Archive for category NARS
How’s that for a title, huh? Yea dudes, I know…let me just say: I have about 3 seconds unaccounted for this month and absolutely no extra brain power for much else other than what’s already on my agenda, so please grant me a pass for the month of May OK? I’ll still be posting – I’ve bought far too many awesome things not to share ‘em with you! – but its going to be sporadic and my writing will likely be shoddy…you’ve been warned.
Apparently with the little free time I have I’m making sure I’m maximizing it as much as I can, as I’ve already purchased two of the five items I wanted to get this month, ha. I’m still going to show you the list so you can also see what’s in store upcoming on the blog! Here we go:
1. NARS for Pierre Hardy High Voltage Blush in Boy’s Don’t Cry ($48CAD) – this ‘pink grapefruit’ shade taunted me from the moment I saw the promo ads. I almost had a moment on the weekend where I was just gonna throw reason into the wind and buy it off the NARS website, shipping and all, as I believed it was the only place that was selling it. I resisted and decided that I could do without it – then, lo and behold, when I was at Sephora yesterday just to buy a damn sharpener, there it was. OBVIOUSLY I bought it in about 7 seconds and ran away from the store with glee. Since then I’ve shown it to pretty much everyone I know. I’m too eager to wait till I have a moment to take adequate pictures of it, so I snapped a couple crap ones and I’m wearing it tomorrow, so sorry. I CANNOT WAIT PEOPLE.
2. Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 06 Rosewood Shimmer ($20CAD) – I’ve had a lemming for the creamy, smooth, lovely lip perfectors for about a year now, and recently they came out with a few new shades. This one looks like it might just be the best MLBB I could ask for (also, see evidence of that fact here!). I also absolutely ADORE the smell. This will be mine, and soon!
3. Chanel Le Vernis in Azure ($27CAD) – When I initially heard about Chanel’s colorful summer collection, I was quite excited as it’s normally more austere aesthetic doesn’t always jazz me and my more deeper pigmented skin. However, once I saw what was released, I was a bit ‘meh’ and only happened to check it out in person on a whim when I was at Mills late last week. None of it hooked me – I found the pencils to look terrible on my skintone, and paying through the nose for a colored mascara I’ll rarely wear doesn’t sound like a good use of my money AT ALL – but I really wanted to go home with something, so I picked up Azure. I don’t own many metallic polishes, let alone a metallic teal, and I was nervous this would come back to kick me in the ass, but turns out, Azure is AWESOME. Somehow this eye-catching shade is really sophisticated and elegant despite being an ‘unusual’ color. Also, it wore exceptionally well – due to my crazy-busy schedule, I’ve actually worn it for 5 days straight (this is unheard of for the gal that changes her polish every 3 days), and it’s only got minor chipping and mainly on my dominant hand. LOVE IT.
4. NARS Larger Than Life Eye Liner in Barrow Street ($28CAD) – While being swayed by the siren call of Boy’s Don’t Cry, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the summer collection had come out in full at NARS finally. I have had the gorgeous mint green liner on my radar for a while, and was tempted to get it as well – but resisted because, well…I was already spending $48 on a blush, whaddya want from me!? However, it appears not to be limited edition (hopefully) so I may go back at a later date and pick this up. So fun for the waterline!
Last on the list is not a specific product, but a color that I WANT and am not sure where to find. Check out Hannah Simone in a fabulous cool pink lipstick that needs to be in my life:
This kind of shade can be challenging for me as it can’t run too greyish or else it looks horrendous on my skintone. I even would be OK if it went slightly more violet to make it a bit bolder – I thought I found it in MAC’s Show Orchid but now I’m not so sure. Anyone have any suggestions!?!
So, as you can see, I’m making great progress with my wishlist already, which is promising because what generally happens is I make a list and then buy things that aren’t on it LOL. I’m trying to stick to only making purchases that are on the damn list, because why else am I making them then? Certainly not because I’m bored with nothing to do! *tries to hide under the bed from everyone *
What’s on your wishlist this month?
I often find that my best posts are those that are made up on a whim. Sometimes I’ll be trying something out for my own personal pleasure, and it leads to something else entirely. Today I had one such moment; I was trying to figure out just how I could wear my NARS Laguna Multiple effectively, as its quite pretty but gets very little use. I usually smear it on right from the tube and then blend the heck out of it with my fingers, applying it as a highlight on top of my cheekbones and around my brow bones. Today I tried buffing it in with a stippling brush, which seemed to work exceptionally well. Then I wondered how it looked in sunlight, and stepped out on my balcony in the sunshine, only to be blasted with some serious sparkle! Eeks! I can tell you right now that it is NOT the kind of product you want to wear outside in the sun (so, best used on cloudy days or at night), or at least if you DO wear it, use a very light hand. Lesson learned (and thankfully before I made the faux pas in public)!
Of course, this got me thinking about other highlighters/glow-makers I own and how they fare in the bright sunshine. Of course, being a dutiful blogger, I took photos so we all can benefit from my experiment I chose four others that are all permanent products in their respective brands: Benefit Watt’s Up, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal, the Balm Mary-Lou Manizer, and Burberry Fresh Glow. You’ve seen swatches of some of these before in my Chanel Poudre Signée post, but here they are again (give or take a couple):
First let me preface the following face swatches by saying that while I could plainly see the sparkle/shimmer in sunlight, it is incredibly hard to capture in photos!! SO frustrating. With that in mind, please take my word for it whether or not something is visible or not, as it is tricky to see in the snaps I took ~grumbles~ Also, please note that all of these shots were taken on completely makeup-free skin (apologies for dark circles!), so there is no other potential shimmer interference (I cleansed my face thoroughly between each shot).
