Review: Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Crème in So Sofia

Posted on August 05, 2017 under Reviews

I am prone to long-term obsessions when it comes to lipstick colours. For example, I’ve certainly mentioned on this blog multiple times my quest for a lilac that flatters me: see this post for an example of two which aren’t quite right. (Oh, a reference to this quest in a ColourPop review, too.)

One of these interminable expeditions concerns the search for my perfect coral. (Referenced in the ColourPop review, too…) Actually, my perfect coral is embodied in Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss 06, which is a super vibrant pink-leaning coral that I love with everything I have in my soul. It appears that I’ve never posted a picture of me wearing it on this blog, but here’s one from the very end of my undergrad, when I was stressed and needed to inject some sunshine into my life in the form of bright lipstick.

Now, obviously I would not be searching for another coral if there weren’t a catch to 06. The catch is that Rimmel discontinued it A LONG-ASS TIME AGO. I’m a little hazy on exactly when, but I was wearing this regularly during my first summer at my job, which was three years ago, and I constantly had to tell people who asked about it that it wasn’t made anymore. I purchased this particular tube in the fall of 2013, which means that it’s coming up on four years old. It hasn’t gone bad yet, but it’s old as shit, not to put too fine a point on it. I’m also not terribly in love with the Rimmel Kate formula anymore; it’s nice, and you can’t really complain for the price, but I prefer something a bit less slippery.

I’ve been looking for a dupe for this colour for a long time, and I’ve found it really difficult. There’s a fine line between a pink-based coral and a warm bright pink, and most lipsticks seem to cross it. See Charlotte Tilbury Electric Poppy, for instance, which in 9pm Nordstrom lighting I thought could be a convincing dupe but turned out to be pink, not coral.

Online dupe-hunting proved difficult; the internet bears little evidence that anybody else in the world has ever bought 06, and I haven’t been able to find anybody duping this specific colour. (Temptalia’s dupe database let me down here!) Googling “pink coral lipsticks” yielded a few promising candidates, all of which I eventually discarded. Bite Pickled Ginger, for instance, is too light. MAC Impassioned seemed like the best candidate colour-wise, but I find MAC lipstick formulas a bit underwhelming.

I read Auxiliary Beauty’s March 2016 review of Marc Jacobs So Sofia with some interest, and even noted in a comment that it reminded me substantially of 06. Yet I wasn’t ready to commit to it, for whatever reason. Too expensive, maybe (though at $38 CAD it’s cheaper than both Charlotte Tilbury and NARS), or perhaps it’s just that the Marc Jacobs beauty brand never really appealed to me. (I do love Daisy, though, because I’m basic as hell when it comes to fragrance.) I recently stumbled across her review of So Sofia again, and my interest was reignited.

As I’ve mentioned before, I despise going downtown, but last week I had to go to the passport office, which is right next to the Eaton Centre, which meant it was the perfect time to do a Sephora return I’d been putting off. (For those keeping track, I returned the Hourglass Vanish foundation, which I really liked but which I decided I didn’t reasonably have a use for.) I was four days past the thirty-day mark so I got store credit, which in my mind meant that I could get a new lipstick for free. (Well, it was with money that I’d already spent, but…) I’d had the foresight to bring with me my tube of 06 and immediately made a mess out of the back of my hand with swatches of every coral lipstick I could find. As it turned out, So Sofia was the closest by far, so I bought it. (Having had the Sephora birthday gift mini of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang for over a year, I was confident that I liked the Le Marc Lip Crème formula enough to get along with So Sofia.)

The Le Marc Lip Crèmes come in large, shiny black tubes. I think the packaging is pretty enough; I’m not losing my mind over it, but I’d feel good about pulling it out of my bag in public. I do like the magnetic closure, which my mini of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang lacks. There must be some evolutionary biological reasoning as to why we all seem collectively drawn to magnetic lipstick tubes.

