Product Focus: Maybelline Color Tattoo 24 Hour Cream Eyeshadows

One of my absolute favorite things is when I find a product that’s reasonably priced (ie drugstore priced) and AMAZING quality. This is one of my greatest joys. And these little babies are my absolute first thought when I think of great drugstore dupes.

What are they? They’re these cute little numbers…

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They come in really good quality glass jars with a tightly-fitting plastic lid. They feel much more expensive and luxurious than their US$8 cost. They come in a bunch of different colors and finishes. You get a tonne of product for your buck. They’re seriously great. The packaging is important, because air is the enemy of cream shadows. It makes them crusty and too dry. Yuck. You always want glass with a tightly fitting lid. That goes for cream/gel liner pots too.

So how does one use them? Well the answer is super mega varied, to be honest with you. But let’s cover the basics.

First of all, you can use them just like normal eyeshadow. You do have to work quickly, but there’s absolutely nothing stopping you from dabbing a bit of them onto your eyelids and blending them out with either your finger or a brush. The way I normally apply them (the one I wear most often, Bad to the Bronze, always gets applied like this) is to pat some onto my center eyelid then use a MAC 217 or something like that to buff out the edges so it’s not a stark line. That’s it. Done. This can be done with or without primer. I find these to be so longlasting without creasing that I don’t bother too much with primer.

In fact, that brings me to my next point. You can use these AS a base. They’re not PRIMER as such, but they’re amazingly long lasting and you can use them to layer other colors on top (powder shadows), to make the colors really pop a lot more. One strategy is to use a black or dark color to stick bright colors to – do you ever find that brights don’t look as bright on your eyelid as they do in the pan? Try this trick and report back. You’re welcome in advance.

So one weird trick you can also use these for is contour. I know. Bear with me. My friend Mary told me a few months back that when she’s doing more costume/drag type makeup she will use the shade Creamy Beige to do a rather dramatic contour. I was skeptical but when I tried it, you know what, it’s actually great. Like I said, it’s pretty dramatic, but it looked legit good and cool. Something you would use if you were doing a Maleficent makeup, for example.

For cream shadows, these are quite ‘hard’. They’re not soft and creamy and liquidy like say the MaxFactor Excess Shimmer shadows, or even the Chanel Illusion d’Ombre ones. I would compare them more to the MAC paint pots though even those are a little softer. But this is actually a good thing, in my opinion. It means that they’re hardier and less likely to crease in your … creases.

For this reason I suggest using your fingers over a brush, at least for placing the color down. You can use a brush to blend it out and smooth it but for application I think fingers works best. Just get a little bit on your fingertip and then pat it on carefully (or not carefully, I don’t care, I’m not your mum).

But it’s not all good news. For one thing, the quality of these shadows vary WILDLY between shades which is something that really pisses me off. I want a reliable product that performs the same across different shades. But noooo.. sigh. So that’s really annoying. This seems to be as good a time as any to show you some swatches.

2015-10-13 12.26.49Top to bottom: Silver Strike, tenacious Teal, Tough as Taupe, Creamy Beige, Bad to the Bronze, Inked in Pink, Pomegranate Punk, Fuchsia Fever, Dramatic Black.

So you’re not blind. You can see what I’m saying. The last two are absolutely the worst, but Silver Strike is also particularly bad. Important note: some of these swatches being a bit “thick” in parts are just from me being a little overzealous with how much product I got on my fingertip – Bad to the Bronze particularly because I just love it so much and it’s probably the easiest to use as well. So you can see that Fuchsia Fever is just total garbage in fact I don’t know why I don’t just throw it out, same with Dramatic Black – though DB isn’t as bad as FF, with a little work it’s perfectly serviceable – I just have a better one in MAC’s Blackground paint pot.

Pomegranate Punk and Inked in Pink are also a little bit patchy but they work fine with a little extra work. Tenacious Teal, Bad to the Bronze, Creamy Beige, Tough as Taupe all work wonderfully. There’s another shade called Barely Branded that’s also excellent, but IMO it’s quite similar to, again, a MAC paint pot that I already own so I don’t feel a strong need to pick that one up (what is wrong with me?).

Here’s another swatch pic featuring dog, before I sign off..

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No-Makeup Makeup – For When You Seriously CBF

So, realtalk. If I don’t feel like wearing makeup, or don’t have time to put it on, I just don’t wear any. Not a stitch. Sometimes when I have to leave home before 7am and it’s still dark and I don’t want to wake my husband, I’ll just shove my brow pencil in my scrubs pocket and head off. Sometimes I don’t even do that. Whatever. I’m not the kind of person who feels like they need a minimum of makeup just to leave the house. I didn’t wear makeup to work for the majority of my working life. Just wanted to get that out of the way!

