Thursday rambles: folders that shouldn’t exist, lilac eyeshadows (revisited), and human potatoes

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A quick catch-up post for today — everything I’ve had kicking around that falls just short of a post on their own. Each of the subject headings were taken from folder names on my desktop (or from folders which sit on the desktop rather than in my documents), and there are… rather a lot of urgent-looking exclamation points. File this one away in “behind the non-pro beauty blogging scenes.”

Somehow, despite the aforementioned exclamation points, theNotice’s backlog is still thousands of photographs deep. The system appears to be irreparably broken, which is probably why I found a folder labelled “!! look at your life look at your choices,” a few weeks back.

November is totally an acceptable month for hot chocolate.

Because hot chocolate is delicious.

The recipe for the perfect hot chocolate: warm (but don’t boil) 2% milk on the medium heat. Add in a heaping spoonful of cocoa, 2-3 large marshmallows, and 1-2 drops peppermint oil. Squish the marshmallows with a spoon if they’re not melting down fast enough (because who needs patience when you could have hot chocolate), and whisk until smooth and steaming.

Alternately, add a heaping spoonful of cocoa into a cup of eggnogg and whisk thoroughly. Easy & almost impossible to mess up!

(Lucerne does the best eggnogg that I’ve found, at least in Canada — nothing else is really worth drinking.)

Lavender/lilac/violet eyeshadow swatches

Swatched from left to right, dry over primer: Rimmel Royal Violet, Senna Fantasy, MAC Lovely Lily, Marcelle Dimensional Mauve (x2), Lancome Angora, Annabelle Hawaïan Hues.

Who needs breaks when you could have insomnia instead

In the past few days, I’ve photographed and swatched twenty-ish different products. It’s kind of exhausting, and always a race against the clock.

Just some of what’s to come in the next few weeks…

Fun fact: the sun in Edmonton sets around 4:30 pm at this time of year, but is rather on the weak side until one or two. The golden hour starts around four, which gives you… I’d say two hours of good sunlight a day, if the sky’s completely clear. (Gorgeous sunlight while it lasts, though — much brighter & more diffuse than what we get in the summer!)

Red/vampy lip product swatches

Keep reading! »

A diverted St. Patrick’s Day post | Two (four?) surprising green eyeliner dupes

Saturday, March 17, 2012

So, I was going to do another colour post for today – in green, of course. But while I was swatching the eyeliners I’d picked out, I came to the (rather startling) realization that they were more or less two sets of almost-perfect green eyeliner dupes.

And this, of course, absolutely begged to be covered.

L-R: MAC So There Jade, Marcelle Caribbean, Clinique Intense Ivy, Marcelle Metal Green.

(Click to enlarge!)

On the left, we have MAC’s Powerpoint Eye Pencil in So There Jade and Marcelle’s Waterproof Eye Crayon in Caribbean, two iridescent aqua-green longwearing waterproof liners. MAC describes So There Jade as a “light green jade,” but I call bullshit – I’d say it’s more of a metallic seafoam green than “jade,” and I’ve been to China.

(See, that’s funny, because jade is “the” Chinese stone, but you don’t actually have to be Chinese to recognize that Jade is typically, well, green, with perhaps a bit of blue.)

(… and now we’re making tongue-in-cheek jibes at hipster racism and the fact that it is WRONG, ANDERSON, WRONG! at ten o’clock at night. Sherlock references and passive-aggression at the beauty industry over sexism, racism, and orientalism: just a regular Saturday at theNotice.)

But, back on topic. Caribbean is So There Jade‘s prettier, smarter twin sister – she’s smoother, better priced, and more opaque. The Marcelle is a little brighter and bluer, but honestly, there’s no contest: if you’re in Canada (or you’re ordering Marcelle online from the US), go with Caribbean!

Marcelle Lux Metallic Liquid Eyeliner in Jade over the straight swatches, and alone on the far L&R.

Other eyeliners in the same order as above: MAC So There Jade, Marcelle Caribbean, Clinique Intense Ivy, and Marcelle Metal Green.

On the right hand side of the swatches, we have Clinique’s Quickliner Intense in Intense Ivy (a recent release – review of the formula soon!) and Marcelle’s Waterproof Eye Crayon in Metal Green. And you’d expect that I’d be all over the Marcelle again, right? Because that would only make sense.

Content on theNotice rarely makes sense, though, so then there’s that. (I’m sorry, I’m so sorry; I can’t seem to be able to turn off the meta tonight!)

While startlingly similar, the differences between Clinique’s Quickliner Intense and Marcelle’s Waterproof Eye Crayon are more varied, both in shade and in performance. Intense Ivy features a creamier formula, easier to apply & with a more complex shade, but Metal Green is cheaper, water-resistant, and makes it through more of my sixteen hour days.

