Sunday, July 19, 2009

Bare Minerals Natural Gloss

I ordered this gloss admittedly because I wanted the free gift that came with it (a particularly lovely mascara). I got this gloss in Sugar Cookie, the color that looked most like "My Lips But Better" (a peachy pink). When I got it, I was pleasantly surprised. It is just sticky enough to last long but sheer enough to not be glue-y. Gorgeous color with golden speckles and it dries like a stain. Lovely color, lovely product. 

Friday, July 17, 2009

MAC 165: The Gift of Contouring

MAC 165: The Gift of Contouring

Part Three of MAC Brush Series

Let's face it: This is probably one of the best contouring brushes out there. But why?

Arrival and First Impressions: When this brush first arrived in its little plastic sleeve, I was, quite frankly, excessively disappointed. The handle is long and thin and the brush in general is just small. The white bristles were dark and dirty after the first use and the overall appearance is just different than any other MAC brush. First impression: bad. Little did I know it was all about to change!!

Uses: This brush is an EXCELLENT contour brush!! If you suck your cheeks in (yes, you look like a fool), you can fit this brush into the indent that appears. It's the perfect size. I use it with bronzers, deep blushes...anything that contours. It adds a very sculpted effect to my face. 

Cleanings: This brush is a little different than my other MAC brushes because it has the classic white bristles. It gets FILTHY, especially since most contour products are dark. I clean it as often as possible, but it still manages to have a brownish hue on the tips. At some point, MAC had a very similar contour brush with greyish hairs. This would've been a lot better. 

Technique: As mentioned above, if you suck your cheeks in, this brush fits right into the indent. Pull this brush up below the cheekbone (toward your hairline), then you can do a little blending to smooth rough edges. Viola! Sculpted face. 

Brush Shape: This brush is an angled contour brush. It is cut diagonally and is fluffy and soft, yet dense enough to grab up just the right amount of product. This is a model brush for contouring. 

Conclusion: Although at first this brush seems wimpy, I find myself grabbing for it almost everything. It's thin and lanky, but it really gets the job done. Perfect contour :)

MAC 182: The Best Buki

The MAC 182: The Best Buki

Part Two of the MAC Brush Series

The perfect brush for nearly everything (besides eyes, of course). As usual, let's start from the very beginning.....

Arrival and First Impressions: When it first arrived, the packaging was awful (wth, Nordstrom?). The brush and some other items I had ordered were thrown willy nilly into an empty box and the poor kabuki was rolling around having freed itself from the tube. When I picked it up, I noticed that the black metal handle on the 182 is longer than the traditional stump on an average kabuki. This allows for much easier application. Plus, the moment I touched the dense bristles, I fell in love with how soft it is!!

Uses: I like to use this brush for my MSF Natural. The dense bristles pick up just the right amount of product and makes for a flawless finish. However, this brush can be used with all sorts of other things. Baked powders would be my favorite for this brush, but you can also use it with pressed powders (watch out, it picks up a lot of product with pressed powders!)

Cleanings: I clean this brush with all my other brushes. It really needs a good deep cleaning because powders can get caught in between each individual hair. When this brush gets wet, it really requires a lot of reshaping. If you don't shape it back to its original form, you might end up with either a freakishly puffy brush or a thin, stiff brush. 

Technique: What I always do is pick up some product and swirl the 182 in tight, fast circles. It gives the perfect coverage this way. Apply lightly, as well. If you don't, then it will do the thing where it leaves all the product in one spot: right where you first touched the brush to your face. Don't drag the kabuki across your face. This brush is made to buff and buffing means swirling the product on your face. 

Brush Shape: This brush is made with the traditional black goat hairs (watch out, it's smelly!!). The bristles create a perfect dome shape. This brush does not shed at all and usually no stray bristles hang out of the sides. 

Conclusion: This brush was my first MAC brush and probably still my favorite. It is an absolute necessity for any collection and, despite the $42 dollar cost, one can still pick it up during a sale and get about $10 off. For $32, this brush would be a steal!!

