Essence Hip Girls Wear Blue Jeans

Essence Hip Girls Wear Blue Jeans

Essence currently has the June/July Summer Collection out. It’s called “Hip Girls Wear Blue Jeans“, which… okay… it’s not the best collection name I’ve ever seen. But I gotta admit that this season I am crazy about blue jeans. I own no less than five jeans dresses alone, never mind pants and shirts. But back to essence. The collection is quite big, including several highlighters and blushes and other stuff. I was drawn to the cheek palette… and this funny thing called lip powder:

Shown: bronze & blush sunkissed palette 01 sunkissed, what else? and lip powder 01 I’m gold and I know it!

Honestly I bought the lip powder because I’m a blogger and I thought I’ll try it so you don’t have to. XD

Now, essence is a cheap brand the packaging shows it. I have to handle it very carefully, but at that price I can live with that. (The problem is that the packaging isn’t completely tight and so everytime I  move the item I end up releasing powder all over the place.)

The powders show a pretty embossing. The gold lip powder is already chipped because I dropped it. But apart from the small chip it survived just fine.

Swatch time! First the cheek palette, then the lip powder.

The cheek palette consists of a very light shimmery pink, a bronzer with intense shimmer and a pink blush color with fine golden shimmer. The packaging calls the light pink the “lighter rouge shade”. It’s obviously meant to be used as a highlighter but they’re not calling it such, probably because it’s not very shimmery. On the other hand it’s too light to use as a real blush. Honestly it’s the dud of palette; it barely shows up on my face, only giving a little bit of shimmer.

The bronzer on the other hand is very shimmery. So shimmery that you don’t really need to also use a highlighter. Now, the official essence video shows this powder used as a contour. DO NOT DO THAT! It’s warm toned and shimmery, it goes ON your cheekbones, not underneath. It looks very pretty on the cheeks, though. The swatch shows it at full opacity but it can be sheered out and so it works for lighter skin tones as well as darker ones.

The blush color is also very pretty and gives off a good flush while blending easily. It doesn’t look that shimmery next to the bronzer, but it does pack a good amount of golden shimmer. Very universal slightly coral pink, goes with everything.

Blush and bronzer last pretty much ten hours, longer when worn with a setting spray (best setting spray I know is actually also from essence).

So, two very good colors and one meh, for that price I’m okay with it.

The lip powder… It looks very light in the swatch, like a highlighter*. It is a cool gold color, which I like because a very yellow gold on the lips would look ridic on me. It says you could apply all over the lips or just in the center. I have only used it in the middle of my lips, not all over. The powder is very soft, softer than an eyeshadow (which answers the question “why not just use eyeshadow” – you’d have to apply with a lot more force to get the same amount of powder and coverage on). I have used my finger to pat it on. Since it’s powder I’d recommend putting a base on, either lipstick or at least lipbalm.

The packaging suggests that the finish is going to be metallic (“metallic foil lip powder”). Well, look at the swatch. It’s plain not shimmery enough for a metallic finish. However, it’s not a complete loss, either. It does give off a good muted shimmer/color, sort of like a brass tuba? I actually like the effect and it’s more appropriate for a jeans collection anway. When patted on top of lipstick it changes the color but the color underneath is not overwritten, it still influences the result.

Putting a powder on top of lipstick has a similar effect as putting powder on top of cream eyeshadow – the whole concoction lasts quite well and actually survives a meal with about 80% lipcolor left (might also depend on bases; I used only matte and semi matte lipsticks).

So to my great surprise, really, I can actually recommend the lip powder to those who want such a thing as well as the cheek palette (if only for the bronzer and the blush)! Huh.

*now I reviewed this lip powder as such, because that’s what they sell it for. but at the end of it, it’s a shimmery gold powder and can be used everywhere. It makes for a beautiful cheek highlighter and the pan is big enough to fit a highlighting brush in there comfortably. I also used it as an eyeshadow, funnily enough it looks less shimery when used that way, probably because you are used to eye colors with more shimmer than that. It looks like a golden beige on the lids. It works well enough, but is not completely opaque. When used as eyeshadow I strongly recommend using a primer or cream shadow underneath so it can stick – the powder is still loosely pressed and can be prone to fallout. The good news is that while there was some glitter wandering about I’ve had worse fallout with some ‘real’ eyeshadows. So really, this thing is a one in three product – if the color is something you can use. Could also be used to lightly dust the body for golden shimmer.

