Friday, December 9, 2016

Pixi by Petra Mattelustre Lipstick in Plum Berry

For Day 9, I opened the Pixi by Petra Mattelustre Lipstick in Plum Berry. As I didn't step out until the evening, I didn't get a chance to put it on until I was literally about to get out of my car. I didn't really think about the challenge before me, to put on this lipstick in a pitch dark church parking lot. I managed to slap it on, while seriously wondering if I should have gone with a different color or a different lip product altogether for the day.

Thankfully, we were a bit early so after I pointed out to my daughter where we should be seated, I had a chance to make a quick trip to the ladies room to obsess over whether I had put my lipstick on right or not. It's an otherwise perfectly delightful berry color, but if you're like me, and it bothers you when dark lips aren't applied on point, then you're going to want to make sure you put it on at your leisure.

In the end, everything turned out fine. The color applied nicely. It wasn't too troublesome to even out. I didn't even need a lip brush or a lip liner. I didn't find my lips to be dreadfully matte or dry and I think it's quite a nice shade for a night out during the holidays. Even the stain it left behind was mostly even so it doesn't bother me too much. The product seems to be unscented and has no funky flavor. If only for those reasons, I'm certain these lipsticks have a fan base.

A couple of side notes. One, this lipstick is made in USA. I like that. Two, even the USA can have manufacturing faux pas and sometimes you open a fresh lipstick and find a piece of hair on it. I removed it with tweezers. But I did think twice about whether I wanted to exchange it or not. (See it below.)

Pixi is one of those brands that I find a little strange in terms of positioning. They're sold by Target but they're among the most expensive cosmetic and skincare products that the store carries. A $12 lipstick in a store that carries your usual drugstore brands makes you wonder what it is exactly that you're paying for. I'm still not sure, really. I think I might be able to find a comparable Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick for less than half the price (and I'm fairly certain that I have one or two in my stash that are similar), so for cheap thrills, there are cheaper ways to go. On the other hand, if I'm really wanting to spend extra on a special lippie, I'm not entirely sure this is what I'd buy. It's a bit... ordinary. That said, I'd happily keep this tube and use it once in awhile. Probably not going back for more colors since the selection is rather small. If you're looking though, just know that Plum Berry is the darkest shade that this line has.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Burberry Kisses Hydrating Lip Colour in No. 117 Parade Red

I'd been on a Burberry kick lately and what better way to project that festive feel than with a holiday edition Burberry Kisses lipstick in the color Parade Red.

Of all the lip products I have featured so far, this lipstick is my favorite one. This is definitely blue-based and made my teeth look so white in pictures. The lipstick is available on its own in the gold tube shown above (Festive Edition) but I actually got mine as part of the Festive Glow set, available on Sephora's website. I went all out and put on the entire lot from the set, icing the whole thing with Parade Red. I found that this formula glides on really easily and if you make errors, it's not so hard to clean up. I didn't use any lip liner at all but carefully outlined with a lip brush, after I put the lipstick on straight from the tube. It took me a few minutes to get it on and be happy but that's part of wearing red. It needs to look perfect.

Overall, I'm very happy with this color and it made me feel a little better about buying the set since I love the lipstick. I was a little unhappy at first because the bag it came with is really just a GWP and not a special bag. It looks exactly like the black GWP I got another time except it's a dull stone color and not a bright beige like in the Sephora pictures.

Apart from the lipstick and the bag, the set also comes with a full-size Festive Edition Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base in Nude Radiance, a full-size Eye Colour Cream in Festive Gold and a couple of samples. The eye color cream is nice, but so similar to the Nude Gold one that I purchased last year. The texture is lovely but it will take a few swipes to get visible color. I like to use it as an everyday sort of nude with shimmer or as a base for powder eyeshadow.

If you look at the pictures below, the solo pic is Festive Gold and then below that are the comparison pictures. If they look different at all, maybe one seems darker than the other, it's a lighting thing or perhaps I grabbed more pigment in one swipe than I did with the other. It took about 3 swipes to get to that intensity (which is really not intense at all). On the eye, they look mostly the same to me. If anything, I actually think Nude Gold adheres a little better and comes out a little darker. So, no idea why the swatches seem to suggest otherwise.

