Friday, October 26, 2012

Everyday Liners, Brown Black Taupe

A while back I swatched my various black, brown, taupe, mystery colors and took a couple pictures - promptly forgot about them! Poor things.

I think I started out comparing blacks and just kept swatching. I have bought a couple travel sets from Urban Decay from hautelook at a really great price, other pencils came in various palettes. They are rather expensive to buy full price, but the formula is good. Milani's Liquif'eye pencils are incredibly creamy, almost to a fault. It can be a little tricky to apply without making a mess. The Tarte emphasEYES Aqua Gel liner was nearly unusable as you'll see below. Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Sticks have an incredibly durable wear against water do I find sometimes they crease a bit with oils. Only an issue for me when in the crease area, work great as liner. Wet 'N Wild pencils are easy to work with and have a nice color selection but they will smudge, smear, transfer if you have issues with that. It's fine for my upper liner, but it's not budgeproof in the slightest.

Bottom row of swatches:
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Whiskey (warm medium brown)
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Perversion (intense black)
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Zero (medium black)
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Demolition (deep brown)
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Stray Dog (shimmery medium light gray taupe)
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Underground (shimmery warm brown taupe)
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Bourbon (medium brown with gold sparkles)
  • Wet 'N Wild ColorIcon pencil Taupe (light taupe)
  • Wet 'N Wild ColorIcon pencil Bronze (..shimmery bronze)
Top row of swatches:
  • Milani Liquif'eye Metallic Liner Black (intense black)
  • Tarte emphasEYES Aqua Gel Liner (intense black)
  • Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick Twilight (shimmery blue gray)

I use most of these liners on a regular basis, though I don't reach for Whiskey terribly often because it has an orange/red type of tone that can make my eyes look irritated when smudged. I do grab for especially the lighter shades of the Urban Decay 24/7 pencils that came in the Naked travel kit (Bourbon, Underground, Stray Dog, Demolition) like Stray Dog and Underground. Doing a thick line across the upper lashline and smudging out - the shimmer gives a nice effect as well as giving definition to my lashline region.

One item that I believe is discontinued though, I had the worst luck with. I am thinking I might have gotten a dud. The Tarte emphasEYES Aqua Gel Liner was too soft and once when trying to put in my waterline for testing it dissolved into this noxious mess that was extremely painful. When trying to apply to the upper lashline, it would usually break off when applying like in the picture below. Bizarre.

I would definitely recommend the travel kits from Urban Decay when on sale, it's a very good value for high quality liners with a lot of shades to choose from! What are your favorite "everyday" liners? Any hidden gems at the drugstore? 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

September 2012 Favorites, with Video

I apologize for being so late on this, I made a video and failed to take any pictures.. and a rascal named Andy (the cat) has been keeping me very busy lately! He's our new cat, we're slowly introducing him to our other cat, Oliver, but he's not too hip on the interloper. :)

I have a video posted where I blab on about these products, link here. It was the first new video I put up with my new camcorder before I had tinkered with any settings or really got it set up in a good way. So, it's not my best work but improvements have been made ;)

I have somewhat come to accept that my skin is so oily that powder foundation really works better for me. I will need to blot right after getting to work with liquid (1.5 hours after applying but being outside for ~20 minutes). With powder, I won't be shiny as soon as I reach the office and can hold off until about 2.5-3.5 hours after applying. I got this LORAC Wet/Dry Oil Free powder in WD1 and it is a good color, has a natural finish without looking powdery and light-medium coverage.

Also a recent acquisition is this NYX Mosaic blush in Rosey. It's a soft and warm light rose pink with a satin finish. It is a little powdery which makes it difficult to swirl around, but I tap my brush a few times around the blush and shake off the excess. Loving the color of it!

And my favorite blush brush used in combination with Rosey is the Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman blush brush. It's big but tapered and fluffy so that you can really control the spot you place the color and blend it out very easily. It's also great for using to apply a setting powder since it's so fluffy and wonderfully soft!

