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?

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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)

Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Pacific Green

Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Pacific Green

This little tip belongs to a Chanel eyeliner, the Stylo Yeux Waterproof 925 Pacific Green. I think it was part of a past Spring Collection, but can still be found in stores today. I am generally a fan of the Stylo Yeux Waterproof, because they really are waterproof, they are easy to put on and the color range is big.

Two swatches. The color is sooo pretty, but despite the name I consider it to be more blue than green. It’s a greenish blue with multi colored cool toned shimmer. The mine is very soft which makes it hard to get a thin line. But with a color like that, do you even want a thin line? The liner works both on skin and on the waterline. You can also use it as an eyeshadow, you just gotta be careful because it’s so soft. Don’t press too hard.

Overall, this brings the usual Stylo Yeux Waterproof quality and lasts on skin until I take it off. On the waterline it lasts about four hours, maybe a bit less. It does not smudge but the bigger shimmer particles do wander around some.

A problem I have with my Stylo Yeux Waterproof collection (I have ten) is that some of them break off at the base. Like, the mine as such is whole, but it comes out of the casing. I tend to push it back gently and they’re still usable but they never reattach to the packaging. I used to store them upside down so I could see the color stripe (example shown here), but now I store them horizontally to avoid further breakage. This also sometimes happens with my Rouge Allure & Rouge Allure Velvet lipsticks. I had a similar problem with a thin Estee Lauder lipstick from an LE (not their usual lipstick design) and an old MAC shadestick, but unlike the Chanel items which are still like new those two makeup items were also dried up so I chucked them out. I don’t understand why my Chanel things don’t like to stay properly in their packaging.

But the above is just a general observation. It has not yet happened with Pacific Green, which is a lovely eyeliner if you want the thicker, less crisp design of a soft pencil.

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?

All Used Up August, September and October 2017

All Used Up August, September and October 2017

Wow, it’s been a while! Usually I try to get one of these posts up once a month or every other month, but whatever. It’s going to be a bit longer, then. Here’s the stuff I emptied in the last three months:

Benefit They’re Real mascara: this mini was part of a set and of course the mascara went way before the other products. At first I really liked the mascara and thought I’d buy a full size aferwards. I mean I still ike it but I have found other mascaras that work just as well so for now I won’t repurchase it. It gave my lashes length and volume and didn’t smear.

Chanel Le Volume Rouge Noir: You will notice a trend here. Some people really hate these mascara wands made of plastic (or whatever it is) with short bristles and I really, really love them. I absolutely adored the Rouge Noir color, which sadly was a LE. The Le Volume doesn’t give length, but it does add a lot of volume. This has the effect that lashes droop a bit and won’t keep the curl. My lashes are naturally curly so it works out for me despite the weight. When the Le Volume is new it is very wet and will be a pain to use. I have found the key is to open it once and then put it in the drawer and forget about it. Several months later it will have the perfect consistency. And no, the mascara won’t go bad in the meantime (just don’t leave it lying about for years). Le Volume does not smear on me (once it had some time to dry) or crumble.

Two small masks: Balea Reparierende Maske and Balea Reinigende Maske. These are supposed to be one time masks, but there was so much product in them that I used each for four or five days. Or rather, nights, as these are leave-on masks. Hence the sleepy face. I liked both, they were refreshing (both have a gel texture) and they plumped up my skin quite a bit. The next day there were visibly less fine lines. I don’t think they did anything else though. The blue cleansing mask didn’t result in less gunk in my pores or anything. Still, I liked them. I’m not sure if they were LE, though as I haven’t seen them in stores anymore?

Ingredients for the green repairing mask.

Ingredients for the blue cleansing mask.

Nivea two phase eye makeup remover: It was okay. I had removers that got the makeup off faster than this one, but on the plus side it did not feel that oily and left not much residue on my eye. Might repurchase if I find nothing better.

La Roche Posay Toleriane cleansing milk: my go-to cleanser for makeup free skin. It does claim to be able to remove makup, but don’t fall for it! It’s terrible at removing makeup! It is okay for a normal gentle cleanse, though. I take a blob of this (it has sort of a weird texture) and rub it all over my face. Then I take it off again with a wet cotton pad. It could be taken off with a dry pad but that leaves on too much product for my taste. This cleanser will leave residue, though, even when removing it with water. This is supposed to happen! The cleansing milk leaves a film of moisturisation on the skin while removing the gunk and dirt. Thus, I can skip the regular moisturizer and go straight for sun protection.

