October 31, 2010

Rouge Bunny Rouge Highlighting Liquid

This highlighter has gotten some rave reviews from the Rouge Bunny Rouge fans, and I think it's worth the hype. This is actually my first liquid highlighter, and I must say I'm glad that I chose this one to start off on. It's very easy to blend out and the finish is beautiful and dewy. The usual complaint is that the pump gives you way too much product, but I just sort of smear the extra on my neck region. The amount of product is so extremely generous (at 30 ml) that I don't mind. That 30 ml does come at a very high price. I just checked, and it appears that Zuneta has changed over to a "choose your currency" system, so no more playing the exchange market. This highlighter comes in at a whopping $70.58 USD. Holy damn! I did not pay that much. Zuneta often has 20% off codes, and "sheerluxez20" is still active. Whoa.

Swatches in direct sunlight, I tired to get different angles to better show the luminosity
From L to R: Blended Swatch, Heavy Swatch, and GLOB!

Okay, the swatches speak for themselves, this is a beautiful highlighter. An excellent product to have in any dedicated makeup lover's arsenal. However, I'm beginning to realize more and more that I prefer extremely subtle highlighters, and although this product is subtle by most people's standards, it's not as subtle and my usual highlighters. The highlighters that I reach for the most are Edward Bess All Over Seduction cream highlighter, and the Este Lauder Tom Pecheux Pure Color Luminous Powder. Both of which are hardly detectable.

So the verdict: I'm glad I got this, because those 30 ml will probably last me at least 5 years. A $70 purchase for 5 years worth of highlighter isn't so bad. I would recommend you skip this item if you already have a liquid highlighter, but if you're about to run out of one, then by all means run out and get this one. You won't be disappointed.

Photo of the Pump

October 26, 2010

Binary Star- Honest Expression

This songs gives me chills . . .

Chanel Extrait de Gloss, Swatches and Review

So I'm throwing my hat into the Chanel Extrait de Gloss review arena. There are already much better pictures and much more comprehensive reviews (most notably by Amy at cafemakeup.com), but hopefully I have something valid to add.

I ordered two colors from the Chanel website: imaginaire and confidence. Imaginaire is a slightly peachy pink color that looks killer with my pale complexion. Confidence is a slightly darker and more "nude" pink that boarders on "rosewood." And that really was the main surprise for me, the fact that confidence ended up being darker. It's even noticeably darker on my lips. Like whoa, even after being described as a light nude pink. They're both beautiful colors, but going on the descriptions, I would have thought that imaginaire was confidence and confidence was imaginaire.

They are both very similar colors, so you definitely don't need both. I wanted both because I'm really into these types of colors, but someone who doesn't need every natural pink lipgloss could definitely skip one. I would recommend imaginaire to fellow ghosts like myself, and confidence to people with a deeper skintone.

Top: Imaginaire Bottom: Confidence
As for the controversial applicator, I hardly even noticed it was different, so if you're considering ordering one sight unseen, don't sweat it.

Now for some swatch pictures!

Left: Confidence Right: Imaginaire
Left: Confidence Right: Imaginaire

Both glosses have that subtle and enchanting Chanel glimmer. Yes, the depth, yes, the sheen. These are words that are used over and over again to describe Chanel's classy use of . . . all things. The verdict: these glosses lived up the hype and the Chanel reputation. Extrait de Gloss is definitely a welcome addition to their permanent line.

October 23, 2010

Paul & Joe Holiday 2010 Pictures and Review

Picture overload!! Here are the two Paul & Joe Holiday 2010 Lip and Eye Color sets! I couldn't decide which to get, and since I had a 30% off coupon for b~glowing, I just got both. I love the print so much this year, I definitely don't mind having two makeup bags. Isn't the print awesomely retro? I would love to have a dress made out of this print. I guess I could get my wish since this has undoubtedly been featured in the Paul & Joe clothing line . . . if I had a gazillion dollars that is.

