I am not exactly known for using liquid foundations, specifically drugstore liquid foundations (my skin is terribly acneic and mostly thrives on mineral makeup). This notwithstanding, I tried L'oreal True Match that for some reason kept beckoning me from the drugstore display. First of all, it is the first drugstore liquid foundation that I've tried in years, but I've always, always been attracted to those little utilitarian-looking bottles from L'oreal. There's something about the simplicity of the bottle and the promise of a perfect match that really reeled me in. I've also been attracted to the Precise Match plastic card that is chained to the display with the 24 shades printed on it, to be held up against the skin to find the perfect match. Drugstores usually don't use testers, so to have these little plastic cards to test your shade is a godsend for those who don't want to waste money on the wrong shade.
I chose the shade in Sand Beige W5. I had thought that the shade was a little off, but true to L'oreal's claim of a "True Match", the color just disappeared into my skin and looked like I didn't have anything on. I poured a small blob of product on the back of my hand and applied it on my face using my Coastal Scents' kabuki-on-a-stick, buffing it in in circular motions. I was amazed at how seamless the finish was. I looked polished but didn't look mask-like, cakey or over-the-top. I also love the luminous radiance it gives. For a drugstore foundation, this is simply amazing.
Downside: I turned a little oily in the afternoon, but it's nothing a few dabs of oil blotting sheets couldn't fix. A good mattifying product also works great. Can be a little messy, but hey, we're big girls (although yeah, try not to use your fingers to dip into the product to keep it as sanitary as possible).
L'oreal True Match retails for $9.99 and is available at all leading drugstores and mass market retailers nationwide.
For product images and information, CLICK HERE.
THE POWER OF 2
M·A·C COSMETICS DSQUARED² COLOUR COLLECTION
Fantastic fashion duo Dean and Dan Caten of DSquared² have teamed up with M·A·C Cosmetics for the launch of a highly covetable new makeup collection, based on the makeup look from their Fall/Winter 2009 runway show.
It’s not just that both brands hail from Canada, or choose to plug themselves into the popular culture and music scene; it’s that they share an approach to fashion that puts experimentation and fun right up front. “M·A·C is all about personal expression and I think DSquared² is on the same trip – neither company takes things too seriously,” says Dan Caten, one half of the twin designer duo behind DSquared². “M·A·C is a part of our family, we grew up with them. They’ve been so supportive of us and collaborating with them on this collection feels like the natural thing to do.”
M·A·C has been providing makeup and artistry support for the DSquared² womenswear shows since their debut twelve seasons ago. “I did the makeup for DSquared²’s first women’s collection,” says Gordon Espinet, M·A·C’s Vice President of Makeup Artistry, who has known ‘the twins’ since they were young, emerging designers in Toronto. “I’ve always felt strongly about doing collaboration with DSquared².
They’re so similar to M·A·C. It’s a brand that has a sense of humour about itself, it’s distinct, and is really about making fashion that’s cool.” This fall will see the launch of a limited-edition makeup collection conceived by DSquared² and M·A·C for beautiful girls with an edge. The M·A·C DSquared² Collection features the products used to create the looks from the runway show. “It’s kind of ‘rock-on’ makeup, but it’s effortless and not overly done or perfect,” says Dean Caten. The DSquared² Fall/Winter 2009 collection was inspired by the new breed of undone glamorous Hollywood starlets such as the Olsen twins and Lindsay Lohan, and features a magnetically dark eye that glistens and transmutes in the light. “This girl doesn’t spend hours getting ready but she looks amazing, her style is all her own,” says Dan Caten. “Young Hollywood is about that, they don’t need to impress anyone, it’s cooler than being too studied. The same goes with the makeup, it isn’t about being perfect.”
Translating this charmingly wrecked look onto the face, Gordon Espinet and the M·A·C Product Development team have created a range of 10 products designed to be layered together for added throttle. “This is the kind of makeup that gets better and better the more lived-in and the longer you wear it,” says Espinet.
Face: Skin is neutral, then given a lived-in glamour with Sculpt and Shape Powders, which are used to highlight and contour.
Eyes: The central focus of this look is the eyes, blackened and distressed with sensual shimmer. First, Kohl Power in Feline is used to draw inside the eye line, to give definition and edge. Then a Greasepaint Stick is used to create shape and density of colour. This is broken with Greasepaint Stick in V and B (, a violet shade, is worn on the top lid and Peacock-hued B on the bottom), which shoot through the black and give it the iridescence of a crow’s wing or a scarab beetle. The look is texturized with M·A·C Clear Gloss, “to bring light to hidden things,” says Dan. The eye is wickedly topped with Zoom Fast Black Lash, the blackest of black mascara.
Lips: To emphasize the magnetic pull of the eyes, lips are kept minimal yet delicious. Colour is first taken out of the lips using Lip Erase in Dim, a flesh tone balm that neutralizes lip colour, and then added back with Tinted Lip Conditioner SPF 15 in Fuchsia Fix, a breezy, girlish pink shade to keep the look youthful and carefree.
Q&A WITH DEAN & DAN CATEN OF DSQUARED²
Can you tell me about the inspiration behind the limited edition makeup collection you’ve collaborated on with M·A·C?
DA: It’s old Hollywood meets new Hollywood. Our girl is interrupted – she’s on a set, she’s off the set; she’s young, she’s cool, she’s moving – she’s very now, she lives in the moment. Hollywood today is a different story than it used to be. These girls have tons of things to do, they’re on the go.
DE: It’s all about mixing great statement pieces with their own things; she might have a $20,000 jacket that she puts with a pair of ten dollar sweat pants.
DA: Less is more, but more is never enough. Stack it on and mix it up.
It’s such a change, because Hollywood used to be regimented, it used to be so perfected, not a hair out of place and now it’s undergone this huge revolution with a new generation of stars.
DE: They’re so young and they’re real, they want to be individual, they don’t want to be dictated to anymore. These girls practically live their whole lives in the public, it’s just not possible for them to keep up that carefully crafted façade actresses used to put up.
DA: Thank God for that - it makes them more colourful, it makes them more interesting. If anybody does anything well it should look effortless, I think the key word for the collection is “Effortless Makeup”; she didn’t spend hours but she looks amazing and, more importantly, memorable.
