Archive for category Hourglass

Swatching Is Rough (AKA My Eyeshadow Collection)

Eyeshadow Collection (3)

I was going to leave my eyeshadow collection ’till last to swatch in my ‘find the gaps’ series of posts, but the superstorm (which…is kind of lackluster – yea, there’s lots of snow, but I want some action, darn it!) seemed like the perfect time to just get ‘er done – so I did!  Oh man…for those of you who have larger collections than mine, I feel sorry for you if you attempt to do this – it is a BIG EFFING ORDEAL.  I started last night and got just over halfway through before both (!) arms had had enough.  I continued today and after needing to re-swatch several shade categories to get them *just right*, my left arm is just burning (as you’ll notice in the photos – red spots galore!).  So: enough.  I’m ready to rock ‘n roll.  Now – let’s get into ‘er!

Note: All shades are permanent within their respective brands except where otherwise noted.

WHITE EYESHADOWWhite Eyeshadow Swatches - AVON, Urban Decay UziAvon True Color Quad in Smokey Eyes (satin white)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Uzi (shimmer w/glitter) (LE)
 
‘HIGHLIGHT’ EYESHADOWHighlight Eyeshadow Swatches - MUFE 920, KATE BR-2, MAC VexMake Up For Ever Star Powder in #920 (iridescent)
KATE Real Create Eyes BR-2 Palette (white gold pearl)
MAC Eyeshadow in Vex (frost)
 
NUDE EYESHADOWNude Eyeshadow Swatches - MAC Next to Nothing, Laura Mercier Suspense, Burberry TrenchMAC Eyeshadow in Next to Nothing (Cult of Cherry Tempting Quad – frost) (LE)
Laura Mercier Eye Color Duet in Suspense (matte cool beige) (LE)
Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow in Trench (satin)
 
BEIGE, CHAMPAGNE & PEACH EYESHADOWPeach-Champagne Eyeshadow Swatches (9)Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Midnight Cowboy Rides Again (shimmer w/glitter)
Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #13 Warm Beige (frost)
Chanel Illusion d’Ombre in Emerveille (shimmer)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Snatch (shimmer w/glitter)
Kate Real Create Eyeshadow BR-2 Palette (soft peachy shimmer)
MAC Eyeshadow in Arena (satin)
 
GOLD EYESHADOWGold Eyeshadow Swatches - MAC Melon, Laura Mercier Gilded Moonlight, Clinique Gold GlimmerMAC Pigment in Melon (frost)
Laura Mercier Illuminating Eye Color in Gilded Moonlight (pearl) (LE)
Clinique Touch Tint for Eyes in Gold Glimmer (shimmer) (discontinued)
 
COPPER & ORANGE EYESHADOWOrange-Copper Eyeshadow Swatches - MAC Amber Lights, Ardene 8BMAC Eyeshadow in Amber Lights (frost)
Ardene Eyeshadow in 8B (pearl)
 
BRONZE EYESHADOWBronze Eyeshadow Swatches - MAC Cocomotion, UD Smog, MAC Tempting, Clinique Rum SpiceMAC Pigment in Cocomotion (frost) (LE)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Smog (shimmer)
MAC Eyeshadow in Tempting (lustre)
Clinique Color Surge Super Shimmer Eyeshadow in Rum Spice (shimmer)
 
BROWN EYESHADOWBrown Eyeshadow Swatches - MAC Dark Edge, KATE BR-2, MUFE #17, Laura Mercier Suspense DuoMAC Eyeshadow in Dark Edge (Cult of Cherry Tempting Quad – satin) (LE)
KATE Real Create Eyes BR-2 Palette (deep brown shimmer)
Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow in #17 Espresso (matte)
Laura Mercier Eye Color Duet in Suspense (matte burgundy brown) (LE)
 
TAUPE-BROWN EYESHADOWS
Brown-Taupe Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Suspect, NARS Rajasthan, KATE BR-2Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Suspect (shimmer)
NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Rajasthan (beige-gold taupe) (shimmer) (LE)
KATE Real Create Eyes BR-2 Palette (taupe shimmer)
 
TAUPE-PURPLE EYESHADOWS
Purple-Taupe Eyeshadow Swatches - NARS Grand Palais, LMdB Corinthian, MAC Shale, bareMinerals Meteorite, Hourglass ExhibitionNARS Duo Eyeshadow in Grand Palais (silver-taupe shimmer)
Hourglass Visionaire Eye Shadow Duo in Exhibition (mauve shimmer)
MAC Eyeshadow in Shale (satin)
bareMinerals High Shine Eye Color in Meteorite (frost)
Le Metier de Beaute True Color Eye Shadow in Corinthian (shimmer)
 
RED & PINK EYESHADOWPink-Red Eyeshadow Swatches - L'Oreal Golden Mahogany, Chanel Abstraction, Avon Smokey EyesL’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Golden Mahogany (frost)
Chanel Illusion d’Ombre in Abstraction (shimmer)
Avon True Color Quad in Smokey Eyes (matte light pink)
 
MAUVE & ROSE EYESHADOW
Rose-Mauve Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Bordello, UD Last Call, NARS Grand PalaisUrban Decay Eyeshadow in Bordello (shimmer w/glitter)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Last Call (metallic)
NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Grand Palais (matte dusty rose)
 
