In the OTT R & R compact this is a intense mid toned perfect matte charcoal gray. I did not experience any fall out or chalkiness upon application with this but have with other R & R shadows so I understand the complaints. I purchased this at an internet designer liquidation site for about $9 and would have not paid full retail price seeing as the color doesn't seem all that unusual but; being a smokey eye wardrobe staple having the heavy glitzy compact is delightful. Once applied this is no common gray. Years ago (and I'm giving my age away)Clinique had a genius product line called Basic Eye Emphasizer. I wore 'Charcoal' which enabled me to resemble early screen star Jean Harlow. This does the same thing. Finding an ideal gray eyeshadow is not unlike finding the right red lipstick. They are either too shimmery or too warm or too cool. Ashphalt is perfect and against my pale skin and blue eyes I feel sultry and mysterious. Ashphalt would look well on most people as well. I experienced no creasing or fading and pair this with Femme and Spy for a softer lady like look which' as the day moves into night I up the Asphalt and let my inner screen siren out. If you can get your hands on this don't let go.
Polishes -Unlisted Brand - Confetti #023 Fruit Smoothie
Lepin 4/5/2011 3:11:00 PM
This is a d/s brand that is sold at my local CVS. The color selection is on trend and quite varied and interspersed with colors that are traditional and more conservative like red and ivory. Fruit Smoothie is a bright coral pink that would likely flatter most and would look equally well on fingers or toes. Though bright this in nowhere neon and is a lovely creme finish. Two coats will impart a nice opaque finish as the consistancy is thin but not runny and does dry quickly. I found the wear time quite long for a d/s product with about 5-6 days being average. I use Stickey basecoat and Hoof and Nail top coat. I will buy other colors from this line but not this one again as I find the color a tad too bright for my manicure as I prefer either nudes or deep colors. I will use this on my pedicure come summer. A great find for $1.99.
Polishes -Unlisted Brand - Confetti #009 White Knights
Lepin 4/1/2011 12:18:00 PM
Purchased this at my local CVS for $1.99 along with Smitten and The Red Carpet. I am generally not drawn to very light colored nail polish, I despise french manicures and loathe flat white polish as well. I was looking for something other than a typical ballet slipper pink, wanted no shimmer and definately didn't want a 'white out' looking white polish. Enter White Knights. This is a warm creamy ivory, almost ridge filling basecoat looking but somehow it translates onto the nail and compliments the hand in a ladies who lunch sort of way. I'm a very pale PPP and this looks fashion forward without seeming incomplete. Although this dries fast, is non yellowing and wears like armour, to acheive the final result I was lookng for you will need upwards of 3 coats. Confetti is my new favorite d/s polish so get them while you can as I heard through the vine that the manufacturer is entangled in a legal battle with a major nail product manufacturer who wants the line pulled.
Polishes -Unlisted Brand - Confetti # 031 The Red Carpet
Lepin 4/1/2011 12:04:00 PM
I know, I know, another boring red nail polish review in a sea of boring red nail polishes. Anyone serious about red, and that would be ME, knows that finding the right red is one of life's greatest challenges even if your searching for a nail polish as most are too something we hate. I think after decades of searching I can finally rest. I'm a fair PPP with some subtle hand veins which a nasty nail color will only draw unwanted attention to. I'm also no longer 20 and can't blame youth on looking on trend stupid. This red is altogether classic, flattering, creamy and in no way a bore. TRC leans cool but isn't 1940's pin up blue toned red and is definately not a warm red but a mid point that leans cool. One coat applied over CND Stickey was reasonably opaque, the second coat was perfection. This dries quickly doesn't streak and wore 5+ days w/o tip wear or chipping. Unlike other reviewers none of my brushes were bent or compromised. I'm impressed with this modest line and recommend highly.
