Posts Tagged coral

Recent purchases, Part I: The Lippies

It’s a good thing May was my birthday month…it helps me with an excuse for why I’ve purchased SO MANY MAKEUPS over the past few weeks :S I’ve come to the realization that it’s not boredom that causes me to keep buying stuff, but rather the attempt at keeping a piece of my old self alive in this new life I’m living. I’m truly having the best time being a mom, and it only keeps getting better as Elena gets older and more interactive – watching her grow and develop is amazing – but my life revolves around her, so I think buying makeup and skincare like it’s going out of style is just a way to remind myself that I still have other interests. Or at least that’s the theory at the moment 😉

Anyway – it’s high time I show you guys some of the stuff I’ve picked up over the past little while. I’ve returned a couple things that I wasn’t super-enamoured with, but overall I’ve found a few gems that I’m really enjoying. I have time again to do a full face of makeup and I generally wear it every day, so my behaviour is not completely ridiculous (just mostly). Although, having said that…I’ve picked up five – count ’em, FIVE – lippies in the past month, which is kind of a lot. Let’s start with those, shall we?

Lipsticks MAC Clarins GivenchyTop row, left to right: Givenchy Rose Perfecto, Clarins, MAC Elegant Accent

Bottom row, left to right: MAC Cosmo, MAC Make Me Gorgeous

Lipsticks Givenchy MAC Clarins swatchesLeft to right: Givenchy Rose Perfecto, MAC Make Me Gorgeous, MAC Elegant Accent, MAC Cosmo, Clarins

My first lipstick purchase was made during a small MAC haul I made online back in March, when I decided that the coral red Make Me Gorgeous lipstick (Amplified formula) HAD to be mine. To my dismay, when it arrived in person I realized it looked scarily close to Tom Ford’s True Coral lipstick in the tube, and I was heartily disappointed. It also makes any flakes and dryness on the lips really noticeable, so at first I thought I had a big fat LOSER on my hands.

However, once I got into the swing of mommyhood and was able to start looking after myself a bit more, my chronically chapped and flaking lips healed and the lipstick looked pretty damn good on. And when I did an actual swatch comparison between it and True Coral, it turned out that they’re not exactly the same. While very similar, Make Me Gorgeous is lighter, brighter and has a touch more pink. Happy, happy day.

MAC Make Me Gorgeous vs Tom Ford True Coral lipstick comparison swatchesLeft: MAC Make Me Gorgeous; Right: Tom Ford True Coral

My next lipstick conquest was one of the Givenchy Le Rouges – I’ve been dying to try this formula for ages but I couldn’t decide on a shade that didn’t already seem like something I owned (if you’re gonna spend $40 on a lippie, you want it to be original, no?). I finally settled on Rose Perfecto, a blue-based bright pink. Just LOOK at it.

Givenchy Rose Perfecto

As I had to order online, I could only guess that it was unlike anything else I owned. When it arrived, I immediately did some swatching to see if I made the right choice:

Givenchy Rose Perfecto vs Bite Quince vs Revlon Showy lipstick comparison swatchesLeft to right: Bite Quince, Givenchy Rose Perfecto, Revlon Showy

My first thought was that it would rival another bright pink lippie in my stash, Bite High Pigment Lip Pencil in Quince, which I love. However, it makes that shade look warm and dark in comparison. Revlon’s Matte Balm in Showy, though, was a very close match, proving to be only slightly cooler-toned and more matte. As I only spent like, $8 on it however, I felt justified in removing it from my stash in favour of the Givenchy. I’ve already noted the AMAZINGNESS that is the Le Rouge formula on Instagram – I’m completely sold – and I plan to buy one of these during each Sephora sale. So, so creamy, comfortable, and long-wearing. LOVE!

Givenchy Rose PerfectoWearing Rose Perfecto…always with the baby in tow!

