Sunday, 30 September 2012

Lush Emotional Brilliance Liquid Lipstick Swatches

Hi, everyone! Today's featured swatches are of several of the Liquid Lipsticks from Lush's new Emotional Brilliance makeup line. I experienced the collection shortly after its launch in July (you can read about my initial review and impressions here), and walked away with two of the lipsticks, Passionate and Vibrance. I subsequently gained five more of these lovely little treats from a friend who used to work for the company and had extra products to share. It was such a thoughtful and generous gift!

Here is a photo of the seven Emotional Brilliance Liquid Lipsticks in my collection now:

(L-R) Lush Emotional Brilliance Liquid Lipsticks in Ambition, Power, Vibrance, Decisive, Passionate, Confident, Perspective

The texture of these lipsticks is relatively thick and quite creamy and comfortable on the lips. Most shades, as you'll see, are highly pigmented, so a little goes a long way! Some shades have a velvet to matte finish, while others pack some serious shimmer. And despite their moist feel, they're actually quite long-wearing. I pretty ideal formula, if you ask me!

Here are swatches of the 7 shades in my collection:

Lush Emotional Brilliance Liquid Lipsticks in (L-R) Ambition, Power, Vibrance, Decisive, Passionate, Confident and Perspective
With flash

Ambition is a vibrant, warm, red-tinged orange with an opaque, semi-matte finish. Not for the faint of heart.
Power is a bright, orange-coral with gold shimmer. Slightly more sheer than Ambition.
Vibrance is a highly shimmery orange-gold shade. Definitely the sheerest of the bunch. Would look lovely layered over another lipstick.
Decisive is a bold, nearly-opaque, slightly blue-toned red. Screams Hollywood glamour.
Passionate is a bright, blue-based fuchsia colour. Richly pigmented and slightly shimmery.
Confident is a deep, saturated plummy eggplant shade. Perfect for vampy fall lips!
Perspective is a semi-matte, slightly cool pinky-mauve-nude shade. The subtlest of the bunch, but perhaps the most unique.

Here are a couple more swatch photos:

Mix of flash and artificial light

Mix of natural and artificial light + flash

Have any of you tried the Lush Liquid Lipsticks yet? Any favourites? Any of the shades above that you'd like me to feature in an upcoming Look of the Day?

Thanks for reading! xoxo

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Hitting Pan

For all of you makeup mavens and beauty junkies out there, "hitting pan" can be a significant moment. A sign of accomplishment, dedication, or of persistence. Or simply an indication that you have truly loved a product for a solid amount of time. For those who haven't heard of the term, "hitting pan" is essentially the moment when you've used up so much of a product that the bottom of the packaging begins to show. A flash of silver indicating that a product is nearing its end. 

Here are some examples from my own stash of this momentous phenomenon:

(L-R); The Body Shop blush in Golden Pink, NARS Powder Blush in Deep Throat, Make Up For Ever blush #74, Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Ash Blonde

MAC Blot Powder in Medium, Laura Mercier Eye Shadow in Sandstone, MAC blush in Dainty 

For those of you with smaller makeup collections, hitting pan might be a fairly common occurrence. You have several basics, use them daily, finish them up, and buy a replacement. For those with larger stashes (me included, it's a bit ridiculous), few products get used on a daily basis. You know, to spread the love around ;)

Because my makeup collection is so abundant, the products I have featured in this post are truly standout, "holy grail" items that are my go-to, essential staples. Because these items have been such favourites of mine, I thought I'd provided a quick review of each!

NARS Deep Throat and The Body Shop Golden Pink

NARS Powder Blush in Deep Throat: I am pretty sure this is my favourite blush of all time. I know this is a bold claim given that I own many blushes (and of course, love each like a child ;), but as you can see from the photo above, Deep Throat has been almost completely used up. Those of you who know how much product is in a NARS blush will recognize that this is quite the feat! On me, Deep Throat is the perfect shimmery pinky peach that adds a lovely, brightening glow to the face. Highly pigmented, but difficult to overdo. I find it to be incredibly versatile and strongly prefer it to its more popular cousin, Orgasm

The Body Shop Blush in Golden Pink: Unfortunately this lovely blush has been discontinued, but I thought I'd still give it a shout-out! This is actually the second one of these that I've owned; the first I purchased back when my blush collection was at about 3 (ah, the simplicity of youth!) and I was quick to buy a replacement when it ran out. I find Golden Pink to be a slightly pinker and more shimmery version of Deep Throat and actually much prefer this one to NARS Orgasm as well. It's perfect when you're wanting to make a statement with your blush without having to opt for a deep or overly vibrant colour. 

