It’s the middle of the week. So of course, I had to perk myself up with a dramatic eye. I wanted to do something a little startling, but very interesting to look at.
Step 1: Apply a black cream shadow base to the outer half of lids and a little along the sockets. I used MAC Blackground Paintpot.
Step 2: Coat lids and bottom lash line with bright royal blue. Mine was some cheap $2 shadow from a clearance sale, mashed up into a jar with some gold glitter. You can use any strong azure-blue.
Step 3: Apply matte black along the outer corners in a V, winging outward just slightly.
Step 4: [Optional] Take a very fine pale gold glitter (cosmetic grade - please don’t use chunky art store glitter as that can hurt your eyes), and dab it in the inner corners and center of your eye lids. (Mine is mixed with a little silicone and applied like a cream/gel shadow so it will not fall off through the day.) From some distance away, the glitter should look like a wet gold sheen rather than disco particles.
Step 5: Apply a thin navy line along the upper lashes for definition (e.g. MAC Blooz was used here, but you can use liquid as well) and white pencil along the waterline. Then sweep on a lot of black mascara.
Spring’s here, April’s coming, and considering this is the month of April Fools, I wanted to do something whimsical and fun, inspired by all kinds of sugary treats like butter cream cupcakes and macarons.
Skin should be soft and even-toned. To get the warm and pretty look, dust on TheBalm Hot Mama for a coral glow. Don’t go overly dewy, as you don’t want to fight with the rest of your makeup.
Because we’re going for matte pastels, you need a good shadow base or primer. The more white it is, the more the color is going to pop. NYX Milk pencil is the strongest, MAC Pixel Paint (used here) is a sheer pearl, and Too Faced Shadow Insurance has no color at all.
The key to grown-up pastels is - MATTE, MATTE, MATTE. I’m going to be using the pale aquas and teals in the 88 Matte palette.
First, apply the shadow using a brush, and if necessary, intensify the color on the center of the lids, by packing it on with your finger.
The next thing to pulling off a matte pastel, is to remember that it has a tendency to erase contours as it does not reflect light the way a shimmer does. This means you need to contour with a slightly darker green (I used a matte forest green) along the outer half of your socket line, to keep everything from looking too flat.
The next important thing is to whiten your waterline. I find white too harsh, so I like a matte pale yellow. I used Make Up Store’s Vanilla pencil. MAC has a Pale Yellow in their PRO line as well.
Then come the lashes. No whimsical doll-like look is complete without falsies.
I chose the spikiest ones I own, but super full and dramatic ones will look nice as well. I positioned the lashes closer to the outer ends of my eyes than usual and pushed the lashes down slightly for a “sleepier” Marilyn Monroe effect, but avoid this if you have hooded lids or a drooping eye shape.
So apply, let dry, and move on to the final steps for the eyes.
Apply mascara to bottom lashes (and top ones if you need to remove any green powder residue).
At this point, you can opt to apply black liquid liner if you want. The thicker it is, the less “colorful” your look will be. I chose not to.
The final look, below.
I wanted things to be juicy and soft, so I applied a nude non-sticky gloss as a base (TheBalm Dream Girl). This is the trick to making candy-colored glosses more wearable, as it mutes your natural color, and fills in lines without taking away the translucency of whatever gloss you put on top of it.
Then, apply a translucent coral gloss over that (Revlon Super Lustrous in #170 Coral Reef) and you will get a soft, wet coral sheen.
Finally decided to do away with my periwinkle blue nails and pop on something more on the pink side.
I found this in a discount bin at my local drugstore for a couple of bucks and snapped up a few bottles in various shades of mauve, beige-peach, beige-pink, etc. This happens to be the beige-pink one. I have no idea where else this brand is available and the sticker behind is so faded I can’t make out a single word.
But I have not been able to find quite the same shade of nude-pink from other brands so far. They are always a little too grey or too rosy. (Maybe I need to stock up on a few more…)
Quality-wise, I can’t say much. These are really cheap, and the polish is already slightly tacky in the bottle even though it’s new. I don’t have very high hopes of it being chip-proof through the week, but for $1-2, what the heck!
P.S. The white sakura cherry blossom on my thumb is a nail sticker by a Japanese brand called Dear Laura. That’s about as crafty as I get with nail art, unfortunately.
Well, I don’t think I want to start counting ALL of them, but I can pick out 10 of the ones I love most.
1: The Body Shop Eye Shadow Single #02
I’ve raved about TBS eye shadows before, and I still love these singles. The creamy textures go on well, have great pay-off, and blend easily. This is a muted bronze-brown which has a satin finish (matte with a slight sheen) similar to MAC Patina.
2: I Nuovi Suede
If you can get hold of I Nuovi shadows, I highly recommend you do. This is a chameleon shade with warm brown base and mint-green sheen. Great as a wash all over the lids where it will look like you did a lot, when you really did nothing much.
3: I Nuovi Potion
Gorgeous dark coffee-grounds brown. It’s metallic, but even the highlights are dark, so you end up with a rich brown bordering on aubergine. The pictures do not do this justice.
4: Antique Gold pigment
Many pigment sellers carry a shade like this (e.g. Coastal Scents). Otherwise, you can try to get this burnished bronze by mixing a copper shade (warm) with an olive-green (cool) to get this highly-flattering neutral, which somehow does not devolve into a boring brown.
5: MAC Patina
You all know I love this shade. Click [here] to see 5 ways to wear it!
6: Urban Decay Smog
The most wonderful medium metallic brown with the silkiest texture. It’s a more neutral version of Woodwinked by MAC, which is a bit more gold. If you find Woodwinked too brassy for you, wear this.
7: CANMAKE Metallic Eyes #06
Meet Metallic Eyes #06. Before using, it looks like a pan of metallic gold flecks, but the top layer gives way to a deeper medium brown. I give it a tentative position in this list because of how pretty it is, but I have to say the staying power is almost zero. All the gold-brown flecks will just disappear off our skin in an hour, so explore this only if you have a good base.
8: Cyber Colors Cosmos Shadow #04 Mars
This is the most - beautiful - eyeshadow. Ever. And it’s the only rosy-brown in my Top 10 list. The payoff is amazing (unlike many baked shadows I know of), and the final color is deeper than you’d expect. This might be hard to find outside of Asia unless you have access to Sasa stores. (They don’t carry it on Sasa.com, but maybe if enough people write to them…)
9: L’oreal Chrome Intensity in Magic Amber
This is a great basic quad, but I find the texture and shades to be much better than you’d expect. Also, this passes the “uni-color test” with flying colors (no pun intended). Swatch all 4 shades (beige, yellow-gold, copper, brown) and blend it into 1. I get a rich chocolate with a soft gold sheen. See this quad in action [here].
