Friday, December 31, 2010

NOTD: MAC Formidable! nail polish

Formidable! is another of MAC's duo chrome nail polishes from the Venomous Villains collection. I wasn't overly excited about this one, but it grew on me.
In the bottle there is a strong blue and purple duo chrome going on. On my nails it looked mainly chocolate brown with silver shimmer. In some lights it looked exactly like MAC blue brown pigment.
The cool thing is that it turned a really pretty purple shimmer in direct light.

in direct light, fuchsia purple shimmers:

Formidable can be duped with Orly Galaxy girl. Out of all 3 Venomous Villains polishes this one applied the nicest. Color is shown with 2 coats.

You can see my NOTD's wearing MAC mean and green and bad fairy here.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bourjois blush sienne photos, swatches and FOTD

I am loving Bourjois little blush pots more and more lately. They are so pigmented and always go on nice and smooth.
Sienne is more of a bronzer than a blush. It's matte and silky, with a very natural finish.

This time of year when my skin is at it's palest I need some sunny color to liven myself up a bit, and avoid looking like a vampire.
Sienne is a great color for this, it's a warm terracotta brown that looks surprisingly natural on. It's much warmer than NARS ninotchka or zen which are my usual 'go to' neutral blushers.

It's quite matte so I like to add a highlighter over top of it. To highlight my cheekbones I usually use Prestige Skin Loving Minerals Sunbaked bronzer in Pure Shimmer, which is a light champagne color.

Sienne gives a warm healthy glow to my skin. FOTD :

side view:

What's your favorite bronzer? I don't own very many but I would like to try more.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

trash review: NARS all about eve eyeshadow duo with swatches and photos

The latest item I've completely used up is my NARS eyeshadow duo in All about Eve. I've been using it practically every day for about a year or so.

NARS eyeshadows last a long time! I can't believe how much use I've gotten from this product. I almost thought it would last forever.

All about Eve is a boring, plain, neutral flesh colored duo. The right side is a satiny almost-matte finish, and the left is a shimmery version of the same color.
It was so hard to get good swatches of these, since they are the exact same color as my skin. They completely blend in.

To prove how natural looking this duo really is, here is me wearing it on the right:
you can barely tell!

I'm sure you're wondering why I use this duo every day. Especially since it's so understated and minimalist. The secret is, the right side is the most perfect color to use for blending. I do my darker eyeshadows first and then blend it out with the right color. It's pure magic.
The left side of the duo is the nicest highlight shade I've ever used. It's not too shimmery or bright, it's just perfect.
This duo can be used with any eyeshadow look from smoky to natural, since it's so blendable and neutral toned.

Here is a look I did where I blended with the right side and highlighted with the left:

I have used similar neutral eyeshadows in the past for this exact purpose, but they have been either too shimmery or pink toned, and end up ruining my finished look. All about eve duo adds a finishing touch to bring the look together rather than distracting from it.
It always saves my time when I'm in a rush and need just a little something on my eyes. Slap it on with some mascara and your ready to go!
I highly recommend this if you are in need of a good eyeshadow to blend or highlight with. If you have darker skin, I'd recommend Alhambra duo since it's a shade or so darker.

Repurchase? yes

Price: $32 USD, $35 CAD

Rating: 5/5

Friday, December 24, 2010

My 10 favorite beauty products of 2010

I had originally wanted to do this post as a youtube video, but came across major technical problems while filming.
Looks like I won't be able to start youtubing anything until I get a new camera. Hopefully early in 2011!

With the new year just around the corner I figured this is the perfect time to reflect on the new products I tried in 2010 that really impressed me.
It was hard to choose just 10, but I went with my gut feelings. Everything I chose I actually use all the time (some of them everyday) and would recommend them.

Seeing as I use mostly high end products, I was surprised that I picked a lot of drugstore items!
I have to remind myself that just because a brand is expensive or overpriced doesn't mean it's any better than cheaper brands that go on sale regularly.

~ My beauty favorites of 2010 ~

#1. Lancome Rénergie Microlift Eye R.A.R.E.
This eye cream is superb. I have tried so many, brands from Neutrogena to La Mer - and this one blows them out all of the water.
After 2 days of use the little lines under my eyes were gone (plumped out) and dark circles from lack of sleep completely banished. This didn't irritate my eyes at all (I always have this problem with eye creams).
It is expensive but totally worth it.

#2. NARS eyeshadow duo in Eurydice (see swatches here)

Out of all the NARS eyeshadows I own Eurydice is my absolute favorite. Of course the pigmentation is wonderful and blending is smooth. I just love these colors and the smoky sexy eye they create. The aubergine side is breathtaking. I reach for this one a lot.

#3. MAC Briar Rose beauty powder (see swatches here)

I know this is limited edition, but I just had to put it in. Honestly it's the prettiest most unique colored blush I've ever used. It gives a really pretty flushed cheek. Out of all my blushes this is one I usually reach for. I will let you all know if I find a dupe!

#4. Hard candy meteor eyes baked meteor eyeshadows (see my EOTD using lunar eclipse here)

I am so absolutely in love with these eyeshadows. They are really great quality for the price. There are so many colors to choose from, and some of them are great dupes for MAC mineralize eyeshadows. pictured above are the two I have, outerspace (right) and lunar eclipse (left).
I can't wait to try more colors, and some of the duos too!

