MAC Holiday 2017: Elle Belle, Shimmer & Spice, Stylishly Merry

MAC Holiday 2017: Elle Belle, Shimmer & Spice, Stylishly Merry

MAC‘s Holiday Collection hit the stores here at the start of November, as always. Some places get it a lot sooner, so I apologize if it’s already sold out where you are. The golden design is pretty and I got a matching shopping bag, too!

I tried to limit myself to the things that I filled a hole in my collection. So I got the Extra Dimension Shadow in Stylishly Merry, and the lipsticks in Shimmer & Spice (Frost) and Elle Belle (Amplified). The snowflake design is very pretty, but I already managed to wear most of it off in a single week.

Swatches! First Elle Belle, then Shimmer & Spice and last the eyeshadow Stylishly Merry.

Elle Belle (Amplified) is such a pretty deep berry red. I’d almost forgotten how good the amplified finish is. The color is rich, the finish creamy and the wear time superb. It loses some of the creaminess after a while and it pretty much wears like a matte lipstick. When eating it wore off on the inside of the lips, but not too much. Great lipstick. A similar lipstick with a tad more brown to it, making it more plummy, but with the same finish, is Dark Side. Dark Side is permanent, so if Elle Belle is already sold out, I would take a look at that one. A good lip liner to go with both of those would be Nightingale.

Shimmer & Spice is a frost finish. I’m still not entirely sure where the difference between frost, lustre and metallic lies. Shimmer & Spice is a clear base packed with red-bronze and gold shimmer particles. It is not opaque at all. (All swatches above are a single swipe btw.) It doesn’t get opaque with more layers either, but overall that makes the glitter bomb more wearable imho. I think it looks very festive on. Wear time is terrible, about two hours, maybe three. But it’s not hard to reapply, so I’m okay with that. Eating wipes it out completely except for some stray shimmer. It’s very pretty but not something you’d probably miss that much if it’s already sold out.

Stylishly Merry is sold as an Extra Dimension Shadow, like all shadows in this collection, but this one seems more like a dazzleshadow to me. I applied it with a flat synthetic brush and didn’t get the desired amount of product, so I wet the brush and that did it. With a wet brush the result looks like in the pan, which is soooo pretty. The color is a yellow gold, but with a duochrome color shift from a yellow so yellow it’s almost green (that particular color most people simply call yellow, but to me green-yellow is a different color) to pink. The shift is visible on the eye and very pretty. I made a simple look by applying this all over the lid liberally and pulling it upwards a bit. Then it looked more yellow on the lid and pink in the crease. Then I blended out the crease with a soft matte brown. Super easy but so effectful. I know no dupe for this, but if you like this you can check out the dazzleshadows. Wear time: I got creasing on the ten hour mark which is pretty good I think. (With eye primer, absolutely nothing lasts on me even an hour without.) There was fallout during the application but once I was done I didn’t get any additional glitter juming around on my face, so that’s good, too.

Overall I am very happy with what I got. I wish the eyeshadow would apply dry as it does wet, but I think the Extra Dimension Shadows aren’t actually meant to be opaque.

This collection is so festive I think I’m already out-holidayed with it. I don’t know what other brands could tempt me with now. Maybe I’ll pick up something later, but in the shimmer and gold department I am done right now.

Did you pick up any holiday items? Are you waiting for later releases or sales? Or are you skipping the whole thing?

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MAC eyeshadows Haux, Corduroy

MAC eyeshadows Haux, Corduroy

Amidst the LE madness, let’s take some time to appreciate some gems from the regular lineup. Those two pans might not look like much, but they are so useful to me. Shown here are the MAC single eyeshadows in Haux (the lighter one) and Corduroy. I don’t know the official MAC finishes, because the refill pans don’t list them. Haux has a little bit of shimmer and Corduroy seems to have none at all. Both apply matte-looking.

How do I store my refill pans?

