Archive for category MAC
I almost gave up. For months I tried and tried to make it work, without success. But this past weekend, my friends, I finally managed to wear my nemesis down and make her bend to my will. I AM VICTORIOUS!!
…I’m talking about the illustrious MAC lipstick shade, Morange, of course! No world domination yet!
Who hasn’t heard of Morange before? The ‘Loudmouth Orange‘ shade with an amplified creme finish is nearly if not as popular as MAC’s other iconic classic, Russian Red. While orange isn’t your standard classic color, nevertheless somehow this has become a well-known staple for the runway and real-life beautistas alike. I managed to snag it for my very own in a swap several months ago, and I have since spent several agonizing months trying to make it work without running screaming in terror from the mirror. Ladies, this shade has SERIOUS attitude.
In swatches, it doesn’t look that daunting to me. It’s bright, yes, but surely no more so than my new fave Quince. However, getting it to look at once eye-catching yet without it taking over my whole face was a major beauty challenge – probably one of the most difficult to date.
Perhaps I should have known how challenging this shade would be, given how retina-searing it is, but I have several other shades in my stash that come very close to this (albeit at a significantly decrease saturation):
Through this months-long experiment is how I’ve confirmed that I do not have a warm skintone, as I’ve always generally thought, but rather a more neutral tone with a slightly cool leaning. To say it plainly – orange just ain’t my shade. While more recent trends have leaned toward wearing colors that clash against your natural skintone, and for the most part I love this effect – I have to admit, though I’d love to say I embrace that kind of boldness, but I’m just not there yet.
However. I am nothing if not persistent, and after trying various different application techniques and various makeup looks, I finally figured out the mystery of Morange. It all comes down to: a light touch and A HECK OF A LOT OF BRONZER.
It is absolutely imperative to warm up your face when wearing Morange, if you don’t already have that kind of skintone to begin with – though I have read that shades like these look great on more olive-toned skin. I found when I bronzed the shit outta my skin and added a touch to my eye area, it managed to pull it together much more seamlessless. In addition, instead of going for a full-on opaque pout, which is normally how I wear a bold, bright lippie, I applied one thin coat and blended for a more muted look. It’s not necessarily my preference, but in order to get the POW! from the orange without blinding people, its just the way it’s got to be.
The result of this mega-effort I think is well worth the hassle. It was a beautiful sunny, warm spring day here Sunday, and the orange lip looked so season-appropriate and fun! Morange overall is a nice lipstick, and goes on smoothly, if a bit thicker, and doesn’t dry out my lips. I’m super-stoked to have figured this conundrum out and to incorporate this happy, summery shade into my repertoire this year!
What recent beauty challenge have you faced? How did you handle it?
I have to admit that sometimes I’m a jerk. Sometimes, when people seem to be making excuses for things, I judge *just a little bit* Case in point: in the past, when reading posts in which the blogger noted that they had been sick and gave that reason for why they hadn’t posted in a while, I always thought ‘Jeez, you’ve been home for a week and you were so sick that you couldn’t even type? Pfffffft.’
Well, consider this my sincere apology at my secret douchebagginess.
*Did you know that when you google douchebag images that you get 99% pictures of guys? So maybe douchebag can’t apply to females, I dunno. Let’s just stick with jerk shall we?
As I noted in my last post, I was sick with a cold this week. Nothing life-hindering, just general shitty malaise with a seriously stuffed up (yet super-sneezy) nose, which meant some badass pressure in my head from all the congestion which made behind my eyes hurt, and the absolute necessity of on-hand kleenex at all times. Just your general bitch of a cold. I was off two days from work and skipped out on my extra-curriculars like yoga and running, yet I only posted once. It wasn’t that I couldn’t type. It was that I DIDN’T WANT TO. I didn’t want to do anything – I wanted to wallow in my own snuffling misery and drink lots of warm tea and feel kind of sorry for myself. I didn’t type nor did I read anyone else’s blogs (which is an admittedly passive, scrolling-finger-only kind of action). I watched a lot of Mad Men episodes and stayed on top of Big Brother Canada (which by the way is AWESOME – and the Nova Scotia peeps are ROCKIN’ it, woohoo!!!!!). And that was about it.
Long story short (this is what happens when I don’t get my chatty out on the regular), I am SORRY for judging you, my periodically sick friends. I recognize the error of my
thoughts ways. Forgive me, as I get sick very infrequently and when it does happen, it lasts for 3 days max. I misunderstood – it’s not that you physically can’t, you just feel like doing sweet F.A., and I get it. I understand. So again I say: SO SORRY. My bad.
Ok, with that out of the way! Here is a sneak peek of a bunch of lippies I’ve procured over the past month or so. I went from not purchasing a lipstick since last August (!) to buying 3 in a week plus acquiring 1 via swap as well as 1 lipgloss via PR. For some, this is just another day, but for me it’s a lot. And they are all pretty damn sweet.
