Sunday, September 29, 2013

MAC RiRi Hearts MAC Diamonds Cream Colour Base Review, Swatches and Photos

New to the RiRi Hearts MAC collection is the Cream Colour Base in Diamonds, a shimmery mid-tone golden beige cream highlighter. Photos in natural light on NC 35/40 skin.

Diamonds swatched heavily (left) and sheered out (right)

Diamonds is a very pigmented and has a frosty metallic finish, so a light hand is necessary for a subtle, natural highlight. Like any other Cream Colour Base, this product stays moist and does not set. Diamonds is subtly warm toned, though not overly golden, which means it will look beautiful on any skin tone and not ashy or too white.

I think Diamonds is a beautiful highlighter, and one of my favourite products from this launch. Try stippling it on with a duo fibre brush over foundation, or dabbed on with fingertips on bare skin. It would also make a nice highlighter for the cupid's bow or center of the bottom lip.

Grade: A

Friday, September 27, 2013

MAC RiRi Hearts MAC Lipstick Review, Swatches and Photos

Since the last RiRi Hearts MAC online launch sent their website into all day crash and burn mode, I decided it would save time and frustration just to make the 45 minute bus trip to the mall and purchase things in person.

I hauled a bunch of the RiRi collection, but today I have the lipsticks for review. Photos taken in natural light on NC 35/40 skin - the photos were taken late in the afternoon, so are touch on the dark side, my apologies.

The packaging is a super shiny, metallic rose copper plastic, with a pink brushed metal interior and Rihanna's signature screened on the tube. Her signature can also be found embossed on the bullet of the lipstick. All lipsticks are LE ($20.00 CA, $16.50 US).

 Left to right: Nude, Who's That Chick, Talk That Talk

Left to right: Nude, Who's That Chick, Talk That Talk and RiRi Woo

Nude - Described by MAC as a "cool nude cream," Nude is a Matte finish lipstick that is a medium dark, brown based nude with grey tones. The texture is creamy for a Matte finish and is very opaque. Grade: A

Who's That Chick - Aptly described by MAC as a "mid tone orange frost", Who's That Chick is a semi-sheer, tangerine  frost with golden shimmer. This colour is quite unique and would look great on its own or layered over other lipsticks for some warm golden highlights. Grade: A

Talk That Talk - Described by MAC as a "matte dark plum", this lipstick has  Retro Matte finish and is deep burgundy.The texture was very dry and stiff on this lipstick, and needed several layers to achieve opaque coverage. Unfortunately, though I love the colour of this lipstick, I can't handle the uncomfortably dry texture....I really wish this was a Satin finish!
Grade: C-

RiRi Woo - A "matte cool red" with a Retro Matte finish is a beautiful, classic deep blue red. It has a creamy texture and glides on the lips easily. Grade: A

I think the RiRi Hearts MAC collection of lipsticks offers an interesting range of shades. What I particularly like about the colours are that they are generally deeper in tone, and will thus be great for darker skin tones. With the exception of Talk That Talk, which I found incredibly dry, the textures and finishes are good and are on-point for fall. I particularly like Who's That Chick and Nude as both colours are less dupeable. MAC doesn't frequently offer nudes in the medium to dark end of the spectrum, so it's very nice to see a nude that won't wash darker skin tones out.

P.S: There is no MAC Pro discount on this collection (at least at the stores in my city).


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Joe Fresh New Neutrals 02 Face Palette Review, Swatches and Photos

I attended the Joe Fresh 2013 Fall shopping evening recently and with my purchase I received a gift bag full of all kinds of goodies. One of the items was a Joe Fresh New Neutrals 02 Face Palette.

Some packaging photos...

The New Neutrals 02 Face Palette has three eyeshadows, three lipsticks and a blush. Colours are all very neutral and wearable. I'm impressed with the inclusion of the dark lip colour!

