Posts Tagged brown

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows in M-656 and ME-612: Autumn’s perfect pairing

Alright, so I’ve been trying to get this post up for a week but so far it clearly hasn’t happened. I have an hour or so before pre-natal yoga but I MUST talk about these awesome new(ish) shadows from Make Up For Ever NOW before I get way-laid again, so let’s get ‘er done!

The Artist Shadow collection includes 210 shades (which is CRAZY, by the way…think of the possibilities!) in 5 different finishes – matte, satin, iridescent, metal, and diamond. 3 years in the making, the formula was designed to maximize colour delivery through mega-concentrated pigments, and their Water-Blend technology aims to enhance blendability and texture.


I received shades M-656 (a Chestnut shade) and ME-612 (described as a ‘silver brown’ but which I feel is more rose-bronze). The ‘M‘ before the colour number indicates a matte shade; while the ‘ME‘ denotes a metal finish. Other formulas within the shade range correspond as follows: S = satinI = iridescent, and D = diamond. The numbers indicate a specific area of the colour wheel (above).

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows in M656 and ME612Left to right: Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows in M-656 Chestnut and ME-612 Silver Brown

Initially when I saw these shadows I was pretty pumped – they’re perfectly neutral, easy-wearing shades and that bronzey-rose metallic shade is SO my kind of colour.

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows in M656 Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in M-656 Chestnut 

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows in ME612Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in ME-612 Silver Brown

The chestnut shade is soft and buttery smooth, and swatches exactly as it looks in the pan. However, on first touch, the ‘silver brown’ shadow felt a bit stiffer to the touch, and didn’t translate its beauty as well as I’d hoped – it’s not as pigmented as I imagined it would be, and appears slightly faded rather than the rich texture I was expecting.

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows in M-656 and ME-612M-656 Chestnut (left) and ME-612 Silver Brown (right)

Additionally, I was a bit let down with the chestnut shade in that it seemed very close to other shades I already owned: MAC Saddle and Laura Mercier Truffle (from last year’s Artist’s Palette).

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in M-656 vs MAC Saddle vs Laura Mercier Truffle swatchLeft to right: MUFE M-656, MAC Saddle, and Laura Mercier Truffle

However, in swatching I realized that while the MUFE shade is quite close to Saddle (the former being a bit cooler), its pigmentation and texture is FAR superior – Saddle is more stiff and took many more passes to build up the colour, while M-656 was full-on colour from first swatch. Additionally, you can see that the LM shade doesn’t even compare in terms of pigmentation – much, MUCH more subtle (aka wishy-washy, in my opinion!). While the LM shade is part of a the one palette I haven’t destroyed, and therefore I’ll keep it around, I am most definitely getting rid of Saddle as it just doesn’t compare in terms of formula.

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in ME-612 vs MAC Sable swatchMUFE M-612 (left) and MAC Sable (right)

While comparing Saddle, I noticed that beside it in the MAC palette it’s housed in was a shade that looked remarkably similar to ME-612 – Sable. Of course, I had to do a comparison swatch of the two, and lo and behold – they are very similar! Sable has a more metallic finish, and is a touch cooler than ME-612, but for all intents and purposes they are very near dupes. Given my initial thoughts on ME-612, you would think I’d choose Sable, right? HOWEVER.

ME-612, while nothing to write home about in a swatch, looks beautiful when worn. It melds seamlessly with my skin so that it gives an extra little sparkle to my eye without being obvious, or even looking much like makeup! This is where is trumped Sable by far, as when I wear Sable (which is infrequently), I find it looks like I am wearing eye makeup, and it annoys me because it SEEMS like it should be a shade that almost matches my skin tone. Indeed, I have a *brown* friend who wears this every day and it looks like magical goodness on her. Where I think it goes wrong on me is the slightly thicker texture, the more metallic finish, and it’s ever-so-teensy cooler leaning, which just doesn’t work for me. When I wear a ‘natural’ shade, I want it to look natural, dammit!

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows in M656 and ME612Wearing ME-612 on the lid, with M-656 in the crease.

What I particularly like about this duo (which the MUFE PR gal so expertly put together for me!) is that it’s not SO warm that it clashes with any makeup you might pair with it that’s cooler-toned. In fact, I wore this duo when I showed you all my Ilia Beauty lippies – as you can see below, it works equally well with both the warmer tones of Femme Fatale, and the cooler tones of Call Me.

