Saturday, January 23, 2010

NOTD: MAC in Lillyland Coconut Ice Review & Swatches

As pretty as glitter can be for a manicure, Spring is on its way! The limited edition MAC in Lillyland Collection features two gorgeous shades of nail polish. Steamy is a permanent shade from MAC, so I skipped out on that. It is a hot fuchsia pink that reminds me of Something About Pink Nail Lacquer from last year's MAC Hello Kitty Collection. Of course, I had to pick up Coconut Ice.

Coconut Ice is described as, "Light yellow peach pink" in a cream finish. I found that it's more of a medium pink shade than a light pink. It has distinct yellow undertones that verge on orange. However it is a lovely lively shade would be perfect for Spring and Summer. The downfall to this polish is that does apply relatively sheer and requires at least 3-4 coats for opaque coverage. Unfortunately for me (at least), it does show the ridges of nails even when I apply Seche Vite Clear Base Coat. In the future, I think a ridge filling base coat will do the trick. For reference, I used Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat and 4 thin coats of polish. Enjoy the pictures :)

FOTD: Forever 21 Love & Beauty Eye Shadows & MAC By Candlelight

This feature of the day uses a wonderful treasure from Forever 21. Yes, the clothing shop that I love to play around in :) MAC Mineralized Skin Finish in By Candlelight from MAC's Warm & Cozy Collection has been impressing me a lot lately. I use it over top of a complimentary blush to brighten my cheeks up more so. However, it still makes a pretty soft glow highlight.

What I used:

Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion
MAC Paint Pot, Bare Study
Forever 21 Love & Beauty Palette, champagne and purple
MAC Eye Shadow, Femme Fi (highlighter)
MAC Eye Kohl, Feline
Urban Decay 23/7 Liner, Ransom
MAC Studio Fix Lash Mascara, black

MAC Beauty Powder Blush, Secret Blush
MAC MSF, By Candlelight

MAC Lipstick, Angel
MAC Dazzleglass, Local Color

Apply Urban Decay Primer Potion to lids. Let set and apply Bare Study to eye lids with a MAC 242 brush. Apply Femme-Fi to highlight brow bone with a MAC 252 brush. Apply champagne shade all over lid with a MAC 239. Apply purple shade to outer third of lid with a MAC 228 and into crease with a MAC 226. Tightline upper with Feline. Line lower lashline with Ransom than Feline over top. Apply Secret Blush to cheeks with a MAC 129. Apply By Candlelight with a MAC 165 to top of cheeks, nose, forehead and anywhere else desired. Apply Angel to lips and Local Color over top.

Forever 21 Love & Beauty Eye Shadow Quad Review & Swatches

While perusing through Forever 21, I came across their Love & Beauty Cosmetics line. The one item that caught my eye the most was this lovely quad of eye shadows ($5.80 CAD). All are frosty mineral shadows with great pigmentation. The palette I picked up features a neutral golden champagne, turquoise blue, pastel pink and eggplant purple. Unfortunately, they aren't labeled with any names or codes to decipher from one from the other. Just check out the selection at your nearest Forever 21 :)

The swatches below are done dry, as well as wet. The colors are rich and vibrant with good staying power to wear for the day when used with a base, such as Urban Decay Primer Potion.

My favorite of the four is the golden champagne. I wore the golden champagne with the purple in the crease, it was absolutely lovely. Look here for some pictures of this look.

The downfall of this quad is it lacks a highlighter. I can imagine using the golden champagne or light pink as a highlighter if needed, however both are quite frosty for my taste. As well, If I were to use all four eye shadows in an eye look, that would be one super bright look!

Overall, these shadows impressed me for their pigmentation and staying power. The blending is a bit of a challenge, although doable. They're worth a shot and I'll probably pick up more Forever 21 Love & Beauty Cosmetics in the future.

MAC All Ages, All Races, All Sexes Review & Swatches

MAC Cosmetics All Ages, All Races, All Sexes is a gorgeous collection of neutrals. I have a large collection of matte, satin and frosty neutrals, so this collection didn't really appeal to me. In fact, given the size of this collection, I think this is the smallest percentage of a collection that I've bought in the last year. At first I only got All Races Eye Shadow, but a few additional items did attract me. I also got Liquer Lipglass and Universal Mix Pigment. I also have Showstopper Eye Shadow from Smoking Eyes Quad from the Smoke Signals Collection from a few years ago.

Universal Mix Pigment is a frosty white gold. It's definitely a color I would use in the inner corner of my eyes or in the tear duct.

