Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ok, Purples, You Aren't So Bad: Shiseido VI308 Trio

[Product purchased by me.]

By now it may be fairly obvious that I am, erm, possibly collecting Shiseido trios. I was getting matched for foundation (review soon), and the SA and I had a lot of fun exploring other products; it was a slow Tuesday so I think I provided entertainment, and I ended up getting essentially a full makeover.
Swatches (with finger, on bare skin). I was initially worried that they would all be too similar. The last two are quite close, but on lids they serve different purposes - the leftmost shade is much darker and allows you to smoke out eyes without packing on the shadow.

I wanted to try purple on eyes, because I'm a chicken and purple is the color I avoid the most (well, and red). The SA convinced me that even though the trio is just purple, I could mix and match other shades in and make it versatile. The various purples in the trio are gorgeous with browns, golds and pinks.
All the sparkles.
I wanted to show a look just with the three purples in the VI308 trio, though, because they do work together, and make a pretty easy violet smokey eye. Just work your way down the line. I want to mention that I don't find crease brushes effective with Shiseido shadows. They muddy the color and don't apply it evenly. I have the most success with flat shadow brushes like the RT Base Shadow brush; if you notice, Shiseido eye brushes are also paddle-shaped.

For this look, I just used the RT Base Shadow brush. I patted the middle violet shade on the center of the lid. I flipped to the other side of the brush and with sweeping motions, applied the lavender shade to the inner third. Then, patting again, I lightly applied the darkest purple to the outer third.

Other products used:
Shiseido Sheer and Perfect Foundation O20
Bobbi Brown Corrector in Peach
MAC Strut
NARS Smudge-Proof Eye Shadow Base
Tarte Stellar*
Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous
Sephora High Precision Liquid Liner
Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara

Sooo. How do you feel about purple? Is there a color that you usually avoid?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Quest for an Orange-Red, #1: Dior 844 Trafalgar

[This was a sample card that came with previous purchases.]

I've been looking for a fresh, orange-red lip shade. I may cave and get MAC Lady Danger in the end, since I love mattes, but I'm poking around and trying out other shades. This is Dior 844 Trafalgar, a Rouge Dior. I like this formula like I like french fries.
Wearing 844 Trafalgar over bare lips, no lip liner or balm.
It's an orange-red, in a traditional cream lipstick finish. If you're curious, I took comparison shots with 844 Trafalgar and 999. The latter is a true red.
On eyes: Shu Uemura Mint and Vanilla palette. I don't remember what else is on my face. Haha. Worst beauty blogger ever.

Ack. The last thing I need is another red lipstick, but holy hell I like this one.

What are your recommendations for a fiery orange-red?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

More of That Spring Thing: Shiseido RD299 Beach Grass Trio

[Product was purchased by me.]
RD299, "Beachgrass."

This isn't a new release or anything, but the colors are spring-like (spring-y?), and I've been wanting it forever. My love for Shiseido eye shadow is well documented (here, here and here).

The middle orange shade is gorgeous, with a reddish sheen that glows. The mauve is also growing on me, even though it's not typically my favorite kind of color. The pale shade seemed a bit annoying at first - I have a lot of pale Shiseido shades, but the beauty of a palette is sometimes in how self-contained it is. With a pale shade here, I can add a highlight to the inner corner or the browbone without having to pull out other singles or palettes.
On lips: Maybelline Breathtaking Apricot.

Once it was in my hands, I was initially a little disappointed by how well the shades blended into my skin - they didn't seem to have enough contrast against my skin. However, I finally repurchased my favorite primer (NARS), and I am happy to report that primer has made all the difference - the colors are visible and beautiful without being garish, as I've come to expect from the brand.

My favorite way to wear it: orange all over the lid, white on the inner corner, mauve in the crease and outer lid.

Definitely a winner in my book. I do think that primer is required to bring out the best of these shades, but it's worth it. And look! Spring without being chalky and pastel.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Spring 2014 Wishlist


spring by eyeheartit featuring Givenchy

With upcoming sales and such, I've also been taking a gander at what's up for offer. Surprisingly enough, I'm not really interested in any of the seasonal collections at the moment - I'm more into snagging items that I've been adding to my wishlist over the past few months. Here are some of the items I'm thinking about.

1. Philosophy's Amazing Grace, tiny travel size. I love this scent in the summer - I just spritz it liberally on the hottest days. 