I plan on doing separate posts for each of them but for now I leave you with this:
Above: MAC Morange. I received this in swap and thought it was going to rock my world. I still think it’s an amazing color but on my face? OMFG IT IS SO INTENSE. And I’m not sure if that’s in a good way. It’s so frustrating, because in these swatches it seems like this color would be great on my skintone, and looking at it on others online it’s stellar. I WILL find a way to wear this, I just haven’t figured out how… In the meantime, I bought this:
One of the new Dior lippies, #433 Delice, in the Addict Extreme formulation. I bought this at Shoppers when I had a $10 gift card. They actually sent me home with the wrong version – the regular Addict which is more sheer – that thankfully I noticed before using it, but good grief Dior did you have to name them ALL the same name, same number? The poor SA’s… Anyway, no harm no foul on my end, but I would have been totally disappointed in the Addict shade; this Extreme one is more opaque and absolutely amazing on. It’s a more toned-down version of Morange and super-wearable, though I won’t give up on the former just yet.
Yay! I actually bought one of my wishlist items! Meet Quince, a High Pigment Pencil (matte formula) from BITE Beauty, my first from the brand. This is the exact fuchsia shade I was searching for, it looks SO good on – not too bright on my skintone, which was one of the major challenges, but also not so dark that it’s more berry. On me it’s just perfect. LOVE.
Yes, I caved and bought a YSL Rouge Volupte Shine since everyone and their dog seemed to be raving about them! I wouldn’t have probably picked this up if not for the 15% off VIB sale, which eased the painful $39CAD price tag down a bit. I initially didn’t think these were anything to write home about, but they’re actually more pigmented than I thought. I really wanted to get a soft pink shade as I don’t seem to own one, and #8 Pink In Confidence fit the bill. Very pretty and wearable.
Lastly, I received a couple of products from MUFE in shades that complimented the Pantone 2013 Spring shades. This is a Lab Shine Star Collection gloss in S0, which is essentially a shimmering beige. It’s fairly translucent but not clear, so it mutes my lip color a bit. I have to say that I do like the Lab Shine glosses, they have a nice smooth texture, feel hydrating worn, and have good staying power. This isn’t a terribly exciting color but it’ll be great for a casual look or for layering!
I think I’m pretty much set for spring with all of these lip colors, I finally have a few serious brights to play with, and also a couple muted shades to pair with any bright eye looks I choose. They’re all worthy of their own posts so keep an eye out! I wanted to get them up earlier but being sick my lips were so dry, everything I put on them just looked like a flaky mess. They’ve pretty much healed so I should be able to give you full reviews this week
What new lippies have you bought lately? Do you prefer brights or more subtle shades? Gloss or lipstick? Did you buy anything from the VIB sale?
So, remember this post? Yea, you know – the mega-sad one. Well, just so you know: ever since writing that post and opening up about my current situation, things have much improved! We all have heard that talking about things always makes you feel better, but we don’t always put it into practice. Let this be a lessons learned for everyone (including myself): IT REALLY DOES MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER. I think why it helps is that you feel like you’re sort of being pro-active, and doing something for good yourself, even if you’re not actually putting a solution into action. Once I did that, it was easier to start doing other constructive things to get back to my usual perky self. I started doing kick-ass yoga (aka ashtanga yoga) to compliment my half-marathon training, and I feel stronger and more fit than ever. I had my friends over for dinner and brunch this past month, and felt a little less disconnected that before. And this past week, I made a connection with another gal who needs a place to stay, and soon I might just have a roommate, which would help my financial situation immensely. Things are most certainly looking up, and I just wanted to give you a little update and also to thank each and every one of you who were so fantastically supportive after I wrote that post – you gave me such comfort and the courage to then open up to my friends and family, and since have felt infinitely better. So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for being the wonderful people you are and for being so kind and caring. Though I haven’t met most of you in person I feel very fortunate to call many of you friends
Particularly amazing friend-cheer from the wonderful Sarah of Beauty and the Baked Goods…aside from the very fact that she SENT me a care package, the sweet hat card and note plus hilarious envelope quips made me laugh out loud. BEST. THERAPY. EVER.
Now, let me share some other goodness with you! MAC has put out a collection this year (one of the million) called Year of the Snake, which contains a handful of repromoted shades with snazzy box packaging and beautiful snake-like embossing on the actual product, and only available for purchase online. The moment I saw the peachy-golden fantabulousness of the Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl (which I hear has been repromoted up the wazoo….how did I miss it before?) on Circuits of Fever, I was 100% madly, desperately in love. I went to buy it on the site, only to find that it had been sold out, to my utter disappointment. Denise assured me that often things will come back in stock after a time, and to keep checking back every few days. So, like a makeup obsessed crazy person, I checked the site constantly for a week, each time crossing my fingers and toes that it had come available again. No such luck.
Of COURSE, as things go, after a few weeks of giving up online shopping for Lent, I happened to be casually browsing the site and came across the powder, which was IN STOCK. Let this be an indication of how much I wanted to own this powder, that I broke my Lent promise (which I have NEVER done) and snapped up the powder in seconds flat. My love was that serious.
And do I feel guilty? HECK NO. This is why:
It’s sooo pretty you guys!! I have purchased a few items over the past year with pretty designs and such, but this one really gets me goin’. It’s just SEXY. Love, love, love it.
I find the color to lean slightly pink and reads more coral than peach, but who are we kidding – coral is the SHIT! No complaints here. The golden shimmers throughout are really beautiful, and NOT an overspray.
As you can see from the swatches (first diffused, then layered), when worn it’s more of a golden highlight versus getting any serious pinky/peachy/coral hue showing. Fair skins could probably wear this as a subtle blush though I think, as it does give even my darker skin the barest hint of color.
