August 22, 2011

Estée Lauder Fuchsia Fever Lipstick.

As I mentioned in the previous post, this lipstick practically grabbed me by the collar and demanded to be bought. I don't know what possessed me as 1) I rarely wear this kind of shade and 2) it was thirty-two freakin' dollars. I'm willing to spend money on things that I think are worth the price (Guerlain, I'm looking at you), but Estée Lauder is not a brand I normally put into the luxury column.

So is it worth it?

It's very, very pretty. The packaging is a little amped up from the usual thing I associate with EL, and is juuuuust this side of gaudy. (Or maybe that side, depending on your tolerance for faux-gold.)

I like that you can see the color in the bottom encasement, and though it doesn't quite have the heft of some other high-end brands, the tube still feels substantial and elegant.

No flash on the left, flash on the right.

Natural daylight.

Bathroom lighting.

These pictures don't quite capture how vivid this is. It's also a wee bit deeper in real life.

It's a domineering color, but like that other power-player - red - it's a shade that actually looks beautiful when worn alone.

This is me wearing it with absolutely no other makeup - not foundation, not mascara. And somehow it seems to bring life to my face, as opposed to throwing into stark relief how utterly naked it is.

It feels clean, polished, feminine. Dare I say...French?

Overall, I really like this lipstick. It's described as a 'lasting creme' finish, and that's pretty accurate. It goes on very creamy, cushiony, and feels nice on the lips, though it does become more matte as it wears. It's much more comfortable compared with a true matte, so it's an option for those who don't tolerate the drier textures very well, but who still want something that will last for hours. (This WILL stain.) But while I do think it's worthy of the US price, I don't think it's quite unique or luxe enough to merit the Canadian price tag. But what the hell.


Availability: Estée Lauder locations, as well as the website. It's part of the Modern Mercury collection, so I'm going to assume it's a limited shade. The price is 24$ in the US, 32$ here in Canada. 

Pros: Gorgeous color. Feels comfy on the lips. Great lasting power. Looks swank. 

Cons: Color can be hard to pull off, and will definitely emphasize any yellow in the teeth. Price.

(I purchased this from The Bay.)

August 17, 2011

Estee Lauder loot.

Yeah, I know. Estee Lauder? I think the last time I bought EL was 3 Christmases ago, when I got my mom a fragrance set and the slightly gaudy GWP that came with it.

I can only blame Dusty Hunter for this, as his last blog entry was all about the wonder of Estee, and the pretty things they just put out. So I stopped by the counter this afternoon, intending to swatch a few things and see if anything looked as intriguing in person as it did in his post.

And I walked away with this:

The packaging is weighty and classy, in a faintly overdone way that somehow appeals to my magpie Pisces sensibilities. (Though it shows fingerprints like crazy. But whatever. It's shiny!)

I'll do a full review of these in a little while, but I will say that I was impressed by the texture of most of the eyeshadows I swatched, and the Metallic Sage nail polish is stunning. If you're a nail addict, consider it a collector's item. You will kick yourself if you miss out. 

My oh-my-god item is the Fuschia Fever lipstick. It was grossly expensive (32$ in Canada compared to 24$ in the US, another rant for another time) but I could not walk away from it. Just gorgeous.

(I purchased these items.)

August 16, 2011

Josie Maran Natural Wonder Palette.

I was browsing the Josie Maran site a while back, and noticed a couple of great things in the sale section. Josie Maran is one of those brands that I wish got more notice. They have some great products with lovely textures and colors, and they're a nice option if you're looking for eco-friendly cosmetics that don't look like health-food store rejects.

See? The Natural Wonder palette is just so pretty!

It's a nice little mix of colors, and I can't recall if it originally came out for summer, but it definitely feels appropriate for that season.

No primer. Flash.

No primer. No flash.

The eyeshadows are soft, a little on the sheer side, but layer easily for more intensity. The bronze and gold are, of course, the most pigmented, the aqua the least. The cornflower blue is really beautiful, and actually has a faint violet duochrome that I wasn't able to capture in any picture I took.

No primer. Flash.

The blushes are, for some reason, more pigmented than the eyeshadows. The blush colors are absolutely lovely and blend very easily for a subtle look. The bronzer is probably lighter than anything I would normally call a bronzer. (I'm about an NC25/Chanel Pro Lumiere 20/MUFE 118, if that helps.) It does layer nicely with the pinker blushes, to give them a more gilded, sunny tone. Could potentially work as a highlight for deeper skin tones.


Availability: Currently still available via the Josie Maran website, for 18$ (original price was 35$)

Pros: Mixed selection of fun colors that work well together. Soft, blendable textures. Very pretty, sleek packaging. Reasonable price, especially on sale. Eco-friendly.

Cons: Colors a little sheer, though that can be a preference for some. All of them have shimmer, which again can come down to preference.

(I purchased this from Sephora.)

August 14, 2011

Inexpensive eyeliner brush.

Finding the right eyeliner brush can be tricky, especially if you're looking for something with a really fine point for a precise application of cream or liquid liner.

The Louise Young brushes come highly recommended (and I do covet them, along with pretty much everything else from that brand), but they may not be in everyone's budget.

Your local artist supply store can provide some great alternatives, however. Take a look in their painting section, especially the synthetic brushes they have available. They literally have several dozen options in terms of thickness and slant. I've been using this one:

The best part? It was about 2$.

(I purchased this item.)

August 13, 2011

Oldies but goodies from Lorac.

I just ordered some new-to-me stuff from Lorac, so I thought now would be a good time to dig into the drawers and pull out a couple of things I haven't used in a while: the Snake Charmer and Croc palettes.

They are still freakin' amazing.

Snake Charmer palette.

Snake Charmer swatches, blush on the far right. No primer. Flash.

Croc palette.

Croc swatches, blush on the far right. No primer. Flash.

I remember when I first tried these, I was blown away by how buttery and dense the pigment was, how beautiful the colors were. They're perfect for everyday wear and can be oomphed (we'll pretend that's an actual word) up easily. I think the quality is good enough for these to migrate to a kit, but I haven't seen too many artist use Lorac. Which is weird to me, considering Carol Shaw (the creator) is an artist herself.

The Snake Charmer palette is probably my favorite out of the two, mostly because the colors are just so beautiful and flattering on a warm-toned complexion like mine. They all have some degree of shimmer, except for the dark brown, which is a matte with some sparkle, the latter of which does not show up strongly on the skin. (It reminds me a bit of the DS finish from Inglot.) The blush is in the same family as Nars Orgasm, though I think it's actually softer and more pigmented. I'll do a comparison post sometime soon. I think the only shade that isn't 100% perfect is the slightly greenish gold - it's not quite as smooth as the other three eyeshadows, and has some of the flakiness I associate with the lustre finish from MAC. Though not nearly as annoying.

The Croc palette is the ultimate day-to-night palette, and though it's warmer-than-neutral, it's still eminently wearable. Three of the eyeshadows have shimmer, with the deepest one being matte. The blush is matte as well. This one had no texture issues whatsoever, and it's a classic piece to have in your makeup arsenal. The palette version of the LBD.

Availability: Snake Charmer is no longer available, but you can find reasonably-priced ones on Evilbay. The Croc palette can still be purchased from Sephora and Lorac for 36$.

Pros: Well-coordinated. Great colors and textures. Reasonable price. Practical layout and fun packaging.

Cons: Snake Charmer has one shade that is a smidge (and I mean a smidge) flaky. That palette is also more difficult to obtain.

(I purchased these from the Lorac website.)