Posts Tagged Make Up For Ever
As some of you may know, I’ve been trying hard to keep my new purchases to a minimum, putting effort in to enjoying the products I already have before galavanting around buying up more stuff. The only problem with that concept is that in the summer, I tend to wear a bit of a ‘makeup uniform,’ which means the same products get used over and over again and the rest get forgotten. However, there IS something to be said for products that just plain work, and that work with your lifestyle. I thought I’d give you a peek into my recent beauty world at the handful of products I’m loving big time this summer!
All of the products above are new to me this summer, and have all wormed their way into my heart in a BIG way.
Earlier in the spring, I ran out of powder (those Ambient Lighting palettes were a cute idea, but HOLY MOLEY those powders got used up fast!), so I picked up Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder ($44CAD). I’d heard and read good things, so I finally took it off the wish list and brought it home with me. I’m quite pleased with it overall – though it doesn’t combat shine fully, it leaves me skin with a radiant matte finish and never looks heavy or cakey. It’s extremely finely milled, and feels like air going on. Probably one of the best setting powders I’ve used to date.
On my birthday, my aunt gave me her usual ‘beauty package’ of goodies she’d purchased from The Shopping Network. One of those items was the CoverFX MintGlaze FX Moisturizing Lip Treat-mint Primer with SPF15 (also known as the-lip-balm-with-the-longest-name-ever). Normally not a fan of mint anything, I actually like the gentle cooling sensation this imparts on the lips, and its nicely moisturizing. A thin layer is great to use just before applying lipstick, but even on it’s own it looks great, with a nice glossy shine.
It’s not cheap at about $22 a pop, but hey, I got it for free so I’m not complaining! I read on Paula Beguoin’s site that the peppermint oil is a no-no (re: irritation) but I don’t find it a problem.
Another gem of a find I’ve come across recently is Sephora Brand’s Waterproof Retractable Brow Pencil ($16CAD). I was finding the shadow I was using to fill in my brows was too dark, and the method of application not precise enough – I’ve been growing my brows for a while now, and they can get a little unruly if I’m not careful. I picked this up on a whim because it was relatively inexpensive, and turns out I sort of love it! It’s fine enough to allow for great control and accuracy, but it’s not too dark or hard of a formula, so it’s never harsh-looking. The shade I bought, 04 Midnight Brown, is the perfect ashy dark brown; additionally, sometimes I get breakouts in my brow line, but I haven’t had that problem once since using this, so I’ve definitely found a winner! It’s got a little comb on the other end of the pencil which is a neat inclusion, but which I haven’t used once (lol).
Finally, the last product that has been getting a lot of love from me is the Make Up For Ever Aqua Matic ME-50 shadow pencil I’ve previously shown you. This is still getting some major love from me, as it just goes with everything – dramatic eyes, bold lips, natural looks – you name it! I am considering picking up another one of these in the D-12 Diamond Golden Grey shade, which swatches just as it sounds – a sparkling gunmetal grey with golden shimmer (!!!!).
That sums up my basic makeup wardrobe for summer – stay tuned for my next instalment, when we look at my favourite COLOURS of the season!
What basic makeup staples do you find yourself using on the regular during the warmer months?
This probably sounds silly, but sometimes I don’t like getting press samples. I adhere a lot to the ‘if you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all‘ philosophy, and when I receive an opportunity to review something I’m unsure I’ll like, I almost want to decline the offer altogether (and sometimes I do!). I feel especially conflicted when a brand I like comes out with a product that receives mixed-reviews, as my loyalty runs deep. I was recently in just that situation when I had a chance to try out the new Make Up For Ever Aqua Matic eye shadow sticks ($25CAD) – Christine at Temptalia was the first blog through which I read reviews about the product, and on the whole they were not great. Make Up For Ever is one of my favourite brands (and it doesn’t hurt that their PR people are lovely!) and I wasn’t keen on writing a subpar review against them – I know not all products will be winners, but my softy heart just feels bad in instances like that, and I am far too honest and up-front to lie or mar the truth.
