I originally, ahem, stole this from my sister. She had the shade "Red Velvet," Which is like a deep burgundy/maroon red (EXACTLY like the cupcake batter - for once the shade description is right on the money) which looks better on fair-to-light, neutral-to-cool skin tones (NW20ish, black hair, brown eyes, she's NC25ish, and this pulls the yellow tones in her skin making her look a bit tired/sallow) - very "in" and chic for the winter season. On application it reminded me a bit of my beloved Dior Addict l/s in "Rouge Podium," just deeper and more opaque, in terms of texture and finish (slightly glossy, wet-look finish). Red Velvet was moisturizing, didn't bleed, and cost a fraction of the Dior - I used up a whole tube and went to buy a replacement. I found a great weekend deal at Pharmaprix/Shopper's Drug Mart, where they generally sell the Lip Butters at $10-11 each - they were 1/2 off, at $4.99 each, and decided to pick up a bunch of shades to find out if every shade was consistently good (I didn't buy all the shades, just those that appealed to me). Unfortunately, there were some that I could wear without issues, some that kind of dried my lips out, and one that caused a horrible allergic reaction (blistering, cracking, swelling of the lips), which I will outline below: THE "GOOD" SHADES: Red Velvet - deep burgundy/maroon red. Raspberry Pie - deep violet-fuchsia-pink. Pink Truffle - caramel pink. Warm-toned MLBB/nude. These all went on smoothly, and did not cause any cracking, dryness or allergic reactions, even when worn over the course of many days. THE "OKAY" SHADES: Tutti Fruit: bright tangerine orange. Sheers out too a coral on the lips. Berry Smoothie: plum-pink. Cool toned MLBB. has a bit of glitter. Slightly gritty but not too bad. Peach Parfait: peachy pink with gold shimmer. Like NARS Orgasm in a lipstick. Cherry Tart: cool jelly red with shimmer. These went on smoothly, but lips felt kind of dry when the initial sheen disappeared (approx. 1 hour later). Didn't cause allergic reactions but did make my lips feel a little dry. THE "BAD" SHADE: Sweet Tart: bright "highlighter" pink in the tube. Sheers out to a bright, barbie pink on the lips. This shade in particular made my lips crack, burn and blister. Even putting Aquaphor on to heal them BURNED like mad. I wonder what's in this that causes this problem, as I have never had in my lip-product loving life had any problems like this. OVERALL: It's not the worst product, but it's also not the best, although there are some nice drugstore gems among them (Red Velvet, Raspberry Pie, Pink Truffle). I'd say tread carefully and buy from a store that will let you return if you have a reaction. I also did not care for the tacky plastic packaging or the fact that some of the brighter shades caused dryness. Clearly, they are not as moisturizing as Revlon claims they are. I will update again when I figure out what the allergy/dryness causing ingredient is.
Let me just start off by saying this doesn't last very long - I own both the solid & the EDT and both are very fleeting in terms of longevity. That being said, it's a citrusy, invigorating green tea scent with a touch of woods which I like wearing to the office. It's comforting but not sweet or cloying (rather fresh and sparkling) - a reminder of summer (temperate summers in Europe, not tropical summers) when it's cold & grey outside. I keep the solid at my desk and in my bag for touch ups, as the spray doesn't last too long. However, there are other products in the line up to layer the scent, which seems to help a bit. I gave it a 4 for how fleeting it is (1 lippy off - but it is still beautiful in its simplicity and lightness). The packaging for both the solid and spray could be improved a bit, and it is nothing to write home about, but it is utilitarian and does the job. Could be easily used as a unisex cologne as well. If you enjoyed this, you would probably enjoy Roger & Gallet Eau parfumée thé vert (a bit sharper than the L) and the Bvlgari EDT of the same name (more austere, less casual).