10: Urban Decay Underground
A true taupe (grey-brown) in the creamiest, most metallic finish. This is part of the Deluxe Eyeshadow line, so it’s richer and softer than the UD shadows in the round pots. This is the “coolest”-toned brown in my Top 10 list, and can almost look lavender-brown in some lights.
This is a smoky eye using just 2 main shades for color. You’ll need the matte black near the bottom-left of the palette and the shimmery golden-olive above it. It’s also quite a bit deeper in real life than in the pictures due to the flash.
Step 1: Apply a good base so you get maximum color intensity. (If you’re using concealer or foundation as a base, let it set first.) I’d advise doing your eye makeup first as there may be a fair amount of fall-out with the 88 Palettes.
Step 2: Fill in inner and outer corners of lids with the matte black in the palette, leaving the center bare. Go over a few more times if your brush isn’t applying the black evenly. Matte is tricky to work with.
Then sweep the same black all along the lower lashes as well, using a stiff pencil or smudge brush.
Step 3: Pick up the golden olive and press it onto the center of the lids between the black. Go over once or twice more to intensify. Don’t even bother with blending it into the black. We want the contrast.
Step 4: Then with a fluffy blending brush, gently run only along the socket line a few times in a wind-shield wiper arc (see where the brush is below).
KEY: AVOID TOUCHING THE MAIN PART OF THE LID! You don’t want to muddy up the black and olive there.
Step 5: For the lower lashes, mix olive into the black like you just did at the socket line.
Step 6: Apply black mascara and kohl along the water- and tide-lines. If you want to wear false lashes, you may need liquid liner instead. I chose not to, since I wanted maximum lid-space for the gorgeous olive shimmer.
Extra tip: At the point, you may want to take a clean brush and one of the matte flesh-toned shades in the palette to go around around the edges of the shadow, your brow bones, etc to clean up the look.
And the finished look again:
After you’ve done this a few times, I swear you can do this and get it down in 5 minutes flat.
Other shades in the 88 Warm Palette you can use in place of the Olive:
shimmery teal (bottom-left)
pale gold (near the center-left of the palette)
silver (there are several near the top-left of the palette)
any of the other metallics (the mattes are harder to blend nicely into the matte black)
Plum isn’t easy to wear, and the trick is having it lean towards raisin-brown undertones, so that it is more flattering.
The look here is a little dramatic (plum all the ways to the brows), but feel free to stop at your sockets for a more traditional and wearable smoky eye.
Step 1: Start by defining brows with powder
Step 2: Take a deep matte plum color (it should be a good cross between dark brown-purple-pink) and spread it within your lid, and down along the lower lashline. This is going to be your main color base.
Step 3: Then with a soft brush, apply a wash of metallic raisin brown (think of a brown wine color) all over the lid, and up to the brows. Keep it to just above the socket for a subtler look.
Step 4: To darken the lash line, apply a dark aubergine liner. Also trace it along the water line with a very fine brush. (I used MAC Macroviolet Fluidline.) If you have a true plum liner that would be perfect.
Step 5: If you don’t, however, then set the purple with a dark brown to pull it back to plum and mute the metallic line so it’s not so obvious, since that’s not the look we’re going for.
Step 6: (Optional) Apply a light sprinkling of pink reflecks over your lids for an extra gleam. Be careful the specks don’t grab in certain areas though.
Step 7: Apply black mascara to finish the look (or false eyelashes if you really want more drama).
The look without flash (below) is actually more like a traditional smoky eye in an unconventional shade. (Excuse the yellow artificial light as I’m doing this at night.)
This highly pigmented, super-emollient, waterproof formula blends seamlessly into the skin, creating a flawless complexion that looks and feels natural… formulated to erase all skin imperfections: dark circles, broken capillaries, sun damage, blemishes, redness and more… Amazing Concealer is so concentrated, you only need to use tiny pin-dot amounts of product to create the skin you’ve always wanted but thought you could never have.
What is IS:
Highly-pigmented, emollient, waterproof formula which functions well as a salmon-toned concealer for dark circles, broken capillaries, and other blue or purple-based spots. Skin under the eyes tends to be dryer, so I find this concealer to go on easily in that area, blend well, and look better than dryer, cakier concealers even though you do need to set it with a light, silky powder to prevent it from moving or rubbing off.
It does cover better than other liquid/tube concealers I’ve tried, and it’s slightly easier to work with and blend out than pot concealers like MAC Studio Finish SPF35.
What is is NOT:
A blemish concealer. Blemish concealers should be opaque and a perfect match to your skin’s under-tone. If you have yellow tones, find yellow-based concealers.
By the very fact that they said “super-emollient” is clear indication that you will have a lot of difficulty getting this product to stay put over blemishes as these tend to be in oilier areas to begin with. Emollience allows you to slowly blend the product, but on a raised bump, you will just end up wiping the previous layers away when you try to cake on more.
I also find many of these shades too pink to cancel redness (unless you have very pink-based skin to begin with).
With Amazing Concealer, stick to light layers for the eye area and you won’t go wrong. This is the only place where something that looks a tinge too deep or pink on the back of your hand may work wonders. (Notice I said a tinge… not a lot.)
This concealer is NOT totally opaque, and it does not fully “set” due to the emollient base. If you try to apply powder over a thick layer of Amazing Concealer, it cake big-time or darken as the powder grabs onto the oils.
Things to note:
This concealer does not work that well over very matte or powdery-silicone foundations. It has a tendency to grab the powders and cake.
If you are NC25, you may have a problem finding the best shade. Fair is a little too pale (reverse-raccoon) and Light Golden can be just a tad too deep.
It does cost more than other concealers in the market.
More pigmented than Clinique All About Eyes, MAC Select Cover-up, and Bourjois Healthy Mix Concealer
Less pigmented than MAC Studio Finish Concealer, Covermark Cream
This blends out just half a shade (very slightly) lighter than it looks when you just squeeze it out, so you might want to note this when choosing shades.
Verdict: Buy this if…
You want to cancel blue-toned circles
Don’t fairly dry skin under your eyes
Have very pink-based and normal to dry skin overall
Only want to use this as a concealer for dark spots in general, but not raised blemishes
You like slowly blending and blending a concealer to perfection
Don’t like a dry-looking finish around your eyes
Don’t mind spending more
You don’t mind some mineral oil (I don’t subscribe to the whole mineral-oil is bad for you thing unless you have some sort of super-rare allergy to mineral compounds, as it is an inert compound and will not go rancid over time or breed bacteria like organic ones.)
I do like this concealer more than most other for under the eyes, as it does a pretty great job at canceling blue, but I find the shades quite limited and too pink-based.
1. Katy’s foundation coverage looks quite full in the video, and a polished look was achieved using highlighter rather than a dewy base. You will need medium-coverage foundation (Bourjois Healthy Mix in #52) and a soft beige/champagne highlighter (TheBalm “The Luminizer”).
