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. 


The Lipstick Bandits: Summer Sheers | Clinique Chubby Stick in Mega Melon

Monday, August 6, 2012

This month’s Lipstick Bandits focus is summer sheers (to follow up May’s pre-season summer brights), and despite the fact that I didn’t write this post until late Sunday night — I’ve had my summer sheer picked out for weeks.

Have you ever met Mega Melon? It’s a Clinique Chubby Stick that’s a total summer must-have, with its buttery, moisturizing formula and gorgeous, finely-milled gold shimmer. I’m not kidding about that “buttery,” either: Chubby Sticks are amped up with shea, jojoba, and mango seed butter (as well as some others), and the formula wears really comfortably.

Clinique Mega Melon

Mega Melon Chubby Stick swatch

Wearing Mega Melon (plus some other things).

To be totally honest, I had reviewed this one last winter, tucked it away in a drawer, and promptly forgot about it. While looking for a lip to pair with last month’s storybook daisies festival makeup look, though, I brought it out again — and it pretty much hasn’t left my side since. 

The thick, buttery formula is really comfortable in the hot weather (not to mention, it glides on like a dream), and the melon shade is absolutely perfect. It’s a really rich, fresh shade — just enough orange to keep the lip looking natural and beachy, but no so much that cool skintones need worry. The shimmer is just the cherry on top, leaving your lips looking super-moisturized and–

Can I say lustrous without anyone throwing produce at me? Because I’m totally going with lustrous if I’m allowed.

The verdict?

I know I rave about Clinique’s Chubby Sticks all the time, but this one’s a definite summer must-have. It’s one of the stronger shades in the line; more complex and pigmented than most of its siblings. It looks really natural when on, but the colour makes a huge before/after difference in a look — for a sheer shade, it has a lot of impact!

(And, I mean, admittedly: as much as I love the Chubby line, some of the shades are pretty boring. Which is great if you’re looking for some really basic basics, of course, but, well. If you just wanted the super-basic basics, you probably wouldn’t be on a makeup blog, now, would you?)

Availability: $16 USD, permanent product. Online at Clinique, Sephora, etc.

See it here: Holiday 2011 Chubby set review, plus in these two makeup looks.

Additional photos & more »

The Lipstick Bandits: Summer Brights | Colour-blocked coral & fuchsia lips

Monday, May 28, 2012

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t really wear bright lips, so I suppose “Summer Brights” are rather incongruous with my personality. Don’t get me wrong; I love a bright lipstick, but they’re not really something I associate with myself in reality, you know? They’re more of… something I find, love, and secret away like a small animal with shiny things.

That said: I’m trying to get better, but it’s slow going.

This round of Lipstick Bandits posts focuses on bold, bright Summer lip picks, but I couldn’t choose only one – Marcelle Paris Rose and Cleopatra have  been sitting in my drawer all winter, just waiting to be picked up again, and they’re both such great shades.

[Interjection: Marcelle Rouge Xpression Lipstick formula review here; swatches here and here.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.]

Anyhow, I figured: what’s a better time of year to try colour blocked lips than the Summer?

On the top lip, I’m wearing Paris Rose, a light, peachy-pink coral. As I’m sure you all know by now, I’m a huge fan of the shade – it’s such a great, soft shade compared to most other corals, and it manages to keep its brightness and intensity without straying into the Realm of Orangedom.

(Let it be known that I hate the Realm of Orangedom, and I think it looks weird on my face.)

On the bottom, I’m wearing Cleopatra, a bold, punchy fuchsia. It’s probably one of the most intense lip colours that I own, which is saying something – even though these are both cream-finish lipsticks from the drugstore, they can hold their own against Bite mattes and MAC lip pencils. Not to mention, they’re a heck of a lot more comfortable!

Duo-toned, colour-blocked lips are definitely not something I’m about to start wearing out of the house, but it’s a fun look if you can pull it off. (I can’t, but honestly, I don’t think my naked cacti much care what I look like.)

I’ve been thinking about a colour-blocked lip on and off since Callula Lillibelle Spring 2012, but I think I might like this version even more – the Rouge Xpressions are really comfortable, and it’s so much easier to prep with concealer & swipe from the bullet than it would be to layer on MUFE Flash Colours and Stila Long Wears.

What bright lip look do you want to try this Summer?


A universal lipstick with the Lipstick Bandits | MAC Viva Glam V review, photos, swatches

Monday, April 2, 2012

The product: MAC Viva Glam V Lipstick (Lustre)

The purpose: One thing that I love (absolutely love) is seeing how the same shade will translate onto different skintones. Luckily for me, my friends are just as crazy.