Lipstick -Cover Girl - Lip Perfection - Everlasting
lareinarumbera 10/29/2012 4:04:00 PM
I've been kind of obsessed with berry tones lately. However, having given myself a stricter beauty budget, I've stopped buying lipsticks (I have too many to finish/use up)... but since I didn't really have anything very berry-toned in my collection, I allowed myself to buy something a bit more budget-friendly. At around $9 CDN, Everlasting is a surprisingly nuanced, pretty color, in a pretty high-end looking case to boot (as far as drugstore lippies go - I'm a lipstick snob usually). It is a deep berry-purple red with pink/red glitter - a wonderful fall/winter shade that can be dressed up or down. It looks really beautiful on a minimalist face, and as a contrast against my fairly light, neutral undertoned skin with black hair. The Covergirl formula really surprised me - these lipsticks have a nice, creamy glide, and while I wouldn't say that they've lived up to the "lip transforming" claims - they are less drying than a lot of cheap lipsticks. I would say moisture wise they are pretty comparable to the Revlon Colorburst lipsticks (not the lip butter, the original lipstick line) and Chanel Rouge Coco - not drying but not overly moisturizing either. This doesn't bother me, but as it is advertised as such, I docked a lippy for the discrepancy. I would be willing to try some more colors from the line - maybe a creamy rose sort of color or another red without the glitter. For a dark lipstick, surprisingly, it is pretty easy to apply and didn't bleed too much, even though I applied without liner. There might be a little fallout with the sparkles, and some grittiness, but the effect is really pretty - it should make a fun, holiday lip. Overall, this lipstick snob was pleasantly suprised from this release, although they could definitely improve on the moisture level & scent of the lippies (kind of smells like play dough & gummy bears mixed together - but it's not strong - it fades). Try it if you're looking for a particular color, but don't want to spend a fortune, I believe there are about 40+ shades in all.
Lip Treatments -Christian Dior - Addict Lip Glow Color Reviver Balm
lareinarumbera 7/11/2012 11:57:00 AM
Oh my. I have a confession to make: even after clearing out my makeup stash to give away all the lip stuff I fell out of love with to my sister and her friends in the "poor university student" phase of their lives, I still have this unstoppable desire to pick up more lip stuff. It drives me nuts - but I walk into Sephora, Pharmaprix/SDM, Murale or any department store and I just have to beeline to the first counter with lip products on it. I purchased Dior Lip Glow for this precise reason - I went into Pharmaprix needing to repurchase some Dove soap, and once again I hightailed it to the Dior counter. After hemming and hawing over the display, I purchased Dior Lip Glow without even testing it - I just loved the packaging! It's like a smaller Dior Addict l/s, but in this cute cotton candy pink color. Lip Glow gives me a sheer, "just ate a popsicle/just made out with my boyfriend" type of a reddish/pink color on my lips. It can build up throughout the day to a more dramatic color, but I put it on once or twice and then I just switch to using a clear lip balm or a sheer gloss over it once it stains. It's fairly moisturizing although nothing will beat my Jack Black Intense Therapy. It smells a bit like vanilla mint and glides on, leaving a glossy pink color. I really like it so far - I feel like it works better than the overpriced (and overhyped) Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments, including the tinted versions. That being said, it does cost and arm and a leg and while I would love to repurchase, I will probably save my Pharmaprix points so I can get a discount on it. On the weekend, I just mattify with some transparent powder, buff on a blush (right now it's Clinique Cupid or Smashbox Peony), and slick on some of this stuff and I'm off to the pool or to the dog park for the day - it really does pull your face together and leave you looking healthy and pretty.
