Archive for category Eye Liner
So. Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day! 7 years ago (OMG how time flies…barf) I was in Dublin for Paddy’s Day (as they shorthand it in Ireland), and yea…it was as crazy as you’d imagine it to be! Not so much a drunken mess, but just the sheer amount of people…yowza. It was a fantabulous time, and I’ll never forget it!
As the years pass, it seems the crew of hardcore Paddy’s Day party-goers dwindles in my crowd – job responsibilities, babies, and aging in general all seem to keep everyone at home on one of the most fun days of the year ~tear~ Thankfully, I have an excellent partner-in-crime who I can always count on to celebrate with me! This year it was just the two of us, so it was more low-key than usual, but I still made sure to dress the part – which includes green makeup (and nails), of course!
I usually do a lot more green on the eye, but since it wasn’t a rip-roaring party I went subdued and just wore a simple flash of green liner on the top lash line. I used Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liner in Covet (an emerald green with silver microglitter) on top of MAC’s Blacktrack Fluidline – the black gave the green more depth and helped the line look more crisp. I added MAC All That Glitters shadow all over the lid, as I find it gives the most beautiful shine to the eye without ever seeming like too much, and then a dab of Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill shadow in #6 Khaki Pulse to the crease to add a little bit more depth. *Side note – anyone notice that I’m trying to grow my eyebrows out? It’s so frickin’ hard dude! I want to pluck all the random stray hairs but I’m trying to be patient ~sigh~ They are coming along though
Since it was going to be a long day, I wore MUFE’s HD Blush in #12 First Kiss on bare cheeks, layered foundation on top, and then added a touch of MAC’s Mineralize Blush in Early Morning to make sure my blush had good staying power. I quite liked the way it made my skin look kind of lit from within. I don’t usually layer cream and powder blushers but I really need to get on that! I topped off my cheekbones and other high points of the face with MAC’s Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl, which gives the best glow – I finally got my hands on the Year of the Snake version last week and I LOVE this product. Review will be forthcoming!
I finished with a very simple lip using Benefit’s Ultra Plush gloss in Hoola. I didn’t want anything competing with the green liner, so this gave the barest hint of shimmer and warmth, but that’s about it.
Of course, the look isn’t finished – gotta get some flash on the nails too, right!? Because I’m not a fan of green nail polish as a whole, I don’t actually own any that are going to give me serious pizazz. But I have shades with a green tinge… haha. I made it work, I think! I just read about sideways manicures, so I tried it out – easiest nail art EVER. And also my new favorite!!
The shades I used were a-England Tess d’Urbervilles as a base, and Chanel Peridot on top. This was probably more subtle than I should have gone with – the nature of Peridot with it’s duochrome nature just makes the a-England shade look like a shadow. Nonetheless, I loved the effect, and loved how darn easy this one (no nail stickers required – freehand works perfectly!), so I’ll definitely be trying this again and again with other shades. Fun!
I always have intentions to get these kinds of event posts up before the actual event, but who am I kidding? That’s never going to happen – I’m too busy prepping for the occasion to actually have time to post! LOL Anyway, all the other bloggers have got this covered for me And it’s not like I did anything particularly unique, and both the makeup and nails could be done any time of the year, right?
How did you celebrate Paddy’s Day?? Did you do any themed makeup and/or nails?
I’m just going to start by letting out a huge ~GROAN~ before beginning this post. OMG dudes. I’ve been putting this off for AGES and it’s going to get crazy. I suggest getting comfortable with multiple snacks and a beverage of your choice. Let’s get ‘er done.
Part of the reason I’ve taken so long to post this is because I have had so many products thisclose to being finished, and just when its used up, another takes it’s place. I’ve got a handful sitting on my counter that are probably going to be done in a week or so, but I can’t wait any longer – and honestly, I’m in the business of entertaining you, not wasting all of your time and punishing your eyes and scrolling fingers. So here we are!
I’ve said this far too many times and not held my word, but seriously – I’m going to keep the wordiness to a minimum. Let’s start with makeup this time, since that’s always what I find most difficult to finish:
OK. The good: I finished 4 eyeliners! UD’s 24/7 in Crash (shimmering eggplant), Lise Watier’s Gold Eyeshine (which is so old that it kept smushing down into the pencil so I’m turfing it), and two black shades (Tarte Starry Night and MUFE 0L, both which were fine, but smudged more than I’d like). I’ve since bought Chanel’s Noir Intense waterproof liner to replace the two blacks, and so far so good. Also good is Clinique’s Bottom Lash mascara, which seems SO gimmicky but which is actually awesome. The Chanel bi-phase remover is a sample and was good but nothing crazy.