NYX Palettes

Above: NYX Smokey Palette
I think we've all been anticipating it: NYX Palettes. Sure, they had those strange sparkly palettes and the trios, but this is something I believe most every makeup addict is lemming. The 10 color palettes are $9 (I purchased them off of cherryculture(dot)com) and the 5 color palettes are also $9. 

I purchased the smokey eye palette (pictured above) because, let's face it, who isn't a sucker for gorgeous smokey eyes? I am dreadfully allergic to NYX, but I HAD to have it. 

Quality: I have to admit that I like the trios better. I find that I need a strong base to get vivid colors that last long. On an average base, some of the colors look washy and not as pigmented as they look in the pan. As well, they can be creasy and don't last throughout a 12 hour workday. 

Colors: I really like the colors that come in the palette :) Blacks, greys, dark greys, a brown, cream, and taupe. However, it's sort of funny in some ways.....there are dark greys that STRONGLY resemble each other and two light silvery greys that are also extremely similar. I just found it a little odd that they would have such similar colors. 

Overall, I really like this palette, but just can't see myself using it very often!! It's simply not good enough (but what does one expect for $9?) and I'm very allergic :P

NARS Sale Haul

Even though my stash is overwhelming at this point (and I was 3 products into finishing Project 10 Pan), I decided that I just couldn't ignore the NARS sale (which is 20% off). Here's what I purchased:

-NARS Amour Blush
-NARS Orgasm/Laguna Duo
-NARS South Beach Multiple
-NARS India Song Eyeshadow Duo
-NARS Habanera Eyeshadow Duo

Granted, these items have not arrived yet, just wanted to give an update :) 

I am also putting a birthday gift basket together for my sister. She only owns drugstore brands and I'm introducing high end brands to her: 

-Stila Charmed Palette
-NARS Habanera Eyeshadow Duo
-NARS Orgasm Blush
-MAC Peaches Blush
-MAC Via Veneto Dazzleglass and Internationalist Dazzleglass

*Crosses finger* I hope she likes it!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Final NYX Review for a Long While...

It was just today that I woke up and discovered a large and loud hive nestled in the left corner of my lips. I am not allergic to much. Heck, my skin won't break out unless I use Studio Finish Concealer! I've always trusted my skin to stay smooth and beautiful and...well....a hive is quite a shock. Yesterday I decided to, for the first time, test out doing full facial looks (eyes and lips only, actually. I have no skin products from them) from NYX. I used their lip liners, round lip sticks, lip glosses, jumbo eyeshadow pencils, eyeshadow trios, eye name it, I used it. My sudden drugstore kick has suddenly made me oblivious, however, because I forgot that some cosmetics can make people with allergies erupt in hives or rashes. I went to sleep last night with metallic-y Baby Pink Lipstick still sitting on my lips and a particularly bad eye look with gold eyeshadow pencil and some neutral trio. When I woke up, I had the HUGE hive on my lip and a small one developing near the outer corner of my right eye. Some might argue, "WELL YOU DONT KNOW IF NYX WAS THE REASON!!" but you must understand that I am not allergic to ANYTHING! I might give NYX another chance in a couple of weeks, but for now, my friends can dig through there and pick what they want to have! I am so done with NYX. 

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Sad Day....More Like Night

From Ulta online this Monday I ordered some Urban Decay shadows and was super-dee-duper excited to receive them because they were perfect summer colors. I tracked them and everything, anticipating the little white envelope padded in bubble wrap to show up on Monday. But no. Tonight (Saturday) at 11:00, I checked the tracking and it has arrived. It arrived at 11:00 THIS MORNING. My mailbox is so so so far away every fear is that someone will steal it because it is common in my area for people to rummage through your mailbox. We don't have much crime, but the old credit card numbers stealers are out there and they've probably taken my envelope and kept it to make a little money. NOOOOOOO. What about my free samples?

