Thursday, October 26, 2017

Cracked Lips and Liquid Lipstick... and a product review...

In searching for makeup inspirations on YouTube for my upcoming Halloween costume, I saw a few videos that had "do's and don'ts" of liquid lipstick application... and, yanno, the don'ts ones all looked cracked whereas the do's ones looked super smooth... and I went uh oh. You see, I am madly in love with the metallic liquid lipstick that's quite in right now but the shine is very unforgiving for your lips and any crack will show. One look at this picture from last week on Instagram told me that I needed to watch those videos... STAT!

The lip is super cute... but the cracks apparently don't have to be this apparent. Doh!

Some of the advice on the videos was no brainer stuff like apply a lip primer and line your lips... which I was already doing. So I was not completely devoid of lip skills. I use Prep + Prime Lip by MAC for my lip primer and like it quite a bit. I have a bunch of lip liner pencils from different companies and, in my experience, pretty much any lip liner will work, provided that it's pigmented enough. I tend to gravitate to the ones by MAC. The one from this pic is actually from the Sephora brand, though.

Watching the videos, I noticed that my application of the liquid lipstick itself wasn't up to par. Mostly, it was because, while I generally sweep the wand sideways as they were doing, I wouldn't apply enough pressure. I'm not saying that you need to press super hard on the lips but I noticed that I probably was applying the product too much just on the surface. So I tried re-applying the same liquid lipstick as above but with more pressure to see if that would make a difference and I realized that it actually helped deposit some of the lipstick in the lines, thereby making the lip appear smoother. I took this picture after the re-application. It's subtle but you can see a bit of a difference already (granted, it was a different day).

A habit that I have that was a big no no in this video was that I do tend to press my lips together too soon after applying the liquid lipstick. And I see what the lady is saying and, yeah, I'm trying to correct that tendency but it will take a bit of time.

Another recommendation was of course to exfoliate the lips. I've been using the Lip Scrubtious by MAC in Summer Berry and I like it just okay. I'll likely switch to something else soon. While it does exfoliate, my main issue is that it is more of a mix between a scrub and a lip balm and, as such, I wish that there was more scrubbing power per dab. (I do tend to have very flaky lips at times so I may need something a little scrubbier).

After lips are scrubbed, they are understandably dry and need some moisture back. I have this lip balm with shea butter that seemed to be doing okay... but I was starting to think that it wasn't enough, especially as the season is cooling down and we are dealing with quite a bit of wind around here. The most frequent recommendation to moisturize lips is using Vaseline but I really hate the feel and even more so the taste on my lips so decided to research other options.

I found the Agave Lip Mask by Bite Beauty via Sephora and the reviews seemed interesting enough for me to check it out. I sampled a little bit on my hand and liked the texture enough to give it a try. I have only applied it twice but my lips already feel so much better! It is a little pricey at $26 and you may find the tube really tiny for the price but you don't need to apply much at all on the lips so that little tube will last a long time. But, yes, Vaseline is an option still and much cheaper. So it's up to you. I will say that my lips feel less dry already today even with just the few applications of the lip mask. I had (wrongly) assumed that lips were bound to feel dry with lipstick on.

This picture shows my lipstick with the Agave Lip Mask on. It really helps smooth the lines on the lips and, thus, the liquid lipstick appears smoother. And this is a copper metallic color so it shows all flaws. We still see a bit of lines but I've just begun applying the lip mask and I suspect that it will get increasingly better with added time.

Here's what my (new) routine is around my lips, regardless of whether it's regular lipstick or the liquid formulation:

In the morning:
  1. I apply the Agave Lip Mask after having done my facial routine and before applying the face primer. The reason here is to allow some time for the lip mask to be absorbed before applying the lipstick.
  2. After all my makeup has been applied, I apply the lip primer all over my lips and a little outside of the lip area. (It helps prevent lipstick bleeding.)
  3. If the lipstick is too pale compared to the natural pigmentation of my lips (they are quite pigmented), I will apply concealer all over my lips to mute my lips.*
  4. I line the lips with a lip liner pencil.
  5. I apply the lipstick.
  6. I essentially kiss a tissue or perhaps rather gently pat the tissue to my lips. This helps smooth the lips.
  7. I apply a second coat of lipstick.
  8. (I sometimes will do another set of smudge/kiss with a tissue and apply a 3rd coat. It depends on how the lipstick looks after the 2nd coat.)
  9. I re-line the lips with the lip liner pencil.
* I had applied concealer over my lips for the examples above with the pink metallic lipstick. It was not needed however for the copper lipstick.

It sounds like it's a long process but it really takes only like 2 minutes.

To re-apply during the day:
I personally don't carry the lip mask with me and I often have quite a bit of lipstick left anyway so that would require taking the lipstick off and reapplying... so I just essentially touch up. First, I assess my lips to see if there's any lip liner left on. If there isn't, I line the lips first. If there is or after having re-lined the lips, I apply a coat of lipstick. I will likely do the tissue kissing again to smooth out the lipstick (as some is older and some is newer) and then apply a 2nd coat. I often will re-line the lips afterwards but not always. It depends on what it looks like and, if I'm happy with it, I'll leave good enough alone.

