Monday, May 29, 2017

Guerlain Terracotta Sun Trio and Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Luminous Colour

I have a couple of items that I bought as soon as they came out because I like to keep updated with the Terracotta line of Guerlain and Les Beiges by Chanel. I thought I'd write this piece about the two of them together, just by way of saying, they were both underwhelming and possibly unnecessary updates to the line.

The Guerlain Terracotta Sun Trio Bronzing Contouring Palette comes in three shades, as far as I've seen. I have Light, the lightest one, and the other two are Natural and Deep. Maybe I bought the wrong shade or I'm using it wrong but there's something not quite right about the way this applies on me. It's so hard to use it as a contouring trio because the division makes it so that the highlighting and contouring shades are very tiny. I have a hard time getting my brush on just one color at a time. But if I swish my brush on the entire lot, all three shades, this actually feels more like a too-yellow face powder on my light skin. The culprit, I think, is the large bottom half of the compact, which has that yellow-toned powder. So if you think of it as a contouring trio, that bottom half should be your true match and for me, it's just off.

I realize that if I tried the darker shade (Natural), maybe I could make it work as bronzer, just swishing my brush over the entire thing every time. Or I could make do with the one I have, with some effort. I figure that if I can evenly get more of the darkest shade on the brush... ok, you know what? Too much work. I guess I'll keep it as my compact for the summer, to stow in my purse. But, still not sure of the proper niche for this Sun Trio in my collection.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Love, Bite Lip Set (bite multistick in Cashew and Gelato, Crème Lip Gloss in Rose Pearl)

Sephora is still currently selling this set from bite beauty called the Love, Bite Lip Set. If you haven't yet sampled their multisticks and lip glosses, this is a good start. The set itself is a good value price-wise. $42 gets you two multisticks and a lip gloss, all full-sized. You get the lot in a tin packaged with a small mirror. Bought alone, the multisticks are $24 apiece and the lip gloss is $22 so think of it as getting one full-sized item as a bonus. I bought this set because I was curious about both products but I'm keeping it on the performance of the multisticks alone, which isn't much of a discount but still works out ok for the price.

Except for the Cashew Multistick, I had a difficult time photographing these products for color accuracy. The swatches tell the story though, so I wouldn't fuss too much about individual product pictures.

The multisticks are basically a cream product with a powder finish. They can be used on lips and cheeks. I think lids too, but I didn't try that because I didn't think the colors would work well for me that way. Normally, I stay away from products like this. I rarely use cream blush because I find that the best way to apply them involves using fingers and my cheeks can be pretty touch-sensitive. And usually, multi-use products means they perform well as one but not the other. In this case, I think this product is perfectly useable as both blush and lip color. Nice surprise!

I've decided to invest in a beauty.blusher by beautyblender. This really helped in blending out the multisticks. I tried applying it by dotting my cheek directly with the product and then sort of spreading it out with fingers and finally blurring the edges with the beautyblender. I also tried just taking a bit of product, warming it with fingers and then dotting my cheek with the warmed up product before finishing with the beautyblender and thought that method actually worked better. It's just a little messier and wastes more product. Both colors can be blended out to a natural effect, which is very nice. I prefer the warm Cashew though. It's a rosier sort of brown compared to Gelato, which has a fair bit of that taupe shining through the mauve. Gelato kind of reminds me of the lipstick in Cava, which worn alone, makes me look like a corpse. So if you like Cava, Gelato is a very complementary shade.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Chanel Ombre Première Eyeshadows: more colors

As promised, I have the rest of the Chanel Ombre Première Eyeshadows photographed and swatched for reference. This is a massive collection and I don't even have half of it but these 7 colors are my picks. I haven't been able to really play with this lot either. I had a really good experience with the first two that I got so I'm pretty excited to show these. I'm going to start with the powder eyeshadows. The three below, from left to right, are Bronze Antique, Talpa and Flesh.

L-R: Bronze Antique, Talpa, Flesh

Right now, I'm not planning to get anymore of the powder eyeshadows. Most of the colors in the collection are permanent so there's no need to rush to get any of them. If something catches your eye, it may be a good idea to hit up a counter and play around a little before making a purchase. You could also wait for more reviews from users/bloggers who got in on the game early.

I really think that singles are making a comeback, after the years long obsession we've had with palettes. Personally, I find anything with more than 4 colors a little overwhelming sometimes. I buy them and they tend to sit in a box for ages before I'm done with whatever I'm playing with and decide to start with a new one. I'll confess, I grabbed one of the Urban Decay Basquiat palettes but it's still sitting on my vanity untouched. I've actually only just started using a Zoeva palette that I've had for a year now. A year! Clearly, I don't need more makeup.

Sometimes we need to be reminded that liquid and cream products tend to have a shorter shelf life than powder products so before you load up on the cream eyeshadows, bear in mind that you've got to use them often enough to warrant the expense. If they have been opened, you've got to start the countdown to the day that you should stop using them. A good rule of thumb, if you really can't recall when you opened something, is simply to use your senses to assess the condition of the product. Look for product separation, change in color, odor and/or texture. Any of those could be a sign of degradation and to be on the safe side, don't put it on your face anymore if you note any of that. This is quite easy on bottles of foundation and cream products in tubs. When in doubt, toss.