OPI Red Lights Ahead… Where?

OPI Red Lights Ahead… Where?

A quick heads up: just like every summer my posting schedule gets a little patchy when it’s hot out. It’s because while blogging is fun, swimming is even better and blogging when in a body of water is NOT recommended. 😉

This pic shows two coats of an older OPI: “Red Lights Ahead… Where?” and no topper. The polish is a bit jelly-like, intense color and sort of see-through. Application was okay but I’ve had better. Lasting power? Usually okay for three days, then it chips. This time around… it melted on day two??? Like it was hard before and then it got soft again and I could just scrape it off with my other nails? I think it might be less the polish and more the inhumane working conditions in my office because later on it got hard again and chipped like normal. I also might have had cream or sun cream on my nails before application which caused it not to adhere properly but I swear it hardened like normal at first. Weird.

Narciso Rodriguez for her Fleur Musc

Narciso Rodriguez for her Fleur Musc

A perfume post on a monday instead of friday??? Well, after an unplanned week of silence I guess it’s time to shake things up.

This year Narciso Rodriguez released a new flanker for the pillar fragrance “for her”. It’s called “for her Fleur Musc” EdP and comes in a strong rosy pink instead of the light pink/black combo of “for her”. Perfumers are Calice Becker and Sonia Constant.

Now, you should know that I am a HUGE fan of “for her” I love the strong musc and the abstract woods and the soft creaminess and it’s just really good, okay. Fleur Musc is basically “for her”, but tuned WAY down with rose slapped in front. If that sounds like something you’d like, then here’s your chance. For me personally, because I like “for her so” much and I am also not a rose lover, this is a miss.

 

L’Artisan Parfumeur Méchant Loup

L’Artisan Parfumeur Méchant Loup

The Story of Little Red Riding Hood by The Dandygal

Little Red Riding Hood lived with her mother in a smallish town near the woods. One day her mother said: “My girl, I have packed this basket with goodies for your grandmother who lives all alone in the woods. Bring it to her, but be careful. Do not get off the main way.”

So Little Red Hiding Hood went into the woods. Her basket was filled with honey cakes, the kind made with very dark honey and not too sweet, just like grandmother liked them. There was also a small bottle of bitters, because lets face it, that was way more useful than a bottle of red wine if you’re an old lady living alone in the woods. There were some more sweets such as liquorice plus hazels and chestnuts, for grandma liked her sweets not too sweet. There was also a small bottle of black pepper in the basket since a woman cannot life off sweets alone.

The woods were dark, but Little Red Riding Hood kept walking. She passed some lumberjacks who were busy cutting logs of wood. They waved to her and kept on working. Farther into the woods Litle Red Riding Hood was distracted by a pretty tree and the very dark green smells surrounding it when a voice called to her.

“My, my, who is this pretty girl walking all alone in the woods and smelling just so nice?”

Little Red Riding Hood turned around and saw a wolf standing on the other side of the trail. She was afraid but her mother had taught her good manners so she answered: “I am Little Red Riding Hood, Mister Wolf. And thank you for the compliment – that is a perfume from the big city. It’s Méchant Loup by L’Artisan Parfumeur.”

And thusly, the wolf learned that he liked niche perfume much better than little girls and he wandered off to get himself a full bottle. Nobody was eaten and everyone lived their perfumista life happily ever after.

The end.

MAC Single Shadows: Expensive Pink, Cranberry, Paradisco

MAC Single Shadows: Expensive Pink, Cranberry, Paradisco

Reddish toned eyeshadows are a huge trend right now. But sometimes you get so distracted by all the new limited editions palettes and things that you forget there’s also great stuff in the regular range, right?

I got myself some MAC singles to build my own custom palette. This isn’t the whole deal – I’ve got some neutrals as well. I’m not necessarily wearing these three together but they are in the same vein, so I’m putting them in one post.

The colors are: Paradisco (top, the bright peach), Cranberry (left, the red) and Expensive Pink (right, rose gold).

Swatches! same order as before, Paradisco, Cranberry, Expensive Pink. Ususally I put the finish (like Satin, Veluxe Pearl, etc) next to the name but my refill pans offer only the name, not the finish. I guess you’d have to buy them with the pot to learn the finish… Sorry about that.

Paradisco is an intense peach with fine golden shimmer. The color is just so good, lively and pretty and well I just like rose or peach with gold very much, okay.

