Lip Review

Lipgloss. How I love you.

Ever since I was a three year old eating Lipsmackers, I’ve had an ongoing relationship with all things lip and glossy.

Lipstick tends to get all over my teeth and since I’m not used to seeing myself in it, I always feel awkward when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror as I try to rock a bright lip.

Gloss is my friend, and historically has been one of my favored pick-me-up treats to buy.

Recently I ordered three new-to-me lip products from Sephora.

Pop star Rihanna just launched her new Fenty Beauty line, and it basically broke the beauty internet. The collection (more than 90 items) is being praised for its extensive shades of foundation, but curiously, it only has one lip gloss.

This is called the Universal Lip Lumizer and is described as shiny, rose nude shade. The packaging is nice, the gloss is not too sticky, and the color is as billed. This is going to be a long, long reach, but this gloss reminds me – in both color and formula – of a Calvin Klein gloss that I had sometime in the 1990s. I think it was called Apricot.

Sidenote: Did you even know that Calvin Klein had a makeup line in the 90s? It was very minimalist in the packaging, and I recall liking their eye and lip glosses. The lipgloss came in a glass tube with a silver cap and the color I had was a near dupe of the Fenty one above. I used it until it dropped and broke. Sigh.

Eye Glosses

[In researching this post, it looks like cK had a revival of their cosmetics line about five years ago, but it seems to have suffered a similar fate as in the 90s since it no longer is available except on eBay and closeout/discount sites].

Back to the Fenty gloss: I would rate it as an 8/10 when considering color, consistency (not sticky but a bit thin, requiring re-application more than I would like), scent/taste (not sure if there is one, if so it is very subtle), and packaging (solid plastic body and cap that closes with a satisfying click twist at the end).

The second product I ordered was billed as a creamy argan lip butter with plumping ability. That is a lot to promise, but Josie Maran does it.

I thought this would be a shiny gloss in stick form, but the finish is more matte than I expected. To be fair, it is described as “satin finish” on the Sephora website, so I should have been warned. The plumping effect is minimal and comes from a pepper-y infusion that very mildly causes the lips to sting. It did not give a bee-stung effect as implied, but it also was not stinging to the point of irritation.

The color descriptions on Sephora’s website were not too clear, but I ended up ordering Free It, which is another rose/pink/nude shade. Josie Maran wins here on two accounts: the grapefruit scent (and taste) is really on point, and the packaging is also solid and features a small bump to click and hold the lid in place. I would rate this as a 7/10, with the high score relating to the grapefruit scent and the packaging. Without these, the finish is not my favorite and I would give it a 4 or 5 if the scent was bad and the case was cheap.

The final thing I received in this order was a freebie, but it’s a lip product and I’m going to still review it.

This is a sample of the Tarte Quench Lip Rescue in Buff. It’s described as having a high shine finish and retails for $19. The freebie size was considerably smaller than the retail version:

Here it is up against the Josie Maran lip butter (which is a standard size lipstick) for comparison.

This Tarte sample is what I thought the argan lip butter would be, namely a high shine lipgloss-in-a-stick. The formula is extremely creamy and the color is a subtle your-lips-but-slightly-more shade. The outer packaging is cardboard (i.e. not sturdy), but I can’t complain since this was a freebie. It’s probably not fair to rate it, but I liked the color and formula enough that I’m planning to buy a full sized version. It comes in eight different shades, including clear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Beauty Deals

Oh, how I love the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! 

Spectacularly sad but true, I look forward to this event with no small amount of anticipation every year.

The Beauty Exclusives are particularly hard to resist.

Yesterday I got my hair done at a salon that happens to be a mere 10 minutes away from the only Nordstrom around, and mysteriously my car navigated there on my way home.

This year did not disappoint.

First up, this Kate Somerville set.

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While this set is still pricey ($98), it’s worth $191, making it one of the best deals of the sale. The Age Arrest Anti-Wrinkle cream is worth $90 alone. And if you haven’t tried it, the ExfoliKate treatment is one of the line’s star products. 

Next, AERIN Beauty’s ‘Lilac Path’ perfume:

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This was a wild-card that I did not anticipate purchasing (and also not an official Beauty Exclusive), but I got swept up in the scent and had to have it. There are five fragrances in this line, and it was difficult to pick out the one I liked best. I was waffling between this one and two others, ‘Ikat Jasmine’ and ‘Evening Rose.’ They were all really sophisticated and a little more perfume-y than what I normally wear (either Bobbi Brown or Jo Malone). This picture doesn’t do the bottle justice; the cap has a lovely lilac stone on top.

With the AERIN perfume, I received an Estee Lauder gift with purchase. I chose the cool colors for the lipstick and eyeshadows. You also could select a moisturizer in a generous sample size. The other items were a cleanser, mascara and serum, all packed in a navy blue bag.

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These Voluspa candles were a steal! I bought two sets, one for myself and one for gifting. I’m not sure if I’ll keep them together or break them up, since they make such great hostess gifts and are easy to wrap in colorful fabric, furoshiki-style.

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The last thing I purchased was a bit of a beauty risk, at least for me.

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Since I’ve been maintaining my fake eyelashes, I’ve been wearing almost no eye makeup, which means my lips need a little more attention lest I look completely washed out. 

Once again, I’m late to the party, but I love the modern look of a nude eye and bright, matte lip. Except up to now, not on me.

This M.A.C. set came in pink, coral or nude. It still feels outside of my comfort zone, but I went for the pink. Bright, shocking pink.

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Besides the gloss and lipstick, there’s a brown eyeliner (full-size) and eyeshadow trio with two champagne-y colors and one that is a sparkly plum. All are pretty.

Here’s me trying out the lipstick:

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Still not sure if I’m ready to go out like this. Baby steps.

In the end, I got another bag of beauty samples, which I love to save and use for traveling.

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The blue bag is the Estee Lauder one from the gift with purchase, and the purple nylon one contained the samples above. There were two Jo Malone perfumes (score!), plus samples from Kiehl’s, Lancome and Laura Mercier.

I was embarrassingly excited over this haul.