DUPE ALERT: Check your stashes for… | Vasanti Mount Rushmore vs. MAC Whims & Fancies Eyeshadow Duos

Friday, August 24, 2012

Remember this Vasanti Eyeshadow Duo review? Back when I first swatched Mount Rushmore for you, I couldn’t find anything else on the market quite like it — a sooty, plummy matte violet paired with a shimmery, silvery taupe, it was a pretty unique duo.

And it still is, of course, but I couldn’t help but think Mount Rushmore! when I saw the new MAC Whims & Fancies Styleseeker Eyeshadow X2.

Whims & Fancies is limited edition with the Styleseeker collection, retails for $33 CAD and contains two separate eyeshadow pans: Performance Art and Shadowy Lady.

Mount Rushmore, on the other hand, is permanent in the Vasanti collection and retails for $20 CAD, albiet presumably for less product overall. Both products are paraben-free.


L: MAC Whims & Fancies Eyeshadow Duo / R: Vasanti Mount Rushmore Silky Eyeshadow Duo

Vasanti Mount Rushmore Eyeshadow Duo swatches

I can’t speak toward an exact shade dupe, but from what I’ve read about the quality of the Shadowy Lady in Whims & Fancies — if you’re in Canada and you don’t have either yet, go for Mount Rushmore. And if you already have it? Feel free to skip this Styleseeker duo!

P.S. If you’re in need of swatches and reviews for Whims & Fancies, check out these posts on Temptalia and Beautezine.

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! »

Don’t miss this | A soft, effortless Spring look

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I’ve been doing about a look a week the last little while, but most of them have been for the purpose of, well, the look. Which is to say, the concept of the makeup came first, and was then followed by the selection of products — which is how things usually go, if I’m not mistaken.

This week, though, I set out with only two things in mind: one, create something that would more or less realize the idea of a staple Spring makeup look, and two, feature a number of the products I’ve reviewed recently, so that you lot can see what they look like in an actual look, instead of just on my arms.

You can read the She Said Beauty post here, but just keep on scrolling if it’s the product babbling (and not the tutorial) you’re here for.

(Note: all the product links in this post go to reviews on theNotice!)

The cheeks

Ah, Senna. Quite a few comments were left asking to see these on my cheeks, and I’ve been using them in various FOTD photo sets since they came across my desk. This look happens to include the Senna Sheer Face Color Powder Blush in Clarity and Face and Eye Color in Enlighten, as blush and highlight, respectively.

I’ve been using the two Senna blushers (not including, of course, the hilighter) for a good few weeks now, and I have to say — not loving them any less, even after all this time. I thought some of their appeal might wear off, as it does, but Senna products tend to stick around for me. What can I say? The colours are just that good!

(Or my frontal lobe is just that fixated; really, it’s a toss-up between the two.)

The eyes

To start, I used Vasanti Mount Rushmore through the whole lid – just the shimmery taupe, though, mind. For a touch more definition, I added a few of the Sephora Moonshadow In the Light shadows; lighter in the inner corner and a hint darker on the outer third.

Then, to finish things up, I added two pencils to the look. First, the black eyeliner from Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips in Nude Eyes along the upper lashline — I’ve yet to review this eyeliner trio, but I keep reaching for the black. It’s got a bit of shimmer in it, which makes it a bit more interesting than a solid black).

And, finally, a whisper of Marcelle Accent Brow Pencil in Granite through the brows. I’m not crazy about Granite, but it’ll do, you know? I tend to fill my brows sort of (okay, extremely) lightly, so it doesn’t really matter what I use as long as it’s sheer and grey(ish).

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but: grey eyebrow products really do work wonders for cool skintones + black hair! It’s a makeup secret ;)

The lips

Last but not least, two products from a little farther back: L’Occitane Lipstick in Pivoine Délicate and L’Occitane Lipgloss in Rose Frémissant. I photographed this look with both lips; though it’s a small change, I couldn’t decide if I preferred the bare look of the lipstick or the light, playful edge that the gloss gives.

