Posts Tagged Swatches
So, despite the fact that of all the sets I received last month for review, I was MOST excited for Laura Mercier’s Artist’s Palette for Eyes ($60CAD) – it’s taken me ages to post about because I really wanted to do it justice. But DAMN guys, this palette is hard to photograph!
The light shades looked far too bright and almost glowing. The medium shades came out too light and washed out. The glorious sparkling shade, African Violet (which, by the way, I’ve been drooling over forEVER) didn’t come out quite sparkly enough. The dark shades…well, you get the picture. I did 4 different photo sessions with this palette, and suffice to say, I just had to get on with it already. But unfortunately for you, the ‘good’ shots came after I uh, already played around with the palette a bit. You think I could hold off for that long!?! Pfffft.
You’ll just have to deal with it.
In the shot above, the shades Guava and Primrose on the left are lighter and a bit less pink than in they appear. Plum Smoke (SO hard to capture that shade) is a touch warmer and lighter…the rest are fairly accurate. Let’s see a close-up!
Sparkling Dew and Vanilla Nuts (WTF?) are a bit lighter in the pan and are great for highlighting the eyes – the former having a satin finish and the latter being matte. Guava and Primrose would be excellent neutral shades to brighten up the eye, Primrose being a bit more beige-y – both have a satin finish with itty bits of glitter in each (not a fan usually but they pretty much blow away the instant to put brush to pan). African Violet (swoon) is a gorgeous light-medium violet with golden shimmer…I’ve had my eye on this baby for years so I’m pretty stoked to finally get to try it out! Fresco is a perfect matte nude on my lid that is a touch warm to keep it from looking flat – sort of a mix of light brown and peachy-pink (if that makes sense).
See those bits of glitter in Sparkling Dew and Guava? Weird, right? They’re less noticeable in Primrose. Still, odd inclusion – but they aren’t problematic when worn.
Next 6 shades:
Plum Smoke is my fave shade next to African Violet in terms of color – such a beautiful, sultry yet subtle soft matte plum; the name is perfect. Bamboo is a shimmering taupe-y shade that personally falls kinda flat for me – it’s too washed out for my skintone – but I can see others LOVING it. It also contains that strange hint of glitter here and there. Kir Royal is a medium-deep plum with reddish tones – this requires appropriate use an execution to avoid that mega-tired or punched-out look. It has a mostly matte finish but not flat. Truffle is a great matte warm brown that works well as a crease shade to blend out smoky looks. It’s going to be a workhorse for me I can tell. Violet Ink is a deep indigo that would be awesome as a liner shade or smoked out in the crease/outer edge of the eye. Same goes for Espresso Bean, a dark cool brown with a hint of grey. Both are matte.
And again, swatches:
This half of the palette is my JAM. Love the soft smokiness of all the shades, and I think even though Bamboo isn’t the most complimentary tone on my skin, I can make it work.
Ok, so you’ve seen the pretty – how about the formula? Well, each and every shade is super soft and lovely, though this does mean they kick up powder a little bit. They’re more on the sheer side though pigmentation can be built up if so desired. All the shades meld seamlessly with one another and for this palette-phobic girl, they pretty much hit the mark dead-on.
Here’s the thing. I read Karen’s review of the palette and couldn’t quite get what she meant about the shades blending into one another and being a bit aggravating that way. I tend to be a one to two shadow girl, and I didn’t have any previous issues in using them. But when I tried to pull a more intricate look together, I totally got what she meant – it’s like they just muddy together to make one shade; there’s no gradient or definition, and the more I tried to add to the look to build up certain colors, the worse it got. It was almost like they were repelling one another…totally bizarre. So it’s something to keep in mind if you do, in fact, want to be a bit of an artist with this palette. You might have a little bit of trouble on your hands!
Quite honestly though, I wouldn’t let this oddity deter you from at least checking out the palette in store. The shades are all quite nice and it’s extremely wearable. And, hello with that fabulous faux croc case!!! LOVE it. And it fits right into the palm of my hand – perfect for travel or for just storing with your other products, as a few of you mentioned those bulky palettes can be the WORST. Overall, Laura Mercier gets my vote, bizarre shadows be damned. Maybe the ‘artist’ part is that you’ll gain MAD skill at application after using this palette a few times!
OK, what say you? Yay or nay to THIS palette!?
