Archive for category Make-up
Last week I worked at Sephora for the Clinique kiosk for the first time EVER. Guys, let me tell you – that is one HARD FRIGGIN’ JOB, keeping your hands to yourself and trying to stick to your ‘station.’ DAMN! The first two shifts were pretty slow, so I had ample time to mosey around and check out the wares…but honestly, I don’t know how they get anything done! (and for the record, pretty much everyone was on the ball, 99.9% of the time. ALL BIZNESS, ALL THE TIME). Personally, there were so many fun things to look at that it was tough sticking to my ‘area,’ but I made it work.
One of the items that kept catching my eye was the new Make Up For Ever HD Blushes ($31cAD), which I believe replace their old HD *liquid* blushes? These are creams in a pot, whereas the older versions were a pump mechanism. Needless to say, these newer iterations are by far easier to use (though I wish the shade range was as exciting as the old…anyone ever check out #2 or #3, both bright hot pinks? YOWZAAAA). I think the idea is to showcase more natural-looking shades, that suit a variety of skin tones – for example, the 200 series is generally best suited for fair complexions; the 300 series for medium complexions, the 400 series for medium-dark complexions (like mine), and the 3 500 series shades are great for the darkest of skins. The exception is shade #410, a bright coral, which was created with all skin tones in mind. I guiltily admit however, that I don’t give one iota to all of this info, because….I just WANT THEM ALL.
The shade I was sent to try was #420, described as an ‘Indian Rosewood‘ shade. As I tend to lean toward more bright, obvious blush colours, I figured it was time to opt for a more natural tone that would meld with my skin without effort. #420 does just that.
It almost looks like a warm bronze-y tone once applied to my skin; the reddish-brown hue melds with my skin tone to produce a really wonderfully natural ‘glow.’ I was unsure when I opened the box that this was going to be *my kind of shade* but it’s so foolproof on my skin that I really have to argument against it. It just plain LOOKS GOOD. And application is a breeze – just use a stippling brush (my pick is MAC’s #130) to dab it on the cheeks and then blend out; honestly, it was one of the easiest cream products to use and I had zero issues in placement or blending – my kind of product! The finish is reminiscent of Chanel’s new cream blushes, except I actually find the MUFE version a little more dewy and a little bit less cream-to-powder finish, which I personally prefer. It retains a fresh quality that I really like, especially come springtime!
As you can see, it’s quite natural-looking on, and I admit that I kinda slapped this on haphazardly for these photos because sunlight is fleeting these days. I can already see the absolute necessity of buying several more of these – cream blushes are my new *thing* as I’m all over the natural, glowing skin look, and these are hard to beat. Radiant without being greasy or shiny, and a cinch to use. I’m a goner!
When it comes to blush, what is your preference: powder, or cream (or liquid)? Do you opt for natural tones or more in-your-face brights?
*Products were provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
The newest offering in their cheek tint franchise, Benefit’s Lollitint caught my eye right from the get-go. When Radiant Orchid was announced as Pantone’s Color of the Year, I hopped aboard that train without looking back, and the Lollitint just seemed like the ubiquitous product, perfect for my newest color scheme.
One caveat: I was SURE it wasn’t going to show up on my darker skin tone. Something about the milky cool pink hue just seemed completely out of my realm and better suited for the more fair-skinned among us. However, early in February, the girls behind the Beauty Envy Bag giveaways got together for a Google Chat, in which my girl Lola informed me that SHE had purchased Lollitint, and it showed up just fine on her gorgeous cocoa complexion. Um, SOLD. I snapped it up the next week And true to her word, it worked!
Lollitint is a beautiful orchid hue that gives the skin a pretty flush, perfect for transitioning from chilly winter days to cool, sunny spring ones! It looks somewhat similar on the skin as NARS Desire, but due to the liquid formulation I find it a bit more natural – if you apply it right. My first tries with this product were admittedly HUGE FAILS; dotting it on my cheeks directly with the brush and then blending it out with a duofiber brush (MAC’s #130 in this case) either looked non-existent, or gave me serious clown cheeks. Getting the right balance of product was extremely tough, and as it stains the skin quite quickly, a lot of blush would deposit on one main area of my cheek, looking HIGHLY unnatural. After a few days of this, I was frustrated but determined to persevere.