2. This is a very classic contoured eye, shaded in the outer V and along the socket line. There are 2 colors needed. A pearlescent peach-based gold and a basic grey/black. (I used the 88 Shimmer palette.)
3. Using the black shade, first pack into the outer corner of lids, then in an arc along the socket, stopping before reaching the center. Then trace all along the top lash line, and 2/3 of bottom lash line. It will look dramatic now, but you’re going to blending it out soon.
3. Then pick up the peach-based gold, and pack it into the inner 2/3 of lids, and in the inner corner of eyes. THen blend vigorously where the black and gold meets.
4. Apply wispy false lashes (use DUO glue if you want them to stay on longer) and let dry.
5. With liquid/crean liner,trace over the base of the false lashes. (I used Maybelline gel liner in black.
6.Then apply mascara to the lower lashes, and there you have it!
7. For cheeks, use a soft-focus light pink such as MAC Well-dressed. For lips, I found her berry-rose metallic to be just a tad aging, so I went with a sheer rosy-berry stain (Revlon Beyond Natural in #070 Deep Berry) instead.
This look was soooo simple it’s almost embarrassing. It’s also appropriate for work and school, but still eye-catching without being too much.
You need 3 things.
A dark brown shadow for your lashline and outer half of crease.
A soft metallic neutral beige-brown (e.g. below) that’s - here’s the important bit - a little deeper than your skin color, but very high-shine. This goes all over the inner 2/3 of your lids up to the socket, and on your brow bone.
TIPS TO CHOOSING THE RIGHT HIGHLIGHT TONE FOR THIS LOOK:
As you look at it in the pan, the tone should be a little deeper than your foundation shade. But when it catches the light, it should be much lighter.
The shadow should be translucent rather than chalky and opaque.
This type of color will be able to multi-function as highlight AND shading color, and can help emphasize bone structure with minimal effort and skill.
This look is ALL about contouring using a soft, warm color (a warm brown-tone instead of the usual dark crease color), and reverse lining. The biggest mistake you can make is to try to use the exact same colors as Lady Gaga. Unless you are exactly the same coloring as her (and walk around with your own lighting crew.)
Make sure the shadows you choose are lighter or darker accordingly, or you will not achieve that effect.
And there are only 2 items you need for this look.
The 88 Warm Palette (or any other collection of warm neutrals containing a lighter matte/satin beige, a dark smoky brown, and a slightly reddish or pink-toned medium brown)
Your favorite beige-nude lipstick (no pink, no peach, no shimmer)
THE STEPS TO A SIMPLER, SUBTLER INTERPRETATION, USING THE 88 WARM PALETTE:
1. Apply a pale ivory beige on the inner corners of upper lids. Make sure to pack it on and re-apply whenever it looks like it is getting muddied by other colors. This shade should be just 1-2 shades lighter than your skin color after powdering.
2. Sweep a warm terracotta brown, from other corners and inwards 3/4 along the socket line.
3. Reapply ivory-beige to brown bone and inner corners for a little more contouring. This is where your lashes start to disappear and you start to understand what rabbits feel like.
4. Apply matte beige or pale yellow liner to the water-line. (White will work only if you are extremely pale.
5. Brush black liner along the lower lashes to set the foundation for the reverse liner look.
6. Here comes the reverse lining. Using a pencil brush or smudger, apply deep smoky matte brown along the bottom lash line and wing it STRAIGHT out at the ends (not too obviously upwards). Just be careful not to let the line droop.
7. To keep the look softer, I used matte powder as liner on the upper lids, rather than liquid liner. You can use creams and liquids as you like, for a stronger look.
8. Apply black mascara. Again, you can replace with false eyelashes, which Lady Gaga wore. I prefer just lots of mascara.
The Finished Eye:
And how could we forget the flat, caramel lips? Gaga 2 is not that easy a color to wear (it’s got an ochre undertone which can be unflattering on almost everything except very pale or olive-based skins.) I prefer a more neutral brown like MAC Fresh Brew (below), or Sephora Lip Attitude #G20 for pretty good neutral beige.
But same rule applies if your intention is to recreate the effect rather than duplicate the product shades. Look for caramel browns/nudes a shade deeper than your skin tone. If you’re NC50, Viva Glam 2 is not going to “look” like Viva Glam 2 on you.
Other products recommended:
Matte foundation like Colorstay (her skin is VERY matte)
Light, sheer powder over it so you don’t cake on too much pigment and lose the glow
Brow gel or mascara a little lighter than your natural hair color
Brown lip liner just a tad deeper than the nude lip color you choose
If you must, use a matte bronzer or darker powder for the cheeks. If you have the bone structure, just ditch the blush!
Out with it. Who’s started collecting Sheen Supremes?
I decided to stop by MAC on my way home from work today, and saw the new display with the pretty, glossy lipsticks. The cases remind me of Pro Longwear Lipcremes, except they are glossy instead of matte.
the regular 3.6g (0.12oz) of lipstick.
a slightly stickier texture than you might have expected from a sheer, glossy lipstick, but I like that since it means longer wear (it lasted through a juicy snack), good sheen, and less re-application than other sheer lipsticks.
a product that layers quite well. Applying more intensifies the color without making the product uneven or opaque.
lots of great shades (I was torn between some of the nude/mauve tones but after swiping it on, decided that I should get “Behave Yourself”, a candy-floss pink.
The formula will shift over time (with regular lip movement) and congeal where your lips meet, so you will need to check periodically to smooth out any gunky lines.
Nice-to-have, but not Must-have.
I really like a few of these shades and how they seem to wear longer than other glossy products, but if you don’t like “sticky”-feeling things and having to check if your lip product is uneven, give this a miss and go for Lustre lipsticks instead.
If you want something sheer but higher-shine than regular lipsticks, and find MAC lipstick prices acceptable, these will be good.
Unwieldy name aside, this is a lovely, LARGE compact of one of the most beautiful golden-ivory shades I’ve ever seen.
Reasons I love this:
1. It’s the most gorgeous pale-champagne shade with smooth-as-butter texture which is not glittery or chalky. It is able to mimic that translucent dewy look liquid or cream highlighters give, but is so much more portable and easier to work with. The shade is also flattering for most skin tones.
2. This is a pretty good dupe for MAC’s Retrospeck (which has slightly deeper base tones but identical highlights). As seen below, it is finer-grained and more opaque (Retrospeck is a Lustre) so while you won’t be able to get that same flecks-of-champagne effect, it’s easier to work with, more pigmented, and gives a very natural sheen when sheered out.
3. Look at the amount you get. Both products are marked up here in Asia, but you get 8.5g of product in The Luminizer (5 x MAC shadows at 1.5g), and an ever-so-cute mirrored compact, for about 0.5 times the cost of a MAC shadow.
