Rituals Miracle Glow Cream Highlighter

Rituals Miracle Glow Cream Highlighter

This is the Miracle Glow Cream Highlighter by Rituals. It’s one of those glibbery bouncy gel highlighter thingies. You know, those that behave like jello? It’s so satisfying to touch. It pleases my inner three year old.

Le swatch. I’d call the color rose platine. It has rosy shimmer, but certainly no gold to it, so rose gold would be wrong, but platine alone doesn’t describe the color either. The shimmer is very fine, no glitter to see. Depending on the angle you can see either the shimmer or you can see some of the base color, which is off-white. Therefore this highlighter will not work for everyone unless you are a blending goddess. Because you may be able to blend it out and diffuse the base color – but I am not. It sets pretty quickly and then does not move anymore.

You should also put on enough the first go around – if you try to pat on more it starts lifting. It is really best to just put it on fearlessly and then never touch anymore. 😐 Also not recommended for dry skin – this stuff creates more texture.

I would not recommend this to makeup beginners. Everyone else can play at their own risk.

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Catrice the Dewy Routine: the dewy drops Rose & Holographic

Catrice the Dewy Routine: the dewy drops Rose & Holographic

In which Catrice keeps misusing the word ‘holographic’, part 28378:

Catrice has a new LE out, called the Dewy Routine. It consists of only highlighters, sorted into three colors and categories: there’s a liquid highlighter, a cream stick and a powder for each color: rose, bronze and blue (called Holographic, because apparently blue is uncool). This LE is selling like lightning, especially the pink items. Luckily the distribution wasn’t even – while some drugstores were already sold out, others hadn’t even gotten their goods yet. It pays off to check smaller, less frequented places here.

I picked up two liquid highlighters, C01 Rose and C03 Holographic. C02 Bronze was wayyyyy to dark for me but may be amazing on dark skin. I decided to skip the cream sticks as I barely ever use stick highlighters. I could only barely stop myself from picking up the powders, but I didn’t for now.

Swatches, first Rose, then Holographic (which is clearly plain blue).

Rose is pink, but a very light and silvery kind of pink. The rose gold packaging and the promo pic promise something warmer, but looking at the liquid in the bottle and applied, this is clearly rose platinum rather than rose gold. Don’t go for Rose expecting something warm.

The blue one is, as expected, properly blue. Both don’t seem to have a base color when spread out, but you know my skin tone could swallow a white base so I can’t promise anything here. I didn’t see any whiteness when wearing these on my face (other than the very pale shimmer).

Both apply great. I put a drop on my hand and then apply with my finger, blending with a clean finger. One drop is more than enough to highlight the cheeks, temples, nose, upper lip and forehead. I don’t feel they need anything else on top. I mean you could layer with the other items in the collection, but they really don’t need anything to help with the glow. Lasting power was great as well, they stayed on all day, even in humid weather.

Both have a fine shimmer, with some small glitter particles. They do emphasize pores.

The blue one gives such a wonderful eerie glow, I love it. The rose one I must admit I expected it to be more … wholesome, more pink. Then I put it on and it made me look even more eerie-faerie like than the blue one. Because I expected it from the blue, but the pink is so light in color and the shimmer so intense it gives off quite a ghostly vibe. So I love both equally and would recommend both for the goth fae crowd. If the goal is more healthy look, you should rather go for something more warm in tone. In fact Catrice has similar drop bottles in their regular lineup – they sell them as primer, but they are just as shimmery, just more normal colors (light correcting serum primer in candlelight and sunlight).

 

My routine for maximum otherwordly glow:

  1. Rose: after cleansing face, start with MAC Fix+ in Pinklite, followed by MAC CC Cream in Illuminate (this is lavender colored), foundation + concealer as usual, then dewy drops in Rose. Finish regular makeup and put on another layer of Fix+ Pinklite.
  2. Blue: After cleansing, Essence fresh&fit awake primer, foundation + concealer as usual, colorless eye primer, dewy drops in Holographic on face and eyelids. Finish eyes with Catrice prismatic palette.

If this is all too one note in color I suggest adding in a touch of green highlighter such as Sleek Distorted Dreams or Zoeva Spring Strobe Spectrum (both of these palettes also have a blue one if you wish to intensify the blue instead for maximum ice queen look).