To remove the lipstick:
If, by some miracle, I still have some lipstick when I remove my makeup (it happens more with the MAC liquid lipstick), I simply use eye makeup remover to remove the lipstick. And then I rinse my lips with water. Trying to remove the lipstick by just using a tissue will only smudge it and irritate your lips.
TIP: You want to remove your lipstick before brushing your teeth or else your toothbrush will have some color on the handle.

To condition the lips at night:
  1. I apply the scrub over my lips after I've done my whole facial routine.
  2. I wipe it off with a tissue.
  3. I apply the Agave Lip Mask.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Medusa's Make-Up October Beauty Box

I said that I wasn't going to do it but, for some reason, there was something in the ad for the October monthly subscription that made me resubscribe to the Medusa's Makeup Beauty Box. And I gotta say that I'm glad that I did. This month, we got 4 full size products, one of which is a limited edition color. They said that the retail value was $41 so, for $15.95, that's a pretty good deal. And best of all, I was delighted to see that the products could be turned into a full look.

Here's a pic of what was in the "box". Note also that they have better cards now that explain the products. It used to be a little on the meh side.

That pic is a little small so here was what was included:

  • Metal AF Lip Gloss in Kiss Me Deadly
  • Witch Lash Mascara
  • Glitter in Ziggy
  • Eye Dust in Night Owl (this was the limited edition color)
And here is the look that I came up with:
How did I do that?

After having applied my BB cream, concealer, and powder all over my face:
  • I applied eye primer (by Too Faced) all over the eyelid to the brow;
  • I applied the eye dust on both corners of the eyelid;
  • I also applied the eye dust at the lower lash line;
  • I applied the Glitter Glue by Too Faced to the middle portion of the eyelid and applied the glitter there; (for more info on how to apply glitter, see this blog entry)
  • I didn't like the look of just that stripe of glitter so I added Glitter Glue and glitter all over the eyelid;
  • I applied the eye dust at the crease;
  • and finally I applied black eyeliner at the top lash line and some mascara.
The lipstick is obviously that Metallic AF lip gloss in Kiss Me Deadly. I also used a Medusa's Makeup blush that I already owned in Dangerous Liaison (a little goes a looooooong way).

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Product Review - MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour

I'm not quite sure anymore how I found out about the MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour but, man, am I obsessed with that product now! Why am I obsessed? Because it stays on for HOURS. I often forget to re-apply lipstick so it's perfect for me not to have to worry about that. I also don't like to have a smear of lipstick on my coffee mug and, while some of it will transfer, it's not nearly close to the level that regular lipsticks do. And, for the record, most of my lipsticks are by MAC so it really is a formulation thing, not a brand thing.

The first one that I got was in color High Drama. I just loved the dark color and thought that it might be okay for work but, alas, it IS very high drama so it was too dark, even when I had black hair. And now with the orange hair, it definitely is best for special occasions. You can see me wearing it on this pic with super goth makeup. lol

Because of the incredible hold that the formulation had, I decided to buy 2 more shades: To Matte With Love (bright raspberry) and Back in Vogue (peachy nude). You can see me wearing To Matte With Love in this pic. I love it for when I need a pop of bright color. Another thing that I love about this shade is that, depending on which liner I use, it will slightly affect the color. I love wearing Back in Vogue for a mod look. It's a killer. I don't seem to have pics with it on, sadly.

And finally, the latest color that I picked up was from the new metallic version of the formulation. (It's on a different page, if you're trying to find it on the MAC website.) Metallics are very in right now and I've been somewhat obsessed with getting some nice metallic shade that might work for me. I got the lipcolor in Foiled, which is a nice rose bronze. When I first tried it, it looked off on me but I wasn't wearing any makeup so, yanno, you can't really wear it with a nude face. But, with this green makeup with metallic hues, it is a killer.

Besides loving the stay power and the shades, I have to admit that I also absolutely love the applicator: it makes for easy control in applying the lipcolor, especially around corners, which is usually my demise.

Price-wise, it is $21, which is higher than the regular MAC lipsticks ($17.50) but I believe that the (slight) markup is worth it given the stay power of the formulation. Now, if you're used to lipsticks costing more like $12, then that's a bigger step but, again, it might be worth it. Oh and a little goes a long way. I've used both the To Matt With Love and Back in Vogue quite a bit and it barely looks like any was used... and I apply 3 coats of lipstick (more on that in another blog).

(PS: I'm about to buy yet another one b/c, well, I'm addicted.)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette Look

Here's today's makeup, using the Naked Smoky Palette from Urban Decay. When I purchased it, it was on sale at 50% off and is still on sale at the time that I'm writing this. For $27, it's a really really good deal. While the makeup scheme that I did today is on the light side, there is quite a range of smoky looks that you can create with it.