Comparing this to the other highlighters I showed you earlier this week, I would say that this does sparkle a bit in the sunlight, but it’s subtle and manageable in my opinion. There is something about this powder I just ADORE. I find it reminds me of a warmer version of Chanel’s Poudre Signee – it really illuminates my face in a beautiful way while remaining somewhat elusive. I can see why MAC has released and re-released this powder several times over – it’s just so gorgeous! To look at as well as to use. I even prefer this design over the Chanel (sacrilege, I know).
Currently this powder is sold out on the US site but in-stock on the Canadian one (lucky us!). I don’t know how long the collection will be available, but I would suggest if you’re interested in this powder to get it sooner rather than later – I know they’ll likely release it again (and again) in the future, but this design is not to be missed. I even plan on keeping the box it came in too, that is BY FAR the best packaging I’ve seen to date.
Oh yea, FYI – the Beauty Powder retails for $29CAD.
Have you come across any beauty products that have rocked your world lately?
I’m on day 5 of being off on a little mini-vacay from work (though, I’m back tomorrow – boo!), and as you may have noticed, with all that downtime I didn’t fill it with awesome, stupendous blog posts. I know we are all allowed a break when we need it, but I’ve been feeling slightly guilty about not writing more – March overall was admittedly pretty quiet for me. I’d like to blame that on my significantly decreased spending on cosmetics, but that’s a cop-out – there are plenty of other creative ways I could talk about makeup and beauty (see particularly adept bloggers here, here and here). More than anything, it’s been the brain shift that’s prevented me from posting more often; this blog has been predominantly to showcase new products I’ve purchased, and while I’ve had a few other bits and bobs here and there like themed posts, or skincare chats, my creative juices haven’t been flowing as often as they should. Coming up with new ways to portray my enthusiasm for makeup (because – regardless if I’m posting about it or not, I’m ALWAYS excited by it!) has been more of a challenge than I anticipated.
I went to a Clinique school in the middle of March, and we’ve got NAIL POLISH (again…we used to have it but it got discontinued back in 2005) and it’s pretty awesome. This is a face chart I did that we needed to find a complimentary polish to go with it (check out Party Red, bottom) – I think it turned out lovely!
Here is the good news, though, about my ‘break’ over this long weekend. I had several days to just relax, and process, and mentally and physically clear out old crap taking up space (I went through all of my financial documents, three accordion file folders full, and turfed stuff that was dated as far back as 2003! WOOOOOO!!!). And as tends to happen, my brain started revving up again, and I came up with a few ideas for upcoming posts that I hope you’ll like. Nothing too groundbreaking, but topics that are relevant and encourage discussion about our favorite topic: beauty *Though I must confess – lately I’ve been really into fashion as well, and any extra cash has gone toward beefing up my paltry wardrobe. And a new blog I stumbled upon, Meek n Mild, is seriously sparking my sartorial desires – her style is pretty much where I want to be!
I bought these high-waisted skinny jeans by Cheap Monday that are effing fabulous!! I though for sure high-waist + my body shape would be awful, but actually they look better on me than I think they do on this model =)
I hope that I don’t disappoint readers out there who are looking for a constant stream of product reviews – I’m sorry, my budget just doesn’t accommodate for that right now! And additionally, as tends to happen, I’m through the stage of wanting to buy everything because of my restrictive situation, and now into the phase of pulling back and enjoying what I own rather than continuously adding to the mass. I’m having fun playing and discovering new techniques; learning more about my skintone and type and what works best; and using what I already own in new and innovative ways. I hope to share all of these things with you, because while accruing new pretties is totally fun and addictive, the point is to USE all of this stuff, is it not?? And as I keep telling myself, this situation is temporary and it won’t always be this way for me (in fact, I might be getting a roommate for May and June! Yay for splitting costs ), so stick around (particularly in April, as I have been saving to splurge during Sephora’s annual VIB sale – woohoo!)!
And…I did buy this in March (which is all Denise’s fault), so there is that review to look forward to!
End of PSA and the use of too many parentheses.
Thanks for your understanding!!
Wishing you all a lovely long weekend and some good time spent with friends and family! I just cooked a full-on brunch for a handful of my friends at my place (with ingredients contributed by my guests!) and it was the perfect way to kick off the weekend. I’m not back to work until Wednesday and I am SO looking forward to maxin’ and relaxin’!
Last night I multi-tasked (surprize) by painting an Easter egg mani – last year I did all different pastel shades, so I had to think of something new this time around. I think they came out pretty well for freehand – I probably should invest in some doting tools etc. to actually make nail art look really good, but I do it so infrequently I probably won’t bother lol. Hope you enjoy!
Whether or not you celebrate the religious holiday or just use the days off as like mini-vacay, I hope you take the time to relax and enjoy it – and I hope you have some spring-like weather!! This is what I’m being treated to today (and it’s actually *warm-ish* – a balmy 7 degrees, woohoo!). Have faith – summer is right around the corner
Oh – I forgot to mention: since Google Reader is eventually going kaput, I’m now linked in to Bloglovin’ (check out my sidebar) – feel free to follow me there ’till your heart’s content
So. Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day! 7 years ago (OMG how time flies…barf) I was in Dublin for Paddy’s Day (as they shorthand it in Ireland), and yea…it was as crazy as you’d imagine it to be! Not so much a drunken mess, but just the sheer amount of people…yowza. It was a fantabulous time, and I’ll never forget it!
