Sunday, 15 November 2009
I know it's been a while and I've been pretty out of the loop on the Blog/YT community lately. Internet's been crappy still, but I think it's finally been sorted out. huzzah!
So, last night I was feeling inspired and did a couple of videos. The first is an eyeshadow look using MAC's new Smoke & Mirrors palette (from the Holiday 09 collectionof course). The second is a review of a Keristase hair product, which I'll post here in the next couple of days in a text format so you can read it all here too =]
I'm thinking of running a contest, but not sure what theme to use yet... if I ever figure it out, I'll do a video/post here to announce it. I love contests, as I'm sure you do too, so I'm looking forward to holding my first!
So, what have I been up to lately? If you're here for beauty news and reviews, you can totally skip the rest of the blog post, I'm in the mood for a diary-style blog entry tonight for some reason.
My trip to Canada in September was amazing. I only spent two weeks there and I definitely didn't want to come back just yet. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to take a whole lot of photos while there either.. I couldn't bring my camera, since it's pretty big and clunky, and needed my luggage space. And my mobile phone died while I was there and then I blew out my travel adapter, oops. So, only a couple pics of me and my good buddy at a block party.
Since then, things have been pretty monotonous. The weather in Canada was around 30 degress Celsius every day, so coming back to the near constant gloom that's been surrounding northeasten England since then was a downer. But still, can't complain too much! I was recently moved to a new team at work and... well, we'll see how it goes. I'm not one to blog a lot about work, but I'll just say I haven't been too thrilled with the change.
Last week I found myself in bed for four days with a case of the stomach flu, which wasn't so much fun... but that's cleared up now and I feel pretty good. More positive than I have in a while, actually! I'm looking forward to a lot, but the main things right now are a Christmas party my best friends over here in Englishland Steph and her boyfriend Lewis will be having the first weekend in December (Hm, maybe I'll get some guest-video-ing on while I'm at their place, since I didn't get to meet up with my darling Nadia while I was in Canada *sadface*!). Then, on the 7th I'm heading off to Cancun with some family, and will be spending two weeks doing not much else but lounging on the beach with a cocktail in hand and a good book =]
All of this is just to say that things have been going predominantly well, and I'm excited to finally have the time and internet access to get involved with this again. I've got a couple reviews lined up that I really need to do, and a few ideas for tutorials I need to film - although, as evidenced by my last two videos, something has been totally whack with the lighting in our office room / my webcam settings lately. Must get that sorted out!
Anyway, enough random rambling. Drop me a comment to let me know how you're doing, if there are any products (Available in UK please!) you want some reviews of.
Have a nice night, dolls!
Thursday, 13 August 2009
So, I want your opinion on something. I'm putting it up as a poll on the sidebar so vote there, but feel free to also post a comment if you want to elaborate on your response aside from a generic "yes/no"
The question is: Do you depot your MAC quads?
This is out of general curiosity but also because I myself am not sure whether I want to depot my quads or not. I know for certain my Hello Kitty quads are staying in their pretty packaging, but if I depot my Fafi quad I can use it to carry around the colours I'm wearing that day (which is also a vote for depotting quads because what if I'm using colours from different quads?).
But, I have... 13 quads, not counting my HK ones. So that will fill 3 and a half 15-pan palettes on their own haha. It'll save space though, and I like the idea of being able to organize them by colour instead of by the quads, mostly since I know I have a lot of varying colours, but I generally stick to my own palettes or just grab a quad and use it, instead of mixing and matching. Wheras if the colours are together I'll be more likely to USE the colours in different ways.
Yet, on the other hand, I kind of like having my collection of quads, even if they are taking up space.
I'm kind of thinking out loud at this point and I'm indecisive. But yeah, I'm curious - do you depot your quads? All of them, or just some? And if you do, do you keep the empty quad palette or do you B2M it?
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
In America, Makeup Artists get a discount of 40%, wheras discounts for other industry professionals (such as models, musicians, theatre techs, dancers, actors, etc) is slightly less (I want to say 30% but it might be 35%). Here in the UK, a membership as a Makeup Artist will get you a 35% discount on MAC and MAC Pro products. But they also offer Master Classes and other things that can be very useful to somebody working in "The Industry".
Personally, I really like the idea of this program, as it caters to people who need and use a lot of products, and makes the MAC brand a little more accessible to pros - which is definitely a good thing, as MAC is one of the top brands out there. I also like that applying for membership is not unneccessarily complicated, or inhibitively difficult to get accepted. All you need to do is essentially prove that you work in the field you say you do.
What I like the most is that this membership is that it is available to "freelancers". You would think that being a freelance makeup artist would be difficult to prove, but this is what I mean when I say it's "not inhibitively difficult" to apply. When I applied for membership I just faxed off my application form along with letters of reference from a couple of my clients (someone I've worked with several times and who's referred me and given me some more business =]) and a copy of my business card. I fully expected someone to contact me asking for more credentials, like a tear sheet, a magazine credit or something - which I wouldn't be able to give, as the only work I've done has been as a freelancer (as in, not for any publications). I've had several clients, but haven't exactly done makeup for a Vogue photoshoot haha.
But my application was accepted that afternoon, which made me very happy. I have great respect for MAC for making the program available to people who are getting started in the industry, who are working their way up. Everyone has to start somewhere, and freelancing is a great way to get your foot in the door, or even a way to make a career out of makeup artistry.
But, I have to say, that it's been frustrating since then.
I was told that the cards are sent out from America, and can therefore take 4 to 6 weeks to deliver. I got my sales invoice for the membership fee about 5 days later, but waited and waited and the card didn't turn up. I had applied the first week of April, and had placed an order over the phone line and registered on MacPro.com (I emailed customer services and they were able to give me my membership number, and could order over the phone as my details are on the system). But, by mid-May, the card still hadn't come through.
On my birthday, May 12th, I called and told them it hadn't come yet, and was told it would be re-requested for me. But, it still didn't come. I've requested the card to be re-sent to me a total of 5 times now, and it still hasn't arrived. And I tell you, it is frustrating.
Up until now, it hasn't been a huge issue. I can still phone in orders and use my discount, but I'm going to Canada at the end of the month. MAC Pro membership can be used internationally anywhere that the program is available, so I'd be able to use the membership in Canada (and potentially get some things for cheaper, since the exchange rate is in my favour right now haha!) But - and it's a pretty big but - in order to use it overseas, I have to have the actual, physical card. I leave in two and a half weeks, so it's not looking good.
The last time I requested my card was at the end of July, and it could take up to 4 weeks to get here from America, so I've got my fingers crossed that it will come this time, and get here before I leave, but my hopes aren't that high. 0 out of 5 aren't very promising odds, so I'm trying not to be annoyed and pessimistic but it's hard.
On top of this, I'm going on a day trip to London sometime soon, maybe next month, and was hoping to hit up the Pro store down there to stock up on some more basics while I'm there - I've been told that I can shop there without the physical card, since I'll be on the system though! - but would also like to have tried to get down to London for one of the classes or something that they hold periodically. Only, without the card I'm not sure I'd be able to participate, so that sucks.
I emailed customer services yesterday to ask if there was any other way I could get the card delivered - for example, having it sent out with an order, or paying for special delivery to make SURE it gets here - but was told that it's not possible. It's what I was expecting, and I "get" it, but it was worth a shot, right?
Anyway, I'll keep you updated and let you know how it goes. Fingers crossed it'll come this time!
Monday, 10 August 2009
I'm kind of a newbie to MAC, since I only really started buying MAC around the time Hello Kitty came out in the UK, so early this year. Eeek!
So here goes!
How long have you been using Mac?
I'd wanted to use it since I was in high school, but it was so pricey for a teenage girl who didn't have a job and not much cash at all. I'd mostly put it out of my mind and concentrated on low-to-medium-priced brands from NYC to Maybelline to Virgin Vie, who I used to SWEAR by. A couple years ago I bought a couple kohl eye pencils and eyeshadows (I've since learned that both eyeshadows were fakes, which is why I'll never buy MAC on ebay again - so easy to be fooled, especially if you don't KNOW the brand) - and I fell in love with the pencils. At the beginning of this year it came to buying a new foundation, I'd heard MAC was the best for foundation and HAD MY COLOUR, and the rest is history!
What was your first Mac product?
