The Red Lipstick Manifesto

The other night my friend mentioned to me that she wanted a really good, bright, true red lipstick. I immediately started listing off my favorites and it occurred to me that red lipstick is kinda my thing. Now, I don’t wear it super often anymore because my husband doesn’t love it. That doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to wear it. I’m allowed, nay, encouraged to wear it whenever and whenever I want no matter what. But I REALLY enjoy the look on his face when I wear one of his favourite darker, plum/wine tone shades. Hehehehehehehe *eyebrow wiggle*

But you know what? It’s my goshdarn birthday and I’m gonna goshdarn talk about red lipstick today and wear some tonight. HB 2 ME

So yeah I have a lot. Soz not soz.

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I decided to put them into three loose groups, and the emphasis IS on loose here. ALSO doing swatches on your un-tattooed right arm with your left hand is REALLY HARD so just back off.

I’m only going to link each product or group of products once, or I’d be finding links all day! If you want something and it’s not clickable, check up above to see where previous links might be. I’m doing US only links here apart from the Australis and Bourjois which are only/much easier to find in Australia. If anyone needs help sourcing things in either country, let me know.

First, let’s start with the orange-reds. This is really only something I’ve been into pretty recently and admittedly I don’t think they look THE MOST bangin’ on me but I like them so much I wear them anyway.

Here’s the swatches:

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  1. ColourPop Ultra Matte – “Succulent” – liquid lipstick
  2. Sephora cream lip stain – “Mandarin Muse” – liquid lipstick
  3. Australis VelourLips – “San-Fran-Disco” – liquid lipstick
  4. Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet – “Hot Pepper” – liquid lipstick
  5. NARS Audacious – “Lana” – bullet lipstick
  6. MAC – “Lady Danger” – bullet lipstick
  7. Urban Decay 24/7 Lip Pencil – “Bang” – liner pencil

Next up is the brights. This is a fairly broad descriptor, I know. but it’s the largest group and I’m bad at differentiating color bases (blue-based etc). DEAL WITH IT!

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  1. Australis VelourLips – “NY-Cee” – liquid lipstick
  2. Sephora cream lip stain – “Always Red” – liquid lipstick
  3. Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick – Outlaw – liquid lipstick
  4. Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick – Santa Sangre – liquid lipstick
  5. ColourPop Lippie Stix – “Frenchie” – thin bullet lipstick (+ matching pencil)
  6. Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Mattes – “Siren in Scarlet” – bullet lipstick
  7. MAC – “Ruby Woo” – bullet lipstick
  8. NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil – “Dragon Girl” – thick pencil
  9. MAC lip pencil – “Cherry” – lip liner

 

And finally some darker shades. This is probably the most questionable grouping. Further notes on that below.

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  1. Australis VelourLips – “Buda-Pash” – liquid lipstick
  2. Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick – “Nosferatu” – liquid lipstick
  3. NARS Audacious – “Rita” – bullet lipstick
  4. Make Up For Ever Artist Intense Lipstick – “43” – bullet lipstick
  5. ColourPop Lippie Stix – “Fighter” – thin bullet lipstick
  6. YvesSaintLaurent Rouge Pur Couture– “71” – bullet lipstick
  7. Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Creme – “So Rouge” – 240
  8. Urban Decay Matte Revolution – “Bad Blood” – round bullet lipstick

 

Obviously, numbers 3 and 4 should be bumped back into the previous category in hindsight but tbh I regret nothing because they wouldn’t have fit on the “brights” arm anyway.

I want to talk a bit about different finishes. The liquid lipsticks are going to last longer, and be completely matte (no shine at all). I have eaten chicken wings and burgers (not at the same time, UNFORTUNATELY) with the Kat von D ELLs on and they stay just fine with minimal, if any touchups. Seriously they are like glue. It might be sorcery. But their drawback (and the drawback of any of them listed liquid lipsticks) is that they are drying. I don’t mind this so much because I know it makes them last longer. But if you really hate the feeling of dry lips, give up the search for bulletproof long-lasting lipstick because you’re shit out of luck my friend. Sorry! By its very nature, a creamy, moisturising lipstick just won’t last very long. You have to accept this, and learn to love retouching (this is fine).

Personally, I find shiny/moisturizing lipsticks scary because I’m worried that any tiny brush of my lip against my hand or whatever is going to smoosh it everywhere. So most of the above things are very matte, possibly with the exception of the YSL and Marc Jacobs and the MUFE Artist Intense. The NARS Audacious are still a little bit drying (because they’re matte) but they are not as drying or as long lasting as the others. So they’re kind of a good compromise. As you can tell, I’m not a huge lip liner wearer. Some people swear by it but because I wear so much liquid lipstick I just don’t need it as much.

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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

Travel Makeup – the Overpacker’s Guide to Trying Not to Overpack

I’m off to Washington DC next weekend for my husband’s college friend’s wedding. I’m really looking forward to it, I haven’t met a lot of Ray’s college friends.. or maybe any of them.. huh.. but anyway I have a cute navy dress and I’m ready to rumble. I’m having my makeup done on Saturday night for some drinks with my beloved DC area friends but I have to do my own (UGH!) Friday night and for the wedding on Sunday. So what the hell should I pack?

Well I’ll let you in on a little secret. I always, ALWAYS take too much dumb crap that I don’t even touch the entire time. I’m going to try, REALLY TRY, to slim things down but I’m also going to make a trip report and tell you guys what I decided wasn’t useful afterwards. So with no further ado let’s get into it.

First, check out my beautiful cosmetics bag…

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It’s SO BEAUTIFUL you can get this and others like it for $24 from Sephora

The boring stuff still needs to be packed. All this goes into a separate bag – it’s toiletries not makeup. Obviously. Ahem.