To begin, we have the Laguna Multiple I mentioned originally. Very sparkly in sunlight, and I really would avoid wearing it outside – especially if you do not have my skintone (on me it’s more of a highlight), as it would then be deep bronze + super shimmer, and just wouldn’t be your best moment. You’ll notice as you look through the other face pics that this one has the most noticeable shimmer, even in photographs. BELIEVE IT. However, it IS very pretty and I plan on using it on evenings out over this spring/summer.
Next, we have Benefit’s Watt’s Up luminizer – I only have a sample size of this but honestly that is enough, as a little goes a long way. I want to say it’s my least favorite of the five, but today changed my mind a bit, as the initial BAM! sparkle of it seemed to settle after a couple minutes, and then it really just gave me this lovely radiance. It’s still fairly shimmery, but not as much as the Laguna, and you could probably get away with it in the day if you went very minimal on shimmer elsewhere. Also, I’d probably layer my blush OVER this rather than under (which you’d likely do anyway if you chose powder, as this is a cream, and that’d just get weird), which would tone it down a little bit too. It took me AGES to get photos of this and I’m still not satisfied, so trust me when I say there IS visible shimmer (look for little particle-like things on my face – those are them ).
Moving right along, next is the insanely popular Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector, in the shade Opal. I snagged this deluxe sample in a swap about a month ago and I LOVE IT SO MUCH YOU GUYS. I’m not going to go on a big ‘You have to buy this!’ rant, because everyone else has done such a good job – so just go buy it already! This product comes very close to the ‘might be too shimmery for day’ line but manages to toe it exceptionally well, so you can totally rock it out all summer long. I adore the glow this gives and because the shimmer particles are so small, they don’t look tacky at all, just nicely done. I will continue to wear this now that the sun is out, day or night.
Continuing on, we come to the Balm’s Mary-Lou Manizer. Next to Laguna this one is the most shimmery, and is also the only powder in the bunch. This was one of my first highlighters (and again, its a small sample size compared to the real deal) and I tended to wear it more in the corners of my eyes than anywhere else. Now, I wear it both ways (on my cheekbones too) but generally keep it to nighttime, as the shimmer combined with the lighter tone and powder formula can make it more obvious than I’d like. Still, the powder is butter-smooth and is nice to have on hand now and again!
Finally, we have the most natural of the bunch, and my personal preference for a foolproof glow – Burberry’s Fresh Glow Luminizing Base. If you recall, I bought this last year as a birthday treat for myself (which I think I might do every year – buy Burberry makeup, I mean!) and was unsure if it was genius or useless. Well, consider me converted because this give the most subtle yet glowing look of the bunch. It can be worn a multitude of ways: on bare skin, under foundation, over foundation, mixed in with foundation, etc. – but I prefer to use either on a bare face to just give me a pick me up if I’m going super low-key, or on top of foundation on the high points of the face. Even though there is shimmer, somehow there is no shimmer - like Houdini or something. I haven’t quite figured it out, but I will say that looking at it worn in full sunshine today for the first time, I was totally amazed – I looked utterly radiant but like I had absolutely nothing on. Kind of like how you look when you put on a face oil, and you look glowing, but without the adding ‘shine’ factor. Good times. Dammit Burberry, why is everything you do SO DAMN
Thus concludes my research – I hope you found it helpful! I know it’s tough to see the nuances between shots but I think the gist is there in terms of comparing the five. As always, this kind of post is helpful for me too, so yay for killing two birds with one stone!
Do you wear a highlighter? What formula/finish do you prefer? Which of these ones would you choose?
Fun with Fuchsia: American Apparel Neon Violet Polish, NARS Desire Blush, and Illamasqua Divine Lipgloss
As some of you may know, I’ve been in a slight polish slump for the past while. Nothing has really got me excited much, though I have picked up a few shades here and there (as seen in my last post) that were great additions to my collection. Last week I was admittedly quite enamoured with China Glaze’s new Dandy Lyin’ Around, a sparkling white polish, but by the end of the week, as usual I was ready for a change. I was feeling kinda frisky (huh?) and pulled out American Apparel’s Neon Violet polish, a blue-leaning bold pink, which is part of their Neon collection that came out quite a while ago. I haven’t given this polish much love for whatever reason, though it often draws my eye as it stands out a lot amid the other shades in my stash. As soon as I put it on, my love was seriously revived – guys, this is a fantastic shade!! I’ve shown pics to you before (once as a pedicure and once on a friend’s hand) but I’m not sure I’ve given it enough due – you really gotta check it out. Aside from the glorious color, it’s a near one-coater with a great formula – it’s just FABULOUS.
Anyway, it got me thinking again about skintone and whether I am more cool or warm – this is most definitely a cool-leaning shade, and while I inherently think I’m warm-toned because of my caramel coloring, more and more I think I might actually just be neutral, leaning neither way, because I seem to be able to pull off shades all over the color spectrum (hooray for me!). I also am realizing that it has a lot more to do with just finding the right shade within each color range, rather than whether or not you can wear ‘warm’ or ‘cool’ tones. After all this thought and over the past few months with some of the beauty accruals I’ve made, I have found my jam in one area at least – fuchsia.
A few months ago, I was on this kick where I wanted to collect NARS blushes – I already owned four and I thought I’d just keep going with it. I’ve since kind of gotten over that, but not before I scored Desire in a swap. Initially I thought it was probably a stupid move – a cool ‘cotton candy pink’ on my skintone?? I just wasn’t convinced. And since I received the shade in the late summer, which did not seem like the season for this color, I left it alone for ages.
