Archive for category Laura Mercier
We’re almost done with these posts folks, I promise; there’s only one more after this (and I’m hoping to make it really extra special!). Today we’re looking at the base products I’ve accumulated over the past few months, plus a blush I picked up because, ya know: PRETTY.
Probably my favourite acquisition out of the bunch is MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Tan ($37CAD). I am SURE I’ve tried this stuff before, but I don’t remember liking it so much! Even though I’m all about that #dewyskinlife, I kept seeing how lovely this looked on Karen and thinking I should really give it another shot. Guys, if you haven’t tried this, this ain’t your regular flat matte powder! Especially on top of well-moisturized skin, this powder makes my skin GLOW without heading into greaseball territory, which you know can be difficult to achieve with oilier skin (like mine). What I especially appreciate is that I can actually layer skincare products (serum & sunscreen in the summer) as well as use a primer if I’m so inclined (see next item) prior to using this, and my skin doesn’t feel sticky with product and my base doesn’t slide off in the warmer weather – which always happens when I use a liquid foundation over more than say, one other product. Applied with the Real Techniques Buffing Brush I purchased, I don’t get that matte, dull look from this either – it really doesn’t look like powder, just like my skin is naturally great and healthy-looking. I think I’ve found my HG summer foundation!
Wearing the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish on top of the Laura Mercier primer, along with MAC’s Peony Petal blush and the MAC Orange Corrector/Maybelline Neutralizer combo under eyes – and the Lancome lippie of course!
In keeping with my constant quest for glowing skin, I picked up a travel size of Laura Mercier Foundation Primer – Radiance ($25CAD) shortly after Elena was born (I think it was our first trip to the mall together lol) because I desperately needed something to give my clearly overtired face a boost. Described as a ‘lightweight, water-based gel’ (except it contains castor seed and jojoba seed oil??? Calling it water-based implies it’s oil-free, but it’s not…sort of misleading, eh?), it’s supposed to ‘provide a sheer, healthy glow to skin while prepping skin for makeup’. The shade is fairly neutral, not warm nor cool, and ‘blurs imperfections and improves makeup wear’. So ok. This kind of product I normally wouldn’t go for because to me it’s just asking for trouble (aka shine) when you use a non-mattifying primer on oilier skin like mine. But in my baby-adled brain it made sense at the time, and happily it hasn’t been a decision I regret. It just requires me to use it in a certain way. I started off using this by combining it with my liquid foundation for that all-over-glow, but it’s a bit much and ends up making me look – not greasy, exactly, but sort of unkempt somehow? I dunno, all I know is that by the end of the day I’m like ‘Yikes, Latoya!’ However, if I use it strategically before foundation on my cheekbones, down the centre of my nose, and over and under my brow bones (AKA – step one of STROBING [so funny how highlighting has a ‘technical’ name now]), it gives a lovely ethereal look to the skin – a bit more subtle than straight highlight. Interestingly, I’ve read reviews that say this is really sparkly; as a person who doesn’t much care for sparkle on the face except for on eyes, I haven’t actually found that to be the case, so not sure what’s the deal there.
Anyway, I do like this, but I’m glad I just have the travel size, as I’d like to try the CoverFX Illuminating Primer next.
When Elena was still in the hospital, I put in an online order for MAC because, well, essentially I think I was losing my mind in there and needed something to boost me up lol. I got it in my head that I *needed* a purplish blush, but they’re quite hard to find (this was before Urban Decay released their new blushes – I’m still curious about Bittersweet). MAC Satin Blush in Peony Petal ($26CAD) looked like the closest I was gonna get to a purple-hued blush – it’s actually a bright blue pink, but it’s super-cool tones appealed to me – so into the online cart it went.
This was also a purchase I didn’t regret – more and more I find cool-toned makeup quite flattering on me, and this is no exception. In the winter months it gave me a beautiful chilly flush, and now in the summer it adds a very subtle hint of color that is hard to overdo (which is good as I am still more heavy-handed with blush than is probably good). Loving it!
Also in that order, I picked up MAC Studio Finish Skin Corrector in Orange ($15.50CAD) because I was desperate to find something to help with my dark circles, which were looking even worse than normal. This product is INTENSE guys, and you should NOT apply it straight from the pan and think your problems will be solved (no hate, but I watched this tutorial and it was what made me think I needed this concealer…I dunno how she made it work, but it is NOT that easy). I tried it and promptly put it to the back of my makeup drawer, thinking I just wasted $16.
However, I got reinvigorated to try it this week while writing this post, and I found some better advice that suggested mixing this with a yellow-toned concealer to create a ‘corrector’ shade, much like Bobbi Brown’s or the like. I just so happened to have a product like that (see Maybelline Neutralizer, below) so I applied the yellow-toned concealer first, then added the smallest dab of the orange and blended together for an awesome eye-brightening look! I’m actually super-pleased with the effect and I’m happy that I didn’t give up entirely – the results are well worth giving the Corrector a second chance.
