I used to think I’d rather rub a dry stick on my lips rather than use a matte lipstick. And then I met NARS’ Pure Matte lipstick in Valapariso and fell totally, utterly and deeply in love with it.
Sporting NARS Valparaiso on lips with Lhasa and Mekong eye shadow on eyes.
Launched in the NARS Spring 2012 line, this is a matte berry lipstick that it is very pigmented and goes on smooth without any skipping whatsoever. It feels a bit tacky going on (in a good way and probably due to the wild mango butter in it) but the finish is still matte. Color payoff is very good and the color goes on opaque and nicely without lipliner. I got a good six hours worth of wear with this. Even after having coffee in the morning and lunch, the color faded somewhat but not so much that I had to immediately apply more of this. When I did touch it up I needed very little to refresh the color.
The closest color I own that looks like this, interestingly enough, NARS Damned Velvet Matte lip pencil. Both look very similar but the lipstick has more tackiness while the pencil is more dry. Guerlain Rouge G in Greta looks more red next to it but you can tell it still belongs in the ‘berry’ family.
Valparaiso Pure Matte lipstick retails for $24 and is currently available at most upscale retailers such as Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus Sephora and Beauty.com.
Close-up of NARS Valparaiso full matte lippie--so smooth!
From top: NARS Damned Velvet Matte pencil,NARS Valparaiso Pure Matte lipstick, Guerlain Rouge G in Greta, NARS Valparaiso Pure Matte Lipstick (no flash HDR)
From top: NARS Damned Velvet Matte pencil, NARS Valparaiso, Guerlain Rouge G in Greta, NARS Valparaiso (flash)
NARS Valparaiso Pure Matte lipstick and Paramaribo eye shadow duo--so pretty for Spring 2012
By the time you read this, if you are in the US chances are you missed this release. If you are outside the US, pay attention as these are scheduled to be released in February.
MAC Tour de Fabulous lipglass --Taste The Rainbow 🙂
Along with the lip pencils I reviewed recently, I picked up three (3) of the eleven shades of Lipglass available in this limited edition collection. The three picked up were Real Posh, StylePacked and Tour de Fabulous. I purposely picked these three to match the four lip pencils I purchased from the Tour De Fabulous collection.
Swatches on NW43 skin (indoors with flash)
Swatches on NW43 skin (indoors without flash)
Real Posh is a reddened berry that looks quite opaque on. I love how it looked with the Just Wonderful lip pencil but it is opaque enough to wear on its own. I’d almost go as far to say it’s just a degree or two below being as totally opaque as my favorite lipglass by Afrobella, All Of My Purple Life. If you have very pigmented lips I don’t see a problem with this shade showing up on you without lip pencil.
Wearing MAC Real Posh lipglass over Just Wonderful lip pencil
StylePacked is an uber-cool blue-toned pink that is semi-opaque. I was quite dissapointed it wasn’t as opaque as my favorite pink lipglass, Pink Poodle but over the Embrace Me lipencil (or even better over High Magenta Chromagraphic pencil) it still looks rather nice. If you have very pigmented lips I wouldn’t look for much color payoff from this shade unless you wear lip pencil. I really think this color would look amazing over Pink Pigeon from the Iris Apfel collection or Pink Nouveau Amplified lipstick. And if you were unfortunate enough as I was to pick up that Niki Minaj Pink Friday lipstick, this lipglass will actually make that hot mess wearable.
Wearing MAC Style Packed lipglass over Embrace Me lip pencil
Tour de Fabulous is a pretty semi-opaque coral orange that is more suited to warmer skintones but not so much that cooler-toned gals like myself couldn’t wear. I wore this over Entertain Me and Lasting Sensation lip pencils and while I prefer the latter lip pencil because it leans more pink coral, I was pleased with how this lipglass looked over both. Many people are curious as to how this color compares to Strange Potion first released with the Disney’s Venomous Villains collection and repromoted with Surf Baby! Tour De Fabulous is definitely more orange coral while Strange Potion is more pink. As someone with a cooler skintone, I definitely prefer Strange Potion. If you have Strange Potion in your stash and cash is tight, I would pass over this color and grab the Entertain Me lip pencil to wear with it instead. You would get pretty much the same color as Tour de Fabulous and you can use the pencil with other colors.
