Archive for category Urban Decay

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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How Convenient That Pantone’s Color of the Year Was Also PERFECT for St. Patty’s Day!

So.  Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day!  7 years ago (OMG how time flies…barf) I was in Dublin for Paddy’s Day (as they shorthand it in Ireland), and yea…it was as crazy as you’d imagine it to be!  Not so much a drunken mess, but just the sheer amount of people…yowza.  It was a fantabulous time, and I’ll never forget it!

As the years pass, it seems the crew of hardcore Paddy’s Day party-goers dwindles in my crowd – job responsibilities, babies, and aging in general all seem to keep everyone at home on one of the most fun days of the year ~tear~  Thankfully, I have an excellent partner-in-crime who I can always count on to celebrate with me!  This year it was just the two of us, so it was more low-key than usual, but I still made sure to dress the part – which includes green makeup (and nails), of course!

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (5)

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (7)

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (4)

I usually do a lot more green on the eye, but since it wasn’t a rip-roaring party I went subdued and just wore a simple flash of green liner on the top lash line.  I used Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liner in Covet (an emerald green with silver microglitter) on top of MAC’s Blacktrack Fluidline – the black gave the green more depth and helped the line look more crisp.  I added MAC All That Glitters shadow all over the lid, as I find it gives the most beautiful shine to the eye without ever seeming like too much, and then a dab of Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill shadow in #6 Khaki Pulse to the crease to add a little bit more depth.  *Side note – anyone notice that I’m trying to grow my eyebrows out?  It’s so frickin’ hard dude!  I want to pluck all the random stray hairs but I’m trying to be patient ~sigh~ They are coming along though :)

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (2)

Since it was going to be a long day, I wore MUFE’s HD Blush in #12 First Kiss on bare cheeks, layered foundation on top, and then added a touch of MAC’s Mineralize Blush in Early Morning to make sure my blush had good staying power.  I quite liked the way it made my skin look kind of lit from within.  I don’t usually layer cream and powder blushers but I really need to get on that!  I topped off my cheekbones and other high points of the face with MAC’s Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl, which gives the best glow – I finally got my hands on the Year of the Snake version last week and I LOVE this product.  Review will be forthcoming!

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (3)

I finished with a very simple lip using Benefit’s Ultra Plush gloss in Hoola.  I didn’t want anything competing with the green liner, so this gave the barest hint of shimmer and warmth, but that’s about it.

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013

Of course, the look isn’t finished – gotta get some flash on the nails too, right!?  Because I’m not a fan of green nail polish as a whole, I don’t actually own any that are going to give me serious pizazz.  But I have shades with a green tinge… haha.  I made it work, I think!  I just read about sideways manicures, so I tried it out – easiest nail art EVER.  And also my new favorite!!

St. Patty's Day Nails 2013 St. Patty's Day Nails 2013 (3) St. Patty's Day Nails 2013 (2)

The shades I used were a-England Tess d’Urbervilles as a base, and Chanel Peridot on top.  This was probably more subtle than I should have gone with – the nature of Peridot with it’s duochrome nature just makes the a-England shade look like a shadow.  Nonetheless, I loved the effect, and loved how darn easy this one (no nail stickers required – freehand works perfectly!), so I’ll definitely be trying this again and again with other shades.  Fun!

I always have intentions to get these kinds of event posts up before the actual event, but who am I kidding?  That’s never going to happen – I’m too busy prepping for the occasion to actually have time to post!  LOL  Anyway, all the other bloggers have got this covered for me :D  And it’s not like I did anything particularly unique, and both the makeup and nails could be done any time of the year, right?

How did you celebrate Paddy’s Day??  Did you do any themed makeup and/or nails?

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Quick-Fast Valentine’s Day Look

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!

Romantic Valentine's Day look (2)

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~

Romantic Valentine's Day look (4)

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.

Romantic Valentine's Day look (5)

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.

Romantic Valentine's Day look (3)

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:

Pink Eyeshadow

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!

Urban Decay Radium Blue Eyeshadow Look  (4) Urban Decay Radium Blue Eyeshadow Look  (2)

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.”

Urban Decay Radium Blue Eyeshadow Look  (5)

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?

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28 Comments

Swatching Is Rough (AKA My Eyeshadow Collection)

Eyeshadow Collection (3)

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

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

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

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

Did you make it??

