September 30, 2009
September 29, 2009
I know I talk about high-end products a lot, with the exception of that post where I told you about the drugstore products I regularly use.
Now I wanted to address something else: how to dupe high-end products with drugstore stuff. I realize I don’t look for dupes enough. I have a lot of things in my stash that could be used as dupe for new collection items, which would be smarter than rushing to the department store and getting the novelties. Well, same principle applies with the drugstore: better look there first.
Duping Mac MSF’s, Mineralize Blushes and Eyeshadows.
Prestige now has a mineral branch, surprisingly called Prestige Minerals. They have 3 baked bronzers and 4 baked blushes that can totally compare with Mac well-known MSF’s and mineral blushes. They work really well and I completely recommend them.
For people who like mineral eyeshadows, they are also offering eyeshadow quads. I don’t have much experience with these, I have one with neutral colors and it’s not very pigmented but I haven’t tried applying them wet. They’re worth a look anyway.
Duping Urban Decay 24/7 liners.
Bourjois has a great selection of pencil liners, particularly in the Clubbing line. These are as good as the UD ones, very smooth and pigmented. I know Bourjois can be quite expensive in the US but in Europe they are a drugstore brand, so it’s easy to find their products for a reasonable price.
Duping Nars Blushes.
Again Bourjois is great. They have been making blushes for over a century and have a very pretty collection where you can find good alternatives for Orgasm and other famous blushes. Plus, the boxes are super cute, which is always a bonus.
Duping Mac Studio Fix Fluid Foundation
I know this isn’t fresh news but Revlon ColorStay foundation is a perfect drugstore alternative. The shade selection is smaller though, but you can always mix 2 shades to get a better match.
Duping Mac Dazzleglasses and Lipglosses.
Gosh have a very good selection of lipglosses. The regular ones, in the round tubes, look very much like the Mac Lipglosses, and they have the same vanilla scent. Even more exciting, they have perfect dazzleglass dupes: Light’n Shine Lip Glazes. These come in a square shaped tube. When you apply it, there’s a little blue light shining at the base of the brush (which is inside the tap, obviously) and there’s a little mirror on one side of the tube. That’s a bit gimmicky of course, but the product itself is great.
Duping Mac Shadesticks.
Again, Gosh has a great product here in the form of their waterproof eyeshadow pencils. They come with a wide range of colors, great pigmentation and they really are waterproof.
Duping Nars Laguna bronzer.
Barry M compact bronzer! It’s a great product and even the packaging is close to the Nars one. If you don’t have access to Barry M in your country, you can order online as they ship internationally and have reasonable shipping prices.
Duping Mac pigments.
Two alternatives here: Barry M Dazzle Dusts(over 90 colors, all very pigmented, what more could you want?) and Gosh Effect Powders (the selection is smaller but the product is great).
Duping Mac Fix+.
Get a toner and a small plastic bottle with spritzer, put the toner in it and viola! This works as great as Fix+ but is way cheaper. If you have access to it, Nivea Moisturizing Toner is excellent for this purpose.
September 28, 2009
Do you think that using professional hair care ranges makes an actual difference to the condition of your hair or do you think drugstore products do the job just as well?
So to make it helpful here is my hair bio:
Hair type: Thick and naturally wavy
Breakage history: Had a trim 2 months ago because since I have been growing my hair and straightening almost every day, I have done a bit of damage to it, unfortunately.
Hair issue: Oily roots and dry ends, so I actually wash my hair every day.
Professional or drugstore?: I have used drugstore for a long time but have found that I always end up getting irritations on the scalp or other problems. The last few years I have been using professional products from the L'Oreal Professional line and I don't have that kind of problem anymore.
The only drugstore products I still use are hairsprays (Garnier) or pommade (Nivea Hair Care or Studio Line) because I very rarely use them.
For coloring, I also use professional products, e.g. semi-permanent colors from the Diacolor range.
September 21, 2009
But then I read about Korres Primer and the fact that it is 100% organic (and certified), silicone free but also paraben free, alcohol free, mineral oil free and vegan - among other things. It also contains vitamine E. Definitely worth a try.
The product description claims that this prime moisturizes (it can be used on its own), brightens skin and improves it, and fills fine lines.
I don't know about its brightening/skin improving/moisturizing qualities because I have good skin already (despite the fact that my t-zone is oily) and I use it over my moisturizer. But the primer function, that works great.