The first that I bought from an actual MAC store (100% not fake!) was Studio Sculpt Foundation and Select Coverup Concealer.
What's your all time favourite Mac product?
My top is probably eyeshadows. I can tend to be all about the eyes, sometimes to a fault, so MAC's range of eyeshadows, colours, finishes, textures, are a dream. And they're so pigmented and apply so well! I *HATE* buying eyeshadows only to find that they barely show up on the eye. I've yet to have this problem with a MAC shadow. I'm getting more into MSF's, blushes, and lipstick now than I was, but eyeshadow is definitely top.
What's your least favourite Mac product?
There are two. Mascara (I've tried the plush lash mascara, and while it makes my lashes black, it's not amazing, and I'm pretty sure I'm allergic to it or it's super harsh because I got the tiniest bit in my eye and then my eye watered and burned so badly that the rest of my eye makeup came off. NOT HAPPY. I've never had that problem with mascara before). And the second is Studio Sculpt Foundation. I tried to love it, and I really did to begin with, but now everytime I pick it up I just get frustrated because it's SO HARD TO BLEND and it breaks my heart.
Do you own a Pro Card?
Yes and no. I have a Pro membership but not a CARD. My card has been sent out 5 times now, and I still have yet to receive the damn thing. MAC's customer services said it's probably getting lost in the mail, but everything else (including a billion order invoices) came through. So I'm getting frustrated... though, at least I can phone order...
Your Mac foundation shade:
In Studio Sculpt and Studio Fix Powder I'm an NC15 even. Studio Fix runs a little darker, so I'm just barely lighter than NC15 in that - but I wear SFF in NC15 and with blending it's no problem.
Your favourite Mac-Foundation:
Studio Fix Fluid
I've got so many that I need to experiment with, but ones that I constantly finding myself going back to are Satin Taupe, Cork, Ricepaper, Swish, Silverthorn, and Knight. I love bright colours though so I'm always trying new combinations.
I don't have THAT many right now and I think nearly all of them are limited edition ones haha. But I love Rose Romance and Way To Love from the Rose Romance collection. And I just got Made With Love from Colour Craft which is beautiful! I really want Shy Girl and Crosswires, too, that's on my next order list.
I don't have many MAC Lipglosses, just a few LE ones (the HK releases), but I love Mimmy.
Blacktrack Fluidline! I looove it. At first I thought it'd be a pain, because I do not wash my brushes every day (I never have the time!) but it's well worth spot-cleaning my 209 every day for this stuff. It's love in a pot!
109 for foundation, 131 for blush/MSFs (I used to use the 129 but I love the 131 now), 209, 239 and 226 for eyes. 134 for powder foundation or bronzer.
I've only got a few of MAC's nail lacquers, and they're all creams. my favourites are Love And Friendship (Rose Romance) and On The Prowl (HK - this thing stayed for A FULL WEEK without chipping, and I'm in lust with the colour).
I have to agree with what a lot of people are saying: Pro palettes and refill pans (for eyeshadows, blushes, contouring, etc). They save on a TON of space, help with organization, and they LOOK so pretty!
Comment on the following Mac product; Have you used them? If so, give feedback.
Prep + Prime Skin:
Haven't used it, but I want to
Full Coverage Foundation:
Again, I'd like to try, but since none of MAc's colours are a PERFECT match for my skintone (NC can be sliiightly too yellowy if not blended, wheras NW makes me look like I have a pink mask on, and some products are just too dark) so I'm not convinced whether it would work on me or not.
Studio Sculpt Foundation:
I really loved this at first, but now I get frustrated every single time I use it. It's hard to blend, and does NOT work with brushes at all, so I have to use my fingers whenever I give it another try.
Face + Body Foundation:
Haven't used it and I don't have any plans to.
Mineralize Satin Finish:
I'd like to try it. Right now I use Studio Fix Fluid, but I'd like to try a variety of foundations to find what works the best and different coverages/finishes. I also like that this is mineralize.
Studio Fix Fluid:
This is what I use, and I love it. It's ever so slightly too dark for me so I need to be careful to blend, and if I use too much it just doesn't look good. So, I buff it on with a 109 brush and have no issues. 1-2 pumps works well, any more than that and it doesn't look very nice anymore.
Hyper Real Foundation:
Haven't tried it
Select SPF15 Foundation:
Haven't tried it, but I'd like to
Studio Tech Foundation:
I haven't used it but I want to give it a try. I used to use cream foundations, but had issues due to extremely dry skin, so I'd like to try it again now that I've finally found a skincare regime that has eliminated all my flakiness!
Studio Fix Powder:
I use this when I can't be bothered, or when all my foundation brushes are dirty haha. It's good if you're in a rush, just brush it on and you're good to go. It also gives better coverage than I'd expect from a powder foundation. A lot of people use it to set, but I find it to be too much, and makes my makeup look caked on if I set liquid with this, even if I've only got a little on.
Never tried, but it's probably good for a bit higher coverage.
Hyper Real Pressed Foundation:
Haven't tried it.
I love BP and BPBs. The Rose beauty powders work well on my pale complexion as pretty blushes, and the beauty powder blushes are just wonderful. I need more please!
I haven't tried yet... I'm torn between buying the sculpt and shape powder pans separately and putting them in a blush palette, and trying the duos that are coming out later this year.
Loose Blot Powder:
I used to want to try this to set my foundation, but since I don't have problems with oil (I get dry skin instead, yay /sarcasm) I'm going to skip it I think.
Pressed Blot Powder:
Mineralize Skinfinish Natural:
I so want to try this but haven't had a chance yet! I've heard it's great to set or as a powder foundation on its own. I haven't tried it yet because I need to get colour-matched (I AM pale, but Light looks like it'd be a little too light for me?), but because I have a pro card, I always feel guilty going to my MAC counter to test something or get matched, and knowing full well that I won't be buying it then and there. I might get matched when I B2M my next batch of shadow pots, though =]
I love these. Sometimes they can be a little more shimmery than I'd like, but most of the time they work. I went out one day with just my studio fix fluid, some black liner and mascara, and Perfect Topping MSF on my cheeks (as a highlight/blush) and the cashier at Makro commented on my "perfect skin" and asked what my secret is - Perfect Topping MSF just gave me a really natural looking, pretty dewy glow. It made my day!
I've got two - Refined Golden and... I can't remember the other one's name haha. I got the two from the Style Warriors collection. I like Refined Golden - applied lightly in the E3 with my 134 blush it makes me look like I've got some colour without looking fake or too brown or orange. Just a healthy glow, I like it.
I really want pink swoon! Right now I have 4 (Springsheen, Peaches, Rhubarb (pro) and Prism) and I like them all. Rhubarb is very bright but gives a nice flush if applied lightly - or a doll appearance if layered on haha.
I haven't used them yet but there are a couple I've got my eye on.
I have a love-hate relationship with mineralize blushes. For some stupid reason I bought Grand Duo on a whim, and it's a deep plum colour that I have to use a VERRRRY light hand with. I got 3 more from the Colour Craft collection, and I absolutely adore the colours (Daft Pink and Hand-Finish especially!) but sometimes the shimmer is overpowering. I need to hunt for some more matte blushes now, I think, to keep the balance.
I only have one, the Just A Pinch from the Rose Romance collection, and I actually really like it. At first I wasn't sure, but it goes on so nicely and I also use it as a stain on my lips.
Cream Color Base:
I have one... Pink. It's a pretty unexciting colour, to be honest haha. I want a load of more, especially the super-bright Pro shades,but they're not available in the UK so I have to search around and hope the freestanding stores in my hometown might have a couple in stock.
Studio Sculpt Concealer:
This is my favourite concealer. It's thick, creamy, and covers well. Perfecto!
Select Cover Up Concealer:
A lot of people rave about this and say it's perfect for under-eye circles but honestly, I don't get the hype. Maybe it's because the MA at my MAC counter sold me this a shade DARKER than my foundation, but it just doesn't work and doesn't look quite right. When it dries on me it looks quite yellowy, so I might try a concealer in an NW shade to see if that's any better, or so I can custom blend. But on dark circles, it just made my under eye area look ashey so I'm not so keen.
Select Moisture cover Concealer:
Haven't tried it, but want to.
Studio Finish Concealer:
Definitely want to try this. And I need to see if I can find the Studio Finish Corrector shades! The Pro line here doesn't have them anymore =[
Haven't tried it.