Eyeshadow Collection (4)

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

Eyeshadow Collection

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

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

Eyeshadow Collection (2)

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End of Summer Glow with Too Faced Sun Bunny Bronzing Powder

If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that I struggle with bronzers – not necessarily how to wear them, but if they should be worn at all on my dark skin.  The main purpose of bronzer is to fake a ‘faux tan’ and, well…I kind of have that on the regular.  However, they ALSO are used to give one’s skin a healthy glow, and to this end that look is what I’m trying to achieve (I think).  Last year I thought I found ‘THE’ product in NARS’ Laguna Illuminator, however it contains sparkly bits that look unnatural in sunshine and are better left for evening events.  Earlier in the year I snagged MAC’s Refined Golden bronzer (which I think I’ve had before) via swap, but then I went away down South and was too tan for it to do much of anything.  I was hoping to get NARS’ Casino bronzer through another swap, but that fell through.  So all summer long I’ve been sans bronzer, which of course isn’t a big deal when you have 20+ blush to play with instead, but nevertheless, my hunt was not truly over.

A few weeks ago I engaged in a swap for a Too Faced Sun Bunny bronzer, and upon receiving it I was unsure how I’d feel about it.  While I’ve read great reviews about the Too Faced bronzers, they seemed so shimmery and unwearable when I swatched them in-store (hence why I swapped for it!).  I finally had a chance to try it on today, and I was very surprized to find that I really liked it!

ShadeSunFlash

The powder is smooth and finely milled, and feels soft on the skin.  Once on, it actually doesn’t look shimmery but rather imparts a great glow to the face.  I wore the bronze side mainly on the underside of my cheeks, with a light dusting around my temples, and then added a touch of the lighter side on my cheekbones for some extra illumination.  I kept taking photo after photo to see if I could ‘catch’ the shimmer in action, but all that appeared was a natural, warm radiance.

SunlightSunlight

I included an eye makeup shot because I was diggin’ it – UD’s Crash on the top lash line, smudged, and Lise Watier’s Gold Eye Shine underneath – simple and easy!

It’s been a terribly hot and humid summer, and today was no exception.  I applied this late in the morning and it’s still going strong sans primer 6 hours later, without making me look shiny or enhancing my pores.  It’s only slightly muted, and I’m still rockin’ the warm and glowy, without the greasy-shiny.  I’m definitely impressed!  This bronzer is described as a ‘year-round’ shade, and I can definitely see that working – for my skintone as well as others.  Blending the two shades together would create a lighter tone overall that perhaps even the fairest could use; however, it’s *just* deep enough for me, tanned, so it would be more of a highlight to anyone much darker than I (around NC42 for reference).

Flash

I have to admit, I don’t have much experience with Too Faced as a brand, but this bronzer far surpasses my expectations.  I guiltily am affected by packaging, and I find that the line leaves much to be desired – I know some find it whimsical, but I merely find it juvenile.  However, in this instance what you see is definitely not what you get.  The quality of this bronzer is quite lovely and the $36CAD (0.33oz) price tag is fairly easy to swallow, though of course I didn’t pay that price :P   I won’t go so far as to say I’ve found THE bronzer for me (I have commitment issues, OK?), but I’m definitely going to get use out of this product for the rest of the season and beyond!

What is your favorite bronzer?  Do you go for a matte, or a glow (or more obvious shimmer)?  What makeup do you wear to transition into fall?

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20 Comments

Summer Favorites (I Couldn’t Pick Just One!)

G’day to everyone!!  I have been MIA for a while, longer than usual anyway – I have a backlog of photos of products to post, but I can’t seem to get inspired to write anything about them!  Not that they aren’t all great in their different ways, but I guess I’m starting to feel like I’m just pumping out product reviews and not enough substance, you know?  I need some time to do some more FOTD’s with underused products – now THAT was fun :)

I’m also doing an overhaul of my makeup stash and letting go of even more products that I just don’t use.  I’ve been obsessing over my wishlist far too much and it’s getting to the point where I’m almost turned off the whole thing (as in, the buy buy buy! cycle).  I updated my swap list on MUA and have been engaged in several different exchanges, trying to acquire things that I’ve been lemming but are core color products of a brand – I want to save most of my purchases for seasonal items or ‘big-ticket’ purchases that aren’t so easily swapped for.  I’m thinking about doing a blog sale as well, though I don’t know how exciting some of the products may be…thoughts!?

In the meantime, I thought I’d do a ‘Summer Favorites’ rundown, versus my favorite of the month, because there hasn’t been just one thing I’ve been loving in July, but there have been a handful of things I keep returning to over and over!

Even though I love brights in the summer – vivid tropical hues that I never wear the rest of the year – I rarely have opportunities to wear them (I sometimes get ~crazy~ at work but overall I try to keep it appropriate).  Often, my palette includes more natural, glowing hues that highlight my tanned skin and healthy glow, rather than being in-your-face.  It’s one of the few times of the year where wearing less usually works to your advantage, and I like to capitalize on that!

