Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ilamasqua blush in naked rose is matte as can be!

Illamasqua is a British brand that is available on sephora US and Canada and on their website They are especially know for their blushes. If you sped for more than 50 pounds they ship for free internationally. I bought this blush with my own money as always.

I heard great things about their blushes, especially on that color that is suppose to go with everything and is entirely matte. The color is a soft beige neutral pink. It's a nice color that will never clash with your look.

If you are somebody that likes smooth and almost creamy powder blush, you will not like the formula, because it is quite dry. I tried to apply it without powdering my face first and it was a disaster. However, because it is a dryer powder it has an awesome staying power, the best I've ever seen.

Illamasqua naked rose with tarte dollface on the right and benefit dandelion on the left

As you can see by the above picture the blush is very similar to benefit dandelion, but it's more pigmented and matte (Benefit is a satin finish) and it has the same intensity as Tarte Dollface, but the latter is more pink.

To be honest, I really do like this blush, but like I said earlier it can be tough to blend if you don't prep your skin properly. I do like how pigmented the color is and it is a worthy successor to my dandelion that is running quite low. I'm not sure however that I will try other powder blushes from illamasqua. When it comes to matte blushes, the best formula I found so far remains the amazonian clay blushes by Tarte. 

Illamasqua also makes so really bright colors like pure reds that would look awesome on women with darker skin and maybe for those colors it would be worth the purchase.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

MAC prep + prime CC colour correcting compact in neutralize (yellow)

Last month I received a gift certificate from MAC. Since my make up collection is quite full, I tried to go for something I might almost need. I actually only own two setting powder, which is the category of product I have the least of (with brow fillers). Both of my current setting powder were in the loose form. I went to MAC thinking that I would go with the mineralize skin finish natural, but MAC is currently out of the color light plus since they are redoing the packaging. I wanted a powder that was pressed and yellow toned so I went with their new prep + prime CC colour correcting compact in the color neutralize.

The new range includes, primers, loose powder and pressed powder available in four shade for different color correcting needs. The pressed compact contains 8g of products and retails for 21.50 euros. This is not a talc based powder and the first ingredient is zinc stearate.  The powder feels quite lightweight and dry, which I like since it doesn't cake up. 

To test the actual color correcting ability of the powder I put it on top of a too pink foundation:

As you can see in the first picture my face is too pink compared to my neck and chest. After the powder my face looks more neutral (the cakiness is due to the foundation the powder doesn't cake up). The effect is quite subtle so you don't have to worry that you will end up looking jaundiced. When I use this powder in combination with MAC fix + setting spray I have a nice glow to my skin.

I think this is quite a good powder for slightly dry to slightly oily skin. I recommend trying it out in this shade if you have moderate redness or you need to finish up too pink foundations like I do! The powder also doesn't oxidize and I do not need to touch it up (but I can also easily go without powder).

Monday, April 7, 2014

Off for two weeks, see you soon!

Hi everyone, I'm not missing in action another time I'm just taking a small vacation. I'll be going 4 days in Scotland, three days in London and then make a good friend visit Belgium for a few days.

I'll try to read your blogs as much as possible!

Friday, April 4, 2014

My bobbi brown look with pot rouge in pale pink

I know it's not that pale!

But it can be applied  very softly.

I never paid much attention to Bobbi Brown. I always been more of a lip and eyes girl and  Bobbi brown is all about the skin.

For  those of you not familiar with her philosophy here it is in a nutshell:
  •  Moisturize, moisturize and moisturize some more!
  • All skin are yellow toned, buy yellow tone foundation
  • Use a corrector to conceal and then layer a brightening concealer (both before foundation)
  • Fix your foundation with a skin color powder (avoid those white silica one) and add a bronzer lightly all over the face and down the neck
  • Use three eyeshadows light, medium, dark and some eyeliner (either the dark eyeshadow or a gel for more drama). Go softer under the eye
  • Add a pop of color either with lips or a bright blush right on the apple and blend towards the hairline and downwards
  • She's a big fan of "power brows" and recommends using an eyeshadow to fill the brows
  • Only use very black mascara and use 2-3 coats on the top lashes and 1-2 on the bottom lashes.
  • Use a lip color close to your natural pink color. She loves pinky-browns. 
Alright, so with all of that in mind here's the look I came up with by following her rules:

And now onto the blush...

The pot rouge have been around for for a while. They are meant to be use for the lips or cheeks, but like most products of the sort it's better for the cheeks. They recently changed the glass jar/screw cap packaging for a flip black plastic case with a mirror and reduced the quantity by three fold without reducing the price! I paid 27 euros for 3.3g of product (actually I paid 2 euros I had a birthday gift certificate from work). 

The color pale pink is actually a medium cool pink. On my dry skin this lasts all day. The texture is quite thick and is best applied with a synthetic brush. The blush can be applied before powder or after (I'm wearing it after on top of powder and bronzer). The blush doesn't feel sticky at all. It's quite similar to the stila color convertible products, but apparently this is less greasy. I think this would actually be suitable for most skin types.

Overall I really like this blush despite the price. I really like cream blushes in general on my dry skin. The only thing that restrains me from running buying other pot rouge is the fact that cream blushes needs to be tossed after two years unlike powder that do not go bad. 

Cheek close-up

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Paula's choice The nude matte eyeshadow palette worth the hype?