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CLEANUP DUTY

This brings me to an important point. Sample sizes, whether “travel size” deluxe samples or actual sachets, are your friend. Above you can see that I have a few of those. Tbh, normally what I try to do is wash my hair before I go and when I get back but this is a three-night trip and that’s probably just a smidge too long or at least it’s a risk of being too long, especially as I’m getting my hair cut on Wednesday and I won’t want to wash it on Thursday night. You can get the little sample pots from places like Amazon – I think I got a 10 pack of the little containers you see above that I have moisturizer and makeup remover oil in for $6. Don’t try to fill these up. Just squidge out enough to use for the trip. The rest is just wasted as it’ll go crusty after awhile anyway.  Anyway this is just the basics, onto the good stuff.

2015-08-23 12.58.21 HDRPrep & Set

Another little container of primer here (just a small amount, remember!). Well, ok, there’s three primers but I’m kind of a primer nerd. I like to use different ones in different places. Recently when Sephora had a little cute sample kit of NARS product as a coupon code I snatched it up. I love the NARS Light Optimizing primer and we all know how I feel about the eyeshadow primer. So those both came out of the box and went straight into the bag. I had to fight myself to leave the Urban Decay setting spray out and put in the teeny sample of the Skindinavian one!

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Base & Face

A little (refilled) pot of the original sample I got of my favorite long-wear foundation, plus a little squidge of a light coverage daytime foundation for Saturday. My number 1 concealer, a setting powder that’s super flat (god I love that packaging), sample size bronzer and my beloved NARS Deep Throat blush (MASSIVE thanks to my lovely friend Megan who got this as a sample size and sent it to me!). I have a sample size of Orgasm but I just don’t like it as much, tbh.

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Eyes

I chose the Revealed3 palette here because it’s light and flat, but I’ve since applied it as eyeshadow and it is pretty bad so I’m not going to take it. I’ll probably take my Stila Eyes are the Window palette even though it’s heavier. I jumped straight on a large deluxe sample coupon code with Sephora recently because it contained a tiny mini of my ride-or-die liquid liner, the Kat von D Tattoo Liner in “Trooper” as well as a mascara that I know my friend Mem loves, and therefore must be fab. I never pay for high-end mascara but I love getting deluxe samples of it! My trusty MAC Paint Pot in Painterly and Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze and I’m good to go. See how good I’m being?! lol.

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Brows

One crayon (mini size, thanks Ipsy!), one pomade, one sample size powder. Hooooboy that was hard but it’s ok you guys I got this. Pshhwwww.

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Lips

Ok this is where I fell down a little, I’ll admit it. I probably have too much. But I can’t help it. Lips are my thing! One red (with matching liner), one pink, one nude and a primer. I may add more. I’m not gonna lie to you guys, I swore I’d never do that. Speaking of which…

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Brushes

I tried. I really did. But I need all o’ these. I can’t do the multi-use thing. It squicks me out. My one concession was blush and bronzer with the same brush, but that’s because I don’t wear tonnes of either. In fact I’m pretty impressed that I am only taking one foundation brush. Maybe I need another one. NO, STOP THIS… okay okay pshhwww ok I’m good.

What have I missed, do you think? Hair stuff is easy, I’ve got some texture spray and that’s pretty much all I ever use if I’m honest. I also have a little package of cotton pads, q-tips and a mini nail file plus some bobby pins and hair bands. Boring stuff.

So let’s summarize:

  • Store up your samples that you get from things like beauty boxes and online orders. I have two sample boxes – one for stuff to give away and one for things I want to eventually use. I raided that.
  • If you see a gift with purchase or coupon code etc with a sample or travel size of a product that you KNOW you will use, get it. They’re so handy, and it means you can leave them in the travel bag rather than unpacking every single thing and returning it to your stash.
  • If you’re decanting into smaller containers, just take a little at a time so it doesn’t get all gunky when you don’t use it all. So wasteful! You can always refill it for next time.
  • Just take things you are pretty sure you’ll use. I thought about taking my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette and my Kat von D Shade & Light palette but I’m still learning how to use them so I’m not going to bother – I know traveling is not the time for this nor is a wedding. End of story!

I’d love to hear if you guys have tips, tricks and pointers for me for makeup travel. After this I’m not sure we’ll be going anywhere until Chicago so that’s a long time to think about what I’ve done.

EDIT: I did a test pack of putting the stuff in the bags and it turned out GREAT, the bags are full enough but not overstuffed. OBSERVE:

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Happy Sunday/Monday, lovers.

Love++
F&V

Think Your Tube of Gunk is All Gone? THINK AGAIN.

Sorry for the clickbaity title but guys, I have to share something with you.

The other day I noticed that my tube of NARS Pro-Prime eye primer was getting low. I would put the applicator in and not much would come out. I added it sadly to my Sephora “likes” in preparation for my next order (sadly because it’s kinda pricey). Then I was watching a video that ViviannaDoesMakeup did in which she admitted to using the breadknife to saw her tube in half and get the remainder depotted into a little travel container. I thought, hey why not, if there’s a smudge or two left that’ll save me some dough.

The tube looks like this:

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Image from Pinterest

It’s about the size of a large lip gloss tube, and to be fair it has lasted me ages and I use it every time I wear makeup (most days) so I think that’s fine.

Off I went to saw away with my breadknife (sorry, husband) and lo and behold there was HEAPS left. I filled an entire small travel container. FILLED IT. I just used the actual applicator to scoop it out and put it in the jar. LOOK.

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There’s like a year’s worth of products in there. AT LEAST. You only need a tiny bit!

I’m so happy that I can save my dollars for quite a long time, but I’m kinda cranky that such an expensive product has such garbage packaging. How many people have tossed their tube of this when it was half full?

Anyway, that’s a pro tip from me to you. Happy nearly-Friday!

Love++
F&V

Is it a Dupe? Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge v. Beauty Blender

I haven’t done one of these in awhile so I thought I’d compare these two products, since I very recently caved and bought a Beauty Blender for the first time.

Beauty Blenders are pretty famous cult foundation and concealer application items and I’m not sure why I held out for so long, but it’s over now and I have one. I thought I’d do one half of my face with each one to see what I thought.