Thankfully (and long-winded intro aside!), once I received the press sample of one of the Aqua Matic shadows, in ME-50, not only did I not have to write a crappy review, but turns out this shadow is genuinely one of my absolute favourites of all time!!!!! <— 4 exclamation points are needed to express just how much I love this shadow!
First of all, there is the colour – on me, this ‘metallic golden taupe’ is the perfect bronze-y neutral tone on my skin, which sometimes is hard to achieve, as shades like this tend to be too ashy, too light, or too brown to be considered neutral. It has the most amazing sparkling quality to it that gives it a little bit something more, yet it’s not over the top or unwearable for day in the least. For those of you who regularly love wearing bold lips like I do, a shade like this is invaluable – sometimes I don’t want to leave my eyes bare, but I don’t want my shadow to compete in any way with my lip colour. This fits the bill perfectly.
Secondly, the wear time on this bad boy is excellent – we’ve been having a heat wave the past week or so here (not complaining! About damn time!) and this resists fading and creasing like nobody’s business. This could be in part to the fact that the colour melds with my skin tone so well, I don’t notice any fading – but upon close inspection after a full day’s wear, it still seems pretty intact to me and that gorgeous sparkle is still in effect.
Lastly, though I know for some the application of these is a bit tricky – they do set rather quickly – I actually don’t mind it, again due to the subtle shade on my skin tone, but also because it’s such a one-and-done shade that not a lot of blending is required. I just ensure that I apply it first to the lid and blend a bit, then add a bit more in my crease separately so I have enough time to buff it out with my finger. I really didn’t even notice it was a bit more difficult to blend until I really started paying attention – with a shade this wonderful, I really don’t care if it’s a bit more work – it’s just so damn FABULOUS!
In the photo above, I’m wearing it paired with Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel in Dizzy Spell, a soft peachy nude that I quite like with my skin tone (though it does pick up on any flakes on the lips if you aren’t careful). It’s the only bit of makeup I’ve bought from his line so far.
As you can see, the effect of the shadow is subtle, but IRL trust me when I say that its nowhere near boring. For me, the shade and longevity combined with the ease of use (note it’s a twist-up pencil, that has a sharpener on the other end for precision) make this a win-win-WIN product! If this were a limited edition product I would buy backups upon backups – which is UNHEARD of in my world! All this to say: don’t let a review necessarily sway you from trying a product that you’re curious about – sometimes you’ll have an entirely different experience! And in this case, Christine didn’t actually review this particular shade, either ;)
Have you tried the new Aqua Matic pencils? How do you feel about giving poor reviews on a product?
*Product was provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
For a beauty fiend, I’m actually relatively low maintenance. I shave when I think of it, I don’t always do my hair, and I can’t be bothered to do the little extra things that make you look that much more polished – like contouring or wearing primer. I reserve most of these activities (except the hair bit – I DO style it most days!) for special occasions so I look that much nicer when the time comes, which means that though I don’t use these items daily, I do still need to have them in my arsenal. One such item that’s been recently added to the mix is Make Up For Ever’s HD Microperfecting Primer in 6 Yellow ($39CAD for 1oz).
I’ve previously reviewed the original HD primer by MUFE in the neutral, universal shade – but it also comes in 6 other tones, each designed to correct a particular issue, such as redness, sallow-looking skin and dullness. I had a hard time choosing one from the options available, as I don’t feel that I have any of these concerns personally. In the end however, I chose 6 Yellow, which is designed to “lighten dark complexions“. I think I went with this one because I had just come back from Florida, and was super-dark. Let’s chat about it, shall we?
First of all, I really like the texture of this primer compared to other primers, and even compared to the original – it’s more like a smooth, medium-density lotion that spreads easily over the whole face (you only need a dime-size amount). It doesn’t feel silicone-heavy nor is it as runny as the original. It feels very lightweight and non-greasy. It claims to deeply nourish, moisturize, and soften the skin, enhancing the skin texture and preparing it for makeup application. Having skin the leans on the oilier side, especially as the months get warmer, I can’t really speak to how moisturizing this is – but it certainly isn’t drying; I found it didn’t keep the oilies at bay quite as well as I would have liked. For a drier skin however, I think the formulation of this would be quite nice and keep the skin plump and comfortable.