As you know I recently placed an order on Paula's Choice website testing three products, two of which being skin care. I tried to review this palette quite fast since it's a limited edition.

The nude matte palette is a palette consisting of 11 matte shade and one shimmer highlight. The palette has true neutral shade, meaning that you won't find plum or green leaning neutrals. In that sense it is a true basic.

I have to say that I did carefully read the reviews prior to shedding 40 euros on that palette. All reviews except one were raves. A couple of mature ladies even said that they will throw away all their other eyeshadows, because they finally found something that was working for them!

This palette is average, the eyeshadows are not chalky on the skin, the colors accommodate a variety of skin tone and the quantity of eyeshadow is quite generous for the price. You get 17 grams which is about 1.4g per eyeshadow (MAC eyeshadow contain 1.5g as a comparison). BUT I wouldn't be as crazy as some of the review. The palette comes in quite a cheap cardboard packaging and the eyeshadow do not compare to my make up for ever or bare mineral ready matte eyeshadows. To be honest they aren't the easiest to work with. I could not get any decent swatches, so I'm sorry for the lack of swatches pictures. The eyeshadow were really sticking to my (dry skin!) fingers and refused to transfer.

What you do get though is a no nonsense palette, that's very wearable and that can be combined to your heart's content.  I'm particularly found of the lighter shades, which are smoother and have a better pigmention. The black is also very pigmented, but it doesn't blend very well. I will save that one to use as an eyeliner. I tried to do a smokey eye with it  and it was a major fiasco.  This palette was created with the help of the youtube beauty guru Wayne Goss, which I've been following for years.

You can easily go for a soft and understated look

That grey shade is the worst of the bunch it took me 15 minutes of worth for that eye look!

Overall, this palette is nice but not a must buy, unless you don't have a lot of neutrals in your collection. The shades are easier to apply tapped with a flat brush (like mac 239) than swiped, because they are very hard to blend, especially the darker half.  Personally, this palette could have been a must have if the shades were easier to blend. When I'm in a rush in the morning I don't have time to fight with my eyeshadows, because they stick a bit too much to the lid.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Guerlain Terracotta four seasons bronzer in natural brunette

I'm not a bronzer girl, every time I tried I failed miserably. I never looks quite right. I tried rimmel, bare escentuals warmth and even the famous benefit hoola with no luck. I gave them all away to girls with a more suitable skin tone. That's why I was very afraid to shell 59 euro on another experiment (I actually had gift certificates and coupon so I ended up spending 3 euros of my own money).

Guerlain is THE bronzer reference, they apparently invented it in 1984. They have a wide offering. The four seasons collection is their most expensive offering from the regular line. They come in six shades: one nude shade (created with fair skin Asian women in mind), two pink toned blonde shades, two golden toned brunette shades and one ebony shade. You need to base your decision on your overall skin tone and undertone. Ignore the hair color reference.

I spend literally weeks reading about this before taking the plunge. I was really bouncing between nude, natural blonde and natural brunette. Because nude contains a pretty unpigmented blush, and natural blonde is so pink and doesn't have much contrast between the four shades (then why bother with the four season concept you might as well by the regular terracotta and save some cash), I went for natural brunette and I'm glad I did.

The bronzer contains a generous amount of 10 grams of product that comes in a gorgeous magnetic compact with a hologram. The powder is very smooth and smell like violets. I love the idea of being able to customize my shade according to the season.

The bronzer could be used as contouring if you have strong warm undertone, but on me it ends up looking like brown stripes. I use it the way Guerlain intended it; to give me a sunkissed glow without the damage. I can use it also as a blush to tone down the redness of my cheeks when I'm wearing a low coverage foundation or tinted moisturizer or very lightly all over for a touch of warmth and then layer a fresh blush.

Even though this is a matte bronzer, it gives really a healthy glow. The powder feels so smooth and creamy and you can really blend it to your heart's content. I'm seriously impressed by this product. I really made me make peace with bronzer.
Before the bronzer (isn't that l'Oreal magic nude foundation great or what?)
after (applied more heavily than I'd normally would to see the color)
The only con I would see, except for the price of course, is the fact that it is so fragrant. If this is a bit too expensive for you, their original Terracotta is significantly less expensive and also come in blonde and brunette shades. If you can afford it this is a fantastic product.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Get ready for some seriously bright pinky coral lips with OCC lip tar in Queen

I'm really excited to be reviewing this lip tar today. I've been wanted to review it since I created the blog, but I was waiting for a camera worthy of this product.

Obsessive compulsive cosmetics is a vegan cruelty free brand from the US. They have a lot of fun products, but what really put them on the map is their lip tars. They really expended the line over the years from their regular, to metallics and lipglosses. Queen is part of the regular line which sets pretty matte on the lips. Because they are liquid you can custom mix your shade. The products are not available in European stores, but some UK sites offer the line and shipping to the EU.

Coral is not my thing, I like the color, but it seriously intimidates me. I really don't know what's gotten into me when I bought this bright coral pink lip stain. I also own another shade which is a cool pink (surprise, surprise), but since a lot of my readers are coral and warm pink lovers, I decided to start with this one.

(sorry for the bronzer overload, I was reviewing it for another post and I needed to wear a lot of it for it to be visible!)

Have you tried OCC lip tar yet? If you are into brights, chances are you will find a good match!