PLUM EYESHADOW
Plum Eyeshadow Swatches - NARS Habanera, UD Rockstar, Hourglass Exhibition
NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Habanera (sparkling plum)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Rockstar (shimmer)
Hourglass Visionaire Eye Shadow Duo in Exhibition (eggplant shimmer)
 
PURPLE EYESHADOW
Purple Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Psychedelic Sister, MAC InfamousUrban Decay Eyeshadow in Psychedelic Sister (shimmer)
MAC Paint in Infamous (metallic) (discontinued)
 
BLUE EYESHADOW
Blue Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Radium, MAC Blue Boy, MAC Blue EdgeMAC Paint in Blue Boy (metallic) (discontinued)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Radium (shimmer)
MAC Eyeshadow in Blue Edge (matte w/shimmer) (discontinued)
 
AQUA & TEAL EYESHADOWS
Teal-Aqua Eyeshadow Swatches - NARS Rajasthan, theBalm Jealous Jordana, UD Loaded, MUFE #8E, Illamasqua Burst, UD Money, NARS Habanera, UD Haight
NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Rajasthan (blackened teal shimmer) (LE)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Loaded (metallic)
theBalm Shady Lady Eyeshadow in Jealous Jordana (shimmer)
Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow in 8E (matte)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Haight (shimmer)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Money (shimmer w/micro-glitter) (LE)
NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Habanera (mint frost)
 
GREEN EYESHADOW
Green Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Kush, LMdB Jade, UD Mildew, MAC Sharp, Lise Watier Folie Pomme, MUFE #57Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Kush (shimmer w/micro-glitter)
Le Metier de Beaute True Color Eye Shadow in Jade (shimmer)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Mildew (shimmer)
MAC Eyeshadow in Sharp (Cult of Cherry Tempting Quad – satin) (LE)
Lise Watier Couleur Folle Eyeshadow in Folie Pomme (iridescent shimmer)
Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow in #57 Chartreuse (satin)
 
YELLOW EYESHADOW
Yellow Eyeshadow Swatches - MUFE #24, MAC Bright Future
Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #24 Yellow (matte)
MAC Eyeshadow in Bright Future (
 
KHAKI EYESHADOW
Khaki Eyeshadow Swatches - Armani #24, Armani #6, Clinique Autumn Moss
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Waterproof Eyeshadow in #24 Smokey Copper (shimmer)
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow in #6 Khaki Pulse (shimmer)
Clinique Color Surge Soft Shimmer Eyeshadow in Autumn Moss (satin)
 
TAUPE-SILVER EYESHADOWS
Silver-Taupe Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Maui Wowie, Bobbi Brown Pewter, theBalm Insane Jane, MUFE #2Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Maui Wowie (metallic w/glitter)
Bobbi Brown Chrome Eye Shadow in Pewter (frost) (LE)
theBalm Shady Lady Eyeshadow in Insane Jane (shimmer)
Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #2 Steel (shimmer)
 
GREY EYESHADOW
Grey Eyeshadow Swatches - Avon Smokey EyesAvon True Color Quad in Smokey Eyes (medium grey & dove grey) (shimmer)
 
BLACK EYESHADOWS
Black Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Perversion, MAC Dark SoulMAC Pigment in Dark Soul (frost w/glitter)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Perversion (matte)
 

….PHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Did you make it??

Eyeshadow Collection (4)

…So.  To be honest, when I started swatching all my makeup, I was originally just trying to find a way to justify new purchases – if it could be considered a shade I didn’t already own, then I would feel free to go for it.  However, now I’ve discovered that being so fully aware of what I own, has made me really excited to play with my current collection, instead of seeking out new products.  I especially noticed this with this eyeshadow post – there are so truly fabulous shades in there!  While there are still of course colors I’d like to pick up to fill the gaps (namely – a lilac and a skintone [MY skintone, to clarify] shade, among a couple others), overall I’m WELL aware I have a ton of shades to rock out and don’t really *need* anything else at the moment.  I did notice I have a lot less color than I imagined, but that’s actually OK because I don’t tend to wear it a ton and try to avoid buying a lot of it only for it to go unused.  I think my stash is fairly representative of the kind of makeup I wear day to day!  So SCORE for being logical in my purchases :)

Eyeshadow Collection

I am kinda worn out from the work necessary to do this post, so I’m done now LOL.  But – I have questions for you!

Do you see any gaps that I could fill?  What shades make up the bulk of your eyeshadow collection?? Also – anyone bother to count how many shades I have?  I’m too tired now to bother LOL

Eyeshadow Collection (2)

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A Post for When You Want to Post But Not Actually Do the Work (AKA My Current Skincare Regimen)

I’ve got an issue, guys.  I really feel like doing a review/showing swatches of a product, but I don’t want to actually have to do the work.  That’s kind of a problem, right?  And it’s not entirely true…I want to write about the product, but I don’t want to have to take any photos.  If I do a skincare product, I have to take boring shots of the bottle (you bloggers know what I’m taking about – product photos in containers are SO dull to snap :S).  If I feature a makeup product, I like to show face swatches too. I’m not avoiding showing my face, because my face is looking pretty darn good these days.  Seems I’ve found ‘THE‘ regimen for my skin, at long last – even for my body!  …Oh, ok, you want to hear about it?  Hmm… maybe if I do a few collective shots of what I’m using, it won’t be such a snore for me…  …OK!  Right-o!  We’re on ‘er now :)