The bad (or just OK): MUFE’s Star Collection gloss in S4 – smooth and not too sticky, but it has this weird cast to it that could make me look dead if worn to heavily. The Revlon lip butter in Peach Parfait still has enough that I could eke out a few more uses, but I won’t. HATED the gritty shimmer in this! The white tube is a primer by Jay Manuel’s line (which I have no idea if it exists anymore or not), that I never used at all. Toss! Lastly, the MAC Haute & Naughty mascara I bought while en route to NZ. For the first month, this was great, albeit a little clumpy due to so much product on the brush. I found as time passed, it got worse, and ended up that the brush looked like this:
Anyway, not bad as far as things go, eh? Next, let’s look at facial skincare:
I’ve reviewed the 100% Pure eye cream, Pangea Organics masque, and Shiseido toner previously and my thoughts still stand on those (which is to say, overall good impressions), but I won’t repurchase. The Clarins Sun SPF30 eye cream is my 2nd or 3rd tube, and as always I think it’s great. I don’t know if I’ll repurchase, just because I might just start using sunscreen around my eye area (I use only physical sunscreens, like the ones in the Clarins, which cause less irritation I find), but you never know! Speaking of physical sunscreens, this is also my 2nd or 3rd tube of the Clinique City Block Sheer SPF25, and I’ll continue to use it unless I can find something similar that doesn’t make oily in summer – I find this still *slightly* heavy. The Clinique Super Rescue cream for combo-to-dry skin is a nice moisturizer, but I find it only gives hydration (and antioxidants – can’t beat that!), and I like something that will aid in smoothing my skin as well, as I tend to have slight roughness from my eczema. I have another tube but probably won’t open that till next winter. The Boscia Make Up Break Up remover is nice enough and effective, but I probably wouldn’t get a full size, as I still use a cleanser afterward because I find it can irritate my skin a little otherwise. The Clinique Even Better Lotion SPF20 is actually a lot nicer than I gave it credit for before I tried it. It’s hydrating but not oily and it made my skin look really good while I was using it. My skin is still doing well but I don’t think it’s AS nice as it was since using this up. I might order this on my next gratis.
I bought a handful of these MaskerAide masques before Christmas and used one per week. I really liked them – they were easy to use and gave great hydration without breaking me out or being too heavy. I’d definitely buy them again. The Elizabeth Grant Eye Power Pads were one of those random beauty items I get from my aunt, and I’ve had them for ages. One day I decided to use them, and it was nice! I didn’t notice a big difference in anything, as I don’t have much in the way of wrinkles yet, but it was a treat and they were hydrating. The Kniepp muscle gel was great for tired legs after working a shift at Clinique or a hard run, and if I was feeling spendy one day I’d probably buy it to have on hand.
Almost done, are you still with me!? Let’s move on to body products:
This is my most triumphant success in terms of empties. The Hawaiian Tropic Aftersun and the B&BW Vanilla Bean Noel lotions I’ve had for SO EFFING LONG – the B&BW lotion was my very first swap EVER (back in 2008). Because they’re so scented, I didn’t wear them often, or in very specific, less sensitive areas like my feet and chest (which isn’t sensitive somehow!). I finally finished them both last month and I’m so stoked – I now have NO scented lotions kicking around, and I don’t plan to ever again! I’ll just go the much safer route and just wear perfume. Sweet
The iconic Kiehl’s Creme de Corps lotion is always a nice luxury to have, and it was effective as ever, though FAR too pricey for my needy body. I would repurchase is my budget allowed it though! Although in saying that, I’ve found my holy grail body moisturizer in Haus of Gloi’s pumpkin butter in Aether – honestly, I can’t see myself buying anything else. It smells good for being non-scented, and it works like a dream on my finicky skin. I love it with all my heart. Aveeno’s Moisturizing Lotion used to be my go-to, but I’m SO over it now. It just doesn’t work as well! The Clinique Deep Comfort hand cream is quite nice and if you’re looking for a great moisturizer to tote around, this is a great option – hydrating, absorbs well after a few minutes, and lasts. And it’s unscented
The last time I ordered a few Aether pumpkin butters, I also picked up a couple 2oz jars of Haus of Gloi’s Bubbling Scrubs. This one in Satyr was lovely! Its a sweet, warm, edible scent which some may not like but is right up my alley. And it gives a nice light exfoliation on my sensitive skin, which I usually avoid, but which I can indulge in with these scrubs. Yay! The Hugo Naturals body wash smelled lovely (natural scents) but something about it I didn’t like, so I wouldn’t repurchase. The star here is the Organix Macadamia Oil conditioner, which is absolutely PERFECT for my crazy-curly, mega-dry hair. I hate that it comes in a smaller container, as I went through it pretty quickly, but I would repurchase even though it’s $8 and lasts only a month or so for me. I usually buy jumbo sizes of conditioner because I need so much, but this is worth the cost, as it really hydrates, and is a bit heavy (so, those with fine hair steer clear) which is just what my hair needs. LOVE.
Ok. Wrapping things up, I have a couple fragrance samples!
I got Angel as a sample when I got my mom’s bottle refilled for her birthday last year. I know it’s a hate it or love it scent for most, but for me I actually am in the middle. I don’t think it’s ‘my’ scent, but I do like it – I think because of the associations with my mother. It really works on her and when I smell it I feel cozy The Lancome fragrance however, La Vie Est Belle, IS ‘my’ fragrance – it’s got the same tones with vanilla being predominant (I’m definitely a Gourmand fragrance wearer), and smells FANTASTIC on me. Initially I wasn’t sure if I liked it enough to buy a bottle, but over the past couple weeks I had three men tell me I smelled good (in an almost surprized way, like “You smell really good” and looking sort of shocked like, ‘oh wow, yum’) so I’m taking that as a sign. Its the first fragrance I’ve found in a while that really does it for me. FYI the notes are: black currant & pear (top); iris, jasmine, & orange blossom (middle); tonka bean, vanilla, praline, and patchouli (base). I think the reason I was initially unsure is that I’m not a huge fan of orange blossom in fragrance, but the inclusion of vanilla and iris (iris being in 3 of my favorite scents, interestingly) end up making it a winner. I’m just finishing up my second sample of this and will buy a bottle as soon as I’m able.
