Posts Tagged Swatch
I’ll admit – normally I don’t like to bitch about the weather too much. We live in Canada, guys! It is what it is. But this year, I was SUPER ready for spring. It wasn’t just the bizarre-out-of-nowhere snowstorms (they at least happened on a Wednesday almost every time which meant a WHOLE LOTTA SNOW DAYS!), or the endlessly grey days that spanned for months. I think it partially was all the shit that went down that had me itching for spring and for a fresh start. So as soon as the sun peeked out even a *little bit* I was breaking out the obnoxiously colourful makeup, nail polish, and clothing. I have this awesome neon coral pink cardigan from H&M that honestly sears the eyes a little bit – every time I wear it, at least 3 people will say ‘Wow, that sweater is…BRIGHT’ (which I can never decipher to be a compliment or a put-down) – and I’ve been rocking it out non-stop just BECAUSE I WANT TO.
I always find the transition between winter and spring a bit odd when it comes to nail polish – I don’t want to get into the beach-ready brights just yet, but I’m SO DONE with the moody hues that seem to be seasonally appropriate for half the year here. Pastels are all well and good, but overall I wouldn’t say I’m all that *cute* and sometimes they can get a little saccharine to me. When I peeped swatches of the new Essie 2014 Resort collection online, I was instantly drawn to Resort Fling, but was unsure if it would work with my colouring, as it looked kinda orange which isn’t all that flattering on me. It reminded me of Zoya Arizona, which I LOVED in the bottle but HATED on the nail. It finally came in stock at Lawtons, and as soon as I saw it in person I was sold.
Described as a ‘creamy coral peach,’ I would say that it’s spot on. It’s more peach than coral, but that also means it’s further away from orange that I suspected, which is a good thing. It’s got a thinner formula which builds up nicely after two coats, though there is still a touch of VNL left. It doesn’t bother me that much with textures like this though; a juicy creme, almost jelly-like but not nearly as sheer – Essie’s Splash of Grenadine is very similar but a bit more creamy. ME LIKEY. Application was insanely easy – I did these swatches fairly haphazardly and got ‘em done in no time flat.
Ugh, I can’t even. I’m so happy with this shade! All the Essie shades I’ve been picking up lately have been knocking it out of the park for me I will say. It was a good lesson in ‘orange’ as well, as I realized I can come close to orange if it’s more in the peach vein rather than a more yellow-based orange.
Other than the fear of orange, another reason I held off on buying Resort Fling was that I thought it might be too close in colour to Chanel’s Orange Fizz, another shade that’s not really orange but more of a coral with an orange lean. Comparing them side by side, they looked nothing alike, but sometimes the eye can trick you.
On the nail, it was clear that my fears were unnecessary, as the differences are clear. Resort Fling is not only lighter but much more ‘orange,’ whereas Orange Fizz has more pink tones in it. The biggest similarity was their juicy creme/jelly formulas and insanely glossy finishes (I’m not even wearing top coat)!
I love them both equally. For the current season though, I feel that Resort Fling is perfect – not too bright, not pastel, just pretty and spring-y and exactly what I wanted. I could probably alternate between this, Splash of Grenadine, and Essie Bikini So Teeny for the next few months and be quite happy :)
What say you? Do you go for full-on brights once spring arrives, or do you ease your way in to colour? Do you like polishes with a hybrid creme/jelly formula?
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 :)
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.
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.
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!
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?
This post is seriously delayed, it’s true, as Dior’s Trianon collection came out back in early February; however, it’s still spring (we’re only like a week in, after all!) and I’ve actually seen both of these items still in stores, so I’m hopeful if you love them you can still pick ‘em up :)
I still consider myself a newbie when it comes to Dior cosmetics; though I used to work on the line for a brief period back in my Hudson’s Bay days, since then I haven’t really been all that interested. But when you continue to hear about how good their polishes and lip products are (among other items), you start to mentally break down and give in. It started with last year’s Spring Ball vernis, and it’s been snowballing slowly from there. Last month, when I had Shoppers Optimum points to burn, I picked up Dior’s Addict Lip Gloss in Exquisse (a bright, medium pink) and Vernis in Bloom (almost identical in shade except slightly more muted and deeper). Since cooler-toned pinks are my new jam, I figured they were the perfect choices out of the collection (which fell flat for me otherwise – pale seafoam colors do nothing for my skin tone).