Make Up For Ever Blush #74 and Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Ash Blonde

Make Up For Ever Blush in #74: I bought this blush about 7 years ago when I worked briefly in the cosmetics department at Sears (which is actually not bad here in Canada!). I was looking for a matte, vibrant coral and #74 fit the bill perfectly. It is quite pigmented and applies so smoothly. Perfect for a warm pop of colour! I'm not sure if Make Up For Ever still carries this shade, but I will certainly hunt it down when the one I have officially bites the dust. 

Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Ash Blonde: This is perhaps the one product that I use every single day. I have incredibly sparse brows (thanks to the thin eyebrow trends of the '90s and timid hair follicles) so filling in and shaping them is a must for me. Anastasia Brow Powder looks incredibly natural and extremely long-wearng. I can go swimming and my brows look flawless afterwards! And Ash Blonde is a perfect match for my hair colour and complexion- not too grey and not too orange. A match made in (eyebrow) heaven!

MAC Blot Powder in Medium: I've been using this a setting powder on and off for about 8 years. It applies seamlessly over foundation and goes a long way to keep my skin matte throughout the day. It's a little pricey as setting powders go, but it's my go-to in the face of balmy summer weather.  Medium is a great match for my NC15-20 skin tone, though it's nearly transparent so I could probably go up or down a shade without too much problem!

Laura Mercier Eye Shadow in Sandstone: This has been my go-to highlight shade for the past several months. It is a ultra-flattering shimmery beige with slight golden and pink undertones. It really brightens the eyes and can be worn on its own for a wash of colour or as a complement to a deeper shade of shadow in the crease. Plus the texture is incredibly soft. Makes me want to try out other Laura Mercier shadows!

MAC Mineralize Blush in Dainty: This is right up there with Deep Throat as one of my all-time favourite blushes. The texture is so soft and smooth and it imparts the perfect amount of shimmer. Noticeable, but not over the top! The shade itself is a warm, mid-tone pink with golden highlights. It's definitely one of those no-fail colours that looks lovely with almost any makeup look. I featured it in my most recent Look of the Day, here!

And that's it! Anyone share a love of the products I featured here? On what items have you guys hit pan recently?

Thanks for reading! :) 

Friday, 21 September 2012

Look of the Day: Dainty Rose

This look of the day is one I put together recently for a night out to celebrate my sister's birthday. I wanted something with a bit of impact, but that still looked natural and fresh. I opted for a palette of pinks and roses, as these shades tend to effortlessly brighten up my face. I was happy with the results!

The two stars of this look were MAC Mineralize Blush in Dainty (one of my all-time favourite blushes) and Chantecaille Lip Chic in Amaryllis. Dainty is a lovely, versatile pink-toned blush with hints of peach and subtle gold shimmer. It is so incredibly flattering and the texture is exceptionally smooth and soft! Amaryllis is one of my recent splurges (and my first ever Lip Chic!). It offers a bright, warm rose hue with reddish undertones. It leaves lips colour-drenched and moisturized and is a great option for those who want to wear bright lipstick but don't like blue-based fuchsias or super opaque formulas. It's fantastic!

Here's another view of the look, followed by a break-down:

The Breakdown:

Foundation: Revlon ColourStay Whipped Creme  Makeup in Buff
Concealer: Cle de Peau in Ivory
Powder: MAC Blot in Medium
Bronzer: Hard Candy So Baked Bronzer in Hula Hula
Blush: MAC Mineralize Blush in Dainty
Highlighter: MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Light Year

Brows: Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Ash Blonde
Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden
Eye Shadows: Laura Mercier Eye Shadow in Sandstone (all over lid and as a highlight on inner corners/brow bone), MAC Eye Shadow in Mulch on the crease and outer corner, and a small amount of MAC Eye Shadow in Amberlights, to blend Sandstone and Mulch together
Eyeliner: Revlon ColourStay Liquid Eyeliner Pen in Black
Mascara: Anna Sui Full Mascara in Black

Lips: Chantecaille Lip Chic in Amaryllis

And a few more pictures of the look:

What are some of your favourite pinky and rose-toned blushes and lipsticks? Any other fans of MAC Mineralize Blushes or Chantecaille Lip Chics?