Cranberry is deep red with red shimmer. But it’s muted enough to not look weird or off-putting. You can wear it alone or combine it with other colors.

Expensive Pink looks way lighter in the pan than it is applied, because the gold shimmer is so intense. The base color is a darker mid tone coral. I think it’s got too much red in it to really call it a pink. The color looks amazing on the lid.

All of these colors are great. I find them to be pretty fuss-free, I had no noticeable fallout either and they last very well. Mind you, I always have to use a primer on my lids, but with primer they last about ten hours. I can recommend all three. For the summer I’ll especially recommend Paradisco, it’s such a happy color.

All of these are permanent colors and can be bought as singles or as refills. The refills are quite a bit cheaper. They come with a magnet. You can buy an empty MAC palette to put them in but you don’t have to. Any empty metallic container will do.

Essie Lovie Dovie

Essie Lovie Dovie

Good news, phone works again. Here’s the promised nail polish post:

This is Lovie Dovie by Essie, two coats no top coat. I found this and some other Essie polishes for 50% off. I don’t know if it was only that store phasing them out or if they’re discontinued. I hope not discontinued, because Lovie Dovie is such a good polish! Apart from being just such a pretty mid tone pink it applies like a dream and lasts four days chip-free and after that it had only minor chipping so I wore it for a whole week. I want more nail polishes like this.

MAC Fruity Juicy Haul

MAC Fruity Juicy Haul

Hello here’s my haul from MAC‘s current summer collection, Fruity Juicy:

I picked up the Fix+ Coconut, the Pearlmatte Face Powder and an eyeshadow palette. I was really good and skipped the lipsticks even though I wanted them all.

Before I go on to the makeup items, a few words about the Fix+: Firstly the name Fix+ is misleading as it is not a spray that keeps your makeup on longer. You can put it on top of your finished makeup and it will take the powderyness down a notch. Or you can use it to wet your brushes or to mix a pigment. As it is full of antioxidants you can also just spray it on after cleansing your face, that’s what I prefer to do. Since it’s basically water, glycerin and antioxidants it will help makeup adhere better (the glycerin) if you put it on before makeup (instead of afterwards). Now, this version here is not the normal one, it’s the coconut one. It includes actual coconut extract. The smell is a lot more gentle than I expected (considering the last item I reviewed was the Physicians Formula Bronzer!) In fact I can barely smell it. But, what I didn’t expect is that (since the liquid is clear in the bottle) the spray comes out milky! It dries down to colorless, but I’m sure my other Fix+ never did this. Okay so that was longer than I expected I really only wanted to say, guys good news, no obnoxious coconut scent!

On to the makeup. The pearlmatte powder in Oh my, Passion! is certainly the center piece of the collection. Usually I skip these kinds of things, because sure they’re pretty in the pan, but will I use them? Well this time the swatch was just so pretty…

The Eyeshdow palette is Love in the Glades, the one with green colors. The other two are more orange/pink and included some colors I already owned, so this one here was more unique to me.

Swatches for Love in the Glades. Shade names are (from left to right as swatched, the order is reversed in the palette): Russian Blue (matte), Palm Leaves (satin), Neoprene Green (veluxe pearl), Bye Bye Bahamas (frost), Cumulus (frost) and Grey Stroke (Satin). I’m surprised the Veluxe Pearl Shade has less shimmer than the two Frost ones, but then I’m not the biggest expert in MAC shadows and also it works better this way, you don’t need an intense green with a ton of shimmer.

Now the reason this palette is so cool is that while it can also be seen as tropical it is also literally cool (toned). You can go for a green toned holiday look, but since there are so many greys you can also go for a futuristic look, like a robot from a dystopian future (I have been reading a lot of comic books lately…). Seriously, you can go for conventional beauty or, with the right combination, a really disturbing look. The lightest shade is what makes or breaks the weird look because it is not a traditional highlight or blend out shade – it is too obviously grey for that. Pair it with a grey or blue lip for maximum alien-ness.

All of the shades apply well. I am glad that the greens apply properly opaque. For Neoprene Green you could use the Paint Crushed Emerald as a base but you don’t need to. I do need a good primer underneath but I always do. Without primer they stay about four to five hours, with primers all day on me. I am also glad the darkest color, Russian Blue applies so smoothly, it can work as an all over shade, as a crease shade, as eyeliner. I love using shadow as eyeliner and am annoyed when the shade is too crumbly for that. In the swatch it looks quite dark grey but it can be sheered out as well.

