Friday, August 31, 2012

Laura Mercier Signature Colour Essentials

When Nordstrom was having their anniversary sale earlier this summer, I picked up the Laura Mercier Signature Colour Essentials for Face, Eyes and Lips collection.  As of the writing of this post, the set is still available at Nordstrom.

The collection includes:
  • Foundation Primer
  • Eye and Cheek palette that includes:
    • Second Skin  Cheek Colour in Vintage Pink
    • Eyeshadow duo in Morning Dew and Primrose
    • Eyeshadow duo in Topaz and Kir Royal
  • Travel size All Over Eye Colour brush
  • Caviar Eye Stick Colour in Twilight
  • Full Blown Volume Lash Building Mascara in Black
  • Lip Glace in Sweetheart
And as a gift with purchase when I bought this, I also got a Laura Mercier gift bag:

The gift bag included:

  • Travel size fan brush
  • Invisible Loose Setting Powder
  • Flawless Skin Tone Perfecting Eye Gel Creme

And now on to the close ups and swatches

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Bronzed Taupe

I love the L'Oreal Infallible eyeshadows so I was excited to pick up a new one in the shade Bronzed Taupe.  They are fantastic quality at a drugstore price point.  I have a variety of different colors with different finishes.  The Infallible shadows come in matte, sparkle and metallic finishes.  The metallic finishes are by far my favorite.  Just look at that swatch, isn't it beautiful!

The pigmentation of the Infallible shadows is fantastic. The wear time is fantastic on my lids with or without a primer I easily get 9 hours, but have worn them up to 12 hours with no noticeable creasing.  I will admit I haven't worn them for 24 hours (ewww), but I wouldn't wear any shadow for 24 hours.

I love the consistency of these shadows.  They are a pressed pigment and are looser than a solid pan of eyeshadow.  There is definitely some kind of liquid component and they apply so easily and smoothly.

The L'Oreal Infallible shadows contain 3.5 grams of product and retail for $7 - 12 depending on where you pick them up.  

Overall: 10/10

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Deborah Lippmann nail polish in Sugar Daddy

Deborah Lippmann's Sugar Daddy polish is one of the three mirrored chrome polishes launched by the brand for summer 2012.  It is officially described as "antiqued champagne".   This polish is really difficult for me to describe and even more challenging to photograph.

In some lights it is a very antique gold, in others it is a very pale almost lilac color.  There is definitely some very fine duo chrome glitter in the base, a lilac/lavender and then possibly a strong gold or green.  The base seems to be a pinky campaign color.

I was surprised by the subtlety and complexity of this color.  It is very pale, but also such a chameleon.

Like the other Lippmann shades I've tried, this polish was impressively opaque in one coat, even though I applied two coats.  It applied very smoothly and while it didn't have the bulletproof wear of Lippmann's more glittery polishes, it did wear very well with minimal chipping on the tips.

Sugar Daddy contains .5 oz of product and retails for $18.  I got mine at Nordstrom.

Overall: 8/10

Monday, August 27, 2012

MAC Ruffian Red Lipstick

MAC's Ruffian Red lipstick came out with the June 2012 MAC Ruffian collection.  The collection was online only and on the small side (and random as well, press on nails?!?).  The collection is a collaboration from MAC and the New York design house, Ruffian.

MAC describes Ruffian Red as "Class rich blue red".  I personally don't think this red reads blue at all.  I think it's very primary red with a tad bit of orange, sort of a tomato red.  It has a matte finish but I found it was pretty creamy and applied very evenly and opaquely.  

Again, being a matte I expected it to be incredibly dry, but it wasn't too bad.  Also because it's a matte it had phenomenal staying power and did stain my lips.

MAC Ruffian Red is still available online for $15.

Overall:  8/10

NYX Round Lipstick in Eros

This lipstick is one that I picked up in Portland a few weeks ago (the other being NYX Matte Lipstick in Shocking Pink).  At the time I had been fixated on MAC's Ruffian Red and at first glance I thought this color looked similar (after swatching, I was right).

NYX doesn't provide official color descriptions (as far as I can tell), but to me this looks like a bright tomato red.  It's mostly neutral, but it may lean a bit orange.  The finish is slightly sheer.  It's very moisturizing and it applies smoothly.  

The formula wore for about 3 hours on me before I needed to reapply.  It did settle into liplines after a while, so regular reapplication is necessary to keep it looking great.

I like the packaging on the NYX round lipsticks, they feel substantial (especially at this price point).  NYX Round lipsticks contain .14oz of product and retail for $4.

Overall: 9/10

Friday, August 24, 2012

Review: Holika Holika Peach Girl BB Cream SPF37 PA++ in shade 01

I picked up the Holika Holika Peach Girl BB Cream along with several other items in my haul from RubyRubyShop.  I have had this BB Cream on my wish list since I first saw PinkSith's review back in May 2012.  This is my first time trying an actual Asian BB Cream and if there is one thing the beauty blogosphere has taught me, it's that Asian BB Creams and Western BB Creams are nothing alike.

