Sunday, March 20, 2011

Winging it, with wet eyeshadow (Bobbi Brown, MAC)

Right now it seems like the winged eye is having another heyday (think Kate Moss for Dior). Which, is perfectly fine by me since I've always found a slight wing to be really flattering to my eyes. Normally, I'm a gel person, but recently I began experimenting with powder liners, which led me to wet powder liners. By wet, I mean dampening an eyeliner brush, then picking up the eyeshadow. I'd heard before how Bobbi Brown's dark shadows weren't that striking, unless used wet. So, I recently gave that a go, and am now hooked on using wet shadows as my liners. Wet shadows impart a really opaque line, almost as dark as gel. However there's a lot more control with the brush and the line can be drawn thinner (meaning less running underneath the eye).

First up, here are some of the products and brushes I've been using lately:

1. Bobbi Brown Smoke eyeshadow- Smoke is a really pretty soft blackened brown. It has great texture as a regular eyeshadow, and blends up really well for a dramatic smoky eye.  Smoke is probably the lightest / weakest of Bobbi Brown's dark brown or black shades that are suitable as liners (see comparisons below). However, unlike the other liner shades, it can have dual life as an eyeshadow/liner. I think it's great if you want a more subtle daytime line, or have lighter eyes that would look a unnatural with a stark black line.

2. MAC Soot eyeshadow-  Soot is a great dark charcoal color that leans a bit blue. I'm glad I have it, because it's like Bobbi Brown Smoke, but with blue, not brown tones. Great blendability as a powder shadow--- I like it both wet and dry. (However I think my BB shadows work better wet).

3. EcoTools angled eyeliner brush - This is the softest of the three angled eyeliner brushes and feels gentlest on the eyes. I think the quality is amazing for the price (~$5), and I wouldn't mind using this all the time.

4. MAC 263 angled eyeliner brush- This was a present from my bro and I do tend to reach for this the most. The angled edge is a teeny bit longer than EcoTools, allowing for longer strokes and a more artful wing. However, it is a little stiffer. I also love that it's synthetic (no animals harmed!).

5. Bobbi Brown Eyeliner brush- This brush is also a great eyeliner. It's quite stiff, and synthetic like both MAC and EcoTools. It's not angled, but this makes it the easiest to use as a plain liner brush. You can use short strokes that won't wander off by accident.

Second up, I have some swatches of my Bobbi Brown eyeshadows (both as a wet line, and a dry shadow):

1. Bobbi Brown Charcoal - is the blackest, and is insanely pigmented, and makes an awesome line when the brush is used wet.
2. Bobbi Brown Expresso - is a dark brown, and is also insanely pigmented, making for a dark line as well.
3. Bobbi Brown Smoke - is a soft blackened brown that makes a softer line.
4. MAC Soot - is a soft blue-toned charcoal that also makes a softer line.

I used to have Bobbi Brown Caviar as well. I haven't bought it again yet, but definitely will. It's a black-brown like smoke, however it's more pigmented, along the lines of Charcoal and Expresso.

And finally, a picture of the palettes I used for this entry. Taking out my palettes always makes me happy =). So, whaddya think? Are wet eyeshadow liners something you use regularly too? Any good recommendations for more MAC liner colors? (I've been looking into that, but there are so many!)

Hope you're having a great weekend! What's rest of mine will be spent working on a really important presentation. In fact, I'll probably be mostly MIA for the next couple weeks because of it. I'm sure that won't keep me away from reading your blog entries though =P. Thanks for reading!

Love, Dovey.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I heart CHANEL Vitalumiere Aqua!

Late February I bought CHANEL Vitalumiere Aqua from a Nordstrom in the burbs to replace a different foundation that just wasn't working for me. I wanted something light that wouldn't mess up my skin, so I don't have to be dependent on foundation all the time to look good. At the time, I'd given up on foundation, thinking that I just must be reactive to foundation in general. However,  after reading Beauty Look Book's foundation series, I realized that other people have the same problems, and there are foundations out there that might better for sensitive people. So, after seeing a rave review about Vitalumiere aqua, I took the jump.

I bought the color B10, Beige Pastel, which is the lightest of their yellow-toned colors. I'm really not the palest person you'd meet, however this matched the color of my neck although my face is half a shade darker. I'm a little worried as to what will happen in summer when I tan a little! The initial finish is a little matte, which is fine by me because I don't like too dewy, which can appear oily later. I have combo with an oily T-zone later in the day, however this foundation looked better as the day wore on! I'd heard that before, but now I actually believe it! I don't know if I can ever go back to other brands now. Color oxidation was also very minimal, if any. I was also amazed because my previous experiences in other foundations resulted in me feeling too yellow/orange at the end of the day. Coverage was light/medium with the amount I used. My skin looked flawless, except for the scars, which still showed through. I didn't use any powder (a first) and the foundation seemed to last the entire day. Oh, and it feels weightless. So essentially, awesome, love,  love.

I'll report later about break-out issues. So far, not much problem. I think if I leave it on from morning to night, it might cause my skin to be unhappy, but no major issues thus far. If I find I have more problems, I'll update.

The bottle is plastic, which seems less luxe, but it doesn't really bother me. It's really pretty though I wish you could see the actual color inside! All the bottles are opaque with the same color on the outside. I guess practically, it's good for the foundation, because there's no light exposure. The bottle is a squeeze bottle, like you see in the photo below. I think squeeze is mostly a good idea, however sometimes it makes me nervous. I think the foundation can get a lumpy quality in the bottle (which is ok, just shake), so it doesn't always flow easily out--- you have to squeeze. And that makes me nervous because I'm afraid with too much pressure a lot of foundation will explode out!! I think the squeeze is hygienic, but not perfect.

I only use two or three small drops to cover my entire face. A little really goes a long way. Chanel recommends application with fingers, and I really think that's for real. A brush would be horrible--- you'd get way too much product. In fact, I read a comment somewhere complaining about the foundation because it was too heavy (well--because they used a brush to apply!!)

OK, so this is definitely a two thumbs up. Pros would be weightless feeling, lack of break-outs, and looking better as the day wears on. Cons would be color selection and difficulty dispensing.

On a final note, how do you guys feel about makeup counter sales associates? I feel like it is such a mixed bag. When I bought Vitalumiere Aqua, I went to a Nordstrom that wasn't my usual downtown location. I was at a Nordstrom in the really rich burbs. I've only been there twice, but each time, I felt like the SA's were a bit snooty. Granted, the store is busy on Saturdays, but it took for. ever. for a Chanel SA to even ask if I wanted to be helped when I clearly did. I had the same problem with Bobbi Brown last time I came. The SA did do her job and swatched colors well, however the feeling I got was lukewarm. It seemed really clique-y, with them focusing on their usual clientele. (On a side note, MAC SA's were nice.) Next time, I'm sticking to downtown. I guess I'm just surprised that city SA's are nicer than the ones in the burbs!

OK, well lesson learned! On a more positive note, I'm loving yellow right now. I recently bought China Glaze's Happy-Go-Lucky, which I'd been wanting since last year. And the yellow flowers in my photos were a surprise from my fiance the other morning. Life is always happy with a lot of yellow!

On that note, hope things are happy in your neck of the woods, and thanks for reading!

Love, Dovey