Sunday, July 29, 2012

July Favourites

Despite organising my makeup collection, I haven't varied the products I've reached for much this month. Largely in part due to an aversion to experimenting with an established everyday look in the limited time I have to get ready in the morning. It's been the same neutral eye and rosy cheeks, with the introduction of a couple of new products I've been liking and the rediscovery of one of the first brushes I bought.

Revlon CustomEyes Shadow & Liner in Naturally Glamorous
Reviewed here separately, I favoured this palette at the beginning of the month, mostly using the two browns as all over lid colours. This would be an ideal palette for travel as it's streamlined and compact and contains all the colours you need for basic, slightly smokey eye makeup for both day and night. The shadows themselves are nicely pigmented and softly textured.

Maybelline EyeStudio Mono in Iced Fudged (720)
I bought Silken Taupe first, but I couldn't resist picking this shade up on sale as well. Iced Fudged reminds me a lot of Toasted from the Urban Decay Naked Palette, but without the pink undertone. It's a warm and quite frosty brown that works well as an all over lid colour. It's much more pigmented than Silken Taupe which makes it a lot easier to wear.

Revlon Luxurious Color Satin Eyeshadow in Polished Bronze (010)
I'm a little bit in love with this. I think it might be my favourite eyeshadow single. It's such an unassuming colour but it just seems to be the perfect shade for me. It's not too warm or cool, not overly glittery or frosty but just gives a soft, slightly taupey, bronzed sheen. I like to darken it up near the upper lashline with a touch of the first colour in the bottom row from my Sleek i-Divine Palette in Storm. The eyeshadow itself is soft and smooth in texture (the Revlon satin singles are superior to the mattes from my experience), but I find that it does wear off a little by the end of the day.

l-r: Polished Bronze, Iced Fudged

l-r: 1st and 2nd blended, 1st shade, 2nd shade, 3rd shade

Rimmel 3 in 1 Powder Blush in Autumn Catwalk (003)
Despite buying a bazillion Bourjois pot blushes this month, it was this little gem from Rimmel (that I found hugely discounted at the feminine hygiene aisle of Coles, of all places) that I enjoyed using the most. The first two shades blended together form a pretty, glowy pink that brightens up the face. The third shade is a very pigmented coral which is a little too dark and orange for my tastes, but makes a good autumnal blush. You could use each of the three shades separately, though the second shade is quite glittery on its own and looks better blended with the first matte pink.

Ecotools Blush Brush
This was from a 5 piece Alicia Silverstone set, so I'm not sure whether it's the exact same as the individual Ecotools blush brush. Either way, it's beautifully soft, ideally shaped and seems to deposit the right amount of product just where you want it. I've been neglecting this brush in favour of my Real Techniques brushes, but it's just as good as the Blush and Multi Task brushes.

Urban Decay Primer Potion
I almost forgot that I have this travel size Primer Potion, which was included in the original Naked palette. While I prefer to use Revlon cream eyeshadows for priming my eyelid, I use this for the bottom lashline area. It's a nifty inclusion to my routine that helps my Maybelline gel eyeliner stay on longer and prevent mascara on the bottom lashes from smearing.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Box of Crayons

Sure enough, a week after saying I couldn't find them anywhere, I spotted a whole heap of the Face of Australia Sheer Gloss Lip Crayons at a Priceline in the city. They come in a pack of 3 and retail for $14.95, though I bought these at 20% off. And yes, they're very similar to Clinique Chubby Sticks, just a touch more pigmented and not as attractively packaged. The colours are also pretty much dead on dupes of certain Revlon Lip Butters, as I discovered when I swatched them side by side.