In saying that, sometimes I just want to do the basics. Someone on my makeup group on FB mentioned that they think of their “no-makeup makeup” in “levels” (thanks Carolyn!), and when I thought about it, so do I. I just had never really articulated it before. So I thought I’d stick with that theme and show you three levels of NMM.

So this is what we’re starting with: the blank canvas, as it were.

2015-10-13 10.46.29Level 0 is still a level, ok?

For level 1, I really do just do the basics. Moisturizer first obviously (that’s not included because you should ALWAYS WEAR MOISTURIZER! That’s really important. Apart from that, it’s just a bit of primer, a light foundation, some translucent powder, tinted moisturizer or BB cream (personal preference), mascara and brow pencil.

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I nearly didn’t include primer in this because it’s not necessarily a “must”, and if you just need a smidge of makeup for a couple of hours then I wouldn’t even worry about it but if you need your NMM to last all day, primer gives your makeup another layer between it and your sebum-producing skin (sebum contributes heavily to makeup breakdown) so it can really help a lot. In this case, I used the Too Faced Hangover Rx Primer which is a very dewy, hydrating, light primer that’s perfect for this exact look. After that it’s a smidge of the BareMinerals Complexion Rescue gel-cream foundation (it’s very light), which I applied with my fingers – I think it’s best applied that way in a couple of layers if you like. At first, I was going to leave the base as is but when I took pictures I was EXTREMELY shiny so I just used a little bit of translucent powder to matte things out a little bit, just in the t-zone patted on with a soft brush. Don’t go nuts. I used my ride-or-die go to translucent powder, the Make Up For Ever HD Powder. Translucent powder is great because it doesn’t add any additional coverage – just a little bit of mattification. Is that a word? IT IS NOW. Anyway, then it’s just some mascara – my current favorite is the Maybelline Lash Sensational, and a quick sweep of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Dark Brown and you’re done. And the result?

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Pretty basic stuff. Decent difference when put side by side though:

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Chuck some lip balm on (a winter essential anyway) and we’re good to go. But if you want to add a little bit more oomph to this look, you can go to level 2.

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First, concealer. I used the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in the shade Custard under my eyes, around my nostrils, on my chin and in the middle of my eyebrows. I blended it out with a MAC stippling brush, then set it with the same fluffy brush as the translucent powder with the Maybelline Fit Me powder. It’s a powder that has some pigmentation to it, not heaps, but enough to add a little bit more coverage. I then used my favorite bronzer, MAC Mineralize SkinFinish Natural, in the usual bronzing area (see my bronzing post) and some mid-toned blush, this time I used Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso on the apples of my cheeks and brought a little up to the higher points, as it has some reflective quality and isn’t too high in color content. Fresh! Finally, I just added some brown eyeliner – I used Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Roach, just on my upper and lower waterlines, not on the lid itself. Et voila.

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I forgot to take a more front-on one for this section! Sorry guys but still, here’s the comparison:

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I’ve added some dimension and color, but it’s still very basic.

Finally, there’s level 3. Let’s say I want to just add some color here, but still keep it really simple. Easy!

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I just added some of my favorite cream eyeshadow (because it’s gorgeous and super long-lasting and easy to apply), Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze, using my finger and patted on then blended on the mobile lid. Then I grabbed my most user-friendly lip product, the NYX Matte Lip Cream in Milan, popped some of that on and I was good to go.

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And the comparison:

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I would estimate that without the photography pausing, the whole look up to the end of level 3 took me about … 10 minutes? Max. After this, I went out to the bank to get some checks and figure out what the hell my account number is (credit unions are weird). I know – the fun and exciting life I lead!

So here’s the look in some gorgeous Vermont fall light.

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I didn’t even need a jacket. It’s super mild today. But the temperatures are dropping below zero this weekend so I’m enjoying it while it lasts.

Coming up on the weekend I have a whole post devoted to the Maybelline Color Tattoo cream shadows so keep an eye out for that one!

Love+++
F&V

Portable Makeup: What Do You Need in Your Bag?

So I’m still having trouble saying “purse” for handbag. It doesn’t make any sense to me. A wallet is a purse. A handbag is not a purse. Anyway – Americans feel free to read “purse” when I say “handbag”.

As always, when I say “need”, please take with a grain of salt. There are many days when I do not touch any of these items and just let my makeup take its natural course. But if you’re going out after work or if you really want everything to look as fresh as possible, I have some tips for you my friends!