For highlight, I found myself using this Wet 'N Wild ColorIcon Bronzer in Reserve Your Cabana quite a lot. It's a natural satin sheen with a warm beige color, can warm up and add some shine to a blush! It is also a bit powdery but can be managed easily but slightly tapping in your brush instead of jabbing it in the pan. :)

For a brow combination, this past month I found myself gravitating towards a full and nearer to opaque brow, and the easiest way to apply that was using my Sigma E65 brow brush and my old standby brow color Urban Decay matte shadow in Shakedown (discontinued).

Last but not least, obviously my favorite mascara is the Jordana Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara. I have mentioned this a whole bunch since I first got it, here's the Mascara Swatching Series post to see bare lashes and the mascara only. I find it easy to build up the volume I prefer without getting the chunky clumps I dislike. It doesn't flake on me during the day (only a few spots here and there which I don't mind) which is another major annoyance. Still loving it, but sometimes the wand is getting majorly gooped up of late making it a bit difficult. It does also tend to get some little mascara oozing out by the seal of the cap and tube, so watch out for smudged fingers!

Starting from the left is a swatch of the LORAC Wet/Dry powder, NYX Rosey, Wet 'N Wild Reserve Your Cabana and Urban Decay Shakedown.

What products have you been loving lately? Tried any of mine? Let me know what you think! Thanks for stopping by, as always. :)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Simple Face, Lashes Brows Lips

So I was taking pictures for my Mascara Swatching Series: Jordana Best Lash Extreme and I had lipstick on, but that was it. Got me thinking about the barebones options for a look and ways to build it up.

I am wearing Maybelline In Style Sienna which is quite bold, has a subtle green pearl which is so fun!

It's a little shocking to see such intense lips and no eye makeup!

After I took pictures for the swatching series, I only had mascara and lipstick on. Isn't it amazing what a difference this makes? I look so much more awake with some definition around my lashline.

And another big impact is coloring in my brows! I used my old stand-by of Urban Decay matte (discontinued) shadow in Shakedown. I would be fine heading out the door with just this! Face has some structure with brows, lashes to look alive and kicking, bold lips to look "done". But, you know, I love makeup so I did keep adding little touches to flesh out my simple face.

I used Physicians Formula NUDE eye palette, swirling the beige and white shimmer over the lid and used a darker taupe at the outer corner/lashline.

To even out my skin a bit and tone down the pink I used Physicians Formula pressed mineral powder in Translucent, Laura Mercier Undercover pot creamy concealer under my eyes (UC-1). On my cheeks, I applied the large square from the CoverGirl Contouring Trio in Perfect Peach and Dior Amber Diamond highlight on cheekbones.

So, there it is! A strong lip, lashes and brows and I'm set. A few other products and it's a full look, but nothing quite has the same impact. What are your major difference-makers in makeup?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Mascara Swatching Series: Jordana Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara

I, simply put, fell in love with this mascara in the first couple days. I happened to be doing videos and blogging while it happened, so evidence of my fawning is all over. It definitely was awesome straight away, which honestly made me a little nervous that it was going to turn into a dud after a week. It did go through a period where I had large clumps of mascara stuck on the brush, but now it's back more to less clumpy three weeks later.

I didn't know anything about it before buying, except that Heidi jalapena2007 mentioned it being like Mally Volumizing and Tarte Lights Camera Lashes. When I did a little looking around after buying and falling in love, apparently this is a semi-well-known hidden gem! It's very highly rated on Makeup Alley by a good chunk of people (rated 4.3 out of 271 people). I bought this at Walgreens for $3.99 and that's the only place I've seen Jordana in store.

It's a traditional bristle brush, they are fairly densely packed together which I feel grabs onto my lashes well.

Yet again we get a similar look as most of my mascaras, but it's very easy for me to achieve my level of volume and coverage of my bare blonde lashes. I don't need to curl my lashes so I can't say much on the lift/curl/hold of the mascara (don't hate me, I have other battles like blonde eyebrows and acne ;)).

I do believe that it would appear slightly different had I swatched in the first week when I fell head over heels in love with the mascara, but not significantly. In the end, I would definitely repurchase, especially at the awesomely low price of $4!