*Product was provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
Some of you may already know my avoidance of palettes. I think I’m in the minority in my feelings, it’s true…but to put it plainly, palettes have most everything I dislike in the world. Too much choice (anxiety! which shades to choose?), plus more often than not there are several colors that end up never being used, which to me is a waste (HUGE pet peeve). Also, I have generally found that palettes have a lesser formula than their permanent, single counterparts, which just plain pisses me off. Having said all that, I think there is enormous benefit to palettes for the right kind of person – if you love options, playing around with shades and creating different looks, and/or if you’re just building your shadow collection, they’re quite the ideal purchase, and they’re usually a great bang for your buck. If I was to choose a palette for whatever reason, the pre-requisites would be a good array of wearable shades (but not TOO many number-wise), great quality, and, of course, sexy packaging. How does Kat Von D’s Spellbinding Eyeshadow Book ($65CAD) that has come out for the holidays measure up? Let’s take a look.
First of all, the packaging. While I’m not over the moon about it (I’m a big fan of a sleek look with minimal design and perhaps leather or metal (like) encasing….but I already said I was picky!), it’s not terrible. The artistry here is attractive and eye-catching. It’s thin and not too bulky, though all said it’s about the size of my palm spread wide. It’ll do.
On the backside, you get an idea of what shades are contained within, with an additional note that the shades are already ideally paired for you. This is great if you’re someone who isn’t confident in their shadow-combining capabilities.
There is an emphasis throughout the whole schema of the palette on layering and really playing with shade pairings to get unique and interesting looks – once you open the palette, on the inside of the top cover you’ll see more suggestions and diagrams on how to match and wear shades to create your own ‘works of art.’
In the eyeshadow portion of the palette, there is a plastic insert which covers the shadows, that reiterates the shade names for your reference. The ones marked with a star are never before seen shades exclusive to the palette. I have no idea where some of the shade names originate from – such as ‘stupid autocorrect,’ which is slightly humorous if not a bit strange. Each of the pairings do have complimentary themes however, and I do like this consistency.
Below are the shades without the plastic cover, in all their glory:
My first thoughts were that the palette was somewhat haphazard and that there didn’t seem to be much continuity with the shades or the placing of each. However, when you look at them as pairs of twos, they are quite complimentary to one another; and when you look at each row together, you start to see a theme for each column which actually makes sense.
The first column of shades is sort of like your standard, smoky plus pale metallics/shimmers night-out kind of tones – shades you may already have in your possession:
Swatched (note that I stupidly did all of my swatches in this post backward – my bad!!):
Queen is one of a few duochrome shades in the palette, and the one with the strongest duo-coloring. It reminds me of MAC Club, and also of an existing shade within Kat Von D’s Shade Shifter range that Maggie reviewed in the past. While I have neither, I’m kind of excited to try this shade out, as it’s has a lot of interest and I think you can make some great looks with it. It also has a great, smooth pigment. The other shades in this column wow me a lot less: Smile Now is a soft peachy pink with a soft formula that has a slight duochrome finish as well that I just could not capture – I think one someone with fair skin and blue eyes this would be quite striking, but on me I suspect it’ll fall flat. Instaglam and Holy Bible are the kinds of pale frosty shades I hate, as they look very garish on my darker skin. However, the texture of the two is quite good – smooth and creamy. Sunset Blvd is a gold shade with gold glitter that has a stiff texture and a fair bit of fall-out – not my jam. Dark Throne is not quite black but more charcoal, and is a touch patchy, but blends out well and has a soft texture though not as creamy as some of the others.
In the next column, we have a handful of more edgy, eye-catching shades – not your standard fare and great for when you wanna mix things up a bit. For whatever reason, they kind of give me a 60s vibe:
Bukowski is a great medium blue shade with a hint of teal – great pigmentation and a lovely formula. Cry Later is a mid-tone warm brown with fine gold glitter – it has a bit of fall-out, but the glitter is actually quite pretty and its one of the few times that I appreciate it’s inclusion. The formula is more stiff, like most of the shades with glitter in the palette, but only slightly and feels smooth to the touch. Stupid Autocorrect is soft and smooth, but the pigment is lacking which is not ideal with a unique shade such as it is – go bold or go home! Oddfellow is one of those shades that catches your eye – a deep, dark green with bright emerald glitter flecks – but those flecks don’t translate to the eye. The fall-out isn’t as bad as it could be, and the shade had a nice dark pigmentation so it’s not a complete loss. A bit stiff, again, but workable. 8 Bit is a pretty seafoam green with a lovely texture – but not necessarily MY kinda shade, nor is it terribly unique. Finally we have Precious, yet another super-light shade that probably looks great on fair skinned gals but just YUK on me. Formula is good – smooth and creamy – but somehow a bit chunky as well. Weird.
