MAC Viva Glam Sia

MAC Viva Glam Sia

Bet you thought today was gonna be a fragrance review. 😉 But I need some more testing time and I have a brand new red lipstick so here we go:

The newest Viva Glam ambassador is pop star Sia. This is MAC‘s Viva Glam Sia (matte).

The lipstick design is very pretty with the huge Sia written on the side. What I don’t like about the design is that the packaging is completely smooth. I dropped this lipstick several times when trying to open it in the early morning. *sob* The usual satin surface is much better imho.

Swatch. Now look at this gorgeous red. The lipstick is matte, but for MAC more on the creamy side, comparable to Urban Decay Comfort Matte finish. I don’t think it was drying on my lips, but it is january and the temperatures are sub zero, so my lips are dry anyways.

The color is straight up red with no undertones pulling yellow or pink. In certain lights it may look more pink or more yellow but it’s a true red. If you look really closely you can see there is very small red shimmer in it. This is not a shimmery lipstick but I think the shimmer helps the color along to look most vivd. Nail polishes sometimes pull the same trick.

Honestly I know red lipsticks are legion but this one looks so good. Ugh. Have some comparisons:

Viva Glam I is obviously much darker, Ruby Woo is lighter and pinker (and drier), Mrs Mia Wallace is darker and glossier. The closest match is the L’Oreal lipstick Liya’s Red, but that’s also slightly pinker. So far, Liya was my reference for a true red, but now my references will be Sia and Mrs Mia Wallace. But the best drugstore dupe I could find was Liya, which I’m not sure I think it’s still being sold? They always say it’s limited but for the last couple of years it was always in stores.

But back to Sia: I love the color. The lasting power could be a bit better though. From a matte lipstick from MAC I expect four hours of this color on my lips, but it barely lasted three. 😦 It did not leave a stain either, and it wore off on the inside of the lips completely and stayed on the outer parts, so reapplication was very necessary.

I then decided to help it out by applying lip liner. My closest lip liner was Ruby Woo. The liner is less pink than the lipstick so it worked well. Putting the lip liner all over and then the lipstick on top made it last four to five hours and I needed only little touch ups later. Maybe it’ll get less creamy with time and last better. I guess I’m simply spoiled by liquid lipsticks nowadays.

So yes, depending on if you want a true red or not, this one is certainly worth checking it out. It should be available for at least the next six months.

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MAC Chili

MAC Chili

This is MAC Chili (matte), from the regular range, no LE. It’s red with hints of a muted orange.

Swatch. Yes, so pretty. There is no shimmer and the color is opaque in one swipe. The finish is matte, but for MAC that’s a very creamy matte, very comfortable to wear. I prefer using it with lip liner as that makes it last better. The lip liner I use with it is MAC lip pencil in Auburn. It’s not an exact color match, but they go very well together.

I have no color comparisons because I have no color that comes even close to Chili. To be honest when I started out with this blog there were lots of bloggers praising Chili and I always thought it looked sorta ugly. It wasn’t a proper red, it was intense yet muted. It took me years to appreciate Chili, but it really looks so good when worn. So now I am a Chili convert. I can recommend it if you’re looking for something special in the normal lineup. LE’s are sometimes so distracting that you don’t see the gems that are already there.

MAC Liptensity: Doe, Smoked Almond, Mulling Spices

MAC Liptensity: Doe, Smoked Almond, Mulling Spices

MAC has been handing out cards with three lipstick samples to promote their newer lipstick range, called Liptensity. They don’t come in their traditional lipstick cases, but in the thin, rounded ones. I think they’ve had a matte range in the same or very similar design as well. To be honest I mostly pay attention to their regular lipsticks, as there are more than enough colors for that already.

This is the card holding the samples. The sample colors are Doe, Smoked Almond and Mulling Spices. I’d call both Doe and Smoked Almond nude shades. Mulling Spices is red.

Swatches. First Doe, then Smoked Almond, last is Mulling Spices. The finish is creamy, satiny. They never dry down completely and feel a bit waxy on. The smell is the same as the normal MAC lipsticks. The swatches here are made with fingers. On my lips I applied them both with fingers and with lip brushes. The coverage was always a bit shy of opaque, but I don’t know if it would have differed if I had applied it from the bullet.

