Monday, 26 October 2015

Christian Louboutin Velvet Matte Lip Colour: Rouge Louboutin

I initially had zero intention of picking up one of the Christian Louboutin lipsticks. I never succumbed to the allure of the Louboutin nail polishes, and spending $90 on a lipstick seemed rather preposterous, even for me. But shortly after their launch in early September I began to see reviews that suggested that these were actually really fantastic lipsticks. I'm nothing if not curious, so for the sake of science, I placed an order.

I was not able to see these in person and, given that I ordered shortly after the launch, there were few swatches online. This made choosing a shade and finish rather challenging. But I think that there is nothing as glamorous as a bold red lip, which led me to settle on the shade Rouge Louboutin in the Velvet Matte finish. I have yet to try either of the other finishes, the Silky Satin or Sheer Voile, but for bolder shades, I am always more drawn towards mattes. A matte finish, in my opinion, looks more chic and will normally last longer on the lips, so fewer touch ups will be required. The trade off is that matte lipsticks can be more drying on the lips and can highlight lip lines or other imperfections. This lipstick, however, is an absolute pleasure to wear. 

The question on everyone's lips is 'are these lipsticks worth it?' My answer is this: value and worth are inherently subjective. It is up to you whether you are comfortable with spending $90 on a lipstick. In all honesty, there is probably no lipstick on the planet that is truly worth $90. In truth, none of us actually need lipstick, or any makeup. Personally, it was the collector in me that decided to pull the trigger on this. I didn't buy it expecting it to be mind-blowingly good, or to be miles better than the $50 Tom Ford lipsticks I own, or the $32 NARS ones, or the $24 Lipstick Queen ones, and so on. But I will say that I like Rouge Louboutin enough that I'm already thinking about ordering another from the Velvet Matte line in the shade Survivita, and perhaps one of the Silky Satin lipsticks, as well.

So while I will decline to say whether it is 'worth' the price tag, I do think it is a very, very good lipstick. The packaging is gorgeous, albeit a bit gaudy. And the formula truly impresses me. It feels creamy, yet light on the lips, and doesn't cause them to dry out like some other lipsticks do (NARS Audacious, I'm looking at you). In the photo above, I applied Rouge Louboutin without a lip liner to show you its true color. It doesn't absolutely require a lip liner in the sense that it doesn't smear or pull into lip lines, but I would generally wear a liner with Rouge Louboutin to get a more precise lip line. Something about the velvety texture of these doesn't allow for a super precise application, but this is in no way a deal-breaker for me.

The pigmentation of also Rouge Louboutin is amazing, but because it does not set on the lips completely, it does transfer throughout the day (onto coffee cups and so forth). This means you will have to do some touch ups if you wear it for more than a few hours, but it does have relatively good staying power. The shade Rouge Louboutin ends up being quite neutral on my lips and is a supremely flattering shade of red. I think pretty much any skintone could pull this off. Overall, this has quickly become one of my favorite lipsticks.

The Velvet Matte Lipsticks have been very popular since their release, and I've noticed that many (if not most) shades are sold out at Sephora. You might have better luck at Nordstrom or Saks, which is where I ordered mine from (but remember that they won't allow you to make returns once you've used the product). Have you tried any of the Christian Louboutin lipsticks? Let me know below what shades you've got your eyes on!

And head to  BloglovinInstagram, or Twitter. I'm also on Snapchat (julesssdarling). 

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Marc Jacobs The Sofia Lip Crème Collection

Of all of the holiday releases coming out, the Sofia 5 Piece Petites Le Marc Lip Crème Collection ( on your brevity, MJ) was one of the most tempting to me. I love the quality of the Le Marc Lip Crème lipsticks (see here and here for previous reviews) and mini sets like these are fantastic ways to try out a multitude of shades.

L to R: Infamous, Dashing, So Sofia, Boy Gorgeous, Blow
The collection features 5 shades from the permanent collection, meaning that you can buy each of them in full size:

  • Infamous: muted warm pink
  • Dashing: cool-toned red
  • So Sofia: bright coral red
  • Boy Gorgeous: dark magenta red
  • Blow: burgundy

L to R: Infamous, Dashing, So Sofia, Boy Gorgeous, Blow
Bottom to Top: Infamous, Dashing, So Sofia, Boy Gorgeous, Blow
Apart from So Sofia, which to me is more of a shade I would wear in the spring/summer, the collection offers a range of colours perfect for the autumn season. I already know that I adore Infamous, but I suspect that Boy Gorgeous will be another fast favourite. I'm a big fan of the formula of the Le Marc Lip Crèmes—they are incredibly pigmented and comfortable to wear on the lips. And while I suspect that there is no lipstick on the planet that actually moisturizes the lips, these certainly feel like they do.

Due to the delay in getting this review up, it appears that the Sofia Lip Crème Collection is sold out on both and, but if you can find it in stores, it would make a fantastic gift for any lipstick lover in your life. As with most Marc Jacobs Beauty products, the packaging of these is top notch. The five mini lipsticks come housed in a chic black patent clutch.

