Posts Tagged mac

MAC Heavenly Hybrid Lipstick: A Delayed Review

I took shots of this lipstick ages ago but never got around to posting about it – and then when the time came, I thought it would be long gone for purchase (which is just plain MEAN to do with a lipstick this pretty!). Just out of curiosity, I *just* checked online, and lo and behold this shade is available to purchase on the Canadian site (but sadly, is ‘out of stock’ on the US one)!  And so, I thought it fitting to do a little show n’ tell for you all :)

MAC Heavenly Hybrid

From the ‘Fantasy of Flowers‘ spring collection, Heavenly Hybrid is a Lustre formula, which are thought to be somewhat moisturizing with a mostly semi-opaque finish, and is described as a ‘mid tone berry.’  I have a couple shades in this formula, and while I don’t find it hydrating, I don’t find it drying either – I notice it tends to wear off quicker than other formulas and lipsticks (about 2 hours, tops) and usually leaves me feeling like I need to reapply in order for my lips to feel moisturized at all. However, I will say that with Heavenly Hybrid, the more intense colour means that it wears longer that other shades I have in the formula, so for that I give it good marks overall.

MAC Heavenly Hybrid

I find the colour in the bullet is a little more muted than what you see on the lips, as you’ll see in the swatches below. But that’s all to the better, because I find this is the perfect shade of berry – bright but not too in-your-face, veering near fuchsia but retaining a deeper berry tone to make it more wearable day-to-day.

MAC Heavenly Hybrid swatch MAC Heavenly Hybrid swatch

Essentially, I LOVE IT.  This shade is insanely wearable, and über flattering. As its not fully opaque, it looks softer than a full-on bright pink, but it’s not dull or boring in the least. It also brightens the face instantly, so with very effort you can look pulled together and pretty in a heartbeat.  And it’s perfect for spring – or pretty much any season, really!

MAC Heavenly Hybrid swatch

If you haven’t guessed, I’m loving this lipstick. Even better, I managed to snag it via Back2MAC empties, so this is like a MEGA WIN. I have to admit, I’m pretty surprised that it’s still available online considering how great a colour it is. But YAY for you guys! I highly recommend checking it out some way, somehow…I promise you won’t regret it!

What is your most wearable lipstick? 

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These are {13} of my favourite things (of 2013)

The New Year is almost upon us!  Even though the number 13 conjures up some unsettling feelings, 2013 was kind of a great year for me!  Though it started out a bit rough, with a lot of talking and support it turned around for me (a big thanks to all of you who sent kind words – and a care package! – my way!).  As always, the hardships make the good times feel that much sweeter.  I had the immense pleasure of standing in my friend’s most amazing wedding; I started dating a guy who makes me feel loved and truly content in a way I never have before; I’ve had the opportunity to work in several different positions at my work and found my niche; and I finally got to go to New York City, a long-standing dream of mine!  Not too shabby 2013, not too shabby :)

Over the month of December I’ve been pondering what beauty products in my collection really stand-out and get the most use.  Though I could probably add one or two more, the 13 items below really have rocked my world this year and have been very well-loved.  I would even go so far to say that I would repurchase most of them (and that’s saying something!).

Beauty Favorites of 2013

And so I present to you, my favourite (beauty) things of 2013:

1. Osha Mae Calendula Salve ($15CAD).  On it’s own, without any cortisone products, this can clear up the chronic eczema on my hands overnight – absolutely unheard of!  I first got hooked on a sample of M.J. Herbals Calendula Salve ($15CAD), but when I saw this very similar version at our local market I picked it up, as I always like to support local!

Osha Mae Calendula Salve

2. La Bella Figura Bio Active Healing Mask ($65CAD).  When LBF was introduced on the Clementine Fields website, they had a promotion for 15% off it’s pre-sale.  I ordered this mask as I was looking for something hydrating that could replace the uber-scented derma-e mask that I’d been using for a while (uncomfortably).  I didn’t know what to expect, and was completely bowled over once I tried it – its truly amazing!  It hydrates, it heals, it calms, it brightens…I honestly feel like it’s almost a one-stop shop as a mask, because my skin just looks SO DAMN GOOD after using it.  I attribute it’s awesomeness to it’s inclusion of raw manuka honey (it’s the first ingredient) which is noted for it’s therapeutic, antibacterial and nourishing qualities.  Other ingredients include kaolin clay, rosehip seed oil and calendula extract – be still my heart!  Oh, and it’s also BRIGHT PURPLE (due to the aronia berry).  I want to get my hands on the Purifying ($65CAD) version next.

