Friday, July 17, 2009

MAC Colour Craft Natural Flare Quad Review


If you could bottle Fall and put it in a kaleidoscope, that is what I am wearing on my eyes today. It's the sun trickling through the slowly dying--but going out with a beautiful bang--leaves in October, a beautiful array of gold, brown, yellow-orange, and amber. So why could I have passed?

For starters, I like standalone products. Sure, coming up with new combinations by mixing products is fun, but I want a choice. Without a base, preferably a colored base, the shadow looks like faintly-colored glitter or mud on the lids. And the eyebrows, which quite frankly are prominent enough on my face without sparkles. And the cheeks. If I were to apply them all with a Q-tip or my finger, they might give me decent payoff (that's how I swatched them in the store). However, I like to use brushes, so that didn't work.

Yesterday, I put them over Indianwood Paint Pot and the shadow was lovely and almost metallic. The shadows stayed there all day. Perhaps Natural Flare is a little too warm-toned for my skin, but golds, oranges, and browns do great things for blue eyes, so I'm on the fence there. Sexy eyes + sickly face = ???

Today, I'm wearing the whole quad over Too Faced Shadow Insurance. I also wet my brush with Fix+. Again, metallic, pretty, and more vibrant than their dupes from the regular MAC line.

Speaking of dupes, did I really need this quad? Sure, Goldmine, Amber Lights, and Brun don't glow exactly the same, but I could've done without (and may still do without if I decide to return it). However, I can't think of a dupe in the main line for the yellow-orange color in the quad. Unfortunately, mineralized products are never all the same, so I kind of got cheated out of that color a bit. It's the smallest one of the four and the one I'll use the most of.

Pros: Colors can look glowy and metallic with the right amount of effort, you get 4 colors for $19.50, colors look amaaaazing on tan skin or blue eyes, and you can use them wet or dry.

Cons: If you're a blue-eyed, cool-toned gal like me, you may be torn between having amazing-looking eyes and the tones looking a little "off" on your skin; you don't necessarily get the same amount of each color; most colors are easily duped even within the existing MAC line; if you don't use a good base and/or wet your brush, you may find the color payoff less than ideal and the glitter fallout a big fat pain.

Tips: Use a base (duh), use them wet for extra intensity, and "pat" them on with a flat, dense brush rather than "sweeping" across the lid with a fluffier brush.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Eww Haiku

This is unrelated to beauty, but yesterday my wonderful, curious little toddler wanted to see if she could stop up a bottle of water with one finger in the backseat. I've been able to trust her with a bottle back there before, but this time, her finger went in, the bottle went upside down, and water poured out all over her and the seat. (She tried to clean herself up with a napkin. LOL) She also has to eat snacks back there to ride in some sort of peace. Sooo...you can imagine the mess when I took the car seat cover off to let it dry. It was so gross, I wrote a haiku:

Removed car seat cloth
Soggy fries, bloated raisins
It's air-drying now

On a happy note, I will be reviewing MAC's Natural Flare quad and Colour-Crafted lipstick soon. I need to wear them more to see what I really think.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Favorite June/July Products

I forgot to do June's favorite products, and since July's half over, I'll combine them:

Micabella's foundation still rocks. It makes me happy to do my foundation in the morning. I've found it's not so great when you buff it into the skin using a kabuki like I've always done with other minerals. Instead, I sweep it downward with a powder brush I got from Spell Cosmetics.

Spell Cosmetics' shadows rock, especially if you use them wet. I used Lanikai Lagoon today (wet) about halfway up my lid from the lash line, put a bronzy brown above that, a coppery pink above that, and a champagne above that. It sounds scary, but it's the ultimate wearable beach-inspired look.

Benefit "10" bronzer/highlighter combo. You sweep the brush across both products at once, then apply it directly to your face that way. Blend back and forth, and you have cheekbones like crazy in just 10 seconds.

MAC's Love Nectar Lustreglass. You can barely tell it's on, but it's the perfect glossy, peachy-pink.