I finally found the best way to apply the product: I would brush a few swipes of colour across the actual brush head itself, and then quickly blend it in on the cheek in the area I wanted it. This allowed me to diffuse the product around before it had those extra seconds to set, and gave me a truly natural looking pink glow. I’m not generally a fan of fussy products, but in this instance I’ll make an exception, because the finished product is kinda awesome!
Yea, I’m a wee bit in love This has been my most-worn blush since picking it up last month, and I see no end in sight at the moment! Once it’s on the cheek, the wear time is unreal – hands down my longest wearing blush EVER. It does wash off fine at the end of the day though, it you were worried about long-term staining. I haven’t worn it on the lips yet however, and I suspect it would probably be 1) an awesome base for pink lippies, and 2) will leave you with a pink pout even after cleansing. I find that lip staining products tend to always be more tenacious.
My love for Radiant Orchid continues! I have purchased shades for lips, cheeks and nails…I’m pretty much set
Have you tried the Benefit Cheek and Lip Tints before? What are your tricks for applying quickly setting products?
This is going to be a post with many pictures and few words. After a week where I was falling asleep by 9:30pm, now I’ve had insomnia the past few nights so I’m gonna try and get some shut eye early this evening!
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I’m all about pushing a huge pink/red theme in all things beauty. I’ve been rocking a serious pink flush and juicy pink lips every day this week so far, and have a pretty pink mani to boot! If you’re on the hunt for pink or red makeup and polish this week, look no further – I’ve gotcha covered
Let’s begin with some cool pink blush and lippies:
Left to right: Kat Von D Backstage Bambi, Illamasqua Divine, Buxom April
Though my skin truly leans neutral, I still find that blue-based pinks are my JAM and really pop on my skin tone. Love ‘em!
Next we have some warm pink cheek and lip colours:
After doing these swatches, I think I should have swapped the Chanel blush for Illamasqua Unrequited, as the former is more cool and the latter is more warm. Oops ~shrugs~ Some of the ‘warm’ pink lippies are probably more neutral in tone, but you can see they’re not that cool when you compare them to the ‘cool’ lip colour swatches above. It’s all about comparing and contrasting!
Bringing a little more sass and edge, red is a great alternative when you don’t want the sweetness of pink. Sadly, I do not have a great stash of red blushes (horrors!) but I plan on picking up MUFE’s Scarlet Blush/Eyeshadow in the near future. I don’t really feel that I need more than 3 reds – one warm, one cool, one neutral – but goodness knows I may change my mind if I find a few good ones. Red blush seems hard to come by!
Red lips, however, and happily bountiful with SO many options to choose from, it’s just plain crazy.
Left to right: Becca Papaya, NARS Turkish Red (discontinued)
I find my red lippies all look the same in swatches…and in real life, they are quite close. L’Oreal’s Endless Red is obviously more glossy, and MUFE’s N46 is slightly more blue-based, but overall they’re all close in shade. Time to diversify, methinks! An orange-red is my next purchase
Finally, we have some pretty pink and red polishes for you to peruse! Though I don’t profess to wear much of either shade, I have a reasonable size stash of both (though again, the red lacks variety):
Front row, left to right: Zoya Kissy, China Glaze Ahoy!, butter London Snog, L.A. Girl Hyper, Essie Muchi Muchi, Rescue Beauty Lounge Poco a Poco
Back row, left to right: China Glaze Ruby Pumps, Essie Limited Addiction, American Apparel Downtown LA, butter London Come to Bed Red
So there you have it! A few ideas to get your mind going (and perhaps your wallet screaming?). I picked up a couple more pink items this past week which I hope to show you before the 14th. Time to get girly, ya’ll!!
Do you wear pink makeup or nail polish? Is red a staple colour you wear or do you shy away from it?
Finally wrapping up my NYC purchases…about damn time, eh? I had a really great day at home recently with actual sunshine, so I was able to get some final shots I needed. The last piece from my makeup-palooza is Giorgio Armani’s Rouge d’Armani in #606 ($32US), a soft rose shade.