I managed to snag Urban Decay’s ‘Lucky’ 24/7 Eyeliner Pencil in a swap last year, and although I loved how it looked, I didn’t wear it too often.  However, this year in my effort to spread the love throughout my stash, I started playing with it more, and I think I’ve found my go-to makeup look: this, smudged over black eyeliner on both top and bottom lashes, enhances my eyes subtly but with a kind of bad-ass twist.  It’s been a staple in my summer routine many days now, and I absolutely LOVE it.  The metallic nature of this liner and the warm coppery hue, toned down a bit by the black, gives a depth to my makeup that is just perfect.

On days when I’m aiming to look even more natural, or to give a subtle glow to my look, I opt for MAC’s Melon Pigment, also another swap find (yay to being economical!), a peachy-gold metallic.  On fair-medium skin, I hear the peach tones help it look particularly striking, especially on blue-eyed gals.  On my skintone, it looks more golden than peach, and is fairly subtle – though it can be built up if need be, or applied wet.  With just this and a whole lot of black mascara, I can create a wide-open eye that catches the light just so.  I haven’t tried it yet, but I think I could even use this as a highlight on my cheekbones (though this probably only works for darker skinned gals).

The Milani Sunset Beach bronzer is one of the most inexpensive items in my stash, yet I wear this every day – the brownish tone is a slightly warm but overall neutral hue that works fabulously as a contour shade just under the cheekbone.  It’s not too orange or muddy, and it’s got a great pigmentation that’s not heavy but just right to work well in layers if needed.  If I’m in a hurry, buffing this on my temples, bridge of the nose, and just under the jawline as well gives me a great warmth and really makes me look polished with very little effort.

Obviously you’ve already heard all about my love of Chanel’s Inattendu polish – it’s just the perfect nude, especially for summer, when the warmer tones flatter skin so nicely.  And because I wear SO many brights this time of year, it acts as the perfect counter-point.  You really can’t go wrong!

MAC’s Lychee Luxe Lipglass is a glorious coral-pink shade with golden shimmer, and is so pretty on that I forgive it’s sticky texture.  I can wear this with a variety of looks, either bold eyes or more natural, with golds and brights and jewel-tones, and it works for each one of them.  On my somewhat pigmented lips and with my darker skin, it looks warm and juicy, giving my lips just enough color without ever being overwhelming or stealing the show.  While I have decided not to buy any more MAC Lipglasses because of the texture problem mentioned, I’ll be genuinely sad to see this one go – and it’s only got about 1/3 left!

While all of these shades work perfectly for day or night, I’ve generally been wearing only loose powder to lightly even out my skintone during the day.  When I’m headed to an event or out for the evening however, I like to look a bit more pulled together, and I’ve been using Make Up For Ever’s Face & Body foundation* in #18 ($40CAD) – a super lightweight foundation that covers imperfections without feeling heavy or like you’re wearing much of anything.  As it’s water-based, its quite thin and is perfect for the hot, makeup-melting days of summer.  It can also be built up to give extra coverage where needed – and can be used on the body as well (I love me some multi-purpose products!).  #18 (for medium skin with olive undertones) is a very good match for my summer-tanned skin, and is warm, not ashy, which is great.  I’m thinking about mixing a bit of this with my Hourglass Immaculate foundation when the cooler months arrive, as it leans a touch light and grey on me, and I think the two formulations will mix fairly well.

Here are some swatches of all the products above (left to right – MAC Lychee Luxe, MAC Melon, UD Lucky, Milani Sunset Beach, MUFE #18):

Artificial lightWith flash

Honourable mentions go to MAC’s Arena eyeshadow (I’m plugging that shade hard, aren’t I?) and some of my other fave polish shades – Essie’s Bikini So Teeny (can’t get enough), MAC’s Mischievous Mint (the bottle is half-empty – seriously!), China Glaze’s Pink Plumeria (look for an upcoming ‘combo’ post with this shade), and Deb Lippmann’s Daytripper (check it out below!).

Artificial lightWith flash

My mother keeps telling me I should be showcasing my polishes with color-contrasting objects, and I just happened to buy this especially pretty pale aqua throw pillows, sooo…

Pretty, huh?  Initially when picked this up, I was disappointed when I tried it on – it’s more of a jelly texture, which is great, but not what I was expecting.  And in artificial light, the shade fell a bit flat.  However, the next day, I totally turned the other cheek – I couldn’t get enough of how lovely it was!  It’s extremely shiny on it’s own, and so juicy – the jelly texture actually really makes it more than your regular coral polish, it just too this ol’ gal a little longer to see it ;P

What are some of your favorite summer items and looks??  Do share, I’d love to get some more ideas!

*Product provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.