I have this weird block in my head when it comes to bright pink nail polishes – for some reason, I seem to think I own a lot, when in fact I own less than a handful. Every time I see one I like, I think ‘Oh, I have a shade just like that’ – and when I considered Bloom, my thought process was no different. However, I was determined to buy something that day, and I was really feeling the fun pink tones of Bloom, so into my basket it went. Happily, I don’t own any shades like it – either they’re darker or warmer. The tones in Bloom I think would work for everyone – it’s not too cool or too light, but a great medium shade all around. And of course, the Dior formula is impeccable – hence why I’m steadily building my collection and just picked up Incognito (a pinkish nude) last week!
So shiny…that’s without top coat, guys! Another thing I love about the Dior polishes :) Here I’ve painted an accent nail with China Glaze’s Dandy Lion Around and topped it with Zoya’s Kissy – in fact, this was my Valentine’s Day mani!
My camera had a hard time distinguishing between some of the shades, but IRL you can plainly see the differences – Snog WAS the shade I was most concerned would look the same against Bloom, but it’s much warmer in person. Both shades are worth owning, in my opinion!
Though I have been on a lipstick kick for the past year or two, every so often a gloss will catch my eye, and Exquisse was it this time around – a bright, juicy pink is the perfect glossy shade to wear when spring (finally) comes around. As everyone notes, the Dior gloss formula is fantastic; smooth, non-sticky, with a decent wear time (about 2 hours) and moisturizing to boot. Why can’t all glosses be this easy to wear?
After swatching Exquisse, I realized that I actually have something similar in my existing lip gloss collection: Illamasqua’s Divine. Side by side, Divine is close, but leans cooler and lighter. When worn it’s also less pigmented – it’s sort of like the little sister to the Dior shade.
Though my picks from the Trianon collection aren’t necessarily exciting, I think they’re both exceptionally wearable shades, which tends to mean more to me the higher the price point. Dior is quickly becoming one of my favourite brands, and I’m hoping to expand my experience by trying out some of their other wares. They hit the trifecta for me of superb quality, sexy packaging, and on-trend colour. I want MOAR!
Have you fallen in love with Dior? Do you have any suggestions on what I should try next from the brand?
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 newest offering in their cheek tint franchise, Benefit’s Lollitint caught my eye right from the get-go. When Radiant Orchid was announced as Pantone’s Color of the Year, I hopped aboard that train without looking back, and the Lollitint just seemed like the ubiquitous product, perfect for my newest color scheme.
One caveat: I was SURE it wasn’t going to show up on my darker skin tone. Something about the milky cool pink hue just seemed completely out of my realm and better suited for the more fair-skinned among us. However, early in February, the girls behind the Beauty Envy Bag giveaways got together for a Google Chat, in which my girl Lola informed me that SHE had purchased Lollitint, and it showed up just fine on her gorgeous cocoa complexion. Um, SOLD. I snapped it up the next week :) And true to her word, it worked!
Lollitint is a beautiful orchid hue that gives the skin a pretty flush, perfect for transitioning from chilly winter days to cool, sunny spring ones! It looks somewhat similar on the skin as NARS Desire, but due to the liquid formulation I find it a bit more natural – if you apply it right. My first tries with this product were admittedly HUGE FAILS; dotting it on my cheeks directly with the brush and then blending it out with a duofiber brush (MAC’s #130 in this case) either looked non-existent, or gave me serious clown cheeks. Getting the right balance of product was extremely tough, and as it stains the skin quite quickly, a lot of blush would deposit on one main area of my cheek, looking HIGHLY unnatural. After a few days of this, I was frustrated but determined to persevere.
I finally found the best way to apply the product: I would brush a few swipes of colour across the actual brush head itself, and then quickly blend it in on the cheek in the area I wanted it. This allowed me to diffuse the product around before it had those extra seconds to set, and gave me a truly natural looking pink glow. I’m not generally a fan of fussy products, but in this instance I’ll make an exception, because the finished product is kinda awesome!
Yea, I’m a wee bit in love :) This has been my most-worn blush since picking it up last month, and I see no end in sight at the moment! Once it’s on the cheek, the wear time is unreal – hands down my longest wearing blush EVER. It does wash off fine at the end of the day though, it you were worried about long-term staining. I haven’t worn it on the lips yet however, and I suspect it would probably be 1) an awesome base for pink lippies, and 2) will leave you with a pink pout even after cleansing. I find that lip staining products tend to always be more tenacious.