MAC Pearlmatte Face Powder Mother O’Pearl

MAC Pearlmatte Face Powder Mother O’Pearl

So, MAC‘s summer collection is out and despite many complaints that it just isn’t as pretty as last year’s it’s still been selling like hot cakes.

This is the Pearlmatte Face Powder in Mother O’Pearl and that Mickey Mouse face gave me half a heart attack until I realized that was the shirt I wore during photographing. So, the powder comes without creepy faces, I promise. This is the only piece I intended to buy (so far) and as of today it’s still available in some places and already sold out in others.

Swatches, first each color alone and then swirled together. Overall it’s on the sheer end which is normal for a Pearlmatte Powder. The purple is quite, well, purple (I wasn’t sure if the two purples were different so I swatched both), the pink is swatched in between the purple and the bronze, even if you can’t see it and the yellow stripe is swatched underneath the last purple (before the mix swatch). So pink and yellow don’t really give off color, only sheen.

The mix gives a nice blush color. You can get it more pink or more bronze depending on where you swirl your brush. The color is somewhat buildable but never opaque. All colors have a satiny sheen but it’s the least noticeable on the purple. It’s basically blush, bronzer and highlighter in one which is quite useful for summer.

Comparison to last year’s Oh my Passion:

The colors were quite similar so I expected them to be dupes. The yellow and the bronze part are identical, they look only different due to the different embossing. Then Oh my Passion has a light purple and strong yellow toned pink, while Mother O’Pearl has the very light pink and the deep purple.

Swatches, first Mother O’Pearl, then Oh my Passion. Turns out the strong purple makes quite a difference. Mother is more like a blush, while Passion ends up much lighter and bronzier. So if you wished for a version that was darker and pinker than last year’s there you have it.

This years powder comes in a slimmer case, yet at the same time it is heavier. It’s the same amount of product though (8g/0.28oz).

So, I like this powder. The rest of the collection didn’t really wow me although it wasn’t like, bad or anything. I might have gone for the pink lipstick but it was sold out quickly. I also tried the new liquid lipstick line, I think they’re called Oh, Sweetie? They are very scented. Very. They actually feel quite good on the lips and look pretty. Lasting power of a regular lip gloss though and the shimmer migrates into lip lines. Pass.

Catrice Lala Berlin Prismatic Palette

Catrice Lala Berlin Prismatic Palette

When I did my last haul one of the things I got was the three pan palette on the left here. It’s from a Catrice collection, so LE. It’s the Lala Berlin Collection, which had mostly iridescent stuff. This palette is called Prismatic Palette in C01 Prismatic Persian. It claims to be an eyeshadow palette but the size of the pans and the colors made me think of a highlighting palette. The two outer pans have an off white base color with blue shimmer and pink shimmer, the middle one has a gunmetal base color with silvery shimmer.

Swatches. Same order as in the pic above, first the blue one, then the grey one, last the pink one. The base colors on the blue and pink don’t really show up, the grey one does have a base color. So based on the first swatches I decided to use all of them as an eye color and the blue and pink as highlighters as well. The grey had too much base for me to dare put it on my cheeks.

So, when buffed out with a highlighter brush the white base color of blue and pink didn’t show up and the shimmer turned out to be quite intense. They lasted all day long, too. Thumbs up, those two are good highlighters.

For eyeshadow I used a dense brush and patted it on instead of buffing like the highlighter. To not end up looking like I was from the early 00s I paired it with MAC eyeshadow in Soba. The grey one looks pretty much like in the above swatch, but pulls a little purple? It was a surprisingly good look. For the other two I had to pack on quite a bit. That way the base color did show up and it looked a bit dusty. Tbh I prefer them as highlighters, even though it was possible to get an eye look out of them. I do have to say that I’ve tried putting most of my colored highlighters on my lids and the Lala Berlin ones lasted better than them. All shadows lasted all day on me without fallout or creasing when worn over primer. Real highlighters often only make it up to two hours.

Overall, a cute palette to experiment with, but not a must have. If this is already sold out and you really wanted that pink and blue highlighter I’d recommend Zoeva Spring Strobe palette as possible dupes.

Shopping the stash: Estee Lauder Pure Color All-Over Illuminator

Shopping the stash: Estee Lauder Pure Color All-Over Illuminator

Unrelated to this post, but I have just pulled the trigger on my first ever vault buy (you know, every color of a certain item in a box). Pterodactyl screech. But for today I decided to do some stash shopping, because believe it or not, I actually own things I haven’t even shown on this blog.

