Sunday, February 28, 2010

Review: MAC 'Studded' Nail Lacquer

I was planning on entirely skipping the 'Riveting' nail lacquers, but I've been wearing 'Light Affair' from Love Lace for a couple months and well, I was sick of it. So I decided to grab one of these to try. For me, 'Studded' was the most unique of the three; I already own OPI's 'You don't know Jacques', and I have a black matte polish from Zoya. However, I wouldn't say that 'Studded' is super unique as it is just a gunmetal gray.

Anyways, I applied it last night (no base or top coat), and for the first 15+ hours or so, it lasted just like any other polish. Here it is when I woke up:


Looks perfect! I was really excited that it lasted through the night, as I didn't have very high hopes for the matte formula. 

So then, I got ready for the day, went to brunch and took a bike ride. Here is what they looked like when I returned:

left hand, right hand
(please excuse my red hands, I just got done biking in the cold!)

Yep, it chipped like a mofo! Now, relatively speaking, this isn't HORRIBLE. I had way worse chippage from OPI's matte polishes- to the point where it was peeling off in huge hunks. But, for someone like me who prefers a low-maintenance polish (who has time to change her polish every other day?), this isn't the best polish. It's a novelty color, fun to play with, but I wouldn't have very high expectations. Actually, this is a great toe nail polish- it still looks flawless on my toes!

Oh and one more comment: I find the shimmer in this gunmetal gray to be a little pointless. It's supposed to be a matte, but because of the shimmer, it might as well be a normal polish (which would in turn probably last longer).

Anyways, what do you think of the new matte polish trend?

And on another MAC note, are you looking forward to the Liberty of London collection? What products are you drooling over?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Review: Sephora Round Powder Brush #41


So, I've actually had this brush for a few months now, but it is the greatest addition ever to my brush collection, so I thought I'd share it with you!

For a year or so, I was looking for a large, soft brush that would evenly distribute powder, blush and bronzer. I had such a hard time finding the right fit; I spent a boatload of ca$h on ineffective brushes. Even the 150 and 134, though nice in their own respect, were not what I was looking for.

Then, I came across the #41 Sephora Professionel Platinum brush. I shuddered at the $38 price tag, as that may be a reasonable price for a MAC brush but I'd never really thought Sephora brushes would be as pricey. But, it looked like everything I wanted in a powder brush: It is extremely soft (softer than my MAC brushes); it is fluffy, it is authentic goat hair (distributes creme products more evenly), and well, it's the perfect size for the cheeks.




As you can see, it is a little pink because I've been using it with my Vintage Grape Blush Ombre. It is great if you want a soft wash of color on your cheeks, and if it's an intense color like say, plum or bronze, you will love this brush because it lightly distributes the product! And did I mention it's soft? :)

Anyways, since there's been a lull in MAC products lately (lol), I wanted to share some other fun products that I've been enjoying. :)

What do you think of Sephora brushes?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lush Virgin No More!

Ok, I apologize that this is going to be pretty much a text-only post. But I am really excited to say that I have spent my first week ever using Lush products! I have kind of avoided Lush for a while, 1) because I haven't always been near a Lush store, and 2) I was a little intimidated by their selection and had no idea what I would buy when I got there.

But the other day, I decided to just "take a looksie", and ended up with the following products:

-Sultana of Soap soap
-Sandstone soap
-Each Peach Massage Bar
-Tea Tree Water Toner

...I didn't want to get a lot because I just wanted to try their products and make a verdict, but I guess $35 is not really samples, is it? :)

So, what do I think of Lush products? Well...

-Sultana of Soap soap: I was attracted to this, because it is made with fruit, and is very moisturizing. The smell didn't hurt it either! I have used it a couple of times this week, and I can definitely feel the moisturizing properties. My skin doesn't feel dry at all- you know that feeling when you use soap and there's absolutely no lubrication at all? Well, this soap definitely isn't like that! But I wasn't slippery either, haha. And since my skin needs all the moisture I can get, I'm a fan of this soap for sure.