I’ve had one of the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponges (ugh god that’s a mouthful I’m dropping the Miracle) for awhile now, not that I use it super often, I just find that brushes are so much faster it’s hard to justify fussing around with a sponge. Here are the two products side by side, in their totally dry state:

2015-08-19 13.41.27 HDROrange: RT Complexion Sponge; Pink: Beauty Blender

To use them both you need to soak them, really thoroughly, with cold water. I do this under running water from the tap, squeezing and expanding them til they’re fully soaked then I squeeze all the water out and press between a towel to really make sure there’s no excess water.

When they’re dry, the BB does feel a little bit more firm to me. But when I wet them, I really couldn’t tell a difference. I tried really hard – I held them both up and closed my eyes and squeezed many times like some insane swami. I really couldn’t tell a difference.

Let’s get started. Here’s my no-makeup-just-moisturizer face.

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Hormonal pigmentation at its finest

I used one of my favorite liquid foundations, the YSL Fusion Ink foundation. I despise the applicator on this bottle (it is basically a stick?) so I poured some out onto my palette (ie the inner lid part of a Mason jar).

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First up I did the right side of my face with the RT sponge. I dabbed a little of the product on my face in key areas first. For both these products it’s best to use a patting, dabbing, pressing motion. Daubing? Is that a thing? Idk. This gives the best result in terms of a flawless finish. I used the flat section for the larger parts of my face like my cheeks, and the pointy bit for nearer my eyes and each side of my nose, and the rounder side for my temples and jawline (on the jawline I used a little more of a gentle, short swiping motion to bring the foundation down my neck a little bit).

2015-08-19 14.31.51Pretty good coverage IMO!

I forgot to take a pic of that side with no makeup, sorry. But here’s the left side without makeup:

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Here’s a “during” shot of using the beauty blender on the left side:

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Why do I have a Justin Bieber expression on my face?

So you can see that I’ve dabbed a little foundation on my face first and I’m pressing it against my skin in quick motions to blend it out. If you have a foundation that dries fast you will need to do this in sections.

Here’s the left side done:

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Also pretty amazing coverage – it’s hard to say which is best but if I had to make a call, I’d say the side with the beauty blender. I will say though, that I found the beauty blender a little slower on the blending. It took me a little longer. I’m wondering if that’s because the surface area touching your skin is a little smaller with the BB? I’m not sure, but it’s super negligible and I wouldn’t even consider it a problem it’s just something to note.

So here’s the side by side of just foundation done:

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And here’s the finished face makeup + brows:

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My conclusive thoughts are that these are both really excellent products. There is one major difference though, and that’s the price. In the USA you can get both these from a bunch of places (for example from Sephora) but it retails for $20 so it’s up there in price. I have heard too that with frequent washing (which you should ABSOLUTELY DO by the way – every time you use it, it’s a wet sponge and it can harbour nasties!) it starts to come apart but that might be a result of washing too vigorously. It also fades and the color runs but meh, no biggie. The RT complexion sponge you can get for $6 (from official site). Less even on places like iHerb.com. So the price difference is enormous and I’m not 100% sure that the BB is worth the extra $14.

In Australia you can find the BB at CrushCosmetics for $27, and the RT Complexion Sponge at Priceline for $16.99 if you can’t wait for shipping, or on iHerb.com for $8.20 (in fact you can get the two-pack on iHerb for less than the cost of one at Priceline. iHerb owns). So the price difference is ridiculous. Based on that alone I will probably repurchase the RT sponge and not the BB. It’s not that great!

A note on washing: use something like baby shampoo or I know some swear by Dr Bronners Castille soap bars (I’m going to get some today!) as a dupe for the official beautyblender cleansing bar. You want something thoroughly clarifying, I’m not sure face wash would do the job. Wet, damp environments attract bacteria so make sure you do this every time you use it – wash it under a warm tap, adding a little cleanser when it gets squeezed out until the water goes clear. This goes for both products.

So is it a dupe? I think yes. They’re almost identical. A more sophisticated user may think differently but for me they’re basically the same and the price point makes the RT sponge the clear winner.

I hope you enjoyed this! Let me know if I should do more things like this in the future.

Love++
F&V

Review / How To: Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette (+ a Word on Photography Apps)

So wow, hasn’t the internet been blowing up about this palette!? As a smoky eye lover, I was pretty excited when Urban Decay announced it.

However, I really wanted to be sensible about this rather large purchase ($54 at Sephora) so I thought about it carefully. I also wanted to swatch all the colors to see if there were any duds (I have found some UD shades to be really chalky and chunky in the past).

Last Friday I was in Burlington, VT and woke up in my hotel room with a sense of excitement. I knew today was the day. UD Naked Smoky day! I was going to see it in real life and maybe, if we were compatible, it would come home with me. Ahhhh!

Aaanyway, I looked it up online that morning and it looked like the Burlington Sephora didn’t have any in stock which was kind of horrifying but I decided to check it out anyway because I wanted to pick up some of the TooFaced Hangover Primer (which incidentally was NOT in stock). Wouldn’t you know it, when I walked in to the Sephora inside JCPenney the first thing I saw was a beautiful display piled high with light grey, beautiful boxes full of joy and happiness AHHH! Ok calm down Fran *deep breaths*

The SA asked if she could help and I said YES and asked to see the insides of the palette. She presented an open one to me like the precious treasure that it was – with reverence and deference and respectfully downcast eyes. As I swatched the shadows, I got more and more excited. They were gorgeous. Pigmented, smooth, buttery.. you know, I really never understood what that adjective meant with regards to makeup until that moment. But now I do.

Natch, I bought it. And it owns. Allow me to explain.

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So I don’t need to tell you guys about the Urban Decay Naked palette history. Everyone knows they’re the most popular “neutrals” palettes on the planet. This is actually my first one though! I had Naked Basics 2 but I never used it, I wasn’t a huge fan. But this one, I really love. Maybe that’s because I always gravitate towards a more dramatic eye look? Who knows. But anyway, let’s get to the swatchin’.