First of all, I find it easier to use two small cosmetic purses (this use is fine btw) rather than one large, handbag clogging one. I tend to separate this into actual makeup items and “other”. This is all the makeup-related junk I keep in my bag:

I consider it to be pretty darn pared down, to be honest with you, particularly since I am usually a total garbage packerator.

So let’s get the non-makeup stuff out of the way. The “other” bag is actually one of a pair that I got sent by my lovely friend, Zoe, who got them for me from the Turrell Exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia. The other one is purple, and I keep my receipts and other important things in it (I have become a hardcore budget recorder!).

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So realtalk, I left a couple of things out of this picture because they were kinda scuzzy. I left out a little packet of mini tissues and some chewing gum. They were kinda not really relevant. Also I keep a little mini tube of hand cream in here (Soap & Glory Hand Food) but it’s empty and the label has basically come off completely and it looks groce. Sorry.

One thing I like about this bag is that it is REALLY rigid. It’s a thick rubberised plastic that does not bend easily so it keeps everything really safely. I love it!

It contains my travel size of Jo Malone London – Wood Sage & Sea Salt perfume which is hands down my favorite perfume everrrrr. If I’m going somewhere after work I always spritz a little of it. I also keep my favorite hand sanitizer in here – it’s the Soap & Glory Hand Maid one and it smells great and I have no idea how to get more.

My actual makeup bag I got from Forever New in Australia last year. I like stripes. It’s a faux leather type material. I like it for similar reasons to the other bag – it’s quite rigid and doesn’t flop around letting things bang on other things. Technical!

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So it has just the absolute essentials (IMO).

  • A mini mascara (this is the IT Cosmetics Tightline mascara, I have it in there because it has the secondary purpose of eyeliner!
  • A mini Sigma E25 blending brush – I use this to re-blend any creased eyeshadow that might have gathered during the day, and to add additional color if I need to (I would just pack the eyeshadow in here if I needed to).
  • My Make Up For Ever pressed translucent powder – it is great for topping up powder on the face which absorbs oil that may have fought through my makeup throughout the day, making everything look a little fresher. It came in a little carrying case which I really liked, it gives the powder some extra protection.
  • MAC Fix+ mini spray bottle – this is perfect for freshening up tired makeup. If you go overboard with the powder, it also does a great job of patting down any excess powder. It also feels amazing on dry skin, or when it’s hot, I really love this product!
  • A kabuki brush – it’s super super soft and helps me to add powder without disturbing the existing makeup too much. Some people might prefer a powder sponge – this is totally personal. I prefer the brush.
  • A small packet of makeup removal wipes. I won’t lie – the only time I’ve used these is in Montreal when shopping for dresses with my gorgeous friends Nathalie and her fiance Zac. A girl who was waiting in line for the changing rooms had her son with her and he got into her bag and pumped foundation everywhere. ME TO THE RESCUE I am so great.
  • Sephora Targeted Eye Makeup Remover Swabs – these are great for if things are just a bit messy at the end of the day. You snap the end off the little cotton bud / q-tip and it lets the liquid in the stem into the tip. It’s a clean, neat way to tidy up any messes or, you know, if you are trialling a new eyeliner and it turns out to be total garbage and you need to get it off your face, stat.

So that’s honestly it. I don’t go overboard. You could throw in some concealer, a mini eyeliner or something, a small eyeshadow palette or something and you’ve got everything you could ever need.

I have a few good ideas for posts coming up. I’m sorry that I’ve been so quiet lately but I’ve been happily lacking in inspiration – it’s totally fine to take a break from things you love (remember?).

Excitingly, I also have a guest post coming up for you guys! Stay tuned – and as always, your ideas, feedback and comments are all 100% welcome.

Love+++
F&V

September Favorites

Ok so I know that I didn’t do an August favorites post and this one is a bit late so please accept my apologies! Just a few things for this month, I’ve been trying a few different things so some things aren’t like legit favorites yet, but I feel they’ll be there in the future. Let’s crack on.

Kat von D’s Tattoo Lock-It Foundation, Concealer & Powder has been getting a lot of wear from me this month.

