Monday, June 30, 2014

It's a Bird, It's a Plane...It's a YSL Lip-Cheek Stain!

[Product was purchased by me.]

I wanted to say thank you to everyone for all of the thoughtful and honest comments on my last post. I didn't even touch a computer while we were on vacation, but I did read all of them in my inbox, and I will be replying to comments soon. 

Now, on to lighter fare. I mentioned in my travel bag post that I had picked up a new YSL Baby Doll Kiss & Blush in 04 Orange Fougueux (because, orange).

It's advertised as a "mousse formula" that "highlights lips and cheeks with a sensual, soft matte finish." I would say that this is pretty accurate, and to me, it's definitely a lip and cheek stain, not a liquid lipstick. Other bloggers have said that it's similar to the Shu Uemura Gelato Tints (and that they have similar ingredients), but I don't have any of those.

The Kiss & Blush definitely has that soft, silicone feel (dimethicone is the first ingredient, natch), which is a little weird on lips. It feels like it doesn't really set, but it doesn't actually move around too much on lips - color doesn't migrate or feather or end up around your mouth in that ugly ring. It does sink into lip lines more than I'd like, and it's kind of flat looking, since it is a "soft matte." If you want to build up the color, I've found it's best to put on a thin layer, wait a few moments, and repeat 2-3 more times to get a more saturated color. It can pill up a bit on lips, but it doesn't emphasize dry lips and it's not drying. More traditional lip stains are always really, really drying to me, and this is not the case. Even Becca's Beach Tints are oily and drying on lips. 
04 Orange Fougueux on lips. This shade is yellow-based, so it can make teeth look extra yellow...fair warning.
On cheeks, it's actually quite lovely - a nice soft focus effect that never looks clownish. Very "of course this is my natural flush." (*bats eyes*)
Wearing 04 Orange Fougueux on lips and cheeks. I finally got my hair cut! We also dyed the top parts back to my natural color...I'm pretty pleased. This is my go-to style; the longer hair was an experiment. Because, science, you know.


I like that it's a multi-tasker and that I can have a soft color on my lips without tons of shine or gloss (even though I do like lip gloss), because sometimes you want a matte finish. The applicator is a cushioned, tapered doe foot, and works well for dotting product on cheeks or spreading product on lips (although it's hard to keep a well-defined cupid's bow).
On eyes: YSL Couture Palette 03 Afrique over Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Sandglow.

So, is there a bottom line? Erm. I do personally like a non-drying lip stain that has a matte (rather than juice-stained) finish, and though the texture is a little weird, it's not terribly bothersome to me. I also liked one of the other colors (11 Prune Impertinente) so I could see myself picking up that one, because these do work on both lips and cheeks, unlike other products that propose to be multi-taskers. But Tracy didn't like the Shu Uemura ones on lips at all, so you may want to play around with one in store before you buy.

Ingredients: dimethicone, bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2, diisostearyl malate, dimethicone crosspolymer, hydrogenated polyisobutene, phenyl trimethicone, kaolin, HDI/trimethylol hexyllactone crosspolymer, isostearyl isostearate, polyethylene, vinyl dimethicone/methicone silsequioxane crosspolymer, nylon-12, pentylene glycol, caprylyl glycol, ethylhexylglycerin, alumina, silica, calcium sodium borosilicate, synthetic fluorphlogopite, calcium aluminum borosilicate, pentaerythrityl tetra-di-t-butyl hydroxyhydrocinnamate, magnesium silicate, tin oxide, parfum/fragrance. 
[+/-]: mica, CI 77891/titanium dioxide, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499/iron oxides, CI 15850/red 7, CI 45410 /red 28 lake, CI 15985/yellow 6 lake, CI 45380/red 22 lake, CI 15850/ red 6, CI 15850/red 7 lake, CI 19140/yellow 5 lake, CI 42090/blue 1 lake, CI 75470/carmine.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Beauty Blogger Happiness

We've had a lot of deep thoughts around the community, lately, and that got me thinking about my own take on what we do, and why, and how I see myself evolving (Charizard!) or not.