Overall I’d say the colors apply semi-opaque and can be built up to full opacity.

Swatch of the Pearlmatte Powder in Oh my, Passion! And yes, that’s the exact punctuation. Anyone else feel like that comma should be somewhere else?

Anyway, I swatched the individual parts and then all of them together. While you could pick up the individual colors with small brushes, in real life I only used them swirled together. And it gives off the prettiest color. Don’t get fooled by my pic here, the color can be built up quite a bit so I am sure it’ll also show up on darker skin tones. This is really the all over cheek product – blush, bronzer, highlight. It looks amazing and very summery, like you were sunkissed and are flushing at the same time. I use it like a bronzer, so generously on the cheeks, and a bit across the nose and forehead. You can apply it lightly or get it stronger. The first time I used it I used too much and ended up looking quite flushed. XD

I love the look because while it’s of course makeup it also imitates my natural look quite well. In summer I get a bit of color where the sun hits me from above and because it’s hot my cheeks are red at the same time. This is that, but prettier.

I hope that by now this isn’t all sold out already. You never know with MAC, but the big summer collection is usally not that bad… In case you can’t get the items anymore I am sorry. In case they still have the face powder left, I highly recommend it.

 

Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey Pure

Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey Pure

L’Eau d’Issey Pure EdT is one of the many flankers of the Issey Miyake bestseller L’Eau d’Issey. The EdT, which is what I have here, was released this year, the EdP last year. It’s called a musky, aquatic, floral which means it has everything to make me dislike it. But let’s see.

It starts off fresh for only a few seconds, then the flowery stage sets in already. The flowers are mostly Lily of the Valley, but those are quite gentle as well. The real headliner here is the base which has got very scrubbed clean soft musk with maybe some ambroxan. It’s one of those fabric softener scents and as such I think it would be quite nice. As a perfume it is much too boring for my personal taste. However at least it is not one of these annyoing screechy shower gel aquatics.

It lasts for only two hours, as the scent already starts out weak. You surely will not offend anybody’s nose with this.

I also have the body lotion. That one has a stronger flowery stage, so wearing them layered gets the Lily of the Valley to be stronger. Layering the perfume atop the lotion does not make the scent last longer though, as the body lotion also lasts only a short while and it’s also not very hydrating.

Verdict: nice if you like this sort of very gentle scent. Otherwise, you’re not missing anything.

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick Mrs. Mia Wallace

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick Mrs. Mia Wallace

So this beauty here is the Vice Lipstick in Mrs. Mia Wallace (cream) by Urban Decay. So far all the Vice Lipsticks I had were in the comfort matte finish. Finally I have a cream one. Mrs. Mia Wallace seems to be a popular color. Despite being not a limited edition it is frequently out of stock.

Swatch. Is there anything a good as red lipstick??? This is a darker medium neutral red with slightly blue undertone and creamy finish.

The color was of course named after the character in Pulp Fiction although the color the character wears looks browner to me. Might be the film’s lighting (of course this lipstick didn’t exist back then either so I don’t know what she was wearing. We do know the nail polish was an earlier version of Chanel’s Rouge Noir.) Anyway so honestly this color reminds me more of Cheryl Blossom in the TV Show Riverdale. I love watching that show for Cheryl’s makeup alone, her ridiculously overdrawn red lips that she wears like armour. You know something’s off when you see her in a nude color instead of her trademark red.

Back to makeup, here’s the color comparison:

When I shot this pic I was like oh these colors are all so DIFFERENT. And when I opened the pic on the computer I was like, damn I have WAYYYY to much red lipstick. XD

First swipe is Mrs Mia Wallace, underneath is Viva Glam I, which is darker and matte. Next one is Maybelline Rich Ruby, wich is also matte but otherwise closest in color to Mia. Last is Estee Lauder Vengeful Red, which has a cream finish, but the color is lighter and pinker.

The cream finish glides on the lips easily. If you’re not careful it might end up all over the place (I’m just so used to applying very matte colors!). I recommend using a lip brush for the prettiest results.

Lasting time: well, it is not a matte lipstick so the wear time doesn’t compare to the comfort mattes. Most of my MAC lipsticks regardless of finish last a lot longer than Mia. Eating and drinking killed it off completely, drinking alone reduces it a lot as well. It lasted better applied with a brush than straight from the bullet; I think it was worked in better that way. But overall it lasted three hours, not much longer. I tried using a lip liner (the closest color I own is He Said, She Said) but the lipstick wore off the same and left me with the lip liner alone.

