Playing with textures | A violet-eyed makeup look done entirely with cream products

Monday, January 21, 2013

Easy cream eyeshadow tutorial

I love playing with different textures when it comes to my makeup, but it’s not a regular thing for me — I have a set few products that I use all the time (mainly powders), and I don’t really get much of a chance to work with other methods of delivery.

My sister, though, is hugely into creme products. Like, hugely-hugely. She has this weird–and notably false–preconception that the pigments in cream products will stick around for longer, but it means that her stash is easily 80% cremes.

Illamasqua Zygomatic Cream Blusher

Anyhow. For something a little different, I borrowed a couple of her favourite creme products (the Estée Lauder  cream eyeshadow and Illamasqua blusher) and threw together a violet-eyed, neutral-cheeked look.

For the full tutorial, don’t miss this post on She Said Beauty! 

!Violet and brown eyeshadow tutorial (s)

The eyes

For the eye, I started with a base of Estée Lauder Ivory Lace (the ShadowCremes are being discontinued; try something like MAC Bare Study instead), added Ellis Faas Light in E304 to the outer half of the lid, then layered Clinique Lid Smoothie in Born Freesia overtop in the centre. And it… went actually horribly, to be honest.

I’ve never tried to layer one of the Lights before; I will never try to layer one of the Lights ever again. 

(Actually, now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure I’ve come to this conclusion before. Anyone else find that Ellis products are glorious only if used without a primer underneath?)

!Winter violet lids (s)

I don’t know if it was the layering or the blending, but — never; never again. Fingers or brushes didn’t matter; drying time didn’t matter… again and again, I ended up with flaky bits of fallout and an increasing amount of eye irritation.

To get around this, I actually mixed the two violets on the back of my hand & applied. It went really well, surprisingly — E304 added an intensity that Born Freesia doesn’t usually have, but the texture of the Lid Smoothie was maintained and led to a really easy, smooth application.

The escapades continue »

Violet + black smokey eyes | A Lana Del Rey-inspired makeup look

Friday, July 27, 2012

I have a (not-so-secret) secret: I’m kind of a huge Lana Del Rey fan. I’m not crazy about her face, and I’m on the fence about the whole persona she has going on, but — Lana Del Ray A.K.A Lizzy Grant; Born To Die? Kind of loved them.

Anyhow; today’s look is a Lana-inspired smokey violet eye, inspired by the look below. I’m actually pretty sure that the “violet” part of the smokey eye was added in post-production (and not all that well), but hey, the resulting image is no less stunning!

Hope you enjoy the look!

Read the tutorial & see a different set of images here.

Keep reading! »

Sunday in France: a brief foray into the magical world of Sephora.fr

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Instead of the usual “New…” widget, I thought I’d do something a bit different this Sunday – a glance at a few new products in French Sephora stores, with a bit of babble about the site (and beauty market) enjoyed by our beauty-addict counterparts over there.

I have a soft spot for the Sephora.fr online shop, even more so now than I did a few months ago. Once the newness of the Sephora.com revamp wore off, I found that I… don’t really like it, to be honest. I’m quite fond of the aesthetic, but I’m a lot less crazy about the actual functionality. (That said, though; the Canada/US site has ingredients listed for more of the products, and I wouldn’t give that up for the world.)

The brands

As could be expected, Sephora shops in France carry a different product range than those in North America — more skincare, more fragrance; less makeup. They carry different brands, at times, too: they get Chanel, Serge Lutens, and La Prairie, for instance, (those lucky dogs), but miss out on Korres, Fresh, and a number of our newer brands, like Ellis Faas or Edward Bess.

Strangely enough, I spied a few North American drugstore brands on the French site; Sally Hansen and Hawaiian Tropic intermingled amongst the expensive skincare and impressive fragrance ranges.

The addiction

The last time I went through the Sephora.fr site this thoroughly (I think it was about a year ago), I noticed that they had a bit of an obsession with travelling beauty products. It wasn’t just a passing fancy, though, apparently, because there’s still a small-but-highly-visible section on airplane-appropriate products!