Like this. Sure, I could buy an empty MAC palette plus eyeshadow insert, but then… the refills have a magnet at the bottom and are happy to attach to anything metallic. So I put them in this little box here.

Swatch time. First Haux, then Corduroy. Again, they don’t look like much, but for most looks you want colors like these for the crease, or blending (or worn alone).

Haux is absolutely perfect for pale skins. It darkens the lid, but not too harshly. It works both as a subtle crease color or transition color or worn all over the lid. I often put only Haux all over and nothing else. Haux is buttery and blends easily, producing no fallout. It is also pigmented enough. When I doubt, I reach for Haux.

Corduroy is a mid tone brown. It looks pretty dark here, but in reality there are many browns much darker than this. It’s a tad more powedery but I didn’t notice any fallout either. I use this as a crease color or as liner when I want only a gentle brown line. I pair most colorful looks with a brown crease as I feel that helps calming/taming the color.

On me both eyeshadows wear all day (aka 12 hours) with primer. (Without primer nothing stays on my lids at all so I never wear eyeshadow without.)

I can really recommend these two if you’re looking for neutral single shadows.

 

MAC Nicki Minaj Lipsticks (plus other pink stuff)

MAC Nicki Minaj Lipsticks (plus other pink stuff)

The MAC Nicki Minaj Collection was officially released here on Sept 1st, but it was a bit of an odyssey until I finally had mine. While I was at it I went on a rose gold spree and picked up another metallic lipstick and a pigment from the previous collection as well. The SA chuckled and gave me samples of a rose gold perfume to match.

So here’s my pink haul: Pigment in Rose Gold, Nikki’s Nude, The Pinkprint and Love’s a Gamble (this one not from the Nikki Collection, but from Metallic LE).

So, the Nicki Minaj LE was supposed to be a collection of nude lipsticks and dark skinned girls had hopes of, yaknow, finding a nude lipstick that suited them… and then the majority of the collection turned out to be quite light in tone. On the one hand I’m not surpised as Nicki Minaj is someone who likes her lippies very light, on the other hand how hard can it be to throw in a few properly dark colors? I guess Nicki Minaj isn’t the one to go for if you want subtle and nude. As such I was pleased by her two colors because they are just what I expected – pigmented pinks (those two are so not nude on me). But the criticism of this LE is well justified.

Although, please do watch this video of the wonderful Nyma Tang, who is totally slaying these lipsticks:

Alright, enough soap-box, on to the swatches:

First swatch is Nicki’s Nude (Amplified), then The Pinkprint (Amplified), last swatch is Love’s a Gamble (metallic). You can see that the first two are a lot more pigmented, almost opaque in one swipe. The metallic one isn’t really opaque at all no matter how often you apply it – skin or lip color shows through. At the same time it’s got a lot of shimmer, while the other two are shimmerless. They just look so lush because they’re creamy. Honestly while I love matte lipsticks I’m glad to see something else now.

The two Nicki lipsticks look innocently pink against my veeeeery white skin, but note that these have quite some white pigment in them, making them very pastel on the lips. The Pinkprint is a light pink with yellow undertone. Nicki’s Nude is one of those coral leaning nudes, not as light as The Pinkprint, but also pretty light in color.

Both are easy to apply and last very well, about four to five hours. Eating reduces them but they’re still on. They never dry down and that also means they wander around some. That means they settle in lip lines after a while. This can be lessened by pressing the lips together and moving them around to spread the color again, but once the color has settled in the lines, some of it stays there. After a couple hours the colors also emphasize dry bits of skin. It’s worse with the Pinkprint, I think because it’s the lighter color and therefore more visible. Despite this, the lipsticks feel hydrating and not drying.

A lot of this can be lessened by applying primer and then lip liner. Lipliners that work with these colors for me: MAC Stone, pulling them more into real nude territory; Whirl, also nude but darker and more red undertone; Rosy Rim, staying in the light coral pink territory. Rosy Rim would darken The Pinkprint, but not Nicki’s Nude – it’s actually a good match for Nicki’s Nude, only a bit more pink. Then I’ve got Chic Trick, which is a bright pink and would change the colors the most, but still works. And for non-MAC lip liners I have Bobbi Brown Blondie Pink, which is actually not pink at all but a proper nude and would be the most subtle of all the liners here. And lastly, ModelCo Illusion Nude lip liner, which is a yellowish brown nude.