On the upside this lipstick is hydrating and feels lovely. I love the color but I wish it lasted better.

Worth the hype? Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer

Worth the hype? Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer

Today in: the internet made me buy it

The Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer in the color Light Bronzer.

So as I’ve mentioned before, this year we had a long winter/snowy spring. And you’re always the palest in spring. This year I got so pale that my lightest bronzer, the Body Shop bronzing powder in 01 started to look too dark but I really wanted a softly tanned look. Reading other people’s blogs I found two possible solutions: Hoola Lite and this one here. I decided to try Physicians Formula as I’ve never had one of their products before.

This product comes in two shades: Bronzer and Light Bronzer. Some of the pics of Light Bronzer – just like my pic here in fact – make it look so light I was afraid it wouldn’t even show on my skin (NC 15). Well, fear not, it is a proper bronzer and not a face powder.

First thing I noticed was the smell. It was wafting even through the outer packaging. It has a strong smell of coconut. On the face the smell wears off in a few minutes but it’s still quite strong.

The packaging is bright and quite big. The compact includes a mirror and a sponge applicator. If you ask me, that could have been skipped for a slimmer compact. I don’t use sponges to apply bronzer I use brushes. So I can’t tell you if the sponge is any good. At the same time the packaging could have better quality. If you look closely at the pic above you should see that while the powder lines up with the yellow plastic on the left side of the pic, it does not line up on the right side. Lots and lots of powder and possibly other dirt has fallen into that gap by now. Not good. Also it means that opening the lower part to get to the mirror means that all that powder/dirt will fall right over you/your sink etc. They should have skipped the mirror and sponge and made a compact with the right circumfence instead!

Comparison: the Body Shop Bronzing Powder 01; Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer Light Bronzer.

Swatches: First is Physicians Formula, underneath is the Body Shop. You can see that while light in color, the Light Bronzer does totally show up on my skin. It is lighter than the Body Shop one. It also looks less flat, as there is some golden shimmer to it. The shimmer isn’t really visible on the face but it helps liven up your face. I wouldn’t use it as a contour though.

So is it worth the hype? The powder itself totally, yes. I’m usually a blush sort of person I only wear bronzer from time to time. But ever since I got this one here two months ago I haven’t used anything else on my face. It applies and blends so well, stays on for nine hours and it makes me look healthy as opposed to undead. It’s not too dark and not too orange and not too pale either. The bronzer is also so soft it never looks powdery.

I recommend this to the skin tone range NC/W 10 – 15. I think it wouldn’t show up properly on NC 20 and darker, however there’s a lot of bronzers for darker skin anyway so you’re not missing out.

Bronzer itself: great

Packaging: annoying and messy

L’Artisan Parfumeur L’Eau d’Ambre Extreme

L’Artisan Parfumeur L’Eau d’Ambre Extreme

Oh boy, I thought to myself. L’Eau d’Ambre Extreme, that’s going to be too much for me, right?

Then found out that adding on ‘Extreme’ is simply L’Artisan Parfumeur‘s way of denoting a flanker (see: La Chasse Aux Papillons Extreme, Mure et Musk Extreme). XD The perfumes themselves aren’t necessarily more extreme than the original. So, don’t expect this one to be like the original L’Eau d’Ambre (1978), because it’s not as far as I can tell. L’Eau d’Ambre Extreme was released in 2001, perfumer is Jean-Claude Ellena. I have the old packaging here, the newer bottles are all in that black packaging.

So, how does it smell like, other than yummy? Because I can tell you it is very yummy. It’s spicy and sweet and cozy and just very ambery. Lately I was lucky enough to be able to smell a mixture with only benzoin as a scent component in and I realized that’s the stuff I like so much. And LdAE has lots of that benzoin.* I think I also detect patchouli and vanilla, a light base of musk, possibly a touch of sandalwood. There’s more to the top note. The top is a bit harsh with it’s spices, but the perfume calms down quickly and then just wafts all those lovely base stuff. At times it also turns smoky, but not like incense. More like a really good cigar.

The official notes as listed on my packaging are: Spices, patchouli, damascena rose, benzoin, vanilla.