As the years pass, it seems the crew of hardcore Paddy’s Day party-goers dwindles in my crowd – job responsibilities, babies, and aging in general all seem to keep everyone at home on one of the most fun days of the year ~tear~ Thankfully, I have an excellent partner-in-crime who I can always count on to celebrate with me! This year it was just the two of us, so it was more low-key than usual, but I still made sure to dress the part – which includes green makeup (and nails), of course!
I usually do a lot more green on the eye, but since it wasn’t a rip-roaring party I went subdued and just wore a simple flash of green liner on the top lash line. I used Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liner in Covet (an emerald green with silver microglitter) on top of MAC’s Blacktrack Fluidline – the black gave the green more depth and helped the line look more crisp. I added MAC All That Glitters shadow all over the lid, as I find it gives the most beautiful shine to the eye without ever seeming like too much, and then a dab of Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill shadow in #6 Khaki Pulse to the crease to add a little bit more depth. *Side note – anyone notice that I’m trying to grow my eyebrows out? It’s so frickin’ hard dude! I want to pluck all the random stray hairs but I’m trying to be patient ~sigh~ They are coming along though
Since it was going to be a long day, I wore MUFE’s HD Blush in #12 First Kiss on bare cheeks, layered foundation on top, and then added a touch of MAC’s Mineralize Blush in Early Morning to make sure my blush had good staying power. I quite liked the way it made my skin look kind of lit from within. I don’t usually layer cream and powder blushers but I really need to get on that! I topped off my cheekbones and other high points of the face with MAC’s Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl, which gives the best glow – I finally got my hands on the Year of the Snake version last week and I LOVE this product. Review will be forthcoming!
I finished with a very simple lip using Benefit’s Ultra Plush gloss in Hoola. I didn’t want anything competing with the green liner, so this gave the barest hint of shimmer and warmth, but that’s about it.
Of course, the look isn’t finished – gotta get some flash on the nails too, right!? Because I’m not a fan of green nail polish as a whole, I don’t actually own any that are going to give me serious pizazz. But I have shades with a green tinge… haha. I made it work, I think! I just read about sideways manicures, so I tried it out – easiest nail art EVER. And also my new favorite!!
The shades I used were a-England Tess d’Urbervilles as a base, and Chanel Peridot on top. This was probably more subtle than I should have gone with – the nature of Peridot with it’s duochrome nature just makes the a-England shade look like a shadow. Nonetheless, I loved the effect, and loved how darn easy this one (no nail stickers required – freehand works perfectly!), so I’ll definitely be trying this again and again with other shades. Fun!
I always have intentions to get these kinds of event posts up before the actual event, but who am I kidding? That’s never going to happen – I’m too busy prepping for the occasion to actually have time to post! LOL Anyway, all the other bloggers have got this covered for me And it’s not like I did anything particularly unique, and both the makeup and nails could be done any time of the year, right?
How did you celebrate Paddy’s Day?? Did you do any themed makeup and/or nails?
Hiiii guys! I have been hiding out and trying to minimize the time in front of my computer zombifying…seriously, these damn electronics can suck you in and eat your brain big time. I’ve been drafting up posts here and there but not sitting down for too long because I just need a break. S’OK? And plus, I want to show you some fab looks with all of my new(ish) pretties! Here’s one look that I wore out this weekend:
Forgive me for less than stellar shots, as usual I was running late and took these in the bathroom of the party I was at while trying to remain inconspicuous lol. And I probably had a few rum & cokes by this point… I’m a lost cause ~sigh~ Anyway, I took this look directly from this tutorial of Lisa Eldridge’s – I ADORED how it came out, another one of those looks that made me feel badass and awesome all evening (and isn’t that the point?). I’ve been really getting into colored shadows again lately, so fun! FYI – I’m wearing MAC’s Blue Edge (discontinued) topped with Shimmermoss on my top lid and Beautiful Iris on my lower lash lines. Oh, and also, I used the Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil in my hair and HOLY SMOKES. I LOVE THIS STUFF – look at my hair! Just look at it!!!!!
I’ve also got a spring-themed post in the works that I’ve been thinking of for ages but haven’t had all the pieces to put it together. If I’m not too, um…under the weather after Paddy’s Day on Sunday, I plan to get it done that Monday as I’m off work. It involves some very pretty polishes that I’m totally diggin’ – unlike this polish, which sadly did NOT do it for me:
I know, an it’s an a-England polish too! Tess d’Urbervilles, a blackened green shimmer. It looks nice here but I couldn’t wait to take it off. I’m just not a fan of green hued polishes, unless they’re pale /pastel-toned or more of a teal green. Ah well, can’t win ‘em all!
I have been trying to do things that are good for my well-being as much as possible – this semi-computer break being one of them, as well as joining a yoga studio that had an awesome deal: $108 for three months of unlimited classes. Heck YES! I went today after work; the focus was shoulders and OMG I feel so effing great!! My back and neck are always sore from working at a computer (and being at one at home too) and this worked it out so well. I am feeling particularly SUPER WOMAN LIKE today because I also went for a run at lunch. So YAY for mental & physical health! I feel all zingy – kinda like this nail art I did a few weeks ago:
This could have been SO much better – the concept and colors I totally liked, but I used french manicure strips that kept pulling up the polish beneath it, no matter if I let it dry for 5 minutes for 15. SO irritating! Half of this ended up being freehand and the other is just a mess of me trying to fix the peeled polish areas. Urgh. For reference, the shades I used there Revlon’s Sterling, Essie No More Film, and Zoya’s Wednesday.
