Archive for category Eyeshadow
The New Year is almost upon us! Even though the number 13 conjures up some unsettling feelings, 2013 was kind of a great year for me! Though it started out a bit rough, with a lot of talking and support it turned around for me (a big thanks to all of you who sent kind words – and a care package! – my way!). As always, the hardships make the good times feel that much sweeter. I had the immense pleasure of standing in my friend’s most amazing wedding; I started dating a guy who makes me feel loved and truly content in a way I never have before; I’ve had the opportunity to work in several different positions at my work and found my niche; and I finally got to go to New York City, a long-standing dream of mine! Not too shabby 2013, not too shabby :)
Over the month of December I’ve been pondering what beauty products in my collection really stand-out and get the most use. Though I could probably add one or two more, the 13 items below really have rocked my world this year and have been very well-loved. I would even go so far to say that I would repurchase most of them (and that’s saying something!).
And so I present to you, my favourite (beauty) things of 2013:
1. Osha Mae Calendula Salve ($15CAD). On it’s own, without any cortisone products, this can clear up the chronic eczema on my hands overnight – absolutely unheard of! I first got hooked on a sample of M.J. Herbals Calendula Salve ($15CAD), but when I saw this very similar version at our local market I picked it up, as I always like to support local!
2. La Bella Figura Bio Active Healing Mask ($65CAD). When LBF was introduced on the Clementine Fields website, they had a promotion for 15% off it’s pre-sale. I ordered this mask as I was looking for something hydrating that could replace the uber-scented derma-e mask that I’d been using for a while (uncomfortably). I didn’t know what to expect, and was completely bowled over once I tried it – its truly amazing! It hydrates, it heals, it calms, it brightens…I honestly feel like it’s almost a one-stop shop as a mask, because my skin just looks SO DAMN GOOD after using it. I attribute it’s awesomeness to it’s inclusion of raw manuka honey (it’s the first ingredient) which is noted for it’s therapeutic, antibacterial and nourishing qualities. Other ingredients include kaolin clay, rosehip seed oil and calendula extract – be still my heart! Oh, and it’s also BRIGHT PURPLE (due to the aronia berry). I want to get my hands on the Purifying ($65CAD) version next.
3. Lina Hanson Global Body Serum ($64CAD). I really wish this didn’t cost so damn much because I just want to drown in this fantastically scented body oil for the rest of my life. As it stands, I’m still trying to ration it, but I still fear it won’t last long as I keep using it every few days because it’s so addictive!
Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille ($130US). Yum. And YUM. You all know my penchant for vanilla-based scents, so my love for this probably comes as no surprise. With notes like sandalwood, coconut milk, musk, vanilla and tonk a bean, it’s a gourmand fragrance-lovers paradise. I was surprised however that it also contains notes like black liquorice (which I hate) and bitter almond – but I suspect they help round out the scent and keep it from being too OTT vanilla, which can get headache-inducing fast. I have worn this and only this since purchasing it in NYC; the only gripe I have with the fragrance is that I don’t find it lasts on my skin – but I guess that just gives me an excuse to spritz, spritz, spritz!
Make Up For Ever Medium Highlighting Brush in #152 ($43CAD). I didn’t quite understand just how much I would love this brush until I really put it into practice and had a while to play with it. This brush is absolutely integral in my makeup application – aside from applying cream or powder highlighters like a dream, it also blends all formulas of blush or bronzer perfectly. I don’t quite know how it does it, but somehow the fibers of the brush, its density, and it’s softness all contribute to a beautifully seamless complexion. LOVE.
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal (full-size, $50CAD). Though I only have a deluxe sample size of this product, you only need the slightest amount to get amazing, glowing skin, so it’s lasted me ages! I usually pull this out when I am either going for a really ‘natural’ look that focuses on the skin, or if I’m looking to amp up the glow factor for an event. Though the full-size would probably last me a lifetime – something that doesn’t appeal to a fickle beauty fiend like myself – I still think I’ll repurchase this when I DO run out, because it’s truly the most beautiful yet natural-looking illuminator I’ve ever used.
Buxom Full-Bodied Lipsticks (full-size, $26CAD). My love for this lipstick formula is still going strong. I use the little sample bullets I’ve got more than any other lipstick I own, and I’m looking forward to the day when they run out – so I can justifiably buy some full sizes! Just so, so creamy and comfortable to wear, with awesome full pigment. For the price especially, you really can’t beat ‘em!