I am fairly sure this stick was part of a past Bronze Goddess Collection: Estee Lauder Pure Color All-over Illuminator. I don’t know how long ago that was though. This is a highlighting stick, which as the name implies you can use all over the face or body as desired.

Unblended swatch. It has a bronzed coral color with gold shimmer. The finish is glossy and it does not dry down. Obviously, while on other complexions this is a highlighter, on me it’s a blush.

Blended swatch. This gives a lovely hint of subtle color with shine.

I apply it directly from the stick and blend with fingers. This works best on a light base. The more coverage you got, the more likely the cream is going to lift your foundation. Also works perfectly on makeup-free skin. I prefer this for no makeup makeup looks in summer, when I’m going to sweat and get shiny anyway. With this stick I can at least pretend the shine is intentional. While the color fades a little throughout the day the shine and shimmer stay all day.

It can also be applied to lips and eyelids for a bit of shimmer (you’re not going to get opaque color) but as the product never sets, it’s going to end up in creases sooner or later. It does give a lovely freshness, though. For comparison: this on my lips is more visible than Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Beige Dore. And this stick isn’t actually meant to be a lipstick.

This is perfect for adding lightly glossy finishes without having to use the goopy stuff.

Like most Bronze Goddess items this was LE and is not available anymore, but they might bring it back one day? I’m glad I snagged it up, even though it’s really not compatible with heavy bases and powdered faces. I only ever use it in the summer (or sometimes in the winter when I’m longing for summer), so despite having it for years there is still a lot of product left.

Sleek Solstice Highlighting Palette

Sleek Solstice Highlighting Palette

Please excuse my currently very errant posting schedule. My non internet life is being stressful and my posting is always patchy during the summer months, so I cannot promise you regular posts right now but this blog has not been abandoned.

Since I am in love with my other highlighting palette from Sleek, Distorted Dreams, obviously I got myself another one instead of using the one I already have because makeup collectors/bloggers are weird like that.

Sleek offers three permanent highlighting palettes. This is the lightest one, called Solstice 032. (I turned the palette around for my photograph so the pink and the taupe are the actual top shades.) While the (LE?) Distortion palette offered five shades in two finishes (cream and powder), this one has four shades in three finishes – cream, powder and two baked powders.

The colors are taupe (cream), vanilla yellow (powder), cool pink (baked) and orange (baked). The cream shade looks dark in the pan, but the color blends out on skin. Swatches:

These are unblended and you can see already that the cream (first swatch) is not dark. The swatches go in the same order as I mentioned before: taupe cream, vanilla powder, pink baked powder and orange baked powder. All of these have silvery white shimmer. You can see that the texture of the baked powders is not as smooth as the other two.

While you can tell the colors apart in the swatch, when applied on cheeks and blended they all look the same. You get intense platinum shimmer, end of story. If that’s what you want, this is a great highlighter for little money. For me I expected some more variety, so I’m a bit disappointed. I mean the quality is great, all of these last a whole day and the shimmer is very visible. It’s just that at the end of the day I could never tell which color I had applied, so the four colors are pretty pointless imho.

My favorite is the yellow powder, because it’s actually lighter than my skin tone and so makes the most difference, also it is the smoothest powder.

Another slight annoyance is that the compact includes a brush. This is completely pointless but takes up a lot of space and the brush is not of good quality. My favorite ways of applying these are as follows: for a more subtle finish I use fingers for the cream and my Zoeva highlighter brush for the powders. For a stronger finish you can either layer cream with powder or apply the cream with a beauty blender.

NYX Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder in Synthetica

NYX Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder in Synthetica

Well, let’s make it a cheek week. After monday’s blush review I have a highlighter for you today: NYX Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder in the color Synthetica DCIP05. Long story short, it’s a highlighter with intense shimmer. There are several colors in this line, including a great blue/purple highlighter, but I opted for one color that was more unique to my stash (I may be one of the few people who have too many blue higlighters).

Swatch of Sythetica. It has the orange base color you see in the compact, and a beautiful and intense golden shimmer you only see when it’s applied. This is obviously meant to be a highlighter on skintones darker than mine. I use it as a blush instead as the color shows up just well enough for me. It only works if I’m going for a very strobed look, though, because guys this is some serious shimmer. When you buff it in it only gets stronger.