Beauty blogging focuses a lot on aesthetic beauty - there's really no getting around that, I think. That doesn't make readers or bloggers shallow, or vain, and lipstick is certainly not the only thing we think about or feel strongly about. Anyone who thinks otherwise is simply not worth considering, in my opinion, and that's enough about that. People judge us whether we have too much makeup on, or too little, or the wrong kind (how is that possible, I wonder?). I don't tell a lot of people about my blog, but I think a lot of us aren't transparent about everything we do - and why should we be?

I blog about makeup and pretty things because it makes me happy to do so. I like to interact with fellow bloggers and with readers, and comments and emails and tweets cheer me up. It's nice to have a second - and third and fourth - opinion when I'm out buying eye shadow, and it's useful to read other experiences with products, since I do wear makeup, and use skincare products, and incorporate those things into my life on a daily basis. I probably spend a little more time on it all than the average person, but then, it's a hobby of mine. Just like other people collect little figurines and spend time researching them and bidding on ebay and hunting down various versions, or people record and watch every single episode of a beloved program - it's a hobby. I don't think it can be deemed worthy or not by anyone who isn't me.

The other thing that sometimes bothers me about this all, though, is the admission that it is a rather materialistic hobby. But you know, I've come to terms with that. Yes, I spend a considerable amount of money on lipstick, but I wear them. I can't wear them all, but there are days when I want to wear a specific color, and it's nice to have it there. I think some people are happy wearing the same style/color of makeup all the time, so it's not worthwhile for them to have 20+ shades of lipstick. Do I wear the same color every day? Nope. Do I want to have to? Nope. I don't have the average person's stash, because I think it would be difficult to rotate through the kinds of looks and experiments that I like to do that way. I think sometimes we are maybe too hard on ourselves because we measure ourselves against other standards of spending or accumulation or whatever it is, but then we do need to consider the comparisons in full. Does someone else care whether my pink lipstick is a touch too yellow and a touch too sparkly? Probably not. Do I care? Yes. So I have two. Or five.

Do I clean my collection regularly and weed things out and try not to accumulate too many of the same type of thing? Yes. Am I aware that makeup has a shelf life? Yes. But I'm not stressed out about it - and I don't think we should be. Sometimes I feel great after saving up and rewarding myself with some long wished-for item. Sometimes an impulse buy cheers me up on a shit day. I think my view on consumerism and all of this is constantly evolving, because I would hope that I don't stagnate as a person. I'm happy to take that view.

This isn't to say that I don't wish I kept to my budget more strictly, sometimes, or that I don't sometimes cringe at the sight of piles of empty packaging, but if it didn't amuse me and give me a creative outlet and make me feel more polished on days where I wake up as a zombie - I'd just stop wearing makeup. And I'd blog about food.

What are your thoughts about beauty blogging - about being a consumer, about makeup as a creative outlet, about finding satisfaction with your hobbies? Do you find a lot of acceptance, or do people challenge your choices?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Makeup Bag: Off to a Wedding

[Products were purchased by me except *, which were gifts from a friend, and **, which were samples/GWP/Sephora perks.]

Next week we're off to see S.'s brother get married, in western PA. The weather is much more humid than we're used to, and pretty hot. I want simple basics because we aim to do some relaxing, but I also need to pack some fancy makeup for the wedding. I do like to keep things as simple and pared down as possible when I travel, and we'll only be gone for five days. Here's what I'm taking.

lips: Shu Uemura CR 30 gloss mini, Epic Blend balm*, YSL Kiss and Blush 04 Orange Fougueux (doubles as blush!), Dior Trafalgar, Dior clear liner (I may take another lipstick...if I figure out what I want to wear with the dress I'm wearing to the wedding.)

cheeks: Clarins 02 Candy*, Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Medium/Deep Matte Bronzer**; I may decide to leave the bronzer out - haven't decided yet.

