Review and Swatches: Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet

Left to right: Personne Ne Rouge, Hot Pepper, Pink Pong, Grand Cru
Left to right: Personne Ne Rouge, Hot Pepper, Pink Pong, Grand Cru

I love liquid liptsticks. The first ones I truly fell in love with must have been the Chanel Rouge Allure Laques, which were discontinued (the new Rouge Allures are DIFFERENT, damn it). I’ve since tried Milani’s, Guerlain’s, NYX’s, Hourglass’, etc. Bourjois recently came out with their own, and I tried four of them: 01 Personne Ne Rouge, 03 Hot Pepper, 06 Pink Pong and 08 Grand Cru.

I don’t like them. They’re HARD to put on: slippery and self defeating. Like, when you make a second pass, the brush actually picks up color from the first pass! So by adding a second layer, you’re actually taking off the first layer and you end up with …. nothing. Curious, that. Grand Cru is especially problematic; I can’t even do an arm swatch with it, see how crappy the result in this family picture?

It’s a shame since the colors are actually quite nice; my favorite amongst these four is Hot Pepper, an orange-y red. If you like the idea of matte liquid lipstick, I suggest you try the NYX Soft Matte LipĀ  Creams; if you don’t mind the shine, look into the Milani Lip Intense. I haven’t completely given up on Bourjois though, still waiting for the nude colors which I may or may not like.


Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet

Review and Swatches: Milani Lip Intense in Pink Rave, Fiery Coral, Violet Addict and Red Extreme

Milani Lip Intense Pink Rave, Fiery Coral, Violet Addict, Red Extreme (with Milani Bella Rosa baked blush)
Milani Lip Intense Pink Rave, Fiery Coral, Violet Addict, Red Extreme (with Milani Bella Rosa baked blush, click to enlarge)

Milani is not really a household makeup name even in the US, but it really should be more widely known. Everything I’ve tried, have been very good, and I love most of all their baked blushes. I’ve also tried the regular blush, the chubby eyeshadow liner and a lipstick, and they’re all pretty good; certainly value for money. When I saw these liquid lipstick swatches online, I did not hesitate to order all four shades.

Milani promises high shine and longevity with these. I would say both claims are warranted; they are not the longest-lasting, eye-blinding thing around, but they do pop. Count on a bright, saturated color for a couple of hours, and an even, gradual fading several hours thereafter. All will leave a very pretty stain.

Milani Lip Intense Red Extreme topped with MAC Viva Glam Rihanna Lipglass
Milani Lip Intense Red Extreme topped with MAC Viva Glam Rihanna Lipglass (click to enlarge)

My favorite has got to be Violet Addict; it is such a bright, true orchid that is not really easy to find. NYX Prague practically looks vampy in comparison (it is not). Pink Rave is a bright and lovely fuchsia variation, though not awfully unique. Fiery Coral is NOT a coral, at least on me (and I’ve never seen it as a coral on anybody in the google image universe!). It is a bright, neon, blue pink that I actually was pretty successful in capturing in the swatches below. On the lips it looks like that, I just wasn’t able to capture it as well as the swatch. MAC Viva Glam Nicki looks practically pastel in comparison. Finally, Red Extreme is a neutral red, no hint of orange and not too blue. The least unique of the four, but if you are missing a nice red in your stash, this one will not disappoint as it will hold its own even against a legend like Hourglass Icon (which is slightly bluer and more matte).

Edit: Immediately below is a better picture, taken in late morning sun light. MAC Nicki here is with several passes to show its full potential (it is most certainly NOT a pastel). The two pictures thereafter are the older ones, for reference.

Milani Lip Intense in comparison (click to enlarge)
Milani Lip Intense in comparison
milani lip intense swatches4
Comparison with others in my stash; will need to re-do these as the resolution is really crap. Sorry!
Here, Red Extreme is topped with MAC Viva Glam Rihanna Lipglass
Here, Red Extreme is topped with MAC Viva Glam Rihanna Lipglass

I very rarely have dryness issues with lipsticks, and these ones are no exception. Of course, I rotate mine so that I never use one color more than 2 days in a row, so that may be the reason. There is a faint plastic-y taste and smell that I don’t find bothersome. Overall, very happy with the purchase!


