Friday, March 30, 2012

Swatch: Illamasqua Throb

This is my first Illamasqua polish and I totally understand the hype now.

Probably the most expensive polish I own, the bottle was actually a little bit smaller than I was expecting, but the polish is stunning.

A one-coat, deep red creme.

Seriously, one coat. It was a fairly thick polish but applied quite smoothly.

My right hand doesn't look as good because my left hand isn't as coordinated, I had to do a bit of clean-up, and the polish is so pigmented it didn't want to come off my cuticles! Gorgeous, wonderful polish though, I already have my eye on Caress (baby blue), Load (off-white), Bacterium (taupe with silver sheen) and Smash (grass green).

I am itching to Konad this... we'll see if I can manage a design without totally messing it up, haha.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

New Swatches: Lost in Makeupland

A while ago I had a good look at my jar of LiM Finishing Powder for Oily Skin, which is absolutely my HG powder. It was *GASP* nearly empty! I quickly placed an order, and exercised extreme self-restraint by not putting anything else in my cart, even though Belen had released a new collection with some gorgeous new shadows.

I forgot that Belen is a gorgeous soul who adores her customers. When my package arrived, I opened it and out fell my new jar of powder, and THREE samples from the new collection, including one the first LiM taupes, Serial Killer, which I actually put in my cart and then removed when I was placing my order.

Without further ado, swatches! All done over PE unless stated.

Razorlight, "Light silver white eyeshadow."
Pretty darn spot-on description - it does look deceptively matte in the jar. I can see this being a great inner corner colour, probably a bit too whitish to use as a browbone highlight on me though. Now that I'm thinking about all the different shades of silver, I'm imagining a silver/grey gradient eye look. HMM!

I Think I'm Paranoid, "Bright blue teal eyeshadow with a bit of red glitter and holographic glitter and a green twist."

Not a good picture, but shows the green shift.

Looks almost turquoise in the jar. I don't see any holographic glitter, the red glitter is quite sparse, but it has this gorgeous green shift to it that tips is over turquoise into a definitely tealy-blue. Very pretty!

Serial Killer, "Light neutral taupe eyeshadow with a touch of black, holographic and purple glitter."

On bare skin
Over PE
I would classify this as a greyed taupe, since it has a distinct silvery sheen to it no matter how it's applied. This would be great either in the crease or on the lid. It's a really beautiful shade. The glitters are again, quite subtle.

I also love the look of Stoopid, even though Bioshock is definitely my favourite LiM green ever, and I want to try some of the Whipped Reflects, which are highlights with a coloured duochrome shift. Highlighters are another thing you NEED to try from LiM. I have Glow and Faerie and I use them just about every time I do my make-up. They're subtle enough to use on your face as well as browbone.

Visit Lost in Makeupland's shiny new shop here. Fair warning, because she is located in Spain, it does take at least 3 weeks for your orders to get to you. As an Aussie I'm used to that, but I know a lot of American shoppers are used to getting their orders within a week or two, since the majority of indie MMU sellers are located in the U.S. Lucky!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Help me find a dupe!

When Aromaleigh announced they were closing, and then shortly after that announced they were no longer shipping internationally, I was left with a couple of samples I would have liked to buy the full-sized version of.

Serenade I was actually able to mix my own dupe of, and Dulcinea I discovered was not actually as uncommon a colour as I'd thought.

Now the only sample I have left of that I'm loathe to hit 'pan' on is Champagne Toast (see it in action here and here). I haven't been able to find anybody swapping or selling this, and as it was a colour from an older collection, the 'new' Aromaleigh didn't have any left-over stock of it. So I'm hunting down dupes! I ordered three samples from Sassy Minerals (now sadly closed and amalgamated into the Lauress website, which I find ridiculous to navigate [the way they categorise their eyeshadows does my head in] plus the Sassy colours aren't available from them yet) to start off with. HOLY BRACKETS BATMAN. Sorry about that.

The official description for Champagne toast was "A nude pinkish fawn/champagne tone with bright aqua shimmer sparkles dancing in the light."

The three shades I got from Sassy were:
Gaining Ground "Pale rosy beige with flashes of green and pink shimmer "

Salt & Sand "Sandy beige with aqua and gold sparkle "

Pixie Sprinkles "Neutral peachy beige with copper, green and purple sparkles"
You can see from the jar shots that they're all fairly similar, but none of them look like real dupes for each other. Time for the swatch test! All done over PE since that's pretty much the only way I'd wear them.

This is Champagne Toast:
Eye-brightening, peachy-champagne, lovely sheen without being over the top. The aqua sparkles I sadly couldn't get to show up, but rest assured they are there.

Gaining Ground:

Pearly, pale pink. Slight green flash from certain angles.

Very different to Champagne Toast. NEXT!

Salt & Sand:
Peachy pink with a scattering of aqua sparkles. Promising!
But it doesn't quite have that champagne quality. Close though! I can definitely see myself reaching for this if I can't find a proper dupe. Let's go on to the last contender.