As for which one I’d recommend? Well, that depends. If your lids aren’t too oily, go for the Clinique Quickliner Intense – the buttery texture is to-die-for, and the more nuanced shade of Intense Ivy is (har, har) really intense. It’s more black, more green, more metallic, and contains tiny gold flecks that just take my breath away. If your lids are oily, though, opt for the Marcelle Waterproof Eye CrayonMetal Green is still breathtaking, and wears much better on my lids.

I should probably start rambling about now, but there’s one last thing we have to go over: I compulsively add Marcelle’s Lux Metallic eyeliner in Jade to all of my green liner swatches. It’s a bit of an addiction, admittedly, but can you really blame me? It’s gorgeous. 


For a green swatch post that actually managed to happen without getting sidetracked, here’s last year’s St. Paddy’s mini-post: Green swatches for St. P

Fall swatches | I’m feeling like…

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I’m feeling like the colour of leaves in autumn. Like the 40’s. Like Essie Very Structured. Like Joan Holloway. Like Slow Dancing Society’s The Warm Familiar Sound of September.


Maybe it’s something in the air, the light, the era – I don’t know, but I’m head over heels for desaturated greens, burnt sienna, tan, and a mix of mink browns to balance everything out.

It’s strange: I usually fall into a rut of brown and berry in the fall, but I’m just crazy for sienna this year. I mean, sienna; what absurdity! It looks terrible on me, which more or less explains why I couldn’t stand it. Perhaps I’ll have to find it in a handbag or pair of gloves, yeah?

Swatches from left to right: 1. Marcelle Waterproof Eyeliner in Metal Green, 2. Lancome Colour Design Eye Shadow in Mochaccino, 3. Annabelle 4Show Eyeshadow quad in Tiger Eye, 4. Marcelle Wet & Dry Eyeshadow in Coco Chic, and 5. FaceFront Steel Finish Artistic Pigment in Lost in Nishitama.

Lips and Cheeks

Plum lips, of course. Perhaps with a mix of cranberry. And, strangely enough, burnt corals and bronzes on the cheeks – preferably matte. Tons of contouring; no colour whatsoever some days.

Swatched from left to right: Clarins Blush Prodige in Sunset Coral, MAC Lipliner in Plum, Clarins Colour Quench Lip Balm in 05 Delicious Plum.

More product photos and swatches »

The slippery slope of taupe | eyeshadow photos, descriptions, swatches

Monday, September 5, 2011

Okay, so I realize that I haven’t been posting much recently, and I’m not sure how things are going to go when Fall term starts.

But it’s okay! Because today, I’m going to make it up to you with taupe swatches! And who doesn’t love a good taupe?

I wasn’t really sure how I’d define “taupe” for this post, but I ended up trying not to go browner than MAC’s Satin Taupe or more grey than Marcelle’s Suede, but still trying to encapsulate many of the brown and gray variations within the colour family. It’s a tricky colour to swatch, if you ask me, because everyone’s interpretation is so different – one makeup junkie’s taupe may be another’s brown, or gold, or bronze, or grey.

I’ve settled on swatching my taupiest taupes, which isn’t to say that there aren’t more! Perhaps I’ll do some of my favourite browns someday, and someone will call one of them (or many of them) taupe, but, well: that’s a problem for another day. In the meantime, we’ll just let sleeping dogs lie, shall we?

The swatches

From right to left, we have 1. GOSH Chocolate (from their discontinued Golden/Chocolate duo), 2. MAC Satin Taupe, 3. a self-blended russet-taupe, 4. Lancome Platinum, 5. the top shade from Marcelle’s Dimensional Mauve quad (LE last winter), 6. Marcelle Suede, 7. MAC Mauvement, 8. Ulta Mystique, and 9. Senna Taupe Glow (pictured here).

1. GOSH Chocolate is the darkest eyeshadow I have that I’d still call a taupe, not quite brown (at least, to me) because of its coolness. 2. MAC Satin Taupe is a medium-dark taupe – I love working with the formula, but I often find it looks too muddy when blended out. The self-pressed, self-blended 3. russet-taupe is just on the outer edge of taupe; some days, I’ll think it is, but others, I feel like it’s perhaps too copper.

(Okay, so I’ll admit that I often just forget that I went back, re-crushed, and re-blended that shade to be a little warmer. It used to be taupier, honest!)

4. Lancome Platinum is a lighter taupe with a really fine frost finish, and it’s on the warm side. The shade from 5. Marcelle Dimensional Mauve is just the opposite; really quite grey and very much my kind of taupe. 6. Marcelle Suede is a really sheer taupe (too sheer for my liking), but it’s a really pretty heather grey sort of shade.

7. MAC Mauvement (pigment) is super-sheer, mainly just shimmer, and layers really nicely as, well, a mauve-y sort of shade. 8. Ulta Mystique is a gorgeous cool (grey) taupe, darker than you’d expect from the pan. 9. Senna Taupe Glow is similar to Mystique; I’d think of it as Satin Taupe‘s cool-toned counterpart.

