Archive for category MAC

Summer Polish Combo: Mint and Red

It’s really and truly summer, guys! Yesterday was gorgeously sunny and in the mid-20’s, and for the next week the forecast is showing sun, sun, sun and more of the same. Today will be close to 30 degrees! HOO-FRICKIN-RAY!!!!!  I took Monday off so that I have a four-day weekend (because of Canada Day on Tuesday). I can’t wait!

Summer Polish Combo Red & Mint

It’s not quite 7:30am here, but when you can see sunlight peeking in through the blinds, you can’t really waste time in bed, now can you? I took photos a couple weeks ago of a red and mint mani/pedi combo that I really loved! It sounds a bit strange, but if you think of the pairing in clothing terms, it’s actually a no-brainer. Often when I choose my pairings I think of what works in fashion – or when all else fails, resort to the colour wheel!

Summer Polish Combo Red & Mint

I normally opt for shades that are of equal depth and brightness, but I don’t mind the boldness of the red (which is American Apparel Downtown LA) matched with the more pastel hues of the mint (MAC’s Mischievous Mint). I wore an emerald dress the week I did this combo and everything came together really awesomely. I will definitely wear this combo again!

Summer Polish Combo Red & Mint

In other news, I’ve listed my condo for sale! My boyfriend and I are planning to buy a house – his dog Ally is a chocolate lab, and she’s too big to live in the condo according to their rules, so it’s been challenging for him going back and forth between where Ally has been staying and home. We need a space for her, too! It’s a bit nerve-wracking, especially in this buyers-market – it’ll work out well for when we buy, but in terms of selling you just never know what you’re going to get for your place….at this point I’m just hoping we break even and don’t LOSE money. Fingers crossed!

What do you think of this combo? And do you have any words of wisdom about selling/buying a home?

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MAC Soul Serenade plus a couple other shadow pickups!

Like almost everyone else on the planet (well, at least those who love makeup like I do!), I got sucked in to MAC’s awesome summer release, Alluring Aquatic. The Extra Dimension formula! That packaging! How could I resist picking up something from a collection that features packaging with faux water droplets all over it? Too frickin’ cool, man.

Of course, as my makeup hoard is vast, finding ‘new’ shades gets tougher all the time, and in my effort to at least keep my shades diverse to offset the fact that I’m never going to stop BUYING MORE, I try my darndest to not buy repeat or similar shades. Easier said that done, but the effort is there! While I loved the idea of the whole collection, and all of the shadow, lipstick and cheek shades appealed to me, I spent a good half hour hemming and hawing over what to bring home (because I WAS buying SOMETHING, dammit!). Lorelei was too similar to All That Glitters for my taste (though I do love that shade!), the other shadows for the most part weren’t ones I’d wear (Sea Worship and Silver Sun particularly) and the blush and lipstick shades weren’t original shades in my estimation. As I was agonizing over the choice between Legendary Lure (a beautiful deep cerulean) and Soul Serenade (described as a deep plum brown), another customer who had tried on Legendary Lure decided she was going to take it, and walked away with the last one (and this was the first dav of the launch!!). No hard feelings on my end – it made my choice for me and saved me another 15 minutes of wasted energy. And so I left the store with that one item, and felt happy.

THE END.

…HA! You think I’d every write a post that short? You guys know I’m wayyyyy to chatty for that ;)   Also, I have more shadows to talk about! Namely, another MAC shade, the Paint Pot in Rubenesque which I picked up in Florida at a CCO for $13US, and Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow in Sandy Gold ($29CAD), which I bought a couple months ago.

MAC Bobbi Brown eyeshadow Left to right: MAC Rubenesque, Bobbi Brown Sandy Gold, MAC Soul Serenade

I picked up Sandy Gold because Sabrina from The Beauty Look Book raved about it, and I was looking for a neutral but not shimmery shadow to wear on days when I went for a bold lip (which is the look I opt for more days than not). While is does have slight shimmer, its more of a satin finish really, which I find looks more natural than a full-on matte. Its described as a ‘pale golden beige’ which is entirely accurate – it has a hint of gold sheen which is super-pretty, though the effect is mostly lost on eyes. I managed to catch it in swatches though!

