MAC Lipliners Auburn, Nightingale

MAC Lipliners Auburn, Nightingale

I’m a bit of a lip liner fiend. I just like knowing that I have the right liner for my lipstick should I want one. My favorites are the regular MAC pencils.

So two of my newer liners are Nightingale and Auburn. Nightingale is a lovely berry shade and Auburn is a red with brown undertones.

Swatches of Auburn and Nightingale. Auburn is a great liner for Chili and similar shades. Nightingale goes well with shades like Rebel or Maybelline Berry Bossy.

The liners have the usual MAC liner quality. That’s really all there is to say. Believe it or not, I still have nowhere near the whole range. Although at this point I might just as well pull the trigger on the rest… We’ll see. 😉


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.

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.

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.

MAC Snow Ball Pigment and Glitter Kit Pink

MAC Snow Ball Pigment and Glitter Kit Pink

Happy New Year! *throws glitter*

This is a queued post, so when you’re reading this I’m probably sleeping, haha. Unless I messed up the queue and it back posts to Jan, 1st of 2017…

My year in review: I’m actually shocked I managed to keep up my posting throughout the year as I’ve been mostly sleeping and working all the time and I can barely remember the year as I’ve been tired all the time. But there are a lot of posts so my schedule worked out fine. My plans for next year are to keep up the Monday-Wednesday-Friday posting schedule. Productswise I want to pay more attention to drugstore brands because I found quite a few gems there this year and I hope they’ll keep it up. Most luxury brand releases left me unimpressed in 2017. I used to buy a lot more of those.

In 2017 I also bought wayyyy to many MAC products, like, help, I keep falling for those LEs, even though I know it’s silly. But I also gotta say they turned out to be good quality and I’m still using those items. My plans for next year is still to slow it down with the LEs and go for the regular items I’ve been wanting for a while. Let’s see how that turns out, though.

So to make this post not just boring blabber, I’ve also got a review for you! It’s the MAC Snowball Pigment and Glitter Kit in Pink. Yes, Snowball was the Holiday Collection and is already mostly sold out, however, those kits were released later on and right now this kit is still available on the MAC website and it’s even on sale. Also I think those pigment and glitter colors usually pop up again from time to time as well.

Well, the packaging this year was a dream.

And I like that the bag is in fact a lot bigger than it needed to be to hold the three minis. I think you can get about ten single shadows in there at least. The pigments included in this set were: Pigment Whisper Pink, the very lightest shade, Pigment Copper Sparkle, and Glitter Pink.

Swatches: Whisper Pink, Copper Sparkle and Pink.

All of those are loose and produce fallout and are best applied before the rest of the makeup.

Whisper Pink is very light and only barely pink. It’s really more of a shell color if you ask me. The shimmer is a light gold. In fact there is slightly bigger shimmer which is gold and smaller pink shimmer. The color is very pretty and works very well for me, although  am not sure if it works for darker skin tones. This can also be used as a highlighter as you can blend it out well and there’s no real base color.

Copper Sparkle is, well the name is what you get. The color is intense and opaque however, as you can see on my swatch, a bit crumbly at first. It’s best to put some out, then dip a brush in and then really swirl the brush around on the back of your hand before putting that onto your face, so the pigment applies smoothly. Once you do that it’s oky, but I don’t understand where the clumps come from. My full sized pigments don’t do this. I’ve right now pulled out my full sized pigments and I gotta say those are five thousand times smoother. The particles are so much smaller. Does MAC put lower grade pigments into their minis??? Or is it just the colors I have?

Pink is just loose pink glitter. This color is always available, at least in pro stores and online. As there is nothing that makes the glitter hold together or adhere anywhere it’s best used with glitter glue. Then you can just pack it on.

The pigments on the other hand can be used on their own and will – once you’re done and cleaned up the fallout – stick to where you put it. But you can also use mixing medium with the pigments to turn them into creams. The glitter though, even when you use glue there is always a piece of glitter that ends up somewhere like in your hair etc, but that’s just how loose glitter behaves.

Personally I like the colors but I think the best thing about the set is in fact the bag. 🙂 I wish the pigments were the same as the full size pigments but they’re not. As is, I don’t plan on getting more of these holiday kits in the future.