Chanel Le Blush Creme de Chanel in Revelation ($43CAD). I have been on a cream blush kick for a while now, as I find it just looks so darn natural, which fits my makeup M.O. these days. The newish Blush Cremes dry to an almost powder-like finish, so they don’t have quite the same effect; nevertheless, this natural-looking apricot shade gets a lot of regular use because it goes with just about every makeup look I wear. The only downside is that its a touch too light when my skin is tanned – but at the moment it’s just right :)
MAC Eyeshadow in All That Glitters (pro-pan, $12CAD). Though I have lessened my use of this shadow recently due to switching up my makeup routine, this baby got some SERIOUS love for months after I bought it early last spring. It gives my eyes the most subtle yet beautiful sparkle I’ve ever seen, and accompanies a bright lip look beautifully. The hype is TRUE, you guys. BUY IT.
Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow in Trench ($30CAD). Even after owning this shadow for a year and a half, I’m still amazed at how perfectly it blends and melds on the brow bone to give the perfect level of highlight to the eye. As I have a lot of shimmering shadows, it keeps them grounded without making me look too ‘show dancer,’ but also isn’t so flat that it looks dull. On top of all that, it’s HELLA soft.
Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Noir Intense ($29CAD). I wasn’t big on black pencil eyeliner until I purchased this early in the year – I didn’t have one and thought I should at least have one in my arsenal. I don’t use it as a traditional liner, but rather as a tightliner on my upper lash line. It a nice, dark black that gives great definition when I’m doing a more natural look (see a theme here?) and doesn’t budge – in fact, it’s difficult to remove at the end of the day, so keep that in mind. But as I find a long-wearing liner hard to come by, it’s far from a deal-breaker!
MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack ($19CAD). Black pencil liner may never have been my thing, but I can’t say the same for black cream/gel/liquid formulas, which have always been a staple in my arsenal. When I ran out of my last black liquid liner, I decided it was about time I tried the cult fave Blacktrack. It’s nice and dark, and its creamy texture makes creating a winged look (a regular go-to for me) incredibly easy. I’m not convinced I would repurchase, only because there are several black cream/gel liners that I’d like to try, but it’s been a faithful staple for me since I purchased it.
XLash Eyelash Enhancer ($59). You’re all probably sick and tired of hearing me trumpet on and on about my love for this lash serum, but seriously, just get some and then get back to me – I promise you’ll be converted! I won’t repeat my gushings yet again, but I will say that I am actually planning to buy more of this when I run out (still haven’t!). SO. GOOD.
That just about rounds up my year in beauty in a nutshell! I’ve tried many things, some duds, some *pretty good*, but this collection here have been raised to the level of HG status for me. As I learn and grow I find my selections have become more and more curated to the point where I rarely have a miss (at least if they’re purchased by me) and I’ve grown quite fond of my collection, to which I’ve whittled and culled to include *almost* only products that are a pleasure to use. I still have a bit of work to do (which I plan on laying out for you in a future post), but overall I’m quite pleased and have passed the ‘GAH! My-stash-is-overwhelming-OMG-the-anxiety!‘ stage that I was in for a long time since starting the blog. Which I deem a HUGE success :)
So say farewell to 2013 and welcome in the New Year with a bang! I appreciate each and every reader of my little beauty haven, whether you’ve been with me or a while, or stumbled upon my ramblings by accident. You’re the only reason I keep on writing! I wish all of you a very excellent finale to the year soon past and hope that the very best is yet to come in 2014!!! Let’s make it all sorts of great, yea? :D
Image credit: ilovehdwallpapers.com
Hiiii guys! Is everyone making it through the holidays ok so far??? It is FLYING by for me, every year I seem to be busier than the last! This is the first time in a week that I have sat down in front of my MacBook at all…and work has been so busy that I can’t get any personal stuff done there like I used to (LOL!). I just realized that I hadn’t shared with you the new position I’ve been in for the past two months – I’m working with our Communications team on an acting assignment, and it was SO. GREAT. My main task is to write and/or upload articles to our internal webpage, and the set up is just like WordPress, so I took to it pretty quickly – uh, hello, I like to write and I have a blog; what a PERFECT position for me! I think I’ve found my niche, guys! It’s only a short-term position, but it’s given me some much needed career direction, so I’m feeling really great work-wise lately :)
However, due to the mega-busy factor in all areas of my life, I have fallen behind on my blog posts – and one item in particular that I have been wanting to review for several weeks now: Make Up For Ever’s new Midnight Glow palette!