Batiste Cherry dry shampoo: am still on my mission to try allll the dry shampoo scents. I like this one here a lot, it smells a bit like Guerlain LPRN… So far Batiste is the brand that gives my hair the most fluffing up, which is my main reason to use dry shampoo (my hair is very limp). Repurchase of this one is highly likely.

From left to right: Lush Lemony Flutter, Colab dry shampoo tropical and a sample of Cavalli perfume.

I don’t like the smell of Lemony Flutter at all, but I love what it does to my skin so I buy it from time to time despite the scent. But the scent is really something. I use Lemony Flutter on my hands, cuticles, feet and sometimes elbows. I put it wherever I need heavy duty cream. It leaves my hands a bit oily for a few minutes, but I think that’s worth it. I do wish they offered a different scent. For now, no repurchase.

Colab tropical has a faint coconutty scent. It smells good, but nowhere near as strong or good as ‘paradise’ from the same brand. It truly does not leave white residue, but it also gives me less fluff than Batiste. And it left my hair feeling a bit sticky. Sorry, Colab I love your scents, but I’ll rather deal with white residue than sticky hair. No repurchase.

Roberto Cavalli by Roberto Cavalli is a massive powdery orange blossom scent. I like it enough to use up the samples (this isn’t my first) but not enough to go for a bottle.

Piz Buin Allergy Lotion: Haha, can you see where the writing wore off? It didn’t survive the combination of heat and sticky hands. Okay I love the formula. It smells good, it protects really well and it does not give me angry, dry red spots on my skin (this happens a lot to me when using the wrong sun care). Thus I bought two more bottles long before I ran out of this one. Only after that I realized how terrible the packaging is! Once you used up the first half the product refuses to come out of the bottle. The opening is tiny, the lotion very thick and the bottle very sturdy and hard to squeeze. I hate it! So I will use up the bottles I stupidly already bought, but after that I’ll only consider this again if they change the packaging!

List of ingredients for Piz Buin.

This is almost the whole list as right now I realize I forgot to photograph a shower gel I used up. I’l put it in the next post. This brings us to the end of my empties for now. See you on the next one!

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?

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.

Catrice Nude Illusion Loose Powder

Catrice Nude Illusion Loose Powder

I bought the Catrice Nude Illusion Loose Powder in transparent matt, because I wanted a cheap powder for baking (and weeks after I bought it some brands came out with their special powders for baking, typical).

It looks like this on the inside. To be honest I find it a bit hard to get the powder to go through the tiny openings in the plastic, so it doesn’t usually look like this.

The powder looks white and I applied a lot here to make it show up on photography, but it is transparent, so unless you bake you’re not going to see any color. Therefore it works for everybody. The finish is matte, but not as matte as I feared. I’m usually a fan of a more luminous finish, because my skin is combination. So my nose gets shiny no matter what I do and with a less matte finish to my makeup the difference to my cheek is nowhere near as noticable.

However, this finish is matte, but still somewhat luminous. It’s hard to describe, but it’s not that deadened kind of matte that was en vogue when I was a teenager, but a good matte. My nose still got shiny after the same amount of time that it always does, but it did not look too bad. Overall I am very happy with the finish. If you use it as a regular setting powder you only need the tiniest amount, so this this 11g powder will last a long time.

And baking? It turns out I am way too lazy for that. Sorry guys. But I assume that since this already such a great powder when used normally it will work for baking as well. I don’t think it settled in my wrinkles.

Overall I love this powder and the only annoyance is the opening. You have to hit the surface to make powder spring up and I’m not sure if that will still work when the powder is half used up. I mean you can close it and turn it upside down as well but even if you hit it several times only a little bit comes out. I’d remove the plastic sieve part but it won’t come loose. Maybe I’m just more of a compact powder  person.

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.

Dior Diorshow Brow Chalk Blonde

Dior Diorshow Brow Chalk Blonde

 

Last year Dior came out with these brow chalks.

This is the Diorshow Brow Chalk in 001 Blonde, presumably the lightest color available. It’s a brow pencil, but with a thick side.

Swatch, once with the whole chalk and once with the edge. The color looks almost green tinted here, but don’t worry, when it’s in the brow it somehow turns more yellow/ochre. Honestly, why is it that no matter how cool a color looks on the skin, it turns red in the brow? However, this one isn’t too bad. In fact it’s a pretty good brow color. It’s lighter than my real brow hair and turns them thicker in a soft way. It looks very good and subtle and I have immediately declared this to be my everyday brow product after trying it out the first time.

My real hair color is an ashy blonde, very cool, almost grey. Usually I go for brow colors that are darker than this one here. But it was a present and it turned out so well. I think this stick would actually work for most blondes. Unless the goal is to darken your brows, of course.