Tips for applying:
I swipe this on my brow bones and cheekbones with a wedge sponge after applying my base, and before doing the rest of my makeup. By the time my setting powder goes over it, it’s become a soft-focus highlighting sheen which emphasizes bone structure subtly.
I sweep this over lids softly with black kitten liner. Apply red lipstick to complete the retro pin-up look.
Dab this softly over the cupid’s bow, and in inner corners of eyes to enhance your features.
If you have light to medium skin, mix a tiny bit of this with your normal powder on a fluffy brush and apply over under-eye concealer for more illumination. THEN apply the rest of your makeup. (Caution: It may be easy to go overboard with this, so be careful and use a very light hand!)
I’ve always been obsessed with lipstick. Nothing in the world feels quite the same a gliding a creamy bullet of rich color over your lips.
Here are some of my current favorites.
1. Bourjois Sweet Kiss Shine #59 Rose Etincelant
Sweet sheer candy pink with gold highlights makes this a soft peach/nude on the lips (below) that’s flattering if you have medium to dark skin.
2. Estee Lauder Pure Color Crystal Lipstick #301 Crystal Baby
A perfect peach-based nude creme which is more warming than other nudes, and doesn’t wipe your face out. Also feels great on my extremely dry lips. Maybe not the best color if you have very pink-based skin though.
3. Sephora Lip Attitude #G20
A more chocolate-y version of Crystal Baby, this is a sheer glossy nude-brown lipstick which feels and looks almost like a gloss. Perfect as a base color to mute redness when wearing sheer tinted gloss. Best thing? It’s so inexpensive!
4. MAC Lustre Lipstick in Fresh Brew
A slightly deeper version of Sephora #G20, but I love it because it can look like a nice caramel-y true-brown on lighter skins, and a non-chalky nude on darker-toned complexions. Definitely check this out if you are NC40 and deeper, and can’t find nice nudes.
5. Maybelline Watershine Pure Lipstick #B24
A pale pink-based nude which is the pinker and more opaque counterpart of Crystal Baby, but at a fraction of the price. If you like milky nude-pinks with a glossy sheen, this is a great one to try.
1. Sephora Lip Attitude Star #S22
A flattering, ultra-shimmery caramel, I bought this because it looked so much like a Dior Addict Shine lipstick. It’s rich, creamy, sheer, and feels just as luxurious as a high-end lip color.
2. MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme in Till Tomorrow
Bruised-lip color which stays put for a few hours with normal activity. I’ll always find kiss-proof lipsticks fascinating because of Revlon Colorstay, but then there are no Revlon equivalents for this shade where I am.
This quirky and beautiful dusty lavender-pink always makes me think of a scene in Anne Rice’s Pandora, where an ancient vampire sits anonymously in a cafe, writing the story of her life wearing a “purple” lipstick. (I somehow always imagined it to be a mauve that is atypical but subtle, rather than dark and dramatic.) On light to medium skin, this is a medium tone, but if you are about NC40 onwards, this will be a lovely cool-toned nude pink for you.
4. MAC Amplified Lipstick in Up The Amp
One more purple. And what a purple! It goes on more blue than the swatch above. This is the loud and attention-seeking rebel of the family. If you have golden or olive-toned skin, this purple looks sooo nice as statement lips, paired with minimal makeup.
5. L.A. Girl Lipstick in Dreamer
I mentioned this before in my Robin Blue nail polish post. This is a lovely, lovely black. I say so because it does not go on streaky or patchy, and is not stubbornly hard to even out (below). Wear this with any other shade you have to deepen it dramatically.
P.S. Some other favorites which I love but are either discontinued or a little easier to duplicate are:
MAC Syrup (dupe this with Urban Decay Rush or Etude LED lipstick #10)
Was browsing through Allure.com, and one of the features was about makeup color trends for 2011. One of these was “peacock eyes”, using a strong teal green and rich deep purple. (Purples below are deeper in real life.)
Though I can’t say I’ve ever seen a purple peacock, the suggestion to wear a strong, smoky-purple eye with vibrant teal in the inner corner just made me curious.
A few easy steps:
1. Apply deep violet metallic liner or cream shadow over lids.
2. Pat a matte plum or aubergine shade all over lids from lash to socket, but leave the inner corners empty. Sweep onto outer half of lower lash line as well.
3. Over that, apply a wash of sheer pearlescent violet, stretching from lids up to brow-bones.
4. Then, you apply your to the empty area at the inner corners, down onto the inner 1/3 of the lower lashline as well. Blend, and then apply black mascara to finish.
Final look again:
Daylight shot (below)
1. Revlon Colorstay 310 Warm Golden mixed with L’oreal UV Perfect MAT sunblock
2. Bourjois Metallise Pencil #78 Bleu chatoyant
3. 120 Palette (shades at top of post) - Please note the purples are a good deal deeper than they appear here
Current: Orchid Hush nails (L.A. Girl Robin Blue Creme)
L.A. Girl makes 2 items I love.
1. A true black creme lipstick which has a beautiful sheen and is surprisingly flattering (though I wouldn’t wear it to work)
2. One of my favorite creme nail polish colors in the world, #329 Robin Blue Creme lacquer
#329 Robin blue is not really a robin’s egg blue. I think someone needs to do some research before naming these shades.This has lavender undertones, not green.
It’s a gorgeous muted Orchid tone, that elusive hybrid between grey-blue-lavender, which is lovely on most skins. It’s not a fully opaque polish, by the way, so you will need at least 3 coats to make it even. But I wear this to work all the time with no problem. It’s surprisingly neutral and muted, flattering on the skin, and does not look too outlandish for a corporate environment.
At the same time, it’s an interesting color to look at.
I haven’t been able to find a shade quite like it from any other brand, and I love that it’s cheap and comes in a big bottle.
It doesn’t last as well as Sally Hansen or O.P.I., etc. But then it’s not expensive, so I can live with that.
Velvet Brown with a Purple Twist (88 Warm and 88 Shimmer Palette)
This is a simple, flattering look which is wearable for the day, and fun for the night. You can also streamline it to just 2 shadow shades if you want. A matte medium-deep brown, and a metallic medium-purple.
1. Apply base and then pack on a medium brown matte shadow all over the socket, and along the outer half of the lower lash line.
2. Fill in lid with a deep matte taupe brown and layer on a medium satin brown, blending and spreading up over the brow bones. Then line upper lash line with dark brown or plum liner.
3. Apply a rich medium metallic purple wet (I used MAC Fix+ to foil my shadow for instant liner), JUST along the lashline, and layer for more dramatic sheen if needed.
4. Apply generous amounts of black mascara on top and bottom lashes, and voila.
Get a dewy glow with: Revlon Colorstay in 310 Warm Golden blended with L’oreal UV Perfect MAT SPF30
Get big black lashes with: Rimmel Sexy Curves mascara
1. Apply a blend of lightest 2 shades in the inner corner, and on brow bones (if you like. I mostly like to keep the color around my sockets so I didn’t).