My love for Radiant Orchid continues! I have purchased shades for lips, cheeks and nails…I’m pretty much set :)
Have you tried the Benefit Cheek and Lip Tints before? What are your tricks for applying quickly setting products?
Finally wrapping up my NYC purchases…about damn time, eh? I had a really great day at home recently with actual sunshine, so I was able to get some final shots I needed. The last piece from my makeup-palooza is Giorgio Armani’s Rouge d’Armani in #606 ($32US), a soft rose shade.
The Rouge d’Armani lipsticks have been on my wish list for ages, but without trying them out in person I was unsure what shade I should go with. Though I’m typically drawn to bold, in-your-face lipsticks, I wanted to try and find a colour that wasn’t represented in my collection. After getting some help from a great SA at Saks, I ended up going with #606 because it seemed like the perfect MLBB shade with a little bit of ‘oomph.’ It’s more pink than my natural lip colour, and it contains subtle shimmer which enhances the way it looks on the lips. Note that the shimmer is not really noticeable when worn, and can only be felt very slightly so comfort is not compromised in this gorgeously creamy, semi-opaque lippie (which is san fragrance, hooray!).
As per my usual M.O., I took a look through my stash to see if I had any comparable shades. I was dismayed at first to find that in the bullet, #606 looked close to MAC’s Hug Me, a lipstick I had purchased only a month or so prior, and for the same reason – as a MLBB shade (oops…this is what happens when you buy to much makeup, kiddies!).
While in swatches, the two shades ARE similar, when worn they couldn’t be more different. The superior formula on the Rouge d’Armani is extremely evident, as not only is it more moisturizing and comfortable on the lip, but the wear time is better (3-4 hours vs less than 1 for the MAC). I’m tempted to give Hug Me away, but as I just bought it I want to get at least a little use out of it before completely writing it off. It is less pink, especially on the lip, so I’m sure it will have it’s uses.
Though #606 isn’t an exciting shade, its a great colour to have in one’s arsenal that works in a variety of makeup looks. When spending the big bucks on a makeup item, I try to stick to classics that I know will get a ton of use, rather than go for a fad shade. Though I feel like I have far too many red lipsticks which I don’t wear nearly as much as I’d like, I wouldn’t mind picking up another of these in a red – the creaminess factor combined with the bold quality of the shade had ABSOLUTE PERFECTION written all over it!
Oh yea. And that satisfying magnetic ‘click’ that you get when you put the top of the lipstick back on??? SEXIEST THING EVER.
Have you tried the Rouge d’Armani formula? Are you a sucker for glorious packaging like I am???
Last year, I was on the hunt for a neutral, natural-looking blush to add to my collection of bright pinks and corals. Though I do love more intense, happy cheek shades as a general rule, there is a time and place in which a more subdued blush is favoured (and who am I kidding – if I can justify buying ONE MORE BLUSH for whatever reason, I’m gonna take it!). On my radar was either MAC’s Blushbaby or Becca’s Mineral Blush in Sweet Pea ($32US). When I was in NYC, I picked up the latter as it’s much more difficult for me to come by here on the East Coast.
Described as a ‘rosy plum nude,’ I find Sweet Pea to be more on the rose-nude side with very little plum, which is OK with me! It’s a lovely neutral with a bit of kick so as to not look ‘blah,’ which can happen when you’re trying to steer clear of “colour” per se.
Looking at this in swatches, you may think that this would be too close to my skin tone to really do much of anything when worn. That was my concern before I had an opportunity to swatch it in-store. It’s true, it’s unlikely to show up much once I am in the throes of a summer tan, but for the other 8 months of the year, this works perfectly to add a subtle yet pretty warmth to my skin. The ‘micro-fine minerals’ of which you can see just a touch in the swatch above, are said to give a soft glow to the skin, and I would say that’s pretty accurate! These types of blush formulas are my favourite – more of a satin finish than plain matte, that really bring life to the skin in a natural way without being too matte-powdery or disco-ball shimmery.
When I got home from NYC, as usual I rummaged through my stash to see if I had any similar shades already (I really do dislike replication!). Another reason I had held out on buying Sweet Pea previously is that I thought it too close to Milani’s Sunset Beach bronzer/blush duo I have. Too late I also remembered Burberry’s Russet blush, which is another warm neutral and could possibly be close in tone. Thankfully, in both cases the shades do not have the same effect (in swatches and on the skin).