2. Ole Henriksen's Truth Serum. I reviewed it and liked it, but when I ran out, I didn't repurchase - it is a bit pricey and I was trying to find a cheaper substitute. I have noticed an appalling dullness in my skin in the months since then, though, so I'm picking it up again.

3. Dior Nude BB Cream in 002 Fair. I'm just looking for nice skin, guys. If it comes in a tube, fine. I'm contemplating switching to powder instead, though...I want really light coverage.

4. Clarisonic brush heads - just picking up the staples while they're on sale (although to be honest, I'll probably pick up the Clarisonic and Ole Henriksen items at Skinstore - 20% and higher ebates return!).

5. Becca Pressed Skin Perfecting Powder in Moonstone. Since my skin has been a bit dry, my usual MAC Whisper of Gilt has become a bit obvious. Looking for something more finely milled and more champagne in color.

6. Sephora Animal Instinct liner and Smashbox Pacific Always Sharp 3D liner. Just looking for some fun eyeliners to keep things interesting. I usually stick to liquid and I like Sephora's in-house line a lot, but Smashbox's stick version has been getting rave reviews, so I may try one in a bright color.

7. Givenchy lipstick and vernis in Escarpin. Poppy orange-red - high on my wishlist for the season. But holy hell, Givenchy lipsticks are $36.

What's on your wishlist?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Two More for A Colorful Spring: Maybelline Mandarin Rapture and Breathtaking Apricot

[Purchased by me.]

I already reviewed the first three that I purchased, here. I liked them a lot, but naively, I thought that would be the end of it for now. Nope. Sale at local drugstore = two more added to my collection.

I bought Mandarin Rapture and Breathtaking Apricot for their springy springiness. Juicy, jelly shades in bright and refreshing orange and sparkly pink - who could say no? (Clearly, not I.)
Sparkles! But they don't really show up when worn.

The scent (faintly powdery sweet) and formula are the same as the first three - thick but not really sticky or tacky. Comfortable to wear, and perhaps even moisturizing. I think they are a great alternative to more expensive glosses (nothing competes with Dior, but these have a much more varied color range and a greater mix of jelly, sparkly and shimmery shades) and are a great way to get a variety of shiny lip shades. I have to recommend them.
Wearing Mandarin Rapture.

Mandarin Rapture is a jelly orange.
Wearing Breathtaking Apricot. And yes, the eye makeup is different in this picture. I have to say that the pink is brighter in person - almost neon.

Breathtaking Apricot is, confusingly, bright, cool pink with sparkle, rather than orange or peach. The color in the tube is quite apparent, so I was well aware that it was pink, but it's just an odd name choice. It's a bit too cool for me to wear easy-breezy-slapdash like, so I have to be more careful, but it's still a great spring shade.

I think budget-friendly lip shades are the perfect pick-me-up (and after this long winter, I definitely needed something bright and cheerful), and it's pretty easy to have some drugstore goodies "fall into your basket" while you're out shopping for cotton balls and envelopes, or whatever. This is a great line to explore! Pick 'em up when they're on sale.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Copper + Navy Blue: Inspired by Scarlett Johansson

As always, I didn't try to exactly replicate the look - I just used the colors as inspiration. I've also been wanting to try MAC Blue Brown over a blue base, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity. 

I started with Clinique Chubby Stick in Massive Midnight*, applying it all over the lid, but not taking it up too far above the crease. Then I patted MAC Blue Brown over the entire lid. I blended out the edges with the theBalm Shameless Shana (a warm copper) and a fluffy brush. Then I finished with Sephora Pool Party (Waterproof Eyeliner - one of my favorite line of liquid liners) along the upper lashline, and mascara (Clinique High Impact Curling).
On lips: Dior Enchanted Rose.
I'm still really pleased with MAC Blue Brown. I wear it often, even though it's spring and I'm supposed to be cavorting with pastels.

It's not as orangey-copper as ScarJo's original look, so I think I'll try that again, as well, but I need a brighter copper shadow. Any suggestions? What colors are you experimenting with this spring?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Spring Things II: Lip Wardrobe

[Products purchased by me, except *, which was a Sephora BI perk.]

I don't know what it is about this winter, but even though we didn't experience that "polar vortex" thing in our corner of the PNW, I've felt like this season has been worse than usual. I generally get a bit Eeyore by March, because six months of wind, rain, and no sun is a bit much and this is typically the "last straw" month.

