Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Fantastick, That's You! Linda Hallberg Fantastick II Lipstick Swatches


In addition to Lisa Eldridge's Summer Pink Lipsticks, Linda Hallberg's Fantastick II Lipsticks were in heavy rotation this Summer.

 Although I own the original five Fantastick Lipstick shades, I'm going to work backwards, and post the five most recent shades first.


 I found the colors and pattern of exterior packaging of  the second release extremely appealing.


The Fantastick lipsticks are a multi-use product that can be used on the lips and cheeks. Also, they're  vegan, cruelty-free, and contain SPF15.

From left to right: Cultured, I Die, Extra, Famous, Pop. 

Cultured: a muted, terracotta orange.

I Die: a slightly reddened-coral.

Extra: transparent with pink and champagne glitter.

Famous: a cool toned nougat-brown.

Pop: a cool toned fuchsia.

At first, I wasn't going to get Extra, as I'm not really into glittery transparent lip products. However, the bundle amount dropped from $115 to $100, and the cost of 4 Fantasticks was $92. So, in order to qualify for the free worldwide shipping of orders over $100, I parted with the $8 difference.

Reminiscent of the M.A.C Sheen Supreme Lipsticks (remember those?) in both appearance and formula, I found the Fantasticks to have a creamier consistency. I really enjoy the performance, and wear of the Fantasticks; they're pigmented, yet have enough translucency in their glossy finish to give the lips a succulent pout. The only thing I don't like is the diagonal, circulair shape of the lipsticks. I found it difficult, and rather tedious, to apply along the lip line. But, hey, that's what lip brushes are for.

Of theses five shades, my favorites were cultured and famous. I'll definitely be caring them over into Autumn.  

Saturday, September 14, 2019

I Guess I Was Born...Naturally Born...Born Blue...Zoya Mallory


I had Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers playing in the background while cleaning makeup brushes, which inspired today's manicure, Zoya's Mallory.


Mallory is a highly saturated, deep (yet, bright) prussian-blue creme, with a high-shine finish. This polish has a beautiful, one-coat formula. I haven't worn Mallory in a while, so I don't remember its wear time. However, I will update this post upon the first sign of  tip wear.

Mallory is an attractive shade of blue, and always puts me in a pleasant mood whenever I look at my nails. 

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Pink, It's My New Obsession...Lisa Eldridge Summer Pinks Lipstick Collection


I picked up three of the four new lippies from Lisa Eldridge's Summer Pinks Lipstick Collection. As much as I enjoy a salmon-pink lip, depending on the base tone of the pigment used, the shade can be a hit or miss for me. Go Lightly is described as having a pastel undertone. Because those kinds of shades doesn't look good on me, I feel confident in my decision to pass.


With the purchase of two or more lipsticks you got this cute pale turquoise fabric bag, with pale yellow gold trim, and Eldridge's trademark embroidered emblem.



The lipsticks come in two different formulas: Luxuriously Lucent (Go Lightly, and Love of My Life), which is a soft, translucent, semi-sheer finish. The second formula is Insanely Saturated (Rainbow Spill, and Skyscraper Rose), a creamy, ultra-pigmented demi-matte. Both textures apply smoothly, with a luscious, lightweight feel on the lips. As a side-note, all three lipsticks leave a beautiful, even stain.

 From left to right: Love of My Life, Rainbow Spill, Skyscraper Rose.

Love of My Life: a medium, rosy pink.

Rainbow Spill: a slight muted, slightly radiated, corally-red, watermelon pink.

Skyscraper Rose: a deep, yet vibrant, reddened, fuchsia pink.

Apologies that my lighting in the photos below are all over the place. I really need to buy a ring light.


Love of My Life.


Rainbow Spill. 


 Skyscraper Rose.

I love all three shades as well as both finishes. However, I must say my favorite formula was the Insanely Saturated, and my favorite shade was Skyscraper Rose, with Rainbow Spill coming in at a close second.

Were you able to get any Lipsticks from the Summer Pinks Collection?

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Gone Surfing...Lauren B Beauty Santa Barbara Surf


In Tokyo, August is the hottest month of the year, and based on the weather.com forecast, today is 95°(feels like 111°). My apartment feels like the epicenter of Hades itself. I long for a swim, and although I may not be able to cool down, at least I can wear a cool shade of nail polish.


Lauren B Beauty's Santa Barbara Surf is a bright, seafoam green with a shiny creme finish. The first coat has some streaks and unevenness (not unusual for a shade that borderlines on the pastel spectrum), and depending on my application, I'm able to get an opaque finish in 2-3 coats. Santa Barbara Surf's wear time is an average of 4-5 days.