In the third column are what I like to think of as our pastel, girly shades. They have a spring-like quality to them, even though I didn’t notice it until I swatched them:
Aside from Countess, a nice matte (the only one) skintone shade (smooth though a bit stiff), and Geek, a pretty satin peach (soft and smooth), the rest of the shades leave me cold. Again, these light colors on my skin tone – gah!! On the right person, they would likely sing, but on me…ugh. Arcadia is a pale lavender frost with a creamy formula that has that same odd chunky quality like Precious. Galore…ANOTHER pale frost that looks the same-ish on my skintone as a couple of the other shades (smooth/chunky formula). Birdcage is one of those shades I want to look nice on me but doesn’t – kind of a duo-golden green that would rock on a brown-eyed gal. It has a stiffer formula however. Babe is an electric purple with a blue flash that people often seem to go ga-ga for…myself excluded. Stiffer texture and takes a bit to build up.
Finally, in our last column we have a handful of jewel-tone shades – THESE kinds of tones I can get behind!! Come to mama:
Though I’ve previously documented my love of red shadow, I’m not sure about WTF – it might to TOO red? I haven’t yet tried to wear it so I’ll reserve judgement for now. It’s got a stiffer formula which doesn’t endear me to it a ton. Wonderland looks great in the palette, but like Oddfellow, doesn’t translate as well on the skin – the red glitter particles blow away and all you’re left with is a a deep reddish plum. However, the formula is more like Cry Later (smooth) than the other glitter shades, so it’s workable. Hexagram is a lovely taupe-like shade with a khaki lean and a duochrome flash – quite unique I think! It reminds me of a more aggressive NARS Rajasthan (the golden taupe shade), which is one of my faves. Awesome, creamy formula here. Gunner is a forest green and one of the worst performers of the bunch – dry, stiff, lackluster pigment with glitter fallout…just overall a disappointment. Fallen is a great staple bronze shade with a stellar formula and dense pigment – not original, but a great shade for all nonetheless. Piaf is probably one of the shades I’m most pleased to have, as I’ve been needing a nice gunmetal shimmer for some time now but hadn’t made a purchase. It leans cool and has good pigment and a creamy formula.
Ok. So first of all, clearly I have high expectations – have we gleaned that yet? What can I say? I expect the best. Having said that, despite my clear distaste for some of the shadows in this palette, there are actually a handful of really wonderful shades and formulas that I’m super keen to use like crazy: Queen, Cry Later (formula is a tad iffy but shade is great), Bukowski, Geek, Piaf, Fallen, and Hexagram. That’s 7 shades out of…24??? Eeks. See, THIS is why I don’t like palettes so much. I’m pretty much a one or two shade wonder and rarely play around to come up with intricate looks – so all these shades will probably go unused for the most part – and I hate having all these other shades kicking around when all I wanted was a handful! ~sigh~
Anyway, if you don’t have bizarre *excess* issues like I do, I think this palette definitely has some value (speaking of value, the shade costs on their own would total $130CAD, versus the $66 cost of the palette). Though there are a few shades I felt repetitive (namely, Instaglam, Precious, and Galore, which have minimal difference between them), the range of color is quite encompassing, and you really could come up with a huge variety of looks if that’s your thing. There are a few shades that could use an upgrade in formula, but it’s mainly limited to the glitter shades which we all know are more often than not a hassle. If you read other reviews of the palette, they’re mostly positive and are coming from people with NORMAL feelings toward palettes, so there’s that. And I mean…it IS kinda pretty to look at all the colors, no??
Are you a bit crazy when it comes to palettes? How do you (mentally) DEAL with the shades you don’t use??
*Product was provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
Even though Halloween hasn’t yet passed, the holiday push has been full-on now for most of October. While in some ways this really annoys me (and I’m honestly the very SPIRIT of Christmas…when December 1st hits!), in others it does get me a little bit excited for the season, and what better way to usher it in than with a slew of awesome makeup and skincare sets! These are something you can benefit from well before Christmas, or if you’re more charitable than I apparently am, start purchasing for gifts so that you’re good and ready once Christmas hits. Either way: BRING. IT. ON.
After trying out the Buxom lipstick set last week, I was sure that the Kat Von D Spellbinding Lipstick Set ($47CAD) wouldn’t even come close in terms of wowing me like those lipsticks did. While the texture isn’t nearly as creamy, these lipsticks still pack plenty of punch in their own right. And with ten shades to choose from, you’re bound to find one or two to rock your world!
Kat Von D’s Painted Love lipsticks are said to be rich, long-lasting, moisturizing, and wearable, and the ten shades in the set have a variety of finishes, from matte to metallic. Paraben-free, each mini-bullet in the set is 0.042oz – full-size lipsticks are 0.11oz and go for $23CAD, so you’re getting quite a deal here at almost half the price (the set is about $112/oz; a single full-size lipstick is $209/oz). With a good range of shades, I think it’s a great opportunity to try out Kat’s line without committing to a full-size lipstick (and a chance to get your hands on a few never before seen shades* as well!).
