area out, and gives a refreshed look to the entire face. It's extremely easy to use, it's portable, and the packaging is streamlined and elegant. The brush applicator is easy to keep clean and applies product evenly and smoothly. There's nothing to dislike about this one, and if you're like me and need an undereye boost but hate typical concealers, this is definitely worth a try. 

Beauty Blog Link Love 4/7/12

Beauty's Bad Habit Blog goes a little wild with her loud and proud 80's inspired make-up look!

Musicalhouses takes a look at Sleek Blush by 3, the three-in-one blush compact that's set to be a hit!

Phyrra builds, swatches, and reviews her own Build Your Own Palette by Urban Decay!

This week at theNotice, Rae talks Viva Glam - but she's not alone. Don't miss her Viva Glam V swatches, FOTD, and review, and be sure to check out the shade on the rest of the Lipstick Bandits as well!

 At Musing on Beauty, Mariella falls in love with Nars Radiant Tinted Moisturizer - a first for a foundation addict like her! Find out why she's liking it so much.

The Pink Sith weaves a fairy tale around Rouge Bunny Rouge Color Burst Lipstick in Word Of Mouth, but is it a happy ending?

K from Beautifully Addicted To has a go at her first BB Cream with Missha BB cream.

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed takes the Essie spring collection out for a test drive - will the delicate lights and vibrant brights help bring on the warmer weather? We can only hope!

Looking for the perfect ballerina pink lipstick? Amy Antoinette has found it with L'Occitane Pivoine Delicate Lipstick.

Need some help with your shadow blending? Kajal Couture shares her fave blending shadows that help achieve a perfectly blended eye look.

Is Tracy at Beauty Reflections turning into a gloss girl? Check out her Sephora Volume Booster Gloss Serum review.

At Eyelining Obsessions, Claire explores her love/hate relationship with Vichy Dermablend Corrective Foundation.

Has Shannon at Lipstick Musings finally found the perfect eye shadow in Fyrinnae's Te Amo? Stop by for swatches and an eye of the day and see what you think!

Make up Forever recently launched the Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick line! Do you want to try one? Visit Spiced Beauty to win.

What's on Visionary Beauty's Dressing Table?

For this week's Beauty Spotlight teaser, Visionary Beauty shows us what's on her dressing table.We'll see the items she reaches for daily as she turns the spotlight on her attempt at makeup organisation. So race over to Visionary Beauty to see how that organisation is going for her! Visionary Beauty's Dressing Table

Lovely Lipstick Review: Estee Lauder Pure Color Lipstick #26, Nectarine

So, it seems that orange and coral are THE colors this Spring. At first, I wasn't overly thrilled about it, not being much of a fan of sunny colors. I also find that with oranges, it's brutally easy to veer unexpectedly into "old lady" land. And frankly, given the amount of money I've invested in looking young, that doesn't appeal to me, even a little bit.

Up until a few weeks ago, I was pretty adamantly anti-orange. I have cool/neutral skin, so I never thought it would work for me. Then a funny thing happened. I fell for all the marketing out there, what with Sephora's "Color of the Year" campaign featuring brilliant oranges for lips, cheeks and eyes and all the orange clothing being featured everywhere I look. So I decided to give orange a fair shot.

What I found was shocking...I can actually pull off this look! Of course, I don't do an entirely orange face all at once...I do one feature, and tone down the rest. But I have found, much to my surprise, that when used with discretion orange can, indeed, make a statement that doesn't scream "retirement home in Miami."

One of my favorite oranges is my new Estee Lauder Pure Color Lipstick in #26, Nectarine. I figured I'd start my orange series (yes, there will be a series of various products and hues) with this one since it's more subdued than the other lip and cheek colors I've chosen for this season.

Pure Color Long-Lasting Lipstick is a long-wear, highly pigmented lipstick with a wide array of shades. The first, and very first, thing you need to know about the Long-Lasting Lipsticks is that you do not want to purchase them off the Estee Lauder website. I don't think I've ever seen such inaccurate swatches in my life. For instance, the swatch for Nectarine, although described as "medium orange red" actually shows a medium rosy mauve. I hovered over the swatch several times just to see if this was for real and not a mistake, and nope...it kept coming up the same color. So please, please, please visit your local EL counter before purchasing these colors!