All three colors are beautiful, but my favorite is Smoked Almond. It’s just such an allrounder as a color, goes with everything and should work for a good range of skin tones. Doe is a lighter nude, and pulls orange on me, which Smoked Almond doesn’t, it’s more rosy. Doe is close to Maybelline Clay Crush, except that one is matte and is sliiighlty more pink, but those two are very close.

I have no dupes for Smoked Almond at all, everything is more brown or more pink. Looks like I have a bit of a hole in my collection there. I might have to rectify that.

Mulling Spices on the other hand is a pink toned red. I thought it was going to be a dupe of Ruby Woo, but as it turns out, it is identical to MAC Red. Both have a creamy, satiny finish as well, so there’s really no point in owning both.

On the lips they feel comfortable if you can take the waxy feel. They never dry down comepletely, even if they do get a bit more matte looking after one or two hours. The wear time isn’t really that good, you get two or three hours. Eating vanishes them. The red one leaves a stain so it is more long lasting than the nude ones, but the color bleeds out on the fine lines. With such a visible color I didn’t like that at all. You would need to wear a lip liner with it to prevent that; the closest red liner I have is Ruby Woo. But MAC Red doesn’t do that bleeding thing, so honestly, just go get that one instead.

I didn’t notice any bleeding out of my lips with the nudes, but they did pool in my fine lines.

So overall, I’m no fan of the formula and I don’t really see the point in it, sorry. If I want something that looks like the liptensity colors, I’ll simply go for the normal MAC lipsticks with Satin or Cremesheen finish. The colors themselves are beautiful, but I own dupes already except for Smoked Almond. I think I may go and look for a dupe for that one, because I don’t want to buy the Lipstensity one.

Maybelline Metallic Foil

Maybelline Metallic Foil

Alright so, in 2017 there was quite the trend for metallic lips and brands put out several quite different formulas for metallic lips. Maybelline released liquid lipsticks called Metallic Foil, and there were several quite unusual colors as well. Now I thought they would be permanent, so I took my sweet time testing except now I realize they may have been LE all along? Sorry if my review comes too late, let’s hope not.

I also want to add that as usual, my posts are not sponsored and I bought all products myself. I feel the need to say this, because I really, really love these. They’re so good.

The color selection was a bit weird. There were like three pinks that were pretty close imho, a gold and a bronze and then a bunch of really outlandish colors which I loved. I think they should have also done a red. The colors I picked up are 95 Luna, the lighter pink, 120 Nemesis, a deep purple, 125 Vortex, a bronze green and 130 Labyrinth, a deep teal/gunmetal.

These are liquid lipsticks, they are shimmery but dry matte. They come with the typical liquid lipstick application rules: do not press lips together until lipstick is completely dry, smile once while it’s wet to avoid it cracking. The only way to remove them is with oil. They wear off a bit on the very inside of the lip but other than that you can eat with them, no problem. They stay and stay and stay. And when you remove them, that’s a bit weird, the lipstick flakes off. Like tubes mascara? Also unlike most other liquid lipsticks it is not drying at all and you don’t get the shrivelled up look either. However, upon application they tingle. This feels weird but I have worn them many times and hours now and there was no further negative effect, so I don’t think it was an allergy of mine. The tingling also stops once the lipstick is dry. However, if that’s something you dislike better avoid them.

Swatches. These are a single swipe and you can see that you need to go over the lips more than once to get even distribution. The colors remind me of nail polish and like most nail polish they need a second layer. But once the color is on, it’s opaque and stays like that until removal. There is no fading (like I said this flakes off but only when in contact with a good amount of oil).

All of the colors are shimmery and shimmer basically matches the base color. Luna is pink with pink shimmer, Nemesis is deep purple with purple shimmer, Vortex differs because it’s a brassy green with bronze shimmer. And then Labyrinth is a deep teal with teal shimmer.

The applicator is a regular flocked applicator. I found it easy to get crisp lines, which is important with such intense colors.

All of the colors applied well, with the caveat that you do need two coats. Labyrinth (the teal) was the only exception. As often with very dark colors it was a bit more difficult. I had to go over certain spots more often and the edges were harder to get clean, however it was still workable and the result was opaque and long lasting.

Overall the metallic foils get a huge thumbs up from me and I’m so surprised these came from a mainstream drugstore brand and not from an indie brand. I do hope they are still available or that they are made permanent or come back as LE at least, because those are the best liquid lipsticks I own. I reach for them whenever I need something solid and fuss free and who’d have thunk you’d ever go for a color like Nemesis or Vortex when you want fuss free?