Color 001 Adagio features a neutral color palette. The gloss has the frosty light pink rose with dark pink surroundings. The eyeshadows are creams and browns. Color 002 Allegro features a slightly more colorful and fun palette. The gloss has the dark pink frosty rose, and white surroundings. The eyeshadows are an interesting combination of light blues and pinks with smoky dark greens.

The Lipglosses are particularly exquisite. Could you die?!?! Forgive me for not doing any swatches, I just couldn't bare to destroy the roses in the center of each gloss. I'm sure I will dig in soon enough, but for now, I want to admire them for a little while longer.

Color 001 Adagio on L, 002 Allegro on R

The eyeshadows feature an interesting design. Single usage cards, but I feel like I could probably get upwards of five applications, even more with the darker shades. It's really a good amount of product for someone like me, who has never even come close to using up a pan of eyeshadow in her life. I think I'll be deriving quite a bit of satisfaction from using these up.

The Adagio eyeshadow colors are: cream frost, milky coffee, chocolate, dark cool brown, and sparkling dark grey. You could get such a killer holiday smoky eye from these. Score.

001 Adagio Eyeshadows
The Allegro eyeshadows are: light blue, pink cream, mauve pink, dark forest green, and deep black with brown and green sparkles. I definitely wouldn't know how to use all these colors together, but there are a lot of interesting combinations you could use. Like the mauve all over the lid, smoked out with the deep green and black. Sweet.

Color 002 Allegro Eyeshadows

Double Feature: Black on White Affair and Annakonda!

It's a double feature, with Black on White Affair's, "Bold Soul Sister, Bold Soul Bother," and Annakonda's "Wheedle's Groove." Both are groups from the little praised Seattle Funk scene of the 70s. I was introduced to both of these songs by the funk compilation, Wheedle's Groove: Seattle's Finest in Funk. I love a good compilation tape.

October 21, 2010

Y Society- This Advice

More Y Society . . .

Illamasqua Pure Pigment in Ore: Review and Swatches

Illamasqua. Makeup for your alter ego. I was a goth-punk in high school. What can I say, it was 1999. But I most certainly did not align myself as such at the time. If you had asked me what I identified myself as back then, I would have said, "nothing, I'm not cool enough to be anything." But in hindsight, I was total goth-punk, complete with black spaghetti strap tank tops, stud belts, dyed hair, and black eyeliner, plus a whole crew of friends that were dropping out, drinking, and making the same fashion statement (my straight A's were a secret, apparently). The mere thought of it makes me cringe. Funny what ten years will do to your out look. Anyway, I'm not a participant in alternative culture these days. I think I'll always be counter in some way, because I'm such a loner. But I don't have an alter ego, and I don't need to make it up. But that doesn't mean that Illamasqua doesn't have a little something for anybody. The new Pure Pigment in Ore, released as part of the Art of Darkness collection for Fall 2010, is very main stream and everybody friendly.

Taste-y sparkly bronze goodness. Who am I to resist such a lovely color? I'm not at all afraid of glitter (maybe being an ex-goth-punk will do that to you) so I'm really into the sparkle of Ore. The chunks aren't too big, although fall out is fairly unavoidable if you use this as an eyeshadow. But fall out is another thing that doesn't typically bother me, especially with a product like Ore. It's so flashy on the lid anyway, that the fall out sparkles underneath sort of add to the effect, right? This is particularly awesome layered over cream things. The black Mac Cream Color base comes to immediately to mind.

I might mention that the packaging of the Illamasqua Pure Pigments are outright hands down superior to the Mac Pigment packaging. See that plug looking business on the underside of the cap? Well you guessed, it's a plug. Genius right? Why didn't Mac (and BareEscentuals, remember when that was the it brand, not anymore! ha!) think of that? It keeps the product from exploding anytime it's tilted away from being perfectly level. Gravity is no match for Pure Pigment, you can toss the packaging anyway you like, and the product with stay neatly contained. Let's give a round of applause.

