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.

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.

 

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 Holiday Haul

MAC Holiday Haul

mac-haul

This year MAC has this beautiful pink purple themed Holiday Collection, Nutcrakcer Sweet. I actually only bought three items (so far) but it still ended up a picture heavy post. 😉 Even the bag is pretty!

mac-haul2

And the items themselves! I bought a full size lipstick, a blush/highlighter face combo and a lipstick set.

mac-hollip

The full sized lipsticks come half bright pink, half dark purple. It’s actually sort of ugly, but it works if you put it next to the other items. XD

mac-leap

I bought Leap of Delight (matte). All colors were pretty, but this one struck me as the most unusual, a dark purple that doesn’t lean reddish.

mac-lip-set

The mini lipstick set comes in a beautiful box. The lipsticks themselves have a pink/black design, different from the full sized ones (and prettier if you ask me). The box itself was my bane. In theory the plastic is slanted so that you should be able to get the licksticks out by pressing one end, raising the other. In reality, this was a world of nope. I had to remove the little drawer from the box (it doesn’t usually come out completely), remove the inner plastic and then pop out the lipsticks from behind. 😐 On the upside, I could put the box back together and with the plastic layer removed it fits a lot more lipsticks than just four. It can also hold full sized ones. So the box itself is a keeper.

mac-lip2

There are three lipstick mini sets: pink, nude and red. I opted for red, because it was the only set that didn’t include colors I already owned. XD All lipstick sets include permanent colors only! So if you didn’t get a set anymore that had a color you really wanted, you can still get that color anytime!

The colors in the red set are: Lady Danger (matte), Mac Red (satin), Diva (matte) and Rebel (satin). So while you’ve got a variety of colors in this this set, there’s not a lot of variety in finishes. But those two are the most trusty, long lasting finishes which is what you’d want in a set of intense colors, right?

lipswatch

Swatches of all lipsticks ltr: First Lady Danger, which is an intense orange red. It was the most matte of the bunch. On the lips it looks almost neon.

Next to it, Mac Red. It is a bit washed out by having Lady Danger next to it. But let me assure you, there’s a reason this is MAC Red. It’s the most beautiful red ever. It has a blue undertone, which is why it looks pinker when put next to Lady Danger. I always wanted Mac Red, ever since I first started looking for red lipsticks. But there was always something else to get first. XD

Next color is Diva, a beautiful dark red, great for autumn.

Last color in the mini set was Rebel, which is very pretty, but arguably not so much red as raspberry pink. It looks purple in the bullet, but really applies lighter than that. The color absolutely beautiful on the lips and not too dark (for those who don’t want to look too goth). It was the creamiest of the four.

Personally, I like that there is some variety in the set. If you went for a stricter definition of red you would narrow it down too much.

The last color in the swatch is the full size, Leap of Delight. It is a dark purple. It goes on quite dark. Nothing for the goth-phobes. The full sized products in the Holiday Collection are limited edition (they might of course come back at a later point).

All lipsticks were long lasting. They only wore off a little on the inside of the lip. Leap of Delight really surprised me there, because dark colors tend to show wear most obviously, but this one really clung to the lips! Even after lunch it barely wore off. The matte finishes lasted a bit better than the satin ones, but the satin were pretty good, too.

mac-blush

On to the last item, the blush/highlighter compact. It’s the darker of the two available sets, the Nutcracker Sweet Copper Face Compact. There was also one with a more silvery highlighter and a light pink blush. This one has a golden highlighter and a ruddy bronzey blush. The exact colors are Whisper of Gilt (highlighter) and Pleasure Model (blush). Both are in the extra dimension finish, which is very silky. At least the highlighter is a repromote, so you may own it already.

swatch-blush

Swatch. The highlighter is pretty intense and golden. Perfect for strobing, although you can apply it more subtly with a light hand The blush also contains shimmer particles, but worn alone does not appear to be super shimmery. The color is quite dark on my face (MAC NC 13) and will look more natural on darker skin tones. I do think I can wear it, although it is more of a bronzer to me. I sort of also want the lighter duo, but my wallet does not want it.  😉

That’s it, these were all the items I got. I really like the collection and the quality – at least of the items I got – is great.

the Balm Mary-Lou Manizer

the Balm Mary-Lou Manizer

balm mary lou

What is it about shiny, shimmery things that make you go “I need this”? Even if you have a dozen highlighters already? XD Anyway, I so needed this: Mary-Lou Manizer by the Balm. You’ve probably heard of it.

