Monday, April 26, 2010

Make Up For Ever One Too Many HD Microfinish Cream Blush Review & Swatches

One Too Many HD Microfinish Cream Blush was just one small part of my Sephora sale haul. While I'm not usually one to get cream blushes, I figured I'd give this a shot.

One Too Many is a pretty peachy beige. It's one of those colors that I could use everyday, which is one of the reasons I got it. Not shimmery, just glowing peachy cheeks on my NC40 skin. I could use this with almost everything :)

The formula is smooth and light. Not at all heavy or greasy once set. Its nearly weightless, it's so subtle in texture and color.

The only thing I'd worry about with HD Microfinish Blush is that application technique will change the amount of pigmentation left on your cheeks. This blush sets quickly compared to MAC Cremeblend Blushes, MAC Blushcremes and NARS Multiples. Applied with a duofibre blush like the MAC 187, is a light application that is even and perfectly blended. Brush application though does require a full pump of product. Applied with fingers, far less product is required. Approximately half a pump is just right. However quick blending is needed prior to it setting. I do prefer using clean fingers because I usually use my MAC 187 for mineral blushes and darker more pigmented blushes. Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Blush is definitely worth a look at. I hope to pick up a few more in the future as long as my budget allows for it ;)
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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hard Candy Pin Up & Honeymoon Baked Blush Review & Swatches

Hard Candy Baked Blushes are shimmery pots of inexpensive glamour. Each pot contains 8 grams, 0.28 oz and cost approximately $8 USD each at Walmart. I got Pin Up and Honeymoon. Honeymoon is shimmery yellow pink with lavender and pink veining. Pin Up is shimmery peachy pink beige with brown and peach veining.

I find Honeymoon fairly light to use as a blush on my NC40 skintone. I'd use this more so as a highlighter or to tone down a brighter blush. It does come off as very frosty, so a light hand is required to prevent looking too shiny. It is quite close to MAC Porcelain Pink Mineralize Skin Finish and also quite similar to MAC Perfect topping Mineralize Skin Finish. This is at least on my skintone. I know this will probably vary from one on others who are lighter than myself.

Pin Up is much a pretty pinky peach beige with hints of brown. It is just dark enough for me to use as a blush. It is not as frosty as Honeymoon. It actually reminds me of a lighter MAC Warm Soul Mineralize Blush and browner version of MAC By Candlelight Mineralize Skin Finish.

Overall, I'm really liking these. They're great value for anyone on a budget or are interested in an inexpensive splurge. I'm hoping to make my way down to Walmart in the USA again so I can get Living Doll and Bombshell. It's just too bad they don't sell these at the Canadian Walmart or I'd be trying out more Hard Candy.

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More MAC Art Supplies Greasepaint Sticks Review & Swatches

I adore MAC Greasepaint Sticks. At first, I thought I may as well get a few more to just about complete my collection of greasepaint sticks. They work beautifully as a base and are much creamier than Shadesticks. The pencil form makes them more convenient than MAC Paint Pots and Paints. The sharpener at the end allows for sharpening them up for a relatively precise application without the use of a brush. MAC Art Supplies just drew me in to get some more!

I got Uniformly Blue, Below Ground, and Charred Mauve. To round up the mini-haul, I also got Industrial Pearlglide Intense Eye Liner. Uniformly Blue is a deep dark purplish blue. In the tube, it appears almost the same as B Greasepaint Stick from Dsquared 2. However, on swatching, B is noticeably a more vivid and brighter shade of blue that reminds me of Blue Flame from Style Black and good old Deep Truth. Uniformly Blue edges on indigo in the range of blues. It's more like Contrast from the permanent MAC eye shadow range.

Charred Mauve and V is the purple pairing. Charred Mauve is significantly darker and not as bright as V. However, their differences are not as great as between B and Uniformly Blue. Charred Mauve is a more subdued and darker shade than V.

To round up my Greasepaint Sticks I also got Below Ground. It is a darkened frosted bronze that matches well with Antiqued and Tempting eye shadows. I skipped on Brown Now for now since it reminded me a lot of Artifact Paint Pot. While I love the shade, I couldn't quite justify getting it. However, this may change ;)

Lastly, Industrial Pearlglide Intense Eye Liner is a silvery blue liner that really grabbed me the second time around. I could see myself using this on the lower lashline to lighten up a gray smokey eye. It would be that little bit of light to contrast the dark. Enjoy the swatches!
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Comparison: MAC Hypnotizing Eye Shadow, Style Snob, Mauvement, Satin Taupe, Shale

MAC Hypnotizing Eye Shadow is one shade of eye shadow that has driven me madly in love with it. I use it often to vary up a smoky eye. Unfortunately, I didn't get Hypnotizing as a part of the MAC Love Lace Collection so I don't have a full size version. However, I do have it from the MAC Sorceress Holiday Eye Shadow Palette. I would describe Hypnotizing as a medium slightly cool mauve in a frost finish. My use of Hypnotizing has been a bit rampant as of late. I am pretty close to hitting pan, so I thought about picking up a new one on Ebay, but the prices are bit steep compared to retail.