Slightly out of focus shot to show the glitter. Lovely!
The whole Art of Darkness collection is pretty awesome, but this was the only product that I absolutely had to have. This and Viridian Nail Lacquer. Almost forgot about that. Now that I'm thinking about, I'm going to go explore my nail polish stash because I'm sure there is many a forgotten polish in there. Polishes that get purchased, and instantly whisked away to purgatory. So sad!

October 19, 2010

Molton Brown Warming Eucalyptus and Ginger Body Srub

Molton Brown's Warming Eucalyptus and Ginger Body Scrub is an exfoliating salt scrub that smells amazing. Not just amazing, but capital-A Ahhhh-mazing. But I have a feeling that this sort of scent is not for the weak of heart, or frequently bed-ridden. I personally really love the smell of eucalyptus. It does remind of me of Vicks Vapo Rub, but I also really like the scent of that stuff, so let's not go there. The fact of the matter is, that Molton Brown did eucalyptus right. Vicks smells artificial and cloying, but this shower scrub is invigorating!! It makes me feel cozy and wintery while also stimulating my skin. They're not kidding about the "warming." This stuff feels a bit like spreading toothpaste all over your body and standing in front of a box fan. No joke. The ginger aspect of the scent is also very nice, but considerably less noticeable. I think beating all other scents out of their senses is part of the definition of eucalyptus. Harhar.

I usually prefer sugar scrubs, because sugar, i.e. crystallized carbohydrates, dissolve less readily in water than salts. So you basically get more bang for you buck. You know how some scrubs just seem to mysteriously vanish on your skin while you're trying to abrade the shit out of yourself, and it's all super annoying? Well, that's all thanks to that quick dissolution (and of course particle size). So this scrub is somewhat guilty of that, being salt in base. But the other warming tingly-ness makes up for that.

I should mention that the below picture is of the product mixed. When the pot first arrived, the scrub had separated into it's component parts, and a thick gooey dark green layer of whatever was on top. So yeah, don't be alarmed if the same thing happens to you.

Molton Brown is a british brand, and is available online at beautyhabit.com, and more recently, Saks and Neiman's. I bought mine from beauty habit so that I wouldn't have to pay sales tax (ain't I stinker), but I tried it first at the Molton Brown free standing store on 3rd Ave between 63rd and 64th.

October 16, 2010

Janelle Monáe- Tightrope

When Tightrope came onto the radio, I sat up and took notice. With a quickness. The official verdict: Archandroid = best album since Thriller. I think I might agree.

Nail of the Day: Butter London All Hail McQueen

Butter London's All Hail McQueen is a holographic beige. What!?!?! Yeah that's right. My two favorite nail polish qualities, combined into one amazing color, with the usual amazing Butter London three free formula. I'm not going to go on and on about three free, because I think everybody has a pretty good idea of what that means these days, but I will tell you that Butter London's formula is really perfection for the price tag. Chanel is held up as the king of perfect cream formulas, but I think Butter London matches it, for $10 less. Score.

I took a whole bunch of photos to try and capture the quality of the color and holographic glitter bits. I actually think this is a decent representation. In normal indoor lighting, All Hail McQueen is basically a warm taupe brown color with subtle silver frost. It contrasts surprisingly intensely with my skin color (again, because of the pale). Sabrina at the beauty look book reviewed this polish here, and on her it matches the valence of her skin tone much more closely. I'm just surprised with how different the same polish looks on my hand, but I guess that's what makes skin tone such a special characteristic, everyone's is different.

Swatch in full sunlight
Swatch with flash
Swatch in shade.
As an aside, I apologize for the state of my cuticles. You have to understand, my hands live in those blue examination gloves all day everyday, and it's rather moisture zapping. So why do I religiously paint my nails you ask? Because I'm a new yorker, that's why.

Butter London is available on their website, butterlondon.com, at B-Glowing, and now Nordstrom (!) but I got mine at a Ricky's in NYC.

