Archive for category My Collections

My Lip Color Collection (Part II – Lipsticks)

Lipstick Collection

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:

Neutral Lipsticks


Neutral Lipsticks (2)

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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:

Red Lipsticks


Red Lipsticks (2)

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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 :D

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:

Vampy-Berry Lipsticks


Vampy-Berry Lipsticks (2)

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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:

LeightonM Goth

LOVE this photo all around – fabulous makeup on Leighton, and he-LLO Ed Westwick!!

Fall - Dark lip 2

Chanel Noirs Obscurs Winter 2009 collection

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!

Coral Pink Lipstick (2)


Coral Pink Lipstick

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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:

Revlon Berry Haute (2)

Revlon Lustrous Lipstick in Berry Haute

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:

Purple lip

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):


Left to right: Joan Rivers Lip Pencil in Nude!, MAC Lip Pencil in Subculture, Nacara Lip Pencil in Sequoia

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 :D ~schemes~

Lipliner Collection

What are your thoughts?  Any shades here you’ve tried and loved (or hated)?  What color do you normally gravitate toward?

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Sunday Afternoon Fun: My Lip Color Collection! (Part I – Lip Glosses)

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 :)

My Lipgloss Collection

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:

Neutral Lipglosses (2)


Neutral Lipglosses

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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:

Cool Lipglosses


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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:

MAC Chromeglass

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:

Me circa 2006! Check out those majorly groomed eyebrows and purple shadow (wonder what shade that was). Also, that gal with me is still one of my besties - I would have shown her full face (hate cropping people out) but I don't think she wants to have her mug online all the time like mine lol.

Me circa 2006! Check out those majorly groomed eyebrows and purple shadow (wonder what shade that was). Also, that gal with me is still one of my besties – I would have shown her full face (hate cropping people out) but I don’t think she wants to have her mug online all the time like mine lol.

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:

Warm lipglosses (2)


Warm lipglosses

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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 :)

My Lipgloss Collection (2)

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?

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Swatching Is Rough (AKA My Eyeshadow Collection)

Eyeshadow Collection (3)

I was going to leave my eyeshadow collection ’till last to swatch in my ‘find the gaps’ series of posts, but the superstorm (which…is kind of lackluster – yea, there’s lots of snow, but I want some action, darn it!) seemed like the perfect time to just get ‘er done – so I did!  Oh man…for those of you who have larger collections than mine, I feel sorry for you if you attempt to do this – it is a BIG EFFING ORDEAL.  I started last night and got just over halfway through before both (!) arms had had enough.  I continued today and after needing to re-swatch several shade categories to get them *just right*, my left arm is just burning (as you’ll notice in the photos – red spots galore!).  So: enough.  I’m ready to rock ‘n roll.  Now – let’s get into ‘er!

Note: All shades are permanent within their respective brands except where otherwise noted.