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Top to bottom: Thirteen, Combust [these are hard to see, they’re both very light], Whiskey, Password, Smolder, Black Market, Dagger, Slanted, Armor, Radar, Dirtysweet, High.

There’s a good mix of matte and shimmer shades here. Black Market is ALMOST matte, it’s got a very very light sheen to it that’s barely there. Password, Whiskey, Combust and Thirteen are all matte. The rest are shimmery. The only one that doesn’t really do it for me is High, it’s a little on the chunky side and therefore needs to be carefully worked with which isn’t really ideal for the inner corner (where I think High would be best used). The rest are just glorious and I love them all.

I have done three looks with this palette so far, I’ll talk them through one by one.

Look 1:

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For this one I laid down a base of Combust over the entire lid up to the browbone using the RT 200 brush (or any large shadow brush), then using the brush that came with the palette (the pointy end – from now on this brush will be called the NS brush) I added some of Armor to the inner corner, leaving the center of the lid bare, then with the other end of the NS brush I added Armor to the outer corner as well. I did this in a couple of layers, building up the color til I had as much pigmentation as I wanted. I also used the pointy end to wrap a little of Armor around under the lower lashline and smudged it out. I then used the blending brush end to blend Armor into Combust, but taking care not to blend too far into the center part of the lid. I then used a flat eyeshadow brush to add Dirtysweet to the center section, really laying down a decent amount of color. Back to the blending brush to blend those two colors at the edges, not completely, just so there were no harsh lines. I made sure that all the colors were nicely blended upwards and out at the outer corner. I added a little bit of Password to the outer corner, as a bit of a transition shade to make sure that Armor blended out smoothly. Then I carefully lined my upper lashline and lower lashline (leaving the center bare again) with the UD Perversion eyeliner but any black eyeliner will do just fine for this – it happens to be my favorite so that’s what I used. I again grabbed the pointy end and smudged that out, added mascara (IT Cosmetics Tightline) then I was done.

The advantage of doing this is that the center of your lid is lighter, meaning that your eyes stay more open looking especially if like me you have small, deep-set eyes. Plus it’s just a really cool effect!

Look 2:

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This one’s obviously a lot darker, and you can already see that it makes my eyes look more closed and small. I don’t really mind, it’s just something to note compared to the first look.

For this I laid down a base of black cream shadow – Maybelline Color Tattoo in Dramatic Black using my fingers and blending out with a MAC 217 just to make sure the colors really stood out and had something to stick to. I then used Password all over the lid fairly lightly then added Smolder over the top, both with the NS blending end, which is a really cool purpleish color. I then picked up some Black Market and blended that in little circles on the outer corner again with the blending end of the NS brush. I used Black Market to wrap around the lower outer lashline as well with the pointy end. I added a little bit of Slanted on the inner corner using the pointy end of the NS brush just to add some reflection and light. I again picked up the UD Perversion liner and lined my upper lashline and lower lashline/waterline, and then used the pointy end to smudge this out and pull a little out for a wing on the outer corner. I used a q-tip to clean up the outside corner,  giving the wing area a little more sharpness. Again with the same mascara and I was done.

Look 3:

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My husband was making me laugh with this – he wouldn’t get out of the background of my selfies! :3

So I toned it down a little for this one, just a little, there’s still some smoke there. I used the RT 200 brush again to do a base of Whiskey over the mobile lid, then used Radar over the whole lid with the blender end. Radar is a really cool reflective warm brown shade, I really like it. I picked up some Armor (probably my favorite shade, it’s a gorgeous cool greyish brown shimmer) for the outer corner to add some more depth then used the same shade to wrap under my outer corner lashline using the pointy end of the NS brush. I added some of Slanted in the inner corner, but it wasn’t really light enough so I also added some High. I own the UD 24/7 liner in Whiskey to match the eyeshadow shade so I used that to lightly line my upper and lower lashline and dragged it out again to form a bit of a wing – though now that I see the close-up pictures on my computer I could have done a better job of that! To finish off I added Thirteen on the browbone just to make sure that was looking all nice and bright.

I tried a new mascara with this look, the fancy one I got with this month’s boxycharm (MDMflow Greater Than Mascara) and lemme tell you, it is garbage. As you can see in the picture it basically does nothing. Not impressed at all. It’s expensive too! Glad I didn’t pay for it because it truly sucks. Boxycharm actually had to send out an email with a set of instructions on how to “prime” it (shake it and pump the wand a lot) but even with doing that, it’s bad. Bad bad bad!

So those are my three looks. The possibilities really are endless with this palette. It’s super versatile. I’m so happy I bought it. I can really see myself getting a lot of use out of this palette!

Now onto another thing I wanted to discuss. I was watching a beauty youtuber the other day as she talked through how she takes her selfies and how she edits them. She said that she relied a lot on an app called FaceTune to make her skin look flawless and get rid of imperfections, and to change the shape of her nose a little bit. This kinda surprised me and I knew I needed to check out this app myself, she was raving about it!

So I checked it out and let me tell you something: this app is evil. This app is the One Ring. It has the potential to be used for good but the point is that most of us don’t have the will to use it that way. I made an example for you guys.

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HOLY SHIT I LOOK AMAZING I NEED THIS APP FOR REAL LIFE

Pretty big difference and about 15 seconds of work. EVIL APP! My husband and I discussed whether it was even ethical to use it for blog pictures. I also talked it through with my dollies (friends on a forum where there’s a makeup/beauty thread) and the same conclusion was reached: that if the product being reviewed is being altered by an app like this, that’s bad and wrong. For example, if I’m reviewing a foundation and I use this app to blend out some imperfections then that’s really dishonest. A few people said that they like my blog BECAUSE I don’t do any of that stuff, I don’t over-edit my images (or really edit them at all tbh but that’s partly because I have no idea how) and they can see how these products look on a real person rather than someone who has ‘shopped their pictures to infinity. Is that to say that I won’t ever use it? No. I might use it to blur out an imperfection that’s unrelated to the product I’m discussing. For example if I do an eye look and have a pimple that is distractingly huge, or if my melasma is really dark, or if I have red marks or little baby hairs around my lip area (because I’m human) and I feel they detract from the lip product I’m reviewing, then I might minimally use this app or a similar one to bring those down a notch or two.