Anyhow; the photo above is the only one with the gloss layered on top. Feel free to decide which version you prefer on your own, because I haven’t any help to give!

Violet and taupe: a colour match made in heaven | Vasanti Mount Rushmore Silky Eyeshadow Duo review, photos, swatches

Friday, June 8, 2012

The product: Vasanti Silky Eyeshadow Duo in Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore (seen in a look & briefly discussed here) is the first Vasanti eye product I’ve tried, and it really, really didn’t disappoint. If anything, I think it’s even more gorgeous in person than it is on their website; the taupe a little warmer and the violet more moody; more grey.

I’m not crazy about the packaging (the shiny silver edges fingerprint like mad), but for the product inside, I’d put up with a lot. The lid’s a little flimsy when open, but the hinge feels quite secure when shut, and I like the compact size. Honestly, though, this duo could probably be housed in a four-inch glass cube and I’d love it anyways, because seriously, violet and taupe.

The shades

Okay; let’s start with the taupe. It’s… well, it’s kind of a taupe lover’s dream come true, to be honest. Finely-milled shimmer, a blendable (but not overly blendable) texture, a paraben-free formula; this one has it all.

For a taupe, though, it’s all about the shade, not the formula. And this shade is lovely – yellow undertones rather than red, tiny bits of silver microshimmer, and a lovely greyish-brown base throughout. It’s more or less neutral; not warm in the way most brown-taupes are, but not muddy in the way grey-taupes tend to be, either.

Applied dry, this is more of a semi-sheer light yellow-taupe; wet or over primer, it’s a more opaque medium-taupe. 

The matte violet isn’t quite as perfect; but then, when were matte shades ever as easy to pin down? I’ve yet to find the perfect matte formula at all, much less a perfect matte formula from anywhere within the violet range, but I think Vasanti did a terrific job formulating this one.

While bright and perhaps a little red in the pan, the purple shade in this duo swatches as more of a matte blackened grape – perfect for a dramatic smokey eye, but easy enough to blend out that it could make a good daytime colour, too, if used sparingly. For a $10 matte eyeshadow (the duo’s $20; I’m taking some liberties with the math here), the quality is stellar.

Without a primer at all, the violet goes on a little patchy; with a primer, the colour is more solid, but still very blendable. When applied damp (photos behind the cut, at the bottom of this post), it becomes an intense, inky black-grape. 

A quick comparison

Shimmery taupes and matte violets are probably the two most prominent lovechilds (lovechildren?) of the entire beauty blogging world, so–of course–I had to include a few swatch comparisons. And, likewise as obviously, the two most well-known of each of those categories are MAC Satin Taupe and Make Up For Ever 92, both with cult followings of their own.

Satin Taupe is fairly close to the top shade of this duo, but it’s not quite a dupe. Vasanti’s version is less red and very marginally less buttery; think violet + chrome undertones, rather than brown + red. With my cool-toned skin and oft sleep-deprived eyes, I prefer Mount Rushmore by a long shot.

Swatched L-R: MAC Satin Taupe, Vasanti Mount Rushmore (x2), Make Up For Ever 92

The two violets, on the other hand, couldn’t be more different. MUFE 92 gets lighter, brighter, and almost flourescent when swatched, while Mt. Rushmore presents darker, blackened, and almost slightly desaturated. I can’t recommend one over the other, really, because they’re much too different – I use 92 to intensify violet tones in other shadows, for instance, which I know for sure Mount Rushmore couldn’t do.

Worth noting about the violets, though: while Make Up For Ever 92 is notorious for awful red staining, I didn’t notice any staining at all with Mount Rushmore, even when swatched wet.

The verdict?

Yes. Absolutely yes. At $20 CAD, this not-tested-on-animals eyeshadow duo is a bit pricey for a drugstore buy – but worth every penny. It’s a beauty blogger’s violet and taupe lover’s dream come true, and while the availability’s a little thin on the ground (in-store only in Canada, but the Vasanti site ships worldwide and they do sell out of some other online shops as well), the quality is definitely there.

