Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Matte Stronger

The Pure Color Envy by Estee Lauder are among the best lipsticks I know. So it was only a matter of time until I had to try the matte line. As I already have so many intense reds and pinks in matte I picked their most unusual color:

Estee Lauder stronger

This is the pinkish-purple color Stronger.

The matte lipstick has the strong vanilla scent of the Pure Color Envy line, they don’t smell like other Estee Lauder lipsticks. They smell the same as MAC lipsticks.

estee stronger swatch

Swatch. This is one of the modern satiny mattes. The look is pretty matte, but not chalky. It feels thinner than  MAC matte. It is not drying (I wear balm underneath, though).

Magenta vs Stronger

Color comparison to Maybelline Magnetic Magenta. I haven’t gotten around to take a swatch pic of Stronger with MAC Heroine. At first I thought Heroine might be similar, but it is a lot more purple.

As for lip liner, I currently use the MAC Heroine lip liner, which is somewhat darker. I think MAC has a lip liner that is closer in color but I don’t have it (yet). Heroine works okay. Note that the lip pencil of Heroine is a bit less purple than the Heroine lipstick (swatch comparison) so it works out. Of course you don’t really need a liner at all with Stronger, I just like having the option.

Stronger wears well, I get about six hours. Eating reduces it, but it is still there. Still, with a color like purple I prefer to reapply throughout the day. The lipstick does leave a stain as well, but it’s not that intense.

Estee Lauder often gets overlooked for not being as cool as other brands but they have top notch quality and some real gems. I like that they do have a color like Stronger, which is a bit more unusual. If I had endless money I would buy the whole line, because all the colors are pretty.

Maybelline Brow Satin

My current brow pencil feels like it may run out so I snatched up the new Maybelline brow pencils at the last Maybelline promo deal.

They are called Brow Satin and they are double ended pencils. One end looks like this:

Maybelline Brow Pencils

This is the pencil end. The cap is black and a pull off one.

Maybelline brow

The other end is in the chosen color and with a screw off cap. These are sponges with powder on. I think the powder is kept in the cap. I’m not entirely sure and luckily it has not spilled out even though I already dropped the cap.

I picked up both Medium Brown (top) and Dark Brown (bottom).

Maybelline brow swatches

And these are the swatches. In the middle the pencils and above and unerneath the powder of the matching color.

The pencil end is for a more precise look, the powders are soft and a little less directional. Both colors are taupey and cool. I detected no redness wearing these in my brows. Usually I have this problem a lot. My current brow pencil is Lingering by MAC, but ever since I went from being reddish to blonde I felt that Lingering had too much red undertone.

Colorwise, both Medium Brown and Dark Brown work for me. Medium Brown gives me a great normal, everyday look, while Dark Brown gives me Cara Delevigne brows. Medium Brown should work for many people.

The pencil ends are great. They give off just the right amount of color and apply easily. After the very first application they did not tug or feel scratchy. (The very first time they felt a little harsh – as you can see they are cut off at a 90 degree angle instead of rounded! But that wore down easily.) I don’t like that the packaging is so thick. You have to be careful of how you hold the pencil. The packaging of high end pencils is much sleeker.

I’m not entirely convinced by the powder end. At first you get too much off the sponge and it has to be brushed around, then there’s not enough powder on for an entire brow (my brows are thick). Usually I stick with the pencil unless I want to soften the look.

Overall I absolutley love the color and the pencil part. I will use up my MAC pencil but after that I will stick with these. Packaging and product aren’t perfect, but workable and finding a good color is so hard so I’m glad I found these completely on accident.

Alaia EdP by Azzedine Alaia

Alaia

Today I am reviewing the first perfume by Azzedine Alaia, named Alaia. The one thing about naming perfumes after your brand is that when you release more it can get incredibly confusing (Narciso Rodriguez, anyone?). But so far, only this one exists. I have the EdP, there’s also an Extrait concentration.

Alaia was released in 2015, perfumer is Marie Salamagne.

The scent is quite spicy. There’s pepper in it, I’m not quite sure what else. Sometimes it smells leathery to me. There are flowers in it, but it does not really feel like a flowery perfume to me. It’s spicy, musky, leathery. The stlye reminds me of the already mentioned Narciso Rodriguez perfumes. They do not smell identical, but depending on wether you like those or not, you will probably also like or dislike this one. The problem with perfumes high in musk content is that not everyone can smell every musc molecule (partial anosmia). I’m not even sure I can smell them all. But what I can smell of them I like a lot. So if you could never get the hype about Narciso Rodriguez, this might be why.

