Browsing Tag

Spring 2013


Giorgio Armani Flash Lip Lacquers

April 27, 2013
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Armani has released 18 new shades of lip gloss in a new high shine formula called Flash Lip Lacquers ($29 each for 6.5 ml/0.22 fl oz, Armani has revamped and released numerous formulas of lipgloss. Before I saw these in person I thought they would be old discontinued shades brought back under a new name. I was pleased to find the Flash Lip Lacquers are all new shades with improved pigment. While Armani is known for having natural looking products, recent releases show they are moving towards more color. The Flash Lip Lacquers have more pigment than most of the other shades but are still natural looking with a luxurious smooth high gloss shine. I am in love with each and every shade they released but tried to limit myself to:
  • 107 is a neutral nude pink cream with enough pink so it’s not washed out
  • 108 is a stunning almond caramel with golden shimmer (think Dolce & Gabbana Almond lipstick in gloss form)
  • 109 is a soft sparkly champagne pink (goes on clear with sparkle)
  • 202 is a complex bronze rose shimmer
  • 303 is a fresh peach-pink shimmer
  • 528 is another semi-transparent pink sparkle, this one flashes iridescent pink sparkles instead of silvery ones
More photos:


Swatch comparisons to a Lip Maestro and other Gloss d’Armani shades:

Bottom line I’m impressed with the quality, finish and pigment. The ones that are mostly sparkle have enough color and shimmer to show up on the lips although they are more on the transparent end of glosses. All the shades (even the darker ones) are right up my alley, it’s only a matter of time before I cave and purchase a few more.
Check out Kai’s Obsessions for swatches of all the shades.
Giorgio Armani Flash Lip Lacquers retail for $29 each at all Armani counters now, online at, Giorgio Armani and other retailers. Did you buy any of the new Armani glosses? What about the fluid sheers or bronzer palette?
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Color Focus: Emerald, Aqua, Green and Teal

April 20, 2013
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Teal, emerald, green and aqua seem to be the focus for nails in several collections this season. There are a number of gorgeous new green nail polishes – all of which I was unable to resist. Some are more subtle and subdued while others are bright and electric. The new shades this season inspired me to pull out my other greens for comparison. I’m currently running a top coat experiment so I won’t be able to swatch these on the nails just yet, hopefully these photos will help give you an idea in the meantime.

The inspiration: new shades for summer from Dior, Chanel, YSL, MAC and Deborah Lippmann (spotted near me in stores now at Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom):

  • Dior’s Samba Duo ($29, spotted instore at Macys, Nordstrom and
  • Chanel’s Azure ($27, now on
  • YSL Vert D’Orient #36 ($25 instores and here at
  • MAC Mineralize Lip Balm in Glacé ($20 here at
  • Deborah Lippmann Rockin’ Robin ($19 at in store and online at

All the nail colors in greens, teals, aquas: OPI Thanks a Windmillion, YSL Jade Imperial (limited from spring 2013), Dior Waterlily (limited from spring 2012), Dior Samba Duo (summer 2013), Chanel Azure (summer 2013), Deborah Lippmann Mermaid’s Dream, Rescue Beauty Lounge Jack (limited), JINsoon Charade (at Sephora), JINsoon Metaphor (at Sephora), Chanel Black Pearl, YSL Vert d’Orient, Deborah Lippmann Rockin’ Robin (spring 2013):

For quick reference here’s one more shot of the bottom wheel at a different angle so you can see the difference in undertone between Chanel Azure and Dior Samba:

I love how vibrant and bright the shades are this season although I do wonder if I will be brave enough to pull them off on the fingers for everyday wear at the office. I definitely wouldn’t hesitate to wear them on the toes. Teal/Emerald as a small accessory or accent piece? Even a blouse? Definitely yes, but on the fingers, I’ll have to experiment to see. More detailed swatches and reviews to come in the next few days as soon I possibly can.

What’s your favorite teal, green or emerald shade for nails? Are you picking up any of the new greens this spring/summer?

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Chanel Ocean Shimmer, Seashell, Rose Sauvage and Daydream Glossimers

April 12, 2013
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This spring season has brought us a wide selection of new lipgloss formulas and colors. Many lines are expanding their color options or developing new-improved formulas through mini-extension releases. The Revelation de Chanel collection focuses mainly on Glossimers ($29.50 each, with some new colors mixed in with some repromotes. I purchased mine almost a month ago and have been using Rose Sauvage non-stop. The shades I bought:
  • Ocean Shimmer 171 is a clear gloss with delicate tiny sparkles suspended
  • Seashell 87 (repurchase) is a pale shimmery champagne pink
  • Rose Sauvage 172 is a soft rose pink shimmer
  • Daydream 174 is a rosey pink with metallic fuschia sparkle particles

The colors are typical of Chanel glossimers: naturally gorgeous, delicate with high shine. Daydream’s shimmer is borderline glittery but the color blends out evenly and smoothly on the lips. Those who love Chanel Glossimers will love Rose Sauvage and Daydream. Seashell is a good natural staple I think is universally flattering on all skintones. Ocean Shimmer is definitely a pass for those who have clear gloss in their makeup wardrobe (I still caved).


