August 31, 2011

Coming soon : Illamasqua Theatre Of The Nameless (Fall 2011)

Of all the pretty things that are released each season, the collection I'm always the most curious, intrigued and generally excited about is Illamasqua's. Plus, they do release it when the actual season begins, not 3 months beforehand (yes Chanel, I'm talking to you), which means that I am actually in the mood for those products and colors when they arrive.

I think that the new collection, Theatre Of The Nameless, is going to be really interesting cosidering the editorial pictures.
I don't have all the information on the products that will be released, but I already know that there's a new mascara called Masquara (yes, nice pun) and there are also 4 nailpolishes ...

... that, in addition to their rich deep Fall-Wintery shades, will have a rubber-look texture. Definitely something I want to try!

Products available as of September 2nd.

Are you as excited as I am for this new collection?

30-30: #11

11. Do you like wearing bronzer?

Yes! It's not even that I can't embrace the paleness (ok, who am I fooling, I have tried all the self-tanners on earth) and I don't even use bronzer to really look sunkissed, but I just love the warmth they give to the face.
And I must admit that I kind of like to look at my pretty bronzers :)

One of my favorite bronzers ever: the Givenchy Prisme Visage "Les Frangipaniers",
limited edition from Summer 2010

August 30, 2011

Matchy FOTD

If Lisa Eldrige tells us that matchy matchy makeup and nails are in again, I don't need any more evidence to believe it!

So, while applying Essie Angora Cardi on my nails on Sunday night, I thought it would be a fun trend to try to start off the week.
Heck, I even went all the way with it and matched the skirt and shoes as well!

I am, however, not 100% satisfied: the lipstick, which is Mac Rebel, was looking much more like the nailpolish on the bullet, but once applied it's more pink. I should have gone with the darker Mac Kittenish instead!

Anyway, here's the breakdown for the look:
Clarins Everlasting Foundation in 107 Beige (because if you are going to wear plumy tones, you'd better not have dark circles or pink cheeks, so full coverage is mandatory!)
Bobbi Brown Light Bisque corrector and Warm Ivory concealer
Nars Douceur blush
Clinique brow pencil #3
Mac Artifact paintpot
Mac Prunella khol
YSL Faux-Cils in black
Mac Rebel lipstick

All in all, a quite simple and quick look to wear a new runway trend. But I'm definitely going to try the peachier version Mrs Eldridge did very soon!

30 - 30: # 10

10. Favorite brush?

What, just one? No way! 
Ok, if there were only one brush I could invest it, it would be the famous Mac 217.

This one did totally change the way I was applying makeup. You can pretty much do a full eye look with it if you have pigmented enough eyeshadows (because obviously this brush won't pack on color so much since it's so fluffy). I also use it to apply cream eyeshadows as it blends them perfectly.

However I can't resist taking this opportunity to tell you about another brush I like and that is, in my opinion, totally underrated (I've even seen Mac makeup artists who didn't know what to do with it!), it's the Mac 227.

This one is a big large fat dense eyebrush, but it's rather soft. It's perfect to apply a wash of color in virtually one swipe as it's so large, but what I like to use it for is applying my browbone higlighter, as this brush will perfectly blend the edge with the crease color. I also use it as my "eraser" to shape and blend the outer limits of my eye makeup. And finally, it's fantastic to apply powder hilighters on the cheeks, even those in lose form.

August 29, 2011

Shameless self-promotion...

Since some of you are telling me in the comments of my Stash Pics post that they'd be happy to adopt my stash, I take this opportunity to remind you that everything I part with goes directly to my Vanity Sales blog.
So feel free to go check it out and do some shopping!

August 28, 2011

30 -30 : #9

9. Picture of your makeup collection?

I'm afraid that's going to take way more than one picture!
Yes, that's a lot of stuff, but that's only stuff that I love and use. If I don't like something or never uses it, it has to go away.
RIght now I kind of feel like purging my stash because I am kind of running out of room, but I really like everything I have now so I'm not really sure...

Drawer 1: Face Stuff.
You have bronzer and highlighters on top left side, foundations on bottom left side,
 primers and concealers on bottom right side and all the rest is blush and more blush!