And there you have it! My very best attempt at giving you something to look at while simultaneously chattering away with abandon, and trying to link the two. Successful? Probably not, but I wasn’t sure when or how I’d post these photos, so it worked for me!
I hope everyone had a great Monday!!!
I’m just going to start by letting out a huge ~GROAN~ before beginning this post. OMG dudes. I’ve been putting this off for AGES and it’s going to get crazy. I suggest getting comfortable with multiple snacks and a beverage of your choice. Let’s get ‘er done.
Part of the reason I’ve taken so long to post this is because I have had so many products thisclose to being finished, and just when its used up, another takes it’s place. I’ve got a handful sitting on my counter that are probably going to be done in a week or so, but I can’t wait any longer – and honestly, I’m in the business of entertaining you, not wasting all of your time and punishing your eyes and scrolling fingers. So here we are!
I’ve said this far too many times and not held my word, but seriously – I’m going to keep the wordiness to a minimum. Let’s start with makeup this time, since that’s always what I find most difficult to finish:
OK. The good: I finished 4 eyeliners! UD’s 24/7 in Crash (shimmering eggplant), Lise Watier’s Gold Eyeshine (which is so old that it kept smushing down into the pencil so I’m turfing it), and two black shades (Tarte Starry Night and MUFE 0L, both which were fine, but smudged more than I’d like). I’ve since bought Chanel’s Noir Intense waterproof liner to replace the two blacks, and so far so good. Also good is Clinique’s Bottom Lash mascara, which seems SO gimmicky but which is actually awesome. The Chanel bi-phase remover is a sample and was good but nothing crazy.
The bad (or just OK): MUFE’s Star Collection gloss in S4 – smooth and not too sticky, but it has this weird cast to it that could make me look dead if worn to heavily. The Revlon lip butter in Peach Parfait still has enough that I could eke out a few more uses, but I won’t. HATED the gritty shimmer in this! The white tube is a primer by Jay Manuel’s line (which I have no idea if it exists anymore or not), that I never used at all. Toss! Lastly, the MAC Haute & Naughty mascara I bought while en route to NZ. For the first month, this was great, albeit a little clumpy due to so much product on the brush. I found as time passed, it got worse, and ended up that the brush looked like this:
Anyway, not bad as far as things go, eh? Next, let’s look at facial skincare:
I’ve reviewed the 100% Pure eye cream, Pangea Organics masque, and Shiseido toner previously and my thoughts still stand on those (which is to say, overall good impressions), but I won’t repurchase. The Clarins Sun SPF30 eye cream is my 2nd or 3rd tube, and as always I think it’s great. I don’t know if I’ll repurchase, just because I might just start using sunscreen around my eye area (I use only physical sunscreens, like the ones in the Clarins, which cause less irritation I find), but you never know! Speaking of physical sunscreens, this is also my 2nd or 3rd tube of the Clinique City Block Sheer SPF25, and I’ll continue to use it unless I can find something similar that doesn’t make oily in summer – I find this still *slightly* heavy. The Clinique Super Rescue cream for combo-to-dry skin is a nice moisturizer, but I find it only gives hydration (and antioxidants – can’t beat that!), and I like something that will aid in smoothing my skin as well, as I tend to have slight roughness from my eczema. I have another tube but probably won’t open that till next winter. The Boscia Make Up Break Up remover is nice enough and effective, but I probably wouldn’t get a full size, as I still use a cleanser afterward because I find it can irritate my skin a little otherwise. The Clinique Even Better Lotion SPF20 is actually a lot nicer than I gave it credit for before I tried it. It’s hydrating but not oily and it made my skin look really good while I was using it. My skin is still doing well but I don’t think it’s AS nice as it was since using this up. I might order this on my next gratis.
I bought a handful of these MaskerAide masques before Christmas and used one per week. I really liked them – they were easy to use and gave great hydration without breaking me out or being too heavy. I’d definitely buy them again. The Elizabeth Grant Eye Power Pads were one of those random beauty items I get from my aunt, and I’ve had them for ages. One day I decided to use them, and it was nice! I didn’t notice a big difference in anything, as I don’t have much in the way of wrinkles yet, but it was a treat and they were hydrating. The Kniepp muscle gel was great for tired legs after working a shift at Clinique or a hard run, and if I was feeling spendy one day I’d probably buy it to have on hand.
