If you like a bright lipstick do not be afraid of this one. It's a hot as a chili pepper red shade that looks intimidating in the tube but is so very flattering on. Complimentary MAC liners I've tried are Brick and Redd (I prefer Brick with it, but then I like my liner to be slightly more pronounced/deep; Redd is a dead-on blend in match). I apply SI straight from the bullet as I do with every other lipstick, then finger pat the color in to make sure that it saturates all of my lip surface. After i wear it for a few minutes I'll double check its intensity to see if at that time it looks too heavily applied or needs a blot. Otherwise, it's good to go. There is no escaping that this is not a timid color, so I wear it best with subtler eye makeup looks. Despite being very matte I have not had any drying issues, only need to reapply after eating (and then not entirely- while it doesn't "stain" it has very good staying power) and have already purchased a backup for the future.
Thunderball is a new to me shadow that I recently received in swap. Not having purchased it or seen it in a shop, I decided to take a gamble going by online pictures only. Let me just say that stepping out on a limb pays off! I already adore this shadow in the short span since I have owned it (1 week) and am very pleased. its pigmentation is quite saturated, so it doesn't take many swipes with my bush to pick up enough color and create either a smoky liner or deepened outer "v" effect. I have been using it dry with either MAC's 219 pencil or 262 angled brush, depending on what I am going for atm. Thunderball seems to be one of those shadows that really brings the drama- you are going to see it for sure! That said, it is such an original and beautiful shade. The color you see in the pan is truly what shows up in your eye look, which as we all know is not always the case (with any makeup brand). The color in my opinion is a spruce/charcoal gray, reminiscent of perhaps Clinique's "Egyptian". Green notes are definitely apparent and could no doubt be pulled with a green liner base; ditto for its charcoal leanings.Also an undercurrent of blue (from its spruce) is there and for a smoky blue look it would blend in like a dream. So far I have paired it with beige/light brown neutral lid shades, not bringing it too far into my crease. I was looking for an alternative to everyday (for me anyway) black that was still rich and luxurious appearing. Thunderball has been a wonderful surprise and promises to be in my most-used's from now on.
Here is a foundation that has made it back and forth from my makeup stash to daily use and back to stash again. Recently, unhappy with the texture, oxidation and tint of a former "love" I pulled out SG again. I had always found the color to be exactly my desired match (Siberia) and while its runny-ness combined with lightning fast setting quality makes it a bit more challenging to apply, I'd never completely given up on it. All I know is, when I look in the mirror, even hrs. later, my foundation is still flawless, has not oxidized and looks great! Now a few caveats I have found for MY dry skin type. SG is buildable to my desired coverage but will adhere over wear time to any dry spots (the pixel effect) unless I moisturize diligently before and nightly prior. So in a sense, this is making me "up" my skincare lol (which I should be doing anyway ;D ). Also, although I can wear it beneath my eyes (sparingly), it does require a concealer; and in lieu of covering any age spots (!) with it, I prefer a true concealer to piling it on thicker in those areas. As with all foundation application, I velour puff press/roll to set after a teeny dusting of powder to set. I will in the future try NARS' Snow for this purpose after I run out of my current choice. I don't bother to warm the liquid prior to application, but am careful to shake the bottle well; for application I find that my fingers work best and it is easy to add a molecule more where fuller coverage is desired, in this way. I am a daily sunscreen wearer (prior to a silicone based primer) and have not noticed any adverse shininess; have yet to be photographed with it on, so I'm not sure about that. All in all, while not ideal, the maintenance factor is low enough for me to consider reasonable for a foundation. I'm not in love with the glass bottle, pump-less top or square cap- but for the payoff I'm getting with this product, I can and will deal.
I recently acquired California in a swap & it has been an instant love affair. I like red-dy shadows, finding them complimentary in moderation. In my case, that's the outer "v" for a striking accent color, while not too deeply placed in the crease. Its bright tone adds a pop of color that is well-pigmented, but soft enough to blend down and in with whatever you pair it with. I keep to a neutral lid when wearing it, with either a rusty, espresso, or black liner. I have even worn it with a red lip and surprisingly, it was not over-the-top, but rather complimentary ( a safe combination if you are very selective about what shade /intensity of red it's paired with). At first I thought it might look garish; and there is the possibility of overdoing it if you don't use a light hand and build its coverage (this is not a swipe and go shadow) gently. However, i can see where all the raves from blued-eyes wearers are coming from. This is a stunner, and if you feel that you can pull off red tones it's definitely worth a look.