Top to bottom: Cupcake, Sundae, Macaron

As you can see from the swatch, the colours are quite sheer. It takes several swipes to get any noticeable pigment. Though they apply smoothly like a balm, I don't find them particularly moisturising and the texture feels somewhat waxy and drying. I thought Sundae would be the least flattering because it looks like a more "mature"/brown shade, but it's surprisingly my favourite and the most wearable, a true MLBB colour. The sheerness here actually works as an advantage, as any more pigmented and it wouldn't look as understated and natural. Cupcake is a typical bright pink that still appears fairly muted when worn, quite similar to Clinique Chubby Stick in Woppin' Watermelon, but with slightly more red and raspberry tones. Macaron, more of a cherry red, is the most pigmented of the three by far, but because it's both pigmented and sheer, I found it really hard to apply evenly (as you can see in the picture below). Dry lips probably didn't help.

The left column is the lip crayons (Sundae, Cupcake and Macaron, from top to bottom) and the right column are the Revlon Lip Butters in Pink Truffle, Strawberry Shortcake and Cherry Tart. I was pretty astounded by the similarity. If you have a large lipstick collection, it's normal to find close approximations to products you already own, but these more or less look like total dupes to me. Three out of three. Granted, I still think the Lip Butters are superior (more moisturising, pigmented and better packaged), but the Face of Australia lip crayons are an excellent option if you're interested in a sheerer version presented in a novel form. Ultimately, they're an ideal means of satiating any curiosity you might have about the Clinique Chubby Sticks, without the price (given that you get all 3 for less than half the price of a single Chubby Stick).

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Child's Play

Like a YSL Rouge Volupté lipstick, Benefit boxed powder or NARS blush, Clinique Chubby Sticks are something I've always wanted to own but deemed too expensive. At $35 each, they're more than what I'm comfortable spending for merely another lip product I don't need. I've started to realise how illogical that mindset is, since I seem to have no issues spending small amounts here and there for cheaper items, when with the same or less cost, I could buy one higher end product that I'd (hopefully) really adore. Time to reevaluate my spending habits. Luckily, my generous friend recently came back from an overseas holiday and brought me this Chubby Stick in Woppin' Watermelon as a gift. I was genuinely thrilled as it's not something I would've bought for myself and I've always been curious to try one.

Woppin' Watermelon is a natural looking light pink. Built up, the colour looks more like a toned down fuchsia, but still appears relatively bright. I didn't expect it to be so sheer, but I actually like that it's not super pigmented. I don't have many lip products that are on the subtle side. Even the Revlon Lip Butters, said to be a cross between a balm and a lipstick, were really just lipsticks, and my beloved Korres Lip Butters are much more pigmented as well (Pomegranate and Wild Rose especially). The balm texture combined with the sheer tint is ideal when you want to add a bit of colour to the lips without it being obvious, though the colour does wear off fairly quickly and isn't staining. As Nic from Pixiwoo put it in this Kim Kardashian wedding makeup video (where she uses Woppin' Watermelon in the look), the sheer wash of colour from the Chubby Stick is a good choice for brides, as it eliminates issues with lipstick transferring and wearing off, or lip gloss getting stuck in your hair. My only issue is that I don't think these are as moisturising as they could be as the texture feels slightly thin and waxy on the lips.

I'm now wondering whether I should've picked up the Face of Australia Sheer Gloss Lip Crayons which are a much more affordable alternative (the colours just didn't seem to work for me when I swatched them, and now I can't find them anywhere). I'm also looking forward to the Australian release of the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains, though no doubt they'll be horrendously overpriced. But at least now with my one Chubby Stick, I've finally experienced the novelty of literally colouring in my lips with an oversized crayon.

Monday, July 16, 2012

All in One Place

I've come a long way since the dark days of all my makeup being buried in one drawer. It started off slowly, with a modest lipstick organiser, but gradually progressed to compartmentalising the drawer itself and buying a couple of stackable rectangular containers from Daiso in which I placed my newer and most reached for makeup. I also managed to find a nifty box with internal dividers that ended up housing most of my lipsticks. But everything changed for the better when I discovered this absolute gem from Officeworks. It's the Keji 4 drawer storage organiser. While not exactly the same as the storage from Muji (not available in Australia) or The Makeup Box Shop, it's the closest thing, for the bargain price of $17.99.