MAC Soul Serenade Rubenesque Bobbi Brown Sandy Gold eyeshadow swatches MAC Soul Serenade Rubenesque Bobbi Brown Sandy Gold eyeshadow swatchesLeft to right: MAC Soul Serenade, Bobbi Brown Sandy Gold, MAC Rubenesque

This is my first Bobbi Brown cream shadow, and I like it OK – the texture is nice and smooth, and the wear time is decent (though if your lids are oily, you’ll still need a primer), but I wish the pot was bigger. I feel like I need to use a brush to apply it as my finger is too big to get in there comfortably without it getting under my nails. Minor niggle though. The colour of this is what sold it for me, and I feel like I could use it as a cheekbone highlighter in a pinch, too. It’s just so pretty!

The Rubenesque Paint Pot was an impulse purchase – it was just so cheap, compared to the $24CAD price tag here, and I do love gold shadow! However, as you’ll see in a minute, I didn’t REALLY need it, as I already have a shade quite similar in another MAC product – their Pigment in Melon. D’OH!

MAC Melon Rubenesque swatches comparison eyeshadowRubenesque, 2nd from right; Melon, far right.

They aren’t completely identical, as Melon is frostier/more metallic than Rubenesque (see photo below) – but they’re still close enough that if I’d been thinking straight (and not ‘SALE!’), I wouldn’t have picked up the latter. Ah well. At least their different formulations so perhaps I can use each in different ways???

MAC Melon Rubenesque swatches comparison eyeshadow

Once I did the comparison with Rubenesque, I got to thinking about Soul Serenade and if I had anything like it, either. After a bit of recon, I came up with a reasonable facsimile, but nothing close enough to call a dupe. Coincidentally, it’s the other MAC Pigment I own (I just have two) in Dark Soul.

MAC Soul Serenade vs Dark Soul eyeshadow comparison swatches MAC Dark Soul vs Soul Serenade comparison swatches eyeshadowDark Soul, far left; Soul Serenade, 2nd from left.

You can see that they’re in the same vein, but with clear differences – namely, Dark Soul is much cooler and greyer, while Soul Serenade has a stronger plum tone (which is easier to see in this comparison I find, than if it’s just swatched alone – in which case I find it looks more charcoal than brown). Interestingly, Soul Serenade is also more sparkly, which is ironic as that’s one of the reasons why I don’t wear Dark Soul often (see blurred photo below for sparkle-tasticness).

MAC Dark Soul vs Soul Serenade comparison swatches eyeshadow

So essentially, my effort to avoid dupes was partially successful. Though I enjoy all the shades I purchased, I’m kinda pissed about the similarities because I barely wear shadow as it is, and can’t be going off to buy MORE OF THE SAME WHICH I’LL HARDLY USE. Stupid! But in my defence, I might buy 5 eyeshadows a year these days, so I’m not a complete disaster, and I’m determined not to buy many more for the next while if I can help it!

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Do you own a lot of eyeshadows? Do you wear them regularly?

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Nearing the finish line: Makeup empties (the ultimate beauty achievement)

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 :)

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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.

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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.

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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 :)

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Do you have any beauty goals right now? On average how often do you finish makeup items?

