Tuesday, December 2, 2014

MAC Waterproof Brow Set in Red Chestnut for Quick Root Touch-Up

So apparently the hair color I've been using lately isn't the best at covering gray! It's the L'Oreal Preference Mousse Absolue in Light Auburn - I really enjoy the application, but the last go-around I was left with a fair amount of visible gray and white at the front on my face where it's the most noticeable. It gives the illusion of my forehead being even bigger than it already is, which is hard to imagine. ;)

So the other day I thought, hey I've got this waterproof brow set from MAC that's in a reddish warm shade (Red Chestnut), why not try it on the roots! I know the regular non-waterproof brow set even mentions using it on lashes and facial hair, so thought let's try out the waterproof one. It's a little more dry and with the claim of being waterproof, thought it might not slide around on my head once it set.

Here's a little before and after. For me, it really makes quite a difference to just get those white hairs covered at my widow's peak and temples! Especially since the hair that is dyed is much warmer, so everything looks a little more evened out. I colored only a couple weeks ago, so this is a nice way to hold off for a few more weeks before I need to bust out the dye again. It lasts well but does add some stiffness to the hair (it doesn't have super strong hold though), doesn't smear or transfer in any noticeable way (though if you used a lot, it may be a different story).

What's your favorite quick fix for visible roots? Or any clever uses of a brow set? Thanks for reading!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Tarina Tarantino Jewel palette in Dreamy

Tarina Tarantino has one of my favorite eye shadow textures in her Jewel palettes. They left Sephora and I picked up a few then to add to what I already had. Gorgeous! They are sold now through her site and beauty.com and I would highly recommend checking them out!

Today I have Dreamy, it has my favorite copper in my collection. It doesn't go too bright orange on me which is impressive. Most things pull extremely warm on my skin tone.

The deepest shade works well as liner and very little of the sparkle shows, I have not had issues with glittery fallout used that way either.

The taupe is a lovely cooler tone to balance out the warmer shades, and I like the combination on the cream and gold highlight colors. It is all shimmery to an extent but not to the point of being metallic and difficult to use in the crease.

Have you tried any shadows from Tarina Tarantino? What's your favorite? Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Berry and Bright Sheer Lip Colors

Thought I'd share a few deeper bright lip colors I've been using lately since I picked up the Sephora 2014 Give Me More Lip kit. I was wearing the Tarte Power Pigment pencil in Flush today and thought it looked similar to my beloved Jordana Twist & Shine stain in Cranberry Crush, figured I'd do a couple swatches and try to actually get a blog post up for the first time in months!

The Tarte Flush pencil is the most pigmented with the rest in decreasing levels of pigment left to right in my swatch, it's a little more bright pink compared to the other more berry shades.
I've reviewed the Jordana balm stain on my YouTube channel, I love the color but it doesn't really stain.

The Tarte LipSurgence pencil in Moody is more a wine/brownish color which is fairly unique to my collection, I look forward to playing with it more!

The Fresh Berry lip balm can be built up to a rather deep lip, but it's very slippery and slides around quite a lot. My face gets bumped around taking care of the baby during the day, so we're both likely to have it all over our faces by the end the day. 

Let me know what your favorite sheer berry lips are, it's always an easy option this time of year! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

L'Oreal Colour Riche Collection Privee Lipstick in Julianne's Nude - Thoughts, Look, Comparison Swatches

L'Oreal Colour Riche Privee in Julianne's Nude on my lips

I was in Walgreens with the baby the other day, picking up a prescription (my monthly excuse to check out drugstore makeup) as you do. I saw a display with Julianne Moore and nude lipsticks so I stopped to check it out. Julianne is pale and freckled like myself, so I was intrigued. The promotional picture indicates her lipstick is going to be a peachy type shade. I beg to differ! 

I've been enjoying wearing it the past few days, it's a somewhat sheer cream pink nude/My Lips But Better type shade. It can be built up for mostly opaque color and it doesn't look streaky or patchy. It's a comfortable formula, not too drying for my always-parched lips. It's been wearing well over my new Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask and fades evenly leaving a hint of color on the lips after a few hours if eating/drinking. 

MAC Syrup (lustre), L'Oreal Privee Julianne's Nude, Maybelline Color Sensational Nude Embrace (LE), L'Oreal Colour Riche Fairest Nude, Rimmel Lasting Finish Airy Fairy

I was wondering if it was at all close to my existing stash of nude/MLBB shades, so I pulled out my most used lipsticks and did some swatches. I didn't include things like my L'Oreal Balm or Caresse colors, but the shades I have are all sort of in the Fairest Nude color family anyway.

MAC Syrup, L'Oreal Julianne's Nude (Airy Fairy in a small swatch beneath it), Maybelline Nude Embrace, L'Oreal Fairest Nude, Rimmel Airy Fairy

The closest of what I have is definitely Rimmel's Airy Fairy, but they're fairly different in formula and finish. Airy Fairy has more opaque color with a golden sheen. MAC's Syrup is a similar texture but more pink/rosy and a bit darker, Maybelline Nude Embrace has cooler mauve tones, L'Oreal Fairest Nude has more brown tones and less pink.

I think I have a review/thoughts type post coming up with the limited edition shade included here from Maybelline - Nude Embrace. It's the cool toned version of MLBB, sort of a dusky mauve pink. It's harder to wear, the formula is a bit thicker (and definitely more opaque) and will highlight any major lip lines if worn without gloss over top. Julianne's Nude is like the pink warm version of MLBB for me - when I have more blood flowing in my face. Much easier to wear formula-wise and I feel somewhat confident I can slap some on without a mirror and not make too much of a mess. Definitely glad I picked this one up!

