Tuesday, July 12, 2011

MAC Bloggers' Obsession

I first read about these on Temptalia and I thought this was a fantastic idea.  I’m happy that not only MAC thought to give out this opportunity to someone outside the company but I’m so happy for the bloggers that were chosen to contribute to the collection because that must have been a huge thrill!  I’d love to see more opportunities like this but only time will tell.

Onto the products and the photos!

Parisian Skies is a grayed blue. For some reason it reminds me of a cat's eye but not as bright or light blue as a Siamese.  The first photo I took was to show the flash of blue because if you look at it straight on, you won’t see the flash and it leans a bit grayer (or at least to me).

 Hocus Pocus is a smudgy, sooty, smoky gray-brown.  For some reason it reminds me of the chimney sweeps scene in Mary Poppins. 

Sparkle, Neely, Sparkle! is a warm medium brown with gold glitter.  Again, the picture of the product in the pan was shot at the angle to properly show how the glitter appears.  I would have thought the glitter would have been, well…glittery, but it’s smooth and not as big as regular glitter.  It’s as if shimmer and glitter had a baby and that’s what they put in this eye shadow.  I like the glitter isn’t too glittery.  It is noticeable once applied but not horribly so. 

Jealousy Wakes is an emerald green with subtle gold shimmer.  Being emerald it does lean blue but I noticed when playing with it depending how it’s blended and the colors used with it, the color can appear more of a true green without all the blue of an emerald green. 

I wanted to note the very first time I swatched these for the pictures below, I was a little concerned because the colors seemed to need a few extra swipes to fully show on my arm.  When I was swatching them during the video, I noticed they applied smoother and more pigmented.  I’m not sure the difference between photo day and video day but now that I’ve used them a bit more, I notice they are easier to work with.

Onto the lip glasses!
There were five shades total but I only bought two: Nitro:licious 2046 and Sonoran Rain.

Nitro:licious 2046 is a blue-based red.  When I first opened the tube and looked inside I immediately thought “Ooh, True Blood!”  On me this color is semi-opaque and delivers a nice shine that makes lips look luscious.  To me this is a gorgeously sexy color and I hope anyone who wears it rocks it like it deserves.  I also felt like comparing this to MAC Wicked Ways from Venomous Villains because I loved that red too but as you can see, they're really not alike.

Sonoran Rain is an orange-based red with red but most noticeably gold shimmer.  It’s semi-opaque on me but it still packs a great amount of color.  I love it for the color itself—it’s beautiful.   In the picture I’m obviously using flash so it comes out very orangey but in real life it’s redder. 

This is a limited edition collection available online only, however at the moment everything in the collection is sold out.  MAC is offering an email signup so you can be alerted when the products come back in stock.  You can sign up for that at MACCosmetics.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

OPI Pirates of the Caribbean Swatches

Like some of you I was kind of left with a "Wait. Wha?" attitude after seeing the colors chosen for this collection. When I first found out about this collection I was excited but I didn't get too far about what I was expecting in terms of color choices. I suppose I assumed fun, bold or antiqued colors. Instead we got pastels. I like these for the colors but I wouldn't associate these with the movie. I only purchased three colors: Sparrow Me the Drama, Planks a Lot and of course Silver Shatter. I danced around the green Mermaids Tears but in person I just couldn't decide if it would be flattering on me. I didn't bother with the other lighter colors in this collection because I pretty much knew they wouldn't look good on me, even with the silver shatter.

The pictures shown are with two coats of the base colors and no top coat. I do like Sparrow Me the Drama and Planks a Lot on their own merit. They have a nice shiney finish, apply pretty evenly although when I applied Planks a Lot the brush left lines but thankfully those smoothed out on their own.

I really can't decide which color looks better with the Silver Shatter. At first I thought neither but now they're growing on me.

The Silver Shatter is definitely metallic. I'm still getting the hang of shatter/crackle nail polish. For those of you who are trying these out, I'd suggest playing with it until you get your desired effect. I like my bottom color to show quite a bit so I like bigger cracks. Sometimes I get them sometimes I don't. For my desired results you have to Goldilocks it--you have to get it juuuuuust right as in not too much and not too little. And really it depends which shatter you're working with. I may have to do a separate posts using the different shatters I have to give you a better idea. My overall advice? Just play with it and remember that even after practicing every single nail may not be perfect but in my opinion, that's the whole point.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cargo Mediterranean Set

