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A Few Italian Favorites

By Stefania, Italy Contributor

Born in a Southern Italian region on a clear morning of the Spring Equinox of 21 years ago, she lived your average middle class life there, up until she had to move to Naples at the young age of eight; in such a both infamous and famous city, she spent her adolescence, attending a Scientific High school, wisely and completely disregarding her disposition for words rather than Maths or Physics. After having graduated with flying colours in spite of adversity, with a choice just as sharp as the previous one, she then decided to study Modern Literature at University, granting herself a certain future of precarious, hard to find, low paid–if at all paid–jobs, which, for the sake of being politically correct, are usually referred to as ‘flexible’. Currently, about to graduate only to have at least two more years of classes to go through, writing is one of her few attempts at having a life on the side and keeping her sanity- or what’s left of it, rather.

Roma, Italy

A Few Italian Favorites

All good relationships are based on mutual knowledge and the ones that revolve around make up are no exception; it is exactly for this reason that today I am going to share with you all {or everyone who’s willing to go through my less than linear ramblings, rather} my favourite local beauty products. Keep on reading if you’d like to have a taste of me and Italy both, spending only what was given free to us and yet is the most precious gift of all: time. Without further ado, let the countdown begin!

My very first beauty crush, which actually turned out to be a serious relationship, since it has lasted for years, are Pupa Beauty Kits ($20 to $35.00). When I first became interested in makeup—back in middle school—they were my favourite Christmas gifts. They were colourful with fun shapes (angels, candy bags, Matryoshka dolls), and had an endless array of eyeshadows, glosses, blushes, and powders inside. Today, they’re still fun, creative gifts for anyone just starting out with makeup. The can be a bit of an indulgence for makeup connoisseurs rather than a necessity, but I wanted to mention them as an important item of the Italian market.

Picture every colour and texture you could possibly want in a nail polish and you’ll have the Essence nail polish ($0.99) range. All right, perhaps that was a hyperbole, but it serves to introduce you to one of the loves of my make up life. Small enough to throw in a purse for a weekend away, big enough to last you for a long time! They’re chip free for a week or so with crazy colours as well as office appropriate ones in an array of finishes: cream, metallic, shimmer, glitter. They also have a good, wide brush and come with an affordable price tag. What’s not to adore?

Usually, I am not one for tame things. I like for my metaphorical coffee to be strong, metaphorical heels to be high, and my literal lipgloss to be opaque. As always, there is one exception to the rule, which, in this case, happens to be the Collistar Supergloss (€15,50). They’re similar to your regular lipgloss in a squeeze tube with a slanted applicator and a medium to sheer color pay off; nothing new under the sun, right? Maybe but still I can’t help but stare at my lips every time I wear one of these for the incredible shine, volume, and fullness they provide. They also have amazing lasting power. Be warned though: these may hydrate your lips as much as applying honey would, but they’re almost as thick feeling. Yummy, if you ask me!

Deborah Eye Pencils (€5,90) are large, creamy pencils that can be used on the eye, though I strongly recommend applying a crease-proof eyeshadow base underneath them. The creamy consisistency makes for no tugging on the delicate skin around the eyey and easy blending, but they can crease without a proper base. They are similar in concept and performance to NYX Jumbo Eyeshadow Pencils.

Seasons may change from winter to spring, but my feelings for this mascara are built to last, aere perennius. It’s the Collistar Supermascara Tridimensionale (€21,50), which provides great volume and fullness to the lashes as well as medium length and decent definition. It’s not a product for the faint of heart, as it is really noticeable when applied; the aim here is definitely not a natural makeup look, but if you’re looking for a complete mascara and you have access to the brand, I’d strongly recommend this. No fancy applicator or extravagant formula; just a good, dramatic, and reliable mascara. And that’s no easy task to accomplish, in my book!

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Deborah Lippmann Wicked Game Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann Wicked Game Nail Lacquer
Deborah Lippmann Wicked Game Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann Wicked Game Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann Wicked Game Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “swirling lavender gray” with an iridescent finish. It’s a murky lavender-green, and yes, I said it, lavender-green. It’s more of a duochrome than a single shade, so you’ll find it flashes a murky purple in certain lights but in other lighting or angles, you’ll see a silvered green. It’s similar to MAC Ascension and Wet ‘n’ Wild Gray’s Anatomy (which has severe opacity issues). None of these shades are totally opaque after two coats, but Wicked Game is closer to being opaque after two coats (which is what is shown in swatches), as both Ascension and Gray’s Anatomy were sheer enough at two coats that I felt compelled to go for three for swatches.

You will have noticeable brush strokes from the metallic shimmer strewn through the color base, which may or may not be your thing. It’s a lot like brushed metal in finish, and I can totally understand not loving that look! They’re fairly easy to control and get into a straight line, but you will want a steady hand (I wasn’t so steady, and I went awry on my ring finger!). Again, it’s not quite opaque in two coats, as you can still see visible nail line peeking through. Deborah Lippmann’s formula is solid; it doesn’t bubble, chip, or streak for me, and I typically get a week of wear with minimal tip wear.

Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer Wicked Game

I wouldn’t say so, because I don’t usually remember to wear perfume unless I’m testing one! On special occasions, I will reach for one, and my favorite is Tom Ford’s Oud Wood, though I don’t know if I’d say that’s really a signature scent.

