Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cream contouring with Illamasqua cream pigment in hollow

Illamasqua cream pigments are interesting products. They come in the classic Illamasqua shape and are multipurpose products. It retails for 17,50 pounds and contains 10 grams of product. Depending on the color they can serve different purposes like under eye correct, redness corrector, eyeshadow and blush. I chose the the color hollow which is a light taupe color (the top layer is more brown then it actually is) and does a great contouring color.

Because I have a lot of cream Blushes I wanted a color that I could easily blend with my blush and keep everything very natural. Illamasqua makes also a darker shade called delerium that can also be used for contouring on darker skin tone.
Here it us applied heavily without any blush 

Then blended with a bit of cream blush 

Of course on those pictures I applied it heavier than I normally would , but you can see how natural the color looks and that it look like a real shadow. I would say that the staying power is better than powder contour. You can also layer them if you have a night out,

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mac half lash curler review and demo

Today I decided to do short review on MAC half curler. I painfully tried to find review for this and very few women actually reviewed it. As the name states, this is a half size eyelash curler. It retails for 14 euro and comes with a cushion refill. The curler is also not very round compared to my full size curler.

Next to a full size curler (from Make up for ever)

When I bought it, the sales person was surprised and said that this was usually for "asian eyes" whatever that means. Well I'm happy to report that lashes are lashes and it works fine on me! As you may have figured it out already, this curler permits you to curl only a section of your lashes and to reach the corners. This curler is also good for small eyes and deep set eyes. With my deep set eyes, it's hard to curl the lashes with a full size curler without my brow bone in the way.

To be able to demonstrate what it does, I used the same mascara primer and mascara for the three lash look.

without a curl

with a full size curler

Only the outer corner with the half curler 

As you can see, with the full size curler it gives me more of a doll effect and with the half curler it helps giving the illusion that my eyes are less round and more elongated. I actually like both looks, depending on what I'm going for. You can of course do all your lashes with the half curler as well!

I'm actually liking the look of my eyes like this, weather I'm going for the half or full look. I should try doing this more often. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Vintage Cosmetic Company floral brush roll pouch and real techniques core collection

When I was in London and Scotland, one of my goals was to find products that I couldn't find in Belgium. If there is one thing that is really hard to find in Belgium is good quality affordable brushes and accessories. I knew I would pick up the core set from real techniques (I did three boots to find it, all on the infamous Oxford street), but I was pleasantly surprised by the brush roll.

The Vintage Company floral brush roll

The vintage flower design brush roll has a plastic finish. It's a pretty traditional brush roll that is foldable in three. You can put 12 brushes (or pencil) and it has a little zipped pouch. I find it good to carry my cotton pads. You can buy it on Boots international that ships in most European country and retails for 10 pounds.

As you can see the elastic size are made for standard handle here shown with some mac, quo, sephora, ecotools and illamasqua brushes (that I will review soon because they are quite unique). It won't fit those big real technique face brushes handles. Overall this is all I can hope for in a brush roll and I love how cute it is.

Real Techniques core brush set

The real technique brushes have been reviewed, reviewed and reviewed some more, so I will try to be succinct and give you my personal experience of them. The come in their own travel pouches and contain four brushes: contour , pointed foundation, detailer brush and buffing brush. They sale an expert face brush separately that is very similar to the buffing brush only with shorter and denser bristles. All the brushes are made with taklon cruelty free synthetic fibers. I bought the set at boots for 21.99 pounds, but you can find those brushes literally everywhere online.

Contour brush

Bristles: 29mm long and diameter of 25mm. 12.8 cm handle. 

The contour brush is small face brush.  The brush is tapered completely round since the ferule isn't pinched. The bristles are very dense and very soft. The brush as the perfect size for my face size.

You can use it in different ways:

- With setting powder for small areas of the face like under eye
- With powder contour
- With cream contour and highlighter (where it excels).

I use this one mostly with highlighter, because I have other synthetic contour brushes, but it does a fantastic with contour as well. This is not for sale separately and is the main reason I picked up the set, instead of only the expert face brush.

Pointed foundation brush

Bristles: 25mm long, 14mm wide and 5mm thick. 12.8 cm handle.

This is the least essential brush of the set, but it's still nice. It's just a small paddle type of brush. It's mostly useful to apply concealer in larger area like in a triangle shape under the eyes or to cover larger patches of redness or uneven skin. You can also use it with liquid highlighter for precise placement. 

Detailer brush

Bristes: 10mm long, 5mm wide, 2mm thick. 12.8 cm handle.

This brush is really, really small. It's nice and firm and it really excels at apply concealer in very small areas like the inner corners of the eyes and on a pimple. It also makes a fantastic lip brush. This brush apply a lot of product on a very small area. 