Every spring it seems like everyone gets on the ‘sheer and juicy’ train when it comes to lipsticks, which I’ve just never gotten into. I decided to finally pick up something along those lines to try, and the new Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfectors were a good place to start. First of all, I LOVE the smell of these – like….. The shade I grabbed, 06 Rosewood, is sort of a brownish neutral, that merely gives a hint of color to my lips. Unsurprisingly, this is not long-wearing, but it does moisturize nicely (though it doesn’t seem to necessarily improve the condition of my lips over time). I’m not wild about it, but it’s a nice enough addition to my collection and super-wearable. The only thing I have similar is L’Oreal’s Wet Shine Stain in Eternally Nude, and it’s much more brown and pigmented:

L'Oreal Eternally Nude vs Clarins Rosewood comparison swatchesLeft: L’Oreal Eternally Nude; Right: Clarins Rosewood

A couple weeks ago I went into MAC to check out a few products on my wishlist. In a fit of madness, and because Elena was asleep and peaceful (therefore giving me ample time to look around and shop), I ended up buying a handful of items from my list, two of them being lipsticks. The first was a shade from the Mineralize Rich range, Elegant Accent – a pretty pinky-coral (which strangely isn’t available on the US website but is on the Canadian one…also, the range of Mineralize Rich lipsticks is completely different between the two sites).

MAC Elegant AccentWearing Elegant Accent, as seen on my Instagram, sans filter (which skewed the color a bit)

As you do when you have too many lipsticks in general, I did another swatch comparison. This time, I though MAC’s Crosswires might be similar; however, it leans more coral-orange than pink, and the finish – which is Cremesheen – is thicker than the semi-opaqueness of the Mineralize Rich formula. I love how hydrating and forgiving the Mineralize Rich formula is – I’ll definitely be trying more shades in the future (though am I the only one that finds the shade range limited, at least here in Canada?)!

MAC Elegant Accent vs MAC Crosswires lipstick comparison swatchesLeft: MAC Elegant Accent; Right: MAC Crosswires

The second lipstick I picked up during my MAC Madness was Cosmo, rosy brown in an Amplified Creme formula. I was looking for something to enhance my lip tone – make it look lush and full, but still natural. I have a hard time with MLBB shades – they never seem to do what I want them to do, usually looking too pink or too dull. Unfortunately, while I loved the lipstick in-store, when I got it home it was again not quite what I wanted. The Amplified Creme finish in my experience is too heavy and thick – like the lipstick texture of days past. So while the shade is good, I find this looks too ‘lipstick-y’ to achieve that enhanced but natural lip I was seeking.

I also realized that I already have just what I was looking for in NARS Matte Velvet Lip Pencil in Dolce Vita:

NARS Dolce Vita vs MAC Cosmos lipstick comparison swatchesLeft: NARS Dolce Vita; Right: MAC Cosmo

Dolce Vita is a bit more reddish, and matte, but the Velvet Matte formula is so creamy and light it blends on the lip perfectly to achieve that ‘full’ look effortlessly. I LOVE these pencils, and have plans to get Dragon Girl (cool siren red), Walkyrie (warm coral red creme, similar to Dolce Vita but a bit more reddened), and Bettina (rose beige) in the future (when I use some of these lippies up already!). Seriously, if you haven’t tried these, you NEED to – they’re not drying, they last for hours and they’re the only mattes I can wear even when my lips are in rough shape. FAB-U-LOUS!

And thus ends my lipstick-palooza…for 2015 so far, anyway. It gets harder and harder to find original shades within my existing collection, so I’ve got to slow down on the purchasing for awhile and start using stuff up already. Other than the NARS lip pencils, I don’t have any lipstick purchases planned at the moment…which is probably a good thing!

Have you gone on a makeup spree lately? What kinds of products have been catching your eye?

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Summer Polish Combo: Zoya Robyn with Essie Come Here

Happy Canada Day!!!  It’s been a busy week and an even busier weekend, as usual!  I had an excellent weekend celebrating Canada’s 146th birthday, even despite the fact that the weather has been absolute CRAP.  Sometimes though, the fact that everyone pulls together to make the best of a shitty situation (in this case, crazy rain and wind for DAYS) is almost better than if everything had been perfect.  And when you’re doing all this with the people you care about, well, then it’s all gravy 😀

Summer Polish Combo

As the weather has been hit or miss this summer so far (with more misses than hits), I haven’t been very concerned about my mani/pedi situation, but last week after picking up those few new shades, it was due time to get on it!  Below I tried out two of the shades, Zoya Robyn – a bright sky blue – and Essie Come Here, a coral red from the 2013 Resort collection.  Both are perfect vibrant summer shades that work well on both fingers and toes – I love them!