This means I'm embracing bright, sunny shades wholeheartedly, even though it's not quite spring yet (and some of these are more typical of summer, perhaps). To go with my spring scents, here are my recent lip loves.
L-R, one swipe each: Shu Uemura Sweet Devil Rouge, Clinique Mightiest Maraschino, YSL 103 Opium Persan, Dior Enchanted Rose, Maybelline Nude Illusion, Breathtaking Apricot, Mandarin Rapture

We've got pink, orange, almost-red, and my new favorite nude.
  • Maybelline Lip Elixirs in Mandarin Rapture, Breathtaking Apricot, and Nude Illusion. I picked up Nude Illusion in round one, and recently bought the other two during a drugstore sale. Full review soon, but the formula is still good, and they're juicy, vibrant shades that work well with a fresh face.
  • YSL Gloss Volupté in 103 Opium Persan. Orange all the things!
  • Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Mightiest Maraschino*. The fuchsia leanings of this shade make it fresh and spring-like; it's a nice spin on the classic red, and I still quite like it.
  • Shu Uemura Sweet Devil Rouge. Another balm-like, jelly, easy-to-wear shade. Still in love. That is all.
  • Dior Addict Gloss in Enchanted Rose. An LE shade from the Holiday 2013 collection; it's a glittery peachy-pink-nude that I have whole-heartedly embraced. Moisturizing, sparkly, and encased in that beautiful Dior tube...yep. Keeps the Eeyore blues away.
Look at the sparkle! (Dior Enchanted Rose).
What are your top lip product picks this spring?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Spring Things: Perfume Picks

Spring equinox isn't until March 20th, but I have moved into all the spring things, starting with perfume. These are my current favorites.

Sweet Anthem Lizie: I have this in three formats (solid, oil, and edp - would you like a comparison?) because I love it so much. S. thinks it's weird (green things and dirt), but something about it just clicks for me. The edp version is much zestier than the oil - the neroli comes through, and that tomato leaf - divine. I might have to buy the bigger bottle before it goes away again.

Prada Infusion d'iris: It took me a while to get this one, but I am now hooked. It's a powdery soft iris, green and bright and not too powdery (I actually don't love most powder perfumes). And the bottle is pretty. So uh, there.

L'Occitane Jasmin & Bergamote, and Verbena: I got the little splash bottle of Jasmine and Bergamot as part of a travel set, and picked up the smallest bottle of Verbena at the same time. Both are fizzy and light, as I find with many L'Occitane fragrances. It's sometimes nice to have something you can spray with reckless abandon, though. Jasmin & Bergamote is floral and juicy - but not in that red berry kind of way. It's fresh. Verbena is a classic, and even though it doesn't last too long on me, it also doesn't give me a headache the way many verbena perfumes can, so I consider it a win.

Hello Kitty: A bit embarrassing, perhaps, but I have seen many perfumistas profess an unabashed love for certain celebrity fragrances, so what the hell. The heart wants, right? HA. This one is spritzy - light, crisp apple (funnily enough, I usually hate apple, but this one is not that usual generic "country apple" smell), sparkling flowers, and a fizzy, sweet musk base.

Atelier Colognes Grand Néroli and Orange Sanguine: these two are a bit more grounded than the others; they share that "Atelier Cologne" base that is present in Vanille Insensée. I received these as part of a travel set (a gift from S.). Orange Sanguine is bright, bright orange - not necessarily sweet, it's more like the spark that cuts through the air when you first break into the peel of an orange fruit. Grand Néroli is similar, but with a thread of floral green weaving through the roots. Both are spring/summer scents with a heavier touch than the ones above.

I'm hoping my perfume picks can banish the last of winter. I'm tired of the gloom. Join me. What spring scents are you spritzing about lately?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Mask-ed Ball!

It's time to talk about skincare again.

These are some of the masks that I've been rotating recently. I try to do one every week or so, and pick one according to how I'm feeling about my skin at the time. (I also use the Ole Henriksen Blue/Black Berry Enzyme mask, reviewed here). I'll do a brief bit about the others here; each of these is meant for all skin types, I think.

To soothe irritations: The First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Instant Oatmeal Mask is a quick, easy mask that I use to calm itching or irritations. It's chunky and pretty much feels like smoothing congealed oatmeal and lotion on your face, but it works and I like it. I slather generous amounts on clean skin and then wash off.

