Punk Rock + Sepia Tones | A Marc Jacobs/NARS-inspired makeup look… twelve months late

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

!Sepia toned makeup, eyeshadow tutorial

Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve done a full makeup look and posted it? Months. Seasons. The last two were in April and May of last year.

Despite what the wait may have led you to believe, here’s a makeup look that I actually really loved. I shot it a year ago to the day, so I barely remember applying it, but I do remember being inordinately fond of the entire thing. It’s loosely inspired by the makeup created by François Nars for the Fall 2013 Marc Jacobs show — messy, smokey, a little punk rock.

I hope you like it as much as I do.

!Marc Jacobs, NARS Sepia toned punk rock makeup

I literally don’t remember putting this eye makeup on, but looking back, I do really love the way it turned out — smoked-out black with eye open, and a flash of a toned-down burnt orange with eyes shut. The “sepia” shade is Clinique Fuller Fudge (a Chubby Stick for Eyes), and the black is the soft charcoal-black from Clarins’ Graphites Eye Quartet. 

The other three products listed at the bottom of the page are just your standard window dressing: MAC Blanc Type, still my go-to matte highlight, and Annabelle Licoriche softly through and along the upper lashline (and, okay, with the dregs then pulled through my brows — multi-tasking, man). On my lashes is Armani’s Eyes to Kill mascara, which I’m still reaching for whenever I want a super-pretty, voluminous, clump-free lash with no fuss.

!Marc Jacobs eye tutorial !Soft punk makeup look

For the base, I used theBalm timeBalm Concealer in Lighter Than Light and Marcelle Face Powder in Translucent — always, always, with these two. I really should try something new, but it’s hard, you know? Especially when you feel like the only cool-toned, too-pale, vaguely-olive person out there who can’t come within arm’s reach of anything containing ‘cones. I hear Marcelle’s Monochromatic Pressed Powder is ‘cone-free, so maybe that’ll be my next powder to try — though I did really want to try something glowy.

On the cheeks, I’m wearing MAC Harmony (much warmer than my usual fare), and on my lips is Clinique Curviest Caramel — a Chubby Stick (Intense), of course.

!MJ NYFW F13 look

Products used & an extra super surprise photo »

Clarins Forest Eye Quartet Mineral Palette review, swatches, photos | Clarins Graphic Expression, Fall 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013

Clarins Forest Eye Quartet Mineral Palette review

The products: Clarins Ombre Minérale 4 Couleurs (Eye Quartet Mineral Palette Long-Lasting) in 11 Forest

Like the Clarins Graphic Expression Face & Blush Palette reviewed earlier this week, the Forest eyeshadow quad launched in Clarins’ Graphic Expression Fall 2013 colour collection. A new addition to the permanent range, it’s a little less gift-able than the powder, but no less lovely.

Clarins Forest Eye Quartet swatches review

Clarins Forest Eye Quartet

The formula, texture, and pigmentation: Introduced this August into Clarins’ permanent range, Forest is a beautifully earthy quad. As a sheer eyeshadow/mixed textures lover, I’ve always been a big fan of the Clarins Eye Quartet Mineral Palettes, though they’re not for everyone.

Like the other products in the Eye Quartet range, Forest features three hard-but-smooth eyeshadows that lend very well to seamless blending and medium-intensity looks, while layering well over primer or foiling works well to add colour density. I find the shades to be a little butterier and more pigmented than some of the other Clarins quads (the darkest shade in particular), and love that they all have a different finish.

Clarins Forest Eye Quartet review

Clarins Forest, Graphic Expression swatches review

Swatched L-R: Clarins Eye Quartet Mineral Palette in Forest (4), Clarins Face & Blush Powder in Graphic Expression (wide)

The shades: In the top row Forest features a really interesting, almost dirty khaki with a bit of very fine microshimmer and a very sheer, white-and-gold shimmer (tiny yellow-gold microshimmer and slightly larger white reflects suspended in a transparent base). On the bottom, it features a green-based charcoal with noticeable gold shimmer (it looks black in the pan, but swatches on dry skin as a medium-sheer matte with a greenish cast and gold shimmer interspersed throughout) and a very pretty neutral-brown taupe (frost).