Almost done, are you still with me!? Let’s move on to body products:
This is my most triumphant success in terms of empties. The Hawaiian Tropic Aftersun and the B&BW Vanilla Bean Noel lotions I’ve had for SO EFFING LONG – the B&BW lotion was my very first swap EVER (back in 2008). Because they’re so scented, I didn’t wear them often, or in very specific, less sensitive areas like my feet and chest (which isn’t sensitive somehow!). I finally finished them both last month and I’m so stoked – I now have NO scented lotions kicking around, and I don’t plan to ever again! I’ll just go the much safer route and just wear perfume. Sweet
The iconic Kiehl’s Creme de Corps lotion is always a nice luxury to have, and it was effective as ever, though FAR too pricey for my needy body. I would repurchase is my budget allowed it though! Although in saying that, I’ve found my holy grail body moisturizer in Haus of Gloi’s pumpkin butter in Aether – honestly, I can’t see myself buying anything else. It smells good for being non-scented, and it works like a dream on my finicky skin. I love it with all my heart. Aveeno’s Moisturizing Lotion used to be my go-to, but I’m SO over it now. It just doesn’t work as well! The Clinique Deep Comfort hand cream is quite nice and if you’re looking for a great moisturizer to tote around, this is a great option – hydrating, absorbs well after a few minutes, and lasts. And it’s unscented
The last time I ordered a few Aether pumpkin butters, I also picked up a couple 2oz jars of Haus of Gloi’s Bubbling Scrubs. This one in Satyr was lovely! Its a sweet, warm, edible scent which some may not like but is right up my alley. And it gives a nice light exfoliation on my sensitive skin, which I usually avoid, but which I can indulge in with these scrubs. Yay! The Hugo Naturals body wash smelled lovely (natural scents) but something about it I didn’t like, so I wouldn’t repurchase. The star here is the Organix Macadamia Oil conditioner, which is absolutely PERFECT for my crazy-curly, mega-dry hair. I hate that it comes in a smaller container, as I went through it pretty quickly, but I would repurchase even though it’s $8 and lasts only a month or so for me. I usually buy jumbo sizes of conditioner because I need so much, but this is worth the cost, as it really hydrates, and is a bit heavy (so, those with fine hair steer clear) which is just what my hair needs. LOVE.
Ok. Wrapping things up, I have a couple fragrance samples!
I got Angel as a sample when I got my mom’s bottle refilled for her birthday last year. I know it’s a hate it or love it scent for most, but for me I actually am in the middle. I don’t think it’s ‘my’ scent, but I do like it – I think because of the associations with my mother. It really works on her and when I smell it I feel cozy The Lancome fragrance however, La Vie Est Belle, IS ‘my’ fragrance – it’s got the same tones with vanilla being predominant (I’m definitely a Gourmand fragrance wearer), and smells FANTASTIC on me. Initially I wasn’t sure if I liked it enough to buy a bottle, but over the past couple weeks I had three men tell me I smelled good (in an almost surprized way, like “You smell really good” and looking sort of shocked like, ‘oh wow, yum’) so I’m taking that as a sign. Its the first fragrance I’ve found in a while that really does it for me. FYI the notes are: black currant & pear (top); iris, jasmine, & orange blossom (middle); tonka bean, vanilla, praline, and patchouli (base). I think the reason I was initially unsure is that I’m not a huge fan of orange blossom in fragrance, but the inclusion of vanilla and iris (iris being in 3 of my favorite scents, interestingly) end up making it a winner. I’m just finishing up my second sample of this and will buy a bottle as soon as I’m able.
So there you have it! In the past three months, those are the products I managed to finish. Not too shabby, huh? My skincare for face and body particularly has been seriously streamlined, and I don’t have anything ‘extra’ in either. Makeup of course is an ongoing battle to use up products I’m not madly in love with, but I’m getting there! It’s an ongoing process, and you are all probably familiar with. Moving forward I hope to post these monthly to keep on top of things!
Have you tried any of these products? What are your thoughts? Any skincare products you’ve found to be absolute winners?
Here is the second part of my lip color collection – my lipsticks, as well as a couple lip liners to boot (check out the first part – glosses – here) I am kind of surprized by the number of lipsticks I have – as in, how few I have, when it seems like I’ve been ogling rich, pigment dense lip colors for the last long while. I feel like I should have a lot more than I do considering the long wishlist of shades I’m dying to own – let’s hope this year I change this! You’ll see that similarly to my glosses, I tend to stick to a few shade categories – actually, even more so here. There is a WIDE gap in colors which I am all too happy to fill Let’s take a look!
First up, we’ll start with the neutrals again:Left to right: NARS Velvet Gloss Pencil in More, MUFE Rouge Artist Intense in N10, Burberry Lip Cover in Rosewood, Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Pencil in Sydney
The NARS lip color is called a gloss, but it’s far too pigmented and not really all that glossy, so in my opinion it’s more of a lipstick. This is not true for all of the NARS gloss pencils though, as a note. Out of all of these, I actually only really wear the Buxom lip pencil regularly (which is actually a nude shade on me rather than ‘neutral’) – I think the others are supposed to be kind of ‘my lips but better’ shades, but they just aren’t nailing it very well for me. Thankfully, out of the four I only purchased one (the NARS), so it’s no real hardship. But once I use up one or two of these, I’ll be investing in a really good every day shade – every girl’s gotta have one!