October 15, 2010

Ellis Faas Mascara Review

I'm very glad that I waited to write the review for the Ellis Faas Mascara. I received this as a gift with purchase, and it's a good thing I did, because I don't think I would have gotten over the bumpy start if I had paid retail. Initially, the whole shebang was very disappointing. I couldn't put the wand back without huge clumps of mascara building up at the top and interfering with the screw closure. And god forbid product is lost!!! So I would sit there, painstakingly trying to get all the product back into the container by removing the wand, inserting the wand back, removing, inserting, removing, inserting, removing, inserting . . . well, you get the idea. It would take me five minutes just to put mascara on in the morning. NOT COOL. That's when I FREAK OUT ALL OVER THAT BUSINESS. Anyway, a week or two later, the problem vanished. Good thing.

Now that I can look past the crazy product loss disaster, I realize the formula is rather nice. It's reminiscent of the cult classic DiorShow. It adds lots of volume to my lashes, while keeping them supple. No crunchy lashes here. And the lash separation is very nice and natural, there are little to no clumps. There's a slight amount of transfer to the under eye, so you have to make sure you don't get raccoon-y by checking a mirror once or twice throughout a twelve hour day, but really, the transfer isn't any more or less than I experience with virtually all non-waterproof formulas.

The mascara wand brush head is nothing special, but I'm also not a believer in all that fancy business, so I couldn't care less. Because when you think about it, any makeup artist worth their salt uses those throw away mascara brush jobs, so they must not make that big of a difference, you know what'm'sayin'? Also, the wand itself is very long, which is definitely the most unique aspect of the entire presentation. It took a little bit of getting used to, but I think the length might help with even application. Neat-o.

So really the verdict is: nice enough mascara when you get past that awkward beginning, but not really anything exciting. Ellis Faas Mascara runs for $34, which is a lot of bank for being so similar to the $24 DiorShow. So don't bother buying it. I won't be.

But, if you're interested, Ellis Faas mascara can be bought at ellisfass.com, and Bergdorf Goodman in New York City.

October 12, 2010

My Ellis Faas Glazed Lips Collection: Swatches and Review

Today I bring you my entire Ellis Faas Glazed Lips collection. The formula of these is pretty excellent. They're extremely moisturizing, and decently long lasting when taken in context (they are lip glosses after all). But what I really love best about these glosses is the color range. The colors are so unique, and look soooooo right with my skin. Ellis Faas's philosophy is "human color." She bases all of her products on pigments and colors found in the human body. Want to rock the orange lip that's been featured on the runways, but don't know how you could possibly pull it off in real life? Ellis Faas Glazed lip in L304 is your answer (which is the third swatch from the left). I own Mac morange, and that shit is damn hard to wear, it really does look like clown mouth, but not Ellis's take on orange. Her take on the orange lip is so easy. Think Prada Spring 2010.

Another very wearable color is L301. This is the "glaze" version of the notorious "Ellis Red." This color makes your lips look like you were just tearing a carcass apart with your teeth, while lying in the tall grass of the savanna, but in a good way.

L303 is a dark pink color that looks excellent by itself or layered over another lip color. That's pretty much all I have to say about it. It's awesome.

Full sunlight. From L to R: L301, L303, L304, L305, L306, L307, L308

An unusual, yet complementary color, is L304. This is very brown in base, and is probably the product they're referring to when they say "tawny peach of a freckle." I like to wear this color with warm fall colors, like reds and ochre.

Two brights that's just right are L305 and L306. They're both coral shades that really look much different in real life. I don't know why they insisted on looking so similar in the swatch photo.

L308 is a surprisingly opaque neutral lip shade. When I wear this it's not quite concealer lip extravaganza, but not that far off. This is a good color to combine with other shades to make them more pink. If you have difficulty with overly pigmented lips, and would like a gloss with fuller coverage, I would highly recommend this shade.

Shade, same order.

The Ellis Faas website has some of the best swatches I've ever seen. The color is very true life, at least on my screen. Although, be aware that the lip swatches are extremely heavy on the website. None of the lip products really look quite that even or vibrant in real life, because there's just no way a normal person could walk around with that much product on their lips.

