The poor girl’s NARS Outremer | FaceFront Tokyo Future shade comparisons

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Alright, so it’s a few days late, but here are a handful of Tokyo Future comparison swatches. I’ve been running about attending far more courses than is generally advisable in order to sort out my schedule, so I apologize for the artificial lighting – by the time I get home, the sun’s already set. (Incidentally, it is likely that this will continue for the remainder of the season. My pre-emptive apologies; looks like photo-taking is going to be reserved for the weekends!)

From my stash, I found that Digital Dragon (the shade I unexpectedly fell a bit in love with) had the most dupes out of this bunch – nothing perfect, and nothing quite as densely molten-metal, but the Ellis Faas 303 Light would give the same effect. Something like Illamasqua Liquid Metal in Solstice might be close, too; if not in shade than at least pigment density and finish.

Secret Samurai reminded me a bit of ULTA Mystique and MAC Satin Taupe, but it’s a bit darker than the former and lighter than the latter. It also has quite a bit more red in the base – I thought it leaned just slightly red, but when compared to other taupes, the difference is more obvious. If you find taupes tend to lean too yellow on you, don’t miss this one.

I didn’t even bother looking for Lost in Nishitama dupes (maybe, like, MAC Spicy Smoke?), and the closest I had to the semi-matte Shallow Depth was Annabelle Lagoon – limited edition a while back, though, and not as much of an intense, straight-up blue. Shallow Depth is the low-budget NARS Outremer, in my head, though I do think the FaceFront pigment is more muted; darker. Perhaps more similar to something like Inglot #388?

Products featured in this post

(Click on the brand name to link to reviews/swatches on theNotice!)

More photos behind the cut »

ELLIS CLIPS | Get organized…

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Just a quick new-product-mention for Ellis Faas’ new Ellis Clips. For those of you who liked the idea of the Ellis Holder, but weren’t thrilled about the prospect of toting around a heavy metal cylinder – these are the answer to your prayers!

The clips are sold individually ($2 / €2 / £2 apiece) and interlock, meaning you can roll up as many or as few Ellis pens as you’d like. Then, to use, you just have to slide out the pen(s) – no need to disassemble the chain of clips. I think it’s a bit brill, to be honest! But then, when did my opinion start counting for anything? :P

More photos »

Summery Summary | part two, makeup

Monday, August 29, 2011

Okay, so I’ll own up to it: it’s already the end of summer, and I’m just now getting around to sharing my favourite products of the season with you.

But despair not! Like with our skincare summary, I’ve only included permanent-line items, so you can find them all year ’round ;)

For the cheeks, I’m loving Etude House Fresh Cherry Blusher Duo (specifically, the right hand side) and Hard Candy Blush Crush in Honeymoon.The Etude House is a product that I have quite a few problems with (like that icky, synthetic cherry scent), but I love cream products, and I really love the shade – it’s the perfect coral; just enough peach and just enough pink.

And, of course, I rave about Honeymoon all the time – as a matter of fact, a lot of you mentioned as a “like” or a “love” in our recent poll! It’s a gorgeous highlighter (I wear it along the top of my cheekbone, and then “swoop” it along my orbital bone and under my brow), and gives a really easy fresh, dewy glow.

Swatched L-R: Etude House Fresh Cherry Duo, Hard Candy Honeymoon, Clinique Super Strawberry, Marcelle Rio Rose.

My lip favourites tend to stay the same throughout the year, but I do tend a bit more toward sheer, bright colours in the summer. This year, I’m all over Clinique Chubby Sticks (mine is in Super Strawberry, which is just ridiculously perfect) and Marcelle Vita-Lip Glosses (last year, I was really into Angelica; this year, I’ve found an affinity for Rio Rose).

Swatched L-R: Clinique Super Strawberry, Marcelle Rio Rose, Ellis Faas Light 303, Boots No. 7 Radiant Glow (shade II).

