Archive for category Lips
I almost gave up. For months I tried and tried to make it work, without success. But this past weekend, my friends, I finally managed to wear my nemesis down and make her bend to my will. I AM VICTORIOUS!!
…I’m talking about the illustrious MAC lipstick shade, Morange, of course! No world domination yet!
Who hasn’t heard of Morange before? The ‘Loudmouth Orange‘ shade with an amplified creme finish is nearly if not as popular as MAC’s other iconic classic, Russian Red. While orange isn’t your standard classic color, nevertheless somehow this has become a well-known staple for the runway and real-life beautistas alike. I managed to snag it for my very own in a swap several months ago, and I have since spent several agonizing months trying to make it work without running screaming in terror from the mirror. Ladies, this shade has SERIOUS attitude.
In swatches, it doesn’t look that daunting to me. It’s bright, yes, but surely no more so than my new fave Quince. However, getting it to look at once eye-catching yet without it taking over my whole face was a major beauty challenge – probably one of the most difficult to date.
Perhaps I should have known how challenging this shade would be, given how retina-searing it is, but I have several other shades in my stash that come very close to this (albeit at a significantly decrease saturation):
Through this months-long experiment is how I’ve confirmed that I do not have a warm skintone, as I’ve always generally thought, but rather a more neutral tone with a slightly cool leaning. To say it plainly – orange just ain’t my shade. While more recent trends have leaned toward wearing colors that clash against your natural skintone, and for the most part I love this effect – I have to admit, though I’d love to say I embrace that kind of boldness, but I’m just not there yet.
However. I am nothing if not persistent, and after trying various different application techniques and various makeup looks, I finally figured out the mystery of Morange. It all comes down to: a light touch and A HECK OF A LOT OF BRONZER.
It is absolutely imperative to warm up your face when wearing Morange, if you don’t already have that kind of skintone to begin with – though I have read that shades like these look great on more olive-toned skin. I found when I bronzed the shit outta my skin and added a touch to my eye area, it managed to pull it together much more seamlessless. In addition, instead of going for a full-on opaque pout, which is normally how I wear a bold, bright lippie, I applied one thin coat and blended for a more muted look. It’s not necessarily my preference, but in order to get the POW! from the orange without blinding people, its just the way it’s got to be.
The result of this mega-effort I think is well worth the hassle. It was a beautiful sunny, warm spring day here Sunday, and the orange lip looked so season-appropriate and fun! Morange overall is a nice lipstick, and goes on smoothly, if a bit thicker, and doesn’t dry out my lips. I’m super-stoked to have figured this conundrum out and to incorporate this happy, summery shade into my repertoire this year!
What recent beauty challenge have you faced? How did you handle it?
Hallo everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend Mine was good but effing busy – I helped my friend clean and move into her newly built house (gorgeous!), who’s wedding I also happen to be standing in next month (my first time [since I was a kid] – I’M SO EXCITED!!!!!!) – so I also spent some time preparing for her bachelorette/wedding. It’s such a fantastic experience, all of it, but its quite involved! On top of all that, I’m also training for that half marathon I’m doing in Ottawa at the end of May, so every weekend I have to find time to do a long run – this weekend was 15k so at this point it starts to take up a fair chunk of time. But, running is honestly the best thing I have EVER done for myself, so it’s well worth it. *Just as an aside – if you even have a remote inkling that you might like to run, or if you run at all – casually or more routinely – I highly recommend signing up to do a half (or, if you’re super-ambitious, a full) marathon, it is an amazing experience and I love it so damn much. This will be my third half, and every long run is better than the last – this is the best training I’ve had yet and I really think I’m gonna rock the shit out of the race!! Fingers crossed for me
Ok, moving on. As many of you know, I went on a bit of a lippie binge in the past couple weeks, and I’m still working through the reviews of each. Today I’m going to show you a shade that’s been pretty talked up in the blogosphere – YSL’s Rouge Volupte Shine #8 Pink in Confidence. Since I’m certain many of you have read reviews on both the RVS formula (ultra-hydrating, antioxidant-full, sheer to medium coverage glossy lipstick) as well as this shade, I’m going to keep the chatter to a minimum and let the pictures do the talking.