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MAC Heavenly Hybrid Lipstick: A Delayed Review

I took shots of this lipstick ages ago but never got around to posting about it – and then when the time came, I thought it would be long gone for purchase (which is just plain MEAN to do with a lipstick this pretty!). Just out of curiosity, I *just* checked online, and lo and behold this shade is available to purchase on the Canadian site (but sadly, is ‘out of stock’ on the US one)!  And so, I thought it fitting to do a little show n’ tell for you all :)

MAC Heavenly Hybrid

From the ‘Fantasy of Flowers‘ spring collection, Heavenly Hybrid is a Lustre formula, which are thought to be somewhat moisturizing with a mostly semi-opaque finish, and is described as a ‘mid tone berry.’  I have a couple shades in this formula, and while I don’t find it hydrating, I don’t find it drying either – I notice it tends to wear off quicker than other formulas and lipsticks (about 2 hours, tops) and usually leaves me feeling like I need to reapply in order for my lips to feel moisturized at all. However, I will say that with Heavenly Hybrid, the more intense colour means that it wears longer that other shades I have in the formula, so for that I give it good marks overall.

MAC Heavenly Hybrid

I find the colour in the bullet is a little more muted than what you see on the lips, as you’ll see in the swatches below. But that’s all to the better, because I find this is the perfect shade of berry – bright but not too in-your-face, veering near fuchsia but retaining a deeper berry tone to make it more wearable day-to-day.

MAC Heavenly Hybrid swatch MAC Heavenly Hybrid swatch

Essentially, I LOVE IT.  This shade is insanely wearable, and über flattering. As its not fully opaque, it looks softer than a full-on bright pink, but it’s not dull or boring in the least. It also brightens the face instantly, so with very effort you can look pulled together and pretty in a heartbeat.  And it’s perfect for spring – or pretty much any season, really!

MAC Heavenly Hybrid swatch

If you haven’t guessed, I’m loving this lipstick. Even better, I managed to snag it via Back2MAC empties, so this is like a MEGA WIN. I have to admit, I’m pretty surprised that it’s still available online considering how great a colour it is. But YAY for you guys! I highly recommend checking it out some way, somehow…I promise you won’t regret it!

What is your most wearable lipstick? 

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Radiant Orchid, Pantone’s 2014 Color of the Year: My Beauty Wishlist and Top Picks!

Pantone 2014 Radiant Orchid

“A captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones.”  Sounds quite fabulous, no??  I have to admit, every year Pantone piques my interest in their Color of the Year choices, and this year’s selection, Radiant Orchid, is no different.  And it’s so darn wearable!!  I can see this being one of the biggest hits out of the more recent colour selections because anyone can pull this shade off, even the most novice of makeup wearers.

To show you just how easy it can be, I’ve rounded up my top colour picks I plan to incorporate into my own routine!

1. Ilia Beauty Lip Gloss in Love Buzz ($24CAD), a cool pink with a blue undertone.

Ilia Love Buzz lip gloss

2. Benefit Lollitint ($36CAD), a candy orchid shade.

Benefit-Lolli-Tint

3. YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain in Pourpre Preview ($36CAD), the perfect orchid.

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4. Essie Nail Polish in Splash of Grenadine ($7.95CAD), a playful magenta pink.

Essie A Splash of Grenadine

5. Stila Smudge Crayon Waterproof Eye Primer + Shadow + Liner in Pink Violet ($29CAD), a warmed up, medium violet with sparkle.

Stila Smudge Crayon in Pink Violet

 

While I was searching for ideas for products in the colour range, I really tried to stick to the swatch above, as some examples I came across looked far more lilac to me than orchid.  But let me note that I DID start my search first in my own stash to see if I had anything suitable.  I was surprised to find that overall, I really didn’t!  See below my paltry collection of orchid tones:

Radiant Orchid Radiant Orchid swatchesLeft to right: Sephora Disney Collection Ariel Mermaid’s Song Lip Gloss in Dream Girl, Kat von D Spellbinding Lipstick in L.U.V., MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Fashion Boost, American Apparel Nail Polish in Neon Violet

The A.A. Neon Violet nail polish isn’t really orchid but it’s sort of like the electric version of what I imagine the shade to be (and is MUCH brighter in person than photos).  The rest are closer, though the MAC lip pencil is more fuchsia and the Kat von D lipstick is more purple; the only one I really feel is right on is the Ariel lipgloss.  In any case I clearly need to pump up my orchid-tone makeup and polish, so the list above will definitely be helpful in that task!

