Revisited: Zoya Opal

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Good evening!

Having recently fallen in love with flakes all over again because of Deborah's swatches, I pulled out one of my favorite shades, Zoya Opal.
I had forgotten how beautiful Opal can be, particularly over dark shades (pictured here over LeChat Dare to Wear Upper East Side) and with a matte top coat (Wet'n'Wild Matte Top Coat, read this comparison post here). Ah, that glorious green-blue shift!

What is your favorite "flakie" shade?

Some of the products featured include a press sample. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

KBShimmer A Touch of Glass and My Life's Porpoise

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Hi folks!

Remember when I promised that I'd have more KBShimmer Spring 2014 to share with you? Well today I'd like to show you two more shades in the form of nail art. Released alongside the 2014 Spring shades was a collection of cremes, including these two shades.

NARS Heat Wave Lipstick

Friday, March 28, 2014

Good day!

I was chatting with someone about matte/satin warm red lipsticks that leaned orange when I realized with shame that I had never blogged about NARS Heat Wave, the reigning red lipstick of my affection. I feel like I've been searching for this tomato red for years, now I am finally content. In fact, this is the shade I wore to our Vegas wedding last December. 

Graphic Liner Look

Thursday, March 27, 2014
I stumbled upon this beautiful look by Jordan Liberty and had to do something similar. I went for a light goldenrod sparkly eye instead though.

Perfume Diary: Laura Mercier Eau Gourmande Almond Coconut Eau de Toilette

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

You know, I'm not usually a gourmand fan, I'm quite wary when it comes to fragrances that even have a whiff of food like notes. The only gourmand I've really liked in recent memory was Jo Malone Lemon Tart from the Sugar and Spice Collection and it still pains me a bit that I was foolish enough to pass on that. Let's not speak of that. When I recently acquired Laura Mercier Eau Gourmande Almond Coconut EdT, I had high hopes because I quite like both almond and coconut quite a bit. It was a risky "blind" buy and I'm a bit ashamed of myself for not sniffing it first.

The Hangover Trio by Glam Polish

Monday, March 24, 2014

Good evening!

Tonight I have a limited edition trio by Glam Polish to show you, called the Hangover Trio. These three shades are probably best described as super sparkle sauce contained in a bottle. I've swatched all three over black as I figured it was the best way to show off all the iridescent glitter contained within.

Review: Giorgio Armani Large Eye Contour Brush #22

Sunday, March 23, 2014

 Good evening!

I purchased Giorgio Armani Large Eye Contour Brush some time ago, last summer. It's definitely an interesting brush due to its versatility. The handle is a shorter but not annoyingly short to me like travel brushes are. I also like the aesthetic of the matte handle and the longer black ferrule.

 You can see the interesting coloration of the bristles, which reveal the bristles to be pine squirrel I believe, though the GA website does not state what sort of bristles are used. The hairs are very soft and quite dense. They are stiff enough to pat on color with either the sides of the brush or deposit color with the tip, yet supple enough to blend color.

 While it is very similar to Hakuhodo G5522BkSL in shape, it is more dense. It's a bit larger in size compared to my eye area so while it is great for diffusing a large area, it's not great for precise blending. You know the the days where you throw on a wash of color, maybe deepen the crease with a neutral color? It's great for that.

Here I used just #22 to blend the brown in the outer V and to apply the lid color itself (Dior Nude Look Duo). 

Giorgio Armani Large Eye Contour Brush #22 is pricey, I won't lie to you. At $41, I won't pretend that it is an absolute need in anyone's brush arsenal. I am mightly pleased to have it though! It can be purchased directly from Giorgio Armani USA or from stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue (free shipping with the code "FREESHIP"). 

What is your favorite tapered blending brush?

Products feature were purchased by me. Post contains affiliate links. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

Purple Gradient EOTD Using Sigma Creme de Couture Palette

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I ended up with only one picture from this look that I thought turned out decent, so here it is!

I've been going out of my way to use the Sigma Creme de Couture Palette I bought earlier this year. The colors are so pretty yet the textures aren't exactly a dream to work with. Alas, I found out after I tried to remove this look that the shade Elderberry stains like you would not believe. It stained my outer eye area, lower lash line and the outer half of my brow HOT HOT PINK. I kinda liked the hot pink brows to be honest, but looking like I have wicked conjunctivitis?  No thank you!

Despite how much of a pain this palette has turned out to be, I still can't quite relinquish it. Is that a little nutty? I'm trying so hard to make it work! The colors just look so beautiful.

Brows: Sigma Creme de Couture shades in Blueberry Cream, Cassis, Elderberry
Eyes: UDPP, Sigma Creme de Couture shades in Blueberry Cream, Cassis, Elderberry, Cafe au Lait and Ginger Pumpkin, two pairs of cut up lashes (eBay, bulk), NYX Milk Jumbo Pencil, Rock & Republic Fatalistic

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Glam Polish Rydell High Shades

Thursday, March 20, 2014
Good evening!