Too many lip liners? Who, me? But they’re all so different, see!

Before I move on to the next lipstick I want to point out again that The Pinkprint is super pale, almost too light for my comfort (my skin color is NC15) and I prefer to use it with lip liner to ground it some. If you want something similar but a tad more pink or long lasting, try the Retro Matte in Divine Divine (review upcoming).

Love’s a Gamble (metallic) is a salmon color with pink sparkle. The base color is sheer, this is mostly shimmer. It can be used as a topper or alone and will look different on everyone as your lip color will show through. If you pat it on lightly enough you can use it as a highlighter as well. Lasting power is good and this doesn’t slip into lip lines as much because it’s not as emollient as the two lippies above.

And finally, a swatch of the pigment Rose Gold. First swiped on, then sheered out. I prefer it dabbed on as eyeshadow and not sheered out at all, but in theory you could use these pigments as highlighters as well (if the color worked out for you). Like Gold, Rose Gold looks lighter in the bottle. It’s somewhere in between bronze and warm gold I’d say. It’s not as pink as you could expect from the name.

It’s easy to apply but also easy to accidentally spill (don’t breathe too hard when handling this) but once it’s on, it sticks very well. I still use a primer underneath, but I always do. Nothing sticks on my lids without primer.

Phew, thanks for reading this monster post. See you on wednesday with a much more compact review of a Dior item.

Summer Sale Haul

Summer Sale Haul

So, this is what I picked up in the summer sales that were going on in August. Most of that is actually freebies, though.

Starting from the top, that’s a sample of a YSL foundation. Sadly it came in the color 04 and so I can’t test it, sorry, guys. Then there’s a MAC lipstick. It’s Silver Spoon, which I already reviewed here. Underneath the Zoeva palette Rodeo Belle. Atop of the palette is the Chanel lipstick in Ultraberry, review coming up on wednesday. Then the MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish Soft Frost, which I’ve been wanting ever since it came out and it was always sold out. Finally mine. Then another Chanel lipstick, Beige Doré.

The lower row is mostly smaples/freebies. The new Armani scent Because It’s You, which I’m not sure I’ll review – I hate it from the first sniff. Then the MAC CC Cream in Illuminate, a staple of mine. The new Elie Saab scent Girl Of Now, just as terrible as the Armani one. Then Kenzo Flower Lumiere, which I haven’t tested yet. I have quite a few untested Kenzos, maybe I should make a series… Then Guerlain Black Perfecto, review coming up on Friday. Last is some shower gel by Baldessarini. Not sure yet if I’ll keep it or pass it on.

So that’s my end of summer haul and a look at some things that will come up in future reviews robably. Any requests for perfume reviews?

MAC Pigment Gold

MAC Pigment Gold

It’s september! I can already smell the pumpkins! Get out the smoky eyes and dark lipsticks!!!

Ahem.

Here we’ve got MAC pigment in gold. The metallic pigments were included in the metallic lips LE but unlike the lipsticks, the pigments are permanent (pro items).

I think the colors look a bit deceiving in the pots. The swatches are where the beauty lies.

But first, this is the inner lid. I like to keep them as it makes operating these things a little less messy.

The other side of the lid. Usually there is enough pigment on it for my whole look. I don’t even need to dip into the pot.

I present you… le swatch. Damn. It’s not so much yellow gold as it is old gold. It makes me want to paint myself head to toe in it.

The pigment is so rich you don’t need much at all. It lasts very well, too. I use this as eyeshadow, because it’s too colored for highlighter (the SA said you could use it as highlighter but I’m not sure how long you’d have to buff for that). And on my eyes it lasted a whole party night. It did not budge. Amazing.