Left to right: A Go-Go (reddish coral), Underage Red (bright crimson), Bachelorette* (dark fuchsia pink), Mau5* (deep pinky purple) , L.U.V.* (rich violet), Backstage Bambi (hot pink), Lovecraft (berry beige), Ritual (terracotta suntan), Vampira* (deep reddish burgundy), Thin Lizzy* (metallic rusty red)
Thin Lizzy is truly the only metallic of the bunch; the rest are all cremes, which is OK with me as I prefer that finish anyway! Below, I have a few lip swatches of the shades I was most interested in (as well as a few comparison shots) – I would have done them all, but my lips have been seriously flaky for the past few weeks with the weather finally turning cooler, and I didn’t think they’d take too kindly to me trying 10 different shades on top of the swatchapalooza I had last week with the Buxom lippies.
Lovecraft is a great neutral shade that doesn’t look lifeless or flat on my lips, which I appreciate, as I struggle with that at times. A great staple shade, and thankfully part of the permanent lineup.
Ritual reminded me of NARS’ Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in More, which I purchased last fall. In truth, Ritual is slightly less brown and more wearable than More, as evidenced below:
Ka-POW!! This is one bold lippie! L.U.V. is eye-catching and fun but somehow remains quite wearable even in it’s brightness – I find it quite flattering on my skintone (remember my discovery of all things fuchsia!?).
IRL Vampira looks a bit darker and more vampy on me (more like the swatch), and I’m loving it. I have a ton of very similar red lipsticks already, so this is a nice addition that brings something new to the table entirely. And it’s kind of PERFECT for fall!
Each of the lipsticks have a very typical ‘lipstick feel’ to them – they are not particularly lightweight or creamy, but they apply with relative ease, feel comfortable to wear, and sit well on the lip. I’m not entirely sure I’d purchase a full-size (although if L.U.V. was permanent, I’d be terribly tempted!), but I am enjoying playing with the set and find I can get quite a variety of looks from them all. If you’re a lipstick gal and love having options, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!
Do you like lipstick sets? Or would you just rather buy one or two full-sized shades?
*Products were provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
Sooo…I really need to use up all of my lipsticks already. Aside from the fact that I’ve easily got enough to wear a different one every day of the month (hello, anxiety!), I’ve found my HG formula and kind of want to replace the whole lot of ‘em with it. The lipstick in question? Buxom’s Full-Bodied lip colour, which came out earlier this year and has been on my radar for quite some time. Happily, I’ve gotten a chance to try FIVE of ‘em in one of Buxom’s holiday offerings, the Serial Kisser collection of 5 mini Full-Bodied lipsticks!
Buxom’s Full-Bodied formula is described as “a rebelliously vivid, full-coverage lip color with a dual-phase plumping effect and seductive satin finish,” and are designed to be smooth, creamy, and ultra-hydrating due to encapsulated hyaluronic microspheres, shea butter, and coconut oil. Having fairly full lips already, I didn’t notice a plumping effect (and there is no tingling, strange feelings when applied – which I realized afterward Buxom actually notes in the description), but they are certainly full-coverage, and are the creamiest, most comfortable lipsticks I’ve ever had the pleasure of wearing. Over the past week I’ve been trying each shade, and I actually found them so hydrating and creamy that I could apply straight to my lips, no lip balm required (which is unheard of for me and my drier lips). I cannot tell you guys enough how fabulous this formula is!
I guess you wanna see the goods, hey? Ok, let’s get to it:
The starred lippies – Mistress (medium warm pink), Centerfold (mauvey-pink), and Moonlighter (muted violet-berry with shimmer) are exclusive to the set, while Menace (a rich wine) and Provocateur (a true red) are permanent in the line (and both happen to be my favorites of the five). A full-sized lipstick is 0.13oz and $26CAD; the set costs $40CAD and each lipstick is 0.04oz, which means both work out to $200/oz. So, its not entirely a cost-effective set, but still a fabulous way to try out several shades at once!
And for your viewing pleasure, lip swatches (and some comparisons!)
As I’m always keeping an eye out for ‘dupes,’ I took a look through my stash to see if I had similar shades to Provocateur. Uhhhhh….see for yourself:
…….apparently I like a good, true red! lol In my defense, all of these were received as press samples aside from MAC’s Russian Red (and even that I received as a gift!), so it’s not like I keep buying the same shade. If I were being sensible, I’d get rid of two of these at least – maybe keep the MAC or MUFE Aqua Rouge (both have more matte finishes) and then the Buxom shade (I like MUFE N46 but the formula is no contest) – buuuuut I probably won’t. N46 is a bit sheerer in texture, and the Aqua Rouge is a long-wearing version, so they all have their differing merits. And what can I say? I make this shade of red LOOK GOOD. ;)
Menace reminded me a lot of Ellis Faas’ L102 lippie, so of course I had to swatch ‘em side by side to be sure. L102 is a bit more brown, but they are quite close.
