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.

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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.

Summer Sale Haul

Summer Sale Haul

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

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

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

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

Maybelline Gone Greige

Maybelline Gone Greige

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

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

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

I love it! Recommendation.

MAC Pigment Gold

MAC Pigment Gold

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

Ahem.

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.

MAC Metallic: Silver Spoon

MAC Metallic: Silver Spoon

The MAC LE for the month of August is called Metallic Lips. In America this is already the second LE with such lipsticks, over here it’s the first one. I was 100% sure I didn’t need anything from it. Then I swatched them. Ahhh, pretty shimmer.

So far I purchased only one, Silver Spoon. This collection seems to sell out much faster than the previous ones, so I apologize if my review comes too late. To my knowledge all the lipsticks are limited edition, at least for now. It is expected some might come back sooner or later. Also included in this collection are shimmery pigments. Those are always available at the Pro stores.

Just so you know, none of the lipsticks in this new metallic finish are opaque. This is especially noticable in the darker colors, which turn out uneven. So I was mostly interested in the lighter colors. I don’t see that much difference between metallic and lustre. They feel similar and are both see through. Also, the metallic finish always has visible sparkle, it’s not a smooth foiled optic.

Swatch of Silver Spoon. It is a greyish silver with pink/red sparkle. That was hard to photograph but is visible on the lips. Very pretty. While not opaque, there is still color payoff. The lips look silver. It’s a great wintery, fairy look. Goes well with duochrome highlighter.

Lasting power was actually pretty good; I got five hours out of it. It wears off evenly. It even survives a small meal (reduced, but still there).

Sooo, here I thought I was gonna skip this LE and now I want even more lipsticks. The white or the lighter pink colors call me.

Verdict: If you want intense color do yourself a favor and skip this LE. If you want pretty sparkles, go for it. Finish is shimmery and sparkly, not foiled!

All Used Up July 2017

All Used Up July 2017

another list of empties, here we go.

Batiste Dry Shampoo Classic: I super hate the smell, like toilet cleaner or something. But quality good. Will buy other scents now.

Two Clinique items, first the airbrush concealer which I already repurchased. Then the mild clarifying lotion, which I would have repurchased, but they changed the formula. It now contains witch hazel. My face does not like witch hazel, so I had to go through the hassle of finding a different product. Boo, Clinique. Don’t fix things that ain’t broken!

Funnily enough my last toner was by Clinique too, then I decided these things were useless and went years without one. Then I realized toners never worked because they had way too much alcohol content. I found Clinique’s mild clarifying lotion which didn’t have any alcohol, but salicylic acid and was nicely acidic. It worked wonders. Of course they had to change it.

Balea Anti-Falten Augencreme Q 10: So far I liked every Balea eyecream I used. Might repurchase at later date.

List of ingredients for eye cream.

And last, two items from Rituals. The Ritual of Dao handcream smells great. Dao is my preferred scent of theirs. However, that’s as good as it gets. As a handcream it feels thick and doesn’t sink in properly. But it doesn’t give the skin any moisture. Will not repurchase or try any other of their lines. Especially since this is only 75ml for about € 11? Nope. Might get a Dao linen spray instead. I also have the room scenter sticks.

And the second item is a sample of their sensitive skin lotion. This is a regular face cream with lots of aloe vera. I used it at night and it was in fact the best skin care item of Rituals I tried. It gave a good amount of moisture and the skin looked fresh the next day. I will not buy a full size, because firstly I have lots of stuff to use up and then I also prefer for my face cream to pack some power in addition to just moisture (like AHA, BHA, …).

List of ingredients for Rituals face cream.

Those were my empties of the last month. I think it’s a pretty good amount for a summer month. I don’t know if there will be empties in August, if not I’ll sort through my old makeup and see what needs to be chucked.

