Tuesday, December 29, 2009

LA Colors Green Satin: A Bargain Hunter's Answer to Chanel Jade Nail Lacquer

While perusing through the aisles of my local dollar store, I came across the stand of LA Colors Nail Polish. The lovely shade of Green Satin stood out to me most. With my lemmings for Chanel Jade Nail Lacquer, Green Satin seemed like a possible dupe for those on a budget.

Green Satin is a pastel minty green with pearl laced through it. Application is no fun. It's actually a bit streaky and sheer. Allow plenty of drying time, otherwise you will surely get a smudging. For swatches, I used a whopping 4 coats with OPI Start To Finish Base & Top Coat. At that, it is not completely opaque, there is some sheerness to it.

The good? It's a great price and the color is beautiful. While the formula isn't amazing, I think I'll just make sure I have the time and patience to apply it.

While I only paid $1 CAD plus tax, on the web you may want to check out here to pick up your own bottle.

MAC Love Lace Review & Swatches

I hope that everyone has had a Merry Christmas and gotten a chance to pick up some of the MAC Love Lace Collection. It was released at the same time as MAC Warm & Cozy and is small in comparison with shades that are mostly frosty and lean cool.

I picked up Light Affair Nail Lacquer, Raven Kohl Power Eye Liner, Pincurl Eye Shadow, Suave Intentions Eye Shadow and Love Lace Eye Shadow.

Light Affair Nail Lacquer is a pale lilac-gray. It has some similarities to Cool Reserve from the Nail Trend Fall/Winter 2009. However, it is significantly lighter. For swatches, I used 3 coats with OPI Start to Finish Base & Top Coat. Application is a bit streaky on this, so I would use a top coat to ensure that it is smooth.

Ravel Kohl Power Eye Liner is a dramatic red with black. Of the many liners I have in my jar, I can't seem to find one that it is close to it ;)

Pincurl Eye Shadow is a light gray almost white with pink opalescent shimmer. It's nearly the same as MAC Vex Eye Shadow. It's so much the same thing that I'm just about ready to bring it back, but I've just about hit pan on my old pot of Vex.

Suave Intentions Eye Shadow is a light blue with pearl shimmer. It is one of the nicest Veluxe Pearl finish eye shadows I have. It's almost creamy on application. The closest dupes are Fashion Eye Shadow and Silverthorn Eye Shadow. Silverthorn has a golden cast to it, is lighter than Suave Intentions and will go more gray quite readily depending on what you put next to it. Fashion Eye Shadow is lighter than Suave Intentions and has more shimmer to it.

Love Lace Eye Shadow is grayed over blue with pearl shimmer. Once again, it is a Veluxe Pearl finish eye shadow with a great texture. I don't own a lot of blues and am a bit hard pressed to find a dupe of this. Up against Tilt, Star by Night, Deep Truth and Deep Shade, I find it is closest to Tilt. However Tilt does have a golden shimmer to it and is a brighter shade of blue.

I have Hypnotize since I got the Sorceress Eye Shadow Kit from the Holiday Collection. Some close MAC shades are Circa Plum Pigment, Mauvement Pigment and Fashion Groupie Eye Shadow. However these 3 are actually closer dupes of each other than they are dupes of Hypnotize. Hypnotize is grayer and more subdued than these, but do check out the pictures so that you can judge it for yourself.

Besides Hypnotize, I also have the 44 Lashes, a white eyeliner from NYX, Zoomlash Mascara, and other products for doing my eye brows. So no need to buy extras at the moment. ;) As pretty as the lipsticks were, I chose not to get the lipsticks as I found them too sheer for my liking. I also found that they were too light and too blue of a pink for me to pull off. I may go back and get Sense of Style Kohl Power Eye Liner, Icescape Lipglass and Utterly Discrete Lipglass, but I'll have to wait and see how I feel about them in a week or so.

Until the next collection, enjoy the swatches and comparison pics! :)

MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator & Thermal Mask Review

Two of my favorite items from MAC Style Black released at the end of September were the MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator and the Volcanic Ash Thermal Mask. I fell in love with both items which are unfortunately limited edition. I admit, I hoarded a bit and got 6 tubes of each product. Both products have a distinctive earthy smell and gritty texture (exfoliator being the thicker and grittier of the two).