The finishes of this quad, like all Clarins quads, are what really sell me on it: a satin, a glitter, a matte-with-microshimmer, and a frost. Worn together, the textures of the Eye Quartet Mineral Palettes give any natural, demure eye look a really intriguing edge.

Clarins Forest swatches Eye Quartet Mineral Palette review

Swatched L-R: Clarins Eye Quartet in Forest, Clarins Face & Blush Powder in Graphic Expression

Overall, this quad has a warm green vibe to it — something you don’t see a lot of. I think it would be especially lovely on warm olive tones, but it would work really well on beige and neutral skintones, too. It looks a little bit “off” on me (which eyeshadows very rarely do), so I’d say that the only colouring this quad wouldn’t shine on would be cool olive ones (cool pink overtones and light olive undertones).

Clarins Forest eye quartet swatches

Swatched L-R: Clarins Eye Quartet in Forest, Clarins Face & Blush Powder in Graphic Expression

Clarins Eye Quartet Mineral Palette review swatches Forest

The Face & Blush Palette and Eye Quartet Mineral Palette (Ombre Minérale 4 Couleurs) packaging

The verdict?

The Forest quad doesn’t get quite as much of a gold star from me as the Graphic Expression blush/powder, but it’s a very pretty product, too: the same beautiful-but-lightweight gold Clarins packaging, with four wonderful mix-and-match eyeshadow finishes inside.

Forest is a little more pigmented than other Clarins quads, and is a must-have for anyone who wears khakis really well. Unfortunately, that’s one of the few colours that doesn’t work very well at all on my skintone (I photographed a look with it but had to scrap it), but I think it would look like a dream on my sister’s warmer, more olive-toned skin — to each her own, really.

Availability: $42 USD/$42 CAD, and is a new addition to the permanent range.

Keep reading! »

Clarins Graphic Expression Face & Blush Powder review, swatches, photos | Clarins Fall 2013/The Gift Guide

Monday, December 9, 2013

Clarins Face & Blush Powder review Graphic Expression

The products: Clarins Graphic Expression Face & Blush Powder

This post comes a little late in the year, but as both this powder and the Graphic Expression Forest eyeshadow quad (review later this week) are still available, I’m hoping you’ll be able to forgive me.

These two gems launched in the Clarins Fall 2013 Graphic Expression colour collection, and would make wonderful Christmas gifts — the quad depending on the skintone of the recipient, and this Face & Blush Powder for, well, anyone.

Clarins Face & Blush Powder review

Clarins Graphic Expression Face & Blush Powder review

The formula: Like all of the other Clarins powders I’ve tried, the Graphic Expression Face & Blush Powder has the most beautiful, delicate violet fragrance. It’s soft and ethereal, but with this wonderful fruity edge, tamped down by a hint of powder.

I’ve never been able to test their powders for all-over wear, as all of the ones I own are either too dark, too shimmery, or too silicone-y (or a combination thereof), but I’ve never read an outright bad review for them. Christine (Temptalia), for instance, found that Graphic Expression “wore well for eight and a half hours, and it did seem to help prolong the wear of [her] foundation slightly (by about a half hour),” while Karen (Makeup and Beauty Blog) notes that it “does slightly darken on [her] skin over time.”

Clarins Graphic Expression swatches review photos

Clarins Graphic Expression swatches photos review

Clarins Forest, Graphic Expression swatches review

Swatched L-R: Clarins Eye Quartet Mineral Palette in Forest (4), Clarins Face & Blush Powder in Graphic Expression (blended)

The shade and finish: More peachy than last spring’s pinky-peach Palette Eclat, and much darker than 2010′s apricot-peach Barocco Face PaletteGraphic Expression has a bit of gold shimmer woven through its formula, too. The stripe of gold overspray comes off to reveal a wider pink strip, but the two pink portions carry a hint of finely milled shimmer right down to the bottom of the pan.

Both the light and dark beige/peach strips are smooth and completely matte, with a dry-satin finish. If you use all of the shades at once, the resulting colour is just as surprisingly pigmented as the Palette Eclat was, with a warmer, peachier lean and a very softly frosted finish — but only if you build it up tons, as in a blush or bronzer.

