Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Nicole by OPI Sounds Grape To Me NOTD

Gorgeous burgundy with slight gold shimmer duochrome effect (only seems noticeable under certain lighting and sunlight) that seemed perfect for autumn.  I'm not one to spend more than $4 on a nail polish, but it has my name on it after all!  Had to get one eventually.  And this color was too good to pass up. :)

As with the previous post, this was using with a measured white balance - hence the spooky white hand floating in the darkness effect. 

Autumn Lip Color, NYX Apollo and Adventures in Measured White Balance

Along with my efforts to be more scientific about my picture taking, I decided to try out the functionality of taking a measured white balance instead of relying on preset settings.  Indoor light, flash and my pale skin seem to be a bad combination for any preset.  Here's my first try along with showing my new inspiration for an autumn lip color that works with my skintone - NYX in Apollo.  Very pretty coppery red that will be quite dark on me, but more every day on darker skintones.
Keeping this original size so the thumbnail won't have the adjustment in color balance.

Then I opened the image in Gimp, selected the Camera white balance which looks washed out/overexposed, I think part of my problem is that I just plain didn't have enough light when taking the picture.

Picasa/blogspot thinks that I am too warm which may be true, but it goes a little sideways "fixing" it.
Here's what the same image when resized/rebalanced by the site looks like.  Bet you didn't know I was secretly a zombie, did ya!

As for the rest of my face, I have literally four things on my cheeks (I was experimenting with what would look right with the coppery lip) - smudged out Yummy Plummy Maybelline lipstick, Milani Minerals blush in Luminous, e.l.f. Healthy Glow bronzer in Sun Kissed, Physicians Formula Bronze Booster in Fair/Light.  LORAC On Screen Duo as highlight and thick black cream liner, LORAC 3D Multiplex eye palette (the MAC Club type redbrown-teal duochrome) on lid and whatever other remnants of today's previous eyeshadow.  A LashExact waterproof mascara I dislike except when needing bulletproof waterproof (..hmm) mascara, Maybelline Define A Brow pencil for brows.  Lastly, MAC Mineralized Skin Finish Natural to smack down some of the shine.  Using the LORAC Evening Out kit for powder and concealer earlier today but I think that's long gone at this point.

Little sidenote, I tried using no primer with MUFE Aqua Cream and a shadow over, I was creasing after a couple hours.  It was an experiment because I needed to do makeup on the go before running into work.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Collective Swatches of Foundation, Powder, Concealer on Pale and Freckled Me

I have wanted to swatch all of my foundations for a while now, I have a good set of them that work fairly well for me color-wise.  I wear foundation quite sheer, I'm looking to even out my skintone, tone down redness and add a little extra coverage to my chin which is perpetually marked with current/old acne spots.  Ultimately, I don't need a perfect match in color but anything too-too dark will turn me orange.  My neck is quite a lot lighter than my face, my cheeks are dark with heavy freckle coverage.  My arm is similar to my neck, maybe a tad lighter.

Here's what I have, now supposedly I swatched the Dream Matte powder but I think it was just too light and I couldn't find it in the picture for the life of me.  I have the products labeled in the arm swatch picture with product name (not including brand) and shade name.

L'Oreal Magic Smooth Souffle in Light Ivory, LORAC protecTINT (tinted moisturizer) in Dare to Bare, Revlon PhotoReady in Vanilla, MAKE UP FOR EVER Mat Velvet+ in #15, Revlon ColorStay in Ivory, Revlon New Complexion (cream) in Ivory Beige, Revlon PhotoReady powder in Fair/Light, CARGO blu_ray Pressed Powder in #10, Maybelline Dream Matte Powder in Cream Light, MAC Mineralized Skin Finish Natural in Light, Revlon PhotoReady Concealer in Light, Laura Mercier Undercover Pot Secret Camouflage in UC-1 (did not swatch Secret Concealer), Sonia Kashuk Sheer Mineral Powder Foundation concealer and foundation in Pale Ivory (I'm shocked how white this is when swatched heavily), Revlon ColorStay Mineral Foundation in Fair.

I am also trying to be a bit more scientific about my camera settings to handle the indoor lighting and flash to provide better color balance instead of relying on the automatic settings.  I think these came out fairly true to color after minor tweak in the white balance in my photo editor.
I am not wearing any foundation, but I do have some blush on - e.l.f. blush/bronzer duo - just the blush on cheeks so I didn't look sickly.

While the Revlon New Complexion looked peachy on my arm, and when initially applied on my face it had a grayish tone - it matches me pretty well but I don't think the face swatch was as heavy as the arm.  MUFE Mat Velvet+ looks starkly too light, but when sheered out it probably matches my neck the best out of all of them.  When I repurchase Revlon PhotoReady, I would choose the lighter shade - I had bought Vanilla because I wanted the more yellow tone but I've found pinkier shades can work especially when set with my MSF Natural which is more yellow toned.

