Mar 31, 2011

liquid highlighters. III: Rouge Bunny Rouge Highlighting Liquid.

i've saved the best for last, this is my favourite liquid highlighter, the Rouge Bunny Rouge Seas Of Illumination Highlighting Liquid in the shade #009 Sea Of Showers (there are 4 shades all in all).
i bought it on, it contains 30ml and costs 45£. this is really a very hefty price tag, but for me it's worth every cent.  so let me explain to you why:

#1: have you ever seen a prettier packaging? i know such few products with a beautiful, whimsical, detailed and luxurious packaging like that, i can easily count them on 5 fingers of one hand. even the cardboard packaging looks so fabulous, i can't throw it away :)

it comes in a frosted glass bottle with a lovely print on it that seems to resemble a myriad of lilac flowers to me. it has a black shiny cap and a pump, which could be more precise i find. you'll need some pumps to get used to it and to find out the right press point to get the right amount of product. for me, only one short light press is enough. never press down completely - you would need like a week to use it up ;).

#2: it's super super pigmented. i think i won't ever need to re-purchase (unless to get another shade :P). even the tiniest amount will be enough to do the entire face, a little goes a looong long way! so please don't be scared if you use the pump for the first time, got too much product, blended it out and received a frosty metallic finish. it was just waaaayyy too much.  the texture is rather thick and creamy, not silicony at all. it can be easily sheered out and will give you a gorgeous fine fairy like shimmer that won't be noticed when it's on the face. i use a duo fibre brush with it, a MAC 131 or a small classic skunk brush (MAC 188-type), or a dense synthetic brush like the Illamasqua Blusher Brush #1 to dab it on. it will result in a subtle blended effect.

#3: the effect! Sea Of Showers is a bronzey tan/gold in the bottle, but once sheered out a little, you'll see it's a bronze champagne colour with a pink tint to it, that makes it blending into most skin tones more easily and seamlessly. so you will only see the pretty champagne-gold shimmer but not a bronze tint when you apply it.
as i said before, the first impression was quite scary for me also, i thought it was too metallic and too dark. but applied, it made my skin look like summer immediately with a subtle polished appearance. it's hard to describe, because not natural, not healthy, not shimmery, not dewy, but maybe a mix of all plus a fairy like summery glow. J-Lo glow (i don't like her that much, but she is the epitome for glowy, sunny latina-like complexion for me. the classic one. or Adriana Lima.)
the much i love to mix the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl into my foundation in the cold months, the much i love it to mix the Rouge Bunny Rouge Highlighting Liquid (but only a tiny tiny quarter-of-a-tiny drop!) with my foundation in the sunny months. it makes every foundation look glowy and fresh on my skin without shine or greasiness.
but for this, i like the local application even more (on the cheekbones, the cupid's bow, the bridge of the nose) and also as a wash of bronze shimmer on the eyelids - especially if i got too much product :P - combined with lots of mascara and a bright glossy pout it's a perfect easygoing summer look.

look how i only blended out that little dab. i blends into my skin nicely. in fact it needed to be blended out much more, but i wanted to show you the colour/condensed effect.

only foundation (i used MAC Pro Longwear in NC20)
foundation mixed with Rouge Bunny Rouge Highlighting Liquid in Sea Of Showers.

pure foundation + Rouge Bunny Rouge Sea Of Showers on the cheekbones

i'm very glad i bought this, and that Rouge Bunny Rouge didn't let me down again. i'm very excited to get my next supply of this brand (zuneta, i'm waiting! ;) ) as i'm sure i will be pleased with the products.
what about you? have you tried it? did i intrigue you to? or do you find the effect not that great and i'm just overreacting?

Mar 30, 2011

NARS blushes revisited! #11 - Albatross.

this series is just for better pics&swatches. my opinion about the blushes stays the same, take a look at older posts.

NARS blushes contain 4.5 - 4.8g each for the powder blushes, and 5.5g each for the cream blushes.
they cost 29€/19.50£/26$.

