Sunday, February 23, 2014

MAC Blue Brown Pigment: All the Sparkles

[Purchased by me. And I had to exercise lots of restraint not to buy five other colors.]

Many of you asked what I was wearing in this post, and here it is!
MAC Blue Brown and Naked pigments.

I'm late to the party, I know. These have been around forever and are much lauded, etc., etc. I know, it's spring, we're supposed to be wearing frou frou colors and frolicking in the flowers. I have, but I've also had days lately where I wanted something frosty-metallic-sparkly-va-va-VOOM.
L-R: MAC Blue Brown patted on heavily with a finger, then lightly, then swiped. I like that the duochrome effect is preserved no matter how you apply it (though of course it is more obvious if you pat the pigment on gently rather than swiping it on).

I originally thought to purchase Illamasqua's pigments, but then I decided to go with MAC instead, for a variety of reasons that ultimately capped off with "Oh, let's stop at the MAC counter, I need a new brow pencil...ooooh, sparkly!"

(Don't even pretend like that doesn't happen to you. We're all friends here. No secrets.)
Same look from this post. Tarte Gold pencil as base, Shiseido BE213 middle shade on inner third, MAC Blue Brown on outer 2/3. Tarte liquid liner and...I skipped mascara. Because lazy.

It's so, so pretty. I can't even. Now, I know, loose pigments can be a pain - messy, prone to spillage, messy, lots of fallout, messy...all of that. But I'm having fun, and I think there is a place for them. I prep with a cream base (Laura Mercier's caviar sticks) and pat Blue Brown lightly over lids with a flat, small brush (like Sonia Kashuk's No. 112). It can be subtle, too, if you sheer it out and work it a little more into lids.
Same shadows this time, but less pigment, more blending.

I bought Naked, too. And I have my eye on Tan, Melon, and Old Gold. It could get dangerous...dangerously sparkly. Mua ha ha.

Do you work with loose pigments? What's your favorite base for them?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Shu Uemura Silk Cushion Blusher in Orange Quartz

[Product was purchased by me. No affiliate links - click away!]
Shu Uemura Silk Cushion Blusher in Orange Quartz.
Yeah, I bought blush. I previewed this in my "ORANGE ALL THE THINGS" post.
Aka, "cream-mousse-something-soft-and-squishy blush." It also comes in pink, if that's your thing.
It's a light, soft apricot with a faint shimmer-sheen. The texture is squishy. "Marshmallow-like" is how Shu Uemura's site describes it, and that's pretty apt. I tried a couple of brushes with this, and I prefer the Real Techniques Stippling Brush; I do, however, prefer that brush for most cream blushes. One of the other ones that I tried was the Sonia Kashuk Tools No. 4 Brush (flat top), but I didn't love it for this application. (What's your favorite brush for cream blushes?)
It's like, orange creamsicle-colored. Man, I love food. 

I seem to have fallen hard for Shu Uemura products lately, which is unfortunate as they are only available online in the US.
Wearing the blush. I also applied highlighter to the tops of the cheekbones, though...oops. The apples are all blush! 

It's a subtle thing. I don't think you could go overboard, although it does sort of sit on top of cheeks, texturally. Not the easiest to blend in and diffuse - I have to take extra time with it. It does, however, have a beautiful satin finish. No obvious sparkles. Do you need it? Probably not, unless, like me, you swoon for the color. It's not too pink. There are too many "orgasmic" peaches out there, you know.
Lots of Dennison for y'all.

I see myself getting a lot of wear out of it for spring - I'm ready for gauzy, whispering pastels and flowers and blooming and sunshine. Away with you, winter. Skidaddle.

For more: The Makeup Box has swatches of the full Spring 2014 Bijoux Collection. Everything is pastel and ethereal - very gorgeous, but not the easiest to wear. This is the only item I wanted, because it's so gorgeously orange. The lipsticks were tempting, though! (Also, the blush doesn't only lend itself to sweet looks. It is kind of a natural flush for my skintone, so it works as an almost-neutral; I'm wearing it in the Sweet Devil Rouge post, as well).

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Red Fiend: Shu Uemura Sweet Devil Rouge

[Product was purchased by me, myself and I.]

I told you I liked Shu Uemura lipsticks. When I saw that they had a red collection, I couldn't really help myself.

I picked Sweet Devil Rouge, because it seemed like a sheer warm red. It is. It's winning. (For more winning: Lena reviewed Baby Flame, which is the same, juicy, Rouge Unlimited Supreme Shine formula - and it's supremely beautiful on her!)
Sweet Devil Rouge on bare lips.
One swipe.
The formula is moisturizing, shiny, smooth, and ultimately awesome. It's unscented and taste-free (as far as I can tell), and I like it. I also don't have anything really similar, as you can see.
YSL Gloss Volupte 103 (review coming), Shu Uemura Sweet Devil Rouge, Maybelline Signature Scarlet, L'Oreal Coral Tattoo, Rouge d'Armani 400.