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This is how it looks like when open. It’s pretty huge, face powder sized. I think the pan is removable and held in place by a magnet? The powder itself is a pale light gold.

balm ml ingredients

Ingredients.

balm ml swatch

Swatch. A veil of champagne gold, not too yellow. This goes very well with light skin tone, but I’m sure it’ll work for darker tones as well (in the department of strobing at least). The powder is finely milled and can be blended out, but the shimmer is still quite dense. This isn’t exactly a super subtle highlighter, but it’s not a shining frost mirror either. Also, the amount of highlighting you can get away with in real life is amazing, because makeup muggles don’t peg highlighting as makeup, unless it’s glittery…

Uhm, anyway. Is the Mary-Lou Manizer living up to the hype? For me, totally. It applies like a dream, is pretty strong a highlight and lasts pretty much the whole day, too. Told ya I totally needed this one as well.

Zoeva Rose Golden Palette

Zoeva Rose Golden Palette

Zoeva Rose Golden

I had to fight for this palette, it was constantly sold out: Zoeva Rose Golden. People said ‘if you like their brushes, try their makeup’, so I did. 🙂

Zoeva Rose Golden back

The packaging is cardboard and copper colored. This color has been very hot in the last couple years. I blame instagram.

Zoeva RG

The colors! On the very top you get the contour powder shade, Heavy Crown. Next the highlighter, Glowing Still, and last is the blush shade Palace Door. By the way I wore this to see Huntsman: Winter’s War, which I guess was very fitting. Although I wore this every day since I got it, so that wasn’t planned. I also wore it to Marvel’s Civil War, which is sooo good, like omg.

Ahem. Let’s take a look at the swatches:

Zoeva RG swatches

Heavy Crown is non-shimmery and cool toned, like a contour shade should be (as opposed to bronzer which would be warmer). It is also very light. Don’t let the swatch fool you, this is unblended on my very pale wrist.

Glowing Still is very shimmery. The powder is white, but the shimmer is yellow golden. Blended out on the face the white goes invisible and you are left with a very intense yelow gold shimmer. I repeat, the shimmer is not white or silver! The highlight is very strong, good for a strobing look.

Palace Door is the rose golden shade of the palette. It is very shimmery, to the point where if your skin tone is dark enough, this could be used as a highlighter instead. The shade itself is more coppery, the shimmer is mostly golden. But here, the base color and the shimmer are so fine that they become one.

Overall I am a bit confused by the colors:

  • The contour is so light it will only work on the really pale gals (NC 15 or lighter), so yay a contour for the really pale ones!
  • The highlight on the other hand is so yellow! If this were a palette for the really light gals, I’d think it would be white pearl. However, this highlighter looks actually really good on me when I do a warmer look. This is for the golden Chalize Theron, not the silvery Emily Blunt (I may have watched this movie strictly for the makeup…). Also, this highlighting shade will look absolutely amazing on every skin tone! I bet the lovely Motsi Mabuse wears something like this, too.
  • And then, there’s the blush, which is not only very shimmery, but also not too dark on the face. It ends up looking almost taupey, by which I mean, more brown than rose color comes out. In fact, minus the shimmer, the color looks really natural on my skin (NC13!).
  • Sooo, sadly there is the possibility that at least one shade in this will be too light or too dark for you personally.

That was the colors. The quality of the powders is top-notch, though. They are finely milled, buttery, blend easily. For the blush, depending on how shimmery you want it, you’ll have to apply it with a light hand. And then, as I was applying it for the first time with a not so light hand and it turned out soooo shimmery on my cheeks I thought, this looks totally like an eyeshadow.

And so I got my eye brushes out and started playing. These totally work for eyshadow, all three of them. A primer is a must, but with primer they last for eight hours without creasing. With a shimmery base the blush color really goes all out. It’s a lot less sheer than the Maybelline blushed nudes for example. You’d never believe it was meant to go on cheeks. With a matte base, you dampen the shimmer content. The highlight makes a good eye highlight as well. The contour shade is too light to cut the crease with it. I use it for blending out, mostly. I also wore it all over the lid on its own for a subtle (veeeery subtle) no makeup makeup look. Gosh if only the contour was a bit stronger I would call this the most perfect palette on earth.