One last note for those of you ordering sight unseen, beware of the color L309! It's just clear, the color in the photograph is the model's natural coloring! Although it appears that the swatch is plainly labeled these days. Good for them.

Example of the tip, L301

To learn more about Ellis Faas and her philosophy, visit ellisfaas.com.

For my review on the Eye Lights, click here, and for my review of the concealer, click here.

Jurassic 5- Get it Together


Dolce & Gabbana Lipstick in Orchid and Amethyst, Swatches and Review

This season, Dolce & Gabbana came out with three new lipstick shades: Orchid, Amethyst and Cosmopolitan. I swatched all three in store, and completely fell for Orchid and Amethyst. Realizing how similar cosmopolitan was to Chanel's Summer 2010 Rouge Allure in Genial, which I already own, I passed on that particular shade (although it was also very lovely). The other two are fairly unique to my stash. Orchid is a deep pink, Amethyst is a deep purple. Amethyst was featured in the Fall 2010 promotional picture with Scarlett Johanson, so I think there may have been some bias! Both are excellent on cooler toned skin, although I think a deep purple shade like amethyst would look rockin' on anyone. I really love the formula of these lipsticks, save for one thing: the scent. I like that it's a classic rosey lipstick fragrance, but it's just a little too overpowering for me at first. Like a true junkie, I suffer through the initial cloying scent until it fades 10 minutes later.

On the left: Orchid, On the right: Amethyst

Prior to purchasing these two colors, my only vampy lip color I owned was Dahlia, also from the D&G Classic Cream Lipstick line. I really love Dahlia because it is the exact lip color of a 1920s screen siren. Whenever I put it on, I feel like I could be the starlett of a Howard Hughes movie. The two new colors closely resemble Dahlia. As you can see, Dahlia falls directly between the two new shades, Amethyst and Orchid,

Swatches with comparison, from L to R: Dahlia, Amethyst, Orchid
Below you can see a lip swatch of Orchid. I used Paul & Joe Lip Pencil Duo in Scarlet to line my lips first. I wore this lip to work yesterday, combined with the brick colored blush featured in the "Soho de Chanel" compact. The two compliment each other very nicely. When I wear a strong or bright lip, I generally keep everything else light. One of the keys to pulling off a look like this is to make sure that your under eye is concealed fully. Orchid was a big hit, I got several compliments from my coworkers!

October 11, 2010

El Michels Affair- Hung Up On My Baby

This is from an album called Sounding Out the City. What city? New York City. When I first struck out on my own, and got my very own place in the greatest metropolis of the world, I listened to this album. To me, these are the melodies of Alphabet City, my old and beloved neighborhood.

This song was originally written by Isaac Hayes, and this is El Michels Affair reinventing it. The effect is really profound.

La Mer The Eye Concentrate

I got two big things for my birthday this year. Number one: a prada wallet. I've have never owned any designer leather goods, and I've always wanted one. Number two: La Mer The Eye Concentrate. I'm in my mid-twenties now (!!!) and I need eye cream, damnitttt. I've been courting the idea of buying La Mer for a quite some time, but I couldn't justify the price. Even for a birthday, I went for the least expensive offering.

So after several months of use, the verdict: this stuff is worth the price tag. I've definitely seen an improvement in the eye area, a reduction of puffiness, decrease in dark circles, and just an overall moisturized feeling. I don't have fine lines (yet), but the whole idea is to be preventative. I feel a though my eye area is safe in the hands of The Eye Concentrate.

Every morning after the aforementioned witch hazel ritual, I use the little silver applicator to apply the concentrate to my eye orbital. I didn't know the proper way to apply eye cream until the La Mer sales associate showed me, but apparently you're supposed to only put the cream on the boney bits, not slathered all over the lid, as I was apt to do before. You learn something new everyday.

October 10, 2010

I'm a sucker for Golden Retrievers . . .