Another aspect of the primer that I didn’t really pick up on was the ‘lightening’ effect on my darker skin tone. I think that likely has a lot to do with the fact that I’m just not dark enough (lol) – I think this is really designed for a deep cocoa complexion to give some light to the face, which clearly isn’t me. However, I do think this would be effective on a darker skin tone, as you can see from the photo below that it does show up on my skin – it’s jut that once I blend it in, it’s unnoticeable (sort of like sunscreen). A darker skin tone would likely show the benefits much more.
Despite some of the qualities mentioned above, I will say that this primer does a nice job of enhancing the skin’s texture and giving it a soft finish. My skin looks smooth and airbrushed after application, and my pores are less noticeable, as you can see in the photos below:
While this primer doesn’t tick all the boxes for me, I actually enjoy wearing it when it’s a bit cooler outside, or for evening – the texture is really lovely, and it feels like nothing on. I think in the winter I’ll get a good deal of use out of it, as it does prolong the wear of my makeup, and it may help to hydrate my skin and protect it from the blustery, cold weather. I kind of wish it has a sunscreen in it, so I could kill two birds with one stone (I really hate having to wear layers of product)!
Ingredients for reference:
Aqua (Water), Dimethicone, Trisiloxane, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Methylpropanediol, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Squalane, Glyceryl Caprylate, Lauryl PEG/PPG-18/18 Methicone, Phenoxyethanol, Ceteth-10, Laureth-4, Ethylglycerin, Panthenol, Potassium Sorbate, Polysorbate 60, Parfum (Fragrance), Argania Spinosa Extract (Argania Spinosa Kernel Extract), C12-14 Pareth-12, Hydrolyzed Algin, Dodecene, Sorbitan Isostearate, Isostearyl Alcohol, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Tromethamine, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Carbomer, Hexyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool. [CI 19140 (Yellow 5 Lake), CI 75470 (Carmine), CI 77007 (Ultramarines), CI 77288 (Chromium Oxide Greens), CI 77289 (Chromium Hydroxide Green), CI 77491 (Iron Oxides), CI 77492 (Iron Oxides), CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77742 (Manganese Violet), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide)].
Do you wear primers? Which one is your favourite?
*Products were sent by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
Last week I worked at Sephora for the Clinique kiosk for the first time EVER. Guys, let me tell you – that is one HARD FRIGGIN’ JOB, keeping your hands to yourself and trying to stick to your ‘station.’ DAMN! The first two shifts were pretty slow, so I had ample time to mosey around and check out the wares…but honestly, I don’t know how they get anything done! (and for the record, pretty much everyone was on the ball, 99.9% of the time. ALL BIZNESS, ALL THE TIME). Personally, there were so many fun things to look at that it was tough sticking to my ‘area,’ but I made it work.
One of the items that kept catching my eye was the new Make Up For Ever HD Blushes ($31cAD), which I believe replace their old HD *liquid* blushes? These are creams in a pot, whereas the older versions were a pump mechanism. Needless to say, these newer iterations are by far easier to use (though I wish the shade range was as exciting as the old…anyone ever check out #2 or #3, both bright hot pinks? YOWZAAAA). I think the idea is to showcase more natural-looking shades, that suit a variety of skin tones – for example, the 200 series is generally best suited for fair complexions; the 300 series for medium complexions, the 400 series for medium-dark complexions (like mine), and the 3 500 series shades are great for the darkest of skins. The exception is shade #410, a bright coral, which was created with all skin tones in mind. I guiltily admit however, that I don’t give one iota to all of this info, because….I just WANT THEM ALL.
The shade I was sent to try was #420, described as an ‘Indian Rosewood‘ shade. As I tend to lean toward more bright, obvious blush colours, I figured it was time to opt for a more natural tone that would meld with my skin without effort. #420 does just that.
It almost looks like a warm bronze-y tone once applied to my skin; the reddish-brown hue melds with my skin tone to produce a really wonderfully natural ‘glow.’ I was unsure when I opened the box that this was going to be *my kind of shade* but it’s so foolproof on my skin that I really have to argument against it. It just plain LOOKS GOOD. And application is a breeze – just use a stippling brush (my pick is MAC’s #130) to dab it on the cheeks and then blend out; honestly, it was one of the easiest cream products to use and I had zero issues in placement or blending – my kind of product! The finish is reminiscent of Chanel’s new cream blushes, except I actually find the MUFE version a little more dewy and a little bit less cream-to-powder finish, which I personally prefer. It retains a fresh quality that I really like, especially come springtime!
