Archive for category Eye Liner
Ok. So fall has officially
sprung arrived. I am SO ready! I know you summer babes who love your heat are crying “WTF Latoya?!” and for you I say – I’m sorry :( I’m not hating on warm weather and sunshine, I love it as much as the next person. But after a few months of bright polishes and ‘au naturel’ looks, I’m eager to get down and dirty with some sultry, vampy makeup. I love change, what can I say?
As I’ve mentioned before, my makeup purchasing has slowed down considerably over the past 6 months +. One of the best ways for me to curb the impulse to buy something new is to go through my own collection to revisit old shades and swap out colors to reinvigorate myself. While doing the official ‘switch over’ for autumn, I got the idea to put together a few color stories that I felt were appropriate for the start of the fall season!
I’m starting you off slow with a shade that it incredibly wearable for almost all skintones – russet. These colors would be great for an easy going fall walk through the woods, that add a bit of life to the face but not a whole lot of color, per se. I picked up LMbD’s Rumour blush in a swap in early spring, and started wearing it fairly regularly during the summer as it added the nicest warm, radiant glow to my cheeks. It looks a bit scary in the pan but with a light touch for fairer skins, this is a great alternative to bronzer and leaves my skin looking naturally healthy. This is one of those awesome transitional shades that also works well in fall – the color reminds me of the turn of the leaves. L’Oreal’s Colour Riche Colour Caresse Shine Stain in Eternally Nude (a product which shall henceforth be known as CRCCSS) was a spurr of the moment purchase back in the spring, and was initially a bit of a disappointment – on my lips, it’s not terribly nude, but rather a sort of warm reddened brown – but I ended up liking the color for what it is, anyway. Another super wearable shade, and the formula is quite close to the YSL version, enough for me to probably opt for these over those due to the huge price difference. Sadly, the Urban Decay 24/7 liner here, in Lucky, a wonderful coppery shade, has been discontinued. I honestly need to start shopping for a dupe now, because this is probably one of my top favorite liners and I’m gonna be heartbroken when I finish it (which will actually happen because I use it regularly). Sigh.
Rose is not normally a shade I gravitate toward, as it tends to look very drab on my skintone, but these particular shades are both light (the lippies) and dark (the blush) enough to work well on me. Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge in Velvet Plum, a discontinued shade (sorry!) in the old packaging, was something I picked up when I had my makeup done at the counter several years ago. It would never have been a shade I’d have picked, but it ends up being one of my favorites for it’s exceptional wearability. It looks great with tanned skin, but is also perfect for fall/winter as well with it’s plummy tones. I quite like the formula of these as well – easy to apply and blend, and doesn’t leave my oilier skin greasy-looking. Laura Mercier’s Lip Glace in Discrete was kind of an impulse purchase – I don’t think I realized at the time that it was like $36, which is kind of a lot for a gloss – but its been well-used (despite the fact that it contains lanolin and I try to avoid wearing it two days in a row). It’s an easy nude-type shade that wears well with cooler toned smoky eyes, and isn’t TOO glossy. Lastly, I snagged a sample of BITE Beauty’s Luminous Creme Lipstick in Pepper a couple months ago, and it is a dusty rose shade that is similar to my natural lip color but a bit deeper and warmer. The formula is creamy and feels great on the lips, and goes with just about everything!
Now these are the shades I can get behind! I love me a good deep red anything in the fall – makeup, clothes, you name it. L’Oreal’s La Couleur Infallible Eyeshadow in Golden Mahogany is still one of my favorite eyeshadows, particularly so after wearing it in my friend’s wedding with such success, and was quite honestly MADE for fall. It’s gorgeous brown-red tones work with just about any cool-weather outfit I can come up with, and the color compliments just about every eye shade beautifully. NARS Turkish Red Cream Blush (another discontinued shade…oops) is a fabulous shade of blood red that is awesome for that windswept/windburnt look – however, it does require a bit of a skilled hand. It can go on a touch patchy due to it’s intense pigment (which also means a light hand is necessary), but when its done well, the effort is SO worth it! And, I just had a brainwave that MAC’s Dare You lipstick, shown here, could potentially be used as a cream blush if you were aching for that kind of shade. It has the similar deep red tone – which is particularly fabulous on the lips! This is a more wearable red for those of you who are a bit gun-shy of an in-your-face bold red, and looks amazing in the cooler months. LOVE.
