Sunday, June 1st, 2014

When I thought about what my top picks for orange blush would be for summer, I had to go for at least a few of the bolder, more vibrant shades. Perhaps I could put together a post about peachy shades as an alternative to these bolder shades? If that’s something you’d like to see, let me know in the comments! :) Onward to my current recommendations…

  1. NARS Taj Mahal — a bright, tangerine orange with a gold shimmer
  2. NYX Cinnamon — orange-red with a satin finish
  3. Make Up For Ever #420 — a slightly muted, medium orange in a cream formula
  4. MAC Modern Mandarin — a shimmery orange with warm, red undertones
  5. NARS Exhibit A — a bold, orange-red with a matte finish

>> See them all side-by-side! <<

What are your favorites?

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

MAC Warm-Toned Purple Eyeshadow Swatches

Fig. 1 is described as a “eggplant purple [with a Matte² finish].” It’s a medium-dark, warm-toned purple with a matte finish. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Haux is described as a “Soft muted rosy brown [with a Satin finish].” It’s a soft, muted plummy mauve with warm undertones and a semi-matte finish. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Shadowy Lady is described as a “blackened plum [with a Matte finish].” It’s a blackened burgundy with subtle warm undertones and a matte finish. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Shale is described as a “mauve-plum with subtle shimmer [with a Satin finish].” It’s a smoky, muted mauve with warm undertones and a soft, pearly sheen. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Stars N’ Rockets is described as a “purple w/pink pearl [with a Veluxe Pearl finish].” It’s a light-medium, iridescent fuchsia-purple with a lavender sheen. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Vibrant Grape is described as a “bright magenta violet [with a Satin finish].” It’s a medium, magenta purple with a soft violet micro-shimmer (it looks mostly matte applied). See comparison swatches / view dupes.

What’s Swatch Saturday? I can’t always review products with full, in-depth reviews, but sometimes, I can at least give you photos and swatches, and then also provide a link to dupes and comparisons for those interested! This also helps us to build up our Swatch Gallery and add even more entries to The Dupe List, which can be helpful to readers at any point.

The Glossover

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Fig. 1

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Haux

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Shale

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Saturday, May 31st, 2014

Do you go bolder or subtler during the summer for your blush? I find it just depends on whether I’ve reached for brighter lip colors or not; if I go bright on the lips, I usually go quite light on the cheeks and vice versa. Here are some of my current recommendations if you’re in the market for a fun, pink-hued blush this summer:

  1. YSL Fuchsia Desinvolte (01) — a fuchsia pink that can be applied as a light stain or as a deep blush (bonus: works well on lips, too!0)
  2. theBalm Down Boy — a cool-toned, light-medium pink with a mostly matte finish
  3. Clinique Berry Pop (03) — cool-toned, raspberry pink with a luminous finish
  4. MAC Lovecloud — a light-medium, warm-toned pink
  5. Milani Bella Rosa (11) — a vibrant, pink-red with a matte finish

>> See them all side-by-side! <<

What are your favorites?

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Neutral Eyes with Teal Eyeliner
Neutral Eyes with Teal Eyeliner

Last week, a few readers said they missed seeing looks posted on the blog (as in, cohesive ones!), so I’ll try to post some periodically–depending on whether there’s time for a more “free” day.  Sometimes there are so many products to test, I can’t give up the facial real estate :)  On Saturday, we spent all day with my husband’s family, which is usually a 14-hour minimum, so it’s a day where I prefer to just go with something that works.  I remember several readers wanted to see Stila Smudge Stick Mint Julep in action, so I thought this might a good opportunity to showcase that as well.  Going forward, I will try to post looks using recently reviewed products, but this was a very “for me” look more than anything, so hopefully you can forgive the excess of older products in it.

Eyes

A lot of the times if I’m not specifically testing something for wear, then I’ll reach for products that I really, really love that are, more-than-likely, discontinued or long ago limited editions. I love the two shades of cream eyeshadow Tom Ford released a year ago so much that I keep them in my basics/regular routine drawer, and I always take them with me when I travel. I’m so used to not using primer these days, but when I know I’m going out and about all day and am not testing, then I’ll still start with a primer!

I used NARS Smudge Proof spread all over the lid to the brow bone with a finger tip. I also like to take a little and apply it to the lower lash line for extra hold for the eyeliners I’ll use as well. Next, I applied Tom Ford Escapade Cream Eyeshadow to the first two-thirds of the lid, starting from the inner lid and moving outwards. Tom Ford Pink Haze Cream Eyeshadow was applied to the outer third of the lid and into the crease, blending outwards and upwards. To soften the edge of the crease eyeshadow, I applied Burberry Trench Eyeshadow to the brow bone (this is my go-to highlighter). For the lower lash line, first I applied Marc Jacobs Beauty Ody(sea) (62) Highliner Gel Crayon, and then I applied Stila Smudge Stick Mint Julep underneath the inner two-thirds of the lower lash line and along the water line. The effect made it look as if the eyeliner was glowing–I was quite in love with it! For lashes, I used a mascara fan brush to apply MAC Opulash Mascara.

Face

Normally, I find primer an unnecessary step with my skin type (normal-to-dry) for regular, everyday wear, but yesterday was going to be a longer, 14+ hour kind of day, so I started by applying Hourglass Mineral Veil all over my face. Then, I mixed two shades of Guerlain Parure de Lumiere Foundation with half of a pump of Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Skin Liquid Illuminating Emulsion as my base. For blush, I applied Troy Surratt Duchesse Blush  on the apples of cheeks. I set with Urban Decay Naked Loose Finishing Powder and finished with Guerlain Wulong Pressed Meteorites Powder.

Lips

I mixed two shades of OCC Stained Gloss in Aurora and Dune (reviews are forthcoming).

See more photos! Continue reading →

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

MAC Pedro Lourenco Collection
MAC Pedro Lourenço Collection

MAC x Pedro Lourenço Collection launches online May 29th and in selected stores on June 5th (I don’t have a list of which locations). Select international locations will see it released sometime in June.  I had serious issues with the texture of the Blush Duo, which made it nearly impossible to use, but the eyeshadow quad was really easy to use and lovely overall, even if it is dupable and contains two permanent shades (so your mileage may vary–it’s not really a must-have, but it is high quality).

BEST PERFORMING: Nude (A), Ruby (A), True Red (A)
WORST PERFORMING: Corol (F)
MOST UNIQUE: Mirror (B+)
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATIONS: Mirror (B+)

Reviews, Photos, Swatches

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

MAC Sharon Osbourne Collection
MAC Sharon Osbourne Collection

Launches June 2nd online on MAC’s website, June 12th at stores and counters. It will also be available at:  Nordstrom, Macy’sBloomingdale’s, Dillard’s (no exact date or time given for online releases at other retailers).

The MAC x Sharon Osbourne Collection also has you covered whether you long for lips, cheeks, or eyes.  The Duchess eyeshadow quad in this set performed better than in Kelly’s collection, though the Patentpolish Lip Pencils are a miss for me in general–it is a weaker overall formula as it’s not particularly hydrating and wears two hours or so.  The lighter shades apply unevenly, but the two newer shades applied better, so at least there was that.

BEST PERFORMING: Peaches & Cream (A-)
WORST PERFORMING: Innocent (C-), Patentpink (C)
MOST UNIQUE: Bijou (B+)
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATIONS: Peaches & Cream (A-)

Reviews, Photos, Swatches