2. Apply the darkest color to the outer corner.
3. Apply a blend of all 4 colors (should be a nice, rich, medium tone) from lash-line up to socket, blending into the dark outer-corners to soften the color, but avoiding going all over the pale inner corners.
4. Apply eye-liner in a coordinated shade (I used a metallic chocolate brown) along upper and lower lash lines, then apply mascara.
I love this quad because the warm golden-brown shades are so wearable for everyday, but still have a little something extra due to the chrome-sheen (ok it’s not nearly that metallic, but not bad for something I applied dry). It’s also great because they provide equal amounts of each shade, and there are enough deeps and lights for a variety of looks.
Sadly, this collection has been discontinued, and the new quads are nowhere near as nicely-proportioned. Good luck if you can locate this at CCOs or discount stores!
If you had to get one, how would you know which one you’d like more?
Well I did order the 88 Shimmer Palette off ebay when I purchased my 120. And it took a little longer to arrive. But now, it’s time for an initial comparison of both popular palettes!
Size of Case: Similar palette dimensions, but the 88 palette has all its eyeshadows on 1 side, whereas the 120 has 2 separate palettes within, so it’s thicker and heavier.
Case quality: 120 wins. My 88 neutral arrived with the latch broken off, and the 88 shimmer is hard to open. They are also thinner and less sturdy than the 120. The only con for the 120 is that each of the 2 palettes are detached from the main case itself. Some people may like being able to bring the palettes out and about, but I find it too prone to eyeshadow incidents, so I actually glued my 2 palettes to the case.
Eyeshadow Volume: 120 wins. Besides the fact that there are 32 more pans, each pan is also at least 150% the size/volume of an 88 pan. As circles go, it’s probably close to double the amount of shadow. Odds are, the 120 will last you a good while longer than the 88.
Color spectrum: I have to say the 88 wins, color-wise, and the 120 wins texture-wise. Despite having less colors, there are no repeats in the 88 shimmer palette. You have all the reds, pinks, browns, blues, greens, yellow, deeps, and highlights you need. The 120 has a some duplicates (or colors close enough to be so). It does offer a variety of matte and shimmer, which is great, but the fatal flaw is it’s lack of soft nudes and really rich, deep tones (coffee, navy, indigo) for contouring and definition.
Texture/Pay-off: 88 Shimmer vs 120’s non-matte Shades are like MAC’s Lustre shadows vs Frosts. Frosts tend to be more opaque, with a satin-y finish. Lustres tend to be a little more translucent, but also more reflective and shimmery. It depends which sort of finish you like. Pay-off wise, the 88 is far more consistent than the 120 though. If that’s important for you, get the 88.
Usable Wet? Yup for both! But I find the 88 Palette works better with water or mixing medium than the 120. Pretty much the whole palette can be converted to wicked chrome-finish liners because of the intensity of these shades when wet. Below, I picked 2 almost-identical teals, but as you can see, the level of sheen differs greatly. Only a very small handful of colors in the 120 palette can give you that level of sheen.
Longevity: Both of these wear well with a primer beneath, and I’m not about to go out and about without any on, so I am not a good judge on this.
Blendability: The 88 Shimmer palette is easier to work with as far as blending different shades goes. HOWEVER, unless you’re going to use everything wet, you will get a stronger contrast with the more opaque colors in the 120 palette. It takes a little more work, but you will get a more dramatic effect without having to wet any except the hardest of the matte shades.
Verdict: If you are looking for the option to spice up your existing collection of shadows without forking out a ton of money on dramatic colors, get the 88 Shimmer. If you’re just starting out and need something that will be the centerpiece and mainstay of your budding eyeshadow collection, get the 120.
Review: Make Up For Ever Face & Body Liquid Makeup
This waterproof, ultra-light, water-based gel contains no emulsifiers and provides a totally natural, satin finish. Ideal for normal skin-types as well as for fine lines and large pores. Gives skin a uniform tone without accentuating imperfections. A makeup artist’s favorite.
It’s a large bottle but I’ll have to let you see how it goes. You do go through quite a bit of it if you use a brush or sponge, and it’s not cheap to begin with. Still, I’d say I really like the natural look and lightweight feel.
You can get it with other foundations, but not quite so easily.
MUFE Face and Body Liquid #32 = NC30 = Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation #53 = (slightly lighter than) Revlon Colorstay 310 Warm Golden = Everyday Minerals Golden Medium Foundation
(This foundation is sheer and “adjusts” to your skin tone a little, so though #32 is maybe just alittle deeper than my usual shade, it’s not really noticeable once applied. I have not tried #20 but it does look like I may need to mix #20 and #32 for a perfect match.)
WHAT IT IS:
A hydro-gel textured sheer-to-medium coverage foundation that stays true to color even in heat and humidity, and allows you to build up coverage in layers. While transfer-resistant, it’s not transfer-proof. But fair enough. I don’t want to have to take it off with a toilet-scrub.
This foundation gives a dewy finish (not shimmery; just like natural skin), but be careful what you apply under it (mattifying primer, moisturizer, etc), as that will affect the texture somewhat. The coverage can be quite moderate if you apply and layer it with your fingers. I find it similar to Studio Sculpt by MAC in coverage, though Studio Sculpt gives a matte-skin finish instead of a dewy one.
Applied over fresh moisturizer: tacky for hours
Applied over clean skin (or after products absorb for 5-10mins): sets to lightweight feel, but will still be ever so slightly tacky to the touch unless you have very dry skin
This is lighter than Revlon Colorstay foundation, but has a more noticeable “weight” on the skin than Bourjois Healthy Skin or Mac Studio Sculpt.
Most liquid, gel and cream foundations are water-resistant to a certain degree these days, so I don’t find this foundation particularly outstanding in this regard. It does last through a 10-hour work day, but nowhere near as well as my MAC Studio Sculpt, Revlon Colorstay or Bourjois Healthy Mix. Be prepared to touch up quite a few times with powder, especially around the eyes and T-zone.
This “gel-like” foundation does dry and get tacky, so you need to work at a moderate speed to blend it nicely before things start to get too sticky. It doesn’t dry as fast or set as stubbornly as Colorstay though, so you have some breathing room to smooth things out.
Stippling brush: Light, satin finish. Good if you want the sheerest veil of color to even out your skin. I have not tried to layer the foundation with this as it sort of defeats the purpose of using a stippling brush. If you want maximum coverage, try a flat brush or your fingers.
Foundation brush (flat): Light to Moderate coverage. I find after the second layer, it gets a little hard to smooth more on with the brush, as the liquid starts to dry up on the fibers by then. It also stops looking natural after the second coat, so be warned.