TiGi's Some Like It Hot shampoo, conditioner, and serum. It's great for keeping the humidity from wreaking havoc on my hair.

Stila's 24K Golden Noir Smudge Pot. It's a gorgeous black base with golden shimmer that you can actually see, especially when smudged out from the lash line. The shimmer is just that--not glitter.

Rimmel's Sexy Curves mascara's still great, but I'm eyeing the new L'Oreal Collagen one. I think I'll try that next.

Not makeup, but the Pecan Toffee Bars from Starbucks deserve a spot on the list.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Your Daily Dose of Cute

I don't feel like talking about talking about makeup at the moment because I'm in the middle of an applesauce attack, but here's your daily dose of cute:



Between that and the wide-eyed little boy baby at the storytime meeting today, I think I might want another one after all.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Micabella update

I just found on my shadow jar that it's 2.5 grams of product. Not the 5 I thought. Still, it's more than I will ever use up and since I'd have a hard time splitting a MAC Pigment with someone, I'd almost rather pay $10/shadow and get to play with more colors. I probably won't buy more simply because I have too much eyeshadow and I'm pretty sure I can get more product for less from other brands. The color payoff may just be a little less intense with those. The Micabella shadows are seriously beautiful.

Micabella Mineral Cosmetics

My mom was in town for the weekend to celebrate the 4th and my birthday. In true patriotic fashion, we went to the mall to light our wallets on fire and shoot them into the skylight heavens. First stop was Charlotte Russe, where they were having a great sale and I felt pretty darn cute in clothes I'm probably too old for. Trudging my way back to the door with two very large bags in tow with a sick "Why did I buy all that stuff?" feeling in the pit of my stomach, I wasn't giving my mom the attention I would usually afford my toddler if she were my shopping buddy.

So when she stopped to admire something shiny and say "Ooh, pretty" aloud at the Micabella kiosk (Micabella.com), my reaction ("RUN!") was a little delayed. I knew they were notoriously aggressive salespeople there. I didn't actually get the "Run!" out before the beautiful lady at the register swooped in and scooped me up with her perfectly pigmented talons (ok, manicured nails, but humor me on the mental image). She deposited me into her comfy little chair and went to work more aggressively than my own mama to try to make me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. I swear, if I ever have a really bad day and feel like a total hag (frequently do), I'm going there.

That said and all questionably genuine compliments aside, the products are really nice and if you're stubborn enough about not wanting to buy anything after they've taken the time to make you up, you can score a decent deal. The prices they tell you at first are not final. I ended up giving in and buying the foundation on top of three shadows. I wanted the blush, too, but I was already feeling like I should be about three feet shorter, looking over my shoulder with a naughty little grin and one glittery, pigment-covered hand in a forbidden cookie jar. In reality, my hand was just poised mid-air, credit card dangling.

The foundation does make my skin look flawless. It feels good to the touch and to my face. It's like I don't have anything on. Despite its powder form, it doesn't feel dry and tight like a lot of them do on me. I thought the color was a little dark for me but it looks better today. I got Lady Godiva. The shadows can be used eight ways, similar to pigments and loose shadow pigments from other brands (in your hair for highlights, in your lotion, mixed with clear mascara or nail polish, as lip gloss, as liner when used wet, etc). The shadows are highly pigmented and smooth; they also come in a range of colors to compete with almost any other makeup line. Because they're loose, you can also mix them to create custom colors.

If you're a fan of MAC pigments but hate the almost-$20.00 price tag and the fact that they don't come with sifters, you can get three Micabella shadows (with sifters) for $30. You get 7.5 grams of MAC pigment compared to what appears to be slightly less of the Micabella pigments (I can't find the number of grams anywhere, but it appears to be around 5).

Micabella makeup is 100% pure mica and minerals. There are no preservatives, dyes, chemicals, talc, or oils. They also never expire, so if it takes you 20 years to use up a product, it's not a problem. Just don't add moisture or oils to the main jar; keep things sanitary and you'll be fine.