So there you have it! In the past three months, those are the products I managed to finish. Not too shabby, huh? My skincare for face and body particularly has been seriously streamlined, and I don’t have anything ‘extra’ in either. Makeup of course is an ongoing battle to use up products I’m not madly in love with, but I’m getting there! It’s an ongoing process, and you are all probably familiar with. Moving forward I hope to post these monthly to keep on top of things!
Have you tried any of these products? What are your thoughts? Any skincare products you’ve found to be absolute winners?
Before the online world took over, I used to be a voracious reader of magazines. First it was YM, which I only read for the ‘Say Anything’ section when I was about 11-12 years old. Then it progressed to Seventeen, then Cosmo, and then Allure – the latter which firmly entrenched my love affair with makeup eternally. Often, I would pull pages out of a magazine with pictures that evoked a certain ‘something’ – I can remember papering my walls with Calvin Klein ads for DAYS (OMG this is bringing back memories!); the models all seemed to fabulous and mysterious. As I grew up, I instead began to pull makeup looks from the pages of my favorite mags, anything that piqued my interest visually and was just begging to be attempted.
Though I don’t do this as often today (I have a subscription to only one mag now, and try to avoid buying any because – hello, internet!), I still do come across pictures in print that I clip out for future reference. I have a big photo album full of ‘em now, tied together as a collage – each page with a different theme (YES I KNOW I AM ORGANIZED/OCD/CRAZY/WHATHAVEYOU). This morning I thought of my album and pulled it out to get some ideas for the day’s look. What I decided on was this:
Every so often I go through the album and remove photos that I’m no longer ‘feeling.’ Amazingly, this actually doesn’t happen very often – even though the span of these photos is over probably 7+ years, I still love most of them and they don’t seem to become dated. The photo above is one of my oldest, and yet I think it’s still as relevant today, and I still totally love it. A flash of blue liner and a stained pout – simplicity at it’s best.
I wore this look today for the first time, and I’m pretty pleased with how it came out:
I did tone it down a bit by not bringing the blue all the way to the far inner corners; I was after all, at work today and my office isn’t terribly ‘creative’ (I know, totally not what you expect for the GOVERNMENT, right? Ha). But otherwise, I actually think I captured the look fairly well. The liner shade is exceptionally close (though I suspect she’s wearing liquid – while I used MAC’s Petrol Blue Pearlglide liner). I think I even almost got the lip stain right (MAC’s Bing Mattene lipstick), though it looks a little worn here because I reapplied and then forgot and ate some chocolate. Oops.
And an even more up-close shot:
I chose to bring the liner around to just the edge of my upper lash line, though I don’t think she has that in the photo. I liked the effect though. Overall, I liked the look – I don’t think I’ve ever worn anything like it, and it was a great way to use the MAC eye pencil as I’m trying to get rid of it (great shade, terrible wear on my eyes which tend to get smudgy at the corners). I wore an eyelid primer (NARS Smudgeproof) to prevent this from sliding down my face. I must admit, similar to my other blue look, I felt kinda badass wearing this, which is always a good thing in my books because if it gives you a little bit of a swagger, all the better
So what do you think of the look? Where do you get your inspiration from? Do you get any benefit from these kinds of posts? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Continuing on with my dedication to filling the gaps in my collection, let’s turn now to my eyeliner stash. This isn’t an area that I’m terribly concerned with, nor do I obsessed and stalk new eyeliners like I do blush, but it was a fairly easy task to swatch and photograph them, so I figured I’d get them out of the way.
In glancing at my stash, my first impression is that I’m not missing much of anything – however, that’s partially due to my semi-ambivalence toward eyeliner as a whole. There are shades (and formulas – I tend to favor liquid) I own that I LOVE, but overall I tend to wear eyeliner because I own it, not because I’m a fiend for it, and I purchase them infrequently (I wrote a previous post on my eyeliner collection, and since that time I’ve only accumulated …….though I literally just bought the Milani Gold eyeliner within the last hour, LOL! Hey, it was on sale!). However, it seems I still have a fair number of shades somehow (26, in fact!), so maybe I don’t know what the eff I’m talking about.
I seem to own at least two shades of most colors – grey, black, purple, etc. I don’t really wear bold-colored liners much, though it appears I like to buy them! I’m hoping to change that this year – maybe work ‘em on the lower lash liner or blend with black to darken them.
(Left to right): MAC NW25/NC30 Chromographic, Chanel Khaki Platine Precision, MUFE #21L Aqua Eyes, MUFE #14 Aqua Liner, UD Oil Slick 24/7, Wet N Wild 861 (black) Mega Liner, Tarte Starry Night, MUFE #0L Aqua Eyes, Laura Mercier Black Violet Kohl, UD Crash 24/7, UD Ransom 24/7, Illamasqua Paddle
FYI: I forgot to add in the two aqua shades when I did my swatches, oops (since they usually only get pulled out in summer and were stashed away).
