Illamasqua Skin Base Mixer White

Illamasqua Skin Base Mixer White

Y’all probably know the problem of a foundation that is great, but not exactly the right color. When I want to make a foundation darker I simply mix in liquid bronzer without any shimmer. Those can usually be found in some summer collection or other and brands like Lancaster offer a liquid bronzer all year round. Making a foundation lighter can be harder. You could try to mix with liquid highlighter, but that either makes the foundation sheerer or too highlighty.

Some brands offer lightening drops – which are usually not light enough for me. Enter this product here: Illamasqua Skin Base Mixer White. Illamasqua says these mixers (there are four: you can lighten, darken, make warmer or cooler tone) are to go with their Skin Base Foundation. I don’t have that one, but it has worked with every foundation I tried it with.

Now I know it says “white” but it’s not. It’s one of those wedding dress colors, you know. It’s got a yellow undertone which works well with my skin that also has a yellow undertone. I can’t say if it would make a difference if you’re more pink based.

Shown in the pic above is a single swipe, so it’s pretty pigmented. Apart from the obvious mixing use, this can also be put to use for special makeup, like for Halloween. One blended layer is too sheer to make the whole face white, but (like in the swatch above at the edge) can be used as a base depending on the look you’re going for (vampire for example). A second layer makes the face white (well, off-white) and personally I went over it a third time, patting the product in for concealing. This makes the coverage opaque and works well for a skull look, for example. It wears just like regular foundation, although I recommend using powder and setting spray on top. The finish is matte and even though it dries down it rubs off onto your fingers if you touch it.

So that’s for using it on it’s own, on to the mixing:

Illamasqua Skin Base Mixer with Essence Camouflage makeup.

And mixed together. This is almost 50:50, maybe a bit more white. The color matches my underarm pretty well. I hope you can see the edges. Since the White has good coverage on it’s own the coverage of the camouflage makeup (medium to full coverage) does not suffer. Mixing it with a sheer foundation gets too white for my taste, best use is with medium or full coverage products.

(Funny story, at the point of testing this I owned exactly zero foundations that were too dark for me – so to see the effects I had to go lighter than my usual shade and it annoyed me to no end.)

While the Mixer alone has a satiny matte finish I didn’t find that it changed the finish of my foundation. It really only did what was promised – change the color.

In a nutshell: I like.

MAC Steve J & Yoni P haul

MAC Steve J & Yoni P haul

Steve J & Yoni P is a current collection by MAC with a sort of limited distribution so I apologize if you can’t get it where you are or if it’s already sold out. I bought mine a month after the collection came out and they still had everything left so at least this isn’t one of those annoying collections that sell out at the first hour.

This is the design of the cardborad packaging. I think the lipsticks have only the lip on them and not the eye but I was being a Good Girl and did not buy lipstick even though I really wanted to. This collection includes one permanent lipstick in special packaging, Candy Yum Yum. You can see swatches of Candy Yum Yum in this post.

And this is what the products look like. I bought the eye gloss, Pearl Varnish, the eyeshadow duo Touch me Baby, and the blush Sugar or Syrup.

And this is what they look like opened. Yeah, that gloss is blinding. XD

Swatch time! Right on top is the powder blush Sugar or Syrup, a pinky peach in MAC’s regular powder blush formula. This is actually one of my fav blush formulas, I don’t even know why I bother with other blushes… However that depends on the color also. The other powder blush in this collection gave of zero color upon swatching it in store. This one here works just fine. It gives of more or less color depending on how heavy handed you apply.

Next, the eyshadow duo: The colors included are Soba (satin, light brown) and Keep on Twinkling (Lustre, light pink with sparkle). I didn’t expect to love this so much. Lustre is MAC for ‘shimmer but not much color’ so I was glad to see that while Keep On Twinkling does not give off that much color, the pink is actually visible. Keep on Twinkling is new (but dupable), and Soba is permanent, so you can easily recreate this duo for yourself. Soba is so good and if it weren’t for this duo I would have not noticed that – I thought it would be too yellow for me but it works. Both apply easily and last all day (with primer), and a solid five hours without primer.

