Monday, January 30, 2012

MAC Azalea blossom blush ombre swatches, comparisons and FOTD

I got Azalea blossom with the recent Daphne Guinness collection from MAC. I have a little weak spot for lavender! I have a few similarly toned blushes so I figured I would do some comparison swatches.

Colors left to right:
Smashbox dolce vita, MAC azalea blossom, MAC briar rose, MAC Dame

Swatches left to right:
Smashbox dolce vita, MAC azalea blossom (pink side), MAC azalea blossom (purple side), MAC azalea blossom (mixed), MAC briar rose, MAC Dame
Same swatches as above with slightly different lighting:
Smashbox dolce vita is light lavender pink with gold shimmer - similar in tones but definitely not a dupe.
Briar rose is very similar, only it has a touch more pink.
Dame is more on the pink red side with faint cool blue pearl, not so much lavender in it really.
Out of all these blushes which one do I reach for the most? Surprisingly, smashbox dolce vita! It's so pretty and gives me a nice glow.

Here is my FOTD wearing azalea blossom, I used both sides of it mixed. It gives a light cool pink flush to my cheeks:

I like azalea blossom, but compared to other colors I have I don't think it's overly unique.
I do like that you can use either side of it depending on what look you want to do. It's practically two blushes in one!

I also had vintage grape blush ombre (also released with Daphne Guinness) but it made me look like I got punched in the face. It was very dark and very purple, definitely not a good fit for pale skin! I didn't bother swatching it since it was so awful on me.

MAC please re-promote ripe peach and springshine blush ombres!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My top 11 beauty picks of 2011

I hope everyone is having a good start to 2012. I meant to edit and post this weeks ago but better late than never right?
I don't want to say these are my 2011 'absolute favorites', because I literally have too many favorites to list right now. I'm calling these 11 products my 'top picks' because they are the most used products of the year out of all my stash. They are ones that I reach for every day or close to it.

Also, all of these products perform extremely well, and last all day long through work - which is most likely why I find myself using them most often.

Sorry for the not so great photos :/ I got a new camera and it didn't work out well so I'm back to using my glitchy crappy old one for the time being.

In no particular order, here is my list:

Make up forever HD invisible cover high definition foundation ~ Medium coverage water based foundation that looks so natural I can't believe it. In the summer 115 ivory matched my skin perfectly, but now that winter is here and my skin is totally white - it's a little bit too dark. It has a lovely flawless finish that makes me feel really confident about my skin while I'm wearing it.

Kat Von D painted love lipstick in lovecraft ~ My most used lipstick of this year. It's perfect for everyday wear, goes with pretty well any color of eyeshadow or blush. It also stays on really well, about 4 hours before I need to reapply. See swatches and photos of lovecraft here.

MAC paint pot in rubenesque ~ I grab this when I am in a rush but still want to add a little pop to my eyes. The golden peach color really brightens up everything, without being too bright. It also lasts all day long and still looks fresh when I take it off at night!

L'oreal HIP kohl in navy ~ Ever since I tried this I've been hooked. The smoky look you get from loose kohl liners is so unique and sexy. These are like Guerlain loose kohls without the hefty price tag. The navy color brightens the whites of my eyes and lasts all day on my waterline! Sadly, I think these have been discontinued :(

Bobbi Brown rich color gloss in naked ~ One of the best glosses I think I've ever used. It's so pigmented, it goes on like a glossy lipstick. Doesn't feel sticky at all. Lasts a decent amount of time, without drying out my lips. Naked is the perfect neutral nude, and it makes my lips look so plump! What's not to love?

Cover Girl lash blast 24 hr mascara ~ A really nice surprise, since I've tried all cover girl's mascaras in the past and didn't care much for any of them. This one is a real winner. It holds curl so well, better than anything I've used before. My lashes are long and defined all day without a smudge in sight. Removal can be a pain, but at least it really does last up to 24 hrs!

MAC her own devices beauty powder ~ My most reached for 'blush'. It's a barely there color, just gives my cheeks a little pop and glow without screaming 'your wearing blush!'. I've used it a lot, yet I've barely put a dent in it. This will last a long time! See photos and swatches of her own devices here.

MAC play it proper beauty powder ~ My new favorite highlighter! It's a light pink with silver pearl - really brightens up the face. It adds a little shimmer and sheen to my cheekbones but isn't too bright or glittery. I've literally been using this daily since I got it. It is LE but it's being repromoted in March with MAC's new collection by Chen Man.

Sleek oh so special palette ~ I love the unique color combos I can get from this palette. It has a great mix of shimmers and mattes. It's quite unique and I reach for it all the time! See more pics and EOTD's using oh so special here.

Kat Von D ludwig palette ~ This palette is such good quality! I used this for like 2 months straight and barely put a dent in any of the colors - all you need to use is a tiny bit since the shadows are all so pigmented. Love the colors, however now that I have the naked palette and wet n wild comfort zone I don't reach for it as much since there are so many dupes. Still, this is an awesome palette.

Urban Decay naked palette ~ I'm not going to lie, I use this palette a lot. It's just perfect for work. The shadows are all nicely pigmented, smooth and last all day. I know there is a lot of hype around it but I really do think it's a good investment if you wear a lot of neutrals.

Thats my 11 top picks :) Anything in this list you already have or want to try?

Here is what I want to try in 2012:

- MAC face and body foundation
- Urban Decay Naked 2 palette
- Kat Von D saint palette
- Make up forever smoky lash

What new products do you want to try in 2012?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

MAC 6 snowglobe eye shadows warm palette photos and EOTD

I fell head over heels with this palette when I saw it at MAC. It became #1 on my Xmas wish list and sure enough I got it.