Never in my life has my face looked so good 10 hours after applying makeup - I barely need a little powder touch-up on the nose and forehead.
My skin is very sensitive and prone to allergic reactions but I don't have any problem with this. Oh, and it smells great, which is always a bonus. Since you only need a pearl size amount to do the whole face, the tube goes a long way.
So I am now using a natural, organic primer on a daily basis and looking good all day, what more could I want?
September 18, 2009
So here are my September favourites already:
Estee Lauder Purifying exfoliator and DayWear cream for combination skin: these two combined are really making my skin look great at the moment. Yesterday I had a dull skin day, I exfoliated and moisturized really well yesterday night and this morning everything is back to normal!
Chanel foundations : I am currently alternating between Pro Lumiere and Mat Lumiere. Although I have a preference for Pro Lumiere which has more coverage and a nicer perfume, it is often too dewy for long days at work. Mat Lumiere makes a better job at not making me look greasy at the end of my office day. Plus it has a night sheer and is not flat matte. However I know that comes the Winter, I'll need more moisture and Pro Lumiere will probably become my most used one.
YSL Faux-Cils effect mascara: I ♥♥♥ it! It separates the lashes, lenghtens them like crazy and is so easily built up to what looks like a set of false lashes! And I love the smell! I just regret that it's so expensive (23€) and that the packaging is a bit tacky but I really think this is going to be my HG mascara!
Mac 210 eyeliner brush: I never fail at drawing my winged eyeliner with it.
My Essence brow powder set : 2.50€ at the drugstore, and this is the perfect color for me now that my hair is a darker shade. What can beat that?
Dark Berry Lips: since I am currently rotating between different berry lipsticks, it's quite hard to pick one... But I would say that the most wearable one I have is Mac London Life, so get this one if you only have to have one.
Illamasqua Lover blush : yes, I know I am not the only one raving about this blush, but it truly is the prettiest color I have ever seen, and a perfect peach without pink in it.
September 17, 2009
I decided to join the bandwagon because I have been looking for a while for the best way to archive all the pretty makeup pictures I find. So I thought that would be a nice place to do it. I am not planning on posting anything else than pictures (and maybe quotes) on there.
It's here: Musing On Beauty Tumblr feel free to follow me if you're interested.
My Dystopia order has arrived - reviews to come! But I can already tell you I ♥ Machine eyeshadow!
YSL Faux Cils is probably one of the best mascaras ever (regardless the price)
Having so much work at the moment that I hardly have time to blog.
Still waiting for the Calypso Minerals stacker I ordered 3 weeks ago.
Weather getting cold and not knowing what to wear. Plus Summer makeup not fitting anymore.
The reality check I got when looking at my bank account, which means there is a strict "no makeup buy" policy in the air. I am getting ashamed about my collection anyway, so I need to use up a few things!
September 13, 2009
September 10, 2009
Dystopia is available now, and I have already placed my order.
If you are new to the Illamasqua world, or if you can only get the products online like me, you might be interested in a review of the different products to know which ones are worth getting.
Get without even thinking twice :
- lipglosses: sheer or intense, they are very pigmented and not sticky. They don't have any particular taste. The intense ones are as pigmented and opaque as a lipstick, so they can be used on their own.
- medium pencils : They can be used either on eyes or lips, and they are just creamy enough to go on smoothly, but also dry enough not to smear off all over the place. If you need an everyday black liner, get the SOPHIE pencil and you'll be giving money to the Sophie Lancaster foundation at the same time.
- liquid metals : they really look like molten metal and are a very unique kind of product that can be used everywhere - eyes, lips, face, body...
- brushes: synthetic but extra soft and no shedding, what more do you want?
- liquid and cream foundation: easy to use, and come in a great variety of tones, even very pale or very dark
Get when you need :
- eyebrow cake: good lasting power and easy to apply
- blushes (cream and powder): excellent pigmentation and very good lasting power, light hand application might be necessary! The cream blushes can also be used on the lips.
- cream eyeshadows: pretty colors, nice consistency
- satin primer: works great, is slightly sheer but not shimmery and doesn't make look as greasy as a Mac Strobecream could do.
Get, but be aware:
- rich foundation : extreme coverage but not easy to apply if you're not familiar with this kind of thick product. There's a tutorial on how to use it by Gossmakeupartist here.
- lipsticks: they are very creamy, not too dry, and extremely pigmented as well as matte (most of them). You need to be cautious when applying, and to use a brush or you can make a mess!