As you can see, it’s quite natural-looking on, and I admit that I kinda slapped this on haphazardly for these photos because sunlight is fleeting these days. I can already see the absolute necessity of buying several more of these – cream blushes are my new *thing* as I’m all over the natural, glowing skin look, and these are hard to beat. Radiant without being greasy or shiny, and a cinch to use. I’m a goner!
When it comes to blush, what is your preference: powder, or cream (or liquid)? Do you opt for natural tones or more in-your-face brights?
*Products were provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
The New Year is almost upon us! Even though the number 13 conjures up some unsettling feelings, 2013 was kind of a great year for me! Though it started out a bit rough, with a lot of talking and support it turned around for me (a big thanks to all of you who sent kind words – and a care package! – my way!). As always, the hardships make the good times feel that much sweeter. I had the immense pleasure of standing in my friend’s most amazing wedding; I started dating a guy who makes me feel loved and truly content in a way I never have before; I’ve had the opportunity to work in several different positions at my work and found my niche; and I finally got to go to New York City, a long-standing dream of mine! Not too shabby 2013, not too shabby :)
Over the month of December I’ve been pondering what beauty products in my collection really stand-out and get the most use. Though I could probably add one or two more, the 13 items below really have rocked my world this year and have been very well-loved. I would even go so far to say that I would repurchase most of them (and that’s saying something!).
And so I present to you, my favourite (beauty) things of 2013:
1. Osha Mae Calendula Salve ($15CAD). On it’s own, without any cortisone products, this can clear up the chronic eczema on my hands overnight – absolutely unheard of! I first got hooked on a sample of M.J. Herbals Calendula Salve ($15CAD), but when I saw this very similar version at our local market I picked it up, as I always like to support local!
2. La Bella Figura Bio Active Healing Mask ($65CAD). When LBF was introduced on the Clementine Fields website, they had a promotion for 15% off it’s pre-sale. I ordered this mask as I was looking for something hydrating that could replace the uber-scented derma-e mask that I’d been using for a while (uncomfortably). I didn’t know what to expect, and was completely bowled over once I tried it – its truly amazing! It hydrates, it heals, it calms, it brightens…I honestly feel like it’s almost a one-stop shop as a mask, because my skin just looks SO DAMN GOOD after using it. I attribute it’s awesomeness to it’s inclusion of raw manuka honey (it’s the first ingredient) which is noted for it’s therapeutic, antibacterial and nourishing qualities. Other ingredients include kaolin clay, rosehip seed oil and calendula extract – be still my heart! Oh, and it’s also BRIGHT PURPLE (due to the aronia berry). I want to get my hands on the Purifying ($65CAD) version next.
3. Lina Hanson Global Body Serum ($64CAD). I really wish this didn’t cost so damn much because I just want to drown in this fantastically scented body oil for the rest of my life. As it stands, I’m still trying to ration it, but I still fear it won’t last long as I keep using it every few days because it’s so addictive!
Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille ($130US). Yum. And YUM. You all know my penchant for vanilla-based scents, so my love for this probably comes as no surprise. With notes like sandalwood, coconut milk, musk, vanilla and tonk a bean, it’s a gourmand fragrance-lovers paradise. I was surprised however that it also contains notes like black liquorice (which I hate) and bitter almond – but I suspect they help round out the scent and keep it from being too OTT vanilla, which can get headache-inducing fast. I have worn this and only this since purchasing it in NYC; the only gripe I have with the fragrance is that I don’t find it lasts on my skin – but I guess that just gives me an excuse to spritz, spritz, spritz!
Make Up For Ever Medium Highlighting Brush in #152 ($43CAD). I didn’t quite understand just how much I would love this brush until I really put it into practice and had a while to play with it. This brush is absolutely integral in my makeup application – aside from applying cream or powder highlighters like a dream, it also blends all formulas of blush or bronzer perfectly. I don’t quite know how it does it, but somehow the fibers of the brush, its density, and it’s softness all contribute to a beautifully seamless complexion. LOVE.
