Thursday, May 30, 2013

Red Lady: MAKE UP FOR EVER Rouge Artist Intense in Moulin Rouge #43

Back when I first started my hunt for an "everyday" red lipstick, I came upon this one with the help of Sephora. I remember the first day that I wore it while walking home and I felt so self conscious about it. So sadly, this particular tube, though I've had it for a long time and it has batted around the bottom of my purse or my makeup bags, hasn't ever really been used.

Given this experiment of wearing red lipsticks, this one was a natural contender but it was one that I was most hesitant about. Talking to Devi though, who raved about this one, I tried to not be as adversarial to it. After all, it looked amazing on her.

The colour itself is actually quite nice -- it's a bit vibrant and though in the back of my head I felt as though it had a tinge of orange. Clearly I was a bit off in my assessment of it, but that didn't stop me from feeling self conscious.

Which brings up another very important point -- I've been showing copped pictures of just the lipstick and something that you absolutely need to keep in mind is what you're wearing because other makeup and your choice of clothes (colour wise) will effect how the lipstick is perceived. Why did some red lipsticks seem more orange-like whereas others seemed more purple, or more blue based? Not only was it my undertones, but also the difference between wearing a white shirt and a pink shirt.

With that being said, in comparison to other lipsticks that I had worn, I found myself leaning toward the Rimmel Red (not the matte version) in leiu of this one. But let's analyze why... The formula itself seemed a bit waxy and while it glided on well enough, it still didn't have the creaminess that others had. The colour lasted almost all day but the gumminess appeared a bit early on in the day (you know that feeling, when you've worn a lipstick for far too long in a day and it gets all gunked up?). Upon application, there was this weird taste that just seemed to last all day and even after my beloved midday cappuccino, I couldn't shake that taste. Needless to say, that while I could look back at pictures and say "That looked good!" I really didn't feel it which knocked my overall confidence level for this lipstick down quite a bit.

Day of wear with e.l.f. lip liner in Bitter.

Product: MAKE UP FOR EVER Rouge Artist Intense in Moulin Rouge #43
Red Lipstick Confidence Level: ★★☆☆☆
Price: $20
Stars: ★★★☆☆
Would Recommend? No, however since I know that this works well with my other makeup aficionado friends, I'd say that if it looks good on you, then give it a shot.
Takeaway: Good colour (though perhaps one that I'm not necessary fond of, but looks great in pictures), however the formula seemed off. Didn't like the weird aftertaste that lasted all day and definitely didn't appreciate the early signs of gumminess. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Red Lady: Lancôme Color Design Lipstick in Red Stiletto

This one was not part of my lineup however when my friend heard about my lipstick challenge, she gave it to me to try it out so in that way I could have more comparisons. This colour is described as being a "cream blue-red" as per the website. If I were to offhandedly give a comparison to it (without looking at my swatches), I'd say it's akin to the e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color in Rich Red and Maybelline Color Sensational in Very Cherry (wait till you see the swatches below to see how wrong I am). The reason why I say this is mainly due to it's vibrancy -- it kind of just pops on me which I liked. 

The formula itself was very creamy and glides on well. The application remains consistency moisturized throughout the day, so I didn't find myself needing to reapply -- except for when the lipstick got a bit messy. The thing about it being hydrated almost all day was that I found myself checking the mirror periodically to make sure it was still intact.

It's certainly not a bad lipstick -- it's quite flattering but it's one of those high maintenance types that is great for a short period of time, but not so great when you're talking about wearing it for a full day. Basically had I tried this one before the tube of Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss in 01, I'd likely be all over in terms of it's colour. But the performance of it throughout the day gave me reservations about wanting to purchase this for myself.

Swatch with no lip liner.

Swatch with no lip liner.

Day of Wear with elf lip liner in Bitter.

Day of Wear with elf lip liner in Bitter.
As this one was not originally part of my lineup, a comparison of them with the true reds appear below. 

From left to right: Nuance Paprika, Maybelline
Very Cherry, Rimmel in 01, and Lancome Red Stiletto.

Comparison of Very Cherry and Red Stiletto.

