Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Dior Addict Lacquer Plump - Pretty, Fever and Glitz

 Just a few days ago, I mentioned how I love Dior lippies (compared to other brands) and while I was making some other purchase (eye shadow palette again), I picked some lip color testers. The Lacquer Plump is their new liquid lip color, replacing Fluid Stick. It was somewhat remarkable that it doesn't have a stellar rating (Sephora removes quite a bit of negative ratings so a 3.5/5 is actually pretty terrible). I was wonder how bad it can get and thinking maybe it got a low score simply because it's too different from its predecessor (this part is true, and the formula is indeed craptastic).  
 For the tester, there are three shades, one okay for work and play and the rest are suitable for dragqueen. 
 456 Dior Pretty is a muted berry (not unlike Fluid Stick in Chic) - The formula is thinner, less pigmented than Fluid Stick. The texture  slightly creamy liquid that feels like a thin watery balm and wear off real fast. It slips off lip boundary easily and  just sits on the lip lines, leaving a bit of stain underneath. What's really interesting about this formula is that it turns milky and gross upon contact with liquid/saliva, giving off a disgusting taste and look. I consider it a fatal design flaw since how can I avoid contact with saliva?!

The shade Dior Pretty is much cooler (hello grandma magenta!) while it's not too dated, I am not a big fan.
676 Dior Fever is a deep fuchsia with strong blue pearl (same problem getting milky) - This leaves a very strong fuchsia hot pink stain that's equally unwearable. You can get a little peek of it in the below picture.
538 Dior Glitz is a product of curiousity - For a gloss, it's almost textually undetectable : There is no base color to it, the hot pink was the stain from the Dior Fever. After layers and layers, all I get is a patches of gilded dandruff. Removal is a pain in the ass: Instead of getting wiped off by damp cotton pad, this just smear allover, giving me a golden mustache.

Why Dior? Why?!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Tom Ford Ultra Shine Lip Color in 07 Willful

I am not a big fan of western lipsticks in general (they are too bold and dramatic even in a "sheer" formula) but when I saw this tube design for Tom Ford Ultra Shine Lip Color, I just had to get one even with its ridiculous retail price. Since it was released around the same time as Sephora's beauty insider sale, I went in store and grabbed it 20% off ($55). After tax, it ended up being the most expensive (but not necessarily the best) lipstick I ever purchased.
Since the only selling point was the packaging, let's take a closer look. The design is indeed beautiful, weighty and looks quite jewelry-like. Upon closer examination, it actually looks like it's made of "affordable" (non luxurious, cheap) materials. 

The details on this piece of art don't hold up very well: The interior of the cap looks shoddy and full of weld lines (it looks like plastic pipe). The white plastic started to discolor, having some spots from heat in just a year and I have gotten one small chip on the golden frame (I never brought it out with me). These are some design imperfections that I don't see with YSL, Dior or Chanel. And for the record, my 3-year-old plastic Jill Stuart lipstick never chipped!

 I haven't taken it apart but I would bet my lunch money that the packaging is made in China, just like Tom Ford's eyeshadow compacts (and many other packaging from Estee Lauder brands). I guess, consider how ornate it is, it might be cost-prohibitive to have this exact design made with better material or in a developed country...But hey, at the $55 a piece...I am sure they can afford better materials. 
Back to the lipstick - Since the range was newly released and very popular when I got it, there weren't many shades left in store. I picked 07 Willful as I could always use another "sheer" red. 
Of course it's not sheer at all! 07 Willful is a seemly neutral to poppy red with a creamy texture and shiny finish that's not very long wearing. The vanilla scented lipstick is very comfortable, somewhat moisturizing and a single swipe gives a very intense dose of color, reaching 70-80% opacity.  

The formula of Ultra Shine Lip Color is pretty nice for a creamy bold, but I find the creamy formula from Bare Minerals (low $20s) , Shiseido (mid $20s) and Lunasol ($30) are still notably better. 
On my lips - 07 Willful is a curious shade, while it looks warm on the outside, it also feels a bit bright and garish...I found out when I wipe off the glossy part.
Turns out it's a neutral warm red with that hot pink stain underneath. It's not a super bold magenta but I don't care for it anyway. 

