MAX Factor Flipstick Colour Effect Are Coming to Town! Part 2: 30 Gypsy Red, 40 Melody Brown, & Haul!

Hey everyone!

Happy Sunday! I hope you have been enjoying your weekend so far! Did you do anything exciting? I’ve been spending some time with friends this weekend, and it’s fantastic!

Today we’re going to continue on the MAX Factor Flipsticks (in case you missed the first part, it’s here). I am also including an overview and conclusion, so check it out!

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MAX Factor Flipsticks Colour Effect Are Coming to Town! Part 1: 05 Bloomy Pink,15 Boreal Mauve, 25 Salsa Red Swatch, Review, FOTD

I have good news for my peeps in Belgium: MAX Factor Flipsticks Colour Effect are coming to town! These duo-headed lipsticks which are apparently popular in the UK are going to be available here on July first!

First of all, you might be wondering what flipsticks are. Well, they are duo-ended lipsticks that come with a darker end and a lighter end. As you will see however, the texture/finish vary quite a bit within the five (not all Flipsticks are created equal), and there isn’t too much generalization to be done. To avoid bombarding you with a post that is much too long, I am separating the reviews into two parts.

Ready to flip with Flipsticks? Read on to see more!

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Swatch, Review, & Comparison: L’Oreal HiP Metallic Shadow Duos in 106 Sculpted, 306 Gunmetal, 806 Gilded

After my good experience with L’Oreal Electrified, I felt the need to lay my greedy little hands on more of these HiP Metallic Shadow Duos. Since they are unavailable in Belgium (why, L’Oreal, why? Why can’t you love thy neighbor?), I turned to Makeupalley swap. I found this wishlist-only swapper who had something on her wishlist that I could part with, so I messaged her. It turned out that she actually put the wrong item on her wishlist, but decided to send the duos for me as a random act of kindness. I was such a sweet surprise that I didn’t know what to do with myself anymore!

Therefore, before I begin to show you the review and swatches, I have to say thank you, thank you, thank you to Sarah. According to her, her top three hobbies are makeup, knitting, and jewelry-making. She has two Etsy shops. One for knitting and spinning supplies, and the other for handmade jewelry. Now, I have poor hand-eye coordination and no patience, so knitting is really not my thing. However, I LOVE her jewelry especially because she pretty much only uses sterling silver. I have once bought something off Etsy because I find jewelry with bees and birds adorable. However, I couldn’t find anything that was made with sterling silver, so I had to compromise and get something that was not. I am very unfortunately allergic to anything that is not silver and gold, so I ended up wearing that pair of earrings only twice. Every time I tried, my ears would swell up painfully, and I couldn’t wear earrings for days afterwards. If you have the same problem, do check Sarah’s jewelry site out! I can feel that it is before long that I cave it to one piece or another!

Now, let’s move on to the most picture-heavy post of this blog so far, shall we? 😉

The lighter side of Sculpted (106) is a gorgeous shimmery plummy pink. I really like this color, and the texture/pigmentation perform pretty well. The dark side of this duo is a little tricky. It looks more purple/burgundy in pan, but from the swatch you can see it is almost black. It definitely leans warmer though, and the pink and purple glitter in it makes it more fun! I haven’t tested it out on my eyes so I can’t tell you for sure if there is fallout. However, I don’t have the impression that it is going to be the case from doing the swatches (or rather even if there is going to be fallout, it is not going to be dramatically bad). I do have to mention that this shade is slightly stiffer and the color pay-off is not as amazing as its lighter neighbor though. As this post goes on you will see this is consistent for all the HiP duos that I own. You can build it up rather easily, but it is a little more effort.

The closest colors I own to these two shades are Urban Decay Toasted and the left-column definer shade of Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone, so I did a little comparison here:

As you can see, Toasted is FAR from the lighter shade, as it is not nearly as plummy. The definer shade of Comfort Zone is browner and warmer than the darker shade and less glittery.