Essentials of Skincare: WITCH HAZEL

An under statment: I am bit skincare obsessed. I usually use pretty top of the line stuff on my face, but nothing will ever come between me and my witch hazel. If anything could ever be a holy grail, witch hazel is one for me. And it's so cheap! And easily attainable! At any drugstore! Holy damn! I go through a pint in about six months. Every morning after I clarisonic (don't you like how I made that into a verb there?), I take one of those round cotton pad jobs and invert the bottle several times over it. Then I tone my face and neck. The Duane Reade generic has 86% witch hazel, and the rest is isopropanol. I'm assuming this is the composition of all witch hazels.

Witch Hazel bush in the Spring

Witch hazel is a "decorative" plant that grows wild in the americas. Apparently the native indians used it extensively in their medicinal practices. The stems were distilled and used for all manner of ailments.

Witch Hazel bush in the Winter

Anecdotally, witch hazel evens out skin tone, and brightens the complexion. Since it's an astringent, it's very good for the acne prone. More importantly for the long term, it's an anti-oxidant, which means it prevents the oxidation of molecules. Oxidation is a type of chemical reaction that transfers electrons from a reducing agent to an oxidizing agent. Oxidation and reduction reactions are crucial for life, but too much and in the wrong place can result in damaging oxidative stress. For example, the product of such reactions can be free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that can cause quite a bit of damage to cells, and any and all cellular damage ultimately translates into aging. There are many popular anti-oxidants in skincare, the most common of which are vitamins C and E. So toning with an anti-oxidant like witch hazel likely has a lot of long term benefits.

Witch Hazel is also supposed to be good for cuts and sunburns, how multitasking and useful of it! So go forth, buy witch hazel, because you never know when it might come in super handy!

InI- Grown Man Sport

Have you ever heard the term "eargasm?" Well prepare to have one.

Pete Rock makes me go a big rubbery one. By the way, the sample is Fela Kuti "Water No Get Enemy." My favorite game: "know the sample," followed closely by "guess the nail polish."

Chanel Soho Story Collection Picks

So this past week I finally decided that I had to take action. The Chanel Soho Story collection came out for new york fashion week, and more specifically debuted on fashion's night out, which was almost exactly a month ago. I went to Bergdorf's that night, and like a total loyalist, had a makeover at the Paul and Joe counter. In other words, I did not go to the Soho Boutique. I've been trying hard not to think about the Soho release, trying hard not to read the essentially rave reviews from other bloggers (especially Amy at CafeMakeup) but alas, I was overwrought. I am a new yorker after all. I have to show some loyalty, just like how I bought the Absolut Brooklyn. So I trotted on down to Soho after work, and did the damage. I chose the "Soho de Chanel" Highlighter/Blush and the Rouge Coco in "Stunning."

Soho de Chanel really is super awesome. I like the brick red blush portion particularly well. I just don't know how Chanel does it, to be honest. The simmer is so sophisticated. When I put it on my cheeks, it's all glowing and nice. I usually reach for matte shades for my cheeks, but I have to admit that this type of shimmer is so seductive. The highlighter portion is less exciting, mainly because it's difficult (for me) to get just that bit on my brush. But I have a feeling that my skillz are not up to par with the experts.

All pictures taken in bright sunlight . . . said captain obvious.

I don't really know how I managed to get my hands on the Rouge Coco Lipstick in Stunning, considering how late it is in the game. But this particular lipstick was a return, from just that very day, and the sales associate told me that I was a very lucky girl. I think it takes more than getting your hands on a lamely limited edition product to make a girl lucky, more like living to see another day and all that, but whatever. This is actually the one item out of the collection that I wanted the most, so why am I complaining? This is my first Rouge Coco, and I'm not that impressed with the formula. It's drying and smells too much of . . . flowery cosmetics. But the color is super nice. See for yourself:

Bright sunlight swatch

As for the rest of the collection, all I can say is "ehh." The nail polishes didn't really rock my boat. And neither did the other lip items. I swear, if Chanel comes out with another baby pink lipgloss with sparkles, I'm going to lose my shit. Oh wait, I already must have lost it when the released freaking "Charming" for the Holiday collection. Oh well.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...