Here are the colors with my own descriptions :

- winterscape (sparkling white)
- magical mist ( shimmery silver)
- patina (gorgeous tan with subtle gold warmth to it!)
- buckwheat (super pretty chestnut brown with silver shimmer)
- gaelic gold (true warm gold with a nice sheen)
- Midnight flurry (cool blackened brown)

I love how there is a mix of warm and cool colors, the contrast drew me to it.

Some of the shadows are more pigmented than others, the lusters in particular are not MAC's best formula.
The packaging is so pretty. The top of the palette is a dome with water and glitter suspended in it just like a snow globe.

Here are two EOTD's I did using this palette. For the first look I used Midnight flurry in the crease, buckwheat all over the lid and blended into the crease, magical mist in the inner 2/3 and winterscape to highlight:

For the second look I used midnight flurry in the crease, gaelic gold all over the lid up into the crease, patina on the inner 2/3 and then I lined my top and bottom lash line with NYC waterproof eyeliner in mink. I love that eyeliner lately!

You can see how the shadows look a bit patchy, I think it's because I was trying out a new eyeshadow primer and it wasn't grabbing the colors very well.

Overall I really like this palette, the colors all go really well together and compliment each other beautifully.

After straying for a while I find myself really liking my MAC makeup lately. I always end up coming back to MAC. Does anyone else do this?

Monday, January 9, 2012

NOTD: Essence magnetics nail art photos

I tried these Essence magnetic polishes a while ago, I got them in a swap from Europe as they are only available there as far as I know. The magnet effect is really cool and unique. Now of course I've recently come accross Nail inc. magnetic polishes at Sephora that give the same effect - but they are super expensive.

I got a few colors to try, the gold is called pixie dust! and the awesome shark skin gunmetal grey is hex! hex!.
hex! hex! is on the pinkie, pixie dust! is on all others

What I didn't like about these is that they dried super fast and you have to work really quick to get a nice effect. The tiny magnet you use to make the stripes is difficult to get close to the nail without smudging the polish. I messed it up a few times before I got the hang of it.

I do think it's worth the effort afterwards because it really looks neat.

I wish you could make different designs instead of just stripes. I want to figure out how to tweak the magnet so I can make different shapes!

Have you tried any magnetic nail polishes? did you like it?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Giveaway winner announced!

Well I had a whooping 54 total entries on my 100 follower giveaway, wow!
Thank you all for entering.
Especially, those of you who wrote the sweetest things on my facebook wall - I was truly astonished and happily surprised at just how nice you all are!!! You made my day with each of your comments. All I've encountered since starting this blog is positive response, which I am so grateful for.
Everything I do here on makeup or morte is sheerly from the heart, it's my creative outlet and way to share my passion for beauty with others.
Thank you all for the inspiration to keep going on!

Now, I'll stop blabbing and get to the important part!

The winner of my 100 follower giveaway is...


How I came up with the winner? All entries were entered in list style and then generated into random order. The winner is #1 in the randomized list.

Congratulations Nora! In case you forgot, here is what you've won on this page.
I will email you shortly to confirm. If I don't hear back within 48 hours I'll have to pick another winner.

Thank you everyone! As you know I often have some sort of giveaway so check back soon for more :D

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Favorite drugstore beauty buys of 2011

Happy new year everyone!

Are you broke from Christmas? Want to treat yourself to a little something without breaking your wallet?

Well, I've got a list here of inexpensive but awesome drugstore products for those that want to be beautiful on a budget.

This is not my top 2011 list (that is coming soon) but these are all really good products and I'd recommend trying them!

From left to right:

  • Cover Girl Lash Blast 24 Hr $9.99 CAD
    This literally blew me out of the water! I almost gave up on drugstore mascaras, until I tried this. It lengthens and volumizes all while holding a curl like nothing else! It stays on all day without flaking or smudging.
  • Wet n Wild coloricon palette in greed $6.99 CAD
    Almost every color in this palette is a MAC dupe, and the quality of the shadows in lust are by far superior to those in other WnW palettes I've tried. This also looks amazing with green eyes!
  • NYC smooth skin pressed powder in translucent $2.99 CAD
    One of my all time favorite powders ever. It's very light and doesn't oxidize, doesn't emphasize dry skin like so many powders do and it covers pores for a flawless look. You really can't go wrong with this.
  • Maybelline super stay 14 hr lipstick in beige forgood $10.99 CAD
    This color is a fantastic neutral beige nude. It stays on for hours and doesn't dry my lips out. This is one of my top lipsticks right now.
  • Maybelline baby lips lip balm in peach kiss $3.97 CAD
    Although the artificial scent and taste aren't to my liking, this is a nice light hydrating balm to wear by itself or under lipstick. I have found since using this daily my lips do not feel as dry or chapped as before.
  • Cover girl lip perfection lipstick in romance $ 8.99 CAD
    I was pleasantly surprised to find lip perfection lipsticks are super pigmented and rich. They last a while and hydrate, it's hard to believe these are made by cover girl. Romance is a lovely pinked mauve shade with slight shimmer, it looks great on pale skin!
  • Maybelline color tattoo 24hr cream gel eyeshadows $6.97 CAD
    These cream eyeshadows are just super. I love my MAC paint pots but these are just as good. You can see more about them here.
  • Revlon colorstay blemish concealer with softflex $10.99 CAD
    This is the best concealer I have found that covers minor imperfections and redness. I always feel better after I put it on because I know it won't come off until I decide to take it off. The amount of Salicylic acid is too low to have any anti-acne benefits but this is still a great choice if you want to keep covered all day.

Well that's all for now, do you like any of these drugstore picks?