Product: Lancôme Color Design Lipstick in Red Stiletto
Confidence Level: ★★★★☆
Price: $22
Stars: ★★★☆☆
Would Recommend? No.
Takeaway: Great colour but I disliked the formula -- while it's very moisturizing, it kind of lends itself to be a bit messy at times which is something unanticipated. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Red Lady: Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss in 01

When I was hunting for red lipsticks and I somehow made it over to the Rimmel section in Walgreens, I remember immediately falling in love with the other tube which was matte. I saw this one and I remember a surge of indecision because by that point, I had like 5 tubes of red lipstick and this was a gamble. 

Little did I know how much I'd fall in love with this tube. If you look back at my previous "red ladies" series, there's a little snippet at the bottom called "Red Lipstick Confidence Level" which is composed of 5 stars. This one earned it's 5 stars because the colour and the formulation were spot on for me.

The colour was the exact red that I was looking for and the formula itself was moisturizing (though you should note that I wore these for a little over 8 hours so that moisturizing element will last only so long before a bit of balm needs to be applied). The lipstick didn't quite last all day but it only took one touch-up to get it back on track. In addition to that, it wasn't messy and stayed put all day long.

Swatch (with no lip liner).

Day One of Wear.

Don't worry about the uneven application, as I always fix it before I leave the house (but not before I take the photos). I love this one as it is vibrant but still very red and stays put. I was incredibly happy with this one and thus far there isn't much comparison (in terms of the new lipsticks) since this one formula and colour wise blows the rest out the water.

Product: Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss in 01
Confidence Level: ★★★★★
Price: $6.49 (Walgreens)
Stars: ★★★★★
Would Recommend? Yes!
Takeaway: The colour was a perfect match and the formula was fantastic. While it wasn't as long lasting as some others I've tried, it only needed one touch-up throughout the day and didn't leave my lips parched. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Red Lady: Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Matte Collection Lipstick in 107

Rimmel is not usually a company I check out too often however when I saw the bright tubes at the end of the aisle, I figured it was worth checking. Something about colour chart for this tube drew me to it but this explains the issue of sometimes seeing a colour in local drugstores and not researching it. On the chart in store, the colour was deep hue of red and when I got home to swatch it, I found it to be berry. I'm not going to blame anyhow about how a colour can be perceived in store because there are a lot of factors (most of which involve lighting). Unfortunately, considering that this was part of my red lipstick series, I'll include it anyway. I will warn that it is very obviously a berry (wine) which is something I missed.

Of the two Rimmel lipsticks that I chose to buy, this was the first one that I was incredibly excited about. Something about it screamed "Buy Me!" so I had to.

The first swatch of Rimmel Lasting Finish Matte.

Day One with e.l.f. lip liner in Bitter.

Day One with e.l.f. lip liner in Bitter.

Day Two with e.l.f. lip liner in Bitter.

Since the first day of wear was at a party, the colour vanishes quickly with the snacking and the copious amounts of wine. So I tried it again for a second day (pardon the uneven application; I did fix it before I left the house but not before I took the pictures). The colour is definitely beautiful but not the kind of red I was looking for. I loved the formula which glided on with ease and to me, it kind of smells like berries which is awesome. My boyfriend slightly disagrees and says that it smells like berry cereal.

Anyhow, I think it's a good one but perhaps not one for me since it doesn't fit my criteria. It looks as though all of the colours in this collection lean toward pinks and plums but at least there's the original collection to go to if you're looking for reds.

Product: Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Matte Collection Lipstick in 107 
Red Lipstick Confidence Level: ★★★☆☆
Price: $6.49 (Walgreens)
Stars: ★★★☆☆
Would Recommend? Not as a red lipstick, but certainly as a berry.
Takeaway: Great colour (and scent), glides all well, lasts a long time, and remains moisturizing. The problem is that it's not a red, which is what I'm looking for. Were it not for that, this would be highly recommended.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Red Lady: Maybelline Color Sensational in Very Cherry

The second in the series is this tube which intrigued me when I saw it at my local Walgreens. I went back and forth for a bit because just looking at the colour seemed very unlike me. But I figured it was still worth trying because it was different than what I'm used to. 

When I swatched the new lipsticks (the red ones), one of my first thoughts was that it seemed very similar to the e.l.f. Rich Red. Upon putting it on, I found that it glided well and was a bit creamier than the Rich Red and that made the application a bit more even.

It is definitely a deeper hue of red (in comparison to the e.l.f.) and it popped quite a bit but still worked with my undertones. I admit that on the first night I was a bit skeptical and wrote it off, but on the day that I had to wear it, it grew on me

Swatch from the first night.

