Blush -Christian Dior - Bronze Harmonie de Blush in Coral Riviera
tijanarm 1/18/2010 10:21:00 AM
I must 100% agree with the reviewers below who said that this blush is HG! It truly is! If I could only have one blush, or if I could only use one makeup product - this would be it. In my mind, this is a perfect "bronzer starter" for those who are afraid to use bronzers because of oompa-loompa effect. It is also for thos who love bronzers. It is seriously THE SINGLE best makeup product I have ever owned and I hope it is never discontinued (and in the meantime, I will stock up). I have not tried the other colour, but since I have yellow undertones, I think this one works better anyhow. The product is small in size, but interestingly enough, it does not pulverize a lot so you will have it for a while even with daily use. I use it every day, liberally, and after a month, I can barely see a slight dip in it. The best part about this product is that it is literally foolrpoof. It is hard to overdo this one, because the colour is subtle, but still noticeable. It imparts a beautiful glow and healthiness to your face. It actually has a good staying power, most days I do not need to reapply, and when I do, it's usually not until 6 or 7 hours later - on days when I am going out after work and need to refresh my makeup. A must-have staple in my collection and highly recommended!
I am one of those people who cannot pull off just any nude lippy otherwise I look washed out or like I have no lips. For this reason, I have spent years wearing lippies with stonger hues in them and whenever I wore a smokey eye, I would just leave my lips bare (they are not very tinted on their own). But somehow, that look was always unfinished, so I spent months and months searching for a good nude lippy. They key, after talking to several people was that one should not really go down the completely nude lip road as apparently, truly nude lippy does not suit anyone and pretty much washes everyone out. The key is to keep the lips natural and of course, everyone has their own natural, depending on the natural colour of their lips, skin, hair, eyes, etc. For me Napoli is that perfect natural colour that allows me to polish the smokey eye look without being too obvious on my lips and without clashing with my nail polish (I love to wear red nail polishes and I am obsessed with ensuring that my nails and lips are not in collusion colour-wise). I think most reviewers below have described the colour and texture well. On me it is not matte at all though (I've seen some references to that), but it has a nice sheen. Also, the colour has a perfect mix of peach and pink for someone with mostly warm colouring in their complexion. I can see that along with Mitzi this will be a staple product in my makeup collection. Highly recommended! UPDATE: HG nude lippy status - THE best!
I love bronze eye shadows and this is one of my two favourite bronze e/s (the other one is NARS' Key Largo). I bought Fez to create my evening smokey-bronzed look, while I use Key Largo for the daytime smokey-bronzed look. As most NARS' e/s, this e/s is exceptional quality and I can create my new signature smokey eye quickly. All I do is put some e/s primer like Too Faced e/s Insurance, let it dry, then I sweep Fez over my eyelids below the crease, add black liner on my waterline and black mascara and I am done. Takes less than 5 minutes and looks gorgeous! Highly recommended!
I love bronze eye shadows even though I do not wear eye shadows a lot (well I do now because I love this one VERY much!!!). I originally bought this to mimick Charlize Theron's gorgeous soft smokey look and Key Largo is the perfect colour to do that, especially if you are looking for the soft smokey daytime loook (my evening version is Nars' Fez). I must say I only bought the duo for the bronzey part of the e/s, although, the nude-y e/s is not bad, too, especially on those days when all I want on my eyes is just some mascara. This e/s is exceptional quality and I can create my new signature smokey eye quickly. All I do is put some e/s primer like Too Faced e/s Insurance, let it dry, then I sweep the bronze part of Key Largo over my eyelids below the crease, add black liner on my waterline and black mascara and I am done. Takes less than 5 minutes and looks gorgeous! Highly recommended!
On me, light skin w/ yellow undertones, this is a nice nude-y gloss perfect for the smokey eye look. I can see that not too many people can pull this off and it does tend to wash out. The key is to use only one light coat, to give it some shine and thus remove the potential for chalky-ness. It is not as glossy as other NARS lip glosees (I find NARS' lip gloss texture to vary significantly, more than I'd like). I am giving it 4 lippies as I do like it as a nude lip option, but it is not as perfect as NARS' Mitzi lipstick is on me for a natural/nude lip.