Overall, it's a decent (if it were 20bucks) formula, not very flattering shade (on me) but the design is truly beautiful. It's great for collector (consider how delicate/cheaply made it is) but if you are a lippie-lover wanting to try a luxury lipstick, Suqqu is a better way to burn $40-50. 

Verdict: A ripoff. 

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Essence Holo Wow Dewy Lip Shine in 04 Dragonfly Shimmer

If you dig back far enough into my blog archive, you will know that I am a huge fan of "wacky" gloss, from the sheer blue of Benefit California Kissin, the golden green Diorkiss Granny Smith, Lilac and Green Mac Tendertone (boy I miss their old lippie formula), the Apple Green from Revlon 2011 Summer and Wet n Wild Venice Beach Collection...I love them all. Since I have very flustered lips during summer, many of these wacky gloss tone down my lip color and adds the right amount of juicy shine (oh they look so refreshing too). 

When I saw these fun glosses on Essence's display, I was like why not? It was only around 5 bucks (not expensive but not cheap enough for me to haul multiple). 
There was also a green (that looked a little too intense)so I went with this gorgeous shimmering aqua. As you can see here, there is also a strong purple fuchsia duo chrome. 
The standard doe foot wand and the texture is nothing special. The same old semi tacky gloss that we had a decade ago.  And since the entire sponge tip is soaked blue, I started to suspect that this might not be the clear blue I was expecting.
A single dab shows that this is actually very intense. One layer is enough to give a very noticeable blue tint. 
On the lips Essence Holo Wow Dewy Lip Shine has a clear blue and purple tone. At the same time, it also has a natural gray undertone. Natural in a way that it reminds me on the gray pigmentation shown around lips (actually it make me feel like an  uncooked squid?).

To me the formula is fun but unwearable for grown up. I could use it to adjust and cool down lipsticks but my own lip color is already doing that. I think the current ongoing trend for drugstore brand wacky lip colors is that they actually look true to colors *shudders*. Great news for (I don't know? People who like green lipsticks) but sad news for me...

Monday, July 08, 2019

Opera Lip Tint in Orange and Pink Red

Opera lip tint is one of the most popular lip products in their local market and being the trend follower, I had to get a few to play with. (That's from two years ago, before realizing most Japanese lip tints leave strong stain afterward)

I only reviewed two in the past because it's impossible to just swatch and go with these (They are a little drying to me so they require a warm, humid day with perfect sun. With the strong stain they leave behind means I can't swatch anything afterward...) Anyway, I finally managed to swatch the rest I had on two separate mornings. 
06 Pink Red is a slightly murky (there is a little creamy opacity but not white base) red that's a little mulberry. The color is very and healthy and wearable...that's until the strong stain kicks in. 
The pink red gets quite bold on me and stays for at least 8hr with eating and drinking.
Once the light glossy finish wears off, the formula is actually quite drying (on me at least). I could touch up but building up the color means having clown mouth. 

 I can see how Japanese women love it because their climate are more humid and forgiving.
04 Orange is a clear orange that turns gradually more coral red.
Opera is changing the packaging to a Bronze and silver but the original gold tube is quite sleek-looking.

Bare lips
04 Orange freshly applied. Opera has a lovely thin oil-gloss texture that's smooth and comfortable, but it's not too long wearing that it slips off easily (that's why they add the staining effect).
Blotted after two minutes, you can see lines are already creeping in (consider it was a very humid day) and it's turning more coral pink. By the end of the day, it's a very strong coral red stain on me. I personally don't like this level of stain because it looks quite unnatural on me and I am afraid it will become hyperpigmentation on my lips in the long run. 
All four of Opera Lip tint - 02 Pink and 06 Pink red both turns magenta right away. 04 Orange is too bold of a coral red but not as bad as magenta. 05 Coral pink is the most wearable one of the bunch. 
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