If ever there was a palette that captured the essence of winter, this would be it. Inspired by the glistening effect of the winter moonlight, the Midnight Glow palette ($48CAD) contains icy shades of white, blue, grey, and pink; a shimmering violet; and two grounding shades of black and soft brown. Honestly, it’s one of the prettier palettes I’ve come across, and it’s just the perfect size – the shadows are large enough to actually get right in their with your brush (and conveniently, the palette comes with two of it’s own!), but it’s small and thin enough that you could stash it in your clutch for touch-ups with ease. The case is black with splashes of rose gold and silver design – in a word, I love it!
The shadows in the palette are relatively smooth even though the majority contain small bits of glitter throughout their frosty finishes. Now, everyone knows that high frost shadows can be tricky to wear – particularly on aging eyes, but still difficult for those of us without too many fine lines yet. I was a bit nervous about this palette, despite how much I love how it looks, that it would be a shimmering disaster once worn. However, the shadows are all on the sheer side – a fact that initially I was frustrated over (the swatches required many passes to get strong colour), but to which I came to realize allows them to be more easily worn as a wash of shimmer and sparkle on the lid, versus intense frost that could easily veer into the danger zone. Also, I really appreciate the inclusion of the two matte shades, the black and brown, which allow for blending and grounding of such sparkling shades. Both shadows are also quite sheer, which may not be ideal for certain looks – especially with the black – but I think it follows the theme of the palette which seems to be more ethereal in nature, rather than disco ball.
Though the sheerness does mean that many of the shades look similar once worn, I do appreciate that nevertheless the palette is made much more wearable by this trait. It may come as a disappointment to those of you looking for a more intensely frosty look, but overall I think that it’s not a bad thing. I don’t have many frosty, glittering shadows, and I think it will add the perfect touch of sparkle to my nighttime looks over the holiday season (and beyond!).
What kind of makeup looks do you favour during the holiday season? Are you comfortable wearing frosty shades?
*Product was provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
So, despite the fact that of all the sets I received last month for review, I was MOST excited for Laura Mercier’s Artist’s Palette for Eyes ($60CAD) – it’s taken me ages to post about because I really wanted to do it justice. But DAMN guys, this palette is hard to photograph!
The light shades looked far too bright and almost glowing. The medium shades came out too light and washed out. The glorious sparkling shade, African Violet (which, by the way, I’ve been drooling over forEVER) didn’t come out quite sparkly enough. The dark shades…well, you get the picture. I did 4 different photo sessions with this palette, and suffice to say, I just had to get on with it already. But unfortunately for you, the ‘good’ shots came after I uh, already played around with the palette a bit. You think I could hold off for that long!?! Pfffft.
You’ll just have to deal with it.
In the shot above, the shades Guava and Primrose on the left are lighter and a bit less pink than in they appear. Plum Smoke (SO hard to capture that shade) is a touch warmer and lighter…the rest are fairly accurate. Let’s see a close-up!
Sparkling Dew and Vanilla Nuts (WTF?) are a bit lighter in the pan and are great for highlighting the eyes – the former having a satin finish and the latter being matte. Guava and Primrose would be excellent neutral shades to brighten up the eye, Primrose being a bit more beige-y – both have a satin finish with itty bits of glitter in each (not a fan usually but they pretty much blow away the instant to put brush to pan). African Violet (swoon) is a gorgeous light-medium violet with golden shimmer…I’ve had my eye on this baby for years so I’m pretty stoked to finally get to try it out! Fresco is a perfect matte nude on my lid that is a touch warm to keep it from looking flat – sort of a mix of light brown and peachy-pink (if that makes sense).
See those bits of glitter in Sparkling Dew and Guava? Weird, right? They’re less noticeable in Primrose. Still, odd inclusion – but they aren’t problematic when worn.
Next 6 shades:
Plum Smoke is my fave shade next to African Violet in terms of color – such a beautiful, sultry yet subtle soft matte plum; the name is perfect. Bamboo is a shimmering taupe-y shade that personally falls kinda flat for me – it’s too washed out for my skintone – but I can see others LOVING it. It also contains that strange hint of glitter here and there. Kir Royal is a medium-deep plum with reddish tones – this requires appropriate use an execution to avoid that mega-tired or punched-out look. It has a mostly matte finish but not flat. Truffle is a great matte warm brown that works well as a crease shade to blend out smoky looks. It’s going to be a workhorse for me I can tell. Violet Ink is a deep indigo that would be awesome as a liner shade or smoked out in the crease/outer edge of the eye. Same goes for Espresso Bean, a dark cool brown with a hint of grey. Both are matte.