I reach for these Shu Uemura lipsticks a lot, actually. We all love our BAM lipsticks, but for everyday use, the juicy, high-shine shades are my favorite. This one is brightening without being overpowering, and I love the formula.
Please excuse lopsided eyebrows. Sometimes it just doesn't work out.

It's still available on the Shu Uemura site, and I have to say that it is a fantastic alternative to super-siren red. You know, for days when you're feeling only half-bombshell.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Color Craze: Soft Orange

[Products marked * were gifts from awesome people.]

I think I might have a problem.
I like orange things, you see.
Chanel June* (LE, no longer available) was a gift from the super awesome Tracy. Dior Blossom is currently out now (spring 2014, LE), and Spring Ball* was from last year - this bottle was a gift from my brother. It's the peachiest of the three.

I have a lot of them. I prefer "orange" products that don't have too much pink in them (because then they're "peach," and that's a whole different ball game, kiddos).
Fyrinnae Rapunzel Has Extensions eye shadow, Dior Bal d'été gloss, YSL Gloss Volupte 103 Opium Persan.


Okay, some of them might be peach-ier, when you compare them all. But I love them all the same. And they still tend orange. I find that these shades are pretty flattering on my particular brand of Martian skin...
L-R: Dior Délice, Shu Uemura Bright Orange*, Shu Uemura OB Dream Orange*, Dior Bal d'été Addict Gloss, YSL Gloss Volupte 103 Opium Persan, Shu Uemura Orange Quartz, MAC Honey Jasmine, MAC Fresh Honey, Shu Uemura Duocolor Cheek Fresh Apricot*, Fyrinnae Rapunzel Had Extensions, Shiseido RD299 middle shade.

Dior Délice is slightly darker than Shu Uemura's OB Dream Orange, but the former is still available (though I would have to say that I wear the latter more often). Shu Uemura Bright Orange looks coral, but it shows up a bit more red-orange on lips. Dior Bal d'éte is pearly and slightly more yellow than YSL 103 Opium Persan; the latter is glittery and redder. 

Shu Uemura Orange Quartz is a cream-mousse-something-soft-and-squishy blush from the Bijoux Spring 2014 collection; it's limited edition (I'll try to review it soon) and a beautiful, soft apricot with a sheen. MAC Honey Jasmine is a satin powder blush that is pinker than Fresh Honey (LE mineralize formula). Neither is still available (eep!), and neither is Shu Uemura Duocolor Fresh Apricot (the most yellow of the bunch). I wonder why orange shades are only limited releases and special editions? I LIKE THEM. MORE, PLEASE.
Close up of the above photo, from MAC Honey Jasmine onward.

Fyrinnae Rapunzel Had Extensions is really similar to the middle shade of the Shiseido RD299 Beach Grass trio; the pressed Shiseido shadow is overall easier to use, though, and it's a touch more peach, less frosty gold.
Same photo again, but just the left side: Dior Délice, Shu Uemura Bright Orange*, Shu Uemura OB Dream OrangeDior Bal d'étéYSL Gloss Volupte 103 Opium Persan, Shu Uemura Orange Quartz.

Yeah, I could probably stop now. I do want an orange, orange, orange eye shadow, though. Any suggestions? 

What color do you gravitate toward and collect? 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Kiss-Proof: MUFE Aqua Rouge 8

[Product was a gift from a super awesome person.]

Before you ask, yes. Yes, we tested it. It took a lot of persuasion and cookies, but S. agreed to help me test it. For science. (We tried sans gloss, because he objects to gloss). Quick pecks on the cheek? Check. Quick smooch on the lips? Check. Ran several trials. No transfer beyond the tiniest, single speck (which he could not even find on his cheek afterward).

Beyond that, you're on your own, kids. Do your own experiments. It's the big V-day, after all. (Omg don't hold me to this - disclaimer/disclaimer/disclaimer/responsibleadults/etcetc)
It's a warm red - a *KAPOW* kind of shade.

I posted an Instagram photo of me wearing it on Super Bowl day - I was giving it the most rigorous test run of all (greasy game day food!), and holy moly, I was a little bit alarmed by how long-lasting this sucker is. Once you apply the red end, you let it dry for a minute or so (it dries matte); it will feel a little sticky, still, but it doesn't transfer at that point. You can apply the gloss over it, and none of the color bleeds onto the gloss wand. Insane, right?
L: Just the lipstick. R: With the clear gloss over it. The clear "top coat" is not sticky and pretty comfortable to wear.