So can you tell me a bit more about the actual collection that you’ve created with M·A·C?
DA: It’s about a very important dark eye, but a multi-hued black, not a flat black.
DE: It’s kind of a “rock-on” makeup statement, but it’s unforced, purposefully messy.
DA: This girl didn’t spend hours doing her makeup but she looks amazing. It’s cooler than being too studied. Young Hollywood doesn’t need to impress anyone; the same goes for the makeup, she’s not about blending it perfectly.
DE: The longer it’s worn in, the better it looks. I love the idea that the application is easy, it’s markers, pencils, powders and you can use your fingers to put them on.
DA: Use Kohl Powder in Feline and Greasepaint Stick with Zoom Fast Black Lash, and then they’re lightened with peacock and violet Greasepaints. After you’ve put all that black on the eye and those two vibrant colours, you add an eye gloss to bring light to hidden things. So the eyes will be really dramatic!
Can you please tell me about the model you chose to be shot backstage for the makeup collection?
DE: As this season is inspired by young Hollywood, those young cool girls, they are carefree, cool and easy.
DA: We just thought Valeria was one of the coolest girls in the show. We like those girls that don’t care, you can see it in the way they walk and the way they carry themselves, it’s relaxed. It’s not like she is trying to be a glam goddess, I don’t even think she knows how beautiful she is.
DE: They don’t take themselves too seriously, which makes them cool.
Can you tell me why you decided to collaborate with M·A·C?
DE: M·A·C is a part of our family, we grew up with them. We’re Canadian, they’re Canadian, and it started there.
DA: M·A·C has been very supportive of us from the beginning of our design career, so it’s a natural link.
Because you all met when you were quite young didn’t you?
DA: We have the longest history with Gordon (Espinet). We grew up together, and actually have a lot of things in common. We always used to play around with makeup anyway, so it’s not like Dean and I don’t know anything about makeup. We knew how we wanted the eyes to be, with the colour and the black, coming up with great ideas for the final look was really a very smooth process.
DE: M·A·C is the best makeup brand around. Let’s not forget about that!
DA: Neither company takes itself too seriously, M·A·C is really expressive and DSquared² are on the same trip. We both have strong connections with pop stars, music and fashion - we’re certainly on the same page.
Did M·A·C inspire you when you were starting out? It was so seminal in the nineties, DSquared² was around at the same time and the M·A·C look was so different to anything else on the market.
DA: I think M·A·C was probably one of the first cosmetics companies that came out with colours and pigments that you didn’t find, colours that were unusual…
DE: They were and are makeup pioneers.
Was it nice to be able to apply your creative process to a new medium like this?
DA: Absolutely, we are very creative people, as is M·A·C. They really understood what we wanted and have stayed true to our vision. Also, because we’ve known each other for a long time, M·A·C knows what we’re about.
Q&A WITH GORDON ESPINET M·A·C VICE PRESIDENT OF MAKEUP ARTISTRY
Gordon, why was DSquared² chosen for M·A·C’s latest designer collaboration?
M·A·C has always had a strong relationship with DSquared², we were both born and raised in Toronto. I’ve known Dean and Dan since the early days and have seen them grow up in the fashion world. Actually, I did the makeup for their first womenswear show. I feel strongly that doing a collaboration with them is just the right fit. DSquared² is very similar to M·A·C. It’s a brand that has a sense of humour about itself, it’s distinct and marches to the beat of its own drum, it’s not about following trends, but about making them.
Can you tell me about when you first knew Dean and Dan?
GE: Dean and Dan started doing fashion in Toronto and I worked and played with them. We also had a lot of friends in common. When they packed up and moved to Milan and began doing menswear – we always stayed in touch. In fact, I used to harass them, “When are you going to do womenswear? Whenever you’re doing womenswear you make sure you call us!” Lo and behold, it has been six years and twelve seasons that M·A·C has been working with them on their womenswear collections. One of my favourite things about DSquared² is
to see how much they enjoy doing what they do. I like designers that add humour to it. I understand their sensibilities on fashion, they are serious about their work, but they don’t take it too seriously. It’s really about making fashion that’s light and exuberant. They are truly one of the only design teams I know that actually have
a good time. When I walked into their atelier before the show this season, Danny was wearing the women’s shoes from the collection, and you can’t help but think, “Oh, I’m home.”
So can you tell me about the collaboration between M·A·C and DSquared² and the limited edition makeup collection?
GE: Dan and Dean are very direct, I have never been around and heard them say “We don’t know what we want.” They know exactly what they want and are never gun shy about sharing it. Their makeup looks are never about ‘no makeup.’ I would fall on my face if I ever heard them say that. They love style to the highest degree. They are really about a woman who does it from head to toe and is not afraid to show her colours.
So what is the look inspired by?
GE: The M·A·C DSquared² Collection is based on the makeup that was created for their Fall 2009 show. The look was very rock ‘n’ roll – the girls were styled as if they’d stayed out too late and grabbed their friend’s leather jacket and put it on over a ball gown. They’re these beautiful young girls but with an edge, Hollywood star girls with a messed-up dark eye and great skin. This kind of make up – if you just let it wear, it’s naturally going to move and fall apart, and as long as all the distress stays around the eyes and the rest of the face stays perfect, it looks fabulous. It’s effortless makeup but also really strong.
So it’s a strong dark eye, but how did you make the look modern and current?
GE: These girls are throwing on tons of makeup, but they’re not going to sit there and make it pretty. They’re not trying too hard, they’re going to load on their makeup and it’s going to have that edge to it, they’re going to let nature take its course. That’s what gives it that sensual edge you know, they’re human.
So how is the look achieved?
GE: First, line the inside of the eye with M·A·C Kohl Power in Feline , then use the new Greasepaint Stick to draw in the shape and blend. Layer Greasepaint V & B over the black and then add Clear Gloss so it shimmers like a crow’s wing. It’s a black eye but it has colour, shine and depth so when the light hits the lid, it’s visible, there is a lot going on. And black mascara, Zoom Fast Black Lash, of course – you can’t go without. The skin is kept neutral and contoured with Sculpt and Shape Powder to give it that cooler edge, the lips are dimmed with Lip Erase and then a little colour is added with Lip Conditioner in Fuchsia Fix to keep the lips looking young, but all the focus is on the eye.