- powder eyeshadows: most are matte, which is great, but matte are harder to work with, especially if you're not used to it. They require a good base and a lot of layering, so they're a bit of work.
I haven't tried yet and can't review: liquid illuminators, cake eyeliners, mascara, face powders, metal powders and nail polishes.
I hope this is helpful. Tell us in the comments if you have more information to share!
September 9, 2009
Illamasqua Dystopia being available for online order tomorrow.
Bronzer to warm up my pale face, now that I have given up fake tan until next Summer. I am currently alternating between Illamasqua bronzing duo and my Cargo Blu Ray that I used all Summer (I even hit pan on this one, woot!)
Longer hair - my shoulder-length hair offers so many more styiling possibilities than the shorter bob I had these last years. I am really having fun!
Gel/cream liner, so easy to apply once you get the hold of it and really makes a difference in the look!
My new makeup storage (pics coming later), I have been dreaming of this for so long!
September weather: it's constantly changing to the extremes, and I never know if I should embrace the Fall's looks or stick to the Summer ones a bit longer. That bothers me for makeup AND for clothes.
Extra briefs at work, which is challenging but leaves me less time for makeup activities on the beauty community.
What are your own in and out's?
September 8, 2009
September 6, 2009
September 4, 2009
And this question often comes from students with a limited budget, so the recomendation list should be short.
I have quite a standard answer to this question: 4 basic eyeshadows and/or 3 brushes, depending on what you are looking for and how much money you have.
Everyone has different features and look good in different colors, but there are some staples that the majority will like and that will suit everybody. If you get them in pro pans and put them in a 4-slot palette, it will be cheaper than buying 4 shadows in full packaging, and it's much more convenient to use.
I think a very good start with Mac eyeshadows is a quad containing:
- Satin Taupe : looks good on everyone, really a must have. It's great on the lid for smokey looks or in the crease with a light lid color.
- Woodwinked: a gorgeous bronzy color, wearable in Summer or Winter.
- Vanilla: beacause you need a highlighter, and satin one will suit the other eyeshadows of the quad better. If you have a darker skintone, pick Brulé.
- Carbon: because everybody needs a black matte eyeshadow. You'll use it on the outer crease, as a liner, for a smokey eye...
These 4 colors combine perfectly with each other so you can create a large variety of looks with them. I really think they make the perfect starter kit.
Brushes are an investment. If you take good care of them (which is really easy - just wash them regularly with not too warm water and marseille soap and that's it), they will last years.
They also do a huge difference in makeup application, I don't think you can live without brushes.
There are some good inexpensive brushes out there, so I am not saying you must get them from Mac. But they have some very unique ones, and personnaly I think the Mac ones are the best on the market (and not always the most expensive!) so if you want to invest, I think they are the best choice.
To start out, I would recommend:
- 217: blending, crease brush. This is a fluffy dome shaped brush, I have never seen anything like this one from any other brand. It's very versatile, you can use it to apply a subtle was of color all over the lid, to apply cream shadows and especially for crease work and blending. I can't live without this one anymore, I even have 2 of these!
- 239: a flat, dense shadow brush to pack on color on the lid. Also great for applying pigments, dry or foiled.
- 187 or its baby sister 188 : a dual fiber brush or stippling brush. A lot of companies offer one but most of them just die the end of the bristles in a different color, while the Mac one has 2 different type of bristles, and that makes all the difference. This is a great brush for a lot of things: applying liquid foundation, cream blush, powder blush, highlighter, bronzer.
I hope this is helpful for those of you who are overwhelmed by the large Mac assortment!
September 2, 2009
Shiseido Pureness pore minimizing Cooling Essence.
I bought this without really believe it would work, actually I wanted another product that was out of stock and the SA advised this to me.
I have tried numerous products to control oils on my t-zone, but most have been too drying or heavy to wear due to the silicone (like Clinique pore minimizer t-zone). I had lost faith in oil controlling products, and that problem is the reason why I have over 10 foundations laying in my drawers - they never looked good old day.
The SA told me that this product isn't drying and treats the skin as well as it controls the oils. She was right! You apply this at the end of your skincare routine, you only need a tiny bit, then wait a couple of minutes and apply makeup as usual.
I can now wear dewy foundations without looking oily, and my make up looks perfect for a good 8 hours, even more sometimes.
I am NEVER going back to anything else (and I seriously hope this won't be discontinued any time soon). And did I mention the price is reasonable, in the same range as Clinique?
What more could I want??