Earlier in the year, before I had Elena but during the later part of my pregnancy in which I was experiencing some insomnia, I was on the hunt for something, anything to help with my dark circles (can you send a recurring theme here?!). After picking up Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Creaseless Concealer, I decided I needed a brightening powder to set it with, and came home with Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder ($29CAD). Truth be told, I don’t use it that much – I just don’t find it to be so brightening, and to use a separate setting powder just for under eyes is just more effort than I’m willing to put in. If this were a miracle product, I’d happily do so, but I honestly don’t find it does much of anything. Ah well.
The CoverFX Custom Color Drops in N60 ($44CAD) have been a polarizing product that has had many reviews for and against it. I’m not going to waste MORE words doing a full-on review because others have done it better, but my two cents is that it’s handy for adding to other skincare products without losing too much potency and coverage (like you would if you added your regular foundation to say, a moisturizer), which is ultimately what I bought it for. As mentioned, I don’t like layering too many products on my face in the summertime, so this is ideal to mix with my current SPF60 sunscreen – I get the coverage of a foundation (I only use a couple drops so it’s about a light-medium coverage, which is my preference), but since my SPF is higher I don’t feel my sun protection is compromised too much. Some people have also found the foundation lightened up too much when mixed – I bought mine online and had to guess at the shade, which is a bit dark on it’s own but perfect when mixed, so I lucked out! Win-win-win for me!
I grabbed Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer in Neutralizer on a whim when it was on sale while I was still in my ‘BANISH THE DARK CIRCLES‘ phase (not that I’m every really OUT of that phase…I just get to a point where I have TOO many products that I can’t justify even ONE more). They didn’t seem to have a dark enough shade for me so I figured the Neutralizer was the safe way to go. Alone, this is SUPER light on me – like Kim K. reverse racoon-eyes light [note though that I used this on all the girls during a wedding makeup I did last weekend and it was perfect for concealing any darkness on them (they were all fair-skinned)]. But as mentioned, mixed with the MAC Orange Corrector, this works kind of awesome to brighten my under eye.
Finally, just a quick mention of the Marc Jacobs O!Mega Bronze Perfect Tan ($59CAD) that I bought and later returned during the Sephora sale. It was a fabulous shade, but for my darker skin it was just not enough. However, if you’re lighter than me I definitely recommend checking this one out – it wasn’t too orange nor too brown, and the powder was silky smooth and lovely. Below are a few swatches of it against other bronzer shades I own for comparison purposes.
That seemed like a long-winded post for only a handful of products! Sheesh. I can’t keep my trap shut lol. Anyway, I feel slightly overloaded with base products right now, but as they’re something I use every day I don’t worry too much about using them up. That being said, I am on a base-product-hiatus for the time being!
Do you own any of these products? What kind of skin finish do you prefer: dewy, satin or matte??
As some of you may know, I’ve been trying hard to keep my new purchases to a minimum, putting effort in to enjoying the products I already have before galavanting around buying up more stuff. The only problem with that concept is that in the summer, I tend to wear a bit of a ‘makeup uniform,’ which means the same products get used over and over again and the rest get forgotten. However, there IS something to be said for products that just plain work, and that work with your lifestyle. I thought I’d give you a peek into my recent beauty world at the handful of products I’m loving big time this summer!
All of the products above are new to me this summer, and have all wormed their way into my heart in a BIG way.
Earlier in the spring, I ran out of powder (those Ambient Lighting palettes were a cute idea, but HOLY MOLEY those powders got used up fast!), so I picked up Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder ($44CAD). I’d heard and read good things, so I finally took it off the wish list and brought it home with me. I’m quite pleased with it overall – though it doesn’t combat shine fully, it leaves me skin with a radiant matte finish and never looks heavy or cakey. It’s extremely finely milled, and feels like air going on. Probably one of the best setting powders I’ve used to date.
On my birthday, my aunt gave me her usual ‘beauty package’ of goodies she’d purchased from The Shopping Network. One of those items was the CoverFX MintGlaze FX Moisturizing Lip Treat-mint Primer with SPF15 (also known as the-lip-balm-with-the-longest-name-ever). Normally not a fan of mint anything, I actually like the gentle cooling sensation this imparts on the lips, and its nicely moisturizing. A thin layer is great to use just before applying lipstick, but even on it’s own it looks great, with a nice glossy shine.
It’s not cheap at about $22 a pop, but hey, I got it for free so I’m not complaining! I read on Paula Beguoin’s site that the peppermint oil is a no-no (re: irritation) but I don’t find it a problem.
Another gem of a find I’ve come across recently is Sephora Brand’s Waterproof Retractable Brow Pencil ($16CAD). I was finding the shadow I was using to fill in my brows was too dark, and the method of application not precise enough – I’ve been growing my brows for a while now, and they can get a little unruly if I’m not careful. I picked this up on a whim because it was relatively inexpensive, and turns out I sort of love it! It’s fine enough to allow for great control and accuracy, but it’s not too dark or hard of a formula, so it’s never harsh-looking. The shade I bought, 04 Midnight Brown, is the perfect ashy dark brown; additionally, sometimes I get breakouts in my brow line, but I haven’t had that problem once since using this, so I’ve definitely found a winner! It’s got a little comb on the other end of the pencil which is a neat inclusion, but which I haven’t used once (lol).