I want to try this... I've been told it's like a tinted lip conditioner, only flesh-toned. If that's the case I think I'll like it. I usually use concealer or foundation but it tends to look horrible, and makes my lips look and feel drier than they are.
Tinted Lip Conditioner:
I have 3 of these babies (Popster, Pink Fish, and Petting Pink) and I love them all.
I used to be a gloss-only girl, but MAC's lipstick has changed my mind completely!
I need to invest in more. I bought the HK limited edition ones, but I need to buy a couple from the permanent line and give them a real try.
See Thru Lip Color:
I've got 2 and they're okay. Not craptastic, not fabulous, just okay.
When I first heard the concept of the dazzleglass, I Was simultaneously excited and going "..dude, what, how old are we?" But I got my first one (Rags To Riches) when they brought out the perm line and loved it! I've now ordered Euro Beat and Rue D'Rouge and can't wait for them to come!
I missed these, they had just gone out of stock on MAC UK's website when I first started buying and collecting MAC. I hear they're fabbbulous though so I might pick up a couple when they repromote them.
I have one (bought off ebay so there's a chance it's fake, but I'm not sure) in Cellopink. It's ok but a little disappointing. In the tube, it's a bright-ass neon pink colour, but on the lips it looks like thick gloss with a SUPER SUPER SHEER tint to it. I WANT PINK LIPS DAMN IT!
I don't have any, althought I should probably invest in some. I tried to order one last week but the one I wanted was out of stock. Typical!
I'm not entirely sure about these yet. I have the 3 from the Style Warriors collection, and I can say that they do not apply smoothly as eyeshadow at all without a base or a mixing medium/fix+. And now I'm scared to use them since I accidentally spilled a bunch out of one of them. Sigh.
I like the cream ones I've got so far, although Seasonal Peach was ridiculously streaky! I hear the non-cream formulas streak a lot, although I had less issues with Violet Fire than most seemed to have.
I bought the ones from the Sugarsweet collection and I really like them as a base, or a splash of complimentary colour on the lower lashline. I'd heard so many bad things about how hard they are to work with, but the ones with Sugarsweet are fabulous, they need to release some new colours.
Haven't tried them, but I don't really like the idea of working from a tube - I'd probably squeeze them into an empty paint pot pot or something - and then knowing my luck they'd dry out.
I love paint pots, I have 5 right now (Fresco Rose, Bare Study, Quite Natural, Girl Friendly, and Painterly - the last one I use every single day as an eyeshadow base). They're great as a base, in my experience they measure up to UDPP and I find them easier to apply. My only complaint is lack of selection in the permanent line. We need more colours!
I am ALL about the eyeshadows! I love them! In fact I love them so much that I can't think of anything else to say here to adequately express just HOW MUCH I love them!
I really like pigments but because they're not as easy to work with as eyeshadow straight from a pan (if you don't use fix+ or something there tends to be a lot of fallout - also I'm terrified of dropping the pot when it's open argh!) I find I don't reach for them as often as I'd like to. For that reason, I really want to try pressing pigments, but it's hard to find the right kind of alcohol here in the UK, which makes me sad. I do love pigments though, and I really want to expand my collection.
I've got a couple and I can honestly say I've never used them. They're so pretty to look at and have and the colours are gorgeous, but I haven't used them yet. I might try using them on nails in the future, though.
Love! Fascinating Eye Kohl is one of my HG items for sure! I use it nearly every day. I also really like that MAC has a decent selection of different colours to play with.
Never tried them and I'm not sure I'd find a use for them, or ever really use them.
I LOVE fluidline!
Liquid Last Liner:
I wanted this but it was out of stock =[ I love liquid liner, though, so I'll probably buy it once my Penultimate Liner runs out.
I have the pink ones, and haven't used them yet. In fact, I forgot I had them until I went through my stash last night and started reorganizing lol.
I have the Hello Kitty ones but haven't used them yet, but I want to get a couple pairs from the perm line to try out. Also, I need to get some lash adhesive haha.
ProLash Mascara,Zoom Lash Mascara,Plush Lash Mascara, Dazzle Lash Mascara:
I've only tried Plushlash but I don't really like it. As I said above, I got a little in my eye and it was a NIGHTMAREEEE, it felt like getting really strong soap or shampoo in your eyes and not being able to rinse it out properly. I tend to get bits of liner or mascara in my eyes sometimes, but I've NEVER had a reaction like that before. The burning was horrible!
What has been your favourite Mac collection to date?
Well, I wish I'd been a collector (with money) for Barbie Loves MAC, but alas. For the collections I've been around for, I'm tempted to say HEllo Kitty... If only because I'm a huge HK fan, and I went WAY over the top wit that particular one haha. But I have a bunch of nice stuff from it and it really kick-started my MAC collection. I'm REALLY looking forward to my Love That Look haul, which should be coming in the mail before Wednesday, and that's probably the top taker, to be honest.
Which Mac collection, in your opinion, do you think was disappointing, if any?
Colour Ready! It was a collection, but 99% of the items were permanent anyway, so what was the point? Also...Probably Style Warriors. I know a lot of people loved it, and I did get some super nice products from this collection and I really liked the packaging so I can't say I hated it, but overall it was definitely aimed at darker-skinned bronze-goddess type ladies, and most of the stuff I couldn't wear. Even the bronzer I have to be careful with, although lightly applied it's really nice.
What products do you think Mac are missing?
Decent mascaras, and a wider variety of paint pots and nail lacquers. I also wish they'd be more even in their North American Versus European product lines. Folks in the US get a lot more variety (yeah, I know we get the Euristocrats lippies year-round, but what I wouldn't give for the bright Pro CCBs, or the skin correctors!) and it's not fair. ALSO I need to bitch about the UK prices. The US-to-UK exhange rate is like 1.5 right now, so how come we're paying £12 for a lipstick that costs $14 in the US (when $14 is like £10?). I realize I'm complaining about loose change, but when you buy a lot, it really adds up.
Okay I'm done haha
SO that's it from me, I'll tag whoever wants to participate =]
Friday, 7 August 2009
It's been a while, and I wanted to apologise for the unannounced hiatus that went down. I've just been so busy with work and moving and settling into the new house and both of my aunts having surgery. Hectic doesn't begin to describe it haha!
But, things seem to be settling down a little, I'm into my new routine (meaning, I've finally adjusted to having to get up earlier to spend a total of up to an extra hour on the bus each day to get to and from work), and everything at home is mostly sorted out (I have an extra box and a half of "stuff" to unpack that was just recently brought over from the old house, that I've still got to go through and FIND SPACE for. Sigh)
Anyway, all of this is to say that I'm back and I'm going to get back into the routine of posting lots of goodies for you, both here and on my YouTube channel. I'm going to keep trying out the webcam on my new laptop, because it's just convenient, but I'm not sure that the quality is going to turn out the same as my other webcam, so that may be a short-lived experiment. It doesn't help that the monitor configuration on the laptop is a little washed out so swatches and images don't show up for me in their full colour, and I'm not entirely sure if that issue is translating into my vids and webcam snaps, so I'm going to look into it and see if I can fix it.
I'll also get back into posting the details for upcoming collections, because not much in this world can get me quite as giddy and excited as an amazing-looking MAC collection!
I'm going to Canada to visit family and friends for a couple of weeks from August 28th, but I'll definitely do some videos while I'm there - Cuz you KNOW I'm going to be shopping my butt off! I might be able to con a friend or two into doing guest videos with me too, that would rock!
More to come soon!
Upcoming Reviews: Revised Studio Sculpt Foundation, Clinique Facial Soap Bar, Clinique Moisture Surge Moisturizer, Sally Hansen Triple Defense Nail Hardener Gel, GHD Heat Protection Spray (Pink), MAC Colour Craft Mineralize Eyeshadow Quads, Naked Honey Skin Salve, lots more!
Upcoming Videos/Blog Posts: July 09 Faves (and then August will be done while I'm in Canada), Premade Palette Collection, Makeup Stash and Storage, My New Room Tour <3, Lots of FOTD's and eye looks using my new quads and palettes!
I know this is kind of early days, but I also want to announce that when (if) my blog hits 50 followers, I'll start doing some contests/giveaways too. I know I sure love a good contest, so I'm sure you guys will too! =]
Talk to you later, lovelies!
