New 30/09/12: a few exciting launches from Bobbi Brown, Deborah Lippmann, & more

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Can you believe that it’s just about to be October? Because, um, I really can’t. I haven’t even finished going through everything from the summer (can you really blame me? It was a good season!), and we’re already well into autumn.

Autumn, though — ugh. I thought summer was good, but this year’s fall collections look particularly strong as long as we quietly ignore MAC altogether. I’m trying to make time to photograph & test things as quickly as possible, here, but it’s still slow goings. With time, however, expect to see a bit of silicone-free haircare, a bit of fragrance, and a lot of brushes!

So, without any further adieu… a new book from Bobbi Brown, four rather intriguing lip-and-nail duos from Deborah Lippmann, and (finally!) a couple of unexpected ancillaries from the Bottega Veneta fragrance that I hold so close to my heart.

A bare-cheek contouring standby | MAC Harmony Powder Blush (Matte) review, photos, swatches

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The product: MAC Powder Blush in Harmony (Matte)

After seeing Harmony (one of my first MAC products) on Makeup and Beauty Blog this week, I had to put up a proper post about it. I love being able to see the same product on a range of different skintones, and I thought this was the perfect example.

I know a lot of you read MABB, but for those of you who don’t, here’s a quick primer: it’s written by a lovely terrifyingly awesome crazy cat lady named Karen, whose skin is about an NC42 (though sometimes here forearms are a little lighter). By contrast, I sit somewhere around an NC15, and despite absolutely adoring cats as long as they’re not kittens, I’ve never owned one.

Or even cat-sat for one, to be honest. I’m not the best at keeping things alive.

The shade: What’s cool about a blush like Harmony is that it can span a really wide range of skintones, but it’s quite different on them all. On Karen, it’s a really natural, bare-cheek blush; on me, it’s a warm, dark contour shade.

While I love the depth and pigmentation of this one, I find that it’s best to use a light hand with it, and I find that I’ll often mix it with a matte grey shade to cool it down a bit. That said, though, it’s not unwearably warm, the way some bronzers can be — it’s just not quite perfect on cool skintones.

(Read Karen’s MAC Unsung Heroes post on Harmony, where the below swatch has been sourced from, too!)

The verdict?

Despite the fact that Harmony was my first MAC blusher, and I still use it on a pretty frequent basis, I can’t see myself re-buying it — for what I want it to be, it’s too warm to be perfect. That said, though, if you’re looking for an easy-to-find contouring shade (for fair-to-medium neutral-to-warm skintones) or a matte natural-nude blush (for warm medium-to-dark skintones), it’s definitely worth a look.

While I think $20 US/$24 CAD (less for the pro pan) is a touch high for some of MAC’s sheerer blushes, the formula and amount of pigment in this one makes it well worth the price. There are far too few easy-to-find contouring shades out there, and at the very least, this one doesn’t have Chanel Notorious’ $42 price tag.

(And for an even more affordable contouring shade, try NYX Taupe — I’ve heard quite good things about it, at least for fair to light-medium skintones!)

Keep reading! »

Don’t miss this » A Burberry-inspired Autumn/Winter makeup look

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

One of the Autumn/Winter promos that I love (loved, loved) this year was the one for Burberry’s Autumn/Winter colour collection. I still have yet to give the brand a try, but the aesthetic is just stunning — clean lines and gorgeous, classic shades.

Here’s a quick, easy look based off their fall face. With a focus on warm, diffuse eyeshadow and soft black liner, the tutorial (see the link below) is a snap, and I’ve swatched a few colour substitutes for below (seeing as I didn’t pick up Burberry Mulberry and Dark Sable Sheer Eyeshadows to do the look with.)

Hope you enjoy the look, and here’s to a great autumn!

Read the full tutorial here on She Said Beauty.

Products used & eyeshadow swatches »

The Lipstick Bandits: Nudes You Need | Have a Lovely Day! with MAC’s Casual Colour collection

Monday, September 24, 2012

The product: MAC Casual Colour Lip & Cheek Colour in Have a Lovely Day! 

This month’s Lipstick Bandit collaboration focuses on the perfect nude lip, and despite its limited edition nature, I had to go with MAC’s Have a Lovely Day! Lip & Cheek Colour.