I can definitely see why Mount Rushmore is quickly becoming one of Vasanti’s bestselling eyeshadow duos, and I have to admit, I’m a little confused as to why more companies aren’t doing violet/taupe duos! I know Bare Escentuals came out with The Cliffhanger recently, but I can’t think of any others. (If anything else comes to mind, let me know in the comments!)

Keep reading! »

More of what we love: new shades from Marcelle, Vasanti, and Clinique

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

More of the same, perhaps, but it’s the good kind of same — the kind that involves lines we already love & some great new shade additions to both of them.

This month, we’re seeing new shades in Marcelle’s BB Cream and Clinique’s Chubby Sticks (two of my favourite products), as well as Vasanti’s Wonders of the World, a concealer duo that I’ve heard some really good things about.

Marcelle BB Cream

Despite having (very, very) fair skin, I always get excited when I see darker shades being launched. I know how hard it can be to find “niche” base products (hello, silicone sensitivities), so it’s always great to see brands attending to a broader shade range. Not all humans are Crayola Peach, after all! The new Marcelle BB Cream shade will be sold just online, but it’s great to see brands catering to their consumer base – even if drugstores aren’t seeing the demand.

(This is only vaguely relevant, but there was a well-done article the other day on The Cut about Iman–the brand, not the woman, but I guess the woman too–on ethnic segregation and neglect at the drugstore. Well wroth a read!)

Clinique Chubby Sticks

My makeup staples change on a pretty regular basis, but Clinique’s Chubby Sticks are one product that have been in my handbag non-stop for… ages. They (re-)launched at the end of 2010, and while Super Strawberry is still my favourite, I kind of adore all of the ones I have – they’re comfortable, just-sheer-enough, and totally effortless.

The eight new Chubby Stick shades are (from left to right in the photo above) Bountiful Blush, Curvy Candy, Heaping Hazelnut, Mighty Mimosa, Oversized Orange, Pudgy Peony, Two Ton Tomato, and Voluptuous Violet.

Vasanti Wonders of the World 

The last launch I wanted to talk about is another base product, but it’s one that I haven’t tried. Vasanti’s Wonders of the World duo concealer (one side for the undereye area; the other for blemishes and lid priming) has launched in A2, for fair to medium-fair skintones. (It’s not widening the shade range to darker skintones, but they do already make a fairly dark shade – and it’s always nice to have more options in the light range, too!)

A2 joins Y2 (for fair to medium skintones) and O2 (for medium to deep skintones), but it’s not the only Spring launch by Vasanti. The Silky Eyeshadow Duos, Vitamin E Lipsthines, and Ultra Luxe Lipsticks are seeing new shades as well – Saint Basil’s (a matte peach + a pearl shimmer) for the eyeshadow, Kara Sea (a soft pink with gold shimmer) for the gloss, and Belarus (a bright, punchy coral pink) for the lipstick.

I’m not super-excited about any of the new launches, but I always feel rather obligated to tell you guys about Canadian stuff. Our home-grown brands never get enough press, if you ask me! ;) (Plus, I have a feeling a lot of people are going to love Belarus.)

A colour pairing made in heaven | Smokey taupe and violet eyes with Vasanti Mount Rushmore

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mount Rushmore was, believe it or not, the product that put Vasanti on the map for me. I remember reading about it on Faces by Farah last year, and just thinking wow – the shades looked incredibly intense and finely-milled (and let’s face it: matte violets get me every time). It took a long time for me to finally try out the line (what can I say; I’m easily distracted!) but I promise, the duo’s no less lovely in person as it is in Vasanti’s product shots.

I’ll have swatches and a review ready in a day or two, but I wanted to share a quick look with this duo, first. This isn’t the only one I’ve done (I find myself reaching for the taupe side again and again; it’s a fantastic all-over lid shade), but this is how I think I’d wear Mount Rushmore most of the time – sheerly, with a bit of violet liner for emphasis.

(Then again, that’s how I wear pretty much everything. Shh.)

Keep reading! »

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