Category Archives: B PLUS

OPI First Date at the Golden Gate Review, Photos, & Swatches


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OPI First Date at the Golden Gate

Golden Gate red!

OPI First Date at the Golden Gate  (Mini set: $12.95 USD for 0.5 oz./15 ml.; Full size: $9 USD for 0.5 oz./15 ml.) is described as a “shimmery ruby.”  First, it has absolutely no shimmer and, second, it is not at all close to a ruby red.  It is a dark, warm-toned red with a cream finish.  Actually, I find the name of the polish very apropos, as this is very close in color-darker-to The Golden Gate Bridge.

Although the application of this shade was a bit easier than the rest of the shades I have reviewed from this set (I finally found a way to work with the small brush), the pigmentation was uneven.  It is not too noticeable from afar, but up close you can see minor streaks of darker color.  I do not think you will encounter this problem with the full-sized brush.   I used OPI Natural Nail Base Coat and Zoya Armor for the top coat and applied three very thin coats of the polish.  I had pretty good wear with this color-a week with signs of minor tip wear, but no chipping or peeling.

Important Note: The grade for this nail polish is based on the mini size, not the full-sized version.  I suspect the full-sized version would yield a smoother application and finish, and a higher rating, due to the larger brush size.  

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The Final LAB Report for OPI First Date at the Golden Gate
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OPI Muir Muir on the Wall Review, Photos, & Swatches


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OPI Muir Muir on the Wall

Lacks dimension!

OPI Muir Muir on the Wall (Mini set: $12.95 USD for 0.5 oz./15 ml.; Full size: $9 USD for 0.5 oz./15 ml.) is simply described as a “trailblazing plum.”  It has a black base with a plum and bronze duochrome.  Unfortunately, the duochrome is not very visible unless you are looking at the color under bright lighting, or you need to specifically look for the change in color.  In general, I do not find this duochrome unique because it mainly looks like a blackened plum.  Based on its appearance in the bottle, I expected more.

As with the rest of the shades in this San Francisco Mini Set, my main complaint is the small brush. This had sheer application and I used three coats for the swatches.  Although, I probably could have applied a fourth coat to achieve a smoother, opaque finish.   I used OPI Natural Nail Base Coat and Zoya Armor for the top coat and had average wear with this color-a week with signs of tip wear but no chipping or peeling.

Important Note: The grade for this nail polish is based on the mini size, not the full-sized version.  I suspect the full-sized version would yield a smoother application and finish, and a higher rating, due to the larger brush size.  

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The Final LAB Report for OPI Muir Muir on the Wall

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Paula’s Choice RESIST Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer with SPF 25 and Antioxidants Review, & Photos


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Paula’s Choice RESIST Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer with SPF 25 and Antioxidants

Not bad, but not the BEST!

Paula’s Choice RESIST Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer with SPF 25 and Antioxidants ($27 USD for 2 oz./60 ml.) is described as a moisturizer for combination, dry, or very dry skin.  This product is “effective for anti-aging, brown spots, eczema, extra sensitive skin, redness, rosacea, and wrinkles.  It provides gentle, mineral-based, broad-spectrum sun protection, and proven antioxidants boost skin’s environmental defenses.  The lightweight, yet emollient, cream soothes, brightens, and is designed to work beautifully under makeup.  It is clinically proven non-irritating, 100% fragrance free, with no added dyes, and is not tested on animals.”

Currently, I have combination skin that becomes oily during spring/summer and dry during fall/winter.  This moisturizer is best suited for those with dry to very dry skin.  It is very emollient and conditions the skin well, so those with oily or combination skin will find it too heavy for daily use.

The conditioners in this product leave a noticeable sheen on the skin that reads dewy on dry skin and slightly greasy on combination/oily skin.  Despite the amount of emollients, this rich moisturizer does not feel greasy or heavy on the skin.  After application, I did not feel the need to immediately wash my hands to rid them of any residue.  It easily glides across the face, but can leave a white cast on the skin if not thoroughly rubbed in.

The silicones in this moisturizer make it a good foundation primer.  While using this product my foundation applied smoothly and did not break down throughout the course of the day.

This moisturizer’s main drawback is the sole Active Ingredient: Titanium Dioxide.  Titanium Dioxide is very effective at screening UVA 2 and UVB rays, but it does not protect against UVA 1 rays.  You might remember from my post on Sun Care 101 that UVA 1 rays penetrate the epidermis more deeply than UVA 2 rays.  Using Zinc Oxide as a single Active Ingredient, or even combining it with Titanium Dioxide, is highly recommended for the best protection.

Overall, this is not a bad product.  I have seen much worse at higher price points.  Does this product meet all of its anti-aging claims? In a sense, yes.  Can it be improved to more effectively prevent signs of aging?  Yes!  The inclusion of Zinc Oxide as an Active Ingredient, a little less concentration of emollients, and a little higher concentration of antioxidants would make this a stellar product.  For now, there are better products on the market, even from Paula’s Choice!

