Archive of ‘Reviews’ category

Red Romance—Serge Lutens Roman Rouge Lipstick

Affilier Acheté

You win some, you lose some. I’ve finally just started to get the hang of photographing myself with a tripod. I’d seen some gorgeous photos taken with a 50mm lens, so I decided to try mine. Did you know that I didn’t know until yesterday, despite the fact that I purchased the damn thing myself, that my lens wasn’t autofocus? Or maybe it used to work with my old camera?

Anyhoo. The photos I took are slightly out of focus. But you can still see.

I wanted to show you what color number 2, Roman Rouge, in the Serge Lutens sampler looks like. You know, the one I abandoned on the day in photos halfway through for Pourpre Maure.

DSC_1517

And yet somehow the door is in focus…

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Mini haul: Makeup tools

Small haul, but useful haul.

Small haul, but useful haul.

Guys have their power tools. Women have their makeup tools. It’s how we face the world, respectively.

One day I will invest in some of the really expensive makeup brushes that I keep eyeing. (I’m super curious to try some of the Hakuhodo brushes!), but, for now, this is what I got.

Based on the raves from gh0sparties, I bought the Sigma F80 flat Kabuki brush. The flat surface makes it great for really working in your foundation so it disappears on your skin. I’ve now used it with a couple of different brands and formulas, and it works well with all.  For less than $21 on sale, I think this was a wise investment of my meager dollars.

My second purchase was a long time coming. I think a lot of women have an eyelash curler in their repertoire but mostly look at it like, “What am I really supposed to do with you?!” It takes a special occasion to strap your eyelids into that contraption, and half the time you wind up pinching yourself uncomfortably, making your eye run, ruining your makeup.

Another problem I have (as so many makeup artists like to tell me in dismay), my eyes turn down at the ends (part of why I have trouble with doing a cat eye liner…none of the usual tricks work to help me figure out when to do my flick), so fitting all my lashes into a conventional curler is always a struggle.

When I was at the Sunday Riley counter being forcibly made over, they insisted I always needed to curl my lashes, because it makes a huge impact on my eyes. (My lashes are long, but thin, and light at the ends, so mascara is always a must. Apparently so is a curler.)

Of course, the Shu Uemura eyelash curler is legendary in beauty circles, but I have only had a Revlon one. (Shhh, don’t tell, or they’ll revoke my beauty blogger credentials!) That’s why I was so excited when I saw that Shu Uemura released the S curler; I knew right away how to use it and why they designed it. (For freaks like me!)

So when Temptalia offered up a discount code for Shu Uemura, I had to take the opportunity to try it. And since the Hearts and Flowers by Murakami edition was the same price as the regular S curler, well, a little cutesiness on your makeup tools can’t hurt, right?

I used it for the first time this morning, and I don’t know why so many people have a steep learning curve with it. Maybe it’s because I understood instinctively the minute I first saw it. My eyelashes were perfectly curled, with no struggle to get the outer lashes included.

It does take a little bit more time, since you’re working in smaller sections rather than getting all your lashes in one go (but, really, who gets them all in one go, anyway?!). But you also have control and can create special looks. For example, today, I only concentrated on my outer eyelashes, to add drama and evoke a look of false lashes. So it’s more versatile as well.

Again, not that the Shu Uemura curlers are break-the-bank expensive, but for less than full price, this investment is going to be well worth it.

Have you tried either of these? What are your favorite makeup tools? Have you bought any new ones recently?

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Purple heart

Well, guys. I was finally able to take some photos and test out the object of my affections, Serge Lutens lipstick in Pourpre Maure.

My dedication to the cause went to extreme lengths that day. I woke up earlier than usual (and my new commute is a killer anyway) and brought my camera out back, making sure the door wasn’t locked. I wasn’t wearing a coat, and it was about 27ºF. I finished taking the photos…and, yup, the door was indeed locked.

Ten minutes later and shivering my ass off, I got someone to let me in. So you’d better really like these photos!

I just need to say, I think I’m in trouble. Like, serious trouble. I truly and deeply heart it.