La Bella Figura Bio Active Healing Mask

3. Lina Hanson Global Body Serum ($64CAD).  I really wish this didn’t cost so damn much because I just want to drown in this fantastically scented body oil for the rest of my life.  As it stands, I’m still trying to ration it, but I still fear it won’t last long as I keep using it every few days because it’s so addictive!

Lina Hanson Global Body Serum

Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille ($130US).  Yum.  And YUM.  You all know my penchant for vanilla-based scents, so my love for this probably comes as no surprise.  With notes like sandalwood, coconut milk, musk, vanilla and tonk a bean, it’s a gourmand fragrance-lovers paradise.  I was surprised however that it also contains notes like black liquorice (which I hate) and bitter almond – but I suspect they help round out the scent and keep it from being too OTT vanilla, which can get headache-inducing fast.  I have worn this and only this since purchasing it in NYC; the only gripe I have with the fragrance is that I don’t find it lasts on my skin – but I guess that just gives me an excuse to spritz, spritz, spritz!

Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille

Make Up For Ever Medium Highlighting Brush in #152 ($43CAD).  I didn’t quite understand just how much I would love this brush until I really put it into practice and had a while to play with it.  This brush is absolutely integral in my makeup application – aside from applying cream or powder highlighters like a dream, it also blends all formulas of blush or bronzer perfectly.  I don’t quite know how it does it, but somehow the fibers of the brush, its density, and it’s softness all contribute to a beautifully seamless complexion.  LOVE.

Make Up For Ever Brush #152

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal (full-size, $50CAD).  Though I only have a deluxe sample size of this product, you only need the slightest amount to get amazing, glowing skin, so it’s lasted me ages!  I usually pull this out when I am either going for a really ‘natural’ look that focuses on the skin, or if I’m looking to amp up the glow factor for an event.  Though the full-size would probably last me a lifetime – something that doesn’t appeal to a fickle beauty fiend like myself – I still think I’ll repurchase this when I DO run out, because it’s truly the most beautiful yet natural-looking illuminator I’ve ever used.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal (5)

Buxom Full-Bodied Lipsticks (full-size, $26CAD).  My love for this lipstick formula is still going strong.  I use the little sample bullets I’ve got more than any other lipstick I own, and I’m looking forward to the day when they run out – so I can justifiably buy some full sizes!  Just so, so creamy and comfortable to wear, with awesome full pigment.  For the price especially, you really can’t beat ‘em!

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Chanel Le Blush Creme de Chanel in Revelation ($43CAD).  I have been on a cream blush kick for a while now, as I find it just looks so darn natural, which fits my makeup M.O. these days.  The newish Blush Cremes dry to an almost powder-like finish, so they don’t have quite the same effect; nevertheless, this natural-looking apricot shade gets a lot of regular use because it goes with just about every makeup look I wear.  The only downside is that its a touch too light when my skin is tanned – but at the moment it’s just right :)

Chanel Blush Creme in Revelation

MAC Eyeshadow in All That Glitters (pro-pan, $12CAD).  Though I have lessened my use of this shadow recently due to switching up my makeup routine, this baby got some SERIOUS love for months after I bought it early last spring.  It gives my eyes the most subtle yet beautiful sparkle I’ve ever seen, and accompanies a bright lip look beautifully.  The hype is TRUE, you guys.  BUY IT.

MAC All That Glitters

Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow in Trench ($30CAD).  Even after owning this shadow for a year and a half, I’m still amazed at how perfectly it blends and melds on the brow bone to give the perfect level of highlight to the eye.  As I have a lot of shimmering shadows, it keeps them grounded without making me look too ‘show dancer,’ but also isn’t so flat that it looks dull.  On top of all that, it’s HELLA soft.