Overall, this is super versatile and I am so glad I got it. I’ve been wearing it everday, on cheeks or eyes or both. My suggestion is they should make a pale and dark version of this. I would buy them all.

Woman Day Haul

Woman Day Haul

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

wd haul

Kiko Dazzling Highlighter Bright Rose

Kiko Dazzling Highlighter Bright Rose

The Dazzling Highlighter by Kiko was part of their Holiday Collection. You might still find it in their sale.

Kiko Bright Rose

It’s a highlighter stick. Those sticks are very useful, because they’re so easy to apply. Just drag right across where you want it and then blend with your finger.

Kiko Bright Rose2

The color of 04 Bright Rose is honestly more of a salmon color. The shimmer is light gold and light pink.

Kiko Bright Rose3

Swatch. The color is pretty subtle. I think it’s a good color for the very pale kids. The shimmer itself is a bit sparkly, it’s not exactly on the toned down end of the shimmer spectrum. It’s more for a glittery evening makeup than an everyday highlighter. In comparison, the highlighter from the fall collection was more of a continuous shimmer, while this one is more a sparkle. Fitting for a holiday collection, although I can’t say how often I’ll reach for it in the future.

The stick is creamy and easy to apply; the sparkle lasts through the night. The bigger shimmer particles can move around on the face though.

All in all a solid product. I can’t promise that it’s still available, though, sorry. In case you get to their sale, do check out their powders as well, they are very finely milled.

Post Holiday Sale Haul

Post Holiday Sale Haul

It’s the best time of the year – sale time! 😀

sale haul1

I think I was being good. I picked up only a few items. 🙂

There’s Prada Iris, the 2015 re-release of Infusion d’Iris. Then Givenchy Blush Memoire De Forme in 2 Rose Delicat. The last three are all Kiko items: Two more moon shadows (02 Mysterious Chocolate and 04 Glistening Turquoise) and a face powder from their Holiday Collection: Moon Dust in 01 Mysterious Pink. I also bought a highlighter from that collection, but that was before the sale…

sale haul2

Proper reviews will come later, when I had time to play with them.

givenchy blush

This is the Givenchy Blush. I didn’t even know we got their liquid blush here.

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The lovely Kiko items. The “face powder” is clearly a blush, but whatever. If you have the chance to take a look at Kiko’s winter sale, it’s really worth it.

Kiko Bright Rose2

And this is a snap of the highlighter that I bought at the beginning of December but had no time to show on the blog just yet.

Did you hit the sales? Any hauls to show?

Kiko Contouring Pencils & how to Bronze and Contour

Kiko Contouring Pencils & how to Bronze and Contour

From Kiko‘s Rebel Romantic Collection I picked up this set of Contouring Pencils:

Kiko Stick Duo

I have the Light to Medium set, it is also available as Medium to Dark. Each set contains two chubby pencils, one a highlighter and the other is called a bronzer. But this is a contouring set, not a bronzing set! As you can see from the pic, the dark shade is ashy and perfect for contouring.

A little excursion on contouring and bronzing:

They are not the same and for each there should be different products used! Bronzing wants to mimic sun kissed skin. Bronzer would be applied at the top of the face, where the sun would hit you most. So that would be the cheekbones, but more on the upper part, the bridge of the nose, the top of the forehead. For bronzing, the color used can be warmer, with a bit of orange undertone (although the lighter the skin the less orange should be used). Bronzer can be matte or shimmery. It can also be lightly used all over the face and neck to warm up the face.

Contouring on the other hand mimicks shadows. You want to create an optical illusion of the face being more chiselled than it is. For this you use mostly matte colors, one lighter (the highlighter can be more shimmery) and one darker than your foundation. A contouring color must be ashy, for how often have you ever seen an orange shadow? The dark contour is placed underneath the cheekbones to make them pop. It can also be put on the sides of the nose (I’d advice to do this only very lightly, for in real life people also look at you from the side), on the temples, the jaw line and on top of the forehead (to make it look smaller). Whatever you do, it is most important to blend it well and use the right color for you skin type or it can look really off.

Alright, back to the product!

So please ignore that it says bronzer on the pencil. It’s an ashy contouring shade, on most skins it will look muddy and dirty when used as a bronzer insted. Let’s see swatches:

Kiko Stick Duo Swatch

On top of my wrist I put the highlighter, unblended, then the contour, unblended. Underneath you can see the darker color blended out. I put a line of highlighter on top and bottom, because I wasn’t sure how visible it would be on the photograph. Well I needn’t have worried about that. However, this pic was taken in a very yellow light, which makes the color more bronzy than it is. Sorry about that.