MAC Chromat: #Shockvalue and #Chromatbabe

MAC Chromat: #Shockvalue and #Chromatbabe

And today in: “Did she fall for special packaging again?” I present you: MAC Chromat. This is MAC’s current LE. It’s a designer collab again. I’d never heard of Chromat before, but I checked them out for this post and their swim wear looks great.

The LE has see through plastic packaging instead of black carton. The blue line design is repeated on the products. If you look closely, it’s not just random lines. I think it forms a female figure/corset.

I bought the eyeshadow x 6 palette (#Chromatbabe Super Pack) and the blue lipstick (#Shockvalue).

The lipstick comes in amplified finish, meaning it’s high color but not matte. Here I swatched #Shockvalue first, followed by Dreampot. While #Shockvalue is LE, I think Dreampot is permanent. (At least it has been in stores since it was released.) On the side I added a swatch of Hi Def Cyan. The color is not identical to #Shockvalue, but close enough that you can use it as lip liner/base if you want to.

Now, #Shockvalue applies very well and did not migrate once it was on. However, it is not a matte lipstick and does not have the lasting power of one. It survives several hours without eating or drinking, but if you do take a sip it will wear off on the inside. After a meal there’s nothing left on the inside. The outer parts survived for me, but I didn’t eat anything super greasy.

Lipswatch! Honestly, this is my new favorite blue lipstick, the clolor just works soooo well!

On to the eye shadow: I swatched them top-bottom, repeat. First row is more matte, second row more shimmery. The colors are in order of my swatches: Sabina Sangre (Satin), Structrued Satin (Satin), Triennial Wave (Satin), Duabandita (Veluxe Pearl), Mindfiles (Frost) and Blue Black (Veluxe Pearl).

So there are no true mattes among the shadows, which I like because mattes can be difficult. You can see a little bit of shimmer in the blue and the orange swatch, but on the lid they look matte. All of the colors are soft and pigmented. It’s a good idea to apply them before the rest of the makeup, just in case you get a lot of drop down, but for me they behaved. Most of the drop down was blue shimmer and that’s the sort of stuff that migrates later on as well.

The first color is Sabina Sangre, a juicy orange. I own a few orange shadows but nothing quite like this shade. It is pigmented and was easy to pat into place.

Structured Satin is black. I like using it as eyeliner. It goes on dark and stays like that. You can blend it out as an eyeshadow as well, though.

Triennial Wave also offers good pigmentation. As with all strong colors I pat it on instead of wiping around with the brush. The color needs no base to shine (I did all my testing without base or primer) but if you wanted to really pop it you could use Hi Def Cyan underneath.

Duabandita is a brown with teal shimmer. Mac has a loose pigment like that, too, but I don’t own it. It’s a very beautiful color and looks different from every angle. It went on like a dream and stayed there, too (usually I get a lot creasing when not wearing primer).

Mindfiles is a gunmetal grey. It actually applies pretty dark. The shimmer makes it look lighter in the pan. This one needs a bit of blending or a light hand when picking the color up with the brush.

I was pleasantly surpised by Blue Black, as the blue aspect really comes out. I have a similar eyeshadow that loses a lot of the blue shimmer when applied and ends up looking mostly black. Blue Black is still a black with blue shimmer but you can still see some of the blue on the lid.

This is one of my testing looks. I wear no other makeup and I didn’t intend to photograph it, but since I did snap a pic I might as well show it. On the lid I wear only Duabandita, you can see both the brown and the teal side of it. In the crease there’s a mix of Mindfiles and Blue Black. The other three (Sabina Sangre, Structured Satin, Triennial Wave) are used as liners. Now for a real look I would probably not use all six at once and I might want to add in a normal transition shade but I think the colors actually work together as well. There’s quite a number of possible combinations with #Chromatbabe.

So, for those who like a little more unusual color in their makeup I can recommend both items. As of now they should still be available as well.

MAC Feels so Grand

MAC Feels so Grand

I finally dared to check out some liquid lipsticks. This is MAC Feels So Grand.