Blush -Clinique - Blushing Blush Powder Blush in Cupid
lareinarumbera 7/11/2012 10:36:00 AM
Cupid is my first Clinique blush. I bought it because my usual blushes were breaking my cheeks out for some reason (NARS, MAC, Bobbi Brown) - sniff. This doesn't irritate my skin or make me itchy like my old blushes were doing (so far anyway). Cupid is a soft dusty pink with a satin finish (there is a glow but it is not frosty or glittery) - it reminds me of my beloved MAC Mocha blush, except a shade or two lighter. It also looks a bit like Benefit's Thrrrob Box O'Powder (cool, dusty pink). If you found Mocha or NARS Dolce Vita made you look feverish, it could be worth looking into Cupid. The powder is finely milled and the finish seems to fuse with the skin - it doesn't sit on top or look too powdery. It gives me (NC/W 20ish, neutral undertones, black hair, brown eyes) a healthy glow, and is soft and demure enough to wear to the office. For me, it is extremely natural and gives me a no-makeup, "caught eating cookies at night" flush. It comes in a square, silver compact (kind of nice except I'm scared to scratch/scuff it), with a synthetic-bristled angled cheek brush (not the most useful, as with most mini-brushes), which can be used on the go if necessary. Compared to some other mini-brushes included with other brands, this brush was actually soft, didn't shed, and did an okay job at applying blush. It's still not as good as using a real makeup brush, but it was better than most. I took a lippy off because of the shape of the pan - it's long and narrow and kind of hard to get a real blush brush in there. It doesn't seem like the most practical pan shape for a product like blush - I wish it was large enough to really dip a brush into. Nonetheless, the blush is silky, good quality, with enough pigment and product (6g like MAC blushes - looks smaller but the pan is deeper). It lasts without streaking or turning blotchy. I am happy with my purchase and will probably buy it again. Midrange price as is standard with Clinique; you might want to consider during promos or GWP.
Lip Gloss -Christian Dior - Addict Ultra-Gloss Reflect
lareinarumbera 7/4/2012 10:58:00 AM
Yes, it's expensive ($35 CDN after taxes), and yes, it's not very long lasting (1 lippy off for the longevity). However, this gloss is fantastic in terms of texture and color range. It just glides on and the brush applicator takes out just the right amount of product. Furthermore, the case is gorgeous - a clear lucite and silver colored container with the word "Dior" etched on the side, and you do get a fair amount of product for a luxury brand (6.3mL for Dior and 5mL for MAC lipglass). The line itself has 3 sub-lines: Glow (subtle frost or cream finish but no glitter) - natural, MLBB or nude shades; Pearl (shimmer and frost) - more shimmery, sparkling shades, kind of like the sheerer Chanel Glossimers; and Flash (lots of sparkle) - like YSL Golden Gloss or MAC Dazzleglass, but with finer sparkles. There is a color for everyone - from the subtlest nude pinks and peaches to dramatic reds and purples, and even the staunchest anti-lipgloss gals seem to at least be okay with this with the fluid, silky texture. It's quite moisturizing, and makes my lips appear full and healthy. I think along with Chanel Glossimers and Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polishes, these are some of my favorite higher-end lip glosses. My favorites: Coral Fantasy (pink-coral with golden sparkles, it's a bit like a slightly more orange version of NARS Deep Throat, but as a gloss), Extravagant Grenadine (strawberry candy/warm pink with lots of sparkles), Pink Trench (icy, shimmery ballet pink) and Pink Croisette (natural pink with golden shimmer).
Lip Treatments -Fresh - Sugar Rose Lip Treatment SPF 15
lareinarumbera 6/18/2012 4:03:00 PM
I got two boxes of minis from Sephora as a part of the BI perks during my birthday month. I was very excited and really wanted to like it - I love Korres Lip Butters for the juicy tint but the pot design really drives me nuts (and the LB Glazes are NOT the same thing)... That being said, while it's pretty good, it's not the most amazing lip balm I've tried, and I feel it is consequently too expensive for what it is. The tinted and the clear ones both have the same texture, but it feels JUST like Nivea lip balms from the pharmacy. The rose tinted one is pretty much clear (maybe just a teeny bit pinker) and the clear one is, well, clear. If I'd paid for this, I would be returning it - I could get a Korres Lip Butter (for a tinted version) or about 3 tubes of Jack Black (for a clear version) that perform better for the price. The packaging is cute, and I like the screw-top on the bottom of the swivel-up tube (more secure). Maybe the darker colored ones will show up better and I'll change my mind, but until then - no repurchase. I've stashed the mini chapsticks in my dog walking bag and smaller purses in case I'm caught with nothing for my lips when I'm in the sun this summer, they'll be good enough for that, but IMHO it's not worth the money.
