Saturday, April 20, 2013

MAC Shape the Future Extra Dimension Skinfinish

Despite my initial thoughts that I did not need anything from MAC's Spring/Summer Extra Dimension collection, I quickly fell in love with the lighter half of the Shape the Future Skinfinish ($30, limited edition) last weekend, so it ended up coming home with me. I wore it for the first time today and thought I would share a few photos in case you're still on the fence about this item.

At first I was unsure whether this would be flattering, as brick or rust tones often don't work well on me (like, for example, MAC's Margin blush--beautiful in the pan--not so much on my face). I figured I would be safe purchasing this, though, because applying more of the beautiful pale iridescent peach shade would offset any potential ruddy tones from the darker shade.

After using it today, I found that the darker half is easily wearable when applied with a light hand. It is a well-pigmented terracotta shade with a soft sheen that lights up the skin. I love that this product combines a highlighter and blush in one convenient package.

Shape the Future complements warmer looks particularly well. I plan to pair it with light peachy lip colors, along with gold, amber, bronze and copper eye looks. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by Shape the Future and would recommend it to those who enjoy wearing warm-toned blushes.


A broken-in Shape the Future

On the left is a mix of both shades combined, in the middle is the dark half, and on the right is the lighter half 
Find additional reviews and swatches of Shape the Future at Maggie's MakeupTemptalia, Beautezine and The Pretty Vain.

Cheeks: Shape the Future (both shades);  eyes: MAC Metal-X Cream Shadow in Venetian Tarnish and Rusty, black liquid liner and black mascara, Urban Decay Underground liner on lower lashline; lips: Victoria's Secret Naked topped with Whisper

Thank you for visiting!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pastel Blues for Nails

It seems that every year about this time I have a longing to wear light, airy pastel blues and cheerful sky blues. Today's post features nine of my favorite light blue nail colors. Some are new (Nails Inc.'s Chelsea Physic Garden), and others not-so-new (Chanel's Riva). Most recently, my quest for the perfect pale blue led me to Julep's Liz, which is the lightest blue I've come across yet and was the inspiration for this post. 

Left to right: Sally Hansen Blue-Away, OPI What's With the Cattitude?, Nails Inc. Chelsea Physic Garden, Nars Kutki

The first four shades show above are what I consider "swimming pool blue"--an eye catching, fun, and quintessential summer shade. If you like this type of color, I recommend Sally Hansen's Blue-Away, which is an excellent value and has a formula that is on par with, and in some cases better than, the others shown here. It is quite similar to both Nars' Kutki and OPI's What's with the Cattitude?, which is just a touch darker and slightly cooler-toned. Nails Inc.'s new limited edition spring shade, Chelsea Physic Garden, is a pretty blue creme that I could not resist--but after comparing it with Blue-Away, I recommend saving a few dollars and trying the Sally Hansen instead.

Left to right: Nails Inc. Chelsea Physic Garden, Nars Kutki, Sephora by OPI Havana Dreams, China Glaze Kinetic Candy, Chanel Riva 

Sephora by OPI's Havana Dreams is a soft, wintry blue and is the most sheer of the bunch. The formula can be a bit streaky, so it looks best with three coats. China Glaze's Kinetic Candy from last spring's Electropop collection is a lovely cloud blue with a hint of grey. Chanel's Riva is a semi-sheer baby blue with fine iridescent shimmer from the 2010 Cruise collection, Cote d'Azur.

Left to right: China Glaze Kinetic Candy, Chanel Riva, Topshop Tidal, Julep Liz 

Topshop's Tidal is a sophisticated light blue creme that verges on grey. This is a nice, subdued shade that might appeal to those who normally shy away from brighter blues. Lastly, Julep's Liz is a pale pastel blue that is about as light as a blue can get without being mistaken for white. This is the first Julep polish I've ever purchased and I wasn't sure what to expect. I love the color, though, and look forward to giving it a try!  