Albatross is the only highlighting powder by NARS. it's an ivory white with fine yellow gold iridescent shimmer. the yellowish tint makes it quite hard to capture in pics, it gives a greenish hue to the photos - but not if it's applied, no worry.
i don't find myself reaching for it very often, mostly because in my eyes it's just too yellow gold and makes me look icteric if i'm not careful, especially in cold artificial lighting. i only use it when i get a slight tan, otherwise it looks weird. i find this to be unusable for pale cold skin tones.
the shimmer sheers out easily - and it has to, because you should only take a tiny little bit. i hope they will release some more shades in the future (i think there will be a lavendar one in the summer collection? i will buy it for sure just because of the interesting colour ;). ) because i'm not very pleased with this one.
i apply it with a MAC 131 to the top parts of my cheekbones and the cupid's bow. it looks good in combination with (matte) peach and coral blushes. i somewhat want to try Copacabana Multiple, but on the other hand it's very expensive and i use cream shimmers much too rarely to buy such a big stick.

NARS Albatross in bright sunlight
NARS Albatross in natural light
NARS Albatross in late sun
NARS Albatross in natural light: swatched heavily & blended out

in comparison to other pale gold(-ish) highlighting powders:
MAC Vanilla Pigment is more shimmery, the gold sheen is a softer gold and it also has a slight peachy pink iridescence. MAC Too Chic Beauty Powder has a soft gold pearl and is finer in texture.

MAC Vanilla Pigment - NARS Albatross - MAC Beauty Powder Too Chic
MAC Vanilla Pigment - NARS Albatross - MAC Beauty Powder Too Chic
MAC Vanilla Pigment - NARS Albatross - MAC Beauty Powder Too Chic

this is how Albatross looks worn: i paired it with NARS Gina blusher.

Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Colour "Orange Blossom".

Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Colour in "Orange Blossom" - i always had this shade in the back of my mind, i think because i once saw a video on youtube where Kokolaroo said it was one of her faves. and i adore her.
so as i heard a second voice stating the Second Skin blushes were great, i knew it was the time to go on the hunt! so i bought this on ebay about 2 weeks before, i paid about 26$ with international shipping included (luckily the € is pretty strong these days).
it comes in a sleek and simple dark brown plastic compact with a full size mirror. it's fairly small, i imagined it to be bigger ;) also the amount it contains is rather small, 3.6g of blush is just as much as an eyeshadow mono by Guerlain.
Orange Blossom is a light peach with a minimal pink hue and very fine gold shimmer. it's quite sheer and applies as a wash of colour with a healthy sheen. i find the shimmer very flattering, not too frosty and doesn't emphasize unneven skin. the texture is fine and pressed rather firmly.
it applies evenly and is well blendable, you can build up the colour intensity as you wish. it's not too orange on me, so i can also start wearing it in the spring and don't have to wait for a summer tan for it to look good.
it looks beautiful layered over a matte pink blush, too (like NARS Mata Hari, MAC Pink Swoon, ...).

Laura Mercier Orange Blossom in sunlight: swatched heavily & blended out

this is how it looks applied, again please bear my after-work expression ;)

in comparison, it reminds me of Benefit's infamous Coralista, but has a prettier shimmer than the flat white sheen Coralista has, also it's less pink. it's also less pink than NARS Deep Throat but more pink than Chanel Espiègle and the peach cream blush by Maybelline. the shimmer looks like that from Deep Throat, but is more fine.

Benefit Coralista - Laura Mercier Orange Blossom - NARS Deep Throat - Chanel Espiègle - Maybelline Dream Touch  Blush #02
Benefit Coralista - Laura Mercier Orange Blossom - NARS Deep Throat - Chanel Espiègle - Maybelline Dream Touch  Blush #02

Mar 29, 2011

foundation overview #7: MAC Face&Body

i bought the MAC Face And Body Foundation about a month ago, a new hype wave on my "home beauty forum" made me to :P.
also i'm not so averse to sheer foundations anymore because first, my skin is behaving ok these days and 2nd, i think i became more skin-confident over the last months. nobody is perfect, and those supposedly seem to, they appear quite fake.
this foundation always scored in great staying power from the reviews i've read, but everytime it was mentioned how sheer it is. for me the first condition for a foundation is excellent staying power and also transfer resistance. the second condition has always been good coverage, but like i explained earlier, this is cancelled now. no reason not to buy, huh?
this foundation bottle is huge, it contains 120ml and costs 36€, which seem very reasonable for that amount.
it comes in a plastic sqeeze bottle.