IMG_3889Wearing MUFE M-656 and ME-612 with Ilia Beauty Femme Fatale Lipstick

IMG_3883Wearing MUFE M-656 and ME-612 with Ilia Beauty Call Me Lipstick Pencil

So, it seems that once again, I took a bit of time before I was WOWED by a product. Guess I’m getting harder to please in my old age, huh?  The moral of this story here is simple, however: Don’t rely on swatches to give you a true idea and full picture of how a product looks and performs. It’s just not telling you the whole story! Sure, it gives you a good place to start, but honestly since I actually wore this duo on my eyes, I find myself reaching for it again and again because it just works so well with every look I pair with it!

Oh, and one last comment – when you purchase these new shadows, its a good idea to buy in bulk, as there is a discount added for two or three shadows bought at a time. I have conflicting information – the press release I have says that one shadow is $25CAD, two shadows is $39 and three is $50, but on Sephora it indicates $24CAD for one, a $9 discount for two (so, as stated, $39) and a $20 discount for three (ringing in at $52). Either way, it’s a good deal, and it only makes sense to buy a few at a time (I mean, there are 210 shades, so if you can’t find 2-3 that you like…WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU!?)

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows in M656 and ME612

Will you be checking out the new Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows? What type of finish do you like best in eyeshadow formulas?

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Swatching Is Rough (AKA My Eyeshadow Collection)

Eyeshadow Collection (3)

I was going to leave my eyeshadow collection ’till last to swatch in my ‘find the gaps’ series of posts, but the superstorm (which…is kind of lackluster – yea, there’s lots of snow, but I want some action, darn it!) seemed like the perfect time to just get ‘er done – so I did!  Oh man…for those of you who have larger collections than mine, I feel sorry for you if you attempt to do this – it is a BIG EFFING ORDEAL.  I started last night and got just over halfway through before both (!) arms had had enough.  I continued today and after needing to re-swatch several shade categories to get them *just right*, my left arm is just burning (as you’ll notice in the photos – red spots galore!).  So: enough.  I’m ready to rock ‘n roll.  Now – let’s get into ‘er!

Note: All shades are permanent within their respective brands except where otherwise noted.