The exfoliator leaves my skin feeling super soft. Since it contains sugar particles in addition to volcanic ash, it doesn't feel like I'm rubbing something to harsh on my skin. I like that it contains sugar since it kind of tells you that you're done. Just remember not to use it on a very wet face, otherwise the sugar will dissolve too soon.

Using the mask is relaxing and lush. On slightly damp skin, the warmth begins. It lasts only for a few seconds, just enough to allow my pores to open up. After rinsing it off, it leaves my skin feeling extremely clean. Immediately after using the mask, it did appear that my acne had gone down in size. Since both products contain sulfur, it should be a given that it would help acne.

In over 2 months of use for 2 to 3 times a week, I have noticed that hyper-pigmentation due to acne has gone down significantly. My skin appears clearer and more even in color. While these products aren't the only changes I've made to my skincare regime (ie. the addition of the Clarisonic MIA). I do feel that they've made a change in the frequency, number and size of my acne. My skin feels softer, appears smoother and is more even in skin tone.

I have not had any reactions to either product. I haven't noticed any strange tightening or stinging. Both products feel soothing and relaxing for me. If you can still get your hands on this, I suggest you try it. Stock up and store carefully my fellow beauty addicts :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Maybelline Eye Studio Duo Khaki Craze & Ivy Icon Review & Swatches

After the glitter, sheerness and fallout of Maybelline Eye Studio in Green with Envy, I was just hoping for something more with the Eye Studio Eye Shadow Duos. I got mine at Walmart for $7.96 CAD. Prices may vary from store to store, so definitely look around. :) Each container has 2.2 grams.

The Ivy Icon duo has a light leafy green shade and a darker leafy green shade. Both shades are slightly on the cool side and have gold shimmer through out. As well, both are quite frosty as most mineral shadows are. Applied dry, this is quite sheer. When applied wet, it does appear shimmery and beautiful. Over top of a base, the shimmer dances and plays with the light.

The Khaki Craze Duo has a warm golden brown shade and a warm medium gold shade. Once again, this is quite frosty. Applied dry, this is not as sheer as Ivy Icon. Over top of a base or applied wet, this becomes quite gorgeous.

At first glance, the Eye Studio Eye Shadow Duos do remind me a lot of MAC Mineralize Eye Shadow Duos, but they're definitely not dupes due in terms of color selection and pigmentation. Pigmentation on these is a bit on the sheer side. The texture of the eye shadows is surprisingly good. While I wouldn't say they're smooth and creamy, they are finely milled and soft, definitely not chunky or gritty. On application, they do have fallout issues. However, this is one of those things that I deal with since it's a mineral eye shadow. As for staying power, I think they hold up pretty well. I've worn both over MAC Bare Canvas Paint and after 8 hours of wear, the colors are less vibrant but still distinct. While I had glitter fallout at the end of the day with the Maybelline Eye Studio Quad in Green with Envy, I found I didn't have this issue with either duo. Not bad for a drugstore buy. :)

I've been on a bit of a green kick lately. No idea why! Perhaps it's my longing for Spring ;) I don't tend to go for greens, but I'm liking how they work with my skin tone. The swatches below are with Khaki Craze on the left and Ivy Icon on the right. From top to bottom, applied over Gosh Cosmetics Waterproof Eye Shadow in Love That Beige, MAC Paint in Bare Canvas, no base & dry, and no base & wet. Hope that helps and happy shopping :)

Maybelline Eye Studio Quad Green with Envy Review & Swatches

While picking up some ground beef for dinner at Walmart, I checked out the makeup aisles and found that they had the new Maybelline Eye Studio Collection for Spring 2010. I was able to get the Eye Studio Quad in Green with Envy, Eye Studio Duo in Khaki Craze and Eye Studio Duo in Ivy Icon.

The Eye Studio Quad in Green with Envy retails for $9.96 CAD at Walmart. It includes 2.5 g (0.09 oz). It includes 4 shades. Looking at the palette, from left to right, they are light champagne, pale green, medium champagne, and dark green brown. All have distinct gold glitter.