Damp sponge: Soaks up too much product for me, even when damp. If you don’t mind the cost, this does give a lighter, and more matte finish than the other options.
Fingers: My favorite for wasting the least amount of product, as it gets the largest amount of pigment onto your face in the least amount of time. This is also the best way to build up more layers of the product without looking too unnatural.
THINGS TO NOTE:
If you apply lotion, sunblock and other skincare before this foundation, you need to let it set for a few minutes before applying the Liquid Makeup as the formula will slip and sheer out otherwise.
If you need to layer it on, fingers work best, because as the base layer starts to set and get tacky, it becomes hard to slide more product over it without smearing the bottom one off. You will need to start dabbing, not dragging, in order to build it up. A stippler and sponge can do it, but not nearly as well as your fingers.
This is like nail polish in that the areas where you apply more than one coat will take a disproportionate amount of time to dry fully. If you apply more layers under your eyes, bevery careful that whatever powder you apply over it for several minutes after will still grab and cake up on the moisture.
Be warned that this will easily smear off if you spray your face with a toning mist (oil-free) and touch it before it dries.
This is scented with a strange citrus-y floral fragrance. It also contains silicones and mango seed butter (so I don’t see how anyone can claim it is oil-free). If you have objections or sensitivities to any of these, beware.
You want sheer-to-medium or flexible coverage.
You love the dewy finish and will trade off a little durability through the day.
You are trying to avoid the powdery made-up look.
You don’t have too many raised/pitted blemishes.
You don’t have very oily skin.
You have slightly oily or combo skin but don’t have too many contoured blemishes and don’t mind blotting through the day.
Red is probably one of the least used colors when it comes to eye makeup.
There are some “red” looks floating around, but many of them are so muted or darkened that they don’t look really red anymore. And the really red ones are not really that wearable or flattering.
Granted, red in itself is pretty dramatic to begin with, and this is definitely not a day look, but I don’t think a good look should be restricted to Halloween either.
Done properly, I think it would do very well at a party or the club, where it’s still sexy and sophisticated, but just that little bit more standout than the girl with the regular smoky eye.
1. Rim the top and bottom lashes with black shadow, and then start to thicken it dramatically at the outer corners.
2. When you are done, it should look like this (above).
3. Try not to freak out when you trace your socket bone from the outer corners in. Remember to follow the underside of your brow bone, so it’s slightly higher than the hollow of your socket. (For a less dramatic look, leave out this line along the socket.)
4. THEN, fill in the inner corner of your upper lids as well, leaving a rough gap around the “ball” of your eye.
5. This is when you take the richest, truest satin red you have (you can use matte as well, or anything that is not flat-out metallic), and fill in the shape created by the black. Note that you should bring it to the inner corners as well, above the black.
6. Then with a fluffy blending brush, smoke the red and black into each other so there are no harsh lines.
7. Line the upper lids and water line.
8. Apply generous amounts of black mascara, and voila.
OF COURSE, if you’re not feeling quite so adventurous, you can replace the red with a brown or gray. But honestly, this method of applying black at both ends of the eye and framing the socket does make the look more wearable.
Please note that in real life, without flash (which makes the red much brighter) and the angles I used to show the color more clearly, the red is a lot deeper and not so coral. And the overall effect is that of a strong but edgy smoky eye.
Current: Nail Polish (Bourjois 1 Seconde Polish #11)
I dunno. I’m a little undecided about this one. It’s a pretty peach-soda color with lots of gold sparkles but you need at least about 4 coats for the color to become a little more obvious. Otherwise, you look like you have very badly stained nails.
I’m not crazy in love with it, but it IS a unique nail color. Will just leave it on until it starts to chip. Typically, that is about 3 days. Fast-dry polishes have a tendency to be more fragile.
I’ve always sworn I would never wear anything noticeably pink on my eyes, because the paler ones look flat and uninteresting and the stronger ones can make your eyes look swollen.
But owning a 120-color palette makes you try strange things. Here is a blow-by-blow of my first brush with pink.
1. I decided if I was going to go pink, it would not be something wishy-wash. So a hot pink matte it was, applied over primed lids. (Never skip primer for matte shadows.)
2. I blended a milkier sakura pink matte shadow onto the inner half of the lids.
3. Now the REAL trick is to define everything with black. So I traced my top and bottom lash line with matte black, and then defined the outer corners with V’s, bringing the line of black up halfway to the center of my sockets.
4. After blending out any lines with a fluffy blending brush, I further darkened the lash line with black pencil, then swept it along the water line as well, for a more dramatic and defined eye.
5. Last comes lost of black mascara, and more neon pink swept over the center of lids with a soft brush to put back some of the color that’s been rubbed off by then.
The black is very important for making this look a little more wearable. Just doing it it all with pink is probably just going to look weird.
For more drama, don’t blend out the black shadow as much, so you have a more defined black socket line.
You can also try this with other bright shades or very pale colors.
Shades used: 2nd from left (hot pink) and 3rd from left (sakura pink - looks shimmery but it’s not).
Row 01: Peaches and Warmer Pinks. Only the one on the far right does not adhere too well and disappears as you rub.
Row 02: Random mixture of shades
Row 03: Reds and Corals. These are deeper and redder than they look here.
Row 04: Violets. Outstanding row of purples.
Row 05: Ocean blues. High pay-off, like the violets above. Another standout row of shades.
Row 06: Teals and Mints. Glorious, gorgeous shades.
Row 07: More turquoise blues. The 2 mattes aren’t particularly fab, but they’re ok.
Row 08: Without a doubt the worst row in the entire palette. 2 or 3 of these have no payoff at all and it took lots of scraping with a metal spatula to get any color onto my arm.
Row 09: Drop-dead gorgeous browns and bronzes. Probably the ones I will go to most in this palette.
Row 10: Random mix of neutrals. But that brown is a nice shade of terracotta with minty green highlights. Not quite as straight-edge as it appears in its pan.
For more Palette pictures and swatches, click here.
Now I obviously have not tried all the colors on my eyes, but so far, I’ve found the palette to be worth the money (usually ranges up to max of USD 35), considering you get to play around with 120 shades, most of which you would never buy individually.
This allows you to experiment and discover new favorite shades which you can then purchase in full size.
As mentioned before, the textures range from super-soft and crumbly to hard as marble. However, most of the shades are ok to work with. You may need a range of different brushes to get the best control and payoff. I’d liken this to POP Beauty eye shadows in that they aren’t super fine-grained to the touch, but they apply well and look good on.
The matte shades also take some time to really blend with each other, but I suppose that’s common. I also have not had much issues with fallout for most of the shades, but then I do prefer to “roll” and pack the color on, rather than sweep.
Do note that this palette does contain mineral oil, so if you have any mineral product allergies, avoid this. Otherwise, go for it.