As a base heavy perfume this stuff lasts almost forever. I get ten or more hours on skin, longer on clothes of course. Sometimes you forget it’s here and then it starts wafting again. It smells so warm and sometimes intense, a work colleague started to look for the ‘scent lamp someone must have lighted’ until I admitted that was probably me. Luckily he didn’t complain or something.

All in all I find LdAE extremely wonderful. The only ‘downside’ is that it stopped me from buying any more amber perfumes. Everytime I sample one I ask myself ‘is this in any way better or very different to LdAE of which I own 100ml after all?’ And the answer is usually no. This shows that while I like amber I’m not crazy about it, because when it comes to orange blossom, already owning a 100ml bottle has never stopped me from acquiring more. XD

 

*I just realized I’ve been typing that as ‘benzoe’ in my other entries so far. Turns out that’s the German word, English is benzoin (resin). While I’m footnoting I’d like to point you to this entry in kafkaesqueblog, which is the be all end all explanation of amber notes as far as I am concerned: clicky.

Zoeva Winter Strobe Spectrum & Spring Strobe Spectrum

Zoeva Winter Strobe Spectrum & Spring Strobe Spectrum

This spring Zoeva released new items in their Spectrum line, which consists of specific palettes, like warm eyeshadows, pink blushes etc. Part of the newly released were highlighter palettes: Winter Strobe, Spring Strobe, Summer Strobe. The end. Yes, they released three of four seasons. Why? To mess with my OCD, probably. Of those three I bought two. I skipped the Summer Strobe, because while it looked very pretty I think those colors are too dark for me, more like shimmery blushes and bronzers. Summer Strobe is really good for darker skin tones.

The packaging looks like this. It gave me a total retro feel, because the size and weight is exactly like a CD case. Anyone remember when we bought music like that? 😮

The Spring Strobe has rose golden writing, Winter Strobe is the same but in blue silver. The casing is that velvety matte stuff that looks good at first but gets messed up quickly and you can never wipe the dirt off again either.

This is the Spring Strobe palette inside. I had to change the angle so you could see that there are four different colors. Any other angle they all look the same off white. All four highlighters, simply called SP010 to SP040 have an off white base color and colored shimmer. The colors are: green (SP010, top left), blue (SP020, top right), pink (SP030, bottom left) and yellow (SP040, bottom right).

These are my swatch fingers. The order is backwards here (yellow, pink, blue, green) The pink may look like the weakest color here but that’s just because my finger is so red.

Swatches on my arm. Green, Blue, Pink and Yellow. The base color does not really apply, this is just the pure shimmer. These are just the most ethereal, faerie highlights. I love them. On my face the pink and blue pop a lot more than the green and yellow. That’s because my skin is more yellow toned, I expect this to look different on a pink toned skin. As it is, sadly the green is the weakest color on me. You can’t really tell it’s green, while the blue is visible. However, since these are purely shimmer, they are totally wearable. Firstly, these are wearable for every skin, no matter how light or dark, because there is no base color that could end up looking chalky or weird. Secondly, despite the fact that SP020 is blue I have worn it many times and it doesn’t look like a weird blue stripe or something. It just looks really cool. I highly recommend the Spring Strobe palette.

Now, here’s the Winter Strobe palette. You can see that in the pan the colors look much stronger than in the Spring palette. And yes, it also has a pink and a blue highlighter. The colors are: WI010 (silver, top left), WI020 (peach, top right), WI030 (pink, bottom left) and WI040 (blue, bottom right).

The colors on my fingers. Comparing this pic and the finger pic above you can already tell the difference in the palettes. While Spring has no base color and colored shimmer, this one here has different base colors, but the shimmer is the same white silver on all of them.

Le arm swatch. WI010 is just pure silver. Funny enough, I have lots of gold highlighters but this is in fact my first silver one. W020, aka the peach one, is peachy next to the first one, but also very light in color. On my face, this one blended in best. It makes a good blush topper. The pink one, WI030 applies a lot lighter than it looks in the pan. In the pan it looked like a really dark pink, like a dark blush or eyeshadow. The pink base color does apply, but it is truly a highlighter and not a blush. It works very well as blush topper, also. The last one is clearly an icy blue color. However, on the face that blends out, so yes, you can actually wear it as a highlighter. It looks mostly like a cool silver. So in fact, the blue from the Spring palette is more visibly blue, while this one appears mostly silver and blue only in certain angles.