(Left to right): Illamasqua Paddle, MAC Blue Petrol Pearlglide, MUFE #4K Khol, UD Covet 24/7, Smashbox On Trend Cream, Clinique Egyptian Cream Shaper, Illamasqua Wisdom Precision, Milani Gold Liquif’eye, Lise Watier Gold Eye Shine, UD Eldorado 24/7, UD Lucky 24/7, NARS Via Appia Larger Than Life, Illamasqua Havoc Precision
Below (top to bottom): Milani Aqua Liquif’eye, MUFE #5 Aqua Liner
So, I’d say within this bunch, I LOVE 1/5 of them (both my Illamasqua Precision Liners, my MUFE #14 liquid liner and #21L pencil liner, and UD’s Lucky pencil), I like half of them (but they fall short of love either because of formula – for example, love LM’s Black Violet and MAC’s Blue Petrol as shades, but they smudge/run like CRAZY – or I just don’t tend to wear them much, like MAC’s Chromographic, MUFE’s #4K, UD’s Covet & Eldorado, Milani Aqua, and NARS Via Appia), and the last few shades just DO NOT do it for me at all (UD’s Deviant is a weird shade on me, Illamasqua Paddle is kind of crap to apply, and the Smashbox On Trend is better as a shadow than a liner). Then there are about 5 pencils that are so close to being finished I can just TASTE it (UD Oil Slick, Tarte Starry Night, MUFE #0L, UD Crash, and Lise Watier Gold).
Check out what was left after I rubbed off the swatches with makeup remover:
…That would be the MUFE Aqua Liners, and the Illamasqua Precision Liners – see why I love ‘em??
Moving forward, I’m not really sure what gaps need to be filled, except the glaring one which is A BLACK LINER PENCIL. Once my Tarte and UD liners are gone (–> very soon), I will not own a plain black pencil, just the Wet N Wild liquid one. I’ve determined that I am going to see what all the fuss is about and buy Giorgio Armani’s Waterproof Eye Pencil in Granite, and I’m pretty stoked about it. Otherwise, I don’t have any other liner purchases on the horizon just now – or should I?
Can you see any glaring holes in my eyeliner collection? What shades do you tend to wear most?
Illamasqua’s Generation Q: Creator Nail Varnish, Opulent Sheer Lipgloss, and Wisdom Precision Ink Review & Swatches
Even though the weather is still warm (though by no means as hot and humid as it has been!), and fall doesn’t officially start for like, 3 weeks, I’ve still jumped the gun and switched around all my makeup and nail polish to reflect cooler-weather shades. What can I say – I love change!
Helping me kickstart my shift into fall beauty are a few great key pieces from Illamasqua’s new fall/winter collection, Generation Q. I love the idea behind the collection, that beauty is ageless – particularly for someone who is just moving out of the ‘downtown party’ stage, I like to think that even though I’m not out every night dancing it up, that I can still wear fabulous makeup without feeling I’m now ‘too old’. Truth be told, it’s not something I think of too much – my mom is a perfect model of someone who still absolutely loves to have fun with makeup and manages to still look fabulous doing it!
The three pieces I have to show you today pretty much cover the bases for a great transition between seasons: an antiqued gold liquid liner (Precision Ink in Wisdom); a rainbow beige gloss (Sheer Lipgloss in Opulent); and a magical sparkling black nail polish (Nail Varnish in Creator). All three are crazy-wearable yet still edgy, which is my kind of makeup!
First, the glittering goodness that is Creator ($18CAD).
Creator is a black polish with small glitter particles heavily dispersed throughout. It dries with slight texture that is totally eradicated with topcoat – the addition of which brings out the shimmer that much more. As expected with Illamaqua polishes, this was easy-peasy to apply – easy flowing with good consistency, and you can almost get away with just one coat!
Just a quick comparison between this shade and Orly’s Goth as I’m sure some of you are wondering – and as you’ll see, they’re really apples to oranges.
Obviously, Creator is far superior!! While Goth is nice and shiny without topcoat, it doesn’t make up for the fact that it lacks the density of Creator’s glitter – which helps give the latter it’s fabulous sparkling quality. Add a topcoat to smooth it out and you’re good to go!
Next, we have the ultra-pretty Opulent gloss ($20CAD).
Opulent is a lovely sheer beige lipgloss with pearly multicolored shimmer. It’s wearable on it’s own, imparting a beautiful amped-up nude look to the lip, but it would also be fabulous layered over pretty much any other shade of lippie.
The texture of the shimmer is slightly gritty but only just so. It’s comfortable to wear with a touch of stickiness that helps it wear well for several hours. The only drawback I found to this gloss was the applicator, the bristles of which are somewhat stiff and don’t allow the brush to easily lay the gloss down on the lip. The brush was also slightly splayed from the get-go, so my technique is to use it merely to dab the gloss on my lip then blend with my finger or separate lip brush. Not ideal, but not a deal-breaker either!
I left my favorite product for last – the liquid liner in Wisdom ($34CAD)!
I have another Precision Ink liner, Havoc, which I also adore – liquid liner is my favorite style of liner, and these are some of the best. I find the pointed, sponge-tipped applicator terribly easy to use; if I’m having a particularly challenging day, I can even just hold the wand parallel to my lash line and dab it on and still get a great effect. These liners are also uber-waterproof, and won’t come off ’till you wash them off with remover or cleanser.
On top of the fabulosity of the formula, I mean – check out this shade, dudes! It’s soooo good I love that it’s the perfect mix of khaki and gold, which means it’s pretty much wearable all year round, seasonally speaking. And I’m pretty sure it’ll look terrific with every single eye color of life! Gah…I absolutely Love Love LOVE this liner!!!
Here’s a quick face I did using both the liner and lipgloss, and then just adding a touch of Estee Lauder’s Illuminating Gelee in Shimmering Sands on cheekbones:
What I love about these three products is how well they go together; and looking at the entire Generation Q collection, I find it exceptionally cohesive. I also enjoy that while the promotional images for the collection showcase vastly different and sometimes outrageous looks, the actual shades used aren’t hard to use and work for all skintones (and ages!). I feel that this is one of the most enticing fall collections for me – I want to pick up each and every single product in the launch! And I just might do so….but this is a good start, for now
What pieces from Generation Q are you lemming?