Tonight I have the last three shades of the Glam Polish Rydell High Collectors Series to show you. These three shades are now available for pre order on the Glam Polish website (here).

You're the One That I Want. Two coats. A bright red with scattered holo dust and micro flakes. My camera couldn't capture the soft holo, I'm afraid!

We Go Together. Three coats. A bright neon yellow, nearly the color of a new tennis ball. It's loaded with yellow micro flakes.

Pink Ladies. Three coats. This is another color that I'm sad my camera couldn't capture, even in a close up macro. It's a hot pink loaded with scattered holo dust and beautiful blue translucent micro glitter.

My favorite out of this trio is You're the One That I Want. I'm a sucker for red holographic shades!

These shades are available to pre order now, like I've mentioned before, directly from Glam Polish. Click here for the list of international stockists (may not be in stock until later)

Products featured were press samples. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

Holo Watermarble

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
 I missed doing a full watermarble, so I used Nubar Texas Sky and Color Club Halo Hues Eternal Beauty yesterday.

I really loved how it turned out, despite being really out of practive. The pointer and ring finger aren't as pretty as I would like, but I didn't want to redo them.

Have a great night!

Mundane Mondays, Vol. XVI: Why Yes, I Realize That It Is Tuesday

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
 I didn't have this post ready yesterday, but I thought I'd throw it up today rather than wait a whole extra week. My health hasn't been very great lately, so I'm not exactly leading a thrilling life... but there are cats and food.

Above: my take on corned beef hash. I adore corned beef like you would not believe, but since it is so very high in sodium, it's a rare indulgence. I actually love left over corned beef hash more than fresh simmered corned beef and cabbage! Since I don't really eat starchy foods any more, I used carrots instead of potatoes. The slight sweetness was different, but enjoyable.

 While returning home from our first beach getaway of the season, we stumbled on this isolated gas station with fun HTF chocolates. I hadn't had a Cadbury Flake before (or Twirl, but turns out they are very nearly the same thing, Twirl is just easier to eat) and after having one... yeah, I didn't think it tasted very good. It reminded me of dried out chocolate curls.

Have some cat pictures:

 Widget has started to perch on the back of computer chairs. This was a mid sneeze photo. You should have seen how terrified he looked after his sneeze, he dug his claws into the chair, thinking he was about to fall off!

 Unwilling cuddle companions make the best pillows.

 Gallifrey is in the back, just licking her unmentionables. No big deal.

 I've been sick lately, so my go to has been ramen and kale smoothies. I'm not proud of ramen, but at least I'm dressing it up, right? Bok choy, pork meat balls, kimchi seasoned carrots and my sea crack- er, fake crab.

I love making meringues, just so I can flick those peaks at the end. I made this Meyer lemon meringue with graham cracker crust because regular pie crust is not my thing. It was so good but unfortunately not a super stable dessert- the graham crust became wet very quickly.

Anyways, that's pretty much been my life for the last few weeks. Not terribly exciting, I'm afraid!

St. Patrick's Day Manicure

Monday, March 17, 2014
Hello there!

I hope that you are having a very wonderful St. Patrick's Day!

Here's my green overload manicure for the day. I pretty much just grabbed the nearest greens within reach and tried to make something of it. 

I stamped with Winstonia W105, it's hard to see the clovers in the blinding sun. A lot of people really liked that super fine water marble so I think I'll attempt another with other colors soon. 

Left to right, top to bottom: Nubar Reclaim, Color Club Halo Hues Kismet, Celestial Cosmetics Mrs Claus' Jugs, Le Chat Dare to Wear Enchanted Forest, OPI Here Today....Aragon Tomorrow Suede, Kiko Sugar Matt 643, KBShimmer Green Hex and Glam, Zoya Chita, Glitter Gal Lizard Belly, Zoya Opal

These also happen to be some of my favorite green shades! Green is hands down my favorite polish color though it often times clashes with my skin. 

Did you do anything fun for St. Patrick's Day? 

A Trio of Sparkly Highlighters: Benefit Watt's Up!, Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Illuminator, NYX Liquid Illuminator

Sunday, March 16, 2014
 I recently realized that I had a few peachy/champagne highlighters sitting around and thought I would swatch them and compare them for a blog post. I'll be honest, I rarely wear any sort of shimmery highlight. I find the sparkles in my Guerlain Meteorites and NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Powder to be more than adequate! Since I have some pretty generous pores which create some less than perfect texture and often times develop quite a shine on the tops of my cheeks and nose, I usually skip the sparkle. That is, unless it's a super rainy day out and I know I won't be caught like shirtless Edward, then perhaps I'll run a tiny bit of BECCA Pressed Shimmer Powder in Nymph on my cheekbones.