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24 Comments

Summer Looks, 3 Ways: Cheeks, Lips or Eyes

I have to tell you, I have been having a BLAST creating different looks and playing with products that I already have (versus getting sucked into the never-ending *new-New-NEW!!* vortex) – it has been the absolute best solution I’ve found to control my shopping tendencies and appreciate what I own rather than the lust-buy-forget-repeat cycle I’ve been guilty of in the past.  I’m not knocking picking up new and pretty things – goodness knows there’s a (great!!) time and place for that, and I still am buying more makeup than I’ll ever need – but I also get fed up with myself when I go out and pick up new products before giving the ones I own proper love.  It totally suits my new mentality of making sure everything I have is awesome and that’s it’s getting semi-regular attention.  Anything that’s not floating the Latoya boat is getting booted.  End of story.

My ‘no way, jose’ face lol (or just filler…it looked photo barren here!)

Anyway, I’ve been experimenting a lot lately – way more than I have for YEARS, maybe since I was in university – and it’s amazing the combinations and shades you can come up with when you put your mind to it!  I find I was forgetting the whole reason I started the blog, which was because I loved USING makeup, not just acquiring it, and I’ve been pushing myself out of the box and trying new looks and realizing I have some pretty awesome products!!  Does anyone remember the Canadian cooking show ‘The Urban Peasant?’  He used to always say “Use what you got,” and dammit if I’m not following his lead ;P

Good grief I’m chatty.

Ok, onwards to the looks!  I wanted to do 3 different Summer-themed looks to cover each of the main focal points of the face – cheeks, lips and eyes.  I’ve sort of started following a general rule of thumb when it comes to wearing what kind of looks when: I often wear a bolder lip to work, because hey! – I’m not kissing anyone there, and reapplication at my desk is easy-peasy; a strong eye when going ‘out’ somewhere; and a defined cheek for more laid-back kind of days, as it makes me look polished but isn’t too much and doesn’t require any maintenance.  Of course, any of these combinations can be worn at any time, and you could even pair two of them together for a whole different look, but for the purpose of this post I’m going to give distinction between them.

Look #1 – Focus on Cheeks:

In my first look, I focused on an all-over bronzed glow combined with a more flushed cheek to enhance.  This is a super-quick and easy way to wear makeup in the Summer months, as it just builds upon the warmth the sun naturally bestows upon the skin.  If I’m going for a more casual look, this is usually what I lean toward.  The products I used are below.

Clockwise from left: NARS South Beach Multiple, Illamasqua Tweak, MAC Refined Golden Bronzer, Clinique High Lengths Mascara, MAC Crosswires Lipstick, Milani Sunset Duos in Sunset Beach

Left to right: NARS South Beach Multiple, Milani Sunset Duos in Sunset Beach, Illamasqua Tweak, MAC Crosswires Lipstick

And the resulting look!:

Above – In sunlight; Below – With flash

Capturing the strength of cheek products is tricky; it seems like you need to go more heavy-handed than you normally would in order to get the same effect you’d see in person.  While I wasn’t sporting ‘clown-cheeks’ to be sure, my blush was more noticeable in real life, and I actually quite liked it!  By using Milani’s Sunset Beach (the bronze side) as bronzer and then a bit extra under the cheekbones to contour, NARS South Beach to highlight on top of cheekbones (then blended out toward temples and any residual down the bridge of my nose), and Illamasqua Tweak on the higher point of the apples of my cheeks to emphasize (and blending like crazy to avoid any harsh edges), it just looked like I had been out in the sun all day.  Pretty natural actually with just a touch of glam from the highlight.  To finish I dabbed on MAC’s Crosswires lippie as a stain, and added a touch of clear gloss to give a bit of shine.

Look #2 – Focus on Lips:

My next look took me more out of my comfort zone, as I VERY rarely wear pigmented lip colors plus a glossy finish – a matte bold lip is much more subdued and easier to pull off in most cases.  But I had an inspiration from my lookbook (a photo album full of looks I’ve clipped out of magazines) that came to mind and I really wanted to try it.  In it, the model is wearing a rich coral-red lip that has this insane glossy shine to it, while the rest of the makeup is very subtle with just a beachy glow.  As my lip collection is sort of in transition, I didn’t have the exact shade I was looking for, so I had to get creative:

Clockwise from left: Estee Lauder Illuminating Gelee in Shimmering Sands, theBalm Read My Lips Lipstick in Wanted, Sephora She Sparkles lipgloss, MAC Lychee Luxe Lipglass, Ojon Restorative Mascara

Left to right: theBalm Read My Lips Lipstick in Wanted, MAC Lychee Luxe Lipglass, Sephora She Sparkles lipgloss, Estee Lauder Illuminating Gelee in Shimmering Sands

My interpretation:

By combining a shiny red lip color with a coral gloss and adding extra gloss on top of that, I came close to what I was aiming for – and even though it wasn’t exactly the same, I think it ended up being relatively flattering!  I’d never tried theBalm lip product before, hadn’t even swatched it, but it popped into my head and I figured now was the time to try it out.  MAC’s Lychee Luxe is one of my fave shades of gloss (though truth be told I don’t think I’ll buy any more MAC glosses – I’m SO over the sticky texture!), and the pinky-coral tone kept the red from being too cool and Christmas-y looking.  Plus the gold shimmer of Sephora’s She Sparkles gave it a Summery kick, and that extra dose of shiny I was going for.  By keeping the rest of my makeup extremely simple, the bright glossiness of the lips didn’t seem so obnoxious.

