Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dior Addict Fluid Sticks Swatched | 219 Whisper Beige, 239 Frisson, 269 Tiny Pink, 373 Rieuse and 389 Kiss Me

Here are lip swatches of the new Dior Addict Fluid Sticks ($35 each) I have in 219 Whisper Beige, 239 Frisson, 269 Tiny Pink, 373 Rieuse and 389 Kiss Me. There are 17 shades total but not all stores and counters will receive all the colors - you may have to do a bit of hunting to find the colors. 269 Tiny Pink is exclusive to Dior.com and I was told it will be available at Sephora (but I don't see it online yet).

I have a couple application photos to show you how pigmented these are. They look quite intense when you swatch them but they blend out really nicely on the lips. The lighter shades need a bit of extra blending otherwise some of my lip creases show through. You can apply with a brush or the sponge tip - the result/effect will ultimately be the same. If you use a liner you may want to apply/blend with a separate lip brush so your lipliner color doesn't mix in with the gloss color.

I like how they finally added the product name on the labels, it's in really tiny print under the numbers but at least they are now on the tubes:

Close up of the sponge tip:

Swatches without any flash, you can see how these have a glossy finish:

Lip swatches show these are full coverage no-shimmer lip colors. Whisper Beige and Frisson are pretty close on the lips, Frisson is a bit brighter and more peach but they look really close on my lips.

Several of you have asked how the Addict Fluid Sticks compare to the Addict Glosses. My thoughts below:
  • Addict Fluid Sticks have more pigment, more coverage, are more opaque and none of the colors have any shimmer. These are $35 for for 5.5 ml/0.18 fl oz. These come with a sponge tip applicator.
  • Addict Glosses have a wider range of finishes (some non-shimmer, some glittery, some shimmery) but in general they have a more glossy finish with a transparent quality. These are $29.50 for 6.5 ml/0.21 fl oz. These come with a brush tip.

Dior Addict Gloss swatch 576 Bed of Roses:


One last pic of the Addict Fluid Sticks:

Overall very impressed with these. The colors are rich and give lips full coverage color with a nice shine. Lasting power is in between that of a lipstick and gloss. There is a natural sheen to these but the fluid texture has a bit of a dry down after application. It's slightly sticky/tacky/thick but stays put for several hours without budging. They feel extremely lush on the lips and make them look full. I am dying to try a few of the plum colors but want to wait until they arrive in stores.

I give these a thumbs up. The lighter colors aren't too pale and will suit those who love neutrals. There is a good mix of medium-brights that aren't too bright as well for those who want color but don't want something too loud. Then there are quite a few brighter more dramatic colors for those who live for colorful lips. All classic shades with a modern look.

If I had tested these in person first, I would have skipped Whisper Beige since Frisson is very similar on my lips. I prefer the peachy color but if you want a beige that won't make you look like a corpse Whisper Beige is very nice. I was worried Kiss Me might be too cool-toned but it has enough color which prevents it from looking too mod/white on my olive skin.

Dior Addict Fluid Sticks retail for $35 each. In stores now at Macy's (they have an exclusive until the end of the month). Online now at Sephora (select colors), NordstromMacy's and Dior.com.

Dior Addict Fluid Sticks - A First Look

Dior Addict Fluid Sticks ($35 for 5.5 ml/0.18 fl oz) are the latest in lip innovations. They are a hybrid gloss, lipstick and stain all in one. They have a fluid texture that is extremely pigmented but blends out perfectly to a sheerer but full coverage finish. The Fluid Sticks come with a sponge tip applicator that has a unique design - I found it shaped perfectly to get a precise application to the lips. The formula is a high-impact type of lip color. They cover the lip entirely but aren't completely full-coverage. There is a soft fragrance to it but it fades quickly. I found these to have a slightly plumping feel - but it did not irritate my lips or and I didn't feel any reaction (many lip-plumping products cause a numbing reaction for me).

These are currently only available in stores at Macy's and the Dior Las Vegas Palazzo Boutique. Other stores should have these in the US starting May. Online now at Sephora, Macy's, Nordstrom, Dior.com.

I ordered a few from the Dior Boutique and online, left to right: 219 Whisper Beige, 239 Frisson, 269 Tiny Pink (only on Dior.com and reported to be a Sephora exclusive), 373 Rieuse and 389 Kiss Me.

Swatches on the arm for now, I'll post lip swatches in a separate post shortly.