(I don’t know why, but I find that absolutely hilarious. I’m aware that, objectively, it isn’t funny at all. It doesn’t really seem to be making any difference in my reaction, though.)

The bestsellers

Of course, you can’t have a post about a foreign beauty site without going over the country’s bestsellers list. In France, 12 of the top 20 bestsellers are skincare, 3 are makeup, and 5 are fragrance; in Canada, only 8 are skincare, with 9 being makeup, and 3 being fragrance.

If you look at the products themselves, things get even more interesting. French women tend to focus their makeup purchases on mascara, while Canadians buy more base products. (Hey, maybe that focus on skincare is paying off, after all!) The Urban Decay Naked 2 palette is the only bestselling product the two sites have in common.

In skincare, the Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector is the only product to grace both bestseller lists. The Sephora.fr list is dominated by Clarins (which, as we all know, I have a soft spot a mile wide for), but the brand doesn’t appear in Canada’s top 20 at all. We’re apparently just running around buying tinted moisturizers and BB creams like crazy at the moment, apparently, which–I cannot tell a lie–actually sounds pretty accurate.

Different, too, are our tastes in fragrance – I’d say the French have more refined olfactory palettes, but that wouldn’t explain how (or why, or what?!) a Hello Kitty EdT made it onto their bestseller list and Balenciaga Paris didn’t. Again, there was only one product in common between the lists: the ever-classic Dior J’Adore. (Don’t you just love it when patterns keep up being all pattern-y?)

And, finally, the reason why I was nosing around Sephora.fr to begin with:

They’re just so cute! {1} {2} {3}

Urban Decay Matte Eyeshadow in Purple Haze | Review, swatches, SALE!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The product: Urban Decay Matte Eyeshadow in Purple Haze

I’ll admit, I’ve put off reviewing this one for a long time – so long, in fact, that it’s now being discontinued! In its matte form (there’s a shimmer, too), Purple Haze is fairly standard: smooth, pigmented, and easy to blend. I find myself wishing it were more pigmented and a little less powdery at times (other mattes in my collection, like Make Up For Ever’s 92, are more firm and pack even more of a punch), but for it’s sale price of $3, it’s a pretty incredible buy.

How it compares: Unlike the blue undertones of 92, or the grey undertones of Cult (another discontinued Urban Decay matte), Purple Haze is a bright, vibrant violet with red undertones. Of the eyeshadows in my collection, it’s most similar to Annabelle Ultraviolet, a limited edition colour from Fall/Winter 2010 – Canucks, check your collections to make sure you didn’t pick that one up, too!

L-R: Urban Decay Purple Haze, MUFE 92, Urban Decay Cult, Annabelle Ultraviolet

Swatched dry: Purple Haze, 92, Cult, Ultraviolet, Purple Haze

Swatched dry: Purple Haze, 92, Cult, Ultraviolet, Purple Haze

The verdict?

It’s a good matte, and a gorgeous red-violet, so I had actually intended to give this one a tentative thumbs-up at its original price. Which means, basically, that my recommendation now is pretty obvious.

Pick it up while it lasts!

More photos, swatches, and ingredients »

Are you ready to start a Revolution with Urban Decay?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Seriously, words cannot express how excited my monolids are for this new lash curler. I can’t wait for the reviews to start coming out!

What Urban Decay says about The Revolution

This sleek lash emancipator abolishes one-size-fits-all curling. The open cage lets you curl your lashes all at once or in sections and won’t pinch your skin!

Do eyelash curlers that look like scary torture devices make you scream? Ours won’t crimp your lashes or pinch your skin because we eliminated the culprit – those maddening bars on either side of your old eyelash curler. This sleek lash emancipator handles deftly with an open cage that allows you to curl your lashes all at once OR in sections (like just the outer lashes). And if your lash line is longer or shorter than average, gone are the days of contending with a standardized cage that was clearly designed with someone else’s eyes in mind (no more one-size-fits-all curling!). We even include 5 replacement pads – swap them out to keep your curler clean and springy. Viva The Revolution!

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