Same swatch from that night.

Day of Wear with e.l.f. lip liner in Bitter.

While the application of it is quite creamy and lends itself to an even application I still felt that it was a bit off on me. It's a beautiful colour but still not quite the red I was looking for. In terms of wear, it did dry out periodically throughout the day which meant that I needed to go over it with some clear lip balm and reapply.

So what can you takeaway from this? Well, it's vibrant and seems different; not quite a deep hue of red but still a great colour that pops. It was complementary to me and my features but I still felt a bit weird since it seemed to lean toward orange a tad bit (unlike the Rich Red which leaned toward pink). 

Red Lipstick Confidence Level: ★★★☆☆ 
Price: $7.49
Stars: ★★★☆☆ 
Would Recommend? Maybe (notations below).
Takeaway: Easy application and glides all well which means it looks superb but how it holds over the day is different. The colour remains but it seems to dry out which leads to reapplications over lip balm. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Red Lady: e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color in Rich Red

In the Red Ladies series, the first one up was this one from e.l.f. Studio. Unlike the rest, which I kind of just randomly selected in store(s), this one was recommended by my friend Tabitha (actually, she tweeted about it but that was enough to put it on my radar). For those unfamiliar with the e.l.f. line, it's a pretty cheap cosmetics line that can be found at select Target stores or can otherwise be purchased online. So for $3, I figured that it was worth giving it a shot. 

In this particular lineup of matte lip colours, there are only 6 shades available and the rest are all nudes. This happens to be the only red in this line (but they do have other lipsticks and lip colours).

At first I had the fear that this would be a bit chalky and hard to apply only because when I usually come across lipsticks in this form, they have a slightly harder texture. I'm happy to report that I was completely wrong as this lip colour glides on and remains to be very moisturizing.

The first night that I swatched it I wasn't entirely impressed with it; while I thought the colour was nice, I thought it was a bit too vibrant on me. The feel of it was good but the colour just seemed off. Nonetheless I went ahead with the Day of Wear and I'm happy to say that my opinion of it changed a bit.

First swatch with no lip liner.

Day of Wear with Bare Minerals Lip Liner in Mauve.

Day of Wear

The colour matched the shirt I was wearing that day but I was still unsure of myself. I did get a few compliments on it but I have to say that my overall confidence was a bit low since I just wasn't sure how I really looked in it. 

But here are the positives without consideration to the colour itself. The formulation is long lasting -- I only had to apply it once and that was after lunch. The formula remains moisturizing throughout the day and overall was incredibly nice and felt good. There was never a point where I thought to myself that I needed to take it off to put on some lip balm underneath.

Red Lipstick Confidence Level: ★★★☆☆
Price: $3
Stars: ★★★★☆
Would Recommend? Maybe -- while the colour didn't work for me, the formula itself was really good. If other colours come out in the future, I'll definitely consider them. 
Takeaway: While the colour itself didn't quite make me happy because I still felt it was a bit too vibrant on me, it was still a good formula overall. It was not drying and remained moisturizing throughout the day. Add to that that it was long lasting. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Revisiting the Red Ladies

Recently I got the urge to revisit red lipstick; but as always it a long and slightly arduous task considering that you really need to try on a bunch and match for your correct undertones. Thus I decided that it wasn't just time to find a new tube of red lipstick but to revisit The Red Ladies in general. By that I mean, actually wear them.

Over the next few posts I'll be trying on new ones and possibly revisiting old ones. In the lineup are the following reds:

  1. e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color in Rich Red
  2. Nuance Salma Hayek Color Vibrance Lipstick in Paprika
  3. Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss in 01
  4. Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Matte Collection Lipstick in 107
  5. Maybelline Color Sensational in Very Cherry

I'll likely be covering their longevity and wear within the next few posts as I slowly go through them. Other colours that I may cover appear below. Some of these have been with me for a while so pardon their appearance. 

  1. COVERGIRL LipPerfection Lipcolor in Embrace
  2. MAKE UP FOR EVER Rouge Artist Intense in Moulin Rouge
  3. Bobbi Brown Metallic Lip Color in Ruby
  4. Estée Lauder Pure Color Crystal Lipstick in Crystal Orchid

As this might take me a bit of time to slowly go through them (who knows, I might get a bit fed up and combine them all into one mega post, I'll leave you with some preliminary swatches of them.