Aside from Mauvement, all of these shadows are (more or less) frost finishes.

Of these, I probably get the most wear out of the GOSH and Ulta shadows. It’s a bit surprising, because the GOSH duo really didn’t stun me at first, and the Ulta my most recent taupe acquisition – but colour-wise, they’re both just lovely; not too red or too warm.

If I’m in a hurry, I’ll wear Clinique Bit O’ Honey all over the lid with a bit of taupe buffed into the outer third with a 217. It’s ridiculously easy, looks a lot more polished than just a bare lid, and gives a really natural effect. Plus, you just can’t beat an eye look that takes less than two minutes!

What’s your favourite taupe shadow?

Swatches and shadows in the sunlight »

Black Box Week | Wrap-up

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Happy Saturday, lovelies! I just wanted to wrap-up our Black Box week & share a few more swatches with you all. Hope you enjoyed the series, and please feel free to leave any additional thoughts you may have in the comments!

To be honest, I kinda liked writing up everything for this week – it was a bit hectic and a bit crazy, seeing as I did most of it in the span of three or four days in addition to writing up posts for those days, but I don’t know. I guess I liked the coherency of it all? I kinda want to do it again, but of course, with a different focus next time ;)

(I’m thinking, maybe, MAC Pigments? Or a week of different makeup looks. Ooh, or perhaps Clinique’s Black Honey seasonal collection…)

Read the reviews

How they stack up

One particularly awesome thing about this collection is that, though they’re all more or less black, there’s no redundancy in the products. They’re all different in shade, application, portability, texture, finish, purpose – I think it’s a bit brilliant, to be honest.

But then again, I’m easily amused.

Annabelle Black Box swatches, L-R: Le BIG Show mascara, Licoriche Smoothie, Metal Daze Smoothliner, Black Spark Liquid Eyeliner, Blast Off Glitterama Eyeliner.

Direct sunlight, no flash.

L-R: Le BIG Show, Licoriche, Metal Daze, Black Spark, Blast Off.

Indirect sunlight, no flash.


Try Le BIG Show if you’re looking for a lot of volume, an intensely black lash, or a glossy finish, but not necessarily lengthening or curling.

Try Licoriche if you’re looking for a super-blendable, super-black base or a really opaque waterline. It layers well, too, so you can get anything from a subtle, hazy shadow around your lashes to a dramatic smokey eye.

Try Metal Daze if you’re looking for a light black/dark gunmetal eyeliner to create a sharp or smokey line. The shimmer in this one adds a bit of interest to what would otherwise be another basic black, and it gives a softer, more ethereal effect.

Try Black Spark if you’re looking for a longwearing, budgeproof, easy-to-use, black-but-better liquid liner.

Try Blast Off if you’re looking to add some shine and glitter to a liner you already have. (Because of the translucent base in Glitterama liners, they’re even prettier when layered over a “regular” liner!)

Just a few more photos »

Can’t live without… pearly off-white eyeshadows

Friday, July 1, 2011

If there’s one product I can’t live without, it’s a pearly eyeshadow.

Whether it’s the fall and I’m pairing it with a chocolate crease colour and a berry gloss, or the winter and I’m wearing it with winged black liner and red lipstick, or the spring and I’m throwing it on with soft brown eyeliner and a coral stain, it’s one of those products that I think is absolutely mandatory, no matter your skintone.

Swatched L-R: GOSH Eye Shadow Duet in Golden/Chocolate (golden side only), Lancome Crème Lustré, Lancome Moonstruck, Lancome Honeymoon, Dior Holiday ’09 (lightest shade only), Annabelle Creme Caramel trio (lightest shade only), MAC Cream Colour Base in Pearl.

I’m usually partial to almost-white pearls with creamy champagne shimmer, but there’s just such a phenomenal range of possibilities: cool whites with almost-blue reflects, ivory bases with melon-y shimmer, pinks that flash peach… and don’t even get me started on their uses! In a pinch, you can use your pearly highlighters on your cheekbones, your cupid’s bow, the centre of your lower lip – they’re that versatile.

L-R: GOSH Golden/Chocolate; Lancome Crème Lustré, Moonstruck, Honeymoon; Dior Holiday ’09; Annabelle Creme Caramel; MAC CCB in Pearl.

Liberal curves layer applied tos how off undertones.

Anyhow, the swatches in this post are a few of my go-to off-whites. I took the photos quite a while back, and some of my (new) favourites are missing, but I think we have enough swatched here to show off the range of possibilities ;)

L-R: GOSH Golden/Chocolate (disc; try Coffee/Cream); Lancome Crème Lustré, Moonstruck, Honeymoon; Dior Holiday ’09 (LE; try Incognito or Earth Reflection); Annabelle Creme Caramel; MAC CCB in Pearl.

What are your favourite shimmery off-whites?

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