When worn all over, this is, again, warm and peachy, almost orange (but a good orange). The more you buff it in, the more the shimmer seems to come out, but it’s glowy and imperceptible from a foot or more away. If last spring’s palette gave a glow with its rosy tones, then this one gives it with its subtle shimmer.

Clarins Face & Blush Powder swatches review Graphic Expression

Clarins Graphic Expression Face & Blush Powder swatches: without & with overspray

Clarins powder blush review swatches photos Graphic Expression

What makes it such a perfect gift: I mean, look at it. If you had to give one makeup item to someone — why not this? More portable and budget-friendly than something like Guerlain’s Meteorites, Clarins’ Graphic Expression powder is almost alarmingly versatile across skintones, functioning as everything from an all-over radiance powder to a blush or bronzer.

The design of the Face & Blush powder changes with each season, but it too is always so well thought-out: intricate and mesmerizing, with strips of colour that go straight down. I really liked spring’s design, but this one really is much more holiday-appropriate — its lines upon lines remind me of ribbons or wrapping paper, and I just think it would make such a lovely gift.

Clarins Fall 2013 review Graphic Expression Face & Blush Powder

The verdict?

Clarins cheek palettes are always gorgeous in tone and design, and the Graphic Expression Face & Blush Powder is no exception. I love Clarins powders for their beautiful violet scent, and though their Face & Blush Powders’ tones (typically peach or pinky-peach) suit my complexion better in the summer, they’re wonderful all year ’round on neutral and warm skintones.

As always, I would recommend this powder as a brightening, all-over powder for darker skintones, and as a blush or contour on lighter ones.

While this palette isn’t quite as holiday-perfect as Clarins’ Barocco collection powder was (yes, I’m still in love with its aesthetic, even after all these years), it’s definitely more than holiday-ready.

Availability: $35 USD/$40 CAD, limited edition.

Keep reading! »

Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase review, photos | A weightless summer skin saviour?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase

The product: Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase

The formula

Designed to nourish the skin at multiple levels, Clarins’ approach to the HydraQuench serum is one that encompasses the best of both worlds, relying on both plant extracts and synthetics to achieve the best results possible.

Clarins bi-phase hydraquench review serum

With a focus on hyaluronic acid and fair trade, ethically sourced Katafray bark extract from Madagascar, this bi-phase blue liquid works to lock in water at the surface & restore hydration deeper in the dermis. It’s made to be suitable for all skintypes, from dry to oily, and has a very lightweight lipid phase — honestly, with the matte finish and weightless texture, I wouldn’t have thought there were any oils in the formula at all. It can be a little tacky, but isn’t greasy in the least.

To top it all off, the HydraQuench Intensive Serum is fragranced with a fresh, summery scent: not ever a company to do fragrance by halves, Clarins lists a green apple top note, a rose heart, and a woody base.

Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum review

My experience with the HydraQuench Serum 

In my own personal experience (the italics are totally necessary, because you have to remember that my skin is weird), I didn’t find the Clarins HydraQuench serum to be, well, intensive enough. However, I happen to have extremely dry skin that isn’t caused by systemic dehydration or over-stripping — it’s the kind of skin that takes well to night moisturizers being used during the day, and doesn’t even blink in the face of a Vaseline or Aquaphor “sealant” on dry winter days.

That said, though, I honestly believe I’m in the minority with this product. Wherever I go (on the internet; I don’t go places in real life), I hear nothing but raves for this serum. It’s a far cry from my personal experience (which is that I like this, and do use it, but it won’t make my dry patches disappear), but I think it’s much closer to the norm.

Clarins Hydra Quench review serum dual-phase

Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase – separated

Where the HydraQuench serum really excels is on combination oily/dehydrated skin. From what I’ve read, the people who really love it (and I mean who really, fanatically, all-out love it) tend to be the ones who find most serums too heavy or greasy, but still really need that boost of hydration.

It makes sense, with the incredibly lightweight formula and non-greasy finish, at least in my head! If you’ve loved (or hated) this one, tell me about it in the comments — I’d love to hear more about your skin type and results.