The Rouge d’Armani lipsticks have been on my wish list for ages, but without trying them out in person I was unsure what shade I should go with. Though I’m typically drawn to bold, in-your-face lipsticks, I wanted to try and find a colour that wasn’t represented in my collection. After getting some help from a great SA at Saks, I ended up going with #606 because it seemed like the perfect MLBB shade with a little bit of ‘oomph.’ It’s more pink than my natural lip colour, and it contains subtle shimmer which enhances the way it looks on the lips. Note that the shimmer is not really noticeable when worn, and can only be felt very slightly so comfort is not compromised in this gorgeously creamy, semi-opaque lippie (which is san fragrance, hooray!).
As per my usual M.O., I took a look through my stash to see if I had any comparable shades. I was dismayed at first to find that in the bullet, #606 looked close to MAC’s Hug Me, a lipstick I had purchased only a month or so prior, and for the same reason – as a MLBB shade (oops…this is what happens when you buy to much makeup, kiddies!).
While in swatches, the two shades ARE similar, when worn they couldn’t be more different. The superior formula on the Rouge d’Armani is extremely evident, as not only is it more moisturizing and comfortable on the lip, but the wear time is better (3-4 hours vs less than 1 for the MAC). I’m tempted to give Hug Me away, but as I just bought it I want to get at least a little use out of it before completely writing it off. It is less pink, especially on the lip, so I’m sure it will have it’s uses.
Though #606 isn’t an exciting shade, its a great colour to have in one’s arsenal that works in a variety of makeup looks. When spending the big bucks on a makeup item, I try to stick to classics that I know will get a ton of use, rather than go for a fad shade. Though I feel like I have far too many red lipsticks which I don’t wear nearly as much as I’d like, I wouldn’t mind picking up another of these in a red – the creaminess factor combined with the bold quality of the shade had ABSOLUTE PERFECTION written all over it!
Oh yea. And that satisfying magnetic ‘click’ that you get when you put the top of the lipstick back on??? SEXIEST THING EVER.
Have you tried the Rouge d’Armani formula? Are you a sucker for glorious packaging like I am???
Last year, I was on the hunt for a neutral, natural-looking blush to add to my collection of bright pinks and corals. Though I do love more intense, happy cheek shades as a general rule, there is a time and place in which a more subdued blush is favoured (and who am I kidding – if I can justify buying ONE MORE BLUSH for whatever reason, I’m gonna take it!). On my radar was either MAC’s Blushbaby or Becca’s Mineral Blush in Sweet Pea ($32US). When I was in NYC, I picked up the latter as it’s much more difficult for me to come by here on the East Coast.
Described as a ‘rosy plum nude,’ I find Sweet Pea to be more on the rose-nude side with very little plum, which is OK with me! It’s a lovely neutral with a bit of kick so as to not look ‘blah,’ which can happen when you’re trying to steer clear of “colour” per se.
Looking at this in swatches, you may think that this would be too close to my skin tone to really do much of anything when worn. That was my concern before I had an opportunity to swatch it in-store. It’s true, it’s unlikely to show up much once I am in the throes of a summer tan, but for the other 8 months of the year, this works perfectly to add a subtle yet pretty warmth to my skin. The ‘micro-fine minerals’ of which you can see just a touch in the swatch above, are said to give a soft glow to the skin, and I would say that’s pretty accurate! These types of blush formulas are my favourite – more of a satin finish than plain matte, that really bring life to the skin in a natural way without being too matte-powdery or disco-ball shimmery.
When I got home from NYC, as usual I rummaged through my stash to see if I had any similar shades already (I really do dislike replication!). Another reason I had held out on buying Sweet Pea previously is that I thought it too close to Milani’s Sunset Beach bronzer/blush duo I have. Too late I also remembered Burberry’s Russet blush, which is another warm neutral and could possibly be close in tone. Thankfully, in both cases the shades do not have the same effect (in swatches and on the skin).
As you can see, Russet is much warmer and more orange (which is actually why I don’t wear it much), and Sunset Beach is more brown (as it is primarily a bronzer). Though the swatches aren’t terribly varied, the differences do show up considerably when worn. So, happily for me, no dupes!