Thursday, 16 July 2009
Sorry I haven't updated or done any videos recently. Things have been super busy and hectic and for a while I didn't have internet access either. Suckage!
But, things are calming down now and I have SO much to post and talk about! Look for updates coming soon!
Lots of love to my subscribers and blog followers!! <3
Thursday, 21 May 2009
This is what my teeth looked like before I got braces. Not pretty, right?
Then, these ones were taken 3 days after I got my braces back in January 2008.
Then, this one was taken in July 2009, showing the progress and how the teeth were all nicely lined up where they should be =]
And finally, this is my smile after (more close-up shots on my youtube channel!)
Monday, 27 April 2009
Sometimes I don't think I'll ever get used to being paid monthly. Back when I lived in Canada, bi-monthly was the norm. However, when I helped out at my mom's workplace while I was in high school, I was paid at the end of the working day. Which, quite frankly, rocked hard. Then when I moved here and started temping, we got paid weekly. Which was again, awesome.
Now, I get paid at the end of each month, and to be brutally honest, sometimes I totally suck at budgeting. Even though I'm making a lot more money now than I did when I was temping, at the end of the month it feels like I've got nothing at all. I find it impossible to break my monthly pay down into 4 or 5 "weeks". Instead, the day I get paid I already know what money has to go where and budget accordingly. A amount for my Direct Debits and Travel money. B amount for my rent. C amount for food and incidentals. D amount for MAC. And, this month there's also E to pay off last month's credit card bill, and F to pay the deposit for my trip to Cancun. Next month I get to pay off my flights to Canada - all I can say is THANK GOD for the overtime I'll be getting at the end of May because seriously. It was a good hundred pounds more than the last time I went to Canada. Stupid inflation.
Anyway, I'm digressing. The whole point of this post was not really to rant about my finances (I mean, I'm always saying how I'm broke, but I'm paying off two vacations by September, so that's probably why=P)
The point of this post is to rant about MAC instead.
When I get paid, the first thing that springs to mind is the urge to go on MAC's website and compile a shopping list to take to my local MAC Counter (Meadowhall). The problem is, I'm also trying to save so I've got extra spending money when I go to Canada, so I've got a specific amount of money each month that is free to spend on makeup. So, however much I'm lemming the 109 and the 134 brushes, I can't. Because unfortunately, my entire MAC fund this month needs to be set aside for Rose Romance.
And there's also the fact that I'm on a strict No-buy until my Pro card comes. Why should I pay full price for things when I can use my card to get the discount? Exactly. The Pro card also means no more trips to my MAC counter, since they only take it at freestanding stores. So it's looking like all my MAC purchasing for the forseeable future will be mail-order on the Pro phone line. I'm just hoping the card gets here in time for Rose Romance (I've got the number already but not the card)
Rose Romance is released in the UK next Thursday (the 7th of May) and my shopping list, while I have cut it down, is still somewhat... expansive.
So far I've managed to get it down to:
Et Tu, Bouquet? Eyeshadow
Of Summer Eyeshadow
Blush of Youth Beauty Powder
Summer Rose Beauty Powder
Just a Pinch Gel Blush
Circa Plum Pigment
Secret Crush See-Thru Lip Colour
Loving Touch See-Thru Lip Colour
Tender Tryst See-Thru Lip Colour
Love and Friendship nail laquer (and I might pick up a second one of these for a contest prize later)
Sigh. Originally I also wanted two lipglasses, two lipsticks and another eyeshadow, so I've cut it down a BIT.
Finally, my first NYX lot sale haul came in the mail yesterday =] (the second should be here from America in a couple weeks) I'll post my haulage if and when my phone/computer will allow me to transfer pictures. I'm starting to get annoyed by this. Grr.
Anyway, what are you guys getting from this collection? I'm still on the fence about the eyshadows but I haven't decided yet. I need to go on the hunt for dupes.
Saturday, 25 April 2009
I'll redo it. And now I suddenly realize why all the tutorial chicks out there do one eye already and then just do the tut on the second eye. Sigh.
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
In the meantime, I thought I'd review a new product I picked up last week =]
I have to be honest and say that Sarah is how I discovered the Soap And Glory brand. She did a couple of videos about Soap and Glory products, and I was intrigued. I needed an eye moisturizer anyway, so I hit boots and checked them out. Of course, Boots also had a 3 for 2 sale so I stocked up =]
Product Name: Soap And Glory "Clean Mary" Cleansing Milk
What is it? The answer is in the name: it's a creamy facial cleansing "milk" with a body-lotion-like texture.
What the manufacturers say: "Clean Mary includes a natural, seaweed derived non-acidexfoliating complex – PORESHRINK-RS that helps reduce dead skin cell build-up (and therefore helps prevent blackheads!) "
Skin Type: The bottle says suitable for all skin types
In A Nutshell: Essentially this is just a facial cleanser, but in reality it's more than that. First of all, because it's a milk, it goes on the skin like a lotion - pump it into your hands and apply to your face, rubbing in circles. Because it's also got "pore shrinking" complexes in it, you can concentrate your efforts on problem areas where you may have enlarged pores. The active ingredients in it also get rid of excess sebum - which is the yicky white stuff that clogs up the pores. Sebum oxidizes and turns black when it comes into contact with oxygen: this is what we call "blackheads".
What I like about this is that you don't necessarily have to use it on wet skin. When I'm feeling lazy I just pump it into my hands, rub all over my face, and then rinse off and pat dry. Don't ask me why splashing my face first is such a hard deal, I have no answer other than that I am lazy sometimes.
It's a cleanser but NOT a makeup remover, so please remember to remove your makeup before you clean your face with this. Its job is to clean your skin and pores, not to take a truckload of gunk off your face.
What it actually did: Personally, I think this cleanser does do what it says on the bottle. I know that the general consensus is that "anything that claims to refine or reduce pore size is lying" and I'm very careful not to buy into the hype surrounding skincare products. I'm pretty cynical and jaded when it comes to that kind of thing. But the truth is, I have noticed that my pores don't look as big and obvious, which may be in part to the fact that the sebum-reducing ingredients in this seem to work. I usually have dark speckled pores all over my nose, that aren't quite proper blackheads but still darkened sebum deposits. And this cleanser does seem to have made them less noticeable on the whole. It also didn't dry my skin out, which is always a plus with anything, since I have very dry skin to begin with.
>> Smells wonderful
>> Gives me a slightly cooling, tingling sensation while it's on my skin. I like this because it seems to signify to me that it's doing something other than just rolling around on my face.
>> Didn't dry my skin out, which is something a lot of cleansers tend to do
>> Super handy pump bottle - I love that you can lock the bottle. Some cleansers don't let you re-lock the pump after you've released it, and that is a huge pain in the ass to me. I might re-use the bottle for a travel bottle for my shampoo or something when I've used it up.
>> No hefty price tag!
>> Because it doesn't "lather up" like most cleansers do, at first it can seem like it's not doing much more than any lotion would do to clean your face. But the tingly feeling tells you that it is!
>> Due to the nice smell, some people who are sensitive to fragrance may have allergies
Thursday, 16 April 2009
Area of Use: Face
Product Claim: "As mild as pure water to skin and eyes."
Response: If water was really this "mild" I'm pretty sure we would all be dead.
Overall Rating: 0/10
Recommended? Definitely not
Note: I was going to try to break down my rating system - or rather, create an actual rating system and structure - but I think that will come later. On this particular product, it wouldn't work. Because while I could give this product maybe a 4/10 for packaging and a 6/10 for value for money... I would still have to give it an overall ZILCH, which wouldn't really balance out. So, look for a new rating system in the near future!
So, here's the story all about how... I decided to buy these wipes in the first place! (Had you going there for a second, hey? ;]) I've been in the market for a new makeup remover for a while. Or I really should say, ANY makeup remover. I didn't use removers for a long, long, LONG time. First, I was one of those who used to just go to bed with a full face of makeup, all the while knowing how damned bad it is for you. (Sidenote: the turning point for me was learning all about the wonderful world of milia. Click the link, you'll never go without washing off your makeup again) After I got through that phase, I would just use whatever cleanser I was using at the time to take my makeup off. And as I'm sure most of you know, the majority of cleansers on the market are not forumated to take off makeup AND clean your skin at the same time. So I can be honest and say it was a half-assed job.