The texture is slightly chalky and dry. On their own, all of the shades are quite sheer. They need a base to really show well. For the swatches I've done, I've used Gosh Cosmetics Love That Beige Waterproof Eye Shadow.

I did wear this out a few times to road test it. Over MAC Bare Canvas Paint, I found it held up okay over 8 hours of wear. The colors fade a bit over the day but fall out issues abound. Glitter all over my cheeks. :( I was not pleased.

Now, I'm willing to pay for fallout if the given result is great enough for the work. Unfortunately, I can't say it is. Between getting another Maybelline Eye Studio Quad and a NYX palette, I'd go with another NYX palette or even a Maybelline Eye Studio Duo instead.

Hope that helps and you enjoy the swatches :)

Essie Mint Candy Apple Review & Swatches

Essie Mint Candy Apple is part of the limited edition Winter Collection for 2009. Mint Candy Apple is a delicious shade of pastel mint with a bluish tinge to it. It's a lovely shade that will be sure to turn heads with those lemming Chanel Jade. As previously, with Knockout Cosmetics Pool Nail Polish post, I am not willing to pay Ebay prices for Jade. While it's gorgeous, there are other lovely shades of pastel green that rock. Needless to say, Mint Candy Apple is definitely one to look out for.

Applying Mint Candy Apple is just like most other creamy finished nail polishes. It's smooth, not lumpy, not streaky and not sheer. In the past, I've found Essie nail polishes to be a bit on the sheer side, requiring slightly more coats to reach opacity. So I was pleasantly surprised when this reached opacity in 2-3 coats. It does wear quite well. I wore it for 4-5 days with Seche Vite Quick Dry Top Coat before getting to significant tip wear.

Swatches are done with 3 coats of polish, Seche Vite Ridge Filling Base Coat, Seche Vite Quick Dry Top Coat and Creative Nails Solar Speed Spray. I got mine on Ebay for roughly $8 CAD. I had gotten several other polishes at the same time and the wonderful seller let me combine shipping. I have yet to see this in store north of the USA-Canadian border. So for something festive that will transition to spring, I do hope you get a chance to check out Essie Mint Candy Apple. :)

Knockout Cosmetics Pool Nail Polish Review & Swatches

Knockout Cosmetics Pool Nail Polish is a pretty shade of aqua blue in a flatte finish. Flatte is described as a no-shine look. ie. a matte. It retails for $21 CAD at Aritzia. It is also available stateside at Henri Bendel and Kitson LA. This nail polish is that it is cruelty free and is DBP, Toluene and Formaldehyde free.

This polish requires great care to apply evenly and requires time in-between to dry. Anything less can be a goopy mess! (& yes, I am speaking from experience ;) I had to clear out at least 3/4's of the polish on the brush itself before attempting to apply. It goes on relatively thick, dries to a thin and slightly sheer. Two coats is almost opaque. Three coats is completely opaque.

The color is gorgeous. It's what really drew me in. I had been on the hunt for a Chanel Jade dupe or comparable shade. (Seriously, there's just no way I am willing to pay Ebay prices for it.) I bought this one late afternoon when it was getting quite dark. It had looked more green at the time since I had put it over another polish I was wearing. Now I can see it is distinctly aqua and not at all pastel. In terms of a dupe in color, I'd go for LA Girl Flare NL89 ($3.80 at Forever 21), also known as Nirvana and Vinyl Record. (I wish they'd be more consistent with their naming!) Nirvana/Vinyl Record is not a matte though, but any matte top coat can fix that. ;)

Given that it is a matte finish a top coat is not required, although a base coat does help. After a few days wearing it, it does show tip wear and chips. Even though I change my nail color 2-3 times a week, it was frustrating to see so much wear so soon. Of course, this is due to a lack of a top coat. In addition, since it is a matte, this tends to show any marks and such. Unfortunately, I used to have gel nails, so the marks are visible (in particular in the close up thumbnail pic).

The bottle itself is unique and reminds me of old Hollywood glamour. The skinny long handle and scalloped shape are very pretty. It would look gorgeous sitting on a vanity with a marabou feather pouf and a gorgeous compact sitting beside it. However, the handle makes it slightly more unwieldy for application. I found myself often grabbing it close to the bottom of the handle (ie. closer to the brush) for greater control.