This is the swatch mostly dried down. One swipe. The amount of color you can get from such a liquid lippie is insane. The finish is very matte. In fact MAC calls these the retro matte liquid lip color. This is the mattest stuff I own. It emphasizes you know not the lines, as it doesn’t pool in them or anything, but the lips look super not smooth. Afterwards the lips feel dry but it’s not too bad.

Color comparisons with regular lipsticks. The liquid one is just so much deeper. Colorwise it seems to be in between Mrs Mia Wallace and Viva Glam I.

I like that the applicator it is really precise. You can get good, crisp lines. Once on and dried (it takes a minute to be dry) it just will not come off again. You need oil remover to get it off. Also when you get it on glasses or stuff like tooth brushes, you need to clean those by hand because the lipstick will cling forever. Funnily enough even though it stays on the lips it still rubs off everywhere!

I had a long meal and the lipstick did wear off on the inside, but only there and I think that only a beauty blogger would notice that. I wasn’t left with a two toned mouth or something. So wow, this really works. To be honest I still prefer regular lipstick bcause you can reapply more easily – reapplying on top of liquid lipstick can get weird and flakey. Secondly the liquid calls for a sharp outline which emphasizes how my mouth is not symmetrical at all. But those are personal points. The lipstick is still totally worth it.

Revlon Fire & Ice

Revlon Fire & Ice

Let’s have a red lipstick week. Starting with a classic.

Revlon has recently reentered the market here. The brand can now be found in every drugstore. I picked up only this one item here, the Super Lustrous Lipstick Creme in 720 Fire & Ice. What I like about the Revlon offerings is that they are encased in plastic, meaning you get untouched items, huzzah. However, the products left me quite cold; there was no must have among them. Fire & Ice is a red lipstick that has been around forever so that’s what I chose to try out.

It’s not just red. It’s intense. The finish is creamy and it really doesn’t last very long (2 hrs max). I took to using a lip liner all over the mouth and adding the lipstick on top. This makes touch ups easier. The lip liner I use is by Kiko. 

Color comparison. The color was so unusual I didn’t know at first what to grab. I thnk it’s a mix of Kiko True Red and MAC Lady Danger. Fire & Ice is very intense, basically neon. It has yellow undertone.

Lip swatch taken with my phone. It doesn’t really do the color justice, sorry.

Basically despite the fact that Revlon hasn’t been in the market here the last couple years, I know this color. I’ve seen many an older lady wearing it. When I put it on it was the first time ever I recognized a red lipstick as having seen it on others before. Weird and cool at the same time.

If you want this particular color then go for it. I don’t really recommend it though because the lasting power is terrible and Revlon isn’t that cheap either.

Illamasqua Skin Base Mixer White

Illamasqua Skin Base Mixer White

Y’all probably know the problem of a foundation that is great, but not exactly the right color. When I want to make a foundation darker I simply mix in liquid bronzer without any shimmer. Those can usually be found in some summer collection or other and brands like Lancaster offer a liquid bronzer all year round. Making a foundation lighter can be harder. You could try to mix with liquid highlighter, but that either makes the foundation sheerer or too highlighty.

Some brands offer lightening drops – which are usually not light enough for me. Enter this product here: Illamasqua Skin Base Mixer White. Illamasqua says these mixers (there are four: you can lighten, darken, make warmer or cooler tone) are to go with their Skin Base Foundation. I don’t have that one, but it has worked with every foundation I tried it with.

Now I know it says “white” but it’s not. It’s one of those wedding dress colors, you know. It’s got a yellow undertone which works well with my skin that also has a yellow undertone. I can’t say if it would make a difference if you’re more pink based.

Shown in the pic above is a single swipe, so it’s pretty pigmented. Apart from the obvious mixing use, this can also be put to use for special makeup, like for Halloween. One blended layer is too sheer to make the whole face white, but (like in the swatch above at the edge) can be used as a base depending on the look you’re going for (vampire for example). A second layer makes the face white (well, off-white) and personally I went over it a third time, patting the product in for concealing. This makes the coverage opaque and works well for a skull look, for example. It wears just like regular foundation, although I recommend using powder and setting spray on top. The finish is matte and even though it dries down it rubs off onto your fingers if you touch it.