Here are some more close-up shots of the palette. The first eyeshadow (left eyeshadow) is a rosy-brown shade with shimmer. All of the eyeshadows in this palette (and the others I've tried from Joe Fresh) are on the dry side. The pigmentation on these are pretty sheer as a result, but they can be built up. They're all pretty, wearable shades but best suited for fairer skin due to the sheerness of the colours.

The second eyeshadow (centre eyeshadow) is an almost matte warm taupe shade. As I've mentioned, it's dry, but it's nice to see a shade that's almost matte. Many inexpensive brand eyeshadows tend to be heavy on the shimmer and frost. 

The third eyeshadow (right eyeshadow) is a warm medium-brown with golden shimmer. This one is a touch darker than the centre eyeshadow and with shimmer. All three are pretty shades.

The blush is a sheer peachy-pink. A nice, basic pink shade that like the shadows is on the dry side. This is a very pretty colour and it's almost matte, with just a hint of shimmer, so it's very easy to wear. Again, this would be best suited to fairer skin types. 

And the lipsticks. The top colour is a bright corally-pink. The centre colour is a warm caramel shade and the bottom shade is a deep red-purple. These lipsticks are gooey, almost like a gloss but they have decent pigmentation. The colours apply well and you don't need a lot to get good coverage. The colours are good, and good for a variety of skin types. I particularly like the top lipstick and the bottom lipstick. The centre one is pretty, but doesn't work on my skin tone. The bottom colour, the red-plum, leaves a stain on the skin after it's removed.

And here are all the colours swatched! 

Swatches L-R: Bottom Lipstick, Centre Lipstick, Top Lipstick
Left Eyeshadow, Centre Eyeshadow, Right Eyeshadow
I do have to comment on the fact that this palette combines powder products and cream products and this is something I hate. Always, when you're using the palette, powder gets into the cream products. Lipsticks get gritty, cream blushes get dryer and everything gets messy. While palettes are a great idea - easy to toss in your purse or keep in your desk drawer - often they're more bother than they're worth when they combine creams and powders. There is a little piece of plastic that can be removed and refastened to cover the lip colours but with time, the adhesive will become less sticky and eventually stop working.

From what I can tell, Joe Fresh's makeup collection is much like their clothing collection - trendy. Their makeup colours will go along with the fashion trends for whatever season. I'm not sure if this palette is still available but it may be. I'm also not sure of how much it cost, but I'm sure it's under $25. 

It's a well-priced, wearable palette with a few flaws - the powderiness of the blush and eyeshadows, and the combination of creams and powders.

Grade: C

Monday, September 23, 2013

Chanel Superstition Fall 2013: Les 4 Ombres in Mystère 43, Review, Swatches and Photos

This review is a little late to the game as Chanel's fall collection has been out since August, but the collection is still available online and on counters at such retailers as The Bay and Holt Renfrew in Canada.

I have the American version of the eye shadow quad for review which features the non-baked eye shadow formula (Canadian and European counters get the baked version). This quad is LE and retails for $59.00 US/$62.00 CD. Photos in natural light, swatches on NC 35/40 skin.

Mystère features four shades (clockwise from the top right): a sheer cream with tiny gold flecks, a satin mid tone cool grey brown, a light satin taupe and a deep green/brown/black with tiny gold flecks.

I swatched this quad two ways, the top swatch is on bare skin and the bottom swatch is on top of Urban Decay Primer Potion. This quad got mixed reviews on the interwebs, with some notable blogs such as Temptalia panning it, and other blogs such as Beautezine loving it. 

The apparent deal breaker for some is the level of sheerness of a few of the shadows.  Both the cream shade and the taupe shade are fairly sheer, even on top of primer as my swatches attest. If we use Le Metier de Beaute's shadows as a marker for pigmentation/opacity (100%) then I would rate the cream and taupe shadows at 55% opaque and the two darker colours at around 70-75% opacity.  While I did find using them over primer increased the opacity, only the darkest shade showed a dramatic change, while the cream and grey brown shade showed modest improvement and strangely the taupe shade almost remained the same!

