Inventory: Eyeliner

Posted on August 10, 2017 under Inventory

Let’s quickly run through this. Even I have limits when it comes to discussing eyeliner.

Liquid Liner

A staple in my eyeliner life since forever (aka 2013), I think I will always have Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Intense Black on hand. This eyeliner has never done me dirty in four years, which is why I have a backup. (I keep expecting this one to run out because I bought it in June 2016, but somehow it has managed to surpass its usual lifespan of 10 months.) I also have the same product in Snow and Indigo.

I’ve come to realize that almost every NYX product I’ve tried has disappointed me and thus ended up being destashed, but the Vivid Brights Eyeliner in Sapphire is legit. I rarely find a liquid liner formula that my eyelids don’t swallow, and this is one of them. Plus, well, cobalt blue is my colour.

Finally, a third liquid liner formula that actually works for me: Lancôme Grandiôse Eyeliner in Cerulean and Fuchsia*. Sadly these two beautiful colours were limited edition in the winter, but I love them. They’re so much fun and wear beautifully. I wish Lancôme would come out with more fun colours in this line and make them permanent, because the formula of this liner is bomb.

L-R: Stila Intense Black, Stila Snow, Stila Indigo, NYX Sapphire, Lancôme Cerulean, Lancôme Fuchsia

Pencil Liners

I use black pencils exclusively to tightline. Clarins Waterproof Eye Pencil in Noir is okay, but not the most transfer-proof. I got this as a gift from a friend and I’d never pay $27 for it! The Marc Jacobs Highliner in Blacquer (last year’s Sephora birthday gift) lasts a lot better, though it’s also overpriced.

In terms of browns, I have two of these Stila Smudge Sticks, in Damsel (a matte dark brown) and Lionfish (a lighter, warmer brown with some shimmer). These Smudge Sticks seem to multiply of their own accord; I’ve never actually bought one, but somehow have four (and that’s after decluttering at least two). Two more: Halfmoon and Purple Tang, a matte grey and a sparkly purple, respectively.

Clinique Quickliner for Eyes Intense in Black Honey is a really nice warm brown that complements warmer eye looks very well. I probably don’t need it since I already have two brown liners, but I like it.

NYX Wonder Pencil in Light is a classic nude to pop in the waterline to brighten tired eyes. I like it! I’m usually a twist-up pencil kind of gal because I’m lazy, but it’s a soft, creamy pencil that sets nicely. I love that they make this in different shades of nude, too.

Finally, two blues: Lise Watier Waterproof Eyeliner in Marin, a navy, and Annabelle Kohl Eyeliner in Lapis, a beautiful cobalt. Lise Watier and Annabelle are both Canadian brands owned by another Canadian brand, Marcelle, and of the two I vastly prefer Lise Watier. The Annabelle eye pencils come in a really great array of colours, but they’re drier and stiffer. The Lise Watier liners are creamy to apply but budgeproof once they set. Of course, they’re also about twice as expensive.

L-R: Clarins Noir, Marc Jacobs Blacquer, Stila Damsel, Stila Lionfish, Stila Halfmoon, Stila Purple Tang, Clinique Black Honey, NYX Light, Lise Watier Marin, Annabelle Lapis

Eyeshadow Sticks

I don’t know why I decided to put these in this post instead of with the single eyeshadows, but what’s done is done. These live in the same cup as all my liners, so that’s probably why.

If you were involved in the Reddit makeup world in 2013, then you probably either bought a NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk or coveted this product mightily. This was back in the days of savagery when NYX was not available in Canada, so I had to get my mom to pick these pencils up in New York for me. This product does not work as an eyeshadow base for me whatsoever: it creases terribly, even over a primer. I also don’t like it in the waterline because it’s too stark. I used up quite a bit of one pencil on Halloween 2015 when I used it as makeshift face paint on three people. The other one is untouched.

Lise Watier 24 Hours Glam Cream Eyeshadow in Satin Glam is a beautiful, shimmery champagne shadow stick. I’m not big on eyeshadow sticks, but this has a great formula. I mostly use it in my inner corner for an intense highlight.

L-R: NYX Milk, Lise Watier Satin Glam

I also have a gel eyeliner by Essence which I neglected to photograph but which you can see in action here.

There we go – I breezed through that batch of products pretty quickly, huh?

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: Small eyeshadow palettes

Posted on March 17, 2017 under Inventory

Today I’m inventorying my smaller palettes for you. As a general rule, I tend to reach for large palettes more often because I remember I have them and because they usually give me everything I need all in one place. I tend to neglect my singles and even my smaller palettes. I could probably pare down this collection, but that would be a post for another day. Also, I think I could have included some of the palettes from this post in the last one, but I divided them up based on gut feeling and we’re all just going to have to deal with the consequences.

Wet N Wild The Silent Treatment Trio

Pretty much since the moment I bought this trio back in the summer of 2013, I’ve been telling myself that one day I will get an empty palette and depot the eyelid shade of this trio so I can toss the other two. I have not touched either the crease or browbone colour in at least three years, but the taupe-y purple shimmer of the eyelid shade is one of my favourite eyeshadows ever. It’s divine. I keep this crappily-packaged trio around solely for that colour. It’s one of my most-used eyeshadows of all time.