As my skin tends to be finicky, one of the biggest culprits to skin irritation via makeup is blush – so many contain ingredients like fragrance (WHYYYYY??), or lanolin which my skin can’t tolerate. Parabens and talc are also cause for concern for some – delightfully, Becca’s Mineral Blush contains none of these ingredients. On top of that good news, the formula contains Vitamins A, C, and E to nourish and condition the skin. What’s not to like?
Though I haven’t tried too much from the brand (YET), from what I know and have read, it seems that Becca consistently knocks it out of the park with their beautiful (and beautiful-making) products again and again. Their aesthetic centres around natural gorgeousness, and as of late that is exactly the image I strive to achieve on the regular. All I know is – I GOTTA GET MY HANDS ON SOME MORE OF THIS STUFF!!!!!
Have you tried Becca cosmetics? What is your favourite neutral blush?
I’m not sure if I’ve ever stated it publicly, but probably my favourite and most-worn eye makeup look is the cat-eye flick – an easy-peasy swoop of cream/gel/liquid liner and I’m set for any occasion, day or night. I tend to favour these kinds of eyeliner over all else, and when I received Rouge Bunny Rouge’s Nocturnal Ink Satin Eyeliner (~$31CAD) to try back in December, I was delighted. An easy-to-use liquid liner from a beautifully ethereal and magical line? Color me excited.
The Nocturnal Ink eyeliners, released in November, have a satin finish and come in three colours – Dark Bay, a deep ebony brown; Blue Roan, a midnight petrol blue; and Friesian, a smooth black – which is the shade I received. The liner is supposed to be quick-drying and transferproof, with a water-resistant formula which prevents smearing or smudging. Though I haven’t had the opportunity to test the liner in more humid weather yet, I find it wears all day without budging on my smudge-prone lash line.
My favourite aspect of the liner is the slim, flexible tip, which allows for ultra-fine lines and is exceptionally easy to wield. One downfall to wearing gel/cream liners is that I can’t draw tight lines against my lashes when I so desire; with this liner, I can get as precise or as dramatic as I want. It’s both dermatologically and ophthalmologically approved, and super-comfortable to wear. I find it not irritating in the least to my eyes, which may sound unsurprising to some, but there are certain liquid liners which give my eyelids a bit of grief.
My only gripe with the application process is that the depth of pigment isn’t as strong as I’d like, and I have to go over the line a few times to get more impact. The black shade of the liner is more of a charcoal, and it seems to have almost a slight blueish cast to it. As the liner does dry quite quickly, it can sometimes ‘pick up’ the original line, and I find myself going over it again in order to lay down new colour. Having said that, it doesn’t add much extra time to the process, and I do enjoy the liner immensely for softer or more casual looks.
You can see how soft the effect is in the photos above. I normally am all about full pigment, but I kind of like how it looks, especially in winter out in the snow
At 0.034 fl oz, this liner contains about twice the amount of Stila’s liquid liners (0.016oz) and NARS’ (0.02oz), but is considerably less than Urban Decay and Make Up For Ever’s (both 0.058oz) – so, decently sized but not exceptionally priced. Nonetheless, I find myself liking this liner enough that I’ve added the other two shades to my wish list; the comfy formula and fantastic applicator make this a complete winner in my book!
What type of liner do you prefer – pencil, liquid, or cream/gel? How do you wear your liner most frequently?
*Product was provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
Yay!! Danielle of Bloomin’ Beauty tagged me to do a Lipstick Tag, which has been making the rounds in the blogsophere for a while now. I was desperately jealous of everyone else doing their tags and showcasing their enviable collections, and now I’ve gotten my chance! Truth be told I was probably just gonna do my own solo post if I didn’t get tagged, but thankfully Danielle saved me from the embarrassment hehe.
Let’s get started, shall we?
1. How many lipsticks do you own?
A meager 19 lipsticks (in blogger terms)….plus 16 samples. BAH, those samples are the bane of my existence! First off, I hate mini sizes of any makeup, it just annoys me. Second, it makes it seem like I have way more lippies than I do, and so I feel bad about buying anything new. Ergh.
