FOTD: Gilded Smokiness for New Year’s Eve with L’Oreal HiP duo Gilded

Hello everyone, happy new year! Did you have a good celebration? D and I went over to some friends’ for a copious amount of food and alcohol before going out at midnight to see the fireworks. Nothing crazy, but definitely a lot of good conversations and fun!

I am here to show you my New Year’s Eve look. Since I don’t do smokey eyes very often, I am going to do a more detailed breakdown of how I achieved it. I will also be reviewing how L’Oreal HiP duo in 806 Gilded performed.

For a detailed breakdown and more pictures, please continue reading:

1. I began by filling my eyebrows in with Bobbi Brown Eye Brow Brush and Sable. I know that some people prefer to do that after completing their eye makeup, but I think eyebrows offer good indicators of for example how far the outer edge of eyeshadows can go, so I always do it first.

2. Next, I curled my eyelashes with Shiseido 213 Eyelash Curler. I know that most people do this right before applying mascara, but I don’t like to have my eyelash curler against my freshly-applied eyeshadows (it’s probably my particular eye shape and bone structure though), so I try to do it before I put anything on my eyelids.

3. I primed my eyes with UDPP. I knew that it’s a bit more of a challenge to have a smokey eye hold up perfectly towards the end of the night, so I paid special attention smoothing UDPP over my eyelids, lower lash line, inner corners, and outer corners.

4. To minimize fallout, I held a tissue under my eyes throughout the process of eyeshadow application. With a pencil brush (I used the Yves Rocher one that is too fluffy for my inner corners, but serves this particular purpose pretty well), I applied the darker side of L’Oreal Gilded all over my lids, smoothing it out and carefully blending the edges as I went. If you have limited lid space like me, I would suggest you be a bit more cautious with this step. Going overboard right in the beginning will be very tricky to deal with afterwards, unless you are planning to wear false lashes and going all out. For the inner half of my lids, I like to keep the height to a point that the shadow is barely visible when I open my eyes.

5. Once that was done, I used MAC 239 to pat the lighter side of the duo to the center of my lids. You will notice how this step dramatically brightens up your eyes!

6. I then proceeded to highlight the inner corners of my eyes with Half Baked from the Naked Palette, and my brow bones with the lightest shade of NYX Rock and Roll. I used a light hand, but I did blend it down to the edge of the black shade I used earlier.

7. I lined my upper water line and lash line with Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Gel Eyeliner in Blackest Black before patting a but of Creep from the Naked Palette to set it. I lined my lower lash line with Urban Decay Bourbon and layered the darker shade of Gilded over it. I could have used Zero for the job, but the way I looked at it, I could either play up the gold or the black in the look, and I wanted to test Bourbon out.

8. Now the eyeshadows were finally done! I used 3 coats of Maybelline Magnum Volum’ Express Black on my upper lashes, and one careful coat on my lower lashes.

9. I cleaned up the fallout with the piece of tissue before doing my foundation (Bourjois Healthy Mix) and finishing powder (Tarte Smooth Operator finishing powder). That helped cleaning everything up nicely!

10. I used Tarte Peaceful on my cheeks, a bit of Bobbi Brown Bali Brown on my face (concentrating on my temples and below my cheekbones, sweeping gently across my forehead, nose bridge, and jaw line).

11. Last but not least, I applied Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss in Nougat.

Here are some more pictures so you can get a better look!

I am very happy with the way the look turned out, but to be honest the darker side of Gilded is not the easiest eyeshadow to work with. It produces more fallout than what I would like to see, and smoothing it out is a bit of work. It is not patchy, but even application takes patience. The good news is the edges did blend OK, and once you manage to make it nice and smooth, it does hold up with no creasing/obvious fading (I wore the look for 8 hours). The lighter side of the duo is an absolute joy! It is very pigmented, smooth, and easy to work with. Just for this shade along I would still recommend this duo!

I wore my mustard yellow turtle neck under a new dress. You can see some of it in a couple of pictures, but the whole dress is more interesting than that in a sense that the print is not uniform! It is from my favorite brand Lavand. I have been collecting their dresses (especially winter dresses) for two years in a row, and now come to think of it I haven’t worn anything but dresses for at least one year! I love colorful dresses because they are very flexible. When it’s cold, you can pair different turtle necks, stocking, cardigans, and boots with them, but they can be worn alone when it’s spring/autumn. You can really play with colors when you dress this way. I don’t think/know this is common everywhere, but in Europe you see enough of this (I think girls have a better idea what colors work for them here). If anyone is interested I can do a post about my dress collection at some point, just give me a shout 😉

So that’s my New Year’s Eve look! What do you think? What did you wear?

Again, happy new year and please stay tuned for more swatches, reviews, and style posts!

Sunny xx

FOTD: Let’s Roll with NYX Rock and Roll!

Hello everyone!

For some reason I woke up a lot earlier than I intended to today. Since I had extra time on my hands, I decided to test some makeup out. I experimented with different camera settings/lighting/locations, so you can probably see some improvement in the quality and color accuracy of the photos. Please do excuse the bad skin though. It’s almost that time of the month, and lack of sleep doesn’t help!

I got NYX Rock and Roll a while ago (swatched and reviewed here), but except for using the lightest shade for my inner corners, I haven’t actually used the two other colors. I was curious about how the two cool-leaning colors would work on my eyes, so this is the theme of my FOTD.

For the list of products I used and close-up pictures, please read on!

