Friday, July 27, 2007

Rushmetal Pigments- Love, Love, Love


Pressed Rushmetal collection pigments (missing is Rushmetal pigment); published with permission from skunk of mac_cosmetics LJ community

I got my 1/4 teaspoon samples yesterday in the mail from a girl on the MAC boards, and I'm SO in love with the colors and some of the pigments' texture. This is really my dream pigment collection because the colors can go either neutral or loud, depending on the intensity of the application and whether a mixing medium was used to foil them. I love how rich the hues were, and the slip and texture are divine. I am also awaiting my beautiful pressed pigments I bought from the girl who owns the above-posted picture, and I cannot wait to get them. The colors speak for themselves so I will no longer attempt to describe them. My favorites are...well....can you say everything except Quick Frost?? I can't seem to choose just one! The colors are really what I've been waiting for MAC to come up with, and I have not been disappointed. I just have to convince myself not to get the full-size jars because I know I won't be able to finish all of these. I am uber-tempted, though!


MAC Beige-ing shadestick as base
MAC Ricepaper e/s as highlighter
MAC Gold Mode pigment foiled with MAC mixing medium inner to mid lid
MAC Revved Up pigment foiled with MAC mixing medium mid to outer lid
MAC Off the Radar pigment on outer V
MAC Copperized pigment lightly on crease
Almay Amazing I-liner (liquid liner)
Maybelline XXL mascara







Camellia Rose Skin Smoothing primer
Meow Purrfect Puss mineral foundation in Naughty Angora and Naughty Chartreux (50-50 mix)
Mary Kay undereye concealer in Ivory topped with
Bare Escentuals Well Rested
Bare Escentuals mineral veil
CARGO blush in Polynesia
MAC Northern Light mineralized skinfinish over blush

Lips:
Rimmel 1000 Kisses stay-on lipliner in Wild Clover
Valerie Beauty mineral lipstick in Bonbon
MAC lipglass in Factory Made

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

On CARGO blushes

Even before I got really into mineral makeup, I was in love with CARGO blushes. I loved the utilitarian tins and how they looked so pretty when lined up. The tins were not very travel-friendly, I admit, but they really appeal to me visually. I also love the wide surface which enables the user to evenly distribute the product on the blush brush, resulting in a smooth and balanced application. I was also impressed with the great staying power and flawless finish of the blush pigment. I would trek to Sephora just to test these, and I would score those pretty tins that I love lining up on my dresser. I had to part with some of them though as I realized that I would never finish them all. I still have four of my original ten blushes, and for me those are the real keepers. If you check out makeupalley.com, Cargo's products, especially the blushes, have consistently earned high marks from consumers. I have not tried the beach blushes yet but I have heard they are quite beautiful, as well. For months I had forgotten to use my blushes, but now I am re-discovering just how beautiful they are. I wear them either alone or under my MAC MSFs, and either way, they are gorgeous. CARGO is one of those amazing products you can find at your neighborhood Sephora, and if you are a blush girl, you can be sure plunking down your hard-earned cash for this is well worth it.


top L-R: Tonga, Topeka, Catalina, Gotham
bottom L-R: Mendocino, Louisiana, Polynesia, The Big Easy (this row has all my faves)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

MAC Flashtronic FOTD and a Green Brown Look

I wore the Flashtronic shadows and MSF yesterday and I really loved how they turned out. I used both shadows and I believe they complemented each other perfectly. I also used my favorite Meow feliner in Purr mixed with my MAC mixing medium on my upper lashline. I have a full-size pot of this feliner because I really do love the color. My favorite MSF among the 3 from Flashtronic is definitely Northern Light, and I love how it really perks up the complexion and gives it a ruddy, healthy sheen. I used it over my Valerie Beauty blush in Millenium (a beautiful matte blush), and the combination is really pretty.

I tried using a 50-50 mix of my Meow Purrfect Puss foundations in Naughty Angora and Naughty Chartreux, and I think I like the mix better than Manx (but my Naughty Abyssinian still tops the list I guess). I have full-size tubs of these foundations just languishing in my drawer, and I tried to do a mix to see if it works. It did, and I'm glad I'd be able to use these tubs for years to come.