Take Time Out for Beauty

Let’s work from the bottom up (not literally!).  Every year, I get a mysterious rash-type thing, that is NOT eczema but some sort of dermatitis that no one can explain.  I went for a biopsy last year to get it checked and it came back negative for all of the possible things it could be.  My derm is an idiot who can barely open his eyes (for some reason, he squints constantly – so annoying!), and didn’t offer any other solutions to figuring out the problem, so I have been essentially left to deal with it on my own.  This summer, I got another mystery rash on my arms, big-time (which made swatching impossible), and it was unlike anything I’ve had before.  Of course.  Anyway, when I went to NZ I hoped the fresh, clean air would heal me up, but this was not the case.  However, while there I bought this crazy Eumovate cream and it cleared it up in about two days.  To perfect smoothness.  Heck YES I was excited!  But then I read the fine print that said ‘Do not use for more than 7 consecutive days’ and I knew it was some heavy shit, so I stopped and of course the rash came back – not to the full strength, but nonetheless it still plagued me.

Creams

Speaking of plagued.  I wrote a poem once about my skin issues (seriously guys…it freakin’ drives me NUTS), and titled it ‘Plague’.  Check out the height of my lameness my mad skillz:

What lasting plague upon my house,
My body, mind & soul;
What constancy lives in my heart
That soon shall take it’s toll.
What ravages this skin, yet leaves
No evidence, no trace,
Of how to rid oneself of it,
Will it never erase?
A mystery, the cause of such
Destruction, that has made
A mockery of such a thing
That God so proudly laid.
Too long this body’s suffered so,
Too long without a cure;
Too soon it’s life comes to an end
Of this we can be sure.

Dudes.  I was way serious back in the day.  I wrote poetry all the time, because obviously sad poetry is WAY easier to write than happy stuff.  I did write a few cheerily optimistic poems the last time I was in the groove (about 4 years ago)…maybe sometime I’ll share (or not…this is a beauty blog, after all! :P).

Moving along…

Anyway, when I got home my GP told me that it was good to stop using the hardcore stuff I got in NZ, as it was pretty intense.  He hooked me up with a regular corticosteroid, which I do generally try to avoid but figured I had to do something, and BAM!  Problem fixed.  See, with eczema you have to treat that shit first…I kept trying all these plain creams to make it heal on it’s own, but that’s just silly.  I used the prescription for about five days and haven’t had to use it since.  Once I got my skin back to normal, THEN I could manage it with preventative measures.  Which are:

- Shower at night: This way you rinse away all the bad crap that comes in contact with your skin throughout the day, and your moisturizer has a better chance of absorbing and keeping your skin hydrated.

- Wash with a soap-free, fragrance-free cleanser: Anything that lathers is generally NOT a friend of those with eczema.  I’ve been using a body wash by Hugo Naturals that has vegetable glycerin and a natural surfactant derived from coconut and it’s been lovely and gentle on my skin.  You do NOT want to strip any of your precious natural oils!  You need those!

- Go for the heaviest creams you can tolerate: Right now I’m using Haus of Gloi’s Pumpkin Butter ($9US for 6oz)  in Aether (non-scent), and I am in fucking love.  Sorry for the potty mouth but seriously that is how good this stuff is!  It has a natural odor that I’m not quite sure I would call ‘pumpkin’y’, but its nice and for someone who has renounced almost all use of anything fragranced*, this is very exciting.  It also contains shea butter as the second ingredient, which is pretty much the holy grail of hydrators for dry skin.  LOVE LOVE LOVE.  Another good option (though pricey) is Kiehl’s Creme de Corps ($37.50CAD for 250mL).

*Steering clear of fragrance is also very important.  Even take note of your shampoo/conditioner/hair styling products.  I’m using a fragrance-free shampoo and low-fragrance conditioner (it’s the last ingredient on the list), and a non-fragranced hair oil – the end.  I swear it helps!

- Reapply often: This is why I go through SO many creams and lotions, but it’s worth it if my skin stays hydrated – it keeps your moisture barrier intact and therefore less irritating things from the outside world can penetrate the skin and cause flare-ups and problems.  I keep a moisturizer by the bed, at work, in my purses…its a constant job.  But totally worth it!

Body Care

And that’s essentially it, for body!  I do nothing else and I don’t need to.  Scrubs are abrasive and therefore can exacerbate the problem (though I did just order a Bubbling Scrub sample size from Haus of Gloi…because I just can’t help myself), so I wash, pat dry, hydrate, the end.  And my body is loving me right now :)  PRAISE THE SKIN GODS!!

As for the face – which has also been darn near glorious over the past month – here’s what I’ve been using/the routine I’ve been following:

Morning -

1. Splash face with water, pat dry then swipe Shiseido’s Pureness Balancing Softener all over skin

2. Apply Clinique Super Rescue Antioxidant Night Moisturizer to dry areas of face (for me, its around the mouth)

3. Apply Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair Eye Treatment around orbital area

4. Apply Clinique Even Better Lotion SPF20 all over face & neck

When I wear foundation, which I almost don’t have to right now, I wear the Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder, which actually doesn’t dry my skin out, even in this cold weather, and almost allows me to skip powder altogether on my slightly oily skin (as it’s mattifying and oil-free). It doesn’t contain fragrance or any other funny business I usual avoid.