While perusing my stash, the immediate shadows that come close in finish and color from MAC are Circa Plum pigment, Mauvement pigment, Shale eye shadow, Style Snob eye shadow and Satin Taupe Eye Shadow.
  • Circa Plum is, "frosty dirty mid-tone lavender."
  • Mauvement is, "cool taupe with gold pearl."
  • Shale is in a satin finish that is described as," Muted mauve-plum with subtle shimmer."
  • Style Snob eye shadow is in a Starflash finish that is described as, "dirty pink brown with bronze."
  • Satin Taupe is in a frost finish that is described as," Taupe brown with silvery bronze shimmer." It is noticeably darker than the other eye shadows and pigments.

Swatches are done with top row of over MAC Paint in Bare Canvas. Bottom row is on bare skin. 1st photo is in bright day light. 2nd photo is slightly shaded day light lighting.

At the end of the day, is Hypnotizing overly unique? No, not really depending on the lighting. Under bright natural light, It's pretty close to all of them except for Satin Taupe. More subdued lighting, it's pretty close to Style Snob, Circa Plum, Mauvement and Shale. Satin Taupe is noticeably darker in both sets of lighting. For darker shaded ladies, this may work as a great dupe never the less. This ends my hunt for replacing Hypnotizing and a happier wallet :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

NOTD: China Glaze Grape Pop Nail Polish

China Glaze Grape Pop is one shade of purple that really grabs your attention without going over the top. It's such a unique shade that in the few days I wore it, I had people stopping to ask me about it while out shopping. Grape Pop is a cream finished medium dark shade of bluish-purple. While a frosted or shimmery shade of purple is easy to find, cream finishes are far less common. The formula is a tad thick, although provides excellent full coverage in two medium coats. Top it with a third if desired, but I didn't feel it was necessary. A clear top coat made for glossy royal nails. Lovely and striking, I'd wear this every day but it isn't quite work appropriate ;)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sephora VIB Sale Haul & Mini-Reviews

Hello my dear readers. I hope everyone's gone to their nearest Sephora to pick up a few little cosmetics and beauty treasures. Being a shopaholic, I picked up a small haul of three items. I picked up the Sephora 18K Gold Plated Eye Lash Curler, Benefit Sugarbomb Blush, Makeup Forever HD Microfinish Blush in One Too Many, Tokidoki Kabuki Brush, Korres Jasmine Body Butter, Murad Acne Spot Treatment and Sephora Flashy Waterproof Liner in Flashy Pink.

The Sephora 18K Gold Plated Eye Lash Curler was really something I didn't need, but had been looking into getting for quite some time. My current eyelash curlers work well, but who doesn't like a little bit of luxury? Obviously, I am not opposed. I did learn from reading the side of the box that the silicone pad should be changed every 3 months. I'll be honest, I didn't know that but now I do. I'll be changing it over in tandem with my mascara to keep my eyes safe :)

Flashy Pink is a sparkling pink champagne liner that grabbed me as soon as I swatched it. While I wouldn't use this to fully line my upper lashline or lower lashline, it works as a tearduct color without wielding an eyeshadow brush and a loose eye shadow or eye shadow. In other words, I'll be able to whip this out in a hurry and I can take it away with me while on the go. :)

Benefit Sugarbomb Blush was on the top of my list. It's composed of peach, pink and lavender with shimmer. It includes a brush applicator that sits snugly above the powder. It's fairly light on me, however I think it will work well over top of blushes that tend to be a bit too bright or for a subtle cheek.

The Korres Jasmine Body Butter is a delicately scented body butter that is richly moisturizing yet not greasy. I'm in love with the scent. It reminds me of being at my uncle's home in the Philippines. At night the jasmine in the garden blooms and scent drifts in with the cool night air. This lotion takes me back and makes me feel great.

The Makeup Forever HD Microfinish Blush in One Too Many was a total impulse buy. I'd seen a few reviews of it and with the natural look of cream blushes, I was totally lemming when I saw the range. I didn't pick up the brush to go with it since I have both the MAC 187 and MAC 188 duo fibre brushes. Review and swatches coming soon as I play with it for the next few days.