The color starts to fade a little around six hours of wear time, but it never disappears completely.

I’m a bit sad I didn’t notice those NYX highlighters before I already had such a big collection, because I don’t want to buy similar colors yet the NYX have such a good quality. And they don’t cost the world either. My only complaint is that they are not really duochrome. The shimmer is a single color and does not really shift. It’s just that the base color and the shimmer color are different, giving the product an iredescent feel. But I expect something more from a duochrome.

Woman Day Haul Spring 2018

Woman Day Haul Spring 2018

It is April, which here in Austria means Woman Day craziness. Woman Day is a twice yearly shopping extravaganza, where most stores will give you discount. It even extends to stuff like phone contracts by now. (Some stores also call it Gentleman Day or both.) I only did a little shopping:

So the majority of that is samples. I got two samples of Kenzo World (I call it Augenkenzo – the Eye Kenzo) and one of Kenzo Flower Eau de Lumiere. Then a few Lancome samples: two Genifique, one Visionnaire and one Energie de Vie.

The purchased items: The brush is a MAC 239S. MAC has replaced all of their natural bristles with synthetic, which is what the S at the end means. So you can easily tell apart old and new brushes by wether there’s an ‘S’ or not.

At the bottom of the pic there is a Catrice eyeshadow palette from the Lala Berlin Collection. It’s called Prismatic Palette C01 Prismatic Persian.

At the top I’ve got one of the new MAC Mineralize Items: Mineralize Skinfinish in Warm Aura.

The rest is Maybelline: Colorsensational matte metallic in 50 Gunmetal and Colorsensational metallic foil in 85 Zen and 105 Scorpion. Those two are my favorite Maybelline finishes, especially the metallic liquid lipsticks are out of this world. Now I own most of the colors, except for one I think, that was imo too close to another color.

Here are the color items: The Lala Berlin palette claims to be an eyeshadow palette but the pans are big enough for a highlighter brush. The colors are light bases with iredescent shimmer – the didn’t use the word ‘holo’ but tbh ‘prism’ means basically the same thing, doesn’t it?

MAC Warm Aura is a pink highlighter with four quadrants, from light to dark.

Metallic Foil Zen is a light bronze, Scorpion is red. The metallic matte Gunmetal may look black in the tube, but it’s really grey. I can’t wait to wear all these.

I just realized I forogt to put it in the picture but I also stocked up on my favorite foundation, the essence camouflage.

That was my haul and considering every store threw their ads at me I think I was being pretty good.

Reviews of the items will come later when I had time to test them. If there’s one you want sooner rather than later, please tell me, as my backlog is quite big.

MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish Soft Frost

MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish Soft Frost

It’s snowing! Time for more ethereal glow!

This is the MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish in the color Soft Frost. I’ve wanted this since it came out, but many others wanted it too and so it was very often sold out. Luckily, this is a permanent item and keeps getting restocked so I finally have mine. In the pan it looks plain white, only when you tilt it just right you can see the purple shimmer.

Swatch! It’s purple alright. There’s not much of a color shift to it, it changes a little from more pink purple to more blue purple, but that’s only when you look very closely. So, there’s no duochrome quality to it. The base color does not apply as far as I can tell. On me it looks completely invisible unless the light hits in which case it looks like in this swatch. You can buff it out some to make it more subtle as well. So this should be wearable for all skintones despite looking stark white in the pan, but I only tested it on my skin of course.

The shimmer is very fine. I can see no sparkles in it. This is one of the finest highlighters I own.

On my cheeks it lasts about nine hours. Qualitywise one of the best highlighters I own and despite the fact that it’s purple it’s surprisingly wearable. The price is a bit steep though, imo. I do want to mention that Nyx has a very similar highlighter for a lot less money, the color pulls a bit more blue though.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Pearl

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Pearl

Hello, everybody. I hope you arrived well in the new year. Over here, it is being cold and snowy right now, as it should be. Matching the weather my makeup style is very glowy, very pale in color. I’m never into pastels in spring, but in january they’re my favs. Same with highlighters, I’m putting the golds back on the shelf, now it’s all white and silver. So today I’ll be reviewing my first highlighter from Becca. It’s not actually my first Becca product, that was a summery liquid blush, but my first of their famous highlighters.

The packaging has a metal top, but the rest of it is rubbery. As you can imagine, it looks new for exactly three seconds. The powder itself, this is the Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in the color Pearl, is white with white/platinum shimmer. I think Becca offers the same colors in different formulas, like liquid etc.