So that’s for using it on it’s own, on to the mixing:

Illamasqua Skin Base Mixer with Essence Camouflage makeup.

And mixed together. This is almost 50:50, maybe a bit more white. The color matches my underarm pretty well. I hope you can see the edges. Since the White has good coverage on it’s own the coverage of the camouflage makeup (medium to full coverage) does not suffer. Mixing it with a sheer foundation gets too white for my taste, best use is with medium or full coverage products.

(Funny story, at the point of testing this I owned exactly zero foundations that were too dark for me – so to see the effects I had to go lighter than my usual shade and it annoyed me to no end.)

While the Mixer alone has a satiny matte finish I didn’t find that it changed the finish of my foundation. It really only did what was promised – change the color.

In a nutshell: I like.

MAC Steve J & Yoni P haul

MAC Steve J & Yoni P haul

Steve J & Yoni P is a current collection by MAC with a sort of limited distribution so I apologize if you can’t get it where you are or if it’s already sold out. I bought mine a month after the collection came out and they still had everything left so at least this isn’t one of those annoying collections that sell out at the first hour.

This is the design of the cardborad packaging. I think the lipsticks have only the lip on them and not the eye but I was being a Good Girl and did not buy lipstick even though I really wanted to. This collection includes one permanent lipstick in special packaging, Candy Yum Yum. You can see swatches of Candy Yum Yum in this post.

And this is what the products look like. I bought the eye gloss, Pearl Varnish, the eyeshadow duo Touch me Baby, and the blush Sugar or Syrup.

And this is what they look like opened. Yeah, that gloss is blinding. XD

Swatch time! Right on top is the powder blush Sugar or Syrup, a pinky peach in MAC’s regular powder blush formula. This is actually one of my fav blush formulas, I don’t even know why I bother with other blushes… However that depends on the color also. The other powder blush in this collection gave of zero color upon swatching it in store. This one here works just fine. It gives of more or less color depending on how heavy handed you apply.

Next, the eyshadow duo: The colors included are Soba (satin, light brown) and Keep on Twinkling (Lustre, light pink with sparkle). I didn’t expect to love this so much. Lustre is MAC for ‘shimmer but not much color’ so I was glad to see that while Keep On Twinkling does not give off that much color, the pink is actually visible. Keep on Twinkling is new (but dupable), and Soba is permanent, so you can easily recreate this duo for yourself. Soba is so good and if it weren’t for this duo I would have not noticed that – I thought it would be too yellow for me but it works. Both apply easily and last all day (with primer), and a solid five hours without primer.

Last, the eye gloss: This is a goopy thing with high shimmer. The color is Pearl Varnish, which I think is a reissue. The base is sheer white and it has lots of multi-colored shimmer.

The difference between these eye glosses and the lip glosses which come in the same pot is that the eye gloss is goopier and thicker. The usability of such a gloss is highly situational. Like, this is not for everyday use. It settles into the crease in minutes and destroys all makeup underneath even when worn with primer. You would use this for photoshoots or when the goopy creasing effect is actually wanted. So this is more of a blogger/MUA thing. The shimmer on this one here is sooo pretty, though (and I think you could also use it as a lip gloss although a lip gloss lover will surely already own a colorless base with lots of shimmer).

Out of these three I love the eye shadow duo the most, I wore it every day for two weeks. It’s so easy to use and pretty, although as mentioned, also dupable.

This is a very minimal eye looks with the eyshadow duo lightly applied (you can get more color out but this was just to test the gloss), the pink color on the lid and Soba above the crease and then the Pearl Varnish patted on the middle of the eyelid and in the inner corner. I do think it gives a lovely wet effect. The only place it lasted was the inner corner though.