From left to right: e.l.f., Nuance, Rimmel Kate,
Rimmel Kate Matte, and Maybelline.

Covergirl, MUFE, Bobbi Brown, Estée Lauder.
Now I know that it might seem a bit confusing that with the first batch being red, the second jumps to purple and pinks. The reason for this is that I've been on the hunt for a purple lipstick as well, but not one that is too bright since my undertones don't take to well too colours at time. While perusing the makeup aisles at Target, I came across Covergirl's Embrace and I had to grab it. Given the devation, I figured that it would be worth it to try out all of my lipsticks if time allows.

Rimmel Kate Matte and Covergirl.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Soapy Suds Review

Soaps are some of my favourite things to indulge and while I try to refrain from blogging about it, I have a variety stacked that I just need to review. Now I know that people tend to overlook soaps, but that's where skincare starts for me. For those of you that doubt me, I should have taken a picture of my skin when we were in Florida. The soap that was provided by the hotel left my skin a wonderful ashen colour which is why we ran out to get a bottle of Dial NutriSkin Replenishing Body Lotion Sensitive Skin. Sure, hotel soaps for me are notorious for drying out my skin which is why I'm a strong believer of proper skincare, but that's also why I feel as though it starts in the shower.

Well, that and when I was younger my skin used to be so dry that I used to have to use either a cocoa butter based soap, olive oil soap, or African Black Soap. This is why I'm pretty specific when it comes to soap -- I'm willing to experiment but not willing to change (sometimes, it takes a lot for me to make that switch or add something into the rotation permanently). Now that you've made it past the spiel, let's move on to the actual soaps!

Wholly Hemp Soothing Soap in Geranium Rose

This was my first time trying out a hemp based soap and it was provided to me by Wholly Hemp. Hemp soap, or at least this particular one was slightly different than anything I had used before. It was clearly filled with several different types of essential oils which made it kind of... creamy. I'm not sure how to really describe it but it wasn't oily, just very enriching. It didn't work up too much of a lather but still gave off a lot of moisture. The ingredients are as follows: "Saponified hemp-coconut-palm-sunflower oil, lavender oil, rosemary extract."

Overall, I liked the feel that this one gave my skin and when paired with the Wholly Hemp moisturizer, it was magnificent. (Also, speaking about the moisturizer, if you have problematic skin, it turns out to be really good for your skin. My boyfriend has been giving it a shot and he's had glowing reviews about it especially for dry spots). I think the soaps are great as in they work and they don't dry out my skin but they also don't leave me feeling like there was too much oils (as in a residue).

Price: $5
Stars: ★★★★★
Takeaway: As with the other products I've tried from Wholly Hemp, I love the soaps. They are filled with oils which actually comes out to be a bit creamy. It provides just the right amount of moisture back to your skin without drying it out (which is fantastic for dry skin).

Sappo Hill Soap in Oatmeal (Fragrance Free)

This one has caught my eye at Whole Foods before but during my last trip to my local health food store, I finally decided to give it a shot. Unlike other soaps, this one was sold without any extra packaging (no wrapper) and therefore not very many labels. (Just as a note, you can get them packaged in cellophane which is a bit extra). I grabbed an oatmeal soap and weirdly enough, while I noted that there was no scent to it when I showered, did not realize that that was because there is a fragrance free version and a fragrant one (that smells like oatmeal cookies).

The soaps are free of: parabens, phthalate, SLS, detergent, sulfates, harsh chemicals, and gluten. They are also vegan, and cruelty-free. They are made of saponified palm and coconut oils, glycerin, and organic oats. Basically these soaps are all vegetable oils and simplistic in nature. However it kind of left me wanting more. See, while I generally feel that oatmeal is great for my skin, I don't think this particular soap is good for me as it's not as moisturizing. It was kind of like I just got a random glycerin soap that did very little.

This is definitely not to say that all of the other soaps are inherently bad. It's just that this one wasn't good for me. I do look forward to trying other soaps in the lineup but I have my suspicions that I will have to follow up with a heavy moisturizer thereafter since it seems to lack a moisturizing agent (such as cocoa butter or shea butter).

Price: $3.99 (or $1.90 online)
Stars: ★★☆☆☆
Takeaway: While it's a great simple soap, it's not that great for the dry skin as it lacks a moisturizing element.

