Thursday, June 28, 2012

MAC Ruffian Lipsticks Review and Swatches

MAC's latest collaboration with the fashion designer duo of Brian Wolk and Claude Morais, aka Ruffian, has spawned three LE lipsticks ($17.50 CA/14.50 US). All photos taken with flash, swatches on NC 40 skin.

Ruffian Red, Ruffian Gold and Ruffian Naked

Ruffian Red - a matte finish, intense red orange with dense pigmentation and a luxuriously smooth, non drying texture. When released originally in 2009, this colour sold out instantaneously and achieved holy grail status among many a beauty junkie. Beyond gorgeous! A

Ruffian Gold - although listed as a frost finish, this lipstick is essentially the same formula as Dazzle lipsticks.  Basically a clear base loaded with bronzey gold sparkles, this lipstick is surprisingly wearable alone, it adds some definite glitz to the lips but due to the fineness of the shimmers it avoids disco ball territory. A great shade for layering. A-

Ruffian Naked - a matte finish pale pinky beige with a very strong white base. Great texture on this shade and very strong pigmentation, but due to it's paleness it might be hard to wear for anyone out of the very light to light skin tone range. B

Ruffian Gold over Ruffian Red and Ruffian Naked

For a very small capsule collection, I think the colours offered are generally good. Ruffian Red and Ruffian Gold both get A's from me. Ruffian Red fills a nice gap in my red collection, and although it leans orange I think any skin tone could wear it and look stunning. Ruffian Gold is a great colour to go with a summer tan, but a more interesting use for this lipstick is it's ability to light up other lip colours. I bet this lipstick would look amazing over a cool beige or cool purple. To include a pale nude lip in this collection is right on trend, but I wish they had done a less extreme pale nude lip and produced something more wearable than Ruffian Naked.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rococo Nail Apparel in Baby Punk Creme Review and Photos

Rococo Nail Apparel is exclusive to Space NK and I bought Baby Punk Creme while in New York City a few months ago. 

Rococo Nail Apparel is a cult brand, and as such, predicts the trends rather than follows them. The packaging is just lovely and unlike any other nail product packaging I've seen before. A little excessive but for a $16.50 US nailpolish, you want something fancy, right?

Baby Punk Creme is described as a not-so-innocent Pink. I love the name, it sounds edgy and girly at the same time. 

Application-wise it applies evenly and smoothly although I found the consistency to be a bit on the thin side. The below application is three coats. The colour is a slightly intense pink with a touch of orange to it. It's definitely girly but with an edge. I bet it'd look fantastic paired with a dark metallic gray, a soft gray or a black.

Wear-wise it lasted over a week before I started seeing significant wear at the tips. This was on my toes, so polish tends to last longer there than on my fingers. 

Sorry about the foot photo. Nice bunyans, right?

I liked this product a lot. Apart from the thin consistency of the polish, I found no shortcomings. Colour-wise, I am not sure how "me" it is, but I'll try to pair it with a grey or black and see if it suits me better. 

Grade: B

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Beauty Squared Round-Up - June 24, 2012

Here are some of the beauty-ful links we uncovered this week:

Dior releases a crackle polish? It's strange to see a top brand at the end of a trend, but their Golden Jungle Nail Effect might just revamp it. Check out these swatches.

UK Cosmo's Sarah Kwong got to experience a 1930's style makeover.

Five Things You Didn't Know About Sunscreen - some of these surprised (and scared) me. 

Elle Canada's summer beauty steals VS splurges.

Did you know that your teeth can suffer from exposure to excess chlorine?

Remember that old beauty rule about horizontal stripes making you look fat?

You maybe don't want to click through on this link about germs at makeup counters. 

Angelina Jolie as Maleficient in the updated version of Disney's Sleeping Beauty. There's a first photo here

Tips for melt-proof makeup.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

La Roche-Posay Ceralip Lip Repair Cream Review

Living in a very dry climate and having full lips means applying loads of lip balm on a continuous basis. La Roche-Posay recently sent their new Ceralip Lip Repair Cream to Beautysquared for review.

Ceralip comes in a 15 ml slanted applicator tube and retails for approximately $15.00 CA . It has a very smooth, silky and non-greasy texture which is reminiscent of Smashbox Photofinish Primer. It is very lightweight and never feels sticky or waxy and has a natural matte finish.

This product is fragrance and paraben free and La Roche-Posay indicates it's suitable for sensitive and skin post-medical treatment. I do not suffer from either conditions, but I do have chronically dry lips. I found the texture of this product nice and lightweight and I appreciate that it is not sickly sweet smelling or tasting like so many other lip balms.