Camellia Rose Skin Smoothing primer
Meow Purrfect Puss mineral foundation in Naughty Angora and Naughty Chartreux (50-50 mix)
Mary Kay undereye concealer in Ivory topped with
Bare Escentuals Well Rested
Bare Escentuals mineral veil
Valerie Beauty mineral pan blush in Millenium
MAC Northern Light mineralized skinfinish over blush

Lips:
Rimmel 1000 Kisses stay-on lipliner in Wild
MAC lipstick in Viva Glam I
MAC lipglass in Pas-de-deux

Eyes:
MAC Beige-ing shadestick as base
MAC mineralized eyeshadow in Quarry inner to mid lid
MAC mineralized eyeshadow in Ether on outer lid and crease
MAC eyeshadow in Ricepaper to highlight browbone
Meow feliner in Purr mixed with MAC mixing medium to line
Maybelline XXL mascara


And here's a green-brown look:









Camellia Rose Skin Smoothing primer
Meow Purrfect Puss mineral foundation in Naughty Angora and Naughty Chartreux (50-50 mix)
Mary Kay undereye concealer in Ivory topped with
Bare Escentuals Well Rested
Bare Escentuals mineral veil
MAC blush in Petalpoint

Lips:
Rimmel lipliner in Epic
MAC lipstick in Brave
MAC lipglass in Pas-de-deux

Eyes:
MAC Beige-ing shadestick as base
MAC pigment in Golden Olive foiled with MAC mixing medium on lid
MAC pigment in Green Brown on outer lid and crease
MAC eyeshadow in Greensmoke blended into Green Brown pigment on outer V
MAC eyeshadow in Ricepaper to highlight browbone
MAC Graphic Brown fluidline to line
Maybelline XXL mascara

Thursday, July 19, 2007

MAC's Flashtronic Collection and MSF Porn

So I finally laid my grubby hands on the beautiful mineralized skinfinishes (MSFs) of MAC's Flashtronic collection. The colors are absolutely breathtaking in person as the beautiful swirls in the skinfinishes hypnotize me. I don't know why these shimmering orbs fascinate me so. All I know is that these are coveted by every hardcore MAC addict; and since these are always limited edition, some really rare ones fetch insane prices on Ebay and some MAC online communities. The marriage of colors in each compact is mesmerizing, and I cannot wait to play with these babies. Some people may wonder what these actually do. They act as highlighter, blush, contour color, the darker ones can be used as eye crease color, and are very versatile; they can be used in a myriad of ways. For more information on MSFs, read my previous entry on them.

I told myself that I wouldn't be getting the mineralized eyeshadows because my past experience with these was a little less than satisfactory. The past mineralized shadows were gritty, chalky, and quite hard to apply on the lids. When I saw the new mineralized shadows and tested them on the back of my hand at the counter, I was floored by the buttery slip and rich, vivid colors. It glided easily on my skin and was breathtakingly pretty, the play of different colors in each pot was simply eye candy, and the chalkiness was gone. I guess MAC heard complaints about previous mineralized shadows and improved the quality. I love the marriage of colors and the intertwining of sheerness and shimmer. I even read on the MAC website that these shadows are versatile enough to be used on any part of the face and body. How delish can that be?

I also caught a glimpse of the amazing pigments (no less than 8 different kinds!) from the new Rushmetal collection. These are some of the best colors I've ever seen in MAC pigments and in eyeshadows in general. I bought 1/4 tsp samples from a girl on the MAC online community, and I can't wait to play!


My Flashtronic haul


Global Glow MSF


Northern Light MSF


Gold Spill MSF


mineralized shadows


Quarry (looks like a miniature globe!)


Ether

And now, as previously stated, here's some MSF porn:





Sunday, July 15, 2007

My Signature Look




This is becoming my signature look lately. This particular look was a quick application, and that's probably the reason why I like it; to complete it was a no-brainer and application time was next to nothing. I did nothing different here, so I won't bore you with long prose. Suffice it to say that Meow flawless feline foundation really held up on its own despite the triple-digit heat.