I love how Santa Barbara Surf looks on the fingers and toes, against tanned-skin and white clothing (shocking coming from someone who only wears black). Santa Barbara Surf is a beautiful polish that's perfect for both Spring, and Summer.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Those Shadows Are Mine, Betch!


Wow. I knew it had been some time since I last blogged, but 3 months?! I didn't mean to take so much time off, Well, let me fill you in on what's been going on. Since my last post, someone whom I've worked with for over 10 years confided in me of her diagnoses of breast cancer. Her and I are very close friends, and I've been accompanying and aiding her in her treatments and recovery process.

That is what has been going on in my world. Now, on to the makeup. I'm going to start with the last post that was in queue: Tarte's Icy Betch Palette. Whenever I read or hear the word "betch," I can't help but think of Liam Kyle Sullivan's character, Kelly. If you don't know what what I'm speaking of, Google "kelly shoes," I'll also insert a video below:




Upon opening the palette, I was caught off guard by the product's pleasing vanilla fragrance.


From left to right: Veronica, Becky, Blair, Heather, Georgina.

Veronica: a white matte.

Becky: a matte mid-toned (yet bright) turquoise blue.

Blair: a midnight blue with micro silver and blue glitter shimmer.

Heather: a cloudy blue matte.

Georgina: a teal matte.

From left to right: Miranda, Cheryl, Aria, Regina, Vivian.

Miranda: a muted emerald green shimmer with a murky, yellowish-brown undertone.

Cheryl: a mid-toned olympic blue shimmer.

Aria: a indigo blue shimmer.

Regina: a gold shifting ivory highlight. I wish Regina had a blue shift to give it more cohesion with the palette.

Vivian: a  muted, deep petrol blue matte.


Look Breakdown:
Face:
Bobbi Brown Extra Illuminating Moisture Balm
Dior Star Studio Makeup Spectacular Brightening Weightless Perfection in 030.
Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder in 2.
Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder in 3 (to give warmth to my complexion).
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in Exposed. 
Tarte Icy Betch Eye & Cheek Palette shadow in Regina (highlighter).
Eyes:
B & C Browlash EX Water Strong W Eyebrow in Grey Brown.
Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer in Custard.
Mac Pro Long Wear Paint Pot in Utterly Becoming (used as a base).
Tarte Icy Betch Eye & Cheek Palette:
Veronica (on the brow bone).
Heather (in the crease).
Becky (in the crease and along the lower lashline).
Aria (on the outer half on the lid).
Cheryl (on the inner half of lid).
Vivian (blended into the outer corner and outer half on the lashline).
Regina (inner corner highlight).
L'Oreal Hydrofuge Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black
Lips:
Mac Lip Pencil in Stripdown.
Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Decibel.


Already getting my Summer color.

Look Breakdown:
Face:
Bobbi Brown Extra Illuminating Moisture Balm
Dior Star Studio Makeup Spectacular Brightening Weightless Perfection in 030.
Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder in 2.
Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder in 3 (to give warmth to my complexion).
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in Paaarty. 
Tarte Icy Betch Eye & Cheek Palette shadow in Regina (highlighter).
Eyes:
B & C Browlash EX Water Strong W Eyebrow in Grey Brown.
Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer in Custard.
Mac Pro Long Wear Paint Pot in Utterly Becoming (used as a base).
Tarte Icy Betch Eye & Cheek Palette:
Georgina (patted on the lid, blended in the crease and along the lower lash line ).
Miranda (patted on the center of the lid).
Regina (inner corner highlight).
Black Up Le Khol Smoky Waterproof  Pencil in KS04 (on the waterline).
L'Oreal Hydrofuge Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black
Lips:
Mac Lip Pencil in Stripdown.
Linda Hallberg Fantastick Lipstick in Pink Opal.

Albeit, the matte shadows are slightly thin in texture. The matte shadows, along with the other shadows in the palette are pigmented, layer, and blend well with one another. Also, they endure a 10+ hour work day, without signs of patchiness or fading. A surprise like of the palette was the highlighter, Regina. I don't think I've ever tried a highlighter from Tarte, but I really enjoyed Regina.

For $24, the Icy Betch Eye & Cheek Palette is a pretty good deal, especially for those who may not be familiar/comfortable with working with blues, and want to get into them.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Light it up Blue with Zoya's Twila


Hey everyone!

How have you been? Have you watched Game of Thrones season 8 episode 3 yet? Did your favorite GoT Characters survive?

April is coming to an end, and if you weren't aware, April is also Autism Awareness Month. Autism awareness isn't something we can do for just a month. Awareness and acceptance of individuals with ASD is something we can do every month, all year long. In support, I've been wearing a lot of blue polishes, and wanted to "light it up blue" with a bang using Zoya's Twila.