eyes: Smashbox Limitless Liquid Liner in Jet Black, NARS Smudge-Proof Eye Shadow Base, YSL Couture Palette 03 Afrique (review upcoming), Clinique High Impact Curling mascara, Bobbi Brown corrector in Peach (for undereyes).

brows: MAC Brow Finisher, MAC Spiked (I haven't pictured tools, but I definitely am taking a spoolie as well).

face: Diorskin Nude Compact in Medium Beige, Maybelline Age Rewind concealer (I like to dab this on to cover redness along my jawline), Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous* - good for highlighting.

skincare: Shiseido Ibuki eye cream (not pictured), Neutrogena Pure & Free Liquid sunscreen, mini Shu Uemura cleansing oil, Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Emulsion (AM and PM), Shiseido White Lucent Cleansing Foam. These are great Shiseido travel minis that I got as a GWP from Macy's a few months ago. We'll also take along a Neutrogena body sunscreen, as well.

perfume: I haven't decided yet if I want to take any; if I do, it will probably be a solid (like Sweet Anthem Fox or Lizie, or a mini travel spray like Atelier Cologne Oolang Infini. The solids sound like less potential mess, though, so I'll probably opt for one of those.

I am taking a mini EcoTools eye brush set and the EcoTools retractable kabuki brush for the Dior powder, a Sephora contour brush for blush, and a Sonia Kashuk brush for the other face products. Rounding out the tools are a lash curler (Shiseido) and a pair of tweezers. I don't necessarily like missing brushes I use daily, but I also hate having so much stuff when I travel - and I like to keep busy when we travel, so there just isn't time for faffing around with extra brushes and colors, anyway. The goal is also to have short hair by the time we leave, which I am so looking forward to.
YSL 03 Afrique palette on eyes (all the colors!), finished with Smashbox Limitless liner. Base makeup is Origins CC Cream in Light over Hourglass No. 28 primer, with Sonia Kashuk Illuminator dabbed on to highlight. Lips and cheeks are both YSL 04 Orange Fougueux.
Lastly: YSL Kiss and Blush in 04 Orange Fougueux on lips and cheeks. I just bought it and am kind of confused about it. I tried it on in store and liked it, then tried it on today at home and disliked it, then kept wearing (and reapplying) it throughout today and I like it again. I'm taking it because it's a multi-tasker, and I figure by the time I come back I should have formed some coherent thoughts to put together a review.

Posting may be slow for the next week and a half or so - we'll be traveling, and I find it hard to write about makeup when it's nice outside, and I've gotten over the worst of the cold (thanks for all of your well wishes!).

For a coral dress, what lipstick would you wear? (It's kind of eye-searingly bright. And lacy. I'm only taking the one eye palette, too.) What guidelines do you set for yourself when you pack a travel bag?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Swatches

No, I haven't abandoned my Cocktail FOTD Series just yet. I have had a gross cold, though, and my face is currently like pie crust, though sadly more flaky and less yummy. So arm swatches it is!
L-R: Sugar Frost, Rose Gold, Pink Opal, Amethyst, Sandglow, Khaki. One swipe each, on bare skin.

I like to wear these most often as bases - they add dimension and help powders adhere. I wear them on bare lids (no primer) and typically don't have problems with lasting power, except for Sugar Frost and Pink Opal, which have a grittier texture. The rest are smoother and glide on with no tugging.
Close up of the glitter textured ones (leftmost: Sugar Frost, rightmost: Pink Opal). Rose Gold is in the middle - it's not glittery like the other two.

Sugar Frost and Pink Opal are sheerest - a glittery sheen, like the Shu Uemura glitter shadows. Because of this texture, they can seem a little patchy, and are definitely sparkly on lids - like flakie glitter polish, if that makes any sense (but without the holographic effect, of course). The other four are smoother, with metallic/pearl finishes (all of these are shimmery).