I will note that I’m careful with any blushes/bronzers I use – the Chanel, Benefit, and Burberry blush I have all have fragrance, so I try to use them sparingly.  NARS powder blush contain lanolin, which I’m allergic to and which is very unfortunate as I have 5 shades.  So, they get used semi-infrequently as well.  But, I find as long as I’m not wearing them every day, things are alright.

Facial Skincare - AM

In the evening, here’s how I roll:

1. Remove makeup with Boscia’s Make Up Break Up Cleansing Oil (which I *just* finished tonight and will be replacing with Clinique’s Take the Day Off Balm)

2. Wash face with Consonant’s Organic Foaming Face Wash

3. Apply Derma-E’s Vitamin A Wrinkle Treatment Moisturizing Gel all over face & neck

4. Apply 100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream around orbital area

5. Wait 5 minutes, then pat Tarte’s Pure Maracuja Oil into face and neck (review forthcoming, because this stuff is GOLD!)

058

The end.  That’s it!  It’s not a long process, and the results have been really good.  I think the biggest thing is keeping my skin MORE hydrated as opposed to trying to always control the oiliness.  Not washing my face in the morning, combined with using two hydrators (spot treating in the AM and all over at night), has actually not made me more oily but has lessened how shiny I get throughout the day, and my eczema is nearly non-existent – all that’s left is slight pigmentation scarring from when it wasn’t under control.  I also think that for once, following a regimen and using the same products every day has had a huge hand in keeping my skin happy.  Changing it up all the time leaves it in a constant upheaval; I was doing it for the ‘right reasons’ – trying to use up products – but it was causing me grief overall.  So YAY to getting my shit together!

There are still a few tweaks I want to make here and there, especially with respect to anti-aging – I still want to try a retinol product (I want to use up the Derma-E Vitamin A gel first before I purchase one), and I plan on replacing the almost-finished Shiseido Softener with one of Bioderma’s miscellar waters – but otherwise I think I’m good!  When the time comes to buy replacement products, I’ll be sure to do my homework.

I know that this process will not be helpful for some of you – not everyone has my tempermental skin – but I find that when I’m looking online for solutions to my eczema problems, there’s not much around except the usual treatments.  And since it’s wintertime for many of us, some of the same logic applies in terms of keeping the skin hydrated, so hopefully not all is lost!  Stay tuned for my post on the Tarte oil though, truly – it’s absolutely wonderful and I think everyone can use it! :)

How involved in your skincare routine?  Do you have finnicky skin?  What is the difference maker for you?

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17 Comments

Hourglass Best of Hourglass Collection Has a Few Gems You Need to Try!

While some people are able to go away on vacation and continue to communicate with the outside world, I was pretty much MIA the entire time I was in New Zealand (there I go again!).  Any time I wanted to access the internet, I had to pay for wireless or for computer time, and I was just not having it.  In this day and age, it’s like paying for water (which also annoys me), so I pretty much forgot the whole idea except to periodically let my family and friends know I was alive.

However, when I got an email from Sephora’s PR giving me the opportunity to chose one of the sets from the holiday collections, I happily paid a few bucks in order to respond and select my set.  Of all the offerings, the cream of the crop was most definitely Hourglass’ Best of Hourglass collection ($68CAD), which came with a travel size of their popular Veil Mineral Primer, a full size Film Noir Full Spectrum mascara in Onyx, a full size Extreme Sheen lipgloss in Ignite, and a deluxe sample of the new No. 28 Primer Serum.  Hel-lo!  How could I pass up on on these goodies!!?

Best-of-Hourglass-Set

Hourglass Best of Hourglass

As I had tried the Veil Mineral Primer before, in the travel size, and finished it, I was happy to have another small bottle to replace it (for a glowing, more thorough review on this product, see Liz’s post at Beauty Reductionista).  The other three products were entirely new to me, and as anything I have tried from the brand has pretty much knocked my socks off, I was totally eager to get my grabby hands on them and play.  First, let’s discuss the Film Noir Full Spectrum mascara:

Hourglass Film Noir Full Spectrum mascara (5)

To be clear, there is another Film Noir mascara that Hourglass makes, but it is the one that you paint on lash by lash.  This is your regular bristle-brush mascara, and in reality the brush itself IS pretty regular.  It doesn’t have any bells or whistles and looks pretty…normal, compared to every gimmicky brush that’s come out in the last few years.  Don’t let that fool you, however!  Though my pictures below don’t truly do it justice, this mascara is LOVELY.  It separates my lashes perfectly while giving them some serious length as well as volume.  It’s one of the few mascaras I’ve tried that I’ve actually gotten compliments on from people who aren’t bloggers (you guys count…but not in this instance because this is our BIZNESS, yo).