Summer Polish Combo (4)

Zoya Robyn was a unique addition to my polish collection – most blue shades I have lean teal or aqua, or are more of along the lines of a deep navy.  This eye-catching shade is perfect for spring and summer, and I really love it!  I wasn’t sure about it on my hands at first, but it really grew on me and I ended up wearing it for a full four days.  The formula is thin which means you have to be a bit careful in application, but it only required two coats so it’s not terribly fussy.  It wore exceptionally well and I only had minor tip wear after those four days.

Zoya Robyn (2)

Essie Come Here is my kind of shade!  I love the strong red leaning that sometimes leans pink and sometimes leans more orange.  It looks fabulous on toes and will go with pretty much any shade I pair it with.  Formula was lovely with absolutely no issues or tricks required for application.  100% win!  I haven’t yet worn Essie Come Here on my fingernails, but I am eager to – below I have a few comparison swatches to show you (aka justify my purchase); it’s really not like anything I personally own.

Essie Come Here comparisonEssie Meet Me at Sunset, China Glaze Surfin’ for Boys, Essie Come Here, butter London Snog

Essie Come Here! comparison Essie Come Here! comparison (3)Top to bottom: butter London Snog, Essie Come Here, China Glaze Surfin’ for Boys, Essie Meet Me at Sunset

I thought Snog was going to be quite close, but it’s far too pink.  Surfin’ for Boys is in the right vein but much lighter and with shimmer.  Meet Me at Sunset is clearly too orange, but it has the same intensity of saturation.  From what I understand, Essie’s Ole Caliente and Flirt are very similar to Come Here, so if you have either of those, you’re probably set.  Bottom line: It’s a great shade that I’m totally diggin’!

What do you think of this combo?  Have you come up with any great combinations of your own lately?

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Polish Comparison Swatches – The Best Kind of Post When You’re Sick

So yea.  I sneezed funny on Sunday and then the next day I was sick with a cold.  Has that ever happened to anyone else?  I’m being dead serious – it’s like the sneeze dislodged the sickness or something.  Ugh.  Anyway, I was off work today and pretty much was a slug all day; even looking at the computer screen hurts my eyes.  I am weird and don’t take medication when I’m sick (unless it’s that time of the month – then, JACK ME UP BABY) because I feel like it just masks the pain and makes me stay sick for longer.  Or I’m a martyr.  Either or.  At least I know when I get pregnant one day I’ll be totally used to not being able to take meds (but I will not hesitate to get an epidural – eff that).  So there’s that.

Anyway, I have photos of two polishes I had done comparison swatches for but never posted them, so here they are.  First up is Chanel’s Orange Fizz (which I happen to be wearing this week, and seriously – I LOVE IT SO MUCH you guys should all buy a bottle, it’s good times) which I swatched against all my other orangey-coral polishes (spoiler – there are no dupes that I own, so you should just go buy a bottle of the real stuff):

Chanel Orange Fizz comparisonsLeft to right: China Glaze Flirty Tankini, LA Colors Magnetic Force, Chanel Orange Fizz, China Glaze Surfin’ for Boys, Deborah Lippmann Daytripper

Chanel Orange Fizz comparisons (2) Chanel Orange Fizz comparisons (3)Chanel Orange Fizz comparisons (5)Thumb: China Glaze Flirty Tankini; Index: Chanel Orange Fizz; Middle: LA Colors Magnetic Force; Ring: China Glaze Surfin’ for Boys; Pinky: Deborah Lippmann Daytripper

You can see that aside from the LA Colors shade, the rest of the polishes are all in the same vein, but Flirty Tankini is less saturated and dries with a flat finish (though probably the closest match); Surfin’ for Boys is more pink and with a pearlesence about it; and Daytripper is more pink.  What I love about Orange Fizz is that it’s super-shiny on it’s own, has a squishy quality to it, and is somehow both soft enough for spring but bright enough that it will be awesome in summer too 🙂