UPDATE: This has worked VERY well applied with a wet brush (I tried it with MAC Fix+, as well as oil-free eye makeup remover - both work, but I like the remover better as it gets your brush saturated with color faster). It’s a bit like painting on Mehron colors. Except you have a 120 color artist’s palette - woohoo!
I would only recommend this for eyeshadows that have zero to no payoff though. This is because dampening them with water or mixing medium may sometimes cause the shadows to seal over, which can end up “fossilizing” all of them. I haven’t found out if all mediums cause this, or only water, but I’ll update if I find out more.
There are a handful of matte shades which have pretty much no color payoff, and start to “fossilize” the moment you rub them with a finger, but luckily they were mostly lime green and nothing I would wear out.
The other con is that there are a few shades which look pretty much like dupes of each other, so I’m not sure you can say there are 120 shades.
Below are swatches of 1 of the 2 pans encased within. Do note that the flash makes some deep colors much lighter than they appear in real life.
PAN 1: (lower pan in the top image, starting from right to left rows)
Row 1 - The bright amber on the left is gorgeous. The matte canary beside it takes some work to build up, but not much more than you would with MAC’s version.
Row 2 - Oranges and corals. The corals have fantastic payoff. They are actually velvet/matte in real life, but apply great.
Row 3 - the most problematic. You can see on the lime pan below my arm how the shadow has hardened to something like “tailor’s chalk” with rubbing. I had to scrape with a spatula to get color. But the rest, being satin/shimmer ones, were great.
Row 4 - Turquoise. A whole row of Tiffany Blues. Pretty.
Row 5 - Aquamarines and deeper greens. One of the best rows in terms of quality. These shades look deeper in real life and can give a colorful smoky look.
Row 6 - True Blues. The ones of the left are deeper, almost close to navy, but the shimmer picks up the light. The couple of indigos (blue-purples) in the center are lovely as well.
Row 7 - Mauves/Lilacs. These speak for themselves. Another lovely row, although I am not sure I would wear the right-most colors. Pearl pink is a little too 80’s for me.
Row 8 - Great greys to ivories to whites. The dud is the black on the far-left. Yes. That was supposed to be black. And I had to swatch it several times just to get that color. Now you know what I mean.
Row 9 - The Barbie row! Lurrrrv. I am not one to wear pink anywhere near my eyes, but the magenta, fuschia and matte neon pink is SOOOO gorgeous I might just pull a Nicki Minaj with them.
Row 10, my favorite. Some very outstanding multi-faceted terracottas, browns, and one odd pumpkin which is similar to a shade I’d been lemming at Make Up Store. This row would be fun if you have cool-colored eyes (grey, green, blue, violet).
Go to part 2 and a mini-review of the 120 palette here.
1. IF 3 OUT OF 4 SHADES ARE LIGHTER THAN YOUR SKIN, DON’T BUY IT. (Unless you have really deep skin tone, in which case it’s fine as long as the undertones of the shades aren’t all “white/pearl”.)
Too many women gravitate towards pastel palettes where most tones are pale. On the lids, all the pastels will just blend into a single. unflattering wash of contour-less pearl because there’s too much white in each shade for any real contrast in tones. Unless you are ultra-fair or have ultra pronounced bone-structure which you’re trying to minimize, this is just NOT for you.
The best palette should have a mixture of dark, medium and light colors. More dark than light has always been more flattering.
2. THE DARKEST TONE SHOULD BE AS DEEP AS AN EYELINER.
Just because the darkest tone in the palette is deeper than the lightest does not mean it is deep enough to define your eyes. And a good palette should allow you the choice of completing your look with just some mascara, and no separate liner.
3. DON’T TEST COLOR PAYOFF ON YOUR FINGER TIPS ONLY.
What you see there is not what you get. Try swatching that finger-tip onto the back of your hand. Layer a second time if needed. If that’s the color intensity you want, get it. Sometimes the heat, moisture and oil on our fingertips creates a great “base” for color to cling to, so it is not totally indicative of what the shadow would look like on your lids.
4. MIX IT UP.
Often, mixed-color palettes (cools with warms, or other contrasting textures and shades) are more fun and versatile to work with than color-coordinated palettes (e.g. 4 same shades in different gradations).
I mean - how many different looks can you do with 4 shades of purple?
5. DO THE UNI-SHADE TEST.
A lot of times, we buy a palette only to end up using particular colors in them rather than all. If in doubt, swatch and mix all shades on a single finger tip and apply that to the back of your hand. If that happens to be a color you would wear, then chances are you’ll get maximum use out of the palette.
6. Lastly, IT’S NOT HOW IT LOOKS IN THE PALETTE. IT’S HOW IT LOOKS ON YOU.
Don’t be fooled by pretty color-combinations that only look nice in the palette. As we know, many times they don’t look all that good on the face.
Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t find most purples to be that easy to wear on a day-to-day basis.
It has always been one of my favorite colors growing up, so you can bet I will have way more purple items lying around than I actually would wear.
One of these is Sally Hansen’s Grape Fizz polish. I loved how it looked in the bottle, but was terribly disappointed when I got home, applied it, and found it to be a really sheer purple “stain” rather than the rich metallic hue I had hoped it would be.
So it sat on my shelf for months.
Until I suddenly thought about layering it with a deeper creme color.
Enter my trusty chocolate milk polish, O.P.I.’S Over the Taupe. This sassy sister’s apparently also a team-player. Worn under Grape Fizz (below), it was sufficient to bring out all the rich wine-grape tones without actually turning everything brown.
It’s now just a lovely plum/grape color.
Of course, now that I found a way to make my Grape Fizz work, I had to get some sort of theme going on my face. I’m not crazy about matching, so much as complementing. So I reached for one of the very few items in my stash which I consider to be fool-proof.
The dark prune metallic pencil (#79 Violet miroitant) from the Bourjois Regard Metallise line. The brown, blue, green and black liners in this collection get a lot of press, and honest to goodness, I love and own them all.
But I find the true MVP for the collection; the one that I can reach for when I’m feeling totally lazy (like today), need to look work-appropriate, but want a little more zing than the usual blacks, navies and browns can give, is the purple.
In real life, it appears a lot more brown/gray, but I like how it’s dark enough to define or create a smoky look, while having enough color to still be interesting.
Other products worn in the photo above:
Rimmel Sexy Curves mascara
Revlon Colorstay #310 mixed with L’oreal UV Perfect SPF30
Do you have any go-to purple products that I should know about?
It’s a vicious cycle when you need to spackle on industrial strength makeup to hide zits, and then spend months covering up the dark spots until they fade.
While many products claim to fade scars, what they do is mostly to prevent more melanin over-production in those areas, the effect of which will only become apparent over a few weeks. These products will typically contain some sort of Vitamin C derivative, licorice, and mulberry extract, etc.