Pink in Confidence is described as a dusty pale pink, and I think that’s pretty accurate. Somehow, I didn’t own a nice soft pink shade, so this has been a much needed addition to my collection. As you can see in the lipstick bullet itself (picture below shows it better), there is a very fine micro-shimmer present, but I find it shows up on the lip very minimally.
While the Rouge Volupte Shines have a translucency to them that allows your natural lip color to show through, they’re actually more opaque than I thought, and this shade can mute my natural lip tone quite a bit if I layer it on (above, it was swatched first with one swipe, then several, to show how it can be built up). I’m a touch concerned that it may be a bit too light for my skintone once I get tanned – or perhaps it just might be a great nude. Time will tell.
The uber-long list of ingredients makes me somewhat nervous; however, I did not notice any irritation or roughness over the course of wearing this a few days in a row, even with the inclusion of fragrance (which, by the way, smells totally delicious. It makes me think of the lip balms I used to wear as a young teen ). I did find the formula mildly hydrating, though by no means as moisturizing as the claims made by the brand (which was to ‘seal in moisture for up to 8 hours’). The wear time is minimal – perhaps an hour or two at best, though I knew going into the purchase that these would likely require continuous application, which I’m OK with. I have never tried the Chanel Rouge Coco Shines so I can’t compare, but from reading reviews it sounds like these might be superior in terms of hydration and longevity. But – don’t quote me on that.
Overall, I’ve found this lipstick exceptionally wearable and notice myself reaching for it quite often. It filled a much needed gap in my lippie arsenal, and while it’s not perfect (could be a touch deeper in tone and wear a bit longer), it will definitely get a lot of use. I’m not sold on the $39CAD price tag, and if I didn’t have the 15% VIB discount I may not have gone for it, but I don’t feel any guilt in the purchase either so obviously it’s doing something right
Have you tried the Rouge Volupte Shine’ formula yet? Do you plan to? Have you tried both these and the Chanel Rouge Coco Shines? How do they compare?
Apparently, this spring I’m bringin’ my A-Game. That’s right – I’m rockin’ the SHIZ outta this season. Its been sunny and kinda sorta warmish this week, so I pulled out my AMAZING printed pants that I bought down in NZ – I did show you a picture – and wore them yesterday with pride. Even though they’re so loud and crazy and some people actually looked at my pants first before looking at my face (LOL), I didn’t care if they loved or hated ‘em because I felt KICKASS. Good times.
Over the past month, I decided I absolutely NEEDED a bright pink lippie. It would give me mega-spunk times 10, right!? So, last week I finally took the plunge and picked up BITE Beauty High Pigment Lip Pencil in Quince, $28CAD (which also happens to be a Sephora ‘hot pick’ or whatever, but I LIKED IT BEFORE IT WAS COOL *just sayin’*), a matte bold fuchsia lipstick.
BITE Beauty lip colors are known for their exclusion of baddie chemicals, and make the claim that the ingredients they do use are ‘healthy enough to eat.’ …cool? I mean, it’s great that they’re kind of like a ‘clean’ beauty brand, for sure. Just…yeah. ANYWAY, the High Pigment Pencils are designed to be long-wearing, paraben-free, and contain ‘super’ antioxidant resveratrol – each pencil contains enough of it to amount to five glasses of red wine (does that mean if I eat it then I’ll get drunk??????? ). So there’s a whole whack of good reasons to get on board, and it was high time I did it.
Aside from all the great ingredients in the pencil, there’s also the fact that THIS COLOR IS AMAZING. This is the EXACT color I wanted in a bright pink lippie. I find the shade uber-flattering on my skintone and super-wearable (also due to the fact that the finish is more of a demi-matte than totally flat) while still being totally stand out.
I wore this shade last Wednesday, and found it relatively long-lasting – it survived fairly intact through a meal, but began to fade shortly thereafter. Despite being sick and dried up like an old prune, it was comfortable to wear, for a matte, though it was not hydrating. However, note that BITE Beauty does not make claims that it should be, which is a key point. It actually states that you should prep your lips first with [their] balm and then apply the lip color. Since they don’t make a claim they can’t live up to, plus the fact that I actually didn’t find this problematic to wear on my drier lips, they get a gold star from me 100%.
