Sunday, May 25, 2014

Hi everyone! I hope you are all having a relaxing weekend. I popped into Macy's on Friday to see MAC's most recent collection, Alluring Aquatic. At the counter I tried on a few of the items I was most interested in: Seduced at Sea blush, Enchanted One lipstick, and the beautiful bronzer, Aphrodite's Shell and thought I would share a few photos of this impromptu look--although it was a little worn in by the time these photos were taken, a couple of hours after returning from the mall!

Seduced at Sea Extra Dimension Blush

Enchanted One Matte Lipstick

Aphrodite's Shell Extra Dimension Bronzer
My favorite bronzer in the collection is Aphrodite's Shell. It is so soft and natural looking and would be difficult to overdo. And doesn't it look just gorgeous in the pan? I certainly don't need another bronzer, but it was truly hard to resist! I recommend it for those with very fair or light skin tones, but I imagine it would be too subtle for those with medium or darker skin tones.
Wearing Enchanted One lipstick

Aphrodite's Shell bronzer on cheeks and bridge of nose

Bronzer: MAC Aphrodite's Shell 
Powder foundation: Estee Lauder Doublewear - Desert Beige

Blush: MAC Seduced at Sea 

Lipstick: MAC Enchanted One 
Lip pencil: MAC Spice 

Top liner: MAC Fluidline - Ash Violet (Black Swan substituted in swatch photos) 
Bottom liner: Pearlglide eye liner - Industrial 
Inner corner highlight: MAC Shadestick - Cuddle
Mascara: Le Volume De Chanel - #10 Noir

Left to right: Seduced at SeaAphrodite's ShellEnchanted OneIndustrial, and Black Swan 


By the time I began working on this post I had already forgotten what product I had used on my top lash line, so I used Black Swan, one of the Pearlglide eye liners in the Alluring Aquatic collection, as a substitute in the swatch photos above (mine is from a previous collection). Not long afterward I remembered that I had used MAC's Ash Violet Fluidline, a sparkly dark purple gel liner. Sorry for the confusion! 

Also used, but not shown in the swatches, is MAC's Spice lip liner, which I don't own. The MAC artist recommended using it with Enchanted One lipstick. It is a very close match but is perhaps a bit too dark and obvious--it reminds me of my 90s self, back when brown-toned lipsticks defined with heavy liner was the look du jour! I will probably use something lighter, like Urban Decay's Naked or similar. 
Sea Me, Hear Me Extra Dimension Blush
Initially I thought I would pass on both of the blushes in this collection, thinking they might be too orangey or brick-toned but after trying them both on, I really liked the natural, kind of sunburned (in a good way), effect they produce. Seduced at Sea is the perfect complement to Enchanted One lipstick and Sea me, Hear Me would be great paired with pink, plum or berry lip colors. Using either of these blushes combined with a bronzer is an easy way to fake a sun-kissed complexion. 

I also picked up three of the Extra Dimension eye shadows. Going in, I had my mind set on Fathom's Deep, the dark smoky violet shade, but was undecided about Lorelei and the others. After seeing it in person, I decided Lorelei is both pretty and practical, so it made the cut as well. Legendary Lure was a random, unexpected choice for me, but I ended up loving the way it looked in the pan, with its deep emerald green undertone. The only shade that I'm still tempted by is the olive-bronze, Sea Worship. I may go back for that one, although it is likely sold out by now, as everything in this collection seems to be going very fast!   

Fathom's Deep 
Legendary Lure 

I could tell this was going to be a popular collection, but was surprised at just how fast some of these items sold out, both online and in stores. I am a big fan of MAC's Extra Dimension formula and love the aqua theme and fun packaging, so I knew resistance would be futile! 

Thanks for visiting! 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

From the MAC Proenza Schouler Collection: Pinkfringe Lipstick & Thimbleweed Nail Lacquer - Photos & Swatches

Last month MAC released a small collection in collaboration with Proenza Schouler, the New York-based fashion and accessories brand founded by designers (and fellow Parsons School of Design alums) Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez. Two of the more popular items from the collection--the Blush Ombres in Ocean City and Sunset Beach--although very tempting, did not make their way into my shopping cart, as I still haven't made a dent in my Ripe Peach Blush Ombre from the Spring Colour Forecast collection four years ago (was it really that long ago--where does the time go?!). But, due to my weakness for nude polish and the color pink, I could not resist picking up Pinkfringe Satin Lipstick ($22) and Thimbleweed Nail Lacquer ($17.50). 

Thimbleweed is a very pretty cafe au lait tone with a highly glossy finish. I love the shade, as it is neither too warm nor too cool--just a perfect, understated nude. I noticed some streaking during application but the polish leveled out nicely in the end. I used three coats for the photos above and below and skipped topcoat so that you can see how shiny it is on its own.  

Thimbleweed Nail Lacquer

Pinkfringe Satin Lipstick

Pinkfringe is a bright flamingo pink in a satin formula. It is quite pigmented and has extremely fine iridescent shimmer particles, which are not noticeable on the lips--you won't even feel them or know they are there, unless you look very closely. It does not have a shine to it, but the finish is not drying as a matte lipstick would be. Interestingly, it leaves a fairly significant pink stain on the lips after it wears off. I find this to be an advantage because it means less touching-up throughout the day.

Left to right: BombshellPinkfringeSunny Seoul, and Flamingo

I don't own any other pinks quite like Pinkfringe but have compared it with a few of my MAC lipsticks that looked to be the most similar. Among these, Pinkfringe is by far the brightest and most opaque. Before trying it on I thought it might be along the lines of MAC's Flamingo, but actually it is a much cooler-toned bubblegum pink, whereas Flamingo (and Sunny Seoul) is a coral with pink tones. Bombshell, a plummy-rose pink with golden shimmer, doesn't have much in common with Pinkfringe either, being quite a bit darker, with a frost finish, and not nearly as vibrant. 

Pinkfringe alone
You can see above how bright and bubble-gummy Pinkfringe looks on me. I've worn it here without any lip liner or gloss. I'm definitely not accustomed wearing pinks as cool and bright as this one and the color does not suit me. Despite, this the formula is quite nice and long-lasting, and the Proenza Schouler packaging is definitely colorful and unique, so it is still worthy of a thumbs up!

Pinkfringe + MAC Patent Polish Lip Pencil in the shade Revved Up 
I rarely consider a not-quite-right color a shopping failure, but rather an opportunity to experiment with mixing different shades to come up with a color that works for me. Here is Pinkfringe topped with a sheer peach-toned, glossy lip pencil (MAC's Revved Up) and defined with a light nude liner (Trish McEvoy's Bare, sadly discontinued). I think the color is still bright and fun, but this combo gets rid of the cool tones and transforms it into a more of a wearable pink for everyday.