  • 219 Whisper Beige is a nude beige but not too nude
  • 239 Frisson is a limited-edition color according to the Dior boutique, it's a soft peach
  • 269 Tiny Pink is exclusive to Dior.com and will also be a Sephora exclusive, it's a warm pink
  • 373 Rieuse is a healthy warm pink
  • 389 Kiss Me is a cool-toned pink

The sponge tips are not your typical sponge tip for lip glosses. It has a beveled tip which makes application easier. They blend the color out on the lips really well. No lip liner or tweaking needed.

The packaging is similar to that of the Addict Lip Glosses. The difference is in the finish and brush tips. Addict Fluid Sticks pack in more punch and pigment while Addict Glosses have a higher shine and sheerer finish.

Swatches below to show the difference in pigment and shine:

Dior has hit it big with these new lipstick/gloss Addict Fluid Sticks. At $35 each they are a bit pricey but you won't be disappointed with the formula. They blend out on the lips in an amazing way with a soft healthy shine. There is a wide range of color options - enough to suit everyone's tastes. I  ordered sight unseen and gravitated towards the lighter shades. Bubbly Michelle has swatches of all the colors which I found very helpful.

These will be at all Dior counters soon. Right now online at Sephora, Macy'sNordstromDior.com.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Giorgio Armani Cheek Fabric Blush and Sun Fabric Bronzer

Giorgio Armani re-packaged and launched new colors of their blush and bronzer with 8 shades of Cheek Fabric Blush ($46 each for 4g/0.14 oz) and 4 shades of Sun Fabric Bronzer ($54 for 10.5g/0.37 oz). Since virtually all items from the line have gone through packaging and formula changes over the past few years, I knew the blushes and bronzers would be changed eventually. The change is bitter-sweet. I had fallen in love with classic shades of their Sheer Blush #2, 5 and 10. They have been discontinued but I haven't been able to take a close look to see if any of the new colors have replaced any of the older numbers. The good news is these new blushes have an extended color range and the bronzers come in a more silky soft texture. I picked up a few of the new colors at the counter - however one of the blushes gave me was the wrong number. The naming conventions are a bit confusing, I wish they had stuck to single digits or labeled the testers with the actual names. (If you love the older colors you may want to stock up while you can, I see them still at Saks here and here.)

The colors I have to show you are Cheek Fabrics in Daybreak 503 (a soft pink beige), Blush 506 (soft rose pink), Sun Fabric 400 (warm bronze) and Dolci 305 (soft peach). All the colors I picked out have a soft luminous shimmer that doesn't really show up on the skin. These really are like second-skin and blend in very naturally with the cheeks. They have similar pigment to the original Armani Sheer Blush and Bronzers.

Swatched with a soft fluffy brush (but layered):

Close ups of the colors (click to see the sheen), the new Cheek Fabric Blushes are smaller in size compared to the older blushes and come in a single tier mirrored compact. Sun Fabric Bronzers are larger in size and come in a double-deck mirrored compact with a small brush.

Size comparison from the old to new:

Swatch comparisons in three sets, first peach comparisons, pink comparisons then bronzer comparisons. Below you can see how luminous the Cheek Fabrics are - they are sheer but buildable in color. Those who liked the older blush formula know they have a similar natural look but these have a bit more color which I really like. 

Chanel Espiegle (discontinued), Chanel Frivole, Burberry Blossom, Armani Sheer Blush #8 (discontinued), NARS Orgasm, Tom Ford Love Lust

I was hoping Daybreak 503 would be a dupe for the Sheer Blush #10, but it's not. Hourglass Mood Exposure, Sheer Blush #10 (discontinued but still at Saks for now), Chanel Rose Dust (discontinued), Sheer Blush #6 (discontinued but still at Saks now), Burberry Rose, Chanel Emotion

For bronzers, the Armani #400 is most similar to Burberry Warm Glow. NARS Laguna, Edward Bess Daydream, Armani Summer 2013 Palette, Sheer Bronzer #1 (discontinued but still at Saks), Bronze Mania #5 (discontinued, but still online at Saks), Burberry Warm Glow No.1, MAC Golden and MAC Bronze

I really like the look of the new color options for blush and bronzer, but I tend to have a bit of heart break when favorites are discontinued or changed (especially when the original formula/colors are so great). Given the fast-paced nature of how beauty and fashion change, I suppose it's expected items won't stick around forever. There are a wide number of options to choose from, for me it would have been easier to shop online to avoid color number mix-ups, if you shop in store, I recommend you double check that they give you the right color and number before you leave.

I took a quick snapshot at the counter a few weeks ago, the numbers are nearly impossible to read but this will give you an idea of the color range.

Armani Cheek and Sun Fabrics should be available at all Armani counters now. Online at Nordstrom, Saks and Neiman Marcus. If you're a fan of the older colors, act fast before they are pulled or sell out. You can still find them online now at Saks here and here and also Neiman Marcus here and here.