I am madly in love with this lip pencil – I love the color, I love the formula, and I love the ease of application with the pencil. I am most definitely picking up a couple more of these – I’ve seen pics of Pomegranate that look stunning, and Zinfandel (electric coral) and Corvina (bright coral pink) are totally up my alley!
Have you tried any BITE Beauty products? What is putting some pep in your step this spring?
Lately I’ve been finding my lips have been really chapped – dry, rough texture, the works. Growing up I always had serious chapped lips; you know, the kind where you licked above your lip and got that awesomely sexy red rashy line. Yeah, that. I tell ya guys, I’ve come a LONG way.
I decided this week to start testing all of my lippies to figure out which was the culprit. I was sick, fair enough, as that’s not terribly helpful for the cause. But I get this problem off and on and frankly, it’s getting old. It makes all of my lipsticks look like shit and I’M NOT HAVING IT ANYMORE. First on my list was my new Dior Addict Extreme lippie, 433 Délice ($31CAD).
First off, let me preface by say that this is one sexy lipstick bullet, and I would be tempted to cave to other Addict Extreme lipsticks even if it caused me a bit of lip pain, just so I could have a few more of these in my makeup drawer. RAWR.
I have one other Dior lipstick, a Rouge Dior, and the packaging does not rock my world like this does. Yowza. You pull the lipstick bullet from inside the tube, which is cool and reminiscent of the old-school packaging – but this is much more edgy and SHINY. Anyway, perhaps it’s just me – nonetheless, I sure do love pulling this baby out! It is pure luxury – score one for Délice.
I wore it last Friday when I was just coming out the other side of my cold – I needed a pick-me-up and this juicy reddened tangerine shade was just the ticket. It really perked up my face and I fooled several people who were surprised to hear I had been (and still was) sick. I don’t tend to wear orange lip shades much and was pleasantly surprised and how much I enjoyed wearing it – it actually boosted my mood! The finish is more of a balmy shine versus full on gloss, and it has medium opacity (it still shows a bit of my natural lip tone) which makes it very wearable all around. I find I can swipe it on and go, it requires very little fuss. Another +1 to this gorgeous lippie.
Due to being ill, I couldn’t get a good read on the hydrating / chapping qualities of this lipstick, so I wore it again today to reassess. Happily, this lipstick not only sidestepped any lip roughage (and, due to the shorter-wear time of the product, I reapplied fairly often throughout the day), but it left them feeling softer, smoother, and more moisturized than ever, I guess due to the ‘hyaluronic microspheres.’ I was honestly shocked at how good my lips felt all day, and continue to feel this evening – usually by this time my lips will show signs of discomfort even after having removed the product. Not so here! Sweet friggin’ deal.
So, in summary, we have a lipstick that screams luxury, is essentially the perfect spring/summer shade, and also is a treat for you lips – are you sold yet? The only downside for me is that though Dior claims this is a long-wearing product, I find the wear time to be just shy of two hours, without food or drink. But honestly, it doesn’t bother me that much because it wears away evenly (no dreaded lip ring) and I love reapplying from that sexy tube! And it might actually mean I use up a lipstick for once
Have you tried the Dior Addict Extreme formula? Any shades you can recommend? What is your favorite hydrating lipstick?
I have to admit that sometimes I’m a jerk. Sometimes, when people seem to be making excuses for things, I judge *just a little bit* Case in point: in the past, when reading posts in which the blogger noted that they had been sick and gave that reason for why they hadn’t posted in a while, I always thought ‘Jeez, you’ve been home for a week and you were so sick that you couldn’t even type? Pfffffft.’
Well, consider this my sincere apology at my secret douchebagginess.
*Did you know that when you google douchebag images that you get 99% pictures of guys? So maybe douchebag can’t apply to females, I dunno. Let’s just stick with jerk shall we?