The next polish I have to show you is one I recently picked up from American Apparel, called Downtown LA.  I was in the store a couple weeks ago buying Neon Violet for a gal at work, since she loved it so much on me, and decided to take advantage of the buy 3 for $18 deal (I also picked up their matte top coat for fun).  Downtown LA is a bold red that leans ever so slightly orange.  It is exceptionally close to butter London’s Come to Bed Red, though bL’s version really is more of a true red without the orange lean.  I can tell the difference between the two but if I didn’t tell you, I’m sure you wouldn’t guess:

American Apparel vs butter Londonbutter London Come to Bed Red; American Apparel Downtown LA

American Apparel Downtown LA (3) American Apparel Downtown LAIndex & ring: butter London Come to Bed Red; middle & pinky: American Apparel Downtown LA

I have a hard time wearing red polish as I find on my skintone it looks a bit garish; however, I wore Downtown LA last week and actually liked it quite a bit.  The warmer tone of the polish worked better on me than Come to Bed Red has in the past, and I made sure to cut my nails super-short which made the manicure less in-your-face.  I won’t be stocking up on red polishes any time soon but it’s still nice to have a few great ones in your arsenal!  I’ll likely pass along my butter London shade – I always hate to part with more high-end brands but I know I’ll never choose it over the AA color.  I have to say, I really like AA polishes – they are almost one-coaters and apply so well!

So, I hope this keeps you entertained until I get better!  I usually go into repair mode when I’m sick and rarely stay down for long, so I’ll be up and kickin’ by the weekend I’m sure 😀

What do you do with your nail polish dupes?  Do you find red a difficult color to wear?

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Celebrating the Arrival of Spring With New(ish) Nail Polish Pretties!

Though I’ve been in somewhat of a nail polish slump, similarly to filling in gaps in my makeup collection, I’ve been picking up polish shades here and there that fit in nicely with the array of colors I already have.  For the most part, I’ve been beefing up my existing collection with shades that are generally thought of when we think ‘spring’ – pale, pastel-like shades that have a fresh, soft, feminine quality to them.  I know that there’s no need to stick to ‘seasonal’ colors any more, but I personally like to change the tones I wear (for both makeup and nails) each season, and typical spring shades are no exception.

New Spring 2013 Nail Polish

I actually don’t own a large array of pale nail polishes, as I normally gravitate toward broodier, richer tones, but this season I’ve accrued five new shades that I’m totally digging, which means I now have a good handful or two of polishes that are just perfect for the spring season.  My two favorites from past years have been Zoya’s Marley and MAC’s Mischievous Mint, and now joining those two are: Sally Hansen Barracuda, a pale yet bright blue; China Glaze Dandy Lyin’ Around (new from this season’s Avant Garden collection), a shimmering white; butter London’s Bossy Boots, a pale pistachio green, and Jasper (new from the Sweetie Shop Spring 2013 collection), a pale lemon yellow; and Chanel Orange Fizz, a slightly muted coral orange.

Sally Hansen Barracuda is a Complete Salon formula, which is supposed to mean that its the full meal deal, with base & top coat qualities rolled into the one polish.  I actually do find these polishes to wear better without base coat, and the swatches below with sans top coat – as you can see, this baby is SHINY.  There really is no need for top coat unless you need a quick drying one to get it on and get out the door.  I found it did require three coats to achieve full opacity and to look it’s best, so if you’re in a hurry you may need a fast-drying top coat anyway.  However, I found that it dries relatively quickly on it’s own, so its not an absolutely necessary step.  Also, I have to mention that I adore the brush on these polishes – it’s wide and thin and covers almost my whole nail bed in one go.  Application is a breeze!

Sally Hansen Barracuda swatches (2) Sally Hansen Barracuda swatches (4) Sally Hansen Barracuda swatches (3) Sally Hansen Barracuda swatches

China Glaze Dandy Lyin’ Around was a recent lemming of mine, having only first seen it on All Lacquered Up (a blog, by the way, I’m pleased to see back in action!) this past week.  A couple weeks ago, Taylor of My Lucite Dreams posted about a white polish, and it looked SO lovely on her but I knew the white polish trend was NOT going to be my friend.  However, when I saw Dandy Lyin’, I had a feeling that it’s softer, sparkling quality might be a way for me to try the trend, and I was right!!  I really like this polish a lot, even despite the fact that it’s sheerness and slightly streaky quality requires three coats – just be careful in your application.  It’s worth the effort for me as I’m loving the look on my hands!  I can’t wait to try it on summer toes 🙂  Note that no top coat was used, and I don’t feel it needs one, unless you want to get that smooth, uber-glossy look.