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal (full-size, $50CAD). Though I only have a deluxe sample size of this product, you only need the slightest amount to get amazing, glowing skin, so it’s lasted me ages! I usually pull this out when I am either going for a really ‘natural’ look that focuses on the skin, or if I’m looking to amp up the glow factor for an event. Though the full-size would probably last me a lifetime – something that doesn’t appeal to a fickle beauty fiend like myself – I still think I’ll repurchase this when I DO run out, because it’s truly the most beautiful yet natural-looking illuminator I’ve ever used.
Buxom Full-Bodied Lipsticks (full-size, $26CAD). My love for this lipstick formula is still going strong. I use the little sample bullets I’ve got more than any other lipstick I own, and I’m looking forward to the day when they run out – so I can justifiably buy some full sizes! Just so, so creamy and comfortable to wear, with awesome full pigment. For the price especially, you really can’t beat ‘em!
Chanel Le Blush Creme de Chanel in Revelation ($43CAD). I have been on a cream blush kick for a while now, as I find it just looks so darn natural, which fits my makeup M.O. these days. The newish Blush Cremes dry to an almost powder-like finish, so they don’t have quite the same effect; nevertheless, this natural-looking apricot shade gets a lot of regular use because it goes with just about every makeup look I wear. The only downside is that its a touch too light when my skin is tanned – but at the moment it’s just right :)
MAC Eyeshadow in All That Glitters (pro-pan, $12CAD). Though I have lessened my use of this shadow recently due to switching up my makeup routine, this baby got some SERIOUS love for months after I bought it early last spring. It gives my eyes the most subtle yet beautiful sparkle I’ve ever seen, and accompanies a bright lip look beautifully. The hype is TRUE, you guys. BUY IT.
Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow in Trench ($30CAD). Even after owning this shadow for a year and a half, I’m still amazed at how perfectly it blends and melds on the brow bone to give the perfect level of highlight to the eye. As I have a lot of shimmering shadows, it keeps them grounded without making me look too ‘show dancer,’ but also isn’t so flat that it looks dull. On top of all that, it’s HELLA soft.
Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Noir Intense ($29CAD). I wasn’t big on black pencil eyeliner until I purchased this early in the year – I didn’t have one and thought I should at least have one in my arsenal. I don’t use it as a traditional liner, but rather as a tightliner on my upper lash line. It a nice, dark black that gives great definition when I’m doing a more natural look (see a theme here?) and doesn’t budge – in fact, it’s difficult to remove at the end of the day, so keep that in mind. But as I find a long-wearing liner hard to come by, it’s far from a deal-breaker!
MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack ($19CAD). Black pencil liner may never have been my thing, but I can’t say the same for black cream/gel/liquid formulas, which have always been a staple in my arsenal. When I ran out of my last black liquid liner, I decided it was about time I tried the cult fave Blacktrack. It’s nice and dark, and its creamy texture makes creating a winged look (a regular go-to for me) incredibly easy. I’m not convinced I would repurchase, only because there are several black cream/gel liners that I’d like to try, but it’s been a faithful staple for me since I purchased it.
XLash Eyelash Enhancer ($59). You’re all probably sick and tired of hearing me trumpet on and on about my love for this lash serum, but seriously, just get some and then get back to me – I promise you’ll be converted! I won’t repeat my gushings yet again, but I will say that I am actually planning to buy more of this when I run out (still haven’t!). SO. GOOD.