Look #3 – Focus on Eyes:

Lastly, I wanted to showcase a Summer look for eyes.  I do tend to wear more eye makeup than anything else, though this is subtly changing over the past few months – I’m trying to break out of the same old of bold eyes and muted cheeks/lips.  For this look, I pushed myself again to play and experiment more than normal, which actually was quite easy once I determined what shade was going to anchor my look – Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Cream #24, the bold canary yellow I reviewed last week!  After choosing a bright shade like that, everything else seemed easy in comparison :)

Clockwise from left: MAC Arena eyeshadow, Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream #24, Rouge Bunny Rouge Original Skin Blush in Florita, Clinique Brush-On Cream Liner in Black Honey, Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Liner in Perversion, Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Mascara, Ardene Eyeshadow in 8B, MAC Evolution Revolution Lipglass   

Left to right: Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream #24, Ardene Eyeshadow in 8B, Urban Decay Last Call eyeshadow, Clinique Brush-On Cream Liner in Black Honey, Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Liner in Perversion, Rouge Bunny Rouge Original Skin Blush in Florita, MAC Evolution Revolution Lipglass

Here’s how I made it work:

Above – Sunlight; Below – With flashI applied MUFE Aqua Cream #24 all over the lid, then applied Ardene 8B to the middle of the lid outward.  I added UD’s Last Call to the outer lid and crease, and highlighted the brow and the inner corners of the eye with MAC’s Arena.  Finally I lined the upper lash line with UD’s Perversion liquid liner, and the bottom lash line with Clinique’s Black Honey, and piled on a generous dose of mascara on top and bottom lashes.

As I mentioned in the review, this vibrant matte yellow Aqua Cream is surprizingly easy to use – easy to work with, easy to blend, and didn’t look as garish as I thought it would once applied.  I absolutely ADORED how this look came out overall, it felt SO Summery and warm and fun, and I can see myself recreating this over and over this season, because it was an easy way to inject some color into my palette without being too over the top.  And it got me using another shade that never gets love from me – the Ardene shadow, which by the way has a lovely buttery texture and is probably like $3 at the store.

Also, I can’t deal with how great Florita looked with this combination – it gives the perfect amount of glow for the Summer without being shimmery, which would also compete with the shadows.  Finishing with the pale pink MAC gloss added just the right touch of glossiness and muted quality to my lips to compliment the look best.

All in all, though I think the last look was my favorite out of the three (typical!), I’m going to make every effort to rotate between a focus on eyes, lips and cheeks and continue to experiment with different looks and play with lesser-used shades in order to have more fun with makeup, and be more mindful of what I already own.  I SO enjoyed creating these looks over the past couple weeks, and I truly hope you got some benefit out of them as well!  Its nice to showcase and talk about other products that aren’t brand-spanking new or the most talked-about in the blogosphere.  Sometimes I find I get so saturated with the same old, that when I stumble upon posts that discuss makeup I haven’t heard/thought of, it’s like a breath of fresh air!

…and now I’m done.  Thanks for sticking through this if you made it this far!  Hope you enjoyed!! :D

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27 Comments

Review: Make Up For Ever Eye Prime Long Wear Eyelid Primer

Hi-ho everyone!!!  Tomorrow is the big day – we get our keys to the condo!!  I have to admit that as easy as the whole process has been, it’s hard to fully focus on much else!  All I want to do is move in and get settled and make the place look like home.  On that note, this will be a relatively brief (which just means, less chatty!) post – a reprieve which I’m sure some of you will wholeheartedly appreciate :P

I confess that I am by no means an eyelid primer connoisseur – most days I tend to skip it as I don’t really mind if my makeup has faded throughout the day (which actually sounds kinda weird…I don’t know what that’s all about).  Actually, maybe I’m not that twisted – I think its more that most shadows/liners tend to adhere to my lids fairly well, and I only think about wearing primer either when I know I’m wearing a less-than-stellar product (wear-wise), or if I’m going to, shall we say, glisten more than usual (running on my lunch break, going dancing, wearing makeup on a particularly humid day).  My past experiences have not taken me very far; I’ve tried Urban Decay’s Primer Potion ($24CAD for 0.37oz), which seemed to be the be-all-end-all since it was my first shot at lid primers, and then NARS’ Pro-Prime Smudge Proof  Eyeshadow Base ($29CAD for 0.28oz), which is in my current rotation.  After trying NARS, I realized I far preferred it to UD’s lid primer, which gave my lids a slight whitish cast (NARS’ blends to be translucent), was more difficult to blend (though by no means seriously problematic), and made my shadows much harder to blend.  It did intensify my shadows more than NARS’; but this quality falls flat on me as I don’t quite appreciate that aspect.