Can you tell me a bit about the history of M·A·C’s designer collaborations? I know you’ve done previous ones with Alexander McQueen, Heatherette and Emanuel Ungaro?
GE: When M·A·C first became involved in fashion shows back in 1994, we started with Matsudo and we felt that to do it in a M·A·C way we needed something that branded us, so we created a lipstick called Haku. Then we did Katharine Hamnett in London, and we created a nail and lip product with her which she called Pervette. Some of our bestsellers, like Smut Eye Shadow and O Lipstick, all began this way, but we don’t do it to make money. It’s about strengthening our relationship with the fashion industry and really creating a collection straight from the runway.
How do you think M·A·C customers will respond to this collection with DSquared²?
GE: M·A·C girls love to play with makeup, they’re not the kind of girls that just put one product on and run out the door, they want to sit a little and add a little bit of this and a little bit of that. So I think it gives the wearer the artistic sense of mixing and tweaking their own makeup.
That must be the greatest thing about a brand like M·A·C because you’ve got such a creative customer base, they’re willing to try anything and go for it.
GE: M·A·C customers like to wear a lot of makeup and they like to play. We have trained our customers to embrace their own makeup artistry skills and to feel like they really do get a little piece of that backstage experience. The M·A·C Pro Team are all tingly on the morning of a DSquared² show, because they know it’s going to be something really creative. M·A·C customers will love DSquared² because they’re crazy and they are all about living life to the fullest!
Q&A WITH NICOLE MASSON M·A·C EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL COLOUR PRODUCTS
Can you tell me about your role at M·A·C and what you do?
NM: I’m the Executive Director of Global Colour Products, which means that I’m responsible for the aesthetics, the functionality and development in all of the colour products M·A·C produces, including lipsticks, eye shadows, blushers and nail polishes. My job is basically to work with marketing and our research and development facilities, to figure out what the brand needs, what the market has to offer, what the trend is, and how to combine all those things into a product.
Wow it sounds like a great job.
NM: It’s fun, it’s definitely exciting. I mean I’m sitting in my office right now and I’m surrounded by all this makeup. I just spent half an hour talking about eyelashes with a colleague, about what we want the lash to look like, and what we really think this mascara should be doing. It’s great because I’m really going deep into the ins and outs of the products. Beauty is about wishes and desires, it’s like a magic potion in a bottle, and we’re trying to get the potion just right!
You first saw the makeup proposed by DSquared² for their limited edition makeup collection on the run-through at their atelier, the night before their catwalk show. What is that moment like for you, and do you have any indication of what the collection is going to be like beforehand?
NM: Well, we do and we don’t. Gordon Espinet, who keyed the show, had been talking about some of their references, but it’s very exciting to see the collection for the first time at the test because we don’t know exactly what it’s going to be. We’ve already finished the other four Fall collections, so it’s interesting to see whether we’re going to be on target, if it’s going to be completely different, if it’s going to work together, all of those things. We may have a general direction for what the collection is going to be like but it’s solidified on the actual day of the show.
I was there at the atelier and I saw you arrive, and it was really interesting to watch because you were sort of pouring over the table and the products. It must be a slightly heart-in-mouth moment for you.
NM: Absolutely, I mean every time, there’s always a new set of challenges, we never know what we’re going to be confronted with. But that’s the wonderful thing about these collections. Everything else is so pre-planned and thought out with our other collections. We want to present collections that work for consumers, for make up artists and we also want to make sure we’re providing a range of shades for all ethnicities. For our designer collaborations, we just have to let all that control go and go with the vision for the show. Our job is to facilitate, it’s not to control, which is a really wonderful exercise for us. Everything is left up to chance, but luckily it’s always worked out for us and we have these very different, cool looks each time, it’s very off-the-cuff.
How do the designer collaborations work from a product development point of view? Do you propose any products to the designers that they should use, or do they pick them?
NM: It’s different each time. For DSquared², Gordon came to our offices where we have a library of shades that we have developed but never launched. Our colour lab in Canada will submit tons of trend shades for review, or it will be a shade that I’ve asked them to make, for example something very, very dark but not completely black with aspects of blue and green in it. They’re just random shades that we’ve worked on but that never launched. Gordon went through them and took his favourites from there. That helped him in the development process. Product development takes a back seat in the designer collaborations, the key makeup artist and the designers work together. We don’t tell them, “This is our new product for the fall and this is what we’d like you to put in the collection.”
I think that might happen quite frequently with other brands, and it’s so nice to see that M·A·C doesn’t work like that.
NM: It would be very easy for us to have the collection all done, and to say to the designers, “This is the makeup look, you throw it on your models for your show and we’ll repackage it,” but that’s not what we’re trying to do here at all. We’re trying to make it real.
Are there any old M·A·C favourites being bought back for the DSquared² collection?
NM: We’re really happy that Gordon used the tinted lip conditioner SPF 15 in the collection, which just gives a very light amount of colour. You wouldn’t think of it as a makeup artistry sort of product because it’s like makeup that you wear at the supermarket on a Saturday morning, but it worked really well. Gordon combined it with Lip Erase, a product that mutes out the natural colour of your lips, so you get a blank canvas on which to work. The whole rock ‘n roll girl, morning after feel when all you’re left with is smudged eyeliner and mascara, and you’ve eaten away all your lipstick and lip gloss. I thought it was a wonderful way of taking a product that we have in our line, but that isn’t always thought of as a makeup artistry product, and giving it a fresh perspective.
We’re also bringing back the gloss texture to create the special smudgy eye. This is a classic that’s been in our line for a long time, it’s just a clear gloss that you can put over anything to smudge and mess it up. It makes the makeup ultra creamy, soft and shiny. It’s definitely “a look,” it’s a little bit more challenging for the consumer. Gloss won’t stay put forever but I think that’s kind of the fun, experimental part of this. Consumers get the DSquared² look of the show whether it’s easy to wear or not, after all is fashion meant to be practical?
We’ve spoken about some of the challenges the designer collaborations offer the development team, are there any other challenges that you face, and what about the benefits they offer?
