Sunday, October 30, 2011

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick, Part 1: 12, 22, 36, 39, 40 - Review, Photos, Swatches

Hope everyone had a lovely Halloween weekend! Any crazy-awesome costumes? (I can never think of anything clever!)

I'm pleased to bring you some of my favorite lipsticks from one of my favorite brands - here is part of my Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick collection (unfortunately I'm a massive hoarder/buyer/obsessor when it comes to MUFE :x). These lip colors come in three finishes (matte, pearly, satin) and there's a wide range of colors to choose from.

This post features the lipsticks in numbers 18, 22, 39, 40, and 36. Here's 18:
18, with flash
18, without flash
18 is a peachy-beige shimmer (pearl finish). In all honesty, I'm not a huge fan of the 'pearl' finishes in this line - they are super-dry, hard, and have little give which makes application kind of a drag (literally!). Still, though this is my least-used MUFE lipstick, the color is nice, neutral with a wash of shimmer, and fairly good for layering gloss over it. Due to its dry nature 18 wears well, lasting about four hours on me.

22, with flash
22, without flash
22 is a warm nude cream. It's surprisingly non-fussy for a skintone, though it is a bit warm for my cool complexion.

39, with flash
39, without flash
39 is a pretty light coral. This is a satin finish.

40, with flash
40, without flash
This one is a BRIGHT, traffic-stopping orange, and totally amazing! I wore it throughout summer for many a barbecue, luau, and picnic (I especially love pairing it with a delicate, romantic white sundress for an edge). :) Such a fun hue!

36, with flash
36, without flash
36 is a bright fuchsia cream. Another playful, vibrant color.

The MUFE satin finishes (numbers 22-50) are positively fantastic. While not necessarily moisturizing, they are smooth and non-drying as contradistinguished from the rough pearl finishes. The colors are fabulously pigmented and opaque with one swipe. Wear time is tops - I'm able to go about five hours without reapplication. When they fade they do so uniformly, evenly, and not at all embarrassingly (I don't think I'm the only one who has looked a fool when lip colors have left that awful, harsh ring around the lips!). Make Up For Ever's Rouge Artist Intense lipsticks are available at Sephora for $19 each. (Be sure to take advantage of Sephora's current f&f sale!)

L to R, no flash - 12, 22, 39, 40, 36
L to R, with flash - 12, 22, 39, 40, 36

Are any of these calling out to you? Thanks for reading! :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

e.l.f. Studio Cream Eyeliners in Black, Gunmetal - Swatches, Photos

I liked the performance and price of the e.l.f. cream eyeliners I reviewed here so much, I bought two more!

To be honest I didn't test these for wear time (I hope they're comparable to the good results I had with Plum Purple and Metallic Olive), but I though I'd share swatches and photos.
No flash
The black is very.. black! 8D The metallic is very shiny and pretty, and I'm excited to try it for perhaps a smoky or otherwise dramatic eye.. These are $3 each, purchasable at Target or through the e.l.f site. For a detailed review of e.l.f.'s cream liner formula, see this post.

That's all I've got. Off to enjoy this fine Saturday evening, as I hope you are doing too :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals Eyeshadow Palette in The Dream Sequence - Photos, Review, Swatches

It's too gloomy and dark a day to take photos, boo. Luckily I have a backlog of reviews that need writing! :D

Have you, like me, been inundated by commercials for Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals' new eyeshadow palettes? It seems that lately I catch at least three of these ads per day (and I don't watch much TV). Anyway, I suppose it's working since I have purchased two of BE's pressed palettes!

Here's The Dream Sequence (love the name), a quad featuring lovely, ethereal hues of violet -

I'm attracted to the simple, no-frills design of the packaging; It doesn't look like it's trying too hard, but manages to remain sleek and pleasing to the eye.

As much as I enjoy the appearance of The Dream Sequence, I absolutely j'adore the contents!
Hihi! :]
L to R: 500 Thread Count, Romp
L to R: Boudoir, Nightcap
L to R: 500 Thread Count, Romp, Boudoir, Nightcap (no flash)
L to R: 500 Thread Count, Romp, Boudoir, Nightcap (flash)
 All of the shades applied excellently, smoothly, and deeply. Color payoff is wonderful and pigmentation is not lacking - each shade is replete with vibrancy and richness. I think my favorite is Romp, a gorgeous taupe-y warm metallic purple. I've worn it many times since I got Dream Sequence, and it's so pretty and flattering - one of my current go-tos! 500 Thread Count is a pale cream; Boudoir is a shimmery bright violet; Nightcap is a dark, matte burgundy plum. So much goodness in one little compact! Ultra-high quality from Bare Escentuals here, and I think the price is right: the quads are $30 each at 0.17 oz., which comes out to $7.50 per shadow. (By comparison, MAC's sextets are $36 for 0.19 oz of product.) With a primer Dream Sequence lasted 17+ hours without creasing, fading, or budging.

The Dream Sequence is a massive success for Bare Escentuals, I think! Have you been tempted into buying any of these?

Random Ramblings: Lately I've been listening to this beautiful song, by Scottish lad (don't be fooled by the name) Paolo Nutini. It's about being young and heartbroken and the problems that arise from not knowing the difference between love and lust. I'm a stain there on your bedsheet, you're my diamond in the rough.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

OPI Muppets Collection, the Glitters - Gettin' Miss Piggy With It, Divine Swine, Fresh Frog of Bel Air, Gone Gonzo!, Excuse Moi!, Rainbow Connection - Photos, Swatches, Review

theBalm isn't the only company releasing a Muppet-themed collection! OPI has a twelve-piece Muppets Holiday collection, consisting of six glitters and six red/neutral creams and shimmers that are available for $8.50 each at Ulta. And since I'm drawn to shiny things like a moth to a flame, I had to get the glittery half.