China Glaze Dandy Lyin' Around (8) China Glaze Dandy Lyin' Around (20) China Glaze Dandy Lyin' Around (24) China Glaze Dandy Lyin' Around (26)

butter London Bossy Boots has NOT been a recent lemming; in fact, I wanted this bad boy last year but held out until a couple months ago when I got it on discount.  As a general rule, I do not like green nail polish – not on others (typically) and definitely not on me.  However, light greens are totally exempt and I love the way they look.  I’m not 100% sold on the yellowish undertones in Bossy Boots as being the best for me, but I still enjoy this shade and am glad I finally picked it up.  The application was good with no real troubles – shown is with two coats – although it would benefit from a top coat to give it a bit more gloss and shine (no top coat used in photos).

butter London Bossy Boots - Natural Light butter London Bossy Boots - Artificial Light butter London Bossy Boots - Flash

butter London Jasper was another longer-term lemming of mine since the launch of the Sweetie Shop collection earlier this year.  I could have easily bought every shade from the release, but held myself back to just this one.  I don’t own a single yellow, and dislike most versions of the shade, but this pale shade hooked me from the get-go.  I love it on and it just screams spring to me.  I’ve read conflicting reviews on this color’s formula – I don’t have a lot of experience with pale yellows, but I think that this formula is pretty darn good.  It does require a bit more attention to application, but as far as it goes this is a good formula with minimal issue, for me at least!  I did go with three coats just to get the best opacity, but it wasn’t that much of a pain.  Like Bossy Boots, it would benefit from a shiny top coat, which I did not use in these photos.

butter London Jasper swatches (19) butter London Jasper swatches (12) butter London Jasper swatches (16) butter London Jasper swatches (2)

Chanel Orange Fizz was sort of a random buy, which happens very rarely these days.  When I picked up a few things from Chanel earlier this year, I was disappointed with the spring shades released but wanted a new polish.  This one grabbed my attention and I’m super-happy that I bought it, it’s a stunner!  This shade is obviously more pigmented/intense than the other shades I’ve shown above, but it still has a soft quality to it that feels spring-like to me (though this will also be kick-ass in summer!)  The formula is thicker (typical of many Chanel polishes, I’ve found), but flows well and is self-leveling – again, just take care in your application and you should have no problems.  I love the glossiness of this polish on it’s own – no top coat needed!  I used three coats in these swatches, and you can still see slight VNL, but in person it’s hardly noticeable, and you could probably opt for two coats – I’m just fussy 😛

Chanel Orange Fizz Chanel Orange Fizz (9) Chanel Orange Fizz (3) Chanel Orange Fizz (6)

So there you have it!  A handful of pretty polishes – a perfect way to shove usher in spring 🙂

New Spring 2013 Nail Polish (2)

So!  What spring shades are you lemming/have you picked up?  Do you go with softer shades or stick to whatever floats your boat at the time?

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Ending My Coral Blush Addiction (for now) with Senna Sheer Face Color in Clarity

Ever since my major review of all my bronzers and blushes, I’ve been hyper-aware of what shades in which I have more than enough, and in what areas I’m lacking.  Unfortunately, I did my review after I purchased yet another coral-toned blush – Senna Sheer Face Color in ClarityFortunately for me, it’s quite lovely!!

Senna Clarity Blush

I had never even heard of the brand Senna until several of my fabulous blogger friends (namely, the lovely ladies behind Makeup Morsels and theNotice) had showcased it in some of their posts.  When eBeauty had a boxing day sale, my blush fiendishness got the better of me, and I took the opportunity to order Clarity, a ‘ripe coral.’

