Tag Archives: High-end Lipstick Review Series

High-end Lipstick Review Series Finale & Giveaway!!! [CLOSED]

Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Fallen from the Lipstick Tree review

Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Fallen from the Lipstick Tree

I’m back with the 17th and final review in my High-end Lipstick Review series! I have been testing out and comparing high-end lipsticks for just over a year now. You can check out my original post for a full explanation. As promised, I will be giving away a lipstick from the brand that scores the highest number of “Duchess Points” to a subscriber in a shade of their choice. Keep reading to see which brand will be deemed most splurge-worthy and for details about how to enter the giveaway. Continue reading

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High-end Lipstick Review Series: Chantecaille

Chantecaille Lip Chic

Chantecaille Lip Chic

This is the second last post in my High-end Lipstick Review Series! I have only one more lipstick left to review and then its time for me to give away the highest scoring high-end lipstick to a subscriber in a shade of their choice!

While I was in Ottawa for a conference, I visited the Rideau Centre – a fabulous shopping destination – and was delighted to discover that a Nordstrom had just recently opened, the first one in Canada. I knew the Nordstrom website carried Chantecaille and shipped to Canada through Borderfree, but would they have it in store? Yes they did! I actually got to swatch the Lip Chic shades that I’d previously only been able to obsess over online.

Chantecaille Lip Chic in Camellia

Chantecaille Lip Chic in Camellia

I selected the shade, Camellia, a pale, cool-toned peachy-pink. I had been on a bit of a vampy lip colour spree lately and felt like I already had a lot of darker shades, so I was in the mood for something light and summery (maybe it was the warm Ottawa weather?).

Chantecaille Lip Chic in Camellia

Chantecaille Lip Chic in Camellia

I would caution that Camellia is very light, and although my ghostly-white self is enjoying this shade, it likely wouldn’t show up well on people with very pigmented lips or deeper skin tones.

Swatch Chantecaille Lip Chic in Camellia

Camellia swatched

I paid $42.00 CAD in-store for the Lip Chic and was pretty psyched to not have paid any shipping costs or duty. On the Nordstrom site they’re charging $48.02 CAD plus $18.89 CAD for shipping and $10.13 CAD in duties & taxes for an astounding $77.04 CAD in total!!!

I also have to note that the Chantecaille Lip Chic is a fairly small lipstick and has less product than a MAC lipstick for example.

Chantecaille Lip Chic versus MAC lipstick

Less product: The Chantecaille Lip Chic is 2 g versus a 3 g MAC lipstick

Let’s start the review…

Packaging
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Although certainly not as flashy as some of the other high-end brands, like YSL, Dior, Armani or Guerlain for instance, I did like the Chantecaille packaging. I thought the lavender shade of the box was unique. I can appreciate a minimalist type of design. The small, gunmetalish silver tube was a little plain but still felt weighty and snapped shut very securely like a high-end lipstick should. 2/3 Duchess points

Formula
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Loved the formula of the Lip Chic! Its very rich, pushing the boundaries to almost being sticky (but isn’t sticky) its so lip-balmy and moisturizing. It contains Hyaluronic Acid and Chondroitin Sulfate which evidently hydrates your lips. The Lip Chic is sheer and very glossy compared to the Chantecaille Lip Stick I also swatched. Chantecaille describes the Lip Chic as the “perfect combination of gloss and lipstick” and I couldn’t agree more. It basically gives the effect of a lip gloss without all the stickiness and messiness of lip gloss (I am so OVER having my hair and just about everything else sticking to lip gloss). I love to fill in my lips with a nude lip liner, like MAC Subculture or Whirl, or Annabelle Demure, and top it with Camellia Lip Chic. 3/3 Duchess points

Wear
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Again in terms of wear its the perfect combination of gloss and lipstick. I don’t normally find lip gloss long wearing. The Lip Chic is super shiny and glossy but long wearing like a lipstick. No idea how they did that! 3/3 Duchess points

Scent/Taste
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The Lip Chic has a light vanilla scent, similar to the MAC lipsticks and no discernible taste. What more could you ask for? 3/3 Duchess points

Sensitivity Test
I’ve been using it for about 3 weeks now and it has not irritated my lips at all. No Duchess points deducted

MAC Test
I like the Lip Chic as much as I like my MAC lipsticks. Neutral Duchess points

Would I pay for another one?
Here’s where it gets tricky to answer. I would love to have more of the Lip Chics in some of the other shades. If I could purchase them in-store for $42 CAD I would. The problem is, only 4 stores in the entire country carry Chantecaille and none are remotely close to where I live. Realistically, for me to purchase another Lip Chic I would be looking at ordering it online through Nordstrom, and I would NOT pay $77 CAD for another one. I’m unlikely to be re-purchasing any.

I wish I could deem the Lip Chics splurge-worthy and award them an additional Duchess point putting them in second place overall. However at $77, for me they would not be worth it. If you happen to live in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary or Vancouver where you can purchase them at Holt Renfrew or Nordstrom, I would recommend giving Chantecaille a try.
negative 1 duchess point
-1 Duchess point

 

 

Chantecaille Lip Chic Total: 10/14

 

High-end lipstick review series score chartOther reviews in this series:
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine
YSL Rouge Volupte Shine
Dior Addict Extreme
Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy
Rouge G de Guerlain
Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy
Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Crème
Rouge Bunny Rouge
NARS Audacious Lipstick
Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel
Tom Ford Lip Color
Burberry Lip Cover
Dolce & Gabbana
NARS Lipstick (original)
Givenchy

As always, thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl

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High-end Lipstick Review Series: Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana Classic Cream Lipstick in PetalI’m back with the 15th lipstick in my High-end Lipstick Review Series! Can you believe its been that many? I’m in the home stretch now, and only have one or two more brands I’d like to include before declaring a winner. Then one of my subscribers will get a lipstick from the winning brand in a shade of their choice! So stay tuned.

This review is of the Dolce & Gabbana Classic Cream Lipstick. D&G only started a cosmetic line in 2009, so its relatively new. I haven’t tried anything from D&G before, except a pair of sunglasses (which I love). I ordered this lipstick online from Sephora in the shade Petal, a “neutral lilac rose” which I think is a fairly good description.
Dolce & Gabbana Classic Cream Lipstick in Petal

Dolce & Gabbana Classic Cream Lipstick in Petal

Dolce & Gabbana Classic Cream Lipstick in Petal

swatch Dolce & Gabbana Classic Cream Lipstick in Petal

Petal

The D&G lipsticks are $32 CAD. Let’s see how it did!

Packaging
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This didn’t really strike me as high-end packaging. The tube was plain and fairly lightweight plastic (although it did snap shut securely). I’m not a huge fan of all gold either. It really reminded me of a drugstore lipstick, like the L’Oreal Color Riche or the Milani Color Statement lipsticks. 1/3 Duchess points

Formula
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I thought the formula of this lipstick was ok. It didn’t wow me. It was a fairly traditional “lipstick” type of formula – a little thick, very opaque – and it had a bit of a matte finish. Although it felt creamy, it really accentuated any dryness on my lips. Not my favourite. 1/3 Duchess points

Wear
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I can’t fault this lipstick on wear. The traditional formula was long-wearing, but I found it a little drying on the lips. 2/3 Duchess points

Scent/Taste
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As soon as I opened this lipstick, I was immediately struck by the scent. It smells EXACTLY like the L’Oreal Color Riche lipsticks. I’d tried the Color Riche in Fairest Nude, a beautiful shade, but I just could not get past the scent and passed it on to my sister. Its a weird, artificial scent combined with a “your grandmother’s old lipstick” type of scent. Bleck!