Bad Encounter at the MAC Counter

In preparation for the Friends And Family Sale on the 16th, I went to my local MAC counter at Nordstrom to check out some items I was considering purchasing. From the moment I walked up to the counter, I could tell that the woman who was working there had attitude...and a bad one at that. She was chatting with some guy who clearly was not going to be buying any makeup (why would he?) and a woman of about 60 was trying to get her attention to buy lipstick. "Excuse me," the old lady said. "Is there any way that I can swatch one of these lipsticks?" The young employee turned to her angrily and snapped, "WAIT YOUR TURN!!" I might be young and irrelevant, but I went up to oldie and showed her how I swatch lipsticks when I visit that counter usually. The usual employee lets me swatch the testers on my hand as long as I wipe the tops off with a tissue when I was done. The snobby employee turned and said, "HEY! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? I WILL HELP HER WHEN I'M DONE HERE!" I continued swatching the lipsticks for the woman as the employee's conversation with the man hit the 20 minute mark. She found the perfect lipstick and gave me FIVE DOLLARS just for helping her out!! The employee was gracious enough to ring the woman up. 
I wanted to swatch a blush desperately. That was my whole purpose: to swatch peachykeen. As the conversation hit the half hour, I could tell the guy was getting antsy and had to leave so I tried to bud in to make an opening for his "GOTTA GO!" Instead, the employee told me how much of a burden I was and asked me to leave. Don't get me wrong: I love going to MAC counters and talking with the people. It was just this ONE woman who really pissed me off and I will never go back there ever again.  

Friday, June 12, 2009

Latest Hauls

Lately Ive been particularly interested in bargain hunting. With my friends' increasing interest in makeup and their need for my guidance, I find that most of them complain when I show them MAC or Urban Decay products because they are too expensive and hardly ever have sales. So Ive been shopping drugstore products and looking for great items at the cheapest price possible. Lash Blast by Covergirl is a fan favorite so I went to Ulta online to check it out. 

My Deals:
-Originally 8 Dollars
-Cut down to 7 dollars
-Buy 1 get 1 half off (I got original in black and waterproof in very black)
-My cart had 10.5 dollars in it. Guess what? A purchase over 10 dollars gets 3.5 dollars off.
-With my two large tubes of mascara for a mere 7 bucks, I also selected 3 free samples

AMAZING!! When they got here I was so excited. The brush is large, but causes for no clumps and it is pretty easy to work with once you get the hang of it. It adds some length and a little volume, which is actually better than most other drugstore mascaras. I like the waterproof better for some reason.......For a deal like that, it is a MUST HAVE!! (PS. Im enjoying my samples as well!)

Another sweet deal I got was from my local CVS drugstore which has a small stack of cardboard cubbyholes which stash their tiny selection of NYX products. I was interested in a couple of their lip pencils (2 bucks each. Couldn't resist). With four in hand, I walked up to the register and the guy said, "Oh these are on sale. Buy 2 get 2 free." I walked outta there with 4 quality lip pencils for a mere 4 dollars. $$Cha-Ching$$ I've used one of them in Rose for a nice pinkish red lip and thought that it really got the job done. 

If you're looking for deals, Ulta's your place. Although I like online shopping, going to the store is excellent because you know exactly what you're going to get and there seem to be endless deals on everything. I get great deals there all the time and I have one that is pretty local. CCO (Cosmetic Company Outlet) is fantastic as well, but the nearest one to me is two hours away. I'm not planning on paying 20 extra dollars on gas for 5 dollars off an item, but if it's just on my way somewhere, I ALWAYS stop by!

MAC 187: The Ultimate Brush


I'm going to start from the very beginning....when it first arrived in the mail.......