Senna Clarity Blush (3) Senna Clarity Blush (2)

Though the pan is quite tiny compared to other blushes, and is $20.50CAD  for 0.12oz (for reference, MAC blushes are 0.21oz, and NARS blushes are 0.16oz), I don’t mind.  I actually wish more blush would come in these smaller sizes, because that means there’s actually a chance I might finish one!!!

The texture of Clarity is lovely – soft, finely milled, and SO easy to apply and buff out to create a really natural look.  Its the kind of blush that works on fair skintones as well as darker ones, as it’s a bright shade with medium pigment, and can be applied lightly or with a heavier hand.  To me, this is truly what I picture when I think ‘coral’ – it doesn’t lean orange nor too pink, and is totally gorgeous.

Senna Clarity Comparisons

However.  I do seem to keep accumulating these kinds of shades, and had to do a comparison to see just how repetitive it would be in my collection.  The closest I found were Make Up For Ever’s #12 First Kiss HD Blush, NARS’ Torrid, and Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge in Calypso Coral.

Senna Clarity Comparison SwatchesLeft to right (artificial light): MUFE #12, Bobbi Brown Calypso Coral, Senna Clarity, NARS Torrid 

Senna Clarity Comparison Swatches (3)Left to right (natural light): MUFE #12, Bobbi Brown Calypso Coral, Senna Clarity, NARS Torrid

In natural light, the pink tones are much stronger, but I assure you that in person, Clarity is more like the first swatch (though, in the first swatch all of the shades look much more similar – and IRL they’re quite different as evidenced in the second swatch photo).  In swatches it’s quite close in color to Calypso Coral, but worn Clarity retains its coral nature, while Calypso Coral does appear more coral-pink.  So, not dupes, which eases my mind 🙂  And of course, Calypso is a cream formula, while Clarity is powder.

I haven’t been wearing Clarity often since I bought it, as I think of it as a spring/summer shade, but I did give it a shot a couple times, and the wear is exceptionally good for my normal-to-slightly oily skin.  It’s just such a fresh, inviting shade that truly would work for everyone!  If you’re actually in the market for a coral (which, gotta say, I doubt – it seems to be the most popular blush shade EVER), or if you just hoard these tones like I do, I would suggest not to miss Senna’s version, as it’s particularly lovely.

What shades do you keep buying over and over? 

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First a Blush Fiend, Now This: Pumping Up My Lipstick Collection

I’ve been really putting a focus on rounding out my makeup collection lately.  There are many reasons for this: 1) I have a complete lack of certain shades, 2) despite my rather large collection, I sometimes find myself in need of a certain item to complete a look, only to find I don’t own it, and 3) it helps justify purchases a whole lot more if they’re not colors already in my stash, but rather brand new shades 🙂

One area in particular where I lack variety is my lippie collection.  While I own 12 glosses and 12 lipsticks (which I know is a baby stash for some of you!), I seem to have a fair number of similar shades – not dupes but some minor repetition, which makes creating different looks a challenge at times.  I’m trying hard to branch out and pick up new, exciting shades, especially in lipstick, which until recently did not hold much interest for me. Of course, chumming around with the blogger crowd has changed that for me (much like my original ambivalence toward blush – and we all know how that ended up!), and now lipstick is the new kid on my radar.

MAC Crosswires

Last month…er, well April actually!…I wandered into MAC to check out the Reel Sexy collection.  Watch Me Simmer, a crowd favorite, was lovely but seemed just a bit too in-your-face for this budding lipstick wearer.  Instead, I chose Crosswires, a slightly muted version of WMS (and consequently, NOT LE), which had also been on my list of shades to check out.

Sorry for ‘used’ shots, but I realized too late that the original shots I took didn’t capture the color as well as I wanted!

Crosswires ($17.50CAD) is described as a ‘clean pinky orange’ – whatever that means.  I’d say it’s pretty much a true coral (as that’s a combination of orange and pink, no?) and has a cremesheen finish, and is relatively opaque.  It goes on nicely but isn’t especially creamy or hydrating – though it’s not dry at all, its just something of note if you tend to have drier lips.  I always prep with a balm first to make sure that it doesn’t feel uncomfortable.

