Sunday, June 16, 2019

Quickie Satisfaction

I have to admit I've been following the Jaclyn Cosmetics lipstick drama a little too closely (like, watched all the YouTube videos, read all the Twitter and reddit threads, you name it). Whatever your conclusions might be, the whole thing has inspired me to revisit lipsticks. Jaclyn Hill claims lipsticks were her first makeup love and that much I share with her. If you read this blog, you'll know ― I love lipsticks! I've gone off them the past couple of years as my general interest in makeup has waned, but the 80+ tubes I have lying around at home are a testament to my past obsession. My most recent proper lipstick purchase was sometime late last year, when I ordered Colourpop Lux Lipstick in Quickie. The creamy but pigmented formula and the peachy nude shade is what I imagine Jaclyn Cosmetics could be ... though at this rate I most likely will never find out with all the issues with the launch and the exorbitant international shipping cost.

Colourpop is a company that continues to suck me in, though I haven't been thrilled with most of what I've ordered from them. These Lux Lipsticks however, from my experience with Quickie, could be a turning point (or a firm hit among a sea of 'meh' and misses). First, the price point is great, as always. I ordered mine for $6 USD, though I just looked at their website and they're $7.50 now (when did that happen?). That's a 25% price hike ... which while still affordable, seems like a big increase.

Having said that, if I found a colour that I particularly liked and thought would be flattering on me, I'd have no problem paying $7.50 USD for one Lux Lipstick (though I usually order when they have a free international shipping promotion or when I have enough I want to buy to qualify for free shipping). The packaging is absolutely beautiful and the lipstick component feels well made and not cheap or poor quality. I have to admit the first thing I thought of when I saw the rose gold exterior and star motif was Charlotte Tilbury, but hey, even if a blatant rip off, it unquestionably works to make the thing aesthetically pleasing. The formulation is opaque, not too drying, and creamy without being overly thick. It reminds me a bit of MAC Amplified finish. It's a satin finish with decent lasting power so long as you're not eating/drinking constantly. This particular shade does have a tendency to settle into lip lines and look almost too pigmented when freshly applied, but after a while when it wears off slightly, the problem solves itself and the lipstick looks more natural and evenly applied.

The only thing that prevents me from LOVING the lipstick is the colour. It's a touch too light and pastel for my skin tone. It's one of those lipsticks that makes your teeth look more yellow when you smile. It washes my complexion out and is more a nude lipstick to complement a particular makeup look, as opposed to something you slap on without much thought to add a flattering colour to your lips. I would've loved this shade a few years ago when I was crazy about pastels and peach, but I've evolved, learned from my mistakes, and know better. Now, I prefer something a tad darker, with more of a brownish nude/rose slant. Basically, if Colourpop could please dupe NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Abu Dhabi in Lux Lipstick form, my search would be over.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Prime, Glow, Glitter

All right, let's finish up with the last of the recently purchased products.

Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base

Rating: 7/10

The only reason I bought this was because pre-Christmas, Bobbi Brown were having a free full size highlighter with $80 purchase. On top of that, American Express had a $20 cashback offer on purchases of $80 or more on the Bobbi Brown website. So basically, I could get two full size products worth $165 for $65.

I picked the Vitamin Enriched Face Base as I couldn't bring myself to buy more makeup, and reviews online were generally positive. I'd seen it featured in a few YouTube videos as well, but ordinarily would never bring myself to pay $85 for a moisturiser/primer. I do enjoy the citrus scent and the packaging is suitably luxe (though the jar is now plastic rather than glass), but in terms of texture and performance, it leaves me underwhelmed. It's quite thick and while not greasy, sits on the heavier side of creams. I don't notice it doing anything in terms of improving the application or wear of my foundation. I prefer more serum-like/liquid, lighter-textured products for priming, like Eve Lom Flawless Radiance Primer or the Too Faced Hangover Primer, which help meld the foundation and produce a translucent luminosity to the skin. The Vitamin Enriched Face Base reminds me more of a thicker night cream than a daytime moisturiser that doubles as a primer. A little bit does go a long way, so even with regular use, the jar should last a while.

Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder in Afternoon Glow

Rating: 8/10

This was the free product that I selected with my Vitamin Enriched Face Base. I've always been curious about Bobbi Brown highlighters, but they're so eyewateringly expensive that they never seemed worth the money. Afternoon Glow is a beautiful, ethereal pink highlighter that appears to have a white pearl sheen on the skin. The way it sits on the skin is a testament to its quality, in that you can't detect product sitting on the skin and it doesn't emphasise texture or appear dry and chunky at the end of the day. The texture is similar to MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish, Anastasia Beverly Hills Amrezy highlighter or Laura Mercier Face Illuminator, in that it's not super creamy or densely pigmented (like Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors, theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer, ABH Sun Dipped/Sugar Glow Kits), but more on the drier side with no fallout. I have tried it with numerous brushes and I like Real Techniques Setting Brush best for more precise placement, and Real Techniques Blush Brush for a more seamless, all over glow. If using the Blush Brush, I prefer to apply highlighter before blush, so I can blend my blush into my highlighter with less obvious demarcation between the two.

Marc Jacobs See-quins Glam Glitter Eyeshadow in Topaz Flash

Rating: 10/10

I basically never buy single shadows, especially those that cost $36 a pop, but when I saw these featured on Instagram and in YouTube videos, I knew they were something special. I literally have nothing to complain about when it comes to this elegant glittergasm of an eyeshadow. It is simply perfection. The multicoloured glitters are everything, it's so festively sparkly, there is no pesky fallout, it's easy to apply with the fingers, it glimmers all day and all night. Limited edition for the holiday — I would advise checking these out if you haven't already ASAP.
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