Drawer 2: Eyes!

Drawer 2: Wait, there's more! The containers are stackable.

Drawer 3: more eye stuff (loose e/s and palettes) and a mishmash of backups, also foundations in Winter shades.

This is my little tower of lip stuff!

Glosses - I don't have that many, I don't really wear much gloss.

Reds and Berries

Fuchsia and Oranges - my favorite drawer!

Neutrals and My Lips But Better shades

August 25, 2011

Etsy finding: Haunting Beauty

I've wanted a wrap bracelet for quite a while now. Yes, call me a follower, it's the Chan Luu rage that's getting to me.
However I decided to check Etsy first and I'm happy I did: I found a very nice selection of wrap bracelets, at some point I even thought I wouldn't be able to chose.
But I picked this one, because I thought the 2 colors looked really nice and original. Plus, I do love silver, and I do love blues, I could definitely tell this was very "me".

I got it from a store called Haunting Beauty and I can't say enough good things about the customer service I got. The lady there is just lovely, she actually e-mailed me to thank me only because I had favorited that bracelet (I hadn't ordered yet), and then she kept me updated through the whole process after I had placed my order.
I got it quite fast, in less than 2 weeks, and since I've had my bracelet I haven't stopped wearing it. I really like that all elements it's made of are great quality, and it's very easy to put on and to wear.
Hauting Beauty has a lot of wrap bracelets for all kinds of bracelets, I definitely recommend you check that store if you're planning on getting one!

August 24, 2011

30 - 30: # 8

8. What's your favourite daytime look?

Now that's a tough one: I don't have a favorite. My mood changes every day and so do my looks; I rarely do the same makeup twice and if I do, it's because I'm going through a phase but that rarely lasts more than a week :)

However we could say that my look of the day always revolve around one of these categories:

a. winged liner

b. bright lip

and quite often a combination of both...

c. a more dramatic eye, mostly neutral and smokey but sometimes colorful!

That's today's FOTD, by the way! Mac Freshwater and Moon's Reflection!

So I guess it's quite difficult to define just one signature look for me - and yes I have worn all of these for work!

August 23, 2011

We chopped off the hair!

I've been growing my hair for the past 3 years but recently the length was all they had: the oomph was gone and they wouldn't hold curls anymore due to the weight. Plus, I don't know if this has something to do with the weather being so bad that it feels like Fall, but I have been losing tons of hair these past weeks.

So I decided to get 10cm chopped off and go back to a shouldenr length bob that would work well with the existing short layers. To be perfectly honest, I already had that in mind (even though I wasn't 100% sure) when I did the ombre experiment, so I knew that the bleached ends would probably go.

Since I went to a different hair stylist, the coloring products they work with didn't have my usual 5.31 dye and we used a 5.37 instead (technical explanation here).

I'm pretty happy with the new hair cut, that still allows me to do a pony tail or a messy bun but is so much easier to style and has much more volume. I'm pretty sure, though, that I'm going to let my hair grow again for the coming year but well, sometimes a girl fancies a little change :)

PS: that fabulous lipstick I'm wearing is Illamasqua Atomic. I just love it, that is all.

August 22, 2011

Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in Fantasme

Chanel Fall collection had been on display for 24 hours and I was shopping with a friend, our eyes instantly fell on the Illusion d'Ombre cream shadows.
You know what a sucker I am for cream shadows - heck, I have a full drawer of them! And I must say the texture of these is really really nice, quite mousse-like and easy to spread. The pigmentation looked very good as well when I swatched them. So I had to had one!
That's when my friend offered to get one for me as a belated birthday present (you got to love your friends!) and so I picked Fantasme, which is the white one.

I know this one doesn't get the biggest amount of love in the beauty community. But I do find that a white shimmery shadow is kind of a must in the Summer. You can actually give a lot of dimension to the eye by using contrasting light shadows instead of dark ones, and that's even prettier on (fake-) tanned skin.
My second thought was that I could apply this one sheerly and layer over powder eyeshadows to create different colors - but that's for another time. Here's how Fantasme looks applied alone witht the little brush that comes with it:

Now let's be realistic: these Illusion d'Ombre eyeshadows are glitter bomb. Seriously, every time the light hits them, it's a disco ball going on. But I must also say that once they set, they stick to your eyes like there's no tomorrow and the glitter doesn't fall out - and that is a great advantage in my opinion!

