20 April 2016

The 7 Day Lipstick Challenge - Day 4

Introducing day 4! MAC lipsticks are a large staple within my lipstick collection and because they are the most amount I own, you can image there is a lot of different shades to rotate between. Therefore some shades have been pushed behind and forgotten about. One of these shades is the MAC Matte Lipstick in the shade Diva (RRP $36 AUD). I picked up this shade when I did a back to MAC. When I looking at all the shade range, I thought to myself I should get a shade that is quite bold and vampy since I didn't have many of those within my MAC lipstick collection. If I was to describe the perfect deep burgundy vampy shade for autumn I would definitely say this is the perfect shade for that. I've always wanted something that would suit my skin tone and make my teeth look white. I know there are some shades out there that can either clash with your skin tone or make your teeth look quite yellow.

With all the MAC matte formulas you can expect it to be very comfortable on the lips without feeling drying at all. They have this creamy consistency and apply a strong amount of pigment to the lips. I find again with all bold shades that using a lip brush for precise application always helps. Now that the colder days are upon us here in Australia it is definitely time I wore this shade a lot more. I find the shade Diva works well with most makeup looks as well as most outfits, it is such a sexy and strong colour.

I'm not the biggest fan of the packaging, although it is the iconic MAC packaging, I still find it an odd shape. I guess, that's what sets it a part from the rest. The quality of MAC lipsticks are one of the best that I've tried so far, in terms of longevity it does last long on the lips but can transfer around your face if you're not careful. All matte shades work differently depending on the formula and the shade. I found that I would have to definitely keep an eye on this shade when I wear it out, blotting it a few times and then reapplying or using a lip liner will help it a lot as well. I love the scent of MAC lipsticks, they contain a vanilla like scent and it is quite delightful to wear as it isn't overpowering.

I guess by now, you can tell I have a particular taste when it comes to lipsticks. I like them non-drying, creamy, long lasting, highly pigmented and a unique shade that suits my skin tone. This will obviously become a theme in each of these lipstick challenges.

One swatch of the MAC Matte Lipstick in Diva.

One layer of the MAC Matte Lipstick in Diva on my lips.

MY RATINGS (Out of 5) 
 Longevity - 3.5/5 
Pigmentation - 5/5 
 Texture - 4/5 
 Application - 4/5 
 Overall product - 4.1/5

13 April 2016

FOTD: NARS (Cream products)


NARS Sheer Glow - Fiji
NARS Illuminator - Copacabana
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer - Custard
NARS Matte Multiple - Altai
NARS Cream Blush - Cactus Flower (Not sure if its still available)
NARS Single Eyeshadow - Bali
NARS Brow Gel - Oural (Clear)
NARS Larger Than Life Long-wear Eyeliner - Rue Bonaparte & Rue Saint-Honore
NARS Audacious Mascara - Black Moon
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil - Walkyrie

Today I wanted to go "powder-free" and wear as much cream/liquid products I own, featuring NARS makeup. A few of the products used today are a some of my all time favourites, however there are a few I used today that I actually don't use as much as I find they aren't my favourite. Since this is a brand focus post I wanted to use all NARS products I own — even if it is a product I don't enjoy. I created a simple look today and I won't go into how I created this as it is quite straight forward — so instead I want to talk through my thoughts on a few of the products I used today.

If anyone asked me what my favourite makeup brand was, NARS would definitely be one of my answers. I love and own so many of their products and find it is of high quality. Sheer Glow is one of my holy grail foundations, it has a buildable medium to full coverage while feeling very light weight on the skin. I think many people get confused on the concept of this foundation — it isn't sheer and where is the glow? I think the purpose of this foundation isn't from your application, but more so the final end result once it has settled into your skin, making it look so flawless. It gives the result of a sheer glow — meaning it looks like skin and gives that glow from within look. Which is actually what I really love about this foundation. I love that I don't need to wear too much of it and it blends into my skin seamlessly.

I first found out about the Copacabana Illuminator on my first photo shoot job with my friend Loren. She had this within her kit and when I used it to apply on the models I couldn't believe how stunning it looked on the skin. The thing that won me over, was the moment I had only applied this all over the models face and the photographers had thought she was already "done" and started taking photos of her. I think, if she was looking flawless and the glow within her skin was enough to fool anyone that her makeup look was "complete" is enough for me to buy thousands of these. The way it melts into your skin and as soon as any light hits the high points of your face — it is just the most stunning thing ever. Can you see the beautiful glow it gives on my face? (photo below). It is lovely applied under or over your makeup — mixed with your foundation or applied to the high points of the face.