And again, swatches:
This half of the palette is my JAM. Love the soft smokiness of all the shades, and I think even though Bamboo isn’t the most complimentary tone on my skin, I can make it work.
Ok, so you’ve seen the pretty – how about the formula? Well, each and every shade is super soft and lovely, though this does mean they kick up powder a little bit. They’re more on the sheer side though pigmentation can be built up if so desired. All the shades meld seamlessly with one another and for this palette-phobic girl, they pretty much hit the mark dead-on.
Here’s the thing. I read Karen’s review of the palette and couldn’t quite get what she meant about the shades blending into one another and being a bit aggravating that way. I tend to be a one to two shadow girl, and I didn’t have any previous issues in using them. But when I tried to pull a more intricate look together, I totally got what she meant – it’s like they just muddy together to make one shade; there’s no gradient or definition, and the more I tried to add to the look to build up certain colors, the worse it got. It was almost like they were repelling one another…totally bizarre. So it’s something to keep in mind if you do, in fact, want to be a bit of an artist with this palette. You might have a little bit of trouble on your hands!
Quite honestly though, I wouldn’t let this oddity deter you from at least checking out the palette in store. The shades are all quite nice and it’s extremely wearable. And, hello with that fabulous faux croc case!!! LOVE it. And it fits right into the palm of my hand – perfect for travel or for just storing with your other products, as a few of you mentioned those bulky palettes can be the WORST. Overall, Laura Mercier gets my vote, bizarre shadows be damned. Maybe the ‘artist’ part is that you’ll gain MAD skill at application after using this palette a few times! :P
OK, what say you? Yay or nay to THIS palette!?
*Product was provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
Some of you may already know my avoidance of palettes. I think I’m in the minority in my feelings, it’s true…but to put it plainly, palettes have most everything I dislike in the world. Too much choice (anxiety! which shades to choose?), plus more often than not there are several colors that end up never being used, which to me is a waste (HUGE pet peeve). Also, I have generally found that palettes have a lesser formula than their permanent, single counterparts, which just plain pisses me off. Having said all that, I think there is enormous benefit to palettes for the right kind of person – if you love options, playing around with shades and creating different looks, and/or if you’re just building your shadow collection, they’re quite the ideal purchase, and they’re usually a great bang for your buck. If I was to choose a palette for whatever reason, the pre-requisites would be a good array of wearable shades (but not TOO many number-wise), great quality, and, of course, sexy packaging. How does Kat Von D’s Spellbinding Eyeshadow Book ($65CAD) that has come out for the holidays measure up? Let’s take a look.
First of all, the packaging. While I’m not over the moon about it (I’m a big fan of a sleek look with minimal design and perhaps leather or metal (like) encasing….but I already said I was picky!), it’s not terrible. The artistry here is attractive and eye-catching. It’s thin and not too bulky, though all said it’s about the size of my palm spread wide. It’ll do.
On the backside, you get an idea of what shades are contained within, with an additional note that the shades are already ideally paired for you. This is great if you’re someone who isn’t confident in their shadow-combining capabilities.
There is an emphasis throughout the whole schema of the palette on layering and really playing with shade pairings to get unique and interesting looks – once you open the palette, on the inside of the top cover you’ll see more suggestions and diagrams on how to match and wear shades to create your own ‘works of art.’
In the eyeshadow portion of the palette, there is a plastic insert which covers the shadows, that reiterates the shade names for your reference. The ones marked with a star are never before seen shades exclusive to the palette. I have no idea where some of the shade names originate from – such as ‘stupid autocorrect,’ which is slightly humorous if not a bit strange. Each of the pairings do have complimentary themes however, and I do like this consistency.
Below are the shades without the plastic cover, in all their glory:
My first thoughts were that the palette was somewhat haphazard and that there didn’t seem to be much continuity with the shades or the placing of each. However, when you look at them as pairs of twos, they are quite complimentary to one another; and when you look at each row together, you start to see a theme for each column which actually makes sense.