I wore the Winter Strobe a lot the past weeks, since we had a lot of cold days and snow. I can see the idea behind both palettes, Winter Strobe is iced over while Spring Strobe has the colors waking up again. Personally I like and wear both palettes and in fact on both palettes the blue colors show the most use by now. Unlike Summer Strobe I don’t think Winter Strobe will work for everyone. The base colors do show up on the skin and the highlight itself is very frosty. I don’t think it’ll blend in as well on medium to dark skin as on fair skin (but that’s okay, you guys get the lovely Summer Strobe). Also the shimmer isn’t as smooth and not everybody wants that.

I’ve also tried wearing WI030 and WI040 as eyeshadow since that worked so well with the Rose Golden blush palette. But the colors need to be packed on a lot to show up as anything other than silver and they don’t last, not even with pimer and shadow underneath. They were gone after two hours.

On the cheeks both palettes last the same amount of time which is five to six hours. So while I love both palettes for their quirkyness, they cannot beat the Urban Decay highlighter, which lasted eight hours on me.

Sometimes I lay awake at night and wonder which colors you would put into an Autumn Strobe palette. Gold, red, dark green? What would you use?

In other Zoeva news, now I totally also want some Blush Spectrum palettes and also the Sweet Glamour Blush palette. 😐

YSL Dessin du Regard Waterproof Eye Pencil

YSL Dessin du Regard Waterproof Eye Pencil

This is the Dessin du Regard Waterproof Eye Pencil from YSL in the color 1 which I assume translates to ‘pitch black’. Sadly the tip was already chipped when the pencil got to me. It promptly broke off when I tried to apply the color. Luckily that’s nothing a pencil sharpener can’t fix. The mine is really soft, though.

Swatch. The pencil applies a creamy pitch black.

This is soft and waterproof and therefore absolutely perfect for the waterline. It lasts quite well, there are still traces of it on the waterline four hours later. On the skin it’s best for a messy look, as again, the mine is very soft and prone to go all over the place. Also it needs to be blended before it sets, because when it sets, that’s it. This stuff lasts so well, you’ll barely get it off with remover.

So, out of all my black pencils this is the darkest and the best lasting one. I’ve already used up quite a bit of it and for once I’m positive I’ll finish this pencil sooner or later.

Guerlain Shalimar Parfum Initial

Guerlain Shalimar Parfum Initial

I know it’s the middle of May and this is more of a cold weather perfume, but we’ve had a very snowy spring so far so I broke out the vanilla perfumes again.

Pictured: Guerlain Shalimar Parfum Initial (EdP).

Shalimar Parfum Intital (from now on: PI) is a flanker to Guerlain’s famous Shalimar. PI was released in 2011, perfumer is Thierry Wasser. There were two more PI flankers: Shalimar Parfum Intital L’Eau (same bottle, pink tassle) and Shalimar Parfum Inital Si Sensuelle (pink feathers instead of tassle). Now, the whole thing is a bit complicated, because Si Sensuelle is supposedly a LE bottle for L’Eau and juice should be the same. However, from the bottles I personally have smelled I could swear Si Sensuelle smells a lot more gentle and sweet. Yet at the same time I am not sure if I could tell apart PI and L’Eau in a blind test…

The whole PI line got discontinued a while ago, but as of now you can still find all three versions in some stores. It is still in the “freshly discontinued and being sold off” phase and not the “longer discontinued and highly sought after” phase. If you’re thinking of blind buying because you see a good price I would recommend getting Si Sensuelle. Well, unless you already know what PI smells like in which case it’s not a blind buy.

Now, what does it smell like? It is clearly related to Shalimar. I heard it was intended to be a beginner’s Shalimar. In that case it failed because I’m not sure if you could get into it if you didn’t already love Shalimar? The start is very tart bergamot and dark green notes. It almost punches you into the nose, going WELL HELLO HERE I AM! When that wears off you get unsweet vanilla, iris and a very indolic jasmine. Honestly I think it is quite stinky. The indole, you know. Si Sensuelle has a lot less indole which is why I recommend it for blind buyers. You don’t want to blind buy this one here and get hit by all the indole if you didn’t expect it.

The somewhat stinky flowers are the longest phase. After four hours you are left with softer notes, the typical Guerlain tonka bean, a hint of caramel and musk. All of those are fairly light. This is a cozy, cuddly phase. If you want only this phase better check out the new Mon Guerlain which smells like a Guerlain base without top or heart to me.