Colorwise my absolute favorite is Vortex, because you know I love my bronzy olives like no other.

Huge recommendation. 🙂

MAC Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson 2

MAC Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson 2

I was debating back and forth if I should pick up the Taraji P. Henson 2 Viva Glam or not. It looked sooo pretty, but also not meant for pasty kids like me but when the promo for the next Viva Glam hit (Sia, a red one) I decided to snatch it up before it was gone for good.

Like the first Taraji P. Henson lipstick the whole case is bright pink. The lipstick itself is a dark bronze, the MAC finish is frost.

Swatch. Note how this is a proper metal finish unlike MAC’s ‘metallic’ finish. With frost finish you never know what you get, it can be a sheer glitter shade or it can be this, an opaque smooth shimmer. The texture is very slippery, it glides on so easily, but it also doesn’t last all that long on the lips. I’d give it like two hours, maybe three. If you have dark skin this could be an amazing nude-ish color for you, one that you can just reapply without a mirror. On me it’s more of a grunge kind of color, very stark and dark but not dark enough to be vampy.

To help the edges and also the wear time I have used lip liner with this color and I would recommend doing so, it helped a lot. First I used Whirl, as I thought it would be the closest match, but it turned out Whirl has a lot more red in. Then I used Stone and it worked perfectly. So despite being such a dark brown bronze, Taraji 2 is actually very cool toned. This makes it such an interesting and unique color.

I hope this helps you deciding on wether you want to pick it up or not. 🙂

Sleek Lip Vip Superstar

Sleek Lip Vip Superstar

Alright, so after liking the highlighter and liquid lipsticks from Sleek I started to pay more attention to the brand and they have some new LE out, but I’m not sure if it’s a fall/winter or holiday or whatever. It just appeared with some cardboard pop up in my drugstore and the thing I noticed the most is that… the model on the display is NOT wearing any of the makeup being displayed? At all? It’s hilarious to look at. So I swatched the stuff and the eyeshadow palette was a total pass, really bad pigmentation. The creams were okay but regular colors. The two lipsticks seemed the best so I pickd up the darker one, called Superstar 1020. The cardboard packaging claims this to be a metallic lipstick, while the lipstick itself claims to be semi-matte.

The bullet is facetted, matching the outer packaging. It also shows off the shimmer really well. Personally I prefer regular, no nonsense lipstick bullets because with these facets you can accidentally smear lipstick where you don’t want it – at least if you’re like me and so used to a round bullet that you make weird movements with it you wouldn’t even notice unless you suddenly hit your skin atop your lip with a faceted bullet. But maybe that’s just me.

Swatch in the shade. I think semi-matte describes it very well, while I would not sign the metallic claim. There is very fine blue shimmer but you don’t really see it. That’s beautiful but not metallic in my books. And this from Sleek, who actually have good metallic liquid lipsticks!

Swatch in direct sunlight. It’s still a blue leaning berry color but you don’t really see any blue shimmer. However what looks like creaminess here is really the semi-matte finish with a little shimmer.

The packaging also promises a long wearing formula, and that is true as well. This lipstick has lasted up to six hours on me, only wearing off on the very inside of my lips when eating. That’s good. However, it did also feather over time, even when I started with a very crisp line. The color also had a tendency to bunch up, looking darker in some places. It felt very drying, like a MAC retro matte lipstick and it emphasizes dry skin, too. So I really like that color and that it is long wearing, but it’s not like the best lipstick ever.

As for lip liner, I’ve used it without and with and this is one lipstick I’d recommend to use with lipliner to help keep the edges clean. I’ve used MAC Nightmoth, my go to liner for dark colors because it’s the only dark one I have, but it worked. It’s not an exact match though.

I have no color comparison swatches for Superstar, because I have no lipstick that comes even close to that. The closest match I found is MAC Leap of Delight, but that one is totally matte and is darker. It was also LE.

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.

Too Faced Melted Metal Debutante

Too Faced Melted Metal Debutante

Welcome back to: Dandygal tries to review all the metal lip thingies she can get her hands on. Today it’s Too Faced with their Melted Metal liquified metallic lipstick. Too Faced also have a product called Melted Matte, but note that it doesn’t say matte anywhere in the description of the metal one.

The item looks like this, the color is Debutante.

The unused applicator. It is shaped like those gloss plastic things, but is also flocked.

With product coming out.

