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The Scoop On The LORAC Cosmetics Spring 2014 Collection

 lorac-cosmetics-spring-2014-collection

I’ve always felt like LORAC Cosmetics doesn’t get nearly enough praise, that its often stellar products remain unsung while other brands monopolize the media’s attention. So, as usual, I was excited to try out LORAC’s new Spring 2014 offerings, which includes the new POREfection Foundation, formulated with vitamins A and E, olive leaf extract, lemon fruit extract, and papaya extract that work to nourish, smooth, and soothe the skin, while also diminishing the appearance of enlarged pores; the Pocket Pro Palette, featuring three neutral eyeshadows, two matte and one shimmering color;  the Close Up: PRO Face Tutorial, featuring all the daily essentials like a makeup primer, mascara, powder cheek stain, peach lip gloss, travel-sized neutral palette, and an instructional booklet with tips on how to create different makeup looks; the Lip Luxe 8 Hour Lip Color, a new antioxidant-loaded, long-lasting lipstick with a matte finish; and the 3D Lustre/Liner, a double-ended liner containing a richly pigmented liquid color on one side and a shimmering and prismatic lustre liner on the opposite side.

I was particularly curious to try out the Lip Luxe 8 Hour Lip Color shades since, as a fan of bold lipsticks, I’m always searching for high-wattage, ravishing lip colors that hydrate lips and maintain their brilliance and intensity for significant periods of time. I was also intrigued by the idea of the 3D Lustre/Liner since they were inspired by LORAC’s 3D Liquid Lustre Eye Shimmer which is itself a pretty genius product. Below, then, get the scoop on these new LORAC inventions!

LORAC LIP LUXE 8 HOUR LIP COLOR

LORAC-Lip-Luxe-8-Hour-Lip-ColorsBased on the promotional imagery, the LORAC Lip Luxe 8 Hour Lip Color ($16 at LORACcosmetics.com) promised to deliver completely opaque, full-bodied, electrifying color. Each lipstick’s formula contains vitamins C and E, as well as antioxidants like açai, pomegranate and grape seed extracts, all of which help to nourish the skin, protect it from UV rays and free radicals, improve cellular turnover, boost collagen and elastin production, and lock in moisture.

On a textural level, the LORAC Lip Luxe 8 Hour Lip Color feels pleasant — it doesn’t necessarily melt right onto the skin as you glide the tube across your lips but, still, the color is deposited with relative ease.The lip color doesn’t immediately feel velvety soft  but once you press your lips together, the texture transforms a bit and becomes silkier and significantly more comfortable.

In terms of the color payoff, however, I was beyond disappointed. Even when first applied, the color isn’t fully opaque — in fact, it appears a bit streaky and patchy. And, while some colors are technically on the brighter side of the spectrum, they’re not as saturated with pigment as the lipsticks offered by brands like Make Up For Ever, Illamasqua, and NARS. Even the more adventurous orange and red hues felt pretty dull and lackluster, packing as much punch as a pee-wee boxer as opposed to the staggering right hooks and uppercuts landed by some of the competitors’ shades.

As for the claims of 8-hour wear, they’re not altogether factual. Yes, some degree of color will remain on your pout for hours at a time, but not the more intense hue you first see when you look in the mirror after applying the product. In fact, within the hour, the color on your lips will likely fade and leave behind more of a stain-like look.

I also didn’t care for the ultra thin tubes in which these lipsticks are packaged. I really wish all cosmetic companies would stop using these cylindrical tubes that have a smaller diameter than that of a shirt button. Who has lips that thin? It’s just beyond inconvenient.

In any case, the Lip Luxe 8 Hour Lip Color comes in six shades: Bordeaux, Coral, Scarlet,  Orchid, Hot Pink, and True Red.