As you can see, Russet is much warmer and more orange (which is actually why I don’t wear it much), and Sunset Beach is more brown (as it is primarily a bronzer). Though the swatches aren’t terribly varied, the differences do show up considerably when worn. So, happily for me, no dupes!
As my skin tends to be finicky, one of the biggest culprits to skin irritation via makeup is blush – so many contain ingredients like fragrance (WHYYYYY??), or lanolin which my skin can’t tolerate. Parabens and talc are also cause for concern for some – delightfully, Becca’s Mineral Blush contains none of these ingredients. On top of that good news, the formula contains Vitamins A, C, and E to nourish and condition the skin. What’s not to like?
Though I haven’t tried too much from the brand (YET), from what I know and have read, it seems that Becca consistently knocks it out of the park with their beautiful (and beautiful-making) products again and again. Their aesthetic centres around natural gorgeousness, and as of late that is exactly the image I strive to achieve on the regular. All I know is – I GOTTA GET MY HANDS ON SOME MORE OF THIS STUFF!!!!!
Have you tried Becca cosmetics? What is your favourite neutral blush?
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)?
Summer is slowly winding itself down here on the East Coast – while the days are still sunny and hot for the most part (which, by the way – is AWESOME), the nights have cooled considerably and I can feel fall right around the corner. I know for some of you, you want to hold on to summer tooth and nail, and for my comments I apologize – but personally, I feel ready for the change in season and excited to switch things up (which always means = beauty first)!
However, the sunny season isn’t over yet, and I still have a few polish combos to show you. Last week I wore Dior’s Spring Ball only for the second time, as I wore it once as a manicure and was less than enamoured with it – when I tried it on at Sephora, it looked lighter and reminiscent of Chanel’s Miami Peach, a polish I’ve been lemming for ages. However, as I’ve come to note, it looked quite pretty on my toes, and I think when I lose my tan it might look nice on fingers again as well. We shall see. Its my first Dior polish, and regardless of how I think about the shade, the formula is lovely and the brush TO DIE FOR (makes application a snap!) so I’m confident there will be many more shades in my future.
Because Spring Ball has got some glass-like shimmer to it, I thought it best to pair it with another polish with a similar finish. OPI’s Catch Me In Your Net was HUGE back when it was released, but was a shade I passed up until the following year, when I snagged a mini bottle of the sparkling teal-blue shade just to see what all the hype was about. I really have come to notice how my tastes are continuously evolving, as when I bought it I wasn’t all that thrilled, but this time around I liked it a lot better. Perhaps the stars aligned or something ;)
I’m starting to think about evolving my mani/pedi’s to encompass sort of ‘end-of-summer’ tones that work both for this season and the next, without getting to fall/wintery. Think Chanel Peridot, RBL Piu Mosso…essentially shades with a hint of gold somewhere in the mix. While I’ve really come around to brights so much more than ever before, I do so love my mysterious, complex shades as well. THIS is why the change of seasons is allll good in my book!
Did you get on the CMIYN train when it came through? What do you think of Dior’s polish brush? When do you start changing up your makeup/polish shades (if you do)?
Hey everyone…sorry for being MIA, it’s been kind of a roller-coaster here and the urge to talk beauty has been next to zero :S There are some great things happening – I started dating someone recently :D :D :D – and some shit things happening – namely my roommate and I are having some serious differences in opinion, and have been having what feels like a week long argument. Needless to say, I’ve been a wee bit preoccupied! Hopefully things will settle down sooner rather than later *fingers crossed*
In the meantime, as usual here is a filler nail polish post, which are my favorite easy-peasy kind of posts. Gaze at the beauty that is a-England’s Sleeping Palace, from the Burnes-Jones Dream Collection:
Isn’t this greyish-purple prismatic polish to die!?!?! ~sigh~ Formula, as usual for a-England polishes, was great – the perfect viscosity to reach opacity in two easy coats. The multi-tonal rainbow shimmer in this is exquisite, so, SO beautiful! I haven’t worn it as a full mani yet because it really feels like a fall shade to me, but come late summer – this is gonna be my JAM.
Have you picked up any polishes from Adina’s new collection?