It’s easy to mash this stuff onto your lips, but I wouldn’t get a dark color because I’m not sure how accurately I could apply it with this thing. As is, the color does not apply completely opaque.

Lip swatch. Debutante is a light coral with lots of gold shimmer in. It is not comepletely opaque and so the red of my lips shows through, pulling it more pink.

The melted metal finish is creamy and doesn’t dry down. So I would consider this a lip cream and not really a liquid lipstick as I expect a matte finish from a liquid lipstick. The upside is it’s nowhere near as drying as a liquid lipstick and when applying you can put it on your lower lip, press your lips together to distribute product and then finish the edges. This is how I usually apply regular lipstick. But you can’t do that with real liquid lipstick at all – if you press your lips together before the product is dry you’ll end up with a mess. The melted metal is a lot easier to use here.

The downside of it not being a matte liquid lipstick is obviously the lasting power. It never dries down and gets continuously less on your lips even if you do not eat or drink. After half an hour there is about half of it left on the lips but on the upside it reduces evenly so it always looks good. I ended up allpying more every couple hours. The squeeze tube houses 12 ml of product so I won’t be running out anytime soon.

Debutante has a weird sort of taste and smell, but it’s not very strong so I got used to it. The first ingredient is castor oil, that’s where it might come from?

To the most important question: is it metal? The shimmer is very fine so yes, I would consider this one here actual metal. So in that regard, this one is a winner.

 

Other “metal” lip products I have reviewed so far:

Mac Metallics Silver Spoon and Love’s a Gamble (both shimmery and not really metallic imho)

Maybelline Pure Gold and Steel Chic (truly metallic)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Beige Doré

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Beige Doré

This is Beige Doré Rouge Coco Shine from Chanel‘s Spring 2017 LE. Yes I know it’s the end of October right now, but you’ll see you didn’t miss much.

Swatch. It doesn’t get any more intense than that. It’s a very light gold color with some gold shimmer. Sadly, there is really only very little shimmer. I mean Rouge Coco Shines are supposed to be sheer, but usually they pack a  little more punch than that. If only it had more shimmer, it would have been right on trend! But… nah. On the lips you basically don’t see much color; you see the glossiness. It’s a glorified lip balm. I mean if you love Rouge Coco Shines you know what you’re getting into and I’ve actually used it quite a bit for no make up make up and such, but… you didn’t really miss much if you din’t get this one.

For comparison, here’s what the Maybelline Metallic Pure Gold looks like (lower swatch):

And this one isn’t opaque either!

And this is how I got a Chanel lipstick for 70% off. No, Chanel don’t do reductions usually. The vendor just really, really wanted this one gone. And if I wasn’t the sort of decadent person who likes using Rouge Coco Shines as lip balm I’d have still been ripped off.

Tune in next week when there will probably be another lipstick review with some visible color and real shimmer!

Maybelline Metallic: Pure Gold, Steel Chic

Maybelline Metallic: Pure Gold, Steel Chic

Pictured here are the Maybelline ColorSensational lipsticks in 35 Steel Chic and 10 Pure Gold. They both come in Maybelline’s newest finish, metallic. Now these may be old news if you live like in the US or something because they were released a year ago. But they didn’t make it to our tiny country in Europe until now. They didn’t even get a display, they were just added to the regular lipsticks and I wouldn’t even have noticed them if they didn’t have a two digit number instead of three digit. Yes I’m the nerd who notices these things.

There were more colors but they swatched pretty patchy, so they weren’t allowed to come even if in theory they looked super pretty.

Swatch, first Steel Chic, then Pure Gold (don’t you think that looks like it should be called Pure Copper instead?). Both colors are not opaque and no amount of application on the lips made them stay opaque (even if they looked it at first, the color wore off again). So while these smell and apply like Maybelline’s bold and matte finish (and the finish is matte) they don’t have their color intensity. However, once you accept that, they make pretty good lipsticks. The upside to not being opaque is that it blends in better with your own skin tone. Pure Gold is a pretty intense color and you may feel more comfortable wearing it if you only applied a little bit, anyway.

I’d call Steel Chic a taupe color with frosty shimmer. Pure Gold, I don’t even know if i has a base color, it seems to be shimmer all the way. Both colors go well with the current trend of matte high shimmer lips. I think those truly deserve the metallic tag, unlike the MAC metallic lipsticks, which were just their usual lustre finish with more chunks of glitter. Swatches of the MAC metallic finish can be seen here and here.