To start with, here is my own photo of the sampler:

DSC_1502 The top three…swoon.

The three dark colors are all “me” colors. The bottom 3, not so much. (I am pale and I look dead in light, nude-y colors.) Although I think that Or Frele ( the one on the bottom left) is probably meant to be layered over another color, since it’s essentially clear with gold sparkles.

To be completely honest, when I went into Barneys to try on my color, the guy at the counter told me it was #2 (which is actually the top middle color). Even though I had requested the color by name to try on. (He also made me try on #10 Garde Rose, which is gorgeous as well. Of course.)

So part of me was wondering if perhaps I was now dreaming about the wrong color. Nope. He got it wrong. (I know for sure because I wore Roman Rouge yesterday…and halfway through the day switched back over to Pourpre Maure. :p Even though it’s a beautiful color on its own…it’s not MY color.)

I’ve already hit the bottom of the cardboard in one area of the sample, so I’m reluctant to use it for extraneous things, like swatching, so I’ll link you to someone who already did. I am curious to compare it to MAC Rebel, though (which I do own as well), especially since Lisa Eldridge mentioned it as an alternative. And, you know, it’s $75.

DSC_1504 Apparently I’m unable to apply lipstick straight with a lip brush from a cardboard sampler. Or I put it on in the dark? I also realized later I completely forgot to put on blush. Fail.

DSC_1506 My friends call this “Shani face.” It’s just cause I feel dumb in pictures.

DSC_1511

DSC_1514 It’s crooked, but it’s so pretty!

Now, you’re wondering, sure, it’s got a gorgeous face, but does it have anything going on upstairs?

Well, it’s not a member of Mensa, but it probably graduated with distinction. 😉

It goes on feeling very creamy, and then dries down to a satiny, velvet finish. You really don’t feel it on, but it’s not drying. It’s not hydrating, either, though. You should make sure your lips are exfoliated and hydrated before applying.

One of the things these lipsticks are known for are their intense pigmentation. And it did last through a meal, and didn’t transfer onto my spoon at all. I did have to reapply it in the afternoon.

The only negative thing (besides for the price!) is that when it fades, it tends to stain your lips the way wine does, catching on the most prominent areas. But while you’re wearing it, it’s glorious.

What do you think of the color? Have you ever had any mishaps in the course of performing your blogging duties? Do you want to see what the other colors look like? How do you get over something once it’s taken hold of your soul? 😉

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Samples Soliloquy #1

Soliloquy noun \sə-ˈli-lə-kwē\

: a long, usually serious speech that a character in a play makes to an audience and that reveals the character’s thoughts

I decided to start a series in which I (finally) review the (copious amounts of) samples I’ve procured from Sephora (among other places), so it seemed a fitting title. 🙂

DSC_1491 Finding a good use for my empty Birchbox boxes. 😉

(In order to keep track of all my samples, I’ve started to write the names on the top in Sharpie and then using Scotch tape on top to keep it from smearing. I figure if I ever buy the full size, I can refill the sample size and use it for traveling.)

I’m going to use my first entry to discuss the collection of skincare items that, along with the Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil, I credit for helping to clear up my face after the Liz Earle Incident. Which means, yes, I like them, and, yes, I would purchase the full-size items. (And intend to!)

I’ve read about Ren Skincare everywhere, so when I saw that Sephora had the whole line, I grabbed a few items to try. And, boy, am I glad I did.

DSC_1492 The heroes of the day.

My first pick was the Ren Hydra Calm Cleansing Milk. I specifically chose this because it’s for sensitive skin and I thought my skin was upset enough as it was. I chose this over the gel since, as I’ve said, everything I’m reading these days is saying that any kind of gel or foaming cleanser is bad for you. So I started using this after taking off my makeup with Bioderma Crealine H2O. It smells nice, it feels gentle on the skin—almost like you’re not even putting anything on your skin, which is good for upset skin—and then using the muslin cloth from the Liz Earle kit and hot water to remove it. I put the hot cloth over my face for a few seconds, and then I gently scrub wipe off.