MAC Chromat: #Shockvalue and #Chromatbabe

MAC Chromat: #Shockvalue and #Chromatbabe

And today in: “Did she fall for special packaging again?” I present you: MAC Chromat. This is MAC’s current LE. It’s a designer collab again. I’d never heard of Chromat before, but I checked them out for this post and their swim wear looks great.

The LE has see through plastic packaging instead of black carton. The blue line design is repeated on the products. If you look closely, it’s not just random lines. I think it forms a female figure/corset.

I bought the eyeshadow x 6 palette (#Chromatbabe Super Pack) and the blue lipstick (#Shockvalue).

The lipstick comes in amplified finish, meaning it’s high color but not matte. Here I swatched #Shockvalue first, followed by Dreampot. While #Shockvalue is LE, I think Dreampot is permanent. (At least it has been in stores since it was released.) On the side I added a swatch of Hi Def Cyan. The color is not identical to #Shockvalue, but close enough that you can use it as lip liner/base if you want to.

Now, #Shockvalue applies very well and did not migrate once it was on. However, it is not a matte lipstick and does not have the lasting power of one. It survives several hours without eating or drinking, but if you do take a sip it will wear off on the inside. After a meal there’s nothing left on the inside. The outer parts survived for me, but I didn’t eat anything super greasy.

Lipswatch! Honestly, this is my new favorite blue lipstick, the clolor just works soooo well!

On to the eye shadow: I swatched them top-bottom, repeat. First row is more matte, second row more shimmery. The colors are in order of my swatches: Sabina Sangre (Satin), Structrued Satin (Satin), Triennial Wave (Satin), Duabandita (Veluxe Pearl), Mindfiles (Frost) and Blue Black (Veluxe Pearl).

So there are no true mattes among the shadows, which I like because mattes can be difficult. You can see a little bit of shimmer in the blue and the orange swatch, but on the lid they look matte. All of the colors are soft and pigmented. It’s a good idea to apply them before the rest of the makeup, just in case you get a lot of drop down, but for me they behaved. Most of the drop down was blue shimmer and that’s the sort of stuff that migrates later on as well.

The first color is Sabina Sangre, a juicy orange. I own a few orange shadows but nothing quite like this shade. It is pigmented and was easy to pat into place.

Structured Satin is black. I like using it as eyeliner. It goes on dark and stays like that. You can blend it out as an eyeshadow as well, though.

Triennial Wave also offers good pigmentation. As with all strong colors I pat it on instead of wiping around with the brush. The color needs no base to shine (I did all my testing without base or primer) but if you wanted to really pop it you could use Hi Def Cyan underneath.

Duabandita is a brown with teal shimmer. Mac has a loose pigment like that, too, but I don’t own it. It’s a very beautiful color and looks different from every angle. It went on like a dream and stayed there, too (usually I get a lot creasing when not wearing primer).

Mindfiles is a gunmetal grey. It actually applies pretty dark. The shimmer makes it look lighter in the pan. This one needs a bit of blending or a light hand when picking the color up with the brush.

I was pleasantly surpised by Blue Black, as the blue aspect really comes out. I have a similar eyeshadow that loses a lot of the blue shimmer when applied and ends up looking mostly black. Blue Black is still a black with blue shimmer but you can still see some of the blue on the lid.

This is one of my testing looks. I wear no other makeup and I didn’t intend to photograph it, but since I did snap a pic I might as well show it. On the lid I wear only Duabandita, you can see both the brown and the teal side of it. In the crease there’s a mix of Mindfiles and Blue Black. The other three (Sabina Sangre, Structured Satin, Triennial Wave) are used as liners. Now for a real look I would probably not use all six at once and I might want to add in a normal transition shade but I think the colors actually work together as well. There’s quite a number of possible combinations with #Chromatbabe.

So, for those who like a little more unusual color in their makeup I can recommend both items. As of now they should still be available as well.

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.

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.

