Wednesday, 4 July 2012

MAC Eyeshadows I've Hit Pan On

Predictable Ronseal title there. Without further ado:

Top row: Dazzlelight, Vex, Blanc Type, Phloof!
Bottom row: Coquette, Patina, Copperplate
The first two pans on the top left are nearly new, since I totally finished up my first Dazzlelight and Vex.

Top row: Dazzlelight, Vex, Blanc Type, Phloof!
Bottom row: Coquette, Patina, Copperplate
L-R: Dazzlelight, Vex, Blanc Type, Phloof!
These four are my favourite highlight/lid colours. Dazzlelight is my staple neutral for all over the lid - really brightening without being overly frosty. Vex is a gorgeous unique shade, a silver/beige with green/pink duochrome. Blanc Type looks incredibly dull swatched, but is an almost perfect match for my skintone (tiny bit yellow) and very useful for blending out edges, or evening out the lid. Phloof! is a verrrry frosty pink-white, best suited for an inner corner highlight, but I have been known to wear it over the lid with matte purples in the crease. I do love a bit of shimmer, me.

L-R: Coquette, Patina, Copperplate
Coquette is my eyebrow colour, an excellent cool-toned mid-brown shade which is also useful for defining the crease. Really glad I found this, as it doesn't get many mentions on blogs. Patina is the one I'm surprised I've hit pan on, since I don't use it very often - this is about as warm a brown as I can comfortably wear. My rubbish swatch doesn't show the antiqued gold shimmer on this, which is very pretty. Finally, Copperplate is a brilliant buttery matte grey-brown, super pigmented and blendable, which can be worn as a light wash or a dark smoky crease. This is a touch too dark for my brows in the daytime, but I do use it in the evenings for a more dramatic look, as it's nice and cool.

These are definitely among the MAC shadows I would repurchase (or already have done), and use on a regular basis. My next foray into my MAC palettes will be following up the purple theme!

Till next time,

Josephine x

All Things Purple - Lipstick Edition

So I finished my exams, and went to the ball, and turned 23. I'm now at home for a week or so, packing for a month in Nepal, and rediscovering my love for purple makeup products.

Kicking off with lipsticks, naturally!

L-R: MAC Violetta, Snob, Up the Amp, Topshop On the Town
Top to bottom: MAC Violetta, Snob, Up the Amp, Topshop On the Town
MAC Violetta is the queen of purple lipsticks. This is a Pro shade, which I bought at the (admittedly sometimes quite scary and unwelcoming) MAC Pro store in London. It's pretty damn purple - no lilac or mauve nonsense here, just straight up bright purple. Can be a teeny bit unflattering against the teeth, but a stunning lipstick nevertheless. Just to round things off, it's in my favourite Amplified formula, which is super-opaque and long-wearing.

Taking it down a notch to MAC Snob, which is a very blue-toned lilac pink (Satin finish). I got this (and the Topshop lipstick here) a month or so ago from Alice's blog sale, which is awesome. Very pretty girly daytime shade - barely purple against the others here, but a more wearable variation on the theme.

And of course the classic MAC Up the Amp. I highly recommend trying this out if you don't already own it - great Amplified formula, really unusual darkened lavender colour which is wearable day to night (I'd say). Love this one!

Finally, a non-MAC contender, Topshop On the Town. Sadly I think this is discontinued, so I snapped it up from Alice's blog sale! I think MAC have released limited edition versions of this shade in the past (Lavender Whip?). It's a pale mauve colour, not the most flattering but unusual and fun, particularly for spring pastel makeup which I love wearing. I haven't come across a dud Topshop lipstick yet in terms of formula - this is similar to MAC's Amplified finish.

If you have any other purple lipstick recommendations (especially non-MAC), do drop me a comment!

Lots more purple where that came from, in the shape of blushes (MAC, NARS, Illamasqua), eyeshadows (MAC and Chanel spring to mind), and the odd nail varnish/lipgloss/miscellaneous item.