When winter rolled around, I figured it was time to give this ago and decide if I was going to keep it or not. As true for many NARS blushes, it has great pigmentation, and because it’s completely matte it’s exceptionally wearable (as a general rule, I find bright pink + shimmer = TOO DAMN MUCH). The first time I wore it, I happened to pair it with heavy black liner and naked lips, and BAM! Compliments galore!! It looked smokin’ (sadly, I do not have pics from that day). It was then that I started to think that fuchsia might be a color I want to start giving more of a chance.
One night a couple months ago when Illamasqua was having their last huge sale, I was perusing the site – and on top of discovering that my current blush lemming Crush was on sale, I also could score the Sheer Lipgloss in Divine (a ‘deep fuchsia pink’) for 1/3 of the regular price. When my package arrived, I was pleased to find that Divine was a wonderful addition to my gloss collection, as it was unlike anything I already own. Additionally, it’s smooth, non-sticky formula was a pleasure to use, and while it isn’t as pigmented as it looks in the tube, its a great shade to brighten up my face in a pinch.
As I already noted, I had previously always thought I had a warm-leaning skintone, so when I saw evidence of how yet another cool-based color looked great, I was finally convinced – fuchsia rocks my world!!
Out of all this discovery, one thing became glaringly clear – I desperately need a bright fuchsia lipstick!! The lovely Sarah from Beauty and the Baked Goods send me Revlon’s Sweet Tart lip butter, which is a great pink, but it leans more candy-colored. I’ve been doing my research and I’m torn between Bite Beauty’s High Pigment Matte Pencil in Quince $28CAD (described as a rose berry – but looks pretty fuchsia to me), YSL’s Rouge Volupte Radiant Lipstick in Rose Culte $39CAD (a ‘vivid fuchsia’), or new NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Yu $30CAD (a ‘shocking pink’). I haven’t gotten to swatch the NARS pencil in person yet, so not sure if it’s the right tone, but the other two totally do it for me – it’s likely I’ll opt for the Bite pencil as it’s more reasonably priced and I have yet to try a lippie from the brand.
All said and done, I’m pretty stoked that I’ve stumbled upon a go-to shade that seems to work so well with my skintone. I’ve made several discoveries of this kind over the past couple months while funds have been so limited – I’ve been taking the time to play more and make more informed decisions about what I purchase when I have the means to do so, and it’s been a positive learning experience
What unlikely makeup / polish shades have you discovered to really work for you?
Before the online world took over, I used to be a voracious reader of magazines. First it was YM, which I only read for the ‘Say Anything’ section when I was about 11-12 years old. Then it progressed to Seventeen, then Cosmo, and then Allure – the latter which firmly entrenched my love affair with makeup eternally. Often, I would pull pages out of a magazine with pictures that evoked a certain ‘something’ – I can remember papering my walls with Calvin Klein ads for DAYS (OMG this is bringing back memories!); the models all seemed to fabulous and mysterious. As I grew up, I instead began to pull makeup looks from the pages of my favorite mags, anything that piqued my interest visually and was just begging to be attempted.
Though I don’t do this as often today (I have a subscription to only one mag now, and try to avoid buying any because – hello, internet!), I still do come across pictures in print that I clip out for future reference. I have a big photo album full of ‘em now, tied together as a collage – each page with a different theme (YES I KNOW I AM ORGANIZED/OCD/CRAZY/WHATHAVEYOU). This morning I thought of my album and pulled it out to get some ideas for the day’s look. What I decided on was this:
Every so often I go through the album and remove photos that I’m no longer ‘feeling.’ Amazingly, this actually doesn’t happen very often – even though the span of these photos is over probably 7+ years, I still love most of them and they don’t seem to become dated. The photo above is one of my oldest, and yet I think it’s still as relevant today, and I still totally love it. A flash of blue liner and a stained pout – simplicity at it’s best.
I wore this look today for the first time, and I’m pretty pleased with how it came out:
I did tone it down a bit by not bringing the blue all the way to the far inner corners; I was after all, at work today and my office isn’t terribly ‘creative’ (I know, totally not what you expect for the GOVERNMENT, right? Ha). But otherwise, I actually think I captured the look fairly well. The liner shade is exceptionally close (though I suspect she’s wearing liquid – while I used MAC’s Petrol Blue Pearlglide liner). I think I even almost got the lip stain right (MAC’s Bing Mattene lipstick), though it looks a little worn here because I reapplied and then forgot and ate some chocolate. Oops.
And an even more up-close shot:
I chose to bring the liner around to just the edge of my upper lash line, though I don’t think she has that in the photo. I liked the effect though. Overall, I liked the look – I don’t think I’ve ever worn anything like it, and it was a great way to use the MAC eye pencil as I’m trying to get rid of it (great shade, terrible wear on my eyes which tend to get smudgy at the corners). I wore an eyelid primer (NARS Smudgeproof) to prevent this from sliding down my face. I must admit, similar to my other blue look, I felt kinda badass wearing this, which is always a good thing in my books because if it gives you a little bit of a swagger, all the better
So what do you think of the look? Where do you get your inspiration from? Do you get any benefit from these kinds of posts? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
I have a backlog of photos and products to write about, but I must be saving them for a rainy day or something, because instead of posting them I just keep taking new photos of things. Yep. Makes total sense.