Arrival and First Impressions: There it was, the brush that caused so much hype. Sitting in my hands. I was 42 dollars poorer, but one brush richer. Would it be worth it? When I slid it out of its little plastic sleeve, I was so disappointed. The Youtube videos made it look so big and fluffy.....but it was so thin and somber. And, of course, it smelled like a goat sty (do those exist?) because all MAC brushes do before you clean them. All disappointments aside, I decided to keep it and deep cleaned it before ever touching it to my face. After the cleaning, I was pleasantly surprised. It was the same size that it looked on Youtube and didn't smell like it had been rolled in mud. Overall, good first impressions. :D

Uses: There are many uses for the 187 which is the main reason I call it the ultimate brush (the 182 kabuki is also pretty 'ultimate', however...). I use my 182 for msf NATURAL, but the 187 for all of my other msfs. It really distributes the product nicely and can be used with a light or heavy hand to make a dramatic or natural look. It can apply pretty much anything, actually. Including liquid foundation but I really have never needed liquid foundation (shock, I know!!) I seriously just have clear skin that doesn't need a strong, thorough coverage foundation. Just something light (which doesn't ever appear in the liquid form). So, I've never taken the plunge and tried this with liquid, but I've heard that you can get great results. 

Cleanings: I clean this brush with all of my other brushes which is once every one or two weeks (depending on how much makeup I used. More in winter, less in summer). However, when the white tips get dirtied by a dark product (perhaps something like Gold Deposit MSF?) and then I want to use a light product (something like Soft and Gentle MSF?) then I will clean it by itself. It doesn't take long if you're not doing a deep cleaning and it dries quickly. Plus, I love a nice clean brush! 

Technique: This is called the "stippling" brush. In art, stippling is where you take a small brush or Q-tip and dot paint on in little tiny dots to create a large picture completely comprised out of those tiny dots. This is the technique used with the 187. You pick up the product them dot it on, don't sweep it. However, after dotting and distributing, you CAN use it to blend if you must. It gives a light, but really nice coverage no matter what technique you use. 

Brush Shape: This brush was made with the classic dense black bristles, but also longer white bristles which are more dispersed and spread out. In basic terms, this brush is not very dense and that is why, if you're looking for heavy coverage with powders, I would not recommend this (182 is what I would recommend). 

Conclusion: To conclude, this brush was SOOOO worth 42 dollars. It has given me an endless amount of options for my makeup and lasts so long. I reach for it often and it has a unique look to it. I LOVE MY 187. 

Thursday, June 11, 2009

NYX Jumbo Eyeshadow Pencils

I usually am drawn to products that are recommended (as most people are). One night I was at my friend's house and she pulled a whole drawer out of her vanity to show me her new NYX haul. She had purchased 40 things from cherry culture dot com. 40! I was stunned because first of all, I didn't know what NYX was and thought it was some sort of expensive brand. I was under the impression that she had spent over a thousand dollars on this stuff. Secondly, she is such a MAC/NARS addict that a full drawer in her vanity dedicated to this NYX stuff meant a lot. She started digging through it, displaying her wide variety of glosses, lip pencils, eyeshadows, blushes, and more. Then she brought out the NYX Jumbo Eyeshadow Pencils. In all honest truth, they look a little cheap. I mean, if you compare them to MAC Shadesticks, the packaging is a little pathetic. Then she started swatching them and I realized how beautiful they were and said, "I HAVE TO HAVE THEM! HOW MUCH DO THEY COST???" She said smugly, "3 dollars and 50 cents". My jaw dropped. No wonder the packaging looked cheap. 

So, of course, I went home and ordered them. I ordered milk, gold, lemon, strawberry milk, black bean, pot and pans, and a couple others (I didn't name ones that didnt really stand out to me...). When I got the box, I was so excited! I ripped it open and tossed all of the pencils onto my bed, then organized them in a rainbow sort of formation because that's just how I like to organize stuff. Before reviewing colors, let me just say that these things crease like mad if you use them as bases. CREASE LIKE MAD!! I swatched them all on my arm and here's what I have to say: 

Milk: It's a stark white. White. White. White. It'd be nice to put under eyeshadows in order to really make eyeshadow colors pop. The consistency is noticeably more chalky than the other ones and (I've been asked this a lot) YOU CANNOT USE IT AS A HIGHLIGHTER. It is seriously just bright white and that won't look good up on your browbone. 

Gold: Gold's a very pretty color. I love gold/brown/bronze eyes so this color was right up my alley. I put painterly paint pot on and put this on top of it makes a great start for a gorgeous eye. It's smooth and shimmery. 