I am also particularly partial to berry tones in the fall/winter…they’re just so delectably sexy! Ellis Faas Creamy Lips in L102 is still one of my absolute favorite lipsticks and hands down the shade I get the most compliments on. If for no other reason, THIS lippie is why I love fall so much! The fussy packaging is totally worth the drool-worthy, long-wearing shade. Illamasqua’s Crush Cream Blusher was a sale find I scooped up last winter, and while it didn’t get too much love from me since then, I plan on rocking this baby out all season long. When my skin isn’t tanned, it turns a bit pinkish, but right now with my fading tan, it looks more like it does in the pan – a gorgeous deep berry shade. YUMMY. Another Illamasqua fave is their Precision Ink in Havoc, which is still honestly capturing my heart some two years later. I mean, it’s a dark wine -colored eyeliner that doesn’t look black – how badass is that?! I wore it over the weekend while working at Clinique, and I swear I sold more because customers just thought I looked THAT GOOD. LOL!
Here comes the trickiest shade to wear of the bunch – violet. Too much red and it can make you look like you’ve been crying; too much blue and you look like you just had a throw-down with one of the ‘Real Housewives.’ It can quickly veer in to goth territory if you’re not careful – thankfully, all of you know just what you’re doing at all times, right!? Right. So, first we have the most challenging of the bunch – MAC’s Mattene Lipstick in Bing, and LE shade from 2008 or 2009, that has been making my life difficult since then. I WANT to rock this blackened purple shade full force, but alas I am still a scaredy-cat. However, I have managed to find various ways to wear it in a toned down way, either mixed with a red lippie or as a stain, so that will have to do for now. The lovely violet shadow you see here is a new acquisition (in fact, the three shadows are) from Inglot, shade # 325, a matte purple. I have yet to wear it, but I’m going to make an attempt this week – wish me luck! Finally, we have another UD 24/7 Eyeliner, in 1999….which is discontinued…but which I JUST purchased from Sephora two weeks ago (so that makes it better, right!?). They had several of the old shades up for sale, at $7.95CAD a pop, and I couldn’t resist. This is an awesome toned down version of violet, that does have a hint of red but seems to work perfectly on my eyes to subtly add a touch of color without going to crazy town. I’ve been wearing it on my lower lash line to give just a bit of definition and I’m really loving it.
What are your favorite shades/products to wear in the fall? What color story do you like the best?
Working Pantone’s 2014 Color of the Year Early with Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Cobalt!
I wasn’t originally going to post about this. Though Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Cobalt (limited edition, $26CAD) is, quite frankly, one of my more interesting and awesome purchases of late, still – sometimes writing (and reading!) about eyeliners can be kinda boring. Aside from discussing the application (which in this case is super-easy, with the thin, medium-firm tip allowing for precise thin lines or thicker lines if so desired) and wear time (which is STELLAR – all day for 10+ hours without fading or smudging, no matter what the situation or weather), there really isn’t much else to say. However, due to the stunning COLOR of the liner in question – an eye-catching shade of bold medium blue – I had to share with you! And it just so happens that the Pantone Color of the Year for 2014 is: Dazzling Blue. How apt
The really cool thing about Cobalt’s color is that while it’s quite bright, it somehow also has a muted, dusty quality to it that makes it more wearable. If you’re gun-shy about bold eyeliners, I’d still suggest checking it out, as it’s easier to pull off that you might think!
