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!