Anyway, tonight I was feeling like throwing some kind of look together so I did a Valentine’s Day FOTD because well – it’s in two days and it just seemed appropriate. It actually took only a handful of products, and isn’t anything to fancy, so could be easy to recreate if you feel so inclined. I was going to do two looks – a romantic ‘date’ look for those of you spending the special day with that special someone – and then a badass smokin’ hot look for gals like me who are rockin’ it out single-style. But I couldn’t get good photos no matter what I did tonight, so I gave up (but don’t worry, I have a fierce look to show you nonetheless, just maybe not Valentine’s Day themed).
Here’s the romantic look!
The ‘hairstyle’ I’m wearing here (haha, you’re probably like – ‘what hairstyle?’) is my signature ‘romantic’ style, in which I pin back the front pieces off my face. That’s it. Honestly guys, look at that hair, like WTF do you THINK I could actually do with it?? ~sigh~
To get a sweet glow, I put Burberry’s Fresh Glow luminizer on under my foundation (which I applied wet for a more sheer effect), added a touch of bronzer, and buffed in NARS Desire (a bright cool pink) on cheeks.
On lips, I’m wearing this neat product Taylor at My Lucite Dreams reviewed, called Vitality Lip Flush in Je Ne Sais Quoi by it Cosmetics. It’s clear and then adapts to your skin to turn a lovely shade of pink – truly your lip color but better. It feels great on and gives just the right amount of sheen. I thought it was a good choice because there should be no real transfer if you happen to be…putting you lips on someone else *wink wink nudge nudge* This is one of those random brands my aunt gives me here and there, that otherwise I would have never heard of before.
On eyes, I’m wearing Laura Mercier’s Suspense Duo, with the pale pinkish-beige all over the lid, and the deep burgundy brown in the crease and on the lower lash line. Then I used Laura Mercier’s Black Violet Kohl Liner just on the very outer edges of my eyes, top and bottom, and finished with a good dose of a non-clumping mascara (this one is called Lash Fix by Dalton – another ‘random’ brand given to me by my aunt).
BAM. Done! It took me less than 10 minutes start to finish. I always like kind of rosy tones when I’m trying to look sweet, fools ‘em every time
…speaking of rosy tones. Last week I tried to wear pink shadow on my eyes, as a possible Valentine’s look. Witness:
Eeks! This is NOT GOOD. I don’t think pink is impossible for me to wear, just not this one (theBalm Down Boy, which is a blush OR eyeshadow), or this way. I will keep trying!
Let’s finish up on a better note than that, OK? This is a look I wore Sunday to work at Clinique. Absolutely no Clinique products in sight (oops), but I figured if I had to work on a weekend, after a huge snowstorm, I was gonna do it up proper. The tweet I posted that day was a sneak peek – I loved it with the fur-lined hood and the wintery vibe outside! And, truth be told, I felt pretty kick-ass all day – I rarely wear color like this, and it felt so good!
I mean seriously, look how smug I am in these photos. I’m like “Yeah, that’s right. Just TRY it. Don’t mess with me. UHH.”
The shade I was wearing was Urban Decay’s Radium, with a bit of Money in the crease to blend, and a little black liquid liner on top to define the eye. The rest of the face was kept very neutral, with just a touch of bronzer and a matte nude lippie, blotted. I want to wear this look every day. This I can get away with it at work?????
So this post went from Valentine sweet to bitchin’ pretty quickly… essentially this was just an excuse to post a bunch of FOTD pics I’ve taken, hope you don’t mind If I had more time in the mornings, I take a boatload of more pics of my makeup looks, but alas – I am always running late. I’ll keep trying though!
What makeup look makes you feel badass? And what kind of look do you favor for Valentine’s Day?
I was going to leave my eyeshadow collection ’till last to swatch in my ‘find the gaps’ series of posts, but the superstorm (which…is kind of lackluster – yea, there’s lots of snow, but I want some action, darn it!) seemed like the perfect time to just get ‘er done – so I did! Oh man…for those of you who have larger collections than mine, I feel sorry for you if you attempt to do this – it is a BIG EFFING ORDEAL. I started last night and got just over halfway through before both (!) arms had had enough. I continued today and after needing to re-swatch several shade categories to get them *just right*, my left arm is just burning (as you’ll notice in the photos – red spots galore!). So: enough. I’m ready to rock ‘n roll. Now – let’s get into ‘er!