Swatch. It looks pretty close to the pan, doesn’t it? Some highlighters have a base color and a shimmer color, and often the base color doesn’t apply, so you’re left with only the shimmer. (If you don’t know what I mean, an example of that would be the Zoeva Spring Palette which looks off white in the pan but applies only in colored shimmer.) This one, on the other hand, applies definitely with base color, so you’re going to have a white patch or stripe on your face. This is what makes the highlighter so intense and noticeable (like, seriously, guys, this is a youtube/instagram style highlighter, no subtlety to be had) but also not suited for everybody. Luckily, Becca has many shades, including darker ones. My advice would be to get a shade that goes with your skin – unless you are a blending god/goddess who can make this work on dark skin, I mean I’m not going to tell you what do.

Here you can see Pearl applied on my temple. It really is blinding and white (for reference, my skin tone in MAC is NC 15). Also, I’m sorry but I think I’m not actually wearing any makeup here other than the highlighter… I was just so eager to put it on. When I wear primer and foundation the pores look less noticable. But this is the sort of color that would show imperfections.

The wear time on this is amazing. I’m talking fourteen hours and still looking good. The product is finely milled and applies easily, if a bit strong (on purpose). The price is not exactly cheap, though. Becca has so many highlighters out, very pretty shades, but I’m not sure if I’m going to get more…

Also, right now I’m testing a palette by BH Cosmetics, the Carli Bybel Deluxe palette, which includes a white highlighter that looks veeery similar to this. It’s not as fine, though, looks a bit more glittery. However, if that’s good enough for you I thought I’d mention it, since the whole palette is cheaper than a single from Becca.

MAC Fashion Fanatic

MAC Fashion Fanatic

This is the Fashion Fanatic palette by MAC. It’s part of the Girls palettes, which I think are LE, but available for six months? Anyway these are still available, but I don’t know for how much longer, sorry.

Back of the palette.

The color names were put on the plastic insert. I don’t know why they didn’t just print them on the palette, there’s enough space in the whimsical design. I hate those plastic sheets and usually throw them away.

The palette is actually heavy plastic, it’s not a cardboard palette, although the outer part could be cardboard, I’m not sure.

It contains eight eyeshadows of varying size and one highlighter. I picked up the Fashion Fanatic palette because of the pinks and purples. The other palettes gave me nothing I didn’t own already.

Swatches. The colors are: Totally Fierce (peach), Outfitted (taupe shimmer), On the Hip Side (taupe), Style & Influence (lilac), Shop Shop Shop (mauve), Mad Mod (mauve shimmer), Fahsion Fanatic (strong pink) and Wild Card (deep plum). The last swatch is the highlighter Must Have It.

Let’s start with the highlighter: Must Have It is a warm toned orange sort of terracotta color. It has a base color and a fine shimmer of the same color. I notice no color shift in it, what you see is what you get, although it applies sheerer than it looks like in the pan, otherwise it would be a blush. I can just about still wear it with my skin tone, but it warms me up noticeably. The shimmer is on the more subtle front. It’s an everyday sort of highlighter, not a youtube sort of highlighter. Actually the whole palette strikes me as being more for normal people. It’s colorful, but you mostly get very wearable looks.

On to the eyeshadows: with the exception of the mauve, the pink and the plum, the colors are pretty much pastel. They are on the light side and not super opaque but the colors show up on my lid. They need some patting on, but not too much. Also I noticed no fallout and they all blend well.

The worst shades by far are the two shimmery ones, or should I say glittery. They have no discernible base color once they’re on the lid, you can barely tell them apart. You totally don’t need both. I am usually okay with one badly pigmented glitter shade in a palette, but two? And one of them is in a big pan, too. Meanwhile the best colors in the palette (pink, mauve and plum) are in small pans.

My most used shade is Shop Shop Shop (mauve) by far. I’ve used it in every look I did with the palette – it’s really good but also the only transition shade in there. My second most used shade is Wild Card (plum).

I did all my testing on primer, as usual, and everything lasted the whole day (like ten, eleven hours). I was very pleased. This is without the glittery/shimmery shades, which did fade and wander about a bit, but were still mostly where I put them at the end of the day.