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Nail of the Day: Over the Edge

Hey, everyone! I got a really good response to my last nail of the day post, so I thought I'd share another! The star of this installment is Essie Nail Lacquer in Over the Edge. I had been looking for a deep, moody nail polish for fall, but wasn't feeling like going with the typical black or deep red. I've been smitten with the look of Chanel Vertigo nail polish (part of the Fall 2012 collection) but didn't want to pay the Chanel price. So I went on a quest for something similar- a deep polish that was not quite grey, not quite brown, and not quite purple. Essie Over the Edge was the winner!

Over the Edge is a deep charcoal grey (asphalt? sharkskin? I'll go with sharkskin- it sounds the most badass) with just a hint of brown undertones and subtle teal and purple shimmer throughout. The shimmer and multifaceted tones are definitely quite understated, but make for a lovely touch when the sunlight hits your nails!

Essie Nail Lacquer in Over the Edge

I was slightly surprised that the application was fairly sheer after one coat. I wanted something bolder, so I applied three coats for more opacity. I really don't mind applying a few layers, though; the longer drying time is the only downside for me! But if you're looking for a deep shade in a single swipe (or in a hurry), this may not be the one for you.

Essie Over the Edge in natural light

With flash

I was really happy with the end result: a deep, dense metallic finish that screams "Moody, but in a sophisticated way" :)

And here is a closeup of the polish in direct sunlight, which allows the best look at the subtle but lovely shimmer Over the Edge has to offer.

In direct sunlight. What pretty shimmer!

And that's it! Have any of you tried this shade? What are some of your favourite deep, moody nail colours for fall?

Thanks for reading!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Meow Cosmetics Blush Swatches

Happy Monday, everyone! A little while ago I posted about my first Meow Cosmetics order that was full to the brim with amazing samples. (You can read the original post here). As I mentioned previously, Meow Cosmetics is an independent mineral makeup company that offers high-quality and cruelty-free makeup in an amazingly vast selection of colours. 

After my last post about the brand, I asked what swatches you'd most like to see (I purchased some mineral foundation, eye shadow, and blush samples), and I got a few requests for the blushes, so here they are!

L-R: Infatuation, Cherry Bomb, Coral Reefer, Delusions, Harlot

I swatched each of the blushes quite heavily on my forearm (about a NC15 skin tone), so you can see the true hue of each. They are all quite sheer in formulation, but can definitely be built up to create more dramatic colour!

As you can see, Infatuation is a warm coral peach, Cherry Bomb is a deeper reddish pinky-coral, Coral Reefer is similar in tone to Infatuation, but is a bit more intense and vibrant. Delusions is the palest shade of the group, a soft pinky peach. Finally, Harlot lies somewhere in between Cherry Bomb and Coral Reefer and is a vivid pinky coral. Can you tell that I'm a sucker for warm pinky/peach/coral blushes? :)

Here are a couple more swatch photos: 

Swatches under natural light

Swatches under artificial light

And here is a photo of each of the blushes in the sample baggie that they came in:

I tried to make these photos and swatches as true-to-colour as possible. Hopefully you find them helpful! I've also had the chance to test out a couple of the blushes so far- here is a photo of me wearing Infatuation (here) and here is post when I wore Delusions (here). They've been a pleasure to use so far- can't wait to test drive the rest!

If you're interested in checking out the full line of Meow Cosmetics blushes (there are sooo many shades!), you can see them here.

Have any of you given Meow Cosmetics blushes a try? What are some of your favourite shades? Which above appeal to you most?