All Races Eye Shadow is a cool light taupe in a matte finish. I would definitely use this as an all over lid color and using a dark brown in the crease for a sculpted eye look.

Showstopper Eye Shadow is a deep dark brown in a matte finish. Compared to Espresso, it is even darker. I use this shadow every so often to fill in my eye brows or as a shadow liner.

Liquer Lipglass is a frosty dark copper red shade. I don't own any lipglass like it and the pigmentation in this is amazing.

The remainder of the collection didn't really attract me. I've gone through my phase of brown lipsticks in the past, so at this point I can't quite get into wearing. All of the eye brows products didn't really draw me in since I'm a fan of clear brow gel and Benefit Brow-zing. Perhaps one day when I need to replace my current Brow-zing. I'm trying to limit the number of new lipglosses I'm buying lately since I've done some inventory on my stash. So just Liquer from this collection ;) Until next time, enjoy the swatches and photo's :)

Hope you've had some nice hauls.

Monday, January 18, 2010

NOTD: Sephora by OPI Too Good For Him Nail Polish Review & Swatches

A trip to Sephora and love & relationship drama combine into a perfect mix with Sephora by OPI Too Good For Him Nail Polish. Too Good For Him is jam-packed with glitter in fuchsia-pink, blue and silver with a clear base. The swatches below are done with 3 coats of Too Good For Him, Seche Vite Clear Base Coat and Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. My nails don't get solidly covered in glitter. Actually, I think it's nice that my natural nails come through. In short, I adore all the gorgeous glitter in this nail polish. It's the perfect polish to wear for a single girls night out with a few bottles of pink Moet champagne and a VIP table. ;)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

FOTD: Soft Neutrals Warm & Cozy

I finally got to do a face of the day! I used several new releases from MAC (MAC in Lillyland, MAC Studio Lash and Warm & Cozy) and and my favorite MAC Holiday palettes from 2009, Smoke & Mirrors. Of course I will follow up with a review for MAC Studio Lash Mascara. :)

I used the following:

MAC Select SPF 15 Foundation, NC40
MAC Select Cover Up, NW35 (undereyes)
MAC Loose Mineralize Foundation, Medium Plus

MAC Paint Pot, Painterly
MAC Holiday Palette, Smoke & Mirrors (Fire in Her Eyes, Spell No. 9, Deception, Smoke & Mirrors)
MAC Technakohl Liner, Graphblack
MAC Studio Fix Lash

NYX Lip Pencil, LPL16 Natural
MAC Lipstick, Warm Me Up

MAC Cremeblend Blush, Joie-De-Vivre

Apply Painterly to entire lid. Apply Fire In Her Eyes to brow bone with a MAC 252 brush. Apply Spell No. 9 to inner 2/3 of lid with MAC 239. Apply Deception to outer third of lid with a MAC 239. Apply Deception to crease and above crease with a MAC 226. Apply Smoke & Mirrors with 219 to define crease slightly and to lower lashline. Apply Fire In Her Eyes to inner third of lower lashline. Line upper and lower water lines with Graphblack. Apply foundation, concealer and powder as desired. Apply Joie-De-Vivre with a MAC 192 or 190 brush. Blend out with fingers. Set with powder. Line lips with NYX Natural. Apply Warm Me Up Lipstick. (If desired, top with MAC Dazzleglass in Utterly Posh for some sparkly goodness. I didn't get to take pictures of that though.) Curl lashes and apply mascara.

Monday, January 11, 2010

MAC Lightful Skincare Review

MAC Cosmetics is mostly known for their cosmetic line of course. However, I had always been curious about their skincare line beyond MAC Cleansing Oil. A few months back, I started trying out the Lightful Skincare line. It includes the Lightful Foaming Creme Cleanser, Lightful Active Softening Lotion, Lightful Charged Essence, and Lightful Deep Ultramoisture Creme. The daytime moisturizer comes in two varieties: Lightful Protective Moisturizer SPF 30 and Lightful Hydro-Charged Moisturizer SPF 30. Both moisturizers are not shown on the MAC Canada site. I bought them on Ebay so I could try the full line out at once.

The Lightful Foaming Creme Cleanser ($29 CAD, 100mL, 3.4 fl oz) lathers up well into a rich foam with and without using a Clarisonic MIA. It rinses off nicely leaving my skin feeling clean. It doesn't feel dry, nor have a detectable residue. I was quite pleased with it when I used it without my Clarisonic MIA. As nice as the cleanser is, I don't believe it will be my go to cleanser once I'm done. I've used a few others that work just as well and at 1/3 the cost.