Do you get into the ‘Colour of the Year’ fad?  Which shade has been your favourite so far?  Do you have any orchid shades you can already use?

 

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These are {13} of my favourite things (of 2013)

The New Year is almost upon us!  Even though the number 13 conjures up some unsettling feelings, 2013 was kind of a great year for me!  Though it started out a bit rough, with a lot of talking and support it turned around for me (a big thanks to all of you who sent kind words – and a care package! – my way!).  As always, the hardships make the good times feel that much sweeter.  I had the immense pleasure of standing in my friend’s most amazing wedding; I started dating a guy who makes me feel loved and truly content in a way I never have before; I’ve had the opportunity to work in several different positions at my work and found my niche; and I finally got to go to New York City, a long-standing dream of mine!  Not too shabby 2013, not too shabby :)

Over the month of December I’ve been pondering what beauty products in my collection really stand-out and get the most use.  Though I could probably add one or two more, the 13 items below really have rocked my world this year and have been very well-loved.  I would even go so far to say that I would repurchase most of them (and that’s saying something!).

Beauty Favorites of 2013

And so I present to you, my favourite (beauty) things of 2013:

1. Osha Mae Calendula Salve ($15CAD).  On it’s own, without any cortisone products, this can clear up the chronic eczema on my hands overnight – absolutely unheard of!  I first got hooked on a sample of M.J. Herbals Calendula Salve ($15CAD), but when I saw this very similar version at our local market I picked it up, as I always like to support local!

Osha Mae Calendula Salve

2. La Bella Figura Bio Active Healing Mask ($65CAD).  When LBF was introduced on the Clementine Fields website, they had a promotion for 15% off it’s pre-sale.  I ordered this mask as I was looking for something hydrating that could replace the uber-scented derma-e mask that I’d been using for a while (uncomfortably).  I didn’t know what to expect, and was completely bowled over once I tried it – its truly amazing!  It hydrates, it heals, it calms, it brightens…I honestly feel like it’s almost a one-stop shop as a mask, because my skin just looks SO DAMN GOOD after using it.  I attribute it’s awesomeness to it’s inclusion of raw manuka honey (it’s the first ingredient) which is noted for it’s therapeutic, antibacterial and nourishing qualities.  Other ingredients include kaolin clay, rosehip seed oil and calendula extract – be still my heart!  Oh, and it’s also BRIGHT PURPLE (due to the aronia berry).  I want to get my hands on the Purifying ($65CAD) version next.

La Bella Figura Bio Active Healing Mask

3. Lina Hanson Global Body Serum ($64CAD).  I really wish this didn’t cost so damn much because I just want to drown in this fantastically scented body oil for the rest of my life.  As it stands, I’m still trying to ration it, but I still fear it won’t last long as I keep using it every few days because it’s so addictive!

Lina Hanson Global Body Serum

Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille ($130US).  Yum.  And YUM.  You all know my penchant for vanilla-based scents, so my love for this probably comes as no surprise.  With notes like sandalwood, coconut milk, musk, vanilla and tonk a bean, it’s a gourmand fragrance-lovers paradise.  I was surprised however that it also contains notes like black liquorice (which I hate) and bitter almond – but I suspect they help round out the scent and keep it from being too OTT vanilla, which can get headache-inducing fast.  I have worn this and only this since purchasing it in NYC; the only gripe I have with the fragrance is that I don’t find it lasts on my skin – but I guess that just gives me an excuse to spritz, spritz, spritz!

Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille

Make Up For Ever Medium Highlighting Brush in #152 ($43CAD).  I didn’t quite understand just how much I would love this brush until I really put it into practice and had a while to play with it.  This brush is absolutely integral in my makeup application – aside from applying cream or powder highlighters like a dream, it also blends all formulas of blush or bronzer perfectly.  I don’t quite know how it does it, but somehow the fibers of the brush, its density, and it’s softness all contribute to a beautifully seamless complexion.  LOVE.