After fully enjoying each and every shade this week, I seriously did consider chucking all my other lippies in favor of these. The difference between these and say, a MAC lipstick (which have great shades, but most aren’t all that cushy if you know what I’m sayin’) is night and day. Not only are they kinder to lips, keeping them hydrated throughout the day, but they also wear magnificently, requiring only minimal touch-ups to keep the colour fresh – no horrible lipstick ring on the outer edge of the lips here! And did I mention their fragrance-free?
While the line only carries 10 shades at the moment, I’m hoping they expand the range. Temptalia has swatches of the entire line; I already have my eye on Rogue (fiery coral), Swinger (vivid magenta), Exhibitionist (bright fuchsia), and Scoundrel (blue red). COME TO MAMA.
Have you tried the Full-Bodied range yet? What is your favourite lipstick formula of all time?
*Products were provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
My nail polish addiction has waned somewhat over the past year – partially due to over-saturation, in the market and in my ‘polish closet’ (Yes, I have one. Yes it’s awesome!), where repeat shades are easily to come across. However, last week I was taking a browse through Sephora and came across the new nail bar with their brand new polish offering – Formula X for Sephora. Let me tell you – if you’re in a nail polish rut, this baby has everything you ever wanted and never knew you NEEDED. I may be in love.
Obviously, a few shades came home with me then and there
First off we have Center of My Universe ($15CAD), a gorgeous rose shade with silver and gold sparkle (part of the Celestials range). This is a full on glitter polish that also has almost full coverage in one coat – love it! As I’m not great with layering, I far prefer an opaque glitter as opposed to a more sheer formula. You could *almost* get away with one coat, but I use two for good measure. Even better, removal is a cinch! I went in fully expecting to have to use some elbow grease to remove these swatches, as par for the course with glitters. Not so! Holding a cotton pad soaked in polish to the nail for a mere 10 seconds or so each was all I needed to do to wipe them clean I wore (and am still wearing, with nary a chip – another pro, as I find glitters can chip more easily) this as my pedicure shade to the wedding I attended on the weekend, and it was absolutely perfect – glamorous and added a great hit of sparkle, as opposed to the typical red or vampy polish I tend to wear on toes in the cooler months.
As gorgeous as this polish is, it is a SERIOUS eater of topcoat – in the photo below (sorry it’s a bit blurry), you can see best how it looks with no top coat (index finger, far left), one coat (middle finger), and two coats (ring finger, far right). You can see that one coat barely made a difference, whereas two is starting to get somewhere. I’d probably opt for three if I were wearing this on my fingernails – I want maximum shine, but that’s just a personal preference. It’s still sparkly and lovely without it at all
The next polish I’m going to show you isn’t typically up my alley. You probably all know that cremes are my JAM, with a sprinkling of good fine shimmer polishes thrown in for good measure. Though Center of My Universe isn’t normally my thing either, it’s just so darn pretty and sparkly I couldn’t resist. I must have been on a roll with glitter polishes that day, because I also picked up this: Chaotic ($15CAD) a black and white confetti glitter – part of the Xplosives Top Coat range of the Formula X polishes. Below, I wore it over a shimmering navy blue, a glowing berry (which is what I had on when I swatched it in store), a pastel for contrast, and over a bare nail.
And with flash:
I adore this polish! I love love love how it looks good over every single shade here, and even on the bare nail! It’s just so damn COOL looking. I am SO not a gal for layering glitter over my polishes, but for this one I will gladly make an exception. I can’t wait to try out different combinations! I will mention that the removal of this polish is much more of a pain than Center of My Universe – the different sizes particles get stuck here and there and it’s a little annoying, but it’s totally worth the hassle for the effect! And application was a cinch, so it’s not all bad
If any of you have been to Sephora’s new nail bar with rows and rows and rows of these polishes, you’ll know what I mean when I say it’s like the most wonderful playground! I never purchase one single Sephora for OPI polish – they just didn’t do it for me as a whole – but I was instantly drawn to these new Formula X shades and the variety of finishes they have. I spent a good 30 minutes playing, and I plan on going back for a second round! They totally *nailed* it this time around
Have you checked out the new Formula X polishes? What are your thoughts?