I don't speak Korean and as previously stated, it doesn't appear that anyone at RubyRubyShop is terribly fluent in English, so here is what RubyRubyShop (or babelfish) has to say about Peach Girl BB Cream:

Cover the blemishes and enliven your skin with cheek and lip color!  Containing Peach and Strawberry extracts, gives skin peach-like complexion and elasticity.  Also there is bundle lip and cheek color, you can finish make up steps in one item.

It also has a PORE COVER label at RubyRubyShop, so from all of this I'm going to make some assumptions about what I think the Holika Holika Peach Girl BB Cream is supposed to do:
  • Coverage with a peach tint
  • Some level of pore coverage
  • Sun protection via SPF 37 PA++
Holika Holika Peach Girl BB Cream comes in two shades, #01 Light Beige and #02 Natural Beige.  I purchased shade #01 Light Beige.  I was concerned that the BB Cream was going to be either too yellow or too gray, however, it turned out to be an excellent match for my skin.  While I wouldn't say it had a peach tint, it is a good match for my skintone.

swatch blended (left) and heavy (right) under daylight bulbs

swatch blended (left) and heavy (right) in direct sunlight

As for the pore coverage, I'm not sure what the product is claiming to do, which makes it impossible to evaluate.  I have large pores and foundations settle into them.  I can't say that the Holika Holika Peach Girl BB Cream has a huge impact on my pores, either good or bad.  It doesn't settle into my pores any worse than any other foundation, but it also doesn't cover them up better than other foundations either.

As far as the coverage, I applied it rather sparingly over a very emollient base which made blending super easy and it's probably medium coverage on its own if you don't sheer it out like I did.  The BB Cream is a little on the thicker side.  

bare skin

Holika Holika Peach Girl BB Cream

In the picture above, I didn't bring it up under my eyes and I hadn't applied my concealer yet.  As you can see, the Holika Holika Peach Girl BB Cream does a good job of evening out my skintone.  It tones down the redness, but doesn't completely cover my freckles (not that anything does).  As thick as the BB Cream is, I was concerned that it might look really cakey or matte on the skin, but I think it has a nice finish.  While it's not exactly dewey, it does have a sheen.  It is definitely not a matte finish.  

Here it is with full face makeup on.

full face with Holika Holika Peach Girl BB Cream - 7am

full face with Holika Holika Peach Girl BB Cream - 7pm

You can see from the pictures that it wore fairly well, even after twelve hours.  I did get shiny in my t-zone, but the BB Cream didn't break down and separate the way some foundations can - it certainly held up better than my under eye concealer.  It did seem to oxidize a tad on my skin, but not bad, it's just that by the end of the day it seemed a smidge darker than on first application.

The consistency of the foundation reminded me a lot of the MAC Matchmaster in that it feels kind of drier and more textured to the touch than most foundations which sounds like a negative, but it's not.  It's just that compared to other foundations like NARS Sheer Glow or Estee Lauder Invisible Fluid, it is a lot heavier.  I feel like you could probably build up the coverage pretty easily, though you'd probably want to be careful with piling it on top of dry patches.

Last, but not least, is the peach blush/lipstick and itty bitty mirror.  According to the blurb on the website, the color is supposedly for cheeks or lips.  It's a peachy-pink and shockingly opaque and STICKY.

Did I mention this stuff is STICKY because if I was too subtle, it's STICKY.  You could use this stuff to glue things together.  Because of that, I think it would work much better on the lips than the cheeks - of course if you don't like sticky lip products that won't work for you.  If you use this as a blush, it definitely would need to be set with a powder blush.

I purchased the Holika Holika Peach Girl BB Cream SPF37 PA++ in shade #01 at the RubyRubyShop ebay store for the incredibly budget friendly price of $13.18.

Overall:  9/10

Thursday, August 23, 2012

MAC Paint Pot in Nubile

The MAC Paint Pot in Nubile came out as part of the MAC Limited Edition September 2011 Posh Paradise collection.  It is described by MAC as "light peachy nude".

This is one of those colors that is difficult for me to swatch because it is so close to my skintone.  Nubile does have a bit of a frosty finish.  It's not quite metallic, but there definitely is a sheen.  It is a surprisingly complex color in person that looks different from different angles.

I picked this Paint Pot up a couple of months ago in one of April's blog sales along with a bunch of other goodies that I am trying to get all swatched and photographed (OMG, backlog much?).  The product has pulled away from the sides of the pot, but it is still creamy and applies easily.

This is one of my first paint pots and I know that typically they're used as bases for other shadows and to prevent creasing.  Nubile definitely works well in that respect.  I have some red discoloration on my eyelids and Nubile does a good job of covering that redness.  However, just as a primer this is definitely on the pricey end.

Nubile is a shade that can be worn on its own as a wash of color.  It is close to my skintone, but it does have that sheen and subtle complexity that make it more than just a base or primer.  There are a lot of products with vastly different price points that are similar.  I'm thinking specifically of Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams and the Milani Shadow Eyez pencils.  The MAC Paint Pots pricetag wise sit between the two of those.

Nubile was limited edition, so it is no longer available, but regular MAC Paint Pots contain 5 grams of product and retail for $18.50.