Lemon: I don't know what genius thought to call this color lemon. If I was naming this color after a fruit, I'd say lime. It's a green color and it than the other colors. I really like it though. I have green eyes with a hint of brown and Lemon really makes that green POP!!

Strawberry Milk: This is the perfect baby pink. It's creamy, opaque, and is a good base color for a girly pink eye. 

Black Bean: This is the perfect name for this color. Black. Just as Milk is white, Black Bean is black. A good base color for a DARK and dramatic smokey eye. 

Pots and Pans: Pots and Pans is silver and shimmery. It's hard to find a nice shimmery silver and this really gets the job done. 

The application process can be simple or difficult. Since I like to take the easy route, I simply gather some of this creamy product onto my finger and dab it onto my eye (over a base! Remember, these are creasy on their own!). A little goes a long way and these are very vibrant. 

People often want to know if these can be depotted. Yes they can using a heating process, but the pencil form is actually really cute and workable. I'm sticking with the pencil and not hassling with all that depotting. 

MAC Dazzleglasses

MAC Dazzleglasses (Above)
Euristocrat II Dazzleglasses (Above)

Some people love 'em. Some people hate 'em. Either way, Dazzleglasses get a lot of hype. 
Consistency: Sticky sticky!! 
Application: My favorite part about it is the brush rather than the doe foot applicator. It makes the gloss go on smoothly. 
Appearance: Most are sparkly and highly pigmented. 
Quality: They last a long time and, although sticky, they are nice quality. 
Packaging: The brush (mentioned above) is fantastic. The tube is taller and slimmer than a lipglass tube, but there is MUCH less product in the tube. You make quite a dent after very few uses. 
Price: It's 18 bucks a tube. You got to really love this product to get a tube of barely any product. The price, to me, is atrocious. 
My Favorite Colors and Why: Baby Sparks is perfect for everyday. It's a cute girlish pink color with multicolored sparkles. I wear it the most!! Love Alert is really pretty for at night. It's a fairly opaque cherry color that is flirtatious and lasts long. Funtabulous is absolutely gorgeous! It's a purple fuchsia with light purple flecks in it. it really looks good on everyone. 
Review: In my opinion, they ARE sticky but I do love them. I have many of the colors besides Goldyrocks which I REALLY want. They last a long time and I barely have to reapply. Most of them are pretty opaque and shimmery. My only complaint is the price. 
Upcoming Dazzleglasses: Here is the list of upcoming dazzleglasses from the Euristocrat II collection: 
Date Night Soft blue purple with pearl
Euro Beat Peach coral with gold pearl
Internationalist Yellow pink with blue pearl
Local Colour Neutral yellow pink with gold pearl
Roman Holiday Medium brown coral with pink pearl
Rue d’Rouge Light red with pink pearl
Via Veneto Light violet with blue pearl

Anticipation of MAC Colour Craft

Promo Picture (Above)
MSFs (Above)
Eyeshadow Pinwheels

I am so excited about this collection! For months I have been obsessed with MAC and its minerals. Their mineral products are baked, no pressed, and therefore contain no binders. They don't clog up my pores and every single one of their mineral products just makes my skin have a natural glow. The eyeshadows are disappointing because they are not very pigmented (compared to normal eyeshadows), but apply them wet and they really shine. I want almost everything from this collection besides the lipglasses which look like the Sugarsweet trio glasses just all mixed together. I'll have to test them out before considering buying them. 

Here are the details: 

Lipstick: - $14.00USD
Madly Creative - Pink neutral with white pearl (Frost)
Ever Embellish - Plum brown with red pearl (Lustre)
Made with Love- Bright coral pink (Lustre)
Colour Crafted - Milky pink (Frost)
Trimming Talk- Bright fuschia (Frost)
Most Popular - Purple with yellow undertone (Lustre) (Repromote: Hello Kitty)

These have a new marbled texture. They contain three colors that mix into one.

