M.A.C.

Pan that Palette & Shopping the Stash – December, Report #3

Previous report was in July (ha ha) and can be found here.

I went back to stila ITK after my holidays in the summer. Since I got a little bit tanned I mixed Wind and Desert up to get a better match on the lid. Here’s what it looked like it July:
stila-itk-july

Now:
stila-itk-dec16

I’m back to using just Wind at the moment. If I’m lucky I might see pan before 2017.

I took the Lunasol foundation with me for the summer because the shade worked better on me then. The picture in the last report was after holiday use. I went back to Maquillage not long after that. So here’s an update on that group photo:

pans

Taken January 2016

Now (almost a year later):

pans2016

Taken December 2016

Every time I travel I take the WnW with me. Haven’t used much of the BB this year (I use this as a brow powder). I’ve reached for it from time to time lately but nothing regular so it looks pretty much the same. I managed to use up quite a few brow pencils though 🙂

Blotting powders then:
pan-sexymama

Now:
blotting-2016-12

That’s the Soap & Glory one on the left. That’s since July as well I believe? Probably forgot to post this last time 😛
Ok they both claim to be translucent (Sexy Mama’s “anti-shine translucent powder” vs SG’s “super-translucent mattifying powder”). I think SG might be just a leeetle bit better at oil control, but if you’re not careful it can look chalky. Sexy Mama is talc-free and tinted so you’re less likely to look ashy. If I had to choose I’d probably go with S&G as that one seems to work better on my skin.

And I’m still working on the MAC blush:

July:
mac-poised Now:

blushes-2016-12

Lunasol Chocolat Beige, MAC Poised, RMK Hot Red

Yup, not much change. But I got so bored of using Poised everyday I incorporated other blushes. Primarily those two in the pictures.

I actually took the RMK with me (due to its slim and compact size) for a solid month during my time in Hong Kong and it still looks like new. There’s only 2.2g of product in this compact. How am I ever going to use up the 6g in MAC? And that’s just a fingerprint mark in the Lunasol and not a dent. But I’m hoping it being a cream formula I’ll hit pan faster.

I really don’t know how I’ll manage to pan anything!

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Addiction by Ayako Haul

*ahem* I’ve been away on holidays, hence the silence again but more importantly it’s also how I got my paws on some Addiction shadows!! To compensate this will be a really long post so get ready!

I am so excited about these cos I’ve been wanting to try them since forever and the brand finally opened a counter in Hong Kong where I happened to be 🙂 Too bad I missed out on the opening GWPs, I heard there were some nice things.

Addiction by Ayako is a beauty brand in the Kosé family. Ayako was NARS’ creative director before starting Addiction. I found an interview with Ayako here on Haru’s website, my source for all Japanese beauty news 😉 Addiction has changed the packaging of their eye shadows when they (re)launched their eye shadows – all 99 shades at once. Some shades were retired, but I’m not sure if there’s a difference in the formula. Perhaps someone can comment?

Before I get into the shadows I purchased, I want to mention the LE Christmas Winter White set:

ayako-xmas1

pic from official website

This set was going for HKD550 (or thereabouts, IIRC) which I feel is a good price. Inside the compact you get 4 shadows and a blush:

ayako-xmas2

pic from official website

I was there the first day on the launch but after some thoughts, I passed. My reasons? I don’t use nail polish, and am not a fan of lip glosses, even if this one is black and thus more interesting. So there goes two products. The compact is nice but the blush shade is really more of a highlighter as the colour wouldn’t show unless you’re really fair and pale. And I don’t need another highlighter. Once I eliminated the blush shade there’s little reason left for me to get the palette even if the four shades of shadows are beautiful and practical and work really well together. This set is really a good deal and if you’re someone who uses all the products I highly recommend it. I should have asked the ladies if you can pop the highlight out and replace it with a blush instead (especially if you already own a blush from them). That would make this more versatile. Actually the gloss and polish would make kick ass as stocking stuffers even if you don’t use them. Oh well!