Some of mine were part of a holiday mini set (which is a great bargain - four minis at 0.03 oz each for $40; a full size is 0.05 oz for $26). I have seen different shades available at different retailers, so I'm not sure what constitutes the permanent line. I have not tried Bobbi Brown's version, but Paris compared them here.
Two sizes of Caviar Sticks. I like minis.

I prefer my cream shadows in twist-up pencil form, and these all have a place in my daily tray, though I don't wear Sugar Frost and Pink Opal as often as the rest (Rose Gold and Amethyst are my favorites). You can see Amethyst worn here and Sandglow worn hereSandglow and Khaki hereSugar Frost in looks 2 & 3 here. Shannon has many more beautiful swatches here.

What's your favorite cream shadow formula? 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Marc Jacobs Siren Palette: Review and Looks

[Product was purchased by me.]
Here's the review I promised on the Marc Jacobs Siren palette, which is new and limited edition for Summer 2014. It's $59, like the rest of the 7-pan palettes. It comes with a pouch and a ridiculous little sponge-tipped applicator with "Marc Jacobs" printed ridiculously on it...that I used for swatches and immediately tossed. Why do they bother?
The case is nice, though, and snaps shut - it opens with the button shown here. It's slim enough to travel with, I think, although I'm not sure that I would want to travel with only a colorful palette, and it's rather inconvenient to have multiple palettes.
Swatches:
On bare skin, with above silly applicator. The pigmentation varies a bit from shade to shade; the copper is the most buttery soft and pigmented, and I would say the darkest green is the patchiest with flecks of glitter.
Close up of the last four shades. I really love the gold, mint and blue...haven't played with the last shade too much yet, but it's also quite pretty, despite patchiness here. Let's face it - I'm not the best swatchey swatcher. You can see better ones at Temptalia.
I'm not really a fan of Marc Jacobs fashion, and I wasn't really interested in a lot of the makeup when the line came out. I still am not really, but certain items catch my eye every now and again, and this is one of them. I like the artist's palette design and the colors! Bright colors like these usually aren't part of a designer brand's lineup, so I was happy to see this.

Despite the swatches, I think the shades wear well (over primer - without, they're not as punchy) and I like the variety - instead of a single-color gradient or play on (yawn) more neutrals, we get white (!), red, orange-copper, gold, mint, blue, and dark green. I am curious as to why they didn't include a purple instead of another green, but whatever. I can live without purple. (Disclaimer: I like neutrals, but every brand has five or six "naked-nude-bare-it-all" palettes already...next big thing, please).

Here are some looks I put together.
Look 1: Gold shade on inner corner, copper shade on lid, blue in the crease (and dark brown and bright blue liquid liners, Sephora brand, to finish).
The copper is really smooth and easy to use, but it can look a bit metallic. Still, it's absolutely gorgeous. Lip color is Shiseido GD817 under YSL Opium Persan Gloss Volupte.


Look 2: Gold shade, mint shade, darkest green in crease. Sorry for the different lighting.


Look 3 (technically a cheat, I showed this before!): Gold, copper, red.
I'm pretty pleased with this purchase. I wouldn't go rushing out to buy more MJ palettes just for the sake of collecting them, but if I found another set of colors that I liked, I wouldn't be adverse to it. Quality isn't the best I've ever seen, but in my opinion, probably better than some Dior quints and the old YSL quints, as well. Plus, it's just nice to have seven shades in one place, in less boxy packaging. But, convenience speaks to me. If you want seven bright shades and want to coordinate them on your own, you'd probably be better off creating an Inglot palette or some such thing, for less money.

So, Marc Jacobs beauty - what are your thoughts on the line? Do the colors in this palette call to you?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Not Quite "Bare Skin..."

[These were samples from Sephora.]

I saw some raves over the new liquid foundation from Bare Minerals, called "Bareskin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation." I got two samples from Sephora to give it a go. You really need to shake the foundation because it separates. It's meant to be a "skincare + foundation" combination, but of course I can't speak about skincare benefits, having only tried it for about a week.