Finally, the last product that has been getting a lot of love from me is the Make Up For Ever Aqua Matic ME-50 shadow pencil I’ve previously shown you. This is still getting some major love from me, as it just goes with everything – dramatic eyes, bold lips, natural looks – you name it! I am considering picking up another one of these in the D-12 Diamond Golden Grey shade, which swatches just as it sounds – a sparkling gunmetal grey with golden shimmer (!!!!).
That sums up my basic makeup wardrobe for summer – stay tuned for my next instalment, when we look at my favourite COLOURS of the season!
What basic makeup staples do you find yourself using on the regular during the warmer months?
It’s been a dedicated effort, but I finally have some makeup items nearing empty – a whole handful of them! You other beauty fiends know just what I’m talking about, and how hard this is to do when you have SO MANY PRETTIES to use! I’m feeling pretty good about my progress, so I thought I’d share with you some gratuitous near-‘pan’ p0rn in case you need inspiration of your own :)
I’ve been using the Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation together with the Burberry Fresh Glow Luminizer to freshen up the matte look the Hourglass imparts – the two pair together quite well. I get a LOT of views on the Hourglass foundation post, so I just want to reiterate how great it is! I can skip powder entirely when I use this, and the coverage is medium without looking or feeling too heavy. I do prefer a dewier finish which is the only drawback for me (though I’d still probably still repurchase this, because all other facets are so good), which is where the Fresh Glow comes in. If you’re looking for a foundation for oilier skin with a satin-matte finish, this is 100% for you! I’ve had the foundation for a long time now (2 years) and it’s near it’s end ~tear~
The MAC blush here (Mineralize in Early Morning) is a bit of a cheat, because I dropped it a couple years ago and most of it was wasted. Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful shade so I kept it and used the dregs anyway. I’ll probably let it go soon but I’m just not ready to yet.
I’m STILL working on MAC’s Arena eyeshadow, which I showed you had hit pan last year. I’ve been using it almost every day but it just won’t die! LOL I do still love it, but it’s best for the summer months when my skin is more tanned – I love it as a subtle brow highlight then. Other times of the year it doesn’t get worn as much, but I’m making progress now because I’m SO CLOSE.
The Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Discrete is also a couple years old, and while I liked the neutral shade as it was quite wearable, I’m over it now! Its got maybe 3-4 uses left so I’m gonna make it happen TOOT SWEET. The Buxom lipgloss (here in April), is also on it’s last legs, and I’m not a fan of the frosty sparkly thing at all now, so it’ll be kicked to the curb regardless in the next couple weeks.
This two deluxe samples have had highs and lows in my beauty life. I love the nude tone of the Buxom Lip Stick (this is Sydney) but it’s very matte and looks terrible if you’re lips aren’t in perfect shape (which mine weren’t for most of the winter). My lips are doing much better now so I’m chugging through it – I really don’t like ‘mini’s’! The Burberry lippie is in Cameo Pink, and it’s a pretty soft coral shade that’s just a touch too light for my skin tone. If I apply it with a light hand, or pair it with another lip product, it fares pretty well. Got it down to the nub finally!
If you’ve been counting guys, that’s 8 makeup products that’ll be good to go very soon!! SO EXCITED. I’m really trying to whittle down my stash and make way for new stuff, without feeling overwhelmed by the selection I already have. Which has been a goal of mine for forever, I know. But I keep trying! I’ve gotten major spring fever this year and gave a ton of stuff away to family and friends, mostly PR samples or gift items, as I’m getting a lot better at buying shades and products that I really want and that work. I usually have a huge bag full of items up for swap, but there’s nothing left now :)
Do you have any beauty goals right now? On average how often do you finish makeup items?
So, despite the fact that of all the sets I received last month for review, I was MOST excited for Laura Mercier’s Artist’s Palette for Eyes ($60CAD) – it’s taken me ages to post about because I really wanted to do it justice. But DAMN guys, this palette is hard to photograph!
The light shades looked far too bright and almost glowing. The medium shades came out too light and washed out. The glorious sparkling shade, African Violet (which, by the way, I’ve been drooling over forEVER) didn’t come out quite sparkly enough. The dark shades…well, you get the picture. I did 4 different photo sessions with this palette, and suffice to say, I just had to get on with it already. But unfortunately for you, the ‘good’ shots came after I uh, already played around with the palette a bit. You think I could hold off for that long!?! Pfffft.
You’ll just have to deal with it.
In the shot above, the shades Guava and Primrose on the left are lighter and a bit less pink than in they appear. Plum Smoke (SO hard to capture that shade) is a touch warmer and lighter…the rest are fairly accurate. Let’s see a close-up!
Sparkling Dew and Vanilla Nuts (WTF?) are a bit lighter in the pan and are great for highlighting the eyes – the former having a satin finish and the latter being matte. Guava and Primrose would be excellent neutral shades to brighten up the eye, Primrose being a bit more beige-y – both have a satin finish with itty bits of glitter in each (not a fan usually but they pretty much blow away the instant to put brush to pan). African Violet (swoon) is a gorgeous light-medium violet with golden shimmer…I’ve had my eye on this baby for years so I’m pretty stoked to finally get to try it out! Fresco is a perfect matte nude on my lid that is a touch warm to keep it from looking flat – sort of a mix of light brown and peachy-pink (if that makes sense).