That just about rounds up my year in beauty in a nutshell! I’ve tried many things, some duds, some *pretty good*, but this collection here have been raised to the level of HG status for me. As I learn and grow I find my selections have become more and more curated to the point where I rarely have a miss (at least if they’re purchased by me) and I’ve grown quite fond of my collection, to which I’ve whittled and culled to include *almost* only products that are a pleasure to use. I still have a bit of work to do (which I plan on laying out for you in a future post), but overall I’m quite pleased and have passed the ‘GAH! My-stash-is-overwhelming-OMG-the-anxiety!‘ stage that I was in for a long time since starting the blog. Which I deem a HUGE success :)
So say farewell to 2013 and welcome in the New Year with a bang! I appreciate each and every reader of my little beauty haven, whether you’ve been with me or a while, or stumbled upon my ramblings by accident. You’re the only reason I keep on writing! I wish all of you a very excellent finale to the year soon past and hope that the very best is yet to come in 2014!!! Let’s make it all sorts of great, yea? :D
Image credit: ilovehdwallpapers.com
Hiiii guys! Is everyone making it through the holidays ok so far??? It is FLYING by for me, every year I seem to be busier than the last! This is the first time in a week that I have sat down in front of my MacBook at all…and work has been so busy that I can’t get any personal stuff done there like I used to (LOL!). I just realized that I hadn’t shared with you the new position I’ve been in for the past two months – I’m working with our Communications team on an acting assignment, and it was SO. GREAT. My main task is to write and/or upload articles to our internal webpage, and the set up is just like WordPress, so I took to it pretty quickly – uh, hello, I like to write and I have a blog; what a PERFECT position for me! I think I’ve found my niche, guys! It’s only a short-term position, but it’s given me some much needed career direction, so I’m feeling really great work-wise lately :)
However, due to the mega-busy factor in all areas of my life, I have fallen behind on my blog posts – and one item in particular that I have been wanting to review for several weeks now: Make Up For Ever’s new Midnight Glow palette!
If ever there was a palette that captured the essence of winter, this would be it. Inspired by the glistening effect of the winter moonlight, the Midnight Glow palette ($48CAD) contains icy shades of white, blue, grey, and pink; a shimmering violet; and two grounding shades of black and soft brown. Honestly, it’s one of the prettier palettes I’ve come across, and it’s just the perfect size – the shadows are large enough to actually get right in their with your brush (and conveniently, the palette comes with two of it’s own!), but it’s small and thin enough that you could stash it in your clutch for touch-ups with ease. The case is black with splashes of rose gold and silver design – in a word, I love it!
The shadows in the palette are relatively smooth even though the majority contain small bits of glitter throughout their frosty finishes. Now, everyone knows that high frost shadows can be tricky to wear – particularly on aging eyes, but still difficult for those of us without too many fine lines yet. I was a bit nervous about this palette, despite how much I love how it looks, that it would be a shimmering disaster once worn. However, the shadows are all on the sheer side – a fact that initially I was frustrated over (the swatches required many passes to get strong colour), but to which I came to realize allows them to be more easily worn as a wash of shimmer and sparkle on the lid, versus intense frost that could easily veer into the danger zone. Also, I really appreciate the inclusion of the two matte shades, the black and brown, which allow for blending and grounding of such sparkling shades. Both shadows are also quite sheer, which may not be ideal for certain looks – especially with the black – but I think it follows the theme of the palette which seems to be more ethereal in nature, rather than disco ball.
Though the sheerness does mean that many of the shades look similar once worn, I do appreciate that nevertheless the palette is made much more wearable by this trait. It may come as a disappointment to those of you looking for a more intensely frosty look, but overall I think that it’s not a bad thing. I don’t have many frosty, glittering shadows, and I think it will add the perfect touch of sparkle to my nighttime looks over the holiday season (and beyond!).
What kind of makeup looks do you favour during the holiday season? Are you comfortable wearing frosty shades?
*Product was provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
Working Pantone’s 2014 Color of the Year Early with Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Cobalt!
I wasn’t originally going to post about this. Though Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Cobalt (limited edition, $26CAD) is, quite frankly, one of my more interesting and awesome purchases of late, still – sometimes writing (and reading!) about eyeliners can be kinda boring. Aside from discussing the application (which in this case is super-easy, with the thin, medium-firm tip allowing for precise thin lines or thicker lines if so desired) and wear time (which is STELLAR – all day for 10+ hours without fading or smudging, no matter what the situation or weather), there really isn’t much else to say. However, due to the stunning COLOR of the liner in question – an eye-catching shade of bold medium blue – I had to share with you! And it just so happens that the Pantone Color of the Year for 2014 is: Dazzling Blue. How apt :)
The really cool thing about Cobalt’s color is that while it’s quite bright, it somehow also has a muted, dusty quality to it that makes it more wearable. If you’re gun-shy about bold eyeliners, I’d still suggest checking it out, as it’s easier to pull off that you might think!