Wearing MAC Tour De Fabulous lipglass over Lasting Sensation lip pencil
MAC Tour de Fabulous and Strange Potion
Lipglasses are usually a MAC staple for most women of color. The pigmentation is translucent enough not to look ‘ashy’ even in lighter colors. They are slightly-tacky and usually last longer over lipstick and lip pencil than alone. Vanilla-scented and taste free, they are jam-packed with moisturizing goodness like jojoba oil to keep your lips soft and smooth especially in cold winter weather. The lipglasses from this collection retail for $14.50 USD and are available now for a limited time. For International release date, MAC press materials project February 15th.
Definitely pick up a few of these lipglasses as they are colors sorely lacking from MAC’s permanent lip glass lineup.
MAC Tour de Fabulous lipglass --Yay for more colors!!!
Scented nail polish? Say what?!? The beauty side of my brain just told the geeky side of my brain to stop trying to figure out the chemistry formula involved and just buy the damned color because it’s ‘cool’. So yeah, I bought it.
DISCLOSURE ALERT > I own stock in Louis Vuitton Moet Hennesy (LVMH) group which is the parent company of Dior couture.
For Spring 2012, as part of its Garden Party collection, Dior presents us with two scented nail polishes. The first is a purple pastel called Forget-Me Not (aptly titled as the polish is the same color of said flower) while the other is a murky mint green aptly called Waterlilly. As I already own tons of purple nail polish, and the price of this polish is pretty steep at $23 for .30 ounces, I opted for Waterlilly.
Dior Vernis in Waterlilly--gorgeous pastel green shimmer polish
Packaged in a stunning silver box and contained it a beautiful glass bottle with ‘Vernis’ etched into it, Waterlilly smells pretty much like any other high-end nail polish out of the bottle. The green is a mid-tone pastel with flashes of pink iridescence which are more apparent in the bottle than on the nail. It comes with a wide brush I’ve seen in my Sally Hansen quick-dry polishes and I am not a fan of it. The brush felt awkward in my hand and the polish seemed to want to stick to the brush more than my nails. I worked my way around it and the color payoff is gorgeous to say the least. Against my cool skin it screamed ‘spring is coming!’ in a classy fashionable way.
Dior Vernis in Waterlilly. 2 coats, no flash (HDR)
Compared to Illamasqua’s Milf, Dior Waterlilly is a darker green and not a cream polish. Illamasqua Radium is more yellow-toned with shimmer. The only thing I have close to the color of Waterlilly is Essie’s Mint Candy Apple with Pure Pearlfection over the top to add shimmer. Even still, it isn’t as vivid a green as Dior Waterlilly but it’s close enough for a good color hack. If you have cool undertones, this color will definitely pop on you. Warmer skin tones could also wear this color but as it leans more cool (think Illamasqua Milf) than warm (think Illamasqua Radium). No matter your skin tone, this is a very ‘bleeding edge’ fashionable shade of green for spring that very few people will be rocking.
From top: Illamasqua Milf, Dior Waterlilly, Illamasqua Radium (2 coats each with indoor flash)
From top: Illamasqua Milf, Dior Waterlilly, Illamasqua Radium (2 coats each without flash)
Drying time wasn’t measured as i used Illamasqua top coat (quick drying) and Nicole by Opi Drying Drops to speed things up as I am beyond impatient about drying nail polish. When dry, I did notice a faint violet smell but nothing that made me want to continuously sniff my nails. It’s a nice touch but pretty forgettable as i noticed no smell after the first day of wear. After two days of 120 wpm tying/coding, I noticed no discernable tip wear at all. Like with other luxury nail polishes I own (Rescue Beauty Lounge, Chanel) I get no chipping of the polish on the nail and only slight wear on the tips. Because of the etching (and this is just me), I find this bottle to be highly collectable and definitely worth having in your nail color wardrobe. The price is steep for how much you get but considering this is a haute couture design house and not MAC for Gareth Pugh, and there are no existing true dupes for it, plus the outstanding wear makes it a worthy beauty investment.