WHITE EYESHADOWWhite Eyeshadow Swatches - AVON, Urban Decay UziAvon True Color Quad in Smokey Eyes (satin white)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Uzi (shimmer w/glitter) (LE)
‘HIGHLIGHT’ EYESHADOWHighlight Eyeshadow Swatches - MUFE 920, KATE BR-2, MAC VexMake Up For Ever Star Powder in #920 (iridescent)
KATE Real Create Eyes BR-2 Palette (white gold pearl)
MAC Eyeshadow in Vex (frost)
NUDE EYESHADOWNude Eyeshadow Swatches - MAC Next to Nothing, Laura Mercier Suspense, Burberry TrenchMAC Eyeshadow in Next to Nothing (Cult of Cherry Tempting Quad – frost) (LE)
Laura Mercier Eye Color Duet in Suspense (matte cool beige) (LE)
Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow in Trench (satin)
BEIGE, CHAMPAGNE & PEACH EYESHADOWPeach-Champagne Eyeshadow Swatches (9)Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Midnight Cowboy Rides Again (shimmer w/glitter)
Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #13 Warm Beige (frost)
Chanel Illusion d’Ombre in Emerveille (shimmer)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Snatch (shimmer w/glitter)
Kate Real Create Eyeshadow BR-2 Palette (soft peachy shimmer)
MAC Eyeshadow in Arena (satin)
GOLD EYESHADOWGold Eyeshadow Swatches - MAC Melon, Laura Mercier Gilded Moonlight, Clinique Gold GlimmerMAC Pigment in Melon (frost)
Laura Mercier Illuminating Eye Color in Gilded Moonlight (pearl) (LE)
Clinique Touch Tint for Eyes in Gold Glimmer (shimmer) (discontinued)
COPPER & ORANGE EYESHADOWOrange-Copper Eyeshadow Swatches - MAC Amber Lights, Ardene 8BMAC Eyeshadow in Amber Lights (frost)
Ardene Eyeshadow in 8B (pearl)
BRONZE EYESHADOWBronze Eyeshadow Swatches - MAC Cocomotion, UD Smog, MAC Tempting, Clinique Rum SpiceMAC Pigment in Cocomotion (frost) (LE)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Smog (shimmer)
MAC Eyeshadow in Tempting (lustre)
Clinique Color Surge Super Shimmer Eyeshadow in Rum Spice (shimmer)
BROWN EYESHADOWBrown Eyeshadow Swatches - MAC Dark Edge, KATE BR-2, MUFE #17, Laura Mercier Suspense DuoMAC Eyeshadow in Dark Edge (Cult of Cherry Tempting Quad – satin) (LE)
KATE Real Create Eyes BR-2 Palette (deep brown shimmer)
Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow in #17 Espresso (matte)
Laura Mercier Eye Color Duet in Suspense (matte burgundy brown) (LE)
Brown-Taupe Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Suspect, NARS Rajasthan, KATE BR-2Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Suspect (shimmer)
NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Rajasthan (beige-gold taupe) (shimmer) (LE)
KATE Real Create Eyes BR-2 Palette (taupe shimmer)
Purple-Taupe Eyeshadow Swatches - NARS Grand Palais, LMdB Corinthian, MAC Shale, bareMinerals Meteorite, Hourglass ExhibitionNARS Duo Eyeshadow in Grand Palais (silver-taupe shimmer)
Hourglass Visionaire Eye Shadow Duo in Exhibition (mauve shimmer)
MAC Eyeshadow in Shale (satin)
bareMinerals High Shine Eye Color in Meteorite (frost)
Le Metier de Beaute True Color Eye Shadow in Corinthian (shimmer)
RED & PINK EYESHADOWPink-Red Eyeshadow Swatches - L'Oreal Golden Mahogany, Chanel Abstraction, Avon Smokey EyesL’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Golden Mahogany (frost)
Chanel Illusion d’Ombre in Abstraction (shimmer)
Avon True Color Quad in Smokey Eyes (matte light pink)
Rose-Mauve Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Bordello, UD Last Call, NARS Grand PalaisUrban Decay Eyeshadow in Bordello (shimmer w/glitter)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Last Call (metallic)
NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Grand Palais (matte dusty rose)
Plum Eyeshadow Swatches - NARS Habanera, UD Rockstar, Hourglass Exhibition
NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Habanera (sparkling plum)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Rockstar (shimmer)
Hourglass Visionaire Eye Shadow Duo in Exhibition (eggplant shimmer)
Purple Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Psychedelic Sister, MAC InfamousUrban Decay Eyeshadow in Psychedelic Sister (shimmer)
MAC Paint in Infamous (metallic) (discontinued)
Blue Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Radium, MAC Blue Boy, MAC Blue EdgeMAC Paint in Blue Boy (metallic) (discontinued)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Radium (shimmer)
MAC Eyeshadow in Blue Edge (matte w/shimmer) (discontinued)
Teal-Aqua Eyeshadow Swatches - NARS Rajasthan, theBalm Jealous Jordana, UD Loaded, MUFE #8E, Illamasqua Burst, UD Money, NARS Habanera, UD Haight
NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Rajasthan (blackened teal shimmer) (LE)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Loaded (metallic)
theBalm Shady Lady Eyeshadow in Jealous Jordana (shimmer)
Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow in 8E (matte)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Haight (shimmer)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Money (shimmer w/micro-glitter) (LE)
NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Habanera (mint frost)
Green Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Kush, LMdB Jade, UD Mildew, MAC Sharp, Lise Watier Folie Pomme, MUFE #57Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Kush (shimmer w/micro-glitter)
Le Metier de Beaute True Color Eye Shadow in Jade (shimmer)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Mildew (shimmer)
MAC Eyeshadow in Sharp (Cult of Cherry Tempting Quad – satin) (LE)
Lise Watier Couleur Folle Eyeshadow in Folie Pomme (iridescent shimmer)
Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow in #57 Chartreuse (satin)
Yellow Eyeshadow Swatches - MUFE #24, MAC Bright Future
Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #24 Yellow (matte)
MAC Eyeshadow in Bright Future (
Khaki Eyeshadow Swatches - Armani #24, Armani #6, Clinique Autumn Moss
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Waterproof Eyeshadow in #24 Smokey Copper (shimmer)
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow in #6 Khaki Pulse (shimmer)
Clinique Color Surge Soft Shimmer Eyeshadow in Autumn Moss (satin)
Silver-Taupe Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Maui Wowie, Bobbi Brown Pewter, theBalm Insane Jane, MUFE #2Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Maui Wowie (metallic w/glitter)
Bobbi Brown Chrome Eye Shadow in Pewter (frost) (LE)
theBalm Shady Lady Eyeshadow in Insane Jane (shimmer)
Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #2 Steel (shimmer)
Grey Eyeshadow Swatches - Avon Smokey EyesAvon True Color Quad in Smokey Eyes (medium grey & dove grey) (shimmer)
Black Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Perversion, MAC Dark SoulMAC Pigment in Dark Soul (frost w/glitter)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Perversion (matte)


Did you make it??