I tried it a couple of different ways - with a brush (flat top), with fingers, over a facial oil (do not do this!), and over a traditional cream moisturizer. I think the finish is best with a brush, over well moisturized skin. It dries down to more of a matte, powdery finish, which is pretty in photos (see below). However. It accentuates dry patches and looks obvious in pores, even though I tried to use it sparingly and buff it out as well as possible. It looks nice from afar, though, and conceals redness well; it also lasts pretty long. I set mine with MAC Fix+ and it perhaps got a touch too dewy after that. I think this is just not the one for me, since I seem to find so many things to complain about. I'm not into heavy foundations, though, and even though they try to tout this as having the most natural finish, it's still a liquid foundation, not a tinted moisturizer or a sheer finish color-correcting cream, so it's on the heavier side.
Swatched with some other foundations/bases, for color and texture comparison.


To add to my "meh" feelings about it, the color match isn't perfect for me either - the yellow based "05 Bare Cream" is way too yellow, and 03 Bare Linen, which is neutral, is a touch too pale. The middle shade, "04 Bare Ivory," is a better match for my undertones, but a touch too dark. I opted to try 03 Bare Linen for all day wear. Here's a photo of me wearing BareSkin in 03 Bare Linen.
Wearing 03 Bare Linen. This is a few minutes after application, without setting spray. Finish is nice and matte without being flat, but it's just not for me.
I'm not sure who this foundation is meant for, to be honest. When I spritzed it, it stayed really dewy, so I'm not sure how well it will control oil and shine for those with oily/combination skin. On my dry skin, it accentuated dry patches and just felt heavy. This is not my preference (I like sheerer coverage and really lightweight formulas), so this one is a pass for me. (For those curious, my current go-tos in the liquid department are Shiseido Sheer and Perfect in O20, and Origins CC Cream in Light. Other days, I use Dior's Diorskin Nude powder.)

Have you tried this one? What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

FOTD: Lemon Drop

[Products marked by * were contest prizes or gifts.]

Still going strong on cocktails, y'all. Cocktail-inspired FOTDs, that is. *ahem*
Lemon drop.
[source]
A lemon drop is a classic for me, if I want something a little more refreshing. I'm not big on rum, so if I want a drink with frills (read: martini glass, sans olive), a Lemon Drop is the way to go. That is, I like sugared rims. I also like it with a splash of Chambord for raspberry goodness.

So yes, pale yellow shadow. I pulled this look from my Pinterest board of makeup inspiration-y things.
[source]
Ah, Cara Delevingne. She of the heart-stopping brows. I tried to spin my own look, inspired by all of the above, using these things:
An older Milani pastel palette*, Sephora liquid liner, Becca Beach Tint in Strawberry (discont. shade), Tarte Timeless lipstick*.
I used primer (NARS) as a base for the eye shadows; keeping it contained mostly to the lid space, I layered the pastel yellow over the white (the yellow on its own can be a bit more neon than pastel). This palette is a little patchy and powdery, so I apologize for that - it needs to be applied over primer to really pop, but that makes it harder to blend out nicely.
I finished with thick black liquid liner, winged out, and mascara (Clinique High Impact Curling). Blush was Becca Beach Tint in Strawberry, and lipstick was Tarte Timeless. I suspect the original Cara Delevingne look makes use of the YSL Kiss and Blush things, but alas, I do not have one.
Base is Diorskin Nude and Sonia Kashuk illuminator, with Bobbi Brown corrector under eyes. Not sure why one of my eyelids has been folding funny lately. Apparently it is also tired. 
I kind of like pastels/whites on lids - it's a fun, fresh take on a summer look. It's also something I've never tried before, so that's always a plus, as well.

How do you feel about pastels on eyes? When's the last time you tried a completely new type of look?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Neutrogena Pure & Free Liquid: Is it a Clarins Substitute?

[Product was purchased by me.]