Purchased for $1.99 at my local CVS, Smitten is a soft deep purple with very subtle blue and violet shimmer. This color requires 2 coats for full impact, first coat streaks but dries quickly the second coat imparts a levelled opaque elegant shimmery purple that is in no way juvenile, cheap or absurdly trendy looking. I'm not big into shimmer but this is understated and very wearable for the over 35 crowd. I use CND Stickey base and this lasted many days w/o tip wear or chipping. Best of all, no staining. I highly recommend this inexpensive nail polish line.
Eye Shadow -Alison Raffaele - Soft Shadow in Blossom
Lepin 3/30/2011 9:51:00 AM
Blossom is a nearly matte non chalky peach color, not disimmilar to a pastel version of orange sherbert color. Against my very pale peach/pink toned compexion this looks more peachy than pink which I like b/c my blue eyes are softly accentuated. I'm older and venturing into more matte e/s than shimmery so this is a natural choice for minimzing fine crepe lids. I use this as a sheer wash of color all over my lid then swipe a slightly shimmery color onto my brow bone. This completely conceals and shadows and veins that would normally be visible yet gives just enough color to the lid to make you look very rested and youthful. This is my first AR e/s and I suspect this won't be my last. One lippie removed for creasing. As an aside, her lipglosses are equally elegant, grow up and classic.
Of the many R&R e/s I purchased from an online discounter this was the only impulse purchase. For those of you unfamiliar with this brand, a single e/s retails for $28. A large chunk of that price goes to the ornate, heavy compact and the slick outer packaging. This is not to say the actual e/s is without merit, quite the contrary with this one. This color is shimmery, but not wrinkle enhancing, neutral but not boring and very, very fine milled. No fallout occurs during application, which I experienced with Fiend, another R&R color. I would best describe this as a warm leaning sand colored pale peach tone, very much like a dress color that Jennifer Lopez would wear seeing as she loves nude toned clothing. I am very fair and this looks great as an entire wash over my lid prior to emphasizing shadows with my most beloved R&R e/s, Spy. Because there is lustre without frostiness your eye area seems to emit a glow that I find looks amazing when highlighting the inner eye and brow bone. As a base color this enables other shadows to glide on and blend seamlessly. This is a very subtle color that may in fact be too subtle for many but for those of us who go for an understated classic elegance this is the penultimate e/s. If you can find this buy it.
I purchased this thinking it was a very close dupe for Chanel Black Pearl, it wasn't. Black Pearl is multi tonal green,blue, platinum and peacock tones, this is bi tonal gray and blue. First off, I have never been a SH fan. Not having worn SH for many years I presumed the formulation changed and this seemed promising so I gave it a chance. This color is aptly named, a true shimmery steel blue gray that isn't too dark or too washed out. However, on my nails this looked flat and really enhanced blue veins that I never noticed I had and which seem to mysteriously disappear once this was removed. The polish itself is rather thick but self leveling which is challenging for frost finishes. Lastly the reason I returned this to CVS is because this never thoroughly dried hard. Go figure. It drove me nuts that I'd wait so long between coat applications and my nails were always slightly tacky which is why I cannot comment on wear time. I removed this within hours of application. Back this went for a refund and on to a new DS polish brand, Confetti.
Lip Gloss -L'Oreal - HIP Brilliant Shine Lip Gloss in Mystical (258)
Lepin 3/18/2011 1:12:00 PM
Purchased this yesterday for $1 at Dollar Tree, which usually indicates the item is discontinued in the retail market. I LOVE the squeeze tubes from L'Oreal and I love the rounded applicator which is the same design as their Color Juice glosses. This is my first HIP purchase and I'm impressed. This color is a soft rose with a touch of muted peach, not cool but leans warm/neutral in tone and has very, very slight lustre. The coverage is on the heavy side and the finish very glossy. I am a lip liner so no running occurred and my lips look full and finished as a result. I like glosses but loathe the casual greasy lip look many afford which this thankfully does not. This is more like a liquid lipstick in texture and similar to the ones I wear from Kevyn Aucoin. The only con I'm noting is the fragrance is not pleasant, sort of sour cherry smelling but quickly dissipating. A very nice soft rose color to wear transitioning from Winter into Spring.