Camellia Rose Skin Smoothing primer
Meow Flawless Feline mineral foundation in Naughty Abyssinian
Mary Kay undereye concealer in Ivory topped with
Bare Escentuals Well Rested
Bare Escentuals mineral veil
NARS blush in Mata Hari
Terra Del Sol No. 7 mineralized skinfinish

Lips:
MAC lipliner in Whirl
MAC lipsticks in Hyper and Galvanize
MAC lipglass in Corps de Ballet

Eyes:
MAC Beige-ing shadestick as base
Valerie Beauty multi-purpose mineral in Miranda inner to mid lid
Valerie Beauty pan mineral shadow in Dolce Vita on outer lid and crease
MAC eyeshadow in Malt above crease
MAC eyeshadow in Vex to highlight browbone
Almay Amazing I-liner (liquid liner)
Maybelline XXL mascara

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Purples, Neutrals and a Harry Potter Look

Here are some recent eye looks that include a more vibrant purple, and the Gryffindor colors, just in time for the launching of the new book (haha). I really didn't make the colors very vivid because I wanted to keep my shadows as office-friendly as possible, so I had to make do with subtle washes of color. I just love the gold and maroon/cranberry combination. As always, I love my MAC shadesticks as base for the pigments. I used Beige-ing all over the lid and Corn shadestick on my lower lid, for maximum gold effect. I love how my shadows stay a whopping 12 to 14 hours on my lid without creasing and fading, with very vibrant colors to boot, thanks to my MAC shadesticks. I won't trade these babies for anything.









Camellia Rose Skin Smoothing primer
Meow Flawless Feline mineral foundation in Naughty Abyssinian
Mary Kay undereye concealer in Ivory topped with
Bare Escentuals Well Rested
Bare Escentuals mineral veil
NARS blush in Mata Hari

Lips:
MAC lipliner in Whirl
MAC lipstick in Touch
MAC lipglass in Crescent

Eyes:
MAC Beige-ing shadestick as base
MAC pigment in Vis-a-violet inner to mid lid
MAC pigment in Violet mid lid to outer lid
MAC pigment in Entremauve on outer lid and crease
MAC eyeshadow in Ricepaper to highlight browbone
Almay Amazing I-liner (liquid liner)
Maybelline XXL mascara









Camellia Rose Skin Smoothing primer
Meow Flawless Feline mineral foundation in Naughty Manx with a little Pampered Puss in Fierce Manx
Mary Kay undereye concealer in Ivory topped with
Bare Escentuals Well Rested
Bare Escentuals mineral veil
CARGO blush in Polynesia

Lips:
MAC lipliner in Whirl
MAC lipstick in Hug Me
Lumiere Lumi Lips lipgloss in Holy Grail

Eyes:
MAC Beige-ing shadestick as base all over lid/browbone
MAC Corn shadestick on lid
MAC eyeshadow in Gold Mine over lid
MAC eyeshadow in Cranberry on crease
MAC eyeshadow in Greensmoke on outer V
MAC eyeshadow in Ricepaper to highlight browbone
Almay Amazing I-liner (liquid liner)
Maybelline XXL mascara


Here's one of my favorite neutral looks. I used MAC Beige-ing shadestick as base, MAC pigment in Subtle mixed with MAC mixing medium on lid, MAC eyeshadow in Mulch on crease and outer V, MAC Graphic Brown fluidline to line upper lashline, Maybelline XXL mascara

Thursday, July 5, 2007

On Eyeshadow Brushes

It occurred to me that I have not delved into this very important aspect of makeup application yet. Let me start off by saying that the key to good eye makeup application is the tools used, BUT you do not have to invest in expensive brushes to get the work done. No sponge-tip applicators, please, if you want professional-looking results. These waste precious product anyway, as opposed to brushes. All you need is a little research, a little trial and error to find out which brushes work with your style, and a little browsing down the aisles of cosmetic and craft (yes, craft) stores to score the perfect brushes. So on with the show.