WHITE EYESHADOWWhite Eyeshadow Swatches - AVON, Urban Decay UziAvon True Color Quad in Smokey Eyes (satin white)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Uzi (shimmer w/glitter) (LE)
‘HIGHLIGHT’ EYESHADOWHighlight Eyeshadow Swatches - MUFE 920, KATE BR-2, MAC VexMake Up For Ever Star Powder in #920 (iridescent)
KATE Real Create Eyes BR-2 Palette (white gold pearl)
MAC Eyeshadow in Vex (frost)
NUDE EYESHADOWNude Eyeshadow Swatches - MAC Next to Nothing, Laura Mercier Suspense, Burberry TrenchMAC Eyeshadow in Next to Nothing (Cult of Cherry Tempting Quad – frost) (LE)
Laura Mercier Eye Color Duet in Suspense (matte cool beige) (LE)
Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow in Trench (satin)
BEIGE, CHAMPAGNE & PEACH EYESHADOWPeach-Champagne Eyeshadow Swatches (9)Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Midnight Cowboy Rides Again (shimmer w/glitter)
Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #13 Warm Beige (frost)
Chanel Illusion d’Ombre in Emerveille (shimmer)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Snatch (shimmer w/glitter)
Kate Real Create Eyeshadow BR-2 Palette (soft peachy shimmer)
MAC Eyeshadow in Arena (satin)
GOLD EYESHADOWGold Eyeshadow Swatches - MAC Melon, Laura Mercier Gilded Moonlight, Clinique Gold GlimmerMAC Pigment in Melon (frost)
Laura Mercier Illuminating Eye Color in Gilded Moonlight (pearl) (LE)
Clinique Touch Tint for Eyes in Gold Glimmer (shimmer) (discontinued)
COPPER & ORANGE EYESHADOWOrange-Copper Eyeshadow Swatches - MAC Amber Lights, Ardene 8BMAC Eyeshadow in Amber Lights (frost)
Ardene Eyeshadow in 8B (pearl)
BRONZE EYESHADOWBronze Eyeshadow Swatches - MAC Cocomotion, UD Smog, MAC Tempting, Clinique Rum SpiceMAC Pigment in Cocomotion (frost) (LE)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Smog (shimmer)
MAC Eyeshadow in Tempting (lustre)
Clinique Color Surge Super Shimmer Eyeshadow in Rum Spice (shimmer)
BROWN EYESHADOWBrown Eyeshadow Swatches - MAC Dark Edge, KATE BR-2, MUFE #17, Laura Mercier Suspense DuoMAC Eyeshadow in Dark Edge (Cult of Cherry Tempting Quad – satin) (LE)
KATE Real Create Eyes BR-2 Palette (deep brown shimmer)
Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow in #17 Espresso (matte)
Laura Mercier Eye Color Duet in Suspense (matte burgundy brown) (LE)
Brown-Taupe Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Suspect, NARS Rajasthan, KATE BR-2Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Suspect (shimmer)
NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Rajasthan (beige-gold taupe) (shimmer) (LE)
KATE Real Create Eyes BR-2 Palette (taupe shimmer)
Purple-Taupe Eyeshadow Swatches - NARS Grand Palais, LMdB Corinthian, MAC Shale, bareMinerals Meteorite, Hourglass ExhibitionNARS Duo Eyeshadow in Grand Palais (silver-taupe shimmer)
Hourglass Visionaire Eye Shadow Duo in Exhibition (mauve shimmer)
MAC Eyeshadow in Shale (satin)
bareMinerals High Shine Eye Color in Meteorite (frost)
Le Metier de Beaute True Color Eye Shadow in Corinthian (shimmer)
RED & PINK EYESHADOWPink-Red Eyeshadow Swatches - L'Oreal Golden Mahogany, Chanel Abstraction, Avon Smokey EyesL’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Golden Mahogany (frost)
Chanel Illusion d’Ombre in Abstraction (shimmer)
Avon True Color Quad in Smokey Eyes (matte light pink)
Rose-Mauve Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Bordello, UD Last Call, NARS Grand PalaisUrban Decay Eyeshadow in Bordello (shimmer w/glitter)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Last Call (metallic)
NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Grand Palais (matte dusty rose)
Plum Eyeshadow Swatches - NARS Habanera, UD Rockstar, Hourglass Exhibition
NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Habanera (sparkling plum)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Rockstar (shimmer)
Hourglass Visionaire Eye Shadow Duo in Exhibition (eggplant shimmer)
Purple Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Psychedelic Sister, MAC InfamousUrban Decay Eyeshadow in Psychedelic Sister (shimmer)
MAC Paint in Infamous (metallic) (discontinued)
Blue Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Radium, MAC Blue Boy, MAC Blue EdgeMAC Paint in Blue Boy (metallic) (discontinued)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Radium (shimmer)
MAC Eyeshadow in Blue Edge (matte w/shimmer) (discontinued)
Teal-Aqua Eyeshadow Swatches - NARS Rajasthan, theBalm Jealous Jordana, UD Loaded, MUFE #8E, Illamasqua Burst, UD Money, NARS Habanera, UD Haight
NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Rajasthan (blackened teal shimmer) (LE)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Loaded (metallic)
theBalm Shady Lady Eyeshadow in Jealous Jordana (shimmer)
Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow in 8E (matte)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Haight (shimmer)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Money (shimmer w/micro-glitter) (LE)
NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Habanera (mint frost)
Green Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Kush, LMdB Jade, UD Mildew, MAC Sharp, Lise Watier Folie Pomme, MUFE #57Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Kush (shimmer w/micro-glitter)
Le Metier de Beaute True Color Eye Shadow in Jade (shimmer)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Mildew (shimmer)
MAC Eyeshadow in Sharp (Cult of Cherry Tempting Quad – satin) (LE)
Lise Watier Couleur Folle Eyeshadow in Folie Pomme (iridescent shimmer)
Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow in #57 Chartreuse (satin)
Yellow Eyeshadow Swatches - MUFE #24, MAC Bright Future
Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #24 Yellow (matte)
MAC Eyeshadow in Bright Future (
Khaki Eyeshadow Swatches - Armani #24, Armani #6, Clinique Autumn Moss
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Waterproof Eyeshadow in #24 Smokey Copper (shimmer)
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow in #6 Khaki Pulse (shimmer)
Clinique Color Surge Soft Shimmer Eyeshadow in Autumn Moss (satin)
Silver-Taupe Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Maui Wowie, Bobbi Brown Pewter, theBalm Insane Jane, MUFE #2Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Maui Wowie (metallic w/glitter)
Bobbi Brown Chrome Eye Shadow in Pewter (frost) (LE)
theBalm Shady Lady Eyeshadow in Insane Jane (shimmer)
Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #2 Steel (shimmer)
Grey Eyeshadow Swatches - Avon Smokey EyesAvon True Color Quad in Smokey Eyes (medium grey & dove grey) (shimmer)
Black Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Perversion, MAC Dark SoulMAC Pigment in Dark Soul (frost w/glitter)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Perversion (matte)


