Second verse, same as the first (though this one feels a little different.)

Monday, October 22, 2012

You’re going to be seeing a lot of this look this week, and I feel a bit bad about that, but. But.

One of my favourite things about photography is the way that you can take the same subject; the same person, or place, or feeling, and just by photographing the scene differently, the resulting product is changed right down to its core. The casual disregard, the too-easy twisting and tweaking of reality is almost a transcendent action in my eyes; the ability to fully manipulate the viewer’s perception of the scene through techniques and technologies made entirely of human ingenuity without having to make headway on even the smallest of paradigm shifts.

For me, it speaks volumes about the subjectivity of the world, not just in perspective, but in the overwhelmingly transient nature of the individual experience. You can feel it in everything from a magician’s death-defying illusion; to a trick of the light; to the optical aberration, translated metaphorically into every interpersonal interaction, and it shakes us to our bones.

What we see is almost entirely controlled by what is intended for prying eyes, and what we see through a lens even moreso: what we see of each other, then, is obfuscated so efficiently by what we are wanted and want to see. When you can be sixteen or twenty-six; when warm pink bends toward a dusty cyan; when lighting and technique have more sway on the observer than the subject’s own facets, when —

When the human experience is embodied with such fantastic intensity, what then could be more sublime?

On Our Radar | Guerlain Liu, Holiday 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Collection details »

Brush up a spell with the new Sephora + Pantone Universe Enchanting Dual-Sided Brush Set: review, photos

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The product: SEPHORA + PANTONE UNIVERSE Enchanting Dual-Sided Brush Set

Of all the Sephora + Pantone products to come out this season, this set was the only one to really grab! my attention. I missed out on the split fibre brushes in the MAC Semi-Precious and In Extra Dimension collections (last winter & this spring, respectively), so I was hoping these would fill the gap.

And they did, sort of. Maybe. Kind of.

The build: It’s always interesting to work with really novel tools, and these rather were. With a synthetic side (great for picking up and spreading out cream products) paired right up against a natural-fibre side (perfect for buffing and blending), they’re a different experience than normal brushes, and I think it really works in their favour.

What I’m not so crazy about, though, is the natural-hair side of these brushes. It’s a little on the rough side, and I find they shed, particularly when I’m working with heavier products, like concealer or cream foundation. For the results and expediency, I’ve been putting up with it, but the shedding really keeps these from being a HG brush set.

The individual brushes

I’m not crazy about the overly-fluffy powder brush, but I’m actually quite pleased with the other three shapes in this set. (It’s a first, for me — maybe it’s just because this one’s on the small side, but I find brush sets typically have at least three or four brushes that I just know I’ll never use.)

The eyeshadow brush is great for applying concealer to the eye/undereye area, as well as around the nose, and the foundation brush is kind of brilliant, at least in shape. The shedding’s a letdown, but I can finish my face in less than half the time with this than I’d need with a regular (all-synthetic) foundation brush, or even a kabuki brush.

But the true star of this set’s the blush brush. While it doesn’t look small, there’s just something about the build and shape that makes it surprisingly versatile. I can use it for sheer washes of colour, strong pops of pink… anything!

Since I started using this set, the blush brush is the only thing I’ve been using to contour — it puts down just the right amount of colour and blends with ridiculous ease.

The bag

Cases usually aren’t a selling point for me, but I actually really liked this one. Sleek and well-pocketed, it fits the brushes well, and has space to hold and sort a few basic products, too.

It’s easy to clean and travel with, and I think it manages to take the set from “pretty okay” to “actually rather impressive.”

The verdict?

If the Enchanting brush set had just one flaw, I’d say the $42 USD/$50 CAD price tag was a really good deal. With two, however (I could do without the powder brush, & the natural fibres do shed quite a bit with “stickier” cream products,) my praise is a bit more reserved.

That said, I do actually really like this set, and both the foundation & blush brushes have weaselled their way into my permanent (personal) brush collection. At $50, the price is a touch too high, but there are whispers that Sephora’s annual Friends & Family sale is coming up ;)

Keep reading! »

Don’t miss this » Gothic statement lips in red and black

Monday, October 15, 2012

The cool thing about October being a beauty blogger is that you’re totally allowed to throw whatever on your face, whenever you want to. Not so much with the wherever, but two out of three’s not bad. And then, to top it all off, (because everyone else can technically the whatever-whenever thing,) you get to label it as “work” instead of “whimsy and a lack of impulse-control.”