NM: The biggest challenge is getting everything to move so quickly. You know we are a very large company and this collection is in all of our stores and markets, which is over 2,000 doors in 69 countries. To only see it for the first time in February and to actually get it to counter in 7 months is near impossible. It may seem like it’s a long time, but it’s not. To give you an idea of how short that is, our last collaboration with Hello Kitty took 18 months to develop. So only having 6 months means we’re working triple time to get everything ready. It’s
a time when we all pull together and say we’re not going to go by our regular timelines, we’re going to do whatever we have to do, we’re going to make it happen. Everyone has to focus and not say ‘no’ to anything too quickly, nobody takes no for an answer with the collaborations.
One of the benefits is it gives back to the artists, the M·A·C artists who work on the shows with us who fly around the world, who take a month out of their lives twice a year to circumnavigate the globe to be with the M·A·C family. To see their work, and see it undiluted. It must also be very freeing to have no control over what’s proposed, and just having to make it happen. It’s almost using a different part of your creative brain isn’t it?
NM: Oh absolutely. The first collection of this kind that we worked on was with Alexander McQueen and it was a very strong look. We worried about the sales and thought “Oh my God, is anyone going to buy this?” But Terry Barber (UK Director of Makeup Artistry) who worked on the show and Gordon said, “Don’t make it pretty, don’t soften it, we need it to be exactly as it was at the show.” And they were right, it does need to be exactly as it was, we’re not going to worry about the sales, we’re just going to do what the collection needs us to do. So it is very freeing, it’s just really fun having completely unexpected things thrown at you and seeing how you’re going to handle it.
For swatches and initial review, CLICK HERE. For product information and promo images, CLICK HERE.
The longer I play with the products from Style Black, the more I'm liking them, especially the eye products. I am really liking how pigmented the mineralize eyeshadows are compared to their predecessors. Granted that they are not that impressive when applied dry, just wait till you try them foiled. The metallic marriage of the black base and the edgy colors in blue, gold, silver and blue is simply amazing. But wait till you try these dry with just the greasepaint as the base. It will totally blow you away.
Greasepaint in Intense Black, with "V" and "B" from the DSquared collection.
First of all, let me say that the greasepaint is definitely one of those WOW products I haven't seen MAC come up in a long time. This has got to be one of the best if not the best eye primer I've tried. The Intense Black greasepaint has a purple tinge to it when held up against the light, but it applies very dark, very pigmented, very smoothly. It glides like a dream on the skin, and even non-pigmented shadows become vibrant when the greasepaint is used as a base. I also used this as a liner today and it has been 14 hours after application and it stayed put and didn't smudge at all. Amazing, I must say! I really believe the greasepaint is the winner of this collection. I can't rave enough about it.
The glimmerglasses are a pleasant surprise too. Granted that they are not very pigmented, but they have sheer black bases with glass-like finish with sparkly reflects glitter that would darken a lighter lipstick and make the outcome a deeper, richer color. It is sheer enough for it not to create a goth look; just enough to darken a lighter lippie. If you like dazzleglasses, you might like these glimmerglasses as well. The black lipstick might be a bit too goth for my taste, but a clean face and just a dab of this on the lips would make a definite statement.
Seriously Hip and Baby Girl Goth are amazing as well. I had said in my previous review that the latter is the nail lacquer version of Beauty Marked eyeshadow. I will be doing swatches next time.
The other winning tandem from this collection - the volcanic mask exfoliator and thermal mask. I heard they are selling like hotcakes, and people are probably just drawn to the word "volcanic ash". Sounds truly exotic, eh? I have used the exfoliator before and as I said, I loved the product except the smell. I also like the new squeeze tubes instead of the messy tubs from last year.
If I can recommend a few items from this collection, I would say the greasepaint, the thermal mask and the exfoliator. The mineralize eyeshadows are pretty too, very fall and festive. I will be coming up with a look featuring some of the products in the next entries.
My favorite shoes for work (and even for play) has got to be slingback peep-toe heels. Almost all of my shoes are peeptoes and slingbacks. I can't get enough of how sexy and yet grown-up and even professional they look. Those kinds of shoes come with a price, though. I just can't wear them with my ankles, heels and toes looking like they went through forty days and nights walking along dusty and parched dirt roads, can I? Sometimes, though, my feet look and feel like they did. I get dismayed when I see my cracked heels, and even though foot cream may alleviate it for a while, nothing beats exfoliating those nasty dead skin and calluses to really uncover pretty, blushing pink heels, soles and feet.
Thus, Ms. Pedicure Smooth Talker callus remover is such a must for my regular personal grooming. This tool is so easy to use in the shower or in the tub. I just let my feet become soft after washing and soaking it in warm soapy water, then gently apply the coarse side to the balls of my feet, the corners of my toes (especially the big one), and my heels to slough off calluses and rough, dead skin. Tada! Baby soft, smooth toes, heels and feet. WARNING: the results are amazing so it's so easy to over-use this. Do not over-slough!
Ms. Pedicure products are available at Target stores and online at Target.com.
This is my most-awaited collection for fall, and I am really ecstatic over these new Dazzleglass cremes. As the name suggests, these are a marriage of the dazzleglass and early this year's offering, the cremesheen glass. The dazzleglass is an obvious hit, but the cremesheen glass didn't get a lot of good reviews, so I think this new offering is the new and improved cremesheen glass. I am a dazzleglass addict, but I like the dazzleglass creme better because it is a bit more pigmented with the same amazing glass-like shine with soft sparkles of reflects glitter. The dazzleglass creme has outstanding shine and medium-sheer, dewy coverage that is just super addicting!! MAC also claims that it contains aloe and Vitamin E, which pamper the lips and prevent them from drying or peeling. The product glides smoothly on the lips without any drag. I also like the brush applicator as opposed to doe-foot sponge.
I use more neutral lip colors because I like to pair them with more dramatic eyes, so the light-colored dazzleglass creams really beckoned me. Sublime Shine is a beautiful light coral brown with gold pearl which is my favorite among the lighter colored dazzleglass cremes. Perfectly Unordinary is a bright yellow pink with gold pearl which I believe would suit my complexion as it also has a lot of yellow tones. Soft Dazzle is a mid-tone peach pink with gold pearl. I don't know why I crave these colors when I know they're going to be very similar to each other when worn, but I couldn't help myself. I know that they can be dupes of each other so having them is like having backups, considering that these products get consumed so quickly.