I think Fantasme is very wearable for daytime if you don't mind the glitter - it can easily be toned down with matte neutrals like i did.
I do love the quality of the eyeshadow (let's hope it's not going to dry too fast!) and I think that the Illusion d'Ombre will be a must for at least Winter evening looks.

Have you tried any of these eyeshadows?

August 21, 2011

30 -30 : #7

7. Favorite eye shadow color?

Ah! Why -and how- chose one!?
Let's rather say that I gravitate around one family color, which is the bronze/gold one. Yes, I put bronze and gold together because by gold, I don't mean the yellow true gold one, I'm more thinking of something like Mac Woodwinked, which is a bronzey gold.

Wearing Mac Woodwkined over Constructivist paintpot for a maximal gold effect!

Now I don't know if these are the most flattering colors on me but I don't really care, they're the ones that make me the happiest when I look at them and apply them :)
Other favorite eyeshadows in this categorie are Mac Tempting, Mac Bronze and Mac Patina as well as Urban Decay Smog and Half Baked.

30 -30 : #6

6. Do you like/wear false lashes? If yes, strip or individual?

I only wear false lashes for special occasions or when practicing particular looks (like the Bollywood one on the picture).
I have pretty decent lashes and they look quite good with a good coat of my favorite mascara, so on an everyday basis I don't feel the need to wear false lashes at all. It's really something I keep for a special night out.
I have always worn full sets, sometimes cutting the outer half for a softer effect, but I haven't ventured yet into individuals.

I like the Illamasqua falsies for very dramatic looks, the Makeup For Ever ones are also very good but I must say that the Ardell ones are quite good and much cheaper.

When applying false lashes, the technique I use is this one :

August 18, 2011

30 - 30 : # 5

5. Favourite lipstick, lip gloss and lip liner?

Ok, so let's be clear right away:
- I don't wear lip liner. And if I do, it's because I really have to, and I'll use one from either Gosh or Illamasqua.
- I rarely wear lip gloss. I went through phases where they were all  I would wear but now I'm really over the sticky feeling, wet look and often poor pigmentation and/or high dose of shimmer. It's not the look I'm going for anymore.
I do, however, use Illamasqua Intense lipglosses because I feel like they're more like liquid lipsticks, and I can blot them to a stain for an easy to wear yet very pigmented result. So if I have to use gloss, that will be it.

Now, lipstick, that's another story: I don't get out without lipstick -  I mean I always have one in my bag if I feel the need to put it on (which isn't always the case, though).
I love lipstick because it's a very old-fashioned, yet still very modern way of expressing feminity. Adding lipstick to a neutral face and casual outfit can totally dress you up. While I feel gloss has something girly and youthful to it, lipstick to me is more grown-up and can be very sexy.
Lipstick is kid of my weapon of choice, it's what I'll touch up before a presentation, a meeting with a client, it's my little ritual for feeling ready face whatever is going to come.

I guess long time readers already know what kind of color I like in the lipstick field: next to the mandatory "my lips but better" shades, I love fuchsia, orange and red. So these are the favorites I'm going to pick:

Mac Girl About Town
Girl About Town is my go to fuchsia. I have more, they look similar but do have slight differences, and in this one I love everything: color, texture, finish, and that it has enough blue to make teeth look white. 

Givenchy Rouge Interdit Candide Tangerine
Even though I love Mac Morange, Givenchy Candide Tangerine is now my favortie orange color. Too bad it was a limited edition... It smells delish, doesn't taste awful (yes Chanel, I'm looking at you), is very pigmented and not drying... I just love that color!