Holy batman in h*ll, I think I've finally found my "office" lipstick. I've bought countless MLBB/demure lipsticks, and while I certainly liked them a lot, I didn't love them. For example, I thought I'd found the right match in Clinique Beauty, which, while beautiful with most work outfits, looks a little too autumnal in the summer due to its brown tones, or MAC VGV, which didn't last very long (it's a Lustre so no surprises there), and looked a little too nude in some lighting (looks good with more eye makeup but I don't generally wear a lot of eye makeup to work). Enter Fanfare. Described as a mid-tone yellow pink, to me it looks more like a warm rose-pink with a smidgen of mauve thrown in. It's about a shade or so darker than my lips, so it does look like I took the time to actually do my lips, but it doesn't look dull or aging, as it has more rosy/pink tones to it than most MLBB shades. It has enough pink to make it look healthy and not brown or dull in the warmer months, while it retains the muted, professional aspect a rose/mauve lipstick can give. This is what I wished Chanel Mademoiselle (too brown, too red) would look like - perfectly ladylike and competent. The Cremesheens are not quite what I would call a casual formula, as it is quite pigmented and opaque - I'd go for a Lustre or Glaze finish for the weekend (for a rose-pink Sweetie comes to mind, but that is shimmery and more violet) - but it is a great way to wear color in a more formal setting. it's not drying, but not as moisturizing or glossy as the Lustres - it's a bit more creamy, and not quite as balmy, if that makes any sense. It's smooth to apply but it can cling to patches/lines (which is why I docked 1 lippy), so make sure to moisturize! I don't think this lipstick gets a lot of attention its more famous Cremesheen sisters (Shy Girl, Modesty, Creme Cup et al.), but it is beautiful in its own right and will make you look oh-so-polished for the office with a string of pearls. I think it is most definitely backup-worthy and I hope MAC does not plan on discontinuing this any time soon. Pricewise, I don't think it's too expensive, and the sleek MAC packaging is nice enough to not bother me. I will pick up a backup for my office, so I don't have to carry it with me. This looks great with either Staunchly Stylish Pro Longwear Lip Pencil or Subculture Lip Pencil, both lip toned neutrals that will prolong the wear of Fanfare by an additional couple of hours, and prevent bleeding.
On my NC/W 20-ish skin, this is a clean, slightly pastel/milky peach-salmon-coral (no brown or grey tones - just a very clean, pure color). It's like the tamer, subdued older sister of Vegas Volt, on my lips anyway. It's definitely a summer color, bright and cheerful, but demure enough (due to the lack of shimmer/a neon tone) to wear to the office. I wouldn't wear this to a job interview, it's a little too colorful for that, but for regular business casual days in the summer - it's very appropriate (may not be appropriate for very conservative offices). It makes otherwise boring/dull corporate-casual officewear more summery and is a good way to add a subtle pop of color on an otherwise neutral face. For very casual occasions though (think: beach, sun dresses, days in the park), I prefer something less pigmented, more translucent, like MAC See Sheer (pinker, darker, maybe a smidgen more brown) or Korres Pomegranate (pinker, brighter) if I'm going for peach/coral. It's a Cremesheen, so it's not too drying as far as MAC lipsticks go, and is more long lasting/opaque than the Lustres (semi-opaque to opaque vs. Lustres being semi-sheer to semi-opaque). Ravishing imparts a slight, moist sheen (hence the Creme"sheen" name) that looks less OTT than a gloss. 1 lippy off because the formula tends to settle into lip lines a bit, and clings to certain patches (I have to make sure lips are super smooth and exfoliated before reapplying). It lasts a decent amount of time alone, and quite a long time when paired with a good liner (reapplied about 3 times over the course of 12 hours), the only exception being eating a big meal (I wipe it all off after I eat and reapply anyway, because having food and lipstick together on my lips freaks me out). So far I am loving wearing this with MAC Subculture or Bobbi Brown Pale Pink Lip Pencils (this tones down the pigment of my naturally pink lips a bit so the color is truer), and this helps it prevent from bleeding/smearing in the summer heat too. Lip Combo Suggestions: Liners: MAC Summerfruit, Subculture, Sublime Culture; Bobbi Brown Pale Pink; NARS Jilted Love, Tonga, Rosebud Glosses: MAC Richer, Lusher, Enchantress, Prrr, Lychee Luxe, Pink Lemonade, Entice; Bobbi Brown Tangerine; NARS Chihuahua, Giza, Sweet Revenge; Dior Coral Fantasy; Clinique Apricot, Guavagold Possible Dupes: NARS Niagara (pinker, darker), MAC Razzledazzler (more nude, lighter, milkier, more peach), Fashion City (lighter, more glossy, possibly sheerer), Chanel La Ravissante (darker, more matte).