Make Up For Ever, which by now seems to be synonymous with long-wear, waterproof makeup, has now come out with their very own eyelid primer, called Eye Prime ($25CAD for 0.18oz), which the brand states ‘reinforces eye shadow hold and intensifies its color.’  It’s enriched with waxes and mineral powders, and claims to have a ‘lightweight, non-drying texture’ that ‘blends seamlessly into the skin allowing a true-to-color eye shadow result that will not crease or fade.’  That sounds like it follows the pretty standard goal of all eyelid primers – so how did it pan out?

The delivery of Eye Prime is quite similar to NARS, with the same doe-foot applicator, though it’s a bit smaller which I find somewhat easier to use.  The texture of the two are more alike than different, but NARS’ is more sheer and cream-like, while MUFE’s has more opacity and is somewhat drier.  While Eye Prime does blend out to be almost undetectable on the eye, it still has some color, as it’s considered a ‘nude shade,’ while NARS’ truly blends out to completely invisible.  I didn’t have any issues with the shade of Eye Prime showing up on my lids, but someone darker than I might be able to see it more.  However, overall the color will suit the majority of skin tones.

Make Up For Ever Eye Prime

Make Up For Ever Eye Prime – blended

I tried Eye Prime with one of my notoriously smudgy liners, Black Violet by Laura Mercier – a creamy near-black pencil liner with a lovely violet tone, but that smears within hours every single time.  I applied Eye Prime around my eye area before using Black Violet, and wore the two for approximately 12 hours with the color still going strong and only the very slightest dull shadow of a smudge under the corner of my left eye.  I would say that while wearing this primer with any other typical eye product (that doesn’t have extreme smudging issues), one would get 12 hours of wear and potentially more without experiencing any problems whatsoever.

Top to bottom: NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, Make Up For Ever Eye Prime

Overall, I’m quite pleased with Make Up For Ever’s foray into eyelid primers, and feel it’s a compliment to the line, and upholding their high standards in terms of long-wearing products.   Though I must admit, from my experience, all of my MUFE products are designed to be long-wearing, and none of them have failed me in that regard, so the design of this product is sort of a moot point, no?  At least, it’s really not required with any of the MUFE eye products I own, unless I felt I needed that extra insurance I guess.  Nonetheless, for all my other, less tenacious eye makeup, this has been a great product to add to my slowly growing eyelid primer experience!

*Product provided by the brand/PR company for my unbiased consideration.

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Beauty Low-Buy Update: ‘Meh’ Month Five

The past 30 days seemed to drag on, don’t you think?  I found this month a bit tough to keep myself under control – nothing too serious, but I kept feeling like it should be time again for me to be able to buy something else pretty guilt free :P  I think my mini Burberry haul really added to the heft my purchases list has this month.  I’m not going to worry about it, since it was a 30th birthday splurge and I’m worth it, dammit!  But, back on the horse – I plan on doing better this coming month.  I think I’m one of the last ones standing regarding the low/no-buy (except Larie, who’s extended her ban – hooray!), so possibly these posts have lost their zest for you, but nonetheless I’m going to keep pressing on because otherwise I have no one to hold me accountable!

I think I should be recapping a few of the guidelines before jumping right into the empties/purchases, so let me just refresh your memory:

1) Makeup: Purchase no more than 10 items per season
2) Nail Polish: Purchase no more than 5 polish per month
3) Skincare: Use one, Buy one

Ok, now that we’ve got that out of the way – let’s see how I’m doing (gulp!).

Purchased (May 20-June 19):

Here we have:

- Marcelle Hydra-C Facial Exfoliating Gel ($10.74CAD – sale)

- Life Brand Skin Relieving Moisturizing Lotion ($5.99CAD – sale)

- Aveeno Sensitive Skin Sunscreen ($10.99 – sale)

- Zoya Arizona & Wednesday polishes ($8.75CAD each)

- Essie Bikini So Teeny & Blanc polishes ($7.99CAD – sale – and $11.99CAD, respectively)

- Orly In A Snap Quick Drying Top Coat ($12CAD)

- Essie First Base Base Coat ($12CAD)

- Sparitual Aurum polish ($12CAD)

- Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base ($66CAD)

- Burberry Light Glow Blush in Russet ($54CAD)

- Burberry Sheer Eye Shadow in Trench ($33CAD)

- Chanel Illusion d’Ombre in Abstraction #88 ($37CAD)

Err…yea.  Not great…but in fairness, my birthday was last month and I felt it was appropriate to treat myself :)  Ah well!  Many of these I’ve reviewed already – and I plan on posting the other polish shades soon, especially Bikini So Teeny – LOVE this shade!!!  And the Marcelle scrub is actually quite lovely as well.