Hourglass Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara (4)

Hourglass Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara

Hourglass Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara (2)

Hourglass Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara (3)

It’s a drier formula than I usually like, but I think it’s actually the *perfect* consistency – not really dry at all but not so wet that its glopping on and causing clumps.  The brush really combs through the lashes each time, leaving them entirely clump-free.  I didn’t have to separate my lashes in the photos above with a comb afterward at all, which is uncommon I find.  It’s a total win.  I would actually spend the $33CAD and buy this again!  Note: There ARE parabens in the mascara.

Hourglass Extreme Sheen in Ignite (2)

Next, we have the Extreme Sheen gloss in Ignite, described as a ‘rose beige shimmer.’  I’d say this is more of a sheer shimmering gloss with a touch of beige more than anything, but it’s still pretty.  To buy this separately would cost $33CAD so with that plus the mascara you’re almost have the price of the set alone – not too shabby!  The gloss does have fragrance but it’s the last ingredient listed and it’s faint.  I haven’t noticed any issues yet so hopefully it remains that way!

Hourglass Extreme Sheen in Ignite swatch Hourglass Extreme Sheen in Ignite

As you can see, the gloss is essentially colorless with a hint of shimmer.  I typically like my glosses fairly opaque, but this somehow makes my lips look quite nice in the absence of pigment.  It’s a nice way to punch up clear gloss, and  it adds a subtle something extra layered over other lip colors.  Surprisingly, the staying power is pretty decent even with its translucency, and it feels good on the lips – smooth and not sticky at all.  I’d love to try this formula out in a few other shades.

Hourglass No. 28 Primer Serum

Lastly, but far from least, is the No. 28 Primer Serum.  I know it’s a cheap cop-out to put this marketing image versus the real thing, but to be honest – I don’t want to waste a drop of it’s precious contents.  IT’S SO GOOD!  And as much as I love you, I just can’t swatch this for no good reason.  I’m hoarding it like crazy! At $75CAD for 1oz, you can probably understand why (though – I just saw that you can also get this in a travel size like the Veil primer – 0.33oz for $26CAD – sign me up!!).

Essentially the product combines the effects of a primer (reducing the look of pores, refining and smoothing the skin’s surface, and luminizing) with the treatment of a serum (strengthening skin’s moisture barrier, shielding against environmental aggressors, and hydrating).  All this action means that the skin looks younger and dewier and AMAZING.  It contains essential oils, lipid-rich plant oils, and vitamins to nuture the skin, while being free of parabens and fragrance.

DUDES.  Not only does it sound amazing and make a whole lotta fabulous claims, but it delivers.  I actually wore it for about 5 days straight (before remembering I can’t afford to buy the full size right now and hence it must be conserved), and my skin looked awesome.  Not just while wearing makeup, but overall it was improving the look of my skin!  It’s all sorts of YES PLEASE and believe you me I will be shelling out for this when the sample vial is finished.  I love that it helps my makeup wear better.  I love that it doesn’t make me greasy and in fact helps to control oil while still giving me a fresh, healthy look.  I love that it doesn’t irritate my fussy skin one iota.  The only thing I don’t love is the price, but I can get over that.  When you think about it like a two-in-one product, primer + treatment, the cost doesn’t seem so outrageous.  At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

So, basically, the moral of the story is, you need to buy this kit.  Or if not the set itself, you need to try each and every one of these products at some point, especially the Primer Serum.  I can’t imagine anyone NOT being happy with the collection, and it just reinforces my belief that Hourglass might just be the best makeup brand EVER.  Just sayin’.

What do you think of Hourglass?  Would you be willing to shell out for a product that produces results, or do you have a $$ limit?  What makeup brand do you think is worth the hype?

*Product was sent for my unbiased consideration.

 

 

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15 Comments

Upcoming on Beauty Obsessed…

So it’s been a week since I’ve been returned from my New Zealand adventure, and I’m slowly (verrrrrry slowly) getting back into the swing of things.  It’s quite an adjustment to go from an action-packed-always-on-the-go-surrounded-by-people-partying-every-night atmosphere, to being…back to work, home alone, same-old same-old.  I’m not knocking my life by any means – I’ve got a warm, cozy condo; a good (though perhaps boring) job; and great friends – but it’s still quite a change to get re-established into.  And I’m someone who really likes to have things to look forward to (which is why I’m planning my next adventure!).

When I googled this country, I noticed it ALSO has a lot of sheep…guess it’s my thing ;)  *Hint hint* 

ANYWAY.  Enough whining, and on with the show, right?  Right.  Tonight, I opted get a bunch of ‘To Do’s’ done and make bread (because what’s more comforting than baking bread!?), but I want to show you what you can expect to see on the blog in the next week or two.  I happily came home to a few surprise packages that had been sent my way, so despite the fact that I haven’t been buying much in the way of exciting cosmetics in the past couple months (though…I did pick up an eyeshadow this weekend ~guilty face~), I do have several holiday sets – four to be exact – to fill you in on!