Back to Alaia: To me it feels sort of dry, crisp and severe. Like a sharply cut suit. I think this will make a great office perfume, as it is not sweet and stays close to te body. Muscs also tend to give off a vibe of fresh laundry, which I also get from Alaia. But the pepper keeps it from getting too boring.

Personally, I like it, although I don’t think I’d need a full size. It’s good, but not super duper special. Recommendation for those who like musc with pink pepper.:)

Maybelline Color Sensational Matte Magnetic Magenta

Every once in a while I feel compelled to try some drugstore stuff. These lipsticks by Maybelline, the Color Sensational matte, are not new but somehow I never noticed them before. These can be found in the regular Maybelline range.

Maybelline Magenta

The biggest problem with buying makeup at the drugstore is always to find an untouched specimen. People are SO disgusting. I know plastic is bad for the environment but I do wish these lipsticks came packaged in a way that prevented opening/shows when they have been opened. Well, but here’s my untouched lipstick (from way at the back of the lipstick row): 950 Magnetic Magenta. The color is somewhere in between pink and purple. This color is really hot right now and you can find it in many ranges.

Magenta swatch

Swatch. The finish is the typical satiny matte that most newer mattes have. It gives a thin layer of color. Maybelline still has their other line of matte lipsticks (14h stay) out, those are thicker and drier.

Magenta vs Stronger

Color comparison to my other new purchase, Estee Lauder Stronger. Stronger is way more purple.

I really like this lipstick. I already bought another color, as you could see in my last haul post. The quality is great. Despite being matte it didn’t feel drying and my lips looked okay the next day. I do wear lip balm underneath, though (always do). The color didn’t bleed or collect in fine lines, it stays where its put. I get about six hours of wear out of it and this is WITH eating and drinking. I even gave it the ultimate test of eating a burger with it. Afterwards I could tell that it had worn off, but so little that I was okay with it without reapplying. To get it off comepletely I needed a waterproof makeup remover.

I would very much recommend this lipstick – if you can manage to find an untouched one!

Woman Day Haul

Tody I have another little haul to show, my haul from the Woman Day Sale:

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I picked up the new Moschino release, Fresh Couture EdT,  mostly because of the bottle. I’m not usually one to care about bottles, but this one is hilarious!

A makeup thing I really wanted: the Zoeva Rose Golden Palette. My first Zoeva makeup.

Then I stocked up on the MAC CC Cream. I mean if you’re gonna buy it anyway, you might as well do it when you can get it for 20% off. (In the last three years MAC has gotten more and more expensive here. I have my staples that I’ll keep buying but for the rest I’m checking out other brands now.)

I also got another Maybelline lipstick, the Color Sensational matte in 960 Red Sunset.

Then I bought two things that people keep raving about: the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk, as a base for colorful makeup, and an EOS lip balm. I picked Strawberry Sorbet, not because I prefer strawberry scent, but because this one came without the bad scent components (like Linalool, Geraniol etc). I’m trying to pay more attention to that now. The reason that I bought Eos at all is, well I needed a lip balm, but I picked Eos because I felt compelled to at least try it as a beauty blogger… “for science” so to say.:)

The last items are the freebies I got: Missoni‘s first perfume release, Missoni EdP, and the new Escada summer scent: Agua del Sol EdT.

Well I hope you guys like perfume reviews because I’m not going to run out of topics any time soon.

As usual, reviews will follow when I had the time to test the stuff.

wd haul

Chanel N°5 EdP

Alright, today I’m to tackle it:

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Chanel N°5 EdP was released in 1986. The Parfum and the EdT are much older than that, although of course today they have all been reformulated due to ingredient restrictions. My review is for the EdP currently available. I also have the EdT, but I don’t want to tackle them both in the same post.

N°5 is somewhat intimidating. It’s a huge bestseller, yet lots of non-perfumistas (muggles?) don’t like it. It’s been popular for a long time, leading to it smelling sort of old fashioned today. Specifically, the aldehydes are hard to get into. In my opinion these are, like hot food and coffee, an acquired taste. Eau Premiere helped me get into them, then I went on to Commes des Garcons 2 and now I can deal with them.

The soapy aldehydes that the EdP starts with are still not my favorite. But after an hour or so they are gone and that is when the magic starts. The heart is made of flowery notes such as rose, lily of the valley, iris, but I can’t make them out individually. It is simply a cloud of cozy wonders. About two or three hours later we get to the dry down: vanilla, amber, sandalwood. Again, not individually, just a complex all encompassing sweetness.

To me, the EdP starts harsh and then smoothes into the most gentle, most elegant composition possible. I love smelling it, it just gives off a vibe of quality. On my skin it lasts for about ten hours, sometimes more. On clothes it lasts longer.