Last, the eye gloss: This is a goopy thing with high shimmer. The color is Pearl Varnish, which I think is a reissue. The base is sheer white and it has lots of multi-colored shimmer.

The difference between these eye glosses and the lip glosses which come in the same pot is that the eye gloss is goopier and thicker. The usability of such a gloss is highly situational. Like, this is not for everyday use. It settles into the crease in minutes and destroys all makeup underneath even when worn with primer. You would use this for photoshoots or when the goopy creasing effect is actually wanted. So this is more of a blogger/MUA thing. The shimmer on this one here is sooo pretty, though (and I think you could also use it as a lip gloss although a lip gloss lover will surely already own a colorless base with lots of shimmer).

Out of these three I love the eye shadow duo the most, I wore it every day for two weeks. It’s so easy to use and pretty, although as mentioned, also dupable.

This is a very minimal eye looks with the eyshadow duo lightly applied (you can get more color out but this was just to test the gloss), the pink color on the lid and Soba above the crease and then the Pearl Varnish patted on the middle of the eyelid and in the inner corner. I do think it gives a lovely wet effect. The only place it lasted was the inner corner though.

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick Alpha

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick Alpha

After several Comfort Mattes, this is my first Mega Matte of the Urban Decay Vice lipstick range. The color is simply called Alpha. It’s a bright pink.

Swatch. This color is so beautiful and intense: I think it will suit just about everybody. Strong pinks always make me so happy. XD

Color comparison! I have a whole lot of fuchsias and in general more blue leaning pinks than yellow leaning pinks. Alpha leans yellow and is darker than most of my lipsticks. The four lowest lipsticks have a matte finish, the two underneath Alpha have a cream finish (Givenchy and Estee Lauder). Alpha is supposed to be “mega matte” but honestly I found it to be satin/matte. It’s certainly not as flat as mattes from MAC.

Sadly the not as matte as expected finish also affects longevity. The lipsticks survives mayyybe four hours without eating. I did not see much of a difference between UDs comfort matte and mega matte finish in look and wear time. The mega matte lasts a smidgen better and is more drying compared to comfort matte. It is less drying than a regular MAC lipstick.

To help it stay better I’d recommend a lip liner, like for example Kiko’s Smart Lip Pencil in 709.

 

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.

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.

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.

 

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

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. 😐

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.

Rituals Haul

Rituals Haul

Rituals is brand from the Netherlands. Lately they’ve been expanding quite a bit, so my hometown is now blessed with a store. Naturally, I had to shop.

Two of those are freebies, though. XD

I always like checking out the perfume sections of these mall shops (like The Body Shop, Lush, L’Occitane). You could find a gem for a good price. The skin care portions of those shops are often overpriced, though.

I picked up the SPF 50 sun protection cream, which includes Titanium Dioxide (mineral filter) as well as a chemical filter. There’s also antioxidants, sadly also a whole lot of perfume components. I know that everything by Rituals is heavily scented but I don’t understand why you have to do it with sun cream. I’ll give this a proper review when I used it up.

Then I got the hand cream in Dao, because I am a hand cream fiend and Dao was the scent I liked best. I got the matching room scent as well (freebie).

The little white tube was the other freebie, the Sensitive Skin Lotion. Again, review will follow when I used it up, but I noticed this one includes a whole lot less perfume compared to the sun cream, so it actually is possible!

The two small glass bottles are the perfumes Eau d’Orient and Nuit a Marrakesh, both EdP. I so love that they offer small 10 ml versions of all perfumes and they come with sprayers! Yes! Nuit d’Orient is a heavy vanilla amber thing, Nuit a Marrakesh smells more like towels in a spa. Many Rituals scents smell very spa like, it’s their thing.

Honestly the best thing about the store is that they always offer* you a free cup of tea when you enter. I do hope they keep that up but I am afraid it was only a store opening thing.

*actually, they’d follow you around with a cup of tea until you finally took it.

This post is not sponsored. I actually bought all of that, except the freebies.

Maybelline Color Sensational Smoky Rose

Maybelline Color Sensational Smoky Rose

Happy Easter!

