Sunday, February 9, 2014

Thieves Like Us

A bit of Sunday theatrical makeup madness - stay tuned, more to come!   xo

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Blue Tuesday - NARS Liquid Stylo Eyeliner in Atlantis

As i've mentioned in many other posts, i'm a complete fiend for liquid eyeliners;  i learned to use them back in my Punk Rock Girl days in the mid-1980's and i've never tired of them.
When i got a bit older, i branched out from the requisite black and ventured into the different colours that became available.  Back in the day, NARS came out with these amazing liquid-gel eyeliners in these little glass jars.  They were new and different because their texture was somewhere between - as i said - a liquid and a gel.  The came with a little brush and the colour selection was incredible.  I was in love with those liners, and had one in every colour.
For whatever reason, they were discontinued sometime after 2007 (i'm not entirely sure - during that time i was taking a break from the cosmetics industry and dealing with other things) and for me, eyeliners have never been the same.  I miss them.

Then, NARS released their version of a liquid eyeliner pen - it was pretty horrible.  The formula was thin, weak and runny.  I was crushed.

And then, in 2011, i believe, they reformulated the eyeliner pens and released the current Stylo Eyeliner.  Apparently they listened to their customers, because this new version ROCKS.  Every liquid eyeliner pen i ever try is compared to my Holy Grail, Le Metier de Beaute's Precision Eyeliner - it's a tough eyeliner to live up to.   NARS Stylo is very close, in my opinion.  Like the LMdB, the Stylo is opaque yet buildable, applies smoothly and stays on  my oily lids all day.  The ONLY complaint i have is that when my eyes get watery in the corners, it can smudge just the teensiest bit - which the LMdB somehow manages to never do.  BUT.  This is only under the extreme conditions of my allergy-riddled eyes when they're really leaking up a storm.
For instance, today my eyes do have a bit of the watery thing going on, but the NARS Stylo hasn't budged yet. It's not a waterproof liner, so that is pretty impressive, really.

Another really nice thing about these eyeliners is the colour selection.  There is, of course, the requisite black (Carpates)- but they also come in a navy blue (Atlantis, shown below), rich, lightish brown (Nuku Hiva), and grey (Koala). I find the brown one to be a bit too light, even bright for my tastes, preferring a darker, cooler brown.  However the rest of the shades are really gorgeous.

NARS Stylo Eyeliner in Atlantis

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Hourglass Girl - Primer and Tinted Moisturizer Review

Here's a little review of a Sunday evening for you all - i fully intended to write this a bit earlier, but i am a lazy slug today.  However, i took the first photos quite early and then gave the products all day on my face so i could take periodic pictures for the sake of being thorough.

Because i CARE.

Right - so anyway, i did a few things here today with my makeup, but this is entry is going to concentrate mostly on the skin products as opposed to my fabulous eye-makeup - which i'll address in detail tomorrow, which is Monday, which means my makeup will be un-exciting and ill-executed, if history is any indication.

Lately i've been on a serious skincare kick - which, for me, includes the primer and foundation (or lack thereof) i use.  In fact, i generally avoid full-on foundation when i'm trying to give my skin extra care, and tend to stick to tinted moisturizers/BB creams.  But then i decide my skin is disgusting and needs the heaviest foundation i can find in order to hide it...
It's a problem.  I'm sick.

These days, however, i'm mostly wearing my Hourglass Illusion Tinted Moisturizer and Veil Mineral Primer.  Well, in reverse order, really.  Obviously one puts on the primer first.
I told you i was tired!

I just recently started wearing primers on my face again (i know - the horror), and started out with one of the very originals back in the day - Clarins Beauty Flash Balm.
I ran out about a year ago and never bothered to replace it, but in the interim there have been so many new primers that have come out that i have a lot of catching up to do.
One of my favourites is Mister Mat by Givenchy, because it can be put on under AND over one's foundation - a MUST for people like me who get super-oily in the summer.
I much prefer slicking that on over my makeup as opposed to just constantly piling on powder, because gross.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Crush With Eyeliner - Le Metier de Beaute Precision Eyeliner

I'm a huge fan of liquid eyeliner.  Let me just get that out of the way right now.  Especially black liquid eyeliner.
If i were stranded on an island and was actually dim enough to be worrying about makeup instead of - you know - surviving, i'd want my favourite liquid eyeliner with me.

Not all liquid eyeliners are the same - and this becomes more apparent/important when your lids begin to show the signs of ageing.  In point of fact, the main argument against them -  for Women of a Certain Age - is that they can tend to look too "harsh".  It's a simple reality that, as one no longer possesses bouncy, fresh, elastic lids, one must use "softer" eye-makeup to compensate or one runs the risk looking looking like Cruella DeVille.