It would be so easy to use this app for every photo I take. My self-esteem is begging me to use it. I wish I could use it for everything and feel “right” about it, but I just don’t.

That is my promise to you, dear readers. I’ll never use an app like this to lie to you or stretch the truth. I’ll never give you unrealistic impressions or expectations about how a product will perform or look. My skin will never be perfect and the better work for me to do is to a) become more okay with that; b) improve my photography skills and c) improve my makeup application skills! I hope we can all learn and grow together.

Don’t judge those makeup bloggers for using apps like FaceTune. It’s so easy to understand why they do it. I get it, and I am sending them all a lot of love in the hope they can one day apply it to themselves, from themselves.

Until next time!

Love++
F&V

How To: Lipstick Application Tricks and Techniques

Lipstick! If you follow me on instagram or anything like that you’ll know that I frickin love lipstick. I LOVE IT. I wear it all the time, mostly pinks and reds but I’m starting to learn to love berry/purpleish shades as well.

Admittedly, I’ve always just kinda had a knack for putting on lipstick. I remember someone saying that to me when I was in my early 20s. “How come you always put lipstick on so fast and it turns out perfect?” I don’t know. I didn’t realise that until then. Honestly, I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I have large lips: I have a greater margin for error.

Today I’m going to talk about a few different things. Lipliner, lipstick, liquid lipstick and lip crayons. I’m not going to go into too much detail on each product because I already did that in the lip series.

Before I put on any kind of lipstick I always make sure my lips are really well moisturized. Especially if you’re going to wear a long-wear lipstick, this is really important unless you want to be super uncomfortable pretty fast. I use good old Lanolips, or any ChapStick balm etc – whatever you want. I usually put that on at the beginning of my makeup application so it has time to absorb. There’s also a lot of lip primers you can get, I use the MAC one and I’m not really sure that it makes any difference but I use it anyway. It’s kind of a silicone-y feeling product, it’s possible that it fills in lines so that the lipstick can smooth over the top but I’m really not sure. Anyway it’s not important. Just make sure your lips are exfoliated (use a q-tip with some lip balm, or a fancy lip scrub, or some sugar and olive oil if you want) and hydrated.

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Pls do not judge me for not putting anything but foundation and concealer on. I’m not even sorry.

First up let’s talk about lipliner. If you want a really long lasting application I strongly recommend using lipliner. It gives a good foundation for your application and can really help you to create a perfectly defined outer line. However, I think it’s best to colour in the entire lip and not just the outline.

For lipliner, I really feel like you can’t go past MAC. I have used MAC Cherry for my red lipsticks for years. It’s a great all-rounder.

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I always start with my cupid’s bow when I do my lip line. It’s the hardest part, IMO, so you want to do it when the pencil is at its sharpest (I always sharpen my lipliners before I use them, I know it’s wasteful but it makes a huge difference). I like to make a semi-smile and trace the edges carefully. You don’t want to smile so hard that your lips stretch out – this can result in a warped line. Just enough so that the skin at the edge of your lips doesn’t catch while you draw the line.

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So that’s how I start. One great thing I learned about lipliner is that it’s not about drawing in one straight, continuous, perfect line. What are you, superhuman? Nobody can do that! You want to use short, careful strokes to draw a line that follows your lips. Don’t try to do it all at once. Continue this all the way around the lipline. Make sure you go into the corners, if you’re like me and your lipline really narrows in at the corners, be careful and precise in these areas – use a light hand.

2015-07-08 17.02.45So cute.

Then just use the flat side of the crayon to fill in the rest of the lip. You could use the tip but it would take you forever. Aint nobody got time for that.

2015-07-08 17.04.58All filled in. This is just lipliner. You could go out like this if you wanted!

So then we go in with our lipstick. If you want, you can apply it straight from the bullet. That’s what I do most of the time. This, unfortunately isn’t really something I can give you any help with.  It just takes practice. I use the same “smile-ish” strategy to stop my lips from pulling and tugging too much, and I always do my cupid’s bow first. Usually I’ll do my upper lip then stamp my lips together to add some color to my lower lip.

But today we’re going to talk about applying with a lip brush. Do you have to do this? No of course not, lots of people go through their whole makeup wearing lives not using a lip brush but I like it for making a super long-wearing lip. It works the color into the lip so that it really stains. It also enables you to be more precise. To do this, I take the lip brush and just get some off the bullet onto the brush.

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Then, starting at the cupid’s bow, I carefully apply the color to the lip.

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When I go into the corners, I just use the edges of the brush, or the tip of the brush to carefully add color only where it’s needed. You can open your mouth a little wider here, so you can see better. The key is just to be careful.

When you go along the bottom edge of the lip, I do find it better to turn the brush and go on the side. This makes it easier to drag the brush down and make a straight line. But again – feel free to use shorter strokes so you are less likely to make mistakes.

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But guess what! If you do make a mistake you can fix it super easily. Just grab a q-tip with a little makeup remover (I like micellar water for this task) and run it along the lipline where the issue is. While you’re running it along the lipline, slowly turn it as well so that you’re not rubbing the lipstick everywhere. Don’t ever use the same end of a q-tip twice. TRUST me. And you know what? Most makeup artists will tell you that they do this on almost every single client. Mistakes happen – clean up carefully and don’t make it worse if you can help it!

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Once you’ve brushed over the whole lip, it’s time to blot. Grab a tissue and fold it in half then press it lightly between your lips. Don’t press too hard or you’ll smudge everything. After that I usually do another layer of lipstick, just with the bullet to add a final layer of color opacity. Done!