For me, the sheerer quality of these shadows isn't a deal breaker, sheerer eye shadows can mean less blending. In the end, I do think Chanel should offer a creamier, less powdery and more pigmented formula as seen in the Topkapi palette for their regular offerings given the price point of their palettes. What I do really like about this palette is the range of cool neutrals and satin finish shadows. Cool neutrals are a favourite of mine, and these shades can run the gamut of looks from natural to sophisticated to edgy. 

Grade: B

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Beauty Squared Round Up - September 22, 2013

Hello lovelies! Here are some of the most clickable links we've come across this week. Enjoy!

  • This Julep blog post shows you how to master tightlining and waterlining. Don't know what those are? Click through! 
  • There's always a hot new ingredient in beauty products. The latest? Charcoal
  • The beauty rule says that you play up one feature and keep the rest neutral. But sometimes, you can manage to do both, without looking like you're wearing too much makeup. And here's Olivia Wilde showing us how. 
  • Hey brown-eyed girls, here are some makeup products for you to show off your beautiful eye colour!
  • Did you grow up in the 90s? Here are some beauty blasts from the past.
  • Buzzfeed also has a round-up of some of the best beauty vloggers (video bloggers). 
  • She Does the City takes a look at ageism in today's beauty ideals.  

Friday, September 20, 2013

Soft Fall Green FOTD Featuring Charlotte Tilbury's The Rebel Luxury Palette

On my recent trip to London I was lucky enough to stumble across a preview launch of legendary makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury's new makeup line. The day I caught them, they only had eye shadows for sale - I spent a long time swatching and playing with the palettes and I came away very impressed and of course, not empty handed!

One of the two brand new palettes I picked up was The Rebel (£38.00, approximately $63.00 CA), a gorgeous, bold palette including four shimmery eye shadows in cream, bright grass green, deep teal green and a golden khaki green cream/powder glitter, review here.

On my way home I spent a few days in Toronto and used this palette on Catherine to create a soft yet bright fall green eye. Catherine usually keeps her colour choices neutral, particularly on her eyes, so I wanted to create a colourful but soft and wearable look for her.

Clockwise from upper left: Tom Ford Lovelust Blush, Charlotte Tilbury The Rebel Luxury Eye Palette,
 MAC Face and Body Mixing Medium, MAC Smoke and Diamonds Eye Starflash Eye Shadow, 
MAC Wedge Eye Shadow, OCC Skin Conceal in Y1, Shu Uemura Eye Lash Curler, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel, MAC Jazzed Lipstick, MAC Select Cover Concealer in NW20, Bobbi Brown Lash Glamour Extreme Lengthening Mascara in Black

Charlotte TIlbury's The Rebel palette, clockwise from top left.

1. Prime - shimmery cream with a slight pink overtone
2. Enhance - bright, pigmented grass green shimmer
3. Smoke - a deep, pigmented teal
4. Pop - a creamy smokey khaki with tons of golden shimmer

I began by priming Catherine's eyes with MAC Select Cover concealer and a slight dusting of powder. To create a neutral base I applied MAC Wedge to the whole of Catherine's lid, buffing it out on the edges and slightly into the crease. I then applied the grass green Enhance shade of The Rebel palette into the crease and on the outer 1/3 of her lid. I applied the grass green shade quite strongly using a flat stiff brush then buffed and blended it out in the crease towards the brow and out onto the lid using a clean MAC 217. I then layered MAC Smoke and Diamonds on the outer 3/4 of the lid, making sure to overlap where the green shadow had been blended onto the lid.

I then mixed Smoke and Diamonds together with the Enhance shade and lined her bottom lids 3/4 of the way, making sure to blend out the line for soft definition. I then used the deep teal Smoke shade to deepen the outside edge of the crease and the top lash line. I then used MAC's Graphblack fill in between Cath's top lashes, curled her lashes and applied mascara. Lastly, I took the Pop shade in The Rebel palette and using my fingers, patted it onto middle of the lid for added sparkle. I also groomed Cath's brows with Anastasia's Brow Gel to give them definition.