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap Rose Bar Soap & Baby Mild Bar Soap

I will absolutely admit that there was nothing that ever trully called to me before to ever try this out, even though I saw it everywhere that I shopped (that is, the Dr. Bronner's line). After trying out Wholly Hemp though, it opened my eyes to the mystical powers of Hemp Oil so I figured that I should at least give another brand a shot. So what better item to try then a soap with hemp and rose and a mild bar.

Unlike Wholly Hemp, neither of them are packed with all those moisturizing oils. It's not too drying but it's not as moisturizing either. Nonetheless both soaps offer up quite a lather. As for the scents, the rose soap is very light and barely noticeable which made me slightly sad since I was hoping to get a bit more of that scent coming through. I already knew that I wouldn't be getting any scents from the baby mild since that was is fragrance free. Overall, as I mentioned, they are both good, but they seemed more of the bareboned type of soap rather than a luxurious one.

Price: $4.49
Stars: ★★☆☆☆
Takeaway: These are great simple soaps (actually, they remind me of the types that I use to hand wash bras), but they aren't "luxurious," which means that I like having fun with my bars of soap -- these are your average types without much scent or moisturizers. So while they are great to have around, if you're a scent driven person (and you need heavy moisturizers), these might not be for you.

Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Bar Soap

As I might have mentioned before, Olive Soap (along with African Black Soap) is something I grew up with seeing as my skin was really dry. So when I saw this one on the shelf, I figured that it's been awhile since I've had a normal soap and there's no way that I could be upset with a good bar of olive soap.

I really enjoyed the soap as it had a light scent and worked up a great lather. It also makes me feel good knowing that it is made without unnecessary stuff such as parabens, phthalate, SLS, and artificial fragrances. The problem though was that it was just not very moisturizing. It had a certain element of moisture in it (much more than Dr. Bronner's but still not enough to keep my skin from turning ashen.

While that might be my own skin's fault, it does mean that this can't be in the rotation (and mostly that I can't deviate too far from shea butter or cocoa butter based soaps).

Price: $3.99 (8 oz.)
Stars: ★★★☆☆
Takeaway: Another good simplistic soap that is a bit more moisturizing than others I've come across but not enough for dry skin. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Swatch: Sheswai Lacquer in Ladylike

Items were received by Kara's Way complimentary.

As I've likely mentioned before, I have quite the appreciation for Sheswai Lacquers as I think they have great pigmentation and offer a lot of coverage for just one stroke. So rather than writing up another glowing review of Sheswai, I'm just going to show you a nail polish that I received from Kara's Way (the monthly subscription box). 

As you might notice, there is some chips but that's because this is only one coat with no top coat applied. I had also just finished helping out with some yard work so I will happily admit that it works out very well.

Product: Sheswai Lacquer in Ladylike
Price: $16
Would Recommend? Yes!
Takeaway: An adorable coral rose for the summer -- if you're a nail polish addict, you'll definitely want this one in your collection. Also as a side note, it kind of reminds me of Barbie pink. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Comparison of CoverFX Packaging

Item was received in a contest by CoverFX.

Back in October 2012, CoverFX announced that they would be changing the names of the colours and all you had to do to enter this competition was to comment with your new shade colour. Now there's a bit of background here to get into and since I tend to be longwinded, I'm going to somewhat skip it. But the short of the long is that I had been using M80 (G70) instead of B0 (N70) or B15 (N70) and while I won't mention how or why that happened (I'll explain it if you ask), I did revert to the recommendations that the Sephora Color IQ test gave me (you can check my results here). The reason why I preface this post with that is because you're going to notice that the colours are different -- but this post is not about the colours and rather about the packaging.

The original packaging came with a small puff which I ended up discarding almost immediately. The reason for that was because I was using brushes at the time and had no use for a puff. With the new version, it's a bit thicker but that's because the puff they add in in now separated from the makeup.

G70 (left) and N70 (right).

The puff underneath the pan of the new compact.

Holes that have been placed in to help the excess
foundation escape and allow the puff itself to breathe,

My new foundation (N70) matches perfectly and I could kick myself for being dissuaded from purchasing it on the first go. Nonetheless, I'm really happy that with the help of Sephora and CoverFX, I was able to find the correct matching foundation and get a free compact out of it. 


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