Pixie Sprinkles:
Rose gold with superfine pink and green glitters. Quite a bit more pink in real life, it kept wanting to blend into my skintone in these photos. It's the exact colour of rose gold, not nearly as yellow-toned as it is here. I tried lots of different settings and light sources and could not get it to photograph well!
A beautiful, flattering colour, but again, very different to Champagne Toast. This photo is a much better indication of its pinky-ness.

On the list as possible contenders:
Alyk's Twinkle from Persephone Minerals
Deco and Vapor from Silk Naturals
Taupiary, Tickled Pink and Vanilla Skies from Sobe Botanicals
Sexy in Suspenders from Geek Chic
Selene from Morgana Cryptoria

Any suggestions? Or better yet, if you have any of these shades, would you be able to swatch them for me?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Review and swatches: Femme Fatale Cosmetics

I was following Ethereal Beauty’s blog for a while – I like discovering other Aussie bloggers and her looks were just stunning. She makes blending look effortless and always has amazing colour combinations I don’t think I’d have the skill to make work! When she mentioned she was thinking of starting up her own line of eyeshadows, I just about jumped for joy.

Fast forward several months later and Femme Fatale Cosmetics is now up and running with its own website, and a healthy start-up collection of eyeshadows, blushes, a L.E Christmas collection (partly sold out and only available in sample form) and a Valentine's Day.

This is a combination of two orders. Sample shipping from FFC cosmetics is free worldwide as Sophie recognised that the main customer base of indie make-up is American, as is the main gamut of companies, so most Americans aren’t used to paying international shipping prices, you lucky sparkle-hogs! Samples were $1 each when I ordered. Sophie has recently put the price up to $1.10 to help with the huge losses she is taking offering said free shipping. I was bowled over when my order arrived a few days later. Aus post is not the best, I was expecting it to take at least a week.

The eyeshadows are extremely smooth and last magnificently over primer (I never do eye looks without primer anyway because my lids are so darn oily).

I totally forgot to take photos of the sample bags before I destroyed them de-potting, but let me tell you about them. On EVERY sample bag is written the ingredients, where it's safe to be used AND whether or not it's vegan. Mega props to Sophie. It is all neatly squeezed onto this teeny label and I think that's brilliant. Here's my first (and definitely not last) full-sized jar, which has all that information on the bottom:

Without further ado – swatches! I ordered a mix of pinks/neutrals for work and for review and fun purposes, I got some brights and duochromes as well. Everything's swatched over P.E, but rest assured these look and perform beautifully just over primer as well.

Divinity "A pale pink shadow with an orange shine."
I just got Rapunzel Had Extensions from Fyrinnae, so expect to see a comparison between these soon. A really pretty, delicate shade.
Enchanted "A pale coral red base complimented by a red/pink shine."
This shade comes across as more straight pink than coral on me, but it is a really lovely colour - coming from a girl who was anti-pink for many years!

Heroic "A soft copper tinged peach, Heroic has an incredible gold shimmer."
Over straight primer this is less gold, I actually prefer wearing it without PE.

Hibernate "A shamrock green shade, highlighted with a subtle copper-gold shine and a scattering of sparkles."
Cheerful, grassy green. The copper-gold shine is very subtle but keeps it from being plain.

Ignite (free sample) "A burnt amber base with a golden orange shimmer and a scattering of warm tone sparkles."
Not a hugely unusual shade but a nice, wearable orange nonetheless.

Inscribe "A mid brown shadow with a hint of red and green."
Soft brown with a hint of a difference. Would make a great crease colour. Unfortunately gets neglected among my now huge brown stash!

Levitate "A soft amaranth pink with lavender tones, Levitate has a frosty violet shimmer with blue, red and pink sparkles."
I really want to do a matching eye and lip combo with this colour! I love the lavender undertones.

Obliterate "A muted cerise with subtle colour shifting shimmer which alternates between green and blue."
A great way to ease into red shadows, I think. Beautiful berry-ish colour.

Shooting Stars "A soft wisteria violet tinged with pink, highlighted by a heavy blue duochrome shimmer."
I have so many purple-blue duochrome colours, because they are so gorgeous, I can't resist them. This is no exception and I'm glad I managed to capture both colours here.

Smokebomb (free sample) "A deep black based grey with colour shifting shimmer. Shimmer alternates between red-gold and bronze as well as an unexpected gold green depending on the angle of light."
Would make a kick-ass liner when foiled. I admit I hadn't even tried this colour until swatching it because I love my brights, but it's a really awesome dark duochrome.

Spark of Life "pale moss green with intense green shine."
I would describe this as a minty green rather than moss. It went very metallic over PE but I think you might be able to get it to be a bit softer on a sticky base.