Burberry Sheer Eye Shadow in Trench (2)

Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Noir Intense ($29CAD).  I wasn’t big on black pencil eyeliner until I purchased this early in the year – I didn’t have one and thought I should at least have one in my arsenal.  I don’t use it as a traditional liner, but rather as a tightliner on my upper lash line.  It a nice, dark black that gives great definition when I’m doing a more natural look (see a theme here?) and doesn’t budge – in fact, it’s difficult to remove at the end of the day, so keep that in mind.  But as I find a long-wearing liner hard to come by, it’s far from a deal-breaker!

Chanel Eyeliner Noir Intense

MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack ($19CAD).  Black pencil liner may never have been my thing, but I can’t say the same for black cream/gel/liquid formulas, which have always been a staple in my arsenal.  When I ran out of my last black liquid liner, I decided it was about time I tried the cult fave Blacktrack.  It’s nice and dark, and its creamy texture makes creating a winged look (a regular go-to for me) incredibly easy.  I’m not convinced I would repurchase, only because there are several black cream/gel liners that I’d like to try, but it’s been a faithful staple for me since I purchased it.

MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack

XLash Eyelash Enhancer ($59).  You’re all probably sick and tired of hearing me trumpet on and on about my love for this lash serum, but seriously, just get some and then get back to me – I promise you’ll be converted!  I won’t repeat my gushings yet again, but I will say that I am actually planning to buy more of this when I run out (still haven’t!).  SO. GOOD.

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That just about rounds up my year in beauty in a nutshell!  I’ve tried many things, some duds, some *pretty good*, but this collection here have been raised to the level of HG status for me.  As I learn and grow I find my selections have become more and more curated to the point where I rarely have a miss (at least if they’re purchased by me) and I’ve grown quite fond of my collection, to which I’ve whittled and culled to include *almost* only products that are a pleasure to use.  I still have a bit of work to do (which I plan on laying out for you in a future post), but overall I’m quite pleased and have passed the ‘GAH! My-stash-is-overwhelming-OMG-the-anxiety!‘ stage that I was in for a long time since starting the blog.  Which I deem a HUGE success :)

So say farewell to 2013 and welcome in the New Year with a bang!  I appreciate each and every reader of my little beauty haven, whether you’ve been with me or a while, or stumbled upon my ramblings by accident.  You’re the only reason I keep on writing!  I wish all of you a very excellent finale to the year soon past and hope that the very best is yet to come in 2014!!!  Let’s make it all sorts of great, yea? :D

happy-new-year-2014-wishes-2880x1800Image credit: ilovehdwallpapers.com

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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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Fall 2013 Wish List – Pretties Abound!

Ah, autumn.  The season that always releases my favorite makeup collections :)  This year, I’m determined to give myself permission to pick up a few choice pieces to give my daily routine a little boost!  Check out the wish list to see what has me drooling:

Fall 2013 Wish List

1. Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in 384 Bonne Etoile $62CAD- the most gorgeous-looking palette I’ve seen in ages.  However, not all is as it seems…see note below.

2. MAC Pressed Pigment in Damson $25CAD – I actually couldn’t wait to buy this gorgeous plummy-brown sparker and it came home with me before I could even get this post out.  As a non-glitter-loving person, I have essentially ignored the Pressed Pigments entirely over the past few releases, but decided earlier this summer to give the formula a shot the next time I had a chance.  Damson has been the perfect introduction to add a little sparkle to my life!  Review to come.

3. Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense in #30 Rose Popillia $42CAD – I haven’t bought any Armani makeup in a while now, mainly due to the ridiculous price hike we have here in Canada.  However, the ETK shadows always manage to lure me in, and Rose Popillia is a beautiful muted rose-taupe shade with a hint of duochrome.  From the swatches I’ve seen, it needs to be in my life and I’ll probably shell out the big bucks for it, even though it’ll pain me a bit!