But you can see very well that it blends very nicely, which is important, because we really don’t want visible stripes down our faces. The highlighter doesn’t differ that much from my skintone (which is a tad lighter than MAC NC15), and it is only a bit shimmery, compared to my other highlighters. So at first I thought it wasn’t going to work for me. But after wearing the duo for a few weeks now I must say the whole picture works very well. Both sticks can be layered on very well, so when one layer of highlighter is not enough, I simply slap on more and since the color is so close to my skin tone I don’t have to worry much about blending.

The darker shade blends very well on foundation. I was super sceptical about this, but the result covinced me. I imagine it could be more of a problem on a very mattifying foundation with less slip, though.

I apply the dark color directly from the stick by putting some strokes and squiggles on, then I use the Zoeva 110 Petite Face Shape for blending. The highlighter I also apply directly from the stick and blend with my finger.

Since these are cream products, they have to be used before powdering the face. If I want to powder after I used these, I only powder down the center of my face.

Alright this was a long post. Here’s the lowdown: The Kiko sticks work very well for me, especially the contour pencil really convinced of the merits of contouring. I’d even go so far as calling these must haves!

Kiko Moon Shadow and Cream Radiance Highlighter

Kiko Moon Shadow and Cream Radiance Highlighter

Hello everybody!

I am finally getting around to reviewing the items from my last haul, yay. My life has been crazy the past month. I got a new job in a different state, so I had to move and everything is still chaos. Except I put all the chaos in boxes, so it’s mostly boxes with hidden chaos, only some boxes are actually really neat. So it’s Schrödinger’s boxes, you never know if you get a neat one or a chaotic one until you open it! Uhm. Also, my new place isn’t ready for moving in yet, so I’m crashing at my mum’s. With my boxes. 😀

Kiko Moon Shadow

I mentioned in my haul post that Kiko has these absolutely lovely collections out atm. The two items here are both from the limited Midnight Siren Collection, which is mostly dark colors and highlighters. This eyeshadow stick up there is the Moon Shadow stick in 01 Glamour Gold. It looks completely white in the pic, but that’s because of the light. It’s really white gold with multi-colored shimmer. And if you looked at the pic and thought “that’s Chanel” yeah… it’s Kiko. But it does look absolutely identical to the Chanel eyeshadow stick packaging. It also feels the same (the cooling effect) and basically, apart from the colors (there are no Chanel dupes among the colors) they are identical. Same amazing quality, just much cheaper. LOVE!

Kiko Cream Radiance Highlighter

And this baby here is the Cream Radiance Highlighter in 01 Twilight Gold. The color in this pic also pulls a little too white, the highlighter is a cold golden color. The packaging is a pretty little sphere with a mirror on the inside. I thought the product was a cream, but it really feels like a mousse.

Kiko Highlighter

Swatches in the shade. On top is the highlighter, and underneath the eye shadow. They are pretty close, but the highlighter is alittle more yellow and the eyeshadow has more sparkle. This makes sense since you wouldn’t want that much sparkle on your cheeks, but it’s okay on the eyelids.

Kiko Midnight

Same swatches in direct sunlight. Soooo pretty. Here you can also see that the highlighter gets sheer on the corners, so you can easily blend it out while the eyeshadow has more pigment to it.

I love both of these, they are so glamorous. Application is easy. I apply the highlighter with my finger, the shadow directly from the stick (cooling effect yay) and then blend it with my finger. It sets quickly and stays well. To ground the pale shimmer I pair it with a matte taupe in the crease, a little bit of liner and the look is done! Might wear this for the holidays.

I can recommend both products. And if white gold isn’t your color, they offer darker ones, too. 🙂

Kiko Essential Bronzer & Beam of Light

Kiko Essential Bronzer & Beam of Light

July is the time of summer sales and I have fallen victim to a few 50% off deals. At Kiko I bought a bronzer from the Modern Tribes Collection and a highlighter from the On The Go Collection.

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The Essential Bronzer is huge (20 g) and comes in an equally huge packaging made from wood. The two pieces are held together by small magnets. This is a bronzer for using at home, certainly not for travels.