See those bits of glitter in Sparkling Dew and Guava? Weird, right? They’re less noticeable in Primrose. Still, odd inclusion – but they aren’t problematic when worn.
Next 6 shades:
Plum Smoke is my fave shade next to African Violet in terms of color – such a beautiful, sultry yet subtle soft matte plum; the name is perfect. Bamboo is a shimmering taupe-y shade that personally falls kinda flat for me – it’s too washed out for my skintone – but I can see others LOVING it. It also contains that strange hint of glitter here and there. Kir Royal is a medium-deep plum with reddish tones – this requires appropriate use an execution to avoid that mega-tired or punched-out look. It has a mostly matte finish but not flat. Truffle is a great matte warm brown that works well as a crease shade to blend out smoky looks. It’s going to be a workhorse for me I can tell. Violet Ink is a deep indigo that would be awesome as a liner shade or smoked out in the crease/outer edge of the eye. Same goes for Espresso Bean, a dark cool brown with a hint of grey. Both are matte.
And again, swatches:
This half of the palette is my JAM. Love the soft smokiness of all the shades, and I think even though Bamboo isn’t the most complimentary tone on my skin, I can make it work.
Ok, so you’ve seen the pretty – how about the formula? Well, each and every shade is super soft and lovely, though this does mean they kick up powder a little bit. They’re more on the sheer side though pigmentation can be built up if so desired. All the shades meld seamlessly with one another and for this palette-phobic girl, they pretty much hit the mark dead-on.
Here’s the thing. I read Karen’s review of the palette and couldn’t quite get what she meant about the shades blending into one another and being a bit aggravating that way. I tend to be a one to two shadow girl, and I didn’t have any previous issues in using them. But when I tried to pull a more intricate look together, I totally got what she meant – it’s like they just muddy together to make one shade; there’s no gradient or definition, and the more I tried to add to the look to build up certain colors, the worse it got. It was almost like they were repelling one another…totally bizarre. So it’s something to keep in mind if you do, in fact, want to be a bit of an artist with this palette. You might have a little bit of trouble on your hands!
Quite honestly though, I wouldn’t let this oddity deter you from at least checking out the palette in store. The shades are all quite nice and it’s extremely wearable. And, hello with that fabulous faux croc case!!! LOVE it. And it fits right into the palm of my hand – perfect for travel or for just storing with your other products, as a few of you mentioned those bulky palettes can be the WORST. Overall, Laura Mercier gets my vote, bizarre shadows be damned. Maybe the ‘artist’ part is that you’ll gain MAD skill at application after using this palette a few times! :P
OK, what say you? Yay or nay to THIS palette!?
*Product was provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
Ok. So fall has officially
sprung arrived. I am SO ready! I know you summer babes who love your heat are crying “WTF Latoya?!” and for you I say – I’m sorry :( I’m not hating on warm weather and sunshine, I love it as much as the next person. But after a few months of bright polishes and ‘au naturel’ looks, I’m eager to get down and dirty with some sultry, vampy makeup. I love change, what can I say?
As I’ve mentioned before, my makeup purchasing has slowed down considerably over the past 6 months +. One of the best ways for me to curb the impulse to buy something new is to go through my own collection to revisit old shades and swap out colors to reinvigorate myself. While doing the official ‘switch over’ for autumn, I got the idea to put together a few color stories that I felt were appropriate for the start of the fall season!
I’m starting you off slow with a shade that it incredibly wearable for almost all skintones – russet. These colors would be great for an easy going fall walk through the woods, that add a bit of life to the face but not a whole lot of color, per se. I picked up LMbD’s Rumour blush in a swap in early spring, and started wearing it fairly regularly during the summer as it added the nicest warm, radiant glow to my cheeks. It looks a bit scary in the pan but with a light touch for fairer skins, this is a great alternative to bronzer and leaves my skin looking naturally healthy. This is one of those awesome transitional shades that also works well in fall – the color reminds me of the turn of the leaves. L’Oreal’s Colour Riche Colour Caresse Shine Stain in Eternally Nude (a product which shall henceforth be known as CRCCSS) was a spurr of the moment purchase back in the spring, and was initially a bit of a disappointment – on my lips, it’s not terribly nude, but rather a sort of warm reddened brown – but I ended up liking the color for what it is, anyway. Another super wearable shade, and the formula is quite close to the YSL version, enough for me to probably opt for these over those due to the huge price difference. Sadly, the Urban Decay 24/7 liner here, in Lucky, a wonderful coppery shade, has been discontinued. I honestly need to start shopping for a dupe now, because this is probably one of my top favorite liners and I’m gonna be heartbroken when I finish it (which will actually happen because I use it regularly). Sigh.