I also became very suspicious that overall, this lipstick is so similar to the much less expensive L’Oreal Color Riche.

L'Oreal Color Riche a dupe for the Dolce & Gabbana lipstick

Is the L’Oreal Color Riche a dupe for the D&G lipstick?

Even the pointed shape of the lipstick itself with the logo engraved just below the tip is eerily similar. After some internet research, it doesn’t seem like the two companies are affiliated. I can’t believe that these two lipsticks aren’t made in the exact same factory though.

But, back to the scent: 1/3 Duchess points

Sensitivity Test
Despite the terrible scent and slightly drying qualities of this lipstick, I don’t believe it irritated my lips.

MAC Test
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I liked this lipstick WAY less than a MAC lipstick. -1 Duchess point

Would I pay $32 CAD for another Dolce & Gabbana lipstick?
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Nope! Not a chance. I think you can get the exact same lipstick (awful scent and all) at the drugstore for a quarter of the price.

Dolce & Gabbana Total Score: 3/14

high-end lipstick comparison chartWow, D&G is third last! Check out my initial post for a full explanation of my rating scale.

Other reviews in this series:
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine
YSL Rouge Volupte Shine
Dior Addict Extreme
Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy
Rouge G de Guerlain
Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy
Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Crème
Rouge Bunny Rouge
NARS Audacious Lipstick
Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel
Tom Ford Lip Color
Burberry Lip Cover
NARS Lipstick (original)
Givenchy

As always, thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤

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High-end Lipstick Review Series: YSL

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine

I think this was one of the high-end lipsticks I was the most excited to try. YSL lippies get raved about. I got to check them out in person at Sephora and the formula I liked best was the Rouge Volupte Shine.

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine No. 7 Rose Infinite

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine No. 7 Rose Infinite

After much swatching, I chose shade #7, Rose Infinite , described on the Sephora site as a “shady pink taupe.” I don’t think this is really taupe. Its more of a plum tone. Its a very pretty, wearable plum for fair skin.

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine No. 7 Rose Infinite

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine No. 7 Rose Infinite

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine No. 7 Rose Infinite

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine No. 7 Rose Infinite

The YSL lipsticks are $39 CAD. Lets’ see how it did compared to the other lipsticks I’ve reviewed in this series.

Packaging
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How can you not love the YSL packaging? Gorgeous. The 3-D wrap-around YSL logo is really unique. I really like how each shade is easily identified by a corresponding strip of colour around the outside of the tube. The packaging is totally high-end. 3/3 Duchess points

Formula
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The Rouge Volupte Shine is exactly the type of formula I love too. It feels like applying lip balm. Its so luxurious and hydrating and feels amazing. Its a little sheer, yet pigmented, and has a beautiful shine. 3/3 Duchess points

Wear
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For a sheer, balmy lipstick, this is crazy long-wearing! It leaves a deep stain behind as it wears off.  3/3 Duchess points

Scent/Taste
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This is where YSL lost points for me. It has a strong, fake watermelon scent that reminds me of the scent of the Milani lipsticks. I’m not a fan. The scent fades quickly enough, but there is a slight taste. I would have preferred if this was unscented. 1/3 Duchess points

Sensitivity
Despite the added fragrance, it hasn’t irritated my lips at all, so no Duchess points deducted.

MAC Test
I would say, fragrance aside, I like the YSL as much as MAC. Neutral Duchess points

Would I pay $39 CAD for another one?
Yes. My only dislike with this lipstick is the scent, which I think some people really like (its a preference thing). I think the formula and packaging make it worth the splurge.

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Total: 11/14

high-end lipstick chart 02

At the end of this series, I’m going to decide on my favorite high-end lipstick and give one away to a subscriber (in a shade of their choice)! Check out my initial post for a full explanation of my rating scale.

Other reviews in this series:
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine
Dior Addict Extreme
Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy
Rouge G de Guerlain
Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy
Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Crème
Rouge Bunny Rouge
NARS Audacious Lipstick
Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel
Tom Ford Lip Color
Burberry Lip Cover
NARS Lipstick (original)
Givenchy

As always, thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl<3

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High End Lipstick Review Series: Rouge Bunny Rouge

Rouge Bunny Rouge Succulence of Dew Lipstick

Rouge Bunny Rouge Succulence of Dew Sheer Lipstick

I recently ordered some Rouge Bunny Rouge products from the UK, and you can check out my previous post for reviews and swatches of the Long Lasting Lip Pencil, Original Sin Blush, and Long-lasting Eye Shadow.

The Succulence of Dew Sheer Lipsticks are 23.53 EUR (about $33 CAD).
The RBR site ships internationally for 5 EUR (about $7 CAD), but I ended up owing an additional $30.94 CAD in customs fees for the four items. So really the lipstick ended up costing closer to $47.75 CAD.

The description of the Succulence of Dew Sheer Lipsticks fr0m the RBR site:

“The easy glide, weightless formula with moisturising, lip-shaping and skin-protecting benefits comes in five delicate yet rich colours with an outstandingly sheer, glossy finish. The precise application and perfect coverage of this texture create a polished look effortlessly.

With Hilurlip, an innovative moisturising, anti-aging and skin-protecting Sodium Hyaluronate based agent, lips are redefined, their volume is boosted, and fine vertical lines are minimised while fighting the negative effects of free radicals. Our Sheer Lipstick formula is also infused with nourishing Rosehip Butter, a natural powerhouse of essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.

Transparent, juicy colour of a lip stain, wet-look finish of a gloss. Free from parabens and fragrance.”

I ordered the shade, Murmurings, a pinkish-burgundy toned brown which definitely has a 1990s/Marsala feel to it.

swatch Rouge Bunny Rouge Murmurings

Rouge Bunny Rouge Murmurings

Packaging
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I love the whole theme of the RBR product names and packaging, and the lipstick is no exception. This lipstick “is inspired by the translucently delicate butterflies from the Enchanted Garden.” 🙂 I love black for lipstick packaging, and it has these subtle, black-on-black butterfly-esque shapes on it as well. The weighty, substantial tube closes very securely. I also love the RBR logo, which is on the top of the cap. 3/3 Duchess points

Formula
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I really like this formula! Its very moisturizing and comfortable to wear. Its pigmented yet has that sheerness and slightly glossy finish that I prefer. 3/3 Duchess points

Wear
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I like it best over the RBR Long Lasting Lip Pencil (I ordered Roald). I think they pair really well together and I would totally recommend getting them both. The lip pencil is very long-wearing and almost feels sticky or tacky, but when you add the hydrating, glossy lipstick over it, its the perfect combination and stays on for hours. On its own, the lipstick applies more sheerly and isn’t’ as long-wearing as when you pair it with the lip pencil. 2/3 Duchess points

Scent/Taste
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The RBR site claims these are fragrance free, but it has quite a strong scent I, at first, couldn’t place. Then I suddenly realized it smells exactly like tea!  The scent could be from the Rosa Canina Fruit Oil or the Linalool (a liquid with a sweet odour that naturally occurs in many essential oils), plus “Aroma (Flavour)” is also listed as an ingredient. Not exactly fragrance free RBR! It doesn’t have a noticeable taste, but I would have preferred it without the scent. It wasn’t so bad that it turned me off from wearing it, but its an unusual scent for a makeup product. 2/3 Duchess points

Sensitivity Test
I’ve been testing this one diligently for the past couple of weeks now just to be sure, but I have not had any reaction or irritation from this lipstick. No Duchess points deduction.