The second thing to know is that the packaging, to me, is not necessarily the most gorgeous or sophisticated I've ever seen, but it does make a lot of sense and will make your life easier. How, you ask? Here's how:
It's a relatively nondescript gold case. However, the saving grace is the clear panel at the bottom of the tube that clearly shows the color inside. For someone like me who has 800 lipsticks, this is HUGE. It saves a ton of time in the morning when I'm pawing through my lipstick drawer trying to find a lipstick if I can actually see the color right there in the tube. Not to mention how much easier it makes things when I'm digging in my purse for said lipstick, since I always have at least 5 colors floating around in there.

So anyhow, the color itself is aptly named Nectarine. It's a slightly subdued but still brilliant orange with a soft shimmer. It's not nearly as bright as a lot of the oranges out there, but I certainly wouldn't call it coral or anything that sounds remotely neutral--it is, without a doubt, orange. And a beautiful one at that.
In this shot you can see the soft shimmer, which is slightly more apparent on the lips but still fairly subtle. 

On the lips, Nectarine tones down a bit. It can be worn semi-sheer or opaque, with the color becoming more intense with each additional coat of lipstick. 

Bottom Line: I love this lipstick color. The formula is a good one, and does last a good while. I did experience a little feathering, but I was testing it without a liner, so that's forgivable. Because the color is a bit more subdued than an all-out orange would be, it works well with both bright oranges and subdued orangey-corals, making it quite versatile. And it never strays into octogenarian territory. That's a win.

Mascara Review: Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes

Hypnose Doll Eyes is one of Lancome's newest mascaras, marketed to give the "flirtiest" lashes around (whatever that means). I've been wanting to try it for a while, so I was thrilled when I received a deluxe sample in my latest Lancome GWP. It gave me a chance to test-drive it without making a $26 investment. 

Hypnose Doll Eyes is a lengthening and separating mascara that doesn't give a ton of volume but also doesn't clump the way the volumizing mascaras tend to do. I would say it's a work-friendly mascara, as it can be applied a layer at a time to gradually build your look without going immediately into drag-queen territory. It also feels very lightweight and doesn't weigh the lashes down or diminish their curl (especially if you're like me and have to curl your lashes every day). It's a bit on the dry side, but this only serves to help with the buildable coverage and more natural effect. 

The applicator brush is a cone-shaped, fibrous brush that is easy to maneuver and gets to every lash with ease thanks to the pointed end. 

The brush works perfectly on my eyes, making application pretty much foolproof, especially when coupled with the smooth, separating formula. My lashes are left soft and defined, and definitely lengthened although not as voluminous as I normally go for. 

As you can see above, my lashes are nicely lengthened with no clumps and the curl remains lifted. Many mascaras are either so heavy or so wet that they pull the curl right out of my straight lashes, but Doll Lashes leaves them curled and lifted and holds them all day. 

Bottom Line: Although I'm still trying to figure out what makes lashes "flirty", I will say that Hypnose Doll Lashes is a good choice for those of you who've had issues with clumping or straightening in your mascaras. The formula is smooth, lightweight and just wet enough to allow for easy application without being too wet. The overall effect with one or two coats is lengthened, feathery lashes, and the look can be built (albeit with several additional coats) into something more dramatic. To me, this is definitely not a dramatic mascara, but then again, nobody ever tried to say it is. It certainly won't replace my beloved Dior Iconic mascara, but at this point I doubt anything will. I'd recommend testing this before buying, as the price point, in my opinion, is a little high; that being said, it's still a very nice mascara and suitable for many of you who prefer a less dramatic look. 

Best. Eyeshadow. EVER. Fyrinnae Te Amo Review

Fyrinnae is a well-known company in the blogging world. In the real world, possibly not so much, but I'm going to try to change some of that today by telling you about how awesome they are. I love spotlighting small indie cosmetics companies, and I don't do nearly enough of it--mainly because I tend to prefer making my purchases in person, where I can look at the colors, feel the textures, possibly try on the goods. Shopping online makes me a little nervous, since online swatches are notoriously inaccurate. 