Note: All shades are permanent within their respective brands except where otherwise noted.WHITE EYESHADOWAvon True Color Quad in Smokey Eyes (satin white) Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Uzi (shimmer w/glitter) (LE) ‘HIGHLIGHT’ EYESHADOWMake Up For Ever Star Powder in #920 (iridescent) KATE Real Create Eyes BR-2 Palette (white gold pearl) MAC Eyeshadow in Vex (frost) NUDE EYESHADOWMAC Eyeshadow in Next to Nothing (Cult of Cherry Tempting Quad – frost) (LE) Laura Mercier Eye Color Duet in Suspense (matte cool beige) (LE) Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow in Trench (satin) BEIGE, CHAMPAGNE & PEACH EYESHADOWUrban Decay Eyeshadow in Midnight Cowboy Rides Again (shimmer w/glitter) Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #13 Warm Beige (frost) Chanel Illusion d’Ombre in Emerveille (shimmer) Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Snatch (shimmer w/glitter) Kate Real Create Eyeshadow BR-2 Palette (soft peachy shimmer) MAC Eyeshadow in Arena (satin) GOLD EYESHADOWMAC Pigment in Melon (frost) Laura Mercier Illuminating Eye Color in Gilded Moonlight (pearl) (LE) Clinique Touch Tint for Eyes in Gold Glimmer (shimmer) (discontinued) COPPER & ORANGE EYESHADOWMAC Eyeshadow in Amber Lights (frost) Ardene Eyeshadow in 8B (pearl) BRONZE EYESHADOWMAC Pigment in Cocomotion (frost) (LE) Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Smog (shimmer) MAC Eyeshadow in Tempting (lustre) Clinique Color Surge Super Shimmer Eyeshadow in Rum Spice (shimmer) BROWN EYESHADOWMAC Eyeshadow in Dark Edge (Cult of Cherry Tempting Quad – satin) (LE) KATE Real Create Eyes BR-2 Palette (deep brown shimmer) Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow in #17 Espresso (matte) Laura Mercier Eye Color Duet in Suspense (matte burgundy brown) (LE) TAUPE-BROWN EYESHADOWS Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Suspect (shimmer) NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Rajasthan (beige-gold taupe) (shimmer) (LE) KATE Real Create Eyes BR-2 Palette (taupe shimmer) TAUPE-PURPLE EYESHADOWS NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Grand Palais (silver-taupe shimmer) Hourglass Visionaire Eye Shadow Duo in Exhibition (mauve shimmer) MAC Eyeshadow in Shale (satin) bareMinerals High Shine Eye Color in Meteorite (frost) Le Metier de Beaute True Color Eye Shadow in Corinthian (shimmer) RED & PINK EYESHADOWL’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Golden Mahogany (frost) Chanel Illusion d’Ombre in Abstraction (shimmer) Avon True Color Quad in Smokey Eyes (matte light pink) MAUVE & ROSE EYESHADOW Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Bordello (shimmer w/glitter) Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Last Call (metallic) NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Grand Palais (matte dusty rose) PLUM EYESHADOW NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Habanera (sparkling plum) Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Rockstar (shimmer) Hourglass Visionaire Eye Shadow Duo in Exhibition (eggplant shimmer) PURPLE EYESHADOW Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Psychedelic Sister (shimmer) MAC Paint in Infamous (metallic) (discontinued) BLUE EYESHADOW MAC Paint in Blue Boy (metallic) (discontinued) Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Radium (shimmer) MAC Eyeshadow in Blue Edge (matte w/shimmer) (discontinued) AQUA & TEAL EYESHADOWS NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Rajasthan (blackened teal shimmer) (LE) Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Loaded (metallic) theBalm Shady Lady Eyeshadow in Jealous Jordana (shimmer) Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow in 8E (matte) Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Haight (shimmer) Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Money (shimmer w/micro-glitter) (LE) NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Habanera (mint frost) GREEN EYESHADOW Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Kush (shimmer w/micro-glitter) Le Metier de Beaute True Color Eye Shadow in Jade (shimmer) Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Mildew (shimmer) MAC Eyeshadow in Sharp (Cult of Cherry Tempting Quad – satin) (LE) Lise Watier Couleur Folle Eyeshadow in Folie Pomme (iridescent shimmer) Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow in #57 Chartreuse (satin) YELLOW EYESHADOW Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #24 Yellow (matte) MAC Eyeshadow in Bright Future ( KHAKI EYESHADOW Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Waterproof Eyeshadow in #24 Smokey Copper (shimmer) Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow in #6 Khaki Pulse (shimmer) Clinique Color Surge Soft Shimmer Eyeshadow in Autumn Moss (satin) TAUPE-SILVER EYESHADOWS Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Maui Wowie (metallic w/glitter) Bobbi Brown Chrome Eye Shadow in Pewter (frost) (LE) theBalm Shady Lady Eyeshadow in Insane Jane (shimmer) Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #2 Steel (shimmer) GREY EYESHADOW Avon True Color Quad in Smokey Eyes (medium grey & dove grey) (shimmer) BLACK EYESHADOWS MAC Pigment in Dark Soul (frost w/glitter) Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Perversion (matte)
Did you make it??
…So. To be honest, when I started swatching all my makeup, I was originally just trying to find a way to justify new purchases – if it could be considered a shade I didn’t already own, then I would feel free to go for it. However, now I’ve discovered that being so fully aware of what I own, has made me really excited to play with my current collection, instead of seeking out new products. I especially noticed this with this eyeshadow post – there are so truly fabulous shades in there! While there are still of course colors I’d like to pick up to fill the gaps (namely – a lilac and a skintone [MY skintone, to clarify] shade, among a couple others), overall I’m WELL aware I have a ton of shades to rock out and don’t really *need* anything else at the moment. I did notice I have a lot less color than I imagined, but that’s actually OK because I don’t tend to wear it a ton and try to avoid buying a lot of it only for it to go unused. I think my stash is fairly representative of the kind of makeup I wear day to day! So SCORE for being logical in my purchases
I am kinda worn out from the work necessary to do this post, so I’m done now LOL. But – I have questions for you!
Do you see any gaps that I could fill? What shades make up the bulk of your eyeshadow collection?? Also – anyone bother to count how many shades I have? I’m too tired now to bother LOL
I spent two hours – TWO HOURS! – last night, researching what products and shades I should to order from Becca Cosmetics (a brand I’ve yet to try and desperately want to). My (totally logical – I swear!) reason for doing this? To avoid purchasing any shades that were similar to ones I already own. I DID come up with a (very) pared down list, you’ll be happy to hear; if you’re interested (and FYI – the blog Shades of BECCA is a good resource for some swatches):
Papaya Beach Tint $30CAD (hot red)
Fallen Angel Ultimate Color Gloss $29CAD (nude spice)
There were a handful of other products I liked the look of, but in checking out swatches, they seemed to be too close to items I already own (though, c’mon, the brand is gorgeous and I could have easily gone for one of everything!). Which brings me to the point.