MAC Test
This was tough. I liked the formula a lot (as much as or more than some MAC finishes actually) but really disliked the scent of this lipstick. I didn’t want to deduct a whole Duchess point so I am going with, scent aside, I like it as much as MAC. Neutral Duchess points

Would I pay $47.75 CAD for another one?
negative 1 duchess point

 

Because this brand isn’t available in Canada, with the exchange rate, shipping and customs, I just would not be interested in paying nearly $48 for another RBR lipstick. -1 Duchess points

Rouge Bunny Rouge Sheer Lipstick total: 9/14

high-end-lipstick-comparison-chart

At the end of this series, I’m going to decide on my favorite high-end lipstick and give one away to a subscriber (in a shade of their choice)! Check out my initial post for a full explanation of my rating scale.

Other reviews in this series:
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine
Dior Addict Extreme
Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy
Rouge G de Guerlain
Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy
Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Crème
NARS Audacious Lipstick
Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel
Tom Ford Lip Color
Burberry Lip Cover
NARS Lipstick (original)
Givenchy

As always, thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl<3

16 Comments

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High-end Lipstick Review Series: Dior Addict Extreme

Dior Addict Extreme Lipstick

Dior Addict Extreme Lipstick

Ok guys, its time for the Dior review! I was so excited to try the Dior lipsticks because I have heard so many people rave about them and include them in their favourites. The Dior Addict lipsticks and glosses seem to be very popular! I got to swatch these in person, and although I initially thought I would try the original Dior Addict Lipstick, I was totally drawn to the colour selection of the Dior Addict Extreme more, especially the shade 866 Paparazzi. Although every time I use it I get the song stuck in my head…
paparazzi
Paparazzi is a bright, pinky-berry shade. Its very different than any other lipstick shade I have – I must have been in the oddest mood that day! On me, I get a lot of the pink/fushia undertones coming through as I have quite a bit of pink in my lips naturally. I find pairing this shade with a brown-toned lip liner underneath (like MAC Spice for example) gives me the best effect – more of a deeper, berry tone.

Dior Addict Extreme in 866 Paparazzi

Dior Addict Extreme in 866 Paparazzi

Dior Addict Extreme 866 Paparazzi swatch

Dior Addict Extreme in 866 Paparazzi

What’s the difference between the Dior Addict and the Dior Addict Extreme? When I was swatching them, the formulas seemed very similar and both had a similar amount of shine. Here’s Dior’s explanation:

Dior Addict: “hydrating and volumizing formula dresses lips with a veil of addicting color and spectacular shine.”

Dior Addict Extreme: “extremely long-wearing lipstick that provides radiant shine…resisting fading while adding bold color and beautiful shine…formula combines waxes, radiant oils, and hyaluronic microspheres for ultimate comfort and a lip-plumping effect.”

Here’s what I thought of the Dior Addict Extreme:

Packaging
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I really preferred the dramatic Dior Addict Extreme with its jet black cap (VS the original transparenty sort of cap). I just love black 🙂 I also love the silver tube, which I prefer over gold. Initially I thought the design, where you pull the lipstick out of the square cap was kind of different and neat, but after using it a few times, I realized how impractical it actually is.

It lost a Duchess point because the lipstick, once pulled out of the square cap, cannot be put down. The bottom is a round knob, so you can’t stand it up like most lipsticks. I swiveled the lipstick down and tried laying it on its side. It rolled away! So the design, while attractive, is very annoying. 2/3 Duchess points

Formula
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This lipstick has the sort of formula I really like: glossy, a little bit of sheerness to it but still good colour pay-off, and very comfortable and hydrating on the lips. I couldn’t give it full points on formula, because compared to some of the other high-end lippies I’ve reviewed, the Dior Addict Extreme felt a little bit “slippery” on the lips. Its an odd texture, like its a little too siliconey or waxy? I couldn’t find an ingredients list anywhere so I’m not sure. 2/3 Duchess points

Wear
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This lipstick rivaled the Armani Rouge Ecstasy in terms of wear. It is without a doubt very long-wearing, which is amazing for a glossy, hydrating lipstick. This lasted forever on me, even through eating and drinking. Like the Armani, it also wore off very nicely, leaving behind a flattering stain. 3/3 Duchess points

Scent/Taste

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This has absolutely no discernible scent or taste whatsoever, which is what I like in a lipstick! 3/3 Duchess points

Sensitivity Test
I have used this lipstick everyday for over two weeks now and I have had no reaction at all. It hasn’t dried out or irritated my lips. (neutral Duchess points)

MAC Test
I like this lipstick the same as MAC, mainly because of the crazy staying power, the great shades, and the fact that its unscented. (neutral Duchess points)

Would I pay $34 CAD for another one?
Yes. For sure. I do really enjoy this lipstick. I think its a pretty formula and I love how long-wearing it is and that its unscented. There are so many more shades that I’d like to try! I can understand why a lot of people love the Dior Addict line and I think it is worth the splurge.

Dior Addict Extreme total: 11/14

high-end lipstick comparisonAt the end of this series, I’m going to decide on my favorite high-end lipstick and give one away to a subscriber (in a shade of their choice)! Check out my initial post for a full explanation of my rating scale.

Other reviews in this series:
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine
Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy
Rouge G de Guerlain
Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy
Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Crème
NARS Audacious Lipstick
Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel
Tom Ford Lip Color
Burberry Lip Cover
NARS Lipstick (original)
Givenchy

Thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl

 

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High-end Lipstick Review Series: Instant Disqualification

Givenchy Lipsticks

Givenchy Lipsticks

As I mentioned in my review of Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy lipstick, I recently had an in-store Sephora shopping experience (there isn’t one where I live) to check out high-end lippies. I was considering reviewing Givenchy next, but after examining them in person I literally couldn’t even bring myself to try one, especially not at $38 CAD.

So, what turned me off? Lets start with the Givenchy Le Rouge, “a semimatte lipstick encased in genuine leather.” I just can’t get on board the matte lipstick train. I have disliked every matte lipstick I’ve ever tried. They’re just not for me. Then there was the ominously black Rouge Interdit Magic Lipstick: “Its pigments react with the skin’s pH, thus its color evolves differently on each woman.” Mood lipstick? Yeah I NEVER have any luck with these types of products that “magically adjust” to your *perfect* shade. Lips in an unpredictable shade of hot fushia for $38? Um no thanks.