Bottom line first: Yes. This is a much cheaper substitute for the Clarins UV Plus HP Broad Spectrum sunscreen that I talked about in my skincare post. It retails for about $10-13 (depending on where you get it from and if it's on sale), and even though Neutrogena's is only 1.4 oz while the Clarins bottle is 1.7 oz - it's still only $10 (Clarins is $41).

This is an all-mineral facial sunscreen: 5% titanium dioxide, 3% zinc oxide (Clarins, comparatively, is an 8.1% titanium oxide formula). It's fluid (thus, "liquid"), and pretty easy to work into skin - just as easy as Clarins. Both can leave a bit of a white cast if you aren't diligent about rubbing it into skin well (and these definitely photograph white with flash, so skip these on photo-heavy days); I like to apply it immediately after moisturizer, so that my face is still damp and everything blends in well.

This is SPF 50 and broad-spectrum, and I use it daily. I'm also happy to see the blend of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, as zinc oxide covers a larger UV spectrum (both short and long-range UVA rays). If you are looking for an all-physical sunscreen - buy this one.

active ingredients: titanium dioxide 5%, zinc oxide 3%
inactive ingredients: BHT, bisabolol, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, caprylyl glycol, cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 dimethicone, dimethicone, DMDM hydantoin, magnesium sulfate, polyglyceryl-4 diisotearate/polyhydroxystearate/sebacate, PPG-12/SMDI copolymer, silica, styrene/acrylates copolymer, triethoxycaprylylsilane, trisiloxane, water

Saturday, June 7, 2014

FOTD: All the Drinks Named After the Sun...Under the Sun

[Products used in the look were purchased by me, except *, which was a sample from Sephora, and **, which was a gift from a friend.]

Because Kate suggested that I do more booze-inspired looks after this one, I decided to tentatively launch a cocktail-inspired series of FOTDs, because I like cocktails and I put on makeup anyway. And uh, I like cocktails.

This one is based on those sunrise/sunset-themed cocktails - you know the ones, with neon orange/red/yellow liquors in monster glasses, with teeny little umbrellas and enough alcohol to keep you snoozing well past dawn.
Like this guy.
[source]
I also wanted to play with this pretty.
So nice to finally cross things off of the wishlist! This is the Marc Jacobs Siren palette, which I was told was LE for summer (by a Sephora SA).

I'll do a full review on the palette later, after I play around with it some more. First thoughts: it's niiiiiiiice. Time to munch on words for dissing MJ makeup, I guess, hahaha. I still think the polish bottles are derpy, though. No change of heart there.
So here's the look. Working from inside out, gold shade, copper shade, red shade, all over NARS primer. Also more copper on the center of the lid. The copper shade is so pretty, you guys.
The foundation is a sample of the new Bare Minerals Bare Skin foundation* (Bare Linen 03) which I dislike (I'll do a mini foundation review soon, too. Lots of things in the queue). Looks good on camera though, huh. Oh well. Finished the look with bronzer (Armani Sun Fabric 400) and Sonia Kashuk illuminator, Clarins 02 Candy** and Shu Uemura Supreme Shine lipstick in PK 340.
Some day I'll sort out my brows. Not today, apparently.

Anyhoo. More booze-themed looks coming up this month, mixed in with a sunscreen comparison (Neutrogena Pure and Liquid vs. Clarins), the MJ palette review, a Laura Mercier caviar stick swatchfest, and a Shu Uemura lipstick swatchfest (as requested by Lena, haha). And maybe we'll talk about hair. Because help - should I cut it? Should I go back to my natural color? Also - got a cocktail to suggest? 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Sonia Kashuk Perfecting Translucent Illuminator: Glow On

[Product purchased by me. Other products used in the FOTD marked * were gifts from friends.]

I was looking for a liquid luminizer, because I think they're pretty versatile - you can pump a little bit into your moisturizer or liquid foundation, or apply it on concentrated areas like you would a powder highlighter (I know you can dust a powder highlighter liberally all over the face, too, but mine are a bit frosty for that kind of application). This one had some pretty good reviews, and it was $15 (0.6 oz).