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Yeah look I didn’t do a single thing with my hair but it’s not because I don’t love you, ok?

Ok so let’s move on to liquid lipsticks. These are definitely harder to apply, there is no arguing with that. They can be messy, and therefore tricky. Some people still like to use a lip brush to apply these, for the sake of precision. Feel free to do that. I don’t though, because I’m like super rebellious and stuff.

First up, again make sure your lips are hydrated. Liquid lipsticks, though the name suggests otherwise, are often very drying. This means that they’re very long lasting but they do require your lips to be in great shape.

To get started, once again I always start with the cupid’s bow.

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Then just slowly and carefully make your way around the edges.

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Now go into the corners. My strategy with liquid lipstick is to juuuuust touch the wand to the corners of my lips. Any more pressure than that causes mess. I also don’t stretch my mouth too wide open because this makes the lipstick cover more surface area than it needs to. You might need to open your mouth a little but don’t go nuts.

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Same rules apply if you make a mistake. Just clean up the edge with some makeup remover on a q-tip or on a flat definer brush like so:

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One thing I did here was deepen my cupid’s bow a little. As you can see here, I overdrew it a smidge (kinda looks like my lipline goes straight across at the top) and wanted to make sure it was well defined:

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So I just took a finger (make sure it’s clean of lipstick!), pressed it to the area of skin above my cupid’s bow and dragged it downwards towards the lip. I hope that makes sense!

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I forgot to take an after, but I did take this ridiculous shot, ENJOY!

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You can add another layer on top of this if you want but I sometimes find that makes things too chunky and thick. By the way, for this I used Kat von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in “Outlaw”.

Next I want to talk about lip crayons. These generally have a little less color payoff but they are very easy to use. Kinda like a giant lip liner! So they’re a 2-in1. My favourite ones are the NARS Lip Pencils. Today I used Dragon Girl which is a Velvet Matte lip pencil.

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Again let’s make sure it’s nice and sharp before we start, and our lips are nice and hydrated. Now just use the tip of the crayon to go around the edges of the lips then use the flat of the crayon to color in the lips. Build it up until you get the level of color you want.

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What’s that? Oh why yes, it is incredibly intimidating to post close-ups of your less-than-perfect skin. Thanks for asking! Anyway, shit’s gotta get done right?

Et voila!

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So those are main techniques I use. Another thing I want to mention is a great technique I use when I really just want a very light wash of color. Basically you just want to get a little lipstick on your finger, straight from the bullet is fine, and “pat” it into the lips. You can build this up into quite a deep stain if you want, but I usually wear it quite sheer.

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You can wear it just like that:

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Or you can add a gloss if that’s your thing:

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Some other tidbits: the suck your finger thing. That’s to remove lipstick that might be on the inside area of your lips and could transfer to your teeth. I don’t bother with it, but if you find that your lips are shaped such that you get lipstick on your teeth, feel free to do that before you finish up your lipstick. Just try to only touch the inside of your lips to your finger and not your whole lips or you’ll ruin your hard work! Do you have to powder your lipstick? No, and honestly I wouldn’t, you’re just adding product which can make your lipstick really chunky.

Remember, the bottom line is that everyone’s lip shape is different. You learn about your own by practicing. I’m sorry! I wish I had the perfect-lipstick-every-time answers but I don’t.

I really hope that answers some questions about lip products.

Playtime Wednesday: Mineral Makeup, Black Liner, Lipstick and Unboxings..

This is going to be a bit of a mishmash!

A couple of weeks back, one of my lovely friends, Evelyn, who created Mineralis Cosmetics – an indie makeup brand based in the UK, asked if she could send me some of her products. I told her that would be lovely, as long as it was okay with her that I was 100% honest in my blog. Evelyn happily agreed, she has a lot of faith in her products.

With good reason. They arrived this week and I used them the next day for a full day of work. Evelyn sent 2 shades in case I needed to mix them and a translucent powder in a gorgeous little purple drawstring bag. Cutest!

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Mineral makeup has always been a bit of a mystery to me. I don’t get it. It’s just a powder? How does it work? Do you just dust it on? Do you mix it with water (yes, I literally thought this)? Evelyn patiently explained that I should apply it with a flat topped brush, after applying a dusting of the translucent powder in my oilier areas. So that’s what I did. I used no primer, just some moisturizer which I put on half an hour before I applied the makeup. I mixed the two shades together, which gave the perfect shade (well done Evelyn!). I dusted a little translucent powder again over the top. I used no concealer at all. Below is a picture of the freshly applied makeup and the 6pm appearance – no touchups.

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Different light – sorry! I tried!

There’s a totally normal amount of shine on my nose and the makeup has absorbed into my face a little bit but again that’s totally normal – my face likes to eat makeup. Even the absolute best and longest wearing makeup would be failing by that point. My t-zone is oily and makeup is not infallible despite what L’Oreal likes to tell us!

I played again today this time just adding a little bit of under-eye concealer before I put the foundation on. I did a before and after so you can see the amount of coverage with just a single “layer” application. Not bad for ground up rocks, huh?

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Before and after mineral makeup application

I’m going to keep trying this stuff out and seeing how it goes. So far I’m super impressed. These foundations are 6GBP which is drugstore prices for a great quality product. The translucent powder is 6.5GBP and you only need such a little bit, it’s a bargain. I really recommend checking Mineralis out! Link in first paragraph.

I decided after that that I’d play with the Maybelline Kajal black liner. I hardly ever line my entire eyes anymore, so as not to make my eyes look smaller. I then used a pencil brush to smudge everything out. Fun!

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Wow such dark so mystery

Then I dug around in my lipstick collection and re-discovered MAC’s “All Fired Up” retro-matte lipstick. This lipstick is SO MATTE that I sometimes find it hard to wear, which is why it doesn’t get pulled out very often. But the color is great so I put a bunch of balm on, waited a bit then applied the lipstick and it’s wearing really nicely so far.

