Friday, November 30th, 2012

Make Up For Ever #302 Holodiam Powder
Make Up For Ever #302 Holodiam Powder

Not Everything is How It Appears

Make Up For Ever #302 Holodiam Powder ($25.00 for 0.035 oz.) is described as “plum with pink, purple, and turquoise highlights.” Alone, it has a strong reddish copper base with flecks of pink and teal sparkle. When I layered it over a black eyeliner, it appeared as a blue-teal. Ultimately, how it looks and what color comes out depends on the base, so it will take on different characteristics over different colored bases as well as with different viewing angles.

Because of its duo- (or triple) chrome finish, it’s a very versatile product.  It’s described as an “extremely fine loose powder with a pearlescent finish.”  Make Up For Ever recommends it for use on eyes and cheeks and used dry for a softer effect and wet for something more intense.  They do advise using some sort of setting/fixing spray or sealer.  It is a very fine micro-glitter; it feels larger than shimmer or powder (more texture than the Star Powders but finer than traditional glitter).

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Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Make Up For Ever #303 Holodiam Powder
Make Up For Ever #303 Holodiam Powder

Glitter and Spice and Everything Nice

Make Up For Ever #303 Holodiam Powder ($25.00 for 0.035 oz.) is described as “white with blue, green, and gold highlights.” When applied to the skin alone, it looks like a mix of lavender, violet, green-gold, and silver. Patted over black eyeliner, it looked blue and gold at one angle, then green and teal at the next. It’s somewhat like Illamasqua Beguile. I suspect MAC Reflects Transparent Teal would also be a bit similar.

Make Up For Ever’s Holodiam Powder is a new and limited edition loose powder for the holidays that’s described as an “extremely fine loose powder with a pearlescent finish.” It can be used on eyes and cheeks, wet or dry, as desired.  On its own, it doesn’t stay put well, so my best advice is to use an adhesive base, cream eyeshadow, fixing spray/seal, or patted onto some makeup base before it’s had time to dry (foundation, eyeliner, etc.).  It’s fine micro-glitter, and I think it works well on the eyes–so thank goodness it’s safe for the eyes–but on the cheeks, it felt a little sand-like.  You might opt for one of the brand’s Star Powders for something finer.

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Monday, November 26th, 2012


Lucy Blaire Makeup Bags

Fun Makeup Bags!

Lucy Blaire Handmade Makeup Bags ($12.00 to $62.00) are available in five sizes: small, medium, large, purse pouch, and pencil case. Her bags are made out of oilcloth, which is cotton-backed vinyl. Why it makes sense to use it on makeup bags is because it is waterproof and stain resistant. I fully blame Dustin Hunter for this review, because after seeing him share his, I bought three in the Blue Bloom pattern!  There are several other patterns available.

Pencil Case ($12.00) is 8″ x 4″ with a zipper down the middle and handle at one end. It worked well for holding anything long and fairly flat–not surprisingly, eyeliners were what I was anticipating using it for. I grabbed a handful of eyeliners (just over 20), and all of them fit in the pouch with room to spare. Brushes under 8″ could also fit in here.

Small Makeup Bag ($14.00) is 6″ x 3″ x4″ with a zipper down the middle of the top end and a strap handle on one edge. I put in ten MAC eyeshadow quads (the newer ones, which are thicker/bulkier than the original quads), and I could have fit two more along the edge and some stuff on top. This would be ideal to house glosses, lipsticks, foundations, blushes, and the like. It’s the kind of size that’s incredibly useful. I prefer smaller makeup bags and having two or three of them, because it’s easier to organize what I’m bringing so I’m not rooting through an epic bag of stuff.

Medium Makeup Bag ($16.00) is 7″ x 4″ x 5″ with a zipper down the middle of the top end with a strap handle on one edge–it’s just like the small bag, just larger (one inch larger in each dimension). Like I mentioned, I prefer an assortment of smaller bags over one large bag, so for me, I’m totally covered between these three. The medium holds larger face brushes incredibly well. I took nearly all my face makeup brushes (I couldn’t even hold them all in my two hands)–around thirty or so in total–and they all fit beautifully in the bag with room to spare. In case, you know, you actually tote around thirty brushes in one fell swoop! If I bring a lot of brushes with me, I will use a brush roll, but for quick weekend trips, I’ll toss the few I need into my larger makeup bags. Naturally, this bag can fit a whole smorgasbord of beauty products in it.

Because the bags are made out of oil cloth, they can wiped down and cleaned easily. I haven’t had mine for long, but Dusty has had his for two years and highly recommended them (which is how I got here; the power of a trustworthy recommendation!). You can purchase bags individually or in sets (you’ll save a bit by doing the set). She shipped quickly (placed my order on the 18th, received it on the 24th), and everything was exactly as described. I look forward to traveling, just so I can use these. They’re so bright and cheery to look at! All three bags fold quite flat, so they’re easy to store when you’re not using them.