#5. Gosh waterproof eyeshadow primer

If you thought pixi epoxy was good, then you would love this waterproof eyeshadow primer. I liked pixi expoxy and it worked well, but it was too sticky and it irritated my eyelids. Not to mention it creased. This primer comes in a tube just like MAC shadesticks. After blending it onto your lids you have a slightly sticky, pearly shimmery base that's perfect for patting loose pigments onto. It really makes your eyeshadow color pop, and it doesn't crease at all. love!

#6. ELF Eyeshadow 'C' brush

This brush is awesome! It packs on color so well, better than any MAC brush. I use it all the time and I want to get another one. For the price, I might get two. Trust me, you will love this brush.

#7. Hard Candy blush crush baked baked blush in living doll (see my FOTD wearing this here)

This color is so pretty. In the pot it appears pink with yellow veining. When applied it gives the prettiest cool shimmery pink glow. It's fairly pigmented and I only need to use a little bit. I can't get over the price of this line, so inexpensive and the products are sweet!

#8. Maybelline color sensational lipsticks (see photos and swatches of pink please here)

I'm totally impressed with these new Maybelline lipsticks. They are so nice I can't believe you can buy them from the drugstore. I love my MAC lipsticks but they tend to dry out my lips, and these don't at all. The color selection is superb as well. I am picking up more colors soon.

#9. Maybelline purestay powder foundation

Another winner from Maybelline. I was looking high and low for a good powder foundation to use when I'm in a rush. I adore MAC studio fix powder, but it broke me out. Maybelline purestay is just like MAC studio fix, only better. I say better because it doesn't break me out, and the color actually matches my skin perfectly! I use Ivory, which is nice and neutral unlike MAC NC15 which is just completely yellow on me. The coverage is great, it even covers acne scars!

#10. L'oreal true match liquid foundation

Out of all foundations I've tried, (MAC, NARS, Clarins, Clinique, etc.) I keep coming back this. I love how it blends so well into my skin I can't tell I am wearing it. N1 soft ivory is my absolute best skin tone match in any foundation I've used. It is light to medium coverage, so I use a concealer and powder as well if I need to. I've tried all the true match products, and I like this one the best. The cream to powder version broke me out (too much silicone) and the roller seemed to be a gimmick so that I would waste product (I ran out really fast) . I also don't like the true match pressed powder, it's really cakey and awful! But this liquid foundation is a total winner and I keep going back to it.

What was your favorite product of 2010?
I hope everyone had a nice holiday and got lots of makeup goodies!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

MAC Heritage rouge pigment swatches, EOTD and dupes

Heritage Rouge has got to be one of my favorite MAC pigments of all time. It's a very rich deep maroon color with a metallic finish.
It was originally released with the Overrich pigment collection in 2008, but have no fear it is still available at MAC pro stores.
It is really unique. It has equal parts purple, red and brown for an overall stunning color with a superb texture.
I've been hunting for an eyeshadow dupe in pressed form for a while, since I don't always have time to use messy pigments. I don't like pressing pigments either, they tend to crumble too much.
So finally I have found a few colors that are very similar in tone to heritage rouge.

Left to right:
MAC play on plums , heritage rouge, Bourjois prune captivante 43 :

Left to right:

Swatches of MAC play on plums , heritage rouge, Bourjois prune captivante 43 :

Bourjois prune captivante is the exact same color, but it doesn't have the metallic finish. MAC play on plums is close but slightly more brown than heritage rouge. All of these eyeshadows look very similar when applied to the eyes.

My EOTD using heritage rouge:

If you check out my previous post on MAC play on plums mineralize eyeshadow duo you will see a very similar EOTD. They really are close dupes.

EOTD breakdown:
- MAC painterly paint pot
- Heritage rouge pigment all over lid
- Melon pigment in the crease
- Bourjois prune captivante on lower lash line
- cover girl black fire liquiline blast on waterline
- NARS all about eve duo to blend and highlight
- Chanel inimitable mascara

This color is just stunning for green eyes. It's a must have! It would look great with any eye color but it makes green just pop like nothing else.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

NOTD: Revlon top speed nail polish hazy

Yes another grey nail polish because I can never seem to get enough of them. I promised myself I'm not going to buy any more in the new year since I have about 10 now, in varying shades of gloom.
I thought this was the perfect Grey.

In the bottle it is perfect. But when I applied it, it turned a shade darker on my nails, and went very slightly blue toned. It's about a shade or so lighter than Rimmel grey matter.

I don't think I'll ever find the perfect light grey color that doesn't turn brown, purple or blue toned on me. I just want a neutral mix of black and white on the lighter side. I give up.

I have to say that the new Revlon top speeds wear wonderfully! I used 2 coats, no top coat, and it didn't chip at all until I took it off 3 days later. Very impressed, 5/5! I'm going to check out more colors soon.

Monday, December 20, 2010

NARS Emmanuelle eyeshadow photos, swatches and EOTD

I admit I don't wear red eyeshadow very often, but sometimes I like to and it is hard to find a true red color. NARS Emanuelle is described as 'coral with shimmer', but really, it shows up red my dears.
It's quite gorgeous and unique. I thought it was discontinued but it is still available at NARS Cosmetics. It is listed in the vintage section, which means that there are limited quantities.

Emanuelle is very pigmented, and the shimmer is very fine and not chunky. It's a very bold color that really makes a statement.

my EOTD wearing Emanuelle, breakdown at the bottom:

All products used:
- MAC paint bare canvas
- NARS Emanuelle all over lid
- MAC B-rich eyeshadow above crease
- NARS All about eve to blend
- Amuse black liquid eyeliner on top lash line
- NARS mascara black orchid on top & bottom lashes