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!)

Review: ColourPop Lippie Pencils in Contempo, Heart-On, and Nevermind

Posted on May 05, 2017 under Reviews

ColourPop loses a lot of its appeal when you’re still dealing with the Canadian dollar being at $0.73 to the almighty USD in addition to steep international shipping. (As a Canadian I love seeing Americans griping about $10 shipping when that’s standard if not inexpensive for me.) However, ColourPop has recently started having free international shipping occasionally, which removes one of those barriers. Normally this isn’t enticing enough to get me to make an order, but sometimes you just need a pick-me-up in the form of 10 products for 50 bucks. (American bucks, that is. I like to live in denial about the exchange rate. Late last year I bought two Green Day tickets on Stubhub and it took me an entire month and a few vodka cranberries to find out what they actually cost me, which was $311. For Green Day tickets in the year 2017. I KNOW.)

Anyway, at the end of January I made a ColourPop purchase mainly on a whim. I got three Ultra Matte Lips, three Lippie Pencils, and four Super Shock Shadows. I swear I didn’t mean to buy TEN products, but I had to get to fifty bucks for free shipping and somehow I managed to justify all of this to myself. We all have our bad days, alright? I have genuine reasons for some of these products and nothing but a whimsical fancy to blame for others.

I’m going to split my reviews into three parts and deal with the different types of products separately. In this post we’re talking Lippie Pencils.

I hate the word Lippie, but I like “Lippie Pencils” far more than “Lippie Stix” and its forced plurality, so I’ll begrudgingly accept it. It’s kind of like when Stephen Harper is your Prime Minister for almost a decade and then Justin Trudeau gets elected and you’re like “Yeah, okay” even though you find the Liberal party far too establishment and think Trudeau is all about the talk and not so much about the walk and you’re a staunch NDP supporter but anything has to be an improvement on Harper. ANYWAY.

I try to keep my lip liner collection to a minimum, but lately I have come around to them as a general concept. I prefer to slap on some lipstick without a liner, but slippery formulas do a lot better with something to cling to. I also find that I have a fairly ill-defined lower lip line and liner helps me define it for a crisp look before I apply my lipstick. The idea of spending a lot on lip liners enrages me because to me that’s like paying double to use my lipsticks. Unfortunately the colour range of drugstore lip liners leaves a lot to be desired, so ColourPop seemed like a decent alternative. I will say that their liner range, though it includes quite a few unconventional shades, isn’t as extensive as I’d hoped. Not every lip colour stocked on their website has a corresponding liner, which would be truly awesome. However, if you’re looking for a dark purple or black lip liner, ColourPop has you covered! (I mean, or you could use cheap black Rimmel eyeliner, which is what I do when I wear black lipstick, which is more often than I ever imagined.)

These liners are regular, sharpenable pencils housed in plastic packaging. They’re very creamy and glide on easily. They’re comfortable to wear; you could wear these on their own without any trouble. I know some people have had issues with sharpening the plastic packaging, but they’re fine with my NARS sharpener.

The packaging does get a little janky because it’s white plastic that seems to have an actual compulsion to stain horribly, but I’m not too concerned about it. I prefer an all-black to all-white aesthetic, and I think white packaging usually looks cheap, but, I mean, ColourPop is cheap, so who am I to complain?

Anyway, here’s a closer look at the colours I bought.

Contempo

I thought this would be a good everyday liner which I could use with a variety of lipsticks. Basically an alternative to my oft-repurchased Rimmel East End Snob. It is a nice slightly dusty pink colour which I most often wear on its own, but I probably wouldn’t repurchase. It is very similar to East End Snob but a lot more hassle for me to get my hands on.

Heart On

First, ew at this name. I really hate ColourPop’s marketing and basically everything they choose to be. Anyway, I bought this because I have a lot of fuchsia lip colours but find it surprisingly hard to find a fuchsia lip liner with the correct undertones and depth. This one isn’t quite right, either, and this is a lesson in why you shouldn’t buy shit online, sight unseen. This is much brighter and cooler-toned than I was hoping for, which is what fuchsia liners seem to always be. However, I have no complaints formula-wise, and I have received compliments when I’ve worn this liner on its own. I don’t think this looks bad on me by any means, but my preference for a fuchsia is just a little bit warmer and more muted, and every time I put this on I sit there looking at my face and thinking, “Oh. Hmm.”

Nevermind

I love the blackened purple of my Stila liquid lipstick in Chianti (pictured here in my first-ever ColourPop post). I think it’s amazing and badass and I love wearing it. But it does feather a bit as dark lipsticks are wont to do on me (maybe because of my shitty lower lip line?), so I got Nevermind to help with that issue. I probably won’t ever wear this alone for reasons that are probably obvious from the pictures – though the camera picks up a lot more unevenness than you can see in real life. This is pretty much a perfect match for the Stila lipstick colour-wise, though, so I call this one a success.