Though I’ve been really unimpressed with a lot of MAC’s recent launches, the Casual Colour collection is one that I really wouldn’t mind seeing again. I just have the one, but it’s a lovely formula (and a really, really lovely shade.)

The formula: The Lip & Cheek Colour formula was thicker than I had expected, but (thankfully), in a good way! It reminds me of a long-lasting lip balm; creamy and heavy with a satin-matte finish — which is exactly how I like my products, thank you very much.

(Okay, possibly a bit less heavy, but I’ll deal with a bit of weight if it means we can finally, finally have something pretty that isn’t vinyl-shiny or overly-matte.)

With sheer-to-medium buildable coverage, MAC’s classic vanilla scent, and a formula that actually works with dry lips, I’m quite impressed with my Casual Colour pot. It does slide around a bit if you really pile it on (though what doesn’t slide around if you pile a ton of it on?), but unlike a lot of nudes–and even quite a few darker shades, on my lips,–it doesn’t settle into lip creases or catch on dry bits.

The shade: I honestly cannot say enough good things about this shade. It’s so hard to find the right nude for your skintone, especially when your skintone is a weird mix of super pale, strangely pink, and surprisingly green — but this one works beautifully.

Pink with a bit of red, yellow, and grey worked into the shade, Have a Lovely Day! is just as lovely as one could hope. It tones down my lip colour without washing it out; muting it and taking it ever so slightly more pale while still creating a very wearable, natural lip.

I like to think of it as an “invisible pink” for fair skintones — light and desaturated enough that the eye doesn’t catch on it, but just pink enough that it doesn’t attract even more attention, as many milky pinks and chalky nudes may do.

On the cheeks: I wanted to focus on this as a lip product (because, erm, Lipstick Bandits,) but it’s a lovely shade for the cheeks, too. I like to use it as a subtle, mauvey nude blush — think Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed, but for paler, cooler skintones. It’s a bit on the heavy side, but creates an absolutely seamless contoured cheek once blended in, with a cream finish and just enough colour to serve both as blush and contour in a pinch.

Apply with fingers and give it a minute to set, and you should be good to go. I don’t love this on my cheeks, but I do like it. It doesn’t pack quite as much of a punch as my favourite cheek shades, but then, none of them would be even half-passable as nude lipsticks, so I find it hard to count that as any sort of failing on the Casual Colour’s part.

The verdict?

I know it’s a bit cruel to give a shining commendation to a limited edition product, but hark! Not all hope is lost, right? The US MAC site still has Relaxation and Out for Fun, and the Canadian one has Evening Stroll and Keep It Casual.

Seriously, though. $20 USD / $24 CAD, the size of a Tinted Lip Conditioner (12ml/0.43oz), and perfect both in texture and in colour? Count me in. 


On Our Radar | MAC Face & Body collection

Sunday, September 23, 2012

MAC Face & Body

Available online starting September 6th; in-stores currently. The MAC Face & Body collection will launch this month internationally, as well, but I’m not sure of the specific dates!

A word of advice? Check out the Sculpting Creams, but skip the Pressed Pigments — I haven’t heard a single good word about the latter, unfortunately. And make sure to re-try the Face & Body Foundation, if you’ve loved it in the past! The formula has been re-worked, and has more -cones (but less -xanes, if I’m not mistaken.)

Full collection details »

Beauty déjà vu | Chantecaille Zebra Kabuki vs. Japonesque Safari Chic Bronzer brushes

Friday, September 21, 2012

I’m still rather smitten with my Japonesque Safari Chic Bronzer Brush, so it’s no surprise that I had a bit of a “haven’t we been here before?” moment while browsing the new launches at Chantecaille’s upcoming Zebra Kabuki Brush (pre-order it here) follows the same animal-print trend, but at a much higher price point — a cringe-worthy $69.

Made from goat hair and designed to buff or build any and all powder products, I’m sure the Chantecaille brush will be lovely… but that doesn’t really change the fact that it’s almost $70, you know?

$22 (and cruelty-free!) is a lot easier to swallow, and aesthetically speaking, I actually prefer Japonesque’s version — while the Zebra Kabuki could be mistaken for just any old white-and-black striped brush, the Safari Chic brush is definitely animal print.

What kind of animal print, I’m not sure (big cats were never really my forté, by which I mean that I am kind of terrible with all animals, ever), but definitely an animal nonetheless.

And probably not a crocodile or giraffe or something.

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