Rose is not normally a shade I gravitate toward, as it tends to look very drab on my skintone, but these particular shades are both light (the lippies) and dark (the blush) enough to work well on me. Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge in Velvet Plum, a discontinued shade (sorry!) in the old packaging, was something I picked up when I had my makeup done at the counter several years ago. It would never have been a shade I’d have picked, but it ends up being one of my favorites for it’s exceptional wearability. It looks great with tanned skin, but is also perfect for fall/winter as well with it’s plummy tones. I quite like the formula of these as well – easy to apply and blend, and doesn’t leave my oilier skin greasy-looking. Laura Mercier’s Lip Glace in Discrete was kind of an impulse purchase – I don’t think I realized at the time that it was like $36, which is kind of a lot for a gloss – but its been well-used (despite the fact that it contains lanolin and I try to avoid wearing it two days in a row). It’s an easy nude-type shade that wears well with cooler toned smoky eyes, and isn’t TOO glossy. Lastly, I snagged a sample of BITE Beauty’s Luminous Creme Lipstick in Pepper a couple months ago, and it is a dusty rose shade that is similar to my natural lip color but a bit deeper and warmer. The formula is creamy and feels great on the lips, and goes with just about everything!
Now these are the shades I can get behind! I love me a good deep red anything in the fall – makeup, clothes, you name it. L’Oreal’s La Couleur Infallible Eyeshadow in Golden Mahogany is still one of my favorite eyeshadows, particularly so after wearing it in my friend’s wedding with such success, and was quite honestly MADE for fall. It’s gorgeous brown-red tones work with just about any cool-weather outfit I can come up with, and the color compliments just about every eye shade beautifully. NARS Turkish Red Cream Blush (another discontinued shade…oops) is a fabulous shade of blood red that is awesome for that windswept/windburnt look – however, it does require a bit of a skilled hand. It can go on a touch patchy due to it’s intense pigment (which also means a light hand is necessary), but when its done well, the effort is SO worth it! And, I just had a brainwave that MAC’s Dare You lipstick, shown here, could potentially be used as a cream blush if you were aching for that kind of shade. It has the similar deep red tone – which is particularly fabulous on the lips! This is a more wearable red for those of you who are a bit gun-shy of an in-your-face bold red, and looks amazing in the cooler months. LOVE.
I am also particularly partial to berry tones in the fall/winter…they’re just so delectably sexy! Ellis Faas Creamy Lips in L102 is still one of my absolute favorite lipsticks and hands down the shade I get the most compliments on. If for no other reason, THIS lippie is why I love fall so much! The fussy packaging is totally worth the drool-worthy, long-wearing shade. Illamasqua’s Crush Cream Blusher was a sale find I scooped up last winter, and while it didn’t get too much love from me since then, I plan on rocking this baby out all season long. When my skin isn’t tanned, it turns a bit pinkish, but right now with my fading tan, it looks more like it does in the pan – a gorgeous deep berry shade. YUMMY. Another Illamasqua fave is their Precision Ink in Havoc, which is still honestly capturing my heart some two years later. I mean, it’s a dark wine -colored eyeliner that doesn’t look black – how badass is that?! I wore it over the weekend while working at Clinique, and I swear I sold more because customers just thought I looked THAT GOOD. LOL!
Here comes the trickiest shade to wear of the bunch – violet. Too much red and it can make you look like you’ve been crying; too much blue and you look like you just had a throw-down with one of the ‘Real Housewives.’ It can quickly veer in to goth territory if you’re not careful – thankfully, all of you know just what you’re doing at all times, right!? Right. So, first we have the most challenging of the bunch – MAC’s Mattene Lipstick in Bing, and LE shade from 2008 or 2009, that has been making my life difficult since then. I WANT to rock this blackened purple shade full force, but alas I am still a scaredy-cat. However, I have managed to find various ways to wear it in a toned down way, either mixed with a red lippie or as a stain, so that will have to do for now. The lovely violet shadow you see here is a new acquisition (in fact, the three shadows are) from Inglot, shade # 325, a matte purple. I have yet to wear it, but I’m going to make an attempt this week – wish me luck! Finally, we have another UD 24/7 Eyeliner, in 1999….which is discontinued…but which I JUST purchased from Sephora two weeks ago (so that makes it better, right!?). They had several of the old shades up for sale, at $7.95CAD a pop, and I couldn’t resist. This is an awesome toned down version of violet, that does have a hint of red but seems to work perfectly on my eyes to subtly add a touch of color without going to crazy town. I’ve been wearing it on my lower lash line to give just a bit of definition and I’m really loving it.
What are your favorite shades/products to wear in the fall? What color story do you like the best?
I have been so terribly absent this summer it’s crazy! Along with my normally busy social calendar, I’ve been really taking full advantage this season and enjoying it to the max. It’s the first summer in a while in which I haven’t had a baby shower/bridal shower/bachelorette/wedding every second weekend, so the ‘downtime’ is much appreciated! You may think that because I have a new (and fabulous…just throwin’ it out there ;)) beau that he’s taking up all of my time, but truth be told – he works in Newfoundland and is only home every second weekend, so I can’t even use that as an excuse! In actual fact, I’m just having a great summer all around. I hope everyone else is as well!