Till next time,

Josephine x

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Revision Ate My Life

To the extent that I've only acquired three new things recently. I bought two, and one was a lovely present from my mother, hurray!

Here we have Chanel No. 19 Eau de Parfum, Illamasqua Skin Base foundation in 02, and Illamasqua lipstick in Eurydice (from the new Human Fundamentalism collection).

The perfume was the gift, earlier this month, after I went through a phase of loving No. 5 again. It is a bit of a shock when you first smell it if you're used to standard popular fruity/sweet scents, and I wasn't sure I liked it when I first wore it. I'm happy to say it's grown on me, and I now love it. It's a very green floral, heavy on the iris, and almost woody - perfect for this wet spring we're having! Victoria has a lovely review, as does Angela on Now Smell This. It's completely different from any other scent I own, and I can see myself getting through this bottle pretty quickly! I must say it doesn't last as long on the skin as you might expect from an EDP, but then again I do like my perfume obnoxiously strong, so maybe it's just me.

I reached the halfway point in my exams on Friday (I now have a week "off" to revise for the next set), and wandered over to Selfridges in the afternoon to peruse the Illamasqua counter. I did nip into the Beak St store first, but got fairly terrible service (for the first time ever, I may add) so left, shame! Anyway, I was keen to test the Skin Base foundation in 02, the next shade down from white, since I'd seen swatches of its pinky-pale brilliance - and I was not disappointed. I've only worn it twice, but the match is perfect and if I moisturise well in the potentially flaky (delightful) areas around my nose the finish is also lovely. Very pleased with this so far!

And of course I bought this lipstick. It's bright blue-pink AND matte, two of my favourite qualities in a lipstick. Need I say more? Well, it's incredibly long-wearing, without being too heavy-feeling or cakey on the lips. This is my first lipstick from Illamasqua, and I'm impressed.

My tea break is now over, and I shall slink back to my land law revision. Woe is me. Hope everyone is well and looking forward to summer! (Eternal optimist alert.)

Till next time,

Josephine x

PS. I am so impressed with myself for only having bought TWO things on Oxford St. I nearly bought four more (two blushers from Dainty Doll, and a blusher and lipstick from Topshop) but just wasn't enthused enough to get to the till. A sea change in my spending habits, perhaps...I can only hope!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

MAC Lipsticks: Lustre Edition

I only have three lustres - I know, only! They're all more recent purchases, after I figured out that the more eye-catching shades I bought initially don't cut it for everyday wear in some circumstances! These three are all very wearable for daytime in any environment, particularly since the lustre formula is relatively sheer and glossy - you can slick it on lightly, or build up the colour for more intensity.

The wear time isn't great, but this is in the nature of the formula; these wear off nicely and are so easy to reapply, so it isn't really a problem. Lustres are the perfect choice if you don't fancy the done-up look of a opaque, highly pigmented lipstick (such as the mattes or amplified cremes, both of which are coming up!).

L-R: See Sheer, Syrup, Plumful
Top to bottom: See Sheer, Syrup, Plumful
Top to bottom: See Sheer, Syrup, Plumful
See Sheer is a muted coral, particularly lovely for spring/summer. MAC describes it as a "grapefruit pink", which is admittedly cute, and grapefruit is spot on, but if you want a pink lipstick, go for one of the other two!

The easiest way to describe Syrup is as one of those "my lips but better" shades. This is probably the most natural-looking, easy to wear MAC lipstick I own! (See also Cosmo, which is a shade darker and more pigmented, but also made of awesome.) Syrup is what I would class as a neutral or "nude" lipstick, since it is a close match to the colour of my lips (rather than the colour of my skin, as with other so-called nudes!). This is easy to touch up without a mirror, to give a dash of colour and make your face look brighter and more groomed - I usually apply it on the train in the mornings! Highly recommended. (MAC have this down as a "cloudy pink", whatever that means.)