However, I must complain pettily, for that is my calling in my life. These lipsticks have have very wide bases that don’t fit into your standard lipstick organizer, so I have to store So Sofia with my jumbo lip pencils and liquid lipsticks. This shouldn’t bother me, but it does, because ontologically this is a bullet lipstick and should be stored with its kin. This design seems a bit arrogant to me, as if Marc Jacobs thought his shit was so good that it shouldn’t have to conform to normal dimensions. You don’t get to transcend my organizational system without a complaint, Marc!

That is Too Big.

However, I’ll concede that this irritation can be mostly swept aside in light of all of So Sofia’s positive attributes. I mean… it’s beautiful, dammit:

(Can we please acknowledge that this is legit the first lipstick review I have ever posted on my blog where I have photographed a fresh, unmarred bullet? I don’t know how I managed this, to be honest.)

This formula has a slightly gel-like component to how easily it glides onto the lips without feeling particularly thick. Initially, the finish has a definite sheen, but it wears down to a matte throughout the day. On my lips, the formula feels lightweight and comfortable. After about five or six hours of wear it feels slightly dryer, but not moreso than any other lipstick. What really impresses me about So Sofia is how well it wears. I actually found the longevity of my Kiss Kiss Bang Bang mini a bit disappointing – it wasn’t abysmal, but considering the full size costs a rather extravagant $38, I wanted it to last longer than it did. Perhaps the vibrancy of So Sofia just causes it to stain my lips more, but either way, it wears really well. Here’s a picture I took after five hours of wear, which included eating two bagels and drinking a bottle of water with absolutely no retouching:

I mean, bagels cannot be eaten delicately. They gleefully strip mouths of lipstick. And somehow my lipstick still looked totally pristine. (Better than my foundation looked between my eyebrows…)

Better, non-iPhone photos of the colour on me:

Squinting incredulously ’cause the sun was in my eyes.

I mean, is that not glorious? If that doesn’t say summer, I don’t know what does. In fact, it’s so summery that I wonder if acquiring it on the first day of August wasn’t a mistake on my part. How much time will I have to wear this before I put it away in favour of my berries and deep reds? I know in my heart that seasonal colours are a lie, but in the four years that I’ve owned Rimmel Kate 06 I’ve scarcely pulled it out between the months of September and March. This is a neurosis that I think I will have to overcome in order to get the most out of my $38.

And comparison swatches:

L-R: Rimmel Kate Moss 06, Marc Jacobs So Sofia, YSL Rouge Pur Couture #57, Charlotte Tilbury Electric Poppy

If anything, the Rimmel colour has the tiniest more orange to it – So Sofia really is just on this side of coral. However, it has the vibrancy that the YSL and Charlotte Tilbury shades lack, as well as the barest hint of warmth that makes it a coral in my eyes. Though it’s not exactly identical to my Rimmel shade, the shocking brightness makes it a satisfactory dupe for my purposes.

I’m not sure the last time I bought a lipstick hoping it would be something specific that it actually turned out to be. It’s not just the colour that’s perfect, it’s the finish, the feel on the lips, and the way it wears. So Sofia is precisely what I wanted it to be. And that’s almost as beautiful as the colour.

The Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Crèmes retail for $38 CAD for 0.12 oz, or $316.67 per oz.

Inventory: Single eyeshadows

Posted on August 01, 2017 under Inventory

I did my eyeshadow palettes big and small a few months back, so now it’s time to wrap up the eyeshadow inventory.

Cream Eyeshadows

I don’t know if ColourPop eyeshadows really are cream or not, but they dry up in like thirty-five seconds so I’m going to go with yes. Anyway, I have five colours: Paradox, a deep burgundy; Animal, a neon orange; Stereo, a dark purple with gold and pink glitter; Boy Band, a metallic copper; and Beverly, a dark berry.