Eyeshadow Collection (4)

…So.  To be honest, when I started swatching all my makeup, I was originally just trying to find a way to justify new purchases – if it could be considered a shade I didn’t already own, then I would feel free to go for it.  However, now I’ve discovered that being so fully aware of what I own, has made me really excited to play with my current collection, instead of seeking out new products.  I especially noticed this with this eyeshadow post – there are so truly fabulous shades in there!  While there are still of course colors I’d like to pick up to fill the gaps (namely – a lilac and a skintone [MY skintone, to clarify] shade, among a couple others), overall I’m WELL aware I have a ton of shades to rock out and don’t really *need* anything else at the moment.  I did notice I have a lot less color than I imagined, but that’s actually OK because I don’t tend to wear it a ton and try to avoid buying a lot of it only for it to go unused.  I think my stash is fairly representative of the kind of makeup I wear day to day!  So SCORE for being logical in my purchases 🙂

Eyeshadow Collection

I am kinda worn out from the work necessary to do this post, so I’m done now LOL.  But – I have questions for you!

Do you see any gaps that I could fill?  What shades make up the bulk of your eyeshadow collection?? Also – anyone bother to count how many shades I have?  I’m too tired now to bother LOL

Eyeshadow Collection (2)

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A Hint of Fall: NARS Velvet Lip Gloss Pencil in More (Review & Swatches)

I know I’m terribly late to the game posting on this product, but as it’s not limited edition I figured that it wasn’t pressing to post it ASAP (hope that’s OK!).  NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in More is my first Velvet lip pencil from NARS, and I have to say that as a lippie I’m a fan!  I find it extremely easy to handle and apply (though I suspect that with a more intense shade the ability for precision might be lacking just a touch).

More is a terracotta shade that could work as either a brownish shade or almost a nude on more pigmented lips.  I find that the pencil itself looks different in different lighting (as evidenced by the shots above and below) – for the most part it’s truly a medium, warm, slightly orange-y brown that is perfect for the autumnal tones of the season.

On my deeper skin tone, it definitely leans more toward being a nude-neutral shade, but with a hint of interest, which I like.  Sometimes I find ‘nude’ tones can easily wash one out, but I think unless you have a very dark skin tone, this one won’t go in that direction.  It also helps that this pencil has only medium pigmentation – it covers easily but it’s too dense, which allows the natural lip tone to show through a bit and keep things from veering too ‘done.’


Though this is technically a ‘gloss,’ I don’t find it terribly glossy, but rather more balm-like with a creamy texture and soft shine finish.  As I don’t own any other Velvet Gloss pencils I can’t comment on whether or not others are much more glossy, but I would hazard to guess they aren’t high shine overall as the pencil form can’t physically allow for that.  I have tested one other shade, Mexican Rose I believe, and while I loved it, it bled in my lip lines terribly – which is quite a feat, as I have few!  More does not have the same effect, which I attribute to the shade itself not being as bright and pigmented.

Wearing ‘More’ with MAC’s Raizin blush and NARS Via Appia eye liner.

Though it’s not necessarily a shade I reach for often – I’m killing the deep berry lips this season! – I still really like More and its wearability for more neutral looks like the one above (which, incidentally, I LOVED).  The creamy texture and ease of application has ensured that I’ll definitely pick up more shades in the future, and perhaps even some of the Velvet Matte lipsticks as well!  They’re perfect for toting around or for travel, and since I seem to be doing a lot of that lately, it’s a bit plus in my books.

For those of you interested, the ingredient list is below (no parabens, and no fragrance – woohoo!):

I seem to be on a ‘brown’ roll here….

What do you think of More?  Have you tried the Velvet Gloss Lip Pencils from NARS?  Do you like the application method?  Which are your favorite shades? 

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Mmmm…Chocolately Goodness with Zoya’s Dea

A few weeks ago, while browsing looks created for the fall 2012 runways searching for inspiration, I stumbled upon this photo from Cynthia Rowley with a fabulous yet simple nail look:

…Also – how happy and cute does this model look?! 😀

As a fan of the random alternate shade as part of a manicure, this appealed to me so much.  I also loved the cocoa shade the model wore, which was surprizing to me since I usually have nointerest in brown nail polish.  Brown skin + brown polish = bo-ring!  However, this one seemed somehow elegant on her (although I’m sure her long, slender fingers helped immensely), and the juxtaposition of the dark accent nail really made the entire look.  When I found out that the polish used was by Zoya, and that I owned one of the shades already – Cynthia, an deep teal from last fall’s collection – I knew I had to buy the other color, stat!