When the Matte Multiple's launched, I knew I had to check them out. Although a lot smaller in size compared to their regular Multiple blushes/highlights, it is still just as stunning. I chose to pick up the shade Altai as it was more semi-cool toned from the bronzer shade range and would work perfect for a contour shade or a light bronze around the perimeters of the face. It blends in seamlessly and at first application the pigmentation may look intimidating but, can be sheered out and buildable.

I never gave much thought into trying out the NARS Cream Blushes, mainly because most cream blushes I've owned from other brands either broke me out or doesn't have amazing longevity and pretty much is non existent on my cheeks. I stumbled by Cactus Flower one day while in store and the shade looked so bold and beautiful. Once I swatched it on my hands I knew I had to have it within my collection. The shade name is the perfect description for the shade of this blush – Cactus Flower. It is exactly that, very bold, prominent and striking. It, also blends out beautifully and you can build up the intensity of the shade nicely. Although, I haven't gravitated to this cream blush as much as I should, it is definitely a favourite within my collection and something I need to keep reminding myself to use more often.

Onto a slight negative note, is the Audacious Mascara, where do I begin? There aren't many products I don't enjoy from NARS, like I said, it is by far one of my favourite brands. However, this mascara was a major let down for me and didn't do anything for my lashes. If you look at the photo below, you can see how horrible is makes my lashes look. I received a deluxe sample size in my Mecca Beauty Loop box, and although before that I actually purchased the full size to see for myself how it worked. I found the wand way too large, and extremely spiky that it hurt to apply it. It felt like I was using a cactus on my eyes (ouch). The spikes, or if you'd like to call them bristles are placed too far apart that it doesn't grab onto any of you lashes and gives a very uneven application.

Not to mention the formula of the mascara itself, I found it flaked so much throughout the day and I would end up with particles of dried mascara clumps around my eyes and face (not a pretty look). Thank goodness I was able to return this mascara as I gave it a week to trial, I knew after that whole week I needed my money back asap. I didn't want to wear it ever again. And, here I am again, wearing it in this post! Only because I don't own any other mascara's from NARS, this is the only one I have and plus I obviously have my deluxe sample, still. I know there are a few people who either love or hate this mascara, I think it just depends on the persons preference and like we always say, everyone has different experiences.

Now back onto the positive side of things, the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Walkyrie. There's no doubt these are my favourite lip products – EVER! I have quite a few shades within my collection, and I want to own them all, basically! Walkyrie is one of my newest editions, and it is just stunning. I don't think I've ever found a lip product like these lip pencils. The name says it all, it gives a velvet matte texture to the lips and the pigmentation is just amazing, not to mention the longevity and application. These lip pencils are my most worn lip products, I always carry a shade in my bag! Walkyrie is described as a burnt coral red, to me that is definitely correct!

What are some of your favourite NARS products?

11 April 2016

New In: Inglot Face Palette

I wasn't initially intending to do this post just yet, as I have a few blog posts lined up. However since making this purchase from Inglot the other day I just had to do a review on it. Excuse my finger swatches in the first photo! I had so much fun finding the perfect shades to create my own palette. I decided to choose 3 blush shades and 1 contour shade. I kept changing my mind each time, I wanted to get a banana shade and a white matte shade, then I thought to myself I probably wouldn't use it as much. I guess the main thing that is missing from this face palette is a highlight shade. I was hoping Inglot did highlight shades for their "Freedom System Palette" but they don't. Which I was actually quite surprised about! I chose this light pale pink shade (#37) which would make do for a semi-highlight shade. It's very subtle and has a few shimmer particles within it. It looks really beautiful blended out.

To buy the palette casing on its own cost $20 AUD and for the pan blushes, they retail for $18 AUD each and the sculpting powders retail for $25 AUD each. In total I spent $99 AUD to complete this palette. I'm not sure if that is a good deal or not. I do remember the prices being a lot cheaper back when they had opened up another stand years ago in Perth. After a while the counters shut down and only recently they had opened up again (maybe around end of 2015?). In my opinion, if the blushes are $18 I don't see why the sculpting powder should jump up in pricing to $25. It just makes me not want to get more than one shade to be honest. Which is mainly why I opted for more blush shades in the end.