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The bronzer itself looks a bit like Pluto, doesn’t it? My color is 200 Warm Melange, the lighter of the two colors in this Collection. The bronzer is very soft; a light hand is needed when picking up the powder.

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The highlighter Beam of Light in the color 01 (again, the lighter of the two available) is much smaller (1,5 g); it comes from a Collection of minis.

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Both products are baked. The highlighter is not quite as soft as the bronzer, but it still gives plenty of powder at a light touch.

Kiko Swatches

Swatches.

The bronzer isn’t too orange for me, although I need to apply it gently to get it even. But a light application of this gives me the most beautiful glow. I find it easier to apply than my Body Shop bronzer, which is more tightly packed and needs a firmer hand. The Kiko bronzer includes a slight shimmer, but I don’t really see it on the skin.

The highlighter is a shimmery champagne color. It is similar to my MAC Lightscapade, but that one is whiter and the shimmer finer and more multi-colored. Beam of Light looks best applied with my new favorite method: using a tight blush brush to apply on top of the cheek bones and temples.

I can recommend both of these. They are LE from different collections. While the minis collection is new and should therefore still be available, I can’t promise the same for the bronzer which comes from a collection that has been out for a few months by now. Should you find it on a sale, do take a look!

Did you pick up anything at the latest sales?

New Trend: Strobing

New Trend: Strobing

(note: I’m taking a few days off; it’s too hot to blog. love you guys)

The trend

You probably saw it already: the new trend is called ‘strobing’. Unsurprisingly, it basically means ‘a whole lot of highlighting’. I think it’s the perfect trend for summer, for a lady doesn’t sweat, she glows! 😉

Nikkie has a great tutorial for it. I love her; she’s so funny.

Basically, you’ve got two options to go about it: either you start with a mostly matte base, powder down and then use powder highlighter, or you go for the full glow with a luminous base and cream or liquid highlighters.

the products

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Here are some base products that I use for a subtle glow:

Dior BB Creme, not overly shiny, but certainly not matte and a perfect base for me. Attention fellow Austrians: the lightest color 01 is being phased out! I stocked up on it. 😦 The other colors are staying.

Then I’ve got my usual concealer: Clinique airbrush. This is an undereye concealer with a bit of highlighting properties. Undereyes only, we don’t want our spots highlighted! For blemishes I used my normal, non highlighting concealer (not pictured).

In the middle of the pic I put what should have chronologically come first: two primers. Both are only subtle illuminating primers, not full on glow. First there’s the MAC CC Cream in Illuminate. Illuminate is a light purple color and the only MAC CC cream light enough for me. It is less shimmery than my previous primer from MAC (Fortified Skin Enhancer), but it has a bit of shimmer. Second primer is Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. This is what I use if I want a perfect finish. Somehow Beauty Flash Balm makes all layers go together in perfection. It has a bit of peachy shimmer, but also not too visible. If you want more shimmer in the primer, there are many options out there, from Clarins to pretty much every brand. Personally I think a primer is necessary for a look with a strong highlight, because the primer makes the skin more even. I never had a problem with highlighters enhancing my pores if I wore a good primer.

And last I packed a body glow product onto the pic: Soap & Glory Glow Lotion. I think if we’re going overboard with the face glow we might as well have a matching body. Any shimmery body product will do.

Strobing

And now on to the actual highlighters:

For a more champagney glow I’ve got Benefit Watt’s up, an easy to use cream highlighter. For a pink highlight, the liquid high beam, also by Benefit. For a light golden glow I have my alverde Schimmerfluid Meeresglanz. This was sadly a limited item, but there are many good options at the drugstore these days.

And for powder highlighter I’ve got the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Lightscapade. Not pictured, but Kiko has released some great new powder highlighters: beam of light (review upcoming).

And if you don’t have a powder highlighter, there’s no need to rush out and buy one (unless you want to) because in reality a light shimmery eyeshadow will the do the trick just as well. Here I’ve got my Extra Dimension Shadow in A Natural Flirt, simply because it was on top of the makeup drawer. You only need to make sure it is not too shimmery and blends well. 🙂

the application

With liquid highlighters (and the creamy stick of Watt’s up) I still use my fingers for application; I simply use more than I would use for a subtle look. The biggest change for me was in appliction of powder products: I used apply them with a fan brush, but it never quite looked like I wanted. Not enough, not well blended etc. For strobing I started to use a blush brush instead and finally it looks the way I want it to look! I’ll stick with the blush brush. (actually I’m using the Bobbi Brown Face Blender. That thing blends everything like a charm.) For smaller parts (inner corner, top of lip etc) I’ll use either fingers or a small eye blending brush.