Of these, I get the most use out of Boy Band (a one and done shade that I can smear all over my eyelid when I’m in a rush) and Paradox, which looks badass. Animal looks hideous on me, but I still have fun with it. Stereo looks totally different in the pan than it does on the ColourPop website and I never use it, and Beverly is dry as a bone now.

Here’s Animal on its own:

And here it is with Realgar from the Modern Renaissance palette blended above it and Buxom Covert Affair on the lips:

And iPhone selfies of how I wore it to see Laura Marling in May, with NYX Sapphire eyeliner and NARS Brigitte on the lips:

Paradox looks great on its own, and I have discovered that when you layer a blue-brown duochrome shade on top of it you get the most amazing look. Sadly I have no photographic evidence that I have ever worn Paradox, alone or otherwise, but one day I will try to get some and update this post.

Moving past ColourPop! I currently only have three Maybelline Color Tattoos (except for Tough As Taupe, which I use on my brows exclusively): Pink Gold (UK version of Inked in Pink), Electric Blue (… which is navy, not electric blue), and Tenacious Teal (featured in my “Life On Mars?” look). Inked in Pink is the only one that’s still available in Canada. I rarely reach for these anymore, although I loved them enough back in the day to have fifteen at one point. Powder eyeshadow wears better on me than any cream as long as I use a base, so that’s what I reach for.

Finally, I have one of the glorious new-ish Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow in Rose Gold Retro, which is PERFECT. It’s so shiny and metallic and beautiful, and it never creases.

Here are some swatches for your viewing pleasure!

L-R: Stila Rose Gold Retro, ColourPop Animal, ColourPop Boy Band, ColourPop Paradox, ColourPop Stereo, ColourPop Beverly, Maybelline Pink Gold, Maybelline Electric Blue, Maybelline Tenacious Teal.

Powder Eyeshadows

Lancôme single shadows are nice, but probably not $24 nice. Luckily, I paid for neither. Vue, a neutral rose gold, has sentimental value for me, as it’s the first eyeshadow I ever used. My mom may have given this to me or I may have stolen it from her makeup bag, but either way I have very fond memories of applying it all over my eyelid with a Q-tip when I was seventeen and the youngest person working at Urban Outfitters and wanting to look fancy and put-together. I don’t use it very often now, but it’s just one of those products that I can’t part with.

Infinitely Indigo is a shade which Aisling sent me in a big box of goodies when she was moving to England and I was first getting into makeup. Aisling is definitely a neutral kind of gal, and I believe she picked this up in Vegas, which is exactly where you would decide to buy blue eyeshadow. This product has stuck with me through approximately six moves because I like owning expensive shit. Its place in the future of my collection is unclear.

I don’t know how I can say that $24 for a single eyeshadow is overpriced but then rave about ones that cost $36, but here I am. I just really like the NARS Dual Intensity shadows, though of course I buy them at Murale, with Optimum Points. These shadows give an utterly glorious metallic sheen even when used dry. Callisto is the first one I acquired and definitely my favourite of the two: it’s the most stunning silvery pink. (It looks amazing applied all over the led with Buon Fresco from ABH in the crease!) Desdemona is a rich burgundy purple. I’ve found that these work the best patted onto the lid with a finger; the pigment doesn’t seem to stick very well to a brush.

L-R: Lancôme Vue, Lancôme Infinitely Indigo, NARS Callisto, NARS Desdemona

And that is it for my single eyeshadow collection! Next up will be eyeliner, and to finish out the series we’ll do lips. (That will be an undertaking – I haven’t photographed it yet!)

What’s in my bag? (Matt & Nat Elle)

Posted on July 28, 2017 under Thoughts

There is cat hair in this picture, which is an accurate representation of my life.