I'm personally guilty of keeping many old products but I tend to stop using them in favor of newer products because well, I always find myself getting new products. I do get rid of liquids and creams a lot more than powders. I have more trouble ridding my collection of powders because it's nice to have an archive, and once in awhile, I do go back to old favorites. I just try to scrape off the top layer to reveal what I think to be a fresher layer underneath. And I make sure everything is neatly put away after use. I rarely use my fingers to apply product. If I have to, I would usually pump or scrape a small amount of product from the container to the back of my hand. I wipe off any excess that could drip off the pump of foundation bottles and moisturizers with a clean tissue at every use. Anything leaky that cannot be cleaned is tossed. And so on...

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Chanel Ombre Première Eyeshadows: Noir Pétrole and Bronze Antique

So I've had a week to play with this new stuff: two items from Chanel's Ombre Première collection of eyeshadows. The rest that I've ordered have all arrived and I should be able to go through the pictures soon but I'll start off with the first two that I received and have used repeatedly.

If you're familiar with one of my favorite eye makeup looks, one I always go back to, it's Laura Mercier's Black Gold eyeliner smudged with black powder eyeshadow, topped with gold cream eyeshadow and then layered with a satin peach and taupe for dimension. The peach and taupe are completely optional, and the highlight color I use varies, depending on what's handy. The most integral part of the look is a black/gold base and I thought, well, if Lucia Pica says these items are meant for layering, then let's layer!

Noir Pétrole. So amazing. I bought the eyeliner... three times. I know, I know. Why did I never write a post about it? Well, for starters, I got it really late into the game, when it was basically sold out. See, I didn't really love the Coco Codes collection. I just bought the Élégance blush and thought I'd seen everything I wanted off it. Then I read blog after blog after blog saying Noir Pétrole the eyeliner was IT. I managed to find a store that still sold it, ordered it and then ordered two more when I realized that since I got it, it was the only eyeliner I wanted to use. Mind you, I'm not into ordering backups of anything. I almost never do that. I always say, by the time I use one item up, I'll have a new favorite. There is no point in buying more than one. But with spring allergies at its worst yet again this year, it seemed that Chanel's Stylo Yeux was the only line that didn't irritate my eyes or mess up my contact lenses and it lasted the entire day. I was so psyched to be able to get the same color in a cream eyeshadow.

Left: Noir Pétrole Cream Eyeshadow, Right: Noir Pétrole Eyeliner

So, Noir Pétrole the eyeliner and Noir Pétrole the cream eyeshadow, are they the same? I'd say for the most part, yes. Do you need both? Not sure. I'd say if you would happily wear the eyeliner smudged all over your lid, then you don't. But that's going to get expensive. So if you like the eyeliner that much, I'd say yes yes, get the eyeshadow too!

Chanel Ombre Première Powder Eyeshadow in Bronze Antique

Friday, May 5, 2017

NARS Sunwash Diffusing Bronzer in Seaside + thoughts on MARC JACOBS Bronzer Brush No. 12

Cinco de Mayo and look at all this rain that we have. My basil plant isn't enjoying the lack of sun here. Droopy leaves :( It's the perfect day to sit down and write blog posts though. I owe you my thoughts on the NARS Sunwash Diffusing Bronzer in Seaside and the MARC JACOBS brush that I bought along with it. So here goes...

If you have the regular NARS bronzers, maybe Laguna in a palette here and there, I've heard that the Laguna in this line isn't quite the same. It's possibly better! But I wanted something lighter, less brown than Laguna, so I bought the new shade Seaside. It's definitely lighter than Laguna as I remember, and quite reddish compared. I'm not certain if that was what I was looking for in a new bronzer but there are many ways to try and use it.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Burberry Effortless Brow Definer Brow Shaping Pencil in No. 3 Ash Brown

Grooming the brows and enhancing their shape and color can really improve ones appearance, especially in pictures! In this age of Instagram and Facebook, more and more people are making that effort to look camera-ready each day. For me, making peace with my one droopy eyelid and uneven brows took a few visits to the Benefit Brow Bar and quite a number of eyebrow products. The eyelid itself is one issue but when your one eye sits lower than the other (and of course, nobody is perfectly symmetrical, except maybe Vanessa Williams and Shania Twain), your brows naturally follow suit. 

I'm a fan of natural-looking, clean brows. I prefer not to see the makeup so much. However, I'll be the first to admit that I need the makeup. Otherwise, you'd hardly see my brows. I have more of that half-brow look, where the inner part is markedly lighter than the outer half and this is the main issue that I like to address with brow powder. I can fill in large areas like that with powder, without looking like I've drawn lines. I cannot stand to see lines. I like a light shading. I love the look of powder, but on most days, I think pencil is just faster. Pencils with triangular tips even more so as you can fill in with the wider side quite quickly or you can pencil in with the thin side to mimic the appearance of hairs. (see my post about last year's favorite Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer Triangular Brow Pencil). With a spoolie, you can easily brush everything to a nice blur. But, not all pencils are the same.