Illamasqua Lip Twin Set*

Intense Lipgloss in Plentiful & Lipstick in Obey

Hourglass Best of Hourglass Collection*

(Top to Bottom): Veil Mineral Primer, Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara, Extreme Sheen High Shine Lip Gloss in Ignite, No. 28 Primer Serum

Make Up For Ever All Eyes On You Set*

(Clockwise from left): HD High Definition Powder, Aqua Cream Waterproof Cream Color in #16 (Pink Beige), Smoky Lash Extra Black Mascara, Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner Pencils in 21L (dark grey) and 0L (mat black)

Benefit High Flyin’ Glosses Lip Gloss Set

(Clockwise from top left): Coralista, Dallas, Bella Bamba, Dandelion, Sugarbomb, Hoola

I think that’s a pretty good start to the holidays, don’t you?  I will tell you now, I am absolutely IN LOVE with the Hourglass No. 28 Primer Serum – it makes my skin look amazing on it’s own, improves it’s texture, doesn’t cause ANY breakouts or irritation (even on my normal-to-oily skin), and my makeup wears better and smoother with it on (though I will say, it doesn’t make it last all day long).  I’m definitely buying a full-size when money isn’t so tight!

So – keep your eyes peeled!  I spent the morning Sunday taking photos of everything, though I have to redo my lipgloss swatches as I had a bit of unnoticed flaking going on – yikes!  I don’t want to scare you away just when I’ve gotten back! :)  Also…..one (or even two!) of these sets just *might* be part of a giveaway coming soon to a blog near you – just sayin’.

What’s on everyone’s wish list for the holiday season, cosmetics-wise?  Anything you’ve already picked up and are loving?
*Products marked with an * were provided to me for consideration of review by the PR company/brand.

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You Might NEED This: Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation

It’s been a long while since I’ve had to buy a foundation – as a haphazard user, I tend to have a bottle for well over a year (I just finished my NARS Sheer Glow, which I purchased back in January 2011).  Buying foundation usually isn’t exciting for me, but once you get down to the dregs of anything, the thought of getting something new is a thrill.  When I was in Sephora a couple weeks ago returning the Boscia cream I’d picked up (quick boo-hiss on that – it made my skin burn!!), I saw that the new ‘Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation’ by Hourglass (which I had drooled over after seeing it on several model’s faces from previous runway shows) had been released.  First, I have to comment – it’s sort of an oxy-moron, isn’t it – ‘liquid powder’??  Now owning the product, I know what they mean, but I suspect that might be a bit confusing to consumers. Anyway, so I saw this gleaming at the store and I just had to swatch it and check it out.  I rarely try anything via swatch and want it instantly, but this was an exception.  It smoothed onto my skin leaving the most natural veil of color and a subtle luminosity that was kind of entrancing.  Designed for combination/oily skin, with anti-aging properties, and free of pretty much all baddie ingredients (see box below for the exhaustive list), it just seemed too good to be true.  I was in the market for a new foundation, but when I looked at the price – $64CAD!! – I balked and gently put it back in it’s place and slunk away. As I tend to do in Sephora, I wandered around some more just admiring the pretty things, when I happened to glance at my hand again.  The foundation had settled and had turned into a subtle, velvety finish.  I was so surprized at the change, and at how lovely it made my skin look, that I huffed it back to the kiosk and picked up a bottle in Warm Beige – the darkest shade there (unfortunately).  Before I could exert any sense, I bought it.I think pictures will show you more than I can describe.  Behold:

Bare face…yikes!

Wearing Immaculate foundation…and apparently my shirt inside-out (oops!)

Wearing Immaculate foundation with a little gloss (so I don’t look dead) and bronzer.

You can notice two things in the photos: that the foundation is a touch light and beige for my skintone, and that it makes my skin look FLAWLESS.  While I’m disappointed about the shade – which will be even more disheartening once I’ve gone down South and have got a major tan going on – I really love the coverage and I love the matte yet luminous look it gives.  I can warm it up a bit as you can see with bronzer so the shade blends better, so for now it works. The formulation is lovely – quite thin so it doesn’t feel heavy in the least, but gives great, even coverage quickly.  There are so many things to love about the foundation that I still wanted to review it, even though I’m not getting the best out of it due to the shade restrictions.  I highly recommend trying it out (or at least getting a sample) if you’re able.  The technology is superb and it seems like a perfect foundation to wear going into the warmer months.

Aside from the shade, what are your thoughts on ‘Immaculate’?  Do you think you’ll give it a look?  What kind of finish do you prefer on a foundation?

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FOTD Trial and Errors!

Happy Hump Day everyone!!  Heyyy, February is pretty much over – doesn’t that make you feel like Spring is REALLY on it’s way?  Even though it doesn’t officially start for another three weeks or so, I always feel like March marks the end of Winter and the beginning of good (re: warm) things :)

For the past week, since Lent began, I have been steadfastly putting in an effort to take FOTD shots of my makeup looks every day, but unfortunately for all of us – I have been failing spectacularly.  I just can’t seem to get it right, and it’s frustrating me to no end.  However, fortunately for everyone, I don’t give up easy, and I am going to keep on trying until I am successful!  Embarrassingly, here are some of the shots I’ve taken over the past week:

MUFE Aqua Liner #14 with the purple shade of NARS Habarnera in the crease and along the lower lash line.  I swear in person the shadow was actually noticeable, more than just the hint of shimmer showing here!

This was my getaway look this past weekend – Urban Decay’s Bourbon liner on the upper and lower lashes, Benefit’s Bella Bamba on cheeks, and MUFE’s Star Collection Lab Shine in S4.