Below, you’ll find swatches of three shades: Bordeaux, which, despite its name, is more of a plum-tinged mauve color; Coral, a vermilion shade; and Scarlet, a blue-toned red. All three shades have a satin finish when first applied and only appear matte once they’re blended or they wear off a bit — whichever comes first!

lorac-8-hour-lip-color-swatches

lorac-8-hour-lip-color-shades

LORAC 3D LUSTRE/LINER

LORAC-3D-Lustre-Liners

Next up is the LORAC 3D Lustre/Liner ($19 at LORACcosmetics.com), which is designed to help women line and define their eyes and, subsequently, coat this deeper color with a layer of playful shimmer. To that end, each double-ended liner contains a compartment on one side with an intense, dark, smoldering liquid liner color and, on the opposite side, another compartment with a shimmering lustre liner color. And, of course, each compartment has its own liner brush. When the lustre liner is applied over the darker liner, it’s meant to create a prismatic, three-dimensional effect.

The LORAC 3D Lustre/Liner is available in six shades: Black Slate/Pewter, Black Sea/Sapphire, Black Ivy/Bronze, Black Ink/Ivy, Black Berry/Amethyst, and Black Cherry/Copper. As you can see, each pairing contains a black shade — whether it’s a blackened green, a slate hue, an inky blue, or a purplish black. And each black hue is paired with a corresponding lustre liner color that’s much lighter and more playful.

Now, when you layer the two shades together, the effect can be quite beautiful. However, it’s not as easy to achieve as you might think. First, the liner brushes includes are stiff and uncooperative, so I strongly suggest using a separate liner brush to apply the product. Secondly, these aren’t as fluid and richly pigmented as, say, Lancôme’s Artliner, making it harder to trace the lashline with the utmost precision and create a dazzling and intense look. Third, if you want to create a three-dimensional look, you need to wait for the black liner color to set, which might take a minute or two, and then apply the lustre color — otherwise, the liner will smear, streak, and smudge, and it will be virtually impossible to have any consistency in terms of the amount of color deposited along the lashline.

Although the final effect can be gorgeous, then, I found myself getting extremely frustrated with this product. With a few tweaks, however, it could be absolute genius, but it’s just not there yet.

I tried three different liners: Black Slate/Pewter, Black Ivy/Bronze, and Black Sea/Sapphire. Below, you’ll find swatches of all three.

First, let’s check out the Black Slate/Pewter Lustre liner pairing. As you can see, the Black Slate color is a blackened gray with a hint of a metallic sheen, while the Pewter Lustre feels like it has silver glitter suspended on a clear base.

lorac-black-slate-and-pewter-lustre-liquid-lustre-liner

Here’s how the two shades look when layered atop each other:

lorac-pewter-lustre-over-black-slate-liner

Next, you’ll find the Black Ivy liner, a darkened olive green with golden undertones, and the Bronze Lustre, which has a gold foil-like quality.

lorac-liquid-lustre-liner-in-black-ivy-and-bronze-lustre

When layered together, the result is magnetizing as you’ll see below:

lorac-bronze-lustre-overblack-ivy

Last but not least, there’s the Black Sea/Sapphire Lustre pairing. As the name implies, the Black Sea shade is an almost abysmal dark blue and it has a hint of a metallic sheen. The Sapphire Lustre shade, meanwhile, is a pretty, twinkling aquamarine shade. Here are swatches of the two hues:

lorac-black-sea-and-sapphire-lustre-liquid-liner-swatches

Next, check out how the Sapphire Lustre looks when coated atop the Black Sea Liner. As you can see in the photo below, this particular color pairing can be the trickiest to use since the Sapphire Lustre is a bit clumpy and, as a result, it tends to affect the overall look of the hybrid product, making certain areas patchy.

lorac-sapphire-lustre-over-black-sea-liner

However compelling and magical the final effect might be,  it’s such a headache to attain it that you’re likely to ditch this liquid liner duo and return to a surefire, user-friendly offering like the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil. After all, you can always apply the LORAC 3D Liquid Lustre Eye Shimmer atop your liner to make it pop!

Overall, then, I was a bit disappointed by these new LORAC offerings but, hey, they can’t all be slam dunks! I think the 3D Lustre/Liner has a lot of potential but it does need some rethinking. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing a new and improved version soon!

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