Once things started to clear up after using the Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil, I introduced the Ren ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser. I didn’t want to overstrip or overdry my skin with the clay, so I only used that at night, and continued with the Hydra Calm in the morning. But I have to say that this feels plenty milky as well. It does smell clay-like, and I also remove it with the muslin cloth and hot water.

After that, I used the Ren Resurfacing AHA Concentrate. This is to help brighten and clear your complexion, with acidic exfoliators. This is especially good for helping to get rid of the marks that zits leave on your face. Which I know firsthand.

Then I use the Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil. On top of that, I’ve been using the Ren ClearCalm 3 Replenishing Night Serum. This helps treat the pimples and also helps with the redness and marks. (You only use the Resurfacing AHA Concentrate for 7 days at a time, so this works in the interim.) It’s amazing to wake up in the morning and literally see that your skin looks better.

(I’ve had a deluxe-sized sample of the Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask for a while, so I’ve thrown that in once a week as well to help fade the red marks and discoloration. [I did not receive this one from Sephora. I don’t even remember where it came from!] Especially since Lisa Eldridge mentioned her love of lactic acid treatments for exfoliation.)

Then, rounding out the sample saviors, is Origins Make A Difference Plus + Rejuvenating Treatment (the oil-free one). I mentioned I was liking the Ole Henriksen Vitamin Plus moisturizer sample I got, but the Origins pulled ahead in the end. I’m almost embarrassed to say that I’ve gotten samples of this about 7 times now, since I can’t be without it. It feels so nice on the skin, it feels perfectly hydrated, and it smells amazing. I don’t get over oily from using it, and my skin has really turned around over the last few weeks. (Although I do find that if I use the acid exfoliators during the day, it does overstimulate the oil production in my skin, and I get oilier, so I don’t use it during the day.)

These are just in place of those things I was previously using. I’m still using the same toners. You’re probably wondering why I didn’t just go back to my old cleansing routine after the Liz Earle didn’t work out. I am, too, but I am trying to take to heart the urging not to use foaming/gel cleansers, and both of the ones I was using fell under that category. Also, this stuff has really been working and I haven’t paid for it (yet). :p So…

And now my skin is looking so much better and I’m grateful.

Next time, I’ll discuss some of the makeup samples I’ve gotten.

Have you tried any of these products? Are you sampling anything from Sephora lately?

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K.I.S.S.

K.I.S.S., or, Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Those are words to live by. And that’s what Melt Cosmetics does. They do matte lipstick, they do it bright, and that’s all they do.

I succumbed and ordered two of their colors a little while back (see, I told you I wasn’t as good as I should have been). I really love discovering new brands, and a brand specializing in matte lipsticks was right up my alley.

My picks were Belladonna 2 and Shady Lady.

DSC_1292Having them side by side, I kind of want to wear them together as a gradient!

Belladonna 2 was part of my “Find the Perfect Red” initiative. From the product description, it seemed so promising.

When they arrived, however, I had a little bit of a shock swatching Belladonna 2 on my hand. It looked pink. I showed it to Rose. She said it looked pink, too. It was worrying.

At home, I put it on full force. Like, multiple layers. And finally, finally, finally, it was a gorgeous cherry red. Very bright, cherry red. Definitely a gorgeous color—check out Keiko Lynn rocking it on her blog—but, sadly, not a contender for my perfect red.

The real pleasant surprise, though, is Shady Lady. I bought it mostly on impulse. I was going to just get the red, but I have a weakness for fuchsia/magenta colors. (As revealed by my swatch book.) You could say that I’ve been looking for my perfect fuchsia as well, since I always buy them thinking they lean purple/violet, and then on me, they just look hot pink.

First of all, when I swatched Shady Lady on my hand, even once I wiped it off, there was a stain there. It actually took me a couple of days to get it completely off!

When I wore the lipstick for the whole day, it left an amazing stain on as well. But, in a good way. Like, at 5:00 in the afternoon, my coworker commented on how awesome my lipstick was—and I hadn’t reapplied all day! I was just wearing the remnants and the stain that was left.