Anyhow. Here’s a step-by-step photo tutorial to on gothic statement lips, aka “we already did blue and violet ages ago so let’s use red and black and maybe throw some purple in there.” Because everything is better with burgundy and violet. Everything.

Read the full tutorial (albeit with less photos and much less nonsensical rambling personality) here on She Said Beauty. 

Start the look with bare lips and contoured, just-flushed cheeks…

Then give yourself an unsightly pinched mouth with lipliner (and, okay, eyeliner).

Don’t lie; you know you’re dying to keep reading »

New 14/10/12: Holiday launches from Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier, & more

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Is it just me, or has this year gone by ridiculously fast? It feels like just last week that we were gearing up for the summer season’s onslaught of new launches (by which I mean: foundations, foundations, foundations), and now Holiday collections are starting to tumble in.

Clearly, the makeup world never got the memo that you totally can’t sell Christmas ornaments before Halloween, the free market be damned.

With sets and palettes from Bobbi Brown, Yves Saint Laurent, Laura Mercier, & more, though — the holidays do look like they’re going to be rather exciting this year.

Stay tuned for the Dior and Guerlain Holiday 2012 collections! I haven’t had time to put them together, but god, they look gorgeous.

P.S. What even, Tom Ford:

I get that you’re a “luxury” beauty line. I really do. But — $365 for an (albeit shiny and soft-looking) brush set? Really? 

Japonesque goes pink to support breast cancer awareness | Japonesque Pink Manicure Kit and Mini Heated Mini Eyelash Curler reviews, photos

Friday, October 12, 2012

The products: Japonesque Pink Heated Mini Eyelash Curler and Manicure Kit

The Heated Mini Eyelash Curler

A pink version of their regular heated lash curler, this cut-and-dry tool is a great update on a basic. With a sleek silhouette (seriously, straight heated lash curlers are so much easier to throw into a makeup bag than actual lash curlers) and a rubbery finish that makes it hard to drop (but in a good way, not in a NARS way), this is a pretty great find, from an aesthetic point of view.

For functionality, though? It has a few handy features (like a little running light, and a clever on-switch that can’t be moved unless the cap is off), but I’m just not sold on heated lash curlers. I find that I can’t get the same kind of lift out of them that I can with a good, traditional, clamping one — the effect is pinch- and crimp-free, but they’re just not for me.

The lash curler heats up really quickly, though, and the effect does last. If you have really hard to curl lashes and find that heated curlers tend to work well for you, this one’s $18 USD at Ulta right now (plus $5 off a $10 purchase in-stores), so check it out before it disappears.

The Manicure Kit

Another quick basic dressed up for the BCA season is Japonesque’s manicure kit, which (like the lash curler) typically comes in black. It’s not the most space-friendly, but the fold-apart bag-slash-case keeps your tools (and then a few extras) safe and secure from whatever else you have with you, so you’ll never have to worry about scraping up other objects or losing your tweezers to the depths of your bag.

The set, which retails for $28.35 at with free (US) shipping, comes with tweezers, a file, scissors, nail clippers, and cuticle nippers.

It’s pretty basic, all around; well-made basics and everything you should really need for a simple, polish-free cleanup. I haven’t given these a try (might give the set away, instead), but Japonesque do tools more or less exclusively — and they tend to do them quite well.

The verdict?

It’s great to see brands getting on the BCA bandwagon, but I think Japonesque could have gone a little further, you know? $1 out of $11 (which the  collection starts at) isn’t bad, but $1 out of $28 isn’t a lot — not when brands like Jane Iredale or Estee Lauder are donating 100% of the proceeds for some of their products.

If you’re looking for pink products that pack a charitable punch, I think you’re best giving these a skip. If you’re a fan of the brand, though (or if you just want some rosier hues in your collection beauty tools), don’t miss this month’s limited-edition pink versions of some of the brand’s bestselling tools.

Keep reading! »

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...