So, don’t get me wrong, I like PI. It’s just I have to be in the mood for the little stinker. But I’m also not super surprised the PI line wasn’t a mainstream hit, to be honest. For a softer, more easily likable Shalimar flanker, try Shalimar Cologne EdT.

Like I said above, I can’t tell much difference between this one and the L’Eau version. Si Sensuelle is lighter. And with that I have reviewed all of the Shalimar flankers I could get my hands on. I’m lacking the Ode a la Vanille ones. One day I’ll review the actual Shalimar as well. Maybe. XD

And now for some Guerlain news: a couple of their scents are going to be repackaged. They will lose their regular, unique bottle and will from now on be sold in bee bottles. I’ll certainly be on the lookout for sales of old bottles. 😉

Urban Decay Afterglow Highlighter Aura

Urban Decay Afterglow Highlighter Aura

So, Urban Decay has these lovely powder highlighters. They’re called Afterglow 8-hour powder highlighters. I was looking for a pink one, because somehow I have half a dozen gold highlighters, but no pink.

Enter Aura, which is a very light pink base color with pink shimmer.

Swatch. Some highlighters are so hard to photograph, but in real life this is an amazing glow, perfect for strobing. My skin has yellow undertone, so pink based highlighter pops more than gold. This color works very well for the pale kids as it just merges with your skin. It applies mostly as shimmer and a little bit of the base color, meaning it should work for most skin tones, but on dark skin the light base color could maybe be visible as a chalky stripe.

Aura is very easy to apply it basically blends itself and it truly does wear for eight hours. This is smack-down the best powder highlighter I own. Now I sort of want the others too, not that I need them. *sigh*

The Afterglow Highlighters are available in the regular lineup, not limited. Yay.

MAC Make-up Art Cosmetics: Coral Bliss, Overnight Sensation, Cracked Emerald

MAC Make-up Art Cosmetics: Coral Bliss, Overnight Sensation, Cracked Emerald

Well. MAC‘s Make-up Art Cosmetics was a limited collection that came out several weeks ago already. Originally I didn’t intend to buy anything, but I broke down when Douglas had 20% off. So that’s why this review is super late. I apologize if these products are already sold out, but we can always hope MAC brings them back again.

I bought these three items: two paints from the Kabuki Magic part, Overnight Sensation and Cracked Emerald; and a lipstick from the James Kaliardos part, Coral Bliss (Cremesheen). Coral Bliss isn’t actually new, it was either part of LEs before or available in the regular lineup.

I really like the special packaging here and that it says “Spring/Summer 2017”. So in the future I’ll know exactly when I got it. XD

Coral Bliss has a cremesheen finish, meaning it’s not opaque and has a glossy finish. The color is a pinky toned light coral, a very happy color. Due to the finish it does not last that long, maybe three hours and the color pulls into lip lines/emphasizes dry parts. I solve that by reapplying. I like the way it looks and it has been my most used lipstick lately. The color is such a no-brainer, I use it whenever I don’t know what to wear (as I have to get up in the morning way too early this happens a lot; I put my makeup on in zombie mode).

Overall: if you can live with the cremesheen finish it’s a great lipstick.

These are my first ever MAC paints. They used to be in the lineup several years ago but then got discontinued when they introduced the Paint Pots. GREAT INJUSTICE! These Paints are five thousand times better than the Paint Pots! I know the Pots have many fans but they never worked for me at all. They are hard to put on evenly and they crease two hours in. They are also too dry to be a good makeup base, imho. These paints, though. Look at the swatches:

Overnight Sensation is a purple with blue shimmer, Cracked Emerald is matte green. The green doesn’t fade out more than the purple, I just took less product out of the tube. The colors are perf, pigmented, easy to put on the lid (I used a flat synthetic brush for full coverage and to use as eyeliner, a fluffy synthetic for less coverage and I’ve also used my finger). And then they dry down and stay uncreased until the end of time. Yet, they can be removed with any regular makeup remover quickly. I am in love!

Since they come in these little tubes, it’s best to squeeze only a tiny bit and put the cream onto a surface (back of hand or some artist’s plates) and then pick up the product from there. Work quickly as it dries up fast. The purple one was a little eager, the tube kept releasing more cream even when I didn’t touch it. But overall I found them easy to work with and the fact that the cream is kept in tubes with a small opening surely keeps them from drying out too fast, unlike cream shadows in pots.

I seriously hope MAC plans on releasing more of these again. I would buy them in a heartbeat.