This brow chalk is softer than my usual pencils. That means it needs only a very light hand to apply. I fear that also means that it will be used up quickly, but we’ll see that when I’m done with it.

For the swatch I used the edge as well, but in real life I only apply with the broad side (the edge wore off very fast, as well). It is so easy and quick to apply this way, but of course you’re ending up with a full stripe of color. You can’t draw tiny hairs as you could with a very thin, hard pencil. You can just apply very lightly and then blend a bit if necessary. If you make a mistake it can be rubbed off easily. I blend/remove with my finger; this is also recommended on the packaging.

I think this is best for people who have brow hairs though, then you can just wipe it over your brow hair and be done. People who shave their brows or who have very thin brows might have a problem with the broadness of this chalk. It’s not that precise and very soft.

The product claims to be waterproof. I took a shower with it and it was still on afterwards, so water alone doesn’t affect it. However, I do think it vanishes throughout the day. I’m not entirely sure how long it lasts, maybe six hours, maybe more. But when I wash my makeup off there’s not that much visible difference, indicating that there wasn’t much makeup left.

Pros: super easy to use

Cons: possibly not that long lasting, expensive

Certainly worth a try if you ususally shop luxury makeup.

MAC Nicki Minaj Lipsticks (plus other pink stuff)

MAC Nicki Minaj Lipsticks (plus other pink stuff)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essence Fresh & Fit Awake Make Up

Essence Fresh & Fit Awake Make Up

Last year essence released the wonderful Camouflage foundation, which has become my absolute favorite foundation ever, surpassing all the more expensive ones. So when essence released another foundation in their current fall product range change (pro tip: if there’s an essence product you love always check bi-yearly if it’s going on sale because then it will be GONE not even best sellers are safe) I bought it just in case it was another hit.

It’s called Fresh & Fit Awake Make Up and it boasts to give you a healthy glow. Now, healthy glow foundations were all the rage a couple years ago when brands simply added light shimmer to their foundations. This is not one of those, no shimmer (not needed anymore since nowadays everyone has a ton of highlighters at home). Howeverrrrr, this is so not for the kids with oily faces. The glow is very, ah, wet looking. This is the un-mattest finish I ever owned.

The color I bought was the lightest of four available ones, it’s 10 fresh ivory.

For my swatch I hit the pump with gusto – and got out wayy too much product. This affected the swatch a little, sorry.

Had to cover half my arm with the swatch. The coverage is light to medium – you can still see my blue veins here. The coverage is not builadable, no matter how much you put on.

Comparison swatches. The other pics were made in the shade, this one in direct sunlight. The first line is the Fresh & Fit, again I got out too much product so the swatch is still super wet here. However, it will not dry down as much as the other two anyway. Good news is, it does not oxidize and get darker.

The second swatch is MAC NC 15, which is much lighter than ‘fresh ivory’. Last swatch is essence Camouflage in 10 ivory beige, also the lightest available of that foundation.

Now, the fresh & fit is clearly darker than those two, closer to MAC NC 20. However, the lighter products swatched here have a lot more coverage, so blended out on my face I can wear this foundation. But still, the 10 in this foundation is a different color than 10 in the other foundation of the same brand and that’s pretty annoying.

I already mentioned that this foundation is not kidding when it says glow. I need a good primer and a lot of powder to keep the shine at bay. It ends up shinier than my favorite glowy foundation (Dior BB Creme). Longevity was not affected, though, it lasted a whole work day just fine. So from the finish, this is not a foundation for oily types, it’s okay for combination skin IF you can live with the shine, and will probably look best on very dry skin.

So far so good, but please note that this foundation contains alcohol on the fourth spot of the ingredients list, meaning it could potentally irritate your skin in the long run. (My beloved Camouflage foundation also includes alcohol, but much lower down the list.) The alcohol is especially annyoing because apart from that the fresh & fit actually includes a lot of good stuff, like Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin B3, and Vitamin A! This means that this stuff is basically skin care and would make your skin look better in the long run – provided you also used sun protection because retinol makes you sun sensitive. The retinol is not advertised on the product, it only says ‘vitamin complex and cranberry water’, which is technically correct I guess. The foundation also includes titanium dioxide and iron oxide, but I would stil use a sun screen with it.

The foundation is lightly perfumed, but the smell vansihes quickly and there are no declarable materials (aka known irritants).

My verdict: best for aging skin if you can live with the alcohol content and shine. For more coverage and a matte finish I greatly recommend the Camouflage instead.

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.

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.