My discard pile is somewhat meager this month – and I blame the handful of products I have that just won’t die!!!!  They’re driving me crazy.  I even took a shot of them so you could see what I mean:

I have the Lavanilla bottle upside-down because the bottom of the vial narrows and it looks like there’s a lot more than there is if I stand it upright (I realize I am insane).

All of these products have been *thisclose* to being finished for like a month.  Well, excluding the MAC shadow (in Arena – great natural brow highlight for darker-skinned ladies), I just threw that in there because – PAN!  PAN!  PAN!!  Being able to see pan is very exciting for me; I only have one other full-size product showing pan in my stash, a blush from CoverFX, and it’s just HUGE.  As for the rest…it’s just ridiculous, half of these are deluxe sample sizes, WTF are they still kicking around for??  I can’t STAND sample size products :S  I promise you that next month, these will be finished, kaput.  Or else I’m gonna go stark raving MAD.

…Anyway.  Empties, anyone?

Used Up (May 20-June 19):

And the winners loser are:

- Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer SPF15 in 06

- Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF15 Original

- Estee Lauder Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara (sample)

- Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Bourbon

- Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator

- Clinique City Block Sheer Daily Face Protector SPF25

- Life Brand Skin Relieving Moisturizing Lotion

- Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray

So there’s a lot of Clinique, and a lot of the Moisture Surge line eh?  Hmm.  Guess my skin’s been thirsty lately :P  I do like the line, and almost every school we get a bottle of the Face Spray, which used to sit in my cupboard going mostly unused, ’till I read this article on Beauty Editor, and now I use it daily and it is AMAZING.  I thought it was just for a pick-me-up, but it’s way better when used between skincare applications.  The Moisture Surge Intense was nice, but I actually like the original better, which is weird because that one is merely a temporary solution, whereas this one supposedly restores your moisture barrier to help ‘fix’ the problem.  I just didn’t like the texture as much, or something.  The Tinted Moisturizer provides quite good coverage for that kind of product, but it’s a bit too hydrating for me (re: greasy), especially in the Summer.  Would be perfect for someone with drier skin though!

As for the other Clinique product, the City Block Sheer, I honestly think switching to physical sunscreens has been the difference-maker in my skin.  I have absolutely NO irritation ever and my skin has never been better – I haven’t needed to wear foundation in months.  I will never go back to chemical if I can help it.  Also, I find that using only this sunscreen in the warmer months, with no ‘official’ moisturizer during the day, has made me SO much less oily, I hardly have an issue with it now at all (though it could be because I’m also not wearing foundation).  Hallelujah!

Here lies the second Fresh Lip Treatment which I have finished, and finished HARD:

I’m sad to say but I won’t ever repurchase these again, as I find that due to the high fragrance in them they cause irritation in my lips, which means that even though they’re hydrated, their often rough and chapped.  I have one more to finish and then I’m done with them!  Too bad because they’re lovely but just not for me!

I snagged a sample of the Estee Lauder Sumptuous mascara in April which was sweet because I was considering picking it up as my next mascara.  However, I was underwhelmed.  I sort of don’t think mascara samples are fully representative of the full-size product, but at the same time, the brush was just OK (very reminiscent of Clinique’s Lash Doubling, which I could just order for free on my gratis), and it didn’t give me KA-POW lashes in the least, which is sort of my goal.  So, I’ll pass for now.

I used to love the UD 24/7 pencils and wanted to acquire them in every shade (I still have probably 5-6), but lately I find that they’re so gritty feeling with all the sparkle, and its just not comfortable on my eyes.  I did like this shade, Bourbon, a lot though.  But, once a pencil gets down too far for me to sharpen it, out it goes!