Have you tried Jordana Best Lash Extreme? Had any luck with it? Love to heard from you! Thanks for stopping by, as always. :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

My Highlighter Collection: Powders, with Video

Getting decent pictures of highlighters on my shockingly pale inner arm is harder than I realized. :) My arm is probably NC0-5, for reference. I made a couple videos blabbing about my highlighter collections too.

L to R: Elizabeth Arden, pixi, Physicians Formula,
NARS, pixi (Golden Energy)
I bought the Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Highlighter in Rose Illumination because it had that magical phrase "rose gold" associated with it. It's a pink with a heavy dose of gold shimmer, when applied heavily in a swatch it looks like a good pink base with gold that flashes at angles - but on the cheeks it's mostly just a lovely gold.

Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Highlighter in Rose Illumination
pixi All Over Magic in Brightening Radiance

Both the pixi All Over Magic in Brightening Radiance and Physicians Formula Happy Boosters powder in Translucent have a pearl effect, the Physicians Formula can be more pink if you swirl around the cute little heart or avoid it if you like.

Physicians Formula Happy Boosters Powder in Translucent

On the beige/bronze/gold end of the spectrum I have several. I prefer warmer tones in general, though I think for highlighting both work well with my skintone. But warmth works more naturally with my freckled cheeks!

L to R: theBalm, Wet 'N Wild, LORAC, Dior,
 Dior (light strips only)
theBalm Mary Lou-Manizer is a champagne light gold, very shimmery but not metallic. Very pretty and a great deal when you can pick it up discounted on or I believe TJ Maxx sometimes has theBalm? So I have heard at least, I have Marshalls and they rarely have any makeup.

theBalm Mary Lou-Manizer
I only recently picked up Wet 'N Wild ColorIcon Bronzer in Reserve Your Cabana, it's a light beige type highlighter and it has a nice level of sheen. It's not as shimmery as Mary Lou-Manizer or Dior Amber Diamond, more like the shine from the Physicians Formula Happy Boosters. It is a little powdery and if you really swirl a brush in there will be powder everywhere! But oh, the subtle shine on the cheeks. So worth the very affordable price!

Wet 'N Wild ColorIcon Bronzer in Reserve Your Cabana
Also in that kind of beige range is LORAC Perfectly Lit Luminizer in Spotlight - but it has an interesting level of seeming coverage. It can smooth out texture on your cheeks a tad, very lovely effect! It's less frosty than Mary Lou-Manizer but does have more shine than Reserve Your Cabana.

LORAC Perfectly Lit Luminzer in Spotlight
And of course, what everyone seems to love above all else - Dior Diorskin Shimmer Powder in Amber Diamond. Most just call it Amber Diamond. Surely you know what we mean! I'm not sure why this became such a blogger/youtuber sensation, it is gorgeous and finely milled - but so are many highlighters! I suspect it's the gorgeous packaging and design in the product, having the strips so you can customize a bit the shade you get. It is beautiful, but I wouldn't necessarily say it's an absolute must-have. It's very pigmented, when everything is swirled together it's fairly bronzed looking, extremely shimmery.

Dior Diorskin Shimmer Powder in Amber Diamond

Physicians Formula, NARS, pixi, theBalm
Lastly the light golds! Another popular higher end highlighter is NARS Albatross. It's a white light gold, you can see in the swatch it has a fairly strong gold flash while the base is more white. It's smooth, pigmented and quite beautiful! I just wish I hadn't bought this trio which has way more Laguna bronzer than I need and a difficult to use thin strip of Albatross.

NARS trio with Albatross in
the middle (Orgasm blush, Laguna bronzer)
Last thing, I completely forgot to mention in the video, pixi Energy Blush in Golden Energy! I've depotted it and it lives in my z-palette. It's the only highlighter that I have (argh! I just remembered I have a MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Pink Porcelain that's a highlighter with glitter, no less) that has visible sparkles. There are some larger pieces of shimmer and it's a little powdery. It's not my favorite, but it does have a nice light white gold shimmer.

pixi Energy Blush in Golden Energy
So, that's about it! Whew. Not including the Pink Porcelain MSF, oops. What are your favorite powder highlighters? Any that you're dying to try? Want to tempt me into buying something else since clearly I don't have enough?! ;)