One of the most important tools you will need when you apply your base (especially MAC shadesticks) cannot be bought at any store: your finger. I apply the shadestick directly on my lids, but I blend it with my pointer finger to achieve a smooth, even canvas for the pigments. I cannot stress enough on how important a good base is for your eye makeup. I have tried Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (a cult favorite, but I am not a member of that cult), but gave it away a few tries later. I felt it wasn't tacky enough for the pigments to adhere to my skin, and I really like the way MAC shadesticks really make the colors pop so vividly, both in pictures and in real life.


L-R: Sonia Kashuk brushes in large shadow, medium shadow, fluff shadow, small shadow, smudge, concealer, contour/crease, and Japonesque contour/blending brush

I have found these gems of brushes (except the Japonesque one, which I got from Ulta) from good old Target. These Sonia Kashuk brushes (the white-handled ones) really give more bang for your buck. I think the most expensive one in this photo did not cost more than $6. That said, I usually buy one of each whenever I go to Target, and have thus amassed quite a bit. I rarely use my brush cleaner (the ones bought from stores to take out color residue from used brushes), because I am quite anal with my tools. I want a clean, fresh, shampoo-and-water-washed brush every time I apply makeup. That is why I use a clean one everytime and I make time to wash all my used brushes which is a ritual in itself.

The larger brushes are used to highlight or create an all-over pigment wash, the smaller ones are used to apply color either foiled or dry on the lid. Whatever my eye look is, one of the most important brushes is the contour/blending brush. I use this to apply darker color on the crease and outer V. I usually just use either the lengthy side of the brush or just the flowering tip for the very barely-there looks. This brush is perfect to prevent my eye makeup from looking like a bruised eye. It deposits the subtlest amount of pigment on the crease and outer V to create a multi-dimentional look with just the right amount of depth, without making me look like a battered woman. I use the Japonesque blending brush (rightmost, this is a little bit more expensive because it's made of the softest squirrel hairs) to blend everything together, using deliberate, careful motions in one direction, starting from the lightest to the darkest of colors.


L-R: MAC 219, Essence of Beauty dual-ended shader, Studio Tools medium shadow, Studio Tools large shadow, Loew Cornell American Painter 4300 taklon brushes as eyeliner brushes


close-up

I have found these brushes by browsing online and in actual cosmetic and craft shops. The MAC 219 is great as a smudge brush for smokey eyes, for precision-shading on the crease, and likewise to apply color on the lower and upper lashlines. I also use something similar to the 219, with the same rounded head but a lot fluffier hairs to apply wet pigments on my crease and outer V. That brush is from Essence of Beauty which can be found at any CVS drugstore (not in pic). The next brush is from Essence of Beauty as well, a fluffy, double-ended brush that is pretty significant in head size. I use this to apply my highlighter and to blend stark lines. The next two brushes from Studio Tools are my current favorite. I have discovered these from Target as well, and are dirt-cheap but work just as great as department store shader brushes. These are not more than $2-$3, never shed and have the fluffiest, softest heads ever. As always, I try to buy one or two whenever I pass by Target, and I now have a pretty significant collection. These work great both in applying and blending colors. I can do anything and everything with these and they just stand the test of wear and tear and all that washing. I use them both for foiling (wet-application) and applying pigments/shadows dry; blending them is a cinch with these precious tools.

Lastly, my favorite liner brushes ever, and they are priced as cheap as Studio Tools. My Loew Cornell American Painter 4300 taklon brushes are found not in cosmetic stores but along craft store aisles, and I really have a field day when I shop for these. Why craft store brushes, you say? They have the best balance of stiffness and pliability, and my lines don't come out sloppy or crooked when I used these. As I said in a previous entry, "These are actually art brushes, and you will not believe how effective these brushes are in applying the perfect line. These work so well with the gel liners, and I get a nice, not-so-thin-but-not-too-thick line each time. I have more control with these babies than those overpriced cosmetic liner brushes that have too soft, sparse hairs that draw smudged lines. If these amazing brushes are good enough for artists, they're good enough for me. Best of all, they are dirt-cheap compared to high-end makeup brushes that are too flimsy and have too-thin heads for my taste. These are less than 2 bucks each, as compared to the $20 or more eyeliner brushes of other brands. Blechh. I found a brush gold mine at Michael's!"