4. Dior Fusion Mono Eyeshadow in Millenium $31CAD – In the promo photos this looks a bit more khaki than I was interested in.  But since seeing swatches around and testing it out in store (though – they don’t have the product to sell, just the testers…what’s the deal, Dior!?!? That happened in TWO stores I visited), I’ve come to realize this is GORGEOUS and is more like a darkened pewter shade.  The sparkliness of these shadows is super pretty and again, I feel like I need a bit more shimmer in my life than usual.  BRING IT.

5. Zoya Louise $9CAD – I’ve been kind of itching for a dark chocolate creme polish for a while now, and I think this one is it.  It’s dark enough to look contrast nicely with my skintone (re: not mannequin hands) and Zoya is generally a winning formula in my books.  So yummy.

6. YSL City Drive Palette in Classy $74CADI normally have little interest in the YSL brand as a whole except for their lip products, but I do strive to be well-rounded in all areas of my life, and when I saw swatches of this palette crop up here and there, I was pleasantly surprized to find that I quite liked how it all came together.  I haven’t seen this in person yet so a bit more investigation is needed, but if I’m feeling crazy this just might happen ;)

7. Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Eyeshadow Pencil in Bittersweet $33CAD - I’ve been interested in trying one of these newish pencils out but hadn’t taken the plunge.  I desperately need a nice dark brown eyeshadow, as I have plenty of medium shades but nothing deep dark.  I’m hoping this might do the trick and kill two birds with one stone!

8. Chanel Le Blush Creme in Affinite $43CAD – I’m not going to buy both this AND Fantastic, but I’m torn between the two.  I don’t own too many cream blushes but I would like to change that, and what better place to start than Chanel?  A cool pink (which now I know is my JAM) would be perfect for fall/winter…though I must admit, I saw swatches/photos of Destiny on Karen at MBB and the shade looked so gorgeous and natural!

9. Chanel Le Blush Creme in Fantastic $42 CAD - see above.

10. NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Mysterious Red $30CAD – Another product I’ve been dying to try but just haven’t make the purchase yet.  You can’t really go wrong with a lush, bold red that looks like the perfect tone for fall.  This will be a definite pick-up when it arrives in stores (strangely, they have most of the collection but not this shade, yet).

Ok, so here’s the story with the Dior palette.  Last week I drew up this wish list and all was good.  But over the weekend, I had an opportunity to check out the Dior fall collection, and was sadly disappointed – that gorgeous Bonne Etoile quint?  On my skintone, it looked totally muddy :’(  I really thought that it was going to be THE piece that I grabbed out of all the new fall offerings, so I was really bummed out.  On a positive note, I have similar shades to several colors in the palette, so it’s probably for the best (though it doesn’t necessarily make me feel tons better!).  Additionally, I was also considering getting the lipgloss in Ensorcelante, but when I swatched it I was again, disappointed – I felt more ‘meh’ than anything!!  Sadness…I even have enough optimum points to get a wee bit of free stuff so I was really banking on this being a nice low-cost treat for the season.

Ah well, can’t win ‘em all.  And anyway, the rest of these items?  Still TOTALLY crushing on.  The MAC shadow is 100% love, and I’m certain my new glittering love affair will extend to the Dior mono shadow as well.  Truth be told, I think I’m genuinely going to buy every single item on this wish list (with the exception of perhaps the YSL quad…I’ll have to really love it in person to justify that cost) – I think I’m due for a good splurge.  I’m feeling a lot less financial pressure right now and while I’m still trying to keep my collection more modest of late and not add to it excessively, I’m less bothered by adding new products that have different textures than I usually opt for – feels like I’m not adding to the repetition but branching out a bit.  And like I said, fall is my favorite season!!  So I think I’m due to celebrate, just a little bit ;)

What’s on your wish list for the upcoming season!?

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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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Huzzah! MAC Morange Has Finally Been Conquered

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! ;)

MAC Morange (2)

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.

MAC Morange swatches (2) MAC Morange swatches

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.

MAC MorangeEeks!  I just find this plain scary.

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):

MAC Morage vs Dior Delice vs NARS WonderLeft to right: MAC Morange, Dior Delice Addict Extreme, NARS Wonder Lipgloss

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.