I also love the darker ones because they are like liquid lipsticks and the shine is absolutely amazing. Amorous is a deep brown red with pearl that looks scary in the tube but pigmented but not in-your-face when worn. Amorous turns into a beautiful cinnamon-y color on the lips, perfect for fall. Do It Up is a light blue pink with pearl that is gorgeous by itself without a lipstick underneath. I am getting Totally Fab which is a bright yellow red with pearl too. My Favourite Pink is a light blue pink with pearl that is so pretty, but very similar to many others in my stash. Luscious Spark is a light orange with gold pearl that is okay but I am not really drawn to it.
All in all, if you love the dazzleglasses, you will most probably like these too. As always, my main gripe is that the price is a bit too much for a .06 oz. of product. The only thing I can think of which can probably lessen the damage on the wallet is to Back-2-MAC for these. MAC counters like those in Nordstrom or Macy's don't give dazzleglass cremes in exchange for empties, but my local freestanding store does. So check out your local retailers for their back-2-MAC policies.
A few weeks ago, I posted my review on the Dieci Colori Essence of Italy Lemon Peel Sugar Body Scrub. Today I am featuring its perfect partner, the amazing lemon whipped body cream from Dieci Colori's Essence of Italy line. It's basically a body care line that is made from organic ingredients. This product is from their Fruit collection, which is infused with the fragrant essence of lemon zest. According to the company, the product is made from 100% organic sugar crystals and lemon zest.
The company gave a short description of the product on its website:
From the hillsides of Italy, we bring you this rich, emollient body cream. Imbued with the rejuvenative essence of lemon, nourishing sunflower oil, and vitamin rich avocado oil, it offers deep hydration and skin soothing comfort to even the driest skin.
My Take: Let me dive in right away and tell you that this is probably one of the best body butters I've ever tried. This is such a rich, absolutely luxurious body butter that will make the driest and scaliest skin melt into soft buttery velvet. I follow up the lemon sugar scrub with this emollient concoction and it just makes my skin super soft and smooth, not to mention fragrant as well. This lemon whipped body cream smells divine. The scent of lemon is intoxicating and really perks up my spirit in the mornings. I used to apply a separate foot cream to make my feet extra soft and smooth, but this product does wonders both for my body and my feet, so I don't need a separate foot cream. I can't stop raving about this product. The way it softens and keeps my skin smooth is amazing. I really love the smell of lemons and butter because it makes me think good and warm thoughts, and it also smells so fresh and clean.
Upside: Amazing natural (as opposed to artificial) lemon scent, super rich and emollient, can smoothen and soften even the driest of skin.
Downside: I personally can't see any downside to this product. Some people don't like very rich body butters, but I honestly don't see anything bad about this body butter.
The combination of the lemon sugar scrub and the lemon whipped body cream is a one-two Knock-Out punch against skin dullness, flaking and dryness. I really love this tandem and I intend to get this body cream as soon as I am done with my current stash. Check it out at the above-mentioned links.
Here are a few attempts on gradient manicure and Konad nail art. The nail look above is an attempt to use the fishnet image in the m57 image plate, which is okay I guess, except that I missed a spot in the corner of my pinkie finger. I am not as adept in using full-nail images as compared to the smaller, daintier images, hence the imperfect look. I love the combination of colors, though. The base polish is a shimmery neutral from Misa called Beautiful. I used Konad Princess Polish in Chocolate over it, which is such a pretty color. I love how understated the whole nail art looks; you can hardly see the image unless you peer closely.
It was my first time to try a gradient (or syrup) nail look, and I made a lot of mistakes, but I was pretty satisfied with my first attempt; it looked pretty decent to me. I used Misa polish in Be My Lover as a base, a beautiful, light milky pink. I freehanded french tips using OPI Designer Series in Signature. Using a miniature pizza slice-shaped sponge which I cut out from a circular one, I carefully dabbed a miniscule amount of Signature onto the sponge and carefully applied it under the french tip going towards the cuticle. I let it dry and applied Orly Smudge Fixer to blur harsh lines, make the color borders seamless and to create a gradient look. I applied a top coat and allowed it to dry, then Konadified it using m20 image plate and Special Polish in White. I liked how dainty the design is. With gradient manicures, I can now fully utilize and appreciate my holo/Designer Series/glitter polishes, because I don't like the idea of bling-blings all over the nail bed. A few sparkles on the tips would be nice, but everything looks garish on me once the whole nail bed is decked with glitter.
Anyways, hope you enjoyed the nail art!
It's almost October, the Breast Cancer Awareness month, a disease that is so close to my heart as I had lost a loved one because of it. That is why causes like this really strike a chord in me. Please help spread the word about this amazing endeavor, or be part of the army yourself.
Glamour Magazine joins forces with the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation’s Love/Avon Army of Women to host a PSA video contest to help recruit one million women volunteers for breast cancer research.
Film students were asked to create Public Service Announcements for the “Army of Women” cause. The Army of Women’s goal is to eliminate breast cancer by identifying what causes this disease and stopping it before it starts. This unique initiative teams scientists with women who may be interested in participating in breast cancer research projects– healthy women as well as breast cancer survivors. So far, more than 305,000 women have signed up since the Army launched last October.
We encourage you, dear readers, to view and vote for your favorite Public Service Announcement by CLICKING HERE. Voting has started yesterday (Friday, September 25) and the winner announced on October 5th. Your vote will help the organization pick the video that will motivate millions of women to take the next step and sign up to join the Army of Women.
Get more information, and take the next step yourself by signing up at armyofwomen.org.
Remember: Finding the cause of breast cancer and preventing it starts with one--YOU.
The four “Army of Women” finalists are from USC & NYU and include:
“One Million Strong”
Finalists: Brent McHenry & Nick Wenger – University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts
“Walk in the Park”
Finalist: Courtney Thomas – University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts
“Million in the Mirror”
Finalists: Marc Parees & Ryan Silbert – New York University 's Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television
Finalist: Felix Thompson – New York University 's Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television
Amourai Organique’s Innovative Hair Lotion
Doubles as a Skin-Soothing Treat
Washington, DC – September 2009 – A dash of jojoba and a splash of coconut oil not only leaves dull, damaged hair looking its best; it can also give your skin the nourishing moisture it has been craving. The ultimate double-duty beauty secret, Amourai Organique Majesty Jojoba Hair Lotion treats both locks and skin to a burst of beneficial moisture.