Front and Back of Cargo Mediterranean Set Postcard bag
While I was circling the aisles in Sephora a week ago or so, my eyes skimmed across an absolutely gorgeous blush (see below). I swatched it on my finger and swooned. I never used a Cargo product before (except for Lash Activator mascara that unfortunately bled like a mother when I cried lol) but the blush was just so pretty I couldn't resist. For those money-conscious people, I could have purchased the blush by itself for $26 whereas the set was (I believe) $34. Yeah, I'm going to get the blush, a mini-gloss, full size mascara, mini-eyeliner and a good sized eye shadow duo for only $6 more.
As I mentioned the set includes:
  • Cargo Better than Waterproof Mascara in Black .33 fl oz
  • Cargo Classic Lipgloss in Morocco 0.105 oz
  • Cargo Swimmables Eye Pencil in "summer blue" (navy-ish blue) 0.028
  • Cargo Shadow Duo 0.123 oz
  • Cargo Blush in Mendocino 0.314 oz
I did some foot work (or finger work) for you guys.
Better than Waterproof Mascara retails at my local Sephora for $23 for the same size .33 fl oz. but on and it's priced at $20.  It's a basic black color that you'll find just about anywhere.  To me, the formula is a bit thick.  I wish the scraper on the inside of the tube did a better job because I get so much excess product and it can be a tad bit messy if I'm not careful.  On a good day this mascara applies nicely. It might be because of my coloring but the black definitely shows up well.  I do notice it lengthens pretty well.  However I have noticed maybe slightly more than half the time, the mascara can get clumpy and become difficult to separate the lashes.  For those of you that have them you can try running a clean mascara wand (spoolie) through your lashes and that may fix the problem.  I just don't keep those on hand.  I don't know if I care for the formula.  I don't remember most or all waterproof mascaras having this consistency but since it's supposed to be "better than waterproof" that could be the cause.  It's slightly heavy but only in the "I know I'm wearing mascara" way.  It doesn't BOTHER me exactly, just makes me aware I have product on my eyes which may not be the worst thing in the world.
Whole Collection
I think Morocco lipgloss is such a pretty color.  It's similar to Mendocino blush.  It's a semi-opaque wearable reddened berry gloss with what looks like silver micro-shimmer in the tube but some bits seem gold on my lips.  I went back to Sephora hoping for a full size version but I couldn't find one. Disappointing.  As I mentioned it's only semi-opaque.  I'm on the hunt for a perfect complementing lipstick to apply underneath.  I found Benefit in Wanna? but that pulls a little too berry and less red.  I only dab it on because Wanna? can be a little strong against my pale skin then slick Morocco over it.  Anyone have any suggestions or what works for them please feel free to post in the comments below or email me and I'll add them to this post.  It gives me normal wear time for glosses which is about 3-4 hours or so without eating/drinking.

Top L = blended Mendocino Blush, Top R = concentrated Mendocino Blush
Middle = eye shadow duo,
Bottom L = Morocco gloss, Bottom R = navy-ish blue Swimmables liner
The Swimmables Eye Pencil isn't exactly a pencil by normal standards.  At least when I think of pencils I think of those harder formula pencils.  This reminds me a bit of the Urban Decay 24/7 pencils because it's definitely smoother than the harder pencils that you might find in a drugstore or with other brands so it glides on smooth but it can cluster if you know what I mean. In my dealings with this particular liner, I don't find it smudgeable but rather smearable if I try.  Once it sets after a few seconds it's locked on.  I get good wear on my waterline but for my tastes it's a little too thick for my lashline (I just prefer liquid or gel for that).  Cargo didn't give this color a name as far as I can see but I call this "Summer blue" because it's a medium leaning dark ocean blue that always seems to pop up in collections in the summer months.  I can't tell if it's chock full of teeny tiny micro-shimmer or if it's an overall sheen.  On your lids it definitely appears as a sheen but a lovely one.

Check out the glitter/shimmer in the gloss, eye shadow and blush!
I couldn't find a name for the colors in the eyeshadow duos.  I noticed from the display people seemed to favor the gold over the brown. I have to say I'm more attracted to the gold as well.  It has a beautiful but subtly shimmer plus sheen.  It can leave a little clumping and fallout.  I just put a drop or two of water on my brush and tapped to remove the excess before applying.  The other color is a warm brown with a little bit of gold shimmer but it's subtle.  This one has hardly any clumping and fallout and I also noticed this one doesn't perform as well wet.  Both these colors are nicely blendable.  I like this shadow duo even though I haven't figured out a look I want to do with them. 
Last but not least, Mendocino Blush!  This is the biggest reason I bought this set.  I LOVE this blush.  As mentioned above it's 0.314 oz and according to the clerk at Sephora when I called, that's the same as a full sized blush for $26.  That's also the same size as my Cargo Bronzer in Medium (review available ) that retails at my local Sephora for $28.  Like the Morocco gloss, the fine shimmer in this look gold when applied but also I see silver as well.  It applies very smoothly and I find this plenty pigmented.  I only lightly pat my brush into the pan, tap the excess (though there is little crumbling) and blend. What I like about this color is it's not just a run-of-the-mill blush but it's flattering in the way it gives off almost a bronzed glow.  It works well with the bronzer I chose from Cargo and this blush has been added to my daily makeup routine.  All that coming from someone who up until a month or so ago didn't even buy blushes!