Next on our list is 306 Gunmetal:

It is perhaps a little weird to name a green duo “Gunmetal (306),” but after swatching both shades, I can see that they have a grayish, smoked-out quality about them. The lighter side is a grayish olive green with a nice sheen. The darker side looks like an intense glittery forest green in pan. However, once swatched, the vibrancy of the green doesn’t transfer to skin. In my swatch picture you can see it is an extremely smoked-out green, though in person the glitter is much more impressive. Again, the texture is rather stiff, and it takes work to build it up. I know that the major complaint about this duo is that it looks very different in pan, and I have to agree with that. If you purchase the duo without having seen some swatches, you are likely to get something that is far from what you expected. With that said however, I personally like the colors (they’re green!) and I would like to see how they perform on lid!

I did a little comparison lining up all my greens next to the lighter shade (MAC Humid, MAC Sumptuous Olive, Urban Decay Mildew), and the right-column crease shade of Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone next to the darker one:

I would say the lighter shade of Gunmetal is a blackened cross between Humid and Mildew. Next to the right-column crease shade of Comfort Zone, you can see the grayish greenish quality of the darker shade better. Also, the Wet n’ Wild shade is not nearly as sparkly.

Finally, I have saved the best for last with 806 Gilded!

The lighter side of this duo is a wow. It is a metallic true gold. Despite the fact that these duos bear the word “metallic” in their names, not many shades come out as metallic as this one. The texture buttery soft, and color pay-off more than amazing. If you put a little more pressure on your finger, the shade almost “melts.” Yup, that’s how buttery it is! For me personally, just this side makes the duo “worth it.” The darker side is a little less “deceptive” in this case. It is a grayish black with gold glitter, and it is what you get on your skin. Again, the texture is pretty stiff, and you have to work a bit for it to show up nicely. Something else that worries me a little is that I can already tell there will be some fallout. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that it isn’t too bad!

Again, I did a little comparison for you. I swatched Urban Decay Half Baked next to the lighter shade, and Urban Decay Creep next to the darker one.

Next to such a true gold like this, Half Baked looks surprisingly bronzy, almost orange! I love doing comparison swatches for you guys also because I learn so much from doing them. Half Baked is one of my all-time favorite eyeshadows, and I have used it so many times that I thought I knew it very well. Next to this shade however, I have seen a different side of it! Creep is considerably cooler than the darker shade of Gilded, and the sparkly bits almost don’t come out next to its much more glittery counterpart.

Finally, I did a happy family reunion shot of all of my metallic duos! From left to right: Electrified, Sculpted, Gunmetal, and Gilded. This is the first time I used flash, because we really haven’t had a lot of natural light here, and I kept getting blurry pictures! I did make sure the colors are accurate though.

Bottom line: Despite the fact that I wouldn’t rave about the HiP Metallic Duos as a 10/10 product, some of them are definitely worth looking into. My personal recommendations are Electrified and Gilded, because the lighter shades of both are true to the word “metallic” in their names. Sculpted is nice to have especially if you like plummy pink. I can see how Gunmetal wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but from playing around with it myself, I can say it is more phenomenal in person than a lot of the swatch pictures you can find online. It would be good for a more understated green-themed smokey eye, especially if you have something else from the green family to add some pop!

Phew, that is one very dense post! I will definitely do FOTDs soon with these duos, especially with the upcoming holiday celebrations. Please stay tuned if you want to see how they do on lid! Don’t be shy if you have any questions regarding these duos!

So what do you think? Would you be picking any of them up? Do you like metallic shadows in general?

Stay tuned and stick around, folks!

Review: Aveeno smart essentials pore purifying facial wash

At some point during my trip, I couldn’t find my bottle of facial wash. Since I had to pack and unpack so many times, I was convinced I had lost it and needed a new one. After looking around in Walgreens, I picked this facial wash up. I’ve had very positive experience with Aveeno, so I thought I’d give it a try.