For the April round of the Lipstick Bandits, we all bought the same tube of lipstick: MAC’s Viva Glam V. I believe it was Tracy who suggested the shade, and if you ask me, it’s absolutely perfect. Viva Glam V is one of those great MLBB shades that wears well on almost everyone, and today, you’ll get to see how it wears on twelve different skintones. 

(Can you tell that I’m excited? I’m really bloody excited.)

Both images above: Viva Glam V, in slightly different lighting. (Isn’t it a weirdo?)

The cherry on top is that MAC’s Viva Glam line donates 100% of the purchase price to the MAC Aids Fund, which is pretty much as good as it gets, as far as charitable products go. Most companies will donate a dollar or two per tube, and more often than not, there’s a cap on how much they’ll donate overall.

So, without further adieu, I bring you MAC Viva Glam V!

The formula: Unfortunately, I’m not much of a fan of MAC’s Lustre formula. Like Desire (a gorgeous creme-finish burgundy, and my autumn Lipstick Bandits choice), I find VG V to be a bit okay, more than a bit shoddy in the moisture department. It’s more comfortable than a cheap matte, of course, but I find my lips are begging for moisture by the time this wears off.

As always, the MAC lipstick formula is paraben-free and scented solely with vanillin.

Bare lips

MAC Viva Glam V lip swatch

The shade: Viva Glam V is an interesting shade, though. Based on how it looks in the tube, I had expected a more dense colour, and with more brown tones in it. When swatched, though (whether on my lips or just the back of my hand), it’s unexpectedly pink – sort of a neutral-rose, rather than a lightly pinked brown.

In line with many of MAC’s other Lustre shades, Viva Glam V is sheer with quite a bit of shimmer. I find it rather unforgiving on my dry, too-wrinkly-for-their-age lips, but you’ll have to check in with the other Bandits for the final judgement on that one! (I’m excessively picky. Y’know, in case you hadn’t noticed.)

MAC Viva Glam V swatch – heavily, then lightly.

Wearing VG V – it’s quite a natural-looking shade!

The verdict?

Okay, so I’m not thrilled with Viva Glam V on its own. I’m excited to see the shade on the rest of the Bandits, though, and I know a number of them are crazy about it!

If your lips aren’t too dry, and you’re looking for a neutral rose with a bit of shimmer, I’d give this one a go. There isn’t a better lipstick to put your money toward than the Viva Glam line, so I’d definitely say they’re worth checking out on the whole! Give the lustres a skip if you have lips as dry as mine, though, and beware of this particular shade if you’re not a huge fan of shimmery lipsticks.

A few links: Karla has the permanent Viva Glam lipsticks swatched here, as well as swatches of the current LE Viva Glam products (Nicki and Ricky) here; Bluebell’s Beauty Blog has lip swatches of the first five Viva Glam shades here; and finally, The Shades of U has the permanent VG lipsticks swatched on a darker skintone here.

And now, the good stuff! See Viva Glam V on the rest of the Lipstick Bandits »

THE LIPSTICK BANDITS | The shade that started the fire

Monday, February 20, 2012

This round of Lipstick Bandit posts came with the challenge of the starter lipstick: your very first (for those of us who still remember what our first shade was), or a lipstick that would make a good gateway drug into a full-fledged lipstick addiction.

The lipstick I chose to feature wasn’t my very first lipstick, but it was one of the first that I really fell in love with. I hope you will, too!

The product: Lancome Color Fever lipstick in Rose Tempest

I feel a little guilty about featuring this one, seeing as it’s long since been discontinued, but, well – what can you do, right? It was “the one,” and memories don’t exactly grow on trees. (Though it would be fabulous if they did, wouldn’t it?)

Rose Tempest is an interesting shade; a rather plain-Jane my lips but better sort, but there’s something just so about it. Imagine if you crossed a yellow-based pink with an olive-brown nude, gave it a lovely satin-creme formula, and scented it lightly with rose petals and bright, juicy berries. You’d get Rose Tempest exactly; the perfect daytime lipstick, with an unexpected edge of versatility and luxury. (This would look brilliant on so many different skintones that it’s not even funny, and have you seen that tube?)

A single swipe of Rose Tempest

bare lips

One layer of Rose Tempest on lips

For a dupe, try something like Maybelline Warm Me Up or MAC Modesty. They’re not exact copies (I much prefer the Color Fever formula and scent to both, though of course it isn’t without its flaws), but the shades are almost spot-on.

The Maybelline is great if you’re on a budget, but I’m not fond of scent, and the formula feels much heavier on my lips; on the other hand, I’ve never been a huge fan of MAC lipsticks (I find most of their formulas too drying), and I prefer lip products that are lightly fruity than ones that smell like vanilla.

I don’t get a ton of wear out of Rose Tempest, because I’m rather afraid of what I’ll do when I run out, but, well. If either of these dupes are even half as lovely – you’re going to adore them.

Keep reading! »

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