The Tokidoki Kabuki Brush was too cute to pass up. I adore the packaging that it comes in, but I really like that it is antibacterial. I'm a bit of a germaphobe. In fact I have several kabuki brushes just so I can use a clean one everyday. Since the Tokidoki brush is antibacterial, I'm hoping that I'll have to clean my brushes less frequently. So far, I like how nice and soft it is. I'm just hoping it performs well.

Lastly, I got Murad Acne Spot Treatment. Every few weeks, I get a few of the nasty buggers that like to drive me mad. Since using the Clarisonic, this is far less frequent, however I still get them. While a friend of mine gave me a sample of Retin-A, I really didn't want to visit the doctor for a prescription to zap the nasty buggers. So I'm having some hope with this one. Review on this to come shortly :)

Hope everyone's gotten themselves a good haul. What did you get??? ;)

MAC Just Add Color Review & Swatches

The MAC Prep For Color Collection was a bit of a snooze. I have loads of serums and lotions with sunscreen awaiting their turn to be used one day. The collection was nearly skippable for me, except for the one gem of a gloss Just Add Color Lipglass. Just Add Color is a bright fuchsia pink with a bit of pearl/frost. It does exactly what the name says, just adds color to your look. Perfect for those lazy days when you don't feel like doing much makeup and its going to be the lips. Pair it up with black eye liner, mascara and a bit of blush and you're done. I've been using it all week to perk up my lip look ;) Enjoy the swatches.

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sneak Peak: MAC Sugar Overload Superglass Review & Swatches

To my delight, I was able to grab MAC Superglass in Sugar Overload on Ebay last week. Superglass is due to arrive at counters on May 6. Superglass is, "Shattered, decimated, blinded by a fantastic, intergalactic lip light! Just when you thought Dazzleglass was the best-of bright, along comes Superglass, with secret, snowflake-shaped helicone pearls sparkling in three different facets for triple the dazzle! Lips have gone big bang, explosively dimensional, a rare eclipse! Gloss feels slick and sleek on application with no draggy speed bumps, not a hint of grit. A light aroma of vanilla enhances kissability. Extreme innovation that’s a good reflection on MAC and the seductress lucky enough to strike upon it."

Sugar Overload is a white beige with golden flecks of glitter. In the permanent Dazzleglass line it is much akin to Moth to Flame Dazzleglass, a sheer neutral beige with violet pearl and (from memory since I don't have it) Bare Necessity, caramel apricot with red and gold pearl. While it isn't a unique shade, it is one that would go easily over top of most lipsticks for a whole lot of sparkle.

My first impression of Sugar Overload Superglass, was that it truly is more sparkly than Dazzleglass. In the sunlight, it was hard to capture in swatch pictures as the glitter winked at me from every angle. I was surprised that the glitter isn't thick or gritty thankfully even though the flakes appear relatively large. The formula is actually not as sticky as Dazzleglass or Lipglass. A pleasant surprise from MAC :) It was a lot like Dazzleglass Creme in stickiness. As other MAC lip products are scented with vanilla, this is much the same. This makes for a pleasant scent that can easily be noted if it turns. The packaging on these is fairly similar to the original Dazzleglass in the longer tube, however rather than round it is hexagonal. While it isn't particularly useful, it does help in photographing since the tube doesn't roll around. The applicator is a brush style, much like Dazzleglass.

However, the down fall to Superglass is that it is much like the original Dazzleglass in pigmentation. I found it lacked color and was fairly sheer. It would serve well as a gloss over top of lipstick, so I can't say it is useless.

I have to be truly honest though, Superglass actually reminds me a lot of Victoria's Secret Diamond Lip Gloss and Diamond Lip Glimmer. They're old and discontinued but actually used diamond dust in the lip gloss. I still have a few untouched tubes in my drawer. Superglass is a great substitute for it thankfully without the diamond dust.

Superglass wows me with sparkle, but I do wish that it had more pigmentation. Perhaps they'll do something similar to Dazzleglass and come out with Superglass Creme? Hey, a girl can dream ;) In the mean time, here are the swatches until the rest of the Superglass come out. :)

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

MAC Trip Cool Eyes Palette Review & Swatches

The MAC Trip 5 Cool Eyes Palette made it's debut in Spring 2009 at Duty Free Shops. However, I got mine on Ebay a little while ago. To my surprise, they've been made available online this year. This palette retails for $44.50 CAD on the MAC Canada site.

