Jun 172010

Make Up For Ever has rolled out a line of twenty-two new cream lip, cheek and eye colors, called the Aqua Cream line ($22 each).  Every time I visit my local Sephora, I’m more intrigued by these products.  They are budge-proof, easy to work with, and have a glorious texture.  They do not feel dry or silicon-y, rather they feel as though they will go exactly where you want them, then stay there all day long.  Here’s their blurb:

Aqua Cream combines the highest-quality pigments with mother of pearl particles to give immediate rich color payoff with a luminous finish in just one application. It’s long-lasting formulation will not crease or smudge under the most extreme conditions and its creamy and elastic texture allows for easy blending.

I’m going to throw this out there–If anyone is seriously upset at MAC’s constant limited edition pushes, look very hard at Make Up For Ever as an excellent alternative to MAC.  Make Up For Ever does permanent releases of beautiful, creative colors that are easily available from many Sephora outlets and online.  Rather than sporadic, limited-time releases, Make Up For Ever has large, versatile, permanent release of some beautiful products that really perform.  They’re poised to release more thirty-five (35!) lip glosses and fifty (50!) new lipsticks in the Fall.  Permanently (well, as permanent as anything is in the makeup world).  They’ve gotten my attention, some of my wallet, and piece of my makeup-loving heart.

Several of the blush/lip colors look very promising.  However, some of the eye colors are so vibrant that I’m not sure that I can pull them off.  One eye color that I knew I would love immediately is Taupe #15.  Behold its creamy taupe goodness:

The application is easy with a finger or brush (I moisturize my lid first, no primer).   These blend well with my other cream eyeshadows.  Also, I have used this for an eyeshadow base with my other taupe powder eyeshadows.  They last all day.  Depending on the light, they have a touch of reflectivity (which must be the pearl that’s been added to the formula).

Here is a swatch in direct sun with flash.  The three swatches are light, medium and heavy application:

Here is a swatch in softer, more diffuse, natural light.  You can see that it loses some of the more golden, metallic quality in shade.  This is more how the shadow looks on my eye in most normal lighting conditions:

Final verdict:  Two dancing thumbs up. I’m looking forward to trying a few more of these soon!

P.S. One of the line-number 19 Violet-will not be sold in the U.S., so expect to see only 21 of these at the U.S. Sephora.

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Mar 262010

Fyrinnae sells a most amazing selection of loose pigments–I imagine the people there as geniuses with endless imaginations.  Their colors are not duplicative of anything that I’ve seen.  The color combinations seem completely original.  Unlike some, Fyrinnae is a small operation.  Their website gets a little backlogged sometimes, so read about their ship times on the homepage before ordering.  Occasionally, the site goes off-line completely.  However, you’ll soon realize that these  are modest inconveniences. Their quality more than makes up for it.

Their magical powders come either full or sample-sized.  I’ve only ordered their samples so far–they are pretty generous and come in tiny plastic screw-top containers.   The prices are low, comparatively speaking in the makeup world–a few dollars per sample.  Their price list is here.

Unlike larger makeup companies, with Fyrinnae I buy with the philosophy that “you pays your money and you takes your chances.” Read their disclaimers carefully–you’ll find wonderful delights on their website but there is no sales associate to guide you and no product inserts.  I am sometimes a little surprised by what I find (in a good way), and keep going back because every order brings me something totally unique.

Recently, I noticed Fyrinnae segregated a portion of their website for taupes.  Sign me up!  I mixed these swatches with MAC’s Mixing Medium and applied them on bare skin.  I’m thinking of trying Fyrinnae’s own eyeshadow base, Pixie Epoxy, next time.

Before we go on, here are my disclaimers:

  • There are twelve (12) pigments swatched here, which was Fyrinnae’s entire taupe list.When I run the word “taupe” through Fyrinnae’s search, I get fifteen (15) results.  So, there are some additional shades that have taupish tones that aren’t included
  • These are applied quite densely.  I did some lighter duplicate swatches in the last picture, so you can see these sheered down a bit too.
  • I’m not a Fyrinnae makeup expert, so I may not be able to answer your questions if you have them.  I just love a good taupe, and here are twelve.
  • I haven’t played with these extensively on any eye looks.  These swatches are mid-experiment, just a fun look at some different colored taupes.  As always, the pictures can be clicked for an enlarged view.

Shall we begin?

For comparison, I did repeat swatches of three so that you can see these applied much more lightly:

As an aside, I understand that this last one–Species 8472–was created in collaboration with JoeyBunny of The Pink Sith.  I have to admit, Species 8472 is one of my favorites of this bunch, as well as Snow Leopard, Selkie Skin and Damn Paladins (did you see the blue tones in that one? lovely!).

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Jan 152010

As an overview, MAC Pro blushes are not as easy to work with as their standard line but they offer a very unusual combination of shades.  I imagine that a pro who needs to do numerous faces over the course of a morning can apply these highly-pigmented blushes without concern of ever running out and, because of their expertise and wide selection of different blush brushes, can control their highly pigmented nature.

For the average user, these offer some variety and the chance to work with something unusual.  I have not reviewed all of MAC’s pro blushes, but only those that work for me.  A full list of MAC’s current Pro blushes is here on their website.  I highly doubt that all will work with every skin tone, so if you get a chance to try them at a MAC Pro store I would recommend it.

MAC Blush Palette Empty 1

You can obtain the address of MAC Pro stores by checking on their website.  If you cannot, but wish to order a Pro product, every MAC Pro store can ship you their products by obtaining your payment information over the phone. In addition, you can buy MAC Pro products by calling the company at 1 800 588 0070 (U.S. only).

MAC Blush Palette Empty

If you’re into makeup, you’ll see references to “MAC Pro Member” and “MAC Pro Discount” around.  Only MAC Pro members can order directly from the MAC Pro website.  I’m neither, but you can find out more information about their program here.

Mac Blush Palette

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Jan 102010

Previously, I posted a few different comparisons to Chanel’s Spring 2010 Particuliere.  Over the past several days, I uncovered a few more taupe options.

First, Sally Hansen has recently released Commander in Chic, which is more grey and significantly thinner.  Commander took four coats compared to Particuliere’s one to two coats.   Commander in Chic is about $8, compared to $23 for Chanel’s.

Second, those who prefer a mauve wash in their taupes may prefer China Glaze’s Channelesque.

Here’s a very quick comparison swatch:

Particulaire 1

Chanel Particuliere

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Chanel Spring 2010: Particuliere Nail Polish

 Chanel, Nail Polish  Comments Off on Chanel Spring 2010: Particuliere Nail Polish
Dec 232009

Look, more places to wear taupe–your nails!  Chanel’s Spring 2010 offering, Particuliere ($23), is not the first to make a beautiful taupe nail polish.  It gives you a rich, taupe cream in one coat.  In the picture below, Particuliere is applied with two coats just to make sure, but it wasn’t really needed.

Here’s a comparison to some other popular taupes on the market:

  • OPI for Sephora Metro Chic (thumb, in picture below):  A touch of mauve sets this taupe cream apart.  Note, however, that Metro Chic requires at least three coats to give you an opaque color.  Dear OPI:  Please add pigment.  I’m juggling some things here and don’t have time.
  • OPI You Don’t Know Jacques (middle finger):  A deeper brown.  Must have two coats with this one, if not three.
  • Orly Country Club Khaki (ring finger, two coats):  A light colored taupe, which is lovely for summer.
  • Zoya Pasha (pinky, two coats but only one is needed):  A shimmery light taupe.

These are applied over CND Stickey base coat, covered with Poshe top coat.

EDIT UPDATE:  More comparison pictures are here.

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