The first column of shades is sort of like your standard, smoky plus pale metallics/shimmers night-out kind of tones – shades you may already have in your possession:
Swatched (note that I stupidly did all of my swatches in this post backward – my bad!!):
Queen is one of a few duochrome shades in the palette, and the one with the strongest duo-coloring. It reminds me of MAC Club, and also of an existing shade within Kat Von D’s Shade Shifter range that Maggie reviewed in the past. While I have neither, I’m kind of excited to try this shade out, as it’s has a lot of interest and I think you can make some great looks with it. It also has a great, smooth pigment. The other shades in this column wow me a lot less: Smile Now is a soft peachy pink with a soft formula that has a slight duochrome finish as well that I just could not capture – I think one someone with fair skin and blue eyes this would be quite striking, but on me I suspect it’ll fall flat. Instaglam and Holy Bible are the kinds of pale frosty shades I hate, as they look very garish on my darker skin. However, the texture of the two is quite good – smooth and creamy. Sunset Blvd is a gold shade with gold glitter that has a stiff texture and a fair bit of fall-out – not my jam. Dark Throne is not quite black but more charcoal, and is a touch patchy, but blends out well and has a soft texture though not as creamy as some of the others.
In the next column, we have a handful of more edgy, eye-catching shades – not your standard fare and great for when you wanna mix things up a bit. For whatever reason, they kind of give me a 60s vibe:
Bukowski is a great medium blue shade with a hint of teal – great pigmentation and a lovely formula. Cry Later is a mid-tone warm brown with fine gold glitter – it has a bit of fall-out, but the glitter is actually quite pretty and its one of the few times that I appreciate it’s inclusion. The formula is more stiff, like most of the shades with glitter in the palette, but only slightly and feels smooth to the touch. Stupid Autocorrect is soft and smooth, but the pigment is lacking which is not ideal with a unique shade such as it is – go bold or go home! Oddfellow is one of those shades that catches your eye – a deep, dark green with bright emerald glitter flecks – but those flecks don’t translate to the eye. The fall-out isn’t as bad as it could be, and the shade had a nice dark pigmentation so it’s not a complete loss. A bit stiff, again, but workable. 8 Bit is a pretty seafoam green with a lovely texture – but not necessarily MY kinda shade, nor is it terribly unique. Finally we have Precious, yet another super-light shade that probably looks great on fair skinned gals but just YUK on me. Formula is good – smooth and creamy – but somehow a bit chunky as well. Weird.
In the third column are what I like to think of as our pastel, girly shades. They have a spring-like quality to them, even though I didn’t notice it until I swatched them:
Aside from Countess, a nice matte (the only one) skintone shade (smooth though a bit stiff), and Geek, a pretty satin peach (soft and smooth), the rest of the shades leave me cold. Again, these light colors on my skin tone – gah!! On the right person, they would likely sing, but on me…ugh. Arcadia is a pale lavender frost with a creamy formula that has that same odd chunky quality like Precious. Galore…ANOTHER pale frost that looks the same-ish on my skintone as a couple of the other shades (smooth/chunky formula). Birdcage is one of those shades I want to look nice on me but doesn’t – kind of a duo-golden green that would rock on a brown-eyed gal. It has a stiffer formula however. Babe is an electric purple with a blue flash that people often seem to go ga-ga for…myself excluded. Stiffer texture and takes a bit to build up.
Finally, in our last column we have a handful of jewel-tone shades – THESE kinds of tones I can get behind!! Come to mama:
Though I’ve previously documented my love of red shadow, I’m not sure about WTF – it might to TOO red? I haven’t yet tried to wear it so I’ll reserve judgement for now. It’s got a stiffer formula which doesn’t endear me to it a ton. Wonderland looks great in the palette, but like Oddfellow, doesn’t translate as well on the skin – the red glitter particles blow away and all you’re left with is a a deep reddish plum. However, the formula is more like Cry Later (smooth) than the other glitter shades, so it’s workable. Hexagram is a lovely taupe-like shade with a khaki lean and a duochrome flash – quite unique I think! It reminds me of a more aggressive NARS Rajasthan (the golden taupe shade), which is one of my faves. Awesome, creamy formula here. Gunner is a forest green and one of the worst performers of the bunch – dry, stiff, lackluster pigment with glitter fallout…just overall a disappointment. Fallen is a great staple bronze shade with a stellar formula and dense pigment – not original, but a great shade for all nonetheless. Piaf is probably one of the shades I’m most pleased to have, as I’ve been needing a nice gunmetal shimmer for some time now but hadn’t made a purchase. It leans cool and has good pigment and a creamy formula.