Lipstick -Yves Saint Laurent - Rouge Pur Sublime Red 150
tijanarm 12/2/2009 12:12:00 PM
This is the new red colour that came out for the 2009 holiday season and is featured on the YSL ad. I am a red lipstick fan and wanted to own one by YSL as I heard a lot of good things about YSL lipsticks. There is nothing sublime about the Sublime Red 150 lippy from YSL. As I said, it is the colour featured on the poster/ad, but the colour on the ad is deceiving. On it, the colour looks a bit deeper and bluer red, while in fact, Sublime red is a bit more lighter and orange. Sublime red is definitely a beautiful red if you like reds that are on the warmer side, yet still very noticeable. It is probably best suited for lighter to medium complexions. For me (light complexion yellow undertones) it's a perfect day red. The texture is rich and the colour fairly unique (and I know reds as I exclusively wear red lippy), but I can't say I was too impressed with the quality. On me it wore off faster than other HE lippies (e.g. Dior or Chanel) and it did become uneven on my lips after an hour or so of wear, forming that not-so-sexy lower-lip-accumulation-piling (not sure if I am making sense here) effect. It also does tend to bleed, so you will need a lip liner (a clear one if you like me don't like using colored lip liners). But, it does slightly stain your lips, so even if it wears off you will have a slight stain left on them. Overall, I am very impressed by the colour, and for that reason I would repurchase, but I am not impressed by the quality. I recognize that everyone is not same, but on me, Chanel or Dior lipsticks perform better.
Mascara -Yves Saint Laurent - Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils
tijanarm 12/2/2009 10:23:00 AM
I am one of those people whose eye makeup consists only of mascara, so my mascara has to be PERFECT and I don't care how much I have to pay. Well, I know by now after trying pretty much every single mascara out there on the market that there is no such thing as a perfect mascara (especially not "one size fits all"), but YSL's Faux Cils comes VERY close to being perfect. I started using this mascara about 10-12 years ago, then during a financially difficult time (this mascara is really expensive) I switched to other brands that performed a decent job, but I must admit nothing ever compared to this one so I finally came back to it. Diorshow Blackout was is a noteworthy competitor to this one, but it is only slightly cheaper so I prefer to use YSL. It is a mascara that you need to know how to work in order to get the best out of it. I would describe it as a "layerable" mascara. One coat is decent, but if you want truly false lashes, be prepared to go up to 3 or 4 coats. The good news is that it won't clump on you as you do that, and will still look nice, not gaudy, but since I do like to use combs with all mascaras, I comb in between layers (that said, I don't think it is really neccessary to do that especially if you put on fewer layers). The mascara is a bit "watery" at first, especially in the first week, but I don't mind that (actually I like it). Again, the consistency lends itself well to layering and achieving that truly false eyelash look. When I wear this, I get tons of compliments. Although the black colour is not as deep as Diorshow Blackout (and I really like my mascaras super black), it is a very deep black. It also has a more easily manageable brush than Diorshow. The only two downsides are the fact that it tends to flake just a tiny bit towards the end of the day (if you use fewer layers this is not an issue) and that it lasts 2 months max (well, according to some people you should replace your mascara every two months anyhow). Given its price, it is an expensive repurchase. If you have not used faux cils before, I highly recommend it, but do understand that you may need to learn how to work it to get the best out of it.
Highlighters -Yves Saint Laurent - Touche Eclat No 1
tijanarm 11/20/2009 8:08:00 PM
I have used this product for over 10 years and my review is long overdue. Technically, Touche Eclat #1 should've been put under the highlighter category, not concealer. This is the original product/colour that YSL came out with and the purpose was to primarily highlight (and correct through highlighting). Other colours came later and their purpose is more to conceal, although, depending on your skin tone, they may actually provide highlighting as well (if you are darker skinned). So, if you are light to olive toned, and you want to use this product as a highlighter, chances are you should be using #1. If you want to conceal, that is a different story, but you may not see the coverage that you are after, if you have really dark circles (although the coverage is stronger with colours other than 1). You really need to watch the video on YSL site to learn the proper way to use the product. If you don't, chances are you will be disappointed. But, once you see exactly for what and how this product is used, you will love this product and won't be able to live without it. I put around the tear duct areas of my eyes, on my eyelid just above the lash line, on my lower lid, just below the lash line, outer corners of my eyes, cheekbones, nose bridge, below the eyebrow bone... This is my freshness in a stick and I can't live without it. Expensive, but if you use it properly, it will last you a few months even with daily use. One click is all you need for one application. Highly recommended!
I used to be a huge NARS fan, but lately I have switched to other brands, only because I no longer wear bright makeup colours associated with this brand. That said, this is one of the few NARS products that I will always have in my stash. I prefer this blush to Orgasm ten times over. When I originally decided to buy this, it was because I was on a quest to find one blush that will go well with all of my red lipsticks (I have over 2 dozen of them), which tend to be all over the map in terms of the colour spectrum - warmer, neutral, cooler. I wanted to have 1 blush that I could pull of with all of them, irrespective of which family they belong to. NARS SA recommended Deep Throat and I am so glad she did. First of all, Deep Throat is very subtle, which is great for when you are wearing either a strong lippy or a strong eye, as you do not want to overdo the blush. That said, this shows up REALLY well on my light-to-medium yellow-based skin and if I really want to add more, all it takes is another layer as it layers up really well for added intensity. But, if you are olive and darker skinned, you may have a challenge getting it to show up. As I said, my goal was to have 1 blush that I can use with different shades of my makeup, and this really well fits the bill. Deep Throat is a mix of both peachy and pink tones, so it goes well with all of my makeup. When I wear a blue-red lippy, the pink tones come through more, when I wear the warm-red, the peachy tones come through. That said, the blush is a tiny bit more on the warmer side, which is good for my complexion. But, if you are looking for a versatile blush that will go with anything you wear - this is it. Highly recommended.