The best part of it for me is that it does lean a bit purple, and it is true to that when I wear it, as well. It’s the shade I was wearing in this photo:

DSC_1278I’ve found my perfect fuchsia/magenta!

If you couldn’t tell from that story, they wear amazingly well and long, stay matte, and feel good on your lips.

The only thing about the lipsticks is they have a very strong smell/taste. I can’t even really identify what it is. It’s kind of vanilla mixed with wax mixed with something else. I’m sure some people like it, but I would have liked them better without it. But they’re still totally worth it.

And, for Black Friday, they are offering 25% off! Just use code PAINTITBLACK.

What do you think of the colors? Have  you discovered any new brands lately? Are you going to get anything for Black Friday?  need to live vicariously through you!

Review: Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish – Unluckiest of the lucky ones

I know that it’s been a while since I received the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish™ Hot Cloth Cleanser Starter Kit that I won through Birchbloggers. You may or may not have been wondering about my review. Well, it’s finally ready.

Excited? 😉

Before I go any further, I do need to say that I feel truly thankful (heh, get it?) for having won this to try. It’s very hard writing a blog when you can’t afford new products to review. That’s probably why I took it as far as I did to really be able to give you a fair assessment.

The Liz Earle cleansing system works in two parts. The first step is the cream cleanser. Free from mineral oil, it contains naturally active ingredients, including eucalyptus and cocoa butter. It’s supposed to be a gentle cleanser, suited to all skin types, that still removes even the most stubborn of makeup. The second step is polishing with the muslin cloth. A gentle way to exfoliate your skin, it makes for a really lovely regimen.

Everything I’ve been reading about skin care lately has said to use cream-based cleansers, even if you have oily skin. Any cleanser that foams is supposed to be the devil. So this system definitely fits the bill.

Reviewing a cult product like this, one that has won over 90 beauty awards, one that so many people consider a holy grail product, you feel a certain burden of responsibility.

DSC_1289It’s just such a lovely system. Look at it.

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Review: Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream – Battle of the Liquid Lipsticks Part III

The subject: Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream in Sancerre

So we’ve covered both Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar as well as  MAC Lipmix. Now it’s time for Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream,

I feel like my blog has become an Ode to Bite Beauty. But it’s with good reason! (And, no, they’re not paying me, I swear!) All the lip products from the Toronto-based company are made from food-grade ingredients, and each lipstick contains the amount of Resveratrol, the antioxidant found in red wine, found in five glasses of wine. So they’re good for you, as well. And I pretty much wear their Line and Define Lip Primer under everything. Including this!

Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream Sancerre Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream in Sancerre

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Review: MAC Lipmix – Battle of the Liquid Lipsticks Part II

The subject: MAC Lipmix in Orange

The previous installment of the Battle of the Liquid Lipsticks saw me reviewing Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar. It’s being pitted against Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream and today’s entrant, MAC Lipmix.

I’ve been slightly obsessed with orange lipstick since September of last year when I bought Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Orange. Then I bought YSL Rouge Volupté Perle in Incandescent Orange. It’s a slippery slope. This summer I purchased MAC Lipstick in So Chaud. But then it happened.

Rose and I were sitting outside in the cold watching the Metropolitan Opera opening night telecast, looking up on her phone which celebrities were nice and cozy inside (and what they were wearing!), when we saw this.

Coco-Rocha-in-Greta-Constantine-Metropolitan-Opera-Season-Opening-5-600x810 Bow before the glory of Coco Rocha.

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Review: OCC Lip Tar – Battle of the Liquid Lipsticks Part I

Happy Thursday!! I hope you’re ready to rumble!

The subject: OCC Lip Tar in Strumpet

I’ve recently added to my lipstick collection 3 different kinds of lipstick that come in a liquid form: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar, Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream, and MAC Lipmix. Since I’ve already gone on in depth about Bite Beauty and also mentioned MAC, I thought I would start with the OCC Lip Tar.

DSC_0866OCC Lip Tar in Strumpet

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