Posts Tagged eyeliner

A flick of the wrist: Rouge Bunny Rouge Nocturnal Ink Satin Eyeliner in Friesian 079

I’m not sure if I’ve ever stated it publicly, but probably my favourite and most-worn eye makeup look is the cat-eye flick – an easy-peasy swoop of cream/gel/liquid liner and I’m set for any occasion, day or night.  I tend to favour these kinds of eyeliner over all else, and when I received Rouge Bunny Rouge’s Nocturnal Ink Satin Eyeliner (~$31CAD) to try back in December, I was delighted. An easy-to-use liquid liner from a beautifully ethereal and magical line? Color me excited.

FriesianPhoto provided by Rouge Bunny Rouge

The Nocturnal Ink eyeliners, released in November, have a satin finish and come in three colours – Dark Bay, a deep ebony brown; Blue Roan, a midnight petrol blue; and Friesian, a smooth black – which is the shade I received. The liner is supposed to be quick-drying and transferproof, with a water-resistant formula which prevents smearing or smudging. Though I haven’t had the opportunity to test the liner in more humid weather yet, I find it wears all day without budging on my smudge-prone lash line.

Friesian-SwatchPhoto provided by Rouge Bunny Rouge

My favourite aspect of the liner is the slim, flexible tip, which allows for ultra-fine lines and is exceptionally easy to wield. One downfall to wearing gel/cream liners is that I can’t draw tight lines against my lashes when I so desire; with this liner, I can get as precise or as dramatic as I want. It’s both dermatologically and ophthalmologically approved, and super-comfortable to wear.  I find it not irritating in the least to my eyes, which may sound unsurprising to some, but there are certain liquid liners which give my eyelids a bit of grief.

Friesian_TipPhoto provided by Rouge Bunny Rouge

My only gripe with the application process is that the depth of pigment isn’t as strong as I’d like, and I have to go over the line a few times to get more impact. The black shade of the liner is more of a charcoal, and it seems to have almost a slight blueish cast to it.  As the liner does dry quite quickly, it can sometimes ‘pick up’ the original line, and I find myself going over it again in order to lay down new colour. Having said that, it doesn’t add much extra time to the process, and I do enjoy the liner immensely for softer or more casual looks.

Rouge Bunny Rouge Nocturnal Ink FriesianRouge Bunny Rouge Nocturnal Ink Friesian Rouge Bunny Rouge Nocturnal Ink Friesian

You can see how soft the effect is in the photos above. I normally am all about full pigment, but I kind of like how it looks, especially in winter out in the snow :)

At 0.034 fl oz, this liner contains about twice the amount of Stila’s liquid liners (0.016oz) and NARS’ (0.02oz), but is considerably less than Urban Decay and Make Up For Ever’s (both 0.058oz) – so, decently sized but not exceptionally priced. Nonetheless, I find myself liking this liner enough that I’ve added the other two shades to my wish list; the comfy formula and fantastic applicator make this a complete winner in my book!

What type of liner do you prefer – pencil, liquid, or cream/gel? How do you wear your liner most frequently?

*Product was provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.

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New Makeup Pretties: Liner, Lipstick, Shadow, and Highlight

I have been so terribly absent this summer it’s crazy!  Along with my normally busy social calendar, I’ve been really taking full advantage this season and enjoying it to the max.  It’s the first summer in a while in which I haven’t had a baby shower/bridal shower/bachelorette/wedding every second weekend, so the ‘downtime’ is much appreciated!  You may think that because I have a new (and fabulous…just throwin’ it out there ;)) beau that he’s taking up all of my time, but truth be told – he works in Newfoundland and is only home every second weekend, so I can’t even use that as an excuse!  In actual fact, I’m just having a great summer all around.  I hope everyone else is as well!

On the beauty front, nothing TOO exciting has been going on – I’m still trying to keep my purchases of new color cosmetics to a minimum (still only have one face, last time I checked), but fall is kind of my fave season so I haven’t been completely well-behaved:

Summer Purchases (2)Clockwise from left: MAC Pressed Pigment in Damson, MAC Lipstick in Hug Me, Laura Mercier Illluminator in Spellbound, Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Cobalt

I mentioned in my wish list post that I had picked up the MAC Pressed Pigment in Damson – here is it in it’s (partial) glory (it’s MUCH more awesome IRL), along with Laura Mercier’s Illuminator in Spellbound, a MAC lipstick in Hug Me, and Stila’s newest liquid liner shade in Cobalt.  Every single purchase here is all sorts of awesome in it’s own way!