Did you make it??

Eyeshadow Collection (4)

…So.  To be honest, when I started swatching all my makeup, I was originally just trying to find a way to justify new purchases – if it could be considered a shade I didn’t already own, then I would feel free to go for it.  However, now I’ve discovered that being so fully aware of what I own, has made me really excited to play with my current collection, instead of seeking out new products.  I especially noticed this with this eyeshadow post – there are so truly fabulous shades in there!  While there are still of course colors I’d like to pick up to fill the gaps (namely – a lilac and a skintone [MY skintone, to clarify] shade, among a couple others), overall I’m WELL aware I have a ton of shades to rock out and don’t really *need* anything else at the moment.  I did notice I have a lot less color than I imagined, but that’s actually OK because I don’t tend to wear it a ton and try to avoid buying a lot of it only for it to go unused.  I think my stash is fairly representative of the kind of makeup I wear day to day!  So SCORE for being logical in my purchases :)

Eyeshadow Collection

I am kinda worn out from the work necessary to do this post, so I’m done now LOL.  But – I have questions for you!

Do you see any gaps that I could fill?  What shades make up the bulk of your eyeshadow collection?? Also – anyone bother to count how many shades I have?  I’m too tired now to bother LOL

Eyeshadow Collection (2)

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Where’s Waldo? – My (Fairly Robust!) Eyeliner Collection

Eyeliner Collection (6)

Continuing on with my dedication to filling the gaps in my collection, let’s turn now to my eyeliner stash.  This isn’t an area that I’m terribly concerned with, nor do I obsessed and stalk new eyeliners like I do blush, but it was a fairly easy task to swatch and photograph them, so I figured I’d get them out of the way.

Eyeliner Collection

In glancing at my stash, my first impression is that I’m not missing much of anything – however, that’s partially due to my semi-ambivalence toward eyeliner as a whole.  There are shades (and formulas – I tend to favor liquid) I own that I LOVE,  but overall I tend to wear eyeliner because I own it, not because I’m a fiend for it, and I purchase them infrequently (I wrote a previous post on my eyeliner collection, and since that time I’ve only accumulated …….though I literally just bought the Milani Gold eyeliner within the last hour, LOL! Hey, it was on sale!).  However, it seems I still have a fair number of shades somehow (26, in fact!), so maybe I don’t know what the eff I’m talking about.

Eyeliner Collection (7)

I seem to own at least two shades of most colors – grey, black, purple, etc.  I don’t really wear bold-colored liners much, though it appears I like to buy them!  I’m hoping to change that this year – maybe work ‘em on the lower lash liner or blend with black to darken them.

Eyeliner Collection (9)(Left to right): MAC NW25/NC30 Chromographic, Chanel Khaki Platine Precision, MUFE #21L Aqua Eyes, MUFE #14 Aqua Liner, UD Oil Slick 24/7, Wet N Wild 861 (black) Mega Liner, Tarte Starry Night, MUFE #0L Aqua Eyes, Laura Mercier Black Violet Kohl, UD Crash 24/7, UD Ransom 24/7, Illamasqua Paddle

FYI: I forgot to add in the two aqua shades when I did my swatches, oops (since they usually only get pulled out in summer and were stashed away).

