I purchased my first Hydra Chic in Water Lily, a medium cool-neutral rose. Unlike Lip Chic, it does not go on glossy, but application is smooth and slick and dries down to a satiny finish. It feels a bit dry to me because I normally go for sheer, moisturizing lip products, but it doesn't dry out my lips one bit. The color lasts for hours and fades evenly--it does not fade from the center of my mouth or leave the outer edges crumbly. Water Lilly complements my very fair pink-porcelain skin tone. The tube is much thinner than the Lip Chics that I have been using the last year or so, but I don't find it a bad value because I use Hydra Chic less often--two to three times a day (max) compared to half a dozen applications of Lip Chic, which I basically wear as lip balm. I would like to see these in person because I would not hesitate to buy another, if I could find a suitable color.
Dahlia has been my go-to, everyday red lipstick lately. Not a lipstick really--more a cross between lipstick and gloss, which has the staying power of a sheer lipstick without the goop factor of a gloss (no gooey corners or dreaded stalactites or stalagmites between lips). Dahlia is a face-brightening neutral-cool red that makes my teeth look white and goes perfectly with my very fair, cool skin tone. For a fleeting moment upon application, it emits the heady aroma of creme brulee, and I normally detest fragranced cosmetics. The only caution about Lip Chics is to blot before reapplying or they can get bit smeary because of their moisturizing properties.
I give Lip Chic 4 stars, when it really deserves 3 for the way it can migrate. I've been wearing these for over a year now, several times a week. I own Tea Rose, Dahlia, Heirloom, and Damask, and the colors are sheer, classic, and beautiful. - Tea Rose is a neutral-cool rose with brown undertones - Dahlia is a clear pinkish red - Heirloom is a brown-based plum - Damask is a blue-based deep plum The metallic round case appeals to my minimalist leanings--sleek gunmetal grey that clicks closed with a satisfying snap. The tip of the product is sliced off at an angle (versus the typical lipstick bullet shape). Texture wears as a smooth and cushiony gel, but during initial application, the product drags and feels rather stiff until it warms up on my lips, but that takes 3 passes. If you make one pass, it's going to be stiff unless you carry it around in your pocket. The finish is also a little too close to lip gloss texture for me to be completely in love; I find it to be tacky. Because of the lovely sheer burst of color, I was at first quite pleased with this line from Chantecaille if not for one main issue: the color can migrate outside my lip line. Lipstick is my desert island makeup item; I'm never without it. When color or moisture wears away, I like to reapply it without having to think. But whenever I do that with a Lip Chic, especially the deeper colors, like Damask or Dahlia, I end up with a mouth smeared with color. It only took one horrified post-lunch glimpse in the mirror (clown lips!) to realize this product requires a good blotting before reapplication. I could use a lip pencil to keep things contained, but I see little point in using lip liner with a sheer lipstick. Lining the rim is so 80s, and filling my lips in completely with pencil defeats the purpose of wearing *sheer* color. The color migration is not a dealbreaker. I just blot and reapply. I love the colors and have repurchased more than once. As an aside, I disagree with the Heirloom-Clinique Black Honey comparisons in previous reviews. Heirloom is a pigmented deep plum with brown undertones, and Black Honey is a raisin-brown red. I can barely get the Almost Lipstick to show up on me, whereas Lip Chic deposits a lot of pigment and leaves a nice stain. Although Clinique costs half as much, you'll use it up twice as fast trying to get weak color payoff that leaves no stain. Lip Chic is the better value.
Eye Shadow -Make Up For Ever - Aqua cream - #2 Steel Taupe
skwpt 2/28/2011 6:09:00 PM
I also bought this eyeshadow based on Lisa Eldridge's "Back to Work/School" video. Like Lisa, I am cool toned but more fair (MUFE F&B Pink Porcelain 36), and I have blue-green-grey eyes. This shadow looks really nice on me, but I do not see any "mink" or taupe in it. It's a straight-up silver grey that isn't too cool, maybe a touch of pewter. But it's gorgeous, and it can be applied sheer for daylight or heavy for more drama. I find it extremely easy to work with, though it does dry relatively quickly--but really no more quickly than Bobbi Brown cream shadows. I use my fingers or Laura Mercier's Finishing Eye Brush, which is similar to the MAC 217 that Lisa loves but has a synthetic tip so it won't soak up as much product as the 217's natural bristles. I like to wear the MUFE #2 shadow over Chantecaille Peony, a satin soft pink. I don't wear eyeliner with this shadow because I concentrate the most color closest to the base of my lashes and blend upward. I said I would buy again so my review doesn't drop the ratings, but I doubt I will ever need to because the pot contains a lot of product. The only negative is the cheap plastic packaging. I prefer my cream shadows in a glass pot that feel substantial in the hand, like Shiseido, Bobbi Brown, or MAC cream shadows. So what if it's heavy, it's not as if I need to carry it around with me in my makeup bag, because once on, it stays on all day and night! Love it.