Filled to the brim with natural ingredients, Majesty works to deliver moisture and shine to otherwise limp locks. Because of its good-for-you ingredients like soothing aloe vera and wholesome Vitamin E, your favorite hair lotion can also be used as an all-over body lotion, cutting costs and time in a cinch!
For the ultimate haircare pick-me-up, apply a small amount of Majesty to the hair, focusing on the ends, then brush or comb hair evenly to distribute natural oils. After treating your hair to the royal treatment, use Majesty as an all-over body lotion and reap the benefits of all-natural ingredients that the leave the skin touchably smooth.
Majesty Jojoba Hair Lotion has a suggested retail price of $14.
To learn more or to make a purchase, please visit: Luvamourai.com.
CLICK HERE for official product images, information and Q & A with MAC Senior Artist.
I am certainly not a goth girl by any standards, but I can appreciate some of the products in this collection. The key to wearing these is moderation. All in all, I really loved some of the items, especially the greasepaint (I really, really think this will be a hit), the mineralize eyeshadows, the 214 brush, and Goth Baby Girl nail lacquer. NOTE: All the swatch photos you see in this entry were taken under direct sunlight.
Let's start with the mineralize eyeshadows. I was very impressed with the texture when I swatched these. They were buttery, glided on the skin effortlessly, and unlike other mineralize shadows in the past, this new batch is very pigmented even when applied dry. The swatches above were applied dry, and yet you could see how easily the pigment shone through. When foiled, these are just amazingly metallic and pigmented, and the nuances of the black base mixing with the silver, gold, plum and blue specks are just out of this world. I've never liked mineralize shadows especially the earlier releases, but if you like black mixed with metallic colors of blue, silver, gold and purple, you will love these. My favorite would be Gilt By Association since I love golds- a mineralize black with gold bronze. Cinderfella is a black base with silver pearl, which would also look amazing especially for night looks. Blue Flame is a pretty black base with blue pearl, and Young Punk is a black base with purple pearl. MAC just basically mixed mineralize black with some of the colors normally worn with black, which is cool.
These lipsticks were probably not a favorite since I hardly wear dark lippies, but for the right skintone and look, these would look great. Black Night is a creamy true black that kinda applies sheer but it is buildable to make that opaque black lip look. Night Violet is a repromote from 2007's Mattene collection which I had but had to give it up because I never used it. I agree, it IS very pretty, though, and on darker skintones (and maybe lighter ones), this would look fab. Midnight Media is a dense matte black, a very opaque matte lipstick that looks scary to me. Definitely not for me.
I am liking the glimmerglasses more than the lipsticks, maybe because they are definitely not as opaque as the dark lippies. These are also best layered over another lipstick, which would look quite amazing, I must say. Blackware is a creamy true black that I don't care much for, because I want bling and not just cream. Blackfire is my best bet in this lot, a sheer black with pinkish purple pearl. I would love this layered over pink, magenta, or red lipsticks. Bling Black is a sheer black with gold pearl, which is also meant to be layered over other lip products as this is very sheer.
I believe that this might be the winner of this collection. This is an amazing product. A very deep, intense black eye base, eyeliner, or shadow that glides like a dream on the skin, effortlessly coating it with dense black grease-like paint, hence the name. I can't wait to use this under shadows. As you probably know, a black base is not just for black eyeshadows. The blackness of the eye base makes any kind of color more vivid and makes the particular shade pop on the lid. You can choose to use whichever color you want over the greasepaint stick, and it will make the color pop right out. This is much easier to glide on the lids than the shadestick, and a hundred times more pigmented. Love it.
Smolder is your basic intense black kohl liner that also glides easily and VERY pigmented.
Volcanic Ash Exfoliator in old packaging
( See the rest of the swatches and review after the jump)
Last year's Future Earth collection featured a highly coveted product called the Volcanic Ash Exfoliator. I would always see this product in In-Search-Of posts in MAC fan boards, and I know why. This sludgy product is an amazing exfoliator made of- surprise- volcanic ash. In my previous review, I'd said that I hated the packaging, which was in a huge tub that causes the product to spill out of the sides - annoyingly messy, and I believe that's the reason why they chose to house it in those new squeeze tubes. I also said that the smell kinda gets to me too. It IS a pleasant scent, but it is just a bit too strong for me. Other than that, it is a great product. I used it on my face and back, and it just made my skin supple and smooth. The sugar granules were a bit big compared to what I am used to (I use Mary Kay Microdermabrasion set), but it is definitely effective nonetheless. My face looked noticeably smoother with a lot less of those half-in-half-out whiteheads on my temples and forehead. I am thinking if I should get the mask, considering that I already have a couple of glacial mud masks myself, but I will update you once I do get it.
I lost my swatches of the nail lacquers, but I bought Baby Girl Goth and it's a beautiful black with pinkish purple pearl. The MAC MA was spot on when she said it is MAC's nail lacquer version of Beauty Marked eyeshadow. It is exactly like that shadow, but picture it in nail lacquer form. I will post swatches of the lacquers once I get the opportunity. However, I do have an old pic of Nocturnelle, a basic black cream on my toes. It is a beautiful black and it's one of my prized MAC nail lacquers.
It's officially described as a small shader brush on the MAC site, but it is mainly a smudge brush, but it can have a variety of uses. It can be used to smudge lines to create a sultry smokey eye look, and the stiff but very dense hairs can likewise apply color effectively on the lashlines. It can also be used to pack color on the lid, or to create a defined crease. I had a hard time getting this when it was first released in the Brunette, Blonde, Redhead collection, it was sold out everywhere. I had to get this at the Pro store in LA. No regrets, though, because this is such a versatile little brush with lots of uses.
Penultimate Liner in Rapidblack
If you want precise black lines, liquid eyeliner is the way to go, and Penultimate liner is a liquid liner in pen form that is very easy to use. The felt tip is amazing in giving you precise control of your strokes, and the very fine tip also makes your lines as fine or thick as you like. This is still my favorite liquid liner up to this day. Fool-proof application and glides like a dream on the lids.
All in all, Style Black would be a hit for those who like dark, vampy looks. For those who think it's way too dark or gothic, you can always opt to layer them over other colors to tone down the look, especially for the glimmerglasses.