*Products were provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
Hello my neglected beauties! I am so far behind in everything in life it seems – isn’t summer supposed to be carefree and relaxed!? While I’ve had a lot of good times the past couple months, I’ve hardly had any time to address my ‘real’ life (guess that’s escapism to the max, eh?). I’ve flown out of the province three times in August alone (twice to Newfoundland and now to Ontario – I’m actually in the airport right now heading to Ottawa), and while I LOVE to travel, I didn’t realize how hard it is to get back on track when you return. Soon I’ll have been away from home for 12 out of 31 days – that’s a whole third of the month – and it’s kind of nuts. Fun – but nuts.
Look I did for a cottage party I went to – my friend’s family does a washer toss tournament every year, and this year there was a record 50 participants! As the cottage is right on a lake, I wore only MUFE’s waterproof Aqua Liner in #5 (diamond turquoise blue) and a touch of mascara – it gave enough impact all by itself!
To add to all that, recently my boyfriend and I broke up. So not only am I away physically but I’ve also mentally been not entirely present the past week or two. However, I know that everyone has ‘stuff’ that goes on in their lives and they keep on moving, so I don’t want to lean on this as an excuse. Most bloggers have busy lives and children and the like, and they post WAY more than me on a good week. I merely just want to explain my absence so you know it’s only temporary! Well…at least until October. Then I’ll be away for 35 days and you’ll be lucky if I’ve got a post a week coming out. LOL. But THEN! Then I will be blogger extraordinaire, I *promise.*
The most frustrating part about all this is that while moving forward my budget will be next to zero for beauty purchases (paying for a condo on my own is NOT going to be easy), I bought a slew of fun, beautiful things in the past couple months I’ve been desperate to talk to you about! Actually, to be honest, a lot of those things I haven’t even had the time to experiment with myself, and they’re just in a forlorn little pile in my bathroom begging to be adored. Since I’ve been traveling so much, most of these items haven’t come with me because I’m crazy-anal about keeping my makeup pristine, and I’m nervous about things getting banged up or broken (I’m still sore over my MAC Early Morning blush being in pieces :S). Argh! I hate not being able to multitask. LOL!
Make Up For Ever’s Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in N10 (iridescent copper pink). It was the shade the MUFE Artist matched me with for my ultimate ‘MLBB’ shade. It’s quite pretty but I see to either veer lighter, darker or more bold with lippies for the most part. See link above for original review on formula.
But ladies (and maybe gents??)…there appears to be a silver-lining for you now. It was just announced that my flight has been delayed for 2 hours – surely I can pump out a post or three in that time!? Its not going to be any of the new, good stuff, but I have a boatload of photos from other items I’ve been meaning to show you. So sit back and get comfy…I have a lot of making up to do!
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):
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!).
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.
I really wanted to come up with a good title for these shadows, because 8E has been rocking my socks off in particular the entire week, and deserves a ‘hallelujah’ or something!! But, alas, my brain is slow today and I got nothin’. Forgive me, my friends
Monday I was home sick, feeling run down and just plain tired from all the excitement and hubbub of my birthday and the upcoming move. There I was, all vegged out like a sloth, when around 10am the doorbell buzzed (more like screeched – its goddamn AWFUL), and to my delight was 2 (out of 12 shades) of the new Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadows ($23CAD) for me to play with!! Even better, one of the shades was the main one I was lemming HARD – 8E, described as a ‘matte green,’ though SO much more – it’s a rich, deep teal that is just beyond gorgeous. The other shade, 32E, which is described as ‘pearly white‘ (which is bang-on), isn’t so much my scene, but I can make it work.
Designed to be long-lasting and easy to use, I got busy right away snapping pics and trying them out, not only because of my major love for the teal shade, but also because I had read such a drab review regarding the application and wear from Christine at Temptalia, and I was determined to discover otherwise. So, this review is going to be much more in depth than my usual ones, as I tested this out two days in a row for wear, and really took note of how these worked and how to make them work. First, however, swatches:
As I noted, 8E is a beautiful teal shade that is jewel-toned and more my speed than most other teals, which tend to be either a) shimmery (and therefore quite in-your-face), or b) medium-to-light in shade, which makes them, again, far too obvious, bordering on gaudy for my skintone, depending on how I wear it. As 8E is matte, it’s so much more wearable too, which I love. 32E, on the other hand, is very shimmery, and because it’s a pearly white (almost stark white with just a touch of warmth to it), it’s very contrasting on my skin, and not in a flattering way, so I have to be careful how I wear it. Likely it will be relegated as an inner eye highlight for the most part, which is how I wore it for the first of my looks below and which worked quite well.
So, in the look above, I wore 8E as a shadow – I applied it via the pencil itself to my lid and then blended with a finger – and used 32E in the inner corners of my eyes. I will concede that these pencils are difficult to apply and blend, as they are sort of an odd combo of waxy and dry, so I had to take the time to make this look good. However, I wore this for 8 hours (sans primer, and with a 2 hour nap in between!) and these did not fade or crease AT ALL (contrary to Christine’s review), which I attribute to the tough-as-nails formula (which is a combination of waxes, oils and polymers which create a long-lasting, crease- and smudge-proof color) . Worn as a shadow, it might not be your quick look-on-the-go solution, but honestly, the shade itself was such a standout, and the wear was so good, that I don’t mind the drawback of the application. Note that after my nap, it did smudge slightly under my eye, but obviously most people don’t nap with a full-face of makeup on regularly, so you’re probably safe And I have more proof of that below, in my next look with 8E:
In this look, I just wore 8E as a liner, applied directly to the lash lines and smudged a bit with my finger. This was as easy to do as any other pencil liner would be, and lasted 13 hours sans primer and without fading or traveling (no naps that day!). I like both looks and would wear either depending on the situation – if I had more time I’d go with the full shadow as I prefer to wear this glorious shade at its full impact if I can. But as a liner its still pretty lovely and I like that I have the versatility to switch between the two.