See?? Not so bad eh? With very minimal makeup elsewhere, I actually find this reasonable enough to wear to work! But SO totally not boring
I had one liner in my stash that *kinda* looked like it could be similar to Cobalt – Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Liner in #5. In the package, they look pretty close:
However, in swatches, they are nothing alike. Aside from being shimmery as opposed to Cobalt’s matte finish, Make Up For Ever’s version is quite a bit lighter and much more aqua, whereas Stila’s has no hint of aqua and in fact leans a touch periwinkle. The wear time is comparable however – both last ages and only come off when you take them off (with a little bit of elbow grease and remover). Personally, I like Stila’s blue liner better – it’s more striking and complimentary on my eyes.
Overall, I am absolutely LOVING this Cobalt liner and am looking forward to rocking it out well before 2014 :) It is one of the easiest ways to make my eyes pop with terribly little effort, and feels appropriate in almost all situation. The ease of application and the awesome wear time make this a huge YES in my books!
Are you a fan of colored liners? Do you prefer liquid or pencil (or cream)?
I have been so terribly absent this summer it’s crazy! Along with my normally busy social calendar, I’ve been really taking full advantage this season and enjoying it to the max. It’s the first summer in a while in which I haven’t had a baby shower/bridal shower/bachelorette/wedding every second weekend, so the ‘downtime’ is much appreciated! You may think that because I have a new (and fabulous…just throwin’ it out there ;)) beau that he’s taking up all of my time, but truth be told – he works in Newfoundland and is only home every second weekend, so I can’t even use that as an excuse! In actual fact, I’m just having a great summer all around. I hope everyone else is as well!
On the beauty front, nothing TOO exciting has been going on – I’m still trying to keep my purchases of new color cosmetics to a minimum (still only have one face, last time I checked), but fall is kind of my fave season so I haven’t been completely well-behaved:
I mentioned in my wish list post that I had picked up the MAC Pressed Pigment in Damson – here is it in it’s (partial) glory (it’s MUCH more awesome IRL), along with Laura Mercier’s Illuminator in Spellbound, a MAC lipstick in Hug Me, and Stila’s newest liquid liner shade in Cobalt. Every single purchase here is all sorts of awesome in it’s own way!
I feel like I’ve already gone on about MAC Damson ($25CAD), and I want to give it a full review, so for now just trust: it’s awesome. Just LOOK at it:
I really needed a good MLBB lip color as I didn’t have anything and essentially just used lip balm when I was trying to go for that look (which is probably all that IS really needed, but…meh). After trying on a TON at the MAC counter last time I was there, the SA pulled out Hug Me ($18CAD), which was a perfect match. My lips tend to be of medium pigmentation and lean sort of grayish when I’m bare-lipped, so this was a great choice. It’s a Lustre formula which isn’t my favorite, but it feels good going on, is only semi-opaque so it looks quite natural, and lasts a few hours so I’m happy.
The Stila eyeliner ($26CAD) is absolutely AMAZING. A thick line of this with a lil flick at the end, a bit o’ blush and balm, and I’m ready to rock n roll. I find this far easier and somehow more subtle to wear than a bright aqua liner (of which I seem to have several for some reason) and it looks particularly striking with my dark brown eye color. This is my first Stila liquid liner – they are so darn tenacious and great, but I resisted buying one until now because they’re a smaller size than most other brands with similar offerings, but they costs about the same. This unique color totally justified giving in finally.
Laura Mercier’s newest illuminator, Spellbound ($55CAD), hit the ground running, similarly to last year’s Rose Rendezvous, which I missed out on. I was determined not to make that mistake again, so I ordered this rose-gold highlighter online sight-unseen. It’s likely if I had waited until seeing it in-store that I would have purchased it – it’s quite nice but not mind-blowing to me – but I’m still pleased to have it, and it doesn’t replicate anything else I own. And the design is just too pretty to pass up eh? Further review to come.