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The foundation is full coverage and it’s matte but not overly cakey or chalky. I think it’s a great one for most skin types apart from those who are very dry. One thing I’ll say about it is that it needs a good moisturizer AND primer layer as it is prone to oxidizing. So if that is something that you really avoid in foundations, skip this one for sure. I also love the concealer, this is funny because it’s one I actually gave away in the past because I didn’t like it but it’s back in the good books now, the formulation has changed and one thing I didn’t like in the past was how a little bit of oil was always there when you squidged some out of the tube but I figured out that just smooshing the tube around fixes that up a treat. It’s a very full coverage concealer and I like it a lot. It’s not brightening at all, it’s totally matte. The powder is great as well, it’s technically a powder foundation not a setting powder and you could wear it alone but I think it has a similar issue to the liquid foundation and that is that it does oxidize a tad so I use it as setting powder to give a little extra coverage. It’s great stuff and, like all KvD products, the packaging is gorgeous. You can get these from Sephora exclusively.

This month I decided to give the new Ole Henriksen “Empower” Foaming Milk Cleanser a try.

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It was getting good press for people in their mid-twenties / early thirties who just wanted a nice simple cleanser (plus the matching moisturizer – I only have a sample, jury is still out, stay tuned). I’m always attracted to “milk” type cleansers because I HATE overly-foamy, gel-like, drying UGH AWFUL UGH ok anyway, I like these kinds and this one did NOT let me down. It’s lovely. I use it as my second step after using an oil cleanser to remove my makeup (I’m currently trialing Clinique’s “Take the Day Off” cleansing oil – stay tuned). It’s nothing incredible but to be honest, cleansers often aren’t. They don’t stay on your skin long enough to be hugely amazing IMO and at $26, this one is reasonably priced for an enormous amount of product. You can get it from Sephora in the USA and in Australia from Sephora too probably but WHO WOULD KNOW because no online shopping yet. Get on it guys, seriously.

The First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Daily Face Cream has been my go-to morning moisturizer for this majority of this month and it’s a good one, I’m a fan.

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I’ve recently read that their mattifying gel moisturizer is incredible so I might try that one next but this one has been great. It’s lightweight, it sinks in fast and it works. There’s not much else to say about it really! Oh yeah wait – it comes in a pump bottle which I love, if there’s anything I find super wasteful and annoying (and unhygienic) it’s moisturizer in a frickin’ jar. This brand is great for people with sensitive skin (for the most part – always check ingredients and get familiar with what irritates your skin). You can get it for $20 from Sephora in the USA and oh look it’s not available at AdoreBeauty although other products from the brand are, but you can get it it from BeautyBay if you’re willing to wait for $25.80.

My go-to fall nail polish color so far has been plucked straight from the “new in” section of CVS – it’s the Essie Fall Collection – Leggy Legend.

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It’s just a gorgeous, bronzey, slightly iridescent coppery color and I love it. Essie is great. I have no idea if this is available in Australia – I guess because it’s seasonal maybe not? But you can grab it from any drugstore or Target or anywhere that sells Essie for like $8-9. Woo!

My skin immediately started getting very lizardlike as soon as the weather cooled down so it was body lotion trying time. I heard a lot of people saying very good things about the Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter.

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So I picked some up in the scent “lavender” because I often put on body butter before going to sleep and it’s a sleepy scent. I love this stuff! It works great, it’s easy to spread, it sinks in fast so you don’t feel greasy and it smells AMAZING. I also bought some in the Ginger fragrance for someone and it smells phenomenal as well. I’m not sure about the “whipped” thing. It feels the same as normal body butter to me? Anyway, it comes in tonnes of different fragrances and is available from Sephora in the travel size (which I got) for $12 (!!! pretty good really!) and $35 for the larger sizes, and in Australia from Mecca (though only in 2 scents) for $17 and $48.

I love drugstore mascara and my latest love is no exception. It’s the Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara.

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It works great. It’s not clumpy. It both lengthens and adds volume. It’s just a really great mascara and it’s super cheap – about $9 at the drugstore and I know it’s also available from anywhere in Australia that sells Maybelline too. A+ mascara, will definitely buy again!

Special mention this month goes to a super cool gift that my lovely friend Megan sent me. It’s a Marimo terrarium!

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It’s a gorgeous mason jar with a little seascape in it made of lego sharks (the maker went out and bought them especially for me – I love sharks!) and the prize addition of some adorable little Marimo moss balls. You can read more about them on the Etsy store page but if you’re stuck for a gift for someone special and you think they’d get a kick out of this (the maker sends you everything you need, carefully packaged!), then I urge you to contact MomoBarks to set something up. She rules.

That’s all from me this month – next month expect more fall-related items, it’s really starting to cool down very fast which is exciting and terrifying. I have a real winter coat now! Look at me go!

Ok bye lovers!

Love+++
F&V