Guerlain Rouge G in Geisha
I love many many reds, from Mac Dubonnet to Illamasqua Maneater or Ignite, it's really hard to chose! But I'd pick Guerlain as a winner for the incredible texture that is so comfortable to wear, the beautiful finish and the excellent pigmentation. Geisha is a gorgeous deep blue based red, which looks fab all year long (I tend to wear reds more in Winter but I've been wearing this one lately and it looks great this time of the year as well.)

This is me wearing Geisha last Fall, and apparently feeling pouty :)
So that's it for my little lipstick story!

August 17, 2011

A few FOTD's from the past days...

I'm not really wearing Summery colors these days, as Summer looks far far away already. So most of the time I go back to my usual neutrals, which aren't worth being shown on here every time, I guess.

Don't ask me what exactly I was wearing in that look, I did pick and assemble what was easy to grab on that day. What I know, however, is that I have re-discovered an eyeshadow I hal hardly ever used: Mac Style Snob.

This was released in one of the previous Mac Starflash collections. After I had gotten it, I had somehow decided it looked too much like Satin Taupe and I depotted it, put it in a palette and kind of forgot about it. But I now find that it's a gorgeous taupe with a slightly rosey undertone, a bit lighter than Satin Taupe, really, and it's a lovely crease color for lots of different looks!

Another color I hadn't used for a long time is Mac Sketch:

Here I used Sketch in the outer corner with Woodwinked on the lid and... Style Snob in the crease :)
I actually bought Sketch and Woodwinked together during my first visit to a Mac store back in 2008. It's not a color I use a lot, but it's deep and pretty, and it adds drama to both warm and cool looks.

More Style Snob action on this one, combined with Patina on the lid and Satin Taupe on the outer corner. It was a Taupe kind of day!

Of course, neutral eye, chocolate winged liner and pink lips still have a place of choice in my makeup wardrobe.

And this last one is grey and orange - I usually don't play matchy matchy with my clothes, but the orange adds warmth to the grey outfit and makeup. This is a look I like a lot, that I create with my Shiseido Fire eyeshadow trio.
I'm wearing Illamasqua Lover as a blush (my all time favorite) and lipstick is Mac Drive Me Wild.

So, nothing extraordinarily new in these looks. But since I just received my UD 15th Anniversary palette, you might get to see more original ones in the coming days/weeks!

August 16, 2011

Illamasqua Undereye Concealer

A long time ago I had tried the Illamasqua Concealer but I didn't like it. The thing is, Illamasqua is actually selling 2 products: a concealer, that is meant for hiding blemishes and flaws all over the face or body, and an undereye concealer. 
My bad, I had gotten the regular concealer thinking I could use it under my eyes, and that was a bad idea.  This is a thick, full coverage product which I don't think will work under anybody's eyes without looking cakey.

So I recently decided to give the undereye concealer a try, as I had read that this one is lighter and has light reflecting properties, which is always nice to brighten the undereye area. I thought I could use it when I don't need as much coverage as my Bobbi Brown creamy concealer provides.

Well, I love this concealer. It's very light and easy to spread, it's kind of sheer, but it is indeed light reflective and really brightens my under eye area. I need a tiny bit only and since the little compact is so big (2.5 ml) I think it's going to last me a long while. I also like that you get a real mirror with the jar.

However, life being ironic as it is, or maybe it's just because I recently turned 34 and age is starting to show, I have had the worst dark circles even lately. Which does require industrial strength product. Well, I have realized that using the Bobbi Brown corrector in Light Bisque and putting the Illamasqua undereye concealer on top is the perfect combination to hide my ashy greenish dark circles.
(yes, they're greenish, that's what you get when you have olive undertones). Winning combo!

However, this concealer being so easy to spread, it can move into your fine lines, so make sure you set it with some powder - I still use the Bobbi Brown Light Yellow powder that is made to set concealer and brighten the skin.

Some shades of this product are currently 25% off on the Illamasqua website, so now is a good time to try this concealer!

August 15, 2011

30 -30 : #4

4. Do you like wearing foundation? If so, what's your color and favourite?
Aaah foundation, my biggest makeup obsession, one that won't leave me before I've tried everything that's available on earth, or so it seems!

Yes I do love wearing foundation, and those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know that I have tried and reviewed 28 different foundations over the past 2 years!