As I noted in my last post, I was sick with a cold this week. Nothing life-hindering, just general shitty malaise with a seriously stuffed up (yet super-sneezy) nose, which meant some badass pressure in my head from all the congestion which made behind my eyes hurt, and the absolute necessity of on-hand kleenex at all times. Just your general bitch of a cold. I was off two days from work and skipped out on my extra-curriculars like yoga and running, yet I only posted once. It wasn’t that I couldn’t type. It was that I DIDN’T WANT TO. I didn’t want to do anything – I wanted to wallow in my own snuffling misery and drink lots of warm tea and feel kind of sorry for myself. I didn’t type nor did I read anyone else’s blogs (which is an admittedly passive, scrolling-finger-only kind of action). I watched a lot of Mad Men episodes and stayed on top of Big Brother Canada (which by the way is AWESOME – and the Nova Scotia peeps are ROCKIN’ it, woohoo!!!!!). And that was about it.
Long story short (this is what happens when I don’t get my chatty out on the regular), I am SORRY for judging you, my periodically sick friends. I recognize the error of my
thoughts ways. Forgive me, as I get sick very infrequently and when it does happen, it lasts for 3 days max. I misunderstood – it’s not that you physically can’t, you just feel like doing sweet F.A., and I get it. I understand. So again I say: SO SORRY. My bad.
Ok, with that out of the way! Here is a sneak peek of a bunch of lippies I’ve procured over the past month or so. I went from not purchasing a lipstick since last August (!) to buying 3 in a week plus acquiring 1 via swap as well as 1 lipgloss via PR. For some, this is just another day, but for me it’s a lot. And they are all pretty damn sweet.
I plan on doing separate posts for each of them but for now I leave you with this:
Above: MAC Morange. I received this in swap and thought it was going to rock my world. I still think it’s an amazing color but on my face? OMFG IT IS SO INTENSE. And I’m not sure if that’s in a good way. It’s so frustrating, because in these swatches it seems like this color would be great on my skintone, and looking at it on others online it’s stellar. I WILL find a way to wear this, I just haven’t figured out how… In the meantime, I bought this:
One of the new Dior lippies, #433 Delice, in the Addict Extreme formulation. I bought this at Shoppers when I had a $10 gift card. They actually sent me home with the wrong version – the regular Addict which is more sheer – that thankfully I noticed before using it, but good grief Dior did you have to name them ALL the same name, same number? The poor SA’s… Anyway, no harm no foul on my end, but I would have been totally disappointed in the Addict shade; this Extreme one is more opaque and absolutely amazing on. It’s a more toned-down version of Morange and super-wearable, though I won’t give up on the former just yet.
Yay! I actually bought one of my wishlist items! Meet Quince, a High Pigment Pencil (matte formula) from BITE Beauty, my first from the brand. This is the exact fuchsia shade I was searching for, it looks SO good on – not too bright on my skintone, which was one of the major challenges, but also not so dark that it’s more berry. On me it’s just perfect. LOVE.
Yes, I caved and bought a YSL Rouge Volupte Shine since everyone and their dog seemed to be raving about them! I wouldn’t have probably picked this up if not for the 15% off VIB sale, which eased the painful $39CAD price tag down a bit. I initially didn’t think these were anything to write home about, but they’re actually more pigmented than I thought. I really wanted to get a soft pink shade as I don’t seem to own one, and #8 Pink In Confidence fit the bill. Very pretty and wearable.
Lastly, I received a couple of products from MUFE in shades that complimented the Pantone 2013 Spring shades. This is a Lab Shine Star Collection gloss in S0, which is essentially a shimmering beige. It’s fairly translucent but not clear, so it mutes my lip color a bit. I have to say that I do like the Lab Shine glosses, they have a nice smooth texture, feel hydrating worn, and have good staying power. This isn’t a terribly exciting color but it’ll be great for a casual look or for layering!
I think I’m pretty much set for spring with all of these lip colors, I finally have a few serious brights to play with, and also a couple muted shades to pair with any bright eye looks I choose. They’re all worthy of their own posts so keep an eye out! I wanted to get them up earlier but being sick my lips were so dry, everything I put on them just looked like a flaky mess. They’ve pretty much healed so I should be able to give you full reviews this week
What new lippies have you bought lately? Do you prefer brights or more subtle shades? Gloss or lipstick? Did you buy anything from the VIB sale?