I feel like I’ve already gone on about MAC Damson ($25CAD), and I want to give it a full review, so for now just trust: it’s awesome.  Just LOOK at it:

MAC Damson Pressed Pigment

I really needed a good MLBB lip color as I didn’t have anything and essentially just used lip balm when I was trying to go for that look (which is probably all that IS really needed, but…meh).  After trying on a TON at the MAC counter last time I was there, the SA pulled out Hug Me ($18CAD), which was a perfect match.  My lips tend to be of medium pigmentation and lean sort of grayish when I’m bare-lipped, so this was a great choice.  It’s a Lustre formula which isn’t my favorite, but it feels good going on, is only semi-opaque so it looks quite natural, and lasts a few hours so I’m happy.

MAC Hug Me

The Stila eyeliner ($26CAD) is absolutely AMAZING.  A thick line of this with a lil flick at the end, a bit o’ blush and balm, and I’m ready to rock n roll.  I find this far easier and somehow more subtle to wear than a bright aqua liner (of which I seem to have several for some reason) and it looks particularly striking with my dark brown eye color.  This is my first Stila liquid liner – they are so darn tenacious and great, but I resisted buying one until now because they’re a smaller size than most other brands with similar offerings, but they costs about the same.  This unique color totally justified giving in finally.

Stila Cobalt Liquid Eyeliner swatch

Laura Mercier’s newest illuminator, Spellbound ($55CAD), hit the ground running, similarly to last year’s Rose Rendezvous, which I missed out on.  I was determined not to make that mistake again, so I ordered this rose-gold highlighter online sight-unseen.  It’s likely if I had waited until seeing it in-store that I would have purchased it – it’s quite nice but not mind-blowing to me – but I’m still pleased to have it, and it doesn’t replicate anything else I own.  And the design is just too pretty to pass up eh?  Further review to come.

Laura Mercier Spellbound Illuminator (2)

Soo…yeah.  I’ve definitely been up to a few of my old trick in the past month or so, but at least my purchases are varied and I feel like they augment my collection rather than just adding to the pile.  I’ve been keen to do another purge lately so I think that filtering out some items that don’t get much love to add others that will just makes sense.  All the products that are on my wishlist follow this mentality as well.  As long as I don’t feel guilt about my purchases then all is well and fine by me!

What kinds of makeup have you been picking up lately?  Are you paring down or ramping up for fall?

Summer Purchases

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Can Your Eyeliners Take the Heat?

An interesting thing happened last week after while I was preparing for my alternative bridesmaid post.  I had done swatches for the color story, and afterward I jumped in the shower to get cleaned up.  I noticed as I went about washing my face and conditioning my hair that the MAC Blacktrack Fluidline wasn’t coming off – at all.  Surprised, I rubbed at the line, and it stayed intact.  Now, while I make an effort to buy long-wearing eyeliners – as my outer corners are notorious for smudging – I didn’t really think about that when I purchased this one back in April, and I certainly wasn’t aware that it was waterproof.  I just wanted a nice cream liner!  Of course, when I actually washed my body, the liner came off, but it was particularly tenacious throughout the shower until that point.

Of course, being a (beauty-crazed) blogger, my brain started working, and I decided I wanted to put all the liners I own to the test…so I did  >:-)

Eyeliners - Wear Time (3)

The sampling above is not all of my liners, of course (if you recall…), but all the kinds of liners I own, as I have a few different shades in several types of a brand.  You may notice that almost all of these are designed to be long-wearing and/or waterproof (Chanel Waterproof, Urban Decay 24/7, Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes, etc.), so I was quite interested to see just how well they’d hold up in the shower test.  YES I swatched each of these on my arm and then hopped in the shower (though not right after the previous shower, I waited until the next day…otherwise that would be a little crazy-town).