Treatments (Eye) -Dr. Denese - SPF30 Defense Eye Cream
4patti 10/22/2012 11:07:00 PM
Wouldn't be without this! As a faithful user of SPF 30 every day, rain or shine, this eye cream fits the bill. Like her tinted day cream, this also contains melanin thereby giving a slight tint to my under eyes- before- I work it in. It is neither opaque nor tinted enough to cover my dark circles (for that I prefer a corrector, concealer, or combo of both) but once patted in under my eyes (I do not apply it to my eyelids) there is no visible tint. Whether this effect can be achieved on skin tones deeper than mine, I am not sure, but it is touted as a "universal" product. I always set any eye product with translucent powder for longevity. (In most cases this would usually be after corrector/concealer is applied over.) I can say with no hesitation that my under eye are has noticeably improved since I have been using this cream, for the last three months. It gives whatever I put over it enough slip & does not cause product ball up. It has softened the fine lines I have, whereas before they were always easily visible. Nothing works a miracle on smile lines or deep expression wrinkles, but I am highly satisfied with the result I'm getting. I also think the tubed packaging is convenient & easy to travel with. Content size is 0.5 oz, not inexpensive to be sure but worth it in my book & most will only need a tiny bit dispensed daily from its nozzle tip to get enough SPF protection. For my late 50's I'm liking what I'm seeing in the mirror - thanks Dr. Denese.
Pleasantly surprised by this mineralized shadow at first test. Very glittery but pretty mix of greens, charcoal & cream in its pan. Serious staying power when applied wet and minimal fallout; I tried it in the store, thought oh well, we'll see how long this holds up (not) and was proven wrong- if you don't remove it, it doesn't fade or wear completely off. The color is a TRUE emerald when applied damp; rich and vibrant. I have not sprung for this yet as it's a more "fun" shade, not what I consider a must-have or an everyday staple. But it gave gorgeous life to my plain black liner/neutral shadow combo and is now definitely a contender the next time I'm looking for a stunning pop of color :)
Wow! Bamboo has already leapfrogged to the top of my repurchase MAC core colors list and I've only owned it 3 days. Lest you think I'm jumping the gun, I should add I've been searching for a neutral my-lids-but-better shade for a while now. I usually stick to nudes, beiges or creams, such as Blanc Type, etc; but I have wanted the addition of a contrasting color that flattered yet did not close in my smallish deep set eyes. I have worn Bamboo non-stop since its purchase and will definitely be acquiring a pro pan for a 4 quad palette in the future. I find it mates well with other shades (specifically, Wedge, another favorite) and goes easily from daytime to evening with the outer "vee" smoked a bit with complimentary colors. I paired it with an emerald mineralized shadow (as liner) on first wear, loved it and can't wait to try other combos. I also love it with my go-to every day black liner. Very sophisticated feeling and not at all over the top. For me, this matte pick is perfect with my eye color and most likely will be a firm staple in my makeup wardrobe.
I'd practically given up on finding this blush & finally caved & ordered it from an online site. Where I live grocers don't carry the NYX line & there is no nearby ULTA; but when I did make it to one, this was never in stock. Am I ever glad I persisted! This is the perfect matte, cocoa contour for pale ladies like me (NC15). Taupe gives my cheekbones instant definition & it doesn't need to be built up to see an immediate result. It can look harsh if not blended well but wears evenly throughout the day with minimal fading. For its small pricetag, I will definitely purchase another if the opportunity presents itself. I know a winner when I see one.
Foundations -Clarins - Instant Smooth Foundation (mousse)
4patti 7/17/2012 11:02:00 PM
I have owned this product for some time now. Originally purchased at Nordstrom during a fruitless quest for a Chanel foundation, I had seen its tester & asked an SA to bring it over in a last-ditch attempt to find a match. Turns out mine is 00 Ivory Beige. All agreed it melded seamlessly with my complexion & I've been a very happy camper since. Now I confess, I have since dallied from time to time with other lines (though this is the only mousse I own; I also like mineral pressed powder versions & NARS SG). I find its creamy texture easiest to apply with my fingers. I lightly set with powder after, pressing & rolling it in with a velour puff. Its finish lasts all day & I never have to retouch the actual foundation. Now while it is very buildable to my desired coverage (I like med. to full), it does not substitute for a concealer, which I do touch up. But I find that reasonable for a flawless finish payoff, which on me is not exactly "dewy"- more hydrated appearing; it takes a lot for any line to achieve this for me though. I am not a fan of the clunky glass jar & wouldn't describe it as transportable. It takes up a sizable area of real estate on my vanity. I have a feeling that while its vat-like size is bottomless & steep in price initially, it's overall economical, as it takes very very little per use. I don't bother with the plastic included spatula for dispensation, so also application is a bit messy, but for me not a deterrent. *Edited to add~ it is fragranced but pleasantly so imo; I almost forgot to mention it, as I am quite used to it ;)
I have recently started using Dipdown as my brow liner & it is such a natural look. My hair is an almost-black dark brown. As such, I need a brow shade that's dark enough but not harsh or "glowering". Dipdown on its own to be a teensy bit too light- more chocolate than espresso, say- on me. To remedy this I first apply it with a Lauren Hutton brow angled liner; then stroke in some short feathered lines with a Wet "N Wild pencil in #649 Mink Brown, creating my ideal shade. Because Dipdown is creamy with a thick texture I first work it into my brush on my hand & can then line and create my exact desired shape & angles. I just haven't been able to achieve this effect with powders or pencil alone; also I can fill in any sparseness. Longevity has not been an issue- I'm talking on average 8-10 hrs or until I'm ready to remove it, but probably not "bullet-proof" (i.e., as to its clubwear, sweat-proof, overnight longevity). While not my ideal dream shade, I really like it & would repurchase for this use. I don't use it as an eyeliner per se (I favor true black) but have tried it for that purpose & had no complaint.