I picked up a total of seven eye shadow shades, purchased separately on different occasions. They are HKD 140 each, with 1g of product. You can buy an empty compact separately that could hold 4 shadows or a bigger one to hold 6 shadows. Note that the size of 1 blush = 2 shadows so you can customize whichever way you want. I almost got a compact but didn’t in the end because for me out of sight is out of mind.

aya01

  1. 085 Shanghai Breakfast (P) A mauve with a gold and red gloss
  2. 082 Taxi Driver (P) A smooth grayish mauve
  3. 069 Flash Back (P) A grayish brown with a smooth gloss
  4. 040 Dolly Bird (P) A steel gray with a wet luster and sparkle
  5. 039 Yesterday (P) A light lavender gray radiating pink
  6. 043 Dangerous Liason (P) A deep purple shimmering with red and silver
  7. 109 Red Lily – Gold orange tinged with red, like the lilies of Northern Europe (limited edition)

It’s a bit of a pain to get the English names. They are not printed on the display panels in Hong Kong, nor on the boxes/sticker on the back of the cases. I had to cross reference them on the Japanese website. Having English names would make it so much easier to remember what I’ve got and what I’d like to try.

Swatches: (more…)

Pan that Palette & Shopping the Stash – July, Report #02

Previous report was in February and can be found here.

Here’s what stila ITK looks like. I’ve really only been using the same Wind shade –

In February:

itk-01-16

Now:

stila-itk-july

Wind is the second from left on the top row. Yeah. Not much in spite of five month’s of daily use.

Here’s progress on Sexy Mama –

In February:

balm-01-16

 

Now:

pan-sexymama

Yes I hit pan!! 🙂 This happened last month (June). Pictures look a lot warmer than last time’s but I’d say these warmer ones are more colour accurate.

Instead of Maquillage powder foundation, I dug up one of my old Lunasol and have been using that for a while. Last time this pan was photographed it looked like this:

pans

Lunasol is the one on top right

This is what it looks like now:

lunasol-pder01

That’s with maybe three times a week of use.

Shopping the stash-wise, I put Her Blooming Cheek away and have been using MAC Poised (LE) blush the past few months. Poised is one of those blushes where the more you blend and buff it in the more it leaves this beautiful glow, which I really appreciate because I use powder foundation and the glow makes it look less flat.

mac-poised
Poised is like a vamped up version of Gingerly. Gingerly is labelled as a satin but wears like a matte on me. Chanel Tweed Sienna is probably more similar to Poised. I haven’t touched that blush since I hit pan on it 😛 All three of these are no-brainer colours, easy to use and goes with everything. Don’t be fooled by Gingerly, it looks dark in pan but applies really natural on the cheeks.

Make up Brushes – My Collection + Review

I thought I’d write a post on brushes since I touched on the topic recently with my purchase from Koyudo. Originally meant to be one post, I have divided this into two because of length. This is part one, a run through of what I have and my thoughts of them. The second part will be what brushes to buy. This is a long, pic-heavy post!

I might have mentioned briefly in the past about how I started my collection (a humbly sized compared to collectors) but here’s all the history in one post 🙂

I bought brushes individually right from the beginning and heeded the advice of others who say to buy the best you can afford. Right from the bat I knew it was an investment so I started with shu uemura (this was like 20 years ago). I was quite a fan of theirs at the time anyway and even used their skincare range. Even back then I was told their brush prices climb up yearly and if you’re going to buy them anyway it’s better to get them early. So!

I started with 2 shadow brushes (sable, synthetic, both paddle style), 1 powder, 1 cheek (pony, also paddle style), 1 lip, the 5R (kolinsky) for socket and I think a spoolie. I still have all of them with me (although I LOST the 5R during a move). I have retired the cheek and powder brushes which started to shed gently a few years ago. The sable shadow brush is also coming loose at the ferrule, but otherwise still good. Considering they’re 20+ years old that’s not too bad. If you take good care of your brushes you can count on using them for 10 years no problem.

I was perfectly happy with these until I started experimenting more with makeup. So I added brushes like kabuki, stippling, eyeliner, dome shaped face brushes and so on and so forth. I’ve tried brushes from brands like MAC, Bobbi Brown in the early days, and in more recent years Sue Devitt, Lunasol, RMK, Rae Morris. And I never bought a set until Real Techniques came along. They’re so affordable and I believe at that time there were some brushes you could only get in the sets. I tried some Sigma, Sephora and zoeva brushes too. The last brushes I bought before the small Koyudo haul are Hakuhodo brushes when they were at the Bon Marché for a limited time.