After her eyes were finished, I applied a mixture of MAC Select Cover Concealer and Face and Body Mixing Medium as foundation, applied OCC Concealer to any blemishes and powdered only the center of her face. To complete the look I dusted Tom Ford's Lovelust blush high onto Cath's cheekbones, then buffed some onto the apple's of her cheeks for added warmth. I then mixed MAC's Jazzed lipstick with a smidge of the Select Concealer to lighten then tone, then filled in her lips.

I think the finished look is soft, pretty and colourful without being over-the-top garish. Because I hid the brightest shade in her crease, you only get that flash of bright green when she lowers her eyes, and the neutrals on her lids keeps the look sophisticated. 

What do you think readers? See yourself in greens for fall?


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Simple FOTD with Full Brows and Red Lips

I thought I might share with you the makeup I've been wearing almost every day lately. The temperatures have dropped lately and it feels like fall, finally, so that means we can pull out our red and plum lip colours. Another thing that tends to become in fashion in fall is fuller brows. Partly I think this is due to the fact that with cooler temperatures, makeup isn't prone to melting off the skin as much and we can get away with wearing a bit more.

This look was inspired by a few makeup tutorials I watched about fuller brows and Cara Delevingne, the latest supermodel de jour/It Girl. Cara rocks a tomboy look, and has naturally dark, full brows which contrast perfectly with her blonde hair. Everyone is clamouring to mimic her.

Me wearing this look lately is also due to the fact that I'm taking a break from wearing my contact lenses. It's been an adjustment to wear my glasses every day, especially when it comes to wearing makeup. My prescription is high and I'm very near sighted, so my glasses make my eyes look smaller. It's tempting to wear dark make-up on my eyes to make them stand out behind my glasses but that can make them look smaller. It's also pretty tough to get a decent liquid liner flick (my usual daily eye look) due to my poor vision. I also don't feel as cute when I'm wearing my glasses, so I don't want to get lazy and give up my regular makeup routine, and I want to do something that makes me feel cute despite the glasses.

So that means focusing on my eyebrows, lips and cheeks!

This look is very, very simple. My base is some primer (Benefit Porefessional) on my nose, beside my nose, my chin and forehead, Urban Decay's Eye Primer on my eyelids, and a BB cream (Garnier) mixed with a bit of liquid concealer (Vasanti) for the redder areas. I used a heavier cream concealer (OCC) to cover up the dark circles under my eyes and powdered with Pari's Mineral Glow to set where needed on my T-zone and under my eyes

I used two eyeshadows to fill in my brows and used the same shadows on my eyes - MAC Embark and MAC Wedge (pictured below). Embark is a warm brown-red and Wedge is neutral beigey shade. First, I combed my brows up using a clean mascara wand, and then, using a small, dense angle brush, I filled in my brows with Embark, working in short, soft strokes and sticking pretty close to the natural shape of my brows, but going slightly above and below to thicken them. I combed through my brows periodically to soften the colour and make sure they weren't looking too solid. 

I then went through the same brush and a little bit of Wedge, just to lighten my brows slightly. I also used Wedge on top of Embark where it was above and below my brows, to soften the shade. I wanted it to look as natural as possible, so I brushed through my brows frequently as well.

Finally, I set them using a clear brow gel (Anastasia), combing my brow hairs up while applying. Did you know you can use a clear mascara as a brow gel? Save yourself some cash!

I used a fluffy crease brush (Real Techniques) to apply Wedge (it makes a fantastic crease colour) to my crease, focusing on the outer corner and pulling it towards the nose oh-so-slightly. I also applied Wedge below my eyes, for a slight shadowy effect. 

With an angle brush, I smudged Embark along my upper lash line, flicking it slightly out at the corner and smudging the line slightly for a smoky effect. It's a VERY subtle, soft eye look, barely there. 

I curled my lashes using my Shu Uemera eyelash curler and applied L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Black. This mascara is quite natural, despite the name and it's easy to apply just a little without making it look heavy and thick. 