Ok. So first of all, clearly I have high expectations – have we gleaned that yet? What can I say? I expect the best. Having said that, despite my clear distaste for some of the shadows in this palette, there are actually a handful of really wonderful shades and formulas that I’m super keen to use like crazy: Queen, Cry Later (formula is a tad iffy but shade is great), Bukowski, Geek, Piaf, Fallen, and Hexagram. That’s 7 shades out of…24??? Eeks. See, THIS is why I don’t like palettes so much. I’m pretty much a one or two shade wonder and rarely play around to come up with intricate looks – so all these shades will probably go unused for the most part – and I hate having all these other shades kicking around when all I wanted was a handful! ~sigh~
Anyway, if you don’t have bizarre *excess* issues like I do, I think this palette definitely has some value (speaking of value, the shade costs on their own would total $130CAD, versus the $66 cost of the palette). Though there are a few shades I felt repetitive (namely, Instaglam, Precious, and Galore, which have minimal difference between them), the range of color is quite encompassing, and you really could come up with a huge variety of looks if that’s your thing. There are a few shades that could use an upgrade in formula, but it’s mainly limited to the glitter shades which we all know are more often than not a hassle. If you read other reviews of the palette, they’re mostly positive and are coming from people with NORMAL feelings toward palettes, so there’s that. And I mean…it IS kinda pretty to look at all the colors, no?? ;)
Are you a bit crazy when it comes to palettes? How do you (mentally) DEAL with the shades you don’t use??
*Product was provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
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?
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?
Last month I received a surprise delivery of treats from Sephora, which included the new Pantone collaboration Full Spectra eyeshadow palettes ($46CAD). I was pretty stoked, truth be told – the design of the palettes are right up my alley (aka a minimalist aesthetic with sleek lines, and neat magnetic detachable covers), and the colors looked super-fun and interesting.
The formula is touted as being ‘color-shifting’ and have a ‘pearlescent-matte’ finish, which is sort of a contradictory term but also somehow correct. Of course, I jumped right in and got to swatching!
First up is the Day Break palette, which consists of somewhat neutral, soft shades typically more suitable for day wear.
Cloud Pink…huh. It does not look pink at all, much more like a copper/bronze to me, but clouds aren’t pink anyway so the naming here is just all sorts of messed up. Anyway. On to the swatches!
You can see a bit of the duochrome-y-ness in a few of the shades, which is apparently more pronounced when swatched wet. I tried it out and I did notice a slight difference, but not enough to be a game-changer. All of the shades of Day Break are pearlescent except for Jet Stream and Peach Melba, which are just matte.
Next, we have the Night Fall palette, which still retains several neutral shades but adds a handful of punchy colors to spice things up for the evening.
Again with the strange pink reference to a shade that is clearly not pink (Coral Pink). Maybe they know something I don’t????
Ah well. Swatchy time!
The shade combination in Night Fall really intrigues me – you could come up with some super-interesting looks here I think! Obviously Persian Jewel is the standout shade here, with Ocean Wave a close second (especially for lighter skintones than mine). The bottom shades are all matte as well as Eggnog (top, 2nd from left), while the remaining three are pearlescent.
As you can see, both palettes swatch semi-sheerly – and they had to be built up to get this level of pigmentation. The shadows are soft though stiff, but not necessarily hard to blend. All will yield a pretty wash of color to the lids – but if you’re looking to go bold (especially with shades like Persian Jewel), you will be disappointed. Particularly on my darker skin, these shadows are mostly a miss for me – I tried using Persian Jewel wet, on top of a primer, and while it was visible it did not yield the impact I desired. I recognize that some shadows are designed that way intentionally, but I do not think that was the case here. So, while there are some pretty shades and these look gorgeous, unless you’re going for subtletly, I’d pass on these.
As a note, both palettes contain talc if you have a sensitivity to it, but do NOT contain parabens.
What are your thoughts on sheer shadows – yea or nay?
*Products were provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
Good day to you! :) I am off today after a crazy couple weeks helping plan and coordinate our Public Service Week here at my work. I am the co-chair of our Youth Network for the Atlantic Region, so I was also organizing some events for the offices in other provinces as well. Quite the job! In any case, I think the week went pretty well, and yesterday our internal news publication came out with an article on myself and my co-chair on how we’re aspiring leaders, and basically made us sound really snazzy. It was really nice to get recognition for the work we do so I’m feeling pretty awesome right now! (despite the four glasses of wine I had last night in celebration LOL).