Eyeliner Collection (8)(Left to right): Illamasqua Paddle, MAC Blue Petrol Pearlglide, MUFE #4K Khol, UD Covet 24/7, Smashbox On Trend Cream, Clinique Egyptian Cream Shaper, Illamasqua Wisdom Precision, Milani Gold Liquif’eye, Lise Watier Gold Eye Shine, UD Eldorado 24/7, UD Lucky 24/7, NARS Via Appia Larger Than Life, Illamasqua Havoc Precision

Below (top to bottom): Milani Aqua Liquif’eye, MUFE #5 Aqua Liner

So, I’d say within this bunch, I LOVE 1/5 of them (both my Illamasqua Precision Liners, my MUFE #14 liquid liner and #21L pencil liner, and UD’s Lucky pencil), I like half of them (but they fall short of love either because of formula – for example, love LM’s Black Violet and MAC’s Blue Petrol as shades, but they smudge/run like CRAZY – or I just don’t tend to wear them much, like MAC’s Chromographic, MUFE’s #4K, UD’s Covet & Eldorado, Milani Aqua, and NARS Via Appia), and the last few shades just DO NOT do it for me at all (UD’s Deviant is a weird shade on me, Illamasqua Paddle is kind of crap to apply, and the Smashbox On Trend is better as a shadow than a liner).  Then there are about 5 pencils that are so close to being finished I can just TASTE it (UD Oil Slick, Tarte Starry Night, MUFE #0L, UD Crash, and Lise Watier Gold).

Check out what was left after I rubbed off the swatches with makeup remover:

Eyeliner Collection (11)

…That would be the MUFE Aqua Liners, and the Illamasqua Precision Liners – see why I love ‘em??

Moving forward, I’m not really sure what gaps need to be filled, except the glaring one which is A BLACK LINER PENCIL.  Once my Tarte and UD liners are gone (–> very soon), I will not own a plain black pencil, just the Wet N Wild liquid one.  I’ve determined that I am going to see what all the fuss is about and buy Giorgio Armani’s Waterproof Eye Pencil in Granite, and I’m pretty stoked about it.  Otherwise, I don’t have any other liner purchases on the horizon just now – or should I?

Eyeliner Collection (4)

Can you see any glaring holes in my eyeliner collection?  What shades do you tend to wear most?

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Playing Where’s Waldo with My Makeup Collection

I spent two hours – TWO HOURS! – last night, researching what products and shades I should to order from Becca Cosmetics (a brand I’ve yet to try and desperately want to).  My (totally logical – I swear!) reason for doing this?  To avoid purchasing any shades that were similar to ones I already own.  I DID come up with a (very) pared down list, you’ll be happy to hear; if you’re interested (and FYI – the blog Shades of BECCA is a good resource for some swatches):

Papaya Beach Tint $30CAD (hot red)

Becca Papaya Beach Tint

Fallen Angel Ultimate Color Gloss $29CAD (nude spice)

Becca Fallen Angel gloss

There were a handful of other products I liked the look of, but in checking out swatches, they seemed to be too close to items I already own (though, c’mon, the brand is gorgeous and I could have easily gone for one of everything!).  Which brings me to the point.

You’re all familiar with my organizational obsession right? (and…if you’re new and not aware: Hello!  My name is Latoya and YES, I have a problem which manifests itself into a bit of compulsive organization.  Could be worse!)  Anyway, another problem I have is lack of funds; when you own a home on your own and don’t make the big bucks, things can get tricky.  However, I have ANOTHER problem (jeez, someone institutionalize me, will ya?), which is that I love shopping – for cosmetics in particular.  Smash the three of these together and what do you get?  Well…you get THIS:

Blush Collection (2)My poor broken MAC blush up on the right :(

What ‘THIS’ is, is me taking a good look at an area of my makeup collection – specifically blush/bronzers in this instance – and seeing where I have gaps.  By gaps, I mean: what shades do I lack that I can justify buying, in order to round out my stash and also quell the burning desire to shop my face off.  Ya dig?  This fantabulous idea kills three birds three mosquitoes (no one cares about those) with one big-ass swat.   I get to organize something*, figure out what shades or products I’m missing, and rationally and systematically purchase new items that are on my wishlist and fit the ‘missing’ bill.  BOOM!