Galaxy Lips

Saturday, March 15, 2014
My husband makes his dislike for glitter quite clear yet it was his idea for me to try these rather editorial galaxy lips.

My galaxy nails were one of his favorite nail designs and lately he has wanted me to GALAXY ALL THE THINGS. I went with lips because they weren't practical in the least bit.

I used:

NYX Jumbo in Black Bean, Wet'n'Wild Pandora shadow, Impulse Cosmetics Matte Opaque Lipstick in Melancholy, Space Cadet, Blow, Run Away and Smoking Gun. Random glitter. Bobbi Brown Crystal Gloss.

Despite his ardent hatred of glitter, Morgan thought these were pretty neat, especially once I blew the picture up.

A Few Spring KBShimmer Shades

Friday, March 14, 2014
Good afternoon!

Today KBShimmer releases their new 2014 Spring polishes that includes a new holographic shade and cremes. 

An Old EOTD - Red Shades

Thursday, March 13, 2014
Hi folks! I'm in the process of back up old pictures and stumbled upon some makeup photos that for some reason had not been published previously, so I'll probably schedule a few to post while I'm at the beach this weekend. Or maybe I have posted them before and the memory has escaped me. Oh well. Just pretend this is new exciting stuff, ok?
Either way, it's a good thing I tend to post details to Instagram, or else I would have long forgotten what products I used.

This was from about ten weeks ago.

Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder in Granite, Essence Brow & Lash Mascara
Eyes: LORAC Behind The Scenes Eye Primer, Laura Mercier Vanilla Nuts and Cafe au Lait, Mehron iNtense Carban and Red Earth, Femme Fatale Cosmetics Rampage, Jordana FabuLiner, CoverGirl Flamed Out Mascara

Tutorial: Highlighting & Contouring With Cream Products

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Today I have an extremely long post and tutorial about how I apply contour and highlighting products that are cream in formula. Usually my goal is for a natural look that emphasizes how natural light hits the face and casts shadows. Recreating this effect is particularly rewarding for photographs as the face can look very flat and washed out through a camera. The skin also looks a bit more taut and overall the face can appear a bit slimmer, which hey - can't go wrong with that!

There are a few advantages and drawbacks to using cream instead of powder. It's particularly appealing to those with dry skin as powder can further emphasize dry patches but using another emollient product may not be the best choice if your skin really tends to shine with oil. I find using cream products to be more time consuming since I apply with one brush and then blend with another tool whereas with powder, I can apply and blend with the same brush. However, I do find cream to be more natural looking than powder

Rather than attempting to blend contour and highlight shades at the same time (a very daunting task as accidentally muddling the shades together can look horribly murky and quite dirty), I choose to apply one at a time. 

 I'm using Graftobian Hi Def Glamour Creme Foundation in Hazelnut to contour. It is a deep brown that is in the neutral range and suitable for most skintones (though darker skin tones and those with super cool undertones may want to use even darker or cooler shades). I'm also using a beauty sponge (such as a BeautyBlender or any of the similar sponges out there)

Here's what Hazelnut looks like. Left to right: a single streak, blended out and a smaller amount fully blended out.

What I like about Graftobian Hi Def Glamour Creme is how much high coverage it has. You only need a tiny bit of product. I've seen some tutorials out there where it looks like half the face is covered with the contouring product. However with the Hi Def Glamour Creme, I barely need a few swipes because of how much color payoff it has.

I start out with primer, concealer and foundation already in place (check this post out for the full face routine). The sponge should be damp but not soaking, I rinse it in water and then squeeze it out in a towel. 

Using a concealer brush, I map out the areas for contouring with a few strokes. Again, less is more with this particular product and for the more natural effect I'm hoping to achieve. I trace right under the cheekbones, under my lower lip, down the sides and around the tip of my nose, the temples and the area closest to my hairline above my forehead. It's hard to see, but I also traced right under my jaw. 

Using the bottom of the tear drop shaped sponge, I lightly bounce and pat to blend in the contouring product. I'm always advocating bouncing instead of dragging, we don't want streaks or worse; the dreaded completely caked look.

I use the tip of the sponge for the smaller areas such as the nose and under the lip. Again, light dabbing motions rather than dragging the sponge. 

With contouring done, I reach for a lighter shade to highlight. I'm using another Graftobian shade, Graceful Swan which is a little lighter than MAC NC20. I'm opting for a shimmer/sparkle free product for this particular natural look. I apply product on the top of the cheekbones, the point of the chin, down the nose and a create a triangular shape on my forehead. 

Naturally, I don't want to use parts of the sponge already dirtied by my contour color. Instead, I use the widest part of the sponge, where it curves. Bounce, bounce, bounce. 

Here we have the completely look, before applying blush and powder.

Hope this was helpful! Please, if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask!

Products featured were purchased by me. Post contains an affiliate link. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.