I’ve been toting around a Forever 21 crossbody bag that I got for £18 in Glasgow for over two years now. (Before that I had a £10 Primark bag that predictably lasted about 5 months.) I’ve been looking to upgrade my bag for the better part of a millennium, but nothing was meeting my specifications. I wanted a crossbody that could fit a decent amount without being too big, I wanted it to be black, I wanted it to be simple (i.e. sans fringe or bling), and I absolutely needed silver hardware. Gold metals do not enter my home, and I see so many otherwise beautiful black bags that are ruined by gold hardware. This is really a matter of personal preference, but it’s one of those things that just is a dealbreaker for me.

Discovering Montreal-based company Matt and Nat was a revelation for me. Their pieces are simple, attractive, and functional; they have silver hardware; and they’re vegan. I’m a meat-eater, but I draw the line at wearing dead animals on my body. That just seems needless. And of course I loved that they’re a Canadian company – they even have a bag named after my old Montreal neighbourhood! Matt and Nat pieces are also quite reasonably-priced for the quality and their commitment to sustainability.

After browsing their website I finally decided on the Elle bag, which met all of my specifications and basically looked like an upgraded version of my shitty Forever 21 bag. I held off ordering for a very long time, but finally the old Forever 21 bag disintegrated completely and so I bit the bullet.

Matt and Nat Elle compared to my Forever 21 bag:

You could say I know what I like!

The Matt and Nat Elle bag has one outer slot and three inner pockets, one of which zips. The back pocket and middle, zipped pocket both have smaller pockets on the side perfect for holding little things that tend to migrate to the bottom of the bag if not adequately contained. There’s a magnetic flap which covers the three main pockets, which I think is very cool.

I’ve had this bag for about two months now and I’ve found it great: it’s small enough that I don’t feel weighed down but large enough that I can reasonably bring everything I need with me; it’s very sturdy and well-made; the way it’s organized makes sense to me; I think it’s a sharp-looking bag. With bags I favour simplicity 100% of the time, and this is a simple, versatile piece that I can wear with anything.

Size reference, using the book I’m currently reading.

When you see the random junk I’ve been hauling around in here, you’ll see why I limit myself to a smaller bag.

Front Flap

Earbuds – I have these tucked into my bag at all times because the worst thing ever is to leave your house for a long commute without earbuds. These are just the default Apple ones, which fit my ears well. (I think I have small ear holes, because a lot of earbuds really hurt!)

Bic pens – These are the cheapest, most common ballpoint pens and I adore them. Real stationery nerds probably think I’m uncultured swine, but they write so smoothly! I buy them in bulk and keep multiples in all my bags. It is never a good idea to be without pens!

Mini notebook – I mainly make notes on the Evernote app on my phone, but I’ve been out and about and wished I had a notebook handy plenty of times so I just keep one with me. I don’t use it that often, but it’s teeny tiny so I figure why not. My friend Ashley did the hand-lettering on this years ago!

TTC tickets: Funny story! After I graduated high school, I kept buying student tickets for public transit because I figured nobody would know the difference. In the past five years, that theory has proven true 100% of the time. I actually switched to paying adult fare in the past year, figuring that I was pushing my luck, but out of habit I went to my corner store and asked for ten student tickets, so I’m working my way through this stack of them.

Wedding keepsake: When my friends got married, all the guests got these little paper hearts infused with seeds. I tucked mine into my bag for safekeeping, where it has remained for the past two weeks.

Movie tickets: I’ve known for over a year that I would be seeing Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk when it hit theatres, since Harry Styles is in it and obviously I support anything he does. My brother and I saw it on Saturday, and then we went and saw it again with my parents on Wednesday. Before the positive reviews started coming out, I didn’t necessarily have high hopes for it, but it was great: so expansive, intense without being manipulative, and singular in its lack of focus on character backstory. Beautiful cinematography, music, and sound-mixing too!

Phone: I always put my phone in the front flap for ease of access. It’s a white and silver iPhone 6S with an unnecessarily expensive case from Sonix. (My entire iPhone-owning career I have only ever bought cheap $10 cases from mall kiosks, but I saw this case from ACROSS THE TELUS STORE and knew I had to have it. Roses are my birth flower and I have two rose tattoos!)