I honestly want to wear this shade every single day, which is pretty huge for me as I get bored almost the instant I’ve worn something once. It just brought out the color of my eyes so well and complimented my skintone better than almost any other shade I’ve tried. If you don’t mind working with it a bit, I REALLY think you should check these out – in my opinion, 8E is THE shade to own, but they have a ton of others that are much more neutral, and a few key shades like navy and black that would look excellent as well. So hop to it!!
Have you checked out these Aqua Shadows yet? What’s your favorite long-wearing eyeshadow?
*Products were provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
Well, hello dolls! Ready for your monthly installment of what I’ve been buying vs tossing? I’m pretty chatty in this post, so sit down, get comfy, and let’s jump right in!
Aveeno Skin Relief Fragrance Free Body Wash and Moisturizing Body Lotion
As boring as these two products are, I’m fairly certain that I’ll be using this duo for the rest of my natural born life – the body wash is the only one that doesn’t irritate my skin and keeps it soft and smooth, and the Aveeno lotions and creams work miracles at keeping my eczema at bay. Since I’ve finally committed to using these continously, I’d had a lot less (body) skin issues, so dull and boring it is!
Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Sunscreen Lotion SPF15
I’ve been using Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen for years, and I love it (even though it IS a chemical sunscreen, which I try to avoid as they can cause irritation in sensitive skin). They changed the scent when they changed the bottle a year or two ago, which I was disappointed in at first, but now I’ve come to like the new scent as it’s less overwhelming and it doesn’t compete as much with any fragrances you wear (though its still beachy-smelling). I can’t comment on if this causes any breakouts anywhere (it doesn’t say oil-free or non-comedogenic anywhere) – I didn’t experience any, but I didn’t use it on my face and my body doesn’t usually have that issue. I used up the rest of this bottle when I was in Jamaica, and was bummed when I had to switch to the other sunscreen we had, Coppertone. When that runs out, I’ll likely pick up another bottle of this!
BedHead TIGI Foxy Curls Contour Cream
This is my second bottle of this stuff…the last time I bought one was back in May 2011 – so this lasted almost a full year!! Holy moley. I love the smell of this – like Skittles – but sadly that’s why I won’t be repurchasing in my effort to go as fragrance-free as possible. It works well though, and you only need a tiny bit (clearly!) to do the trick
Clinique Turnaround Concentrate Radiance Renewer
I’m sure I’ve mentioned this loads of times before. Great exfoliating product that doesn’t irritate the skin whatsoever. Makes my face feel nearly like a baby’s bottom! This bottle seemed to go faster than normal – I only got about two months out of it and I was only using it at night. I’m glad it’s done though, because I’m eager to start using my new Kate Somerville Quench Serum (more on that later)!
Alpha Hydrox Enhanced Cream 10% Glycolic AHA Anti-Wrinkle
I got this in a swap ages ago, as I read in the MUA reviews that it was awesome. Interestingly enough, the glycolic acid in this didn’t mess my skin up – it definitely tingles to the point of almost burning upon application, but the sensation dissipates within a minute and there’s no residual irritation afterward or the next morning. To be safe, I only used it every few days or so (and not in conjunction with the Clinique Concentrate, but it did make my skin feel lovely!
I reviewed this product previously, and my thoughts still hold – it was thick and hard to spread, and generally just didn’t feel very nice on my skin (though it felt lovely). I used this on my neck until it was gone so as to not waste it. I’m SO glad to toss this!
The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Lip Butter / Nova Scotia French Vanilla Lip Balm
I bought The Body Shop lip butter back when I had a boyfriend who really liked grapefruit (how silly!) – except the taste of this is like ASS (well…not really, but you know…). GAH, it’s horrible! Somehow I managed to make a big dent in this but I haven’t touched it in years so it’s really pointless to keep it.
The Nova Scotia balm, well, I got this at our Pride Parade several years ago and I guess they just slapped a Nova Scotia label on it. It’s nothing special. It had SPF in it which has since expired, and I have other lip balms, so it’s time this kicked the bucket.
CND Cuticle Eraser AHA Cuticle Treatment
I think I read on All Lacquered Up that this was Michelle’s cuticle treatment of choice, so I picked it up to try it out about a year ago. I found that while it might have kept my cuticles smoother, it irritated my skin (but the AHA cream above didn’t – go figure), so I used it very sporadically. It caused little bumps on the skin just under my nails – whether that was an eczema reaction or not, I’m unsure, so I can’t say if this would happen to anyone else. I love my Burts Bees butter so I think I’ll just stick to that
Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Anti-Chip Top Coat
I plan on doing a round-up of a few base and top coats in the future, so I won’t get into too much detail about this – just suffice to say, it was like Seche Vite in the fact that once it got half finished, it got majorly goopy and hard to use. I can’t deal with screwing up my manicures, so out this goes!