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick Alpha

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick Alpha

After several Comfort Mattes, this is my first Mega Matte of the Urban Decay Vice lipstick range. The color is simply called Alpha. It’s a bright pink.

Swatch. This color is so beautiful and intense: I think it will suit just about everybody. Strong pinks always make me so happy. XD

Color comparison! I have a whole lot of fuchsias and in general more blue leaning pinks than yellow leaning pinks. Alpha leans yellow and is darker than most of my lipsticks. The four lowest lipsticks have a matte finish, the two underneath Alpha have a cream finish (Givenchy and Estee Lauder). Alpha is supposed to be “mega matte” but honestly I found it to be satin/matte. It’s certainly not as flat as mattes from MAC.

Sadly the not as matte as expected finish also affects longevity. The lipsticks survives mayyybe four hours without eating. I did not see much of a difference between UDs comfort matte and mega matte finish in look and wear time. The mega matte lasts a smidgen better and is more drying compared to comfort matte. It is less drying than a regular MAC lipstick.

To help it stay better I’d recommend a lip liner, like for example Kiko’s Smart Lip Pencil in 709.

 

Essence Hip Girls Wear Blue Jeans

Essence Hip Girls Wear Blue Jeans

Essence currently has the June/July Summer Collection out. It’s called “Hip Girls Wear Blue Jeans“, which… okay… it’s not the best collection name I’ve ever seen. But I gotta admit that this season I am crazy about blue jeans. I own no less than five jeans dresses alone, never mind pants and shirts. But back to essence. The collection is quite big, including several highlighters and blushes and other stuff. I was drawn to the cheek palette… and this funny thing called lip powder:

Shown: bronze & blush sunkissed palette 01 sunkissed, what else? and lip powder 01 I’m gold and I know it!

Honestly I bought the lip powder because I’m a blogger and I thought I’ll try it so you don’t have to. XD

Now, essence is a cheap brand the packaging shows it. I have to handle it very carefully, but at that price I can live with that. (The problem is that the packaging isn’t completely tight and so everytime I  move the item I end up releasing powder all over the place.)

The powders show a pretty embossing. The gold lip powder is already chipped because I dropped it. But apart from the small chip it survived just fine.

Swatch time! First the cheek palette, then the lip powder.

The cheek palette consists of a very light shimmery pink, a bronzer with intense shimmer and a pink blush color with fine golden shimmer. The packaging calls the light pink the “lighter rouge shade”. It’s obviously meant to be used as a highlighter but they’re not calling it such, probably because it’s not very shimmery. On the other hand it’s too light to use as a real blush. Honestly it’s the dud of palette; it barely shows up on my face, only giving a little bit of shimmer.

The bronzer on the other hand is very shimmery. So shimmery that you don’t really need to also use a highlighter. Now, the official essence video shows this powder used as a contour. DO NOT DO THAT! It’s warm toned and shimmery, it goes ON your cheekbones, not underneath. It looks very pretty on the cheeks, though. The swatch shows it at full opacity but it can be sheered out and so it works for lighter skin tones as well as darker ones.

The blush color is also very pretty and gives off a good flush while blending easily. It doesn’t look that shimmery next to the bronzer, but it does pack a good amount of golden shimmer. Very universal slightly coral pink, goes with everything.

Blush and bronzer last pretty much ten hours, longer when worn with a setting spray (best setting spray I know is actually also from essence).

So, two very good colors and one meh, for that price I’m okay with it.

The lip powder… It looks very light in the swatch, like a highlighter*. It is a cool gold color, which I like because a very yellow gold on the lips would look ridic on me. It says you could apply all over the lips or just in the center. I have only used it in the middle of my lips, not all over. The powder is very soft, softer than an eyeshadow (which answers the question “why not just use eyeshadow” – you’d have to apply with a lot more force to get the same amount of powder and coverage on). I have used my finger to pat it on. Since it’s powder I’d recommend putting a base on, either lipstick or at least lipbalm.