MAC Morange worn (2)

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.

MAC Morange worn (3)

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!

MAC Morange worn

What recent beauty challenge have you faced?  How did you handle it?

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21 Comments

ALL THE THINGS: An Abundance of New Lippies (But First: An Apology)

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. 

Sick

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 SORRYMy 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:

MAC Morange (2) MAC Morange (3)

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:

Dior Addict Extreme 433 Delice (5) Dior Addict Extreme 433 Delice (9)

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.

BITE Beauty High Pigment Pencil Quince  (3) BITE Beauty High Pigment Pencil Quince swatches

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.

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine #8 Pink In Confidence (5) YSL Rouge Volupte Shine #8 Pink In Confidence swatches (5)

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.

MUFE Lab Shine Star Collection S0 (3) MUFE Lab Shine Star Collection S0 swatches

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? 

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20 Comments

Everything is Just Peachy: An Update and a Pretty Powder from MAC

So, remember this post?  Yea, you know – the mega-sad one.  Well, just so you know: ever since writing that post and opening up about my current situation, things have much improved!  We all have heard that talking about things always makes you feel better, but we don’t always put it into practice.  Let this be a lessons learned for everyone (including myself): IT REALLY DOES MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER.  I think why it helps is that you feel like you’re sort of being pro-active, and doing something for good yourself, even if you’re not actually putting a solution into action.  Once I did that, it was easier to start doing other constructive things to get back to my usual perky self.  I started doing kick-ass yoga (aka ashtanga yoga) to compliment my half-marathon training, and I feel stronger and more fit than ever.  I had my friends over for dinner and brunch this past month, and felt a little less disconnected that before.  And this past week, I made a connection with another gal who needs a place to stay, and soon I might just have  a roommate, which would help my financial situation immensely.  Things are most certainly looking up, and I just wanted to give you a little update and also to thank each and every one of you who were so fantastically supportive after I wrote that post – you gave me such comfort and the courage to then open up to my friends and family, and since have felt infinitely better.  So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for being the wonderful people you are and for being so kind and caring.  Though I haven’t met most of you in person I feel very fortunate to call many of you friends :D

Gift from Sarah (6) 026 027Particularly amazing friend-cheer from the wonderful Sarah of Beauty and the Baked Goods…aside from the very fact that she SENT me a care package, the sweet hat card and note plus hilarious envelope quips made me laugh out loud.  BEST.  THERAPY.  EVER.

Now, let me share some other goodness with you!  MAC has put out a collection this year (one of the million) called Year of the Snake, which contains a handful of repromoted shades with snazzy box packaging and beautiful snake-like embossing on the actual product, and only available for purchase online.  The moment I saw the peachy-golden fantabulousness of the Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl (which I hear has been repromoted up the wazoo….how did I miss it before?) on Circuits of Fever, I was 100% madly, desperately in love.  I went to buy it on the site, only to find that it had been sold out, to my utter disappointment.  Denise assured me that often things will come back in stock after a time, and to keep checking back every few days.  So, like a makeup obsessed crazy person, I checked the site constantly for a week, each time crossing my fingers and toes that it had come available again. No such luck.

MAC Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl (2)

Of COURSE, as things go, after a few weeks of giving up online shopping for Lent, I happened to be casually browsing the site and came across the powder, which was IN STOCK.  Let this be an indication of how much I wanted to own this powder, that I broke my Lent promise (which I have NEVER done) and snapped up the powder in seconds flat.  My love was that serious.

MAC Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl (3)

And do I feel guilty?   HECK NO.  This is why:

MAC Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl (4)

It’s sooo pretty you guys!!  I have purchased a few items over the past year with pretty designs and such, but this one really gets me goin’.  It’s just SEXY.  Love, love, love it.

MAC Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl (5)MAC Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl (7)

I find the color to lean slightly pink and reads more coral than peach, but who are we kidding – coral is the SHIT!  No complaints here.  The golden shimmers throughout are really beautiful, and NOT an overspray.