Honestly, I can't really recommend this nail polish. I could find a much better formula from OPI, China Glaze, LA Girl or Sally Hansen. The color is gorgeous and eye catching, but once again there are other nail polishes on the market that would probably due the trick at a less expensive price point. However, if you want a little luxe in your life, try it out. Maybe you'll like it more than me. :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

FOTD: Kat Von D True Love Palette & MAC Siss

This is a look I did a few days ago to do some Christmas shopping. It's relatively simple and uses lots of warm shades that remind me of the MAC Warm & Cozy Collection. I also pulled out an old friend MAC Siss lipstick, part of the MAC Warm & Cozy Collection. It completely neutralizes my lips so they blend into my skin. It's a perfect base to show off a sparkly lipgloss, such as MAC Silly Girl, a gorgeous orangey shade with gold flecks. It compliments the warm side of the Kat Von D True Love Palette. This palette is a winner, no question about it. All of the shadows are gorgeous and are easy to work with. In particular, I really love Peanut (frosty champagne beige) & Benji (orangey copper). Am sure to do another FOTD with the other half of the shadows. Enjoy the photo's!

What I used:

MAC Paint, Magrittes
Kat Von D True Love Palette, Peanut, Benji, Rebekah
Tarte Treasure Chest, shimmery gold (1st tier, 2nd row, 2nd column)
MAC Fluidline, Blacktrack
MAC Plushlash Mascara, Plushblack

MAC Mineralize Blush, Warm Soul
MAC Sculpt & Shape Power, Accenutate/Sculpt

MAC Lipstick, Siss
MAC Lipglass, Silly Girl


Apply Magrittes to lid with MAC 217 brush. Apply shimmery gold to brow bone with a MAC 252 brush. Apply Peanut to inner third of lid with MAC 228 brush. Apply Benji to middle third of lid with a MAC 239 brush (take care to blend out because it is a cream shadow). Apply Rebekah to outer third of lid with a MAC 228 brush. Apply Rebekah to crease and above crease with a MAC 226 brush. Apply Rebekah to lower lashline with a MAC 214 brush. Apply Blacktrack to upper waterline with a MAC 212 brush. Curl lashes and apply mascara. Apply Warm Soul with a MAC 129 brush. Apply Accentuate to highlight. Apply Sculpt to hollows of cheeks. Apply Siss to lips and Silly Girl over top.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

MAC Haul's From Weeks Gone By

I've been a tad absent on hauls and such lately. Things happen, so now is the time to catch up. In my MAC hauling, I've gotten Blonde's Gold pigment, $$$$$ Yes Nail Polish, Artifact Paint Pot and the coveted Sharkskin Shadestick.

Yes, I found Sharkskin. The counter manager mentioned that they were out of stock for the last year, so I was pleasantly surprised to see they had it on display. Of course I did some comparison swatches to see if there was anything close. The closest item in my stash was MAC Paint Pot in Blackground. Both are black with some shimmer. Blackground has grey multi-colored shimmer and Sharkskin has frosty grey shimmer.

MAC Artifact Paint Pot is another beauty I had to have. I had gotten a sample a few months back that I really enjoyed. It's beautiful layered with similar dark burgundy colors, such as Volturi Twilight Labyrinth Loose Eye Shadow in Dusk, MAC Eye Shadow in Sketch, Glamour Check! and Beauty Marked, or even Too Faced Full Frontal.

Blonde's Gold pigment is just another MAC Pro pigment that I had major lemmings on for months. They were out of stock at the Pro store since late August, then they finally got it in mid-November. Blonde's Gold is a beautiful frosted champagne. I love it! To some it may be just another frosted champagne pigment, but it runs a little paler and less pink than some. Of course I swatched it against some other frosted champagne and gold pigments. Against Annabelle Gold Fizz, Gold Fizz is quite obviously gold. MAC Jardin Aires is quite similar, but has some peachy-pink to it. NYX Mink Pearl is really close, but a bit darker. MAC Gold Mode is another close pigment that has a bit of pink to it.