Wearing Urban Decay Money on lid, Loaded in crease, Physicians Formula Happy Boosters transluscent powder (using the white-ish heart) for brow highlight, Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Zero, someone (don't recall who :) ) blue liner in waterline, CoverGirl LashBlast Volume on upper and lower lashes, L'Oreal Colour Riche lipstick in Fairest Nude.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Simple FOTD with Wet n Wild Comfort Zone MAC Club dupe

Hadn't done a proper FOTD in a while, so after I put my makeup on today I decided to take some pictures.

Pretty basic look here.  I did my face very simply with my MAC Mineralized Skin Finish Natural in Light which I've been using for foundation lately, Revlon PhotoReady Concealer under my eyes, Wet n Wild blush in Pearleascent Pink.  The blush is very powdery and pigmented, it can get out of control pretty quickly.  I was a little overenthusiastic using it, had to buff over with the MSFN.

Before putting on primer or anything, I was compelled to use the Tarte emphasEYES aqua gel eyeliner, I have only used it once when I tried it on my waterline and that did not go well, to say the least.  It's so liquidy, it melted into my eyeballs and immediately had blackened smeared tears running down my face.  Not exactly the look I was going for, not to mention it was incredibly painful.  So!  Finally got over the trauma of that experience and slapped it on my upper lashline.  It is incredibly soft, feels cold/wet and very easy to make a mess.  Just swatching it, a big chunk broke off.

Wanted to just smudge out an eyeshadow on top of the less-than-precise line so I grabbed the Wet n Wild Comfort Zone palette I've been enjoying - mainly for the MAC Club dupe (red-brown with teal pearl flash).  Applied it over the liner but eyelids were still looking kind of blotchy so I put on the Physicians Formula Glam Green Eyes cream eyeliner on the lid, lightly blended out the WNW Club dupe over the PF.  I picked that mainly because I hadn't used primer and I know these don't crease.

Used the light golden brownbone lightly in the inner corner to perk up eyes a bit, used L'Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black mascara on lower lashes, Physicians Formula organic mascara on top lashes.  Used the clear side of my Prestige brow duo, didn't feel like fiddling with making brows look nice.

Lastly for lips I used the L'Oreal Infallible gloss in Sunset which has a pretty heavy shimmer component, it is long wearing and sticky so you do have the less than pleasant leftover glitter stuck to your lips.  To lighten up a bit and hopefully decrease the look of lip lines, I popped some Revlon gloss in Peach Petal over it.

And a sidenote, we have what seems to be the last weekend of summer so I pulled out the chartreuse dress for one last go before the Fall/Autumn really starts.

Skincare and Allergy Update, Peeling/Acne, Glycolic Acid

So I went through a rough time when my face and neck were peeling like crazy, skin was burning, red and irritated.  I couldn't figure out where it was coming from other than possibly an allergy to my chemical sunscreens, I eliminated anything new from the routine.  I swapped out all of my products for physical sunscreens instead, which I have to say mostly are such a hassle to deal with.  And then things flared up again, my neck was still having residual peeling.  A friend aptly called it neck dandruff, isn't that a pleasant thought!

Well, I didn't want to believe it but I'm 99% sure now that it was my Juicy Couture (original) perfume.  It was the one item I had taken out but put back in.  Once I stopped using it completely, the peeling/burning/redness went away for good.  What a bummer, it was the first floral perfume I've liked and the scent will always hold a spot for the summer of this year in my heart.
I'm still trying to figure out getting the right moisture balance while handling my acne.  I'm using gentle Aveeno cleansers in the hope it won't dry my skin out too much, I've incorporated a lotion with 10% Glycolic Acid (Alpha Hydrox Anti-Wrinkle Enhanced Lotion) for exfoliation (and if it helps some fine lines, that's great!) in the evening.  I tried out a week of using it every other night, I'm going to start using it nightly and scale back if necessary.  So far I haven't felt any tingling or burning type effects.

In the morning, I'm using an antioxidant SPF 25 CVS brand version of a Neutrogena moisturizer.  It's fairly thick and feels like a sunscreen, but does absorb well.  I will be repurchasing.  I am still using the prescription topical antibiotic and sulfacetamide/sulfur topical goo.  I found it interesting when I heard Salma Hayek's Nuance line has a sulfur acne treatment, not something I've seen over the counter.

I'm also continuing to use the L'Oreal Age Perfect Golden Balm Eye, I don't feel strongly either way about it and wouldn't repurchase.  Now that my skin is less dry and peely, it's moisturizing decently - still have some dry spots occasionally but it's tolerable (hate when concealer catches on dryness).
My acne is a bit lessened from before going to the dermatologist, and I do think the sulfur topical is pretty great at reducing a sore and inflamed blemish overnight which I never had much luck with other treatments.  I usually have a couple inflamed blemishes on my chin all of the time.  Other minor breakouts on nose/forehead are fairly uncommon and resolved overnight.

So, that's about it!  It's always a learning experience trying to make my skin happy.