MAC Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl (8) MAC Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl

As you can see from the swatches (first diffused, then layered), when worn it’s more of a golden highlight versus getting any serious pinky/peachy/coral hue showing.  Fair skins could probably wear this as a subtle blush though I think, as it does give even my darker skin the barest hint of color.

MAC Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl worn (7) MAC Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl worn (9)

Comparing this to the other highlighters I showed you earlier this week, I would say that this does sparkle a bit in the sunlight, but it’s subtle and manageable in my opinion.  There is something about this powder I just ADORE.  I find it reminds me of a warmer version of Chanel’s Poudre Signee – it really illuminates my face in a beautiful way while remaining somewhat elusive.  I can see why MAC has released and re-released this powder several times over – it’s just so gorgeous!  To look at as well as to use.  I even prefer this design over the Chanel (sacrilege, I know).

Currently this powder is sold out on the US site but in-stock on the Canadian one (lucky us!).  I don’t know how long the collection will be available, but I would suggest if you’re interested in this powder to get it sooner rather than later – I know they’ll likely release it again (and again) in the future, but this design is not to be missed.  I even plan on keeping the box it came in too, that is BY FAR the best packaging I’ve seen to date.

Oh yea, FYI – the Beauty Powder retails for $29CAD.

Have you come across any beauty products that have rocked your world lately?

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17 Comments

How Convenient That Pantone’s Color of the Year Was Also PERFECT for St. Patty’s Day!

So.  Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day!  7 years ago (OMG how time flies…barf) I was in Dublin for Paddy’s Day (as they shorthand it in Ireland), and yea…it was as crazy as you’d imagine it to be!  Not so much a drunken mess, but just the sheer amount of people…yowza.  It was a fantabulous time, and I’ll never forget it!

As the years pass, it seems the crew of hardcore Paddy’s Day party-goers dwindles in my crowd – job responsibilities, babies, and aging in general all seem to keep everyone at home on one of the most fun days of the year ~tear~  Thankfully, I have an excellent partner-in-crime who I can always count on to celebrate with me!  This year it was just the two of us, so it was more low-key than usual, but I still made sure to dress the part – which includes green makeup (and nails), of course!

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (5)

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (7)

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (4)

I usually do a lot more green on the eye, but since it wasn’t a rip-roaring party I went subdued and just wore a simple flash of green liner on the top lash line.  I used Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liner in Covet (an emerald green with silver microglitter) on top of MAC’s Blacktrack Fluidline – the black gave the green more depth and helped the line look more crisp.  I added MAC All That Glitters shadow all over the lid, as I find it gives the most beautiful shine to the eye without ever seeming like too much, and then a dab of Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill shadow in #6 Khaki Pulse to the crease to add a little bit more depth.  *Side note – anyone notice that I’m trying to grow my eyebrows out?  It’s so frickin’ hard dude!  I want to pluck all the random stray hairs but I’m trying to be patient ~sigh~ They are coming along though :)

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (2)

Since it was going to be a long day, I wore MUFE’s HD Blush in #12 First Kiss on bare cheeks, layered foundation on top, and then added a touch of MAC’s Mineralize Blush in Early Morning to make sure my blush had good staying power.  I quite liked the way it made my skin look kind of lit from within.  I don’t usually layer cream and powder blushers but I really need to get on that!  I topped off my cheekbones and other high points of the face with MAC’s Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl, which gives the best glow – I finally got my hands on the Year of the Snake version last week and I LOVE this product.  Review will be forthcoming!

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (3)

I finished with a very simple lip using Benefit’s Ultra Plush gloss in Hoola.  I didn’t want anything competing with the green liner, so this gave the barest hint of shimmer and warmth, but that’s about it.

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013

Of course, the look isn’t finished – gotta get some flash on the nails too, right!?  Because I’m not a fan of green nail polish as a whole, I don’t actually own any that are going to give me serious pizazz.  But I have shades with a green tinge… haha.  I made it work, I think!  I just read about sideways manicures, so I tried it out – easiest nail art EVER.  And also my new favorite!!