it's also suited to use on the body (the reason for the big amount), like to even out little spider veins or bruises on your legs, because it's very light and transfer resistant and even water resistant i think.
you should shake it well prior to using. the consistency is rather liquidy and runny. because it is very sheer, i have to use a fairly big amount, about double of what i would normally take with my other foundations. i have it in C2, a medium neutral shade with yellow undertones, which should be ok for NC20-NC25(30?) in MAC i think. it doesn't darken up or oxidize on me.

a drop of: MAC F&B in C2 + MAC Pro Longwear NC20
MAC Face&Body
MAC Face&Body freshly applied
MAC Face&Body after 10 minutes

with one "coat", it only evens out the skin tone a little and doesn't conceal any imperfections at all.  it feels very light and fresh then.
but you can layer it to a medium coverage with a second application. please make sure you leave the first layer dry down completely before you go on, so you'll get the best result without blotches. the second application helps with redness and uneven pigmentation, but you won't get dark scars or red pimples completely covered. most times i do 2 layers, i wouldn't recommend a third. also remember to put on only very thin layers, or it can feel thick and heavy on your skin.
i have only applied it with the BeautyBlender sponge so far and i like the finish. in the first layer it has a natural silky sheen to it, after the second "coat", the finish is more dewy and very even, enlarged pores get minimized very well.
after some time (maybe 1h) it gets fairly greasy and sticky on my face so i always need to set it with powder even though i find the "pure" finish very nice. i would also need a re-touch with powder about mid-day or at least i need to blot away my skin oils.
it's really transfer resistant and has a good staying power, although i can look greasy in the end of the day, coverage-wise it stays about the same. it doesn't slip off of my face or so ;) i think it's a good foundation for the summer, but more suited for people with normal skin rather than oily skin like mine.
it didn't irritate my skin or made me break out. because i get quite oily till the evening, i don't see any difficulties with removal. the natural oils help with the water resistant formula ;)
i have found a much better usage for this, though: it's fabulous to mix with other foundations! it sheers out thick formulas and makes slippery ones stay on much better.  powdery liquid foundations as a mixing partner help with the oil control.

one layer - two layers

NARS blushes revisited! #10 - Gina.

this series is just for better pics&swatches. my opinion about the blushes stays the same, take a look at older posts.

NARS blushes contain 4.5 - 4.8g each for the powder blushes, and 5.5g each for the cream blushes.
they cost 29€/19.50£/26$.

Gina is a matte orange peach. luckily it doesn't apply as orange on me as it looks in the pan. on my cheeks it looks like a warm muted peach. it gives me cheeks like in the heat of late summer, without any shimmer or frost, and that is the amazing part. i'm glad that it is matte, the texture is beautiful (finely milled, very blendable, intensely pigmented but easily to apply without blotches even if you only take a dab) and lets the skin on my cheek area look fine and poreless.
out of my NARS blushes, it's the one that looks best with Albatross highlighting powder. while the yellow gold of Albatross can look weird in combination with the pinkish shades (e.g. Mata Hari, Desire, ... ) or overly shimmery with the shimmery shades (Orgasm, Madly, Deep Throat,...), it creates a very complimenting gold sheen when paired with this peachy blush.
i also love to layer shimmery pink blushes such as Benefit Bella Bamba or MAC Dollymix on top of it. this gives a very pretty and interesting effect without being overly frosty like some MAC MSFs. Gina looks great on tanned skin, i will definitely use it more often in the warmer and sunny months!

NARS Gina in natural light
NARS Gina in natural light: swatched heavily & blended out
NARS Gina in sunlight
NARS Gina in sunlight: swatched heavily & blended out

i compared NARS Gina with my other (most) matte peach blushes. it has the most orange hues out of all.
top row: NARS Gina - NARS Gilda - NARS Amour
bottom row: Kryolan TC2 - MAC Melba - MAC Hipness
in natural light: Kryolan TC2 - NARS Gina - MAC Melba - NARS Gilda - NARS Amour - MAC Hipness
in artificial light: Kryolan TC2 - NARS Gina - MAC Melba - NARS Gilda - NARS Amour - MAC Hipness

this is how Gina looks applied, excuse my post-work-face ;)

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