This is the first time I counted how many brushes I have:brush-all

Little by little I have accumulated 63 brushes (59 in the picture above, a few didn’t make it in there but will be seen later in the post). I’m kind of surprised myself. They look so manageable sitting in glass candle jars and whatnot and you don’t even know how many you really have until you lay it out like that. Lucky the Man wasn’t at home when I took the picture. Even though I suspected as much that’s one big visual confirmation that I have too many. I really only use a handful regularly, and others are there when the regulars are dirty and I haven’t got the time to clean them 😛

I will try to be brief and go through the brushes as quickly as I can.

Since I forgot to take a close up shot, in the top left hand corner are 3 kabuki brushes. The smallest one is a freebie from Dior. This one came from the Nude Bronzer, I have another from Nude Air powder. The bigger one is MAC, the laquered one is Bobbi Brown. I don’t have a detail pic for these. The MAC one has longer bristles. Otherwise in terms of use they are (BB & MAC) similar to me and interchangeable.

Onto the rest of the brushes.

brush-rm (2)
I use the medium and fine point shader a lot. I probably reach for them the most, out of habit and because they work really well for me and suit my eye shape. With hooded eyes there’s just not much room to work with and most shadow brushes are too big.
Radiance is a nice brush, it works like a dense buffer brush. You can apply your foundation with it although I’ve never tried and have used it mainly as a dense buffing brush to polish the foundation and get a nice finish.
The smudger brush is soft and not scratchy like the Laura Mercier one but for some reason I just don’t reach for this often.
I really like the lip brush.
Precision liner I bought with the intention of mastering the flick. But I actually got better results with a push brush. It’s down to technique I suppose. I’ll keep practicing.

A word on these in case you didn’t know, these have magnets at the end of the brush and are designed to be displayed/arranged with a metal plate. They clump together if you store them flat or in a bag. The good thing though is I can easily hang them to dry in the kitchen 😛 I use the lid of an old coffee tin to store them upright.

Here’s a closer look:

brush-RM

Below is the Ultimate Cheekbone, which is exactly what it says, perfect for contouring that area.

brush-RMface

My Hakuhodo and Koyudo brushes:

brush-koyu-haku (more…)

Pan that Palette & Shopping the Stash – February, Report #01

Hopefully I’ll be diligent enough to make monthly posts like this tracking my pans.

This is what the stila In the Know (hereafter known as ITK) palette look like:

itk-01-16

Thoughts: Mattes-only looks doesn’t flatter me. I need a little more oomph. I’m still mainly using Wind as a daily base colour so that’s all you see.

I’ve also decided to try and pan the Balm’s Sexy Mama, which is an oil-controlling mattifying translucent powder. Here’s what it looks like now:

balm-01-16

Thoughts: I’ve got a few of these powders lying around at home (Bourjois, essence, Soap & Glory) and it’s been my goal to make a comparative post on them for the last two years. I need to get round to doing that. For now, I can only say that I really like the packaging. It’s sleek and doesn’t take up room, plus it has a mirror inside. Also this is talc-free.

On the Shopping the Stash front, I’ve rediscovered MAC’s Her Blooming Cheek blush. A fuchsia pink blush that easily fits into their Flamingo Park collection:

Enlight1(2)

Perfect for that in-from-the-cold look. I use a softer, fluffier brush with this so as not to pick up too much colour and it helps to blend.