On the beauty front, nothing TOO exciting has been going on – I’m still trying to keep my purchases of new color cosmetics to a minimum (still only have one face, last time I checked), but fall is kind of my fave season so I haven’t been completely well-behaved:
I mentioned in my wish list post that I had picked up the MAC Pressed Pigment in Damson – here is it in it’s (partial) glory (it’s MUCH more awesome IRL), along with Laura Mercier’s Illuminator in Spellbound, a MAC lipstick in Hug Me, and Stila’s newest liquid liner shade in Cobalt. Every single purchase here is all sorts of awesome in it’s own way!
I feel like I’ve already gone on about MAC Damson ($25CAD), and I want to give it a full review, so for now just trust: it’s awesome. Just LOOK at it:
I really needed a good MLBB lip color as I didn’t have anything and essentially just used lip balm when I was trying to go for that look (which is probably all that IS really needed, but…meh). After trying on a TON at the MAC counter last time I was there, the SA pulled out Hug Me ($18CAD), which was a perfect match. My lips tend to be of medium pigmentation and lean sort of grayish when I’m bare-lipped, so this was a great choice. It’s a Lustre formula which isn’t my favorite, but it feels good going on, is only semi-opaque so it looks quite natural, and lasts a few hours so I’m happy.
The Stila eyeliner ($26CAD) is absolutely AMAZING. A thick line of this with a lil flick at the end, a bit o’ blush and balm, and I’m ready to rock n roll. I find this far easier and somehow more subtle to wear than a bright aqua liner (of which I seem to have several for some reason) and it looks particularly striking with my dark brown eye color. This is my first Stila liquid liner – they are so darn tenacious and great, but I resisted buying one until now because they’re a smaller size than most other brands with similar offerings, but they costs about the same. This unique color totally justified giving in finally.
Laura Mercier’s newest illuminator, Spellbound ($55CAD), hit the ground running, similarly to last year’s Rose Rendezvous, which I missed out on. I was determined not to make that mistake again, so I ordered this rose-gold highlighter online sight-unseen. It’s likely if I had waited until seeing it in-store that I would have purchased it – it’s quite nice but not mind-blowing to me – but I’m still pleased to have it, and it doesn’t replicate anything else I own. And the design is just too pretty to pass up eh? Further review to come.
Soo…yeah. I’ve definitely been up to a few of my old trick in the past month or so, but at least my purchases are varied and I feel like they augment my collection rather than just adding to the pile. I’ve been keen to do another purge lately so I think that filtering out some items that don’t get much love to add others that will just makes sense. All the products that are on my wishlist follow this mentality as well. As long as I don’t feel guilt about my purchases then all is well and fine by me!
What kinds of makeup have you been picking up lately? Are you paring down or ramping up for fall?
An interesting thing happened last week after while I was preparing for my alternative bridesmaid post. I had done swatches for the color story, and afterward I jumped in the shower to get cleaned up. I noticed as I went about washing my face and conditioning my hair that the MAC Blacktrack Fluidline wasn’t coming off – at all. Surprised, I rubbed at the line, and it stayed intact. Now, while I make an effort to buy long-wearing eyeliners – as my outer corners are notorious for smudging – I didn’t really think about that when I purchased this one back in April, and I certainly wasn’t aware that it was waterproof. I just wanted a nice cream liner! Of course, when I actually washed my body, the liner came off, but it was particularly tenacious throughout the shower until that point.
Of course, being a (beauty-crazed) blogger, my brain started working, and I decided I wanted to put all the liners I own to the test…so I did >:-)
The sampling above is not all of my liners, of course (if you recall…), but all the kinds of liners I own, as I have a few different shades in several types of a brand. You may notice that almost all of these are designed to be long-wearing and/or waterproof (Chanel Waterproof, Urban Decay 24/7, Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes, etc.), so I was quite interested to see just how well they’d hold up in the shower test. YES I swatched each of these on my arm and then hopped in the shower (though not right after the previous shower, I waited until the next day…otherwise that would be a little crazy-town).
Left to right: MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack, Chanel Waterproof Eyeliner in Noir Intense, Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil in Black Violet, Illamasqua Precision Ink in Havoc, MAC Eye Kohl in Prunella, NARS Long Wear Eyeliner in Via Appia, Clinique Cream Shaper in Egyptian, Make Up For Ever Khol Pencil in 4K, Milani Liquif-EYE Eyeliner in Aqua, MAC Pearlglide Eyeliner in Petrol Blue, Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in 21L, Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner in #14.
So. Jumped in the shower and did my usual – conditioned my hair first, then washed my face. Looked down at my arm – all swatches still intact. Swiped a hand across the liners with medium pressure, to some very slight smudging of a few shades (which I will detail in a moment). I continued to clean everywhere else but my arm to see if the water would eventually break down the product(s), fully expecting the warm water plus the humid conditions in my bathroom to do a bit of damage. Nada. The most effect I found was that the same few liners that smudged a bit from a pass-over with my hand had faded somewhat, as if they lost some of their pigment – however, none had smeared or ran any more from the longer duration in the shower. Color me surprised!
However, the moment I took soap and shower pouf to the area, the liners washed away quite quickly, with only 2-3 clinging for dear life before finally getting overcome. These hangers-on have been consistently the longest wearing off all my liners, so I was unsurprised to see them make the best showing.