I managed to get in lip swatches of Rose Sauvage and Daydream:

Comparisons to others show that you these are different from other Chanel glosses, however due to the sheerness, you can get a similar effect with other shades:

I love the color of Rose Sauvage. It’s rosy enough to show up on my lips but still very natural. I love it layered over Perle Rouge Coco. Daydream is also lovely although might be too sparkly for some. Given all the new lipgloss offerings this season from Chanel, Dior, Guerlain and Armani you might feel a bit overwhelmed (like me). I am still waiting for Armani’s Flash Lacquers to arrive at counters to test (although I usually do like Armani). I just tested out Guerlain’s today instore briefly but haven’t played extensively. I personally have a soft spot for Chanel and Dior glosses (they are my favorites) so I knew I couldn’t go wrong with either. Those who have been waiting for all to arrive will be happy to know that most new gloss formulas should be available at counters to test now. Based on my testing, I feel all the glosses from Chanel, Dior, Guerlain and Armani are all excellent in quality and pigment. My suggestion is to look at the colors you are drawn to first since the formulas are all very similar (in my opinion).

The full Revelation de Chanel collection is listed:

Check out swatches and reviews on some of the newer shades:

I purchased mine from Nordstrom. The collection is also available on and all other Chanel counters and boutiques.

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Dior Diablotine 643 Addict Lipstick and Lipgloss

April 6, 2013
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After playing around on the Dior Addict Minisite, I went back to Nordstrom and picked up Dior Diablotine 643 in the Addict Lipstick ($31) and Lipgloss ($29.50) formula to match the Nail Lacquer ($24) (reviewed last month here). The looks from Dior showed that using both the lipstick and lipgloss created a lush lip look that is perfect for spring to summer. Being the coral fanatic that I am, I didn’t need to see them in person to know they were must-haves. (Click photo below to go to Dior’s Addict minisite.)

The Dior Diablotine 643 lip options are similar to that of Spring Ball 343 in the sense that both lip colors are more subtle and soft than the nail polish versions. Diablotine Addict Lipstick and Lipgloss do have more color than Spring Ball so they show up better on my lips, but are still natural enough for my neutral-loving self.
Diablotine 643 Addict Lipstick is a coral in the tube but goes on more pinkish on my lips. The texture is smooth, finish is semi-shiny, pigment is medium but slightly transparent. There is subtle shimmer in the tube but you don’t really see it on the lips. Diablotine 643 Addict Lipgloss is a true coral peach loaded with tons of gold shimmer. It’s a high-shine gloss. It’s gorgeous. The gloss is similar to Chanel Nakkar so you probably don’t need both. The Dior is more sparkly and more red/orange.

Lip comparisons:

Lips and nails side by side:

I love both the lipstick and gloss formulas of Dior Diablotine #643 (along with the nail polish). The formulas feel luxurious on the lips. They have a nice moisturizing feel. I purchased mine from Nordstrom in store. The entire Sparkling Shine is also online at and other Dior counters and boutiques.
Have you had a chance to play with the new items from Dior?

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Dior Spring Ball 343 Vernis Nail Lacquer, Addict Lipstick and Addict Gloss

April 4, 2013

Dior’s Sparkling Shine collection brings some beautiful shimmering colors for spring. I fell in love with each of the new nail colors released and loved that Dior also brought us matching lipstick and lipgloss shades. I spent quite a bit of time at Nordstrom swatching and testing. I was particularly smitten with Spring Ball 343 a gorgeous peachy pink shimmer which comes in multiple forms:
  • Nail Lacquer ($24) is the perfect shimmery coral with gold, peach and silver flecks of sparkle infused throughout. I love that this has a hint of pink in it and multi-colored shimmer. This prevents it from looking too orange. The color is highly pigmented but still slightly transparent with two coats. It applied smoothly and flawlessly.
  • Addict Lipstick ($31) is a very natural light sheer peach shimmer. The shimmer is very natural on the lips. The texture is smooth and moisturizing. I couldn’t detect any scent. It matches my natural lip color closely but still has enough pigment to cover the lips fully and smooths them out with a lovely natural sheen. If you’re looking for something with more pigment this one might not be your cup of tea. I think you can get a similar result with something like MAC’s Ramblin Rose. (Note there is an Addict Extreme version of Spring Ball as well, I swiped it briefly, it was brighter and more pigmented without shimmer.)
  • Addict Gloss ($29.50) is also very natural and sheer. Spring Ball 343 gloss gives a high shine with beautiful soft sparkle. Layering this gloss over the lipstick lightens the overall look. I didn’t have time to compare but the gloss reminds me of MAC’s lustreglass in Love Nectar.