The Lightful Active Softening Lotion ($36 CAD, 150mL, 5 fl. oz. ) is a toner that leaves my skin feeling fresh and lightly hydrated. It removes traces of dirt and oil that may remain after cleansing. It was the first part of the Lightful line that I tried and truly loved. Unlike many other toners on the market, it doesn't feel like my skin is being stripped of oil, just fresh and balanced.

The Lightful Charged Essence ($48 CAD 30 mL, 1.0 fl oz) is a gel-like lotion. It is described as "Concentrated, lightweight, gel-like essence. Absorbed quickly into the skin. Helps it look and feel smoother, softer, brighter and more resilient." It leaves my skin feeling slightly moisturized. It is a bit expensive and I'm not clear as to whether it really makes my skin more resilient.

The Lightful Deep Ultra Moisture Creme ($46 CAD, 50 mL, 1.7 fl oz) is a gel-like cream moisturizer. It is a light fast absorbing moisturizer that leaves my skin feeling well moisturized yet not greasy. It is my absolute favorite item of the line. In 5 months of usage, I think I've only gotten through about 1/3 of the jar. I really didn't expect it to be so light and moisturizing since it is more of a night cream. My experience with night creams is that they can be greasy and make my skin feel heavy.

The Lightful Protective Moisturizer SPF 30 and Lightful Hydro-Charged Moisturizer SPF 30 are essentially the same thing. I didn't notice a big difference between the two when alternating from one to the other every other week. Much like the Deep Ultra Moisture Creme, they are fast absorbing, not greasy and leave my skin feeling well moisturized. My only issue is that is not available regularly, so I have to order it on Ebay. I like that it does have SPF so I don't have to use an extra sunscreen to protect my skin.

The Lightful Skincare Collection has been noted as a brightening skincare line with green tea, vitamin C, tuberose, red tourmaline and silk. To be honest, I'm not a big follower on skincare contents. All I really think of is whether or not it breaks my skin out, gets my skin oily or dry, and whether or not there is SPF in the moisturizer. Given my own criteria, the line does work well for me.

As for brightening, I'm a little unclear on that term. When I think of bright, I think of a big glowing light bulb. My skin doesn't seem to resemble that all. However in the last 5 months of use, I must say that my forehead has become lighter than it was in the summer when I first started using it. (However, this may be due to it being winter now and less sun exposure.) Overall, my skintone is more even, softer and balanced. While I haven't had any breakouts using this, I don't feel it does anything for my acne. I use an acne treatment gel to combat anything that comes up.

In the future, I will probably continue using the moisturizer, essence and softening lotion. The moisturizers are the stars of the line. I will use the essence since I'm hoping to does help the moisturizers work better. The softening lotion is one of the few toners I've really liked. I'm pleased with this line as a whole. I think it would be worth a shot for any MAC lover hoping for some skin softening and more even skintone.

MAC in Lillyland Review & Swatches

MAC in Lillyland is a gorgeous collection of playful bright pink, orange, and peaches. Unfortunately, it didn't really tickle my fancy and resulted in a pretty tiny haul. I picked up Joie-De-Vivre Cremeblend blush, Preppy Lipgelee, and Resort Life Lipgelee.

Joie-De-Vivre Cremeblend blush is a gorgeous and wearable shade of peachy coral. It runs warm and suits my skintone well. It applies smoothly and blends out well with a brush. (I use a MAC 192 Cheek/Face Brush which is discontinued. However, It's like a narrower version of the MAC 190 Foundation Brush). Alternatively, applied with fingers, it's just as easy to apply and blend. Some other cream blushes in my stash that are comparable include NARS Multiple in Orgasm, Tarte Eco-Cheek, and MAC Blossoming Blushcreme. Orgasm has lots of gold shimmer to it. Eco-Cheek runs more pink and has lots of gold shimmer. Blossoming is pretty close, however it does have some pearl shimmer to it, where Joie-De-Vivre has no shimmer. Since I don't always want shimmer, Joie-De-Vivre is a great alternative to the few cream blushes in my stash.

Preppy Lipgelee is a dazzling shade of medium blue pink with loads of pearl glitter in it. Resort Life Lipgelee is a pale pink with loads of pearl glitter in it. Both Lipgelee's are not sticky and have good pigmentation. They're pretty close to Dazzleglass in terms of pigmentation. The tube is a pretty generous size with 0.5 fl oz. While a Dazzleglass runs at 0.09 fl oz. I like these so much that I think I'll pick up Shift to Pink and Lush Bright on my next trip to the MAC counter.

