This one is very pretty, but it's gritty, and this does bother me. I find myself constantly licking my lips, in the hopes that I'll "smush" the gritty particles away, but it doesn't work. In the tube, this is a very , very light warm metallic pink. On me, it's a straight out milky champagne, which I can't wear on its own. My highly pigmented lips need some color, so this looks beautiful when layered over just about any warm lipstick I like. This looks especially lovely over Mania lipsticks #1,#3, #35 and #23 (my current favorite) At $25, it's only $1 more than a Glossimer, and the colors are much more interesting, imo. Lip shimmers have no taste are packaged w/ a straight brush applicator that never splays. Then there's the sleek clear and black plastic packaging that you don't mind carrying in your purse. I can't give this a 5, since there's the grit factor, and I can't wear it on its own. It would probably work on less pigmented lips, though.
Scrubs -Aqua Dessa - White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Scrub
alabasterhaze 6/12/2005 9:13:00 PM
I've found my HG body scrub! I used Fresh's Brown Sugar Scrub, but that left my skin quite red. So did Bliss' Hot Salt Scrub, and their Eucalyptus Scrub didn't do that much for me. This is quite a find, and I don't think US $33 is that bad for 16 oz., because I don't use that much. I use a tiny bit, rub it in a circular motion, and I find that it not only exfoliates but also mosturizes as well. If I'm particularly lazy, I don't need to use a moisturizer after bathing -- it's THAT good (I have really dry skin). The fragrance is lovely but not overpowering, so yes, it's yummy chocolate, but it's not that artificially sweet crap from Dessert Beauty. Ingredients are as follows:Premium white chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Sugar Cane, Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Mango Butter, Macademia Nut Oil, Kukui Nut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Vitamin E, Rosemary Extract and phenonip. What is phenonip, you ask? Phenonip is a liquid preservative blend manufactured by a company named Clariant. This is NOT a natural ingredient, but it's an important one. Its main usage is to prevent microbial contamination in cosmetics, and it offers broad spectrum protection against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, yeasts and molds. I'm getting my info from naked-herb.com, Clariant (the company that manufactures Phenonip) and a paper published by the NIH. I'm looking forward to trying out some more Aqua Dessa products, as I am so impressed by this scrub!
Like Arachne just below, I use this as brow powder. I was scurrying all over Saks in Beverly Hills looking for something to replace my Chanel brow powder that had been discontinued (a long time ago, but I use so little of it). I went to every counter and was very downhearted, but I finally stopped at Bobbi Brown. The MA there showed me Grey eye shadow. I was initially offended, thinking, Geez, I know I'm getting old, but I'm not THAT old. Well, this is the best light taupe powder I've ever seen! This is not my idea of grey, as it's a very warm color. I'm blonde and have always had darker brows. This color just matches perfectly. The powder goes on smoothly, and I use the short handled Bobbi Brown Eye Definer brush for application (it's an angled badger brush). I can't imagine using anything else. My HG brow powder! I finish off w/ Chanel Brow Gel in Taupe (which matches this shadow perfectly, by the way). I couldn't be happier!
Palettes -Giorgio Armani - Deep Mediterranean Palette
alabasterhaze 6/12/2005 3:45:00 PM
This review is for the Deep Mediterranean Palette, which is the darker of two Bronze Mania palettes for Summer of '05. The eyeshadows would work on all skintones, while the bronzer would work for a GGG or as a blush for lighter skintones. Yes, there's a reason this is the Bronze Mania Collection, "bronze" being the operative word here. I'm not sure where the Mediterranean enters the picture, but oh well! This is the more interesting of the two palettes, but I still cannot give it a five lipstick rating, as it is not versatile enough. Also, the palette does not contain any lip products! There is a gigantic bronzer (8.5g or 0.3 oz) on the bottom of this cleverly designed compact, a smaller tray on top of the bronzer which contains 4 sheer eye shadows (0.6g or 0.02 oz), then the mirrored top.
