LE

MAC Viva Glam Miley Cyrus

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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!

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Dupe – Revlon Snow Peach

Sometime last year Revlon released something called ‘The Legacy Collection’, a set of five iconic lipsticks in the super lustrous formula. This collection never made it to France AFAIK (at least I never saw it) and I wanted Snow Peach so badly I resorted to evilbay. I paid what I would have paid in retail if the lipsticks were available in France, so it wasn’t so bad. Anyway!

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Snow Peach on the right

This post is for those who missed this collection or need a replacement or just looking for a dupe. And I like dupes when they are from a similar tier (or lower), because it’s just not as fun to buy a LE MAC lippie dupe when said dupe is a Guerlain Rouge G.

The dupe I found for Snow Peach is Bourjois Rouge Edition in ‘Fraise Remix’. These usually go for 12.99 euros each in France. Sephora (France) is currently having a promotion on all Bourjois lip products (-30%) until 15th March.

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Here are the swatches, different lighting:

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Top: Snow Peach, Bottom: Fraise Remix

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As above; added another stroke of colour to make the lines more even

The finish of the lipsticks is similar. The Bourjois Rouge Edition is more emollient and hence is a teeny bit shinier than the Revlon Super Lustrous formula. ‘Fraise Remix’ is a hair pinker/cooler than ‘Snow Peach’. On the lips however, they look identical – I did a half and half (left lip and right), and the two just melded together and I couldn’t tell them apart.

NARS Eyeshadow Duo – St. Paul de Vence

So I meant for this post to be up a week ago but got delayed because of the photos etc. Luckily though because when I first received my duo and played with it the first few days, both shades were sparkly, like there were micro-glitter. I doubled, tripled-checked in case I went bonkers because I don’t remember people mentioning the big sparkles. Now a week later, it *is* as though I went crazy cos those sparkles are mostly gone. So anyway. I decided to keep the pictures anyway (as proof I wasn’t nuts).

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I’m sure you’ve all seen NARS’ campaign for Spring featuring Tilda Swinton as their spokesperson. This is the image that accompanies the colour story (nude) with the products below: 2015nars01

I was only interested in the duo. ‘Interested’ is putting it mildly actually. For some unknown reason I was obsessed with this duo (LE, btw). St Paul de Vence first debuted on the Rodarte show last year, it was used on the eyes (right side shade) and on the cheeks. You can find the product breakdowns and model pictures here and with this link (which is pretty much the same thing) you get to see a face chart with products laid out in front of it. My reasoning thus: something versatile (eyes AND cheeks, yay!), that I can use everyday (because nude). So I bought it sight unseen relying only on swatches (pretty meh at that time) and hoped for the best. NARS described the left shade as ‘shimmering nectarine’, the right ‘chestnut’.

Like most of NARS duo, there are two textures. Here the nectarine is a frost and the chestnut a satin. When applied on the eyes, the nectarine is less frosty than swatched. When worn as a blush however, I found that it slightly emphasized my pores. (more…)

Makeup Hits and Misses of 2014 – The Hits

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I think I did quite well last year resisting beauty releases (especially those of the limited kind) and impulse buys. As such my 2014 Hits won’t be exclusively on products that are released this year but include things that I’ve (re)discovered, have impressed me and constantly reached for. I’ve made a top ten post back in August and the items mentioned in that post are still very relevant. Think of this as more of a Favourites / Most-used of 2014 post.

1. Urban Decay Pulp Fiction eye palette
One of the LE collections this year I fell for. Love this palette even if I do wish the packaging is a little more travel-friendly – tested its portability on a short trip and found it to be a real PITA to pack. It just takes up so much room! I’m not sure if I’ll take it with me on trips again but being a neutral palette it really makes life easy and goes with everything. The texture and quality is amazing. Reviewed here.

2. Tom Ford Orchid Haze
If I could only bring one quad with me on a trip this will be it. It pulls quite neutral and by controling the darkest shade you can adapt it to any day/night look. This is my favourite palette out of everything at the moment (HG?). Also featured in the mid-year top 10 post.