Conditioner -Giovanni - Smooth As Silk Conditioner
skwpt 2/28/2011 1:16:00 PM
I really love this conditioner. It contains no sulfates or silicones, and it rinses so clean, I occasionally use it to *wash* my hair (and my hair is very fine and thin). Smooth As Silk Conditioner does not weigh it down but I have to rinse well, and if I use this as my primary hair cleanser, I need to use the Giovanni Tea Tree shampoo every fifth day or so. I am not find of Giovanni packaging. The texture is thick for something that acts as a cream rinse, so it can be difficult to squeeze it out of the pyramidal plastic bottle. The top, which has a flip cap, is the narrowest part, so it doesn't take well to standing upside down unless it can be nestled in between other containers. I said I would buy again, and I have done so many many times since discovering it in 2005. Great stuff, cheap (at vitacost), and extremely gentle to all hair types.
This is a great shampoo, free of SLS/SLES and silicone ingredients. I have nothing against sulfates per se, but they do strip away all natural oil from the scalp (which forces the skin to produce more oil), and sulfates are notorious for causing hair color to fade (dye, not natural color). Some reviewers complain about dryness and flakes, but what many don't know about natural shampoos without 'cones or sulfates is that they clean. Period. Depending on your hair condition and how often you wash it, that sticky/dry feeling is from all the build-up from other products slowly and progressively being removed from the hair shaft. True clarifying does not happen in a day, or even a couple days. If you wait out the awful period (for me, this is a minimum of 2 weeks washing my hair nearly every day), that bouncy childlike property we all wish for will return. So be patient while your hair sheds its sticky coating. Of course, if your hair is already damaged due to processing, you might not like a shampoo that doesn't coat the hair shaft. Something else to keep in mind: If you use this shampoo and also use other depositing products (volumizing shampoos and conditions, defrizzing treatments, anything with silicones, and the like), you will not be happy with the results because these products will undo all the work this clarifying shampoo is trying to do. If your ends are dry and tangled, it is because those ends are damaged from synthetic dyes and/or heat styling tools. Get a good trim and/or use a tiny bit of Giovanni Smooth As Silk conditioning balm on the ends.
I agree with what ChristmasMom says about the fingerprints and the expense, but I still love this palette, and I own both the x8 and the x3 palettes. When I open the vanity drawer and see the shiny mirrored cases twinkling at me, my heart skips a beat. The only thing that would make this product a 5 for me is if it came in a silk drawstring bag, like many of the limited edition palettes. The bag would protect the case from fingerprints and scratches because the nickel is very soft. One way to get the 8-well Ma Palette is to buy the Palette d'Olivia. Sure it's pricey at $135, but it is actually a great bargain. The pans that come inside are huge, and if you were to purchase the 8 pans and Ma Palette a la carte, the price would be $217.95, so it's like getting 4 eyeshadows for free.
I have only one word to describe this limited-edition palette: SUBLIME. For the first time in a long time, the product that arrived at my doorstep actually resembled the promo picture. The palette does not come in a box; it comes wrapped in protective padded paper that is then slipped inside a navy silk drawstring pouch. Unlike the nickel mirrored packaging of the potted glosses and Ma palettes, the Tiger palette is a slightly less-reflective, shiny steely grey--like the color of the Lip Chic tubes. So lovely! Inside are three eyeshadows and a blush. The eyeshadow colors are Cream, Pewter, Indigo, and a blush called Persimmon. All the shadows have a faint pearlized shimmer that melts into the skin and just gleams; the formulation lies somewhere between the Lasting and Shine eyeshadow texture and would be perfect for skin of any age. Cream (the base) is a neutral fleshy beige; Pewter (lid) is a cool-neutral light-grey taupe, and Indigo (definer) is a deep-but-sheer navy (do I detect a hint of plum?). All colors are semi-sheer, can easily be layered for more depth, and all blend absolutely seamlessly together. The eyeshadow colors were all love at first sight, but the Persimmon blush was a little scary at first. The overspray makes all colors in the palette appear bright and sharp, almost harsh, and the lifeguard-orange heat of that blush looked completely incongruous next to the cool-neutral eyeshadows. Knowing I was about to enter the point of no return, I swiped the surface and applied to the back of my hand. Yep, orange. I swiped again, and a soft coral emerged. I swiped yet again, and suddenly the blush transformed into a subtle, soft apricot-pink color that looked surprisingly good on my very fair, cool-neutral (pink-porcelain) skin. Worn together as designed, this palette creates a subtle but sophisticated look that glows. Absolutely gorgeous, refined, and classic. I said I would buy again, but by the time I use it up and want it another, it will be long gone. If you like a subdued but polished look, don't let this one get away.
Lip Treatments -Peter Thomas Roth - Un-Wrinkle Lip Balm SPF 15 set
skwpt 2/16/2011 6:44:00 PM
I am reviewing the lip balm, not the set. I received a full-sized lip balm as a GWP, and I almost swapped it unused, but something made me try it. I am so glad I did because I love it. It appears to come in one shade only (Pink Shimmer), and it's a soft neutral pink that should flatter most skin tones. It looks great on my medium rosy-blue lips, and I am very fair (NW15), but I bet this would look great with tanned skin, too. The "balm" is smooth and cushiony and looks more like a lip gloss--a pretty long-lasting shimmer with gorgeous moisture. I wear this around the house and before bed, and after three weeks of daily use, my lips have filled out, such that I can no longer see lines in my lips or above the cupid's bow. I hate to say this, but I think I love this gloss better than my favorite Chanel Glossimer of all time: Star. Same basic premise (shimmering light pink) without the sparkle. At half the cost, it's easier to apply right from the tube (angled plastic applicator), and I will definitely buy this again.