2. What was your first lipstick?
Absolutely no clue…maybe MAC Freckletone? Though I’m certain I had some sort of drugstore lipstick as my first (ugh maybe one of the super-old-school CoverGirl ones that always turned red on my lips no matter what the colour! ~shudders~) Anyway, the oldest lipstick in my current collection is MAC Russian Red. How classic
3. What is your favourite lipstick brand?
MAC is what I have the most of, but I think the Buxom Full-Bodied formula is my fave, and those little samples get the most love from me (half because they’re so comfy to wear, the other half because I’m trying to get rid of the damn things so I can buy a full size!).
4. What is your most worn lipstick?
Aside from the aforementioned Buxom samples, MAC Dare You seems to be the most worn. I’m sort of surprised by this because I don’t feel like I wear it a ton, but I’ve had it a while and it used to be my go-to daytime red (Russian Red used to be for most bold looks…now I just wear it when I feel like it ;)). Another lipstick that has gone through it’s paces is my Ellis Faas L102 – I wore that a TON last year, though the packaging doesn’t give me any way to know just how much is used.
5. What is your favourite lipstick finish?
A creme finish all the way! By that I mean, not glossy at all, but just just a touch of moistness. Lips look luscious and feel great! I will admit however that I do love a matte when my lips are in shape to pull it off!
6. What was your last lipstick purchase?
When Sephora had their $20 off $50+ late last year, I picked up NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dolce Vita, a perfect looks-good-on-everyone shade of reddish-rose. I wanted to finally try the Velvet Matte pencils, and I also wanted to check out one of the iterations of Dolce Vita from the brand. It’s a gorgeous colour that gives lips that just bitten look and works in all seasons. However, my lips are too flaky this winter to wear much of anything more than a balm, which is super-frustrating. I’ll get my chance soon enough I hope! One odd point about this lippie though – does anyone else have a strange issue with the cap where it seems like there’s extra air or something and the top pops off if you don’t push it down very firmly? So weird…
7. How many lip products are in your bag right now?
One. Giorgio Armani’s Rouge d’Armani in 606, which I bought in NYC I always rotate out my lip colours each day and bring with me only the shade(s) that are part of my makeup look that day. ANAL MUCH? Why yes, yes I am
8. What is your favourite red lipstick?
I do love Russian Red, but I think of the handful of reds I own (almost all very similar in tone LOL), I like the way Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Rouge #8 looks the best (and the wear time is unbeatable!). It’s really the perfect ‘throw on and go with hardly any other makeup on’ kinda colour.
9. How do you store your lipsticks?
Haphazardly until tonight Recently I rearranged my lippies to be seasonally appropriate – so the ‘winter’ shades were in my makeup drawer, and all my other shades were in my train case with the rest of my ‘seasonal’ shadows, blushes, foundations, etc. But as I’m trying to use up my lip colours in order to buy new ones (weeeee!) I figured they should all be in one spot. Behold my new system (for lipsticks, anyway)!
10. What lipsticks are your currently lusting after?
I plan on buying Givenchy’s Le Rouge in Carmin Escarpin when the next Sephora sale comes around Other than that, I don’t have any BIG lemmings…a few small ones, but let’s ignore them and hope they go away lol.
Oh dear, now I have to tag people! Good grief, I’m sure everyone has done it by now!! How about I just put out the invite to ALL OF THE PEOPLE who would like to share with us their lipstick collections And if you want, feel free to answer in the comments below too! In fact, I encourage you in the comments to at least tell me: How many lipsticks do you own?
“A captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones.” Sounds quite fabulous, no?? I have to admit, every year Pantone piques my interest in their Color of the Year choices, and this year’s selection, Radiant Orchid, is no different. And it’s so darn wearable!! I can see this being one of the biggest hits out of the more recent colour selections because anyone can pull this shade off, even the most novice of makeup wearers.
To show you just how easy it can be, I’ve rounded up my top colour picks I plan to incorporate into my own routine!