The bronzer in this palette is quite dark in the pan, but it does apply much more sheerly than one would think. It has plum undertones, and would make a lovely evening blush for a PPP. I would love to hear back from someone who can actually wear this as a daytime bronzer. It is quite shimmery in the pan, but like all GA powder products, the shimmer is subtle when applied and NEVER over the top. I do see some orange when it's applied over my foundation, so I don't think that this will work for me, but it certainly LOOKS lovely in the pan.
Moving on to the 4 teeny eye shadows; they're very pretty,and 2 of the colors are much richer than those in the Sheer palette and would work in any season. The other 2 are very similar to 2 shadows in the Sheer Palette! These all have bronze undertones - how surprising :) The consistency is much more similar to Armani's cream eye shadows than to the powder ones. There is a lovely light bronze (very similar to the gold one in the Sheer palette and #45 powder). There's a light copper that looks amazingly like the apricot in the Sheer Palette(also like #38 in the powder). It's the two darker colors that are different from the colors in the Sheer palette. These colors are darker copper rose (in the pan) and a plummy brown (in the pan). Respectively, they go on as light metallic copper (think LM's metallic cream shadow in rose gold) and light metallic plum. Remember, there's a high shimmer factor w/ all these shadows, so they're multi-tonal and difficult to describe! If you have the Sheer palette, keep in mind there are two colors that are very similar in the Deep one.
I wish that there were lip shimmers in this palette, which retails for USD $70. Also, I'm quite upset that the shadows are so much smaller than the bronzer. For those of you who don't own Armani shadows, there are two unique colors in this palette. For those of you who don't, this is not a good intro to Armani products,imo. I apologize for the long review, and thanks for reading!
This is a superb evening blush for me. I'm a very fair (LM Porcelain Ivory) PPP, w/ neutral to pink undertones. As the reviewers below have stated, don't be scared by the dark purple color in the pan. This is no goth blush! It's a lovely dark plum, and yes, it requires a light touch, but it's gorgeous! I've had a hard time finding a great glam evening blush, and this is it. I much prefer creams to powders, and Becca's last forever. I do love Tarte, but the gels don't stay on as well as the creams. Some creams can be drying (like Armani), but Becca makes the perfect cream blush. This looks lovely w/ a shimmery mauve gloss, like LORAC's Lip Polish in Delicious. Also, you olive skinned ladies, Lotus is a terrific color on you, too (one of the few that works well on warm and cool tones)!
Finally, my HG pink lip liner! This was recommended by chelsear, another PPP, to whom I will be eternally grateful. This is the perfect pink liner, with absolutely no bothersome brown tones to muddy up your pink lipsticks or glosses. Also, most pink lip liners that have brown tones look really unnatural w/ cool pinks. Fortunately, I CAN wear this w/ warm pinks; it's just that versatile. Filtered Pink is a light pink w/ just the right amount of shimmer. It comes w/ a brush and can be sheered out enought to be worn w/ a gloss. It's not too pale, like a frosty Barbie pink; that was the problem I was having in the opposite direction from the pink/brown liners! My favorite summertime look is this liner w/ Armani Lip Shimmer #9 (the perfect light rosey pink). There's no blue in this pencil, so you don't need to be worried about "dead lips". I'm at the age where lip liner is an absolute necessity, so finding this liner is a very bid deal for me. Knowing my luck, Filtered Pink will be discontinued (this happens to me all the time). I highly recommend this to pale skinned ladies; I think this would look a bit stark on dark complexions.
Palettes -Giorgio Armani - Sheer Mediterranean Palette
alabasterhaze 6/12/2005 1:06:00 PM
This very long review is for the Sheer Mediterranean Palette, which is the lighter of the two Bronze Mania palettes for Summer of '05. It's a great palette for PPPs up to, and including MMMs. Yes, there's a reason this is the Bronze Mania collection. "Bronze" being the operative word here. Read on if you like bronze; if you don't, then you may wish to reconsider. I like this palette, but I cannot give it a 5 lipstick rating. The palette doesn't contain any lip products! There is a gigantic bronzer (8.5g. or 0.3 oz.) on the bottom of this cleverly designed product, a smaller tray on top of the bronzer which contains 4 sheer eye shadows (0.6g or 0.02 oz), then the mirrored top.