— Christine

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MAC Mineralize Skincare

MAC Mineralize Skincare

availability: January 5th, 2012 for North America; February 2012 for International

Making its debut, Mineralize Skincare with our ionized Super-Duo Charged Water technology. The collection includes Mineralize Charged Water Cleanser, which gently removes makeup without scrubbing or massaging, leaving skin clear and conditioned. Mineralize Charged WATER MOISTURE GEL, a rich and creamy, superlight and hydrating gel. And for those eyes begging for a boost: Mineralize Charged WATER MOISTURE EYE CREAM, to instantly minimize dark circles and puffiness. Plus, two must haves: Mineralize Charged Water Face and Body Lotion and Mineralize Charged Water.

Line-up includes (all permanent)

  • Mineralize Charged Water Cleanser ($23.00 U.S. / $27.50 CDN)
  • Mienralize Charged Water Moisture Gel ($37.00 U.S. / $44.50 CDN)
  • Mineralize Charged Water Moisture Eye Cream ($35.00 U.S. / $42.00 CDN)
  • Mineralize Charged Water Face & Body Lotion ($32.00 U.S. / $38.50 CDN)
  • Mineralize Charged Water Revitalizing Energy ($22.00 U.S. / $26.50 CDN)

See more photos!

MAC Metal-X Cream Eyeshadow Collection for Winter 2011 – Official Information & Photos

MAC Metal-X Collection for Winter 2011

availability: December 26th, 2011 (North America), December 2011 for International

A cutting-edge formula that transforms powdery cream into liquid metal before your very eyes – on your very eyes (or cheeks, brow bone, décolletage…anywhere a multi-dimensional metall ic effect is desired). Created with a new mélange of pigments that allow superior blendability and spreadability, our luxurious highlighter goes from medium to high intensity coverage in a simple one-stroke applicat ion. This molten magic is sure to elevate any look with its extreme brilliance, shine and dimension!

Metal-X Cream Eyeshadow ($20.00 U.S. / $24.00 CDN) (Limited Edition)

  • Virgin Silver White with silver pearl
  • Fusion Gold Light pinky beige with gold pearl
  • Palladium Metallic ash
  • Cyber Metallic silver with silver pearl
  • Rusty Dirty peach gold
  • Red Hot Copper Warm copper
  • Venetian Tarnish Golden tarnished bronze
  • Vintage Coin Metallic olive green
  • Gold Carbon Metallic taupe

See more photos!

MAC Naturally Collection Winter 2011 – Official Information & Photos

MAC Naturally Collection Winter 2011

availability: January 5th, 2012 (North America), January for International

Hey, Nature Girl! For a look that is simple, sensuous and understatedly sexy, here are nothing-to-hide hues that make you look fresh, relaxed, gloriously “undone.” Brilliantly sheer, high-mineral Skinfinish make your look fresh-as-the-sun radiant. Lipsticks and Lipglass lushly tinted to reflect the wholesome. Eye Pencils with a touch of jojoba, mango and meadowfoam seed oils. M·A·C, Naturally is just what you need to do your own thing and keep your look, dreamily, down to earth…

Lipstick ($14.50 U.S. / $17.50 CDN)

  • A Perfect Day Light neutral pink (Amplified) (Limited Edition)
  • Beach Sand Light tan (Cremesheen) (Limited Edition)
  • Sweet Sunrise Light neutral peach-pink (Lustre) (Limited Edition)
  • Pillow Talk Neutral pink (Cremesheen) (Limited Edition) (Repromote)

Lipglass ($14.50 U.S. / $17.50 CDN)

  • The Wee Coquette Naked neutral pink (Limited Edition) (Repromote)
  • Fresh Air Light pink (Limited Edition)
  • Naked Space Creamy mid-tone nude peach (Limited Edition) (Repromote)
  • Hot Spell Bronze with multi-colored pearl (Limited Edition)

Mineralize Eyeshadow ($20.00 U.S. / $24.00 CDN)

  • Daylight Peach with dirty blue lavender veining (Limited Edition)
  • In the Sun Gold with violet veining (Limited Edition)
  • Summer Haze Palest gold with deeper gold veining (Limited Edition)
  • Cloudy Afternoon Cream with gold, grey, and pink veining (Limited Edition)
  • Twilight Falls Cool brown with bronze veining (Limited Edition)

Eye Pencil ($14.00 U.S. / $17.00 CDN)

  • Ebony Soft black (Permanent)
  • Coffee Muted brown (Permanent)

Mineralize Skinfinish ($28.00 U.S. / $33.50 CDN)

  • Redhead Gold to salmon pink degrade (Limited Edition) (Repromote)
  • Blonde Soft pink to rose degrade (Limited Edition) (Repromote)

Mineralize Blush ($22.00 U.S. / $26.50 CDN)

  • Subtle Breeze Blue-pink (Limited Edition)
  • Fresh Honey Warm apricot (Limited Edition)
  • Early Morning Peachy pink (Limited Edition)


  • 187 Duo-fibre stippling brush (Permanent) ($42.00 U.S. / $50.50 CDN)
  • 286 Duo-fibre tapered brush (New & Permanent) ($30.00 U.S. / $36.50 CDN)

See more photos!

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