Swatches below, the nail polish is more vibrant than the lipstick/gloss, although the gloss and lipstick are lovely I wish they matched the brightness and pigment of the nail polish:

Spring Ball 343 Nail Polish:

Spring Ball 343 Addict Lipstick and Lipgloss:

Overall I’m quite pleased with Dior’s Spring Ball lineup for the Nail Lacquer, Addict Lipgloss and Addict Lipstick. The nail polish is a definitely must-have for me. The lipstick and gloss are not quite as unique compared to other colors and they are borderline too natural. Still these are perfect for lazy makeup days. They make the perfect swipe-and-go duo and are easy to apply or touch up without a mirror. The lipstick feels extremely luxurious and smooth on the lips (very lightweight). I like that the gloss is shiny but not sticky. I purchased all my items at Nordstrom.

Did you pick up any of the nail polishes, new addict lipsticks or glosses? Which is your favorite shade?

Tom Ford Lip Color Shine: Quiver, Insidious and Frolic

March 27, 2013

Anything Tom Ford releases these days catches my eye immediately. The new semi-transparent Lip Color Shines ($48 each for .12 oz/3.5g at Saks, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman) released a month ago have been on my radar but the insanely high price tag had me hesitant to buy before trying. Still, after looking at swatches online for hours, I decided to order a few online. I love Tom Ford Lipsticks (swatched here) and Lip Glosses (swatched here) so I figured there was at least one I was bound to fall in love with. I’ve started with Quiver (a pale cool pink), Insidious (a brighter peach), and Frolic (a nude peach).

All the lip shines have a delicious subtle vanilla cake scent (soft, not strong) that lingers for about 20 minutes before fading. The texture of the Tom Ford Lip Color Shines is smooth and creamy, slightly thick, but on the soft side. All the colors I picked have quite a bit of shimmer in the tube, on the lips there is noticeable shimmer, but it’s subtle (not frost). The finish is quite glossy, but the slightly thick texture helps the color adhere to the lips. The colors are on the sheer/natural side but show up.

Close ups and swatches, here you can see the shimmer:

(Sorry for the inconsistent lighting, lip swatches are really difficult for me.) Compared to YSL’s Rouge Volupte Shines and Chanel’s Rouge Coco Shines, I would say Tom Ford’s new sheer lipsticks are definitely similar. The differences:
  • YSL has the most pigment and darker/brighter color range, these glide on the smoothest
  • Chanel has a more diverse color range on the neutrals/roses, colors are slightly sheerer than Tom Ford
  • Tom Ford has the thickest texture, strongest scent and a great neutral range

In terms of lasting power, strongest to weakest is YSL, Tom Ford and then Chanel. However since all are on the sheer/glossy side, the lasting power is still medium like most glossy sheer lipsticks. I’m overall pleased with these, although YSL’s Rouge Volupte Shines win my heart for all over formula, color and price (Tom Fords come in close second).

The price will kill your wallet. For a sheer lipstick, I really expected the price points to be a lot lower. If you’re looking for a similar color to these but want more pigment, here are my suggestions:

  • Tom Ford Quiver – look at Dolce & Gabbana’s Shine lipsticks in Charm, Rosebud, Love or Emotion
  • Tom Ford Insidious – check out Chanel Flirt Rouge Coco Shine or Dior Diablotine
  • Tom Ford Frolic – check out Burberry’s Cameo
I like really these for the quality, feel and natural shine but feel the $48 would be better spent on a regular Tom Ford Lipstick or used towards their blushes. For some reference Karla Sugar and Wondegondigo have all the shades swatched on their blogs.
Did you try or pick up any of the Tom Ford Lip Color Shines? What’s your favorite shade?

Dior Vernis Releases for Spring-Summer

March 23, 2013

Dior has released several new shades for spring-summer this month. I am currently testing some new nail products so won’t have time to do a comprehensive detailed review since I’m reserving my fingers for testing. I did want to share a few swatches to help. There are several shades exclusive to certain locations in the US and therefore rather limited, you might want to order sooner than later so you don’t miss out. All retail for $24 each.

Sparkling Shine Collection, available at all Dior counters and online locations consists of:

  • Princess 553 is a sparkling light baby pink
  • Spring Ball 343 is a high shimmer baby peach
  • Délice 433 is a gorgeous medium peach-orange shimmer
  • Diablotine 643 (reviewed here) is a bright coral red shimmer

Two shades from the Asia Exclusive DiorSnow collection have been launched in the US at Saks Stores, and the Dior Palazzo Boutique in Las Vegas (ask for Massiel at (702) 734-1102 she’s amazing).

  • Nymphea 307 is a pale baby blue with a slight hint of aqua (see it on AudreyEleven and comparisons on Kais Obsessions)
  • Crystal 205 is a transparent frosted snow-white sparkle (see it on AudreyEleven)

Sephora has launched a series of Color Vision collections focused around color themes. They have released an exclusive lilac shade which is a repromote of a Japan exclusive.

I’ve acquired all except the lilac shade (not sure about pale lavendars, seems a bit too pastel, will have to test in person). For now, here are the live bottle photos and swatches on a nail wheel. I hope this helps!

Shades swatched in outdoor lighting:

Did you pick up any of the spring shades from Dior? If you tried (or bought) the lilac one, what did you think?