17 March 2015

I've been really clumsy lately.

Case in point.

Pictured: Mark Glowdacious Illuminating Powder in Shimmied Up, Wet N Wild Comfort Zone palette (that's the well-known blue-brown dupe broken in half there!)

16 March 2015

MAC Bao Bao Wan Collection 2015

Hi, anyone reading!

I managed to get my grubby little hands on a couple of items from this collection, which was super difficult, MIGHT I ADD. If you've been online and read some beauty blogs over the last few weeks, you may have seen how many were ready to trade their first born children for the Lavender Jade lipstick. I was most interested in Forbidden Sunrise, which I did manage to see in-store, but at that time I hadn't decided I absolutely needed it just yet. I'm going to suck it up this time around, I'm sure there will be adorable, bright orange colours for summer that I can use instead.

I ended up having to order online after the release, because I saw one swatch of the Summer Opal pressed powder and was convinced it had to be mine. I'm super pale, not sure what I am by MAC's standards as I don't use their foundation, but I'd hazard a guess of NC15. Summer Opal is a perfect highlighter for me, with a slight pinkish sheen.

The other item I purchased was the Burmese Kiss lipstick. I was not 100% convinced I would like it or need it, I honestly don't wear anything like this usually. I rationalized this purchase two ways:

  1. the packaging is awesome
  2. if I don't have anything like it, of course I need it 
feelin' quite photogenic today
wearing burmese kiss and summar opal
damn bbz u got a purdy mouth
So, here's the thing. I ended up liking the lip colour a lot more than I thought I would. It's a perfect spring and summer pink and it makes me feel pretty, it looks great with my light skin and red hair. The formula, however, leaves a bit to be desired. It's a matte finish, so of course it's a bit more difficult to work with. I handled my lips accordingly before applying, and it still looked pretty gross after only a couple of hours. Flaking and settling, all the things that we hate. It's really only noticable if someone is going to be right up in my grill, so of course I'll still wear it. 

I think a lot of people were unsure of what Summer Opal was supposed to be. "Pressed Powder" can read a lot of ways. Is it a bronzer? A blush? A highlighter? I like it as a highlighter myself, but when built up, it's a bit more peach. It would work as a bit of colour, too. I really wanted to have it. I can't explain this, but I was super compelled to order it. I love it. 

Did you get anything from the collection - maybe the amazing Lavender Jade? 

15 January 2015

Something is obvious..

I'm addicted to "dusty pinks!" I kept looking at the same 7 colours in my collection today and wondered to myself, "are any of these dupes of another? Would it benefit someone to see these beside each other?" I took a photo to find the answer to these questions and more. Yes, this is a science blog.

Alright, so what do we have here?

From left to right:
BITE Rhubarb (Bite Remix)
BITE Sable (Bite Remix)
KVD Studded Kiss Lovecraft
Maybelline Matte Touch of Spice
MAC Mystical (LE)
NYX Tea Rose
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream Stockholm

It's clear from the swatches that Lovecraft doesn't have a dupe in the bunch. It's the most unique colour, a true "dusty" pink. The others lean too orange or too red. I'm certain there's a NARS Audacious lipstick dupe for KVD's Lovecraft (perhaps Anita or Barbara?), but I don't own any to truly make a comparison. Touch of Spice is nearly identical in finish, wear, and pigmentation, but the colours aren't the same. I love both formulas, though.

Rhubarb and Mystical are similar, which is nice since the MAC colour was limited edition. Even the satin finish is recreated.

Stockholm photographs looking more like a nude than a pink, but I don't feel like it looks that way on my lips. Antwerp or Istanbul might be more comparable, though I think they're a bit cooler and a bit more pink.

As far as formula and colours go, even though they are not entirely comparable as "dupes," I want to give you my order from favourite to least favourite. This is taking in consideration wear time and everything else you typically look for in a lipstick.

1. KVD Lovecraft
2. Maybelline Touch of Spice
3. MAC Mystical
4. NYX Stockholm
5. BITE Rhubarb
6. BITE Sable
7. NYX Tea Rose

I love the colour of Tea Rose, but it wears off too quickly for me. I still use it plenty!

Does anyone else have a certain range of colours that they tend to purchase reflexively? A particular shade that peers up at them from their vanities like the start of a small army?

11 January 2015

Creating my MUG Z-palette - with swatches!

The first thing I did after Christmas was order from Makeup Geek. Over the past few months, I've been bookmarking swatches of single eyeshadows so I could eventually narrow down what colours I would order for myself. I made a wishlist on the website a couple months ago, but something was always out of stock. I checked on my list on the holidays (mmm, Christmas money) and noticed everything was available. Perfect timing, right? 

This was an expensive endeavour. You can say "$5.99 for a single is so cheap compared to MAC!" but it doesn't feel cheap when you order 20 things at once. My order was around $130CAD with shipping. With that said, I still think the price it right when you take into consideration the fact that this is 100% customized to have colours I want and will use. I can spend $70 on a Naked palette and have half the colours be relatively unused, or I can shell out a bit more for something where I'm in love with everything because it's hand chosen by me. Totally worth it. 

All of my swatches are without primer, just a couple swipes of my fingertip.