For reference, here is the palette:
So, how did I make this look? On the eyelid, I applied:

  • the 2nd color from the left (Dirtysweet) all over the crease;
  • the 1st color from the left (High) all over the eyelid;
  • the 4th color from the left (Armor) at the outer corner of the eyelid;
  • the 3rd color from left (Radar) at the outer corner of the crease to mid-crease;
  • the right-most color (Thirteen) at the brow bone.
At the lower eyelid, I applied:
  • High all along the lash line;
  • Armor, from outer corner to wherever matches (thereabout) on the eyelid;
  • Radar as a fine line really on the lash line.
For the eyeliner, I used the E.L.F. cream liner and generally followed the idea below:
The palette comes with a brush and I did not use it for this makeup. I likely will remove it from the palette and throw it in my bin of brushes to be used whenever.

Monday, August 7, 2017

No more monthly makeup subscriptions...

... at least for now.

I haven't been very active on here due to assorted reasons but definitely one of them is that I have fewer products to review now that I no longer do the monthly subscriptions. I enjoyed them. I really did. But there came a time when it seemed like it wasn't such a good idea anymore.

I was drowning in samples. I literally had no place to store them anymore. I mean, within reasons. And the worse part was that it seemed that I never had what I needed: I might have 5 samples of moisturizers but no cleanser (for example). So then I'd have to buy a full size cleanser anyway... and then, of course, I'd finally get a cleanser sampler and then an another and that's how they'd accumulate.

When it came to makeup, it rarely was a shade that would work well for me. Or rather not often enough. And, sure, I can be creative when it comes to makeup but I honestly had so many peach shadows that were about the same shade... or lipsticks in a color that is too close to my actual lips so it looks nude.

So, yes, I've given up on monthly makeup/beauty products subscriptions. Instead, I invest in what I really want. I do miss the excitement of not knowing what will be coming next but it comes at a price... and I put that money towards things I actually need. The only one that is still nagging at me some is Medusa's Makeup's subscription but, again, I'd rather be in charge of deciding which shades to get.

It was great to discover new brands but, you know what, I'm back to using my typical products that I used before.

My skin care regimen is through Estee Lauder. They have a fantastic reward program, actually. Most of my makeup is by MAC, Benefit (mascara and eyebrow products), Too Faced, or Medusa's Makeup.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Product Review - Brow Zings Tame & Shape Kit by Benefit Cosmetics

A few months ago, I purchased the Goof Proof Brow Pencil Easy Shape & Fill by Benefit Cosmetics and wrote a product review about it. While I did love the product and still do, I ran out of the first one I bought rather quickly but I chalked it off to having had issues with the tip breaking up a few times... and I changed my hair color from black to orange so, anyway, I needed to change the color. But the 2nd one also ran out quickly so I figured that perhaps this was not the product for me or I was using too much or something. So I went to Sephora and checked out the other products available by Benefit Cosmetics for eyebrows. I ended up purchasing the Brow Zings Tame & Shape Kit.

 The left side is a wax that you use to fill your eyebrows and shape them. On the right side is a powder that helps set the whole thing. Interestingly, I had chosen the color #3 for the Goof Proof Pencil but that would have been way too dark with the Brow Zings Kit so I went with #2. In fairness to the product, though, my orange is brighter now than when I bought the Goof Proof Pencil so that may be why the color shifted. This is DEFINITELY a benefit of going to Sephora itself to try on things and assess which would work better for you.

The Brow Zings Kit is pricier than the Goof Proof Pencil ($32 and $24, respectively) but I can already tell that the kit will last longer so that's worth it right there.

One thing that I didn't really see while in store were the tools that are included in the kit. The tweezers are really just meh as they are so small. I do have a better pair so I use those instead. But it can be neat to have those in the kit if you're traveling or something. I was disappointed in the brushes when I saw them because they looked so small. Once unfolded, though, they are not so bad at all. The handles are a little thin but that helps with a lighter application so it woks out.

The application is really easy: you sweep some of the waxy color over the eyebrows and give them their shape and then you just apply some of the powder over it to set them. The application of the powder does not seem evident but it does give the eyebrows a little bit of a fuller look.

So I definitely like the product. We'll see how long it lasts. I do think that it will be longer as 1) I won't break any tips and 2) there is quite a bit of product. And, of course, here's a picture of what I look like with it on.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Reversing the process

Earlier this week, I ended up watching a video with dos and don'ts for makeup and, while I generally like the way that I do my makeup and didn't do many of those don'ts, I thought that it was interesting to see that the lady applied the eye shadow at the crease before doing the eyelid... and that she was layering colors at the crease. So I decided to try that for the past couple of days and, you know what?, I actually do like it. Here is what today's makeup looks like.

I ended up layering 3 eye shadows at the crease: a cream color, a sparkly pale brown, and a matte brown. I also layered 3 eye shadows at the lower lash line: the cream color, peachy pink that is also on my eyelid, and the matte brown. I think that it looks more crisp in a way. Hard to describe.

As the author of the video says, if you like the way that you do your eye shadows now, keep on going. But if you're wanting to try something different, consider trying this. It actually did not take much longer than usual as I typically would need to apply the same eye shadow a few times at the crease to get the intensity that I like so, instead, I just applied different colors.

Another advantage that I found by doing the crease first was that my eyelid application was bolder. Normally, it might look a little muted if some of the crease eye shadow overlaps... or I'd need to reapply the eyelid eye shadow anyway to counter that. So that actually worked out great for me.