1. Ilia Beauty Lip Gloss in Love Buzz ($24CAD), a cool pink with a blue undertone.
2. Benefit Lollitint ($36CAD), a candy orchid shade.
3. YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain in Pourpre Preview ($36CAD), the perfect orchid.
4. Essie Nail Polish in Splash of Grenadine ($7.95CAD), a playful magenta pink.
5. Stila Smudge Crayon Waterproof Eye Primer + Shadow + Liner in Pink Violet ($29CAD), a warmed up, medium violet with sparkle.
While I was searching for ideas for products in the colour range, I really tried to stick to the swatch above, as some examples I came across looked far more lilac to me than orchid. But let me note that I DID start my search first in my own stash to see if I had anything suitable. I was surprised to find that overall, I really didn’t! See below my paltry collection of orchid tones:
Left to right: Sephora Disney Collection Ariel Mermaid’s Song Lip Gloss in Dream Girl, Kat von D Spellbinding Lipstick in L.U.V., MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Fashion Boost, American Apparel Nail Polish in Neon Violet
The A.A. Neon Violet nail polish isn’t really orchid but it’s sort of like the electric version of what I imagine the shade to be (and is MUCH brighter in person than photos). The rest are closer, though the MAC lip pencil is more fuchsia and the Kat von D lipstick is more purple; the only one I really feel is right on is the Ariel lipgloss. In any case I clearly need to pump up my orchid-tone makeup and polish, so the list above will definitely be helpful in that task!
Do you get into the ‘Colour of the Year’ fad? Which shade has been your favourite so far? Do you have any orchid shades you can already use?
The New Year is almost upon us! Even though the number 13 conjures up some unsettling feelings, 2013 was kind of a great year for me! Though it started out a bit rough, with a lot of talking and support it turned around for me (a big thanks to all of you who sent kind words – and a care package! – my way!). As always, the hardships make the good times feel that much sweeter. I had the immense pleasure of standing in my friend’s most amazing wedding; I started dating a guy who makes me feel loved and truly content in a way I never have before; I’ve had the opportunity to work in several different positions at my work and found my niche; and I finally got to go to New York City, a long-standing dream of mine! Not too shabby 2013, not too shabby
Over the month of December I’ve been pondering what beauty products in my collection really stand-out and get the most use. Though I could probably add one or two more, the 13 items below really have rocked my world this year and have been very well-loved. I would even go so far to say that I would repurchase most of them (and that’s saying something!).
And so I present to you, my favourite (beauty) things of 2013:
1. Osha Mae Calendula Salve ($15CAD). On it’s own, without any cortisone products, this can clear up the chronic eczema on my hands overnight – absolutely unheard of! I first got hooked on a sample of M.J. Herbals Calendula Salve ($15CAD), but when I saw this very similar version at our local market I picked it up, as I always like to support local!
2. La Bella Figura Bio Active Healing Mask ($65CAD). When LBF was introduced on the Clementine Fields website, they had a promotion for 15% off it’s pre-sale. I ordered this mask as I was looking for something hydrating that could replace the uber-scented derma-e mask that I’d been using for a while (uncomfortably). I didn’t know what to expect, and was completely bowled over once I tried it – its truly amazing! It hydrates, it heals, it calms, it brightens…I honestly feel like it’s almost a one-stop shop as a mask, because my skin just looks SO DAMN GOOD after using it. I attribute it’s awesomeness to it’s inclusion of raw manuka honey (it’s the first ingredient) which is noted for it’s therapeutic, antibacterial and nourishing qualities. Other ingredients include kaolin clay, rosehip seed oil and calendula extract – be still my heart! Oh, and it’s also BRIGHT PURPLE (due to the aronia berry). I want to get my hands on the Purifying ($65CAD) version next.
3. Lina Hanson Global Body Serum ($64CAD). I really wish this didn’t cost so damn much because I just want to drown in this fantastically scented body oil for the rest of my life. As it stands, I’m still trying to ration it, but I still fear it won’t last long as I keep using it every few days because it’s so addictive!
Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille ($130US). Yum. And YUM. You all know my penchant for vanilla-based scents, so my love for this probably comes as no surprise. With notes like sandalwood, coconut milk, musk, vanilla and tonk a bean, it’s a gourmand fragrance-lovers paradise. I was surprised however that it also contains notes like black liquorice (which I hate) and bitter almond – but I suspect they help round out the scent and keep it from being too OTT vanilla, which can get headache-inducing fast. I have worn this and only this since purchasing it in NYC; the only gripe I have with the fragrance is that I don’t find it lasts on my skin – but I guess that just gives me an excuse to spritz, spritz, spritz!
Make Up For Ever Medium Highlighting Brush in #152 ($43CAD). I didn’t quite understand just how much I would love this brush until I really put it into practice and had a while to play with it. This brush is absolutely integral in my makeup application – aside from applying cream or powder highlighters like a dream, it also blends all formulas of blush or bronzer perfectly. I don’t quite know how it does it, but somehow the fibers of the brush, its density, and it’s softness all contribute to a beautifully seamless complexion. LOVE.
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal (full-size, $50CAD). Though I only have a deluxe sample size of this product, you only need the slightest amount to get amazing, glowing skin, so it’s lasted me ages! I usually pull this out when I am either going for a really ‘natural’ look that focuses on the skin, or if I’m looking to amp up the glow factor for an event. Though the full-size would probably last me a lifetime – something that doesn’t appeal to a fickle beauty fiend like myself – I still think I’ll repurchase this when I DO run out, because it’s truly the most beautiful yet natural-looking illuminator I’ve ever used.
Buxom Full-Bodied Lipsticks (full-size, $26CAD). My love for this lipstick formula is still going strong. I use the little sample bullets I’ve got more than any other lipstick I own, and I’m looking forward to the day when they run out – so I can justifiably buy some full sizes! Just so, so creamy and comfortable to wear, with awesome full pigment. For the price especially, you really can’t beat ‘em!
Chanel Le Blush Creme de Chanel in Revelation ($43CAD). I have been on a cream blush kick for a while now, as I find it just looks so darn natural, which fits my makeup M.O. these days. The newish Blush Cremes dry to an almost powder-like finish, so they don’t have quite the same effect; nevertheless, this natural-looking apricot shade gets a lot of regular use because it goes with just about every makeup look I wear. The only downside is that its a touch too light when my skin is tanned – but at the moment it’s just right
MAC Eyeshadow in All That Glitters (pro-pan, $12CAD). Though I have lessened my use of this shadow recently due to switching up my makeup routine, this baby got some SERIOUS love for months after I bought it early last spring. It gives my eyes the most subtle yet beautiful sparkle I’ve ever seen, and accompanies a bright lip look beautifully. The hype is TRUE, you guys. BUY IT.
Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow in Trench ($30CAD). Even after owning this shadow for a year and a half, I’m still amazed at how perfectly it blends and melds on the brow bone to give the perfect level of highlight to the eye. As I have a lot of shimmering shadows, it keeps them grounded without making me look too ‘show dancer,’ but also isn’t so flat that it looks dull. On top of all that, it’s HELLA soft.
Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Noir Intense ($29CAD). I wasn’t big on black pencil eyeliner until I purchased this early in the year – I didn’t have one and thought I should at least have one in my arsenal. I don’t use it as a traditional liner, but rather as a tightliner on my upper lash line. It a nice, dark black that gives great definition when I’m doing a more natural look (see a theme here?) and doesn’t budge – in fact, it’s difficult to remove at the end of the day, so keep that in mind. But as I find a long-wearing liner hard to come by, it’s far from a deal-breaker!
MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack ($19CAD). Black pencil liner may never have been my thing, but I can’t say the same for black cream/gel/liquid formulas, which have always been a staple in my arsenal. When I ran out of my last black liquid liner, I decided it was about time I tried the cult fave Blacktrack. It’s nice and dark, and its creamy texture makes creating a winged look (a regular go-to for me) incredibly easy. I’m not convinced I would repurchase, only because there are several black cream/gel liners that I’d like to try, but it’s been a faithful staple for me since I purchased it.
XLash Eyelash Enhancer ($59). You’re all probably sick and tired of hearing me trumpet on and on about my love for this lash serum, but seriously, just get some and then get back to me – I promise you’ll be converted! I won’t repeat my gushings yet again, but I will say that I am actually planning to buy more of this when I run out (still haven’t!). SO. GOOD.