Can you guess which were the ‘losers’ of the bunch, and which came out on top???
The key is in the wording (duh!). Though I didn’t expect them to power through a shower and come out as champions, every single liner I own that is a kohl pencil failed to last (that being: MAC’s Eye Kohl, MUFE’s Kohl Eyeliner, and Laura Mercier’s Kohl Eye Pencil). This makes sense as kohl pencils are generally designed to be soft and smudgy around the eye (though some wear well on the waterline – go figure). I sort of knew this, yet without fail I’m frustrated when I wear these and by the end of the day they have migrated under my eyes. Lesson REALLY learned this time (I swear)!
On the opposite side of things, the cream of the crop were the same two liners that in my experience power through pretty much everything – Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Liners, and Illamasqua’s Precision Liner, which actually edged out MUFE by clinging just that much longer. Both of these are liquid liners and they absolutely DO NOT COME OFF until you wash them off. At times I find that Illamasqua’s requires even more elbow grease to get every last bit – though I found that because my skin had been wet for a period of time, it was much easier than usual (when washing it off my face).
Overall, it was a bit of an eye-opening experience for me, mostly to really *get* that different types of liners are designed for different things. While the majority of my liners are stellar when it comes to long-wear, especially throughout the warmer months, I must take note that kohls are NOT to be used for crisp lines or as a traditional liner – at least if I’m expecting them to stay put. I think I’ll reserve these for nights out or short trips in which I don’t need something to last hours and hours. When I need to pull out the big guns, I’ll opt for the various other liners I have in my collection.
What types of liners are your favorite?
Good day to you! :) I am off today after a crazy couple weeks helping plan and coordinate our Public Service Week here at my work. I am the co-chair of our Youth Network for the Atlantic Region, so I was also organizing some events for the offices in other provinces as well. Quite the job! In any case, I think the week went pretty well, and yesterday our internal news publication came out with an article on myself and my co-chair on how we’re aspiring leaders, and basically made us sound really snazzy. It was really nice to get recognition for the work we do so I’m feeling pretty awesome right now! (despite the four glasses of wine I had last night in celebration LOL).
Anyway, enough with the recap. Today I wanted to show you a recreation of the look I did for my friend’s wedding last month. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to capture the actual look itself, but I used everything I wore in the shots below – though I’m missing the false lashes. Use your imagination for those ;)
Anyone who knows me knows I always like to take what’s considered the ‘norm’ and put a little spin on it. A lot of people I know have traveled/lived in Australia, so I went to New Zealand. I once attended a formal event where everyone wore dresses, and I wore a white pant suit (see below – not a great shot, and eeks! to the fuzzy straightened hair – but damn it if I didn’t love that outfit :)). So, when I started thinking about what makeup I wanted to wear for the wedding, I wanted something still appropriate but with a twist. And so: red eyeshadow.
Ok, maybe not full-on red. That would probably clash with the whole romantic theme. But a metallic cranberry? Now we’re talking.
The shade I used was L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Golden Mahogany, a shadow I’ve shown you before. I don’t wear it very often because in my mind it’s ‘red shadow,’ but since the wedding, I’ve been pulling it out a lot more – it’s like the best version of red ever, that is actually super-wearable. As it’s quite standout on it’s own, I paired it with subdued shades everywhere else to keep it the focal point – soft pink cheeks and rosy-beige lips.
As you can see, very few products were used for the look. At the wedding, by using false individual lashes (which I prefer because you can apply them the night before to save time), coupled with the shadow, I didn’t need to work too hard to have my eyes really stand out. False lashes are especially awesome for photos (of which you can see here). All that I did was to use a cream liner to get into any spaces in-between the lashes to make them look full, and then applied Golden Mahogany all over the lid and into the crease. I blended MAC Arena into the brow bone and inner eye corners, et voila! That was ALL I needed to do to get the look below. Simple and pretty!
Again, with the false lashes this look was made much more KAPOW!
The base used was Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder foundation (which I’m fairly certain I’m going to buy for the rest of my life) worn over Hourglass No.28 Primer Serum (which really is AMAZING at keeping the oilies controlled). Some contouring with bronzer, a touch of blush and highlight (I used Chanel’s Poudree Signee, not shown in the swatches), and a dab of lipgloss were the finishing touches.
I was really happy with the resulting look, and felt that I managed to continue with my habit of doing something not quite the norm, but also not so far out there either. And that shadow really has reach HG status with me (which incidentally has put me on a quest to weed out all my HG’s and get rid of anything less)!
What do you think? Would you wear red eyeshadow (to a formal event, no less)? How do you ‘break the mold’ when it comes to makeup?
I have a backlog of photos and products to write about, but I must be saving them for a rainy day or something, because instead of posting them I just keep taking new photos of things. Yep. Makes total sense.