Lastly, I got $$$$$ Yes from the MAC Magic, Mirth, and Mischief! Collection. I adore the mirror like finish of this nail polish and I'm happy to use this with a good ridge filling nail polish base. Without a base, this polish has no mercy and will expose any flaw. The work involved to get this to look fabulous is definitely worth it =)

There goes my MAC haul. All items well worth it and being loved in my stash. =) Enjoy the pics and let me know your recent MAC hauls ;)

Lippmann Collection Dream a Little Dream of Me Review & Swatches

Lippmann Collection's Dream a Little Dream of Me ($19 CAD) is the complete opposite end of the spectrum of colors as Don't Tell Mama. Dream a Little Dream of Me is a sheer pink with blue and pearl shimmer. It makes me think of MAC Frozen White pigment mixed in with a sheer cool blue pink nail polish. It's definitely not a winter color, but it's so pretty that I had to get it at Murale.

The formula itself is not too thick and not too thin. It applies smoothly and dries fast. It dries down to feel like it's almost not there. Much like Chanel nail polish. This shade is so gorgeous, I just wish it were more opaque. The sheerness makes it nice for layering over other nail polishes though. I think I'll layer it over top of a creamy pink nail polish next time to give it more oomph. Enjoy the pictures :)

FOTD: MAC Prive & Tarte Treasure Chest

As today is the third week of Advent, I knew our priest at Church would be wearing a pink vestment. Pinks were on my brain ;) This time I thought I'd use an old friend, the Tarte Treasure Chest which I have realized I've neglected to post using it. I also have to say that I am really liking MAC Plushlash Mascara. I'll post a review and comparison post in the near future, but so far it's been the winner out of the MAC mascara's I've used so far. Lastly, I did have to use my new pretty pink lipstick, Prive. It's luxe and creamy. :) Enjoy the photo's.

What I used:

Urban Decay Primer Potion
MAC Paint Bare Canvas
MAC Fluidline Blacktrack
MAC Plushlash Mascara, Plushblack

Tarte Treasure Chest Eye Shadows:
matte pinky beige (2nd tier, row 1, column 1)

matte cool pink (2nd tier, row 1, column 3)
matte cool purple (2nd tier, row 2, column 3)
matte cool medium gray (2nd tier, row 1, column 2)

MAC Sheer Mystery Powder, Medium Plus
MAC Select SPF 15 Foundation, NC40
MAC Select Cover-Up, NW35 (undereyes)
MAC Select Cover-Up, NC35 (blemishes)
MAC Mineralize Skin Finish, Perfect Topping
MAC Mineralize Blush, Dainty

MAC Lipstick, Prive
MAC Plushglass, Bountiful
Annabelle Metallic Lipliner, Mystic

What I did:

Apply UDPP, let set. Apply Bare Canvas to lids with a MAC 217 brush. Apply pinky beige to brow bone with a MAC 252 brush. Apply cool pink inner 2/3 of lid with a MAC 239 brush. Apply cool purple to outer third of lid with a MAC 228. Apply cool purple to crease with a MAC 226 brush. Apply cool medium gray to crease with a MAC 226 brush. Apply Blacktrack to upper and lower waterline with a MAC 212 brush. Curl lashes and apply mascara. Apply Dainty to cheeks and highlight as desired with Perfect Topping. Line lips with Mystic lip liner. Apply Prive lipstick and top with Bountiful.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

MAC Mineralize All-Over Lotion Review

MAC Mineralize All-Over Lotion ($38CAD) is set to release in the MAC Warm & Cozy Collection on December 26, 2009. However, being the Ebay addict that I am, I was able to scoop up one to try out. The first thing I noticed with this is that it comes in the same size tube as the MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator and Volcanic Ash Thermal Mask. 100mL of product didn't seem like enough to me given the price. I only hoped that this would be hydrating and wouldn't be sticky.

It was certainly hydrating and not sticky at all. In fact, it is fast absorbing, light in texture and very light in scent. Used on my dry arms, they feel moisturized and not greasy. Used on my eyelids and dry patches due to acne meds, the dry spots have just about disappeared. They feel hydrated and back to a normal healthy looking state.