I really want to hit pan on one of my blushes this year. I’ve been looking at my blush collection and there are just too many and a number of them are very similar. It doesn’t help either that I just bought two more 😦

MAC Viva Glam Miley Cyrus

vivaglammileycyrus

pic from MAC website

Never thought I’d pick this up because
1. Really not a fan of the spokesperson
2. It’s not really my kind of colour

Yet I still picked it up because
1. Admitted spokesperson has nothing to do with the product
2. I’m trying to broaden my lip colour palette
3. It’s for a good cause
4. I missed out the Viva Glam Cyndi and I ended up buying one on evilbay only to find out that it’s a fake. Don’t want that to happen again

MAC’s Viva Glam Miley Cyrus (henceforth referred to as VGMC) is an Amplified lipstick. I’m not well-versed in MAC’s formula and don’t think I have tried an Amplified before. In any case it is pigmented and creamy, comfortable to wear. The shade is a bright fuchsia (or hot pink, as it’s described on the site) that’s surprisingly easy to wear. I think no matter what skin tone, almost everybody can pull this shade off. If you’re like me and have always wanted to wear a bright fun lip, this is a good choice. When in doubt you can always blot to tone it down before you’re 100% comfortable.

I pulled the only other ‘crazy’ bright lippies I have at home to compare:

vgmc01

Bourjois Fuschia Graffiti, MAC Viva Glam Miley Cyrus, NARS Jardin des Plantes

As you can see they look nothing alike. VGMC is blue-based but it looks downright warm when swatched alongside the Bourjois:

vgmc04

The two thinner lines are NARS; Top thick line is Bourjois, then MAC

Bourjois ‘Fuchsia Graffiti’ (again, the first of the thick lines) is very bright and very blue. I’m still unsure of this one. There seems to be too much contrast once it’s on my lips, risks making me look sallow. Now that I have VGMC I think I’ll reach for that before I go with ‘Fuchsia Graffiti’. The Rouge Velvet formula is beautiful though!

NARS Jardin des Plantes is the darkest of the three. Funny how the two strokes look so different in the photo because of lighting/shadow. The first/top stroke is closest to how it looks in real life. On the lips it give a almost frosty looking finish. It feels lighter and less creamy than the other two formula, but not at all drying. It’s very pigmented and soft – I hardly have to apply pressure when drawing it on and it goes on opaque. If we look at all three together I’d classify the NARS as more of a magenta. This particular shade is a NARS stand-alone boutique/website exclusive.

All of these lipsticks leave a stain behind.

Here’s one last look, just Bourjois ‘Fuchsia Graffiti’ and VGMC:

vgm-05

I cropped to do away with the slightly fuzzy strokes. The lighting is not the same as the first photo either but I think this picture gives a better idea as to how bright VGMC is, and that it is still in the fuchsia family. The other photo seemed to have tamed that aspect down.

MAC lippies are now 19 euros (!) in France – when did the prices go up?? Last time I bought one it was 17.50 IIRC. Anyway, if you find a unique shade that you love I suppose I can recommend you to go for it. I’m not really fond of their chemical vanilla scent though. As for VGMC, I’m pretty sure it’s a dupe-able shade. I made an exception this time because it’s Viva Glam – so hey, I donated 19 euros to the AIDS Fund yay!

Yaby palette + Depotting

depot

I don’t have a lot of eye shadows but I have enough. I’ve lost a lot of good ones during my moves (lots of shu, including ME 945), that still makes me shed a tear or two. I’ve toyed with the idea of depotting because:

1. I don’t have a makeup vanity = no drawers = not very accessible. I can’t see everything that I have without moving something or other.
2. Too many little pots and cases to go through just to find what I want
3. Half the time I forget I have a particular shade because again, I don’t see them. This means I end up buying similar shades or simply not using them because I didn’t know I have it.

My goal wasn’t to make a DIY palette for travelling or to organise my shadows by colour/tone/looks. I just wanted to declutter and be able to see easily most of what I have in one place. For this purpose, the Unii is too small for me (also found it too dainty for my liking); the pricing of the z-palette outside of the US made me balked a little. Still I was about to grudgingly pay for a pro z-palette when I came across Yaby. It looks clean and tidy, about the right size for my purpose plus it isn’t made of cardboard.

So the Yaby palette has a magnetized sheet at the bottom. The ‘mirror’ side is designed for mixing your pigments/foundation/lipsticks whatnot. It’s quite slim but should fit all eye shadows except baked/domed ones obviously. I guesstimate it will fit 20-21 MAC eye shadow pans. Maybe someone has a picture somewhere with one filled with ’em.

yaby

Bic pen for size reference

So. Random pictures I took during the process:

depot-coll

I didn’t bother taking a picture of my frying pan. (more…)