Fun with Fuchsia: American Apparel Neon Violet Polish, NARS Desire Blush, and Illamasqua Divine Lipgloss
As some of you may know, I’ve been in a slight polish slump for the past while. Nothing has really got me excited much, though I have picked up a few shades here and there (as seen in my last post) that were great additions to my collection. Last week I was admittedly quite enamoured with China Glaze’s new Dandy Lyin’ Around, a sparkling white polish, but by the end of the week, as usual I was ready for a change. I was feeling kinda frisky (huh?) and pulled out American Apparel’s Neon Violet polish, a blue-leaning bold pink, which is part of their Neon collection that came out quite a while ago. I haven’t given this polish much love for whatever reason, though it often draws my eye as it stands out a lot amid the other shades in my stash. As soon as I put it on, my love was seriously revived – guys, this is a fantastic shade!! I’ve shown pics to you before (once as a pedicure and once on a friend’s hand) but I’m not sure I’ve given it enough due – you really gotta check it out. Aside from the glorious color, it’s a near one-coater with a great formula – it’s just FABULOUS.
Anyway, it got me thinking again about skintone and whether I am more cool or warm – this is most definitely a cool-leaning shade, and while I inherently think I’m warm-toned because of my caramel coloring, more and more I think I might actually just be neutral, leaning neither way, because I seem to be able to pull off shades all over the color spectrum (hooray for me!). I also am realizing that it has a lot more to do with just finding the right shade within each color range, rather than whether or not you can wear ‘warm’ or ‘cool’ tones. After all this thought and over the past few months with some of the beauty accruals I’ve made, I have found my jam in one area at least – fuchsia.
A few months ago, I was on this kick where I wanted to collect NARS blushes – I already owned four and I thought I’d just keep going with it. I’ve since kind of gotten over that, but not before I scored Desire in a swap. Initially I thought it was probably a stupid move – a cool ‘cotton candy pink’ on my skintone?? I just wasn’t convinced. And since I received the shade in the late summer, which did not seem like the season for this color, I left it alone for ages.
When winter rolled around, I figured it was time to give this ago and decide if I was going to keep it or not. As true for many NARS blushes, it has great pigmentation, and because it’s completely matte it’s exceptionally wearable (as a general rule, I find bright pink + shimmer = TOO DAMN MUCH). The first time I wore it, I happened to pair it with heavy black liner and naked lips, and BAM! Compliments galore!! It looked smokin’ (sadly, I do not have pics from that day). It was then that I started to think that fuchsia might be a color I want to start giving more of a chance.
One night a couple months ago when Illamasqua was having their last huge sale, I was perusing the site – and on top of discovering that my current blush lemming Crush was on sale, I also could score the Sheer Lipgloss in Divine (a ‘deep fuchsia pink’) for 1/3 of the regular price. When my package arrived, I was pleased to find that Divine was a wonderful addition to my gloss collection, as it was unlike anything I already own. Additionally, it’s smooth, non-sticky formula was a pleasure to use, and while it isn’t as pigmented as it looks in the tube, its a great shade to brighten up my face in a pinch.
As I already noted, I had previously always thought I had a warm-leaning skintone, so when I saw evidence of how yet another cool-based color looked great, I was finally convinced – fuchsia rocks my world!!
Out of all this discovery, one thing became glaringly clear – I desperately need a bright fuchsia lipstick!! The lovely Sarah from Beauty and the Baked Goods send me Revlon’s Sweet Tart lip butter, which is a great pink, but it leans more candy-colored. I’ve been doing my research and I’m torn between Bite Beauty’s High Pigment Matte Pencil in Quince $28CAD (described as a rose berry – but looks pretty fuchsia to me), YSL’s Rouge Volupte Radiant Lipstick in Rose Culte $39CAD (a ‘vivid fuchsia’), or new NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Yu $30CAD (a ‘shocking pink’). I haven’t gotten to swatch the NARS pencil in person yet, so not sure if it’s the right tone, but the other two totally do it for me – it’s likely I’ll opt for the Bite pencil as it’s more reasonably priced and I have yet to try a lippie from the brand.
All said and done, I’m pretty stoked that I’ve stumbled upon a go-to shade that seems to work so well with my skintone. I’ve made several discoveries of this kind over the past couple months while funds have been so limited – I’ve been taking the time to play more and make more informed decisions about what I purchase when I have the means to do so, and it’s been a positive learning experience
What unlikely makeup / polish shades have you discovered to really work for you?