Eyeliners - Wear Time (4)Left to right: MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack, Chanel Waterproof Eyeliner in Noir Intense, Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil in Black Violet, Illamasqua Precision Ink in Havoc, MAC Eye Kohl in Prunella, NARS Long Wear Eyeliner in Via Appia, Clinique Cream Shaper in Egyptian, Make Up For Ever Khol Pencil in 4K, Milani Liquif-EYE Eyeliner in Aqua, MAC Pearlglide Eyeliner in Petrol Blue, Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in 21L, Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner in #14.

So.  Jumped in the shower and did my usual – conditioned my hair first, then washed my face.  Looked down at my arm – all swatches still intact.  Swiped a hand across the liners with medium pressure, to some very slight smudging of a few shades (which I will detail in a moment).  I continued to clean everywhere else but my arm to see if the water would eventually break down the product(s), fully expecting the warm water plus the humid conditions in my bathroom to do a bit of damage.  Nada.  The most effect I found was that the same few liners that smudged a bit from a pass-over with my hand had faded somewhat, as if they lost some of their pigment – however, none had smeared or ran any more from the longer duration in the shower.  Color me surprised!

However, the moment I took soap and shower pouf to the area, the liners washed away quite quickly, with only 2-3 clinging for dear life before finally getting overcome.  These hangers-on have been consistently the longest wearing off all my liners, so I was unsurprised to see them make the best showing.

Can you guess which were the ‘losers’ of the bunch, and which came out on top???

The key is in the wording (duh!).  Though I didn’t expect them to power through a shower and come out as champions, every single liner I own that is a kohl pencil failed to last (that being: MAC’s Eye Kohl, MUFE’s Kohl Eyeliner, and Laura Mercier’s Kohl Eye Pencil).  This makes sense as kohl pencils are generally designed to be soft and smudgy around the eye (though some wear well on the waterline – go figure).  I sort of knew this, yet without fail I’m frustrated when I wear these and by the end of the day they have migrated under my eyes.  Lesson REALLY learned this time (I swear)!

On the opposite side of things, the cream of the crop were the same two liners that in my experience power through pretty much everything – Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Liners, and Illamasqua’s Precision Liner, which actually edged out MUFE by clinging just that much longer.  Both of these are liquid liners and they absolutely DO NOT COME OFF until you wash them off.  At times I find that Illamasqua’s requires even more elbow grease to get every last bit – though I found that because my skin had been wet for a period of time, it was much easier than usual (when washing it off my face).

Overall, it was a bit of an eye-opening experience for me, mostly to really *get* that different types of liners are designed for different things.  While the majority of my liners are stellar when it comes to long-wear, especially throughout the warmer months, I must take note that kohls are NOT to be used for crisp lines or as a traditional liner – at least if I’m expecting them to stay put.  I think I’ll reserve these for nights out or short trips in which I don’t need something to last hours and hours.  When I need to pull out the big guns, I’ll opt for the various other liners I have in my collection.

Eyeliners - Wear Time

What types of liners are your favorite? 

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Brightening Up for Summer with Make Up For Ever

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a good month now, but with my busy schedule and the infrequent appearance of the sun, it just hasn’t come together!  However, after having a string of gorgeous hot, sunny days here in Hali (and by hot I mean like August weather…SO weird), I’ve managed to simultaneously slow wayyy down for a change – spending the last three days outside from dawn till dusk -  and take a few shots for the blog in all the lovely sunshine.  SCORE.

Make Up For Ever Spring 2013

I find that once the sun comes out, I get so tempted to play even more with makeup, trying out bold colors for eyes, lips and cheeks.  However, when you’re spending entire days outside, I don’t feel comfortable wearing such noticeable makeup, as it somehow feels like I’m resisting the natural, easy-going vibe that comes with warm weather.  Due to this little mini-war I have in my head, I tend to compromise by opting instead for shimmering, golden tones that allow me to feel ‘summery’ while staying relatively low-key.  Two products that work well toward that end are Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Eyes eyeliner in Gold 9L ($23CAD), a metallic yellow, and Lab Shine Star Collection lipgloss in S0 ($22CAD), a pearly nude.