I’m pretty impressed with the formula of these liners and I’d consider picking up more, though I should probably stop messing around with both online-only makeup brands generally and ColourPop specifically. However, I really have no complaints about the creamy, glide-on formula of these pencils, and they’re one of the best ColourPop products I’ve tried. I just wish ColourPop were a little easier to justify for this Canadian.

Inventory: Blush

Posted on April 18, 2017 under Inventory

I wonder if any of you can relate to the consumerist cycle I often find myself in. Once upon a time, my big makeup vice was lipstick. I’d still consider myself first and foremost a lipstick lover, but I hit a certain point where I had so much lipstick that my acquisition really tapered off. Then, my attention naturally shifted towards blush, and I began to accumulate a lot of that. I’ve cycled through a few product categories that get all my attention (and dollars). It’s like I need something to be interested in makeup-wise, and when I max out one category I naturally meander on over to another. I’ve gone through all the interesting categories and I’ve wound up at foundation, currently. But let’s talk about blush today instead, because I love blush a lot more than foundation.

Clearly, when it comes to blush I am a brand snob. At this point I only own two drugstore blush products, and both are from Sleek. I do really enjoy blush, but at this point I don’t feel the need to bring more into my life. The last time I purchased a new blush was 11 months ago and I haven’t felt any urge to expand my collection since then. A gal can only go through so many blushes in her lifetime, and let’s be honest – once they’re on our faces, a lot of the apparent differences all but disappear.

I’ve arranged these by colour family, and I did this by using the very scientific process of “sort according to the colour in the pan”. You’ll see that some of these straddle multiple categories or might fit better in a different one than I’ve put it in, but I think we will survive my shortcomings.

By the way, I’ve slightly underexposed the swatch photos because I think the colour accuracy is a bit better when I do that.

First up, some of my peachy blushes!

Sleek Blush by 3 Palette in Lace

Sleek blushes are very, very nice, and if you live in a place where you can saunter on down to the drugstore and buy one then you should consider yourself very lucky. Some of us have to have to order them online like savages.

The Blush by 3 palette was a Christmas 2013 present from Aisling. I requested it because I was in a phase where I only watched British YouTubers and everyone talked about Sleek all the time. (Uh, does that really obviously date that phase in my life to 2013?) I use the middle shade in the palette, Guipure, the most. Actually, it’s the only shade I really use at all. I don’t normally go for shimmery blush, but this one gives a beautiful glow: just check out the swatch below! The two matte shades are so pigmented that they easily verge on clownish on my skintone, and I definitely would not normally wear straight up orange blush anyway. I take a pretty firm anti-orange stance on most things, generally.

Chanel Sunkiss Ribbon Harmonie de Blush

This late 2015/early 2016 LE blush was one of my absurd Optimum points luxury purchases. You know how it is, or maybe you don’t because you’re a better person than me. I’m not really sure what compelled me to buy it, because I’ve never been interested in Chanel makeup and prefer cool-toned makeup most of the time. As with most multi-tone products, I apply this by swirling my brush around the entire pan, which generally gives me a peachy glow. Sometimes it leans pinker and sometimes it leans more orange depending on what exactly my brush picks up. It’s quite sheer, which I find delightfully user-friendly, and the end result is always pretty. But is it worth $70 CAD? Absolutely not!

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush

It’s funny, swatched next to all of these blushes Luminous Flush appears quite pink, but on my cheeks it definitely reads as peach. This is easily my second favourite of my Hourglass blushes, which, as you may know, are my all-time favourite blush formula. In the summer I probably use this blush 2-3 times a week, which is pretty high proportionally.

L-R: Sleek Crochet, Sleek Guipure, Sleek Chantilly, Chanel Sunkiss Ribbon, Hourglass Luminous Flush

These are my two neutral, go-to blushes appropriate for pretty much any occasion.

Benefit Boxed Powder in Hervana

Benefit seems to be a rather polarizing brand: I know people who swear by the line as a whole and who love the kitschy aesthetic, but I’ve read a lot of backlash against the brand for having subpar products masked by cute packaging. Personally I’m not wowed by Benefit overall, but other than my arch-nemesis They’re Real! mascara (which I’ve mentioned so many times that I’m sure you are all aware of how much I despise it) I’ve never had a dud product from the brand. I’ve had several Benefit blushes in the past, but destashed most due to the bulky packaging. I kept Hervana only because it’s the perfect natural blush for me. Swirled together, on me it reads as a soft, slightly warm brownish pink. It’s truly one of those products that goes with everything. Sometimes I forget I have it because it’s not very exciting, but I’m currently going through a phase with it. It’s hard to mess it up, really! I just wish it were more travel-friendly, because I could easily get through a month-long trip with this as my one and only blush.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure

You may remember that Mood Exposure is my favourite of the ALBs, and probably my favourite blush of all time. If you were to simply look at it in the pan, you’d probably wonder how something so dull could possibly be somebody’s favourite. But on the skin it transforms: it’s an incredibly brightening, flattering mixture of plum and brown with the healthiest luminosity. If I lost all my blushes this is the one I would repurchase immediately. Because Hervana is so bulky, Mood Exposure is the blush I always take travelling with me. For a weekend trip I need a minimum of five lip colour options, but I can get through ten days with just Mood Exposure, easy.

