Sunday, July 31, 2011

NARS Outremer

Hi Dolls!

I broke down and bought NARS Outremer last week, even though I've been trying to cut way back on my beauty spending. I had been obsessing over the luscious matte blue eyeshadow since I first saw it on the model on the NARS website.  It's the same blue you see medieval Madonnas cloaked in, that eye-searing lapis luzuli; my pictures don't do the shade justice, and I know monitors will distort the color further.

NARS single eyeshadows are packaged just like their blushes and bronzers, except in miniature, in their signature matte black rubberized compact, with their own little mirror on the lid. The packaging is sturdy and easy to open, yet stays shut; my only gripe is that the packaging attracts dust and collects fingerprints; you'll see I already have foundation-finger prints on Outremer's case, after only a handful of wearings. This doesn't really bother me, since the cases are very practical, but if this is a pet peeve of yours, it's something to be aware of. These eyeshadows are $23 and come with .07 ounces of product; I got mine at Nordstrom, and Sephora also carries some of the line, although I haven't seen the Fall 11 collection in stores yet.

NARS matte shades can be problematic; the pigmentation is great when used wet, but the formula can get splotchy when used dry; I find using a brush (as opposed to fingers) helps with this issue. The one positive side to this aspect of the formula is that they aren't powdery, so you don't get too much fallout, which can be a big problem with a color as bright as Outremer. However, when used wet, this effortlessly produces color true to the pan. These are described as being crease resistant; I have worn this shade over both NARS'  eyeshadow primer, Benefit's cream eyeshadow, and on top of MUFE aqua creams, and it lasted all day all three times, although I did get a touch of creasing over the Benefit cream shadow (only noticeable when I closed my eye, and even then it was mostly the Wet n Wild shade I had blended Outremer with that had creased, so I can't be sure Outremer would do this on its own).

Smudges from foundation-y fingers!

The shadow! Look at that blue!

Swatched with... my finger. See the kind of sheer patchiness? Wait. Wait for it wet on my eye. 
 So, I have three different looks where I used Outremer differently. In the following look, I used MUFE's Aqua Cream in 16 as a base, used Outremer dry on the lid, and then wet as a liner. It took on the shimmer of the base when used dry over it on the lid, but the wet portion is opaque and matte. I used a matte pink with silver glitter as a highlight from the Wet n Wild's Lust palette , too, if you're interested.

Outremer, no flash!

Outremer dry on the lid, wet as a liner. Sorry the line isn't too precise, I was using a pretty bad  brush. 

With flash!
Again with the flash!
And here is another look! This time, I used Outremer over the NARS eyeshadow base to retain the matte finish; again, I used it dry on the lid and wet as a liner with the Wet n Wild color as a highlight/ blended into the top of Outremer.

Outremer, no flash!

No flash! Outremer

More Outremer, with flash.

And Outremer with flash!
Now, after two days in a row of walking around with crazy bright blue eyeshadow (at work... so around the same people, too!), I decided to see if I could work Outremer into a more toned down look.  I used R.S.V.P. by Benefit as a base, MUFE Aqua Cream in 2 on the lid, the top right khaki color of Wet n Wild's "Comfort Zone" palette, and U.D.'s Gunmetal 24/7 liner on bottom lashes. I then added a thin line of Outremer wet on my top lashes with a touch on the bottom, and smudged a little dry into the crease.  Here it goes!

The Supplies!

The Look. See, no crazy blue... at first glance!

Close-up of my toned-down Outremer look, no flash

Flash! (ah-AH, savior of the universe!)

More flash. 

Rating: 6 out of 10 

I can't give Outremer full marks since I did have some minor creasing one of the days I wore it (the third look, for what it's worth) and it has some pigmentation issues when used dry; I really had to pack it on to try to get it completely opaque on the lid when I was using it dry, and then I had to worry about fallout which just looked awful in blue under my eye... I'd recommend putting some tissue beneath your eye when using this just to be sure. Despite being fussy, the color is absolutely wonderful, and I was definitely able to work with this shade after a little bit of coaxing. No, not a perfect formula, but this has still skyrocketed to the top of the list of my favorite eyeshadows.

Fall Obsessions

Hi All!

No makeup in this post, just wanted to take a little time to talk about how excited I am for fall fashions! Fall has always been my favorite season; I love the weather, moving from hot and sweltering in September into cool and crisp by November, and I especially love the clothes! Houndstooth, herringbone, tweed, leather jackets, pencil skirts, boots, blouses... yes please! I can move back into my favorite colors, deep blues, plums, red, grey, and of course black. And then there's the makeup. I love coral as much as the next girl, but summery brights just aren't my thing. I love browns and dirty pewters, metallics, and red lips! And is it just me, or does overdressed play a lot better in the cooler months? I can wear pearls, a red lip, and a pencil skirt on a weekend night in October and not feel out of place. The faux-fur muffler might tip the scales, but to hell with it! I can wear what I want; I am a firm believer in the idea that confidence is the greatest accessory.  Speaking of wearing what I want, I've been contemplating the idea of making a slew of corsets and wearing an underbust in this fabric to work over a blouse. Too much? We don't have a strict dress code...