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. 🙂

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.

All Used Up November 2017

All Used Up November 2017

Look, it didn’t take me another three months to do another used up post! Yay. Honestly I don’t even know if anyone reads these but I love doing these kinds of posts and I also love reading these kinds of posts on other people’s blogs, because it means putting your money where your mouth is, kinda? It’s one thing to review products you used for a bit, but which ones do you actually use up?

I’ve managed to use up some makeup again, which is why I’m giddy. But on to that later.

Firstly I don’t wanna bore you, but this is still my fav hand lotion. Already repurchased and I think I’ll stop showing it here to not spam you unless something changed in which case I’ll show it again (like with their Q10 handcream, my previous fav until they changed the formula). Shown in the pic is Balea‘s Handcreme Buttermilk & Lemon which smells fantastic.

More Balea: the infamous unicorn showergel from last year: Regenbogendusche. It had a sweet milky smell and I liked it. This was LE so I can’t repurchase it, but I did also buy the reissue they had on April 1st (same showergel, different picture). I couldn’t bring myself to use that one right after this one, so it’ll be a while until you see it in the empties. I was thinking about keeping the empty packaging, seeing as this was a stupidly hyped item and people actually paid sums for it on ebay (totally crazy since the original cost only between 55 cents and 80 cents) but I hate keeping litter so I threw it out anyway.

Also used up the Reinigungsöl/cleansing oil. This is still my favorite cleanser. It was originally discontinued but by the time I used this one here up and would have had to look around for something else, it was back on the shelves. So I bought a couple back ups, just to be safe. Like with the handcream I won’t show every single bottle I use up here to not bore you. Will update if something changes.

Another handcream, this time by Ahava, the Deadsea Water Mineral Hand Cream. At first I liked it because when you put it on it feels so good. But then and it took me a while to notice but it only ever happened when I used this particular handcream – my skin got really dry about 15 minutes later. I felt like parchment. Slathering on more didn’t make it any better. So I used it up (I’m very stubborn and also at first I wasn’t sure if it was the cream), but would never repurchase it.

And then I used up the Clarins Instant Light Blush/Eclat Minute Blush in the color Coral Tonic. Woot, woot! I mean how often do you use up color cosmetics and a cheek color, at that? Sure, you could say this was a pretty small amount of product containing only 7ml of blush, but then personally I prefer if a blush is sized so that I can reasonably use it up before it goes bad. Still, looking through my old posts, I swatched it here, and that post is from 2013 so it took me a while to use it up. Haha. It didn’t go bad, always smelled the same, just right at the end when there was barely anything left it thickened up and dried and that was it. I don’t care much about expiry dates since those exist mostly so that you can’t sue the company and it doesn’t mean the stuff goes toxic after that date. My rule is, if the smell stays the same and the texture doesn’t change either it is good to use. So Clarins had produced a real quality item here, it stayed fresh until the end and looked to amazing, plus was easy to use. I stand by my orignal assessment, if Clarins had come out with more of these I would have purchased them all but so far, it was only that one LE that had these blushes. Boo. Admittedly, when they went on sale I snagged up back ups and that might have helped with me using it up too. These were the only color items I ever bought backups for. Nowadays I probably wouldn’t do it as I own so much more makeup now. But then, these were really stellar…

CLARINS BRING THEM BACK! Why do they always discontinue the best items (like with that famous nail polish)?

Okay, enough with the Clarins love. I’ve used up yet another Batiste dry shampoo on my quest to try all the scents (or at least most). This is Blush, and it has left the least impression on me, smell-wise. This is actually good, because it means it’s neutral enough to use it with any perfume. Honestly I can’t even tell you what it smells like anymore even though I used it up only last week. Repurchase highly possible, once I’m done with the other scents.

And last item used up, the MAC CC Cream in the color Illuminate. This is my favorite primer, it comes with SPF 30, meaning I can skip on additional sun protection. The primer is very silicony, giving the usual benefits of that (filling out pores, little wrinkles, helping foundation to stay on) but of course not everyone likes that sort of finish. The color Illuminate is light lavender, making your face glow (will probably work best on light skin tones, there are other colors for darker tones). I use it to color correct my very yellow undertone, giving a neutral result. I love it and have already repurchased it.