And so I came to own Zoya’s Dea 😀

Indoor light, no flash

Dea is a milk chocolate shade with a hint of red in it’s base, which seems to really flatter my olive-leaning skin.  It’s not so close to my skintone as to look like a ‘mannequin hands’ shade, but not so dark that it looks drab, which is how I usually find brown or brown-leaning shades to look like on me.  While I love a good dark chocolate shade on fair skin (see Temptalia), on me it just falls flat.  Not so with Dea!  Its the very first brown polish I’ve owned and I absolutely LOVE it!

Indoor light, flash

Formula on Dea was typical Zoya cream, which is to say it goes on a tad bit fussy but overall dries to a lovely, self-leveling finish.  Lately I’ve been noticing that the base coat I pair with my polish makes a difference in the wear of the polish, so I’ve been accumulating various base coats from each brand.  This time around when I ordered Dea from Nail Polish Canada, I also ordered Zoya’s Anchor base coat, and it made a HUGE difference in how long the polish lasted on me.  Normally I get about 3 days wear with most polishes before it starts to chip, but I wore Dea for almost a week with only minor tip wear (the photos below are on day 4, I believe).  I attribute that to pairing the base coat and polish of the same brand together – though I will do a few trial runs with other brands and the Anchor base to see how they fare.

Indoor light, flash

As this was my first time wearing Dea, I didn’t do the accent nail because I wanted to wear the polish on it’s own to see how I felt.  As you probably can tell, I was totally pleased with it as is and so now I can’t waitto wear it with Cynthia as I think it’s going to be the most amazing combination ever!  I’ll be sure to post pics when I do 🙂

For anyone wondering, I did a quick bottle comparison of this shade with OPI’s San Tan-tonio, because at first I thought they might be similar.  However, as you can see, the two are NOT dupes or even close, with OPI’s shade being obviously lighter, and I find it leans more yellow overall.  And, erm…Dea is all kinds of more awesome, guys!!!

I think you’re probably getting the picture here now – Dea is totally awesome!  It’s always the best when you have little or no expectations, its much easier to be pleasantly surprized and impressed 😀  I will concur that it may be a shade that doesn’t work for everyone…but in that instance, I’d say to investigate the brown shade I linked to above, or some other similar colors – I’m totally a brown polish convert now and think everyone should own at least one!

What shade of polish has pleasantly surprized you in the past?  Do you care for brown polish at all, or steer clear?

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Kate x Rimmel Lipstick in 06 Might Be Too Much for Me

Unlike Makeup Morsels, I might fight you to TAKE this lipstick away…

Ok, it’s not that bad – and in fact, for some I suspect it might be really good.  But I am VERY not sure about this color on me.  Its in your face but I don’t think in a good way.

The new(ish) Kate x Rimmel lipsticks boast a variety of bold, saturated shades that are probably every lipstick-wearer’s dream.  They’re creamy and easily opaque, and Kate Moss made ’em by hand (no, really!).  Well, at least she endorses them, so they’ve got to be cool, right?

The case is actually quite sleek and attractive, jet black with Kate’s ‘signature’ on the side written in red, with not much else.  Alongside my other higher-end lippies, it fits right in.

The shade I selected was 06, a bright deep pink that leans more warm than cool.  I envisioned myself wearing this and little else, much like the J Crew models (god they make that look good!).  However, because this shade is SO opaque, it actually looks a little….I dunno, fake somehow?  As if wearing a screaming pink lipstick isn’t fake enough, right?



Natural light

Aside from perhaps the poor shade choice,  I also find this lipstick to highlight any imperfections on the lips (so be sure to prep very carefully), and while it’s creamy, it’s not particularly moisturizing so I would opt to apply a thin layer of balm beforehand if you have drier lips.  It’s not terribly problematic, but I’ve worn some lipsticks just as is so it’s something to note.  Also, the scent is typical Rimmel, which is to say – sort of cinnamon-y?  I don’t know what that scent is but I’m not a huge fan.  It’s not overpowering or noticeable once worn, but it’s kinda weird.

Overall I’d probably pick up another shade of these as they’re fairly inexpensive (mine was on sale for around $5.79 but they’re probably around $8CAD full price), they have a fun shade range, and they do apply and wear well.  If you’re easing your way into wearing a ‘trendy’ lip color, this is a good way to go.

Do you think this is too bright for me?  What shade of lipstick do you have a hard time wearing?

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