Have you checked out the new blushes and bronzers? What did you think?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Loving Right Now

I hope everyone is having a lovely Easter Sunday, I've been having a relaxing weekend and took some time to swatch and photograph items for the upcoming week. Right now a few things I'm loving include Tom Ford Pink Dune, NARS Torres del Paine, Lumira Tahitian Coconut Travel Candle (many thanks to Lumira! review to come soon), Chanel Glossimers (any color), and Dior Gel Shine Nail Lacquers (reviews posted for Tra-La-La, Front Row, more shades swatched here). I've been enjoying the summer issue of Porter Magazine and their online issues called The Edit as well.

A few other things to note:

Current reads I'm loving:
  • Chanel Eastern Light and Sweet Lilac swatches - Beauty Geeks
  • See what's inside Topshop's Beauty Buyer Cassie Mystkowski bag - What's in My Handbag
  • Six simple spring beauty essentials - AfterDrk
  • Love this beautiful getting ready post with Jaime Lee Reardin and Dior Beauty - The Coveteur
  • 50 beauty blog post ideas for some inspiration if you have writer's block - Autumn Leaves

What are you loving this weekend?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Caudalie Favorites Set - Travel/Trial Sized Beauty

I discovered the Caudalie Favorites Set ($32 for five items in a travel bag) when I attended the Venice Boutique Opening last month. One thing I love about Caudalie is they carry smaller sized items that are perfect for travel or those who want to try something out before committing to a full size product. The travel-sized beauty items are all decently priced, this 2014 Favorites Set is a $57 value, but priced at $32. This year's favorites set comes with the following:
  • Lip Conditioner - 4.5 ml
  • Hand and Nail Cream - 30 ml
  • Vinosource Sorbet - 10 ml
  • Cleansing Water - 50 ml
  • Beauty Elixir - 30 ml 

I have already been using the Cleansing Water for quite some time now but never tried the other items. I've been testing for about a month now and have been pleasantly surprised and impressed with Caudalie's skincare line. My thoughts on each item below (you can refer to Caudalie website for the ingredient list).

  • Cleansing Water is a gentle but effective cleansing water. It's good for removing face makeup but isn't strong enough for long-wear eye makeup like mascara or eyeliner. My cleansing process usually involves multiple steps. To make sure I remove all my makeup at the end of the day, I usually remove makeup with cotton pad (I like Shiseido and Chanel) soaked with a cleansing water. Caudalie is among my favorites because it's soothing, calming and refreshing. It is lightly fragranced with orange and lemon blossom, watermelon, and mint leaves - but it's not overpowering. What I like about this one is it hydrates the skin while cleaning it, but it doesn't leave a film on the skin after application. (Ingredients here.)

  • Beauty Elixir is one of those products that has reached cult-status. It's a mix of toner/serum mist with essential oils and plant active ingredients. I spritz this on the face when I want added hydration or a refresher. It's a bit dewy for me but in a good way. I do think those sensitive to fragrance or those with oily skin will want to pass on this one. It's not overpowering but the scent is on the stronger side with mint and herbal scents. I recommend testing in store if you're unsure about face sprays in general. (I'm testing a few other face sprays right now and will do another post on them in a few weeks.) I personally like this one for a quick pick-me-up and even though I'm sensitive to fragranced skincare items this one is subtle enough for me to use without irritation or breakouts. (Ingredients here.)
  • Hand and Nail Cream has had mixed reviews. Many have commented that it has been reformulated recently (check the reviews on Sephora). It's described as a concentrated hand cream with antioxidant grape polyphenols and reparative organic fair trade shea butter, this Hand and Nail Cream leaves skin soft and nourished. I never tried the older version so I can't compare the two, but this version absorbs quickly into the hands. I tend to prefer hand creams that dry down so they don't leave everything feeling too moisturized/greasy. While I was a the Venice boutique one of the reps mixed in their Divine Oil with the hand and nail cream to add more moisture. I know many of you have been asking me for a post on my hand and nail care, I've been working on a post and hope to have it published soon. I've added the Caudalie Hand and Nail cream to my favorites list. It smells like grapes and gives the hands a smoother look. If you have super dry hands you might find this not moisturizing enough. (Ingredients here.)

  • Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet is yet another cult-status product. I'm always really hesitant to try new skincare items because I have sensitive skin. Many have described this is as a light airy fluffy cream which I find to be the best description. It's a very lightweight moisturizer that helped calm down my skin. It's designed for sensitive skin and after testing this for a month I'm almost finished with the small trial size. I can't say it has improved my skin, but then it hasn't made it worse and I have had no reactions to this. I'm undecided whether or not to purchase the full size. I like that it's lightweight and fragrance is light (for me). (Ingredients here.)