L-R: Shimma Shimma, Peach Smoothie, Chickadee, Cupcake, Unexpected, Twilight, Last Dance
Row 2: Mango Tango, Latte, Cocoa Bear, Bitten, Moondust, Prom Night, Mercury
ALL BY HIMSELF: Razzleberry
Same order as above, but I threw Razzleberry over to the end (red with gold sparkles).  

Okay. My first impression with everything: I still have space in the large Z-palette I ordered, and I won't have to stare at the blank space for all-time because I will be ordering again. I already know for a fact that I need Envy, Cinderella, and Bada Bing. The pigments are amazing and I'm already reeling with ideas to go insane for my birthday face in a couple weeks.

The palettes are magnetic and come in 3 sizes. The large fits 27 singles - I currently have 15, which would fill up the medium sized palette. Makeup Geek's single eyeshadows come in pans that adhere to the magnet without any effort on my part. They also send you some magnets you can use if you choose to depot other brands. The Z-palettes are nice, though they're made of cardboard and don't seem to snap shut very securely, so I can see some people not being impressed with the construction. It's okay, you can use MAC palettes because the singles are the same size and their design is sleek and secure! I have no qualms with the cardboard design myself. The large one that I have is about the size of two Naked palettes, one on top of the other. There are dozens of colours to choose from, enhancing this customizing experience. I went with pink because it's my favourite, but orange and silver glitter were also super appealing to me!

I didn't really have any sort of theme with the colours I chose, I mostly tried to pick out things I didn't really have anywhere else. A highlight shade (Shimma Shimma) and matte brown (Latte, Cocoa Bear) aren't too unique, but are staples in most of my looks. I also wanted to have everything I would need in one palette. I like having lots of palettes, but some days I have 6 different ones out on my bed and I'm using one colour from each; it just isn't very efficient.

Some of the mattes are difficult to build up with and without primer. I don't know if I would call them chalky, they just take a bit of work to actually get picked up on the brush. I had the most trouble with Peach Smoothie and Unexpected. The shimmery shades, on the other hand, had great texture and pigmentation. No complaints for any of those ones. Prom Night, Last Dance, and Bitten are my favourite colours out of all of these because they feel like unique colours and they perform really well. I clearly like everything or else I would have picked different colours, but these ones are the cream of the crop to me.

The pigments are just amazing and beautiful and photography cannot do them justice. I have been lusting over Insomnia for months and months, it's one of the more popular shades that fans of MUG are always raving about. Utopia is a gold with purple/pink sparkles, and Insomnia is a blue/brown duochrome. Unffff.

Overall, I'm really happy with my purchase. To anyone thinking about purchasing from MUG, you should definitely give them a try. If you feel paralyzed with choice, read more reviews and look at swatches. When I was narrowing down my choices for one order, I wrote down the name of each shade I liked. I looked them up on the website one after another and re-ordered the list from "most wanted" to "I want this, but not as much as anything above it." It was hard, but really thinking about what I wanted to have was a good move!

Do you have any Makeup Geek products?

30 December 2014

Pearl is the new nude

I went on a date the other day. I wore a white collared shirt with a navy blazer; all my buttons were gold. I made my eyes up with golds and browns from my Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette. I was ready for the finishing touches. Feeling pleased with myself, I looked down at all the lip colours I had amassed over the years and realized I didn't know what to do.

Do I pair a bold red with this, or do I try and keep it neutral? 

I don't want anything too pink or too brown or too coral.. 

I kept digging. There had to be something.

But then I realized I was out of setting spray and was going to be out all day. I had to go to the store, anyway. Maybe I could look around and find the perfect lip colour for my sexy business lady outfit and gilded eye makeup.

After some searching, I came home with Revlon's Sky Line Pink and NYX's Baby Rose Mega Shine Lip Gloss. I know pearlized and glittery finishes aren't everyone's cup of tea, what with the matte lip and Jenner thing being so popular. But to me, this is a winner. I can pair these two together (or even keep them separate for something super simple) when I'm not feeling a certain colour of lip.


Left: Revlon
Right: NYX

captain lumpy face

Sky Line Pink is a pearl finish lipstick. It goes on smooth and is pretty easy to apply without making a mess. Being a really light colour, it doesn't really stain or bleed or settle. The downside is that it disappears fairly quickly (maybe within 2 hours without eating or drinking). I found myself just applying the NYX gloss over the course of the day if I wanted something on my lips but didn't have time to reapply lipstick. It has no taste or scent. I am a big fan of Revlon lipsticks in general and I know I can always pick one out without having looked at swatches and reviews, and I'm always happy.

Baby Rose is a nice every day lip gloss. I'm not usually a gloss person, but this is a super neutral, almost clear colour with green, pink, and gold speckles of shimmer. It can be worn alone or over another colour to add shine. It smells like sherry (to those who have smelled sherry, but otherwise it's a sort of synthetic fruit punch scent, I guess). It's overpowering and it makes me want to drink. I've never tried an NYX gloss before, but I will try other colours in the future. It performs well enough for an inexpensive, drugstore lip gloss.

So my date was successful, and I owe it all to not bothering with bright red, matte lipstick.