However, I've been reading about Fyrinnae forever, and even tried some samples a few years ago before I began this blog. I hadn't gone back for more (even though I was absolutely thrilled with my purchase), primarily for the above-stated reasons and my overwhelming need for immediate gratification. But when I started reading Fyrinnae reviews on the lovely Christa's Perilously Pale blog, my interest was piqued once again and I decided to revisit them. Boy, am I glad I did!

As with many indie companies, Fyrinnae offers generous, low-priced samples. For $2, you get approximately 1/3 teaspoon of shadow...enough to last at least a couple of weeks, even if you wear the color every day. They do ask that you limit your samples to a maximum of 20 per order, which I think is extremely generous as well. I purchased quite a few samples, including Newcastle, Moon Child, Orangutan, Evocation, Sake & Sashimi, Fire Opal, Steampunk, Shenanigans, Lucky Charmed, Pumpkinfire, and Knickers in a Twist. They're all spectacular, and will be reviewed in groups over the next couple of weeks. However, today's post is about just one color, a shadow that has amazed and excited me like no other. In fact, it may very well become my go-to everyday color for the rest of my life. Dramatic, you say? Well, check out the pictures below and you'll understand my reasons. 

Te Amo is that magical eye shadow. Described on the Fyrinnae website as "a glowing iridescent copper highlight, almost ghostly," Te Amo is actually just so much more than that. It is definitely iridescent, especially when applied heavily--yet on the eyes it settles down a bit and becomes the perfect shimmer shadow. The color is almost impossible to describe. It's a rose-gold mixed with copper-penny shade that glows on the skin, and it's gorgeous. But beyond being gorgeous, it's transformational. When applied, it becomes a duochrome on my eyes, appearing as a taupe base with a glowing copper highlight on the higher planes of my eyes. 

First, I'll show you the flat swatches, which are beautiful in and of themselves: 
You can see the taupe undertones, with the rosy gold shimmers overlaying it. 
This shot shows the copper-penny quality of the shimmer. 

As pretty as Te Amo is in swatches, it's on the eyes that it truly comes alive. It literally contours the eye all by itself due to the natural shadows and concave nature of the eye socket. The taupe becomes naturally darker in the creases and at the corners where you would normally use darker colors anyway, while the coppery rose gold shines on the lid: 

See how it appears as if I have at least two colors on my eyes in the above shot? My creases appear darker, as do the outer corners of my eyes, while my lids are highlighted copper. 

This effect is even more pronounced when I close my eyes. The above shot shows Te Amo, and only Te Amo, on my lids. 

From the side, you can again see the natural contouring provided by the shape of my eye and the way the higher planes automatically bring out the coppery rose, while the deeper-set areas reflect the taupe base. 

Essentially, this shadow is like a miracle. I no longer need two shades (or the time it takes to apply them) to achieve depth and dimension in my eye area. Te Amo does the work for me! It does require some slightly specialized application techniques, though. At Fyrinnae, they recommend that the shadows be patted on instead of swiped, as swiping will lead to a muddy result...something I tested and found to be true. It's also best to use Fyrinnae's Pixie Epoxy shadow base (or another sticky base) to prevent fallout and provide excellent adherence of the shadow and increased sheen. It took me a time or two to get accustomed to this technique, but once I mastered it I found it to be easier than my regular blending. 

Bottom Line: I have worn Te Amo every single day since I received it, which is unheard-of for me. I never, ever wear the same eye colors twice in a row. But now, with Te Amo, I get the contoured effect I love with an absolute minimum of effort, and the colors are so gorgeous I love to look at them. This is not the kind of color that jumps out at people, but it is the kind of color that looks absolutely perfect on the eyes. It also applies easily and wears incredibly well--the above shots were taken about 10 hours after application. So I'm re-ordering not one, but several backups, for a couple of reasons: One, they're only $5.90 apiece (yes, you read that right!). Second, it would be just my luck that they'd discontinue it now that I've found it, and I do not want to be without it...ever. I highly recommend you hightail it over to the Fyrinnae website and order some shadows yourself. Don't forget the Pixie Epoxy, either...it makes a world of difference in the finished product!

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