Clarins Hydra Quench serum mixed

Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase – shaken/mixed

Don’t believe me? Believe Lisa Eldridge. 

Like a lot of the makeup world, I take Lisa Eldridge’s word as gospel. With over two decades of experience, Lisa’s career is something out of a [makeup artistry] fairy tale: not only has she done countless celebrities, covers, and fashion shows, but she’s currently working as the Creative Director of No. 7, creates makeup tutorials for Chanel’s Make-Up Confidential, and writes ELLE UK’s monthly The Beauty Guru column.

When someone with that much experience calls a serum “the best product for hydrating the skin I’ve used in a long time,” well. You kind of have to give it its dues, you know?

(Sources: 1 / 2 / 3)

Clarins HydraQuench Serum dry skin review

The verdict?

I’m very hesitant to give a “verdict” for this one, but in the spirit of review-based beauty blogging: you’ll just have to take it with a grain of salt.

If you have normal to oily skin with dehydrated patches, I honestly think that this will work quite well for you. For extremely dry skin, however, it may not be enough! With its light, non-greasy finish and functional-luxurious packaging, I think the Clarins HydraQuench serum is a pretty darn good bet for anyone who needs an extra boost of weightless moisture in the hot summer months — but not if your skin is stubbornly dry.

Availability: $58 USD/$58 CAD for 1 oz; $70 USD for 1.6 oz.

Keep reading! »

Clarins Palette Eclat Face Blush & Powder review, swatches, photos | Clarins Rouge Eclat, Spring 2013

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Clarins Palette Eclat - Rouge Eclat Spring 2013 face palette

The product: Clarins Palette Eclat Face Blush & Powder

I’m not always the best at reviewing things right when they come out, and the Face & Blush Powder in the Clarins Rouge Eclat collection was no exception.

That said, the tardiness is entirely my own issue — it says nothing (nothing!) about the product itself.

Clarins Rouge Eclat Face & Blush Powder review

Like many of Clarins’ other limited edition face powders, the Palette Eclat is a gorgeously intricate pressed powder marketed as a “Face & Blush Powder” — that is, you can use it sheerly over your entire complexion, or focus the product on the cheeks as a highlighter, bronzer, or blush (depending on your skintone) with a denser brush.

Because I’m quite pale, I tend to use face-and-blush duos just on my cheeks, as warm blushers — you can see it used as a contouring blush in:

(If you have a medium-deep complexion, Karen’s review on this blush at MABB is a can’t-miss!)

Clarins Palette Eclat review, swatches

Clarins Palette Eclat swatches: more pink vs. just beige.

I’m in love with the scent of this season’s Clarins powder (it’s very noticeable, for a face powder; exquisitely blended powder and violets), but it’s definitely not the only thing to be smitten with. The matte finish blends in seamlessly with the skin, and the strips of colour are insanely pigmented — I thought they’d be an overspray, but they go right down & really influence the tone of the powder.

With a focus on the coloured strips, you’ll get an intense pink cheek, with a little bit of a yellow/orange lean; with only the solid beige, you’ll get a soft, natural peach.

Clarins Palette Eclat hand swatches

Clarins Palette Eclat Face Blush & Powder swatches: just beige / just pink / whole pan

Clarins Palette Eclat individual swatches

Clarins Rouge Eclat collection Face Blush & Powder swatches

Here’s the stunner, though: with a swipe across the whole pan, you’ll see a gorgeous peachy pink. (Imagine what would happen if you took a drop of fluorescent hibiscus pigment and diluted it with 10 drops of neutral-warm skin tones… and then add an extra five points for awesome.)

(FOR AWESOME.)

Clarins face powder review - Palette Eclat

The verdict?

If I could give a verdict as, “eeeee!”, I totally would. I am crazy about this powder — the price is reasonable for what you’re getting; the pigmentation and versatility are gorgeous; the design and scent are perfection. 

I find it hard to write reviews for products wherein I literally cannot find a single bad thing to say about the product (because there’s a dearth of such products, not because they’re hard to write), but… well, this is one of the few. You need this. 

Get it at:Nordstrom; Clarins counters. $35 USD/$40 CAD.

P.S.: See all of our Clarins Palette Eclat features here!

Keep reading! »

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