The packaging suggests that the finish is going to be metallic (“metallic foil lip powder”). Well, look at the swatch. It’s plain not shimmery enough for a metallic finish. However, it’s not a complete loss, either. It does give off a good muted shimmer/color, sort of like a brass tuba? I actually like the effect and it’s more appropriate for a jeans collection anway. When patted on top of lipstick it changes the color but the color underneath is not overwritten, it still influences the result.

Putting a powder on top of lipstick has a similar effect as putting powder on top of cream eyeshadow – the whole concoction lasts quite well and actually survives a meal with about 80% lipcolor left (might also depend on bases; I used only matte and semi matte lipsticks).

So to my great surprise, really, I can actually recommend the lip powder to those who want such a thing as well as the cheek palette (if only for the bronzer and the blush)! Huh.

*now I reviewed this lip powder as such, because that’s what they sell it for. but at the end of it, it’s a shimmery gold powder and can be used everywhere. It makes for a beautiful cheek highlighter and the pan is big enough to fit a highlighting brush in there comfortably. I also used it as an eyeshadow, funnily enough it looks less shimery when used that way, probably because you are used to eye colors with more shimmer than that. It looks like a golden beige on the lids. It works well enough, but is not completely opaque. When used as eyeshadow I strongly recommend using a primer or cream shadow underneath so it can stick – the powder is still loosely pressed and can be prone to fallout. The good news is that while there was some glitter wandering about I’ve had worse fallout with some ‘real’ eyeshadows. So really, this thing is a one in three product – if the color is something you can use. Could also be used to lightly dust the body for golden shimmer.

MAC Single Shadows: Expensive Pink, Cranberry, Paradisco

MAC Single Shadows: Expensive Pink, Cranberry, Paradisco

Reddish toned eyeshadows are a huge trend right now. But sometimes you get so distracted by all the new limited editions palettes and things that you forget there’s also great stuff in the regular range, right?

I got myself some MAC singles to build my own custom palette. This isn’t the whole deal – I’ve got some neutrals as well. I’m not necessarily wearing these three together but they are in the same vein, so I’m putting them in one post.

The colors are: Paradisco (top, the bright peach), Cranberry (left, the red) and Expensive Pink (right, rose gold).

Swatches! same order as before, Paradisco, Cranberry, Expensive Pink. Ususally I put the finish (like Satin, Veluxe Pearl, etc) next to the name but my refill pans offer only the name, not the finish. I guess you’d have to buy them with the pot to learn the finish… Sorry about that.

Paradisco is an intense peach with fine golden shimmer. The color is just so good, lively and pretty and well I just like rose or peach with gold very much, okay.

Cranberry is deep red with red shimmer. But it’s muted enough to not look weird or off-putting. You can wear it alone or combine it with other colors.

Expensive Pink looks way lighter in the pan than it is applied, because the gold shimmer is so intense. The base color is a darker mid tone coral. I think it’s got too much red in it to really call it a pink. The color looks amazing on the lid.

All of these colors are great. I find them to be pretty fuss-free, I had no noticeable fallout either and they last very well. Mind you, I always have to use a primer on my lids, but with primer they last about ten hours. I can recommend all three. For the summer I’ll especially recommend Paradisco, it’s such a happy color.

All of these are permanent colors and can be bought as singles or as refills. The refills are quite a bit cheaper. They come with a magnet. You can buy an empty MAC palette to put them in but you don’t have to. Any empty metallic container will do.

MAC Fruity Juicy Haul

MAC Fruity Juicy Haul

Hello here’s my haul from MAC‘s current summer collection, Fruity Juicy:

I picked up the Fix+ Coconut, the Pearlmatte Face Powder and an eyeshadow palette. I was really good and skipped the lipsticks even though I wanted them all.