Next, we have another shade category of which I think every gal should own at least one color – RED:Left to right: Dior Addict Glitter Collection in Show It, MAC Lipstick in Dare You, MUFE Rouge Artist Natural in N46, MAC Lipstick in Russian Red, MUFE Aqua Rouge in 08
I have a hard time not buying every single gorgeous red on the market – I LOVE me some red lips! Though as you can see, my stash is very homogenous – where are the orange reds!? I didn’t realize that all the shades I owned were essentially true reds or even blue-leaning until I did this swatch session. It’s interesting actually because I think my skintone leans warm, which typically means that I should be choosing a more orange-based red to get the most flattering effect. However, I do feel the colors I have are great and I feel very good wearing them, so I’m not going to concern myself with it too much. But, it gives me great pleasure to realize that I have this gap, as it gives me free reign to buy a few more
I would say I wear all of these reds equally as often, except for perhaps Russian Red, which I feel is a more ‘special event’ red as it’s so bold. The Aqua Rouge is also very ‘in your face’ but because it’s so long-wearing I’ve put it in more regular rotation because it’s so low-maintenance. The Dior Addict shade, which has since been discontinued, is the sheerest of the bunch, but with a flushed cheek it looks just perfect (though it’s a bit gritty feeling with the gold sparkle).
Yet another ‘must-have’ shade in my humble opinion, is a good vamp:Left to right: MAC Mattene in Bing, Ellis Faas Creamy Lips in L102, Dior Rouge Dior in #976 Daisy Plum, Shu Uemura Lolishine in #789, MAC Lipstick in Funbathing
MAC’s Bing (an LE shade) was my first vampy shade, and as you can see I pretty much dove right in! It’s VERY dark and mysterious and…insanely hard to wear. I either blot it down to wear as a stain (as you saw here), or I mix it with other shades to tone it down a bit. I still dream of being able to wear it full force, however, reminiscent of the looks in these pics below:
I’m not too upset by the difficulties of Bing however, because I have found MY best berry lippie shade since – Ellis Faas’ L102. I get so many compliment on this lip color, it’s crazy!!! You’d think I’d wear it every day, but it’s almost like I’m trying to ration it or something, because I don’t. Silly, I know. In any case, when I do wear it, it honestly makes my day. You always have to have one of those kinds of products in your back pocket, right? The Dior #976 is actually a similar color but doesn’t have the same impact, somehow, perhaps because of the golden shimmer.
The Shu lipstick is very sheer and not really my style, but I don’t own any Shu and I got it in a swap, so I’ll hang onto it for now (note that it is no longer available). Funbathing was also procured via swap (and LE), and I really like it’s berry-bronzey goodness, but it feels fall-ish to me, and I haven’t really had a chance to wear it since I was away for most of the fall and was doing the whole *next to no makeup* thing. It’ll get it’s chance next year!
And now…CORAL. While it isn’t the typical ‘you gotta own one’ color, trust me – you gotta own one!Left to right: MAC Lipstick in Crosswires, Burberry Lip Cover in Cameo Pink, Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in Empire, MUFE Rouge Artist Natural in N36
These kind of look pink in my swatches, but IRL they definitely have a coral leaning. Crosswires is described as a ‘clean pinky orange’ but I don’t see any orange when I wear it at all. Chanel’s Empire (LE) is described as a ‘pink-peach’ and MUFE’s N36 an ‘iridescent coral’, but to me they’re all in the same vein – coral-pink. In any case, these are highly wearable shades and seem to go with almost any look I choose (well, Crosswires is a bit bright, but the rest are good to go). I love them all and enjoy each of these shades immensely! No favorites nor duds in the bunch.
I have one straggler shade here, and sadly it’s also one that I wish would just DIE already – it’s a mauvey purple shade, and I’m not hating on the color, just this one in particular:
Ehhh…it’s just not my thing! It’s got too much grey in it, which I have to steer clear of (which tends to rule out a lot of mauve tones) – it just washes me out and doesn’t do me ANY favors at all. I try to wear it occasionally to use it up, and pair it with brighter shades and bronzer in order to keep me from looking dead and blah. I’d love to have a great purple shade, as I’ve seen it look truly amazing, but just not this one. Think more like this:
Gah. Such an awesome look. SO not like that lipstick I have. Must rectify.
Lastly, we have my few lip pencils, which I keep because it seems prudent to do so, but which get absolutely NO play from me at all (oops):
I think have have the gamut covered well here – a nude, a neutral, and a red. These will work with all the lip colors I own, if I ever do get the idea to wear one lol. Happily, none of these cost me a dime so I might as well keep them on hand and not worry about using them – it’s not like they take up a lot of space!
So – gaps. There is a lot (in my mind!). I’m thinking I need a true girly pink, a bright fuchsia, an actual nude, an orange-red (and – just an orange!), a coral-orange, and a fabulous purple…sound about right? Since I went with 25 as my ‘max’ for lipglosses, I don’t see why I can’t apply the same number to lipsticks. I’ve got 19, add these shades I’ve noted…well, that makes 26, but I’m sure I’ll finish one of these in time no problem ~schemes~
What are your thoughts? Any shades here you’ve tried and loved (or hated)? What color do you normally gravitate toward?