Given what I got, I skipped out on quite a bit. The eye shadow was pretty cute, but didn't swatch well at all. The face powder ran far too orange for my taste. I have Bare Study and Rubenesque Paint Pot. I'll probably get Fresco Rose one day, but it's permanent so there's no rush. In addition to the Lipgelee, I will get Coconut Ice Nail Lacquer. (I'm such a sucker for new nail polish ;) Coconut Ice looks like the perfect color to brighten up a winter day.

Until the next haul, enjoy the pictures =)

Lippmann Collection Happy Birthday Review & Swatches

I saw Happy Birthday while browsing Makeup and Beauty Blog. I was crushing instantly! Sadly, I had no clue where I could find it. And my new favorite beauty shop Murale didn't have any available. Sigh, what is a girl to do?? Order it online of course :D. I ordered a bottle through Beauty Bridge for $18USD and shipping for $9.95. Total cost: almost $30USD. Worth it? Yes, yes, yes and yes!

This is one gorgeous stand out of a nail polish. On it's own the giant pieces of glitter make an adorable mess. (& I say that with a lot of love =) Each application looks different than the previous, so don't expect consistency. Since it is basically clear polish with glitter, it wears well for a week without showing much wear and tear. It has a gritty feel over top since it has so much chunky glitter, but a coat of Seche Vite Top Coat is sure to smooth it out. I wore this for New Year's and a few other parties. This is definitely a polish that will get you noticed. ;)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

MAC Warm & Cozy Review & Swatches

MAC Warm & Cozy was recently released on Boxing Day and is composed of warm neutral shades. Overall, I found the shades perfectly lovely for everyday use. Unfortunately, I'm a tad obsessed with makeup and have an abundance of neutral shadows. Needless to say, I hauled a few carefully chosen beauties.

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in By Candlelight was too pretty to pass up. It does run a bit frosty, so a light application is best to avoid looking like a disco ball. Unfortunately, my picture for this didn't turn out. But I will update with a swatch and some comparison swatches to other MSF's.

Chamomile Eye Shadow is a creamy pale yellow in a Satin finish. One of my favorite brow bone eye shadows is Blanc Type which this has some very close similarities to. Chamomile has a very slight sheen to it being a satin finish. It is also very close to MAC Femme-Fi, another lovely limited edition shimmery pale highlighter shadow.

Cuddle Shadestick is a frosty golden yellow. Nurture Shadestick is a frosty light beige. Both make for lovely bases. I've swatched for comparison against some other shimmery pale gold bases, include MAC Butternutty Shadestick, Gosh Love That Beige Waterproof Eye Shadow, MAC Bare Study Paint Pot, MAC Rubenesque Paint Pot, and MAC Bamboom Paint. MAC Butternutty Shadestick is most similar to Nurture.

Warm Me Up Lipstick is a lipstick that fits into the "my lips but better" category of beige pink nudes. It's has some similarities to the highly sought after Brave New Bronze. Of course, I have a few comparison shots for my dear readers. The Amplified finish is gorgeous, applying smoothly, evenly and well pigmented. Back-up worthy? Possibly, if only I wore nude lips all of the time and didn't have so many lipsticks. ;) For comparison, I've swatched it up against Treasured, Jubilee, Blankety, Honeylove, High Def, and Brave New Bronze.

2N Lipglass is creamy yellow pink. It goes on fairly opaque for a lipglass.
Feelin Dreamy Lipglass is pearly neutral pink. It has some reflects pink in it. This applies more sheer in comparison to 2N. I find this one almost too light for me. I think I'll layer it over a lipstick rather than on its own.

Blissed Out Nail Lacquer is a subtle peachy pink shade that I could probably wear every day without a quibble. It's the perfect everyday shade that I swear my mom is going to stash away in her bathroom when she gets a chance.

In addition, I did get the Mineralize All-Over Lotion. For the review, look here. I've started to use this as a hand cream as well since I've been washing my hands more often lately. Needless to say, it's amazing :)

Other items I may go back for are the Care Blend Oils, Relaxed Shadestick, Mulled Cider Eye Shadow, Modelette Eye Shadow and the Tinted Lip Conditioners. As much as I love the shades and the feel of the Tinted Lip Conditioners, I just hate the pot format. I don't tend to carry around a lip brush and neither do I really want to stick my finger in the pot. Relaxed Shadestick was pretty gorgeous and smooth, but I couldn't quite justify the purchase because I have Constructivist Paint Pot (frosty dark brown) and Quite Natural Paint Pot (creamy dark brown). What's pulling me more to the buy it side is that it is a Shadestick. They are super handy to apply compared to Paint Pots that tend to require a brush for precise application.

In the meantime, if you haven't hauled, enjoy the pictures =)