 

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.

essence All About Nudes eyeshadow

essence All About Nudes eyeshadow

Still reviewing the last few items of the 2016 advent calendar by essence. XD This eyeshadow palette was in the last door. It’s the all about nudes palette in 02 nudes. Honestly, I was prepared to hate it. I like some essence items, but always stay away from powder shadows for fear of them being too powdery and not pigmented enough.

If you look at the lower row, you can see the colors are fairly close together. However, only the middle two colors are truly close, the outer two colors differ quite a bit upon application. Let’s take a look at the swatches:

Swatches in the shade. I did top, bottom, top bottom, moving left to right. So we start with the highlighting shades. The first one is a pale vanilla and matte. The second one is more a seashell color and shimmery. The next four colors are the middle browns, all of which are matte. The second to last color is the darkest of the palette and has a satin finish. The very last one is another mid brown, but with an intense sparkle. On the lid it applies as mostly shimmer and not much base color.

So, the first row is warmer toned and the second is cooler toned. I like having that variety, lots of nude palettes are warm only. I wish that one of the middle colors in the lower row were darker, though. They differ only slightly (the right one leans more taupe), but on the lid you can’t tell the difference. So you always have to reach for the upper row anyway unless you do a light only look.

The same swatches, but in direct sunlight. Here you can see the shimmer and the sparkle.

Like I said in the beginning I was prepared to hate this palette. Except now, four months later I can say this has been my most used palette this year. It’s not too powdery if you knock off the excess on the back of your hand, it applies well and it looks really good on. The biggest quality problem is the glitter shade, as the sparkles land all over your face. The others are good, though. Now, the colors don’t go fully opaque. They always stay a bit see-through, but that also means you can throw them on quickly, blend a bit and be done with it. You can’t do much wrong with these, which is why I’d recommend them to a makeup beginner. You can still get some different looks out of it, from almost invisible to dark. You can have some fun experimenting and it’ll still result in a look you can leave the house with.

Wear time was also surprisingly good: seven hours (with primer, though!).

For people with many nude palettes this will be boring. It’s got nothing you don’t have already. I don’t have all that many nude palettes and honestly, it’s probably the best neutral one I have. You know, really neutral in tones.

Caveat: since the colors are semi-sheer and mostly on the lighter end of the spectrum I can’t say how well it’ll work for darker skin tones. But I totally recommend this one to the paler kids who want a no fuss nude eyeshadow.

Zoeva Cocoa Blend

Zoeva Cocoa Blend

cocoa-blend

And here’s the last palette from the Zoeva Plaisir box: Cocoa Blend. This palette was available before the release of the Plaisir box (the other two were new palettes), so it’s not super duper new. You can buy the three palettes in the box (Cocoa Blend, Caramel Melange and Blanc Fusion) or you can buy each palette alone. I like that they’re not forcing you to buy a package if you’re only interested in a certain item in it. 🙂

So, the Cocoa Blend was already a blogger’s favorite before the box and I was eager to try it.

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It includes some shimmers and some matte colors. It’s not exactly a nude palette imho, there are some color shadows in it. You could consider it a smoky palette, as most colors are darker than in the other two palettes.

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Swatches in the shade.

The colors are: First one is Bitter Start, a matte vanilla color, the highlighting and priming shade.

Next one is Sweeter end, a shimmery color. The color is hard to describe. It’s sort of a mauve with lots of gold shimmer. Next is Warm Notes, a shimmery ruby red. Next is Subtle Blend, a darker shimmery bronze. Last color in the top row is Beans are White, despite the name this is a matte dark espresso color.

The second row starts with another bronze, Pure Ganache. This is super shimmery and intense. Next one is Substitute for Love, a matte reddish brown. Actually it has a bit of fine shimmer on it, but you don’t see it on the lid. The next color is a darker, but still red toned chestnut brown. This one is truly matte. Next is Infusion, a dark brown with gold shimmer. Last color in the palette is Delicate Acidity, a shimmery mauvey taupe.