See?? Not so bad eh? With very minimal makeup elsewhere, I actually find this reasonable enough to wear to work! But SO totally not boring :)
I had one liner in my stash that *kinda* looked like it could be similar to Cobalt – Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Liner in #5. In the package, they look pretty close:
However, in swatches, they are nothing alike. Aside from being shimmery as opposed to Cobalt’s matte finish, Make Up For Ever’s version is quite a bit lighter and much more aqua, whereas Stila’s has no hint of aqua and in fact leans a touch periwinkle. The wear time is comparable however – both last ages and only come off when you take them off (with a little bit of elbow grease and remover). Personally, I like Stila’s blue liner better – it’s more striking and complimentary on my eyes.
Overall, I am absolutely LOVING this Cobalt liner and am looking forward to rocking it out well before 2014 :) It is one of the easiest ways to make my eyes pop with terribly little effort, and feels appropriate in almost all situation. The ease of application and the awesome wear time make this a huge YES in my books!
Are you a fan of colored liners? Do you prefer liquid or pencil (or cream)?
Remember I told you about Make Up For Ever’s new brush line coming out in September? Well, I received two brushes to try – the #210, a shader brush ($25CAD) and the #152, a highlighter brush ($43CAD) – and I can’t wait to tell you about ‘em, because dudes….these brushes are AMAZEBALLS.
First and foremost: they look pretty hot and sexy, don’t they!?!? I love the wood handles and overall sleek yet somehow earthy design – the fact that they’re expertly handcrafted is really apparent. And let me just say that those bristles?? Are HELLA SOFT. Probably the softest in my collection to date! Even the smudge brush with it’s short bristles feels like a feather against the skin.
There are two types of fibers used in the Artisan collection – wavy, for a more free and light application; and straight, for a precise, controlled application (the brushes I received both have wavy fibers).
The #210 is a small, round shader brush with short and extra dense bristles, best used to apply products to a specific area such as the lash line and eyelids. The density of the brush means it grabs a generous amount of product, allowing for an intense result. It can handle both cream products as well as loose and compact powders with ease. I’ve used it for smudging shadow along the lash line, and it gives the best soft, smoky effect – it makes a more sultry look appear much more lived in and effortless, which can be a challenge with heavier eye makeup. I had been planning to pick up a brush like this for some time, so I am totally excited about this awesome find!
The #152 medium highlighter brush has wavy, soft fibers, ideal to impart moderate to high color payoff of highlighters (either on face or body). It can handle creams, gels, and loose or compact powders – so basically it can do it all! I have been in desperate need of a highlighting brush so I was particularly stoked about this one. It’s about the size of a small blush brush – think of a shorter, slightly plumper MAC #109.
It’s hard to show in pictures, but below is a shot reflective of how flexible the bristles of the #152 are – because they’re a bit shorter, they have good control and accuracy, but they are very soft and supple, with a bit less resilience than maybe your standard blush brush, so it will allow for a soft wash of highlight to targeted areas. I find it makes the task SO easy, be it powder or cream/liquids, and allows you to place and diffuse the product perfectly. While it *could* be used for contouring, due to the ‘give’ of the bristles, you may want something a bit less malleable, though it would be great for giving a very soft contouring effect or buffing and blending out any existing makeup to perfection.
I am well and truly impressed with these brushes, so much so that I can’t wait to get my hands on a few more once they hit stores (Sephora as well as Make Up For Ever boutiques)! As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been obsessed about brushes for months now, and well….I’ve finally found my outlet :D Everything about these brushes satisfies me – they’re look, feel, and efficacy are all A+ in my books! Sign me up for about 10 more of these, kay?
Are you planning on getting any of these new Artisan brushes? Do you prefer natural or synthetic bristles?
*Products were provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
You may not know this, but over the past year or so I’ve been kind of obsessed with makeup brushes. It’s kind of a weird relationship because even though I keep researching and researching them, I’ve only bought one or two over the course of the year. It’s one of those things where I’m OVER-researching and can’t decide on which ones are ‘best’ and for which to actually shell out cold hard cash. Quite annoying really.