When I finally did start using makeup removers, it was because of a little bottle of Take The Day Off makeup remover that came with the Clinique 3-Step Skincare System my grandmother bought me for Christmas 2007. I used it, and I have to say it really did the job, and I continued to use it. Because of two Gift With Purchases (otherwise known as Bonus Time! at Clinique) I wound up with two more little bottles of the stuff and have continued using it since. But, this isn't a review on the Clinique remover (which I may do later, but I'm digressing).
I decided that I wanted to try a different makeup remover, because the Clinique one always left my skin feeling oily, and the oil would stop my facial soap/cleanser from lathering properly, so I always felt like I had to wash my face twice - which to me, defeated the purpose of taking off my makeup first. First, I bought a L'Oreal one at Tesco, a "milk-to-toner" remover. Of course, most toners are alcohol-based and you can therefore imagine what the process of trying to take off eye makeup with that stuff was like. So, back on the market.
About a week ago I went to Tesco, and while wandering down the baby/beauty/etc aisle, I remembered: baby wipes! I'd read all over the internet how baby wipes are supposed to be amazing for makeup removal. The rumours all said that baby wipes were "just as good as MAC wipes, but a hell of a lot cheaper". And, because they're formulated to be used on a baby's skin, they're meant to be super-gentle, and everyone said it left their skin feeling super soft. (I'm not going to go for the obvious pun here, but you know what it is and I'm sure you were expecting it!)
The first night I tried them, the skin underneath my eyes felt rather raw and after a while there was a quazi-severe burning sensation. I splashed my face with some water to cool it down and then put on some more moisturizer, and it soon went away. I thought maybe I had over-wiped or had been too aggressive, and soon forgot all about it. I used the wipes every night after that, trying to be careful but still coming out with some unpleasant tingling under my eyes.
Really, I should have learned then and there, but they were on sale and I bought TWO packages, and yeah, it was taking my makeup off and the raw feeling was totally endurable. In other words, I'm dumb.
Tuesday night, however, was the turning point, and I will never, ever, use these on my face again. On Tuesday I was wearing the following makeup: Liquid and kohl eyeliner, black mascara, concealer, foundation, and a dusting of MSF. Ordinarily I'd also be wearing blush, some lip product (I didn't because on Tuesday I was at the orthodontist), and anywhere from 2-5 colours of eyeshadow. That night, when I took everything off - very gently, I might add - my skin felt more raw and sore than usual, but I mostly ignored it. Though I'll admit that by this point I was getting ridiculously irritated with the wipes anyway. When I went into the bathroom to wash my face and spend four hours brushing my teeth, I glanced into the mirror - and almost died.
I looked like I had some kind of serious, nontreatable skin condition.
I had come out in a raw red rash in splotchy areas of my forehead, cheeks and around my eyes. But the worst part was the "bruises" - I had come out in a ton of teeny tiny red-blue-purple abrasions, which looked like someone had poked me in the face repeatedly with the dull head of a pin, leaving literally hundreds of teeny bruise-like abrasions. It was scattered all over my face, but it was far more pronounced around the eye area. These marks are still visible today, and I'm really hoping they hurry up and fade.
So, due to the havok they have wreaked on my skin, the score I give these babies is 0/10, and I would never, ever recommend them to anybody else.
I concede that yes, it might just be my skin - although my skin can be sensitive, it doesn't usually react to things, especially like this - and I'm not dropping the hammer on every brand of baby wipes out there by any means. But this experience has made me very wary of trying any other brands because, well, you never know.
Here's the video version that kind of shows a little of the damage these did to my skin. I still have marks today, but they look like they're starting to fade a little so hopefully they won't be around much longer. My webcam isn't amazing at detail-shots, and it's auto-lighting-fix thing can make images look smoother and more soft-focus than they really are, so you can't see anything SUPER clearly, but... well, whatever, just watch and have a look-see for yourself.
Yes, that's me without makeup. But I swear my skin isn't usually that bad - those baby wipes did some serious damage >.<
Thank goodness my Studio Sculp Concealer and Studio Fix Fluid Foundation managed to cover the brunt of it so I didn't look like a leper at work today...
Tuesday, 7 April 2009
I'm going to do some more reviews as well, once I've made my mind up about a couple products - like the Skin Refined Treatment that came out with Colour Ready - and I know for sure I'm going to be re-reviewing Studio Sculpt foundation and Studio Fix Fluid.
If there's anything else y'all want to see reviewed, just drop me a line (you guys can get me on email at inconspicuousbeauty@#googlemail.com - take out the #, I put it in to stop spambots finding it). If I can get a hold of it and have the cash to buy it to try it, I will definitely oblige =]
The second update is that my MAC Pro application was approved today and I'll be getting my card soon. So excited - but now I kinda wish I waited to get all my other MAC stuff until this came through. Oh well, it will be a huge help in the future. I hope they do some of their master classes nearby so I have a chance to attend too.. Yay!
Anyway, more soon!
Thursday, 2 April 2009
U.S. Launch Date: July 2nd, 2009
UK Launch Date: Unknown
Lipstick (Limited Edition)
Costa Chic Light coral (Frost)
Naked Paris Mid-tone brown with multi deminsional pearlized pigments Lustre)
Patisserie Creamy neutral pink (Lustre)
Milan Mode Deep pink with multi-dimensional pearlized pigments (Lustre)
London Life Deep berry with multi-pearl pigments (Lustre)
Saint Germain Pastel pink (Amplified)
Cockney Yellow red with multi-diminsional pearl pigments (Lustre)
Date Night Deep plum with blue and gold pearl (Permanent)
Euro Beat Peach coral with gold pearl (Limited Edition)
Internationalist Yellow pink with blue pearl (Permanent at MAC Stores Only)
Local Colour Neutral yellow pink with gold pearl (Permanent at MAC Stores Only)
Roman Holiday Med brown coral with pink pearl (Permanent at MAC Stores Only)
Rue de Rouge Light red with pink pearl (Limited Edition)
Vie Veneto Light violet with blue pearl (Limited Edition)
Magenta Vivid pinkish-purple
Cherry Vivid bright bluish-red
Subculture Underground pink
Whirl Dirty rose
I'm looking forward to this one, since I missed the Mineralize craze last time around - and I really want me some Porcelain Pink!
Also, this collection marks the repromote of the 226 Tapered Blending Brush, so those of you who couldn't get it, here's your chance! I'll probably pick up a backup - the brush is just THAT amazing.
U.S. Launch Date: July 9th, 2009
UK Launch Date: Unknown
Madly Creative Pink neutral with white pearl (Frost)
Ever Embellish Plum brown with red pearl (Lustre)
Made with Love Bright coral pink (Lustre)
Colour Crafted Milky pink (Frost)
Trimming Talk Bright fuschia (Frost)
Most Popular Purple with yellow undertone (Lustre)
Pretty Pattern Warm mid-tone beige
Crazy Haute Blue pink
Nice Mix Up Burnt ginger
Funky Fusion Pink coral
Eclectic Edge Cool violet
Miss Marble Muted pink
Three of these are the normal style, the other three are similar to the BBR style, but with three colours.
Sunny by Nature Rich bronze with pink pearl pig
Cheeky Bronze Soft golden coral wth bronze pearl
Porcelain Pink Soft pinky coral wth gold veining
Triple Fusion Left: Soft champagne gold, Center: Soft golden peach, Right: Rose pink with gold nuances
Smooth Merge Left: Soft champange pink, Center: Deep rose, Right: Pale cool pink
Warm Blend Left: Antique gold, Center: Mahogany Bronze, Right: Copper
These are in a pinwheel style assembly, with four colours in each one
Assemblage White with silver pearl / Deep grey / Black with silver glitter / Warm yellow gold
Odd Bits Mid-tone silver grey / Dusty rose with gold pearl / Dark burgundy/ Peachy bronze
Fashion Patch Ice blue / Off white / Black with silver glitter / Light white pink
Eccentricity Rich gold / Light violet / Deep plum/ Rich bronze
Natural Flare Copper / Yellow orange / Mid-tone brown / Rich gold
Girlish Romp Mid-tone violet / Yellow white with gold pearl / Light pastel coral / Mid-tone pink
Hand-Finish Light pink with deep gold veining
Fab-dabulous Mid-tone burnt coral with yellow gold veining
Daft Pink Deep blue pink with light white gold veining
Improvise Mid-tone neutral coral with light white yellow gold veining
Cheek & Cheerful Mid-tone bronzy brown with yellow gold veining
Style Demon Mid-tone brick red with copper veining
226 Small Tapered Blending Brush Small tapered blending brush (Limited Edition)
109 Small Contour Brush Use on the face to apply, blend or contour powder products. Softly rounded dome tip delivers just enough colour; smoothly blends colour into the face. Of natural fibres. (Permanent)
130 Brush Flat Tapered Face Brush with short natural hairs and long synthetic fibres (Limited Edition)
Wednesday, 1 April 2009
Then the collection photos started to roll over on the front page. And I swear to god I did a double-take when I saw the Hello Kitty Kouture one and immediately clicked it all "dude, what!" and then when I went to price them, I was like "Why is this in dollars?" and then everything clicked into place.