Natural lightWith flash

I find the warmer tones of Crosswires makes it particularly wearable for me.  If I opt for a cooler-toned pinky shade (for example, NARS Mexican Rose Velvet Gloss Pencil), I find it’s gotta be the focal point of my makeup, as it’s quite obvious.  Crosswires doesn’t scream ‘I’m wearing lipstick!!’ when worn, so I can pair it with a stronger eye and it still looks appropriate.  And it’s coral.  I mean, c’mon!  It’s pretty much the most lovely lip color you can wear on the planet, in my books 🙂

With flashSunlight – pulls so much more pink!

I really love this shade and have been wearing it regularly since I picked it up.  Though I kind to hate to make any concessions toward MAC’s makeup prowress, I do love the vanilla-y scent of their lippies and they have such a large selection of shades that you really can’t go wrong.  Typically MAC lipsticks wear well on me, only fading slightly after eating/drinking, though with a formula like the cremesheens I find that I can only reapply so many times (maybe twice) before I need to remove it all and start over, or else it gets a little cakey.

Am I right about corals being THE greatest lip shade?  What other MAC lipsticks do you think are worth checking out?  Or, other lipstick shades in general!?

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Something to Amuse You While I’m Gone: My Blush Collection (Part I!)

Since it’s a well-known fact that blush addiction is 1) contagious, and 2) that it spreads quickly, I thought I’d leave you with a little *something* while I’m away this week – my gift to you 😛  It’s truly scary how quickly one can go from owning a handful of blush to moving into double-digits in an alarmingly quick fashion.  At the beginning of the year, I think I had 8 (plus a handful of highlighters and bronzers, so around 14 total), and in three short months I have pretty much doubled that number – yikes!!  I was so easy to judge when it was someone else, but I see how quickly things can go downhill.  It’s a fun ride slippery slope, but gosh are there ever some beautiful shades out there!  It’s so easy to fall prey to their powers.

The first installment in what will be a week-long series, are my pink and peach/coral shades.  It blows me away how some of these looks so similar in the pan, yet look nothing alike when swatched/worn.  I played around with the groupings a bit, but am fairly satisfied in how I divided them in the end.  Let’s begin with the pink blushes:

Clockwise from top left: Benefit Bella Bamba, Chanel Blush de Horizon, MAC Madly Magenta, theBalm Down Boy

MAC’s Madly Magenta, a matte cream, is really too violet for this grouping, but it’s the only one of it’s kind in my stash, so it’s joining the team.  I bought it well over a year ago, but the other three were bought or acquired over the past four months. Benefit Bella Bamba is a shimmering ‘watermelon pink’; Chanel’s Blush de Horizon is a shimmering cool-ish pink, and theBalm’s Down Boy is a matte baby pink.

All swatches taken with flash.  Left to right: Benefit Bella Bamba, Chanel Blush de Horizon, theBalm Down Boy, MAC Madly Magenta

Over the past few months, I’m coming to realize that what looks like one thing in the pan might be something else entirely when worn.  I thought for sure that Down Boy would look chalky on me, but it doesn’t at all – it’s just a lovely subtle pink flush.  I was surprized and slightly disappointed to see how close Bella Bamba and Blush de Horizon was, though Bella Bamba does have more pink pigmentation.  I’m still working on MAC’s Madly Magenta…maybe when I’m more tanned I’ll figure it out.

Next up, we have my peach/coral shades – my favorite color of blush.  I find myself always looking at these when I’m shopping, but so far I’ve been able to stop myself from buying more, until I can confidently say it’s a color I do not own.

From top left: NARS Torrid, Illamasqua Tweak, theBalm Hot Mama, Make Up For Ever #12 First Kiss

I know that Illamaqua’s Tweak (described as a deep hot pink) looks far too pinky to be here, but it’s too warm to be included with the ‘pinks’ group, and again it was one of a kind, so here it is. It actually wasn’t so far off from NARS Torrid, a ‘warm coral’ with shimmer, so it seemed to fit.  MUFE’s First Kiss HD Blush is a bright apricot (which is the only recent *purchase* out of this group), and theBalm’s Hot Mama is a pinky-peach with shimmer.