Before I go on to the makeup items, a few words about the Fix+: Firstly the name Fix+ is misleading as it is not a spray that keeps your makeup on longer. You can put it on top of your finished makeup and it will take the powderyness down a notch. Or you can use it to wet your brushes or to mix a pigment. As it is full of antioxidants you can also just spray it on after cleansing your face, that’s what I prefer to do. Since it’s basically water, glycerin and antioxidants it will help makeup adhere better (the glycerin) if you put it on before makeup (instead of afterwards). Now, this version here is not the normal one, it’s the coconut one. It includes actual coconut extract. The smell is a lot more gentle than I expected (considering the last item I reviewed was the Physicians Formula Bronzer!) In fact I can barely smell it. But, what I didn’t expect is that (since the liquid is clear in the bottle) the spray comes out milky! It dries down to colorless, but I’m sure my other Fix+ never did this. Okay so that was longer than I expected I really only wanted to say, guys good news, no obnoxious coconut scent!

On to the makeup. The pearlmatte powder in Oh my, Passion! is certainly the center piece of the collection. Usually I skip these kinds of things, because sure they’re pretty in the pan, but will I use them? Well this time the swatch was just so pretty…

The Eyeshdow palette is Love in the Glades, the one with green colors. The other two are more orange/pink and included some colors I already owned, so this one here was more unique to me.

Swatches for Love in the Glades. Shade names are (from left to right as swatched, the order is reversed in the palette): Russian Blue (matte), Palm Leaves (satin), Neoprene Green (veluxe pearl), Bye Bye Bahamas (frost), Cumulus (frost) and Grey Stroke (Satin). I’m surprised the Veluxe Pearl Shade has less shimmer than the two Frost ones, but then I’m not the biggest expert in MAC shadows and also it works better this way, you don’t need an intense green with a ton of shimmer.

Now the reason this palette is so cool is that while it can also be seen as tropical it is also literally cool (toned). You can go for a green toned holiday look, but since there are so many greys you can also go for a futuristic look, like a robot from a dystopian future (I have been reading a lot of comic books lately…). Seriously, you can go for conventional beauty or, with the right combination, a really disturbing look. The lightest shade is what makes or breaks the weird look because it is not a traditional highlight or blend out shade – it is too obviously grey for that. Pair it with a grey or blue lip for maximum alien-ness.

All of the shades apply well. I am glad that the greens apply properly opaque. For Neoprene Green you could use the Paint Crushed Emerald as a base but you don’t need to. I do need a good primer underneath but I always do. Without primer they stay about four to five hours, with primers all day on me. I am also glad the darkest color, Russian Blue applies so smoothly, it can work as an all over shade, as a crease shade, as eyeliner. I love using shadow as eyeliner and am annoyed when the shade is too crumbly for that. In the swatch it looks quite dark grey but it can be sheered out as well.

Overall I’d say the colors apply semi-opaque and can be built up to full opacity.

Swatch of the Pearlmatte Powder in Oh my, Passion! And yes, that’s the exact punctuation. Anyone else feel like that comma should be somewhere else?

Anyway, I swatched the individual parts and then all of them together. While you could pick up the individual colors with small brushes, in real life I only used them swirled together. And it gives off the prettiest color. Don’t get fooled by my pic here, the color can be built up quite a bit so I am sure it’ll also show up on darker skin tones. This is really the all over cheek product – blush, bronzer, highlight. It looks amazing and very summery, like you were sunkissed and are flushing at the same time. I use it like a bronzer, so generously on the cheeks, and a bit across the nose and forehead. You can apply it lightly or get it stronger. The first time I used it I used too much and ended up looking quite flushed. XD

I love the look because while it’s of course makeup it also imitates my natural look quite well. In summer I get a bit of color where the sun hits me from above and because it’s hot my cheeks are red at the same time. This is that, but prettier.

I hope that by now this isn’t all sold out already. You never know with MAC, but the big summer collection is usally not that bad… In case you can’t get the items anymore I am sorry. In case they still have the face powder left, I highly recommend it.