I think if they offered some highlighting powders within this I would definitely pick some up and it would make this palette even more perfect. Besides all that, I actually really enjoy this face palette! I think it is so beautiful and the packaging is just so lovely and everything is great quaintly. I've owned a few products from Inglot before, but, like I mentioned before it was years ago so a lot has changed since then. Needless to say, the quality and products are just as amazing as I last remembered.

I do hope they open up more counters! I am keen to try more of their eyeshadows, especially since they offer so much variety of beautiful shades! I was thinking of picking some up that day, however I ended up just building a face palette instead. Now to the shades and why I chose each one! You will sense a theme happening with each shade I picked up, they resemble shades of a few other brands I know and love.

Inglot Freedom System Palette (Face)

Swatched (L-R) — AMC Blush #127, FS Blush #37, AMC Blush #53 and Sculpting Powder HD #504

AMC Blush #127 - I am all about those brown tones in any kind of makeup, really! I love the rose/brown tones to this blush — it definitely has some of the NARS Douceur vibes coming from it. Which is what drew me to it, so it would be great if I ever need a dupe for it! I need to swatch them side by side to see if they are similar though! I do feel it comes off a lot more deeper in shade. I love that this blush has zero shimmer and is completely matte.

FS Blush #37 - As mentioned above I wanted a shade that would be the closest they had within their blush range to a highlight for me. Of course, it isn't entirely a highlight, but close enough. It is extremely subtle and because it is a pale shade with shimmer, once blended out it creates a beautiful highlight. In some ways it kind of reminds me of MAC Well Dressed only more pale and with shimmer.

AMC Blush #53 - This is a beautiful terracotta (can you tell this is another favourite shade of mine?) with apricot tones mixed with subtle shimmer. I love how I can wear this shade on its own and it makes for a bronzer/blush on your face. This is quite similar to another favourite blush shade, what I find to be NARS Madly meets Lustre.

Sculpting Powder HD #504 - The thing I really like about this contour shade is the ash and cool tones within it. I find it has a slight purple undertone to it as well. So, in some ways if you were to wear it lightly on your cheeks it makes for a stunning blush. But, for contouring/sculpting purposes it hollows your cheek bones to the core. I love how well it blends out and the matte texture is so smooth on the skin.

Have you tried building your own palette from Inglot's Freedom System?

03 April 2016

The 7 Day Lipstick Challenge - Day 3

Hello to day 3! When the NARS Audacious lipsticks (RRP $51 AUD) launched I knew I had to try them out. I originally adored the regular NARS lipsticks (my favourite is the shade Pigalle). There's no doubt that the formula to these are just stunning and not to mention the entire shade range. I love the naming of the shades, how it is named after iconic women throughout time. I adore Audrey Hepburn, so of course I had to pick up the shade Audrey — good thing it is absolutely stunning. A lovely deep raspberry/burgundy shade.

Although the sleek black metal packaging of the Audacious lipsticks are lovely I do find the magnetic lid closure (although fun to play with and intriguing upon the first opening) to be a nuisance when you carry it in your handbag. The magnetic closure can come off due to it not being a snap closure. It only has happened a few times for me, there are times when it doesn't happen, however you don't want your lipstick to get damage or for it stain the inside of your handbag.

The creamy texture and pigmentation to these lipsticks are so beautiful and opaque. I've found with each shade I own from the Audacious range, whether a natural to bold shade they all have great colour pay off and feel so smooth and luxurious on the lips. I especially adore lipsticks with the brand engraving on the lipstick bullet, gives it such a nice touch. I'm not sure why I haven't gravitated to this shade a lot, I think it is because I just forgotten I even owned this (which it is a good thing I am doing this challenge).

Throughout the day it does stay put and stains your lips as the lipstick starts to fade away, however I did find it does bleed a little, which can be quite annoying. I felt really insecure wearing it if I didn't touch up regularly and check in the mirror to see if it was sitting nicely on my lips. Don't get me wrong, it isn't as bad as it sounds, this lipstick is absolutely beautiful. It just needs to be paired with a lip liner to help with its longevity and I would suggest to blot it with a tissue and reapply upon application. I also had to use a lip brush to perfect the lines and crevices of the lips.

One swatch of the NARS Audacious Lipstick in Audrey.

One layer of the NARS Audacious Lipstick in Audrey on my lips.

MY RATINGS (Out of 5)
Longevity - 3.5/5
Pigmentation - 5/5
Texture - 5/5
Application - 3.5/5
Overall product - 4.3/5