AR glosses are glosses for women, not girls. This is the anti thesis of too shiny, too sticky, too frosty gloss. This color is an understated neutral-cool plum mauve that is perfect for enhancing ones lips when you want to really enhance your eyes. I love the doe foot applicator which doesn't dispense too much product, I love the lack or fragrance and I love the medium coverage and texture which is buildable. Because my lips need definition I use lip liner with all lip cosmetic and this is no exception although on the few occasions when I was rushed and applied this sans liner there is was no creeping outside my natural lip line. AR cosmetics are so elegant and competant that it's a shame Sephora dropped the line.
Looked like midnight blue in the bottle but after 2-3 coats plus a clear top coat looks soft black. Applied streak free, dried quickly and seems to wear rather well 5 days on. Other than the final color payoff this is a competant DS nail polish but I won't repurchase. Upon removal there was minor staining eventhough I applied this on top of Creative Stickey.
This is one of the lovliest smokey taupe shadows I have ever seen. As with all R&R products the packaging is a good chunk of the purchase price but that doesn't irk me one bit as inside the product is worth every penny. I wear this with Spy and Femme and love the buildability of the product. You cannot over do this and it is great for a suggestion of shadow or for contouring the lid crease. The shadow has a very subtle shimmer that in no way enhances any lid crepey-ness that older ladies may have. Depending on your skin tone this will look either more cool gray taupe or dusty warm taupe. I pull up a bit more gray than warmth. If you can find this buy this.
I love Chanel nail enamels just not this one. In the bottle this looks like a highly dimensional gunmetal but with silver blue and deep green shimmer accents which draw you in visually and look so promising. I have peach/pink understones to my very fair complexion and this color looked more green tinged than blue on me, which I did like. On my nails this wasn't dimensional and fell flat visually in spite of being a shimmery color. I love dark sensual 'goth' colors and so wanted to add this to my arsenal but that was not to be. Normally I get very long wear time out of Chanel nail enamel but not with this color, which, I suspect the shimmery finish is the culprit. Lastly, the dry time on this was quite long from my Chanel experience which really annoyed me and was the ultimate reason for my returning. Chanel is always a hit but this for me was a miss.
Stunning coral with no funky orange hue and no odd Barbie pink hue. The peach/coral tone is neither too warm or too cool. But, the finish is greasy IMO and the staying power is ZERO. Looks amazing with my PPP complexion and is great alternative to gloss. I'm not a MAC fan of any sort but would fast become one if they made this exact color in a less lustre like longer lasting creamier formula. Many compliments received while wearing this...briefly. Lastly, the packaging is too utilitarian for my tastes and screams DS quality.
I have recently been purchasing R&R eyeshadows from an internet showroom liquidator. I only wish I would have discovered these sooner seeing as the quality and packaging is fabulous. In the pan this looks mediocre. However if your very fair complected like I am this color will make your eyes pop. Spy neutralizes any redness or veins that peek through other light colored shadow but it also enhances the natural light and shadows of the lid. I wore this a few weeks ago to a going away party of a friend who I hadn't seen since August. He was not yet inebriated and commented that he never saw me so rested looking and sensual. He said this in front of my DH and we all chuckled. Shortly thereafter I used the ladies room and even in unflattering light I could tell this shadow was movie star worthy. The color is a muted neither too cool or tool warm light taupe. The finish is borderline matte with the ever so slightest shimmer that ensures the color isn't flat. Use on the lid or just the brow bone for subtle enhancement. I don't think this would look well on very yellow complexions or very dark complexions but would look damn sexy on a red head or natural blond. The wear time is equally impressive. I used no shadow base and this never creased oxidized or strayed. If you can get your hands on this or any other R&R eyeshadow go for it.