I recommend it for everyone who can deal with the aldehydes. Please note that the different concentrations (Parfum, EdP, EdT) differ somewhat in how they develop. Some people can be pretty snobby about which concentration is the “right” one. I don’t agree with that view. Every version you like is obviously the right one for you.

If you want to try this perfume, but can’t get past the soapy opening, try to spray and not smell it until hours later. Everyone I met who claimed to dislike N°5 liked it when I let them sniff on my wrist without telling them what they were smelling.:) And if you still don’t like it, that’s perfectly okay, too.

My Zoeva Brushes

My Zoeva collection of brushes has slowly grown. I was happy with both the quality and the price, so I picked up one here and one there and now I have quite a few:

Zoeva Brushes

(click pic for full size) To my knowledge the bristles that are white are non vegan, and those that are black with white tips are vegan.

From left to right:

The big one is the 106 Powder brush, a big fluffy one. I don’t use it that often as I find it a bit too fluffy. The bristles are long and loose.

The next one is the 102 Silk Finish. This one is very universal. You can use it to apply liquid makeup or powder textures. The bristles are denser than in a normal powder brush, which makes it apply more. I really like using it for compact makeup, it gives a much better finish than a sponge. I also like that the head is rounded instead of flat.

The 126 Luxe Cheek Finish has become my favorite blush brush. It is constantly in use, which is why I didn’t manage to snap a pic of it in washed state. Sorry guys. The bristles should of course be white and not pink. This brush is so soft while having exactly the right amount of bounce. You can’t see it in the pic, but the brush is not completely round, it has a thin and a wide side.

The next one is my contouring wonder: 110 Face Shape. I honestly didn’t get the whole contouring craze until I had this brush. It slots underneath the cheek bone just right and with small circular motions I blend the contour. Done. I use it for all my facial contouring. Highly recommended!

The 105 Luxe Highlight lives up to its name. I never quite got the hang of fan brushes, so I applied highlights with my fingers or eye brushes. The 105 is not too tightly bound, but not too loose either, so it can both apply and then blend the highlight.

Then we get to the eye brushes: the 227 Soft definer (vegan, also available non-vegan) has a similar shape to MAC’s 217. The bristles are longer, though. I like this for blending.

The 232 Luxe Classic Shader is great for packing product on. It is mostly flat and dense.

The 226 Smudger is not unexpectedly used for eyeliner.

The last one is the 330 Lip Contour brush. It comes encased in metal, which is useful when the brush has been used. It is not my smallest lip brush and also not the most precise, but I still bought two. I guess I liked it well enough.

And that is my collection for now. In the future I want to get more eye brushes and another Luxe Cheek brush. I have stopped buying more expensive brushes, because Zoeva give me the same results for less money. The brushes shed a little when washed, but my more expensive ones do that, too.

Do you have Zoeva products? Any recommendations?

 

Maybelline the blushed nudes

In december I told a friend I wasn’t going to buy another nude eyeshadow palette in my life. I had all the colors, what was the point, pffft? Then the Maybelline Blushed Nudes was released here and I was like oooh, shiny! Brassy and pinky, my colors.

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I am weak.

Maybelline Blushes Nudes

Pretty! Now, a word of warning: these go on sheer. The brassy colors will not translate to the lid exactly like they look in the pan.

Maybelline Blushed Nudes Swatches

Swatches! Click pic to see it larger.  I swatched the colors, top, bottom, repeat.

The first color is a light, matte bone shade. Good for blending the colors into the skin if you are pale. For darker skins, this will be more a matte highlight.

Next is a reddish bronze. Then a shimmery beige, universal lid color with a warm undertone. Next is a satin brown with a little golden shimmer.

Next four are the more cool toned shades: a light shimmery color, sort of a brassy color. Then a mid tone brown, also shimmery. Then a matte baby pink, very light. Underneath a muddy color, slightly shimmery.

Last four are the reddish colors: First a matte pink, darker and stronger than the previous. Then a shimmery burgundy color. Another shimmery bronze, somewhat darker than the first. And lastly, a blackened brown with pink shimmer.

With the last Maybelline Nude palette I bought I said that it had great colors, but was a bit hard to blend (okay to work for a blogger or makeup geek but might have been not perfect for a beginner). With this one I am not entirely convinced by the colors (some are quite close and they are hard to get opaque), but I find them to be extremely easy to blend and put on, and so I think this palette is perfect for a beginner. When you don’t expect intense color and just want something good to work with, to put on quickly and look good, this is one for you!