Yet more evidence that yes, I'm a natural blonde and no, I'm not the smartest person in the world.
I've already placed my order but I'll post about that once I've got everything and will do a haul post/video.
Good news is that it looks like the Transparent Finishing Powder and the Prep + Prime Line Filler from the CR collection are permanent - there are only a couple of items in the collection that have the Triangle Of Death. Which makes me happy, since I've been psyched about the Finishing Powder and if it's as good as I've heard it could fast become a staple.
The Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone, however, IS Limited, and sounds like a great product - makes large pores disappear? I'm sold - so if you want it make sure to snatch it up while you can. Aside from that, the only other Limited Edition item in the whole collection is Bitter eyeshadow, a bright lemon-lime colour. I could've sworn it was permanent before, but I can't be sure...
Also according to MAC's website, the only lipstick from the Sugarsweet collection that is Limited Edition is Sweet Thing, the bright pink one. The other four have no Triangle of Death. Interesting. Could it be that Lollipop Loving has earned its right to be permanent? And Saint Germain, the perfect matte bubblegum muted baby pink could really be available for always?
MAC, you spoil me.
But seriously, you NEED to make the 226 permanent too. The makeup universe begs it of you!
Don't quote me on this because it's entirely possible that I'm wrong and the LE symbols are simply missing from the website. But how hard would it rock if I was right?
I was also relieved to discover that Stars N' Rockets isn't going Limited after all. It's a colour that I'm after, but hasn't reached the top of my list just yet, so I figured I could hold off on that one. But the other day, I could not find it on the website. Even a vague search for "rocket" was giving me zilch, so I was beginning to think they'd made it Limited and were taking it out of the Permanent line completely. BUT that doesn't look to be the case, which makes me a happy bunny.
Happy April Fool's Day!
If MAC send me an email telling me this was all an elaborate joke for April Fool's Day, and the order wasn't really processed and I still have to wait until next week before I can buy anything, I am going to be SO PISSED.
XOXO, Vix =]
Tuesday, 31 March 2009
MAC Microfine Refinisher
Clinique Facial Soap Bar (Mild)
Clinique Moisture Surge Moisturizer
Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup Remover
L'Oreal Milk-To-Toner Makeup Remover
(I need a new remover =/)
Tressemme Shampoo (Anti-Frizz!)
Tressemme Conditioner (For Colour-Treated Hair)
Tressemme Heat Protection Spray
MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation (NC15)
MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation (NC15)
MAC Studio Sculpt Concealer (NC15)
MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation (NC15)
MAC Fluidline (Blacktrack)
MAC Plush Lash Mascara (Blacktrack)
MAC Eyeshadow Pots (Most Used: Sketch, Shale, Satin Taupe, Swish, Saddle, Ricepaper, Gesso)
MAC Hello Kitty Lipsticks and Lipglasses
MAC Hello Kitty Blushes
BRUSHES MAC Except otherwise specified
214 [Packing on colour]
239 [Lid Colour]
217 [Blending and Highlight]
Chanel #8 Kabuki Brush [Setting with Powder]
I have no idea why suddenly this is irritating me more than usual, but I'm very annoyed right now. Maybe it's because my body is adjusting TERRIBLY to the whole time-change fiasco, that I nearly fell asleep on the bus on the way into work. Not to mention that I bashed the inside of my ankle against the wheel well when I slid into my seat. Sigh. But, as usual, I'm digressing.
I'm just lucky that I've got a friend down south who's willing to CP items from the Pro store for me, otherwise life would be difficult. And I know, I know, you can mail order over the phone. But here's the thing about me - I hate ordering stuff over the phone. I even order my pizza over the internet. Do you seriously expect me to order makeup over the phone? Nevermind the fact that my indecisiveness would have some poor call centre representative on the phone for several hours while I agonized over the decision between three eyeshadows and a lip gloss.
I think MAC should seriously consider setting up another Pro store somewhere a little further north. Like, I don't know, Sheffield for example? Sheffield also desperately needs a standalone store please. Thank you.
On top of that, I just want to tell you all that I am currently in a state of constant irritation and sometimes-agony with my braces. By this point you would think they wouldn't bother me anymore but the past week or so it's really flared up. It probably doesn't help that I fell up the stairs on the weekend and jammed one of my braced-molars, and it's that whole side of my mouth that is constantly throbbing. Sigh. Six weeks today they will be off. Six weeks today and I will be 23 years old. God, I feel so old.
Finally - and this part is in relation to my previous post, whining that I had to cut down my Sugarsweet list due to money having to be diverted elsewhere - it seems that I would actually have enough cash left over for my whole Sugarsweet list. But, I think I might stick to my guns and get the shorter list anyway. I mean I figured, I've managed to cut it down a little bit so clearly the items I've managed to cut out are not essentials anyway.
Yet another mostly-useless blog post. But, there you have it. That's how I feel today.
In other, completely unrelated, news - I'm going to try to get some manner of tutorial up. Maybe my favourite Hello Kitty look? Or something a little more inventive. I'm not sure yet. Once I get some creative juices I'll figure out some tutorials to upload. Whoosh!
Monday, 30 March 2009
Here goes. I really cannot afford everything on my Sugarsweet Wish List.
And I'd rather forego an item or two I'd probably never use anyway, than get stuck into a stupid cycle of using the credit card and paying it off next month just to have to use it again. The card, is has a balance of ZERO right now, and I want to keep it that way. And the fact of the matter is, I have slightly less money this month than I thought I would due to an obscenely high gas bill, and the fact that I still have to pay international shipping to get my CP'd NYX Lot Sale purchases sent over from America.
So, my Sugarsweet wishlist has dwindled significantly. Or, it will. I'm just not sure where to start. The Perfect Topping MSF is one thing that I do really want. And I'm agonizing over the rest.
Lollipop Loving and Bubbles lipsticks are super, super gorgeous. But do I really need Saint Germain? I could probably just get away with ordering Snob and pretending I never saw the swatches that foretold of the slight difference between the two. It's a shame, because Saint Germain is the perfect bubblegum pink.
And, oh it pains me to say this but...the shadesticks. Oh, my, some of the shadesticks are going to have to go. I can maybe get a couple but all 5 are just not going to happen.
I hate downsizing, I'm indecisive enough to begin with, but such is the way of the world. If they're in stock at the end of April I have some overtime pay coming to me that means I could get the things I was missing on top of my Rose Romance list... but it's a gamble as to whether or not the things I want will still be in stock.
The life of a working-class makeup addict, it's a toughie.
So, that's where I stand. I wanted to blog about it because this? Having to cut down your wishlist because real things like bills crop up from time to time? This is real life. And I'm all about reality. And I'm trying my damndest not to be about debt.
So my Sugarsweet list is now:
Lollipop Loving Lipstick
Perfect Topping MSF
Red Velvet Shadestick
After all. I'm not exactly notorious for wearing yellow and orange eye makeup, so I could do without Penny and Lemon Chiffon. At least, that's how I'm rationalizing this to myself. At the end of the day, as much as I may want it, none of the items I've cut out so far were essentials or things I really needed to have.
Whew. I feel a little proud of myself after all that. Sorry for the boring rambling blog post, but there you have it.
Saturday, 28 March 2009
Ladies, we have Haulage.