INTRODUCING M·A·C STYLE BLACK
FROM TOWERING INK-JET BEEHIVE AND EYELINER TO STEVEN “80S” SPROUSE-IN-THE-HOUSE KOHL AND FRINGE, TO STREET-SMART LONDON NEW GOTH, BLACK IS SIMPLY BEYOND!
The ever-overlapping worlds of Fashion and Art may choose to revel in a Technicolour dream or a day-glo fantasy from time to time, but deep down, as Amy Winehouse likes to say in her wicked, wobbly way, it’s always “Back to Black.”
We first saw it in Milan for Jil Sander, in the spectacular living sculptures Raf Simmons chiseled from supple, constructed ebony curves and seams, each with an occasional fiery ruffle and flourish. We loved it at Calvin Klein, in boxy structures that echoed artist Richard Serra's epic shapes in their steely, outright boldness, eyelashes like the black widow spiders of sculptor Louise Bourgeois' sexy, sinister giant tarantulas....She mates, and she kills! And we were bouncing like black espresso beans at the New Goth youthquake we saw stomping down the runway at Gareth Pugh in London – the black market equivalent of a boot-leg Clash LP, all slick black vinyl and cool indignation. Quite simply the most intriguing new take on what "Goth" can be in the New Century, the Modern Black-o-Sphere.
Enter the NEW GOTH, a hybrid of Fashion and Art, and a fixture on the glamorous, modern gallery scene. No longer a ghoul, but a sophisticated, international creature with makeup that changes the mood to permanent midnight around the clock. M·A·C calls it STYLE BLACK.
Lips, nails, eyes, there’s no more dramatic way to declare your desire, separate your sensibility, celebrate your sexual magnetism. Something's smoldering. Mad, bad and delirious. Danger boy. Androgynous girl. Explicitly erotic, whip-smart exotic, and in-your-face expressive. Wicked ideas, archly executed with a slash of Greasepaint Stick and a slightly-curled upper lip.
How to begin? With skin perfected and purified, whitened and brightened, virgin-pure, clean and chaste. Use M·A·C Volcanic Ash Exfoliator and the Volcanic Ash Thermal Mask to smooth skin into obsidian perfection. The eruption will rock you – these are essential earth elements, modern alchemy – to prep and prime the canvas for the Dark Knight Power of Style Black.
How Goth will you go? Your choice. You can ‘Paint it BLACK’ a la L'Wren Scott, the uber-stylist turned designer who may just have created the best little black dress collection in the world. Her own personal ‘Morticia’ lash and ebony eyeliner an essential accoutrement... where there's smoke, there's ire! Twilight will bring it out in you! Or, if you choose, opt for something subtle, allude to the dark side without crossing over; flirt with a little danger, or simply satisfy a secret craving for a tiny taste of darkling drama.... there's a Style Black technique for every attitude, and you can take it where you want to.
The Style Black trend in makeup picked up steam as the fashion machine gathered momentum around the globe. M·A·C artist innovation made it happen backstage, as the Pro Team ventured into the deep end of the dark view with new M·A·C signature shades. From Charlotte Tilbury's night-charm way with Glimmerglass in Bling Black at Donna Karan; to Pep Gay's Cinderfella androgynous Eye Shadow, bewitching with a touch of Blue Flame for Vivienne Westwood; to Polly Osmond's dramatic use of the season's indispensable Greasepaint Stick on the runway in the exotic milieu of designer Yigal Azrouel. CNC Costume Nationale was the inked with pen-ultimate Style Black. Even fast and furious Diesel got into the neo-Goth night crawler, distressed just the right way, with the smoldering look of M·A·C Black Knight Lipstick paired with the dare of a Blackware Glimmerglass.
What's in it for you? Pure seduction. A little... or a lot! They WILL surrender to a Blackfire Glimmerglass for lips with depth and hot-fire smolder; Rapidblack Penultimate Eyeliner, the epitome of spontaneous, undone eroticism; and if you're naughty but not attempting haughty, the hot scratch of Baby Goth Girl Nail Lacquer is all it takes. From 18 to 88, anyone with a dark desire can take the trend by the hand and completely nail it. Style Black is a way of life, a shadowy and mysterious figure of fantasy, even for just one dark and dangerous night.
It's nice to be pretty, but it's so much more fabulous and interesting to be a Persona. Something once out-of-grasp has, through the power of makeup artistry, become thrillingly real. Black-and-white Period portraiture inspires us. Film Noir, the glamour of Hollywood, the smoking gun, is thrilling to us. Black is the beginning, the Original Seduction. And paradoxically, the simplest thing you can reach for to change your game, up the ante, start a new story – the possibilities are endless. Above all, Style Black is evanescent and artful, from Bette Davis Eyes to Andy Warhol's Factory Girls (and boys). No tribute to the modern Gallery Scene, and its fascinating cast of black-clad kooks, conspirators, and brooding, contemplative geniuses, would be complete without an after-midnight Black-Out....Grab your Edie Sedgwick eyeliner and come to the party! Style Black is everything and nothing – it's all any girl needs this season, maybe ever.
Lips, nails, eyes – there’s no more dramatic way
to declare your desire, separate your sensibility,
celebrate your magnetism. They WILL surrender
to a Blackfire Glimmerglass, Rapidblack Penultimate
Eye Liner, a slash of Greasepaint Stick, and the
hot scratch of Baby Goth Girl Nail Lacquer. Style
Black is a way of life, a shadowy and mysterious
figure of fantasy, even for just one dark and
Black Knight Creamy true black
Suggested Retail Price $14.00 U.S./$16.50 CDN
Night Violet Deep purple grape
Midnight Media Dense matte black
Suggested Retail Price $14.50 U.S./$17.50 CDN
Bling Black Sheer black with gold pearl
Blackfire Sheer black with pinkish purple pearl
Blackware Creamy true black
Suggested Retail Price $18.00 U.S./$21.50 CDN
Mineralize Eye Shadow
Cinderfella Mineralize black with silver pearl (frost)
Gilt By Association Mineralize black with gold bronze pearl (frost)
Blue Flame Mineralize black with blue pearl (frost)
Young Punk Mineralize black with pinkish purple pearl (frost)
Suggested Retail Price $19.50 U.S./$23.50 CDN
Seriously Hip Black with gold particle pearl
Baby Goth Girl Black with pinkish purple pearl
Nocturnelle Black as night black
Suggested Retail Price $12.00 U.S./$14.50 CDN
214 Short Shader
Suggested Retail Price $23.00 U.S./$27.50 CDN
Smolder Intense black
Suggested Retail Price $14.50 U.S./$17.50 CDN
Penultimate Eye Liner
Rapidblack True black
Suggested Retail Price $16.50 U.S./$20.00 CDN
Greasepaint Stick Intense black
Suggested Retail Price $17.50 U.S./$21.00 CDN
North America September 24th, 2009 at all M·A·C
locations, 1.800.588.0070 and www.maccosmetics .com
International October 2009 at all M·A·C locations,
1.800.588.0070 and www.maccosmetics .com
Q & A WITH TERRY BARBER M·A·C SENIOR ARTIST
Q: IS “GOTH” back? or “NEW GOTH”? What’s it all about now?