This is my favorite out of the "Clean" line. On me it wears softly, a skin scent. I get a lot of lavender and clean musk in this one - kind of like expensive soap. I don't get the bergamot or any of the other notes listed, and it stays linear for most of the day (more lavender in the beginning, more musk later, but essentially the same clean but cozy lavender-musk combo). The musk takes out the bitterness of the lavender you can get sometimes, by giving it a soft, "fuzzy" edge. It's not as overtly shampoo-y or laundry detergent like as the other Clean scents, nor is it overly girly like the sweet lily-of-the-valley that is present in clean shower fresh. Men could probably wear this one with ease, I find it very unisex. Good office/summer scent when you want to smell nice but not like anything in particular. Definitely not very memorable, but very comforting and familiar, I will repurchase a small bottle when I run out.
I love ecotools brushes. I think they stand on their own - they aren't super luxurious like Hakuhodo or Suqqu, but for the price - sometimes I feel like they outperform some commercially available brushes that have a much larger price tag (e.g. some lackluster MAC face brushes, Smashbox/EL/Clinique/NARS brushes). They're also great if you are allergic or easily irritated by the fibres in animal hair brushes (I had atopic dermatitis as a child, and as a result I have occasional sensitivity flare ups that are irritated by goat or animal hair brushes). I don't exclusively use them; I have a mix of ecotools, MAC, Hakuhodo and even some random ones from Korean makeup companies, like Missha, which I test and research before adding to my arsenal. That being said, this bronzer brush is a welcome addition to my collection - I don't really use bronzer, except as an all over face powder when I have self-tanner on for dance competitions (I darken to about NC 35/40 using an airbrush tan), and even then I use a fluffier brush to sheerly dust it on, so I reach for this more as a long-handled kabuki for buffing in mineral powders (for sun protection purposes in the summer), or for blending out harsh edges after I use an angled cheek brush to contour. The taklon bristles are very dense, soft, and don't shed at all (my MAC face brushes with the black natural hairs shed or break off a quite a bit after a couple of years - maybe it's time to replace), and the bamboo handle is nice and sturdy. The only downside of the brush is that it is kind of bulky (but not as ridiculous as the NARS Botan) and that it takes some effort to clean & dry it compared to natural haired brushes which are a bit easier to clean. However, it's much better than the Quo Professional bronzing brush, or the Smashbox bronzing brush, which are both sheddy and kind of scratchy. I don't think it's all that great for bronzing per se, but for other uses, it's really a great brush.