I don't need the same amount of coverage all the time, so I can go from very minimal to full. I also like different finishes and consistencies depending on the time of the year, the occasion, the external temperature... So I definitely can't be happy with just one foundation.

But I can say that I have now a little army of trusted and well-loved foundations that keep me going all year round, such as Nars Sheer Glow (which definitely makes my skin look at its best), Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, Becca Skin Perfecting System (which is a combination of several products), Clarins Everlasting and Illamasqua cream foundation for very cold Winter days.

In terms of coloring, I go for fair neutral colors with yellow undertones - that would be a Mac NC 15 to speak in well-known terms.

August 12, 2011

30 - 30 : # 3

3. Favourite brand?

If that question means that I'd have to pick a brand with which I could be perfectly happy if I had access to nothing else, than I can't answer it. I kind of have favorite brands (yes, often more than one) for each type of product but in my opinion there is no brand that performs the way I'd like them to on every single type of product they offer.

I can, however, answer this question if it means that I need to pick a brand that I particularly love and would, in a crazy moment, get tattooed on my body. That would be Illamasqua.

The whole makeup industry built itself on our insecurities for more than a century. It tells us that we need to even out skin tone - shave legs - have shiny hair, whatever… and implies that if we don't, we're not as beautiful as we could/should be - and since image is so important in today's society, how can we afford not to improve anything we can?

Then comes Illamasqua. They don't tell us, ever, that we have flaws and that they'll be the best at hiding them. Insteadn, they tell us that we can be our own kind of beautiful, that we shouldn't care about what other people think of our looks and should use makeup to be creative and look the way we want. And if what we want is bold, or dark, or crazy, that's fine, they'll give us the products we need (and they do have products that no other brand has, like 3 different shades of red eyeshadows!). If what we want is understated, we can do it too, they'll sell that as well, we should just look the way we want!

I am totally digging that. My mood changes everyday, my clothes change every day, and so I love that I can change my makeup everyday and tell a different story. And often, it'll be neutral and understated, but sometimes, I'm craving craziness because that's just a part of me as well, and makeup will allow me to do that. With zero consequences, as it washes off!! How cool is that?
So yes, that's how I see it and why I love that brand more than any other makeup brand.

August 11, 2011

Etsy finding: Untamed Menagerie

I have been browsing Etsy a lot recently, particularly the jewelry shop.
I don't consider myself a jewelry person, really. I always wear some, but I don't own a lot. I have a few very nice pieces that are my falmily heritage from my mom and my grandmothers, and a few that I received as presents for very special occasions when growing up. But other than that I never really shop for jewelry, I can't even remember buying an expensive pair of earrings, ever! 
And the costume pieces you can find for cheap are never really appealing because I find they often look poorly made, so I do avoid them.

But Etsy, that's another story. There are pieces there that I know I will be the only one to wear in my circle and I like that idea. Plus, lots of things are really affordable but still are great quality.

That's how I recently came across a shop called Untamed Menagerie

The first thing that caught my eye was their Alice in Wonderland themed banner. I absolutely love Alice in Wonderland. It was already one of my favorite stories when I was a kid (never been a huge fan of princesses) and it still is a story I enjoy reading today, I love the mix of absurdity and wisdom in it.
So that's no wonder I fell for this particular item:

The We're All Mad Here necklace.  I had to have it! And so you've already seen me wearing it on this picture: 

I love the necklace. As you can see, the writing is quite large, larger than I expected I must say. The metal is very pretty, as shiny as it looks in their picture, and the chain isn't too fragile (I've had necklaces break quickly in the past).  Even though it's a big piece, it's not heavy to wear and you forget about it when you have it on. 
I must say that I am allergic to nickel and am always a bit scared of getting reactions when wearing a new piece of jewelry, but I am happy to report I haven't had any problem with this one, so if you suffer from that too, you know you'll be safe with that necklace.

My transaction with the shop went smoothly, they shipped the item quickly and I got it in less than 2 weeks, which is average for international mail. The communication was clear, I can say that my experience with Untamed Menagerie was nothing but positive.