Sleek I-Divine Mattes V2

You know those palettes that you keep around because they have a lot of really interesting colours that you might want to use one day even though you never actually do want to use them? Yeah. I actually did love a few of the shades in this palette many eons ago, but I haven’t touched it in years. Yet I cannot yet part with it! I wouldn’t say these eyeshadows are amazing, but they’re totally workable and the price is right. I’m going to see if I can get some use out of it now that I’ve remembered that I have it.

Unnamed Lancôme Quad, Lancôme Blush Sweetness, Lancôme Lavender Grace

These are all GWP sizes that I’ve picked up from work over the years; if you want to shell out $55 you’ll get larger pans and slightly more substantial packaging. The first quad, which has no name, contains the colours (clockwise from top left) Kitten Heel, Honeymoon, Platform, and Madison Ave. I love the shade Kitten Heel, which is the most beautiful shimmery peach. The other colours are all generic but pair well with Kitten Heel, so this works perfectly as a self-contained, slim, easy-to-carry quad.

I love the soft, romantic hues of the Blush Sweetness palette. Not everybody likes soft pinks on the eyes, but I think this palette gives a really gorgeous effect, and the shadows are very soft and smooth.

I love having Lavender Grace on hand for days when I really just want to wear purple eyeshadow. I don’t have pure purples anywhere else in my collection, but I do like wearing them occasionally, so I hang onto this. It’s not one of my most-used palettes, but it fills a gap in my collection to be sure.

The Body Shop Smoky Plum Quad

I’m pretty sure this was a limited edition holiday product several years back. I’m a sucker for neutral, taupe-based purples and plums, so I really dig this palette. The shadows are a bit on the sheer side, but they’re fine to work with and all the colours go together well. You know how sometimes you get a quad where you just can’t work one of the shades into the look easily? This palette is the opposite of that.

Urban Decay Naked Basics

Clearly, I use this palette all the time. I have a go-to look that I could do in my sleep, or more accurately, when I’m half-awake and running late. It’s perfect for travel because it’s so tiny and the rubberized packaging makes it resistant to shattering, plus it closes very securely. The shade Naked 2 is the best crease colour I’ve found for my skintone and I really wish UD sold it separately. I didn’t think I’d use this palette much until I got it, and now I can’t imagine life without it. I use it several times a week. It’s very boring but very functional.

Guerlain Ecrin 4 Couleurs in Les Violines

Okay, so, we all know that $71 CAD for 4 eyeshadows is absolutely ridiculous, regardless of how soft they are. This is a fact which I feel that I must establish right off the bat. If you know me at all you’ll know that I purchased this palette with Optimum points, which is always what I do when I feel like indulging in something I would never in a million years use real money on. Though the price tag is absurd, I really do love this palette. These taupe-y purple shades are some of my favourite to wear (see above), and I really appreciate that all these shades are completely matte. Obviously, there’s not a lot of versatility in the looks you can get from this palette, but it’s really great if you like these types of colours.

Wet N Wild Comfort Zone

Again, I should probably depot the colours I actually use from this palette and toss the rest. Wet N Wild shadows are by and large actually great quality, but most of the shades in this palette are similar to things I already own elsewhere in my collection. However, the blue-brown duochrome and the olive green shade alone justify the five bucks I paid for it. I’ve swatched a few of the other shades, but I don’t know that I’ve actually put them on my eyes. I don’t think this palette works on its own either as all the shades are shimmery (as is par for the course with WnW palettes). One day I promise I will buy a small palette and depot those two shades and the taupe from the Silent Treatment palette and toss the rest!

Marc Jacobs Style Eye Con No 7 Plush Eyeshadow Palette in The Lolita

My friend Kristin got me this palette for Christmas because she wanted to get me something that I’d never get myself. And she is very right that I would never spend $71 actual dollars on an eyeshadow palette with seven shades, because that is absurd. (But I’d spend $71 fake Optimum point dollars on an eyeshadow palette with four shades, obviously…) This is sort of like the Naked Basics palette elevated: you get all your very basic shades and a few fun shimmery ones, though they’re all still neutral. I really like the looks I’ve managed to make with this palette, but that one ultra-shimmer shade in the middle SUCKS, guys. It’s fallout city with no actual colour payoff to make the fallout worth it. And, I don’t know, I just feel like if you’re going to charge $71 for seven eyeshadows you should make them all useable, at least. It’s too bad, because the texture of the other shadows is lovely, and there’s a super pretty iridescent pink colour that looks beautiful in the center of the eyelid. It’s just, you know, how can I be wholeheartedly enthusiastic about this palette when that one shade is so goddamn bad?

Between these guys and my large palettes, you guys are probably like, “THAT IS ENOUGH EYESHADOW CLEM.” But no! I still have some singles, which will come at you someday. I don’t know when yet, because I have a backlog of posts I need to finish up and publish before I get to another inventory post.