*Seriously guys, I joke but….I really like organizing things.  So much so, that near the end of the month I’m signing up for a Professional Organizers intro course to see if I’d like to become a professional organizer for realz.  It’s THAT serious :S

So, as you can see, I’m starting with blush – because clearly blush is THE BEST EVER and deserves the number one spot for allowing EVEN MORE BLUSH.  Because clearly 20 (+ 7 bronzer-type things and 2 mini-blush) are NOT ENOUGH.

(I swear I’m not on the sauce tonight guys – I just feel a little peppy ’cause I’m back into running and signed up for the Ottawa 1/2 Marathon in May…wooo! :D)

Berry & Orange blush swatchesLeft to right (flash): Rouge Bunny Rouge Florita, NARS Turkish Red, Illamasqua Tweak; NARS Taj Mahal, Make Up For Ever Blush Powder #25, Illamasqua Lover, Make Up For Ever HD Blush #12 First Kiss

Plums and RussetsLeft to right (flash): NARS Sin, Bobbi Brown Velvet Plum (discontinued shade); MAC Raizin, CoverFX Bronzed FX in Garnet, Burberry Russet, MAC Early Morning

Even with 20+ blush, I can plainly see what shades I’m lacking: A bright red! (NARS Turkish Red is more of a burgundy)  A true orange! (NARS Taj Mahal is kind of a burnt orange and quite shimmery)  A neutral pink! (…I literally do not own one beige-y pink blush, for shame)   A nice deep berry would be lovely!  And also – varying formulations!  I have NO cheek tints, and only four cream blush.  You see, there actually ARE shades/formulas I do not have despite having far more blush than is probably necessary.  And then, there are shades I need NO more of, like medium pinks…I have enough of those, yep.  I don’t think I need any more bronzers, especially since I rarely wear them and I’m already kinda *ahem* bronze.  I only really have a couple coral shades, which tends to be the one a lot of people go gaga for (myself included), but I’ll hold off till the warmer months on thinking about those right now.  Same goes for apricot-hued shades.

Pink and Coral blush swatchesLeft to right (flash): NARS Desire, Illamasqua Unrequited (discontinued shade*), theBalm Down Boy, Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel, Benefit Bella Bamba, Illamasqua Hussy, Bobbi Brown Calypso Coral, NARS Torrid, theBalm Hot Mama

Bronzer swatchesLeft to right (flash): NARS Laguna Illuminator, Too Faced Sun Bunny Bronzing Powder, NARS Laguna Multiple, MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder, Milani Sunset Duos in Sunset Beach, Clinique Bronze Uplighting, Estee Lauder Illuminating Gelee in Shimmering Sands

What I’m wondering is, what gaps do YOU see?  Since I only have my stash to compare it to, I can’t get a good idea of what I’m missing.  What shades can you suggest that I should focus on buying?

Blush Collection

I’m planning on doing this little experiment with all my makeup over the next little while, so be prepared: more lame examples of my organizational obsession coming your way!  But do come back anyway, because I need your help :)

Is your makeup collection where you want it to be, or do you have a few gaps you’d like to fill?

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Something to Amuse You While I’m Gone: My Blush Collection (Part III!)

Oh my goodness, it doesn’t end, does it!?  Let me tell you, swatching all these blush took half a day to do; I can’t even imagine attempting something like this if you had a bigger collection than I (and I know some of you do!).  If I hadn’t been off for a couple days before we left, this would never have gotten done.  But, it’s been great swatching and categorizing some of my blush, as it allows me to see just where I can fit one more in LOL!  And, more importantly I hope it helps you out too!  I feel that you can never have TOO many swatches of a product :)

Today we’re going to look at something very fitting: orange blushes and bronzers, perfect shades for a tropical vacation :)  The bronzer swatches were reworked several times, because some of these products could be considered illuminators too, making it tricky to decide where they should go.  Again, I made a judgement call and I’m pretty happy with how it all turned out!  We’ll begin with the orange shade first however, as the collection is VERY small:

Left to right: Make Up For Ever #10, NARS Taj Mahal

Yep, that’s pretty much it!!  And it’s not even because I fear orange – in fact, I think it’s gorgeous and I stare at other orange blush longingly (I was sorely tempted by MAC’s new Modern Mandarin from Tres Cheek!).  However, it’s tricky to get a true ‘orange’ – usually they lean peach or coral one way or another, and it’s there that I start feeling like I might have a shade similar in tone.  Of course, orange blush isn’t for everyone, and those mid-way shades are often more wearable, but with my darker skintone I like to be a bit more daring.  Seems I need to get on that then, don’t I?