The color bleeds a little at the edges (nothing a lip liner won't fix) and it is a really stunning red. It is a bit drying without the gloss coat, though, and it does not come off. I tried scrubbing it off with a napkin before I ate - nothing. A few hours later (and after I ate), I was left with the dreaded "lipstick ring," and it sort of flakes off at that point. I would say that you should probably reapply every couple of hours (before you notice any degradation and definitely after eating) if you want it to stay looking flawless. If you're not eating, however, it does last. It would be perfect for an event (hello, wedding?) because of its staying power! (Although, this particularly orange-red shade emphasizes yellow teeth. Eep.)
Just the liquid lipstick, no top coat.

Since these are made to be rock-solid, waterproof event products (they were apparently made for the Parisian Aquatic Ballet), I don't know that I would pull this out daily, but I think it's nice to have a few apocalypse-arsenal products for when you really have to look good all day. I removed it with a waterproof eye makeup remover and a cotton ball at the end of the day, and applied a healthy dose of balm afterward. One more thing - they have a heavy floral-powder scent, which doesn't really bother me (and which I quite like, in a sort of old-fashioned way), but just in case you're sensitive - sniff first.
With gloss over it.

What's your glam day red?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sweet Anthem Spring 2014: Lolita and Poppy

I opted in for Sweet Anthem's SA List - it was $24 for four seasons (details here). The first installment was the spring edition, with two new fragrances: Lolita and Poppy.
It came packed very prettily. I have the EdP versions of both spring scents - they are limited edition and available now.

Lolita: Sea Salt, Black Currant, Cherry Blossom, Tonka Bean, Rosewood
I was initially alarmed by the sweetness of this aquatic, but after a few more tries, I think it's actually very nicely balanced. Lolita starts as a fresh breath of spring air, like it's taking you through the UW quad when the cherry blossoms are in bloom. It's inherently sweet - you're getting your flowers and candy all at once (perfect for the season, yes?), but thankfully, it's not too fruity. I love the sea salt + tonka bean combination, which dries down as a rounded, enticing edible on my skin. It has that watery-sweet quality that many aquatics have, so if you have a fragrance sweet tooth (and swoon for the burnt-sugar lemon of Acqua di Gioia, for example), this might be one to try. (I think this is cleaner and fresher on others, but my skin tends to bring out the sweet aspect of many perfumes...in compensation of bitter character, perhaps, ha).

PoppyClove Bud, Red Flowers, Cocoa, Opium, Turkish Musk
Readers of the blog know how I feel about chocolate (spoilers: I dislike it). I try to be open-minded about cocoa as a fragrance note (although again, I usually dislike it), because it has a much earthier smell than edible chocolate, and I can understand its appeal, even if it doesn't necessarily appeal to me. Poppy smells spicy green in the vial and that spice blooms on the skin. It's instantly cocoa and musk - dark, earthy, spicy...actually, probably something I am going to sneak onto S.'s dresser, despite the flowery name. This is the underside of the flower; spring is about loam and dark beginnings, as well, and I think Poppy embodies that. I wish it were a little earthier, a little less raw green spice, but that's my personal preference. 
Goodies!

Overall, two interesting sides of the coin for spring from Sweet Anthem. I'm going to enjoy wearing out my sample of Lolita, but I think it might be too much for me in warmer months. We'll see. For other takes: 

EauMG 
Liber Vix

Monday, February 10, 2014

Cool Red and Pink: Inspired by Haley Bennett

I don't know who Haley Bennett is, but I like her face.
[source]
I liked the cool, frosty pink under her eyes (at least, that's what I see when I squint), the blush placement, and the simple - but not boring - lip color. So I decided to give the look a go.

The color palette is overall cool here, and I usually pull out warm shades, so it was fun to take out products that I don't always reach for. Here's everything (excepting base makeup and brows):
I think I would pick a cooler red cream/liquid blush next time (except I don't have one).

I started with Laura Mercier Pink Opal under the lower lashline, smudging Soda from the Shiseido Color Bar palette over it. I lined the top lid with Laura Mercier Amethyst, just keeping to the space of the lid and not going up toward the browbone like I usually do.
Sorry for the used look of my...used makeup. Ha.

I patted theBalm Luscious Lani over the inner half, and then I used a pencil brush (is that what they're called? Oh, who cares. I'm sure you know what you'd use for this job. Incidentally, this is why I don't do tutorials) to shade Risqué Renée in the crease, winging it out slightly near the very edge. I lined the outer half of the upper lashline with liquid black liner, and finished with mascara, to try to replicate girlfriend's gorgeous doe fringe.
After applying it, I vacillated between "Holy crap why did I put on so much blush?" and "BLUSH, BITCHES." They were not messing around with that Shiseido Camellia palette, guys.