A few weeks ago, I had to put in an order to Sephora for a couple of items we don’t have in stores here. While I was working to make my order over $75 to qualify for free shipping (which is one of those kinda stupid things we humans do that often cause us to spend more than we would originally, ALL JUST TO GET FREE SHIPPING….d’oh), I remembered a gorgeous red polish I saw on All Lacquered Up and decided to scoop it up for my own. That polish was Jasper ($22CAD) from the JINsoon collaboration with Tibi designer Amy Smilovic.
Described as a burgundy shade with subtle shimmer, Jasper looked like red-hot fire on Michelle’s nails, and I was stoked to check out my first JINsoon polish. It looked to be the perfect shade for the fall and winter/holiday season, and once it arrived, I was proved right! A gorgeous deep, dark, blood red shade with an inner fire to give it some major depth and drama? Count me IN.
Beautiful, no? Though Michelle’s swatches show the sparkle of the polish better than mine, in general the polish looks more like this – a subtle glow that allows for more interest than just a basic cream. It looks AWESOME paired with light grey clothing (as I happened to wear the combo today and felt uber put together :) The formula of the polish was quite good – excellent control due to a slightly thicker formulation, and it dried fairly quickly.
Unfortunately, this fairytale has a somewhat…ambivalent ending. See anything suspect about this polish? Anything…familiar? No?
How about now?
MAN how I hate to have dupes or near-dupes of shades!!!! That really irks me. As soon as I put the polish on one nail, I knew. Lippmann’s Through the Fire is slightly darker, and the shimmer even more fine, but to me they’re close enough to only warrant owning one. At as both bottles cost $20+, it’s kind of a pricey mistake to make. Sense tells me to pick one and part with the other, but when the stakes are higher…UGH. FAIL, Latoya.
In any case. If you don’t have either of these polishes, you probably should get your hands on one of ‘em, because they’re seriously smokin’. It could be worse I suppose, because it could be a shade I DIDN’T love, and that would truly be tragic. But as it stands, this color looks awesome and it’s entirely conceivable that in the next few years I’ll use them both up. Look on the bright side, right?
Have you ever purchase the a shade of polish/makeup only to realize later you own something (almost) identical? What do you do with the ‘extra’?
Ok. So fall has officially
sprung arrived. I am SO ready! I know you summer babes who love your heat are crying “WTF Latoya?!” and for you I say – I’m sorry :( I’m not hating on warm weather and sunshine, I love it as much as the next person. But after a few months of bright polishes and ‘au naturel’ looks, I’m eager to get down and dirty with some sultry, vampy makeup. I love change, what can I say?
As I’ve mentioned before, my makeup purchasing has slowed down considerably over the past 6 months +. One of the best ways for me to curb the impulse to buy something new is to go through my own collection to revisit old shades and swap out colors to reinvigorate myself. While doing the official ‘switch over’ for autumn, I got the idea to put together a few color stories that I felt were appropriate for the start of the fall season!
I’m starting you off slow with a shade that it incredibly wearable for almost all skintones – russet. These colors would be great for an easy going fall walk through the woods, that add a bit of life to the face but not a whole lot of color, per se. I picked up LMbD’s Rumour blush in a swap in early spring, and started wearing it fairly regularly during the summer as it added the nicest warm, radiant glow to my cheeks. It looks a bit scary in the pan but with a light touch for fairer skins, this is a great alternative to bronzer and leaves my skin looking naturally healthy. This is one of those awesome transitional shades that also works well in fall – the color reminds me of the turn of the leaves. L’Oreal’s Colour Riche Colour Caresse Shine Stain in Eternally Nude (a product which shall henceforth be known as CRCCSS) was a spurr of the moment purchase back in the spring, and was initially a bit of a disappointment – on my lips, it’s not terribly nude, but rather a sort of warm reddened brown – but I ended up liking the color for what it is, anyway. Another super wearable shade, and the formula is quite close to the YSL version, enough for me to probably opt for these over those due to the huge price difference. Sadly, the Urban Decay 24/7 liner here, in Lucky, a wonderful coppery shade, has been discontinued. I honestly need to start shopping for a dupe now, because this is probably one of my top favorite liners and I’m gonna be heartbroken when I finish it (which will actually happen because I use it regularly). Sigh.