The One that Almost Got Away: Nars Coeur Battant

Nars Coeur Battant
Nars Coeur Battant

There’s no fate like makeup fate. I had ordered Nars Coeur Battant when it came out last year, but long story short, a few months later I found out the order did not go through. By that time, it was too late to get it at a normal price — some websites were offering it at mark-ups and I just couldn’t justify the spending. Lo and behold, a few weeks ago a barely-used one turned up in a local makeup forum, and voila! My precioussh is here….

Coeur Battant is a standout amongst the Nars blushes I own (Exhibit A, Taj Mahal, Cactus Flower, all legendary cheek adornments) and have tried (a few others). It is true to color (a bright magenta), hella pigmented, long lasting, matte and overall just pretty-fying. The swatches below were taken in the morning (with Milani Bella Rosa, which arrived around the same time — reviews to follow). I also could not resist putting on a swipe on my bare-just-jumped-outta-bed face.

Nars Coeur Battant (left) and Milani Bella Rosa

Nars Coeur Battant on bare face
Nars Coeur Battant on bare face

I later cleaned the bright swatches with the almighty Muji cleansing oil. It was hours later, during lunch, that I saw a pink blob still remained on my arm. Initially I wasn’t sure which was the culprit, but upon comparison with the morning photos, it’s Coeur Battant! It’s a persistent one, this, just like moi. Francois should really make this one permanent.

nars coeur battant

A Milani Haul and a Current Favorite Daily Nail Polish

Milani Lip Intense Liquid Color
Milani Lip Intense Liquid Color in (left to right) 01 Red Extreme, 03 Fiery Coral, 04 Violet Addict and 02 Pink Rave; and baked blush in Bella Rosa

My little Milani haul just arrived today. So excited! I’ve swatched the blush (baked blush in Bella Rosa) and it is a STUNNER. I also took one of the Lip Intense for a spin at the mall today, #02 Pink Rave. It did not last through dinner, but there was a dark stain that was even and a lovely berry color. So far, so good, and I’ll be playing with them this weekend.

Another favorite is OPI Deutsch You Want Me, Baby? from the Germany Collection, a favorite of mine since its release in the Fall 2012. Not too edgy and out there, but certainly not a boring mauve or pink. It is my go to when I want to appear professional without sacrificing color. A plus is that it is opaque in one layer, like the picture below, day four into the manicure (with OPI Nail Envy Matte as base coat and Seche Vite as top coat). The lasting power is above average even compared to my other OPIs.

Have a great weekend!

OPI Deutsch You Want Me Baby
OPI Deutsch You Want Me Baby

Another one bites the dust? Milani Luminoso NOT discontinued

My first beauty-related heartache was a Lux facial cleanser. I must have been in junior high school when I found it: a transparent facial cleanser in a big pump bottle with what, I now realize, must have been glycerine goodness. I loved it so much since it made my skin clean and supple. When I tried to repurchase, however, the stuff could not be found anywhere! I looked and looked and looked. Oh the heartbreak.

Since then, many a heartbreaks have ensued, beauty and otherwise, and hearing that Milani is discontinuing its wonderful ‘Luminoso’ blush gives a little stab in my heart. Just a little, since I am fortunate to have one, which I suspect will outlive me.

So here’s a little ode to a perfectly glistening, peachy goodness of a blush. You had a short and good run, and your loss will be lamented in blogs to come.

EDIT 8 August 2013: Well, I should have waited for Milani’s response first before believing online news. I emailed them and they said Luminoso is not discontinued. They are running out of stock so have stopped offering it on their website, but it’s not discontinued. They expect fresh stock soon. Yay!

For those looking for dupes,’ Rose d’Oro’, also from the Milani baked blush line, can be peachy if you use as light hand; Milani ‘Amber Nectar’ Illuminating Blush is another alternative although it is much lighter in color.

milani rose doro amber nectar luminoso2Left to right: Rose d’Oro, Amber Nectar, Luminoso