You’re all familiar with my organizational obsession right? (and…if you’re new and not aware: Hello! My name is Latoya and YES, I have a problem which manifests itself into a bit of compulsive organization. Could be worse!) Anyway, another problem I have is lack of funds; when you own a home on your own and don’t make the big bucks, things can get tricky. However, I have ANOTHER problem (jeez, someone institutionalize me, will ya?), which is that I love shopping – for cosmetics in particular. Smash the three of these together and what do you get? Well…you get THIS:
What ‘THIS’ is, is me taking a good look at an area of my makeup collection – specifically blush/bronzers in this instance – and seeing where I have gaps. By gaps, I mean: what shades do I lack that I can justify buying, in order to round out my stash and also quell the burning desire to shop my face off. Ya dig? This fantabulous idea kills
three birds three mosquitoes (no one cares about those) with one big-ass swat. I get to organize something*, figure out what shades or products I’m missing, and rationally and systematically purchase new items that are on my wishlist and fit the ‘missing’ bill. BOOM!
*Seriously guys, I joke but….I really like organizing things. So much so, that near the end of the month I’m signing up for a Professional Organizers intro course to see if I’d like to become a professional organizer for realz. It’s THAT serious :S
So, as you can see, I’m starting with blush – because clearly blush is THE BEST EVER and deserves the number one spot for allowing EVEN MORE BLUSH. Because clearly 20 (+ 7 bronzer-type things and 2 mini-blush) are NOT ENOUGH.
(I swear I’m not on the sauce tonight guys – I just feel a little peppy ’cause I’m back into running and signed up for the Ottawa 1/2 Marathon in May…wooo! )
Even with 20+ blush, I can plainly see what shades I’m lacking: A bright red! (NARS Turkish Red is more of a burgundy) A true orange! (NARS Taj Mahal is kind of a burnt orange and quite shimmery) A neutral pink! (…I literally do not own one beige-y pink blush, for shame) A nice deep berry would be lovely! And also – varying formulations! I have NO cheek tints, and only four cream blush. You see, there actually ARE shades/formulas I do not have despite having far more blush than is probably necessary. And then, there are shades I need NO more of, like medium pinks…I have enough of those, yep. I don’t think I need any more bronzers, especially since I rarely wear them and I’m already kinda *ahem* bronze. I only really have a couple coral shades, which tends to be the one a lot of people go gaga for (myself included), but I’ll hold off till the warmer months on thinking about those right now. Same goes for apricot-hued shades.
Left to right (flash): NARS Desire, Illamasqua Unrequited (discontinued shade*), theBalm Down Boy, Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel, Benefit Bella Bamba, Illamasqua Hussy, Bobbi Brown Calypso Coral, NARS Torrid, theBalm Hot Mama
Left to right (flash): NARS Laguna Illuminator, Too Faced Sun Bunny Bronzing Powder, NARS Laguna Multiple, MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder, Milani Sunset Duos in Sunset Beach, Clinique Bronze Uplighting, Estee Lauder Illuminating Gelee in Shimmering Sands
What I’m wondering is, what gaps do YOU see? Since I only have my stash to compare it to, I can’t get a good idea of what I’m missing. What shades can you suggest that I should focus on buying?
I’m planning on doing this little experiment with all my makeup over the next little while, so be prepared: more lame examples of my organizational obsession coming your way! But do come back anyway, because I need your help
Is your makeup collection where you want it to be, or do you have a few gaps you’d like to fill?
I know I’m terribly late to the game posting on this product, but as it’s not limited edition I figured that it wasn’t pressing to post it ASAP (hope that’s OK!). NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in More is my first Velvet lip pencil from NARS, and I have to say that as a lippie I’m a fan! I find it extremely easy to handle and apply (though I suspect that with a more intense shade the ability for precision might be lacking just a touch).
More is a terracotta shade that could work as either a brownish shade or almost a nude on more pigmented lips. I find that the pencil itself looks different in different lighting (as evidenced by the shots above and below) – for the most part it’s truly a medium, warm, slightly orange-y brown that is perfect for the autumnal tones of the season.
On my deeper skin tone, it definitely leans more toward being a nude-neutral shade, but with a hint of interest, which I like. Sometimes I find ‘nude’ tones can easily wash one out, but I think unless you have a very dark skin tone, this one won’t go in that direction. It also helps that this pencil has only medium pigmentation – it covers easily but it’s too dense, which allows the natural lip tone to show through a bit and keep things from veering too ‘done.’
Though this is technically a ‘gloss,’ I don’t find it terribly glossy, but rather more balm-like with a creamy texture and soft shine finish. As I don’t own any other Velvet Gloss pencils I can’t comment on whether or not others are much more glossy, but I would hazard to guess they aren’t high shine overall as the pencil form can’t physically allow for that. I have tested one other shade, Mexican Rose I believe, and while I loved it, it bled in my lip lines terribly – which is quite a feat, as I have few! More does not have the same effect, which I attribute to the shade itself not being as bright and pigmented.
Though it’s not necessarily a shade I reach for often – I’m killing the deep berry lips this season! – I still really like More and its wearability for more neutral looks like the one above (which, incidentally, I LOVED). The creamy texture and ease of application has ensured that I’ll definitely pick up more shades in the future, and perhaps even some of the Velvet Matte lipsticks as well! They’re perfect for toting around or for travel, and since I seem to be doing a lot of that lately, it’s a bit plus in my books.
For those of you interested, the ingredient list is below (no parabens, and no fragrance – woohoo!):
I seem to be on a ‘brown’ roll here….