-Sandstone soap: What interested me most about this soap is that half of it is sand, so it is supposedly great for exfoliation. Well, that may be a little too true! You gotta be gentle with the sand side of this soap because it could be a little rough for even the thickest of skins. But then again, that can be a good thing- don't you just hate those exfoliation bars that don't even tap the surface?! So yea, I've been using this on my yucky feet, and I am impressed! It's worked better than a lot of pumice stones. And the bar has lasted a good while which makes me happy. Oh- the citrus-y scent isn't too bad either. :)

-Each Peach Massage Bar: Massage bars are basically moisturizer in a bar. They take just a few seconds of hand-holding to be the perfect consistency to rub all over your body. I loved the scent of Each Peach (peach, silly!). This makes my skin so soft and dewy- my husband even remarked that I was so soft. If he notices, then it must be good! :) I think the massage bar is great after a warm shower or a dip in the pool- and of course, it'd be great for some pep in a relationship. :) I am now dying to try the Wiccy massage bar (supposedly relaxes muscles) and the Shimmy Shimmy (glitter bars!). The ONLY thing I recommend is that you heed the warning to keep it out of the sun! I (stupidly) took mine down to the pool because I wanted to use it after swimming, and der, it might have melted! So don't leave these in a hot place- they're much too precious to waste!

-Tea Tree Water Toner: The sales associate recommended this toner for combination skin, such as mine. It comes in a convenient spray bottle, so you can either spray it directly on the face or apply it to a cotton swab. I tend to like my toners to feel a little on the tingly side, and unfortunately this one is not tingly at all. It takes a while to absorb into the skin. But, it does feel refreshing on a warm day! And it's all natural, so it will be kind to the skin. When used before makeup, I notice that the oil doesn't come as quickly, so that's a plus- anything to ward off greasy face syndrome is a good thing!

Overall, I really am impressed with Lush, and I can certainly see what all the fuss and hype is about. First, it's really awesome to see "organic" soaps. Now, I am not a huge believer in organics (I don't go out of my way for them), but I appreciate knowing that things I'm putting on my body are free of preservatives and all sorts of random chemicals. And, they work! Which is always important, because sometimes natural products aren't very effective products, either.

So, for my next trip to Lush, I really need to know-- What are YOUR favorite Lush products, and why?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Review: MAC Viva Glam Cyndi & Gaga

Once again, a late review, but as my favorite saying goes, better late than never, right? :)

I snagged these lipsticks last week, and they are really fun! I'm not surprised that they're already selling out.

Viva Glam Gaga

VG Gaga was the color that first drew my attention. I'm a big Gaga fan; I love her crazy outfits, her fresh and fun music, and all her wacky accessories (hello hair bow!). So it was only natural that I'd be drawn to this lipstick (good job, MAC marketing dept!). 

I am always looking for the perfect light pink lipstick. Well, this isn't it exactly; my dream pink would be like Underage l/g, but in a lipstick form. But, it's still a pretty awesome color! Viva Glam Gaga is a playful pink that can be applied heavily for great color payoff, or easily sheered out for a soft touch of pink. I have been dabbing Fleshpot l/s on my lips and then VG Gaga on top to bring out the true color of this lipstick. I definitely prefer this pink over Snob l/s.

Viva Glam Cyndi


At first glance, this color appears to be a burnt dark red. However, when you actually apply it, it is a beautiful watermelon red. It is a lustre, so it's by no means an intense color, and it's much more forgiving when applying. I think it will also look on all skintones.

top: Cyndi; bottom: Gaga

So, what do you think about the new Viva Glam lippies?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Review: MAC Riveting Collection

In a nutshell: It's a shame that this collection was released in the shadow of the Spring Color Forecast! It is a beautiful, good-quality collection, but I think most of us are still trying to recover from our huge hauls last week! Nonetheless, if you like great color payoff, and unique, spunky shades, you will love Riveting!

Lipsticks: I bought Metal Maven and Riveting l/s, though all 4 lipsticks are totally gorgeous!