I know I still haven't done my previous hauls yet - I completely forgot to take photos of my HK collection. Sigh. So at this point I really don't think there's a huge point in posting my HK haul at all (I mean, if you'd really like to see, tell me and I'll do it, but if there's no demand there's really not much point, right?).
Instead I'm just going to get myself back into the habit of posting hauls as they happen. Like today! Blow is a shot of today's combined haul =]
First the brushes. Top to bottom:
Next - Miscellaneous pots. Left to Right:
Studio Sculpt Concealer NC15
Fresco Rose Paint Pot
Painterly Paint Pot
Finally, the eyeshadows! Clockwise from top left:
Eyeshadow swatches. Left to right
Pincurl (it's hard to see here but it's there!)
I've also got a new YT video up today!
Friday, 27 March 2009
Anyway, the results of the test I posted earlier are in!
Advance warning, those of you who have seen my FOTD pics on Specktra and viewed my ever-so-few YouTube videos and who are now operating under the absolute certaintly that I have the most flawless complexion and dewy skin known to mankind, are in for a rude awakening. The below pictures, well, they show me at a point of exhaustion that no amount of makeup can hide with any degree of success. And I haven't touched up my concealer or foundation all day - makeup was applied at 7 this morning and photos were taken at 7 this evening. SO, all kinds of nasty imperfections are evident in the following photographs. You have been warned!
Anyway here's the info. I followed my usual routine for face - moisturizer, concealer, studio fix fluid foundation. Then on the right eye (my left eye, the one to the right in the photos) I used Bare Study paint pot as a base. On the right I layered the Bare Study paint pot over a thin layer of Urban Decay Primer Potion. The idea was to test whether or not UDPP made a difference, to see if Paint Pots would work as well as primers/bases on their own.
For those who are interested, the colours on my eyes were Paradisco on the inner corner, with Ricepaper then blended out over the entire lid, Swish washed on top of that, and with a light wash of Sable in the crease. I used Urban Decay 24/7 liner in 1999 to line the water line and upper lash line, then put some Kitty Power glitter liquid liner on top. Completed with a little Fascinating eye kohl under the inner corner of the eye and some Plushblack mascara. Tadahh, good to go.
Obviously the colour isn't exactly how it looked this morning, and you can view the below photos and make your own decisions, but I'm personally not seeing a HUGE difference between the eye with and without Primer Potion. I suppose the colour did stay SLIGHTLY more true with the UDPP underneath everything, but neither eye suffered from creasing or having the colours fade away.
So my verdict is that if you've got Paint Pots, use them. Primer Potion is great on its own as a primer, but if you want to use both the difference will only be marginal - both products perform pretty well on their own.
What do you guys think?
Just a quick edit to add that no, I didn't touch up my eyeliner ever. I'm really impressed with the staying power of these 24/7 liners, most markedly on the waterline. My eyes always water - usually while waiting for my bus to work, due to allergies or wind blowing in my face - so it's a miracle there was any left by the end of the day. But I didn't have to touch up once. Score! I'll do a proper review later, but this deserved to be mentioned =]
This led to a little experiment today. I've done my makeup for the day and have used Urban Decay Primer Potion and MAC Bare Study Paint Pot to prime one eye - and used only the Paint Pot on the other eye - basically to see if the paint pots are good enough on their own, or if UDPP will really make a difference.
I don't have any before shots yet because I ran out of time this morning before I left for work, but I'll update with after shots when I get home after work (and try to get a before shot in the next hour or so).
So, let's see how this goes!
Edit: Ugh. I just remembered that I left my mobile phone at home this morning so I won't get to do *any* before shots. Still, the afters should speak for themselves, if one eye looks worse than the other.
Thursday, 26 March 2009
But last night while looking on YouTube for videos of my favourite J-Pop singers (Yes, I'm lame, and I have very weird and varied taste in music, let's get that out in the open right now), I stumbled across this song: W - Shiroi iro wa Koibito no Iro
Seriously, I am in love. The two girls in the band, I knew from another group that they were in when they were like 13, and they're both super adorable. But in this song their voices sound so much more mature and elegant than they used to. This song makes me feel happy and content and overcomes me with an overwhelming feeling of... calm. It's hard to describe.
I immediately had to go find an mp3 but haven't had a chance to put it on my iPod yet. But, this is my favourite song of the moment, and I love it so much I really needed to share. The song is beautiful even if you have no idea what exactly they're saying, but on the YT sidebar, if you click for More Info, it has the English translation.
After this I promise it'll be back to your regularly scheduled BEAUTY BLOG and less about rambling about music and the fur trade. I promise.
Wednesday, 25 March 2009
Do I buy some basics that I'm after? Like a couple items off my permanent-collection wishlist, or the BBR eyeshadows? Do I buy the Studio Sculpt Concealer I'm after?
Or do I put it aside to buy something from Kitty Kouture when it comes out? Or do I go ahead and buy a couple extras from Sugarsweet?
No... I narrowed down my Sugarsweet list to the things I really want and need. Anything else is superfluous, so I won't do that. But what should I do? Should I get some other items, get the mystery powder from HKK, or just shove it into savings until there's something I really want?
GOD, I suck out loud at making up my mind.
On an unrelated note, I wish MAC made Studio Fix Fluid in an NC10 or something. NC15 is just slightly too dark for me. I love the foundation to bits, but I could do with a shade lighter. Sigh.
Also, I want to appeal to you and ask, what do you think is the best concealer for dark circles? My MAC MA gave me Select Cover-Up in NC20 (which, incidentally, is clearly too dark, but whatever, with foundation on top you can't tell) but I don't think it really covers my dark circles so much as it makes them slightly lighter. That's why I want Studio Sculpt Concealer, for dark circles. Or is there something better that you can suggest?
I'm in the biggest indecisive mood right now, I don't know what to do with myself. I'm supposed to be going to Meadowhall with my aunt on Saturday and I don't know what to do with my Extra Budget. Makeup? A video game? (well, no. I need to play Fallout 3 and Silent Hill Homecoming before I buy MORE) Some stuff from Paperchase? Clothes? Shoes?
I wish I had more money. Thank god for overtime. I should have an extra couple hundred in next month's pay and LORD KNOWS I'm going to need it.
Sorry guys, I'm very disjointed today.
And before the arguments and debates start, I want to clarify that the petition is not to interfere with peoples' rights as human beings, the right to hunt wild animals for survival. This petition is to stop the COMMERCIAL seal hunt, meaning seal-clubbing solely for the sake of fur trade.
But this the one I want everybody to look at right this minute. Yes, right now. I can wait.
To make a long story short, Interior Secretary Salazar has given the green light to "a Bush-era plan to kick the wolves of the northern Rockies off the endangered species list and leave them vulnerable to mass killing. More than 600 wolves could be caught in the crossfire of state-sponsored wolf hunts." (cited from the above link)
Yeah. These wolves were on the endangered species list, and now this man thinks it's okay to take them off it and make it okay to hunt them.
Please do not misunderstand me here. I'm not a vegetarian. God help me, I doubt I ever could be. People were biologically engineered to eat meat. However, I really can not condone or pretend to agree with killing for the sake of killing. Which is why I feel so strongly about these two causes. The first, because it's a travesty that seal-clubbing has been going on for so long and is thought to be okay. The second, because an endangered species is having their safety nets lifted away and allowing people to open fire. Once again, just for fur, or trophies.
I'm going to start rambling nonsensically if I don't stop here, so that's where I'll leave it off. But please, if you care and if you want to stop seal-clubbing, and want to stop legalized wolf-hunts before they can start, please click the above links and add your name.
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
I warn you now, this is pretty long as it is: but bear with me because I'm new to buying MAC, remember. Most of it is for the eyes, which is the area I generally spend the most time and effort on.
So, here we go.
Note: Starred (*) items are limited edition but they're from previous collections and I really want them.
109: Contouring Brush
134: Large Powder Brush
227: Fluff Brush
219: Pencil Brush
231: Small Shader
And a decent concealer brush for the undereye area: any suggestions?