Front pocket

Programme and receipt from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts: I went to the MMFA with my friends Katie and Caitlin when I was in Montreal earlier in the month and I have not cleared my bag out since then.

YSL Lipstick: Lest you think I have managed to only hoard one lipstick in my bag, this is the only lipstick in this pocket.

House key: Self-explanatory. No idea when or where I got the keychain.

Disposable camera: Every summer I like to buy a cheap disposable camera. It’s a lot more fun than the instant gratification of iPhone pictures. I only have one picture left on this roll and I am hemming and hawing over what is special enough to photograph before I get the film developed. The last camera I got developed was disastrous: only seven of the photos turned out. I’m hoping this one fares better, because I took a lot of pictures at my friends’ wedding.

Middle pocket

Wedding officiating script: I do not need this anymore!!! I also didn’t even use this copy on the actual day of the wedding, so it was a waste of printer ink.

Thank you card: My friends wrote me a card and bought me a bottle of rosé as a thank you for officiating their wedding, which was super sweet because I was absolutely buzzing to do it just for the extreme and utter honour of it all. The rosé will make a lovely sangria!

Grocery store receipt: I bought a bottle of water for $0.89. Exciting stuff.

Sunglasses: I knew I became a real adult when I bought prescription sunglasses! These are the Sunset style from EyeBuyDirect. I got them during a BOGO with a pair of clear frames. The case came with them.

Lipstick: Told you! Here I have two Revlon Balm Stains, in Lovesick and Romantic, and a Buxom lip pencil in Hush Hush. (This one lives in my bag pretty consistently since it’s my favourite everyday lip colour at the moment.)

Wallet – This is the Matt and Nat Vera wallet, which I got for 40% off at Marshall’s. (I bought this pre-bag – it was my first Matt and Nat piece, and what convinced me to bite the bullet on the bag.) It’s simple, but I like the front flap detailing. It has enough slots for my cards (a perpetual struggle for me in the era of loyalty cards) and a zippered-off compartment for change. Those are my wallet must-haves, so this works very well for me.

Card holder – I put my most-used cards in this so I don’t have to cart my whole wallet around at all times, and just for general ease of access. This was $30, which I feel is slightly steep for something so tiny, but card holders seem to be pricey in general. Most of the ones I’ve seen online are real leather, too, which is a no-go for me, so I decided to just go full throttle with the Matt and Nat theme and throw Max into my cart when I ordered my Elle bag. I like that this one has a middle pocket that you can stick bills into. I don’t know how I ever got by without a card holder – it’s so convenient to have all my must-have cards in one tiny wallet that I can easily slip into my back pocket when I don’t want to carry around my whole bag. For the record, I have my driver’s license, debit card, credit card, and Optimum card in it.

Back pocket

MMFA ticket: There really is no rhyme or reason to where things end up in here: why did I not tuck this ticket away with the MMFA programme and receipt? Who knows! Anyway, if you happen to be in Montreal soon, the Revolution show is very cool. Most of the MMFA is free, and the exhibitions cost $15. This ticket also got us into the Jean Paul Gaultier wedding dress exhibition, which was very neat as well.

Blotting papers: These are from Joe Fresh and they work as well as any other blotting papers. I mainly use them on my nose, which is the only part of my face that gets oily.

Compact mirror – I have many of these Sephora mirrors that come with gift cards, as you probably do too. At this point I just have one in every bag I own so that I never have to switch them over. Maybe one day I could get a cool/cute/pretty compact, but when I have like 900 of these lying around what’s the point?

So, today we have learned that I hoard receipts. Based on all the junk I carry around in my bag for indeterminate amounts of time, you can probably see why I deliberately go with small bags. Can you imagine the strain on my shoulder if I had a big bag? NO THANK YOU!