All in all, I’m happy I used up some stuff, but it didn’t help in making my pile smaller that much, since I have back ups/repurchased most of these. 🙂 The pink Clarins blush is also almost used up so I’m expecting to see it here soon, other than that I don’t know how it’ll go on. I’m actually trying to use up more of my color cosmetics but no matter how often I use my Chanel lipsticks, they won’t get any smaller???

This concludes my last trash post of the year, see you in january hopefully for the next one.

MAC Studio Fix Fluid

MAC Studio Fix Fluid

*post based on free samples*

The MAC Studio Fix Fluid isn’t a new foundation, but MAC had some sort of promo going on for it lately and so I got two samples, NC 10 and NC 15.

Most of MAC’s liquid foundations are designed for combination to oily skin, they are meant to be long lasting. If your skin is dry you probably won’t be too happy with the finishes of the liquid foundations. I used to prefer the creamier compact foundations when my skin was drier, but I got the dry patches under control with a new skin care regime. Now my skin is more combination/normal rather than extremely combination (oily t-zone and very dry cheeks). So this is why I’m not repurchasing the Mineralize Compact anymore, even though I used to like it.

Back to Studio Fix Fluid: This foundation has no added perfume. It does, however have a super funky smell that you can notice for quite a while after application as well. It doesn’t mean it has gone bad already, that’s just how this thing smells and personally I like that they didn’t try to mask it with some obnoxious flowery scent, but if you’ve never tried Studio Fix before I think you should know about the smell. On the upside, no added perfume components means one less thing that can irritate your skin, which is good, especially if you’re oily (irritation makes skin produce more sebum aka more oil).

The Studio Fix has also a lot of powder in it. It needs to be shaken before use, so that the powder that sunk down can reintegrate with the liquid. The finish between medium and full and looks like you already powdered down. This is a really good foundation for oily skin, while someone with dry skin might feel like they’re in the desert. I found it comfortable to wear, though. I did need more highlighter than usual because the finish is very much not luminous.

When I review foundations I usually say that I got oily in the t-zone after four hours, which is normal etc. That is with powdering down. Well, with the Studio Fix I get four hours without putting powder on top and five hours of no shine if I add powder on top. That’s really good in my books.

Finally, some swatches:

First the two Studio Fix swatches, followed by my trusted MAC Studio Finish concealer, Chanel Les Beiges and my favorite foundation on earth: Essence Camouflage. The last three are quite close together, but the first two lean a lot more yellow if you ask me. Also, no that is not a typo. I swatched the Studio Fix in NC 15 and uinderneath the Studio Finish in NC 15 and they look completely different! I used to think MAC colors are always the same, just with slight differences, but that is not slight. So I unearthed my old Studio Finish in NC 20, from before I was careful with my sun protection.

First the concealer in NC 20, then the Fix fluid in NC 15. They are a lot closer than the other two above.

Soooo, if you think you know your MAC color and want the Studio Fix, go one shade lighter. I’m usually NC 15 and the Studio Fix in NC 10 was not too light for me. If you’re usually NC 10 – well, you’re out of luck. However, if normal MAC shade range is just a bit too light for you, the darkest Studio Fix might work.

So, overall I liked wearing this foundation. The wear was fantastic, the coverage what I personally need (in between medium and full although I could not build it up to full). The finish is just very powdery and also kinda thick. This is certainly no “no make up make up” foundation and it has not the slightest bit of dewyness. While I liked it, I didn’t like it enough to buy a full size.

Also keep in mind that with MAC foundations you always have to purchase an extra pump, so calculate that in if you want to buy one. At the moment since this foundation is being promoted you get a free pump if you buy it, though. (Might depend on country and store.)

