Sunday, March 30, 2014

Longevity Test: Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Lipstick in Dynamic

I spent some quality time today with my new Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Lipstick in Dynamic and was really happy with the results.  It still looks great at the end of the day (with a few touchups of course).  Usually I just give up on a lipstick a few hours in and end the day with gloss but the Envy was very manageable and easy to maintain throughout the day.

Since it was Sunday, this didn't go through my most rigorous test, which is a long work day filled with meetings, presentations, and calls.  Frankly I'm afraid to put anything through that test other than a neutral that I can reapply quickly without needing a mirror for fear of the dreaded "Ring of Leftover Lip Color" around otherwise bare, chapped lips.

First off was the shower test.  Just for fun I applied it first thing in the morning on dry chapped lips without any lip balm underneath.  It felt nicely smooth and creamy and the color was even.  It didn't look gross even though I hadn't exfoliated first.  When I came out of the shower it had faded a little but most of the pigment was still there.  Nice.

The rest of the day I was running errands in windy, rainy weather and it held up like a champ even through a pastry and then lunch.  It faded a little throughout the day but even after lunch there was enough pigment left so I still looked like I had lipstick on.  The fading was pretty even too, so it's not like my purple fish lips were showing through while the edges of my lips were still covered in lipstick.

By itself it wasn't moisturizing enough to last me the entire day, but I doubt anyone with chapped lips would expect that.  I layered on my Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss in Debut every so often (is that cheating?).  I liked that adding a hydrating gloss on top didn't affect how evenly the lipstick pigment looked good and presentable all day long.

What I loved most was how low maintenance this lipstick was.  When it faded, I simply touched up a bit in the mirror.  Same thing after eating lunch.  Not sure if this will sound very amazing to people with normal lips, but usually by that time I have to scrub my peeling lips and redo them (or just give up and apply balm) because the dry flakiness becomes too apparent and it's just a relief to get it all off.  Not so with Envy; this lipstick was a pleasure to wear all day long.

Summary From A Person With Chapped Lips

Longevity: lasts pretty damn long if you ask me.  color clings to lips, almost stain-like, and fades slowly and evenly.
Feathering:  none for me (obviously YMMV).  the lipstick stayed put and did not slide all over the place.
Peeling:  minimal.  it's just my lips being annoying, not caused by the lipstick.
Drying:  none, nada, zip (this is a weird one...Clinique Chubby Sticks dry out my lips like crazy for some reason, who even knows why?)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Dior Addict Fluid Sticks in 338 Mirage and 373 Rieuse

Holy *bleep* I've been on a crazy bender ever since the Nordstrom Beauty Trend show!  The online orders keep rolling in and every time I get into a conversation with an SA at a cosmetic counter I end up leaving with a crapload of random stuff that I hadn't planned on buying!

For the longest time I avoided department store cosmetic counters for fear of the hard sell.  I hated the way the SAs hovered around as if expecting me to shoplift or run off with the testers or something the minute they stopped breathing down my neck.  I always felt too nervous and self-conscious to comfortably browse.

Well, no more!  These days beauty counter SAs are practically my best friends!  They introduce me to gorgeous little things I never knew I needed.  They ply me with GWPs and offers of makeovers.  They oh-so-gently separate me and my hard-earned cash with the sweetest of smiles and sincerely wish to see me (ok, my wallet) again.  What's not to like?

(huh?  I thought this was about the Dior Addict Fluid Stick?)

Diorshow Fusion Mono Long Wear Professional Mirror Shine Eyeshadow in 821 Chimere

 Dior Addict Fluid Sticks in 338 Mirage and 373 Rieuse ("she who laughs"?)

I barely even knew these existed when I saw them front and center at the Dior counter in Macy's.  The knobbed cap is good old familiar Dior Addict territory, but the lipstick-shaped container?  Soooo... was Maybelline copying on Dior, or....?  Anyways I only meant to gaze at the pretty colors for a moment but next thing you know the SA had me sitting down to try on a few shades.

She mentioned there were fifteen (I think? wasn't paying close attention) shades total at Macy's but only eight (I think?) shades in the permanent lineup.  Among the fifteen I had trouble finding a workaday neutral as they seemed like mostly brights or nudes that were way too light for me (see: purple-tinged fish lips).  So first I tried 479 Magique which was a freaking beautiful super bright pink.