Overall I say this set is great and definitely worth the money. You can find it at Sephora stores, Ulta stores including and Cargo.

Oh my GAWD! I had no idea it had been SO long since my last post. Honestly, I got caught up in the holidays, work, move to a new place, health issues (I'm getting over them) and general blah blah blah.

Buuuuut I have been swatching, just haven't been posting them lol

I'll post the older stuff later just for archiving purposes or if you find a product on ebay and you're weighing the pros and cons maybe my posts will help you decide.

Anyway the stuff I'll be posting first:

  • MAC Surf Baby (almost timely)
  • OPI Grand Slam England (should be delivered later today!)
  • MAC Blogger's Obsession (should be delivered tomorrow)
  • Tarte True Blood Collection (I just placed my order today, I'll get it in about a week or so)
For those MAC fans don't worry I'll still be posting MAC stuff (those are most of the less timely posts I'll be putting up after the other reviews and swatches are done). I'm curious about the Semi-Precious Collection coming July 7th, the Glamglass Collection, MAC Colourizations Collection coming July 29th and August 2011.

This may be a bit of a let down for some of the readers and viewers of swatches but I'm only able to purchase collections that I have a personal interest in and products I believe I can use myself. I'm sure you'll be able to find swatches and product pictures of colors I don't get that you're interested in. I still very much recommend Temptalia for new collection info, product pictures and swatches.

So, hope you all forgive me for the long absence and you're ready for the new stuff!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Upcoming MAC Collections

Hey guys!

You may or may not remember but in my first Collections post, I had tips on how you can avoid a frazzled trip to a store frantically trying to remember what shades you wanted.  I've been working on my list for Peacocky and (although I had no plans of liking anything in this collection) MAC + Mickey Contractor.  I've already done my Cham-Pale and Stylishly Yours but I noticed I didn't feel the need to use Excel this time around.  Maybe because I didn't get that many things from either collection.

Here is a screenshot from the rough draft I've created in Notepad.

I doubt any of you will have trouble following my list but here's the Key:

#1—the title of the collection and the release date. This is helpful so I can keep in mind my timeframe to get my funds together.
#2—product name with price
#3—the total cost of the shades within that particular product
#4—total cost of my collection picks

First I'll address what you guys probably all jumped on: I will NOT be buying $292.50 worth of eyeshadows.  As you may have guessed, I super LOVE Temptalia.  Christine is so awesome with her swatches and I love how detailed her descriptions are for shades, texture, wear etc.  That's where I go first for all MAC collection information.  So right now, she doesn't have swatches of the eye shadow available.  The only shadow swatches I've seen are for Odalisque and Mating Call.  Hence the *** next to them because I know from the swatches I want them.  Once swatches and reviews are available, I'll be going through the list and knocking off the ones I know I don't want.  Again, this is a first draft which will go through much editing before I purchase anything. 

As I mentioned above, I love Christine's descriptions of shades so I've gone to Temptalia for her descriptions of each color and shortened them a little bit for my own personal reference.  At the final draft of my "process" the descriptions will be removed as I've already decided which shades I want and I'll be much more familar with them.  Please note the descriptions I have now for Peacocky are the MAC descriptions, not Christine's while Mickey Contractor descriptions are in Christine's words.

  My next step would be to comb the internet for swatches, narrow my picks to the colors I really, really want/what I can really, really afford and ta-da!  I can call my nearest MAC counter, order and in a few days rolling in products!
Hope you guys find this helpful.

Coming Up...

Hey guys,

So I know the blog has been a little MAC-centric lately. And I’ll be honest—the next couple posts will be MAC’s collections. In fact in the next post I’m about to tell you about MAC Cham-Pale and Stylishly Yours with a bit about Mickey Contractor and Peacocky.

Buuuuuuut, I finally caved and purchased NARS ultra-favorited Orgasm blush along with Orgasm gloss and Bad Education gloss—the last one I couldn’t pass up from the swatches I’ve seen! Alas, I placed my order on Monday and it only shipped yesterday or today. I’m not sure as I got the shipment confirmation saying it shipped “today” Thursday at 12:26 AM so it’s sketchy. As soon as I’ve gotten them I’ll put stuff up. Yeah, I know I’m late for the band wagon and that’s only because I don’t bother with blush. I’m usually pretty flushed without it so until recently I didn’t bother.