The Rouge Interdit Satin Lipstick seemed like a possibility until I gave the testers the sniff test. Holy cow the Givenchy lipsticks smell terrible!!! The Rouge Interdit have a strong, old-fashioned makeupy scent that some people might call the “old lady lipstick smell.” The Le Rouge are evidently and inexplicably “mimosa and blackcurrant” scented, so you can imagine. And if the off-putting scents weren’t all bad enough, then there was the packaging.

I apologize to any Givenchy devotees out there, but the packaging of the lipsticks is not my cup of tea. The packaging felt light-weight, plasticy and cheap. The Le Rouge, billed as a “genuine leather goods item” and “lipstick-as-accessory” looked clunky and let’s just say that sure wasn’t very soft luxurious leather I was feeling. The Rouge Interdit have this weird loop of stiff, scratchy fabric on the bottom that serves no purpose. Advertised as a “fashion accessory” and “objet d’art” this lipstick ironically had zero visual appeal for me. To be perfectly honest, both looked kinda tacky, IMO.

So I’m officially disqualifying Givenchy from my high-end lipstick review series. Worth a re-purchase? These didn’t even get an initial purchase.

Could I be totally wrong about these? Has anyone tried the Givenchy lipsticks, and if so, what did you think?

Thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤

17 Comments

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High-end Lipstick Review Series: Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy

Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy CC Lipstick

Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy CC Lipstick

Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy in 600 Mania

Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy in 600 Mania

I’m back with another contender in my ongoing High-end lipstick review series. I picked up one of the Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy lipsticks at Sephora while I was in Toronto a few weeks ago. It was great to actually be in the store and be able to swatch and try on (carefully disinfected!) shades since there are 36 to choose from and Eaton’s Centre Sephora seemed to have almost all of them. Seriously, the colour selection is intense.

After much hemming and hawing, I kept coming back to #600, Mania, a beautiful, not-overly-vampy, rich plum. It was super sunny when I photographed the lipstick so the bullet looks lighter than it is, but the swatch is fairly true to colour:

swatch giorgio armani rouge ecstasy 600 mania

Mania swatches and applies much darker than it appears in the bullet

The Rouge Ecstasy is a “CC” lipstick, with the CC standing for “Color & Care.” The Armani site explains:

  • Care: Rouge Ecstasy offers the comfort and softness of a lip balm, leaving lips repaired and beautifully enhanced day after day.
  • Color: This velvety soft, everyday lipstick coats the lips in saturated, ultra-luminous shades with impeccable hold. Application is simple, precise and effective.

I have to say that I completely agree with the product description. Lets see how the Armani Rouge Ecstasy compared to the other high-end lippies in our series.

Packaging
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Initially I was on the fence about the design and colour choice. It certainly isn’t subtle and it might not be for everyone. But the red and black did start to grow on me after a while. I also liked that it was weighty and substantial and has the magnetic closure. The little silver Art Deco “GA” embellishment and similar engraving on the lipstick was a nice touch too. 2/3 Duchess points

Formula
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Loved, loved loved the formula! This is my perfect kind of lipstick: slightly sheer and luminous, hint of glossiness, weightless feel, hydrating, smooth and even application – perfection! The Armani has the elusive quality of giving lots of colour in one swipe combined with a sheerness that still lets your own lips come through, the way a great foundation will give coverage without wiping out any trace of your own natural skin  (I dislike a thick opaque lipstick the way I dislike a heavy, matte full-coverage foundation). I would describe the finish of the Armani lipstick in 2 words: youthful and yummy. 3/3 Duchess points

Wear
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This lipstick wears better than any other lipstick I have ever tried, EVER. It isn’t drying at all – it feels moisturizing and balmy – yet it stays on for hours. The best part is that it also wears off so nicely. Even with a darker shade like this, it wears off completely evenly AND leaves behind a flattering stain. I wish I had more Duchess points to give. 3/3 Duchess points

Scent/Taste
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This is where the Armani let me down a little. After a peek at the ingredients list, there doesn’t seem to be any added fragrance (yay!), but the lipstick does have a faint “makeupy”  type of smell. Luckily, it isn’t overpowering and there isn’t any noticeable taste so I didn’t have to deduct too many points. 2/3 Duchess points

Sensitivity Test
Totally passed! No irritation from this lipstick at all. (neutral Duchess points)

MAC Test
I was so close to liking this one more than my MAC lipsticks. I think the two things that hold it back are the packaging and the scent. Although I love the formula, overall I liked it about the same as MAC. (neutral Duchess points)

Would I pay $39 CAD for another one?
duchess point

 

Yes, I would. I think the Armani Rouge Ecstasy is a high-end lipstick worthy of the splurge. 1/1 Duchess points

Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy total: 11/14

The Armani tied for second place with Guerlain and Estee Lauder.

High-End Lipstick Comparisons Chart

I am having such a fun time doing this series! I have lots more that I want to try and review, including brands like Dior, YSL, Rouge Bunny Rouge, and many others, so there will be plenty more posts in this series over the coming months. But when I wrap it up I’m going to decide on my favorite high-end lipstick and give one away to a subscriber (in a shade of their choice)!

Other reviews in this series:
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine
Rouge G de Guerlain
Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy
Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Crème
NARS Audacious Lipstick
Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel
Tom Ford Lip Color
Burberry Lip Cover
NARS Lipstick (original)

Check out my initial post for a full explanation of my rating scale.

Thanks for reading
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl

11 Comments

Filed under Giveaways, Lips, Lipstick, Reviews

High-end Lipstick Review Series: Burberry

Burberry Lip Cover

Burberry Lip Cover Soft Satin Lipstick

Burberry makeup isn’t sold in Canada except for a few select Burberry Stores in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. I visited the Toronto Burberry Store on Bloor Street and they had very little makeup in stock. The only other way to buy Burberry makeup is online from Saks Fifth Avenue where a Burberry lipstick will set you back $41.45 CAD plus $18.32 shipping* and $7.85 “duties & taxes” for a whopping total of $67.62 CAD!

*free shipping is offered on orders of $100+

Burberry Lip Cover No.23 English Rose

Burberry Lip Cover No.23 English Rose

I was actually able to pick up this lipstick while I was in England at the Burberry Store on Regent Street for 22 pounds 50, which is roughly $41 CAD. I had a lovely experience shopping there. I was really drawn to shade No. 23, English Rose, sort of a neutral, rosy pink with brown undertones.

Burberry Lip Cover No.23 English Rose

Burberry Lip Cover No.23 English Rose

Swatch: Burberry Lip Cover No.23 English Rose

English Rose swatched

Packaging
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Burberry, like Tom Ford or Chanel, has totally nailed high-end packaging. The substantial, square silver tube engraved with the classic Burberry pattern is gorgeous. It has the magnetic closure too. I also love that the lipstick itself has the Burberry diamond check pattern. 3/3 Duchess points

Formula

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I liked the formula of this lipstick. Is not my favourite of all time or anything, but I do like it. Its quite creamy and feels very comfortable on the lips. I found it a bit opaque and it almost had a heavy, traditional “lipstick” sort of formula if you know what I mean, but overall not bad. 2/3 Duchess points.