Each of the mini lipsticks in The Sofia contains 0.05oz of lipstick, which is slightly less than half of the 0.12oz contained in a full size lipstick. This makes the $45 pricetag a good deal, as a full size lipstick is $30.  I recommend you pick up this set if you can find it, if you fall into one of the following categories: A) you know you like the Le Marc Lip Crèmes; or B) you have wanted to try out the Le Marc Lip Crèmes.

Did you pick up this collection? What other holiday releases do you have your eye on? Let me know below!

And head to BloglovinInstagram, or Twitter. I'm also on Snapchat (julesssdarling). 

Monday, 19 October 2015

Tom Ford Moodlight Skin Illuminating Powder

I know I am far from the only one who gets caught up in Limited Edition hype, which was certainly the cause of my purchase of the Tom Ford Moodlight Skin Illuminating Powder. I had no need for yet another highlighter, but this one was selling like hotcakes and I couldn't resist! My desire to get my paws on it was further intensified after the order I placed through Nordstrom was cancelled. It later reappeared on, where it is still currently available, but by then I had already ordered it from Saks.

I ultimately regret ordering Moodlight from Saks, as they have an unforgiving return policy, especially compared to Nordstrom. Indeed, if I a) had ordered from Nordstrom and b) didn't live in the Balkans, I would return Moodlight. I just don't foresee getting a lot of use out of it and I find the top highlight shade to be quite disappointing.

The texture of the lighter top shade is really hard and I find it difficult to apply the product to my cheeks. I like a bold highlight, and with so many easy to use ones on the market (Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors and theBalm Mary Loumanizer come to mind), I'm not going to put a lot of effort into making this one work.

The darker bottom shade is much softer and does apply well, but it's not as versatile of a shade (on my skin tone at least). Still, I think I will try to make this work as either a blush topper or when I'm going for a glowing bronze look.

L to R: Bottom Shade sheered out, Bottom Shade swatched heavily, Top Shade swatched heavily,
Top Shade sheered out
The swatches above give a good indication of the texture of the two different shades: the darker shade (on the left) goes on smoothly and has a slightly creamy feel to it. In contrast, I had to go over the swatch of the lighter shade numerous times to make it visible, which ended up making it look a bit chalky and patchy. Ain't nobody got time for that, especially at a $80 price tag.

For that reason, I can only really recommend Moodlight if you are a die hard Tom Ford Beauty collector, or if you think the darker shade alone would justify the price tag for you. Otherwise, give this one a pass!

Have any of you tried out Moodlight? If so, have you found a way to make the top shade work for you? Please let me know below.

You can also find me on BloglovinInstagram, or Twitter. I'm also on Snapchat (julesssdarling). 

Friday, 16 October 2015

TheBalm Balm Desert Bronzer/Blush

TheBalm isn't a brand that often pops up onto my radar, but a few months back I was on the lookout for a bronze-y blush (I had something like Benefit Dallas in mind) and Balm Desert, released earlier this year, kept on popping up. At only $21 the price was right and, if I had needed a further incentive, I found a discount code for TheBalm's website, so I took the plunge and ordered Balm Desert. 

Wearing Urban Decay Naked on the eyes, Balm Desert on the cheeks, and MAC Subculture + Syrup on the lips
Balm Desert would work as a very natural bronzer on fair to light skins, but I plan on wearing it exclusively as a blush. It has a beautiful satin finish and blends out easily. And unusually for a product claiming to be a bronzer (or even a bronzer/blush), it has peachy undertones instead of red or orange.

Much like the cult favorite Tarte Exposed, or the aforementioned Benefit Dallas, it's a perfect shade to balance out a more intense smokey eye. And although it brings a warmth to the face that a more traditional pink or peach blush would not, I still think it will be wearable throughout the winter (even as I get more and more pale).

L to R: MAC Warm Soul, TheBalm Balm Desert, Too Faced Baby Love
I swatched Balm Desert next to a couple of blushes that I thought might be similar. As you can see in the picture above, it is far more pigmented than MAC Warm Soul. It also does not contain any of the glitter that Warm Soul does (making it more wearable, in my opinion). And it is waaaay less pink than Too Faced Baby Love, which is another neutral, everyday blush that I love. 

I've got quite large pores on my cheeks, but I don't find that Balm Desert emphasizes these at all. All in all, Balm Desert gets an enthusiastic thumbs up from me. It's not a shade that has a huge impact, but it is ultra versatile and the texture is beautiful. Absolutely perfect for days when you know that your cheeks need a boost, but you don't want to look like you're wearing blush (that's a feeling other people experience, right?)

Have you tried out Balm Desert? Are there any other similar blushes that you love instead? Let me know below. And feel free to find me on BloglovinInstagram, or Twitter. I'm also on Snapchat (julesssdarling)...but I warn you that the most exciting thing I snapped about yesterday was burning a grilled cheese sandwich!