Pretty Pattern - Warm mid-tone beige
Crazy Haute - Blue pink
Nice Mix Up - Burnt ginger
Funky Fusion - Pink coral
Eclectic Edge - Cool violet
Miss Marble - Muted pink

Mineralize Skinfinish: 
Three of these are the regular MSF design and three are "striped" with three different complimentary colours.

Sunny by Nature- Rich bronze with pink pearl pig
Cheeky Bronze - Soft golden coral wth bronze pearl
Porcelain Pink - Soft pinky coral wth gold veining
Triple Fusion - Left: Soft champagne gold / Center: Soft golden peach / Right: Rose pink with gold nuances
Smooth Merge - Left: Soft champange pink / Center: Deep rose / Right: Pale cool pink
Warm Blend - Left: Antique gold / Center: Mahogany Bronze / Right: Copper

Mineralize Eyeshadows: 
These are a "pinwheel" design that incorporate 4 shades into one pan.

Assemblage - White with silver pearl / Deep grey / Black with silver glitter / Warm yellow gold
Odd Bits - Mid-tone silver grey / Dusty rose with gold pearl / Dark burgundy/ Peachy bronze
Fashion Patch - Ice blue / Off white / Black with silver glitter / Light white pink
Eccentricity - Rich gold / Light violet / Deep plum/ Rich bronze
Natural Flare - Copper / Yellow orange / Mid-tone brown / Rich gold
Girlish Romp - Mid-tone violet / Yellow white with gold pearl / Light pastel coral / Mid-tone pink

Mineralize Blush: - $21.00USD
Hand-Finish - Light pink with deep gold veining
Fab-dabulous - Mid-tone burnt coral with yellow gold veining
Daft Pink - Deep blue pink with light white gold veining
Improvise - Mid-tone neutral coral with light white yellow gold veining
Cheek & Cheerful - Mid-tone bronzy brown with yellow gold veining
Style Demon - Mid-tone brick red with copper veining

NARS Orgasm Multiple

NARS Orgasm Multiple

NARS is famous for high quality products with names that make you 'blush' (literally). The multiples that they make are lovely! I bought the multiple in Orgasm which I find is better than the famous Orgasm powder blush. The texture is smooth and velvety. I apply it directly to the apples of my cheeks by streaking on a couple light layers, then blend it with my MAC 187. I have been using this multiple everyday for the last couple weeks and just LOVE it. It's pretty expensive: 37 dollars!! I think it's worth it as long as I finish it before it expires. I've gotten a lot of use out of it and get many many compliments. I completely recommend this product (btw, it looks sort of small in the pictures. It's a pretty thick tube in reality). 

MAC Cream Color Bases

MAC Cream Color Base in Pearl

I only have one cream color base. I admit it. I do, however, want some more, but there are no colors that I really want. I purchased "Pearl" because a good friend used it in the inner corner of her eyes and it really made her eyes pop. The name, Cream Color Base, does make you think that it'd be a very good eyeshadow base. I've only used it as an eyeshadow base once and it was just so disappointing. if you're looking for an eyeshadow base, don't get these. Get a paint pot or paint if you want MAC, better yet get Urban Decay Primer Potion from Urban Decay. The cream color bases crease like crazy!! They are nice for the first hour and really bring out pigmentations of eyeshadows. Then it just goes all wrong..................

Here is a list of pros and cons:

-Creases Eyeshadows
-Not for all skin tones
-Greasy liquid gathers on the top of it 
-Melts in hot weather

-Beautiful highlighter in the corners of eyes, along the bridge of your nose, and other places
-Creamy and easy to apply
-Can be applied with fingers
-Shimmery and beautiful

The third con needs a little bit of explanation. I purchased this online which was such a mistake. After all the transportation it had melted a little and I didn't feel like the consistency ever went back to what it was in the first place. If I don't use Pearl for awhile, I open it and find a few droplets of water sitting on the top and some condensation. This is understandable for a cream product, but a little bothersome to wipe up. 

Overall, I really enjoy this product. I use it mostly in winter because I get very tan during summer. It wakes you up in winter when everyone else looks tired and dull.