The unit contains four drawers. The first three are the same size but the last compartment is considerably deeper. You can't pull an individual drawer out so it detaches from the rest of the unit, it's made so that you can only pull it out to a certain limit. This means that it can get a bit tricky to reach for the items at the very back. It does look a bit bulky, in that there's essentially a bit of double up with the relatively thick panels of the exterior and the plastic drawers themselves, but the fact it's all clear streamlines it somewhat and makes it easy to see what's inside. For something that was designed to hold paper, I'm really pleased at just how well it functions as a makeup organiser.

Cheek products (blush, highlight)

Eye makeup (mainly powder eyeshadows and Revlon cream eyeshadow palettes)

More eye makeup (current favourites, plus eyeliner, mascara, eyelash curler)

Bottom drawer containing larger eyeshadow palettes, a few miscellaneous items

I did not expect this thing to hold as much as it does. The majority of my makeup collection is now housed in it, which makes me think that it has phenomenal capacity, or I don't have as much as I originally thought. Granted, the process of filling it up did propel me to ruthlessly chuck out a good deal of old and unloved makeup. My lip products are still scattered about in various places and my relatively small foundation stash is in one of those Daiso boxes I mentioned earlier (with the exception of my Missha and Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum, which I just keep standing upright separately). As for nail polish, that's now all in the drawer that used to hold everything, though I wish I had the DIY knack to whip up this drool-worthy nail polish rack.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Variations of Rose

If a beauty addict sees Bourjois blush pots for about 75% off ... well, you can finish the rest of that sentence. One aimless Sunday, I was wandering around in Target and hovering around the Bourjois stand. While looking at the Delice de Soleil bronzer, I saw one of the blushes on sale for under $5. At first I thought it was only for the one seemingly unpopular shade (Brun Cuivre) as the sign indicated, but I scanned another just in case. And sure enough, it was similarly discounted. Mad grabbing ensued. Unfortunately, there wasn't Rose Ambre which I've been eyeing, but there were 7 shades still available. I picked up 5 of them (leaving Brun Cuivre and Ambre D'Or, which I now regret not purchasing).

Due to my serendipitous haul, I now have amassed a mini collection of these Bourjois baked blushes (though Cecilia's stash remains the ultimate). I previously only had Rose D'Or (34) which I featured in this post. It's one of my most reached for blushes that gives a natural looking, relatively subtle rosiness to the cheeks. I prefer that it's not super pigmented as it makes it easier to work with. Swatched alongside the other 5 shades, it appears much more of a cool pink while the rest are warmer, more reddish and deeper pinks.

l-r: Rose Éclat, Rose Coup de Foudre, Lilas D'Or, Rose D'Or, Rose Frisson, Rose de Jaspe

l-r: Rose Éclat (15), Rose Coup de Foudre (16), Lilas D'Or (33), Rose D'Or (34)  

l-r: Lilas D'Or (33), Rose D'Or (34), Rose Frisson (54), Rose de Jaspe (95) 

Rose Éclat (15) One of the more pigmented shades. Almost like a matte. Though there are bits of shimmer in the blush itself, it's barely discernable when applied. The colour is a darker, burnished rose with reddish tones, making it more an autumnal shade.

Rose Coup de Foudre (16) Pinky apricot with a golden sheen. The shimmer is more detectable in this one and the colour gives a healthy, natural glow to the face.

Lilas D'Or (33) Red-leaning coral with an abundance of gold shimmer. Not the best colour for me due to the red tones that make me look like I accidentally dozed off in the solarium (I continue to have no luck with coral blush, see also Sleek Rose Gold and BYS Coral). This one needs to be applied lightly as it's quite pigmented. The shimmery particles are also the most noticeable.

Rose Frisson (54) One of the more matte looking shades, like Rose Éclat. This is warm rosy pink that gives a girly, youthful flush without looking obvious or harsh.