I snuck this photo at work while in fear of someone finding me taking pictures of myself lol – I’m wearing Urban Decay’s Bordello eyeshadow (from the BoSIII palette), with UD’s Smog in the crease, theBalm Down Boy blush, and MUFE Lab Shine S4 again.

Tonight, I managed to get a couple shots I was fairly happy with, though I still wish I could get close-ups of eye makeup so that you can see what I’ve done.  But – beggers can’t be chosers, I guess!  Below, I’m not wearing too much – just a touch of the pale shade of Hourglass’ Exhibition shadow duo on the lid, UD’s Crash liner, Benefit’s Bella Bamba on cheeks, and the star of the look – Chanel’s Rouge Allure Laque in Empire.My goal with all of these FOTD shots are to showcase the products that I haven’t been giving enough love to, and figuring out how to make them work on a regular basis.  Chanel’s Empire perplexed me from the start – it was such a gorgeous shade, but I just didn’t see it working on my skintone.  However, now that I’m easing into wearing pretty Spring hues, I find this lippie works PERFECTLY.  It’s just not a Fall/Winter shade on me, AT ALL.  Now that I’ve figured that out, I’m gonna have some serious fun with this color!!  It’s absolutely perfect for pretty much any Spring look I’ll be wearing.

What makes me cringe chuckle when I go back through these pictures, is that my makeup looks almost identical in each – this is one of the frustrating parts, because each look was different, honest!  ~sigh~  Anyway, as I said, I’m going to continue to press on, and *one day* I’ll get it.  At the very least, I’m having a great time wearing different products every day and giving all the neglected items I own a little attention.  Talk about shopping your own stash! :D

Have you rediscovered a product that you weren’t sure about, only to find that you’ve changed your mind and have now fallen in love?

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Review: Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF15

Due to rave reviews by the illustrious Beauty Reductionista (Liz), I picked up the travel size of this primer last month to check it out (which still retailed for $20CDN for 0.33oz – ouch!).  The “mineral-based, water-resistant primer” claims to “neutralize the skin, minimize shine, and create a smooth, uniform canvas for flawless makeup application.”  I have to confess, I didn’t read a lick about it, I just trusted Liz’s recommendation and grabbed it when I was at the checkout at Sephora – a primer’s a primer’s a primer, right??
In the past, I haven’t been very concerned about getting my makeup to last throughout the day, for whatever reason – I shied away from wearing too much product and adding an extra step in my already somewhat laborious routine.  However, as the years pass I become more and more aware, and something that always drives me crazy in the warmer months is how shiny throughout the day I become.  While Murad’s Oil Control Mattifier SPF15 helped quite a bit this year with that problem, my makeup is still nowhere to be seen by the time I get home from work, and I’ve started to feel like my morning creative outlet (aka: my face) is going to waste.  What’s a gal to do?  Oh yeah, USE A PRIMER, dummy.  Awesome.

Size comparison to my eye cream which is 0.7oz.

Initially, the way I was using this product was to smooth it on my face after the mattifier, wait a bit, then apply foundation where needed and the contouring method of choice (blush/highlight/bronzer).  This worked well at minimizing the look of imperfections in the skin, and helped my makeup last longer – but I still wasn’t bowled over.  However, I read a great tip from Sabrina at The Beauty Look Book, in which she mixed the primer with her foundation.  When I tried this, using about a 2:1 ratio (foundation to primer), my skin looked truly flawless and my makeup lasted ALL day without an issue.  The texture of the primer is fairly thin and liquid-y, more like a sheer lotion (it’s white, not colorless) than any other primers I’ve tried, which are usually full of slip and of thicker consistency.  Due to this fact, this trick does sheer the foundation out somewhat, but I’m sure that could be remedied by playing with the proportions.  I like a sheerer look so this worked great for me.Overall, I’m quite impressed with the efficacy of this product, though I was much more swayed with it when I used the second technique – I may not have repurchased otherwise as it’s quite expensive for the amount you get (alternatively you can buy it for $60CDN for 1oz).  I really liked that it didn’t have that silicone feel of the usual primer, and that it didn’t feel like it was smothering my face, which is the main reason I don’t wear a primer regularly.  I didn’t experience any breakouts with this product, and have used it for a week straight without issue.

I’d certainly recommend trying it out in the travel size if you’re in the market for a new primer – it’s pricier, yes, but a little goes a long way, and if you’re only using it sporadically, it should last a fair while.

What are your thoughts on primers?  Are they a must have in your arsenal, or just an extra unnecessary step? What are your tricks for getting your makeup to last throughout the day?

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Sephora Opening This Friday!!