FullSizeRender(1)Love dis red

I mean look at this color. It’s like a light, pinkyish red. I blurred out the edges with a q-tip, I’ve been into that lately, just to make the edges a little less stark.

I got my BoxyCharm today which was, tbh, kinda disappointing. It’s meant to be a luxury box and maybe it is but the only exciting thing to me is the Oscar Blandi silk serum. I waited all damn month (they billed me on the 1st of June) for this?!

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Ipsy was way better and half the price. But I might just be saying that because the Ipsy bag came with a brow pencil by IT Cosmetics which is a brand I like. It’s a great pencil too! I don’t like the nail polish though. I disagree with the “gel effect” claim, it chipped like less than 24 hours after wearing it.

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Anyway that’s my Wednesday of playing around and trying things out, and revisiting some favorites. I hope yours was nice! Have a great week, readers.

Love+++
F&V

Mini Reviews: New Lip Products at the Drugstore

This week I bought two new lip products at the drugstore with mixed results. The mix is that one of them is amazing and one of them is disappointing.

I’ll get the disappointing one out of the way first. Look, this is partly my fault. I saw something gimmicky and I knew I had to have it. When will I learn? It’s the Maybelline ColorBlur Cream Matte Pencil & Smudger. GASP! I know. I love Maybelline. They’ve never steered me wrong in the past. But this product is just silly – or I don’t get it. It’s hard to tell with me sometimes, I know. Please illuminate me if you think I’m doing it wrong!

Basically it’s a wind-up pencil (which in itself is a stretch, it’s a slim bullet rather than a pencil) with a weird.. eraser.. thing.. on the other end. Observe:

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Ummm.

One end is literally eraser material I’m not joking. So I guess what you’re meant to do is kind of put a bit on the inside areas of your lips then.. blend out with the eraser end? I really didn’t like it. For one thing the formula felt really bad, it immediately dried out my lips and spreading it thinner definitely didn’t help. It was patchy and hard to blend which is weird because isn’t that the point? I don’t get it. It looked weird and bad. See?

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This isn’t my impressed face

I mean, I feel like you could grab any good-formula-having lip product in your collection and blend it out with your finger and you’d get a way better effect. Gimmicky and weird. And it doesn’t last. Lemme tell you one thing Maybelline, if you’re gonna make me use a drying lip product it had best stay put all damn day. This didn’t. I think I reapplied like 5 times at work. Not cool Maybelline – I’m glad I had a lip gloss in my bag that I could put over the top or I would have gone mad. NEXT.

Ahhhh, this is better. Recently L’Oreal released a set of red lipsticks called “Color Riche Collection Exclusive Reds“. There are six in the set, they’re based on what a few celebrities consider their favorite, go-to reds. I picked up “Frieda’s Red”. And ooooh my god Frieda you nailed it. First up the packaging is glorious, it’s quite luxe even though it’s just matte black plastic. The gold accents and solid-click lid really do it for me!

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You may have noticed by now that it’s actually pink. GOOD JOB YOU! It is pink but sometimes people’s favorite reds are actually pinks, who am I to argue I say. I love a good pink lipstick and this one is glorious. It’s SO bright, rich and pigmented. It’s a satin finish (claims to be matte but I don’t agree) which is nice when your lips are a little on the dry side. It goes on beautifully and stays put if you do a couple of coats and blot (just the usual, no special technique required). My friend over at All That Frou Frou did a great review on a couple of the other colors (and this one) – check it out by clicking the link! If you’re not following ATFF already you bloody well should be, I’m telling you, girl is smart, gorgeous and knows her shit.

Anyway, I loved this lipstick so I did some silly poses out of sheer glee and frivolity.

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Needs more lifted eyebrow IMHO

This is an absolute winner for me, super creamy and pigmented but long lasting. I will probably pick up some of the other colors in this range.

These were both around the $9-11 mark at CVS. The L’Oreal product is definitely available in Australia. I’m not totally sure about the Maybelline one but I wouldn’t link you anyway, it’s not a good product IMHO.

Until next time!

Love+++
F&V

Beauty Packaging: The Likes, the Loves, the Hates, the “Why-Does-It-Matter?”s

I started out planning this post with just a couple of ideas in mind and a couple of products that really stuck out to me as good or bad examples of packaging. Then, as I went through my collection for further inspiration, this happened:

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D:

Oops. Oh well, I’ll try to keep this short!

I got some great advice, inspiration and thoughts from my friends before I started writing this post. A lot of people had great points and things I hadn’t considered in regards to packaging so I’m going to include those things in here too.

Of course, the one thing we all want from our product packaging most of all is that it protects its contents. No one wants to spend heaps of money on something and then have it get broken or fall out or get damaged in other ways. But there are other considerations, too. For example, someone on my Facebook brought up environmental friendliness as an important point and that’s so true. She nominated a favorite product of hers, the Wonderbar (NZ$25 / US$17~ plus shipping) from NZ company Sorbet as a good example and from what I have read, I agree. What a great idea. The packaging of this solid conditioner bar (great for a leg shaving cream as well, I’m told, so multifunctional too!) is not only minimal it literally dissolves in water. How fantastic! I can’t wait to try this product myself, which I will do at some point. This packaging reminds me of the Lush solid products, which are just paper wrapped. Lush generally is one of the best ranges for environmentally friendly packaging so it’s great to see companies that are going one step further.

Moving on to the products. These aren’t in any particular order.

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Kat Von D’s “Shade & Light” contouring palette

This is a great palette, I like it a lot. I’m still learning how to use it but I’m having fun with it. I love Kat Von D products, I really do, as a tattooed person I love the tattoo script and dark, gothic aesthetic. Fun fact: Kat Von D designs all the packaging for her products and draws all the diagrams and tutorial images that come with some of her more complex products (like this one and the Shade & Light Eye palette).

Pros: not a tonne of excess packaging, doesn’t fingerprint easily, great mirror, attractive design, magnetic closure to keep it closed, feels sturdy.
Cons: could be sturdier (it’s a sort of coated cardboard material), magnet isn’t super strong so there’s no satisfying “snap” closure, a little heavy so might not be travel-friendly.