So unremarkable in the pan but so pretty on my eyes. If I were not an eyeshadow collector, I could easily use just Slate and a highlighter color and stop looking forever. Slate provides the perfect contour for my very fair skin. Matte but not flat, with just enough intensity to mimic the shadows already present in my eyelids. The color is cool grey warmed by a bit of brown, similar to Bobbi Brown Grey but less deep. I love this, and although I cannot imagine it is limited edition, I have already ordered a backup just in case. I cannot say I love the packaging. Though classic and elegant, I would much rather Chanel ditch the foam applicator to make room for more eyeshadow. There is a LOT of empty plastic around that tiny pan. Even Dior and Edward Bess and Sisley (which include applicators) provide more eyeshadow within the case's real estate.
Lipstick -Giorgio Armani - Rouge d'Armani Plum 606
skwpt 2/1/2011 2:53:00 PM
Plum may be a bit of a misnomer, but they could call it Puke and I'd stand in line to buy 606, a sheer rose with hints of mauve and the tiniest whisper of peach. It has become my most reached-for, everyday shade. It it looks appropriate in any setting, but especially at work and on weekends days. I was pleasantly surprised by the texture. I was expecting something similar to Chanel, but Rouge d'Armani feels more like Edward Bess or Chantecaille Lip Chic: smooth, cushiony, glossy, and moisturizing. Seriously. I have worn this lipstick for 12+ hours every day for the last 3 weeks, and my lips feel fantastic. No drying, no cracking, no discomfort; in fact, I barely notice my lips at all unless I catch a glimpse in a looking glass. The case is weighty black metal with a sleek appearance and a magnetic cap with the Armani logo on it. You don't snap the cap in place as much as have it sucked out of your fingers by magnetic force! It manages to "right" itself so it closes in the proper position. It's fun to try to put it on backward. I have not yet seen the Rouge d'Armani lipsticks in person, but I understand that they range in finish from sheer to satin in each of the color lines. I did not notice any fragrance. Even after the 606 glossiness wears away (from eating or drinking), it leaves behind a lovely stain that really only needs to be topped by gloss, but I love reapplying lipstick anyway. I can't wait to try one from the Beige line, perhaps 100, so I can drive off into the sunset and make little 606/100 babies. I love this lipstick.
I love Rose Paradise, a peachy rose kissed with gold. Although I look best in cool tones, the warmth in this looks gorgeous against winter pale skin (NW15), without looking too obviously dark. A polish appropriate for any setting, including a conservative workplace. I don't experience undue problems with chipping. I make sure my nail beds are clean and oil free, and I put two thin coats over OPI Nail Envy, and I can get 5 days before the tips start to fade. About the same as any polish I wear. I was ecstatic to see Rose Paradise back on the Chanel web site. I had been searching for months and assumed it was limited edition gone forever. Maybe it is, so I plan to buy a backup.
No one has written a review about this product in a year, so I thought I would add mine. I recently purchased this from the Chanel web site, so perhaps it is no longer a limited edition color. If it were, I'd buy at least two backups, because it is one of the prettiest glosses I have ever worn. Sheer pink warmed by peach and a hint of brown, it is definitely the brighter version of Giggle, a pink nude. No glitter whatsoever (some Glossimers leave sparkles behind), but Bel Air imparts a lovely sheen--not too shiny and not at all goopy. Stays put for hours if I don't eat. The color reminds me a little of Chanel Rose Paradise nail polish.
I reach for Whirl fairly often, but I don't love it. MAC calls Whirl a "dirty rose" but that implies grey to me, and there is no grey in this lip pencil. Instead it's a more tea rose color, and when I swatch it on the back of my hand, I see a lot of brown and very little pink. My lips are mauve, so this is not a good match, but it had been the closest I could find for neutral lipsticks until I discovered Prescriptives Dusty Rose (which is back for a limited time). My favorite MAC lip pencil is still Soar, which more closely matches my lip pigment. I won't purchase Whirl again, but I will use it up.
Lip Gloss -Bobbi Brown - Rich Color Gloss in Pink Buff
skwpt 1/17/2011 7:45:00 PM
I'm surprised how much I like this lip gloss. I wear Bobbi Brown Porcelain foundation (NW15), and on me Pink Buff is a pinkish mauve nude without glitter or even shimmer--just a really nice shine with just a tingly feel of peppermint. It looks pretty on its own, but because ti is neutral, it is a winner every time over just about all of my lipsticks. I also love the fact that it is smooth and moisturizing without being goopy, and the glossy effects last a very long time. The worst thing is how TINY the tube is for the cost.