Here are just some samples I finished up – nothing too stand-out. Bioderma’s Sebium AKN, which is supposed to ‘restore the skin’s natural clear aspect’ – I used this as a spot treatment, but didn’t find it did much in that capacity. It might be much more effective if used as an all-over face lotion. Clinique’s 7-Day Scrub, which is too creamy for my oily skin and leaves a slight filmy feeling, which would be nice for dry skin but just feels unclean on mine. However, it DOES exfoliate well, and gently! I used Korres Yogurt Cooling Gel down South, and it was OK, but it was such a small sample that I can’t really give a fair evaluation. I mainly used Clinique’s After Sun, which was admittedly AWESOME, so that doesn’t help. Lastly, I used the sample of Ojon’s Instant Restorative Hair Serum while in Jamaica as well, and it left my hair feeling lovely and hydrated after penetrating in the sun all day. It wasn’t too heavy or greasy-feeling either, or too strong-smelling as some Ojon products have been in the past. I’d consider buying this for the Summer to protect my hair from the sun and add a bit of shine.
…..Wow, right? This is just pitiful. Two products!? Oh man. I sincerely apologize for my miserable turnout this month! What’s worse, I didn’t realize I did so crappy until RIGHT NOW. I almost scammed you guys by accident and included three ‘tossed’ beauty products that I had already accounted for last month. I guess I felt bad about throwing them out when there was so much product left, and kept them in the empties bag. Oops! Double-oops too because I thought I wasn’t doing THAT bad getting rid of makeup…shoot. Oh well – maybe next month
ANYWAY, what’ve we got? NYC’s Color Wheel Mosaic Face Powder in All-Over Bronze Glow, which I mentioned last week, for one. I tried to make it work in Jamaica and it just didn’t do much. I’m done trying to make it work; no matter if I’m tanned or not, it just doesn’t seem to do it for me. Second, we have Stila’s Smudge Pot in Black, a surprize toss. I happened to open it up to use it last week and realized that it was pretty dried out and had pulled majorly from the sides (like a few millimeters!). Er, yea, time to go!
So that’s what we have for this month downsizing efforts – 11 full-size skincare products, 4 samples, and 2 makeup items. Not too shabby, though I’m a little let down with the meager makeup empties. Hopefully that’ll mean next month will be quite respectable!
Moving on to the scary portion of the post, lets take a look at what I purchased in the past month. In fact, aside from two items, everything I picked up I bought in the span of a week. Ah snap.
Yea. All of these items I bought in one week. Oh dear. Oh, well the three items in the front right were part of a deluxe sample set I got for free from Sephora. But the rest…no excuse. Here’s the list:
- Hugo Naturals Shower Gel in Vanilla & Sweet Orange $9.99
- (ANOTHER) Aveeno Skin Relief Fragrance Free Body Wash $8.99
- TRESemme Flawless Curls Curl Hydration Conditioner $3.99 (on sale)
- Kate Somerville Quench Oil-Free Hydrating Serum approx. $66 (15% off reg. price – $78)
- YSL Glossy Stain in #12 Corail Aquatique approx. $29 (15% off reg. price, $34)
- MUFE #17 Eyeshadow (matte brown) approx. $19 (15% of reg. price – $22)
- MAC Crosswires Lipstick $17.50
I know that I just preached a bunch about going fragrance-free, and that the Aveeno Body Wash is my HG…but it doesn’t mean I LIKE it, so I picked up the Hugo body wash in the ‘green’ aisle at the grocery store, as the fragrance is all-natural – so I’m hoping I’ll find a loophole in my own rule
To add to the above, I also picked up:
- a-England Nail Polish in Princess Sabra (Tristam Eyes) approx. $10 (30% off reg. price, approx. $14)
- Revlon Lip Butter in Peach Parfait $7.99 (on sale)
And to round it all out, I also bought two blushes from Illamasqua, Lover & Hussy (approx. $13 each [half off reg. price - approx. $26]). *I have yet to receive these in the mail
So yea…I had a busy month. As you can see, I got some pretty excellent deals on almost all of my purchases, which is partially why I went a little crazy. Sephora definitely reeled me in with the 15% off, and when I received the email about the Easter Egg Hunt sale from Illamasqua, I had to check it out (the day we were leaving for Jamaica, I got the one about certain blushes being half off, so I thought I’d take a look – I totally expected it to be unpopular shades, but each of the 5 shades were some of their top sellers! How could I NOT buy Lover and Hussy!? It would have cost me $65CAD to buy them full price (incl. shipping) and instead it came to $40 (with shipping). Sa-weet!!). So yea. A bad month according to my guidelines, but kind of a great month too! And it gives me LOTS of material for upcoming posts
However. In light of my spectacular failure to adhere to ANY restrictions regarding my purchasing, I have decided to restructure my guidelines. It just doesn’t make sense to me to pretend to follow a low-buy when in fact I seem to be on a ‘grab all you can’ buy. I still need some structure, but I need to tweak it a bit. So here’s the new rule for makeup (all other guidelines remain unchanged):
- 10 makeup purchases per season (previous: max of 3 LE purchases per season; non-LE items on a use two, buy one system)
Now, before you go and think that I’m being entirely too easy on myself (if I wasn’t already before!), let me explain why I’m making these changes. First of all, to be clear: while part of this low-buy is to weed through my stash, over the past couple months I realized that it’s not necessarily to scale it back, but to eliminate items that just don’t really ‘do’ it for me. I’ve come to grips with the fact that in being a beauty blogger, and being as obsessed as I am with beauty, the plain truth is that my makeup collection is going to continue to grow – there’s just no way I’m going to be able to use everything (c’mon, blushes last for YEARS) and I’m certainly not going to stop shopping until I do. What I really want to do is make sure that everything I own I love, and I’m really making headway in that area, so I think that’s an achievement!