Side note: I tend to find Urban Decay Primer Potion, Too Faced Shadow Insurance, MAC Paint, MAC Paint Pots, MAC Greasepaint, MAC Shadesticks and other similar eye shadow base products to be very drying on my eyelids. Flakiness and redness abounded for many months. I was so frustrated that at one point, I thought I had a skin infection or parasite just on my eyelids. After all sorts of meds and creams, I skipped the eyeshadow base for over a week and found my lids to return to normal. However, creasey lids simply will not do for me. So I use them anyways and apply moisturizer twice daily. Previously, I had been using Nivea Soft (left a bit of a residue) or Impruv moisturizer (super hard to find!), both worked well. However, I've been needing something more versatile that can be used both day and night.

Overall, I think I'll use this mostly on my eye lids and dry patches on my face. In the future, I find the price a bit hard to swallow to use it everywhere else. I did get my tube for about $16 CAD with shipping, so I'm okay to use it beyond my face for now. I'm glad this is set to be a permanent item. Finding a good moisturizer to combat dry patches that is not sticky and quick absorbing can be really frustrating!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Clarisonic MIA Sonic Skin Care Review

I have used my Clarisonic MIA for just over a month. Overall, I'm absolutely loving it. From the Clarisonic website the, "Clarisonic is the sonic technology proven to gently yet effectively loosen dirt and oil to clear your pores. The Clarisonic Cleansing System uses a patented sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second to clean, soften and smooth your skin. In just 60 seconds a day, the Clarisonic micro-massage action cleans more than twice as effectively as manual cleansing."

On using it with a foaming cleanser and water, it rapidly creates a large amount of foam compared to rubbing a foaming cleanser and water in my hands. I found that I would use less foaming cleanser with the MIA compared to creating a foam in my hands.

The timer on the MIA is set to 60 seconds, using it for 10 seconds on each cheek, 20 seconds on the forehead and 20 seconds on the chin. I use it for 2 minutes just to make sure I get everything out of there. ;) I don't find this is to harsh though as I am using the Sensitive brush head.

When using a toner after cleansing, I did notice that the cotton pad had very little makeup residue and oil on it. It almost feels like a step I could skip, but I do it anyways to ensure thorough cleansing.

I do find that my skin has become noticeably smoother and softer. Previously, I had been using the MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator and Thermal Mask every other day. This softened and smoothed my skin, but didn't last long before I had to use them again. Now that I'm using the MIA, I find that if I use MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator and Thermal Mask every 2-3 days, my skin still feels soft and smooth.

As well, I've found that the blackheads that have dotted my nose from puberty have just about disappeared. Yes almost, but not quite. They redevelop of course over time. It just means I need to spend a little more time gently pressing the MIA to my nose.

My greatest benefit to using this that I've noticed a difference in my acne. While I've never been one to have cystic acne, I do have mild to moderate acne with new zits rearing their ugly head at least once a week. I've found that so far I've had a decreased frequency and size in acne. ie. smaller zits and less often. I expected to have a slight break out at first, but that didn't happen. The reason being that even though it brings the dirt up, it may not remove it completely, providing a nice little pearl of dirt to develop acne. Obviously, I am happy this didn't happen. It just means that the MIA is doing its job. =)

I purchased the MIA through The Shopping Channel where they offer Easy Pay. This allows me to use the product for quite some time before I make my last payment. This makes it much more affordable by delaying the payments. The best part is that they don't charge you interest, so it isn't like other programs where you pay extra for delaying payment.

After over 30 days of use, this is truly a keeper for me. I'm really glad I got it. I don't feel my skin has been this good for many many years.

FOTD: Gold's & Brown's from the Tarte Treasure Chest

I have finally gotten to use my Tarte Treasure Chest! :D I know I should've gotten lots of use out of it already, but I've gotten sidelined by so many things lately. It just sat there on top of my makeup organizer without being touched. I broke it out yesterday for a trip to the grocery store.

I kept things nice and simple and chose 4 gold and brown shades from the upper tier of shimmery shadows in the Tarte Treasure Chest. They are located on the upper left corner of the upper tier. Given the photo at the end of this post (from top left corner, clockwise) they are warm gold shimmer, soft brown shimmer, light gold shimmer and dark brown shimmer. All have noticeable gold flecks.