Great MLBB shade! It looked really hideous in the tube (like a raisiny brown color with frost) but on the lips it really is a flattering hue - like the inside membrane of my lips. Makes me look put together without looking like I have lipstick on, and the shimmer that looks like a frost actually just gives the lips volume. It actually kind of looks like the Long Last Lipstick version of Berry Blush, which is a Buttershine (shinier, more shimmer, less long lasting). I don't really need a mirror to put it on either. Lasts a decent amount of time (nothing like a big sandwich, but a couple cups of coffees or tea should be okay), and non-drying. No scent. I like it. Standard Clinique metal casing, as with all the other LL & Different lipsticks. Similar colors - Bamboo Pink (cooler, lighter, more silver), Rose Taffy (more sheer, pinker/rosier), Tenderheart (more brown, no shimmer), Blushing Nude (darker, more raisiny, no shimmer). For your reference: N?? 20 (can wear both NW and NC) ish, black hair, brown eyes. I typically look horrible in brownish or plummy colors, but this one is like a berry-brown-pink that somehow works.
Lipstick -Estee Lauder - Pure Color Lasting Creme - 55 Blushing
lareinarumbera 5/8/2012 11:38:00 AM
I tried this lipstick on on a whim when I went to pick up some heel inserts for my shoes at my local Pharmaprix/Shopper's Drug Mart, because I noticed the new EL display (excuses, excuses, I know). I ended up getting it because the moment I put it on my face just looked so pulled together and Parisian-Chic, even with minimal makeup on my face (filled in brows, a touch of blush & concealer) - even the sales assistant who thought the color would be too aging on me looked surprised and said that it was the perfect, chic dinner date color. This doesn't compete with my clothes, even if I'm wearing brights, and doesn't look seasonal, and should be lovely on many skin tones. It seems to give you that look where you are definitely wearing lipstick but it blends in so well with your coloring (for reference: I'm MAC N?? 20ish, neutral undertones with black hair & brown eyes, Bobbi Brown Beige 3.0 and BareMinerals Fair) that it doesn't scream lipstick - it gives you that certain je ne sais quoi that makes you look elegant and put together. I think I will enjoy wearing this as it's not too pink, not too brown, not too berry, and not too plummy - it's just a creamy, rose-pink (neutral/slightly warm) with no shimmer or glitter (a slight sheen like MAC Cremesheens or Lustres). It has a mild sweet scent EL calls "vanilla fig," but it is not strong like in some products (Clarins, I'm talking to you!), so I'm okay with it. It is decently moisturizing - definitely not drying although if you're really prone to dry lips, you may want to use a good balm beforehand. 1 lippy off because it fades a bit patchy, but overall it is a nice treat for you if you're looking for a color that goes with everything and is put together. It was a bit pricey but it has this gorgeous retro case with a sample of the color in the bottom in lucite ($32 CDN). You could get it during a GWP or purchase with your Optimum points, so it't not too bad. Overall, made me want to rediscover EL, despite that in my head, EL is still an "old lady" brand. Bonus: this doesn't rub off a lot on my glass or on my boyfriend :). Cant think of any dupes (maybe Guerlain Rouge G in Georgia, but that's a bit cooler/pinker) as I haven't had this "gasp, this is so chic" with that many lipsticks in recent memory. Definitely office friendly, even in the most boring/conservative of settings, and definitely great for dinner dates and such. It's not so much a weekend/wear with jeans and a tee shirt shade, but more of a ladylike, put together shade.
This is just to comment on the FDA-legality part of the issue. Since it is an acne treatment, it is classified as a drug (same goes for sunscreens and things like dandruff shampoos etc. that are sold over-the-counter). Therefore, it MUST be approved by the FDA, unlike regular cosmetics that are not legally defined as treating a particular medical condition. Therefore, the fact that the company claimed that it was FDA approved when it was not, and sold it as a treatment for a medical condition makes it fraudulent. Effectiveness aside, this is a serious legal issue, involving both fraud and misrepresentation of a product which may have dubious efficacy. Save your money for something that actually works (e.g. A/BHAs, BP, natural/holistic treatments) and skip this. Even if it works, you shouldn't support a company that lies to its customer base and commits fraud.