Blot Powder: Light
Powder Blush: Dollymix
Powder Blush: Springsheen
Powder Blush: Tenderling
Powder Blush: Dame
Iridescent Powder/Loose: Silver Dusk
Mineralize Blush: Gentle
Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50
Studio Sculpt Concealer: NC15
Lipstick: Shy Girl
Lipstick: High Strung
Lipstick: Myth (Can't decide between this and Frou)
Lipstick: Velvet Teddy
Cremesheen Glass: Partial to Pink*
Cremesheen Glass: Melt In Your Mouth*
Cremesheen Glass: Boy Bait
Tinted Lipglass: Prrr
Tinted Lipglass: Nymphette
Tinted Lipglass: Spirited
Eyeshadow: 100 Strokes*
Eyeshadow: French Cuff*
Eyeshadow: Femme Fi*
Eyeshadow: Purple Haze
Paint Pot: Painterly
Paint Pot: Fresco Rose
Eye Kohl: Minted
Eye Kohl: Phone Number
Eye Kohl: Teddy
Powerpoint Eye Pencil: Prussian
Powerpoint Eye Pencil: Stubborn Brown
Powerpoint Eye Pencil: Tealo
Brow Finisher: Clear
Eye Brows: Fling
Where to begin? Just about everything =P
It's really not worth making a separate list of these, it'd be too long.
Studio Mouisture Cream
[heard it's amazing, need to try]
Wow, that was longer than even I thought it would be. =/
For example, I don't need any dark lipsticks - dark doesn't work for me. I don't need more sheer lipglosses right this minute, just because they're tri-coloured. And I know I'd go insane once the colours mixed. I'd rather spend that money on some dazzleglass, or lipglass colours I love.
So my final list is below:
Lipstick: Lollipop Loving
Lipstick: Saint Germaine
Shadestick: Lemon Chiffon
Shadestick: Red Velvet
MSF: Perfect Topping
All in all, I'm figuring the cost to be just over £100, which is reasonable to me. Considering what I spent in the month of March. My impulse buy with Hello Kitty definitely taught me a lesson - be more discerning. I need to ask myself questions like "Do you really need a bright tangerine-orange lipgloss?" or "You have three hot-pink lipsticks that you NEVER WEAR. Do you honestly need a fourth?"
Still, it did jumpstart my collection. I may sell-swap the things I decide I don't love (I'm struggling even to have a grudging respect for Nice to be Nice lipglass right now) but for now, eh, the damage is done, I'll get over it.
Sorry there haven't been any videos either. I've been busyyy. And exhausted. I could fall asleep right now. I didn't even get a chance to sleep in this weekend, it sucked out loud. But, I digress.
More soon! I'm just thanking the Flying Spaghetti Monster that it's payday on Friday.
I need to get my hands on some more MAC. It really is an addiction. Ehehe. But I'm holding out for Sugarsweet for now. I've made a plan to buy 1-2 brushes per pay period (ie: month) but not sure it'll happen this month. Which is okay I guess since I technically bought 4+3 last month (4 brushes plus the HK set) so I'm ahead of the game.
ANYway I realize I'm rambling now so I'll leave off here.
Thursday, 19 March 2009
I was at work yesterday afternoon and one of the ladies who sits on my row of desks came over to have me look at something and see if I could help her figure out what to do with it. And as we were going through it, she interrupted herself to tell me that my eyeshadow was "well awesome" or something to that effect. And it totally made my day. Love! I've got photos of yesterday's Face of the Day, which I might upload when I get a chance =]
But that little conversation yesterday, it made me realize that this is something I want to strive for. To put real effort into my everyday makeup, instead of slacking and being plain. I want more days like yesterday. Maybe that makes me selfish and vain, but honestly I don't care. The compliments you don't expect are the ones that really make an impact, and it really made me feel good, both about myself but also about my skill at makeup application.
I'm rambling now, so I'll leave off there for now, but I just wanted to share.
In other news, I'm going to be opening a forum affiliated with my blog, where we all can talk about makeup and skincare and fashion, to post reviews and the like. It's not ready yet, I'm still tinkering with InvisionFree and trying to find a fabtastic skin, but when it's up I'll add a link to my sidebar. Hope to see you there!
Monday, 16 March 2009
I've been trying to get photos of everything, but the lighting is super bad in here, and my flash is so bright it's reflecting off the packaging and blinding me. So, I need to take some shots in some natural light where flash is not required, and I just haven't had the tim to take pictures yet. Once the last part of the haul has been photographed I'll swatch and share everything with you. Love!
Although at this rate I'm going to be swatching HK at the same time as Sugarsweet, and this is not good. Sigh.
Anyway, that aside, I want to write a little something about the 226 brush.
For those who don't know, the 226 is a tapered blending brush that is perfectly shaped to do eye-contouring-crease work. Oh. My. God. Seriously, this brush makes creasework idiotproof. It applies and blends at the same time, it's just amazing. It makes me wonder how I ever did eye makeup before discovering a brush like this! If you can find somewhere that stocks them (and my personal tip is that the MAC counter in Debenhams at Meadowhall (upstairs, inner entrace for those who do not know... For shame!) still has some, I just picked mine up yesterday after being given the WRONG brush on Saturday afternoon), I very highly suggest this brush. My brush collection is small and still growing, but I can already see that this is going to be an everyday staple in my life. Because it's limited edition (if the MAC people don't seem to know what you're talking about when you say 226, you may have to explain to them that it came with the Brunette Blonde Redhead collection. The three people I spoke to at my MAC counter had no idea what I was on about until I added the collection. I got a "We have a 224 is that it?" no. It is not.) I'm tempted to pick up a spare, but then... I can't really afford to, and I know that if I have a spare, I won't use it. But if I don't get one, I'll need it.
It's a paradox. We'll see, they'll probably be out of stock anyway so I can stop panicking.
I ramble a lot. Also, I use a lot of parentheses. Oh well.
ANYway, that is all. So my proper haulage is coming soon - I did try to upload a video to YouTube but it was way too long even without swatches that there is no way. If I have to break it down into parts I might as well do it properly instead of cutting up my rush-job. And the 226 is the one brush I can't live without, already. Love.
And man, WHO ELSE IS PSYCHED FOR THE SUGARSWEET COLLECTION? A makeup collection based around cupcakes and baking!? This was literally made for people like me! I am so excited. But I'm wondering if I'll be able to afford any Kitty Kouture as well, sigh. Thank god I've started doing overtime, because I am hella going to need it.
This addiction... it's consuming. But oh god, is it worth it.
Ta-ta for now!
Launch Date: March 19th, 2009 (North America), April 2009 (International)
Sweet Thing Mid-tone magenta with multi dimensional pearl (Lustre)
Bubbles Sheer frosty white beige (Glaze) (Repromote)
Touch Peachy cinnamon (Lustre) (Permanent)
Lollipop Loving Mid-tone coral with subtle green and gold iridescence (Glaze) (Repromote)
Saint Germain Pastel pink (Amplified Creme) (Repromote, Perm international)
Tricolour Lipglass ($17.50)
Tasty Top Sheer blue pink with reflects, Middle Mid-tone blue pink with duochrome pearlized pigments, Bottom Dark creamy red pink
Just Dessert Top Sheer yellow pink with reflects, Middle Mid-tone yellow pink with duochrome pearlized pigments, Bottom Mid-tone creamy yellow pink
Simpy Delicious Top Sheer peach with reflects, Middle Pale coral with duochrome pearlized pigments, Bottom Creamy mid-tone coral
Triple-Yum Top Sheer gold with gold reflects, Middle True gold with duochrome pearlized pigments, Bottom Mid-tone bronze
Consume Me Top Sheer white with reflects, Middle Pale mint with duochrome pearlized pigments, Bottom Creamy light peach with pearlized pigments
Sugarshot Pale frosty beige (Lustre)
Dear Cupcake Mid-tone pink coral with gold pearlized pigments (Satin)
Aquavert Soft mint with white pearlized pigments (Veluxe Pearl) (Repromote)
Stars n Rockets Lavender with red/pink reflects (Veluxe Pearl) (Permanent)
Club Muted reddish brown duochrome with green opalescent shimmer (Satin) (Permanent)
Cakeshop Frosted light neutral beige
Butternutty Frosted pale white gold
Lemon Chiffon Frosted pewter
Red Velvet Frosted mid-tone pink
Penny Light pinky copper (Repromote)
Mineralize Skinfinish ($27.00)
Perfect Topping Pink/peach/lavender melange
Refined Tan/peach/coral melange
Peppermint Patti Creamy mint green (Cream)
Seasonal Peach Creamy pale peachy pink (Cream)