Rose is not normally a shade I gravitate toward, as it tends to look very drab on my skintone, but these particular shades are both light (the lippies) and dark (the blush) enough to work well on me. Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge in Velvet Plum, a discontinued shade (sorry!) in the old packaging, was something I picked up when I had my makeup done at the counter several years ago. It would never have been a shade I’d have picked, but it ends up being one of my favorites for it’s exceptional wearability. It looks great with tanned skin, but is also perfect for fall/winter as well with it’s plummy tones. I quite like the formula of these as well – easy to apply and blend, and doesn’t leave my oilier skin greasy-looking. Laura Mercier’s Lip Glace in Discrete was kind of an impulse purchase – I don’t think I realized at the time that it was like $36, which is kind of a lot for a gloss – but its been well-used (despite the fact that it contains lanolin and I try to avoid wearing it two days in a row). It’s an easy nude-type shade that wears well with cooler toned smoky eyes, and isn’t TOO glossy. Lastly, I snagged a sample of BITE Beauty’s Luminous Creme Lipstick in Pepper a couple months ago, and it is a dusty rose shade that is similar to my natural lip color but a bit deeper and warmer. The formula is creamy and feels great on the lips, and goes with just about everything!
Now these are the shades I can get behind! I love me a good deep red anything in the fall – makeup, clothes, you name it. L’Oreal’s La Couleur Infallible Eyeshadow in Golden Mahogany is still one of my favorite eyeshadows, particularly so after wearing it in my friend’s wedding with such success, and was quite honestly MADE for fall. It’s gorgeous brown-red tones work with just about any cool-weather outfit I can come up with, and the color compliments just about every eye shade beautifully. NARS Turkish Red Cream Blush (another discontinued shade…oops) is a fabulous shade of blood red that is awesome for that windswept/windburnt look – however, it does require a bit of a skilled hand. It can go on a touch patchy due to it’s intense pigment (which also means a light hand is necessary), but when its done well, the effort is SO worth it! And, I just had a brainwave that MAC’s Dare You lipstick, shown here, could potentially be used as a cream blush if you were aching for that kind of shade. It has the similar deep red tone – which is particularly fabulous on the lips! This is a more wearable red for those of you who are a bit gun-shy of an in-your-face bold red, and looks amazing in the cooler months. LOVE.
I am also particularly partial to berry tones in the fall/winter…they’re just so delectably sexy! Ellis Faas Creamy Lips in L102 is still one of my absolute favorite lipsticks and hands down the shade I get the most compliments on. If for no other reason, THIS lippie is why I love fall so much! The fussy packaging is totally worth the drool-worthy, long-wearing shade. Illamasqua’s Crush Cream Blusher was a sale find I scooped up last winter, and while it didn’t get too much love from me since then, I plan on rocking this baby out all season long. When my skin isn’t tanned, it turns a bit pinkish, but right now with my fading tan, it looks more like it does in the pan – a gorgeous deep berry shade. YUMMY. Another Illamasqua fave is their Precision Ink in Havoc, which is still honestly capturing my heart some two years later. I mean, it’s a dark wine -colored eyeliner that doesn’t look black – how badass is that?! I wore it over the weekend while working at Clinique, and I swear I sold more because customers just thought I looked THAT GOOD. LOL!
Here comes the trickiest shade to wear of the bunch – violet. Too much red and it can make you look like you’ve been crying; too much blue and you look like you just had a throw-down with one of the ‘Real Housewives.’ It can quickly veer in to goth territory if you’re not careful – thankfully, all of you know just what you’re doing at all times, right!? Right. So, first we have the most challenging of the bunch – MAC’s Mattene Lipstick in Bing, and LE shade from 2008 or 2009, that has been making my life difficult since then. I WANT to rock this blackened purple shade full force, but alas I am still a scaredy-cat. However, I have managed to find various ways to wear it in a toned down way, either mixed with a red lippie or as a stain, so that will have to do for now. The lovely violet shadow you see here is a new acquisition (in fact, the three shadows are) from Inglot, shade # 325, a matte purple. I have yet to wear it, but I’m going to make an attempt this week – wish me luck! Finally, we have another UD 24/7 Eyeliner, in 1999….which is discontinued…but which I JUST purchased from Sephora two weeks ago (so that makes it better, right!?). They had several of the old shades up for sale, at $7.95CAD a pop, and I couldn’t resist. This is an awesome toned down version of violet, that does have a hint of red but seems to work perfectly on my eyes to subtly add a touch of color without going to crazy town. I’ve been wearing it on my lower lash line to give just a bit of definition and I’m really loving it.
What are your favorite shades/products to wear in the fall? What color story do you like the best?
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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?
Last month I received a surprise delivery of treats from Sephora, which included the new Pantone collaboration Full Spectra eyeshadow palettes ($46CAD). I was pretty stoked, truth be told – the design of the palettes are right up my alley (aka a minimalist aesthetic with sleek lines, and neat magnetic detachable covers), and the colors looked super-fun and interesting.
The formula is touted as being ‘color-shifting’ and have a ‘pearlescent-matte’ finish, which is sort of a contradictory term but also somehow correct. Of course, I jumped right in and got to swatching!
First up is the Day Break palette, which consists of somewhat neutral, soft shades typically more suitable for day wear.