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation in 53 Light Beige
Tarte Smooth Operator finishing powder
Bobbi Brown Sable on eyebrows
NYX Rock and Roll trio (TS29A): I used the lightest shade for my inner corners and brow bones, the middle shade all over my lid, and the darkest for outer v contour and smudged over lower lash line.
Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Gel Eyeliner in Blackest Black for both upper and lower lash line
Maybelline Magnum Volum’ Express Black (waterproof)
Tarte Exposed on cheek
Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powder in Bali Brown, just a teeny bit on my cheekbones and temples
MAC Sweetie

Here is another picture so you can see my eye makeup more clearly:

The pigmentation, texture, and lasting powder of the trio are decent. I do need to work a bit more for the middle shade to show up better, and it looks slightly different from my swatches (less shimmery and taupe-y). But other than that I can’t really complain about it.

I feel pretty neutral about this mostly because the darkest shade is pretty cool and makes me look a little bruised from certain angles. For example: (and whoops, I overdid my eyebrows today! This doesn’t happen very often at all with Bobbi Brown Sable, but I was distracted…)

I like the shimmer it brings to my lower lash line, but blended out on my outer v it doesn’t look as flattering. I will try to use it in a different way to see if I will like it better, but in the meantime I probably should stick to a warm shade for contouring!

Oh, and for anyone who is interested in ordering something from Beautybay. The 15% discount I talked about is extended to midnight of January 2nd. Do grasp the chance!

I wish you a happy new year! I will definitely come back with my New Year’s Eve look and more swatches/reviews soon (I have some 24/7 pencils, Tarte blushes, Cargo blushes etc lining up, so keep your eyes peeled)!

Until then, enjoy yourselves folks!

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: NYX Kiwi

Oh look, I found one last little one in my stash that I haven’t shared with you! It’s NYX Kiwi!

Kiwi is the first NYX shadow I owned. It is a yellowy green that is slightly shimmery. It’s a color that I associate with spring and summer. I wore it for the first time for Saint Patrick’s Day this year, and people found it pretty! A word of warning though: I’m pretty washed-out at the moment (especially in pictures! When I look at myself I don’t think I’m SO pale), and this shade looks better when I am tanned.

The packaging is OK. I like the no-nonsense approach of not including a mirror or sponge applicator, and so far the case is holding up pretty well. I might want to depot it at some point though, once I put my mind to making a palette that will work for all my non-MAC-size shadows!

The pigmentation is pretty decent with this one. It’s not the best, but you can definitely build it up. I don’t have wear/fallout issue (note: I do always use a primer. I haven’t had any wear issue with any eyeshadow when I use a primer). The texture is not as soft and buttery as my Rock and Roll trio or some other better eyeshadows, but it is acceptable.

NYX is a cruelty-free company. I know that their products are made in China and that’s why some people don’t partake in them, but the fact that it is cruelty-free definitely deserves a gold star in my book! NYX also has an amazing range of eyeshadows at a fraction of the price of MAC ones. I would have gone nuts over them if I lived in the US or Canada! For those of you who don’t though, Cherry Culture does carry NYX and they ship internationally. When I checked their website a while ago, I saw this notice saying “as of Jan 1st 2012, all international orders containing NYX products will be subject to verification due to manufacturer restrictions based on distribution agreements or volume requirements.” I don’t think that will affect countries where NYX is unavailable. However, in the case of Taiwan for example, where a limited amount of NYX products can be found at Watson’s at a jacked-up price, this might apply. Aargh why do things have to be so complilcated?

Bottom line: this is a good shadow. Not the best I’ve ever had, but definitely good. If you have the chance you should look into it or NYX eyeshadows in general (I heard they have great lipsticks, highlighting powder, and a lot of other stuff. But I haven’t personally tried any of those so I can’t vouch for that)!

How about you? Have you tried NYX eyeshadows? What shades do you own? Do you love them? Does the fact that a company is cruelty-free make it a better one for you? Do tell!

PS: a little bird told me you guys are going to get quite a treat with some L’Oreal HIP Duo swatches! Definitely stay tuned for that!

EDIT: 28/12/11
I was browsing through old pictures and found the one I took on Saint Patrick’s Day. I don’t exactly remember what other eyeshadow I used in combination with Kiwi anymore, but I’m sure Kiwi is on my lower lash line and crease. Oh and yeah, that would be my natural hair, and I really overdid my brows lol

Swatch & Review: MAC Shale (Satin)

Shale is another gem that came into my life through swap. In most of the swatch pictures I found online it didn’t look amazing, but I’m happy I took a chance on it!

Shale has a satin finish, and MAC describes it as a muted mauve-plum with subtle shimmer. The pigmentation of this shade is amazing (so amazing that I have to use a light hand), and it’s super easy to blend. On my lids it’s a mauvy grayish taupe with pink/purple shimmer. It’s an extremely interesting color that can be paired up with a lot of other colors. Because of the sheer complexity of the color I sometimes just a use light wash of it over my lids, but the result still turns out pretty sophisticated. It’s daytime appropriate, but I personally find it extremely sexy on its own with some black liner.

Just because I thought the middle shade of NYX Rock and Roll is of a roughly similar nature, I pulled it out and swatched the two side by side:

Of course I realized the two colors aren’t comparable, but I think they could work together! The MAC website also says that Shale is very often purchased with Vex, which doesn’t surprise me but I had never previously thought about the possibility! Since I do own a similar shade (the browbone shade on the right column of Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone), I might soon give it a try (apparently you can amp up the look by working Club into your crease too)!

Is anyone going to give Shale a try? Does anyone know other ways of working with it? Do tell!