This just came out in the Holiday 2009 collection and the moment I saw and tested it, I fell in love with it. First of all, if you have never tried NARS' Velvet Matte Lip Pencils, you should. It's truly one of the best lip products on the market, applies smooth and silicony, but stays on well and does not dry lips out. You can use it as a liner, but really, it is meant to be used as a lipstick or lip stain by dabbing it on (which is how I prefer to use it). This is my 4th Velvet Matte Lip Pencil and I just adore them for their texture. Full on, Pop Life is this russet-warm-red colour, that is really hard to describe as it does have some rosey undertones as well. On NARS' site they describe it as a "shimmering true red". Well, I am a red lip fan and I have dozens of red lipsticks, but even with my incapability to describe colours beyond their basics, I can tell you that this is DEFINITELY not a true red, at best a very warm russet or orangey red with rose undertones. It is shimmery, but the shimmer is very subtle. If you wear it my preferred way, which is to put a bit on and then dab or smudge with your finger, you will get this gorgeous stained look to your lips, very Victorian-era, can be very subtle and more intense, depending on how much you put on. Again, I am not very good ad describing nuances of colour, but I can tell you this is definitely a gorgeous colour that will brighten up your skin, irrespective of whether you use it full on or smudged. I think I will by a backup, as I am not sure if this is a LE or not. Highly recommended!
I love red lipsticks and in one of my numerous trips to the Chanel counter (I just adore Chanel reds), I discovered this one. I did not read any reviews beforehand, I did not consult the SA, I just tried and bought it. Afterward, I heard from the Chanel SA that this particular shade is Chanel's truest red, and this is definitely the case as it is very neutral, neither warm nor cool. I absolutely love wearing this colour and matching it up with OPI's Vodka & Caviar nail polish (V&C is slightly deeper red, but in the same family - neutral reds).
I bought this colour to match my Chanel RA Lover lipstick, as well as Chanel RA Laque in Dragon and, while this is not a PERFECT match, it is very close - being in the same cranberry-blue-red family. Manicurist is actually a bit more deeper red than these lippys, but it matches them very well. This colour is actually very close cousin of Miami Beet from this Spring's (or Summer's?) OPI collection, but Manicurist has a tiny bit more red than Miami Beet. I love both of these colours and wear them often. The only reason I am giving this 4 lippies is because my most favourite polish colours are TRUE reds. That said, if you like deep, cranberry-like reds, I think you will really like this one.
Blush -Christian Dior - Pro Cheeks backstage makeup Must Have Brown
tijanarm 11/12/2009 4:05:00 PM
If I could only have one blush, this would be it. It is a perfect blush for my skin tone. Although the name says "brown", this is not your typical brown blush, more a warm browney rose that is almost like a chameleon colour depending on your skin tone. If you like wearing bronzers, but sometimes need an alternative, this is it. If you do not wear bronzers, but need to "liven up" your skin, this is it. I cannot say enough good things about this blush, starting with colour and moving onto the texture. I apply this with a CD foundation brush and it goes on my skin like a charm. it also has excellent longevity, once I apply in the morning I do not have to reapply. I look healthy and young when I apply this blush and lately, it's all I wear! Highly recommended!
I am a red lipstick fanatic and of course I had to have this one in my collection! I am giving it 4 lippies only because this is not my MOST favourite red, plus its tendency to bleed, but with that said, I do love this lipstick very much. I bought it as a "lipstick version" of the RA Lacque Dragon, which is probably my all-time favourite red, but even though Lover is very close in colour to Dragon, there are slight differences. I would describe Lover as a cranberry red (which I think someone already did below) and a must-have for anyone who likes red lisptick. It is a very classy red, probably more appropriate for evenings (but I do wear it during the day as well). I have numerous RA lipsticks and they all tend to be different in terms of the texture/finish. It seems to me that this particular one is on the more moisturizing side of the spectrum. If you like reds, I recommend buying lover, but make sure you use a lip primer or pencil to prevent bleeding.
I was very excited when I heard that the fall collection from OPI would be Spanish-themed as I expected at least two red family colours which are my favourite. Unfortunately, there aren't any true reds in this collection and Conquistadorable is probably one of the three colours closest to red, but not truly red. The colour is still nice, but I find that because it's neither there nor here, it is not one of my favourites. I am not good with decribing colours, but I would call this a pink red, which in some lights looks more red and in some more pink. Again, it is an OK colour, but nothing spectacular.