The tube is hard plastic, and it has a pump that is easy to control. You have to shake pretty vigorously, or it does separate. It's a peachy champagne - on the warmer side, but not too frosty. I like to pump a little bit on the back of my hand and then dab my finger into it and apply it that way, along cheekbones, forehead, cupid's bow, etc. (I think a stippling brush like MAC's 188 would also work). I've done this both over and under foundation (powder, CC cream, liquid). The effect is subtle but the difference is noticeable, and I quite like it.
Both are pretty heavy swatches, to get a sense of the color and dense shimmer. It is slightly peachier than it appears here.

I've also tried mixing some into foundation and I don't think I love that method quite as much on my dry skin; it kind of emphasizes the Sahara desert of my forehead. More selective placement is necessary. I think if you don't have that issue, though, it's probably fine, though I would be careful so that it doesn't get too frosty/metallic.
Lipstick: Shu Uemura Bright Orange*.
Here, I've applied it by dabbing some along cheekbones, nose, and forehead, under powder foundation (Dior). It gives skin a nice glow without being obvious (the rest of the makeup is from this photo). It fills the spot in my daily tray nicely! I might still look for another, subtler (maybe more opal colored) illuminator to mix into foundation, though. Any recommendations?

ingredients: water, isohexadecane, dimethicone, nylon-12, talc, glycerin, IPDI/DI-C12-13 alkyl tartrate/bishydroxyethoxypropyl dimethicone copolymer, trisiloxane, isododecane, squalane, sorbitan isostearate, cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 dimethicone, synthetoc beeswax, tetrasodium EDTA, phenoxyethanol, sodium chloride, disteardimonium hectorite, alcohol, potassium sorbate, silica dimethyl silyate, PEG-30 dipolyhydroxystearate, propylene carbonate, mannitol, DI-C12-13 alkyl tartrate, cyclodextrin, glycogen, arctostaphylos uva ursi leaf extract, tocopherol, rubus idaeus leaf cell culture, [+/-] mica, titanium dioxide, iron oxides, zinc oxides

Monday, June 2, 2014

FOTD: You Can Still Drink Red Wine in the Summer

(Because red wine is really purple.)

This isn't really a summery look, but hey, sometimes you still want that cabernet sauvignon in the midst of summer heat (I am always up for a cabernet.).

Berries and mauves aren't my usual color palette, but I was inspired by this photo from NARS. Beautiful, right? So I pulled out the few shades I had in that palette - at least for the eyes and cheeks. I don't have a matte peachy-pink-nude lip product (but now I want one).
I started with a base of Shiseido Sheer and Perfect foundation (shade O20), and did my brows. I also dabbed and blended some liquid illuminator (Sonia Kashuk) on cheekbones, and lightly under the eyes.

On eyes: I applied the Laura Mercier Amethyst Caviar Stick all over the lid and then patted it out with a ring finger. I took my SK No. 205 brush and blended a matte brown (theBalm Sultry from the Nude'Tude palette) over the entire lid. I used SK No. 8 to push a little bit of theBalm Sexy (same palette) into the crease. Then I finished with dark brown liquid liner (Sephora brand) and Clinique High Impact Curling mascara. I also concealed my panda eyes at that point.
Blush was Tarte Stellar* (rosy nude) and a tiny tap of MAC Stratus. Lip choice was Maybelline Intoxicating Spice, which I love. I think the next time I try this eye look, I will pair it with a lighter lip, to see how that goes.

Untitled #14

Just trying something new. Some of the products used in this look. No affiliate links or anything like that - just wanted to try a roundup method that didn't include messy products, haha.
Do you have a go-to color palette? How often do you experiment with other tones and shades? 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

No-Fuss Brush Post: Eye Brushes

[Products were purchased by me.]