I have to be honest with you as well, that the other part of the low-buy is definitely related to cash flow. While I’m managing my addiction fairly well, I do think that maintaining some sort of guideline is a smart thing to do, so that I don’t get too crazy or wrapped up in wanting everything – I find since blogging I want to be able to review every product that comes on the market, but I just can’t afford to! This way I can make sure that I have ‘controls’ in place so I know when I’m nearing a reasonable limit. AND it helps to ensure that whatever I’m purchasing, I absolutely love – which relates back to the first point! It’s a win-win in my books (ALSO…with Jamaica behind me, I have to get my butt in gear to save more $$ for New Zealand – definitely a huge priority!)
Fiordland, New Zealand *Photo courtesy of PacificIslands.com
You may think that it’s almost pointless to have any guidelines at all, since many others who are on a no- or low-buy are quite restricted in their purchasing. However, I do find it difficult not to just buy every single thing I’d like, so I think the above restructure of the guidelines allows me to have some fun while still keeping me in check. When I initially created the ‘Limited Edition’ rule, I had actually done so to make sure that I indulged in some of the great LE items, as I often missed out on them in the past. Well, I think I’m definitely over that behavior (LOL!), and a purchase is a purchase, so I just lumped all makeup spending together and made it a number that seemed reasonable. Again, if I get the urge to shop just for shopping’s sake, and buy something I don’t really love, that still counts as one – so I’ll be more likely to avoid doing that if I know my purchasing power has a limit.
Oh the silly things we do! I’m sure some of you find these kinds of rambles terribly boring, and I don’t fault you for it I just know that if I don’t have anyone to hold me accountable, I could go all sorts of crazy and buy everything I laid my hands on (I feel that urge more often than not!). And since I know some of you are going through similar bans of your own, I hope that on some level you can relate.
I hope it doesn’t seem like I’m bailing on my original terms or that I’m making things too easy on myself. This plan IS easier in the fact that I don’t have to bust my balls trying to find products I can use up or toss, which just started to feel ridiculous to me, but it is more in line with my true feelings about makeup. While I still get overwhelmed at how much I have and the impossible notion of how to use it all, I am actually developing a collection of products that I simply adore, and I can only get rid of so much before I am just basically throwing away money for no good reason. The low-buy has really opened my eyes and I feel SO much more at peace with my stash and all the connotations that come with it! That in itself to me is the best achievement I could ask for
I will continue to do monthly updates on my progress, as I still plan on challenging myself on holding back from making any ‘unnecessary’ purchases, and also because it’s a great way to give you an overall picture of my beauty world – what I’m using (up) and what new items I’ve been enjoying. I can’t wait to read about everyone else’s progress as we continue to push forward – I support each of you in your own reasons for your no/low-buy, and hope it’s going well. For you and anyone else engaging in a beauty challenge, I wish you good luck and hope you stay strong!!
(So sorry if you stuck with me through the whole thing! I try not to do too many of these lengthy posts :S)
Just a L’il Somethin’ I Picked Up for Vacation: Milani’s Liquif-EYE Metallic Eye Liner Pencil in Aqua
Though I’ve been on a bit of a shopping spree lately, surprizingly enough I spent next to nothing in preparation for Jamaica. I’ve got plenty of shorts, tank tops, Summer dresses, bikini’s, and sandals – and I’ve clearly got more than enough makeup. However, one thing I did set my sights on was a deep, shimmering teal eye liner. I had planned on picking up Too Faced Perfect Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner in Perfect Peacock, a pencil liner that goes on as smoothly as a liquid with great staying power. However, at the time I went to buy it, I was feeling a bit *pinched* shall we say for cash, and I thought I’d do the smart and thrifty thing by picking up the drugstore version, Milani’s Liquif-EYE Metallic Eye Liner Pencil in Aqua. It has a similar formulation, going on smoothly and easily with excellent wear time.
The first thing I noticed about the Milani version, aside from the fabulous not-your-average-drugstore-product packaging, was that it was lighter than what I was looking for – it was more of an aqua as the name states, than a teal.
…In fact, it looked strikingly familiar; didn’t I already have a shade just like this? I went through my stash, and this is what I found:Top to bottom: MUFE Aqua Liner #5, Milani Liquif-EYE Liner in Aqua
MUFE’s Aqua Liner #5 – a sparkling turquoise blue. While it has much more shimmer in it, is more blue, and the formulation (a liquid) is different of course, they certainly bear a resemblance. They also both have exceptional wear time – the Milani pencil wore throughout the day with only minimal fading, and the MUFE liner refuses to come off until you put in some good elbow grease to do so. While I’m not a fan of having repeats in my collection, I’m not terribly put out by this discovery, as the Milani linerwas only about $5, and it’ll be easier to use on my lower lash liner than the MUFE option would be. And the good news is that there’s still a vacancy in the ‘teal’ liner department in my stash, so that’ll need to be filled pronto
For a drugstore liner, Milani’s Liquif-EYE pencils are a stellar option at a great price. Unfortunately, it only comes in five shades: black, brown, aqua, gold, and silver – but if you’re in the market for any of these colors, I urge you to check these pencils out. The black shade is the next on my list – it creates a perfect, saturated line, without any tugging or worries about smudging throughout the day. For a mere $5, how can you go wrong?
What drugstore product goldmines have you found lately?