Wear
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I kind of feel the same way about the wear as I do the formula – its ok. Not my favourite, but not the worst either. It stays on well, but has a tendency to wear off a little unevenly and unflatteringly. Its one of those lipsticks that can gather around the inside corners of your lips. At least on me it does. 1/3 Duchess points

Scent/Taste
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The scent of a lipstick has such a big impact on whether or not I enjoy it. I generally just prefer unscented lip products. I’m not a big fan of the scent of the Burberry lipstick. I was actually really shocked to discover it has that old-fashioned “makeupy” smell like your grandmother’s makeup would have. Not exactly what I was expecting from Burberry. Even less enjoyable is that it also has a bit of an old-fashioned soapy taste when first applied. 1/3 Duchess points

Sensitivity Test
Despite the icky scent/taste, I don’t believe the Burberry has irritated my lips at all. I haven’t had any sort of reaction to it. (Neutral Duchess points)

MAC Test
negative 1 duchess point

 

I definitely don’t like this lipstick as much as my MAC lipsticks. -1 Duchess point

Would I pay $42+ CAD for another one?
negative 1 duchess point

 

Especially considering the shipping and duties/taxes I’d have to pay to even order another Burberry lipstick, I have to go with no. I am not in love with this lipstick, mostly due to the scent, but also the formula. -1 Duchess point

Burberry Lip Cover Soft Satin Lipstick total: 5/14

high-end lipsticks comparison

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the end of the series, I’m going to decide on my favorite high-end lipstick and give one away to a subscriber (in a shade of their choice)! Check out my initial post for a full explanation of my rating scale.

Other reviews in this series:
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine
Rouge G de Guerlain
Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy
Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Crème
NARS Audacious Lipstick
Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel
Tom Ford Lip Color
NARS Lipstick (original)

Thanks for reading
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl

17 Comments

Filed under Giveaways, Lips, Lipstick, Reviews

High-End Lipstick Review Series: Tom Ford

Tom Ford Lip Color Spanish Pink

Tom Ford Lip Color

Oh has there ever been a lipstick as hyped as Tom Ford? It seemed like people just went bananas over them when they first came out. The fact that I couldn’t get them in Canada made them seem even more elusive and desirable, so while on a trip to England last year, I couldn’t resist picking one up. Its still practically impossible to buy Tom Ford makeup in Canada except for a few select Holt Renfrew stores, where they retail for an almost unbelievable $55 CAD.

I got the shade Spanish Pink, which I think really shouldn’t have “pink” in the name because this shade is more of a peachy coral and looks very peach on me. Its one of those Bridget Bardot 1960s type of shades that I really, really want to work on me, but honestly, its not the best colour for me 😦

Tom Ford Lip Color in Spanish Pink

Tom Ford Lip Color in “Spanish Pink”

Tom Ford Lip Color Spanish Pink Swatch

“Spanish Pink” Swatch

Let’s see how Tom Ford Lip Color does in my high-end lipstick comparison series…

Packaging
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Spectacularly luxurious. The heavy square tube, the black and gold – Its definitely one glamorous looking lipstick. I love the little “TF” engraved in the top of the lipstick itself. The Tom Ford packaging is up there with Chanel or Guerlain in fully living up to all of your expectations of a high-end lipstick. 3/3 Duchess points

Formula
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The Tom Ford lipstick doesn’t have the type of formula that I typically like. Although it claims to have “Rare and exotic ingredients, including soja seed extract, Brazilian murumuru butter and chamomilla flower oil” to “create an ultra-creamy texture”, its not a hydrating lipstick. I find it drying to wear. There’s also something about the finish that I’m not a fan of. Maybe its too matte for me or too opaque? It doesn’t make my lips look “yummy”. Every time I dig this out I think, I’m going to like this lipstick this time…but it just never happens. 1/3 Duchess points

Wear
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This lipstick does stay on well but isn’t the most comfortable to wear. I always feel like I want to apply lip balm after I’ve had it on a while. 2/3 Duchess points

Scent/Taste
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To me, the Tom Ford lipstick smells almost identical to a MAC lipstick. It has that light vanilla scent. 3/3 Duchess points

Sensitivity Test
Besides drying them out a bit, I don’t think this lipstick has irritated my lips at all. I haven’t had any reaction to it, so no Duchess points deducted.

MAC Test
negative 1 duchess point

 

I definitely do not like this lipstick as much as MAC, so it gets the scary negative Duchess point!

Would I pay $55 CAD for another one?
negative 1 duchess point

 

Nope. Another scary negative Duchess point!

Tom Ford Lip Color Total: 7/14

high-end lipstick review chart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the end of the series, I’m going to decide on my favorite high-end lipstick and give one away to a subscriber (in a shade of their choice)! Check out my initial post for a full explanation of my rating scale.

Other reviews in this series:
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine
Rouge G de Guerlain
Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy
Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Crème
NARS Audacious Lipstick
Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel
NARS Lipstick (original)

Thanks for reading
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤

17 Comments

Filed under Giveaways, Lips, Lipstick, Reviews

High-end Lipstick Review Series: Rouge G de Guerlain

Rouge G de Guerlain Jewel Lipstick in 15 "Galiane"

Rouge G de Guerlain Jewel Lipstick in 15 “Galiane”

This is the seventh lipstick in my High-end Lipstick Review Series! I picked up this lipstick during a Las Vegas shopping trip this summer in the actual Guerlain Store in the Grand Canal Shoppes in the Venetian. I chose the shade Galiane, a warm nudey-pinky-beige. It’s a very wearable “my lips but better” type of shade.

In Canada, Guerlain is online through The Bay and Sephora. The Rouge G de Guerlain jewel lipsticks are $53 CAD. Galiane isn’t available on the Canadian Sephora site, but is available on the Nordstrom site which ships to Canada (but it sells for $62.04 CAD on there!).

Swatch: Rouge G de Guerlain in 15 Galiane

Rouge G de Guerlain in 15 “Galiane”

Here’s how the Rouge G de Guerlain did:

Packaging
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I wish I could give this even more than 3/3 Duchess points!!! I really don’t know how lipstick packaging could get any fancier or more high-end than this “luxury jewellery lipstick”. I love the silver metal case – it weighs a ton. And the magnetic cap pops open to reveal a mirror! It looks so fancy to take out of your purse to re-apply. I don’t have any other lipsticks that even compare to this one.

Formula
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Here’s how Guerlain describes it: “a subtle balance of intense colour and the comforting pleasure of a creamy lip balm…the unique combination of ruby powder for spectacular radiance, hyaluronic acid spheres for perfectly smoothed lips and wild mango butter for lasting hydration.” Those are some fancy (i.e expensive) ingredients! Ruby powder? An ingredients check revealed its synthetic ruby powder, which the Patents site says is “excellent in the effects of covering wrinkles and roughness in the skin”, has “a texture close to the skin in optical deepness”, and photographs well.