MAC Lip Pencil Stone

MAC Lip Pencil Stone

Let’s talk about a useful item from MAC that is non-limited (with all these LEs it’s so easy to get sidetracked). It’s the lip pencil in the color Stone:

Stone has been around for a long time and proved so popular that MAC later on released a Stone lipstick to go with it. But I don’t have the lipstick, only the pencil. Stone is a greyish brown, a taupe so to say. The lighter your skin tone is, the browner this will appear on you and the darker you are the more the grey will pull out. This, like nudes, is a color that will look different on everyone.

Swatch. See how it looks pretty brown on me? It’s still a cool toned brown, but this pencil can look much cooler and more grey on others. Just so you get a feeling for it, Stone is quite a bit darker than the MAC liquid lipstick in Flesh Stone.

Stone comes with the usual MAC lip pencil quality. It applies well and helps the staying power of the lipstick. You can also use it alone or under lipgloss.

Examples of lipsticks you can pair it with:

MAC Stone (obviously); Maybelline Steel Chic (will make the deal opaque); L’Oreal x Balmain Legend; L’Oreal x Balmain Glamazone (will make color stronger and more opaque); Maybelline Gone Greige.

You can also use it underneath non-opaque shimmery things to give them a base color to shine on, use it with all sorts of nude lipsticks to pull them cooler, and use it with all sorts of soft pinks and corals to pull them more nude.

You see it’s a really versatile lip liner. I really go into the very cool toned lips this year (and the metals, but that’s another story).

Do you have Stone? What’s your most used lip liner? What’s the most useful one in your stash? Or do you not use liner at all?

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?

MAC eyeshadows Haux, Corduroy

MAC eyeshadows Haux, Corduroy

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

How do I store my refill pans?

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

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

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

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

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

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


MAC Brow Set Clear

MAC Brow Set Clear

Hello everybody! I hope you’re well. Can you believe it’s November already? What?

Today I’ve got the MAC Brow Set in the color Clear for you. Honestly this isn’t as much a review as it is simply a bottle porn post. Just look at the clear gel and the bubbles and gah! So good! It doesn’t stay like that once you start using it that’s for sure. I won’t post a pic of how it looks now, because gross. You might see the rest of it in a used up post some day in the future.

It started out smelling a lot like glue but has since mellowed down. I’ve been using it for several months by now. It’s pretty much what’s promised. The color is clear and it’s a gel that sets your brows. It lasts okay, up to twelve hours I’d say. You don’t see it unless you put on a lot. The brow hair is stiffer once the gel has set and stays in place.

Using a clear gel is easier than a colored brow gel because if you mess up, nobody sees it anyway. So when I want to be quick, it’s actually better to use a pencil first and then the clear gel rather than using a colored gel on its own. This is also why the gel gets gross looking after a while, because you touch the brush to your pencilled or powedered brow and then back into the tube. I mean the colored gel probably gets gross too but I don’t see it.

And that’s it for this review. No swatch, obviously, since you wouldn’t see anything anyway. What’s your preferred way of doing brows? Do you have enough natural brow hair that you need to set it at all?

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.

MAC Sweets for my Sweet

MAC Sweets for my Sweet

Let’s talk about a non-limited item for once.

A while ago MAC released the Extra Dimension Blushes. Like the Extra Dimension Skinfinishes, they have a fine, yet strong shimmer. The blushes also have more of a base color. All of the blushes are very shimmery, often to the point that they look completely different in the pan than on the skin, because the shimmer is a different color. For me the blushes were too shimmery, it is like applying a strongly colored highlighter. So I picked up one of the darker pinks as this one was the only color that had shimmer in the same hue as base color which makes it not stand out so much.

Lightly applied swatch. The color is rosy pink (almost berry but not quite) with pink shimmer. It can be applied lightly or built up to medium coverage. The color looks innocent on this swatch but on my face I have to use a light hand or be overblushed.

I like this blush and I already made a dent in it. It is so useful because you can skip highlighter and the color goes with everything. The brush picks up the powder effortlessly, no swirling necessary and I need only a quick swipe across cheeks.

It lasts about eight hours on my face, give or take an hour.

So I can recommend this one and I’m sure the others are great as well, but those were too shimmery for me personally. Sweets for my Sweet is certainly the most subdued of the bunch.

MAC Pigment Gold

MAC Pigment Gold

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


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

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

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

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

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

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