Steel Chic is the perfect color for you if you want to try the very cool toned dark taupe trend, but find opaque ones (like from the Balmain Collection here) too stark. Use your finger for blending the edges and you’ll get a pretty cool grunge look.

Pure Gold is almost more suited for costumes of egyptian goddesses/Beyoncé.

Both lipsticks last around four hours, Pure Gold a bit longer than Steel Chic. They wear off on the inside when you eat. Both lipsticks have the typical Maybelline Color Sensational smell, which is a sort of funky fruity bubblegum smell. Keep that in mind if you hate smelly lipsticks.

 

MAC Retro Matte Lip Color Divine-Divine

MAC Retro Matte Lip Color Divine-Divine

Here’s my review of the third MAC Retro Matte liquid lipstick I bought back in spring. It’s the color Divine-Divine, which is basically Barbie Pink. This is from the regular MAC retro matte lineup. They have recently released new ones with shimmer in, but this is not one of those.

Before I go on, allow me to give a little history of lipstick trends: when I was a teen, lipgloss was all the rage. Nobody wore lipstick, nobody. This has led to adult me despising lipgloss, because it’s sticky and doesn’t last well and hair constantly sticks to it, ugh. Then Chanel released their Rouge Coco Shines, to seduce people who loved gloss back to lipsticks. And it worked, so for a while shiny, sheer lipstick was the thing. Then the Chubby sticks came out, going for a similar but slightly less glossy finish. Then the trend slowly went towards glossy stains. I dislike glossy stains because they’re still too much like lipgloss to me. Luckily technology marched on and liquid lipsticks that were not glossy became a thing. This was the biggest lip trend for the last few years: very matte lips. Then, this year people got bored by super matte lips and the metallic lip trend was born. There will be several matte metallic lipstick reviews coming up on this blog. But this one right here is still on the very matte, non shimmery side of things.

Still mostly wet swatch of Divine-Divine. You can already see it drying to the thin, very texturized finish typical for the liquid retro mattes. The color is a light bubble gum pink. Basically every time I put it on I was surprised at how light it is, but it ends up looking pretty good (might depend on your skin color). Most of MAC’s retro mattes were too dark for me except for this one and Flesh Stone.

Lip swatch shot with my phone. This is basically what Divine-Divine looks like after a couple of hours. This is not cracked, but the lip lines show super deep. In my experience this is completely normal with this sort of finish. To avoid cracking it is important to smile after application so that the color can settle in there before it dries. If you do that, the lines will show, but if you don’t you’ll get cracking as soon as you move your mouth.

Divine-Divine lasts very well and is really only affected by oil. So oily food takes it off (on the inside mostly) or oil remover. Otherwise it sticks on. The finish feels and looks dry and the next day my lips felt drier than usual. But for me this was not worse than matte MAC lipsticks in a bullet. Matte MAC stuff is just drying. I combat that by applying a strong lip balm before application and then again after I take the lipstick off. If you generally have a problem with flaky lips you probably won’t get happy with Divine-Divine as it does show the flakes.

While I like the colors I own I don’t feel the need to have any more of these. They’re okay for a certain sort of look, but then I’m glad when I can reach for more creamy stuff again. As mentioned, there’s going to be some more shimmery stuff up next, right for fall and holiday season!

L’Oreal x Balmain Lipsticks

L’Oreal x Balmain Lipsticks

Last week we had Woman Day, which is a bit like Black Friday and I went a little bit trigger happy on lipsticks. Ahem.
This month saw the release of a collaboration between L’Oreal and fashion house Balmain, resulting in a lipstick collection of 3×4 lipsticks. There’s a black, blue and a green set, although I’m not sure what that’s supposed to signify. I bought three of the green ones, as they had the prettiest packaging and two of the most unusual colors, and one blue and one black lipstick:

left to right: Confession, Legend, Glamazone, Balmain Instinct and Fever. I only really wanted Balmain Instinct as it was the most unusual color (I’m at the point where I just have so many reds, pinks, nudes that I’m just meh at seeing them although the Balmain collection has a very pretty red so if you’re in the market for that check it out), but then I thought you’ll also have to take Fever as they’re so pretty together and then… idk I took the others as well. What I left was a very light and very glittery nude (too light, too gritty), two purples (didn’t seem to be swatching evenly and I have a few purples already), a red (soooo pretty), a blue (pretty color but seemed to swatch unevenly) and a dark brown with red undertone (very dark on my too pale skin but will probably look great on others).