This is the lipstick from my last haul, Maybelline Smoky Rose 987. (If the number starts with a 9 it means it’s a matte finish.) This is from their current collection, Inti-Matte Nudes, which features matte nudes for every skin tone.

Well, for me Smoky Rose isn’t really nude, it’s a typical My Lips But Better shade and don’t we all love these? The color is opaque and goes on creamy, then dries down to a matte finish. The whole thing lasts about four hours, give or take. Sadly it is a bit drying over time, so good lip care is essential.

Color Comparison: first is Smoky Rose, underneath is essence long lasting lipstick in Natural Beauty. The essence lipstick is more semi-opaque, shinier and a bit lighter in color. I love both, depending on what kind of finish I want that day.

I seriouly recommend taking a look at Smoky Rose in the stores, as the color is so, so pretty and wearable.

Sally Hansen Luna Pearl

Sally Hansen Luna Pearl

Lookit pretty shimmer! Ahem. This is two coats of Sally Hansen Luna Pearl 120. I don’t own a lot of Sally Hansen, because while the quality is good, the colors are often rather normal. When I saw Luna Pearl I expected a sheer polish with a bit of purple shimmer. And that is what you get, but in a good way. The color is off white and not opaque, but it does give off color. And there is plenty shimmer. Depending on light the shimmer appears more pink or more blue toned. I am not sure if there is real duochrome in it. If there is it is faint, but there is a certain shift in the color.

Quality is great. I wore this for seven days and there was only minimal chipping. Application was easy as well. The first coat is uneven, but the second helps a lot. I didn’t try for a third coat, because I don’t think that would have made it opaque.

For maximum fairy effect I wore this with the Zoeva Spring Strobe Spectrum palette, which includes a blue highlighter. (Review upcoming)

Catrice Liquid Gel Cushion Eye Liner

Catrice Liquid Gel Cushion Eye Liner

I successfully skipped all the cushion stuff so far until they got me with this: cushion eyeliner!

You have to have one of every type of black liner, right? For science?

This is by Catrice. The color is called 010 Black Sheep. I think it’s the only color at the moment.

The sponge! It looks so funny, somehow. The sponge is finer than in the bigger foundation cushions.

You dip into it with a brush like so. Any eyeliner brush will do and you can vary the result by using different brushes.

The finish is glossy, like in this picture. It does not get matte.

So far, so good. Picking up the product is easy, but it dries incredibly fast. In some cases it dries while still on your brush (I was trying to figure out the angle of the wing and when I had it, it was too late). It gets a sort of rubbery texture and that means going over what you already applied is difficult and the product that is left on your brush also makes it harder to work with it. For me that was more hassle than it was worth, not when gel eyeliner and regular liquid liner behaves so much better. However, many people on the net loved this cushion liner, so it might depend on your skin/preferences.

This product is not waterproof, but it did not smudge at all, even when I rubbed. This, however, does not mean the eyeliner stayed where I put it. Over the hours, starting an hour after application already, it crumbled around. It creates small fuzzies, like a tubes mascara. These stick all over the face. And since it did not smudge it means  when it crumbled off, it left blank patches of skin in the middle of the eye look.

Sorry, but this stuff is a total dud for me. Do not recommend. (I have oily skin – maybe it works on dry skin?)

Essie Coat Couture

Essie Coat Couture

There was this LE of Essie‘s a few years ago, matte colors with beautiful shimmer. I wanted some, but I didn’t buy any. Recently I found some of the polishes lounging around the Essie display. I don’t know if they were re-released or if the shop just happened to find them in the store and put them out again.

This color is called coat couture. I am wearing two coats and no top coat. The polish is dark purple with teal shimmer. The finish is matte. The polish dried extremely fast. It also chipped extremely fast. I got major dents on the day of application. So, while this is very beautiful my original notion of ‘skip them’ might have been right. XD It might just be this particular color. Matte polishes usually don’t last as long as shiny ones and you don’t put a top coat on top either. But even considering all that I have matte polishes that last much better than this one.

In a nuthsell: pretty but you’re not missing anything.