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Swatches in direct sunlight.

Overall this is yet another warm toned palette of good quality. The shimmers are great, the matte colors aren’t completely opaque, but workable. You can create a whole array of looks with these eyshadows, most of which are going to end up pretty smoky, though. On me the shadows did not crease and faded only a bit after eight hours.

I like this one. Out of all three palettes I am surprised to say I like Blanc Fusion the best though. The Cocoa Blend will work on a bigger range of skin tones though, since Blanc Fusion is very light. These palettes were my first eyeshadows from Zoeva and I am very pleased with their quality. I might check out some more colorful palettes or see if they have something cool toned (as all three palettes lean warm).

Depending on what sort of colors you want I can really recommend all three palettes.

Zoeva Blanc Fusion

Zoeva Blanc Fusion

Another palette in the Zoeva Plaisir box is the Blanc Fusion palette:

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As the name suggests, this one is all about light tones:

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I’m ususally dismissive of too many light colors in one palette, but this one is very well curated. The first line is all shimmery, the second is all matt colors. The matt ones are great neutrals, the shimmers add some interest. While all of the Plaisir palettes are warm toned, the Blanc Fusion offers cool tones as well. This palette is balanced very well.

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Swatches, left to right, first top row, then bottom row (click pic to see it bigger). The first two colors, Noble and Single Origin look different in the pan, but aren’t that different applied: both are sheer with golden shimmer. Noble is more white gold, while Single Origin is more yellow. Still, that’s the weakest part of the palette, because they don’t look that different on the eye. Both are incredibly pretty, though. The third shade is the pop color of the palette: Visions of Gold, despite the name more a shimmery yellow than a gold. Very eye-catching and the one shade that keeps the palette from being completeley nude.

Then comes a regular bronze shade, Late Bloomer. The next one, Sweetness Lingers, is a tad more taupey.

The second row starts with a light matte shade, Travel Inspired. This one serves well as a shade to blend out or an all over base shade. The second shade, Joy in a Box, is my most used shade so far. It’s a perfect light beige that does not lean orange at all. The next one, Conched, is a bit darker. Second to last shade is Question of Taste, which is warmer toned than the other two. Last and only dark shade (and compared to other palettes isn’t even that dark, but this is the Blanc Fusion palette for a reason) is Last Bite. Last Bite is a great color, a matte chocolate brown, that pulls the look together. Without it, the palette wouldn’t be as great as it is.

Overall, I am very fond of this palette. You can do a quick and dirty look or something big and it works. Quality of the shades is great, all are pigmented and apply well. They last very nicely, too. With a primer they don’t crease on me and stay about nine hours.

This palette is amazing for pale kiddos like me because it offers shades which aren’t too harsh but are still distinctive from each other. The yellow is a bit out there, but lovely if you want to experiment.

Zoeva Plaisir Box: Caramel Melange

Zoeva Plaisir Box: Caramel Melange

plaisir

As an early present to myself I bought the Zoeva Plaisir box. XD Back when the Chanel Le Rouge Collection came out I was all over the eyeshadow quad, with the three browns and the one red shadow. But, ah, it was so expensive. Then I found this box here, with three eyeshadow palettes in warm tones. And when there was some sort of promotion (black friday or whatever I forgot) I manged to get it for the same price I would have to shell out for the one Chanel quad (which is now sold out anyway). And the Plaisir box is so pretty, too! It’s this brown box, and the inside is golden, and look at the three palettes:

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So pretty! The three palettes are Blanc Fusion, Caramel Melange and Cocoa Blend. All three palettes can also be purchased seperatley. Buying the set is slightly cheaper.

I will review all of them, but in seperate posts. Today I’ll do the middle palette, Caramel Melange.

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It’s a thin cardboard palette and does not take up too much space on its own.