What do you think of More? Have you tried the Velvet Gloss Lip Pencils from NARS? Do you like the application method? Which are your favorite shades?
I have been thinking about fall A LOT lately, probably more than I should since it’s still summer! I held out for a long time, even despite all the visuals and temptations of the new collections that came out far earlier than they should have – but I’m a change-seeker, and I’m just about ready to switch it up!
So far, I haven’t picked up too many items from the fall launches specifically – but I’ve been slowly building my arsenal of fall shades, new or old, and I think I’m nearly ready Some things I already owned, and some are new purchases, and between the two I think I’m going to have one heck of a beautiful fall!
While I don’t follow ‘trends’ per se, I am very influenced by the weather with regard to my makeup, and with crisp, blustery days and vivid autumn leaves in my future, the imagery is bound to translate. Warm metallics, smokey greys, jewel tones, and dark, vampy lips have been dancing in my head in a big way. The pictures below perfectly exemplify what I mean – here I’ve paired them with some corresponding shade selections from my stash (all swatch photos taken outside):
(below, left to right)
- Dior Rouge Dior in Daisy Plum (golden berry plum)
- Ellis Faas Creamy Lips in L102 (deep plum wine)
- MAC Mattene in Bing (blackened eggplant) (LE from Fall 2008 Cult of Cherry collection)
Wearing a deep, bold lip has never been so enticing to me. I plan on rocking out the above shades all season long!
(below, left to right)
- MUFE Eyeshadow in Espresso 17 (chocolate brown)
- LM Eye Color Duet in Suspense (plum-brown side of duo) (new and LE for Fall 2012 Cinema Noir collection)
- MAC Eyeshadow in Shale (taupe-mauve)
- theBalm Eyeshadow in Insane Jane (gunmetal)
I’m also really eager to work a smokey eye on the regular; in the past I’ve always only worn this look in a big way for a night out, but this fall I’m hoping to wear the soft, more subtle version (as best evidenced by the Burberry fall collection) in shades of grey, taupe, and brown. I realized I’m sorely lacking a matte grey shadow – any suggestions??
(below, left to right)
- MAC Blush in Raizin (reddish-brown)
- Burberry Light Glow Blush in Russet (glowing rust)
- NARS Velvet Lip Gloss Pencil in More (terracotta) (new for Fall 2012 collection)
- Clinique Color Surge Eyeshadow in Rum Spice (deep bronze)
- Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Intense Eyeshadow in #6 (warm khaki)
- Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Intense Waterproof Eyeshadow in#24 (smoky khaki-gold) (new and LE from Fall 2012 collection)
Of course, it wouldn’t be fall with out the earthy shades of the season, such as khaki, terracotta, and bronze – which are some of my favorite types of colors and look best on my skintone (bring it!).
(below, left to right)
- Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Velvet Plum (cool plum) (discontinued shade)
- Rouge Bunny Rouge Original Skin Blush in Florita (glowing berry)
- CoverFX BronzedFX in Garnet (reddened bronze)
- NARS Cream Blush in Turkish Red (cool deep red) (discontinued shade)
Lastly, a good flushed cheek can’t be beat in the cooler months! I could use a few more of these mysterious shades in my repetoire, I just love them for their wearability on just about every skin tone.
Gah! Ok, now I’m REALLY ready for fall! Its been a fantastic summer, don’t get me wrong…but it’s time for a change Even though I had a major love affair with some fabulous brights all season, I’m getting a bit tired of them – and who doesn’t love the moody shades of autumn!? Note that the above shades I’ve listed that are new for fall 2012 will all be reviewed individually (any requests for which should be first??).
What shades are you looking forward to wearing this fall? Have you been lured into purchasing anything from the new collections?
Ok, so I’m halfway through these monthly updates, and they’re starting to be all business – and this post is no exception, I’ve got a LOT to cover! I did a fair bit of buying, but I think I did an equal amount of using (that sounds SO wrong), which justified most of the purchases I made. Anyway, I’m giving the whole thing away – go see for yourself, huh?
As usual, a recap on the guidelines:
1) Makeup: Purchase no more than 10 items per season (excludes replacing staples of foundation, concealer, powder)
2) Nail Polish: Purchase no more than 5 polish per month
3) Skincare/Haircare: Use one, Buy one
Fairly straightforward (at least to me…goodness knows that sometimes my challenges can be convoluted LOL) – so, here are my purchases for the past month!
Purchased (June 20-July 19):
- Benefit Boi-ing Industrial Strength Concealer ($26CAD)
- Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Lipstick in 06 ($5.79CAD – on sale)
- Rouge Bunny Rouge Original Skin Blush in Florita ($31CAD)
- Shiseido Pureness Balancing Softener Alcohol Free ($29CAD)
- DermaE Vitamin A Wrinkle Treatment Moisturizing Gel ($13.99CAD)
- Vichy Capital Soleil 30 Mexoryl XL Sun Protection Cream SPF30 ($16.99CAD – on sale)
- Aussie Catch the Wave Mousse + Leave-in Conditioner ($5.49CAD – on sale)
- Bumble and Bumble Creme de Coco Tropical-Riche Masque ($32.75CAD)
- Revlon Nail Enamel in Whimsical ($5.95CAD)
- China Glaze Nail Lacquer in For Audrey ($6.50CAD)
- Deborah Lippmann Daytripper nail polish ($16CAD – *Sidenote: they lowered the prices of these at Mills to match the US!! Yay!!!)