Anyway, Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Cream #10 is a ‘golden tangerine sheen’ which seems  a bit misleading, like it might be sheer – if you recall my review on this, it is NOT.  It’s a tough shade to wear, but I think with a little work it can be absolutely beautiful!  (Note that it can also be worn on lips, but isn’t recommended for eyes)  NARS Taj Mahal, described as a ‘blazing burnt orange with gold shimmer’ (wowza!), is pretty much THE orange blush if you’ve ever thought about indulging yourself.  Let’s look at some swatches:

All swatches taken with flash.  Left to right: Make Up For Ever #10, NARS Taj Mahal

As you can see, neither of these are for the faint of heart, but if you’re looking to be a little bit daring, here are two options to allow you to have some fun!  While both of these do require a light hand, as they’re orange and shimmery – c’mon! – the orange tone lends itself a great, warm glow to the skin that’s simply stunning come Summertime.  I’m definitely wearing Taj Mahal while I’m away!!  Speaking of which, here’s what it looks like actually worn (pre-tan):

Artificial lightingSunlight

Not so scary, right? LIGHT HAND people, and make sure to buff it into the skin well!

Now, onwards to the bronzers!!  Half of these will not be getting much play while I’m away, as I’ll be too tanned for them to show up at all.  I still sometimes shake my head at owning any, but they do add a nice warm glow during my more sallow months I guess!

Clockwise from top left: MAC Refined Golden, Milani Sunset Beach, NARS Laguna Multiple, NYC All-Over Bronze Glow, NARS Laguna Illuminator

I recently swapped for the MAC Refined Golden (in Style Warrior packaging), and while it gives me a really believable bronzed look (not too orange or brown), it’s almost too subtle.  It’s going to be essentially useless until next Winter, so I might swap it away.  Milani’s Sunset Duo in Sunset Beach is one of the cheapest products I own (I don’t own many!) and yet it looks absolutely amazing on, just really natural – and the bronzed shade alone is great for a contour as well.  NYC’s Mosaic Face Powder in All-Over Bronze Glow is another cheapo product, but not as deserving of praise; it transfers to clothing etc. easily (if I use blotting powders, its everywhere) and it’s REALLY dark, even for me – I’m taking it to Jamaica in hopes that once I’m tanned it’ll actually look good.  The NARS Multiples have a great consistency to them, not greasy at all and easy to use, but I don’t find they wear well – this bronze-y shade is no exception.  Lastly, the Laguna Illuminator I raved about last year:  I still love it, in indoor lighting – its just that the big chunks of glitter in it are deterring for wearing it outdoors.  I’m going to pull this out for our evenings while away :)

Above, with flash.  Left to right: NARS Laguna Multiple, NARS Laguna Illluminator, NYC All-Over Bronze Glow, MAC Refined Golden, Milani Sunset BeachAbove, natural light.  Left to right: NARS Laguna Multiple, NARS Laguna Illluminator, NYC All-Over Bronze Glow, MAC Refined Golden, Milani Sunset Beach

The NARS Laguna Multiple is really more of an illuminator itself on me rather than a bronzer, but it’s got brownish tones – hence why I categorized it this way :)  In the flash photos, you can see the glitter in the Laguna Illuminator – a shame, because otherwise the shade is a great match for me.  You can’t tell how dark the NYC bronzer is here, and in fact the brown shade isn’t terrible, it’s just that it’s just so pigmented it goes on far too heavily.  Alternatively, for the MAC swatch, I had to go over and over again with product to get it to show up as much as it did – it seems pretty goof-proof, so might be a good option if your fair and in the market for a bronzer.  The swatch of Sunset Beach is only of the bronzer part and not including the blush; when you swirl the two together, you get the nicest plum-brown shade that is insanely flattering on my skintone.  Here’s a few face shots for proof:

(PS: I have a Revlon lippie on here, in Berry Haute – thoughts??? Too cool??)

BAM!  Another part of my collection, down!  Are you getting bored/tired yet??  There’s only one more left to go!!  And if you haven’t already, be sure to check out Part I and II!