To detox and clear pores: I tried a sample of the Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal mask (as a Sephora 100 point perk), which was enough for about 4-5 uses. It's thick and feels like gray acrylic paint going on (and smells like it, bleh), but I do think it works, and I like it. It tightens and dries in about 5-10 minutes, and then washes off readily. Skin feels tighter and refreshed afterward. I have a full size on its way to me right now!

The other detox mask I have is the Osmia Organics Detox Exfoliating Mask; it came with the little mortar and spatula you see here. It tightens quickly and dries to a stiff mask that washes off, and smells of chocolate (it contains clay, cacao, charcoal, and black walnut hull powder for exfoliation). I'll be honest and tell you that I'm not really into mixing things myself -  it's an extra step and makes me less likely to pull it out on a hectic weekday night. I understand that keeping it dry reduces the need for preservatives, so I suppose it's up to you which you prefer. There is some versatility in mixing it yourself (thinner, thicker), and it seems to work, but I'm not particularly enamored of it. (I only use a tsp per mask - 2 tsp is a lot).

To combat dullness: I got a mini version of the Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel (Sensitive version) with a trial kit I purchased from Amazon. It spreads easily on clean skin, and doesn't particularly tingle or sting. I wash it off after ten minutes, and it may just be wishful thinking, but I do think it brings a bit of a glow to my face. I'll pick up a full sized jar when I run out of this, too, but I think even the little pot will take me quite a while.

What are your favorite masks? Do you find the ritual relaxing, or do you scramble to make time for it?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

YSL Gloss Volupté Is Lush and Luxe...and There's an Orange!

[Product purchased by me. My wallet wept. As always, no affiliate links.]

YSL came out with a new gloss formula, and I initially didn't care. After all, I have my favorite gloss formula. But I was browsing Nordstrom's site, and came across a photo of YSL Gloss Volupté in 209 Smoking, which is black. Instantly, my interest was piqued, and I looked through the rest of the shades, only to find that 103 Opium Persan is orange.
Perfectly orange. Not too peach, which is usually the problem. Not quite as juicy and pigmented as my beloved (and long-gone) Orange Pareo, though.

And that, as they say, was game over. Well played, YSL. Well played.
Comparisons, L-R: Dior Bal d'été Addict Gloss, YSL 103 Opium Persan, MAC Rising Sun Cremesheen gloss.

It's a little thicker and stickier than the Dior Addict Gloss formula; the gloss adheres to lips to give a very natural finish, rather than sitting lightly on top of lips like some other formulas. It gets a little tacky after wear, but it's tolerable and not terrible. It does, however, have that mango scent that perpetuates all YSL lip products. I don't love it and I don't hate it (and it makes me want mango smoothies every damned time), but it is strong and it does last.
Sheerest application. Can be layered over lipstick. The gold speckles are not super apparent, but of course, if you build up the color, the speckles will be more prominent, as well. The orange just warms up lips, though, and I like orange gloss, in general, for this reason.
I think I'm pretty good on gloss right now, and this is not my favorite formula (a little too thick and slightly too much tack, but that's splicing hairs, I suppose - it's a good formula. I'm just picky.). Truthfully, I bought this one because it's orange, so I'm happy for now. For more, go read Kate's post on two more shades, or take a looksy at The Raeviewer, for all the shades.

Tired of orange yet? I think I'm all out. Worry not.
Wearing 103 Opium Persan.

ingredients: ricinus communis oil/castor seed oil, polybutene, c18-26 acid triglyceride, bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2, pentaerythrityl tetraisostearate, tridecyl trimellitate, diisostearyl malate, VP/hexadecene copolymer, trihydroxystearin, hydroxystearic acid, calcium sodium borosilicate, pentylene gycol, polyethylene, silica silyate, caprylyl glycol, calcium aluminum borosilicate, pentaerythrityl tetra-di-t-butyl hydroxyhydrocinnamate, alumina, synthetic fluorphlogopite, silica, tin oixde, magnesium silicate, parfum/fragrance, [+/-] mica, CI 77891/ titanium dioxide, CI 77491, CI 77492/ iron oxides, CI 45410/ red 28 lake, CI 45380/red 22 lake, CI 15850/ red 7, CI 15985/ yellow 6 lake, CI 15850/ red 6, CI 19140/ yellow 5 lake, CI 15850/ red 7 lake, CI 75470/ carmine, CI 42090/ blue 1 lake.