24 Mar 2011

Illamasqua Toxic Nature Spring/Summer 2011 Collection

Today I've got some product swatches and pictures from the new Illamasqua collection - Toxic Nature. The promo images really caught my eye, looking almost plastic and doll like. Amazingly, this is all makeup, not digital wizardry! I am always stunned by the work of Alex Box. (As an aside, I've purchased and reviewed her makeup book here on my Youtube channel if you're interested to see more of her work.)

The collection includes cream pigments, lipsticks, lipglosses, a liquid eyeliner and nail polishes. I'll give you the liberty of checking out the whole collection, prices and what's coming out on the Illamasqua website here.

Here are some pictures and my first impressions of some of the products.

Above you see Atomic Lipstick, Torture Sheer Lipgloss, and Glister Precision Ink. My favorite of these three is definitely Atomic - this color is just stunning! An intense fuchsia cool pink with an ever so subtle blue pearl. This is so flattering for your teeth because it makes them look whiter! I'll definitely be rocking this color in the summer. Torture is a nice orange lipgloss leaning ever so slightly to the coral side, another great summer color. As a bonus, this lipgloss has a pleasant, fruity sweet taste.

From this set, I was not so impressed with the color choice of Glister Precision Ink. As I've demonstrated in a previous post here, the Precision Inks are amazingly long-lasting liquid eyeliners with a felt tip, so the staying power is great. But the color just didn't entice me - somehow I doubt I'm going to reach for this product as much. It just doesn't scream "summer" to me. I would have loved to see a purple, or a teal, or something like that.

 Illamasqua Cream Pigments (left to right)
Back row: Delerium, Hollow, Emerge
Front Row: Dab, Mould

These cream pigments remind me a little of the Makeup Forever Flash Palette, if you are familiar with that. They are water-resistant and have a matte finish, and can be used for for various things: blush, lipstain, eyeshadows, or even contouring. They are creamy but not overly so to the point of being slick and moving all over the place, which I think is a great improvement than some of the Liquid Metals I have tried from Illamasqua. I absolutely love these for using below eyeshadows, but I still apply something like Urban Decay Primer Potion underneath. I am really looking forward to using these more in the future, so far I have used Dab and Hollow the most, but am very anxious to combine Mould with an intense dark eye makeup. The colors are all quite wearable, whereas similar products from Kryolan or Makeup Forever are more bright and bold.

Left to Right: Hollow, Emerge, Delerium, Dab, Mould

All in all I think this is a very versatile collection. There are a few bright and intense pieces, and also some more subtle and neutral shades to cater to a variety of tastes. I also think it's great that some of the more neutral shades can definitely be worn into fall and winter as well - not that you can't wear bright pink lipstick in the winter too!

What do you think of this collection? Has anything peaked your interest?

Items were sent to me for review by Illamasqua.

21 Mar 2011

Drag Showgirl Makeup: Las Vegas World Cities series

Can I say that this is my favorite of the World Cities looks I've done without sounding like I'm tooting my own horn? VEGAS BABY!!! Think showgirls and drag performers, that's what inspired this look. Drag makeup can be seen as an over-exaggeration of feminine makeup. Many drag performers go even further with the contouring than I've done here, and cover their natural eyebrows and pencil them in even higher to give more lid space for the makeup. I decided not to cover my brows here, but it's an option of what you could do.

Neutrogena Healthy Skin foundation in Natural Ivory mixed with Revlon Colorstay foundation in Ivory, Lancome Maquicomplet concealer in Ivoire, MAC Studio Fix powder

Urban Decay Primer Potion, MAC eyeshadows in Soft Brown, Print, Sugarpill Bulletproof e/s, Ben Nye Cherry Red e/s, Urban Decay Virgin e/s, Benefit High Beam, MAC Silver Dusk powder, NYX White e/s, Catrice black gel eyeliner, Bella Pierre ColorStay, Cinema Secrets glitter in Ruby Slippers, generic red cosmetic glitter from ebay, Red Cherry Lashes Nr. 203, Maybelline white kohl pencil

MAC Brows in Spiked, Sugarpill Bulletproof e/s

Cheeks & Contouring
Barry M Natural Dazzle bronzer, Estee Lauder Shimmering Face Powder in Light Snow, MAC Silver Dusk powder, Ben Nye DR-12 Pink Blush

MAC Velvetella lipliner, Nivea Bedtime Plum lipstick, MAC Red lipstick, MAC Myth lipstick

Wig is from ebay
Nails are from my previous Cherry Blossom nail tutorial (link here)

Click here if you want to see the other World Cities makeup looks I've done!
And click here if you want to see the tutorial straight on Youtube.