For my two “eye” choices, I’ll admit I cheated a little – one of them could, technically, be a base product. But whatever; a favourite’s a favourite! :P

I’m still really loving Ellis Faas Light E303, that bronzy beaut from Ellis’ Summer Set, and Boots No. 7 Radiant Glow – which I’ve had for ages, and still absolutely adore. I call it my real-life dodge brush, because when I layer it overtop either my timeBalm or Glamoflauge, it creates the perfect undereye area. It’s one of the few base products I have with silicones, but the results are sometimes worth the risk of a breakout!

Why I still have dark circles in the summer (especially when I’m neither taking classes nor working), I have no idea. We’ll blame genetics and general bad luck, yeah?

Swatched L-R, direct sunlight: Etude House Fresh Cherry Duo, Hard Candy Honeymoon, Clinique Super Strawberry, Marcelle Rio Rose, Ellis Faas 303, Boots No. 7 Radiant Glow (shade II).

P.S. Two favourites this post is missing are Clinique’s Lid Smoothies and Clarins’ Graphites quad, but it’s only because I’m easily distracted and lazy. These photos were taken at the beginning of summer, before either were launched or on my desk ;) I’m still loving them, though!

Close-up photos and swatches »

Ellis Faas Creamy Lips L108 review and swatches

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The product: Ellis Faas Creamy Lips in L108

The formula: Creamy Lips is described on the Ellis Faas site as a soft, velvety, hydrating lip product that imparts “classic lipstick definition and longwearing coverage.” I think that velvety hits the nail right on the head – it definitely has that plush, lightweight velvet feel to it – but I’m not sure I agree with the hydrating part.

The Creamy Lips finish is a gorgeous modern matte (or a soft matte, take your pick), and while it’s more hydrating than a classic matte, my dry lips feel a bit parched after an hour or two of wear. If you have dry lips, I would definitely make sure to layer this with a good lip balm, and be sure to exfoliate first – as you can see in the swatches, L108 does tend to catch on my dry bits.

Ellis Faas Creamy Lips L108 swatch (heavily applied; indirect sunlight, no flash)

The shade: On my complexion, L108 is what I’d call a “nothing” lipstick. The sheer, slightly peachy my-lips-but-better colour that it imparts is perfect for when you want to balance out a heavy eye without calling attention to the lip, but there’s still enough pigment to keep you from looking washed out. L108 has medium to sheer coverage (my other Creamy Lips, L106, seems to have more pigment), which – surprisingly – really works for the shade. I thought it would be too warm for me, but it’s just right!

I’d recommend this shade as a natural lip for fair to medium skintones, or as a nude lip for medium to dark skintones – it’s a lovely mix of warm and cool undertones, and I think it would wear well on a lot of different colourings.

L108 swatched in indirect lighting, no flash

L108 swatched in indirect lighting, no flash

{Want a full-face swatch? Catch L108 in this gold-and-black makeup look!}

The applicator: The Creamy Lips line feature a “showerhead” applicator, and I’m really on the fence about it. I’m not a fan of the click-pen style of the packaging, and I find that the sponge-type applicators can get rough if you use the product infrequently and don’t have time to wash it after every use.  It’s great for spreading out the product, though, and works well with the texture of the formula!

Hydrogenated polydecene, isododecane, hydrogenated styrene/isoprene copolymer, polyethylene, disteardimonium hectorite, propylene carbonate, octyldodecanol, dicalcium phosphate, candelilla cera, prunus domestica seed extract, ethylhexyl palmitate, tribehenin, tocopherol, ascorbyl palmitate, sorbitan isostearate, pentaerythrityl tetra-di-t-butyl hydroxyhydrocinnamate, palmitoyl oligopeptide.