My lids are in fairly good shape for an old bird - but i most emphatically do not have flawless skin in that area.  There's just the faintest signs of sagging - but they are there.
However, i am not about to give up my favourite makeup item - perish the thought!  So, for a while, i compensated by first laying down a pencil-liner for the softening effect, then drawing a thinner, less-obvious line, very close to the lash-line with whatever random liquid liner i had on-hand.  That way, i'd get the soft, blurring effect of the pencil liner without sacrificing the intensity of the liquid.

The problem is, i abhor effort.  Because i like to do a finished-eye/bare face kind of look a la Edie Sedgwick, Brigitte Bardot et al most days, i don't enjoy having to do two steps to achieve an effect in deference to not being 23 anymore.  It's...irritating and inelegant, ultimately.  Not only that, many liquid liners don't hold up well layered over pencil.  They can crack, flake and smudge.

Enter Le Metier de Beaute's Precision Liquid Eyeliner.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Review - Givenchy Teint Couture Long-Wearing Compact Foundation & Illuminator

No. 2 Elegant Shell (looks darker here than in person - sorry)

Over the weekend, I managed to get my hands on a brand-new powder foundation from Givenchy - the Teint Couture Long-Wearing Compact Foundation & Illuminator (SPF 10).  I realize that's quite a mouthful, there - but then, the cosmetic world is seldom known for its' brevity...

It is so new, as a matter of fact, that they didn't even have the testers out on the display at Sephora yet.  But i was drawn to the lovely photo on the display of the model with hair identical to mine, which certainly grabbed my attention - but also to the cute little strip of pink at the bottom of the pan and the positively HUGE mirror.

So, i grabbed a sales-woman and asked - no doubt with a sincere, puppy-doggish desperation gleaming in my eyes - if she could please see if there were at least one or two testers somewhere in the back for me to paw at, please?

She took one look at me and said - "You'll be the palest one, of course - let me go check!".

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Basic Eye Tutorial - In Excrutiating Detail, with Pictures!

Last week, i was asked on my Facebook page if i could do a tutorial for a very basic eye-makeup look.

Oh, what a can of worms you opened up, my dear girl!

For i love to do detailed tutorials with LOADS of pics and many many words :).  I realize it would most likely be much easier to follow if this were a video, but alas, my video camera is God-only-knows-where; and besides, i enjoy writing. So, hopefully, this will be clear and practical enough to follow, even for the most severely Makeup Challenged of you out there.

I asked Husband to read it through - thinking that if he felt HE could do this look afterwards, then i will have succeeded.

*waits patiently for Husband to email over perfectly made-up photos from North Carolina*

First, let's gather our tools.
The following are some basic tools you should probably have in your eyeshadow-brush arsenal in order to achieve the best result for most looks. Of course you can do your eyeshadow with your fingers (i worked with a Makeup Artist in Honolulu who did just that - it was amazing), or even those crappy little sponge applicators they always insist on giving you when you buy eyeshadow.  But these are what i'd consider to be the most basic, useful brushes to have around.  You can make do with what you've got available in the meantime.  
I use and adore Hakuhodo brushes, and also have a few MAC and Sephora brushes as well.  In my opinion, the Sephora brushes are the lowest on the totem and the cream of the crop are Hakuhodo.  MAC has generally decent, servicable brushes that are a good investment if you want brushes that will last you a bit, provided you care for them.  However, many of the Hakuhodu brushes are comparable in price to MAC - but they are ever so much softer, denser and of such all-around better quality that it's worth it to me to have to order them online instead of popping into a MAC counter for ultimately sub-standard brushes.  

I'll do a post on my all-time favourite brushes in a following tutorial, but for now, let's just get the basics down:

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Novocaine Beauty - How My Makeup Held Up at the Little Shop of Horrors

Today, my little Kumquats, was a dismal day indeed for me.  Once again, i had to steel myself for another installment in The Teeth Chronicles.  My teeth and i, you see, are at War.
For various and sundry reasons (including poor diet, years of seizure medication and a long and unfortunate stint of entirely Too Much Wine which is now thankfully over), my teeth are falling to pieces.  In some instances, quite literally.
However, thanks to being blessed with incredibly generous in-laws and a husband who is willing to go to bat for me in such matters, i am getting ALL THE THINGS done in one fell swoop.
I'll be paying it off until i'm 108, but if the rest of the women in my family are any indication, i may just make it to that age...

In any case, one cannot face a long and invasive trip to the dentist with a bare face.

So, despite waking up with a burgeoning migraine (which of course transformed into a full-blown Migraine with capital letters, bells, whistles and flashing lights once under the drills) and being in a Terrible Rush, I decided to test out a few products for their chops under extreme circumstances.
Such as, bright-ass lights shining in your face, drooling, novocaine, uncontrollable eye-watering, blood and possibly explosions.  I didn't have time for a Before Dentist photo with the finished result, but i did take an After (see how brave i am?  Or maybe it's the drugs...)

                                              Lopsided, half-numb-faced grin