Rose de Jaspe (95) Looks very similar to Lilas D'Or in the swatch, but I prefer Rose de Jaspe. It applies like a slightly more vivid pink (with stronger gold shimmer) than the lighter Rose Frisson, which is a touch more muted and natural looking. Rose de Jaspe really warms up the face and the shimmer is very glowy without being over the top like Lilas D'Or.

Along with Rose D'Or, my favourites are Rose Coup de Foudre, Rose Frisson and Rose de Jaspe. There aren't any drastic differences between the shades, but I wouldn't say any of them look identical when worn, as they all have varying pigmentation, shimmer and tones (warmer, cooler, more red/pink/peach). These pot blushes have a distinctive powdery scent and come with a mini curved brush that I'd safely assume most beauty enthusiasts would promptly discard, in favour of their normal blush brushes. The little mirror inside is a nice touch, but personally it's too small to be truly helpful (that, or my face is just too big). These also last forever: I've had Rose D'Or for around a year and it honestly looks in the same condition as the ones I just bought (except for the small scratch I made at the surface when the top layer started hardening).

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tattoo It

The Maybelline Color Tattoo 24 Hour eyeshadows have finally arrived in Australia with a somewhat surprising price tag. At $11.95 a pop, they're not exactly cheap, but much better than what I was anticipating ($16.95 or thereabouts). Priceline is currently having an introductory offer of 15% off, making them $10.15. I did the obvious thing and bought about three too many, mainly sticking with neutrals. I knew Bad to the Bronze was a must have. Tough as Taupe also seemed to be one of the more raved about shades, but I had reservations about whether it would suit my colouring. I also picked up Bold Gold, Too Cool and Pomegranate Punk. I contemplated buying Audacious Asphalt, but I'm not overly keen on slightly greenish, dark grey metallic eyeshadow (and Unmentionables from the Too Faced Naked Eye palette seemed very similar). The more colourful shades are fun for party or summer makeup, but I simply wouldn't get enough wear out of them. Overall, I think there's pleasing variety in the shade selection, but I do wish there was a beige/nude matte in there (in the vein of MAC Painterly Paint Pot) and perhaps an eggplant, dark purple shimmery colour (à la Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Illusoire).

Pomegranate Punk is mislabelled as Audacious Asphalt for some reason

l-r: Too Cool, Tough as Taupe, Pomegranate Punk, Bold Gold, Bad to the Bronze

Too Cool (05) I thought to primarily use this colour as an eyeshadow base, or occasionally inner corner highlight. It's a cool, frosty white that is buildable in intensity. I wouldn't recommend using this as a highlight for the rest of the face unless you don't mind looking sparkly. As an eyeshadow base, I find that it does transform the eyeshadow you put on top of it (making it whiter/lighter), so I'm not sure if this is the right product if you just want your eyeshadow to last longer, but not necessarily change in colour.

Tough as Taupe (35) I wanted to love this, but the colour is not flattering on me at all. It might work if it were more brown and lighter. It applies too much like a muddy slate grey which I find jarring against my yellow-toned skin. I also generally find that matte colours tend to appear flat and dull on me, which is why I prefer satin or shimmery eyeshadows. I'd probably use this as a base for smokey monochromatic makeup. 

Pomegranate Punk (30) I wasn't sure whether this colour would work for me as it's red-toned, which just screams eye infection. I was pleasantly surprised with this one. Personally, it's too dark for daytime wear, but the colour works well for my skintone. It's more of a bronzy, plummy shade (with gold shimmer that isn't too noticeable when applied) that really adds depth to the eyes.

Bold Gold (45) This is a very yellow-toned, somewhat dirty gold that applies more on the sheer side. On its own, it doesn't quite work for my colouring, but it would be ideal to use as a base for gold eyeshadows. I'd imagine it'd be very much the same story as Too Cool though, meaning that Bold Gold would, subtly or significantly, change the colour of any eyeshadow (that wasn't exactly the same shade) placed over it.