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The colors! The first six are matte, the last four are shimmery. All colors are warm toned (this is true for all three palettes). Color names are: Wax Paper (ivory), Universal Delight (beige), Aftertaste (red/strong orange), 182°C (shimmery orange), Liquid Center (bronze), Alchemy (matte light red/orange), Start Soft (reddish brown), Finish Sensual (brown), Almost Burnt (gold) and Edible Gem (dark chocolate).

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The swatch, in the same order as above. (You can click on the pics to see them big.) I marked Wax Paper with an arrow, because I swear it is there! XD You can see it’s the perfect color to blend out into my skin tone, which is what I use it for. This palette does not have a shimmery highlighter, but for most people Wax Paper can be used as a matte one.

All colors are well pigmented and apply well on the eyelid. In the swatches the mattes look drier and of course the shimmers are more buttery, but on the eye they are all good. The quality of the shadows is wonderful. They last a whole work day or a whole night out.

Colorwise the palette could have been more varied. You can see the orange colors are all very close together. Also I keep making the mistake of putting Finish Sensual in my crease, where it looks straight up orange instead of brown. Really, the only usable crease color is Edible Gem, which is also the only reasonably dark color in the palette. Three of the mattes are so close together that you can’t see the difference on the lid (Alchemy, Start Soft, Finish Sensual). I think a darker matte brown and a cooler tone would have helped out. As it is I can only ever use one of the orangeish tones and have to combine with the gold or bronze or brown and done. You can also make pretty looks from just the gold and the brown, but then you don’t need an orange palette for that!

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See what I mean? In this pic I am wearing four shadows from the palette. Does it look like four different shadows? Hell no.

Overall I like the idea of a trendy warm toned palette with orange or red and the quality is good, but from all three palettes this is the least versatile on its own.

Chanel Ombres Contraste Duo Khaki Discret

Chanel Ombres Contraste Duo Khaki Discret

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I found this pretty duo eyeshadow from Chanel, the Ombres Contraste Duo in Khaki Discret. I have to admit I never really noticed their duos before – and now they seem to be discontinuing them! You can still find them in some places, but not everywhere.

I’m a huge lover of khaki on the eyes. I think it always looks great, no matter what skin tone. It’s not too green, it’s dark enough and usually comes with pretty golden shimmer. Yet somehow all my fav khaki products seem to be discontinued – why???

Well, here’s the quick lowdown in case you guys also want to grab it before it’s gone:

chanel-khakiswatch

The swatches. There’s a darker color, a brownish greeney bronze with very subtle shimmer. The lighter color is a very light pastel green.

Both colors are very soft and smooth. While they seem soft I had no noticeable fallout. Both colors sheer out quite a bit so I had to pack it on but it worked out. While this is almost the perfect khaki duo, for me the lighter color needs to be darker or stronger. I don’t like lid colors that are too light and it’s too green to really use it as a highlighter.

Honestly if you don’t have this, you’re probably not missing much, but I do like using it. Since all my khaki eyeshadows are discontinued I can’t back them up, so I just… pick up new ones when I see them… XD

So while you don’t need this one here in particular, I totally think everyone should at least own one shadow in this murky green color. Because it looks awesome I promise.

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil Milk

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil Milk

Nyx Milk

I picked up the Jumbo Eye Pencil in 604 Milk by Nyx a while ago. It’s a creamy eyeshadow stick and the color is pure white, no shimmer. The point of course of such a shadow is not to use it on its own, it’s to have a white base for other colors to pop. Well, usually. Of course you can do other things as well but I woudn’t advise to use it like a normal shadow that would look weird.

Nyx Milk Swatch

The stick is very creamy and you can get a good amount of product on easily. It’s opaque pretty fast. The creaminess is also its downfall on my lids. They tend to be pretty oily and product that doesn’t dry down just wanders around on my skin. 😦 Even with my best primer I didn’t get it to stick on. This depends on your personal skin though, so if that’s not a common problem for you, the stick will work as intended.