Now the reason I moved quickly to share these with you is because for Cyber Monday, you can get 10% off (11/26 only) with code CYBERMONDAY.

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Friday, October 26th, 2012

MAC Hanging Travel Bag
MAC Hanging Travel Bag

It’s Sold Out, to the Store You Go!

MAC Hanging Travel Bag ($40.00) is–apparently–sold out online, so you’ll have to trek to your local freestanding MAC store (or Pro store) if you you’re tantalized by this holiday item.  It’s a roll-up, leopard-print vinyl hanging travel bag with multiple zippered compartments for you to store your treasures in.  I was able to fit three-fourths of the Glamour Daze collection along with the three eyeshadow palettes from Fabulousness into it before rolling it up (it no longer folds if you fill it with stuff).

The exterior is all vinyl, while the interior of each pocket is actually the peachy orange satin (I don’t know if it’s really satin); the same orange that’s used on some of the kits/palettes from Fabulousness.  I see the vinyl making sense, because it’s easy to clean, but the interior being half satin and half vinyl, I’m not sure about.  The exterior has leopard print, while the interior has a lace-print over vinyl.

The first pocket is a short but wide pocket; this section would be good for storing single eyeshadows or eyeliners/flat brushes.  The second zippered pocket is actually bigger than it looks, as it actually spans the entire middle section all the way until you see the third zipper.  There are two pockets in the middle (marked by two flaps and snap closures) that sit over the bottom half of the second zippered pocket.

This larger zippered pocket could hold anything from foundation to skin care to a palette (but keep in mind, it can only fold/roll based on what you put in it).  The two smaller pockets could hold a few lipsticks or glosses. The last pocket is another short, wide zippered number, though it is not quite as short as the top pocket.  It can hold larger brushes, lipsticks, glosses, and a variety of objects.  Each pocket is covered by lace-print over clear vinyl, so you’ll see what you put into each section.

It has a black hanger on the top, so you can hang it somewhere when you travel.  To keep it rolled up, there’s a black ribbon that you tie into place.  The ribbon was the only element I didn’t like or care for.  I think they could have done something that looked better and was more secure.  Maybe a garter-like belt?

If you like the idea but can’t track down this particular item or want a different print, The Container Store and Amazon both have several other comparable solutions.  For a more homemade solution, Etsy might work, too. You might also want to check under jewelry travel bags as well (similarly small-sized compartments!).

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Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura Eyelash Curler
Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura Eyelash Curler

How Many Eyelash Curlers Does One Person Need?

Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura Eyelash Curler ($24.00) is shu’s famous eyelash curler with a vibrant red curling pad and mon shu charm attached to the handle. The charm is completely removable, and I’d recommend doing so–but shu said as much saying to “take this lovelyc harm along in your favorite bag.” If the red curling pad and the charm don’t do it for you, the original curler is $4 less. Either way, I’m a huge fan of shu uemura’s curler, and I have been for years! I’ve given it an award for being the best for the past three years.

What I like is the way the handles are shaped, so the grip is comfortable, while the curler is wide and gently curved to fit around all my lashes. It doesn’t pinch the skin, and it doesn’t crimp my lashes either.  While I can’t vouch for this particular unit, I’ve owned two shu’s in my lifetime, and the only reason I bought the second was because I needed the curling pads.  They’re well-made, and I’ve never felt that the spring has lots its power over time.

Eyelash curlers may be the most fun product to photograph, if only because they always look a bit like torture devices.  And I’m sure to anyone who hasn’t been around one or used one often, they do look strange.  No torture here, just prettily curled lashes, which make eyes appear larger and more awake.

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Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura Mini Brush Set
Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura Mini Brush Set

A Travel Set of Exquisitely Soft Brushes

Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura Mini Brush Set ($69.00) includes a silver brush case that includes four short-handled brushes. The largest is the cheek brush, which is made out of pony/squirrel hair. Then, there are two eyeshadow brushes, one is made out of nylon and the other out of sable. The last brush is a lip or eyeliner brush, which is made out of sable. The four brushes were made in Japan.

I’ve been using these brushes for a couple of days, and for a travel set, they’re really quite nice. The blush brush is dense and soft against the skin; it doesn’t feel scratchy at all. It does a nice job of both applying and blending out cheek color. The nylon eyeshadow brush works well for cream eyeshadows, while the sable eyeshadow brush is better for applying powder products. I thought the latter brush was a little large and would have preferred a squatter brush. I used the smallest brush for both applying lip color as well as applying shu’s Painting Liner, and it worked nicely for both applications. I liked it a bit more for lining around the eye, just because it felt a smidgen too small against my lips (but would be nice for someone with thinner lips).

All four brushes have been washed twice now, and I haven’t had any problem with dye bleeding, funny smells, or the like.  The blush brush hasn’t had any shedding problems either.  As far as the bag goes, it will get the job done; I think it’s a little thin overall.  I liked the way each brush had its own pocket, and there’s enough room in it to stick a couple more brushes in there if you want (or a few other products).

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