Have swatches of what I did take home with me:

Same order as above: first Confession, which is a satiny coral nude. It is darker than MAC Nicki’s Nude and also darker than Givenchy’s Beige Plume. It’s certainly the most normal color of the whole bunch and among the most wearable ones. I suspect it will sell very well. It should suit more skin tones than the linked MAC lipstick since it’s not so pastel. On me it pulls very corally, but I believe it will pull less coral and more pinkish on darker skintones. Confession applies easily and feels almost hydrating, in the long term it was neither hydrating nor drying. Sadly the creamier finish affected the wear time. It only made it to the three hour mark. Eating destroys it, but with a normal color like that it’s not so huge a problem. Just slap it on again.

Next is Legend from the blue part. Legend is a cool, dark taupe. I was very much on the fence, since I also took Glamazone which seemed so similar. But now that I wore it I am convinced. I think it looks really good when worn and is very wearable for light skin tones, because it is so cool toned. The color is in the realm of MAC Flesh Stone, but so much darker. The finish is matte, which makes it a bit drying long term, but also makes it last better. I got five hours wear time with eating. It wears off with eating though, and sadly more visible on the inside of the lips, so this isn’t what I’d wear to a business lunch or something. Still, really cool color and since I don’t really do business lunches I simply reapply after food.

Glamazone is also a taupe, but lighter and also more transparent. The finish is creamy and it feels hydrating all through the wear. So it is different enough from Legend I guess (the eternal blogger’s song: but this is a different shade of red, don’t you see?). While it seems a bit transparent at first a second coat makes it opaque. The cream finish sacrifices longevity: I got about three hours out of it. It wears off most visibly on the inside of the lip, a lot worse than Legend. Maybe best applied lightly and not opaque and crisp.

Lets go to the pièce de résistance: Balmain Instinct. It’s green, but not any green. It’s olive with golden shimmer and a matte finish. This makes it actually the most wearable green I have ever seen. Despite what it looks like in the bullet you won’t look like a pea. It looks a bit darker on the lips than in the swatch and that makes it more wearable. From far away you could almost mistake it for taupe, but it’s not. This is one of my favorite eye colors and so I own not one, but two eyeliners in this color, which I reappropriated as a lip liner. With lip liner worn all over the lip and then the lisptick added on top it lasts until you take it off again. Worn alone it also lasts well, I got almost five hours out of it! It wore off evenly which helped a lot there (why can’t the other colors do this?) I would have bought this one even if the quality were bad, but luckily it isn’t.

Lastly, Fever: This is a sorta carrotty orange, but it has a good bit of brown which you can see if you put it next to a really orange orange. This one is such an autumnal color. The finish is matte and again, this one was lasting pretty well on my lips, five hours and going. Eating reduced it but didn’t wipe it off competely. If you’re looking for such an orange I can recommend this one.

Now, the reason I bought Fever at all was that it looked so lovely next two Balmain Instinct. At home I was like, oh but how do I wear both at the same time? My lips are too small for such an intense gradient, so I put Fever on the lips… and Balmain Instinct on the eyes. It applied pretty much like any cream shadow of the drier variant. I blended it out with my finger which worked fairly well. On the lid the color was transparent. Then I decided to also use it as an eyeliner and applied it as such straight from the bullet with the tip and it worked so well! (Yes I am aware I own two real eyeliners in this color as well, thank you very much.) The lipstick eyeliner lasted all day and did not smudge either. On my lids it did crease and fade some but my eyelids are notoriously bad with creasing. While this isn’t going to be something I do every day I do like the results of my experiment. And it’s sort of useful to know when I want to do touch ups, as those are far easier done from a bullet than from a pot.

So that was my experience with the new LE from L’Oreal. I’d also like to add that all of the lipsticks have the typical L’Oreal smell and taste which many people hate, so be aware of that. Also while the packaging looks pretty from afar, you can tell that it was cheaply made. The gold coloring is simply not evenly applied and scratches off easily, revealing the color part underneath. The color parts (blue, green, black) also scratch off easily, revealing gold underneath. How does that work? I don’t know but don’t buy these if you want your pretty lipstick packaging unscratched. I never have this sort of problem but I swear I bought them looking mostly good and when I took these pictures a mere half an hour later, they were scratched.