  • Lip Conditioner has a similar feel and scent to that of Fresh Sugar Lip balms but the Caudalie feels better on my lips and it's not quite as heavily fragranced. Reviews have also indicated this has been reformulated but this is my first time trying it so I can't compare. I'm not a huge fan of the plastic packaging but it's proven to be more sturdy than it looks. The formula is very nice. It moisturizes my sensitive lips and fixes any peeling problems that I get with some lipsticks (ie MAC). It has a smooth emollient feel that isn't quite as thick as my other favorites (Jo Malone, Hourglass, By Terry). Huge thumbs up for this one. (Ingredients here.)

I purchased my Favorites Set from the Venice Boutique. It's also available online at Sephora and online at Caudalie (free shipping on their site with $50+ orders, also a gift with code C15gift through April 21st or while supplies last). Most items are also available in travel sizes individually.

Have you tried Caudalie's Favorites Set? Or anything else from the line? Please share what your experiences have been. One of my goals this year is to learn more about skincare items. Have you noticed any changes with the formulas?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Topshop Makeup

It's been years that many of my readers have been e-mailing me about Topshop Makeup with raves about their blushes and lipsticks and numerous requests to try the brand and review it. Topshop is one of those brands I don't have easy access to, but it's been on my list to try for quite some time. Topshop recently reached out to me to try a few items from their makeup line and I was thrilled to get my first look. There are so many gorgeous posts about their lipsticks from many UK bloggers. The items they sent for review included their 3D Curve Mascara, Brighten in Moonlight, Kohl Pencil in Coal and Saint Lipstick.

3D Curve Mascara ($20 for 9.5 ml/0.30 fl oz, made in China) comes in Black with a large brush. I found it did give a multi-dimensional look for my super thin and straight lashes. The color is a pure black and stayed black after it dried (some mascaras tend to look grayish on my lashes once dried). I found it lasted quite well without any smudging but I did get a bit of flaking by the end of the day. If it didn't flake I would give it an A+ rating. My first attempt at taking before/after photos of my lashes below (along top lashes only):

Brighten in Moonlight ($14 for 1.5 ml/0.05 fl oz, made in Italy) is a one-shade fits all under-eye concealer. It comes in a twist up tube with a brush applicator. I was worried this would be too pale or pink for my skin, when swatched it looks very light and very pink against my olive skin. However it has a sheer slightly luminous (but without any shimmer) quality to it that blends well with my medium/tan skin. I was really surprised how this brightened the under-eye area. I tend to avoid concealers under the eyes in general since they end up looking too heavy or cakey. This one has enough sheerness to it to even the skin without looking heavy. To apply this, I've been dabbing it under the eye over foundation and set it with powder. It lasts well all day. I'm not sure if this would work on anything darker than a Chanel B40 or MAC NC40 - if you've tried this I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Kohl Eye Pencil in Coal ($8, made in Czech Republic) is a dark black pencil. I found it to be a pure rich black with a smooth texture that doesn't tug. The lasting power is quite good and I didn't get any smudging or pulling with the pencil. It's not available online at Topshop at the moment (they still have Sable/Dark Brown). I usually do not like black pencils because they end up looking too harsh, too grey or just not really dark enough. Coal is a good true black that applies well. I couldn't ask for a better pencil for the price.

Saint Lipstick ($16 for 3.5g/0.12 oz, made in Italy) is a pale peach pink cream. This one is difficult for me to evaluate simply because the color is so light I think it will be hard for anyone to pull off this color. Since it's drastically paler than my natural lip it tends to enhance any crease or imperfection even with smooth lips. Given the raves and beautiful reviews I've seen of Topshop lipsticks on other blogs I suspect it's only the color that makes this one not work. For me to be able to wear this one I had to cover the entire lip with a darker nude lipliner, apply a light layer of Saint Lipstick and blend like crazy. If you've tried any of the lipsticks I'd love to hear about the colors and formulas you've tried.

I like the look of the Topshop makeup line although it's completely different from what I normally go for in beauty brands. I have their shop in Los Angeles on my list to check out - I'm hoping all the stores carry the full makeup line. Have you tried Topshop Makeup? I'd love to hear your recommendations. I already have a list going from readers to check out their blushes - but I'd love to hear your thoughts. (This Glow Highlighter looks seriously amazing, tell me do I need to check this one out?)

This post contains press samples sent for review and affiliate links. All opinions are my own. For more information refer to my disclosures.


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