The lipgloss I used in this look is a sheer coral with shimmer. It is located in the second column and second row. It is very sheer. I'd probably use it over MAC Costa Chic lipstick to kick it up a notch. The blush in this look is a very pretty pinky peach with some gold shimmer. It is very similar to MAC Fleur Power Blush. As well, I used MAC Sheer Mystery Powder to set my foundation. Just so you can see the very very light sheen it has.

What I used:
Tarte Treasure Chest: warm gold, soft brown, light gold and dark brown
NYX Long Eye Pencil, dark brown
Urban Decay Skyscraper Mascara
Gosh Cosmetics Shimmering & Waterproof Eye Shadow, Love That Beige
Benefit Browzing, dark brown
MAC Brow Set, clear

MAC Select Sheer SPF 15 Foundation, NC40
MAC Sheer Mystery Powder, Medium Plus
MAC Select Cover Up Concealer, NW35 (under eyes)
Tarte Treasure Chest: pink peach blush

Tarte Treasure Chest: sheer coral

Apply Love That Beige to lids. Apply warm gold eye shadow to entire lid with a MAC 239 brush, pack more to inner corner. Apply light gold eye shadow to brow bone with a MAC 252 brush. Apply soft brown eye shadow to crease and above crease using a MAC 226. Apply dark brown eye shadow to outer third of lid and in crease. Blend out edges with your favorite blending brush. Apply dark brown eye liner to upper lashline. Curl lashes and apply mascara. Apply blush to cheeks and lipgloss to lips.

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Volturi Twilight Gift Kit Pack Review & Swatches

I've been recently hooked into Twilight. I'm rapidly finishing reading Eclipse and have Breaking Dawn on hold at the library ready to be picked up shortly. I've also hauled a few of the Volturi Twilight Labyrinth Loose Eye Shadows that I was pleased that they turned out far better than I expected. While picking up Dawn Labyrinth Loose Eye Shadow, I also got the Volturi Twilight Gift Kit ($35CAD at London Drugs). It includes an eye shadow pallette, a lip gloss duo, black eye liner, all-over shimmer powder, fuchsia nail polish, black nail polish, blush brush and a sharpener.

The eye shadow palette includes 6 eye shadows: purple, black, blue, yellow, green and pink. The purple and black are matte finish, while the rest are frosty. All have low pigmentation and not something I would normally buy. A base is required to get these to show up. (I used Gosh Love That Beige as a base.) The purple and black are chalky, while the frosty shades are creamier. Over time, the colors become more muted and fade away. On one afternoon, I was wearing the green and purple. After 3 hours, the green had gone from a soft mint to a barely noticeable tinge of green.

The lip gloss duo includes a frosty nude pink and a frosty warm medium rose. Surprisingly these applied creamy and pigmented. Both are colors that I would be happy to wear. However they do have a very very sweet scent that can be a bit much.

The black eye liner is basic black eye liner. Nothing special. It has a harder tip compared to the NYX Eye Pencil in black. I was impressed by how pigmented it did apply. Although not as dark as MAC Feline, it is darker than my NYX Black Eye Pencil. As for staying power, there isn't much there. It disappears within a few hours of wear.

The nail polishes weren't bad at all. 2 coats with the black resulted in opaque coverage. 2 coats with the hot pink left a medium opaque coverage. The brushes of the nail polishes did have to be trimmed though due to some bristles that were longer than the rest.

The all over shimmer was interesting to look at in the pan. It was the one pieces that caught my eye the most at the store. Out of everything in the set, this is one of the better items. It reminds me of MAC Pink Opal pigment with the white and pink duochrome. The shimmer is also similar to MAC Strobe Cream. However, I find it is a bit light to use as an all over shimmer. Being an NC40, it creates a very pale cast to my skin that shimmers slightly, but is a bit odd. (Perhaps for that vampire glow?) In future, I would use this as a highlighter.

Overall, this set doesn't wow me over. I kind of wish I hadn't bought it since the only items I like are the all over shimmer, lip gloss duo and nail lacquers. The eye shadows are pretty in the pan, but are nothing compared to a decent eye shadow. eg. Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush Wet/Dry Eye Shadows. (Really love those, I got another shade recently ;) If you are a Twilight Fan, this may be what you are looking for.