Monday, December 30th, 2013

love a good finishing powder.  I love an ethereal, lit-from-within glow.  There is a very high likelihood of me trying any new formulas or shades that hit the market–I’m just a total fiend for them. I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings in this department!

What highlighters and finishing powders have you been reaching for in 2013?

Monday, December 30th, 2013

I have to admit: this was a complete challenge. In fact, it felt unfair trying to narrow down favorites to a mere ten when I was considering around 300 different shades from the past year. As what tends to happen when I start to feel indecisive, I went for favorites across brands and weighted uniqueness slightly more heavily than other factors. But there were some really outstanding formulas released this year! At year-end, I have to give major props to Cult Nails and OCC, both of which had a lot of contenders.

What were your favorite polishes you tried this past year?

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

One of my favorite colors of all-time is emerald green. It has so much depth, and I love that it can be cooler or warmer and be so, so different.

  1. Zoya Logan — a very cool-toned, glittering emerald green polish
  2. Milani Green Safari — an amazing emerald green cream eyeshadow that can be used as eyeliner or as a base
  3. Illamasqua Violate — because I can’t have a list that doesn’t include an emerald green lip color
  4. Zoya Holly — vibrant, warm-toned emerald green
  5. Make Up For Ever #80 — a smoky, slightly blackened emerald green eyeshadow

Have you worn any emerald green beauty products before?

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

If I had to pick one product, Illamasqua’s Nail Varnish would be my very, very favorite, but I really like quite a few of their formulas. Their polishes wear exceptionally long on me (fourteen days with just minor tip wear) and come in a variety of shades.

  1. Illamasqua Velvet Blusher — long-wearing, highly pigmented cream-to-powder blush; can’t wait until they have more shades
  2. Illamasqua Nail Varnish — one of the best nail lacquers on the market; favorites include Obsess (pictured), Raindrops, Creator
  3. Illamasqua Intense Lipgloss — for really opaque lipgloss, this is a good bet! Love shades like Belladonna (pictured), Hermetic, Move
  4. Illamasqua Eyeshadow — they have a particularly lovely matte formula that’s richly pigmented, blendable, and soft; recommendations include Sadist (pictured), Burst, Fledgling
  5. Illamasqua Cream Blusher — cream blush with a lovely, natural finish and nice color payoff; one of my favorites is Seduce (pictured)

What are your favorite Illamasqua products?

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Illamasqua Culminate Sheer Lipgloss
Illamasqua Culminate Sheer Lipgloss

Illamasqua Culminate Sheer Lipgloss (£14.50 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is described as an “iridescent sheer metallic copper.” It’s a warm-toned, orange-copper with flecks of pink and white shimmer and sparkle. Marc Jacobs Beauty Heart Shaped (308) (P, $28.00) is pinker, more opaque. Revlon Pango Peach (P, $7.99) is pinker. MAC Rising Sun (LE, $20.00) is similar. MAC Imperial Light (LE, $20.00) is also similar. Bobbi Brown Citrus (P, $24.00) is slightly pinker. Dior Etincelante (432) (P, $29.50) is more shimmery. Dior Ambre Lumiere (227) (P, $29.50) is similar. Chanel Attirance (LE, $32.00) is also similar. See comparison swatches.

Applied, it looks more rose gold due to the semi-sheer color coverage of the gloss and the natural lip color coming through. As you might expect, the Sheer Lipgloss formula is supposed to yield sheer color with a glossy shine. If you like sheerer glosses but still want some color, shine, and sparkle, this is a nice option as it definitely enhances and changes-up the natural lip color but not as drastically as an opaque gloss would. It wears four hours on me, which is about average.

Illamasqua Wanderlust Intense Lipgloss (£14.50 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is described as a “deep gold.” It’s a blackened brown with chartreuse, gold, bronze, and emerald green shimmer–it tints the whole thing into a mix of black, brown, green, and gold. I’m sure it’s not too surprising, but I don’t know of a dupe for this shade. It had mostly opaque color coverage, but it was difficult to apply evenly. This particular shade wore for four and a half hours.  It was neither drying nor hydrating.

The Glossover

LE
product

Culminate

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Wanderlust

B-

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Dupes

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Sunday, November 17th, 2013

Illamasqua Fusion Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Fusion Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Fusion Nail Varnish (£14.50 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “khaki gold glitter.” It’s a deepened, muted, olive brown with golden olive shimmer and sparkle. It was mostly opaque in two coats, and the consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin. It dried a little faster than average, but it still had a naturally shiny finish without a top coat. Chanel Mysterious (601) (P, $27.00) has no shimmer and is greener. Rescue Beauty Lounge Scrangie 2.0 (LE, $20.00) is lighter. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Ripley (P, $10.00) is lighter, greener. SpaRitual Lithophonic (LE, $10.00) has green shimmer, is greener overall. See comparison swatches.

Perseid Nail Varnish (£14.50 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “galactic black glitter.” It’s a blackened purple with green-teal micro-shimmer and larger holographic, hexagon-shaped glitters. It’s nearly opaque after two coats of polish, but the consistency is quite thick. It’s a polish that tends to pool along the edges. About half of the glitter seems caught underneath the polish, so it gives the finish a more uneven/bumpy look. It took two thick coats of top coat to smooth it out, and it still didn’t seem entirely smooth. I think this polish looks very interesting in the bottle, and on the nails, less so, but I only saw some of the dimension on the nails when I was outside and the sun was shining–otherwise it looked very black and lost a lot of the character.  The good news is that I don’t have anything like it, so it is a more unique shade from what I can tell–but the formula needs work.

Illamasqua’s Nail Varnish formula wears as long as ten days with minor tip wear but no chipping–it’s one of the longest-wearing formulas I’ve come across.

The Glossover

LE
product

Fusion

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Perseid

C

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Dupes

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