St. Patty's Day Nails 2013 St. Patty's Day Nails 2013 (3) St. Patty's Day Nails 2013 (2)

The shades I used were a-England Tess d’Urbervilles as a base, and Chanel Peridot on top.  This was probably more subtle than I should have gone with – the nature of Peridot with it’s duochrome nature just makes the a-England shade look like a shadow.  Nonetheless, I loved the effect, and loved how darn easy this one (no nail stickers required – freehand works perfectly!), so I’ll definitely be trying this again and again with other shades.  Fun!

I always have intentions to get these kinds of event posts up before the actual event, but who am I kidding?  That’s never going to happen – I’m too busy prepping for the occasion to actually have time to post!  LOL  Anyway, all the other bloggers have got this covered for me :D  And it’s not like I did anything particularly unique, and both the makeup and nails could be done any time of the year, right?

How did you celebrate Paddy’s Day??  Did you do any themed makeup and/or nails?

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16 Comments

The Ever-Helpful Filler Post: A FOTD, Polish, and Nail Art!

Hiiii guys!  I have been hiding out and trying to minimize the time in front of my computer zombifying…seriously, these damn electronics can suck you in and eat your brain big time.  I’ve been drafting up posts here and there but not sitting down for too long because I just need a break.  S’OK?  And plus, I want to show you some fab looks with all of my new(ish) pretties!  Here’s one look that I wore out this weekend:

FOTD March 2013 (2) FOTD March 2013 FOTD March 2013 (3)

Forgive me for less than stellar shots, as usual I was running late and took these in the bathroom of the party I was at while trying to remain inconspicuous lol.  And I probably had a few rum & cokes by this point… I’m a lost cause ~sigh~  Anyway, I took this look directly from this tutorial of Lisa Eldridge’s – I ADORED how it came out, another one of those looks that made me feel badass and awesome all evening (and isn’t that the point?).  I’ve been really getting into colored shadows again lately, so fun!  FYI – I’m wearing MAC’s Blue Edge (discontinued) topped with Shimmermoss on my top lid and Beautiful Iris on my lower lash lines.  Oh, and also, I used the Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil in my hair and HOLY SMOKES.  I LOVE THIS STUFF – look at my hair!  Just look at it!!!!!

I’ve also got a spring-themed post in the works that I’ve been thinking of for ages but haven’t had all the pieces to put it together.  If I’m not too, um…under the weather after Paddy’s Day on Sunday, I plan to get it done that Monday as I’m off work.  It involves some very pretty polishes that I’m totally diggin’ – unlike this polish, which sadly did NOT do it for me:

a-England Tess d'Urbervilles

I know, an it’s an a-England polish too!  Tess d’Urbervilles, a blackened green shimmer.  It looks nice here but I couldn’t wait to take it off.  I’m just not a fan of green hued polishes, unless they’re pale /pastel-toned or more of a teal green.  Ah well, can’t win ‘em all!

I have been trying to do things that are good for my well-being as much as possible – this semi-computer break being one of them, as well as joining a yoga studio that had an awesome deal: $108 for three months of unlimited classes.  Heck YES!  I went today after work; the focus was shoulders and OMG I feel so effing great!!  My back and neck are always sore from working at a computer (and being at one at home too) and this worked it out so well.  I am feeling particularly SUPER WOMAN LIKE today because I also went for a run at lunch.  So YAY for mental & physical health! :P  I feel all zingy – kinda like this nail art I did a few weeks ago:

Nail Art Nail Art (5)

This could have been SO much better – the concept and colors I totally liked, but I used french manicure strips that kept pulling up the polish beneath it, no matter if I let it dry for 5 minutes for 15.  SO irritating!  Half of this ended up being freehand and the other is just a mess of me trying to fix the peeled polish areas.  Urgh.  For reference, the shades I used there Revlon’s Sterling, Essie No More Film, and Zoya’s Wednesday.

And there you have it!  My very best attempt at giving you something to look at while simultaneously chattering away with abandon, and trying to link the two.  Successful?  Probably not, but I wasn’t sure when or how I’d post these photos, so it worked for me! :P

I hope everyone had a great Monday!!!

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18 Comments

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