Anyway, enough with the recap. Today I wanted to show you a recreation of the look I did for my friend’s wedding last month. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to capture the actual look itself, but I used everything I wore in the shots below – though I’m missing the false lashes. Use your imagination for those ;)
Anyone who knows me knows I always like to take what’s considered the ‘norm’ and put a little spin on it. A lot of people I know have traveled/lived in Australia, so I went to New Zealand. I once attended a formal event where everyone wore dresses, and I wore a white pant suit (see below – not a great shot, and eeks! to the fuzzy straightened hair – but damn it if I didn’t love that outfit :)). So, when I started thinking about what makeup I wanted to wear for the wedding, I wanted something still appropriate but with a twist. And so: red eyeshadow.
Ok, maybe not full-on red. That would probably clash with the whole romantic theme. But a metallic cranberry? Now we’re talking.
The shade I used was L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Golden Mahogany, a shadow I’ve shown you before. I don’t wear it very often because in my mind it’s ‘red shadow,’ but since the wedding, I’ve been pulling it out a lot more – it’s like the best version of red ever, that is actually super-wearable. As it’s quite standout on it’s own, I paired it with subdued shades everywhere else to keep it the focal point – soft pink cheeks and rosy-beige lips.
As you can see, very few products were used for the look. At the wedding, by using false individual lashes (which I prefer because you can apply them the night before to save time), coupled with the shadow, I didn’t need to work too hard to have my eyes really stand out. False lashes are especially awesome for photos (of which you can see here). All that I did was to use a cream liner to get into any spaces in-between the lashes to make them look full, and then applied Golden Mahogany all over the lid and into the crease. I blended MAC Arena into the brow bone and inner eye corners, et voila! That was ALL I needed to do to get the look below. Simple and pretty!
Again, with the false lashes this look was made much more KAPOW!
The base used was Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder foundation (which I’m fairly certain I’m going to buy for the rest of my life) worn over Hourglass No.28 Primer Serum (which really is AMAZING at keeping the oilies controlled). Some contouring with bronzer, a touch of blush and highlight (I used Chanel’s Poudree Signee, not shown in the swatches), and a dab of lipgloss were the finishing touches.
I was really happy with the resulting look, and felt that I managed to continue with my habit of doing something not quite the norm, but also not so far out there either. And that shadow really has reach HG status with me (which incidentally has put me on a quest to weed out all my HG’s and get rid of anything less)!
What do you think? Would you wear red eyeshadow (to a formal event, no less)? How do you ‘break the mold’ when it comes to makeup?
Many of the cosmetic purchases I’ve made lately have had one thing in mind: have I tried this before? As a person who likes change, I gravitate toward the unknown (for the most part). My aim with makeup lately is to try either a brand I’ve never used before, or check out a product within a brand that I’ve not yet investigated. My most recent purchase in this regard was Chanel’s Vanités quad, from the Sophisticated Eye collection (fall 2011).
It’s strange: while I don’t tend to wear a lot of color on my eyes (preferring to do so on my lips, or even cheeks!), I often choose eyeshadows that have more of a *pop.* When perusing the Chanel quads, the only one that really grabbed me was Vanités. Having recently read a glowing review on the quad, being in the market for a nice lilac shade, and feeling spend-y, I picked it up and immediately brought it home to try out.
My first thoughts were that the quad was lovely. Indeed, the violet tones are quite captivating – and check out that gorgeous gold-flecked mauve!!
However, once it came time to actually try the shadows, I was sorely let down. Keep in mind that I do not have any experience with Chanel quads (and in fact, was unable to try this in-store as there were no testers available), so I wasn’t prepared what to expect. After reading further reviews, Chanel quads it seems tend to be on the dry, stiff side, something to which I can agree with (and also – gritty-feeling) and that I would have likely avoided if I had known. Also of note is that the quads here in Canada are of the baked variety, while I hear in the States they are different. So, all points to keep in mind.
Here are the shadows when swatched:
These swatches took many layers to achieve this much pigmentation, aside from the darkest shade, which was fairly pigmented in one swipe. I tried to take photos of me wearing this quad, but it almost looked like nothing was worn, and certainly not enough to show shade and depth.
I realize that Chanel’s makeup philosophy leans toward a soft look; also, the brand caters more to fairer skintones rather than my darker ones. So it is to say that though I was disappointed in this quad, I was not at all surprized. Additionally, oddly enough when I looked at the ingredients of the shadows, they contained lanolin – though in the American versions, they do not (alternately, Chanel’s blushes in the US contain lanolin, but in Canada they do not). So, combined with the disappointing pigmentation, gritty texture, and inclusion of an ingredient I am allergic to – I took the quad back.