So there you have it, my eye makeup tools. These are all you need to create your own great looks; with a dollop of care and a dash of practice every day, and you're all set.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Fireworks Look (Sorta) and Purples

I tried to veer from my usual neutral routine and do something a little more fun. Since it's independence day today, I did something a little fireworks-ish. I used my trusty MAC shadows for my first look, and tried Meow Vandal-eyes shadows for the second, without much success, unfortunately. I didn't like the way the Vandal-eyes looked all splotchy on my skin, so I erased it and used MAC pigments instead (I am so in love with MAC pigments, those are all I buy from MAC nowadays). I did try to use Vandal-eyes to wet-line my eyes, and bam! It was the perfect liner ever. I don't think I can ever wear Meow shadows except as liners or when foiled on the lid. They didn't yield enough color when used dry.





I used MAC Beige-ing shadestick all over lid and browbone as base, MAC Corn shadestick on lower lid, MAC Amberlights shadow on lid, MAC Malt shadow above crease, MAC Cranberry shadow on outer V, MAC Vex shadow to highlight, MAC Satin Taupe shadow on crease, MAC Graphic Brown fluidline, Maybelline XXL mascara.









Camellia Rose Skin Smoothing primer
Meow Flawless Feline mineral foundation in Naughty Manx mixed with Pampered Puss in Fierce Manx
Mary Kay undereye concealer in Ivory topped with
Bare Escentuals Well Rested
Bare Escentuals mineral veil
MAC Golden Refined bronzer to contour
Meow Cherry Bomb mineral blush
Terra Del Sol No. 7 mineralized skinfinish over blush

Lips:
MAC lipliner in Whirl
MAC lipglasses in Sex Ray and Be-In

Eyes:
MAC Beige-ing shadestick as base
MAC Apricot Pink and Violet pigments on lid
MAC eyeshadow in Nocturnelle on outer V and crease
MAC eyeshadow in Almond Icing to highlight browbone
Meow Vandal-Eyes eyeshadow in Shoplifting mixed with MAC mixing medium to line upper lashline
Maybelline XXL mascara

Monday, July 2, 2007

Lovin' Easy Neutrals

I'm still in a neutral kick. Neutrals are truly no-brainer choices for days when I feel too lazy or in a hurry to think of color combinations. I did try colors I don't usually wear, like Taylor Made mineral eyeshadow in Vintage. I foiled it using my MAC mixing medium, and it's similar in effect to my MAC Goldenaire pigment and Valerie Beauty multi-purpose in Miranda. I also think I nailed the right ratio of Meow's Naughty and Fierce Manx foundation (3:1). I used Naughty Manx in the Flawless Feline formula, and Fierce Manx in the Pampered Puss. I like the effect; it was neither too piled on or too light. I am also loving MAC's lipsticks and lipglasses. They have just the right shine, amazing texture, one million and one shades and formulas to choose from, and lastly, the vanilla scent is so pleasant and enticing. The price is also pretty reasonable compared to other department store brands. MAC's lip products are the major reason why I still use MAC despite my allegiance to mineral makeup companies. The wide color spectrum is simply unrivaled, and color choices are endless.











Camellia Rose Skin Smoothing primer
Meow Flawless Feline mineral foundation in Naughty Manx mixed with Pampered Puss in Fierce Manx
Mary Kay undereye concealer in Ivory topped with
Bare Escentuals Well Rested
Bare Escentuals mineral veil
MAC Golden Refined bronzer to contour
MAC Pearl Sunshine beauty powder as blush

Lips:
MAC lipliner in Whirl
MAC lipsticks in Hyper and Galvanize
MAC lipglass in Corps de Ballet

Eyes:
MAC Beige-ing shadestick as base
Taylor Made mineral eyeshadow in Vintage foiled using MAC mixing medium on lid
MAC eyeshadow in Malt above crease
MAC eyeshadow in Satin Taupe on outer V and crease
MAC eyeshadow in Vex to highlight browbone
Almay Amazing I-liner (liquid liner) to line upper lashline
Maybelline XXL mascara