Besides stating the oil-free, soap-free, hypoallergenic, and noncomedogenic nature on the back of the bottle, this facial wash makes the following claims: To get great, healthy looking skin, make a clean start. Diet, free-radicals, lack of sleep and a hectic lifestyle can rob your skin of essential nourishment, resulting in noticeably stressed skin. Formulated with antioxidant Southernwood extract, SMART ESSENTIALS™ Pore Purifying Facial Wash helps keep what’s good for your skin in and what’s bad out, purifying and renewing your skin with each wash. Smart skincare that knows what your skin needs and what it doesn’t because:

It keeps the good in:
Mild formula supports moisture by cleansing without over-drying skin.
And the bad out:
Cleanses to remove impurities, dirt and makeup.
Removes excess oil to create more balanced skin.
(taken from the Aveeno website)

Once you pump it out, the facial wash is an almost transparent gel. I can’t put my fingers around the smell (it’s a bit flowery and a bit fruity) but I quite like it. Maybe it’s the smell of Southernwood which it claims to be formulated with? I have combination skin, and it’s drier because of the season. This facial wash doesn’t dry it out. After I wash my face with it, my skin feels clean and it’s not tight or anything. However, I do always use a separate makeup remover before washing my face, so I can’t assess the “remove makeup” claim. I would be surprised if it really does that though. Based on its texture I wouldn’t be so sure. What I don’t like about this facial wash is the fact that it almost doesn’t foam at all. The instructions tell you to dispense 2-3 pumps (!!!) each time, but still it wouldn’t foam. It might be my problem to be so foam-obsessed, but any cleaning product that doesn’t foam well is not a good one for me. Compared with my HG L’Occitane Foaming Rice Cleaner, which is also soap-free and I only need half a pump or even less each time, this facial wash is rather disappointing. True, there is a significant difference in price tags (L’Occitane: 20, Aveeno: 6.99 dollars), but since you need 2-3 pumps each time, you’d run out of this one a lot faster, so at the end I’m not sure it makes more economical sense.

Bottom line: it’s not a bad product, but certainly a mediocre one. For someone who has combination skin, it functions as a daily cleanser without stripping the skin of its natural moisture. However, based on the fact that it doesn’t foam and a large quantity is required each use, I wouldn’t repurchase even if I could. I’m sure even among Aveeno facial washes there are ones that perform better.

EDIT 26/01/12: I stand by my original opinion that I’m not the biggest fan of this facial wash. However, in the meantime I have realized a lot of my problems with cleansers that don’t foam too well might be due to the fact that the water in Belgium is extremely hard. You might not have the same problem if you live somewhere the water is relatively soft.

Bourjois deals at di and Kruidvat for those who live in Belgium!

Hello, how’s everybody feeling on Monday? I have a deadline to meet tomorrow, so I’m just doing a quick little post about some good deals I found today 🙂

di is having a 20% discount on Bourjois products (it runs through 31st December so we have plenty of time to make up our minds). I’ve heard good things about their Healthy Mix Foundation and Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation. I don’t own any foundation at the moment, and I’m wondering if it’s a good place to start. I swatched both on the back of my hand today, and my impression is that the texture is light, smooth, easily blendable for both. The Healthy Mix Foundation might be slightly more powdery when it’s dry, but I heard it lasts for longer. I did some contouring on my jawline today though, so I couldn’t test the shades properly. I guess I’ll just have to go back :p But anyways, 20% off sounds like a good deal! On top of that, I noticed some 3-euro discount stickers on certain products (can’t remember which though. Sorry!) today. If you walk past by a di before the end of the year you might want to take a look.

Also, when I was flipping through di’s online catalog, I found that they now carry Essie nail polishes. It’s 10.99 euros a pop. Not exactly cheap, but cheaper than Body Centrum, which sells both OPI and Essie for 13.95 a pop if my memory is not failing me.

Oh, and I don’t know when NYC came to Belgium, but I saw the shelf at Kruidvat today. I personally know almost nothing about NYC products, but apparently people rave about their bronzer (they have a shade called Sunny, haha). I just bought my Bobbi Brown bronzer though, so I think I’ll hold out for now. For those of you who are looking for an inexpensive bronzer, make sure you check the NYC ones out!

Just before I published this post, I thought I’d take a look at Beauty in Brussels which I’ve been following for a while. And guess what? Kruidvat has a 2 products for 15 euros deal on Bourjois products till the 12th of December! That means 7.5 euros per bottle of foundation… I think I’m in! It’s only till the 12th though, so hurry up!

That’s it for today *waves goodbye*. Hope everybody is alive and kickin’ still. Mondays are always hard.