As per Zoya's description, Twila is a mixture of blue and silver bar glitter with holographic glitter accents. If you want to Jazz up your manicure, you can wear Twila as a topper or on its own, in two to three coats. When dry, the polish has a textured finish. So, if that's not your preference, or you just want added bling, apply a top coat.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Chaos is My Life...Nars Chaos Velvet Matte Lip Duo


As a lover of the Velvet Matte Lip Pencils, I was thrilled when NARS included 14 all new (but not original), exclusive shades within four different sets last holiday.


I've been meaning to catalog and post swatches of all my Velvet Matte Lip Pencils (among everything else in my collection), so I thought I would start with the ones I have been using recently.

First up in these jumbo pencil wonders: the Chaos Velvet Matte Lip Duo, Decibel and Zipped.

From left to right: Decibel, Zipped.

Decibel: a warm toned, muted mauve-tinged, rosy-brown.

Zipped: a cool toned, muted berry.

Decibel and Zipped have the same velvety texture, seamless opacity, effortless application, comfortability that stays put, without drying out my lips.

Aside from wearing Decibel and Zipped monochromatically, I love pairing them together. With Decibel all over, and Zipped applied to the inner part of the upper and lower lips, they create a beautiful reversed ombre lip that's perfect for Spring.

Luckly, both shades have made a smooth transition into Spring because I love them, and I don't want to put them away.

What are your thoughts on Decibel and Zipped? 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

For Me To Call A Polish My Friend...Lauren B Beauty Griffith Gaze


A stylish shade for all seasons, Lauren B Beauty's Griffith Gaze is a neutral gray cream, with a swirl of pink, mauve, and purple undertones. Personally, I like wearing this gorgeous shade during winter, and spring. This is totally off topic, but I can't read Griffith without thinking of the character of the same name from the anime, Berserk. If you're into anime and, for whatever reason, haven't seen Berserk, finish reading this post (of course), then go watch it! It's one of my favorites.


Aside from being opaque, there are some minimal streaks with the first coat; however, this is corrected after a 2nd application.

The black polish used for the stamping is Lauren B Beauty's Paparazzi. 

I've been using many of the products from Nars' 2018 Holiday collection, and on another occasion, was inspired to pull out one of my MoYou Stamping plates in punk 06 (delving into the world of stamping), to give my mani some edge.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Fan The Flames...Smashbox Super Fan Mascara


Although it's been a while since I've used a Smashbox mascara, I do remember liking them. Sadly, this wasn't the case with Super Fan.

Smashbox describes Super Fan as a "lengthening mascara that gives you modern (whatever that means) fanned-out volume, 12-hours of length, lift, and volume without any heaviness or clumping.


Of all the claims, the only thing Super Fan did for my lashes was give them a nice splayed-out effect. In exploiting the product's only benefit, I layered it over other mascaras (it worked really well with one mascara in particular...that review is coming soon) to enhance definition.


Super Fan's formula is on the wet side; not an issue for me, but it may be for some. However, another disappointment with the mascara was how inconsistent it wore. Some days it would look great, but on others (more former than latter), it would be a flaky, smudged mess. Even with all the industry tips and tricks, I couldn't keep the mascara from flaking and transferring to my under eye.

I wouldn't recommend this mascara, and the only time I consider repurchasing Super Fan, is if Smashbox came out with a waterproof version...and this solely for comparison purposes.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Need That Picture Of You...Lauren B Beauty Paparazzi


Edgy, yet chic, black is a shade I like to wear during the latter half of Winter; thus, Lauren B. Beauty's Paparazzi is my favorite black polish.


Paparazzi is a glamorously intense ebony creme, with a lustrous patent leather finish. You don't have to go beyond one coat to get complete coverage. I've worn Paparazzi several times this season, and each time it wore for about 5 to 6 days without incident. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Buy What Thou Hast No Need Of...


Let's chit-chat, or ramble, if you will. But, before we do (and, I know I'm beyond fashionably late), I want to formally wish you a Happy New Year.

I have many vices, and makeup it definitely in the top tier. Whenever my blogger friends talk about their "no buys," I would jokingly scoff with them, and express how "I could never go on a 'no buy.'" However, within the last year or so, I've been reevaluating my shopping addiction habits, and the idea has become more and more appealing.

Begrudgingly, the brand that made me want to proverbially "break the wheel," "jump ship," or "get off the train," is SUQQU. I'm so tired of their EXTREMELY limited edition/limited quantity releases. In all fairness, this goes for many brands (and I'm tired of them as well), but SUQQU (a brand I truly love) is leading the pack, and running with the exclusivity torch.