That just about rounds up my year in beauty in a nutshell! I’ve tried many things, some duds, some *pretty good*, but this collection here have been raised to the level of HG status for me. As I learn and grow I find my selections have become more and more curated to the point where I rarely have a miss (at least if they’re purchased by me) and I’ve grown quite fond of my collection, to which I’ve whittled and culled to include *almost* only products that are a pleasure to use. I still have a bit of work to do (which I plan on laying out for you in a future post), but overall I’m quite pleased and have passed the ‘GAH! My-stash-is-overwhelming-OMG-the-anxiety!‘ stage that I was in for a long time since starting the blog. Which I deem a HUGE success
So say farewell to 2013 and welcome in the New Year with a bang! I appreciate each and every reader of my little beauty haven, whether you’ve been with me or a while, or stumbled upon my ramblings by accident. You’re the only reason I keep on writing! I wish all of you a very excellent finale to the year soon past and hope that the very best is yet to come in 2014!!! Let’s make it all sorts of great, yea?
Image credit: ilovehdwallpapers.com
Here is my Tom Ford comparison post as promised! I’m pleased to say that I don’t have any ‘dupes’ within my collection, which helps to make more expensive purchases like these much more enjoyable, no matter how fabulous they are
I’ll begin with the polishes:
In the bottle, it’s clear that none of these are copies of Bordeaux Lust (though you’re not wrong that the Essie and OPI shades are QUITE similar, urgh). Even after 1 coat, Anja is out of the running. The 3 other shades however, look strikingly alike.
However, after a second and then third coat, the vampiness of Bordeaux Lust becomes readily apparent:
Though it appears only a touch darker than Lost on Lombard, as a full manicure it’s vamp qualities far surprass the dusty, muted quality of the OPI shade. Essie’s contender is far too bright to even be in the running. Win number one
The Lacquer in Black Sugar is next on the hit list:
Though the shade is not replicated in my collection, it does comes close, though darker, to Commander in Chic, another fave shade. Ingrid is too brown, and Paradoxal has too much purple to be a match. Score number two!
Following the polish success, I had to check out the Lip Colour in True Coral against my existing red lipsticks. I suspected it wouldn’t have an equal, but there were 2 shades in particular that I thought may compare.
Russian Red is a very bold red that is almost as stand out as True Coral; MUFE’s N46 leans more blue but in swatches it looks quite close as eell. Though it’s difficult to see the differences between the 3 shades in swatches (though easily apparent in the photo of the bullets, above), trust me when I say that aside from it’s coral tone, True Coral retains a brightness that makes it quite different than your standard red.
Finally, the item that I felt I would most likely have a comparable facsimile – the Cheek Color in Flush. Like many blush fiends, coral blush is sort of an obsession, as it just looks so. damn. good. Surprizingly, I don’t own any shade that is exactly the same, though a few look similar once worn. Let check them out!
In the pan, Flush and Boys Don’t Cry look very alike aside from the slightly glowing quality of Flush, while BDC is completely matte. When worn lightly, the two do look quite similar on the cheek, but in swatches you can see that BDC is much deeper in tone. I love them both equally, truth be told
Otherwise, the swatches reveal that none of the shades are quite like Flush, though Coral Crush comes close in the depth of pigmentation and finish – though it’s much more pink. Happily, I feel entirely justified in owning Flush, though I think I REALLY need to take a break on the coral blushes, eh? I think I’ve got enough for a few lifetimes, anyway!
When you are a makeup junkie, its always nice to be able to validate your purchase with evidence to prove that you are not, in fact, just purchasing the same shades over and over – a feat that gets harder the more your collection grows. While I have significantly reduced the amount of makeup I buy and am much more selective in my purchases, replicates are bound to happen – you can only have so many shades, right!? Nevertheless, I think I did fairly well with my Tom Ford splurge, and am enjoying every item with relish. Ultimately, that’s what counts, AMIRITE???
What have you splurged on lately? Do you have a hard time avoiding ‘dupes’ in your collection?