Make Up For Ever Brush #152

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal (full-size, $50CAD).  Though I only have a deluxe sample size of this product, you only need the slightest amount to get amazing, glowing skin, so it’s lasted me ages!  I usually pull this out when I am either going for a really ‘natural’ look that focuses on the skin, or if I’m looking to amp up the glow factor for an event.  Though the full-size would probably last me a lifetime – something that doesn’t appeal to a fickle beauty fiend like myself – I still think I’ll repurchase this when I DO run out, because it’s truly the most beautiful yet natural-looking illuminator I’ve ever used.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal (5)

Buxom Full-Bodied Lipsticks (full-size, $26CAD).  My love for this lipstick formula is still going strong.  I use the little sample bullets I’ve got more than any other lipstick I own, and I’m looking forward to the day when they run out – so I can justifiably buy some full sizes!  Just so, so creamy and comfortable to wear, with awesome full pigment.  For the price especially, you really can’t beat ‘em!

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Chanel Le Blush Creme de Chanel in Revelation ($43CAD).  I have been on a cream blush kick for a while now, as I find it just looks so darn natural, which fits my makeup M.O. these days.  The newish Blush Cremes dry to an almost powder-like finish, so they don’t have quite the same effect; nevertheless, this natural-looking apricot shade gets a lot of regular use because it goes with just about every makeup look I wear.  The only downside is that its a touch too light when my skin is tanned – but at the moment it’s just right :)

Chanel Blush Creme in Revelation

MAC Eyeshadow in All That Glitters (pro-pan, $12CAD).  Though I have lessened my use of this shadow recently due to switching up my makeup routine, this baby got some SERIOUS love for months after I bought it early last spring.  It gives my eyes the most subtle yet beautiful sparkle I’ve ever seen, and accompanies a bright lip look beautifully.  The hype is TRUE, you guys.  BUY IT.

MAC All That Glitters

Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow in Trench ($30CAD).  Even after owning this shadow for a year and a half, I’m still amazed at how perfectly it blends and melds on the brow bone to give the perfect level of highlight to the eye.  As I have a lot of shimmering shadows, it keeps them grounded without making me look too ‘show dancer,’ but also isn’t so flat that it looks dull.  On top of all that, it’s HELLA soft.

Burberry Sheer Eye Shadow in Trench (2)

Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Noir Intense ($29CAD).  I wasn’t big on black pencil eyeliner until I purchased this early in the year – I didn’t have one and thought I should at least have one in my arsenal.  I don’t use it as a traditional liner, but rather as a tightliner on my upper lash line.  It a nice, dark black that gives great definition when I’m doing a more natural look (see a theme here?) and doesn’t budge – in fact, it’s difficult to remove at the end of the day, so keep that in mind.  But as I find a long-wearing liner hard to come by, it’s far from a deal-breaker!

Chanel Eyeliner Noir Intense

MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack ($19CAD).  Black pencil liner may never have been my thing, but I can’t say the same for black cream/gel/liquid formulas, which have always been a staple in my arsenal.  When I ran out of my last black liquid liner, I decided it was about time I tried the cult fave Blacktrack.  It’s nice and dark, and its creamy texture makes creating a winged look (a regular go-to for me) incredibly easy.  I’m not convinced I would repurchase, only because there are several black cream/gel liners that I’d like to try, but it’s been a faithful staple for me since I purchased it.

MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack

XLash Eyelash Enhancer ($59).  You’re all probably sick and tired of hearing me trumpet on and on about my love for this lash serum, but seriously, just get some and then get back to me – I promise you’ll be converted!  I won’t repeat my gushings yet again, but I will say that I am actually planning to buy more of this when I run out (still haven’t!).  SO. GOOD.