At first glance, Chocolate Brown appears to be just another warm pigment- nothing special. I would describe it as a dark rosy brown with an undercurrent of coppery pink & a slightly sparkly finish. It would work well applied anywhere, but especially for a blushed gold lined effect. Can't wait to try a smoldering cat eye look with it! Not a must-have, but a truly stunning shade, a richer version of Rose Gold & worth having if you like a widely nuanced range in your pigments collection.
I don't believe in ageism in my cosmetic choices, or fashion ones for that matter. If I can wear a style (& not vice versa) & look & feel great- I will. My taste runs toward bright shades in lipstick choices, as these I feel flatter my NC15 skin tone, hair & eye color. A combination of coral & pink? I was intrigued. This product was an instant "yes" for me; however, I can only successfully wear it when paired with the right lipliner. Good matches include Trimmed In Pink & Pink Treat. Although VGN has coral leanings, & even a lavender tint can be teased out with a similar liner, I find that I enjoy it best with these choices. I have not based my lips with any other shade, but suspect that it will be very versatile for those of you that do. I generally moisturize, prime, then apply my lipsticks straight from the tube. Intensity will vary with the aid of a lip brush for a softer effect. I've worn this shade to work, out & about, & find it to be moderately comfortable, although most lipsticks eventually cause my lips to chap.Staying power is not extreme, although it faded only minimally during a 5-hour shift. I will probably pick up another tube during its LE run, as I can foresee using up the first tube completely & like it well enough to back up.
Eye Shadow -Wet 'n' Wild - Color Icon Single in Brulee
4patti 2/24/2012 2:58:00 PM
Brule is the perfect blender, highlight and lid shade for me. Of course, I may not necessarily wear it every day in all 3 capacities, but it has not failed me yet. As a paler lady (NC15) with less than youthful eyelids, Brule is an elegant option. I get a smooth application, either over a base (usually Painterly) as a stand-alone lid look, or as a basis for a neutral eye (also over a base). I haven't tried it yet as a concealer set, but may experiment with this option to see if it can be lightly applied w/o a cakey effect. For the price I can't beat it. I do not live in a city easily accessible to many brands, but I can easily pick up Brule & have done so, more than once, for myself & friends. I've hit pan on my first one & have had no experience with difficulty opening the container. Highly recommended here :)
I adore this scent & hope it stays around long enough to become permanent in the Karan collection. Previously, I had never liked the Cashmere Mist line, but I have been hooked from first whiff in yes, from all places, a magazine strip. Not easily available near me (exclusive to Nordstrom, I believe) & the closest retailer a 3 hr drive, I was hesitant to purchase this online. So I waited until an opportunity for a "big city" trip came around, then made a beeline for this fragrance. Imho, it's a winner- not-overpowering & very feminine, softly subtle. The distinctive note I loved so much for from the magazine sample did not appear on me until after the initial dry-down. Then it blossomed & charmed me all over again. (I am sorry I cannot describe it :( ~I am very impressed & after finishing the sample given to me will definitely be acquiring a bottle. Unfortunately, at this time there is only one option, the $72 edp; hopefully this version's line is expanded. Could be my new HG :)
I love coral & coral/pink lipsticks & can never have too many. I wasn't expecting to love Cut A Caper as much as I do, however. Maybe it's the moisturizing lustre formula that is saving my lips this winter yet still allowing me to wear color; or maybe it's the gorgeous way it lights up my face & eyes; either way, on me it's a soft pinkish wash that imparts a very wearable daytime lip color. It is not as pigmented as I at first thought I'd want, but it wears well (though will need reapplication sooner than other formulas) & I'm very happy I didn't pass on it.