3. Urban Decay Naked 3
I picked this up early in the year 2014 when Sephora France had it back in stock (and it was promptly sold out again). This is my first palette in the Naked series and really my first go at Urban Decay eyeshadows. I resisted 1 & 2 but something about the pink and rose called to me. I have enough browns at home already and thought 3 would be a nice change. I admit I was worried the pinks wouldn’t look good on me (rabbit eye/cried-all-night) but it’s surprisingly easy to wear and versatile. I’m used to quads and at most quints so the size and choices are overwhelming. I’m still on the learning curve with this but it’s been nothing but pleasure each time I reach for it. (more…)

Small 2014 Christmas Haul

Merry Christmas everyone! I know it’s Boxing Day, small technicality there. I was hoping I could get a post up before today but work drained me out more than I thought it would. Hopefully you all enjoyed a nice time with your family and love ones.

I managed to remain calm with the Christmas releases and only picked out a few things *pats self on back*

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Suqqu Christmas Set B
When I saw both of the sets on the Selfridges website I had a hard time deciding which one to go for. I reasoned that while Yukiichigo is pretty and special and delish, I know deep down that I won’t be wearing it as much as I would Tsukianzu.
I like eye shadows to be pigmented and from my experience back in the stone age days Japanese brands generally tend to do sheer washes and are more subtle than their western counterparts. This is my first ever Suqqu palette and they deserve all the raves they get. Great formula, silky and easy to blend. I’ll certainly pay more attention to their releases in the future, even if I do have to order from Selfridges and pay for the shipping.

I know the two sets are sold out and are very hard to find unless you go on evilbay (don’t). I’ll point out that Tsukianzu is quite shimmery (‘grown-up’ shimmer) because the Man noticed and made an off-hand comment when I wore it one day. But it’s a Christmas set afterall so that’s ok.

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I just found the videos Suqqu has on these two sets. See Tsukianzu in action below:

I’d like to get that lip brush.

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Guerlain Perles d’Etoile
I got the Crazy 68 meteorites compact last year but couldn’t resist having them in their tradition pearl form. The warmer tones and the packaging sealed the deal. At the moment I think I prefer the look of the compact which seems to do an instant brightening finishing magic touch. Nitpicking, the Perles d’Etoile is a hair more shimmery when applied. Nobody but you would notice the ‘difference’ though.
Don’t cry if you didn’t get this – Guerlain Spring 2015 has new meteorite compacts and a blush that comes in variation of pink and rose ballz.

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Urban Decay 24/7 Black Magic set
I picked this up with the Suqqu to bring the shipping average down 😛
I haven’t tried UD’s 24/7 liners before and since I use a lot of black eyeliners and I prefer my liners to be dark in general (so I can just line-and-go) this looks to be promising. Also double-ended = good for travel. I’ll review this when the time comes.
The other eyeliner set that looks promising is the set of minis from Marc Jacobs. I haven’t tried MJ’s liners either but the shades look fun and the set works out to be a better deal.

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Aquis microfiber hair towel
Not makeup but beauty related. I bought my first Aquis maybe 10 years ago. It was well loved but I left it in the hotel bathroom on one of my trips a few years ago. I finally bought a replacement earlier this year and decided I want a second one. I have a full-head of thick hair that takes a long time to dry and the Aquis really helps in cutting down the drying time. Indispensable on trips when you never know how good/bad the hotel blow dryer will be.

Urban Decay Pulp Fiction Mrs. Mia Wallace Lipstick

[Edited to add more photos – 12 November 2014]

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Following the eye shadow palette which I wrote about here, I have now the red lipstick and lip liner.

They are both named ‘Mrs. Mia Wallace’ and described as a ‘deep blood red’. I hemmed and hawed before purchasing these because I have quite a few nice red lippies already that don’t get reached for enough and I have no business buying anymore but we all know how that story goes. These are my first UD lip products so I’m no expert and can’t compare them with the usual UD formula. I’ll concentrate on the lipstick for this post and the one on the lip liner will follow.