Overall I thought this was a great gift. I picked this up for myself at Pharmaprix (for you non-QCer's that's Shopper's Drug Mart for you) because I wanted to treat myself to some work-friendly colors, and they were giving away 8,000 free Optimum points plus a $10 gift card for purchases over $50 (basically I got suckered into justifying the purchase - I enabled myself). I would suggest this as a gift for someone who would like to give a more comprehensive set but doesn't want to break the bank for it, as the shades are pretty versatile (may not work on VERY dark or cool tones though, as the shades are neutral-warm and light-to-medium toned). It would look pretty and youthful for a range of ethnicities and age groups, and the included lookbook is quite useful for makeup newbies. I will add a picture later, but for now, here are my thoughts on what is included in the kit. PHOTO FINISH FOUNDATION PRIMER - ORIGINAL FORMULA/MINI SIZE: This is just an okay silicone-based primer. I don't have much of an opinion on this because I'm not a very heavy primer or foundation user (I would probably save it for an event where I will be photographed). Since it is silicone-y it may break some people out. OVERALL: MEH. No strong feelings about it, could have done without this and included another lipgloss or lip stick, but that's just my opinion. I found the inclusion of this quite odd, as all the other products are color products and not complexion products. NEUTRAL EYE PALETTE: Contains 4 powder eyeshadow shades (mainly satiny/shimmery) and 1 larger pan of their highlighting powder. Individual shades: Marble (champagne-ivory), Camel (warm pinkish tan shimmer), Bare (taupey-greige shimmer), Oak (medium-dark taupey brown satin) and Moonstone (champagne-beige-peach shimmery highlighter shade). PROS: Soft, blendable, wearable colors. Very silky and finely milled. The only shade I did not like was Camel, which was a bit too red-toned to look good on my skin (although it would look gorgeous on warmer skin tones). Moonstone is a great, subtle highlighter (glowy and not frosty). This palette reminded me of one of those Bobbi Brown nude palettes that are released frequently - useful, wearable, easy but not necessarily dramatic. CONS: May not show up on darker skin tones, and may look too warm for very cool skin tones. Soft powders, but very loosely pressed (lots of "dust" when you dip your brush in). OVERALL: Solid palette. Easily wearable and looks great on most people. Work friendly and useful. BLUSH RUSH: 1 coral-pink blush. Shade name: Peony. PROS: Blendable color, warm pink shade flatters many skin tones and looks natural. Pigmented. CONS: Nothing bad to say about this really, just that the shade is not very unique. MAC Fleur Power and Bobbi Brown Nectar are just 2 of the shades that look INCREDIBLY similar. Might be too warm for some skin tones, once again. OVERALL: Recommend. Good natural shade for lots of people. Use a light hand as if you use too much, the pigment is strong and it will make you look clownish. LIP GLOSS: 1 reddish coral with golden shimmer. Shade Name: Starfruit. PROS: Mild scent (vanilla? sugar cookie?) that is not overpowering, gel-like (think Chanel Glossimer), non-sticky. Fairly long lasting. Sheer (think popsicle) color that looks natural and juicy. CONS: Wearable, but not unique. Potential dupes I could think of - Dior Addict Gloss Coral Fantasy (less shimmer, more pink), Buxom Lip Polish (shame tone, no gold shimmer), MAC Lipglass in Lychee Luxe (more orange). OVERALL: Nice gloss, a good choice to include in the kit. Would have appreciated a non-glittery one too - a lot of the stuff in this kit is shimmery. Seeing as it is much cheaper than glossimers I may look into picking up full sized ones in the future. Overall, this is a solid kit and a good way to put together a coherent look, without breaking the bank. I would appreciate a cool toned version of this kit also, or maybe one with more matte shades. For $50 CDN, I think it's a steal for something that is priced at the Smashbox tier (to put things into perspective, 1 Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter is priced at ~$9 CDN when not on sale, and 1 Guerlain Rouge G is priced at ~$56 CDN). Good value and I'm not disappointed.