Overall: 8/10

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Haul: RubyRubyShop Asian BB Cream

I have been really curious about Asian BB Creams and foundations for a while and I had several on my list that I was particularly wanting to check out.  I looked at a bunch of different online retailers and while they carried an impressive range of products, it seemed like none of them carried all of the specific products I was looking for until I found RubyRubyShop.

RubyRubyShop is in South Korea.  As far as I can tell, they have both an ebay store and a regular ecommerce site.  For the record, I made my purchases through their ebay store.

I am a bit confused by the fine print on their ebay store.  It is pretty obvious that the text wasn't written by someone who is particularly fluent in English.  I don't buy their line for one second about no fake products being available in Korea.  There is also a line about how they cannot discount shipping fees on auctions even if you buy from multiple auctions at once - but I'm pretty sure they did for me as I didn't pay any shipping at all.

I chose standard shipping on my order (no charge) and it states that standard shipping to the US takes 10 - 35 business days, however I received my order in a fantastically short 4 business days.

Here's a closer look at what I picked up:

SKIN79 Mini BB Cream Set (Diamond, Pink, Gold, Pear) - $7.99

Holika Holika Peach Girl BB Cream SPF37 PA++ #01 - $13.18 and

Holika Holika Petit BB Cream #02 MOISTURE SPF30 PA++ - $5.99

Have you guys used RubyRubyShop?  If so, what do you think of them?  Do you have another go-to site for your Asian skincare and cosmetics needs?


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Review: Pink lipsticks - yellow based

So lately I've been obsessed with yellow-based pink lipsticks.  They're not exactly earth shattering.  You can find them from a lot of different companies at a lot of different price points, but I thought I would share some of my favorites.

These shades sometimes get categorized as coral, but they're definitely not.  They are pink, but a warm yellow pink, not quite peach and definitely not orange.  I'm amused by how much the official descriptions of the colors vary, but they all look very similar.

MAC Chatterbox is described as a "bright red-pink".  It has an amplified finish so it feels really good on the lips.  It doesn't wear quite as well as a drier formula, but I usually get 2 - 3 hours out of an application.  All MAC lipsticks contain .10 oz of product and retail for $15.00.

Makeup Geek lipstick in Adorable has a Satin/Gloss finish and definitely has the most slip of the three lipsticks.  It is described by Makeup Geek as a dupe for MAC Chatterbox, but I think it's closer to Fanfare.  It is a beautiful color, very creamy texture that doesn't dry my lips.  The packaging contains 4 grams of product and retails for $7.99 on the Makeup Geek site.  

MAC Fanfare has a Cremesheen finish.  It is described by MAC as a "mid-tone yellow pink".  Cremesheens aren't my favorite finish, but I do love this color, so I put up with it.  I don't find it too drying and it does wear really well.  All MAC lipsticks contain .10 oz of product and retail for $15.00.

Sephora Rouge Cream in #14 Seduce is described as a warm beige pink.  This is my first Sephora lipstick and I am impressed with the product if not the packaging.  The bullet is annoyingly large.  I have no idea how much product it contains as neither the packaging, nor the Sephora site say, but I doubt it contains more product than the Makeup Geek lipsticks and yet the bullet is markedly bigger.  It retails for $12.  The formula is super creamy and very opaque.

So what do you think of yellow based pink lipsticks?  Do you love them as much as I love them or are they a pass for you?

MAC Chatterbox Lipstick

I am in love with yellow-based pink lipsticks and I keep buying them.  (The first step is admitting you have a problem.)

I already had MAC Fanfare which I absolutely adore and wear every other day, but I picked up Makeup Geek's Adorable, which I thought was a dupe for Fanfare (don't ask why I'm buying a dupe for something I already have).  However, the Makeup Geek store says Adorable is a dupe for Chatterbox.  So, of course, I had to pick up Chatterbox and see ...

Looking at swatches, I still think that Adorable is much closer to Fanfare, but I do love Chatterbox.  It's described by MAC as "bright red-pink".  I think it's mostly a neutral pink that leans slightly yellow, but it is definitely redder than Fanfare.  Chatterbox has an Amplified finish so it's very creamy and doesn't dry out my lips at all.

I love this color.  It is an intense pink without being too bright - it's very wearable.  And it doesn't lean particularly cool or warm, so it's flattering on a range of skintones.

MAC lipsticks contain .10 oz of product and retail for $15.

Overall: 9/10

MAC Lipstick in Fanfare

MAC Cremesheen lipstick in Fanfare has made it onto several of my favorites list, but I just realized I hadn't actually done a post on it.  So without further ado, MAC Fanfare.

MAC describes fanfare as a "yellow based pink" which is apt.  Fanfare is definitely more pink than peach with a good deal of pigmentation.  It is a cremesheen finish which I know some people find drying on the lips.  I don't have a problem with it and I find that it does wear well.  I get a solid 4 - 5 hours of wear out of an application.

MAC Fanfare is definitely one of my favorite lipsticks.  I am in love with yellow based pinks in general, but particularly with this lipstick.  

Overall: 10/10