Bad to the Bronze (25) My favourite, but I have one major gripe. This is very frosty, to the point  that the silver shimmer sits on top of the shadow and threatens to overtake the colour altogether. The abundance of shimmer also looks a bit scaly on my lids. Having said that, this is clearly the most wearable shade and perfect for a daytime neutral eye. Slick it on with your finger, pop on a bit of eyeliner and mascara, and go.

l-r: Pomegranate Punk, Bad to the Bronze (with flick of eyeliner and mascara on top lashes)

l-r: Bad to the Bronze, Sidecar, Bold Gold, Half Baked, Smog, Pas des Copper

Some shades from the Urban Decay Naked palette to compare, as well as Essence Pas des Copper on the right end. Sidecar is very similar to Bad to the Bronze but a touch lighter (if anything, Sidecar looks practically identical to Pas des Copper, which I didn't anticipate). I thought Bold Gold might be similar to Half Baked and/or Smog, but the two aren't dupes at all. Half Baked is lighter, more golden, Bold Gold is a dirtier yellow, with even a slightly green tinge. I'd been using and raving on about Pas des Copper for a while now, but I'm not sure whether it's all that different to Bad to the Bronze to justify having both. The Maybelline is more taupe, frostier, a touch darker. The Essence is a bit more golden, slightly warmer. The main difference is staying power. The Color Tattoo eyeshadows have excellent wear time and are genuinely difficult to completely remove. Oddly, going a bit overboard with these cream eyeshadows has made me appreciate my existing powder eyeshadows. They're easier to work with and blend, not as messy, you don't need to worry about it setting, and I have a lot more colours to choose from. If you want to sample one shade from this range, I suggest Bad to the Bronze. If you want to play around with cream eyeshadows for a fraction of a MAC Paint Pot, these Color Tattoo ones are a good option.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Shades of Taupe

I first heard about Maybelline EyeStudio Mono in Silken Taupe from Cherie, who pointed out that it's been compared to MAC Satin Taupe, notwithstanding the almost identical name. (I recently also came across this post which swatches it alongside Burberry Pale Barley, and the two look remarkably similar.) Being on a perpetual quest for the perfect taupe eyeshadow (if it exists), when I saw Silken Taupe on sale at Priceline, naturally I found myself hastily bringing it to the counter while ignoring the sane protestations of my friend who questioned whether I really needed more makeup.

When I first swatched it on my hand, I was a little alarmed at how much it looked like a sheer sandy beige and not the purple-grey-tan concoction I was after. It took several swipes to achieve something resembling the colour in the pan, but I was fairly pleased that it was buildable and therefore not completely a lost cause, as so many light taupes turn out to be in my experience. I've worn it a couple of times now, first applying a cream base and using my Real Techniques Domed Shadow Brush to apply a wash over the lid, then adding some more depth and definition with the dark purple in my Electrified L'Oréal HiP Metallic Shadow Duo closer to the upper lashline. Although Silken Taupe is on the light side and takes several layers to build up (and even then, it's still relatively sheer on my lids), it's much more wearable than some other lighter taupes in my collection. I thought to compare it with some possible dupes, steering clear of darker tan/brown shades (like NYX Iced Mocha or Revlon Polished Bronze), instead concentrating on more purpleish, light grey taupes like it.

The colour at the top right hand corner (the "crease colour") in Maybelline ExpertWear eyeshadow quad in Exotic Earth is probably the most similar to Silken Taupe, the main difference being it has a lot more silver shimmer. Although I really do like the colour, it's nearly impossible to wear because the pigmentation is non-existent and extremely difficult to build up.

The second colour in Revlon ColorStay 16 Hour eyeshadow quad in Attitude (previously reviewed here) is noticeably lighter and cooler than Silken Taupe, which appears to be more tan and warmer in comparison. I really wanted to love the taupe in Attitude, but it didn't work for me. It's very sheer, cool-toned and light, and lacked pigmentation compared to the other shades in the quad.