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?
Here is the second part of my lip color collection – my lipsticks, as well as a couple lip liners to boot (check out the first part – glosses – here) I am kind of surprized by the number of lipsticks I have – as in, how few I have, when it seems like I’ve been ogling rich, pigment dense lip colors for the last long while. I feel like I should have a lot more than I do considering the long wishlist of shades I’m dying to own – let’s hope this year I change this! You’ll see that similarly to my glosses, I tend to stick to a few shade categories – actually, even more so here. There is a WIDE gap in colors which I am all too happy to fill Let’s take a look!
First up, we’ll start with the neutrals again:Left to right: NARS Velvet Gloss Pencil in More, MUFE Rouge Artist Intense in N10, Burberry Lip Cover in Rosewood, Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Pencil in Sydney
The NARS lip color is called a gloss, but it’s far too pigmented and not really all that glossy, so in my opinion it’s more of a lipstick. This is not true for all of the NARS gloss pencils though, as a note. Out of all of these, I actually only really wear the Buxom lip pencil regularly (which is actually a nude shade on me rather than ‘neutral’) – I think the others are supposed to be kind of ‘my lips but better’ shades, but they just aren’t nailing it very well for me. Thankfully, out of the four I only purchased one (the NARS), so it’s no real hardship. But once I use up one or two of these, I’ll be investing in a really good every day shade – every girl’s gotta have one!
Next, we have another shade category of which I think every gal should own at least one color – RED:Left to right: Dior Addict Glitter Collection in Show It, MAC Lipstick in Dare You, MUFE Rouge Artist Natural in N46, MAC Lipstick in Russian Red, MUFE Aqua Rouge in 08
I have a hard time not buying every single gorgeous red on the market – I LOVE me some red lips! Though as you can see, my stash is very homogenous – where are the orange reds!? I didn’t realize that all the shades I owned were essentially true reds or even blue-leaning until I did this swatch session. It’s interesting actually because I think my skintone leans warm, which typically means that I should be choosing a more orange-based red to get the most flattering effect. However, I do feel the colors I have are great and I feel very good wearing them, so I’m not going to concern myself with it too much. But, it gives me great pleasure to realize that I have this gap, as it gives me free reign to buy a few more
I would say I wear all of these reds equally as often, except for perhaps Russian Red, which I feel is a more ‘special event’ red as it’s so bold. The Aqua Rouge is also very ‘in your face’ but because it’s so long-wearing I’ve put it in more regular rotation because it’s so low-maintenance. The Dior Addict shade, which has since been discontinued, is the sheerest of the bunch, but with a flushed cheek it looks just perfect (though it’s a bit gritty feeling with the gold sparkle).
Yet another ‘must-have’ shade in my humble opinion, is a good vamp:Left to right: MAC Mattene in Bing, Ellis Faas Creamy Lips in L102, Dior Rouge Dior in #976 Daisy Plum, Shu Uemura Lolishine in #789, MAC Lipstick in Funbathing
MAC’s Bing (an LE shade) was my first vampy shade, and as you can see I pretty much dove right in! It’s VERY dark and mysterious and…insanely hard to wear. I either blot it down to wear as a stain (as you saw here), or I mix it with other shades to tone it down a bit. I still dream of being able to wear it full force, however, reminiscent of the looks in these pics below:
I’m not too upset by the difficulties of Bing however, because I have found MY best berry lippie shade since – Ellis Faas’ L102. I get so many compliment on this lip color, it’s crazy!!! You’d think I’d wear it every day, but it’s almost like I’m trying to ration it or something, because I don’t. Silly, I know. In any case, when I do wear it, it honestly makes my day. You always have to have one of those kinds of products in your back pocket, right? The Dior #976 is actually a similar color but doesn’t have the same impact, somehow, perhaps because of the golden shimmer.
The Shu lipstick is very sheer and not really my style, but I don’t own any Shu and I got it in a swap, so I’ll hang onto it for now (note that it is no longer available). Funbathing was also procured via swap (and LE), and I really like it’s berry-bronzey goodness, but it feels fall-ish to me, and I haven’t really had a chance to wear it since I was away for most of the fall and was doing the whole *next to no makeup* thing. It’ll get it’s chance next year!