Without further ado, here're the Muppets in all their effulgent glory -

L to R: Gone Gonzo!, Divine Swine, Gettin' Miss Piggy With It, Excuse Moi!, Rainbow Connection, Fresh Frog of Bel Air

All swatches are three coats except Rainbow Connection, which is four.

Gone Gonzo, bright blue glitter and large silver hexagonal glitter in a clear base -

Divine Swine, fuchsia glitter and large silver hexagonal glitter in a clear base -

Gettin' Miss Piggy With It, ruby red glitter and large silver hexagonal glitter in a clear base -

Excuse Moi!, fine holographic glitter and medium hexagonal multi-colored glitter in a peachy-pink jelly base -

Rainbow Connection, multi-colored, multi-sized hexagonal glitter in a clear base -

Fresh Frog of Bel Air, grass green glitter and large silver hexagonal glitter in a clear base -

My (scattered) thoughts:

So bright and fun, no? I really do like all the colors here, but I wish there was a bit more heterogeneity in the polishes' consistency - four of the six are simply 'some shade of glitter' with silver hexagonal glitter, in a clear base. Great, but a little one-note. I enjoyed the variety in Excuse Moi!, which had a colored base and was quite friendly for generating opacity (two coats will do!).

Unlike the rest of the lacquers Excuse Moi! dried rather roughly, though that's nothing a brush or two of topcoat can't remedy. I was impressed that the rest of the glitters dried so smoothly and glossily; I didn't experience the bumps and unevenness that's an unfortunate side-effect with many, many glitters.

Rainbow Connection will be hard to build up unless you try five+ coats (which I'm unwilling to do!), but the rest can become opaque with four coats, comfortably.

Do any of these glitters catch your eye?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

e.l.f. Studio Cream Eyeliners in Metallic Olive, Plum Purple - Review, Swatches, Photos

There are some things I've not the willpower to resist - a good sample sale; stopping by Starbucks after work on cold evenings for a soothing green tea latte, non-fat with double matcha; making kissy faces at my pup when he's trying to sleep, which annoys him to no end but brings me a great deal of pleasure :); documentaries, especially on the subject of classical music, dance, or the fine arts (I'm not much of a fiction fan, either in print or in cinema); eating round foodstuffs (cookies, bread, etc.) in a circle from the outside to the center; and, the only item relevant to this blog really, untraditionally colored cream or gel eyeliners!

I was thrilled when I found that e.l.f., an inexpensive drugstore brand, offered shades beyond the conventional black and dark brown. I purchased two of the Studio Cream Eyeliners ($3 each) in Purple Plum and Metallic Olive.
The containers are adorable, much sturdier than the $3 price tag warrants!

L to R: Metallic Olive, Plum Purple
L to R: Metallic Olive, Plum Purple with flash
The colors are both gorgeous! Here they are swatched -
L to R: Metallic Olive, Plum Purple
L to R: Metallic Olive, Plum Purple with flash

I'm enamored with Olive especially - look at that fine gold shimmer! Brilliant and beautiful. Plum is a deep, velvety royal purple and also very, very lovely.

In terms of wear time, these e.l.f. liners are tops. I wore both for 12+ hours with no smudging and very minimal fading. I also tried rubbing at the eyeliner vigorously and both persevered against budging very well (if I'm nit-picking, Metallic Olive was just a stitch more hardy than Plum Purple). I'm very impressed by e.l.f.'s formula and how well these creams perform. I want them alllll now, and with the bargain-basement price I might just allow myself to have them :D They have my highest recommendation!

Thanks for reading! Are you an e.l.f. fan?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

OPI Miss Universe Collection - Swatches, Photos, Review

Meh, I've been sitting on these for a while, hesitant to post because the photos were taken during what I call my "helpless camera neophyte" phase where I couldn't figure out why all my pictures were looking blurry and horrid (turns out I had the camera on an ultra-customized, sensitive setting. D'oh!)

That being said, it is with much trepidation (and near on shame) that I present you OPI's Miss Universe Mini Collection (and the reason I did not slate these polishes for photo-retaking is because I have SO much product I want to review, and time is regrettably short!).
L to R - Congeniality is My Middle Name, Swimsuit... Nailed it!, Crown Me Already!, It's My Year
I must say, this is a much more exciting OPI collection than I've seen in quite a while! After the dreary, monochromatic snoozefest that was the Road Trip USA release, this is a welcome departure into gorgeous shimmer, beautifully rich color, and smooth application formula. A win for OPI!

First, Congeniality is My Middle Name -
A berry rouge with a hint of sparkle (which my wonky camera settings didn't capture properly). A lovely red-with-a-twist, and the formula is buttery and wonderful.

It's My Year -
A medium purple with veins of warm gold shimmer running throughout. Stunning, shiny, and very cool. Love the texture and finish!

Swimsuit... Nailed It! -

Fantastic foiled bright cerulean. I have a hard time picking favorites here (all the lacquers are such stars!), but this may be it. Vibrant, bold, and so fun.

Crown Me Already -

On the nail this looks like an explosion of scrapped bits of silver! A nice party or NYE polish. The glitter is denser than I expected it to be, and opaqueness is achievable in just two coats (though I did three in the swatches above). Especially for a 'glitter polish', Crown Me Already is high quality and easy to work with. 

Did you watch this year's Miss Universe contest? I have to admit beauty pageants never really interested me, but these OPI polishes certainly do! :)