MUFE Aqua Eyes in 9L

In the heat of summer, one of the first things to drop off my makeup routine is eyeshadow.  Though I generally don’t tend to experience excessive creasing, I find that opting for liner only is a quick, easy, and long-lasting way to ensure I look good without looking like I tried too hard.  Gold 9L is a bright metallic true yellow – it doesn’t contain any orange leanings, so it would be a great shade for cooler skintones or for a warmer skintone looking for contrast.  Its the perfect kind of shade to wear on the inner corners of your eyes to brighten them up – if I’m in a rush, or looking for a seriously minimalist look, I’ll opt to wear it this way with very little else.

MUFE Aqua Eyes in 9L (1)

However, if I want to go full-on with this shade, with my neutral skintone it can look a bit stark.  To remedy this, I first apply black liner to my top lashes to define, before tracing the gold above the liner and into my inner corners – then finally add a touch of a sheer, satiny yellow shadow to blend out the gold liner.  Oh, and lots of mascara :)

MUFE Aqua Eyes in 9L (3) MUFE Aqua Eyes in 9L (2) MUFE Aqua Eyes in 9L (4)

As you can see, it’s great for adding a little lightness and brightness to the eye without being too dance-y (aka that inner highlight thing we do when we’re going out on the town) so it’s ideal for day.

Make Up For Ever’s Lab Shine Star Collection lipgloss in S0 is another excellent product that gives a little something extra without being too much under the bright rays of summer sun.  I’ve had another shade in this gloss before and I really like it – its a bit thick so it has good longevity, but it’s not sticky at all and is very smooth and comfortable to wear.

MUFE Lab Shine Star Collection S0 swatches

S0 is a shimmering pale sheer beige that mutes the lipcolor only slightly, which makes it very wearable with a variety of looks.  The non-glittery finish makes it great for day, but it has enough glimmer that it can hold its own against flashier night looks – and it’s translucency makes it ideal for layering.

MUFE Lab Shine Star Collection Gloss in S0  (2) MUFE Lab Shine Star Collection Gloss in S0

Though my natural inclination is to go big and bold in my makeup choices for the most part, I do like to have more subtle, toned down items in my arsenal to turn to if I’m spending the day outside or looking to go low-key – or to compliment a more in-your-face eye or lip look!  While at first glance, these two products might seem too tame for some, I have found myself reaching for them more often than I expected to polish off my summer beauty routine and keep things as fuss-free as possible – all the better to spend every moment I can out in that (rare) sunshine!

Make Up For Ever Spring 2013 (2)

Do you lighten up in the warmer months?

*Products were provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.

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From the Pages of a Magazine: FOTD Inspiration

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:

Blue Eyeliner Inspiration

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:

MAC Petrol Blue Eyeliner (2)MAC Petrol Blue Eyeliner (3)

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.

MAC Petrol Blue Eyeliner

And an even more up-close shot:

MAC Petrol Blue Eyeliner (4)

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!

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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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Wild & Chic Best of Make Up For Ever Kit, Part Three: Aqua Eyes #0L and Aqua Cream #13

I’m still plugging away at the pieces of the Wild & Chic Kit!  I’m slow as cold molasses running up a hill, I know, I know.  Ahh, now there’s a saying you don’t hear to often anymore!  I think I spent too much time with my Grandma (never!) growing up, I have all these old-timey phrases floating around in my head – they sound totally commonplace to me :P

Anyway, on the review!  First, we have one of MUFE’s Aqua Creams in #13 Warm Beige.I feel that the name for this shade is slightly misleading.  It’s beige per se, but the description online is ‘champagne shimmer’ which is totally accurate, and what they should have called the product in the first place.  Just sayin’.Aqua Creams are touted to be ‘ an ultra-pigmented, long-lasting waterproof cream,’ that should not crease or budge throughout the day.  I have another one, shade #02 Steel, which is a taupe-gunmetal shade.  When applied, these creams dry relatively quickly so you’ll need to work fast – though I’ve found previously if I just apply a sheer wash and build the color as I go, I have no problems.  However, I do find that with Warm Beige, if I’m not fast enough it applies unevenly, which I think is more noticeable because the shade is so light and metallic (and hence, unforgiving).  Particularly for my darker skintone, Warm Beige is almost too light and picks up any imperfections if I’m not careful.  On someone fairer, I don’t think this would be much of an issue.  For me, I’ll likely wear it as an inner eye highlight most of the time.

Aside from the shade not being the most flattering for me, the product lives up to its budge-proof claims, lasting all day – in fact, after swatching it was hard to get off my hand, and requires makeup remover to take it off.