Nars with Base

It does enhance colored shadows, though. Here shown with a Nars duo, once on bare skin and in the middle on top of the Nyx shadow. But blending on top of the white shadow is not so easy either. The white shadow moves around with pressure, so the best method is to pat the colored shadow on and not blend too much.

Another thing I don’t like about the shadow stick is that it is not twist-up. You have to sharpen it using a normal pencil sharpener – you sharpen the plastic outer part with it! It don’t like sharpening pencils in the first place and sharpening plastic instead of wood is even more annoying.

Apart from these negative points I can report I also used it as a liner on the waterline. That worked well, it went on nicely because it’s so creamy, yet it also stayed for hours. I was so surprised since it didn’t last well on my lids. But that seems to be a problem of my personal, eyeshadow eating eyelids, not the product itself. When I use it only as a liner, it is great, although if you wanna do a graphic look, you know, like doing a black and a white line on the upper lid it is hard to get the white line to be crisp (product too soft).

As Halloween is coming up, another use for it might be to use it for all over the face / shading when doing a skull or something similar. It is creamy enough to blend over bigger areas of the face. Although if the goal is to cover the whole face in white I would use a pot of white color and a brush instead. But with this pencil you can do the edges and the small places in your face that the brush might not reach. You can also do touch ups later, as it is small enough to take with you and you need no additional brush.  🙂

Nars Fashion Rebel

Nars Fashion Rebel

Nars Fashion Rebel

I bought this eyeshadow duo in spring and wore it a lot back then and then sort of neglected to give it a review. 😦 So here it is: Fashion Rebel by NARS.

Nars Fashion Rebel2

These are my first eyeshadows by Nars and I decided to go all out. It’s a yellow and a purple eyeshadow, both are finely milled and without shimmer.

Nars Swatch

These are the swatches. I think color payoff is pretty good. Actually, the swatch doesn’t live up to it? On my eyes I pat the colors on, no swiping and am pretty happy with the result.

Nars with Base

Have another swatch, this time on bare skin top and bottom and in the middle with a white base. The base makes a difference with the purple, but the intensity of the yellow is almost the same.

Wear time: these totally need a primer! But with a primer, they last quite well. I’d say five hours are solid, then the color does start to vanish. It always stays on close to the lashline though.

I used the white base for the pics here, but I only wore it on the eyes with the base once. In my opinion it worked well enough without and that saved me a step. Also, blending out is much easier without white base underneath.

I’d also like to add, temptalia lists the purple of this duo as a dupe for Urban Decay’s Bittersweet blush. I almost bought the blush, then I figured I might as well use this one here. The eyeshadow blends out well enough. I put the plastic (top picture) over the yellow and use a normal size blush brush to pick up the purple. Without the guard I’d need a smaller blush brush.

So this duo paid off well, because I got two eyeshadows and one blush out of it.

Chanel Stylo Eyeshadow Rose Petale

Chanel Stylo Eyeshadow Rose Petale

Chanel Rose Shadow

When Chanel produces something in stick form, chances are high I like it. XD

This year there was another Collection with stick Eyeshadows. I have purchased at least one from every Collection that had them so far, and was never disappointed. In fact, they got better every year. At first they were mostly glitter, like a stick version of the Illusion d’Ombres, but they became more and more opaque.

Chanel Rose Shadow1

This year they released lots of great colors, but the one I needed was the Stylo Eyeshadow in 177 Rose Petale. I’ve been wanting a soft pink for a long time, somehow this color is harder to come by than you’d think. Anyway this collection isn’t new, so I apologize if you can’t get them anymore. But if you find some, I can recommend all the colors.

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Swatch of Rose Petale in the shade.

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Swatch of Rose Petale in sunlight. The color is a light pink, lighter and less salmon than the one from the last collection. But there’s still a clear yellow undertone to it. The color contains soft shimmer, but no sparkle.

As ususal, the color is easy to apply, but you need to be quick with blending. It lasts extremely well on my lids, eight hours for sure (of course with such a light color often you simply don’t notice the creasing).

I remain a fan of these Stylo Eyeshadows.