It does a satisfactory job of keeping my lips moist, though I did find it tended to wear off faster than my standby Chapstick. Although it definitely feels more natural and less cloying on my lips than a waxy balm like Chapstick, I found I needed to apply it more frequently than I would a waxier balm. One way in which this product would excel would be to use it as a primer under lipstick, because it's not waxy or greasy, it won't dilute lip colour or alter it's texture.

Overall this lip balm is good. It's definitely on the pricier end for a lip balm, but perhaps for people with sensitive skin who react to cheaper brands, the higher cost would be worth it. I have a small criticism to make of the packaging. The opening that the product comes out of has a slightly rough edge on the tube I received and therefore makes the balm a little scratchy to apply. I could have just received a defective tube but it is a small detail that I noted.

Grade: B


Monday, June 18, 2012

Estee Lauder Sale - June 2012

I was given tickets to the Estee Lauder warehouse sale this past weekend and made the trip up to the Markham Fairgrounds early Saturday morning. We arrived just before 8 am and got into the not-terrifying line, probably about 60-70 people from the front. By the time they started letting us in, the line behind us had quadrupled!

The line-up before they let us inside.

It was nice arriving first thing in the morning as the tester tables were much tidier and the tissue boxes were full. See my post from last year for more detailed info on how the sale works. 

More photos:

A shot of room 3 and some of the lip product tester tables.
The main difference between the sale I went to last year and this year is the addition of Bumble & Bumble products. Here's a shot of part of the Bumble & Bumble section.

 At the checkout.

And here's what I bought. Let's start with the free gift and the charity bag.

Once you have paid for your purchases, you turn in your ticket for a free gift. Last year I got a nailpolish, and this year, the same thing. The polish I received is MAC's Nightfall, a shimmery dark charcoal grey. 

MAC Nightfall Nail Lacquer
After checkout, you also have the option of buying Charity Bags for $5 with the proceeds going to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and the MAC AIDS Fund. I picked up two.

Inside were MAC's Just My Type lipliner and MAC's Miss Piggy Pink eyeshadow.

And here's my haul!

My bag of goodies

Inside my bag of goodies

Jill, the other half of Beauty Squared, asked me to look for the three crushed metallic pigment Dazzlespheres from MAC's 2011 holiday collection. They were $25 each, $13.50 less than retail.

From the $4 bins, which were much better this year than last year, I grabbed a Phloof! eyeshadow pan.

I was thrilled to see the selection of Bumble & Bumble products available. I picked up their shampoo for red hair, the Creme de Coco masque for dry hair (for a friend), their Texture Hair (Un)dressing styling creme and their Grooming Creme. The shampoo was $18 and the other three products were $20. Prices were all about $10-$12 less than I'd have paid retail.

I was also able to pick up some favourites I bought at the sale I went to last year - Bobbi Brown Cleansing Oil ($20) and Origins Starting Over Age-Erasing Moisturizer with Mimosa ($20).

I picked up only a few makeup items. There weren't a lot to choose from in terms of eyeshadows and lip products. Many of the MAC Big Bounce shadows were available, but I knew well enough to stay away from them. We were in a hurry to get through the sale and back to the city, so that made it easy to not linger over the product testers. 

I did however, pick up the following:

MAC Paint Pot in Bare Study ($12)

MAC Loose Powder in NW5 ($15)

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Semi-Precious Rose Quartz ($15)

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Semi-Precious Rose Quartz

Bobbi Brown Mascara ($12)

We were in and out of the sale in about an hour. We did very well!

Stay tuned for some reviews of some of the products I picked up.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Beauty Squared Round-Up - June 17, 2012

Here are the beauty links we stumbled across on the wide wonderful web this week:

Mad Men finished its fifth season last week. Head makeup artist Lana Horochowski takes a look at the makeup looks of characters Megan, Peggy and Joan. 

Bulgarian fashion magazine has made some waves recently with a photo editorial featuring glamourously made-up models with injuries verging from slit throats to acid burns to black eyes. What do you think? Editorial or exploitative? Jezebel is definitely on the latter side, Refinery 29 is a bit more neutral.

Beware of shopping online for makeup. Counterfeiters are increasingly offering fakes of cult items like Urban Decay's NAKED palette on and other online sales sites. 

Sorry tan-a-holics, spray tanning might cause cancer too.

Elle's magazine's tips for summer skincare.

Three different gold eyeshadow looks - click through to see larger photos!

Beauty Squared is in love with this holographic top coat effect (here over butter LONDON's Trout Pout)!

Celebrity esthetician Kate Somerville has a quick, easy tip for banishing blemishes.

Researchers have found that your age, income, gender, political affirmation, emotional and other important personality traits can be identified by the shoes you wear.

Check out this high school student from Lethbridge, AB who made her own grad dress using pages of math homework.