Buffing brush

Bristes 27mm long, diameter of 34mm. 12.8 cm handle

The expert face brush is the most popular brush from real techniques and I understand why. It is adviced on the package to use it with mineral foundations, but almost everybody uses it to buff liquid foundation. It really gives an airbrush finish. Because I have dry skin, I don't buff with this brush.  I use this brush to spread my foundation, just like with a flat foundation brush. It works perfectly that way and does not leave any streak.

Anyway, I hope I didn't ramble too much. Brushes are really one of my favorite thing!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

British purchase #1: Sleek palette in Garden of eden

Sleek is really something that was on my wishlist when I went to the UK. You can buy it over there in Superdrug. I chose this palette because I found it very interesting (especially the bottom row) and really wearable (especially the top row). Like all sleek palettes it comes with a pretty classic applicator and the name of the shadows are on a plastic insert.

All of the shadows in this palette are really pigmented except Adam's apple. Three eyeshadows are matte: flora, adam's apple and tree of life. Two are matte with sparkles (but they don't translate much when you apply them): forbidden and entwined. The other half is quite shimmery.

This palette is also out of the ordinary, because it doesn't contain any highlight shade, making all colors wearable for women of color. I was really impressed with this palette it excels in the big three: pigmentation, staying power and blendability.All the colors also appears the same color on the skin, all that dark matte green shade keeps looking green no matter how much you blend it. The two dark matte shades are so pigmented and smooth and make great eyeliner. I find that the shades are especially nice for hazel, brown and black eyes.

wearing eve's kiss on  the lids and flora as a smudgy liner

Fig on the lid. tree of life soflty in the outer corner and lower lash line and gates of eden as a transition color.

My only regret is not picking up more sleek products when I was in Great Britain!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ilamasqua blush in naked rose is matte as can be!

Illamasqua is a British brand that is available on sephora US and Canada and on their website They are especially know for their blushes. If you sped for more than 50 pounds they ship for free internationally. I bought this blush with my own money as always.

I heard great things about their blushes, especially on that color that is suppose to go with everything and is entirely matte. The color is a soft beige neutral pink. It's a nice color that will never clash with your look.

If you are somebody that likes smooth and almost creamy powder blush, you will not like the formula, because it is quite dry. I tried to apply it without powdering my face first and it was a disaster. However, because it is a dryer powder it has an awesome staying power, the best I've ever seen.

Illamasqua naked rose with tarte dollface on the right and benefit dandelion on the left

As you can see by the above picture the blush is very similar to benefit dandelion, but it's more pigmented and matte (Benefit is a satin finish) and it has the same intensity as Tarte Dollface, but the latter is more pink.

To be honest, I really do like this blush, but like I said earlier it can be tough to blend if you don't prep your skin properly. I do like how pigmented the color is and it is a worthy successor to my dandelion that is running quite low. I'm not sure however that I will try other powder blushes from illamasqua. When it comes to matte blushes, the best formula I found so far remains the amazonian clay blushes by Tarte. 

Illamasqua also makes so really bright colors like pure reds that would look awesome on women with darker skin and maybe for those colors it would be worth the purchase.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

MAC prep + prime CC colour correcting compact in neutralize (yellow)

Last month I received a gift certificate from MAC. Since my make up collection is quite full, I tried to go for something I might almost need. I actually only own two setting powder, which is the category of product I have the least of (with brow fillers). Both of my current setting powder were in the loose form. I went to MAC thinking that I would go with the mineralize skin finish natural, but MAC is currently out of the color light plus since they are redoing the packaging. I wanted a powder that was pressed and yellow toned so I went with their new prep + prime CC colour correcting compact in the color neutralize.

The new range includes, primers, loose powder and pressed powder available in four shade for different color correcting needs. The pressed compact contains 8g of products and retails for 21.50 euros. This is not a talc based powder and the first ingredient is zinc stearate.  The powder feels quite lightweight and dry, which I like since it doesn't cake up. 

To test the actual color correcting ability of the powder I put it on top of a too pink foundation:

As you can see in the first picture my face is too pink compared to my neck and chest. After the powder my face looks more neutral (the cakiness is due to the foundation the powder doesn't cake up). The effect is quite subtle so you don't have to worry that you will end up looking jaundiced. When I use this powder in combination with MAC fix + setting spray I have a nice glow to my skin.

I think this is quite a good powder for slightly dry to slightly oily skin. I recommend trying it out in this shade if you have moderate redness or you need to finish up too pink foundations like I do! The powder also doesn't oxidize and I do not need to touch it up (but I can also easily go without powder).