Thanks for reading!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Veracious Product Review: MAC Zoom Lash Mascara

My latest product review is of one of MAC's several mascara options, Zoom Lash. Although MAC holds a large contingent in my makeup stash, I've always steered clear of their mascaras because they tend to get panned on all of the beauty review websites I've visited. Good reviews of MAC mascaras are generally hard to find! I received a free sample of Zoom Lash with a purchase I made a couple months ago, so I finally decided to put my preconceived notions aside and give it a try!

The sample comes in a sleek, sturdy, pint-sized black tube. I have to say, it's quite adorable!

Although the tube is much smaller than the full-sized version, it is long enough that the brush is of normal proportions. Thus, I'm hoping that the performance of this tiny tube is representative of what the mascara truly has to offer!

Here are a few pictures of my eye without mascara. I also abstained from eyeliner so that you could see the effects of Zoom Lash on its own.

"Before": No mascara or eyeliner

And here are a few pictures of my eye with two coats of Zoom Lash. I apologize for all the creepy eyeball closeups, but hopefully they give you a good idea of the effect ;)

"After": With two coats of MAC Zoom Lash Mascara in Black

As you can see, the difference is quite dramatic! Zoom Lash does an excellent job at lengthening my lashes without clumping or caking. It adds a fair amount of volume too! I've worn it a few times now, and it has never flaked or smudged on me, even in the most sweltering of weather. All signs of a fantastic mascara!

And here are "Before" and "After" photos of my whole face, without and with Zoom Lash. It really changes the whole look of my face, without being over the top.

Dorky expression, but lovely lashes! :)

Overall, I'm very pleased with the performance of this mascara. It adds clump-free drama to my lashes without smudging or melting in the face of the summer heat. I'm not in need of mascara at the moment, but I'd definitely consider purchasing the full size of this down the line (though MAC is on my crap list since Estee Lauder changed their animal testing policies). I suppose this proves that I shouldn't let a few (or several) bad reviews dissuade me from trying a product that might be just right for me. Lesson learned! :)

What are your thoughts on MAC mascaras? Any fans of Zoom Lash out there?

Friday, 7 September 2012

Fall 2012 Beauty Trend: Amped Up Cat Eye

For my second installment of the Fall 2012 Beauty Trend series I've chosen to focus on a dramatic eye look that surfaced on several runways this season: the exaggerated cat eye. I am a huge fan of the classic winged liner/cat eye look; I feel that it adds a touch of drama to any look without being over the top. To me, it embodies sexy, retro glamour.

This Fall, however, the trend was to take the classic cat eye and turn the volume up. To eleven. 

Here's a photo of my interpretation of the trend, followed bya few of my favourite runway inspirations:

The look at Lanvin was all about a jet black, slick-looking cat eye that extended up to the crease and beyond the ends of the models' brows. The rest of the face was kept very clean and glowy:

Lanvin Fall 2012

Anna Sui's show embodied this trend as well, but she amped up the colour to add a serious pop of vibrancy to the look. Electric blue all the way!

Anna Sui Fall 2012

Armani adopted a softer, but just as dramatic approach to the trend. The lines were less precise, but the shape remained elongated and sleek. The drama on the outer corners was contrasted with a stark white shade on the rest of the lid:

Armani Fall 2012

Thierry Mugler added a swipe of red to the mix! The result? A dramatic contrast with a geometric aesthetic.

Mugler Fall 2012

Finally, Catherine Malandrino created a sultry, smokey cat eye with contrasting light and dark hues. Structured, but not too precise:

Catherine Maladrino Fall 2012

And here are a few more shots of my take on the trend. With all of the various examples above, it was difficult to decide which version of the look I would attempt; in the end, I opted for a combination of the looks above. I went a pop of colour (a la Anna Sui), but chose a dark enough shade to still create some contrast and drama. The eyeliner featured in this looks is MAC Pearlglide Intense Eyeliner in Undercurrent, a deep, vibrant teal with gold shimmer. Truth be told, this liner was waaay underused this summer, so I was happy to let it shine here. My version wasn't quite as intense as the examples above, but I had to make the look semi-wearable, as I wasn't walking a runway or attending a glamorous party that day ;)

And that's it! What are your thoughts on the trend? Will you be rocking a similar look this fall?

Let me know if you want details on any of the other products I'm wearing in this look. Thanks for reading! :)