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Hourglass “Ambient Lighting Powder” palette

I have a mixed relationship with these powders themselves, sometimes I think rather than making me look infused with light and glow, they make me look a bit oily. But that might be how I’m using them or where I’m placing them. But anyway, the packaging is lovely like all the Hourglass products.

Pros: very light packaging that still feels sturdy so it’s great for travel, has a press-button closure so it stays closed, minimalist branding, the not-black color means fingerprints don’t show up all that much.
Cons: useless mirror, this is a personal thing but I prefer my products to be more squared off instead of rounded, it makes them easier to store. That’s pretty much it, it’s great packaging!

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Too Faced “Sweetheart” bronzer

I wanted this when it first came out but I was still scared of bronzer so I didn’t buy it. Then it was half-off when I was at Ulta once so I grabbed it because how could I not? Anyway, I love this cute packaging. I got the shade “Carrie & Big” which is a lighter bronzer with a more coral blush.

Pros: cute as heck, shiny when clean, good mirror, light – for a short trip you could take this and you’d have bronzer and blush in one.
Cons: not particularly sturdy, the closure relies just on a light magnet, the roundness / non-squareness thing again, shows fingerprints.

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Stila “Eyes are the Window” palette

I already raved about this in my favorites so I won’t go on too much but I love this palette!

Pros: GORGEOUS and shiny, very sturdy and feels like good quality, amazing mirror.
Cons: fairly heavy, shows up grime and fingerprints very easily, also this has not happened to me but some have had the individual shadows fall out of the palette.

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NARS “Audacious” lipstick

I love these lipsticks and now I have five of them. That’s a problem because each side of the gorgeous matte-black lipstick casing has a letter on it (N A R S) and now I have N A R S N.. you know what this means.. just kidding. Sorta. The best thing about this packaging is the amazing magnetic “click” closure. It’s so cool. You put the lipstick lid back on and as it gets closer to being closed the magnet engages and snaps on. It’s great and the packaging is magnetic on the outside too so they sit together tightly if you have them in the right order etc. Anyway..

Pros: cool magnetic closure, matte-black colour, fun and gimmicky design which is my jam.
Cons: shows up fingerprints, is quite large for lipstick packaging, doesn’t fit in a small purse pocket easily.

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NARS blush

I love NARS blushes. I really do. They’re so pigmented and lovely but not TOO pigmented where the blending work is difficult. The names are a little sketchy (this one is called Deep Throat) but whatever we’re all adults here.

Pros: super slim, good sturdy press closure, cool matte black packaging color.
Cons: shows up fingerprints, can’t see blush through the packaging so you have to pick up and turn over each one to make sure you have the right color blush.

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Maybelline “Instant Age Rewind” under-eye concealer

This packaging I don’t love. I do like the product a lot, the coverage is great and it’s really blendable so it’s a great choice for me. But there are hygiene issues here. The applicator is a sponge and you turn the top to click up more product into the sponge, then you apply it straight onto your face. I don’t like this. So I usually squidge some out onto my hand if I’m going to be applying it to my problem areas in case there’s broken skin that I don’t want to get germs into.

Pros: Slimline, sturdy, glass packaging, it’s easy to see how much you have left.
Cons: Not very hygienic, sponge means there’s some wastage.

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ColourPop Cosmetics Products – lippie stix and eyeshadows

This particular brand is what I was waiting for to do this post. Most things they sell are around $5 which is so cool! But every time I had seen them used I just thought how cheap and tacky the packaging looked. And for $5, I guess that’s kind of what you get, huh? But when the stuff arrived I was actually pretty impressed. Yes it’s plain, and white, and boring but it doesn’t FEEL cheap or fragile and it looks much nicer in real life than it does in YouTubes etc.

Pros: minimalist (therefore cheap), feels sturdy, lids screw / snap on very securely.
Cons: let’s be honest, it doesn’t look that nice and the eyeshadow containers are kind of unnecessarily big and bulky I think.

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Besame “Vanilla Brightening Powder”

The packaging of this is super cute as you can see. The powder is nice too, finely milled and brightening as described. It comes with a little puff that sits in another “layer” of plastic (shown above) so it doesn’t sit in the powder all the time. Clever!

Pros: Cute and attractive packaging, lid screws on securely, puff has its own little container section.
Cons: The sifter holes are WAY TOO FRICKIN’ SMALL and it drives me crazy, I have to tap a lot of times to get enough out to do anything and that’s annoying anyway. You can’t tap it with the lid closed because there’s no space for the powder to tap into due to the space taken up by the puff so you have to tap it into the lid. Annoying.

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Bourjois “Healthy Balance” pressed powder

Love this stuff, I’ve raved about it before I don’t need to tell you how good it is. A staple in my makeup daily use.

Pros: super slimline packaging, fantastic for keeping in your purse and for travel, great mirror, stays closed because the hinge is firm enough.
Cons: literally none.

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Hada Labo Skin Plumping Gel Creme

This product is lovely. It’s a hyaluronic acid moisturizer so it’s extremely hydrating and nourishing, and I often wear it to bed when my skin feels really dry. But boy oh boy do I hate the packaging, so much. It’s mostly acrylic and it’s totally unnecessarily bulky. It’s also unhygienic – I wish every skincare product was in a pump pack even though sometimes it’s hard to get the last dregs out. I don’t want to be putting my finger in something all the time, and I hate wasting a q-tip by dipping one in every single night. At the moment because I’m dotting a little of my Kate Somerville acne treatment on with the other end, it doesn’t feel as wasteful but STILL.

Pros: feels quite solid I guess
Cons: basically everything else. Takes up heaps of room, is way too big for the amount of product, is heavy and not travel friendly, is unhygienic.

So that’s that! Bit boring I know, but it’s been brewing away in my head for awhile and I’m glad I got it out there.

Love+++
F&V