I kept meaning to write this post, but I was waiting for clean brushes.

So, it took me about eight months. (I'd wash brushes, and lollygag about and not take photos, and then use the clean brushes - d'oh! Vicious cycle.)

Also, I would like to say that if you're expecting fancy pants brushes, this ain't the place to look. Most of my brushes come from the drugstore, and also, if you're looking for a detailed comparison about heffalump hair versus woozle hair, that's not happening here. I prefer synthetic brushes, if I can, but I don't really invest a lot of research into this. I usually buy brushes that are readily available (Sephora, drugstores - online and brick and mortar), and relatively budget friendly. I don't think a brush is realistically going to last a lifetime. If I only spend $8 bucks on it and it lasts me 5 years, bully for me. I can afford to buy a new $8 one when it falls apart.

I'll try to be brief but also informative. Most of my comments are about brush shape and purpose, rather than detailed analysis about handle length, blah blah - I'm only going to comment on things like that if there is something odd worth saying. Also, I'm not artsy. I don't do cool things like other bloggers, so my needs are pretty basic. Ok. Enough disclaimers, you think? Let's do this.

First: base shadow brushes. I use these to deposit color all over the lid - usually this is the first color I lay down. These are my most-used type of brush and if I could have five of them, I would. My personal favorite is actually the Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush; it is tapered and flat and fluffy enough to deposit a base color in a diffuse manner, without packing it on in odd ways or leaving severe lines that I have to blend out later. I hate that I can only buy it in a set, because I don't really need multiples of the other brushes in that set. The Sonia Kashuk No. 103 (Core Tools - white handle) is longer and not as flexible; Sephora's version is fuller and honestly, not as soft. Do you have a favorite brush of this type? Because I need like five. 
Oops. Didn't realize until now that the label got cut off somehow. It's a Pro Shadow Brush #14.
 Next: shading brushes. The Sonia Kashuk No. 112 (Core Tools) is called a "Fluffy Eye Shadow Brush" and the Tokidoki is an old one from Sephora that has no name and is long gone. Sorry. I use these for patting on intense colors and bold shades - products that I want to confine to a smaller space and retain control of, like MAC Blue Brown pigment - I use SK No. 112 for that. These are denser with a rounded top. In terms of softness, RT > SK No. 112 > Tokidoki, but I like the Tokidoki for ultimate control of darker shades, like these bright teal Inglot shades.
This RT brush is available on its own, only - it does not come in the Starter set.
Next: accent brushes. Used for lining the lower/upper lashline with shadow (rarely) or smudging out said lines (even more rare). So I only have two.  I like the RT version because it has a domed shape and is soft - the last thing I need is some pokey brush dragging along sensitive lashlines.
Crease brushes! More workhorses. I have two. I really only need one - the SK No. 8 (black handle). It's dense, not floppy, and soft, and I like it for blending darker shades into the crease. The RT Deluxe Crease brush is way too big for this purpose on my little ole eyes, but I use it for blending things into oblivion when I make a mistake.
Blending brushes! And an angled crease brush, which I use primarily to highlight the brow bone (it's a good shape for that - try it).  I actually didn't even own blending brushes until last year, and I don't know how I ever did anything without them. Both of these are from Sonia Kashuk's Core Tools line; No. 109 is a bona fide blending brush - use it at the end to blend together lines, etc., but I also use it sometimes to deposit just a light dusting of color somewhere (like in the crease). No. 205 is a duo-fibre and not as easy to use, in my opinion, but I have had some success using it to blend a shade over cream shadow over the entire lid. For example, laying down Laura Mercier Amethyst (Caviar Stick) and then using No. 205 to blend a matte brown over the entire lid. I'll have to play around with it some more.
That was a lot longer than I intended - I apologize. I didn't include brow stuff (and I use liquid liners, so no liner brushes, either) because I'm going to do a separate brow post when I get my act together. I'd love to know what kind of (budget-friendly!) brushes you have in your arsenal - please share!