And now…CORAL. While it isn’t the typical ‘you gotta own one’ color, trust me – you gotta own one!Left to right: MAC Lipstick in Crosswires, Burberry Lip Cover in Cameo Pink, Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in Empire, MUFE Rouge Artist Natural in N36
These kind of look pink in my swatches, but IRL they definitely have a coral leaning. Crosswires is described as a ‘clean pinky orange’ but I don’t see any orange when I wear it at all. Chanel’s Empire (LE) is described as a ‘pink-peach’ and MUFE’s N36 an ‘iridescent coral’, but to me they’re all in the same vein – coral-pink. In any case, these are highly wearable shades and seem to go with almost any look I choose (well, Crosswires is a bit bright, but the rest are good to go). I love them all and enjoy each of these shades immensely! No favorites nor duds in the bunch.
I have one straggler shade here, and sadly it’s also one that I wish would just DIE already – it’s a mauvey purple shade, and I’m not hating on the color, just this one in particular:
Ehhh…it’s just not my thing! It’s got too much grey in it, which I have to steer clear of (which tends to rule out a lot of mauve tones) – it just washes me out and doesn’t do me ANY favors at all. I try to wear it occasionally to use it up, and pair it with brighter shades and bronzer in order to keep me from looking dead and blah. I’d love to have a great purple shade, as I’ve seen it look truly amazing, but just not this one. Think more like this:
Gah. Such an awesome look. SO not like that lipstick I have. Must rectify.
Lastly, we have my few lip pencils, which I keep because it seems prudent to do so, but which get absolutely NO play from me at all (oops):
I think have have the gamut covered well here – a nude, a neutral, and a red. These will work with all the lip colors I own, if I ever do get the idea to wear one lol. Happily, none of these cost me a dime so I might as well keep them on hand and not worry about using them – it’s not like they take up a lot of space!
So – gaps. There is a lot (in my mind!). I’m thinking I need a true girly pink, a bright fuchsia, an actual nude, an orange-red (and – just an orange!), a coral-orange, and a fabulous purple…sound about right? Since I went with 25 as my ‘max’ for lipglosses, I don’t see why I can’t apply the same number to lipsticks. I’ve got 19, add these shades I’ve noted…well, that makes 26, but I’m sure I’ll finish one of these in time no problem ~schemes~
What are your thoughts? Any shades here you’ve tried and loved (or hated)? What color do you normally gravitate toward?
After my last swatch-a-palooza, my poor arms were in rough shape (literally), looking like I had a case of serious carpet burn. They’ve finally healed, so I thought that spending the afternoon swatching all my lip glosses, balms, and lipsticks was the perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday. This finishes up my makeup color collection (see previous posts on my blush/bronzer, eyeliner, and eyeshadow collections!) – I hope you enjoyed sneaking a peek into my stash as much as I did going through it all (swatch-burn aside). This has been the absolute perfect way to curb my spending, revisit neglected shades, and get inspired by what I already own – you may have noticed I’ve been playing a lot more with color and posting more FOTD’s for your viewing pleasure. I highly encourage anyone with a more than moderate collection to indulge in a similar practice!! So, so fun
As these posts can get a little picture-heavy, I’m splitting up my lip colors into two posts – first, my lipgloss collection, which will include the few colored balms I have as they all have shiny, sheer finishes (which is what I consider the general definition of a gloss); the second post will contain all the lipsticks I own (which incidentally includes one product that is called a gloss but I find far too pigmented to dub it so).
Let’s start with the neutrals, which are often the gateway shade when one is starting a makeup collection:Left to right: Benefit Ultra Plush in Dallas, Fresh Sugar Honey Tinted Lip Treatment, Benefit Ultra Plush in Hoola, MAC Lipglass in Clear, Illamasqua Sheer Lipgloss in Opulent, Hourglass Extreme Sheen in Ignite, Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Discrete, Clinique Chubby Stick in Graped Up, Pur Minerals Lip Gloss in Passion
I was surprized to find that I had so many neutral glosses – I always feel like I’m looking for one and never quite get what I need. Laura Mercier’s Discrete is probably the best shade of the bunch when I need something but want to keep the lips lowkey (but not nude), but I wish it were a creme and not with that shimmery finish. I also like Benefit’s Hoola which is essentially clear but with a hint of sparkle to keep it interesting. The rest of these I’m pretty much ‘meh’ over, sad to say.