The set isn't really worth it if you will not be using all three full-size products constantly. The star, to me, is definitely the lipstick and thankfully, that can be purchased all on its own, although I don't know for how long since it is limited edition. I know that a few stores carry it in stock and you may even find a nifty GWP is available. I'm currently loving the Fresh Glow BB Cream and there is a new compact powder out too if you're interested.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector

On a gloomy day when you find that you have to shelve all your plans because of the rain, it's really a godsend to be able to open a brand new piece of makeup and discover something that you love. Coming right at the heels of the previous day's disaster that was the Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Suede Lipstick, I wasn't ready to go all Oxblood, as I had previously scheduled. I had to put on gobs and gobs of the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask and let it treat my lips overnight to hydrate and clear them of the stain that disaster lipstick brought on.

So, I eagerly opened the box of the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector Trio that I had purchased from Bloomingdale's and tried each of the three colors on through the course of the day. The boxed set comes with a white fabric bag and is a Bloomingdale's exclusive (although the Clarins USA website also carries it). Ordinarily, I would have purchased from Nordstrom but what Nordstrom now carries is the lip oil trio. I've tried a sample of the lip oil and it's nice, but what I really wanted to try was the lip gloss/balm in the tube. And as of this moment, I am hooked.

The trio I have includes 01 Rose Shimmer, 05 Candy Shimmer and 06 Rosewood Shimmer. I wouldn't necessarily call them shimmery but they are indeed very shiny and they look very natural on. The color is sheer so I don't think that the differences between the shades are incredibly apparent. It's one thing to swatch them on your arm and quite another to put it on the lips. I like them all. However, I surprised myself by liking the most brown of the three, 06 Rosewood Shimmer, the best. It just somehow seems more pigmented although it probably comes across that way because of the way the color blends with the natural color of the lips.

Over and above the delightful appearance of the gloss, it feels so good on the lips. It is very comfortable on and super moisturizing. The applicator is easier to use than the Burberry one I featured just a couple of days ago. I feel like I can control better where the product lands. I miss the cooling sensation of Burberry's ceramic applicator but would gladly trade that for something that applies more perfectly. With these, I tend to press on the tube until the gloss forms up on the applicator before applying to my lips, although you can also press the applicator on to your lips to release the product.

Above, 01 Rose Shimmer

Above, 05 Candy Shimmer

Above, 06 Rosewood Shimmer

Another key difference, if I have to compare Clarins with Burberry, is the scent. Clarins makes these rather heavily-scented. I wouldn't say that it bothers me as the smell is quite pleasant, but I think I would have liked it better if it was toned down a bit. It smells quite a lot like the Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfecting Base that a friend bought me in Germany earlier this year. I so wish they would market that product in the US. It's such a nice lip prep.

Overall, Clarins has a real winner with the Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors. I now find myself in search of other colors, maybe in a set that's also a deal? Would be nice.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Suede Lipstick in 005 Muse

For day 6, I have the Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Suede Lipstick in the shade Muse. I picked up a bunch of these during one of Target's cosmetics sales. They have a nice selection of colors and don't break the bank. I thought Muse would offer a nice respite from the many reds and plums that I've added to my advent calendar. Muse is a cooler pink, borderline fuchsia.

The lipstick itself applies somewhat sheerly. When built up to about 3 layers, it reaches almost full opacity. However, the texture is very strange. It looks velvety but remains sticky all throughout, almost as if it never dries. Yet, this is no gloss. This is a solid lipstick. I don't think I have ever encountered any lipstick with the same finish and feel.

For the swatch above, I had to swipe the lipstick 3 times on my inner arm. It looks ok when you initially put it on but this formula does not wear well. It starts to look uneven after awhile and if you press your lips together, it feels as if the top and bottom lip stick together a little and makes the unevenness even worse. The worst part is that it leaves a stain that is very hard to get off. I put it on around 2 in the afternoon, had two meals, and made two deliberate attempts to remove any remaining pink residue on my lips using Aquaphor, wiping off with a tissue. I've showered and gotten ready for bed. At almost 11PM, I feel like there's still little bits left here and there. My inner arm is still stained, as are my lips. I am very, very unhappy.

Of all the lip products that I've opened in my advent calendar, the Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Suede Lipstick has to be the one I most regret having purchased. I almost wonder if I could still return the three that I have purchased but I think I'll settle for returning just the one that I haven't opened. These bad boys look completely harmless in the tube but I have to say, stay away.