Plumful is a deeper, plummier (surprise!) version of Syrup. Given my penchant for berry colours and purples, I love this as a wearable member of that colour family. Great for a slightly more dramatic lip which is still very wearable. MAC call it a "blossoming rose-plum" - I guess rosy plum is quite accurate, though how helpful "blossoming" is is up for debate.

The first MAC lipstick I was ever recommended was Patisserie, a lustre which looks like another MLBB colour, but it was out of stock at the time (excellent sales tactic, Oxford MAC girl!), and now I have Syrup I don't feel the need to buy it. Honest...

Till next time,

Josephine x

Monday, 30 April 2012

MAC Lipsticks: Cremesheen Edition

Just putting it out there: I have a lot of MAC lipsticks. What can I say, addictive personality and all that jazz. There's something about them that got me seriously hooked a while back - Ruby Woo was my first (which I think I've talked about in my post on MAC red lipsticks), and I soon accumulated a lot more. My last purchases were some of the matte brights from the Iris Apfel collection, and I think my obsession has eased off a bit now - you never know, though...

I love seeing which shades people have chosen, so I thought I'd swatch my collection for you. I've split them up by formula, as categorising by colour would be too messy and random when you have as many pinky and/or bright shades I do!

Kicking off with the cremesheens, for no reason at all. It turns out I own seven. Which is bizarre, since I don't think of this as my favourite formula - I prefer mattes and amplified cremes (I have nearly all of the amplifieds!), or lustres for less pigmented colour. I can't say I wear any of these on a truly regular basis except Speed Dial, though part of my motivation for swatching them all is to encourage myself to use more of my collection!

L-R: Creme Cup, Speed Dial, Speak Louder
Top to bottom: Creme Cup, Speed Dial, Speak Louder
I can never figure out why I don't like Creme Cup more! It's a cool-toned light pink, which everyone loves, but I just don't warm to it (ha) very much. Maybe I'll try wearing this one more, as it seems undeservedly neglected! However, I much prefer the other two colours here...

Speak Louder and Speed Dial are both blue-toned pinks, though Speak Louder is darker and redder. These don't get mentioned all that often on blogs/YT - people seem to favour nudes or super-brights! Speed Dial is a very wearable, pretty everyday pink, while Speak Louder is pretty bright on the lips (which I love for daytime, but it may be more of an evening shade for other more tasteful people!). Both great for summer.

L-R: Shy Girl, Ever Hip, Jazzed, Crosswires
Top to bottom: Shy Girl, Ever Hip, Jazzed, Crosswires
Ever Hip and Jazzed are limited edition shades I got in a blog sale last summer, when I was going through a coral phase. I'm usually not that keen on coral shades on me, as I find them tricky with my colouring for some reason, despite wanting to like them! Ever Hip is a lovely pinky coral which does work fairly well on me (also, I adore the Liberty of London packaging!), while Jazzed is more true coral.

Crosswires is a shade you rarely hear mentioned on blogs/Youtube - it's a pinky coral red (helpful), like a more pigmented version of the lustre See Sheer. Gorgeous for easy-to-wear summer lips. (This is basically a coral version of Speak Louder, if that makes sense!)

Shy Girl is one of those incredibly popular shades, but I find I have to be careful what makeup I wear with this. For a warm-toned summery look - bronzer, peachy blush, golds on the eyes - this peachy nude is lovely, and the formula is miles better than Hue, a glaze finish which is basically a pink version of this. So if that's your style I definitely recommend Shy Girl (though you probably already own it!). On me, however, this look is not the most flattering - I wear it occasionally when I'm feeling summery, and I do enjoy it, but it's slightly jarring against my complexion.

Having swatched all these, I'll definitely be wearing them more in future - especially Speak Louder and Crosswires, which have been unfairly relegated to obscurity in the bottom of my makeup drawers!