All swatches taken with flash.  From left to right: theBalm Hot Mama, MUFE #12 First Kiss, NARS Torrid, Illamasqua Tweak

It still blows me away every time how light Hot Mama is, when it looks so similar in the pan to Torrid.  Also, comparing Torrid in the pan to Benefit’s Bella Bamba, they look so close, and yet Torrid swatched/worn is SO much deeper than it looks – it’s shocking.  I was also surprized at how much more orange-leaning MUFE’s  #12 First Kiss looks when compared to other shades – when I bought it I thought I might have repeated something else in my stash.  I’m please to know that I didn’t 🙂

As a bonus shot, here’s what Illamasqua Tweak looks like when worn (on me):


Artificial light

In these shots, it looks like it should be with the pink family, doesn’t it? 😛

So, there you have it – Part I of my ever-expanding blush collection!  I hope you enjoyed it – stay tuned tomorrow for Part II!! 🙂

Do you own any of these shades?  Were any swatches surprizing to you too?  What is your favorite blush shade?

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Playtime!! Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural Lipsticks

Lately I’ve been turning away from wearing a high-gloss lip, and getting more and more interested in playing with the colors and richer textures of lipstick.  I’m slowly trying to switch up my routine just to get out of doing the same old.  Apparently, ~somebody~ is on my side, because last week I received a surprise package in the mail – three new MAKE UP FOR EVER lipsticks to play with!Ultra-creamy and moisturizing, MAKE UP FOR EVER’s Rouge Artist Natural lipstick ($22CAD) provide light coverage and a soft, shiny finish.  Similar to their gloss formulations, the Natural lipsticks are formulated with illuminating mother-of-pearl which adds a natural sheen to the lips. Candelilla and beeswax, as well as cuapacu butter (which is rich in essential fatty acids), helps add moisture to the lips and improve the longevity of the color.  50 shades in all, there are three finishes – satin, iridescent, and diamond. The shades I received are N21 – a pastel pink ; N36 – an iridescent coral; and N46 – a cherry red.As my lipstick stash is woefully small and lacking in diversity, I was really looking forward to digging in with these shades.  Working from lightest to darkest, I started with N21, the pale, milky pink shade.

Obviously, this shade is far too light for my skintone – it washes me  out, and with the flash it looks like something Nicki Minaj would wear – not really my style 😛  Also, I found because my lips are more pigmented, it highlighted flakes on my lips – which were, in fact, exfoliated prior to testing these shades and weren’t actually dry or rough in the least.  It also settled into lip lines.  Bummer.

The second shade, N36 (a pretty, medium coral), was more wearable than the first as the pigmentation was a touch more sheer, and is the first coral lipstick I own – if you can believe it!!

I found that this shade was quite nice worn, even though it is still a little bit light for me.  It really give a nice subtle tone to my lips that feels like a perfect color to wear this Spring.  It still highlights lines and flakes on my lips a bit, but if I’m very careful in my application and am sure to apply the color to completely bare (as in, with no balm etc.) exfoliated lips, then it seems to be OK.

The last shade I was sent, N46, is a deep, slightly blue-leaning red that delivers a fair amount of coverage without much effort.

Of all the three shades, this one was the most wearable and easiest to put on – no need for any special tricks here!!  I think if you are looking to ease into wearing red lips, this is an excellent shade to start with – it’s so creamy and lightweight and non-obnoxious – I really love it!  They also offer a few other reds if this one doesn’t float your boat.

Overall, while the shades didn’t all work for me perfectly, I quite enjoyed the creamy, smooth, easy to apply formula that left my lips feeling exceptionally hydrated with none of the dry feeling that lipstick can sometimes leave.  I think the formula is the perfect way to segue into wearing lipstick more regularly, and it’s particularly suitable for the upcoming warmer months as it’s featherlight and on the sheerer side (note that due to this fact, wear time is around ……..).  Without a doubt I’ll be checking more of these shades out!

Note: 18 of the 50 shades of Rouge Artist Natural are sold exclusive at Sephora stores; the shades I received are only available at MAKE UP FOR EVER’s ProLoft (514-288-4445) or by visiting

Thoughts? Are you also a lipstick newb? What color lipstick in general is your fave?

**Don’t forget to enter my giveaway!

*These products were provided for my unbiased consideration by the PR company/brand.

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