I’ve purchased a Z Palette after watching Marlena from Makeup Geek TV’s review on palettes. I chose the Z Palette because it seemed like a happy medium between the three she reviewed in quality and cost. I’ll review that once I have time to work with it a little bit. I’ve never done de-potting before (I’ve kept the shadows in the packaging they come in just because why not?) so I’m going to research that and…maybe video tape my attempts? It will probably be a very sad, sad fail video but maybe you guys can learn from it!

I have also been going through some Etsy cosmetics companies/sellers/whatever you want to call them. I ordered this beautifully luscious red color I am oh-so-excited to receive. There are a couple companies I want to get a few shadows and/or pigments from and of course, reviews will follow.

If you guys have any questions feel free to email me or leave a comment.

See ya!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

L'Oreal Magic Smooth Souffle

Hey lovelies!

I wanted to do a quick review about the new(ish) L'Oreal Magic Smooth Souffle foundation I picked up the other day at my local Walmart for $13.97. 

I had seen this a couple weeks ago--which is when it was probably released in my area--and when I passed by it I thought, "So L'Oreal is doing a Maybelline Dream Mousse knockoff then?"  L'Oreal's product touted the same as Maybelline's Dream Mousse: poreless, smooth, flawless skin.  Let's be honest--there's no such thing.  Not even the models who rock these products have perfect skin but I digress.  This weekend when I walked by, I grabbed a jar and opened it to get the consistency and color of the product inside. 

This seemed much thicker than Maybelline's Dream Mousse.  I couldn't help it...I poked my finger at it.  And I was right, much thicker and MUCH smoother when I swatched it on my hand.  After patting it for a second or two, it completely blended into my skin tone.  The only discernable difference was that the foundation evened my skin tone and made my skin appear smoother. 

I know it's really difficult to see (foundation swatches are a little silly) but you can kinda tell how the foundation filled in the fine lines on my hand.  The foundation feels like it has primer built in--although I could not find any official info that can confirm there are any primer-type ingredients.  It definitely has that silicone-y smoothness to it.  Although the product is thicker, it applies nicely.  If you choose this foundation, keep in mind a little goes a long way.  I used a clean finger to pat once into the jar then dabbed one spot on each cheek, my forehead and chin and blended with my fingertips.  I added teeny dabs to places I need extra covering.  I didn't use any concealer this time so I could see what kind of coverage I could get with it.  I'd say medium coverage--which is what I perfer.  I have noticed that this foundation is buildable, I just have to tweak it a bit.  The way this blends SO well into my skin, I think I could use it as a spot foundation as well just to cover a few imperfections than spread it all over my face.

I took the above picture right after my full face application in natural light.  I know my face looks a little weird--we had nothing but gray skies here which made the light outside coming in look strange.  Also, I have no color on so you guys could see how it applied to my face. 

I like the way this wears, also.  I've worn it for 8 hours (with no primer, just washed my face and applied moisturizer) and it still looks nice.  It hasn't really faded even though I've gone out in the bitter cold winter temperatures of the midwest then inside a couple stores.  Halfway into wearing it, I noticed my skin looked a little dewy but if I had had some pressed powder or even blotting papers at the time, I'm sure it would have resolved that small problem.  At times, I have slightly oilly skin so I'm pretty confident it was my skin that caused that than the product.  The dewy sheen happens with many foundations I use.  Looking at a mirror now, 8 hours later, I have a little bit of excess oil but my skin tone still looks even.  There is no product build-up on the top of my chin which can sometimes be an issue with me and I don't see any "scales" either (scales being where product can kinda separate on my cheeks which can make my skin look dry).

I know, I know.  I look...tired, drunk and probably a couple other things lol!  I'm downstairs and the lighting down here is dumb.  It took a lot of wriggling to get even this shot.  Anyway, you can see a little bit of sheen on my cheek, nose and forehead but otherwise it lasted pretty well.

If you wanted to know, I chose 512 Classic Ivory.  I believe it's the 2nd to the lightest shade.  For MAC uses for reference, I'm an NW15.  Yeah, I was shocked I didn't get the lightest shade too.  This was the first color I grabbed when I wanted to check out what it looked like inside the jar and it blended SO well.  Right now there is not a lot of shade choices but I've noticed drugstore brands sometimes release limited shades then once the product takes off, they begin to offer more.  So, if you don't find your exact shade, they may offer it later!

Let me know what you guys think!
Would you get it?  Are you going to pass?  Or will you wait on forming an opinion until you can stick your finger in the jar at a local store?