Well, the day has almost arrived.  As promised, Sephora is opening in Halifax, and right on time – this Friday, August 12th, at 9:30am!  I cannot wait!!  Caroline, the Sephora Rep that contacted me earlier this year about the lunch event they had back in May, got in touch with me a few weeks ago to remind me about the opening and extend the invite to attend the official event.  Myself, along with the several other Halifax bloggers, will be among the first people to enter the store, and are able to tweet/blog/take photos of the whole shebang that day.  Oooohweeee!  Its sort of a strange feeling that we’re finally going to have our own store.  I’m excited but it’s almost delayed excitement, or suspended….like when you’re going on a trip abroad and you know its going to be amazing, but you don’t get those OMG-jitters of happy anticipation until you’re packing, or about to board the plane.  Same deal here.  That sounds infinitely lame when I write that – how obsessed can a person be? – but that’s just how it is, folks :P

In honor of the Grand opening, I have, of course, made a list of a few items I will be picking up on Friday.  I can’t possibly leave the store without buying anything on it’s first day open!  Sacrilege.  So, here I share with you what I’ve got on my mind:

Bare Escentuals Prime Time Primer Shadow in Urban Nature $19CDN

Swatches of this online showed this ‘delicate moss’ liquid-like shadow (which doubles as a primer) to have a dual-nature, flashing a green-plum duochrome which looked super interesting.  I don’t have any shades like it, which is what I try to stick to now when I buy new products, and the fact that it wears all day without creasing is a big bonus, especially during these warmer months.  Plus, I’ve never tried BE’s eyeshadows before and I always try to round out my stash, brand-wise.

Fresh Sugar Honey Tinted Lip Treatment $24CDN

I have this already in the Plum shade, and I really like the subtle hint of color it gives my lips – often I’ll wear it instead of wearing gloss or lipstick, as I often do more dramatic eyes than lips.  However, I really need the more nude/golden counterpart, as the Plum is quite a berry hue.  Plus, I dig the smell of these and the feel of them are quite nice.  I’m not loving the high price tag, but I’ve sort of informally decided to stop (or significantly decrease) buying lipgloss and especially lipstick, as I just don’t like the look it gives lately – so I feel more comfortable spending more on these.  I am casually keeping an eye out for a nice natural long-wearing lipstick, but for now I’m just into the way a balm looks, with some color and a touch of shine.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF15 (travel size) $18CDN

I’ve heard great things about this primer, and while I do currently have one in my stash (Hard Candy’s Sheer Envy Primer), I’m not bowled over by its efficacy.  For $18, I’ll definitely give this a go.  If it helps my blush wear better throughout the day – which is the challenge I’m facing lately – then I’m all for it.  My face has no natural flush whatsoever, so blush is an absolute must.  I’ve been layering powder and cream blushes which has improved the staying powder quite a bit, but by the end of the day I’m still looking pretty pale and wan.  Additionally, this primer is supposed to help minimize shine, and it has an SPF, so in the cooler months when I’m not using my Murad Oil Control Mattifier SPF 15, this will be really helpful.

I’m sure I could come up with a ton of other product I’d love to try, but since I’m still holding out / anxiously awaiting the Chanel Fall 2011 release, I’m going to keep myself in check (speaking of which, I had to make an emergency visit to Mills yesterday to remind them to call me when this collection is released – we’re leaving Friday for Gros Morne and I have a bad feeling it’ll come out while I’m gone and I’ll miss it all, and that cannot happen.  I plan on buying a few items site unseen over the phone because I know they’ll be sold out when I get back!!).

If there are any ladies reading this in or around Halifax, are you dying for Sephora to open or what??  Do you have any items in particularly you’re waiting to buy?  And for those ladies who’ve had Sephora for a while, are there any products/lines that absolutely should not be missed?  What are your suggestions?

Happy Tuesday everyone!  Tomorrow’s Hump Day, almost halfway there!

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Review: Hourglass Visionaire Eyeshadow Duo in Exhibition

I just remembered today that I hadn’t yet reviewed this shadow – and it so rightly deserves attention.  I do not own ANY shadows that have a lovelier texture than this.  Wowza.  I personally find UD’s shadows quite smooth and soft, and these easily trump those.  Similar to UD, the pigmentation is also excellent; I find more and more I really appreciate when color payoff is exactly or very close to what you see in the pan…it can be a rare thing.  It was tricky getting a photo that captured the pretty eggplant shade and the depth of color – the first photo is a tad blurry but it seemed to get the plumminess across the best.

I found the wear of the eyeshadow exceptional too – I put it on before a night out (sans primer) and it was still relatively in place by the evening’s end.  All in all, while this shadow is expensive at $44CDN, you get two shadows (sizes: 3g / .10 US oz each) – to give you a reference point, a single MAC eyeshadow is 1.5g / .05 US oz, for $17.50CDN , and a NARS eyeshadow duo retails for $38 CDN and is a total of 4g / .14 US oz (so, 2 x 2g / .07 US oz).  Doing the math, thats:

$220 / oz for Hourglass
$350 / oz for MAC
$271 / oz for NARS

Which is kind of crazy when you think about it.  MAC’s price point is the ‘lowest’ yet you’re paying considerably more per oz than more high-end brands.  Go figure!

Ultimately, aside from a handful of MAC and NARS shades (which even then aren’t completely on par), the smooth-creaminess of the Hourglass shadows highlights its considerably higher quality and justifies the price regardless of anything else.  I’m totally sold!  I just wish they had more/different shades – there are only 6 duos to choose from, and the shade range is relatively demure: a bronze duo, a plum (like mine), two blue based, an olive, and basic neutral duo.  If they threw a couple fun shades in there, with that texture and that pigmentation…ooohh ~shivers~   Who am I kidding, I’d go broke if that happened!  Guess it’s better as is :P

Have you tried this brand yet?  Any other standout products?  It’s certainly making me take a second look, if the quality remains along these lines!

~10 days~

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