+/- may contain: mica, ci 77891 (titanium dioxide), ci 77491/77492/77499 (iron oxides), ci 75470 (carmine), red 7, ci 15850 (red 6/red 7 lake), ci 73360 (red 30 lake), ci 45410 (red 28 lake), ci 45380 (red 22 lake), ci 42090 (blue 1 lake), ci 19140 (yellow 5 lake), ci 15985 (yellow 6 lake)

The verdict?

Despite the fact that I love the colour of L108, I wouldn’t fork over $35 for it. I don’t feel that the Creamy Lips formula wears as well on my dry lips as the Milky Lips one, and that’s a lot to pay for a lipstick that settles into the dry bits of your lips! If you don’t usually have problems with satin matte formulas, then give this one a go. If you do, though, try L208 – the same gorgeous shade, but in the Milky Lips formula.

P.S. As an added bonus, these are silicone- and paraben-free, virtually scent-free (I catch a whiff of fig when I apply it, but it’s super faint – to the point that my mum and sister can’t smell it at all), and not tested on animals! :)

The not-quite-Chanel FOTD | Gold and black smokey eyes

Monday, August 1, 2011

When I set about to do a look this past Saturday, I had intended to re-create the recent Chanel Fall 2011 couture look – a sexy, glossy, all-black eye.

Needless to say, I was waylaid by a pigment stack I (inadvisably) had sitting out on my desk, and we didn’t really make it to our originally planned destination.

In the end, I put together a basic, black smokey eye with a gold highlight in the center, a look I’ve been quite fond of recently. (Er, having the main highlight being in the center of the lid rather than the inner corner, that is. But to be honest, I don’t wear a lot of black in terms of eyeshadow!)

Even more importantly, though, I’m super excited to get reviewing some of the products I tried out in this look. A few of them were in this bowl, and a few of them weren’t, but there were a couple of new textures that I’ve really been enjoying. We should have a review of the Clinique Lid Smoothie line within the next forty-eight hours, but consider this your “sneak preview” into some of our upcoming reviews!

Keep reading; you know you want to »

Ellis Faas Light E303 | review and swatches

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The product: Ellis Faas Light E303 (bronze)

I’m going to start off this post with a simple fact two simple facts: (1) Ellis products are prohibitively expensive, and (2) I’m starting to hate their packaging.

It doesn’t make a lot of sense that I’m still head over heels about this eyeshadow, despite these two very influential factors. What it boils down to, basically, is that the products themselves are breathtaking. The gorgeous colours, the incredible wear – I’m not kidding when I say that the product is literally so good that even the most abhorrent packaging probably couldn’t put me off the line.

This is the first Ellis Light that I’ve tried, and I’m liking it just as much as the Creamy Eyes I’m so taken by – but for different reasons! The product is more metallic and slightly more sheer than Ellis’ Creamy Eyes, but the shade composition is no less complex and the wear is still amazing. I do get a bit of faint creasing by the end of the day, just a fine line in my fold after about nine hours, but that’s still quite impressive with no primer underneath and no powder overtop.

Like the other Ellis eye shadows I’ve tried, this sets quickly and is easiest to work with if you’re using a fluffy brush (think MAC 217).

E303 is a surprising sort of shade that almost seems to get more intense as you blend it out. The base colour, a true bronze, is darker than the bronze-gold shimmer, and the combination of the two works to create a gorgeous depth. It’s easy to blend out if you’re using a natural-hair blending brush, but a total pain if you’re trying to use your fingers!

The verdict?

Okay, so this is a bit of a strange one. I’m not thrilled with the price (more expensive than both the Creamy Eyes and Milky Eyes lines) or the packaging (rather finicky), but I’m still head over heels for the product itself. This season’s gift set makes E303 more reasonably priced, but the retail is a rather staggering $42.

So, as always when it comes to Ellis, I’d recommend these for two situations: if you have the budget for them, or if you’re desperate for something that’s going to wear without creasing. I like to think of these silver pens as “investment pieces” – they’re pricey, but you know they won’t let you down!

(More photos, swatches, and the ingredients…)

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