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That just about rounds up my year in beauty in a nutshell!  I’ve tried many things, some duds, some *pretty good*, but this collection here have been raised to the level of HG status for me.  As I learn and grow I find my selections have become more and more curated to the point where I rarely have a miss (at least if they’re purchased by me) and I’ve grown quite fond of my collection, to which I’ve whittled and culled to include *almost* only products that are a pleasure to use.  I still have a bit of work to do (which I plan on laying out for you in a future post), but overall I’m quite pleased and have passed the ‘GAH! My-stash-is-overwhelming-OMG-the-anxiety!‘ stage that I was in for a long time since starting the blog.  Which I deem a HUGE success :)

So say farewell to 2013 and welcome in the New Year with a bang!  I appreciate each and every reader of my little beauty haven, whether you’ve been with me or a while, or stumbled upon my ramblings by accident.  You’re the only reason I keep on writing!  I wish all of you a very excellent finale to the year soon past and hope that the very best is yet to come in 2014!!!  Let’s make it all sorts of great, yea? :D

happy-new-year-2014-wishes-2880x1800Image credit: ilovehdwallpapers.com

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A Fall Color Story (Swatches Abound!)

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!

Russet

Russets

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.

Swatchy time!

Fall Makeup - Russet swatches (3) Fall Makeup - Russet swatches (2)Left to right: UD 24/7 Eye Liner in Lucky (DC), LMdB Blush in Rumour (swatched heavily, then buffed out), L’Oreal CRCCSS in Eternally Nude

Rose

Mauves

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!

Fall Makeup - Mauves swatches (3) Fall Makeup - Mauves swatchesLeft to right: Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Discrete, BITE Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Pepper, Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Velvet Plum (swatched heavily, then buffed out; DC)

Deep Red

Deep Reds

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.

Fall Makeup - Deep Red swatches (3) Fall Makeup - Deep Red swatchesLeft to right: MAC Dare You lipstick, NARS Turkish Red Cream Blush (swatched heavily, then buffed out; DC), L’Oreal La Couleur Infallible Eyeshadow in Golden Mahogany

Berry

Berries

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!

Fall Makeup - Berry swatches (2) Fall Makeup - Berry swatchesLeft to right: Illamasqua Precision Ink in Havoc, Ellis Faas Creamy Lips in L102, Illamasqua Crush Cream Blusher (swatched heavily, then buffed out)

Violet

Violets

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.

Fall Makeup - Violet swatches (2) Fall Makeup - Violet swatches (9)Left to right: MAC Mattene in Bing, Inglot Matte Eyeshadow in #325, UD 24/7 Eyeliner in 1999

What are your favorite shades/products to wear in the fall?  What color story do you like the best?

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New Makeup Pretties: Liner, Lipstick, Shadow, and Highlight

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:

Summer Purchases (2)Clockwise from left: MAC Pressed Pigment in Damson, MAC Lipstick in Hug Me, Laura Mercier Illluminator in Spellbound, Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Cobalt

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:

MAC Damson Pressed Pigment

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.

MAC Hug Me

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.

Stila Cobalt Liquid Eyeliner swatch

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.

Laura Mercier Spellbound Illuminator (2)

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?

Summer Purchases

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Can Your Eyeliners Take the Heat?

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  >:-)

Eyeliners - Wear Time (3)

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).

Eyeliners - Wear Time (4)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.

Eyeliners - Wear Time

What types of liners are your favorite? 

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16 Comments

Alternative Bridesmaid Makeup Look

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.

Pics to Sort etc 137Also – pink heels!  YES.

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.

Wedding Makeup Swatches Wedding Makeup Swatches (2)Left to right: MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack, L’Oreal Golden Mahogany shadow, MAC Arena shadow, Too Faced Chocolate Soleil bronzer, Illamasqua Hussy blush, Laura Mercier Lip Glacé in Discrete.

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!

Wedding MakeupWedding Makeup (2)

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?

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