A: Yes, but it’s the way Tim Burton would treat Goth, more dark-romantic, a bit of street-urchin Victoriana, but not a ghoul, a bit Ska - those are the elements of Goth now. Think punk-inspired but not punk– more punk couture. In a way it’s very Picasso-esque: raw, drawing lines around the eye with spontaneity and naivety, more home-made, distressed, lived-in looks. Black is also looking a lot more air-brushed like YSL models in the ‘80s; that famous Helmut Newton picture of the woman in the smoking jacket under the Paris street lamp – that’s a part of it too.
Q: ‘Style Black’ is so iconic. From ‘80s Steven Sprouse to the Mudd Club to The Factory to Neo-Goth Gareth Pugh – it’s a very storied idea. What elements of the new ‘Style Black’ make it modern? Is there a different technique or product you use?
A: Well back then, it was about stealing your sister’s eyeliner and really a black pencil and talc for the skin was about all you could afford. Everybody aspired to be underground didn’t they? They still do. In all those places, the way men would put a bit of kohl in the eye and not pay attention to it, let it run.... that was the spirit. Now it’s Kate Moss coming FROM a party, with a glass of champagne in one hand and a cigarette in the other, as opposed to the try hard, red-carpet GOING TO a party scene. Style Black could turn up anywhere, but its real soul is in an irreverent look of a cool, undone girl. For technique, after greasepaint stick, add a bit of gloss to the eye and let it go.... that’s now.
Q: What’s on your ‘Style Black’ mood board? In your opinion, what beauty icon had the best ‘Style Black’ look?
A: The Ronettes and other ‘50s and ‘60s girl groups, old black-and-white pictures of Tallulah Bankhead and her quote, "I’m as pure as the driven slush," The Blitz Kids, Post-Punk, early New Romantics, CBGBs and Club Taboo (London)….In terms of beauty icons I would say the pictures of Sophia Loren in the film El Cid – completely opposite to the pious character she plays, she’s got on perfect ‘60s eyeliner and those unbelievable lashes; Debbie Harry, but the early years, in her school girl uniform, before the peroxide. Of course, Kate (Bush or Moss).
Q: Did Amy Winehouse rock the modern world with her black beehive and kohl eyeliner the same way Edie Sedgwick rocked the Warhol years? What’s the fascination with ‘Back to Black’?
A: Every generation has to have its anti-establishment heroines – and we need an alternative to red-carpet perfection! Amy is like a mythical witch who lives in the Camden Underworld. She’s got a lot of Russ Meyer in her – very "Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill"– she can do no wrong for me. Edie was great, more like a boy, all eyes and brow, more temporary and then gone in a flash.
Q: Can anybody take a Greasepaint Stick or Kohl Eyeliner and make it work? What’s the secret?
A: Yes. Because that’s the reality of how they do it, how we wear make up – quick, fast, sexy, rubbed-in black. Perfect but imperfect, wrong but right. Naïve but knowingly placed.
Q: What are your favorite Style Black products?
A: First and foremost, the Greasepaint Stick – it’s thick and crude but the lines are beautiful, it’s crude with craft! It does it all. Put it on first. That’s important. I also love the new Mineralize Black Shadows, with the undertones of jewel metallics, for that Grace Jones look – like wet asphalt. Sexy. Overall, it’s all about Black with metallics – emerald green on dirty gold, a little cobalt mixed in. Pure perfection can be dull, as Pam Anderson always taught me, trash down is much more chic
Q: How do you use Style Black from Day to Night?
A: Never change an eye from day to night, just charge it up! Polish the skin, buff the lip, shade the face but keep it all in perspective and never try too hard.
Q: If the emphasis is on a dark eye, how do you approach lips and cheeks?
A: Only a hardcore vampire would do all black everything. It’s all about balance. A lot of eye always means less skin and a fleshy mouth. A strong lip looks contemporary on a nude eye. It’s is all about what you ERASE on the face. At the shows erased eyebrows are having a big moment.
Q: What worked best backstage from New York, London, Milan and Paris, over and over? How did you interpret the new ‘Goth’ idea in makeup – how far did you want to take it?
A: Black lip glosses went on eyelids at the shows, for that petrol puddle look. Fabulous. Again, Greasepaint Stick and the black lip glosses were a killer combination. Normally you have to build and build with a pencil and eyeliner on top then layer shadows...this just STAYS. You don’t have to blend it or powder it down or retouch it; the amazing thing about these new products is the low maintenance factor. They LAST and they STAY. It’s ease with instant impact. It’s cool but not technical.
Q: M·A·C has always been all about Black.... Is black forever?
A: Without a doubt. There are so many incarnations that go into it – the biggest statement doesn’t always have to be Rock’n’Roll or Gothic. The Film Noir and 1930’s surrealism are a huge influence. I love Anita Ekberg in La Dolce Vita, and all the Italian Neo-Realist films and Fellini of course. The Egyptians – Amy Winehouse brought Nefertiti to the street. That cubist, round-eyed Cabaret look and the chic Lesbiana of the 20s; Josephine Baker! Helmut Newton and that whole Robert Palmer 80’s mannequin thing that we can’t seem to escape from!
Q: Can women AND men wear ‘Style Black’?
A: Sure but it’s really a Soho thing. Or suburban boys on the weekend escaping the nine to five. Think Pete Doherty doing bridge and tunnel.