I don't know about you guys, but I am chomping at the bit for the change in season! I have a beautiful white and black tweed skirt with  some zippers to spare and a wide elastic waistband I want to break out, a pair of sky-high black suede peep-toe heels I snagged on clearance over the summer, some over-the-knee socks that need to be rocked, and I am dying to try out some 1940's inspired makeup. On my wish-list right now is a kind of dove-grey/ sable matte eyeshadow and a muted orange-red lip pencil. Hopefully I'll find something close to that shade of matte eyeshadow at Inglot in Vegas when I am there IN A WEEK AND A HALF(!). Of course, I'd kill to snag half of  NARS' and Chanel's fall makeup collections, too. Have you guys seen Chanel's khaki eye pencil? That would be killer on lower lash lines.

Rachael, of "Blade Runner"
Rachael in "Blade Runner"
I am making it my goal to dress more the way I want to this fall. That sounds stupid when I type it out, but I feel like I fall into wearing what's easy; jeans, a nice-ish top, and flats tends to be my uniform year round. Is it ideal? No. This is going to sound even stupider than this paragraph's first sentence, but Rachael from "Blade Runner" is kind of my fashion icon.
The dark take on 1940's noir fashion with a bit of a sci-fi edge does it for me every time. I think this is the reason that the steampunk aesthetic appeals to me, even though I can't quite wrap my head around the sub-culture. The few times I've costumed for steampunk events, though, I often have to scrap my first few designs as soon as I realize that they're things I'd wear "in the real world."  And I can't throw around phrases like "fashion icon" and fail to mention Bette Davis. I love that she embraced a strong yet feminine style and broke out of the movie-star mold. I could write an entire post on all the reasons I admire her both as a fashion muse and as a career woman, but suffice it to say she didn't fit Hollywood's vision of a beauty, but her look is so unique that I really do think she transcends Hollywood cookie-cutter beauty.

Bette Davis glamour shot! From "Now, Voyager"

In a perfect world, I'd have more time to sew and could whip up some made-to-measure pieces that would really bring my vision into crystalline focus, but for now I'm stuck finding pieces here and there that get me close enough. I'm not saying that this will be the fall I dress like a Replicant, but I am trying to keep a few key ingredients in mind as I browse the stores. I want more vintage and more edge in my wardrobe, and I want it now! I know this is the costumer in me talking, but what's wrong with that? I think getting dressed should be fun as frequently as possible, and nothing is more fun for me than putting together costumes.

I am so ready for a change in many areas of my life right now, but I am stuck doing some of the same stuff for at least the next year. One thing I can change is how I dress, though, and I am embracing that whole-heartedly.

Some shoes and hosiery I'm looking forward to wearing:

Never enough black heels! They're all different, right? 

I am especially looking forward to these. Aren't they gorgeous? 

And some of my favorite picks for fall jewelry and hair accessories:

How about you guys? Who are your fashion icons? Do you have any cool-weather pieces languishing in your closet right now that you're excited about breaking out?

LOTD: Pewter and Violet


Sorry in advance for the brevity and lack of detail of this post. I was about to run out the door and my camera was almost out of batteries (so it refused to focus for most of my pictures, grr!), but I really, really liked my makeup, and wanted to share it anyway! So here you are.

I used:

Face: Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation with L'Oreal Infallible foundation over my nose and under my eyes to help neutralize redness. Sally Hansen Natural Beauty cream blush in Rose on cheekbones, L'Oreal Infallible pressed powder to set, and NARS blush in Sin on the apples of my cheeks.

Eyes: Benefit Cream Eyeshadow in R.S.V.P. as a base with Bare Minerals' 1990's over the lid, Toasted from the Naked Palette on lid, Hustle and Gunmetal from the Naked Palette in the outer corner and into crease, Fuchsia shade (2nd down, third from right in the photo) from E.L.F.palette winged up from outer corner of crease, NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in Goddess to highlight under brow and inner corner, CK by Calvin Klein liquid eyeliner pen in Electric Black on outer 1/3 of upper lash line (winged subtly), U.D. 24/7 eyeliner in Baked on lower lashline and inner 2/3 of top lashline. Clinique High Impact Mascara in Brightening Black and Anastasia Brow Gel in Caramel on brows.

Lips: Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Burgundy Lustre and Nyx Round Lipstick in Darling to highlight (on cupid's bow and on the fullest part of the lower lip).

The products used!

The entire look, no flash

Eyes, no flash. Sorry for the blur!

Face, with flash!

Eye with flash; sorry again for the blurriness! But you can get an idea of the shine some of these colors have. Mmm! 

Apologies for the lack of photos, but I like the contrast between plums and gunmetal with the pop of gold and fuchsia. I am going to have to play around with this combination more often!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Great Reds: Red Zin by Bare Escentuals

Hi guys, sorry for the break in posts!

