Oxblood lips & gold-rimmed eyeliner | A New Year’s Eve look to try this year

Monday, December 31, 2012

Glitter-rimmed eyes and oxblood lips

For all of you who still have to sort out your NYE makeup: a tradition (glitter) and a trend (oxblood).

As much as I love glitter in the eye area, I absolutely cannot stand it elsewhere — perhaps sparingly on the lips, but rarely-if-ever my cheeks or skin. So, when it comes to holidays like New Year’s, I rely on my Marcelle Lux Diamond Liquid Eyeliner in Pure Gold. I’ve raved about it before, but with great wear, zero fallout, and absolutely gorgeous glitter particles, it’s one of my (few) must-have products.

Dark red lip tutorial (s)

The lips in this look are easy to do, but I always encourage taking a few extra minutes to apply — if five minutes more at the mirror will translate into a few extra hours’ wear, why not, right?

Start with primed or bare lips, add a brown-undertoned red lipliner (though the entire lip), and follow up with dark brown-red lipstick. I used Paula Dorf Lip Liner in Tapestry and MAC Lipstick in Desire (last seen worn matte and reviewed), and then followed up by blotting the lip for a less-glossy finish. 

Dark red lip tutorial trick

One of my go-to tricks is using paper (not tissue!) to blot the lip area, particularly for formulas with a glossy or tacky finish. That way, there’s zero chance that you’ll end up with tissue fibres stuck to your lip area, and you know it’ll be an even press — to get your cupid’s bow, hold the paper on the left and right edges and press lightly against a relaxed pout. 

Read the full tutorial here at She Said Beauty.

Gold glitter + black eyeliner (s)

Keep reading! »

Black smokey eyes & lace appliques | A Halloween makeup look that’s glam, not gory

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I’ve always been a fan of more glamorous Halloween makeup looks; the sort that let you stretch your artistic muscles, but don’t necessarily translate into a character.

So, for this month, I put together three looks that are too over-the-top for everyday wear, but could totally pass at a Halloween party — without necessitating a trip to the local costume store. You’ve already seen the first of the three (last Monday’s vampy statement lips,) but I hope you enjoy this one, too.

Don’t miss the full lace makeup tutorial on She Said Beauty, and keep a lookout on theNotice for the secrets behind this smokey eye (later in the week).

I started the look with a basic black smokey eye; dramatic and glittery on a creme base (Annabelle SmudgePaint in Glitzy Black) and paired it with sculpted cheeks, fresh skin, and (perhaps most importantly) a nude-but-not-too-nude lip: in this case, Have A Lovely Day!, the MAC Casual Colour that I’m so in love with.

Then, for that extra bit of Halloween, I added a lace mask to the look. Rather than pinning actual lace to my hair, I’ve used Sweetart, an easy lace appliqué from the FaceLace range.

I was a bit iffy about the range at first (you want me to pay how much for a piece of lace??), but they might just be worth checking out. The masks stick directly onto the skin, making them less finicky than pinned-in fabric lace, and the flexible vinyl both wears comfortably & holds up to repeated uses.

Keep reading! »

A bare-cheek contouring standby | MAC Harmony Powder Blush (Matte) review, photos, swatches

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The product: MAC Powder Blush in Harmony (Matte)

After seeing Harmony (one of my first MAC products) on Makeup and Beauty Blog this week, I had to put up a proper post about it. I love being able to see the same product on a range of different skintones, and I thought this was the perfect example.

I know a lot of you read MABB, but for those of you who don’t, here’s a quick primer: it’s written by a lovely terrifyingly awesome crazy cat lady named Karen, whose skin is about an NC42 (though sometimes here forearms are a little lighter). By contrast, I sit somewhere around an NC15, and despite absolutely adoring cats as long as they’re not kittens, I’ve never owned one.

Or even cat-sat for one, to be honest. I’m not the best at keeping things alive.

The shade: What’s cool about a blush like Harmony is that it can span a really wide range of skintones, but it’s quite different on them all. On Karen, it’s a really natural, bare-cheek blush; on me, it’s a warm, dark contour shade.

While I love the depth and pigmentation of this one, I find that it’s best to use a light hand with it, and I find that I’ll often mix it with a matte grey shade to cool it down a bit. That said, though, it’s not unwearably warm, the way some bronzers can be — it’s just not quite perfect on cool skintones.

(Read Karen’s MAC Unsung Heroes post on Harmony, where the below swatch has been sourced from, too!)

The verdict?

Despite the fact that Harmony was my first MAC blusher, and I still use it on a pretty frequent basis, I can’t see myself re-buying it — for what I want it to be, it’s too warm to be perfect. That said, though, if you’re looking for an easy-to-find contouring shade (for fair-to-medium neutral-to-warm skintones) or a matte natural-nude blush (for warm medium-to-dark skintones), it’s definitely worth a look.

While I think $20 US/$24 CAD (less for the pro pan) is a touch high for some of MAC’s sheerer blushes, the formula and amount of pigment in this one makes it well worth the price. There are far too few easy-to-find contouring shades out there, and at the very least, this one doesn’t have Chanel Notorious’ $42 price tag.

(And for an even more affordable contouring shade, try NYX Taupe — I’ve heard quite good things about it, at least for fair to light-medium skintones!)

Keep reading! »

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. 

(more…)

On Our Radar | MAC Face & Body collection

Sunday, September 23, 2012

MAC Face & Body

Available online starting September 6th; in-stores currently. The MAC Face & Body collection will launch this month internationally, as well, but I’m not sure of the specific dates!

A word of advice? Check out the Sculpting Creams, but skip the Pressed Pigments – I haven’t heard a single good word about the latter, unfortunately. And make sure to re-try the Face & Body Foundation, if you’ve loved it in the past! The formula has been re-worked, and has more -cones (but less -xanes, if I’m not mistaken.)

Full collection details »

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