Cool-toned glosses:Left to right: Benefit Ultra Plush in Dandelion, Tarte Vitamin-Infused in 40 Winks, Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish in April, MAC Chromeglass in Prize Shine (I think), Illamasqua Sheer Lipgloss in Divine, it Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush in Je Ne Sais Quoi, Benefit Ultra Plush in Bella Bamba
The three baby pinks on the left are all quite nice and each look different on the lip – the Benefit gloss is pretty basic; the Tarte gloss has a sheer pink base with gold shimmer for warmer looks; and the Buxom gloss is a bit more opaque with quite a bit of silver sparkle, which I love in winter and for nights out. The MAC lipgloss here I picked up ages ago (the name is worn off, so I’m not 100% sure, but I think it was Prize Shine), and I got it because of this promo pic:
Actually, it was this girl with this makeup but the shot was at a different angle (which I can’t seem to find online). Anyway, she looked AMAZING and since her skintone is close to mine, at the time I thought it’d be a great idea. Uh…. It is one SERIOUSLY METALLIC lipgloss, which makes it exceptionally hard to wear :S However, back then I was determined to make it work, and picked up…ah damn, I can’t remember now, but it was *like* C-Thru but it wasn’t that. Anyway (getting rambly here!), I paired the pale milky sheer nudeness of *whatever it was* with Prize Shine, and BAM! We got this:
It probably seems crazy that I can remember what I was wearing for a lip color in a photo from 5 years+ ago, but that’s the life of a beauty obsessed gal. What can I say? In any case, this was a combo I was totally infatuated with, but you only needed the tiniest bit of the metallic purple, so I’ve still got about 1/3 left of this gloss (which is LE by the way) – I ran out of the other shade long ago. I’m determined to finish it this year!
The last two shades are nothing to write home about, the but 3rd from last – Illamasqua’s Divine – will be getting it’s own post. I got this on mega-sale a couple months ago and I LOVE IT SO MUCH. Best cool-toned pink ever!!!
Lastly, we have the warmer-toned glosses:Sephora Reflex Gloss in She Sparkles, NARS Lip Gloss in Wonder, MAC Dazzleglass Creme in Luscious Spark, Benefit Ultra Plush in Coralista, MAC Tendertone in Purring, YSL Glossy Stain in #7 Corail Aquatique, MAC Lipglass in Lychee Luxe, Illamasqua Intense Lip Gloss in Plentiful
This shades of gloss are clearly my fave. I went through a big kick wearing Sephora She Sparkles last Christmas, but haven’t worn it much since. NARS Wonder and MAC Luscious Spark (LE) are lovely in summer, and I highly enjoy MAC’s Lychee Luxe – so much so that it’s almost finish (yay!). I’m going to play around with Illamasqua’s Plentiful this spring, as if you recall it was a touch light for my skintone, but I think I can make it work. I want to love the YSL Glossy Stain, but the fragrance is a little off-putting (mainly because it makes me nervous), and I wish I had chosen a more punchy shade. I’ll probably pick up another over the next while and I’ll reevaluate my feelings on them then.
So that’s my gloss collection! It’s actually not SO huge, at 24, considering. Maybe I’ll set a mental ‘max’ at 25 – so I better hop to is using some of these up! I’m actually not huge into gloss right now, opting more for a bold lipstick, or even bare lips, but here and there I’ll throw one on, as they can be a convenient way to perk up your look. My wishlist has very few glosses on it and many, MANY lipsticks, so topping off at 25 should be a piece of cake
I don’t think I’m desperately missing any shades here, though not because it’s such a vast array, but more so because as mentioned, I’m just not terribly concerned with gloss. A nice nude may help round it out, and I have one in mind actually – Becca’s Ultimate Color Gloss in Fallen Angel. There! 25 it is.
Do you prefer gloss or lipstick (or neither)? What shades tend to be your go-to’s?
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!