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The Final LAB Report for

Paula’s Choice RESIST Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer with SPF 25 and Antioxidants

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Disclosure: The product(s) featured in this post was(were) purchased by TheLABofLuxury for review.

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Chanel Gardenia (#13) Rouge Coco Lipstick Review, Photos, Swatches


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Chanel Gardenia (#13) Rouge Coco Lipstick

Oh, Sweet Memories!

This lipstick holds some sentimental value to me, as it was the one beauty item I purchased at Nordstrom’s flagship store in Seattle, WA.  The cosmetics section alone took up an entire floor-beauty heaven!  Whenever I pass this across my lips, I cannot help but think of the cool, misty weather (which I loved!), savory seafood, and leisurely tours I experienced while visiting this port.

Chanel Gardenia (#13) Rouge Coco Lipstick ($34 USD for 0.12 oz./3.5 g.) is a mid-toned, rosy pink with multi-colored micro shimmer, which gives it a very soft, golden, frosted finish. It appears to have a subtle yellow undertone, but the shade is flattering across all skin tones.  It will look pinker on lighter complexions and more natural/neutral on darker complexions.

The Rouge Coco formula s supposed to be “a modern interpretation of classic creme lip colour.  The lightweight lip colour glides on for easy application, and features a Hydratendre complex to help soften, soothe and condition lips – even boosting their ability to hold in moisture – for a plumper, smoother and healthier-looking appearance.”  This is not the creamiest formula Chanel offers, but it is lightweight and has enough slip to easily glide across your lips without tugging.  Initially, it feels creamy and moisturizing, but as it wears it becomes a little dry – common with frosted lipsticks.

Gardenia has good pigmentation and was fully opaque after two layers.  It wore for 3.5 hours (slightly below average) and left a soft pink stain on my lips.

Rouge Coco Lipsticks are strongly rose scented (no taste), but it does not linger for more than a few minutes after application.

What I really like about this color on me is the shimmer softens the color, making it a very wearable, everyday color, while still being bright enough to liven up my complexion.

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The Final LAB Report for Chanel Gardenia (#13) Rouge Coco Lipstick

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Bare Minerals The Next Big Thing READY Eyeshadow 4.0 Review, Photos, Swatches


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Bare Minerals The Next Big Thing READY Eyeshadow 4.0

Not a One-Hit Wonder! 

Whenever I think of Bare Minerals, I cannot help but remember the info-mercials with the brand’s CEO, Leslie Blodgett, famously covering her beauty mark with a few swipes of their mineral concealer.  Member those?  Yeah, you member!  I had never fallen in love with brand because I do not care for loose products (too messy).  However, when they released their READY (pressed shadows, blushes, etc.) line of products a couple of years ago, my interest was suddenly piqued.

READY Eyeshadows are supposed to provide “exceptionally vivid, long-wearing color in an ultra smooth, silky texture for effortless application and seamless blendability.”  Bare Minerals The Next Big Thing ($30 USD for 0.17 oz./5 g.) is a limited edition quad from the spring Remix collection that contains four complementary, warm-toned eyeshadows.

RISING STAR is described as a “sunlit gold.”  It is a frosted, light, yellow gold with light gold sparkle and multi-colored micro shimmer.  It has a really soft texture and nice pigmentation, but due to the amount of sparkle, there is a translucency to it (though, I would not consider it a sheer color.).  I did not experience any fallout when I applied the color to my lids, but I did see a couple of flecks of sparkle on my cheek several hours later.

SMASH HIT is described as a “vibrant peach,” but it is more of a bright, orangy coral with a matte finish.  The texture feels silky smooth, but it was slightly powdery and did not yield the pigmentation I was hoping for.  Also, it faded incredibly quickly on me (even when worn over an eyeshadow base.).  This was only dud out of the four – not the “smash hit” I wanted it to be.

HOOPLA is described as a “glowing copper.”  It is a highly metallic, golden brown with subtle copper undertones.  This had excellent pigmentation, with a dense, buttery  texture and lasted seven hours before it began to crease (no base).

ENSEMBLE is described as a “smoked-out plum” and that is exactly what it is.  This had much better color payoff than SMASH HIT, but was a little more powdery.  I did experience a little fallout during application, but none after.  It wore well over eight hours with just minor fading (no base).  It blends well, but you do lose some of the pigmentation along the way, which means layering if you are wanting dark, dense color.

The shades in this palette are not particularly unique (I have a Dior palette from last spring/summer that is very similar), but they are really nice colors to wear for the upcoming seasons.  As stated above, the only dud was SMASH HIT (which was the one color I wanted to be perfect); all the rest performed really well.

I really like the limited edition, aqua packaging of this collection, however, the glossiness means it holds fingerprints.

If I was to rate this when worn over an eyeshadow base, it would have received at least an A- in grade.  I have oily eyelids, so I need a base to prevent creasing and fading, but I rate products without a base because it gives you a better sense of how the product performs on its own.

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The Final LAB Report for Bare Minerals The Next Big Thing READY Eyeshadow 4.0

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Keep reading for more photos and swatches!   Read the rest of this entry

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