I still have some red lip colors that I want to show you! This one is Red Zin, one of bareMinerals' 100% Natural Lipcolors. It's a beautiful red that leans slightly blue-toned, and the formula feels nice and light on the lips. The lipsticks are heavy, in ribbed black rubberized cases. Bare Escentuals describes these as a combination of bareMinerals with natural oils, waxes, and plant extracts, free of artifical dyes, preservatives, and irritants. These are $15 and have .13 ounces of product; I got mine at Ulta, but this shade should also be available through Bare Escentuals' website and in their boutiques. I don't find these particularly drying or moisturizing, and they have a satin finish. They smell a bit like waxy lavender to me, and I don't notice any flavor. The pigmentation is good, but it doesn't seem to be as heavily pigmented as the Make Up For Ever or Bite formulas; the finish is buildable to opaque, but it may take a couple of passes to get there.

The packaging! 

Red Zin

Red Zin by Bare Escentuals

Swatch of Red Zin

Red Zin, no flash

Red Zin by Bare Escentuals, no flash

Red Zin by Bare Escentuals, flash

Red Zin by Bare Escentuals with flash

Rating: 7 out of 10

This is an all-around good lipstick! The color is lovely, the packaging is sturdy, and I love that these are natural. I wish they were a little bit more pigment-heavy, but it is pretty as is. I feel like I didn't give as much detail in this post as I usually do, but there's nothing I feel very strongly about when it comes to this product. It's a pretty basic lipstick, definitely a step up from most drugstore formulas I've tried, but there's nothing about it to recommend it over other nice lipsticks, except perhaps the price (a little lower than some other comparable brands) and the fact that it is (claims to be?) 100% natural. Depending on your needs, that might be enough to tip the scales in this lipstick's favor!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Great Reds: Shanghai by Buxom


Getting back to my posts on red lip colors, I am showing you Shanghai by Buxom! It's one of their Big and Healthy Lip Sticks, which are basically fat lip pencils that have twist-up product and a sharpener in the base. You can find them at Sephora for $18 and they come with .03 ounces of product, although mine is a smaller (.015 ounces) pencil and doesn't have the built in sharpener; it came in a gloss and lipstick promotional set offered by Buxom around the holidays a couple of seasons ago. Despite mine being mini-sized, the color and product should be the same in the larger ones! These are a slightly dry-feeling satin finish product; it's pretty stiff, which makes it easy to line your lips with these when they're sharpened to a point, but it makes filling in the lips a bit of an exercise. They are supposed to plump the lips, and I don't find that they do that, but there is a tingling minty taste/ sensation. They smell faintly of sweet mint as well. Shanghai is described on Sephora's website as a deep raspberry; I think it's a bit redder than what I picture when I read that description, but I think calling it a deep reddened raspberry would be pretty accurate. These have pretty good wear time; without eating, they last four or five hours, and they hold up better than creamier lipstick formulas through eating and drinking.

The packaging!

Big & Healthy Lip Stick, by Buxom


Here is the product twisted up a bit from the case.

A swatch on my wrist! You can see how "sketchy" this looks, as opposed to the soft edges of a creamier product.

Shanghai by Buxom, no flash

Close-up of Shanghai by Buxom

Shanghai by Buxom, flash!

Close up of Shanghai with flash
Rating: 7 out of 10

I wish this product were a bit more moisturizing, and I have to say, application takes a little bit of time and effort to get everything filled in correctly, but I like that this wears longer than creamier products, and the color is lovely. These are great for layering underneath gloss, too, since they're hard enough that the product doesn't get mixed in with the gloss (if that makes sense); the gloss sits on top of these, creating more depth. I also really appreciate that this is a twist up product, although I wish the smaller ones came with the built-in sharpener! Mine has the little space for it, but when I unscrew the base, there's nothing in it...

FOTD: Summery Brights!

Hi All!

I am posting a quick look I threw together yesterday morning; I was doing my makeup in a hurry, but felt like doing something colorful, so I ended up just layering a lot of different products until I got the effect I wanted, rather than thinking out what the best color to use would be. I actually really like how it turned out, these aren't colors that I normally wear, much less wear together, but it was fun for something different! Hope you enjoy!

Products Used:

*Eyes: MUFE Aqua Cream in 16 (pink beige) all over lid as a primer, with the teal shade from the Wet n' Wild "Blue Had Me At Hello" Palette (2nd shade from top on the right) on lid, stopping short of the inner corner and crease. NARS Mangrove on lid into crease avoiding lash line, so it overlaps with the blue but leaves some of the blue showing on its own at the lash line. NARS Lola Lola in outer third of crease, with the beige shade from E.L.F. pallette (2nd one from top on far left, showing in the little window in this picture:) used to blend out into the crease. Virgin from the U.D. Naked Palette used as a highlight on inner corner below brow bone. U.D. 24/7 liner in Baked on top and lower lashline, Clinique High Impact Mascara in Brightening Black (11) on top and bottom lashes, Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel in Caramel on brows.

*Face: L'Oreal Infallible Never Fail Makeup, Illamasqua Cream Blush in Laid, L'Oreal Infallible powder, Sephora Blush Me! in Framboise Attraction (3), U.D. Urbanglow Cream Highlight in Wicked on cheekbones up to brow bone.

*Lips: NARS lipgloss in Downtown.

And here are copious pictures of the look!

And oh yes, that is my new hair color! I like it, it's very bright. Hope you guys enjoyed my experiment!