So that’s it, have fun with your highlight and ditch the contour. 😀 Let’s all be faeries, wheee!

Most used Makeup April & May 2015

Most used Makeup April & May 2015

Fav May

Took a while, but here are the makeup items I used the most in the two previous months. They’re not exactly my favorites, since sometimes you love an item very, very much and then it turns out you barely used it. And sometimes you don’t even notice a thing, but reach for it again and again.

Fav May2

So these are the makeup items I used more than any others:

1. Guerlain Crazy Terracotta: as an orange toned blush/bronzer. It looks innocent here, but it really ends up being mostly coral, not bronzy. I don’t understand how it still looks new after I had and used t for many months. Guerlain magic.

2. Lip liners MAC Fruit Cocktail and Rosy Rim: Rosy Rim goes with almost everything, so it saw a lot of use. Fruit Cocktail is for orange and coral lips.

3. Lipstick MAC Morange: used on its own or with Fruit Cocktail. Honestly, when I bought it I thought I wasn’t going to use it much. Then I had a massive orange phase. XD

4. Eyeliner: Chanel Orchidee. So summery. So lovely.

5. Mascara: Chanel Le Volume Khaki Bronze: My mascara staple. Perfect for subtle definition of my naturally blonde lashes. Sadly, it’s on its last legs and was limited edition. 😦 You’ll see it in a used up post soon.

6. Maybelline the Nudes: I succumbed and bought a nude palette. Review upcoming. Reason it landed in my “most used” is that I had to try all the shades before reviewing it. But (like any nude palette) it is also very useful for a quick and subtle eye look, so I wore it to work pretty much every day.

7. alverde Schimmerfluid Meeresglanz: a highlighter from a past alverde summer collection. Gives a lovely subtle golden shimmer, not sparkly at all. Pity it isn’t permanent.

Lush and MAC Haul + Highlight Powder Freshen Up

Lush and MAC Haul + Highlight Powder Freshen Up

I’m not a bath bomb sort of person, so I have never been to Lush before.

Haul Lush MAC

But as I passed the store I figured I could take a sniff. I bought the two items that smelled best to me, Lemony Flutter hand and cuticle balm, and Bubblegum lip scrub. I also got a sample of Helping Hands, which was genius; you know how much hand cream I use. Two days later I’m already a big fan of Lemony Flutter. It’s so rich and smells so nice. Although this is the sort of smell not everybody likes. Bubblegum smells good and tastes good. I’m not sure how useful a sugar scrub really is; maybe it does more damage than good?

Afterwards I slipped and fell into the MAC store again. xc

MAC Haul

I picked up an eyebrow pencil (Lingering, permanent), a lipstick (Morange, also permanent but here with special design) and a Casual Color (Secret Admirer, part of the past Red Red Red LE). I’ll put up swatches of these later, for now I’d like to show you a cheek swatch of the Highlight Powder, Freshen Up. I didn’t buy it, but the MACisto insisted I let him put it on me.

Highlight Powder Freshen Up

I didn’t get to make pictures until I was home, so this is hours later. Freshen Up is called a highlighter, but it’s really a blush. It goes on mostly orange with golden undertone. There’s not a whole lot of shimmer in it, which is something I’d have expected from a highlight powder. The bronzers in this collection are a lot more shimmery. Freshen Up consists of three colors, a light gold, orange and corally red, but since orange is the biggest part, usually you’ll end up with orange.

I think it looks like a slightly more golden version of my Crazy Terracotta Bronzer, so I don’t feel the need to have both. If you’re wanting for something orange, check this one out. But you need to be quick; it’s LE and selling fast!

Winter Favorites

Winter Favorites

Better late than never, here’s what I love to wear in winter:

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On top of the picture, that’s not a cat, it’s a cap knit by my mom; I got it for x-mas. Because chilly air is no good, so I almost always wear a knit hat. 🙂

On the far right I put a tube of hand cream. Regular reads will know I am a hand cream fiend and in winter I need more protection than usual. Next to it, my new Clarins lip oil. Any lip balm might have worked for this compilation, but it’s new and really good so it made the cut.