Availability in Austria: you can get the whole collection at Müller. My local Bipa drugstore only had a reduced collection of three colors and none of the really interesting ones. I don’t know if other drugstores get more than that. Also make sure to compare prices because the prices of L’Oreal vary wildly! We’re talking a price difference of up to 33%.

All in all, this is probably the most interesting collection I’ve seen in the drugstore all year. I hope the brands keep up and with some luck, we’ll get similar colors from cheaper brands with less smelly lipsticks.

This post is neither sponsored nor a PR sample – I was actually crazy enough to buy all these. °^°

If you are so inclined, please tune back in on Friday for a review of Sisley Izia.

MAC Flesh Stone

MAC Flesh Stone

It’s October! Get out the Halloween gear! Ahem. Not that this blog is going to be any spookier than usual. I’m still working through stuff I picked up during summer…

Alright I’m finally getting around to reviewing another liquid lipstick by MAC. (I have three but only reviewed the red one so far.) This is the Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolor in Flesh Stone. For once, a MAC item that is not LE! Whooo!

Half dried arm swatch. It dries quickly and gets very matte. It’s one of those liquid lipsticks that emphasize every nook and cranny so to say. But I think it doesn’t look too bad on the lips:

Fully dried lip swatch. I love how grey the color is. As pale as I am, every brownish color with only a bit of red looks pretty off on me, but this mud color here works.

The product is very long lasting, only oil gets it off at all. When I eat it does get removed on the inside but not too much. As such, it is drying. I can live with that since I use a strong lip balm morning and evening, but those with very dry lips might not like it.

To prevent the color from cracking it is important to smile after application so the color can settle everywhere. Then I had no problems with cracking, but like already mentioned it totally highlights all lip lines. All my very matte liquids do this.

Honestly after I got Flesh Stone I stopped looking for the perfect grungy brownish nude lip color, because this is it. (Then I decided I super needed metal finish lipsticks, because.)

Huge recommendation if you’re looking for a light greyish very matte color. That’s not a specific category at all…

That’s it for today. Be safe and tune in Wednesday for a review on a good affordable face powder.

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.

Chanel Rouge Allure Ultraberry

Chanel Rouge Allure Ultraberry

As I mentioned in my monday post I picked up two older Chanel lipsticks on sale. Today I’ll talk about the Rouge Allure lipstick in Ultraberry.

Ultraberry was part of last year’s Holiday Collection. That collection didn’t sell well at all. It felt disjointed and not very Holiday at all. It was one of the few years where I didn’t pick up anything from Chanel. But when I saw Ultraberry on sale I decided that the color on it’s own is actually quite pretty.

Swatches! So the good news is that while Ultraberry was limited edition and may be sold out now, MAC Diva isn’t all that far from it. The difference is that Diva is a matte lipstick and opaque. Ultraberry has a creamy finish and is a bit see through. This makes for a very lush and beautiful finish. I swatched La Sensuelle next to it, but it’s lighter and also a Rouge Allure Velvet – so it has a luminous matte finish. Last I swatched one of my few other Rouge Allures – Maniac. Of course the color is quite different. You can also see that Ultraberry applies a lot more even.

So I think the dark red/berry of Ultraberry is super pretty when worn and a great color for fall. It feels creamy against the lips, does turn drying after five/six hours though. Lasting power is quite good, six to seven hours. It wears off on the inside of the lip when eating a bit, not too visibly. I simply reapplied regularly – after a while it stains the lips.

So overall a wonderful lipstick and I like it a lot. Worth a try if you can stil find it. And if you can’t and want something similar, go for Diva.

Summer Sale Haul

Summer Sale Haul

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

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

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

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

Maybelline Gone Greige

Maybelline Gone Greige

Gone Greige 893 is part of the Maybelline Colorsensational lipsticks line. The finish is bold, which basically means a pigmented velvety finish, not 100% matte.

Swatch. You could call it brown, but it’s really cool toned, so greige isn’t too far off. You don’t really need a lip liner for it but I noticed the MAC lipliner in Stone matches it pretty well – enough that I wonder if Gone Greige is a dupe for the Stone lipstick. So I checked out the perfect swatch gallery at temptalia. And wow, does Gone Greige look different on Christine! On me it looks like her Stone swatch. So maybe Gone Greige is Stone for the pale kids or whatever.

Anyways this has become one of my fav lipsticks. The look is modern and not too edgy at the same time. It lasts about three hours on me and fades evenly. Eating removes it a bit more on the inside but the color is such that it isn’t immediately visible.

I love it! Recommendation.