Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Laura Mercier Lip Parfait Creamy Colourbalm (Raspberry Ripple, Cherries Jubilee, Iced Pomegranate)

Laura Mercier Lip Parfait Creamy Colourbalm
Raspberry Ripple

I met with my favorite Laura Mercier associate recently and asked her what product she had on her lips and she introduced me to the Laura Mercier Lip Parfait Creamy Colourbalms. She had mixed two colors, as she often does, so I looked at them and decided to try one. I bought Iced Pomegranate.

Let me tell you, these things are so comfortable on! They have a lot of slip, just like regular lip balm but they also provide some moisturizing relief, especially if you've been wearing a drying lipstick all day long. Best of all, Iced Pomegranate offered plenty of color. After awhile, I decided to pay her another visit and this time we had a closer look at all the shades. I automatically picked out Raspberry Ripple and decided on Cherries Jubilee after trying on 3 other colors. I was originally going to go for the more beige/brown shades but decided that the strength of this formulation was actually in the amount of color you're getting, so it made more sense to grab something brighter.

Monday, October 16, 2017

BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Gradient Glow

I was perusing the aisles at ULTA yesterday after my brow waxing and spied this new highlighter from BECCA. This is the BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Gradient Glow. Right now, all signs are saying this is an ULTA exclusive but they do have them in the stores and online.

Gradient Glow features bronzed amber, moonstone, opal, rose gold and topaz. In theory, it's a nice five in one but I own at least three of these shades individually and I don't conceive of using them individually here. It's probably easier to swirl your brush around the entire pan. However, if you're using a sponge to apply, you may be able to concentrate on one or two of the middle shades at a time.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Guerlain Kiss Kiss Hydrating & Plumping Velvet Matte Lip Colour in M306 Caliente Beige and M307 Crazy Nude

Longest name for lipstick ever! But we can go with Guerlain Kiss Kiss Matte for short. If we take the whole name of the product though, you'll find a great bit of information. Here have a modestly hydrating matte lipstick that's very comfortable to wear. In one swipe, you get very rich color in a formula that applies so pleasantly smooth. I'm not really looking for anything plumping and it's hard to judge if the plumping claims are true. However, on the subject of matte, this is a modern matte formula that looks more like soft velvet on the lips. It's rather long-lasting too. On the whole, I like it more than I'd like to admit because I always say I don't like matte lipstick. Obviously, I care for this enough to buy three. LOL.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

NARS Love Triangle Sets

I've written a piece about buying makeup online before. Truly, I buy a lot of things online. I try to stick with retailers that I trust, ones who haven't let me down before. Retailers who can deliver in a timely manner and sort understandable errors properly or who go above and beyond to make sure a customer is happy. I try to stick to websites that have a store that I can return products to, just in case it doesn't work out. But I broke that rule recently, when the Man Ray for NARS collection came out. I saw something online, sought more information about the product from their customer service and then ordered the items because I was promised an incredible value. When I received the items, guess what? They were not what customer service told me they would be. Epic fail! Here's the story.

NARS released the Man Ray collection on their website first. It was an exclusive, not sure for how long, but I think some of the items are already out at other retail sites this weekend (all in all, it was exclusive for maybe a week?). I took a quick peek and saw the NARS Love Triangle sets: lipstick and blush sets that I thought looked very interesting. The only thing is, the website did not state how big the items in the set would be. From the pictures, you can't really tell. My gut was saying, well, they have to be minis since the set is only $24 but I thought I could verify the information by going directly to them with the question. An agent named Emily answered my chat request and offered to secure the information for me. After a brief wait, she came back and announced that the items in the NARS Love Triangle sets were full size. FULL SIZE? Are you sure??? Because that's a phenomenal value. She said that she was sure and you know, get 'em now, while we still have them. At this point, I'm thinking, why would you pay full price for one of these lipsticks when you can get a full size lipstick and a full size blush for less than the price of one lipstick? I was all in.

Here's where it all gets sad. As soon as I had placed the order, I started looking up whatever I could find on these sets. One blog that I frequently read had a press release on the collection and indicated that these would be minis, like I originally suspected. But I told myself, who would I trust more? A blog written by someone who doesn't work for the brand or an agent who works for the brand? Surely, this blogger got it wrong. At the time, nowhere online could I find anyone who would publish the actual size of the items (in grams or ounces). Not even the NARS website had this info. And of course, these items were not in the stores yet, so there was no way to see. For most of the morning, I had it in the back of my mind to call them and have someone else verify the size of the items, or maybe just cancel the order. But I was busy the entire day so I just told myself to forget about it. By day's end, it continued to gnaw at me so I looked up the progress of the order and it seemed that they were already prepared for shipment. Basically, too late.

I was massively annoyed that they sent a tracking number quite quickly but the shipment didn't actually start progressing until days later, but this happens. I was not surprised. I didn't receive the item until a full week later. Granted, maybe that's not too slow if you're relying on free shipping. But if you want to be competitive, you've got to find faster ways to get items to your customers. What is the point of offering the item as an online exclusive for a week if by the time the customer gets it, other stores would already be selling it? On top of that, I open up the box, expecting 6 full size items and I got what looked like a bunch of samples. Seriously, I could hold all three sets comfortably in one hand, boxes and all.

Net Weight of the NARS (Audacious) Love Triangle Sets 0.08 Oz. per item

After a lot of thought, I decided that I would keep the two sets with the Audacious lipsticks because if we're going to compute the cost per ounce, the set seems like it is actually a pretty good value. The lipstick would come out to a $19.42 value based on the price of a full-size lipstick and the blush comes out a $15 value since it is half the size of a regular blush as per Sephora's website. I calculate the savings at something like $10 per set. While I already own the blushes, I only have one pan of Dolce Vita and Impassioned and they are colors that I really like. Having the smaller ones around might come in handy if I want to take it out of the house.

NARS Orgasm Love Triangle Set, note sticker on net weight of lipstick

I'm not hot about the Orgasm blush and I must have at least 4 pans of it, not counting ones that I've given away so that was the prime source of my frustration. Add that the lipstick came in an even smaller size, a mere 0.05 oz... same size as.... wait for it.... the free sample lipsticks I got from Bloomingdale's as a GWP... I mean, what am I paying $24 for here??? So that's going back. Hopefully, the return will be processed quickly so I can forget about this incident and move on. I'm really crossing my fingers here.

So, there's definitely a lesson or two to be learned here. I've had other bad experiences while shopping online and several merchants that I have said I will not be shopping from again but this is probably the first time I have written a post about it. I feel like I was made a fool of, given wrong information by someone coming directly from the company. It's not that I want to say negative things about anyone but I would like to share my experience, in hopes of preventing anyone else from having similar disappointments. If anything, what's clear here is that NARS is so widely available now that if you're just not sure, it's better to wait until you can find the items in the store and have a conversation with an associate that you know you can trust. And did you know that you can also find discounted NARS products at bare + BEAUTY at the outlets? I scored a lip gloss, normally $26, for about $16 last weekend. So hey, we've got options! Let's use them.