Anyway, tonight I was feeling like throwing some kind of look together so I did a Valentine’s Day FOTD because well – it’s in two days and it just seemed appropriate. It actually took only a handful of products, and isn’t anything to fancy, so could be easy to recreate if you feel so inclined. I was going to do two looks – a romantic ‘date’ look for those of you spending the special day with that special someone – and then a badass smokin’ hot look for gals like me who are rockin’ it out single-style. But I couldn’t get good photos no matter what I did tonight, so I gave up (but don’t worry, I have a fierce look to show you nonetheless, just maybe not Valentine’s Day themed).
Here’s the romantic look!
The ‘hairstyle’ I’m wearing here (haha, you’re probably like – ‘what hairstyle?’) is my signature ‘romantic’ style, in which I pin back the front pieces off my face. That’s it. Honestly guys, look at that hair, like WTF do you THINK I could actually do with it?? ~sigh~
To get a sweet glow, I put Burberry’s Fresh Glow luminizer on under my foundation (which I applied wet for a more sheer effect), added a touch of bronzer, and buffed in NARS Desire (a bright cool pink) on cheeks.
On lips, I’m wearing this neat product Taylor at My Lucite Dreams reviewed, called Vitality Lip Flush in Je Ne Sais Quoi by it Cosmetics. It’s clear and then adapts to your skin to turn a lovely shade of pink – truly your lip color but better. It feels great on and gives just the right amount of sheen. I thought it was a good choice because there should be no real transfer if you happen to be…putting you lips on someone else *wink wink nudge nudge* This is one of those random brands my aunt gives me here and there, that otherwise I would have never heard of before.
On eyes, I’m wearing Laura Mercier’s Suspense Duo, with the pale pinkish-beige all over the lid, and the deep burgundy brown in the crease and on the lower lash line. Then I used Laura Mercier’s Black Violet Kohl Liner just on the very outer edges of my eyes, top and bottom, and finished with a good dose of a non-clumping mascara (this one is called Lash Fix by Dalton – another ‘random’ brand given to me by my aunt).
BAM. Done! It took me less than 10 minutes start to finish. I always like kind of rosy tones when I’m trying to look sweet, fools ’em every time ;)
…speaking of rosy tones. Last week I tried to wear pink shadow on my eyes, as a possible Valentine’s look. Witness:
Eeks! This is NOT GOOD. I don’t think pink is impossible for me to wear, just not this one (theBalm Down Boy, which is a blush OR eyeshadow), or this way. I will keep trying!
Let’s finish up on a better note than that, OK? This is a look I wore Sunday to work at Clinique. Absolutely no Clinique products in sight (oops), but I figured if I had to work on a weekend, after a huge snowstorm, I was gonna do it up proper. The tweet I posted that day was a sneak peek – I loved it with the fur-lined hood and the wintery vibe outside! And, truth be told, I felt pretty kick-ass all day – I rarely wear color like this, and it felt so good!
I mean seriously, look how smug I am in these photos. I’m like “Yeah, that’s right. Just TRY it. Don’t mess with me. UHH.”
The shade I was wearing was Urban Decay’s Radium, with a bit of Money in the crease to blend, and a little black liquid liner on top to define the eye. The rest of the face was kept very neutral, with just a touch of bronzer and a matte nude lippie, blotted. I want to wear this look every day. This I can get away with it at work?????
So this post went from Valentine sweet to bitchin’ pretty quickly… essentially this was just an excuse to post a bunch of FOTD pics I’ve taken, hope you don’t mind ;) If I had more time in the mornings, I take a boatload of more pics of my makeup looks, but alas – I am always running late. I’ll keep trying though!
What makeup look makes you feel badass? And what kind of look do you favor for Valentine’s Day?
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 EYESHADOWAvon True Color Quad in Smokey Eyes (satin white) Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Uzi (shimmer w/glitter) (LE) ‘HIGHLIGHT’ EYESHADOWMake Up For Ever Star Powder in #920 (iridescent) KATE Real Create Eyes BR-2 Palette (white gold pearl) MAC Eyeshadow in Vex (frost) NUDE EYESHADOWMAC 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 EYESHADOWUrban 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 EYESHADOWMAC 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 EYESHADOWMAC Eyeshadow in Amber Lights (frost) Ardene Eyeshadow in 8B (pearl) BRONZE EYESHADOWMAC 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 EYESHADOWMAC 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 Urban 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 NARS 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 EYESHADOWL’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 Urban 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 NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Habanera (sparkling plum) Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Rockstar (shimmer) Hourglass Visionaire Eye Shadow Duo in Exhibition (eggplant shimmer) PURPLE EYESHADOW Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Psychedelic Sister (shimmer) MAC Paint in Infamous (metallic) (discontinued) BLUE EYESHADOW MAC Paint in Blue Boy (metallic) (discontinued) Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Radium (shimmer) MAC Eyeshadow in Blue Edge (matte w/shimmer) (discontinued) AQUA & TEAL EYESHADOWS 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 Urban 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 Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #24 Yellow (matte) MAC Eyeshadow in Bright Future ( KHAKI EYESHADOW 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 Urban 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 Avon True Color Quad in Smokey Eyes (medium grey & dove grey) (shimmer) BLACK EYESHADOWS MAC Pigment in Dark Soul (frost w/glitter) Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Perversion (matte)
Did you make it??
…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 :)
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