The colour payoff of the Revolution lipstick is indeed very rich, intense and opaque in one swipe. Seriously impressed. My lips aren’t in the best condition at the moment (leaning on the dry side) but the lipstick doesn’t highlight nor sink into the lip lines. The lipstick is very creamy and emollient, doesn’t make my lips feel dry at all. I don’t know if it makes sense but it is ‘thick’. It doesn’t really tug per se but I do have to apply certain amount of pressure onto the lips to get a good swipe. [A lipstick that truly glides for me is the Givenchy’s Le Rouge first and foremost, then by Terry and the Guerlain Rouge Gs]. This could also be due to the lack of a tapered bullet as a tip for the Revolution lipsticks, which may have too creamy/heavy a body to employ a blunt cut like this. For a colour like Mia Wallace you should be using a lip brush anyway so it’s not too much of a problem I suppose. When it comes to the finish, the Revolution lipsticks promise a ‘creamy shine’ in general but I wouldn’t call the finish I get with Mrs. Mia Wallace shiny. To me shiny is like the Rouge Coco shines, or other balmy ones that really reflects and throws light back. This is more of a satin, which luckily I prefer anyway.

Now onto the shade!

First things first, I don’t know if it’s me but the colour I see in the tube isn’t the colour I get when applied. In the tube it’s a deep red with sort of a brown undertone, fitting UD’s ‘blood red’ description. When swatched, it’s a blue-based red. You can see a deep fuschia if you wipe on a white tissue. So even if it does apply opaque in one coat, if you want the deep dark red that’s promised you really need to go all out and intensify the application. *Then* it turns into this beautiful, deep red that for some reason looks quite neutral and you think might actually be flattering on a variety of skin tones. It’s weird.

I thought I would have more similar looking reds but I don’t. I actually have more blue-based reds than I previously thought. Anyway these are the ones I found that are closest to Mrs. Mia Wallace. Sorry the swatches aren’t so neat:

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You can see Mrs. Mia Wallace (#2) isn’t particularly shiny and has pretty much the same finish as the others

Another photo: (more…)

Urban Decay Pulp Fiction Eye Palette

[ETA you can find my post on the lipstick here]

Commemorating the 20th (!) anniversary of the film’s release, Urban Decay released 5 products to recreate the look of Mia Wallace. 1994 was a great year for film by the way, The Shawshank Redemption, Forrest Gump, Ed Wood just to name a few. There was also Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – someone should do a collection with that!

You’ll find no shortage of posts on the Urban Decay x Pulp Fiction release on the internet. The 5 pieces are the eye palette, lipstick with coordinating lip pencil, a glitter liner and a nail polish. I’ve had my eyes on this palette since the first previews and it’s finally available here in Europe. Around the same time there was news of a new Naked Basics from UD but I decided to pick this up instead. Phyrra’s post here helped seal the deal.

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I won’t be swatching these but will instead direct you to Temptalia who as always have excellent and accurate ones along with dupes suggestions. I’ve been playing with and wearing this the last couple of days and can say that I really like it. The textures are easy to work with, colours are pigmented and they look beautiful together. The ‘get the look’ card suggests putting ‘Vengeance’ only at the outer corner but I since I have hooded Asian eyes I find that it’s more flattering on me if I put that along the lash line as well, blend that out and add more emphasis on the outer ‘v’.
‘Tyranny’ is between a raw and burnt sienna, and with my colouring I need to be careful to blend it out so I don’t risk looking slightly bruised. Otherwise a very strong palette from Urban Decay. The small brush isn’t totally rubbish either and the mirror is surprisingly useful – good size and very sturdy. I tend to ignore the mirrors inside eye palettes but this is an exception.

Here are some similar shades I found in my stash:

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Despite my best intentions the only item we are really interested in is the NARS palette on the bottom right.

Swatches! (more…)