FOTD: What I Wore for Christmas and Beautybay Sale!

Hey everyone!

How was your Christmas? Did you have a good one with a lot of nice presents and food overdose? My Christmas Eve was quiet, but I did see quite some friends over Christmas Day and Boxing Day, so I would like to share the looks I did with you.

First and foremost is my Christmas manicure. I very seldom wear nail polish nowadays, but since D cooked on Christmas Eve and we were going over to some friends’ on Christmas Day, I thought I’d seize the chance. The polish is OPI Merry Midnight. It is from the 2009 Christmas collection, so it is rather difficult to find one now. I only found out about it this summer when I picked this shade for my pedicure back home, and I was lucky enough to find a bottle on Yahoo Auction in Taiwan (it’s the equivalent of EBay in Taiwan because it has been there for much longer). I don’t like to tease you with limited edition or hard-to-find items, so I am not going to write a separate review about it. As you will be able to see in the following picture, the polish is a jelly purple with multi-color shimmer and flakes. The first coat is stunningly uneven, un-sparkling, and uninspiring in general. I remember being so taken aback during my pedicure when the lady put on the first coat. I almost said:” you must have made a mistake! This is NOT the shade I picked out!” But after the second coat things get dramatically better. You do need more skills and experience to work with this nail polish, and I find it difficult to avoid some unevenness altogether (though nothing too concerning). Something else I don’t like so much about it is the fact that it doesn’t last as well on me as a typical OPI nail polish. I’m getting tip wear and some chips after just a couple of days, while normally OPI polishes last 3-4 days with minimal tip wear on me! I do hope OPI will bring the shade back with a better formula.

Now moving on to my Christmas Day makeup. I did a “classic” look with the Naked Palette. I used Sin on the inner half, Buck on the outer half, the lightest shade of NYX Rock and Roll on the inner corner, and smudged my lower lash line out with Gunmetal. I was also testing Tarte Exposed out and was pretty happy with it! On my lips it’s Chanel Rouge Coco Mademoiselle.

For Boxing Day I did something a bit more dramatic. I used my L’Oreal HiP duo in 106 Sculpted. The lighter shade all over my lid, and the darker shade on the outer corner, brought into my crease, and on my lower lash line. On the inner corner is Sin from the Naked Palette, Tarte Exposed on cheek, a bit of Bali Brown to add some dimension to my face, and MAC Sweetie on lips.

I have to report that the darker shade of the duo is really rather hard to blend, and there is some fallout. The fallout isn’t too concerning at all, but the lack of blendability is a pain. The lighter shade doesn’t pull orange on me though, so I’m happy about that. I wore makeup for 11-12 hours that day, and by the end of the day I could see some fading, but it was still OK. Man, you can see the print my glasses leave on my nose SO clearly in this picture (for some reason it is worse on the left side)! I might have to start looking for a decent concealer now.

Also, I’m still looking for a way to take clearer pictures of my FOTD. As what I have told you, we haven’t had a lot of natural light in Belgium, and the flashlight doesn’t always allow colors to be captured on photos as they are. I will work on this issue, but in the meantime I hope you at least get an idea!

Last but not least, Muffin the new kitten wants to wish everyone a merry Christmas and a 2012 with a punch!

She has been with us for a bit more than two weeks now, and she is a total sweetheart! I’ll for sure introduce her properly in the blog soon. She plays go fetch just like what Brownie used to do. Can you believe that?

Lots of Christmas love,

Sunny

Oh, and pssst I almost forgot to tell you about this! Beautybay.com is having a 10% off sale till midnight Wednesday (UK time, so it might be earlier/later depending on where you live. For example, in continental Europe, it would be 1AM on Thursday). I am a registered customer, so I received an e-mail with 15% off. The promotion code is the same though (XMAS), so I guess the system just checks if you are already in it. If you have been lemming for Cargo blushes for example, this would be a great opportunity to get some! What I LOVE about Beautybay is the fact that it doesn’t rip you off. A 25-dollar Cargo blush would cost about 18.60 euros, but the rate does change a little from time to time (or even every day?). Beautybay also carries Too Faced, Urban Decay, Bedhead, Bare Escentuals, and so on. I got some stuff myself, and will show you soon!

Swatch & Review: Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powder in Bali Brown

The story again takes us back to my makeover at Bobbi Brown this summer. My best friend HM was there with me, and at some point she pointed at something and asked the SA:” could you try that on her?” I had never ever used a bronzer before, partially because I was pretty satisfied with my skin tone (I used to go to the beach in Taiwan to get tanned. And man, I could get SO tanned. Living in Belgium has made me a lot paler though), and partially because most women I’ve seen with bronzer on look orange, and that profoundly unsettles me. However, HM has known me for 9 years and she’s got a good eye for the type of makeup that would work for me (she was the one who nudged me into trying gel liner. Honestly I can never thank her enough for that), so I stayed quiet and let the SA do her job. She picked a color, and half a minute later when I looked at myself in the mirror, the only thing I could think of was:” holy c***, don’t I look all bronzy, beachy, healthy, and happy now!” The amazing product turned out to be the Illuminating Bronzing Powder in Bali Brown. I was pretty sure I’d make Bali Brown part of my collection right there and then, but decided to hold it off for the upcoming trip to the US. 3 months later when I made it to New York, I was still determined to hunt it down (yes, it left that much of an impression on me). When I got to the counter at Macy’s on Herald Square, I asked the SA to try it again on me just to make sure.

You see, my ex housemate T was there with me. He knows nothing about makeup, but when we were walking around in CVS a few days ago, he stared at the Milani bronzer ad and exclaimed:” what is this? Why is she orange?” And he was right, the model in the photo is pretty… orange. As a result, when he heard I’d like to try a bronzer, he was a bit skeptical. When the SA was done with it however, T looked at me and announced happily:” you don’t look orange! You just look tanned!” Coming from someone who has known me for long enough, that was reassuring. I asked the SA to throw Bali Brown into the fast-expanding pile and went home with it.

Bali Brown looks like a brownish orange in pan, but I’d venture to say the undertone is rather neutral. When I swatch it on my hands, especially if I sheer it out, it ceases to look “orange.” Instead, it just adds a bit of credible tan. The texture is very fine and not at all powdery. The pigmentation is very decent. It’s not pigmented to the point that you would instantly make a fool of yourself if you don’t watch out, but it’s definitely pigmented enough and you can build it up. It also has some sparkle, which means if you’re looking for a bronzer to contour your face with, you might have to look somewhere else. The sparkle is actually pretty discreet though, and it plays well with light. I’ve worn it a couple more times, and I don’t have the impression that the sparkle makes my face look like a disco ball. In the swatch pictures you can see how it looks both swatched heavily and sheered out.

Since it’s the first bronzer I’ve ever owned, I wouldn’t call it my HG yet. I’m also just learning how to do it properly. However, it was a love at first sight for me, and I’ve heard it works well for those with cool undertone, too. If you’re looking for a bronzer, you might want to take a look at Bobbi Brown!