I wasn't paying much attention to the color at that point, as the sensation of that smooth luscious gloss meeting my lips was just too distracting.  The formula felt incredible going on and was so, so opaque.  Hallelujah!  Those of you with dry lips will understand about the quest for a hydrating gloss that's also pigmented -- usually it's a tradeoff but lately with all these hybrid formulas coming out there's hope for us chappies after all!

I just love the applicator size and shape -- flat little bowl shape to really hug my lips and apply the gloss evenly in quick swipes, but also small enough (thinking of Lancome's La Laque Fever Gloss here) for detail work and accuracy.

Oh yeah so back to the colors.  Magique was practically neon and since I'm no longer a teenager the SA found me something still bright pink but less neon, 373 Rieuse.  There didn't really seem to be anything neutral (except the too-light nudes) so I tried on 338 Mirage which was a very pretty coral.  Another bonus:  no glitter or shimmer in either one.  Cha-ching!

Short-term impression:  Holy Hybrid Lipgloss, Batman!  I like, totally love this formula.  My most favorite hydrating gloss is (was?) Smashbox's Lip Enhancing Gloss but even the True Color ones barely have any pigmentation.  Still it's a great non-sticky lightweight gloss and is one of the few products I can use all day without peeling like crazy or feeling parched like a desert by the end.  This felt a lot like that except it was waaaaaaay more pigmented and had such a fun, bright color selection.  Oh and Rieuse at least seems to stain pretty good.  When removing the swatches with my Lancome Eau Fraiche Douceur micellar water, I really had to scrub hard and even then I could see a faint impression of the swatch.

About my lips:  Dry, chapped, purple-tinged, please just cover them up with something!
My lippie requirements:  Hydration, pigmentation, prefer no shimmer, and definitely no glitter.
Day-long wear test:  Pass!  This lipgloss feels different from normal gloss when applied...more of a gel feeling than anything else.  It "sets" a little bit.  On me (since my lips are so chapped) I'm guessing the moisture gets absorbed more quickly than on normal lips, but as far as glosses go it's definitely nicely moisturizing.  The lasting power of the color probably depends on which color you get.  For me, Rieuse was much more noticeable after a couple hours than Mirage was but both of them seem to have a bit of staining effect which is great.  However with Rieuse after several hours and a couple of re-applications I really wished I had a lip liner on me as the gloss migrated a bit over my lip lines and looked a bit disheveled.  

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Lipstick in 410 Dynamic

Thanks to the weirdly overblown marketing copy, I had no desire to even try this on until -- you guessed it, a friendly Estee Lauder SA in Nordie's started up a conversation and next thing I knew I was sitting in the makeover chair trying on different shades of this beautiful new lipstick.  The selection of twenty-one shades definitely has something for everyone, from conservative neutrals, nudes, bright pinks and fuscias to dramatic reds.  Supposedly these are long lasting, moisturizing, and pigmented (everyone seems to be saying that about their new lippies this season, is it contagious?).

I thought the packaging was just gorgeous, so sleek with just enough heft to feel substantial, but not like an anvil in your pocket like *cough* YSL *cough* others I could name.  The dark blue metallic case is trimmed with gold at either end (not real gold!) with the Estee Lauder logo embossed on the top.  It's magnetic and closes with a satisfying "snap."  Nice design, Estee Lauder!  Simple, elegant, and classy.

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Lipstick in 410 Dynamic

Short-term impression:  The formula felt very lightweight and silky and glided right on with a pretty satin finish.  It's more or less full coverage with one swipe, although as always lighter colors seem more translucent.    Dynamic (swatched above) is described on the EL site as a mid-tone warm neutral and looks like a nice warm rose.  I also swatched Rebellious Rose which was the same mid-tone but with more pink in it (sadly they were OOS already).  Intense Nude (mid-tone rosy neutral) was, weirdly, exactly my natural lip shade.  Emotional was in the brick red category, described on the site as warm rusty brown.

About my lips:  Dry, chapped, purple-tinged, please just cover them up with something!
My lippie requirements:  Hydration, pigmentation, prefer no shimmer, and definitely no glitter.

Conclusion:  Did this lipstick cause six foot tall blue-eyed blond women to glare at me in envy (see ridiculous ad campaign)?  No.  Did it make me feel powerful because everyone was apparently envying me due to this magic lip product (see ridiculous ad copy)?  Heck, no!  But the formula definitely feels in line with newer lipsticks that somehow manage to be lightweight, silky, moisturizing, AND pigmented all at the same time.
Day-long wear test coming soon!