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On to the makeup: these are what I wore most often when it was chilly and snowy. Underneath the lip oil, The YSL Palette City Drive Arty. The colors are pretty chilly if you ask me. I don’t use it often, but lately I was in the mood for chilly. The tube next to it is another YSL, the Dare to Glow Liquid Highlighter in Naughty Pink. It’s such a pity these were limited edition, it’s the best liquid highlighter I know.

On top there is the MAC powder blush in Easy Manner, sadly another LE item. It was part of a past Holiday Collection. I loved it in the store, took it home and at home… I could barely see it. I was disappointed and chucked it in the back of the makeup drawer. Much later I pulled it out again and it was magic! It gives a wonderful peachy pink flush, pinker than you’d expect from the pan. This story shows how important it is to have a good blush brush. In this case, one that isn’t too loose. Anyway, I think this is a perfect winter blush.

Next is Guerlain Terracotta Blush Sun Shimmer Highlighter in Sunny Pink. It’s a coral blush with lots of golden shimmer. I’m pretty sure Guerlain released this in the summer, but the time I need this most is winter. This is my patented recipe for gloomy days when the sun refuses to even rise and you’re stuck in cold and dark. Putting this on, instant light!

Next to it is a lip gloss by Isadora, the Express Star Gloss in Reflecting Peach. I’m not much of a gloss wearer, but in winter when it’s freezing and snowy I suddenly feel the need for sparkles, that’s when I reach for this one (or the one from Rouge Bunny Rouge, which goes very well with the Terracotta Blush).

Last item here is Max Factor Excess Shimmer in Crystal. I use it as base underneath the YSL palette, or on its own for a snow queen look.

Basically, in winter I am a fan of two things: lots and lots of shimmer and sparkles, and pastels. That’s why I am glad that Spring Collections come out in January. By the time real spring rolls around, I’m already in the mood for stronger colors. I guess what I showed you up there is the shimmer edition. Please note I’m not wearing all of this at the same time, that’d look a little weird. I was mostly reaching for these when there was snow on the ground. Except for the MAC blush – I wear it whenever, all through the season.

This time I added no nail polish since I’d already shown you my color picks in a previous post. As for perfume, I forgot to add one. Something cozy like Eau de Shalimar maybe, although I also wore ‘cold’ perfumes a lot, like Eau de Gaga or Chanel N°5 Eau Premiere.

What are your picks for chilly weather? Dark and moody, or shimmery and light?

MAC Viva Glam Miley Cyrus & Mineralize Skinfinish Lightscapade

MAC Viva Glam Miley Cyrus & Mineralize Skinfinish Lightscapade

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I accidentally some MAC.  -_-”

My newest acquisitions are the Mineralize Skinfinish in Lightscapade and the new Viva Glam lippie.

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Miley Cyrus is the new ambassador for Viva Glam. This was the first Viva Glam I ever wanted, the colors never quite grabbed me before. But hot pink? Yes, please. The packaging and the very cute signature are just a plus. Sure, Miley isn’t exactly known as a style icon, but I think she fits in with MAC very well (and also, the more people shame her the more I want to support her; policing women’s bodies still not cool 2k15!). Anyway, it’s a very awesome and also pretty unique pink. I don’t have anything like it, hence no comparison swatches this time. (Swatch at end of post.)

Viva Glam Miley Cyrus was released this month and will be available for about half a year.

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I’ve wanted the Mineralize Skinfinish in Lightscapade for a while; now I finally grabbed it. It was originally LE, then became permanent. At the beginning of the year it was part of another LE and came with a sort of knit pattern. I didn’t like that so I made sure to buy the regular one. The different colors were quite hard to catch on camera, they are a bit more distinctive in real life. Not that it matters, since it applies white anyway.

Swatches:

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Top: the soft shimmer of Lightscapade which goes very well with my skintone. It’s almost invisible, just a bit of sheen, which is exactly what I wanted. You may have to tilt the screen to see it, sorry. I love how it doesn’t have any bigger sparkle parts, it’s only a finely milled powder.

Miley Cyrus is a hot neon pink. All my other pinks are either lighter or bluer. The finish is amplified creme. Since it’s not matte, it’s not super long wearing, but it wears down to a stain evenly. I find it a bit drying (like most MAC lipsticks, not more so).

The color wakes up the face. I find that I don’t need much more makeup when wearing Miley, which is pretty useful for Monday mornings. 😉