  • Bubbles (which I bought last year), is a soft iridescent highlight color, and looks just like the name: like a bubble! It is a glaze, but the payoff is somewhere between a glaze and frost- not frosty by any means, but not invisible like a lot of glazes! 
    Metal Maven
  • Metal Maven is a pure frosty silver. It is a more intense version of Bubbles. In fact, I was remarking that they could be dupes for each other- not exact, but maybe the most similar of MAC colors. I love the payoff of Metal Maven, and I think it is very unique! 
  • Riveting is a hard color to describe- kind of a plummy taupe. Once again, it is a glaze, but the payoff is fantastic. This reminds me of High Top from Fafi, without the blue sparkle that High Top has. It is gorgeous applied; in fact, the MA was wearing this with Bubbles on top to highlight and it was a perfect, wearable combo! I have very pigmented lips, and this looks great over them. 
  • Finally, Show Orchid is a very vibrant hot pink. It is a PRO color, so its payoff is naturally very rich. I think that in the realm of pinks, it is pretty much perfect. I can't wait to eventually get my hands on it!
l to r: Riveting, Metal Maven

l to r: Show Orchid and True Babe l/g


top to bottom: Show Orchid, True Babe, Riveting, Metal Maven, Bubbles (on the side)


  • Rock Out is a sparkly shimmery silver gloss. It has impressive color payoff and could easily be worn alone, or on top of another lipstick. It can add some oomph to Metal Maven (which I think it needs), or over a brighter color like Show Orchid for a little more depth. 
  • True Babe is a very opaque, creamy hot pink. I have to say, this is one of the more unusual lipglass from MAC. They generally tend to be on the sheer side, and have some shimmer, but this has neither. It looks kind of like how I imagine those OCC Lip Tars to be. I love this color, I just couldn't buy the whole collection so I had to resist it. :(

Blushes: Both of these have amazing color pay-off.
l to r: Full Fuschia, Dirty Plum
  • Dirty Plum is a plummy purple satin blush, very intense but if you want purple blush, this is the one! I am waiting for it in the Liberty of London collection but it is gorgeous. 
  • Full Fuschia is also really intense, nothing I would personally wear, but if you want very solid pink blush, then you will like this! 

Nail Lacquers: I am not a fan of matte nail polish, and the color selection was not very unique. The taupe looks like the Jacques (sorry I can't remember the full name) color from OPI, and the silver and black were...well, silver and black. So I skipped all of these.

Overall though, this a pretty collection. I think the main thing that impressed me is how "PRO" all the colors look and feel. They are all exceptional quality unlike a lot of the consumer-oriented collections that are released. This is for those who really like to experiment and express themselves boldly through their makeup.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Review: MAC Spring Colour Forecast Collection


Alright, I know this posting is a little late, and reviews/swatches are all over the web for this collection, but I really wanna share my thoughts because there's a lot of interesting items in Spring Colour Forecast. So, for what it's worth, here goes!

Overall, this collection is very pretty. It's huge, and hard to narrow down the best items. In fact, I was trying to get by spending only $100, but somehow my total surpassed $200! My head is still reeling about that. 

Here's what I got: 

-Ripe Peach Blush Ombre

Truly amazing! I wasn't even considering this color at first- because of the $25 price tag, I was trying to limit myself to just one of these blushes, but when I saw it, I was instantly sold. It is such a bright melange of color, from very light yellow-orange, to a bright coral-pink that reminds me a lot of Hipness blush (Fafi). Mix the two and you have a beautiful coral color, like a more intense Fun 'N Games blush (Hello Kitty). Sadly, this color is sold out almost everywhere, so if it is still available near you, get it- quickly!

-Vintage Grape Blush Ombre

For a while I've been interested in purple blush, so this was a nice treat. At its darkest, it is a dirty plum, at it's lightest a bright violet fuschia. I think this color takes a little caution in applying as it is pretty dark, but if you use a nice fluffy blush (think MAC 150), and a light hand, it will look great on all skintones.


-Azalea Blossom

My MA suggested this one was going to be one of the first items to sell out, and I didn't want to regret getting it later (ah the curse of LE collections!), so I went back the next day for it. Swatched anywhere it, shows up a pretty pale pink, sometimes with a hint of violet. One of my all-time favorite blushes is Well-Dressed, and this color is very similar. I love a good pale pink. It also reminds me of So Sweet, So Easy cremeblend blush in powder form, of course.