I love the formula, which I found creamy, slightly glossy, very hydrating, and it really doesn’t settle into any lines or emphasize any dryness at all. It reminds me a lot of MAC’s Lustre finish, which is my favourite, and like the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine I could apply it in lieu of lip balm. 3/3 Duchess points

Wear
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Because this lipstick is glossy and a bit on the sheer side (which looks really pretty) it isn’t the most long-wearing of lipsticks. You do have to re-apply more frequently than with some other lipsticks. 2/3 Duchess points

Scent/Taste

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According to Guerlain, its the “light, delicate scent of a vanilla “floriental”…Top notes sparkle with a lemon, orange and bergamot accord. The rose and iris heart exudes sweetness.” Whoa. After all that you’d think this lipstick would be perfumey as all heck, but it actually isn’t. To me it has a slightly old fashioned lipstickey smell that isn’t too bothersome but that I could take or leave. 2/3 Duchess points

Sensitivity
I have used this lipstick quite a lot and have never had any reaction to it. Passes the sensitivity test! neutral Duchess points

MAC Test
I like this lipstick as much as MAC for sure. Like I said, its very similar to the MAC lustre lipsticks. neutral Duchess points

Would I pay $53 for another one?
duchess point

 

This is a tricky one. My initial response is “YES!!! ONE IN EVERY COLOUR!” But then my more practical side says, “calm down, you don’t need $50 lipsticks crazy lady.” This lipstick is a real splurge, and I definitely think its worth the splurge, just maybe not more than once 🙂 But who knows…I actually would really like to try out some more of the Guerlain lipsticks like the KissKiss and the Rouge Automatique. If you do have some extra money to play with, I really don’t think this luxurious, stunningly packaged lipstick would disappoint. 1 Duchess point

Rouge G de Guerlain total: 11/14 (totally splurge-worthy!)

high-end lipsticks comparison chart

At the end of the series, I’m going to decide on my favorite high-end lipstick and give one away to a subscriber (in a shade of their choice)! Check out my initial post for a full explanation of my rating scale.

Other reviews in this series:
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine
Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy
Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Crème
NARS Audacious Lipstick
Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel
NARS Lipstick (original)

Thanks for reading
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤

18 Comments

Filed under Giveaways, Lips, Lipstick, Reviews

High-End Lipstick Review Series: Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy in 440 "Irresistible"

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy in 440 “Irresistible”

In this installment of my High-End Lipstick Review series, we’ll be reviewing Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick which retails for $34 CAD. Here’s a few ways Estee Lauder describes this lipstick:

  • Saturates lips with high-intensity color in one stroke
  • Time-released Moisture Complex helps capture and seal-in hydration
  • Lips feel continuously moisturized throughout the day
  • Super creamy, glides on effortlessly, covers evenly

I chose the shade 440 Irresistible, a rosy pinky-brown.

Estee Lauder "Irresistible" swatch

Estee Lauder “Irresistible” swatch

Here’s my ranking of the Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick:

Packaging
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The reason why I scored this lipstick so low on packaging can be summed up in one word: navy. I just don’t associate this colour with glamour or luxury or chicness. It reminds me of the colour of a uniform. Other than the drab, matronly shade, the packaging otherwise feels quite high-end. Its heavy and substantial with a magnetic closure. I think the colour choice is totally subjective and others may love it but, for me, it just doesn’t have that “wow” factor. 1/3 Duchess points

Formula
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Once I got past the packaging, I have to admit I fell in love with the formula of this lipstick. I have to agree, it does have “high-intensity color in one stroke” combined with being very moisturizing, even hours after you’ve applied it. “Super creamy, glides on effortlessly, covers evenly” is pretty much a perfect description. It looks very flattering on the lips with a slight shine, and feels super comfortable and hydrating. I really like wearing this lipstick. 3/3 Duchess points

Wear
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Its also super long wearing! Yet hydrating. How many lipsticks can you say that about? 3/3 Duchess points

Scent/Taste
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After trying the Estee Lauder Hydra Lustre lipstick with its weird chemically-fruity scent, I was quite pleasantly surprised that this lipstick is completely unscented. Thank goodness! 3/3 Duchess points

Sensitivity
I did not find that this lipstick irritated my lips at all, so no need to deduct any Duchess points.

MAC Test
I’m slightly conflicted on this one. I like the formula of this lipstick as much as I like my MAC lipsticks, but I don’t like the packaging as much (really wish it was a different colour). So I guess I’ll go with neutral Duchess points.

Would I pay $34 CAD for another one?
duchess point
Yes. All things considered, I really do like this lipstick and am wearing it quite a bit. Its one of those lipsticks you enjoy reaching for. I know if I bought another one I’d wear it and enjoy it.

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy total: 11/14

Here are the rankings so far:high-end lipstick comparison Check out my initial post for a full explanation of my rating scale. At the end of the series, I am going to decide on my favorite high-end lipstick and give one away to a subscriber (in a shade of their choice)!

Previous reviews in this series:
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine
Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Crème
NARS Audacious Lipstick
Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel
NARS Lipstick (original)

Thanks for reading

Love,

Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤

15 Comments

Filed under Giveaways, Lips, Lipstick, Reviews

High-End Lipstick Review Series: Chanel Rouge Coco Shine

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Parfait & Bel-Ami

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Parfait & Bel-Ami

I’m back with another entry in my High-End Lipstick Review Series. Remember, at the end of the series, I am going to decide on my favorite high-end lipstick and give one away to a subscriber (in a shade of their choice)! Check out my initial post for a full explanation of my rating scale.

I have two of the Chanel Rouge Coco “Hydrating Color Lipshines”, which Chanel describes as “sheer, shiny” and “effortlessly chic.” I have #4 Parfait, a pale, cool-toned, peachy-pink and #66 Bel-Ami, a brownish, berry-plum. Parfait is perfect for a subtle, barely there nude that is very flattering on fair skin. Bel-Ami is more on the vampy side and is very buildable for a sheer lipstick. I love both shades!

Swatches Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Parfait and Bel-Ami

Swatches: Parfait and Bel-Ami

The Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lipsticks are available at the Bay and Murale for $39.00 CND.

Packaging
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The Chanel packaging exudes luxury and chicness. As far as glamorous packaging goes, this is darn near perfection. The sleek, square, black and gold tube with the iconic Chanel logo? Sigh, so dreamy. The tube gently slides shut with a perfectly engineered and reassuring “click” and stays on while rolling around in your purse. 3/3 Duchess points.