The bronzer in this paletter is quite lovely, and this is coming from someone who NEVER wears bronzers. It's as light as Guerlain's #1 Terracotta Bronzer, which is probably the lightest bronzer on the market (lighter than SM's bronzer #1). I see no orange tones in this at all; I would say this is a golden apricot color. There's much more gold than apricot, and would make a lovely highlighter or blush, if you're bronzerphobic, like I am. It's very shimmery in the pan, but like all GA powder products, the shimmer is subtle when applied and NEVER over the top.
Moving on to the 4 teeny eye shadow colors, they're very pretty -- perfect for summer and all having BRONZE undertones! Isn't that surprising :) The consistency is very similar to Armani's sheer cream shadows. One colour, the pink, is identical in colour to Armani Sheer Cream #4 (I'm waiting for Armani to confirm this, but I'm POSITIVE). It's a warm,light pink that makes a great wash. It's also somewhat similar to Armani powder e/s #12. This works well w/ the brown that's in the quad. The latter looks more taupe in the pan, but since it's a sheer metallic, don't be fooled. This is a very warm color, more like a very light copper brown. There's a straight-up light gold that also makes a great wash.This is VERY similar to the bronze in the Deep palette. Its' powder sibling would be Armani #45. The last color is a pretty apricot, whose powder twin is Armani #38. This one also resembles a coppery color in the Deep palette. So, two out of the four eye shadow colors in the Sheer Palette are very close to those in the Deep Palette. Keep in mind these are all metallic colors!
I wish there were lip shimmers in this palette, which retails for $70 USD. I'm also upset that the shadows are so much smaller than the bronzer. For those of you who already own GA, the only unique color I can find in this palette is the light brown. Again, please accept my apologies for taking up so much of your time, but if you're going to spend so much money on a palette, I wanted to be as informative as possible. Thanks for reading!
As kealoha said, this is a 1940's, screen siren red. I can't wear it, as it's way too bright on my PPP skin. This is a true neutral red that looks candy apple red in the tube. If your lips have any blue (which mine do), and you use this ONLY as a stain, the blue in this color will come out, but who wants to waste a lipstick doing that? You can dial it back a bit by adding any gloss that has gold shimmer in it (Guerlain's Terracotta in Icy Gold, GA Lip Shimmer #20). I think this color would look pretty on warmer and darker skintones, but I don't even think a lovely PPP like Rose McGowan could pull this one off! There's not enough brown, or not enough blue. Fantastic texture as always, though :)
I love,love,love this blush. I'm a fan of Tarte's gel stains in general, but this is my favorite for daytime. It's a very cool, pale pink w/ silver shimmer. It's the perfect color for my PPP (NW15) skin. It is probably too cool for olive or warm complexions, but if you want babydoll pink, this is it! I don't find this to be gritty, and I don't have to layer it on, but I'm very fair. The shimmer isn't overwhelming or tacky; this is identical to Guerlain's Rose Chamallow Bubble Blush if it had shimmer. This is MUCH lighter than NARS' Angelika or even Chanel's Bebop, but it's in the same color family. My only complaint is it's difficult to use a brush w/ this product; I've even used Paula Dorf's Cheek Cream Blush Brush, which usually picks up a ton of product. Not the case w/ this blush; I'm forced to apply directly on my face. I wish this came in the mini size, which has a narrower top and makes for a more even product application. The full size retails for US $28 and smells like Sour Starbursts or Frankenberry Cereal.
This did nothing for me. For $50, I expected something. There's White Birch and Grape Extract in this, but I saw no effect from them (unlike Caudalie, which uses grapes and grape extract with great success). If anything, I had to wait several minutes before applying moisturizer, as products tend to slide all over this. This serum just sat on top of my dry skin, never sinking in, making makeup application difficult if not impossible. So I switched to nighttime use, but I still did not see any results (I used 3/4 of this 1 oz. bottle). I like the fact that there is a dropper, and the glass is tinted dark yellow (to keep the product from oxidizing if exposed to sunlight). The glass gets very slippery, and I have dropped it on several occasions. Don't waste your money on this. If you want a good basic serum for "mature" or just dry skin, invest in Caudalie's Vinolift or C20 or Skinceuticals C+E Serum.