I thought the shade looked a bit like Chanel’s Émerveillé, so I swatched them side by side just for fun:

On left, Warm Beige; On right, Émerveillé

Compared to Émerveillé, Warm Beige has more dense pigmentation, and is more metallic and shiny, which can be a good or a bad thing, depending on what look you’re going for.  In reality, they’re just two completely different products!

Next up, MUFE’s popular Aqua Eyes Liner in #0L, which is described as a mat black.These liners are supposed to be waterproof, smudgeproof, and fade-proof, and after wearing it all day long, I can support these claims.  My liner looked exactly the same 10 hours later as when I had put it on (no primer).  However, I tend to wear my liners extended outward for a cat-eye look, and it did fade a bit there as I tend to have watery eyes.  But it didn’t run or slide down my face like a lot of pencil liners have, so I consider that a win!The texture of the liner was different than I’ve experienced before; it was almost waxy, which makes sense if it’s going to be waterproof.  It was fairly black, but I could do with an even deeper black for more intensity – it’s reminiscent of Urban Decay’s Zero, which I’ve compared below:

On left, MUFE #0L; On right, UD's Zero

While they might have their shade in common, MUFE’s Aqua Eyes is superior in terms of wear – I tried to get it off my arm after swatching, and it barely budged at all.  Again, makeup remover was absolutely needed.  However, due to the waxier texture of the Aqua Eyes liner (which aids in the wear time), its not as creamy as Urban Decay’s, though it’s still fairly easy to draw across the eye.  If I have to sacrifice a bit of smoothness to get a longer wear time, I’m all for it!

My final thoughts on these two products are divided: while I love the Aqua Cream formulation, I was left disappointed at how Warm Beige worked with my skin tone.  As for the Aqua Eyes liner, though I would LOVE to see a deeper, darker black, I’m happy with how it stays put throughout the day.  I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up a few more of these in other shades (#12L, a metallic teal blue, is calling my name!).

*These products were provided to me for consideration by the brand/PR company.

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Yeah, Baby, Yeah! Illamasqua Haul!!

When Illamasqua had a 15% off sale last month, I finally had to give in a pick up a few items.  At the least, I knew I wanted to get a blush and a nail polish, as they’re both so highly regarded in the beauty world and I wanted to be in on that fun!  I picked up Tweak, a ‘deep hot pink’ blush with a matte finish – I’m loving bright, bold color for cheeks lately – and after looking at a few swatches of polishes online, I settled on Baptiste, a ‘deep royal purple’ polish with a fine shimmer finish.  It’s not an extraordinarily unique shade, but somehow I don’t have anything like it so it seemed like a good choice.  For good measure, I also bought Havoc, part of this seasons’ ‘Theatre of the Nameless‘ collection – an aubergine liquid liner that is sorta brown, sorta burgundy, and all kinds of awesome.

Oh.My.Word.

These three li’l items have TOTALLY been rocking my world the past few days.  I can’t recall being this happy about a haul for a while; every piece I purchased is absolutely amazing.  Let’s go through each one by one so as not to miss anything!

Illamasqua Tweak Powder Blush

Tweak is a majorly pigmented fuschia blush that leans more warm than cool, noticeably when compared to the other hot pink I have in my stash, MAC’s Madly Magenta. As such, it looks much more natural and flattering on me than MM (though I still dig that color too!), and packs a serious punch with very little product.  The powder is soft and picks up easily on my blush brush, and a light dusting leaves me with flushed cheeks that definitely demand attention – I don’t know if I’d be comfortable wearing a whole lot of other makeup with this blush for fear of overdoing it.  However, I’ve seen photos of celebs rocking the bright cheeks and smoky eyes or strong lips together, so I’m sure it can be done – it just needs to be applied correctly!

Wear of this product was beyond any other blush I own, hands down.  It was still going strong after a full day at the office and an hour cat nap afterward – that’s what I’m talkin’ about! Majorly impressive. It retails for $26.50CDN.