-Quad 3 (Purple Quad)

This is now my 3rd purple quad, and now I have to say it is probably also my favorite purple quad. The thing I love about it is the great mix of textures- they're not all matte, but not too much shimmer too. Mink Pink is a beautiful color; I only wish it were a matte not a veluxe. Veluxes feel like a piece of chalk, and I shudder at that feeling. :P Bruised Plum is much more on the purple side than most swatches look. It is a beautiful shimmery color. Black Tulip is a standard color, not too exciting but complements the quad well. Jungle Moon has a traditional MAC matte texture that is a little chalky and uneven but is definitely workable. All together, they make a gorgeous eye!

l to r: Mink Pink, Bruised Plum, Black Tulip, Jungle Moon

Coral Eyeshadows


I have this already in the Spiced Chocolate Quad, but I do use it quite a bit, so I didn't think another could hurt. Plus, it goes so well with all the coral e/s (and I bought them all!). The color payoff is pretty good, though it is a naturally light, iridescent color. It's a lustre, but a good one. The only bad thing about this color is that it ends up all bumpy after a few uses. It's just something to do with its texture and the way it is produced, but it looks fug in the pot. Good thing is, it still applies normally.


At first I wasn't impressed with this color because it looks a lot like Soft Lust (Ungaro) or Sushi Flower. However, this color has great color pay off, which is unlike other similar colors. It applies smoothly and beautifully. 

Straw Harvest


Unique color, looks just like its name-- like straw. It looks in the pot like Evening Aura e/s, but when applied it seems to look more like Flip e/s. The only thing is, the texture, though it's supposed to be a Veluxe Pearl, it feels more like a Frost. Not super smooth, but workable.

Hot Hot Hot


It's hard to compare this color to anything because it's truly unique. Some people have compared it to the inside of a pink grapefruit, and I agree, though I'd say it's maybe a tad darker. I think it completes the coral look beautifully. The texture is great, payoff is great. In the entire SCF collection, it could very well be the must-have.

l to r: Nanogold, Straw Harvest, Perky, Hot Hot Hot


Color Me Coral

I wasn't going to get this, but after swatching it I thought it looked like a very pretty frosty beige peach. However, it is very frosty, and I am kind of regretting getting it. My advice: try it on the lips before buying!


This doesn't look exactly like bubblegum, but it's pretty nonetheless. It's a glaze but with good color payoff, so you may really like it if you like a good fuschia-pink. 


This is like Lollipop Loving with a little more pink and pigmentation in the mix. It's surprisingly not too frosty though- at first I was very surprised to learn that it was a frost, as I thought it was a lustre. It was the first one to catch my eye as far as lipsticks go! 

l to r: Bubblegum, Victorian, Colour me Coral

Sunday, February 7, 2010

DIY: MAC Spring Colour Forecast Neutral Quad


I was lemming the Neutral Quad from MAC's new Spring Colour Forecast Collection-- that is, until I decided to try and make my own quad from colors I already owned. Following some suggested recs from Temptalia and Specktra, I was able to create what I feel is a perfect dupe quad: and it cost me nothing, since I already had the colors!

Here's what you'll need:
  • 4 eyeshadow Quad
  • Dazzlelight Eyeshadow (or Nylon if you prefer); replaces Manila Paper
  • Flip Eyeshadow (check your CCO if you don't have it, or use Goldmine or Motif from the perm line- not exact dupes but will work very well. Flip is not a must-have color, in my opinion).
  • Amber Lights Eyeshadow; replaces Aztec Brick
  • Bronze Eyeshadow; replaces Creole Beauty

Here's what you'll create:


And here are some swatches:
l to r: Dazzlelight, Flip, Amber Lights, Bronze

While I can't say for certain that it's 100% exact, it's pretty dang close- even the finishes are almost dead-on (the only one that's different is Amber Lights is a Frost whereas Aztec Brick in the quad is a Veluxe Pearl). So, if you can resist the fancy new quad packaging and the cute names like Creole Beauty and Aztec Brick, then this is a great way to save some $$ for other parts of this MASSIVE collection.

I'm so excited, now I'm going to go and try some new looks, while I wait in major anticipation for Thursday's release of this collection (because I am one of the poor unfortunate souls who didn't get invited to the special party, haha)!!

What do you think? Is this quad dupeable?