L-R: Benefit Hervana, Hourglass Mood Exposure

Bright blushes! Yay!

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat

This was my very first ALB, a hand-me-down from Aisling because she found the hot red-coral too intense for her tastes. I’m so glad she passed it on to me, because I don’t know that I would have discovered this formula otherwise – it’s surprisingly unhyped on ye olde internette. Generally I like to apply this with a stipple brush, and it’s more of a summer shade for me, but it’s stunning. It’d look great on darker skin too.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Radiant Magenta

I think Radiant Magenta was a bit of a mistake of a purchase on my part. There’s nothing wrong with it: it’s just as finely-milled, glowy, and long-wearing as my other three ALBs. But it’s pretty similar to Diffused Heat (although Diffused Heat ironically appears more magenta on the skin – the tan swirls in Radiant Magenta tone it down significantly), and I don’t think I really need both. As I’ve said, that’s my sole gripe with the ALB line. It’s not extensive, and many of the shades are quite similar. I don’t know if I can bear to part with Radiant Magenta, even so, because I paid a pretty penny for it and I just love the ALBs in general.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Natural Beauty

I first laughed when I saw that the name of this bright pink-red blush was Natural Beauty, but applied lightly it actually does make me look how I naturally do when I’ve just come out of the cold. This formula isn’t my favourite; it’s rather stiff, and I prefer something softer and more finely-milled. However, I like that it’s not too pigmented (with a colour like this that would be a real killer), and the colour is one of my favourites.

L-R: Hourglass Diffused Heat, Hourglass Radiant Magenta, Tarte Natural Beauty

Finally, plums and purples and berries, a category which I love maybe a little too much…

ColourPop Super Shock Cheek in Rain

You know, I bought this to see if I would actually wear lavender/lilac blush, and the answer is no, not often. (Don’t be fooled by the pan you see. This is the result of perhaps five applications.) However, I have on several occasions been very happy to have this on hand, as when I go out with my friends I usually do pretty funky makeup and enjoy applying this with a very heavy hand all the way up to my temples. It’s a fun product! But I’m not going to upgrade it for a more expensive lavender blush, probably.

Sleek Blush in Flushed

This was another Aisling hand-me-down, and it’s one of my favourites for fall and winter. It’s a warm berry shade with a satin finish and very subtle gold flecks running through it. It looks absolutely beautiful and glowing. I think this would look even better on deeper skintones that can take more colour. You’ll see in the swatch that it does come off warmer than it looks in the pan, but that’s also because it really doesn’t photograph true-to-colour. That’s been one of my ongoing struggles with this product! If you’re in the market for an affordable, warm-toned plummy blush… this may be the one!

Guerlain Rose Aux Joes Blush in Wonder Violette

Another absolutely wild Optimum points purchase! This is a soft, warm pinky plum. It’s another one which appears warmer on my skin than it does in the pan. I do not think it’s worth $60 and will not buy another Guerlain blush, with Optimum points or otherwise. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with it: the formula is nice and I like the colour, but there’s better stuff out there for cheaper. Speaking of which…

NARS Blush in Sin

Personally, I think NARS blushes are a little overrated formula-wise, but some of the colours are to die for. Sin is the colour of a bruise, which sounds very unappealing but which I adore. I have nothing else like this and I rarely see anything similar on the market. This blush doesn’t go with every makeup look, but I love having it on hand. I doubt I’ll become a NARS blush collector, but if any of the colours call my name I’d be willing to buy another one. (And yes, I felt like I truly belonged in the makeup community when I bought this. I mean, are you a real beauty blogger if you don’t own a NARS blush?!)

L-R: ColourPop Rain, Sleek Flushed, Guerlain Wonder Violettes, NARS Sin

And that, my friends, is the extent of my blush collection. Fourteen total if I count the shades in the Sleek palette separately, twelve actual products. I think that’s pretty manageable, and I don’t think I could realistically trim it down much. I genuinely use and like everything I have here. I can also easily list every product in my blush collection off the top of my head, which I think is a pretty good benchmark.

Next time shall I do a more boring category? I don’t want to exhaust all the interesting ones too early on…