You would think, after every single limited edition release sells out within a matter of minutes (2 minutes to be exact in some cases), they would increase the unit amount of limited edition products in their collections; but, no. This scarcity of  product, combined with the hype of social media, creates a buying frenzy among myself and other consumers (aka makeup addicts). I find this lack of production as a "reasonable" supply, to an already inflated demand, utterly inconsiderate to customers.

I'm done contacting the counters, trying to find out collection release dates, and if/when they are accepting reservations. I'm done with going 3+ hours before the store's opening hours, and waiting in queue to reserve products because the counters won't take them over the phone. Heaven forbid, my work load gets busy, and I miss the narrow reservation window, and I have to go to the store 3+ hours before opening to secure my purchase. I'm just sick of it.

That said, I'm not saying I will never line-up in one of these crazy queues again. But, it's going to have to be a collection to die for for me to get my portable chair out.

At this moment, I still don't think I can bring myself to do a "no buy' per-se. Perhaps, more of a "selective buy," where I'm more fastidious with which products I give my shekels to.

What do you think? Have you had your fill of all the skimpy limited edition product releases?

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

You Don't Always Get What You Wish For


I've been struggling with the decision to keep Dior's Diorific Vernis in 220 Promesse, and 001 Lucky Star, or not. So, I thought doing a post on them would help me decide.


220 Promesse is a soft, champagne-yellow gold, with micro silver and gold shimmer.

001 Lucky Star is a clear-based mixture of silver and gold stars, and bar-shaped glitter.

Promesse's formula is thin, yet good. However, even after four coats, you can still see my nail line peeking through. As for Lucky Star, I wish the base wasn't as thick because it would allow for a more even distribution of the glitters.

Don't get me wrong, both vernis are beautiful, but I'm not 100% in love with them. Therefore, I'll must likely be passing them on to greener pastures.

If you would like to adopt this vernis, and are in Japan (can't ship polishes out of the country), please leave a message in the comments or email me. 

Saturday, February 16, 2019

What Is That, Velvet?


Someone needs to tell Father time to stop! I can't believe it's been over a month (almost two) since my last blog post?! Time flies when you're overworked!

I meant to post this back in December, when I got them. However, they arrived a few days before I left to the states. I was able to photograph, and play with them before I left (I took two of the shades with me). I had all intentions to write this post while I was in the states, but this was my first time meeting my nephew and youngest niece, and she had me busy, round-the-clock playing unicorns with her.

I learned of Lisa Eldridge's True Velvet Collection launch via my Instagram feed. As I hurriedly typed the website's address, I expected to find everything sold out. Surprisingly, it wasn't and I swiftly placed my order.

Individually, the lipsticks are priced at £26.00. If I purchased all three (which I planned to), the total cost would be £78.00. Therefore, it made more since to buy the set, which included all three lipsticks, along with a velvet makeup bag for £75.00; thus, saving myself 3 quid.


As I opened the box, my first impression of my purchase was the black velvet bag, with Lisa Eldridge's embroidered emblem on it, that housed the lipsticks.

Lovely, simplistic matte white, and dulled metallic gold colored box.


Admittedly, after my initial squee towards the attention to detail of wrapping the lipstick tubes in delicate black tissue paper, I instantly thought of an uncut makizushi (even when I'm full, my mind is always hungry).


The exterior packing is simple, sleek and modern, Yet, the shade Mrs. Eldridge chose for the tubes (that I like to describe as an "old hollywood" gold) also gives the design a classic appeal. The tubes are magnetized, and just as Lisa Eldridge stated, in close range they will repel one another making them fun to arrange when trying to photograph.


Now, the product itself: I have never seen a lipstick as magnificent as the Plush True Velvet Lipsticks. The lipsticks' surface texture mimics the appearance of velvet fabric.

From left to right: Velvet Morning, Velvet Ribbon, Velvet Jazz. 

Velvet Morning: a bold (yet deep) reddened orange.

Velvet Ribbon: a classic, neutral bluish-red.

Velvet Jazz: a muted, deep, brick red.


An intensely pigmented and creamy formula, the True Velvet lipsticks glide on smoothly, providing full opacity in one-swipe; however, you will need to use a lip brush or lip liner if you want to perfect the lip shape. Long-lasting and extremely comfortable, the lipsticks have an almost weightless feel. The True Velvets are marketed as a "hydrating matte with a slight sheen," and I agree. If you want to tone down the light-reflecting sheen, and get a more velvet matte finish, simply blot with a tissue.

Velvet Morning.

Velvet Ribbon.

Velvet Jazz.

I truly hope Lisa Eldridge will release more shades of these True Velvets because the formula, and performance, of these lipsticks are quickly becoming my favorite. If the line was extended, I think it would be fun to continue to offer 3 variants of various shade ranges.

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