Lastly…the Life Brand Moisturizing Lotion, which I’ve talked about before (I really should just stop putting those in because ~snooze~ but you can see how fast I go through them eh?)  Also, I know how much you enjoy the fact that I cut these tubes in half to get as much product as I can LOL (also see the Clinique SPF).  What can I say?  I hate waste :P

OK!  Putting it all together, here’s a quick recap:

1) Makeup: 4 makeup items purchased [12 this season (Spring)] *Tossed 3*
2) Nail Polish: 5 polish purchased this month (13 total since the beginning of 2012)
3) Skincare: Used 5, Bought 3

This time around, that’s 5  full-size skincare products,  1 sample,  and 2 makeup items 

So…I didn’t succeed on the makeup front, but I’m pretty pleased overall that I was able to only buy 12 items over the course of 3 months – it felt like I was buying a lot more!  Happily, only one of those products was really a ‘filler’ purchase (the Revlon lip butter from last month’s recap) , which I’m trying to avoid, so even though I went over my limit, I mainly only picked up items I really wanted/love, which is ultimately the goal of this whole endeavor anyway, so YAY to that! :)

However, I will admit – SO happy that we’re into the Summer season now and I have 10 more items I’m allowed to buy!!!!!!! :P  (Though…condo furnishings will probably deplete my budget for the next little while, so no fear of going over 10 this time around!)

Have you tried any of the products I mentioned?  What are your feelings on sample size products?  What’s the last ‘filler’ purchase you made? 

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How to Avoid a Lemming (Successfully!) – And a FOTD

Today is my day off, and I’m very fortunate as the weather is LOVELY – the week/weekend was rainy for the most part, so I’m quite pleased that I get to spend my day frolicking in the sunshine.

Our cat Vegas sunbathing.  I’m normally not one for pet pictures, but this pretty much sums the day up :)

Sometimes on these days, I make a point to get over to the mall (aka Sephora) as it’s often the only opportunity I have.  I originally planned to head over and check out the new wares at the store as well as take a gander at MAC’s Casual Color collection.  I had my eye on ‘Keep It Casual’ which is a deep berry tone and not something I gravitate toward often (hence, I may have a place (justification) for it in my ever-growing stash!).  However, the sun is shining and calling me to come out and play, rather than spend any time indoors – and my budget is pleading with me to hold off until we move in case I need that cash for other, more *ahem* important things (like places to sit).  So, I stomped into the bathroom and started weeding through my blushes to see if I had anything like ‘Keep It Casual.’  Of course, I have nothing to compare it to, but I remembered my much looked-over Turkish Red Cream Blush from NARS just kickin’ around and going generally unloved.  After swatching it, it seemed close enough in tone that I figured I could leave ‘Keep It Casual’ where it belongs – back in the store for some other beauty junkie – and decided it was time to get creative.

(Whoa, sorry for that long opening paragraph!)

Anyway, I slapped on a few things and actually came away with a look I ADORE – it’s a touch Fall-ish, but actually looks warm and inviting in the sunshine, so I thought I’d share it with you.  I actually managed to use two products that don’t get a lot of use in my stash (which I’m still trying to make a point of doing) – the other is MAC’s Mattene lipstick in Bing, a deep, dark, blackened cherry shade from the Cult of Cherry collection from 2008, when goth lips first came into fashion.  I love the dark lip look but it doesn’t quite suit my coloring for the most part; for the first time, I think I found a way to wear it that’s quite pretty, so I’m pretty stoked!

Enough rambling (must get back outside!) – here we go:

Urban Decay Perversion, Burberry Trench, MAC Amber Lights, NARS Turkish Red, NARS South Beach, MAC Bing

Since the blush was the main point of the exercise, I stippled Turkish Red on my cheeks (focusing closer to cheekbones) and blended out.  As it’s quite pigmented, I applied my base second, MUFE’s Face & Body foundation in #18 (review to come), to my entire face and just lightly over the blush to diffuse it out. I added a touch of NARS’ South Beach Multiple to the tops of my cheekbones for some extra gleam.

I patted on MAC’s Amber Lights eyeshadow, a rich, shimmery orangey-gold, to lids and just above the crease.  I blended out the edges and highlighted the brow with Burberry’s Trench shadow, which is a pale bone shade with a slight satin finish rather than chalky matte (looks so natural! Review to come).  I defined my eye with UD’s Perversion liquid liner, and then topped it off with mascara.

I don’t wear darker shades of lips very often at all, and as you know and just venturing out into wearing lipstick and more opaque colors as a whole, so I was pleasantly surprized that I actually REALLY liked this look.  I started with a base of Turkish Red on my lips, which actually looked quite nice on it’s own.  Then I applied Bing on top, and lightened up it’s super-dark tones with a touch of Sephora’s She Sparkles gloss, a fine glittery gold.

And voila!  Easiest look ever, and I kinda want to wear it all the time now.  It definitely makes me want to give berry lips a chance now, though since Bing is probably the only berry shade I own, that might mean buying other lippies – uh oh.  I’ll hold off till the cooler weather returns before going down THAT road.

What do you think of this look?  Can I get away with it in the Summer, or should I hold off till Fall?  What tactics do you use to avoid a lemming?

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