Soo…yeah. I’ve definitely been up to a few of my old trick in the past month or so, but at least my purchases are varied and I feel like they augment my collection rather than just adding to the pile. I’ve been keen to do another purge lately so I think that filtering out some items that don’t get much love to add others that will just makes sense. All the products that are on my wishlist follow this mentality as well. As long as I don’t feel guilt about my purchases then all is well and fine by me!
What kinds of makeup have you been picking up lately? Are you paring down or ramping up for fall?
An interesting thing happened last week after while I was preparing for my alternative bridesmaid post. I had done swatches for the color story, and afterward I jumped in the shower to get cleaned up. I noticed as I went about washing my face and conditioning my hair that the MAC Blacktrack Fluidline wasn’t coming off – at all. Surprised, I rubbed at the line, and it stayed intact. Now, while I make an effort to buy long-wearing eyeliners – as my outer corners are notorious for smudging – I didn’t really think about that when I purchased this one back in April, and I certainly wasn’t aware that it was waterproof. I just wanted a nice cream liner! Of course, when I actually washed my body, the liner came off, but it was particularly tenacious throughout the shower until that point.
Of course, being a (beauty-crazed) blogger, my brain started working, and I decided I wanted to put all the liners I own to the test…so I did >:-)
The sampling above is not all of my liners, of course (if you recall…), but all the kinds of liners I own, as I have a few different shades in several types of a brand. You may notice that almost all of these are designed to be long-wearing and/or waterproof (Chanel Waterproof, Urban Decay 24/7, Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes, etc.), so I was quite interested to see just how well they’d hold up in the shower test. YES I swatched each of these on my arm and then hopped in the shower (though not right after the previous shower, I waited until the next day…otherwise that would be a little crazy-town).
Left to right: MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack, Chanel Waterproof Eyeliner in Noir Intense, Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil in Black Violet, Illamasqua Precision Ink in Havoc, MAC Eye Kohl in Prunella, NARS Long Wear Eyeliner in Via Appia, Clinique Cream Shaper in Egyptian, Make Up For Ever Khol Pencil in 4K, Milani Liquif-EYE Eyeliner in Aqua, MAC Pearlglide Eyeliner in Petrol Blue, Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in 21L, Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner in #14.
So. Jumped in the shower and did my usual – conditioned my hair first, then washed my face. Looked down at my arm – all swatches still intact. Swiped a hand across the liners with medium pressure, to some very slight smudging of a few shades (which I will detail in a moment). I continued to clean everywhere else but my arm to see if the water would eventually break down the product(s), fully expecting the warm water plus the humid conditions in my bathroom to do a bit of damage. Nada. The most effect I found was that the same few liners that smudged a bit from a pass-over with my hand had faded somewhat, as if they lost some of their pigment – however, none had smeared or ran any more from the longer duration in the shower. Color me surprised!
However, the moment I took soap and shower pouf to the area, the liners washed away quite quickly, with only 2-3 clinging for dear life before finally getting overcome. These hangers-on have been consistently the longest wearing off all my liners, so I was unsurprised to see them make the best showing.
Can you guess which were the ‘losers’ of the bunch, and which came out on top???
The key is in the wording (duh!). Though I didn’t expect them to power through a shower and come out as champions, every single liner I own that is a kohl pencil failed to last (that being: MAC’s Eye Kohl, MUFE’s Kohl Eyeliner, and Laura Mercier’s Kohl Eye Pencil). This makes sense as kohl pencils are generally designed to be soft and smudgy around the eye (though some wear well on the waterline – go figure). I sort of knew this, yet without fail I’m frustrated when I wear these and by the end of the day they have migrated under my eyes. Lesson REALLY learned this time (I swear)!
On the opposite side of things, the cream of the crop were the same two liners that in my experience power through pretty much everything – Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Liners, and Illamasqua’s Precision Liner, which actually edged out MUFE by clinging just that much longer. Both of these are liquid liners and they absolutely DO NOT COME OFF until you wash them off. At times I find that Illamasqua’s requires even more elbow grease to get every last bit – though I found that because my skin had been wet for a period of time, it was much easier than usual (when washing it off my face).