I got everything from a light nude look to a good smokey eye with it (just not too dark, as the colors always stay a little sheer). One thing that did not work at all was using the darker colors as a liner, something I like to do when I use palettes. But those are just too light and when you pack them on, they crumble and ruin your look. Just stick to normal eyeliner.

Overall I am happy with this palette, I reach for it often in the early morning as it is hard to mess up with those colors, even when you’re still half asleep. However, a good primer is necessary. When used with primer, the creasing and fading is kept to a minimum. I get wear time of about seven hours out of it.

Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Pera Granita

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The 2016 release of Guerlain‘s Aqua Allegoria line is Pera Granita. It’s a fruity floral with light pink juice. And the fruit is pear. Admittedly, that made me sceptic. However, I can say it really won me over, prejudice be damned.

It opens with grapefruit, but not zesty like Pampelune. This is more pink grapefruit, fresh and lovely. Then there’s more fruitiness and soft flowers. I can’t say the pear note is dominant. In fact, I can only sometimes make out pear and that might be my imagination. So if you were interested specifically because of the pear note, this might be disappointing. Personally, I am no fan of a pear note, so I am okay with how it plays out.

An hour in the orange blossom comes out. Now, I make no secret of it, I love orange blossom. It’s awesome. This isn’t a strong orange blossom that kills everything in its wake, though. It’s light and gentle. The whole scent is light and gentle in my opinion, although my mum claims she could smell me through the whole house. So it has quite some sillage.

Since it’s a light footed one all through, sadly it doesn’t have a lot of staying power. I didn’t catch much of a base. I’ve already used up my samples for this test sniffing because I kept adding more. When I caught the orange blossom for the first time, I was sure I was going to buy a full bottle. Now I wonder if I am willing to pay the price for a bottle of perfume that is lovely, but with little staying power. Maybe if I find it on sale…

Overall, though it’s one of the best fruity florals. Not too generic, nor too intense!

Aqua Allegorias still being sold in 2016:

Herba Fresca | Limon Verde | Mandarine Basilic | Pampelune | Pera Granita | + one travel exclusive

Discontinued: last year’s release Teazurra, Nerolia Bianca, and sadly, Lys Soleia didn’t make the cut.😦

All Used Up March 2016

Another month over (time flies) and I had quite a few empties:

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Okay, admittedly, this isn’t used up as you can see. This is a  Glassy Lip Gloss from Rouge Bunny Rouge. I liked it quite a bit, quality gloss. Sadly, the packaging, even though it felt like it was good quality also, broke. The applicator broke off from the rest of the cap in a way that the whole thing didn’t close tightly anymore. I had lip gloss all over the place and was afraid the gloss would go bad from exposure as well. So I said bye.😦

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I used up a sample of Lush Softy, a foot cream. Softy is a thin cream, but it still works very well so you need only  a little bit for the whole foot. It made the skin, like the name promises, softer. The reason I won’t be buying a full size is that it has a strong smell of rosemary and thyme and I don’t like smelling like Hannibal Lecter’s latest victim.

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A mini size of Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes: This is THE va-va-vom lashes mascara! Length and volume in one stroke. Two and more coats can give really intense lashes. The brush took some getting used to, because it is long and very thick at the same time. At first I was poking myself in the eye, but once I got the hang of it it worked. I did the first coat with the thick half and then added with the tip. I might buy a full size, although it did smudge on me a little. Not really bad, and probably not noticable, but I have mascaras that don’t smudge at all on me. So despite the really good result it’s not an insta-buy for me. Might splurge when I see it reduced, though.

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And since it’s me, your resident hand cream addict, there’s a hand cream named Blush from Accentra. It claims to smell like Velvet & Vanilla, but really it had a sort of coconutty scent. It is nice, but nothing special. Kept my hands soft.

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List of ingredients.

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A Marionnaud Lip Balm: the sort of purchase when you need one more item to get a discount… it was okay, but not very good either. Strong vanilla scent.

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Davidoff Silver Shadow EdT: I have a few cool waters, but I didn’t know Silver Shadow existed until I found this sample. Guys, this is really good! Considering this can be found in the ‘male’ section, this is actually very fruity. At first it starts sort of metallic, but then the heart is his intense fruit salad, and then it gets powdery. This sounds like the components don’t really go together and maybe they don’t. But the powder and the metal balance the strong fruits, making them bearable. There’s of course not really a metal note in it, it’s the cedar combined with the spices that give the impression to me.

I’ll probbaly end up with a full bottle sooner or later. Perfumer is Francis Kurkdjian.

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And then I used up another sample, but that one gets it’s own review on friday. It’s Guerlain‘s new Aqua Allegoria, Pera Granita.