On my cheeks, I applied MAC's Mineralize Blush in Warmth of Coral softly at the outer edges of my cheeks with a fluffy blush, sweeping it in towards my nose, slightly. I wanted a hint of colour, and definition, so I also used a denser blush brush to apply the colour along the contour line of my cheek. 

Finally, I applied MAC's Absolute Power directly from the tube only my lips. It was a limited edition shade that Jill accidentally bought two of so I got one. It looks a heck of a lot more purple and deep in the tube, but on, it's a spectacular red. It stains a lot, which I kind of like because when it's gone, you're not bare-lipped. No makeup-makeup!

This look can be worn without a dramatic lip colour, of course. And I do for day. I just increase my blush and use a pretty rose colour on my lips, such as MAC's Gem of Roses. 

And here's the look with my glasses on. I like that this look defines my eyes, brows and cheeks slightly, in a way that doesn't have them competing for the spotlight. And I can't get enough of this gorgeous, gorgeous red lipstick!

Products used (base products not pictured):.
Top Row L-R: MAC Embark eyeshadow, MAC Wedge eyeshadow, MAC Mineralize Blush in Warmth of Coral
Below: L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara, Anastasia Brow Gel (sample size), MAC Absolute Power lipstick

So there you have my current, cooler-weather, Cara Delevingne-inspired FOTD. Let me know what you think in the comments! What's your cooler-weather look? 


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Rihanna Hearts MAC Fall Preview and Photos

Rihanna premieres her perfect palette of lavish fall colour – a range of decidedly daring yet classically gorgeous shades, finishes and tools, all encased in the metallic warmth of rose gold packaging. Lipstick in deep raisin, orange frost, creamy nude and the vivid red of RiRi Woo match gleaming Lipglass, while eyes in contrasting soft and smoky cocoas complement luminous skin highlighted with Diamonds Cream Colour Base and Powder Blush in Bad Girl Gone Good.

Available in M·A·C Stores September 26, 2013
Available online September 30, 2013
Available in all other locations October 3, 2013 – October 31, 2013

187SE Duo Fibre Face Brush
$50.50 CDN/$42.00 US

282SE Duo Fibre Shader Brush
$38.50 CDN/$32.00 US

Cream Colour in Diamonds
Golden shimmer cream (frost)
$26.50 CDN/$22.00 US

Extended Play Lash in Gigablack
$21.00 CDN/$17.50 US

Eye Shadow x 4 in Her Cocoa
$52.50 CDN/$44.00 US

Eye Shadow x 4 in Smoked Cocoa
$52.50 CDN/$44.00 US

36 Lash
$21.00 CDN/$17.50 US

35 Lash
$21.00 CDN/$17.50 US

Lipglass in Riri Woo
Cool red cream
$25.50 CDN/$21.50 US

Lipstick in Nude
Cool nude cream (matte)
$20.00 CDN/$16.50 US

Lipstick in Riri Woo
Matte cool red (retro matte)
$20.00 CDN/$16.50 US

Lipstick in Talk That Talk
Matte dark plum (retro matte)
$20.00 CDN/$16.50 US

Lipstick in Who's That Chick
Mid-tone orange with frost (frost)
$20.00 CDN/$16.50 US

Liquidlast Liner in Pointblack
$25.50 CDN/$21.50 US

Powder Blush in Bad Girl Gone Good
Warm copper (satin)
$25.00 CDN/$23.00 US

Powder Blush Duo in Hibiscus Kiss
Cool coral blush and matte neutral bronze
$34.00 CDN/$29.00 US

Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Riri Woo
Cool red cream
$25.50 CDN/$21.50 US

Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Talk That Talk
Dark plum cream
$25.50 CDN/$21.50 US
Veluxe Brow Liner in Deep Dark Brunette
Dark dirty chocolate
$25.50 CDN/$21.50 US

Veluxe Brow Liner in Deep Brunette
Muted blackish-brown
$25.50 CDN/$21.50 US