Till next time,

Josephine x

PS. I think I heard some of the lesser-known colours, like Crosswires and Speed Dial, mentioned in Miss Princess Pancake's excellent video on her favourite MAC lipsticks, which features some really wearable shades. Thought I must have got the idea from somewhere when putting in that particular online order!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

More New Things, feat. MUFE and Stila

Subtitle: "Natural Light, What Natural Light?"

Let me introduce you to Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet + foundation in shade 15 Alabaster, and Stila Convertible Colour in Lillium, my latest purchases.

I acquired the foundation from Precious About Makeup. Miscellaneous influences: rave reviews on Youtube, such as Tiffany's; noticing it on Cami's wish list; promisingly pale swatches on Glossed in Translation. It wasn't cheap, but I kind of impulse bought one evening. Very pale, pink undertones, matte - this had potential. And I'm pleased to say I am in love with it.

This is only the second foundation I've ever had that I can apply straight from the bottle AND IT MATCHES (the other being the Illamasqua Light Liquid Foundation in LF115). Immediate plus. I applied it on top of the Murad mattifying primer (double whammy) in a morning rush as I was leaving for a weekend in Oxford - I know, sensible timing. But this stuff went on like a dream (I used my fingers to apply it), looked great - and more importantly still looked great by the evening. No powder required at all, and it didn't look cakey. My friend couldn't tell I was wearing foundation at all - which isn't to say this doesn't even out the skin and look pretty flawless (hideous cliche but it's true). Genius. So far, worth the price tag. Now if only MUFE was a bit easier to come by, I think we'd be entering Holy Grail territory here.

And in Oxford, I bought more makeup. Obvs. Specifically, this Stila cream blush. Well, the Boots on Cornmarket had a new Stila stand, next to the Orly stand (I bought Rage, though I haven't applied it yet!), and I gravitated towards these. I do love me a good cream blush, and Anna had mentioned this one a few times on her blog, so I had a swatch and went for Lillium, a warm pink.

The packaging is a winner - fairly small and light, but substantial-feeling and cute (with a mirror, always a plus since I use cream blush to touch up during the day). The formula is very different to my favourite cream blushes by Topshop, which are cream-to-powder and set matte - this is almost sticky, and never dries completely matte. "Dewy", I believe, is the relevant makeup cliche buzzword here! When I first applied this I didn't realise how pigmented it was and had to rectify the situation with foundation and powder, so beware. I found this a tad tacky to blend with fingers; it works better with a brush, like the MAC 188. So I don't think I'll be trading in my Topshop blushes anytime soon, but this is a delightful addition to my horde of blushes!

If you have any recommendations for cream blushes do drop me a comment, as I'd love to try some other brands (any excuse!). I have my eye on Illamasqua, but am open to suggestions!

Till next time,

Josephine x

PS. Speaking of Topshop cream blushes, there's a new one in town: a pink called Prime Time. I need.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Nostalgia in All the Colours of the UV Rainbow

Unusually, I tidied my room today. (This may have something to do with tort law revision.) These were among the most bizarre things I found lurking in drawers, relics of my undergrad days:

The second photo aptly represents the contrast between my previous student days, when I used to go out most nights of the week, and my current revision-bound, hermit-like state. (Why I ever needed six whole tubes of UV paint is of course a mystery.) This may have more to do with the fact I've been living back at home this year after four years away, which has been interesting. I live in a very small town outside London, so let's just say the UV paint and the last train home are not particularly compatible. Frankly, I think I've left behind my glowing-warpaint days, but you never know, I may bust this stuff out after exams are over!

Anyway, enough of the random post - there's a tort textbook with my name on it!

Till next time,

Josephine x

PS. My latest foundation craving, courtesy of Cami, is the Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet + in Alabaster, available from here. My current combo of Revlon ColorStay + Illamasqua Light Liquid is a bit of a pain to mix up, what with the glass bottle of ColorStay inevitably glopping a metric ton of product onto the back of your hand, and can look a tad cakey if you're not careful. So the search for a pink-toned, pale, matte foundation continues...