Archangel "yellow toned ivory shadow with a soft violet shine".
With PE on top, on bare skin underneath to try and get some of the base colour to show up. The strong duochrome on this one reminds me of the Sailor Moon collection from Persephone Minerals.

Space Cow "A soft lavender tinged with grey and a muted reddish pink shimmer."
SO PRETTY and the name cracks me up. I absolutely do not need more purple shadows, I pretty much only got this for the name :P

Wisp "A cool grey shadow with an intense blue shine."
Again, the duochrome is super strong here because of PE. If you wanted the soft grey base to show up, over primer will give a very different effect.

Reindeer Dust (limited edition) "soft blend of coral and gold highlighted by a very subtle gold/green colour shift and blue sparkles".
Really pretty, soft , shiny shadow. I have already posted a look with it here.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Becca Brush Soap and where to get it!

After reading Pink Sith's review of this brush soap, I knew I had to have it. I HATE cleaning my brushes! It takes so long  to do and then you have to wait for them to dry and just bleeeergh no thankyou. Consequently I hardly ever clean my brushes (bad, I know!)

This isn't a review so much as it is a heads-up that A) this stuff is amazing and totally does what it says it does, and B) it retails for $15 USD on Becca's website but I found somewhere you can get it cheaper.

See, Becca's Brush Soap is actually $18 AUSD just about anywhere you can get it where it will ship to Australia. I found a place selling it for $14 AUSD. I was skeptical about the legitimacy of the place and whether or not they would actually ship in a timely fashion, but after receiving my order within the week of placing it, I was quite impressed.

I had an attack of Lonely Cart Syndrome and grabbed the BeautyPro Eyebrow Brush. BAD IDEA. This has to be the scratchiest makeup brush I've ever encountered in my entire life. It's actually horrible. I thought about using it for manicure clean-up or even nail art instead, but the bristles are so splayed it would only create a mess and with the bristle stiffness, you'd have to use it on completely dry polish or else it would create dents.

Verdict? Get the Becca Brush Soap. If you have an interest in any of their other products (which are discounted by Aussie standards but still a lot more expensive than you can find online) then go forth and spend money, but for now I'd avoid the BeautyPro brushes. Unless you like poking your eye out.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I sense a new obsession coming on... (review)

Lookit what I got in the mail today!

The last time I tried to add a second set of piercings to my earlobes, they took SO long to heal and were so painful all the time, I just gave up. I love the look/idea of other piercings, but 1) I'm way too much of a sook to get anything else pierced, 2) working in the higher-end shops they tend to look down on things that aren't conservative. So when I discovered ear cuffs, like clip-on earrings but meant for places other than your ear lobe, I got myself something small and simple to see if it would work.

It does!
Ignore the triangle-y bit, it's sticky-tape residue, not an imperfection on the cuff.

The cuff is so light and comfortable, I wore it while making dinner and forgot I had it on. It's quite secure, I was a little worried that earphones might disrupt it but it seems to be in a pretty good spot. Because it's such a simple design, you can wear it on either ear, and it goes with most of my jewellery (I'm a silver girl). Now I just need a few more colours and a few more intricate ones as well ;) I already have a ton favourited on Etsy, heh.

Note the indentation from the unsuccessful second hole :(
I purchased from Vintage Made by Ducky. There are a lot of other similarly quirky/niche pieces in the shop. Pricing in the shop overall is good, this piece in particular was $3.50 US, so really cheap! Shipping was good price-wise, time-wise it was fairly standard for U.S. to Aus (I placed the order Feb. 19th and it arrived today, the 8th of March). If you're interested in trying out ear cuffs, I would definitely recommend starting with something like this so you can figure out if it will work for your style, and make sure that having a bit of jewellery dangling off your upper ear will annoy you or not.

It's marketed as "silver" but it isn't hallmarked or anything like that, so if you have any particular metal allergies, I'd advise contacting the seller. I don't have any (touch wood!!!) so I'll be happily wearing this little bit of shiny until I lose it (fingers crossed I don't though).

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Speck-tacular Runway (NotD)

Pardon the tipwear, this is now a few days old. Runway from Mode Cosmetics with a thick coat of Australis Speck-tacular. Runway is a little darker and bluer in these photos than it is in real life.

I was originally going to put Runway under a coat of China Glaze Wireless (which is an awesome holo top coat) but my bottle is missing :( I might have to bite the bullet and purchase a replacement soon, it's been a week or so and it hasn't turned up!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Jaded on the Runway (NotD)

More Mode polishes! I tried out Runway for the first time, which is a deep teal creme, INSANELY gorgeous and opaque in one coat. Me being me of course, I couldn't leave it alone, so I layered Jaded over the top which is a sheer green-y shimmer, which added a grass green shimmer to it. I love this combo so much.

The best thing about this mani was how fast it was; because both polishes applied so smoothly, it was literally base coat, polish 1, polish 2, top coat and DONE. Time constraints are my worst enemy at the moment :(