Dior Vernis in Waterlilly is available from upscale retailers such as Nordtrom and Neiman Marcus and of course Dior.com and retails for $23/bottle.
How cool is the etching of 'Vernis' on the bottle? So luxe.
By now most of you know of my undying devotion to Rescue Beauty Lounge nail polishes. Yep, I’m a crazy RBL and want everyone to know it. I got into the RBL polish collecting game late so I missed out on two nail polish shades so cool, so amazing, so stunning I was soo dissapointed…until the Vintage BIB voting brought them back.
So for your consideration and evaluation, I present to you, from the Vintage Bring it Back voting, the two ‘Terror Twins’ of RBL, Moxie and Killa Red! :::cue me putting on Don King hair and yelling ‘Only in America’:::
Rescue Beauty Lounge (RBL) Moxie and Killa Red from the Vintage BIB collection
Can you handle these? Of course you can!
Candlelight in a bottle—that is what Moxie is in a nutshell. This is a beautiful white gold frost that I believe would look subtle on warm skintones but on cool skintones like mine it commands attention. On both skin tones your nails look like glowing orbs. Weird, I know but the effect is hella sexy. Moxie is somewhat sheer in one coat, opaque in two coats and richer with three coats. As this is a frost finish there can be some visible ‘brushstrokes’ if you look really close but I usually attribute that to me being impatient and not letting each coat dry completely before adding another one. When I wore this color out I got a lot of compliments—especially from women of color.
RBL Moxie: It is truly candlelight in a bottle.
RBL Moxie. 3 coats. God how I LOVE this color. Glows like an angel.
The only color I have similar to Moxie is NARS Versailles. Versailles has yellow-gold shimmer which doesn’t look all that hot against my cool skintone. It’s even more pronounced next to Moxie and you can see how much more white-gold it is.
From top: RBL Moxie, NARS Versailles, RBL Moxie (w/ flash)
I am usually not a fan of red nail polishes. Not because of the color (I love red) but because of the undertones. With this color, Ji has come up with the best, most awesome, most-kick ass blue-red cream nail polish that trumps even Chinoise (my other favorite blue red). Where Chinoise seems more trendy, Killa Red is ‘grown and sexy’. It also has a rich translucence that borders on gothic. The color is rich and is opaque in one coat, even more stunning with two coats. I would double-up on the top coat simply to further enhance the shine and dimension of this color.
RBL Killa Red: the most perfect blue-red cream
RBL Killa Red. 2 coats. WERK!
End of Line Recommendation
As with all RBL polishes I own so far, I get a little over a week of wear with this and only minimal tip wear. As I work in IT I type a LOT (over 120wpm) so while I do expect my nail polish to wear at the tips, shattering and sending dangerous shards of nail polish isn’t something that happens with RBL. In other words, no chipping. Cost per bottle is $18 and free domestic shipping is offered for orders over $100 ($200 for international orders) at RescueBeauty.com. Remember, Rescue Beauty Lounge nail polishes are 5-Free and Made in the USA. So are you seriously itching to get these? You should. But don’t wait to long as they are only available for a limited time and once the supply is gone, it’s gone until Ji decides it’s time to bring it back.
If you’re a edgy yet classy dame, I’d suggest wearing a Killa Red pedi with a Moxi mani. If you don’t think you fit this bill, check out the video below by one of my favorite music icons, Dame Shirley Bassey. You know she’d rock this combo and rock it hard.
Happy New Year to you all! May 2012 bring you peace, prosperity and more blessings than you deserve and can stand.
Here is a little peek at two shades of NARS Sheer Matte foundation that I will be reviewing within the next week or so. These are samples I got from Sephora but it is enough to give you an idea of shades that are lighter and darker for women of color.
From left: Macao, Trinidad NARS Sheer Matte Foundation Swatches