HOWEVER. Make Up For Ever just *might* be coming to my rescue (natch). The innovative brand, known for their prowess in makeup artistry, is releasing a ramped-up ‘Artisan’ brush collection, which boasts 76 hand-crafted brushes that took 5 years to come to fruition. How awesome is this!?!? All I could think of when I saw the press release was ‘holy crap. This is the BEST NEWS EVER.’
Aside from the fact that these brushes LOOK glorious (with a gunmetal ferrule and beech wood handles), I suspect from all the work that went into them that they will feel and work fantastically too. The construction of the brushes took 25 stages and a total of 30 people from start to finish, for each brush. Additionally, as a bonus to the more eco-conscious of us out there, the fibers are synthetic (with each brush employing two different textures), and the diameter and type of the bristles for each brush is dependent on it’s use. Straight fibers are used in brushes that require precision and a more generous application, while wavy bristles allow for a lighter and freer application.
They also have a great numbering system that’s practical and handy:
100s = complexion
200s = eyes
300s = lips
400s = artistic specially designed for professionals
BAM. How’s that for excitement!?!? I’m going to have an opportunity to try one or two of these brushes out in the next week or so, and I CANNOT WAIT. I’ve been stalking the Sephora site but so far they haven’t shown up for purchase yet. I’ve asked for the launch date so I will update you when I receive that information. In the meantime….start saving your cash now, because I think these brushes are gonna be worth a nice splurge! I think this news has made my brush decisions a whole lot easier :)
Are you into makeup brushes? Do you prefer natural or synthetic bristles?
This review has been a long time coming, but it took me a while to formulate my thoughts on the product. Make Up For Ever’s Smoky Lash Extravagant ($28CAD) is the brand’s newest mascara offering, and I was stoked to try it out when I received it about a month ago. Before I get to the review, let’s see exactly what the product is all about, shall we?
Described as a ‘precision mascara that adds volume, length, and curl,’ Smoky Lash Extravagant claims to deliver ‘long-lasting wear with no clumping in one stroke.’ Without getting too technical, it is supposed to contain ultra-black pigments, and the cone-shaped brush allows the tip to separate lashes while the rounded base creates ‘extravagant volume.’ The difference between the original version and the Extravagant (aside from the visible differences in the brushes) appears to be the ability of the latter to separate the lashes more effectively, as well as offering even more volume.
Being a pretty serious Make Up For Ever fan, I was eager to try the mascara out right away. Sadly, my first (and several subsequent) tries with the product were less than ideal. After application, in which I spent several minutes trying to correct the ‘damage,’ my lashes looked tangled and not all all what I had hoped. I simply could not get it to work for me with any success.
Discouraged, I spoke with the PR rep for the brand about my disastrous experience, and she suggested a few tips (which included applying the original Smoky Lash first and then adding the Extravagant version on top) to see if they would improve the performance. Happily, I did find success during my second go-around. While I didn’t find using the original Smoky Lash in combination with the Extravagant effective, I did discover that after a few uses the formula seemed to ‘settle’ somewhat (a phenomenon I’ve noticed with a few mascaras) and it applied fairly nicely to the lashes. They look separated and yet somehow full, and the brush gives a nice rounded shape to my lashes that I really enjoy. It’s relatively tenacious and I only notice slight smudging at the outer corners of my eyes (which are leak-prone as it is) on really hot, humid days.
To be clear, there are still times when I use this mascara that my lashes just do not seem to behave. If I fuss with it too much, or go in for a second coat, all hell breaks loose. I don’t know if it’s the shape of the brush or the formula (I think it might dry a little too quickly), but every so often my lashes get bunched up and look a mess. However, despite that hiccup, I find myself reaching for this mascara the most out of the handful of other ones I own, so clearly I must like it :P Its a bit tempermental and unpredictable at times, but that can make for the most interesting relationships, no? ;)
For those interested, here’s the ingredient list (click to enlarge):
Have you had an experience with this mascara? And does anyone else find that mascaras tend to improve after a few uses?
*Products were provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.