Monday, April 7, 2014

Off for two weeks, see you soon!

Hi everyone, I'm not missing in action another time I'm just taking a small vacation. I'll be going 4 days in Scotland, three days in London and then make a good friend visit Belgium for a few days.

I'll try to read your blogs as much as possible!

Friday, April 4, 2014

My bobbi brown look with pot rouge in pale pink

I know it's not that pale!

But it can be applied  very softly.

I never paid much attention to Bobbi Brown. I always been more of a lip and eyes girl and  Bobbi brown is all about the skin.

For  those of you not familiar with her philosophy here it is in a nutshell:
  •  Moisturize, moisturize and moisturize some more!
  • All skin are yellow toned, buy yellow tone foundation
  • Use a corrector to conceal and then layer a brightening concealer (both before foundation)
  • Fix your foundation with a skin color powder (avoid those white silica one) and add a bronzer lightly all over the face and down the neck
  • Use three eyeshadows light, medium, dark and some eyeliner (either the dark eyeshadow or a gel for more drama). Go softer under the eye
  • Add a pop of color either with lips or a bright blush right on the apple and blend towards the hairline and downwards
  • She's a big fan of "power brows" and recommends using an eyeshadow to fill the brows
  • Only use very black mascara and use 2-3 coats on the top lashes and 1-2 on the bottom lashes.
  • Use a lip color close to your natural pink color. She loves pinky-browns. 
Alright, so with all of that in mind here's the look I came up with by following her rules:

And now onto the blush...

The pot rouge have been around for for a while. They are meant to be use for the lips or cheeks, but like most products of the sort it's better for the cheeks. They recently changed the glass jar/screw cap packaging for a flip black plastic case with a mirror and reduced the quantity by three fold without reducing the price! I paid 27 euros for 3.3g of product (actually I paid 2 euros I had a birthday gift certificate from work). 

The color pale pink is actually a medium cool pink. On my dry skin this lasts all day. The texture is quite thick and is best applied with a synthetic brush. The blush can be applied before powder or after (I'm wearing it after on top of powder and bronzer). The blush doesn't feel sticky at all. It's quite similar to the stila color convertible products, but apparently this is less greasy. I think this would actually be suitable for most skin types.

Overall I really like this blush despite the price. I really like cream blushes in general on my dry skin. The only thing that restrains me from running buying other pot rouge is the fact that cream blushes needs to be tossed after two years unlike powder that do not go bad. 

Cheek close-up

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Paula's choice The nude matte eyeshadow palette worth the hype?

As you know I recently placed an order on Paula's Choice website testing three products, two of which being skin care. I tried to review this palette quite fast since it's a limited edition.

The nude matte palette is a palette consisting of 11 matte shade and one shimmer highlight. The palette has true neutral shade, meaning that you won't find plum or green leaning neutrals. In that sense it is a true basic.

I have to say that I did carefully read the reviews prior to shedding 40 euros on that palette. All reviews except one were raves. A couple of mature ladies even said that they will throw away all their other eyeshadows, because they finally found something that was working for them!

This palette is average, the eyeshadows are not chalky on the skin, the colors accommodate a variety of skin tone and the quantity of eyeshadow is quite generous for the price. You get 17 grams which is about 1.4g per eyeshadow (MAC eyeshadow contain 1.5g as a comparison). BUT I wouldn't be as crazy as some of the review. The palette comes in quite a cheap cardboard packaging and the eyeshadow do not compare to my make up for ever or bare mineral ready matte eyeshadows. To be honest they aren't the easiest to work with. I could not get any decent swatches, so I'm sorry for the lack of swatches pictures. The eyeshadow were really sticking to my (dry skin!) fingers and refused to transfer.

What you do get though is a no nonsense palette, that's very wearable and that can be combined to your heart's content.  I'm particularly found of the lighter shades, which are smoother and have a better pigmention. The black is also very pigmented, but it doesn't blend very well. I will save that one to use as an eyeliner. I tried to do a smokey eye with it  and it was a major fiasco.  This palette was created with the help of the youtube beauty guru Wayne Goss, which I've been following for years.

You can easily go for a soft and understated look

That grey shade is the worst of the bunch it took me 15 minutes of worth for that eye look!

Overall, this palette is nice but not a must buy, unless you don't have a lot of neutrals in your collection. The shades are easier to apply tapped with a flat brush (like mac 239) than swiped, because they are very hard to blend, especially the darker half.  Personally, this palette could have been a must have if the shades were easier to blend. When I'm in a rush in the morning I don't have time to fight with my eyeshadows, because they stick a bit too much to the lid.