What's your favorite nude/MLBB and your skintone? Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Maybelline EyeStudio Quad in Legendary Lilac Swatches, Review, Look

As you might know, my favorite color is purple. I realized this back some years ago when I looked in my closet and realized how much I have is purple. Unfortunately, purple seems a difficult color to do in makeup. Even brands known for their pigmentation in liners, such as Urban Decay, often have lackluster purples. Shadows are a little better in general, but still it's pretty common for lousy color payoff.

I looked at the swatches on Temptalia here for this palette which were not great, but I loved the colors and since I'm so fair I figured the lighter colors would still work okay for me.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Laura Mericer Foundation Primer Thoughts/Review

I've had this foundation primer from Laura Mercier for a while, I believe it came with the kit I received from Nordstrom holiday 2012. I am not sure if I ever even tried it! I have the mattifying Secret Finish primer from Laura Mercier to help with oil but it never made any difference for me. Now that my skin is much less oily (seemed to have been related to my pregnancy, not sure) I've been having issues with my current foundations looking dull and dry.

The consistency is sort of a gel like lotion, it doesn't have the silicone slippery feel something like Smashbox Photo Finish primer has. It will slide off your hand though with a wet trail behind it, so it's a little slippery which is what makes me think of a more gel-cream consistency. It has a scent that sort of reminds me of sunscreen and applied it's almost like a light moisturizer, the scent doesn't stick around long. 

I've really enjoyed the finish this has been giving me. In general, I've never found primers to be useful no matter how many I keep trying. They never help with foundation longevity for me or oil control. Now that my needs are a little different, I was pleasantly surprised to find this actually helped foundation not look so dull on my skin. I've worn it with CoverGirl Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation in 805 Ivory and Revlon Colorstay Combo Oily in 110 Ivory - both mixed with Illamasqua Skin Base in White to lighten. 

Since these foundations are long wearing formulas that are more matte, with less oil on my face they aren't sitting so well, especially in my drier areas such as my cheeks and upper forehead. While it doesn't help the foundation last on my nose, chin and lower forehead - it does help my skin look fresher. It has a little more of a dewy finish instead of a flat matte finish. Overall I've been very pleased! I am looking to buy a new foundation that's a better formula for my current skin situation, I'm not sure if I'd still like this with a less dry foundation. But for now, it really is making using what I have more enjoyable to use!

What's your favorite primer? Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Small Duo Fiber Brushes - MAC, e.l.f., Real Techniques - Comparison and Thoughts

A while back, I decided I absolutely needed the MAC 188 small duo fiber brush. I'm not sure now what brought it about, but probably something seen on Youtube. It's expensive ($35), as MAC brushes are, though not outlandish compared to some brushes (the most expensive single brush I own though). It has long synthetic bristles that are super soft and shorter black goat hair bristles. It's marketed as useful for application and blending of basically.. anything. I find it too floppy to do much of those, I mainly use it for applying things I want a light hand with - super shimmery highlighters or strongly pigmented blushes. I've had a little success applying Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation with this, I got a sample of it recently because I'd heard the Alabaster shade was very pale. Doesn't quite work for me, but I was able to use the MAC 188 to apply it. It's a very thin and sheer consistency so it didn't need much blending power to make it work.

I think part of the allure of these brushes is their look, there's something seemingly elegant or special about them. Well, to me, at least. So it's no surprise I have more than one in this category of small duo fiber brushes. I bought the Real Techniques kit that came with a large rounded duo fiber Powder Brush, this smaller one labeled as a Contour Brush and a blending Eye Brush - all for $20 but I bought with some sort of discount, likely a 20% off coupon. The white synthetic bristles are a lot less soft/more firm and if you dip straight into a powder product it's pretty likely to stab out a lot of product. These also have fairly long bristles, I don't find it the best for blending anything that is tricky to blend. If you can pick up product with the brush without making a mess, it does work well for applying a rather subtle contour to your cheeks.

If you couldn't tell, I'm actually comparing both of the former brushes to this one - the e.l.f. Small Stipple Brush. It fills a gap in my collection that's been lacking for some time. I have some cream blushes that I rarely use because I don't have a good way of applying them. They're a little thick, sticky or dry and stuff - not easily blended using fingers. Using a synthetic buffing type of brush usually gives either too much product or smears everything when trying to blend. The e.l.f. brush has much shorter synthetic white bristles and overall is a much firmer brush. I had seen Emily from Beauty Broadcast (emilynoel83 on YouTube) use this brush for cream blush for ages, but I could never justify an order online just to get this brush. They do offer good codes regularly but require spending at least $15 to take advantage and I'm trying to avoid buying makeup for the sake of getting a good deal on it so I can get one item I want. So! I noticed they were stocking this brush at my local Target, finally picked it up a few weeks ago. 

I've been so pleased with how it performs with cream blushes. I've been using cream blushes almost every day since I got it! A couple that I'd been avoiding: NYX Cream blush in Boho Chic and NYX Stick Blush in Orchid. The cream blush is just thick and sticky, the stick blush is rather dry and stiff. I can take a few dabs into the cream blush and blend it out easily on to my cheeks. Several firm swirls on to the stick blush pulls enough product to apply to my cheeks and not take off the foundation underneath.

All three brushes have their uses, but I feel like the e.l.f. brush is such a great value at $3, especially if it helps you use products that are otherwise neglected because of difficulty in applying.

An honorable mention that doesn't quite slot into the small duo fiber brushes is the Real Techniques Stippling Brush. I've had some success applying liquid foundation with it when no other buffing brush has worked for me in over a year (foundation settling into pores, etc). It's like a bigger, denser version of the e.l.f. Small Stippling Brush but is still moderately sized and can get around my nose without too much trouble.

Have you tried any of these? How do you use them? Thanks for stopping by!