Cloud Pink…huh. It does not look pink at all, much more like a copper/bronze to me, but clouds aren’t pink anyway so the naming here is just all sorts of messed up. Anyway. On to the swatches!
You can see a bit of the duochrome-y-ness in a few of the shades, which is apparently more pronounced when swatched wet. I tried it out and I did notice a slight difference, but not enough to be a game-changer. All of the shades of Day Break are pearlescent except for Jet Stream and Peach Melba, which are just matte.
Next, we have the Night Fall palette, which still retains several neutral shades but adds a handful of punchy colors to spice things up for the evening.
Again with the strange pink reference to a shade that is clearly not pink (Coral Pink). Maybe they know something I don’t????
Ah well. Swatchy time!
The shade combination in Night Fall really intrigues me – you could come up with some super-interesting looks here I think! Obviously Persian Jewel is the standout shade here, with Ocean Wave a close second (especially for lighter skintones than mine). The bottom shades are all matte as well as Eggnog (top, 2nd from left), while the remaining three are pearlescent.
As you can see, both palettes swatch semi-sheerly – and they had to be built up to get this level of pigmentation. The shadows are soft though stiff, but not necessarily hard to blend. All will yield a pretty wash of color to the lids – but if you’re looking to go bold (especially with shades like Persian Jewel), you will be disappointed. Particularly on my darker skin, these shadows are mostly a miss for me – I tried using Persian Jewel wet, on top of a primer, and while it was visible it did not yield the impact I desired. I recognize that some shadows are designed that way intentionally, but I do not think that was the case here. So, while there are some pretty shades and these look gorgeous, unless you’re going for subtletly, I’d pass on these.
As a note, both palettes contain talc if you have a sensitivity to it, but do NOT contain parabens.
What are your thoughts on sheer shadows – yea or nay?
*Products were provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
I’ve been on this kick lately of wanting to own every red blush EVER. MAC Frankly Scarlet. Illamasqua Libido. Dolce & Gabbana Sole. NARS Exhibit A. ALL THE RED BLUSH. Each are quite different from the other and therefore totally justifiable in purchasing (right?!). However, last month when I scored another red on my list, Becca’s Beach Tint in Papaya (described as a ‘hot red’), I had to pause in my red blush frenzy – not all of these shades will look good on me, guys! :’(
As some of you know, I’ve been sort of struggling to figure out my skintone – cool, warm, neutral, what is it? – and I think I’ve decided that I’m neutral with a bit of a cool leaning. Well, I think that my assumptions have been confirmed with this blush – it is FAR too warm for my skintone and has to be worn with an exceptionally light hand. See for yourself:
Though it doesn’t look terrible on me the way I’m wearing it – which is to say, very sheerly – it’s really not my best shade. with my tan I can pull it off, but any other time of year I suspect this will look ghastly (not to be confused with ghostly, as this is much to orange-toned and vibrant for that). This leads me to believe that similarly warm-toned blushes such as the Illamasqua or NARS versions noted above, may not be my cup of tea. I need to tread more carefully.
I suspect that the shades that will work best for me are more coral-red (such as D&G’s Sole) or the more pink-red tones of the MAC shade noted above. I’ve swatched the only other shades in my collection that even come close, NARS Boys Don’t Cry (of the coral-red camp) and MUFE’s #12 First Kiss (which in fact is a touch too orange and I usually layer it with other products).
Its interesting to look at these swatches, because I still feel like Papaya looks flattering here – but don’t let it fool you. I had to blend and blend down to next to nothing to ensure I didn’t look like I had been burned in a fire. Its certainly a summery shade and paired with bronzer can work well, but I prefer to wear more effortless shades that compliment naturally, even if they’re brighter. I’m starting to wonder if the key to blush isn’t to pick complimentary shades to your skintone, but contrasting. In swatches Papaya looks made for my skin and Boys Don’t Cry is more stand-out, yet the latter absolutely looks fantastic on me no matter if I’m tanned or not. Similarly with NARS Desire if you recall. INTERESTING.
Ultimately, I’m happy to have this shade as it represents a niche I hadn’t filled in my collection, and as it was a acquired via swap, I don’t feel bad about owning it. It was an excellent way to trial-run a warm red blush and learn that I probably won’t acquire any more in the future, focusing my energies instead on cooler-toned shades. The product itself is quite nice – easy to blend and wears quite well (though not exceptionally tenacious on my oilier skin). I likely won’t pick up anymore shades as most of them contain linalool which I avoid in products (can cause allergic reactions and sensitivity in people with eczema), but if you don’t have those concerns, I’d definitely check them out – they’re so easy and handy!
Do you own any red blush? To which tone does you skin favor, warm or cool?