After my last swatch-a-palooza, my poor arms were in rough shape (literally), looking like I had a case of serious carpet burn. They’ve finally healed, so I thought that spending the afternoon swatching all my lip glosses, balms, and lipsticks was the perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday. This finishes up my makeup color collection (see previous posts on my blush/bronzer, eyeliner, and eyeshadow collections!) – I hope you enjoyed sneaking a peek into my stash as much as I did going through it all (swatch-burn aside). This has been the absolute perfect way to curb my spending, revisit neglected shades, and get inspired by what I already own – you may have noticed I’ve been playing a lot more with color and posting more FOTD’s for your viewing pleasure. I highly encourage anyone with a more than moderate collection to indulge in a similar practice!! So, so fun
As these posts can get a little picture-heavy, I’m splitting up my lip colors into two posts – first, my lipgloss collection, which will include the few colored balms I have as they all have shiny, sheer finishes (which is what I consider the general definition of a gloss); the second post will contain all the lipsticks I own (which incidentally includes one product that is called a gloss but I find far too pigmented to dub it so).
Let’s start with the neutrals, which are often the gateway shade when one is starting a makeup collection:Left to right: Benefit Ultra Plush in Dallas, Fresh Sugar Honey Tinted Lip Treatment, Benefit Ultra Plush in Hoola, MAC Lipglass in Clear, Illamasqua Sheer Lipgloss in Opulent, Hourglass Extreme Sheen in Ignite, Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Discrete, Clinique Chubby Stick in Graped Up, Pur Minerals Lip Gloss in Passion
I was surprized to find that I had so many neutral glosses – I always feel like I’m looking for one and never quite get what I need. Laura Mercier’s Discrete is probably the best shade of the bunch when I need something but want to keep the lips lowkey (but not nude), but I wish it were a creme and not with that shimmery finish. I also like Benefit’s Hoola which is essentially clear but with a hint of sparkle to keep it interesting. The rest of these I’m pretty much ‘meh’ over, sad to say.
Cool-toned glosses:Left to right: Benefit Ultra Plush in Dandelion, Tarte Vitamin-Infused in 40 Winks, Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish in April, MAC Chromeglass in Prize Shine (I think), Illamasqua Sheer Lipgloss in Divine, it Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush in Je Ne Sais Quoi, Benefit Ultra Plush in Bella Bamba
The three baby pinks on the left are all quite nice and each look different on the lip – the Benefit gloss is pretty basic; the Tarte gloss has a sheer pink base with gold shimmer for warmer looks; and the Buxom gloss is a bit more opaque with quite a bit of silver sparkle, which I love in winter and for nights out. The MAC lipgloss here I picked up ages ago (the name is worn off, so I’m not 100% sure, but I think it was Prize Shine), and I got it because of this promo pic:
Actually, it was this girl with this makeup but the shot was at a different angle (which I can’t seem to find online). Anyway, she looked AMAZING and since her skintone is close to mine, at the time I thought it’d be a great idea. Uh…. It is one SERIOUSLY METALLIC lipgloss, which makes it exceptionally hard to wear :S However, back then I was determined to make it work, and picked up…ah damn, I can’t remember now, but it was *like* C-Thru but it wasn’t that. Anyway (getting rambly here!), I paired the pale milky sheer nudeness of *whatever it was* with Prize Shine, and BAM! We got this:
It probably seems crazy that I can remember what I was wearing for a lip color in a photo from 5 years+ ago, but that’s the life of a beauty obsessed gal. What can I say? In any case, this was a combo I was totally infatuated with, but you only needed the tiniest bit of the metallic purple, so I’ve still got about 1/3 left of this gloss (which is LE by the way) – I ran out of the other shade long ago. I’m determined to finish it this year!
The last two shades are nothing to write home about, the but 3rd from last – Illamasqua’s Divine – will be getting it’s own post. I got this on mega-sale a couple months ago and I LOVE IT SO MUCH. Best cool-toned pink ever!!!
Lastly, we have the warmer-toned glosses:Sephora Reflex Gloss in She Sparkles, NARS Lip Gloss in Wonder, MAC Dazzleglass Creme in Luscious Spark, Benefit Ultra Plush in Coralista, MAC Tendertone in Purring, YSL Glossy Stain in #7 Corail Aquatique, MAC Lipglass in Lychee Luxe, Illamasqua Intense Lip Gloss in Plentiful
This shades of gloss are clearly my fave. I went through a big kick wearing Sephora She Sparkles last Christmas, but haven’t worn it much since. NARS Wonder and MAC Luscious Spark (LE) are lovely in summer, and I highly enjoy MAC’s Lychee Luxe – so much so that it’s almost finish (yay!). I’m going to play around with Illamasqua’s Plentiful this spring, as if you recall it was a touch light for my skintone, but I think I can make it work. I want to love the YSL Glossy Stain, but the fragrance is a little off-putting (mainly because it makes me nervous), and I wish I had chosen a more punchy shade. I’ll probably pick up another over the next while and I’ll reevaluate my feelings on them then.
So that’s my gloss collection! It’s actually not SO huge, at 24, considering. Maybe I’ll set a mental ‘max’ at 25 – so I better hop to is using some of these up! I’m actually not huge into gloss right now, opting more for a bold lipstick, or even bare lips, but here and there I’ll throw one on, as they can be a convenient way to perk up your look. My wishlist has very few glosses on it and many, MANY lipsticks, so topping off at 25 should be a piece of cake
I don’t think I’m desperately missing any shades here, though not because it’s such a vast array, but more so because as mentioned, I’m just not terribly concerned with gloss. A nice nude may help round it out, and I have one in mind actually – Becca’s Ultimate Color Gloss in Fallen Angel. There! 25 it is.
Do you prefer gloss or lipstick (or neither)? What shades tend to be your go-to’s?