Illamasqua Baptiste Nail Varnish

Baptiste ($22CDN for Illamasqua varnish) is a lovely violet polish with a hint of shimmer, that isn’t too apparent in regular lighting, but comes to life in the sunshine, with flecks of hot pink and blue throughout (click on the pics below to view the multicolored shimmer better).  Even though I can get a tad irritated with these ‘hidden shimmers’ that a lot of polishes have lately (because ummm…we just don’t have enough sun here in Hali to showcase it properly – and also, c’mon, I work in an office!), I’m enjoying the color of Baptiste so much in this instance that I’ll be forgiving this time around.

And now, a million (give or take) photos:And ok, the application for this polish?  Pure pleasure.  The two coats flowed more easily than any other polish I own, I’m fairly certain.  Absolutely no issues at all – it didn’t dry so fast that it pulled or caused patchiness, but it didn’t take so long to dry that it smudged at all, despite my easily distracted brain.  And note: in these photos, there is neither base nor top coat.  I really wanted to put it to the test due to hearing so many rave reviews about the formula, and so far I’m extremely pleased.  The most minor of tip wear after four days, and I suspect it could have gone a full week with just the same if I hadn’t gotten adventurous and done this:
As you may know, I’m not a huge fan of nail art of any kind, but I was feeling creative this week (Halifax Pop Explosion, what!?) and thought this would be appropriate for rocking out at a bunch of shows.  I’m actually liking the effect quite a bit, what do you think?
One thing I will say is that after doing the half-moon, I did apply a top coat and I love the intensity of Baptiste with a glossy top coat on top – brings out its gorgeousness so much more!!  Love, love, love it.

Illamasqua Havoc Precision Ink Eyeliner

New favorite liner! Perfect color – not brown, not black, more of a dark brick red – and it totally offsets my brown eyes.It applies SO easily, slicking on with hardly an effort for a liquid liner, and DOES. NOT. BUDGE.  Like, holy smokes this liner didn’t move an inch all freakin’ day (again, even after my power snooze!). Check out the proof in these photos taken after wearing the liner for almost 12 hours and after a nap:Yowwwww.  How’s THAT for staying power!  Looks like I just applied it!  And note – this is with absolutely no primer or anything else on my eyes to enhance the wear – what you see is the liner worn entirely by itself.  It’s not at all cheap at about $27.50CDN (does it seem weird to anyone else that it’s [a tad] more than the blush??), but considering that everything else about this liner is a major pro, I think it’s extremely worth the cost.

For my first foray into the dark and sensual world of Illamasqua, it was quite the experience and (unfortunately) they have made a serious convert outta me.  It’s a real problem that we can’t get the brand here in Canada, because the shipping costs and the higher price tag of the product causes it to be quite prohibitive to purchase for all of us North of the border.  If you’re living in Canada (or elsewhere that doesn’t have Illamasqua), and a beauty aficionado like myself, I say give in and go for it at least once, just to check out the line – from what I’ve seen so far, it’s SO worth a temporary dent in your bank account. Otherwise, I’d say keep it on the mental backburner for now – but if you’re in the States anytime soon (or somewhere where they sell the brand, ya lucky dogs!), high-tail it to a Sephora/Selfridges/Debenhams/etc. and check it out!! You won’t be disappointed :P

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Make Up For Ever: Green Color Flash for Fall!

*MAKE UP FOR EVER Press Release*

Fall 2011′s hottest hues come straight from the international runways.  Make up artists embraced deep jewel tone palettes to create glamorous make up looks with a subtle hint of edginess.  Emerald green has emerged as one of the season’s most wearable shades, and it will surely become a make up bag staple for Fall and Winter.

From subtle to striking and smoky to shimmery, MAKE UP FOR EVER offers a wide range of eye popping green shadows, liners, and even mascara, to get you through the season in style.”

Make Up For Ever has a variety of green shades that will help you achieve this edgy look.  Some to try are:

Aqua Liner #3 – an iridescent emerald green.

Smoky Lash #4 mascara, a deep green.

Khol Pencil #4, also a deep green.

Aqua Cream #22 – an emerald green shadow with a golden sheen.

I gotta say, these shades look amazing and green does tend to look good on everyone!!  Whether worn subtly or bold, I think green is a fabulous shade for Fall.  It seems MAKE UP FOR EVER has got this one covered :)

All of these products are currently in-store at Sephora.

What do you think of green eye makeup?  Have you tried it before?  What are some ways you like to wear it?

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