Overall, it was a bit of an eye-opening experience for me, mostly to really *get* that different types of liners are designed for different things. While the majority of my liners are stellar when it comes to long-wear, especially throughout the warmer months, I must take note that kohls are NOT to be used for crisp lines or as a traditional liner – at least if I’m expecting them to stay put. I think I’ll reserve these for nights out or short trips in which I don’t need something to last hours and hours. When I need to pull out the big guns, I’ll opt for the various other liners I have in my collection.
What types of liners are your favorite?
I’ve been meaning to write this post for a good month now, but with my busy schedule and the infrequent appearance of the sun, it just hasn’t come together! However, after having a string of gorgeous hot, sunny days here in Hali (and by hot I mean like August weather…SO weird), I’ve managed to simultaneously slow wayyy down for a change – spending the last three days outside from dawn till dusk - and take a few shots for the blog in all the lovely sunshine. SCORE.
I find that once the sun comes out, I get so tempted to play even more with makeup, trying out bold colors for eyes, lips and cheeks. However, when you’re spending entire days outside, I don’t feel comfortable wearing such noticeable makeup, as it somehow feels like I’m resisting the natural, easy-going vibe that comes with warm weather. Due to this little mini-war I have in my head, I tend to compromise by opting instead for shimmering, golden tones that allow me to feel ‘summery’ while staying relatively low-key. Two products that work well toward that end are Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Eyes eyeliner in Gold 9L ($23CAD), a metallic yellow, and Lab Shine Star Collection lipgloss in S0 ($22CAD), a pearly nude.
In the heat of summer, one of the first things to drop off my makeup routine is eyeshadow. Though I generally don’t tend to experience excessive creasing, I find that opting for liner only is a quick, easy, and long-lasting way to ensure I look good without looking like I tried too hard. Gold 9L is a bright metallic true yellow – it doesn’t contain any orange leanings, so it would be a great shade for cooler skintones or for a warmer skintone looking for contrast. Its the perfect kind of shade to wear on the inner corners of your eyes to brighten them up – if I’m in a rush, or looking for a seriously minimalist look, I’ll opt to wear it this way with very little else.
However, if I want to go full-on with this shade, with my neutral skintone it can look a bit stark. To remedy this, I first apply black liner to my top lashes to define, before tracing the gold above the liner and into my inner corners – then finally add a touch of a sheer, satiny yellow shadow to blend out the gold liner. Oh, and lots of mascara
As you can see, it’s great for adding a little lightness and brightness to the eye without being too dance-y (aka that inner highlight thing we do when we’re going out on the town) so it’s ideal for day.
Make Up For Ever’s Lab Shine Star Collection lipgloss in S0 is another excellent product that gives a little something extra without being too much under the bright rays of summer sun. I’ve had another shade in this gloss before and I really like it – its a bit thick so it has good longevity, but it’s not sticky at all and is very smooth and comfortable to wear.
S0 is a shimmering pale sheer beige that mutes the lipcolor only slightly, which makes it very wearable with a variety of looks. The non-glittery finish makes it great for day, but it has enough glimmer that it can hold its own against flashier night looks – and it’s translucency makes it ideal for layering.
Though my natural inclination is to go big and bold in my makeup choices for the most part, I do like to have more subtle, toned down items in my arsenal to turn to if I’m spending the day outside or looking to go low-key – or to compliment a more in-your-face eye or lip look! While at first glance, these two products might seem too tame for some, I have found myself reaching for them more often than I expected to polish off my summer beauty routine and keep things as fuss-free as possible – all the better to spend every moment I can out in that (rare) sunshine!
Do you lighten up in the warmer months?
*Products were provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
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 :D And it’s not like I did anything particularly unique, and both the makeup and nails could be done any time of the year, right?
How did you celebrate Paddy’s Day?? Did you do any themed makeup and/or nails?
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.