Pillow Talk from the Too Faced Naked Eye palette was very much the same story as the Revlon Attitude. I've already bemoaned the fact Pillow Talk is too sheer to work as a wash of colour over the lid, though I was hoping to use it specifically for that purpose. Swatching it alongside Silken Taupe, it does look much lighter, less pigmented, cooler and more grey.

l-r: Silken Taupe, #2 in Attitude, Pillow Talk, crease colour in Exotic Earth

Swatching the four together, it's apparent that Silken Taupe is quite a bit darker than the two middle colours and a lot more brown. The shade from the Exotic Earth palette is the closest (perhaps a touch warmer), but the silver shimmer is too obvious and it's a laborious task to get it to a decent level of pigmentation. Even though it appears to be more of a tan in the swatch, Silken Taupe still applies like a cool, purplish light grey to my lids. This is a good everyday shadow if you're looking for something that's soft and silvery, with a hint of purple and satin finish, but not too cool that it's jarring against warmer skin tones. A quality primer/base and eyeshadow brush can overcome issues with pigmentation.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

June Favourites

I skipped May, but here are my favoured products for June. I haven't included any eyeshadow, foundation or make up brushes, because those have remained fairly constant over the past few months. For my foundation, I've been alternating between Missha M Signature Real Complete BB Cream and Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation (applied with my Real Techniques Buffing Brush). I've been largely uninspired when it comes to eyeshadow, sticking to my usual bronze and taupes, mainly from my Urban Decay Naked palettes or Sleek Storm palette. I'm still loving Essence Pas Des Copper, L'Oréal Infallible eyeshadow in Sahara Treasure and HiP Metallic Shadow Duo in Electrified.

l-r: NYX Rouge Cream Blush in Natural, Bloom Sheer Colour Cream in Coy

Sally Hansen Radiant Hands, Nails & Cuticles Creme
Perfect for dry and brittle nails, I slather this on when my hands need instant and deep hydration. I usually concentrate a generous amount on each nail and rub the cream in. My skin drinks it up, leaving my hands softer and moisturised. Smells like orange Tic Tac.

Avène Thermal Spring Water
If you can get over the fact you're paying for water in a can, a misting of this over your face is soothing, calming and refreshing. Spray it bare-faced, after hair removal, or on top of makeup for a dewy finish or quick pick-me-up during the day.

Maybelline EyeStudio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in Blackest Black
I neglected this for a while in favour of my Essence gel liner in BBC All Night Brown, or Essence Kajal Pencil in Teddy (with a touch of Savvy by DB Luxury Liner in Brilliant Bronze), but came back to it this month. I lightly dip my Ecotools Angled Eyeliner brush into the pot, only picking up the smallest amount, and apply this to my lower lashline for subtle but effective definition.

Bourjois Volume Fast & Perfect Mascara
I hated this mascara when I first tried it because it clumped like crazy and smeared all over the place. I've found the trick is to apply a first coat without turning on the rotating wand, and then a second coat with it on. It doesn't length or curl as well as Maybelline Define-A-Lash, but it thickens and voluminises well, and is very black, which is always a plus.

Sally Hansen
Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat
I don't know how I painted my nails before this. It's an incredible product. You apply it to the nails when they're about 65% dry and within a few minutes, you can more or less go about your business without worrying about denting, smearing or smudging. It also makes nail polish last longer and imparts a super glossy, smooth finish.

Bloom Sheer Colour Cream in Coy
I bought this during Easter, thinking I'd use it primarily as a blush, but surprisingly I've been liking this more as a lip colour. It's not the most moisturising product, so I do have to use balm before and after, but it gives the kind of pastel peachy pink lip I'm always trying to find in the form of a lipstick.

NYX Rouge Cream Blush in Natural
I only have one NYX cream blush, but if my experience with Natural is anything to go by, I need more. This is very pigmented and soft and creamy in texture. It's easily blendable but not greasy when applied. I usually dot a small amount on my cheeks and then use my Ecotools baby kabuki to blend.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...