  1. Sally Hansen: Blue-Away
  2. OPI: What's With the Cattitude? 
  3. Nails Inc.: Chelsea Physic Garden 
  4. Nars: Kutki 
  5. Sephora by OPI: Havana Dreams 
  6. China Glaze: Kinetic Candy 
  7. Chanel: Riva 
  8. Topshop: Tidal 
  9. Julep: Liz 
In full sunlight

In indoor lighting

Do you have any light blue polish recommendations or other favorite shades you like to wear when spring arrives? 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks

Laura Mercier's Caviar Sticks ($24) have been a popular beauty favorite since they launched back in 2011. What attracts me most to this product is its portability and ease of application (no brushes necessary!), which makes for a quick eye look when I'm in a hurry. I was excited to see that Laura Mercier has introduced seven new, lighter-toned, additions to the Caviar Stick family--just in time for spring.  

The new shades (as described by Laura Mercier) are: 
  • Pink Opal – bright pink with shimmer
  • Grey Pearl – mauvy grey
  • Rosegold – dirty pink with golden shimmer
  • Mint Snow – aqua
  • Sand Glow – taupe with golden shimmer
  • Sugar Frost – golden beige
  • Seashell – golden shimmer

One thing to note is that the new Caviar Sticks seem to contain less product than the older ones. Although the amount listed on the packaging remains the same, at 1.64g/0.05 oz., when old and new versions are fully twisted up and compared, there is an unmistakable difference between the two. Read more on this topic at The Beauty Sample.)  

For those of you who are new to Caviar Sticks, these are twist-up, jumbo-sized eye shadow pencils with a creamy texture, similar to By Terry's pricey Ombre Blackstar "Melting Eyeshadow" sticks and MAC's former Shadesticks. Their buttery texture makes them easy to apply and they are blendable during the first minute or so, after which the color dries and sets to a fairly long lasting and crease-resistant finish. They can be used on their own and combined, or used underneath powder shadows, and some of the darker colors can even serve as a liner if applied strategically. 

Seeing all of the new spring shades made me fall in love with my Caviar Sticks all over again! I thought I would take the opportunity to become reacquainted with my collection by swatching all of the shades I've acquired over the last couple of years. I've grouped them roughly by color below. Warning: this is the type of product that may cause nagging urges to own one of each color available (yes, even the colors you know you'll never end up wearing). Steel yourself against the temptation!

From left to right: Golden (limited edition 2012), Sandglow (new shade), Khaki (permanent), Turquoise (limited edition 2012), Sapphire (permanent), Steel (permanent), and Smoke (permanent).

Left to right: Smoke, Steel, Sapphire, Turquoise, Khaki, Sandglow, and Golden 

It might seem that the last two shades on the right, Sandglow and Golden are virtually identical; however, there are slight but noticeable differences. Sandglow is a more complex color and it also has a a sparkly quality and dimension that is lacking Golden. Unfortunately, these subtleties were not captured by my camera. I prefer Sandglow over last year's Golden, which is a good thing since Golden was a limited edition and is no longer available.

Now, on to my favorite everyday, easy-to-wear shades: neutrals, pinks, and purples: 

Left to right: Seashell (new), Sugar Frost (new), Pink Opal (new), Rosegold (new), Orchid (new), Amethyst (permanent), and Cocoa (permanent)

Left to right: Seashell, Sugar Frost, Pink Opal, Rosegold and Orchid 

Seashell is a softly shimmery white-gold; Sugar Frost is a sheer, sparkly pale beige; Pink Opal is a sheer, sparkly cool pink; Rosegold is a beautiful, opaque, brightening gold with subtle peachy-pink tones; and Orchid is a mid-tone shimmery lilac.

From left to right: SeashellSugar FrostPink OpalRosegoldOrchidAmethyst, and Cocoa 

Too many? Perhaps... but... can one really ever have enough Caviar Sticks?