For reference purposes, I did take a few comparison swatches against shades I already own:
You can see that none are dupes, though the mauve shade and MAC Shale are similar, and the lilac shade and the lighter shade in the Hourglass Exhibition duo are close as well. I believe the nuances of these shades would be more pronounced with a better formula, and most definitely with a paler skintone. On me, sadly, they just fall flat.
Have you tried Vanités, or another Chanel quad? Have your experiences been positive or negative? Has anyone tried both the Canadian version and the US version and can comment on how they compare?
I have a backlog of photos and products to write about, but I must be saving them for a rainy day or something, because instead of posting them I just keep taking new photos of things. Yep. Makes total sense.
Anyway, tonight I was feeling like throwing some kind of look together so I did a Valentine’s Day FOTD because well – it’s in two days and it just seemed appropriate. It actually took only a handful of products, and isn’t anything to fancy, so could be easy to recreate if you feel so inclined. I was going to do two looks – a romantic ‘date’ look for those of you spending the special day with that special someone – and then a badass smokin’ hot look for gals like me who are rockin’ it out single-style. But I couldn’t get good photos no matter what I did tonight, so I gave up (but don’t worry, I have a fierce look to show you nonetheless, just maybe not Valentine’s Day themed).
Here’s the romantic look!
The ‘hairstyle’ I’m wearing here (haha, you’re probably like – ‘what hairstyle?’) is my signature ‘romantic’ style, in which I pin back the front pieces off my face. That’s it. Honestly guys, look at that hair, like WTF do you THINK I could actually do with it?? ~sigh~
To get a sweet glow, I put Burberry’s Fresh Glow luminizer on under my foundation (which I applied wet for a more sheer effect), added a touch of bronzer, and buffed in NARS Desire (a bright cool pink) on cheeks.
On lips, I’m wearing this neat product Taylor at My Lucite Dreams reviewed, called Vitality Lip Flush in Je Ne Sais Quoi by it Cosmetics. It’s clear and then adapts to your skin to turn a lovely shade of pink – truly your lip color but better. It feels great on and gives just the right amount of sheen. I thought it was a good choice because there should be no real transfer if you happen to be…putting you lips on someone else *wink wink nudge nudge* This is one of those random brands my aunt gives me here and there, that otherwise I would have never heard of before.
On eyes, I’m wearing Laura Mercier’s Suspense Duo, with the pale pinkish-beige all over the lid, and the deep burgundy brown in the crease and on the lower lash line. Then I used Laura Mercier’s Black Violet Kohl Liner just on the very outer edges of my eyes, top and bottom, and finished with a good dose of a non-clumping mascara (this one is called Lash Fix by Dalton – another ‘random’ brand given to me by my aunt).
BAM. Done! It took me less than 10 minutes start to finish. I always like kind of rosy tones when I’m trying to look sweet, fools ‘em every time ;)
…speaking of rosy tones. Last week I tried to wear pink shadow on my eyes, as a possible Valentine’s look. Witness:
Eeks! This is NOT GOOD. I don’t think pink is impossible for me to wear, just not this one (theBalm Down Boy, which is a blush OR eyeshadow), or this way. I will keep trying!
Let’s finish up on a better note than that, OK? This is a look I wore Sunday to work at Clinique. Absolutely no Clinique products in sight (oops), but I figured if I had to work on a weekend, after a huge snowstorm, I was gonna do it up proper. The tweet I posted that day was a sneak peek – I loved it with the fur-lined hood and the wintery vibe outside! And, truth be told, I felt pretty kick-ass all day – I rarely wear color like this, and it felt so good!
I mean seriously, look how smug I am in these photos. I’m like “Yeah, that’s right. Just TRY it. Don’t mess with me. UHH.”
The shade I was wearing was Urban Decay’s Radium, with a bit of Money in the crease to blend, and a little black liquid liner on top to define the eye. The rest of the face was kept very neutral, with just a touch of bronzer and a matte nude lippie, blotted. I want to wear this look every day. This I can get away with it at work?????
So this post went from Valentine sweet to bitchin’ pretty quickly… essentially this was just an excuse to post a bunch of FOTD pics I’ve taken, hope you don’t mind ;) If I had more time in the mornings, I take a boatload of more pics of my makeup looks, but alas – I am always running late. I’ll keep trying though!
What makeup look makes you feel badass? And what kind of look do you favor for Valentine’s Day?