And now I’d like your honest opinion – do you think I should bother with bronzers at all, or is it kind of silly?  Do you wear bronzer year-round or just certain times of the month?

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Something to Amuse You While I’m Gone: My Blush Collection (Part II!)

Hello my dears!  I hope this Tuesday finds you very well :)  By now, I’ve gotten into the groove and I’m hopefully nice and relaxed (all the free booze doesn’t hurt!).  Today I have some more of my blush collection for you: ‘reds’ and plums.  I put red in quotations because they’re not exactly red, but their of that variety so lets just go with that (anyone else find categorizing blush shades super-difficult!?).

We’ll begin with the questionable ‘red’ shades:

Clockwise from left: NARS Turkish Red, MAC Early Morning, CoverFX Garnet

Notice anything about my MAC blush?  Like the fact that it’s BROKEN!?!  I dropped it back in February, after I’d only had it for about a month, and you know there isn’t anything worse than dropping makeup and it breaking.  I was pissed. It makes me not even want to use it much, but I’m trying to get over that!!

Anyway.  Even though MAC’s Early Morning is described as a ‘peachy-pink,’ I find on me it looks much more like a peachy-red, and more of a burnished shade, so I pulled it in with this group.  It’s probably fairly close to NARS Torrid when worn, but I wanted things to look pretty and complimentary in the product shots, so… :P  NARS Turkish Red is a deep red cream blush, which I received in a swap last Fall – it’s now discontinued.  CoverFX Garnet is probably my oldest blush, as showcased by -*GASP!*- PAN!!  It’s part of the BronzedFX collection, but I feel it’s far too reddish to be considered a bronzer.  Its a great shade though; it looks fantastic with tanned skin in the Summer and great for a windblown flush in the Fall.

All swatches taken with flash.  Left to right: NARS Turkish Red, CoverFX Garnet, MAC Early Morning

As you can see, these blush aren’t exactly ‘red’ but they definitely have red tones in them.  Turkish Delight is a bit tricky to make work sometimes, but when it does, it truly looks stunning!  Garnet is just a great tone all-around with it’s brick-red qualities, and the shimmer isn’t so much that it’s gaudy.  Early Morning is a very wearable shade as well, as it IS coral (which works for most skintones) but with a faded, dusty tone to which you can wear very soft and subtle, or with a heavier hand to give the face a windburned look (which sounds weird but looks kinda great!).

Next, let’s take a gander at some of the plummier tones I have in my stash, which aren’t always the most popular picks because it can sometimes give a bruised quality, but can also be terribly flattering:

Clockwise from left: NARS Sin, Tarte Blushing Bride Cheek Stain, Bobbi Brown Velvet Plum

Plum blush actually looks quite lovely on my skintone, but like many I don’t gravitate toward them very often.  My first experience with plummy tones was with Tarte’s Blushing Bride Cheek Stain, a sheer deep plum, which I actually used first while staying with a friend in Toronto.  I loved it’s natural and glowing effect – but I find it’s lasting power and the stickiness leave something to be desired.  I also find it’s a bit too muted to show up much my skintone.  The other two shades here are just perfect though; NARS Sin, described as a ‘berry tone with gold shimmer,’ was a recent acquisition this year and it’s gives a great warmed-up look to my paler Winer face, and Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge in Velvet Plum is one of my favorite natural-looking blushes to use in the Summer.

All swatches taken with flash. Left to right: NARS Sin, Bobbi Brown Velvet Plum, Tarte Blushing Bride

I haven’t been wearing Velvet Plum much, which I hope to change when I come back from Jamaica – it really gives my skin a glow and looks super-natural and fresh.  Unfortunately, it looks like it’s been discontinued since the update to the packaging, so if you love it – you’re outta luck!  Sin will likely take a back seat until next Fall when my tan fades, as I suspect it won’t show up much on my darker skin.  As for the Tarte stain…I think it’s days are numbered.  It looks fantastic on my fairer-skinned counterparts, so perhaps I’ll leave it with someone who’ll give it a better home.  It just doesn’t get any attention and there’s still quite a bit left.

Part II finished on my blush collection!!  Be sure to check out Part I – Pinks and Peach/Corals – as well!

What are you’re thought so far?  See any glaring gaps in my shade selections, and particular products that I absolutely MUST own??

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