Formula
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I love the formula. My favourite MAC lipstick finish are the Lustres, and the Rouge Coco Shine lipsticks are very, very similar. I really enjoy a more sheer lipstick that has a bit of a “luscious” finish. They just look really pretty and flattering. The Chanel lipsticks are very hydrating and feel like butter. If my lips are dry, in a pinch I can actually pop this lipstick on instead of lip balm, and I don’t even need a mirror to apply it. Definitely one of my favourite formulas! 3/3 Duchess points

Wear
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For a sheer lipstick, they’re actually quite long-wearing (and don’t require a lipliner) and wear off really nicely too. 3/3 Duchess points

Scent/Taste
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Chanel lipsticks are scented, but surprisingly, I LOVE the signature scent, which is really unusual for me. I normally prefer unscented makeup products. but there is just something about that Chanel fragrance. It smells…expensive! A little bit like rose water, a little bit like vanilla? the scent is hard to describe precisely, but – like the MAC lipsticks – is very distinctive. Whereas scented drugstore lipsticks often smell cheap and chemical-ish to me, I think because Chanel uses perfume quality fragrances (hence the much higher price tag) it smells all classy 🙂 3/3 Duchess points

Sensitivity
I have never found that these lipsticks irritated my lips. They are very comfortable to wear and totally pass the sensitive skin test.

MAC Test
As much as I love the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lipstick, I don’t know if I love it MORE than MAC. I would say I like it the same amount as my beloved MAC lipstick. This counts as neutral in terms of duchess points.

Would I pay $39 CAD for another one?
duchess point

 

Absolutely! The only thing that saves me from financial ruin is that there is no way for me to get my hands on any Chanel makeup anywhere near where I live. I would have to order online, which for me, for a an expensive lipstick, I’m reluctant to do without seeing/swatching in person. I picked up each of these lipsticks while in Montreal and Toronto. However, I would buy another one. I think they are worth the splurge. But maybe that’s my makeup addiction talking? +1 Duchess point

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Total: 13/14

high-end lipstick review comparison chartOther reviews in this series:
Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Crème
NARS Audacious Lipstick
Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel
NARS Lipstick (original)

Thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤

13 Comments

Filed under Giveaways, Lips, Lipstick, Reviews

High-end Lipstick Review Series: NARS (original formula) VS NARS Audacious Lipstick

I thought it might be helpful to not only review the new NARS Audacious lipstick, but to also review the original NARS lipstick along with it. That way people would have a comparison if they were thinking about trying the new lipsticks out. So in this installment of my High-end Lipstick Review series you get two for one!

Let’s start with the NARS lipstick original formula which is $32.00 CAD. I tried the shade Barbarella, a “sheer peach”. This was when I was going through a “must-find-a-peachy-nude-that-works-on fair-skin” phase. I have to admit, this shade is very pretty!

NARS Lipstick in Barbarella

NARS Lipstick in “Barbarella”

NARS Barbarella swatch

NARS “Barbarella” swatched

Here’s how the NARS original lipstick fared:

Packaging
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I was underwhelmed by the original packaging. The lipsticks are weirdly tiny (although at 0.12 oz you certainly are getting a standard amount of product). Its the same material as the NARS blush packaging – that fuzzy, rubbery material that seems to pick up every bit of dirt and lint. While I can tolerate it in a blush, I don’t want to pull a lipstick out of my purse to reapply and have it looking all filthy. I had the same issue with this lipstick as I did with the Marc Jacob packaging; for a high-end lipstick it wasn’t very unique or interesting. 1/3 Duchess points.

Formula
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I really prefer a sheer lipstick, but the formula on this one was not one that I enjoyed. In a word, I would describe it as “greasy”. Need I say more? 1/3 Duchess points.

Wear
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For a lipstick described as “sheer”, this actually wears really well. 2/3 Duchess points.

Scent/Taste
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I just can’t stand the scent of the original NARS lipstick. It smells like sugary, artificial, colours-not-found-in-nature breakfast cereal. It reminds me of the smell of Fruit Loops cereal in particular. So gross. 0/3 Duchess points.

Sensitivity Test
negative 1 duchess point

 

Have to deduct a Duchess point. This lipstick seriously irritated my lips, probably due to the strong artificial scent. After wearing this, my lips would literally peel (sorry TMI!).

MAC Test

negative 1 duchess point

 

Definitely did not like this as much as my MAC lipsticks so I have to deduct another Duchess point.

Would I pay $32 for another NARS Lipstick?
negative 1 duchess point

 

Definitely not! The greasy feeling formula, icky scent, and the fact that it irritated my lips made me vow to never buy another NARS lipstick. -1 Duchess point.

NARS Lipstick (original) total: 1/14

Then along came the new NARS Audacious Lipstick which is $37.00 CAD (but at 0.14 oz you are getting slightly more product). During the V.I.B. sale, I decided to give NARS a second chance and see if their new lipstick was an improvement over the original.  So, technically, I got it for $29.60. I ordered the totally vampy shade Liv a “deep aubergine” and the darkest shade in the line. I am in love with this colour.

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Liv

NARS Audacious Lipstick in “Liv”

NARS Audacious Liv swatch

“Liv” swatched

Packaging
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Much better packaging! The new Audacious packaging is bigger, weightier, and more  substantial and has a magnetic closure (yay!). They’ve done away with the typical, weird fuzzy NARS packaging for a sleek, smooth tube. I love the black-on-black “NARS” lettering on the tube and the “NARS” imprint on the lipstick itself. This packaging looks and feels more high-end. 2/3 Duchess points.

Formula
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After using it all week, I’m not head-over-heels in love with this formula. Its a bit fussy to apply evenly (which I have heard some other reviewers mention and you can kind of tell from my swatch). I have to pat it on from the bullet, and then pat it in a lot with my finger to get it to look good and to make sure it doesn’t settle into any lines on my lips. Its also on the drier side and will  accentuate any dryness on your lips, so exfoliate and apply lip balm before hand. After all that fussing, it does look good though. 1/3 Duchess points.

Wear
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Wow this is a long wearing lipstick! Once applied it really isn’t going anywhere. I would recommend a lipliner with it (I used MAC Vino). 3/3 Duchess points.

Scent/Taste
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The Audacious Lipstick is completely unscented and has no taste! This is what I prefer in a lipstick. 3/3 Duchess points.

Sensitivity Test
The Audacious Lipstick totally passed my sensitivity test. After using it all week, it hasn’t irritated me at all. Hooray!

MAC Test
I would compare the Audacious Lipstick to the MAC Cremesheen or Amplified finishes. I wouldn’t say I like it better than MAC, but I think I like it about the same as the MAC Cremesheens. This counts as neutral (it doesn’t lose or gain any Duchess points).

Would I pay $37 for another NARS Audacious Lipstick?
negative 1 duchess point

 

While its an improvement over the original NARS lipstick, I feel like I just didn’t love this enough to pay $37 for another one. That’s a lot of money. I would REALLY have to be completely in love with it to repurchase it at that price point. -1 Duchess point.

NARS Audacious Lipstick Total: 8/14

Here’s an updated ranking:

high-end lipstick comparison chart

I feel bad that I’m not coming up with any “worth the splurge”s yet, lol, but I promise my next lipstick in the series will be one of my absolute favourite high-end lipsticks!

Previous reviews in this series:
Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Crème
Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel

Thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤

19 Comments

Filed under Lips, Lipstick, Reviews

High-end Lipstick Review Series: Marc Jacobs

This is the second lipstick in my High-end Lipstick Review Series & Give-away. I’m ranking lipsticks that retail for $30 CAD or more, and at the end of the series will pick my favourite and give away a lipstick from that brand to a subscriber. Next up is Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel.

Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel in "Cabaret"

Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel in “Cabaret”

Marc Jacobs Beauty Lovemarc Lip Gel in Cabaret

Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel in “Cabaret”

I got this full-sized lipstick in August as part of a 1000 point perk from Sephora. The Marc Jacobs lipsticks are $36.00 CAD. The shade “Cabaret” was exclusive to the VIB reward and is no longer available. The Lip Gels are described as a “color-saturated, long-wearing, gellified lipstick with a sleek shine finish.”

Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel Cabaret swatch

Cabaret

Packaging

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I have to say I was a little disappointed by the design and quality of the packaging. It isn’t very remarkable. Black and silver: not overly original. The plastic tube feels very light-weight like a drugstore lipstick, although it does have the magnetic closure which is nice. The cover (which feels cheap) is oddly wide, but the bullet inside seems really small. You’re getting 0.12 oz (a MAC lipstick is 0.1 oz) so there isn’t less product, but the bullet seems skinnier and the tip much smaller than a typical lipstick which I didn’t like when I was trying to apply it. The lipstick itself is completely plain with no design imprinted on it like a lot of other high-end lipsticks. For $36.00, the design of the lipstick did not wow me. 1/3 Duchess points.

Formula

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I’m not sure about all this “gellified” and lip “gel” business, because I found the lipstick to have a pretty much standard lipstick type of formula. It is super pigmented though! It did apply smoothly and evenly, but I found it to be a little too dry and a little on the matte side for me. I would disagree that it “provides intense hydration” or that it has a “sleek shine finish”. Overall I’m in like with the formula, but not in love. 2/3 Duchess points.

Wear

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One thing you sure can’t fault Marc Jacobs for. When he says “long-wearing” he is not fooling around! This lipstick stays on until I remove it with make-up remover. It is so pigmented it also stains my lips. 3/3 Duchess points.

Scent/Taste

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Described as “subtly scented with vanilla”, the Marc Jacobs smells pretty much exactly like the MAC lipsticks which smell amazing! It is subtle like the MAC scent and has no taste. 3/3 Duchess points.

Sensitivity Test
Although I did find it a bit drying on my lips I don’t think I’ve had any reaction to the lipstick, so it passes the sensitivity test.

MAC Test

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I didn’t like the Marc Jacobs as much as MAC lipstick, which costs much less, so I have to deduct a Duchess point.

Would I pay $36 for another one?

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No, I don’t think so. This high-end brand lost points for packaging, plus I enjoy MAC lipsticks (at $17 cheaper) way more than this one. I don’t think the Marc Jacobs are worth the splurge. -1 Duchess point.

Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel total: 7 Duchess points.

Here are my rankings so far:
ranking01
For more details on my High-end Lipstick Review Series and to read my Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Crème full review check out my first post.

Thanks for reading!
Love,
❤ Nerdy Librarian Girl

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Filed under Giveaways, Lips, Lipstick, Reviews

High-end Lipstick Review Series: Hourglass

I’m always curious about the “prestige” or high-end makeup lines with their super fancy and glamorous packaging that comes at a high price. So for fun, I’ve decided to try doing a series where I review lipsticks from high-end brands, rate them and compare them, and decide which ones I think are worth the splurge and which ones aren’t. At the end of the series, I’m going to pick my favourite and give-away a lipstick from that brand to a subscriber in the shade of their choice!

For the series, to count as “high-end” the lipstick has to retail for $30 CAD or more. I came up with a rating scale that awards or deducts “Duchess points” (represented by HRH Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge of course!) based on packaging, formula, wear, scent/taste, the sensitivity test (whether or not it irritated my lips), whether I’d repurchase, as well as what I’m calling the “MAC test”. MAC lipsticks are my absolute favourite and I just can’t help measuring all other lipsticks against theirs.

High-end Lipsticks Review Series!

High-end Lipsticks Review Series!

For the first lipstick in the series I’m reviewing the Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipstick. I ordered mine online through Sephora for $35.00 CAD.

Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipstick Fresco

Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipstick in “Fresco”

The Velvet Creme Lipsticks are a “lustrous, cream formula lipstick that hydrates and softens lips.” After looking at swatches and reviews online, I chose the shade Fresco, described as a “rosy nude”.

Swatch Hourglass Lipstick Fresco

“Fresco” a rosy-nude

Packaging

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Love the packaging! The heavy-duty plastic tube feels very solid and substantial and has a clicking mechanism to keep it securely shut. In my pic it appears more black (sorry about that), but the tube is actually a rich, metallic chocolate brown, a unique and classy colour choice I think. The brand’s name is engraved down the side of the tube in gold Arts & Crafts style lettering. I love the hourglass design on the actual lipstick (a nice extra touch), and although not everyone is a fan, I really like the lipstick’s square tip. I had no trouble applying it and it wears to a more rounded shape. Overall very understated and modern packaging. 3/3 Duchess points.
Formula

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The formula is pretty much everything I could ask for in a lipstick: creamy, moisturizing, slightly sheer (but not too sheer). It has the perfect amount of sheen and feels very comfortable on the lips. It’s one of those lipsticks that makes you want to reach for it. 3/3 Duchess points.

Wear

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I found it long-wearing and non-drying. I also liked how it wears off subtly, gradually and evenly. 3/3 Duchess points.

Scent/Taste

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This is a very important factor for me that can make or break a lipstick. I was happy that the Hourglass lipstick doesn’t seem to have a discernible scent or taste – hooray! The ingredients lists “vanillin” (artificial vanilla flavour) but for the life of me I can’t detect any vanilla scent or taste.  It smells vaguely of clay, sort of like the old unscented Bare Escentuals lipsticks if anyone remembers those. 2/3 Duchess points.

Sensitivity
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As much as I loved this lipstick, it didn’t pass the sensitivity test, which is weird because it’s formulated without parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes, or phthalates. You know how when you get a new lipstick you really like, you get a bit obsessed with it? I was using only this lipstick and after a week, the skin around my lips, especially in the corners of my mouth got dry, cracked, red and irritated. When I stopped using the Hourglass lipstick, it went away. One ingredient that stood out to me as a bit unusual is “Honeysuckle Flower Extract” and I found an article in the Contact Dermatitis journal identifying it as a potential allergen.  -1 Duchess point.

MAC Test
Aside from the sensitivity issue, I would say I liked the Hourglass the same amount as my beloved MAC lipsticks. This counts as neutral in terms of duchess points.

Do I like it enough to pay $35 for another Hourglass lipstick?
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No but only because I had a reaction to it, which does happen to me with some beauty products. The curse of having sensitive skin, sigh.  -1 Duchess point.

Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipstick Total: 9/14 Duchess points

Stay tuned for more in my High-end Lipstick Review Series! If you like this idea for a series, please like this post. To be a part of my High-end Lipstick Give-Away, you just have to be subscribed to my blog through WordPress, email, or Bloglovin.

Thanks for reading!

❤ Love,

Nerdy Librarian Girl

19 Comments

Filed under Giveaways, Lipstick, Reviews