So for me this one was worth it because I love six of the eight shades and the colors work really well on my complexion. I can’t promise they’ll show up as nicely on darker skin, though. The highlighter could be a bit lighter for me, though. Maybe I’ll just use it as a blush in winter.

Sleek Matte Me Metallic liquid lipstick and Distorted Dreams Highlighter

Sleek Matte Me Metallic liquid lipstick and Distorted Dreams Highlighter

Hello and welcome to my first ever post about Sleek. This brand became available over here last year, but to be honest I looked the products over once, found nothing of interest and forgot about them. This year I started looking for metallic matte lipsticks and now here we are. (This post is not sponsored and I bought all products here myself).

… I kinda bought the whole display. I think it may have been a  summer collection or something because it has now been replaced by a Holiday/Winter looking thing, but I checked and all products made the jump into the normal display so hopefully they’re not LE and in the regular range now.

These are the highlighting palette Distorted Dreams 1030, which includes three cream highlighters and two powder highlighters, and three Matte Me Metallic liquid lipsticks, from left to right: Rusted Rose 1042, Volcanic 1043 and Roman Copper 1044.

The applicator looks like this. It is small compared to other brands and not fluffy at all. It felt kinda hard on my lips, but it was easy to get crisp lines which I find more important with a liquid lip than fluffiness.

Single swipe of all three colors, except I managed to mess up the order, sorry about that. So here we have Rusted Rose, a mauve color with frost shimmer, Roman Copper, which is straight up bronze and Volcanic, the most interesting color. It’s a duochrome shimmer shifting from pink to a weird earthy greenish grey, but the pink dominates on the lips.

You can see in the pic that a single swipe isn’t truly opaque. I have come to the realisation that metal liquid lipsticks are a lot like nail polish. They don’t always look good with one coat but you can do a second and then it’s all good. And unlike nailpolish you can add your second layer immediately. I got all colors opaque with two coats.

The Matte Me Metallic are the first metallics I have that are truly and totally matte. This dims the shimmer but that makes them properly metallic in my opinion (as opposed to simply shimmery).

They take a while to completely set, they feel sticky for about twenty minutes but they look dry sooner. The lasting power, though – for a matte liquid lipstick it’s disapointing. It lasts about four hours and wears off when eating on the inside of the lips immediately. It has the lasting power of a regular lipstick, not a liquid. On the upside, once you’re past the sticky stage they feel totally comfortable and are not drying. Compared to other liquid lipsticks, these feel more like a thin mousse.

I think these were the first three Matte Me Metallic, but Sleek has since released more colors. I actually like the ones I own and was willing to get more but all of the new colors have frost shimmer. These three offered some nice variety in color and shimmer, but I really don’t need more that are just like Rusted Rose, but with a slightly different color. Maybe I’ll check out their normal Matte Me range instead, the one without shimmer.

On to the highlighter!!!

Le swatches. The palette lists the names of shades in the back but I can’t tell which one is supposed to be which, so I’ll skip that. I swatched the two powders first, the gold and the pink and then the three creams, a peach, a blue (smallest pan in the middle) and a green that is to die for.

So, yes, cream and powder in the same palette. Lots of people dislike that and for good reason (the powder will contaminate the creams) but I wanted the palette so badly so I tried to be careful with it (with moderate success). Picking the powders up with a brush is the biggest offender here. Using fingers does not create that much flying powder and they actually apply well when using fingers as well (the powders I mean; I always apply creams with my fingers). However I have found that you’ll get the best and biggest impact when using a beauty blender. That’s how you get instagram-highlights out of these (both cream and powder).

All shades are very good, except for the lilacy pink powder, which has less base shimmer and more sparkle. They are invisible heads on (no base color) but show a strong shimmer when the light hits just so. They are among the strongest highlights I have used. While I was testing these out I have by pure chance watched a video by Manny MUA, who did a “Jeffree Star” Halloween look and offhandedly mentioned that Jeffree (famous highlighter lover)  likes Sleek highlighters best and now I can say I am not surprised.

Look at this pic I took at six am:

You may have to tilt your screen a bit, but that’s the green highlighter. A picture taken in better light because it was in the afternoon sun:

Yeah, baby. This is the blue one. It’s not like in your face blue, but it does give a very cool vibe.

The wear time of these is also very good I can still see them with the same intensity after eight hours. Most of my expensive highlighters don’t manage that. So, in conclusion I am now thoroughly in love with Sleek highlighters and I want them all.

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.

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.