- Chanel Vernis in Inattendu ($26CAD)
I’m happy to say every single item I purchased (save for one) was well thought-out and part of my ongoing wishlist of products, which is my ultimate goal when buying now. The Kate Moss Rimmel lipstick was an impulse, one that I’m unsure of (review to come), but it was so cheap I’m not going to beat myself up for it. Anyway, moving on to the good stuff…
Remember my just-wont-die-discard pile from last month? Well, let’s check out the empties and see just how many I conquered >_< (Side note: It’s funny how my photography for these posts are SO lacking…but who really wants to shoot snazzy images of empty, crappy old containers of stuff? I mean really)
Used Up (June 20-July 19):
- Avon Foot Works Paraffin Moisture Treatment Mask
- Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat
- Witchcraft Durable Base Coat
Seems I’ve written reviews on many of these products (what a good lil doobie I am ), and the all still held true to the last drop. I disliked the Ole eye cream so much I used it up by using it on my neck for a couple weeks LOL – ’cause lord knows how long eye creams take to be finished! The Avon foot mask was fine – nothing like a paraffin treatment really, but did leave my toosies soft and hydrated.
I actually liked the Revlon top coat a lot, even though I’ve heard opinions to the contrary. It stayed fairly thin and easy to apply right till the bitter end – by which I mean, when I couldn’t reach it any more with the brush (why do they make polishes that way, anyway??). Same end came to the Witchcraft base coat, though I was ambivalent toward it; it didn’t perform badly, but it didn’t blow my mind either. I got it free, so whatever!
- Bobbi Brown Corrector in Dark Peach
- NARS Multiple in South Beach
- MAC Lipglass in Evolution Revolution
- Clinique Brush-on Cream Liner in Black Honey
There’s not a whole lot to note about the makeup – the BB corrector looks frickin’ orange when you apply it, but it brightens the eye area nicely and I like that it’s creamy and keeps my eye area looking young. But in terms of coverage, it’s not the greatest. I know that the purpose is to then use the concealer too, but I wasn’t wowed by the two together when I tried it in store. I’ve also purchased the concealer solo twice, again for the creaminess (and also for the shade selection), but for price vs the amount of product you get, I won’t be buying it again.
The South Beach multiple was a lovely, slightly peachy-toned highlight for my skin which looked great almost all the time. But MAN have I mentioned I hate sample sizes? So I was glad to see it go. I’d like to say I’d repurchase, but the way this took FOREVER to finish, I’d hate to have the full size too! Lose-lose. Also lose-lose is MAC Lipglasses – I’ve been powering my way through this one and planning to start on the other two I have left, and once they’re gone: never again. Too sticky, and there are SO many better formulations out there. I’m done with them!
Lastly, the Clinique liner was great when it wasn’t dried out, a deep brown shimmer, but I’ve had it for several years now and it fell by the wayside for a while, so it got crappy and it’s gotta go. Sayonara, sucka!
- Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum deluxe sample
- Steam Cream moisturizer sample
- KO Denmark Jasmine Neroli Rose Body Wash sample
Meh to all of these. I read a great review of the Tarte serum on Scrangie, but I never found it did much of anything for me. The moisturizer and body wash sample were two of the three I received from Beauty Habit, and while it was nice to try different brands, neither wowed me. Not much else to say about that!
So…am I the only one who’s pretty stoked about all those empties, including makeup items!?! All month I’ve been tossing and chucking and eager as anything to to show you guys! All but the Jack Black lippie (which initially I was in no hurry to finish, but after reading this on Temptalia, consider my mind changed :S) and the MAC Arena shadow, which was really only thrown in there because of PAN (sidenote: yes, I will capitalize that word every time I write it, because PAN is a very elusive thing for a beauty aficionado such as myself! – and speaking of PAN, last night I had a dream that I hit PAN on some product I own — seriously, a frickin’ DREAM, and it was SUCH a good one — which makes me sound even crazier than you probably already think me to be lol), was used up from the discard pile I was working my way through, plus some!!
OK! Putting it all together, here’s a quick recap:
1) Makeup: 3 makeup items purchased [2 non-staples this season (Summer)], 5 used/tossed
2) Nail Polish: 4 polish purchased this month (17 total since the beginning of 2012) + 2 polish tossed
3) Skincare: 3 skin/2 hair bought, 4 skin/2 hair used
I’m really quite pleased with the way this month turned out The thing is about this whole process – the restricted buying and the selective shopping – is that I’m working toward being both able to fully enjoy beauty and all it has to offer, while reconciling it all with my personality as a whole. I realized today the best way to describe it: I want to TRY everything, not OWN everything – does that make sense? I compile lists upon lists of beauty items I want to experience, but I don’t want to be overwhelmed with piles of them in my bathroom and having to feel like I have to ‘use them up’. I want to fully enjoy things rather than love it for a day or two before moving on to something else that’s grabbed my attention. So the hope here is that eventually I’ll streamline my stash to be filled with only products I’m not eager to finish, ones that I don’t mind owning for years because every time I pull them out, no matter how (in)frequently, they still bring me sheer joy every time I use them. I know I’ve sort of said all this before, but it really clarified itself for me today, and I wanted to explain myself more clearly for anyone who isn’t sure just what my freakin’ deal is I hope that you might be able to relate a bit more with my goal now!
To anyone who’s engaging in a version of a low-buy/no-buy, I sincerely wish you the best – I know from experience how hard it can be at times, and how it’s a challenge to want to be restrained and at the same time want everything! Hopefully you’re making headway in your own endeavours
What’s your approach to beauty in terms of acquisition etc? Does an ever-expanding collection give you stress at all?