Don’t get me wrong; that’s great. Whatever is soothing your skin and preventing further damage is great. It helps prevent the newer cells below from being impacted, which means your skin will look better as the old cells shed during the normal turnover cycle. But it isn’t really treating or fading your scar.
The only thing I’ve found to really target scar tissue formation, and which I’ve used for years, is:
Hirudoid Gel or Hirudoid Cream by Medinova.
How it works?
Hirudoid contains mucopolysaccharide (MPS), which is similar to the body's naturally occurring mucopolysaccharides. Since skin healing relies on the presence of MPS in the tissue, and scientific studies have shown that Hirudoid penetrates the skin far enough to deliver effective concentrations of MPS, it can do the following:
Improve blood flow (accelerates dissipation of tissue bruising, which occurs when you get a zit)
Promote tissue regeneration (increasing collagen and elastin fibres in the connective tissue matrix)
Improve moisture retention by increasing the hyaluronic acid content in your skin itself
Reduce swelling and inflammation
Soften scar tissue
Plus, it’s readily available at most drugstores, safe for general use, inexpensive, and scientifically proven to be effective. (By that I mean it has not been merely tested “in vitro” or on 9 women, as so many expensive serums are.)
How it works?
Hirudoid contains mucopolysaccharide (MPS), which is similar to the body’s naturally occurring mucopolysaccharides. Since skin healing relies on the presence of MPS in the tissue, and scientific studies have shown that Hirudoid can penetrate the skin to reach the dermal layers to deliver effective concentrations of MPS, it can do the following:
Improve blood flow (accelerates dissipation of tissue bruising, which occurs when you get a zit)
Promote tissue regeneration (increasing collagen and elastin fibres in the connective tissue matrix)
Improve moisture retention by increasing the hyaluronic acid content in your skin itself
Reduce swelling and inflammation
Plus, it’s readily available at most drugstores, safe for use, and inexpensive.
I don’t find it to be that effective on old scars. It also stings when applied on broken skin. But then it’s not supposed to be applied on fresh wounds anyway. I just can’t resist trying to kick-start the healing as early as possible.
Sometimes, you just need a few items in your kit that are totally free of all the Marketing BS we get from high-end brands touting miracle potions and creams with mysterious patented ingredients (I’m sure they spend as much money and time trademarking those names as they do researching the actual ingredients) and no substantiation of just what and how the various compounds or chemicals within actually treat your skin.
Hirudoid minimizes the darkness and severity of acne marks if I apply it a couple of times daily when the zit is still around, and continues to speed up healing and fading after that. I generally don’t get raised scars on my face, so I can’t speak on that regard, but I’ve managed to use it on cuts and scabs on my legs from scrapes and falls, and it does help to ensure your scars are faint, and not so pitted or raised.
I also use it on bruises, insect bites, after getting caught in too much sun, and any other occasion where skin inflammation occurs.
Given it’s humectant, repairing and soothing properties, I’m considering getting the cream formula as an anti-aging treatment, but I’m not sure if it’d do anything if you don’t have any inflammation or scars to treat. Still, it’s not an expensive experiment, so if I do that I will post an update.
We only had access to Cover Girl and Maybelline at Drugstores when I was getting curious about makeup at 13. And if you’ve tried Maybelline makeup in the mid-90s, you’ll understand when I say the shadows, blushes and lipsticks were absolutely horrid.
Cover Girl lipsticks, on the other hand, were sooo creamy and had such great color payoff.
I remember saving all my money to blow on 2 for 1 Cover Girl Continuous Color Self-Renewing Lipstick offers. When the lady at the cash register asked me one day why I bought so many, I mumbled something about it being errand runs for others, then ran off home to play with my “Raisin Craze” and “Red to Remember”.
The other I remember very clearly was Revlon Colorstay Lipcolor. I used to stare at the ad of Cindy Crawford with her mouth puckered into a deep brick-red kiss.
I’d never heard of budge-proof lipsticks at that point.
I had to have it.
I scrimped, I saved… I sneaked out one day and bought 6 of them at 1 shot, the way a dieter might obsess over food all day and sneak out at night for a massive binge.
They were drying, they brought out every line you never knew your lips had, they wore off when you ate, they came in a small range of shades, they cost double what other drugstore lipsticks cost at that point, plus I swear Cindy Crawford (at a shoot) was and still is the only person in the world who didn’t look bad with it on.
But I lost sleep over this lipstick.
And then of course, I never did wear them out much because Revlon Colorstay lipsticks back in the day did not come in very “wearable” colors for 13 year olds. Those very-expensive (for a teen without an income) black and gold tubes sat in my drawer for years, until they were finally thrown out when I moved.
The funny thing is I’m not sure I would wear them even if I had them again now. By today’s standards, these were terrible. And from the quality of Cover Girl lipsticks back in those days and even earlier, I can safely say we already had access to good products, so it wasn’t that we didn’t have a choice.
Current: Nail Color (Sally Hansen Diamonds & Rubies)
Sometimes, you just need red.
And not just any red. Fire-engine red. Or “Diamonds & Rubies” by Sally Hansen Diamond Strength.
Sally Hansen is one of my favorite nail polish brands. Besides having my favorite Insta-Dry base and top coats, they have a good range of colors. Maybe not as many as O.P.I., but all the classics are there.
And the best thing? The enamel is really tough with base and top coat. I find the opaque colors by Sally Hansen tend to last much longer than other brands. After 3 days (below), I usually have minimal chips and cracks, and the shine is still there.
All you need then is another layer of top coat to bring out the shine once more, or if it has grown out at the cuticles or worn off at the tips, another layer of color.
Current: Everyday Eyeshadow (POP Beauty Trio in Park Avenue)
POP shadows are a bit hit and miss with me. This is because their textures are so inconsistent from palette to palette. I like the Smoky Eye Palette, and the Pretty Puzzle palettes, but not some of the others.
The small little trio in “No. 3 Park Avenue” is great though. The neutral combination of opalescent pink, rich taupe, and black is flattering and easy to wear. The highlight/allover color (right) tends to look a little chalky so you might want to avoid it if you have darker skin, but the eyelid color in the middle is a perfect metallic taupe/mocha. The liner shade (left) is also very pigmented and easy to work with.
The shadow initially comes with “lid”, “brow” and “line” stamped on the corresponding shades, but mine has worn off with use.
Above are the three shades in one single swipe. As you can see, the pink tends to come off as off-white most of the time, and since I’m not for over-highlighting the brow-bone (i.e. too pale and unlike my skin), thats the only bad point about this palette to me. Otherwise, most POP palettes are good value for money, and pretty good quality.
Texture-wise, this is grainier and less fine-grained than MAC, and with a proper primer underneath, it’s always lasted me a full 8 hours without much obvious fading.