For cheeks, I started with Becca Strawberry, stippling it up the cheekbone to right below the eye socket at the hairline. I generously highlighted with the white portion of Shiseido Camellia, and then dabbed just a little of the pink part over the apples of my cheeks. I finished with Dior Nocturne. I love that lipstick. But I think for a less frosty finish (and it's a bit warm, too, with that gold sheen), I could have happily used Clinique Mightiest Maraschino instead.
Wearing L'Oreal Magic Nude in Light Ivory as foundation.

I've got another red lipped look for you this week (something kiss-proof for that holiday thing going down), but I have to say, I really like this pink Soda shade from the Shiseido Color Bar palette paired with red lipstick! Who knew?

What do you say? What are your favorite eye shadow combinations for red lipstick?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Winter Whimsy

It's snowing today.

This may not seem like a big deal to the rest of North America, but it rarely snows in Seattle. The city isn't really equipped to handle it, and also - most of Seattle is built on treacherous hills. The city essentially shuts down when it snows. Having not lived in a snowy climate as a kid, I find snow enchanting - but only for a day or two, before it just becomes gross and slushy and ew.
There's a tail somewhere...Dennison loves the snow!
Today it's still enchanting, though.

So I thought I'd share fun winter things. Like my earmuffs. They were a gift from S. two Christmases ago - they're owl earmuffs from Capo and Stubs. They fold up into a little sandwich which makes them easy to store, and I love them.
See how they fold up? They don't unfold or collapse while I'm wearing them, though - they fit snugly and keep my ears warm!

We all need a bit of fun, especially in dreary, cold winters.
I have also been favoring this easy, "winter bright" look - just a touch of warm color on cheeks and lips (paired with neutral eyes and shaded brows). The two I've been rotating are Becca Beach Tint in Strawberry (unfortunately a discontinued shade, though I think Papaya is probably nearly identical), and Illamasqua Libido. The cream shades are nice for that natural, lit-from-within flush of color. I stipple them on with the RT Stippling Brush, and finish with MAC Whisper of Gilt all over my face to give winter skin a bit of a boost.
On right, Illamasqua Libido on top, Becca Strawberry on bottom. Both are warm, cheerful shades, perfect for dispelling winter gloom.
How are you keeping your winters bright? What fun winter accessories are must-haves for you?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Maybelline Color Elixirs: Budget-Friendly Beauties

Maybelline Color Elixirs in Nude Illusion,  Intoxicating Spice, Signature Scarlet. The packaging is simple but hefty - I quite like these tubes, a lot.
 I was looking for lip glosses that were juicy and non-shimmery, so when drugstore.com had a Maybelline sale (20%), I picked up three of them. I'll save you the suspense: I like them.
I'm not sure why this one has such a wonky applicator. The other two have flat applicators. 
Swatches, L-R: Nude Illusion, Intoxicating Spice, Signature Scarlet
I think they're really pretty - they give lips a juicy wash of color - and they feel pretty good; they're kind of cushion-y. They remind me of Becca lipglosses or MAC Cremesheens, and I like both of those formulas. It's scented - some kind of vaguely sweet floral scent - that doesn't offend me and that gradually fades away. I actually originally wanted to buy Becca Fallen Angel and Autumn Punch, and I think Nude Illusion and Intoxicating Spice make up for these, respectively. They're not dupes (and I obviously don't own the Becca lipglosses), but they squashed that lemming - I got three Color Elixirs for less than a single Becca gloss. Not bad, right?

On lips:
Signature Scarlet. Gorgeous, sheer red.
Dennison is not impressed. Whatever, I am.
They are glosses, not liquid lipsticks. I don't find them drying. They get tackier with wear, but if you reapply every couple of hours or so (you'll need to, at least with the lighter shades - Signature Scarlet does stain, even though the gloss wears off), you can avoid much of the tacky feeling.
Nude Illusion. 
I love this nude! It's great with a smokey eye or more intense eye look. Perfection.
Intoxicating Spice.
If you prefer a rosier lip - this is a good one. Ugh, the color is so pretty. Excuse my eye bags and what not. I live dangerously. (HA.)
Overall, I like these a lot, and the prices are great, especially if you can pick them up on sale (I think I paid roughly $6.49 each?). There are a lot of other shades, too, which is nice to see. There are some shimmery/glittery ones, though, so I'd look up some swatches first to be sure about what you're buying. Thumbs up from Larie!

Have you tried these?