Friday, 24 October 2008

#80 Happy Highs and Extraordinary Lows...

Here's another round-up of the best beauty loot that won't break the bank:

Bourjois Rouge Hi-Tech Lip Tint in Rouge Futuriste
I adore orangey-red shades for lips - from peachy corals to blood orange - and the first time I tried this I was seriously impressed. The first coat leaves nothing other than a sheer stain - the sort of colour my lips go after sipping on orange & carrot juice! - but build it up and by the third layer, this stain leaves lips with the sort of high-fashion hue that chimes perfectly between red and orange. Current, flattering and cool. I've worn it with a tan and while being pale as blotting paper - both times with compliment-inducing effect. The one downside is that it can wear off unevenly, staining the inner, more porous part of my lips for longer than the outer, smoother edges - which is why I keep the portable little pot on hand for touch-ups.

Urban Decay Iconic Lipstick in 5150
The packaging aims for 'high-design' (cough 'gimmicky' cough), but unfortunately it translates as weighty and cumbersome... thankfully, the entire range makes up in colour and texture what it lacks in practicality. My chosen muted cherry pink shade is the sort of bright, without being bold, colour that always manages to perk up the complexion. The hint of glitter doesn't work for everyone, but in a dimly lit bar where the subtle sparkle looks immensely flattering, it is just the ticket.

And from atop the fence...then over the other side...

There are a few brands that fit into my 'I'm just not sure about them' category. The ideas are strong, but execution is somehow lacking. Be it the packaging, the textures, the shades or just simply that they do not deliver - the following brands have yet to hit my mark:

New id Cosmetics
I like the ideas behind a lot of these products. i-groom, for example, is an angled, triangular-tipped pencil, that is well-shaped to fill in patchy brows, and also comes with a pleasingly grippy-bristled brush at the other end. However, when I opened mine for the first time, the pencil lead flew out, followed by the spring mechanism, and subsequent models have also proven a bit flimsy. I've also tried i-blush (once again a clever concept of a trio of contouring and highlighting cheek colours), but despite the 'finely milled powder' and 'Ipanema' promise, found them all slightly chalky and the color choice not particularly flattering on my pale golden skin.

Cosmetics a la Carte
Here is a clear case of a cosmetics company with a big, faithful fanbase, that could very much benefit from a revamp. Bases come in a wide range of shades - the ethos is 'made to measure make-up' - and the concealers are bestsellers thanks to their longwearing, but nicely blendable, formulas. But here's the rub - the packaging is plasticky, design is dated and much of it looks, well, cheap. The silver silken bags (think party favours) within which products are packaged does not do much to redeem them either. An unfortunate case of sufficient substance, but not enough style.

Virgin Vie...
Oh dear. I'm afraid that VV has become shorthand in beauty ed world for brands that miss the mark by a mind-bogglingly long way. This brand has SO much potential. Many of the formulas are fab - I remember testing the Skin Dew Primer some years ago and being rather impressed - but the general look of the products (particularly the make-up), is dated, dull and often illogical. I might be sued for libel here, but I'll risk it by saying that it looks as though VV have attempted to copy Estee Lauder's packaging (think navy blue with gold insignia), but have somehow produced something that looks more like Marks & Spencer. Regardless, there are clearly lots of ladies who love the line (the online business is booming) - even if the unphotogenic products rarely make it onto the pages of glossy magazines (or into my evening bag).

1 comment:

Cosmetics said...

Really Nice post.