Lip Gloss -Guerlain - Divinora - KissKiss Gloss #45 - Beige Caprice
alabasterhaze 5/27/2005 2:11:00 AM
I usually cannot wear brown-based lipsticks or glosses, so I had low expecations for this gloss. This light caramel brown gloss has gold micro-shimmer, imparting a lovely sheen to your lips. The reason this works for me is, like its sibling KissKiss Rouge Emotion, this has very little pigment. On my very pigmented lips, Beige Caprice is almost clear, w/ gold shimmer. The red in my lips gets turned down a notch, but my lips are never brown. Contains Guerlain's signature violet scent, which fades quite quickly. Clear plastic tube and hammered gold top and brush applicator.
Lip Gloss -Guerlain - Divinora - KissKiss Gloss - #20 Rouge Emotion
alabasterhaze 5/27/2005 12:26:00 AM
Finally, my perfect MLBB gloss! It also looks lovely over all of my red lipsticks. KissKiss glosses look so different on the lips than in the tube. This bright, candy apple red (no shimmer) gloss goes on clear w/ a slight red tint. This is a warm red, but on my very pigmented red lips, this is almost clear. The red pigment is so subtle that you can wear this over blue red lipsticks. The trademark Guerlain violet scent is present but not overpowering. KissKiss glosses come w/ brush applicators never splay. Great lasting power, not too sticky, ornate gold packaging that isn't ott (unlike Versace). Guerlain does it again!
Lip Gloss -Giorgio Armani - Lip Shimmer Fashion Week 20
alabasterhaze 5/10/2005 12:35:00 PM
I did not purchase this at Saks, but it is a l/e color. Do not be put off by the color in the tube, which is a white gloss, w/ fine gold shimmer. In the tube, this is IDENTICAL to Guerlain's Terracotta Icy Gold gloss. On my pigmented lips, this gloss is a pale coral w/ gold shimmer. It looks lovely over many GA lipsticks, but I especially love it over Mania #25. I can't wear this gloss on its own, as it doesn't have enough pigment (I'm a NW10/15 PPP). The GA lip shimmers come w/ a brush applicator, which never splays. Sleek GA packaging, and no scent. I must deduct a lippie for lack of staying power (compared to a Glossimer or Guerlain's KissKiss glosses).
#20 Mania is a lovely summer lipstick. This is a medium pink, and it's a truly cool (toned) one. Think the old Chanel Camellia color, only w/ a lovely sheen. It's the lipstick twin to Tarte's Dollface Cheek Stain. This looks Barbie pink in the tube, but it goes on as a softer,rosey pink. If you want a true Barbie pink, look no further than Mania #15, but this is a deeper color. My lips are extremely pigmented and red, so it may wash out you girls w/ less pigmentation. I'm a very fair PPP w/ cool undertones, but I've seen this lipstick look lovely on olive skintones as well. #20 looks beautiful paired w/ #9 lip shimmer. The texture is smooth and relatively moisturizing, and it has pretty good staying power for a light lipstick (I had to touch up after 4 hours). I love the sleek, streamlined pagkaging of Armani lipsticks. This is another winner from Armani!
This is my HG highlighting color. It's what I wanted so many MAC colors to be (Phloof!, Shroom, Vanilla, Fairylite, etc). This is a lovely very pale beige iridescent color. It has the same texture as the Guerlain bubble blushes, a creamy mousse that dries to a powder. I must say, it's not powdery in the slightest. No creasing or color change as the day goes by, which is a huge plus for me. Not inexepensive, at US $22 (for 5.5 grams) but a little goes a long way. It's perfect on my NW10 skin. Another winner from Guerlain!