The palette includes Prismique, Springtime Skipper, Waternymph, Knight Divine and Flashtrack.

Prismique is a frosty white silver in a lustre finish. Thankfully, this is the only shadow in the palette that has a less than desirable texture. Being a lustre, it runs a bit drier than the other eye shadows in this palette. However, the combined pigmentation and texture make this a suitable tearduct or highlighter color.

Springtime Skipper is a frosty minty green with gold pearl in a veluxe pearl finish. The pigmentation of this is superb. However, if you're wanting just this eye shadow to fill your need for a green with a gold cast, I would look into getting either Juxt (shows up more gold on me) or Lucky Green (much more green).

Waternymph is a frosty teal with emerald pearl pigments in a frost finish. This is a beautiful shade of teal that is really quite striking. The emerald cast is unique to the teals that I have, including Aquadisiac (Lustre) and Too Dolly (Frost).

Knight Divine is a silvery gunmetal gray with silver and blue pearl in a veluxe pearl finish. It reminds me of Love Lace Eye Shadow.

Flashtrack is a midnight blue with silver pearl in a veluxe pearl finish. It's a lot like Deep Truth and Star by Night, but slightly subdued.

Swatches below are done with a MAC 239 brush. The top row in the photo below is over MAC Painterly Paint Pot. The second row is over bare skin. For reference, I have NC40 skintone.

The great thing about this palette is that includes well pigmented eye shadows that allow for a range of looks beyond your neutrals for some fun eye looks. The majority of this palette includes a lot of winners if you're up for some blues and greens. Personally, I don't own a lot of blues and greens, yet I can see myself using Prismique in the inner third, Springtime on the outer two thirds of the lid, Knight Divine in the crease and Flashtrack very light blended above the crease. I could also see myself doing a blue smokey eye with this palette using Knight Divine and Flashtrack. I could go on and on with various looks, but in the meantime enjoy the swatches. :)
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Saturday, April 10, 2010

NOTD: MAC Studded Nail Lacquer

Now, I'm a little late on posting this since the MAC Riveting Collection really didn't make me want to haul much. Needless to say, I did get a little something. MAC Studded Nail Lacquer is a darkened silver with pearl that dries to a matte finish. It is my one and only matte nail lacquer, so I didn't have many expectations when it came to formula or pigmentation. For a MAC Nail Lacquer, I think it does well in both categories. The formula is not too thick or too thin. The pigmentation is excellent and provides full coverage with 3 medium-thin coats. It dries quickly for near instant nails.

The downside to the nail lacquer is that it does not wear well past two days. This was most likely due to the finish that required that a base coat and top coat are not to be used. However, this made for a super fast application that was easy to do in a few minutes prior to going out. Overall, I think the short drying time, good pigmentation and decent formula make for a winner in my books.
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Sunday, April 4, 2010

MAC Art Supplies Pearlglide Intense Eye Liner Reviews & Swatches

MAC Art Supplies included 6 brand new shades of Pearlglide Intense Eye Liner. These are ever so slightly different than Pearlglide Eye Liners that are not quite as bright, pearly or vibrant as the Intense versions. Of the three Pearlglide Eye Liners I have, it is quite noticeable how different the formula's are. It kind of makes me think of Starflash eye shadows compared to the regular line of formula's. Both great, yet the intensity and vibrancy differences is huge.

So far I only picked up Almost Noir, Undercurrent, Black Line and Designer Purple.

  • Almost Noir is listed as dirty plum, but it looks more blackened burgundy to me. This kind of reminded me of Raven Kohl Power Eye Liner, where Almost Noir was more brown than Raven was red.
  • Undercurrent is teal with golden pearl. This makes me think of Parrot or Strike A Pose Eye Shadow, but with gobs more golden pearl. I can't help but get mesmerized by this shadow, it's so gorgeous!
  • Blackline is listed as true black, however it is more like black with golden pearl. It is shockingly similar to NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencil Aigle Noir. Aigle Noir doesn't work easily as a liner though because of its width. So it's nice to see something so similar that is more practical to use as a liner.
  • Designer Purple is iridescent violet. It does bare some resemblance to Smashbox Hope Liner and Urban Decay Ransom. However it does have a considerable amount of pearly sparkly goodness that really wowed me over when I swatched it at the counter.

Unfortunately, my camera doesn't do these liners justice. I do encourage everyone to have a look at these beauties at the counters. They've struck me down and I think I'll be getting both Petrol and Industrial this week. Until next time, enjoy the swatches and comparison shots :)