18 Mar 2011

Spring Cherry Blossom Nails

Spring is in the air and when I think of spring, I think of trees and flowers blossoming - one of those being cherry trees! When I lived in Vancouver, the area around where I lived had lots of cherry trees planted in the streets, and I have vivid memories biking around and having a "rain shower" of blossoms falling down with a bit of wind. So pretty!

Anyway, here's my cherry blossom inspired nail design. You can vary the background color with anything you like, but I think the turquoise-blue-green color goes really well and reminds me of a sky background.

Nailpolish used:
Essie Mint Candy Apple (blue)
Essence Fatal (black)
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Whirlwind White (white)
Essie Van D'Go (pink)

Link to the video tutorial on Youtube

A Special message...

At times like these with the devastating events in Japan, it seems so trivial to focus on things like makeup. Many of us live far away from the disaster, but please think of the thousands of people whose lives will be affected for years to come. Those of us who live in comfort and safety cannot fathom what the Japanese people must be going through right now. If you could make even a small donation, or a generous one, to the Japanese Red Cross Society, that would be a wonderful thing to do. Even if you just donate a small amount, what you would otherwise spend on an eyeshadow or a lipstick!

I donated through the Google Crisis Response website to the Japanese Red Cross:

While it's all well and good to donate to your local chapter of the Red Cross, sending your donations to the Japanese Red Cross will have the most direct impact for tsunami relief efforts, as they are bearing the brunt of the disaster response.

5 Mar 2011

Army Green Nails courtesy of H&M

I'm really loving this nailpolish color by H&M called "Hunt Me Down", a very fitting name indeed. My local H&M doesn't carry the accessories and cosmetics, but recently I was in a bigger city with a huge H&M and I finally had a chance to check out the polishes. I was pleasantly surprised at the color variety, especially with the more unique colors that are available. I bought this one and one other one to try out (a sparkly blue shade) because I have color dupes for most of the others, but I couldn't resist this army green. The polish is on the thicker side, meaning it's opaque in one coat, but I applied a second coat just for a smoother more perfect finish. It's a nice dirty grey-green shade without leaning to the brown-olive side.

Do you have any nailpolishes from H&M? What do you think of them?

3 Mar 2011

Revlon Lipsticks and Glosses

Today I've got some swatches for you of some Revlon lip products that I tried out. First up we have the Colorburst Lipsticks, which I believe originally were launched last year in a variety of colors. Switzerland has a rather small selection of available colors, but I think in North America there are many more shades available. They go on smooth, creamy and feel comfortable on the lips. My favorites are the brighter shades, I'm not 100% sold on the nude shades.

Above left to right: Soft Nude, True Red, Fuchsia, Blush

 Above left to right: Fuchsia, True Red, Blush, Soft Nude

Above left to right (swatched on paper): Soft Nude, True Red, Fuchsia, Blush

Next up I have the Colorburst Lipglosses for you, which are sparkly glosses that come in a long square tube, again in lots of colors. Some have compared these to MAC Dazzleglasses but I don't think that comparison is all together accurate as the shimmer and sparkle in these glosses are sort of one-dimensional and not as multi-colored as the MAC Dazzleglasses. My favorite from these is probably Strawberry, which would be a great summer shade. They are overall very shimmery and sparkly, so if you prefer a cream finish, I would skip these.

Bottom left to right: Strawberry, Papaya, Sunset Beach, Hot Pink, Crystal Lilac, Pink Ice, Gold Dust

Lastly I have a few of the Revlon Lipglosses to swatch for you. These are a regular cream finish without any sparkles or shimmer to them, and are quite well-pigmented. These would be great on their own, or layered over lipsticks. I really love all three of these shades!

Bottom, left to right: Coral Reef, Peach Petal, Pink Pop

My main gripe with all these lip products from Revlon is the taste and smell of their products. They just don't have a nice smell or flavor, they sort of remind me of old-ladyish perfume mixed with a sickly sweet scent. Revlon products are very pricey in Switzerland, comparable to MAC prices, and for that price, I just wish their lip products tasted better. The lipsticks are passable, but the glosses taste like flavored plastic.

Still, the quality of the lipsticks and some of the glosses (especially the more colorful ones) are pretty good, and I can't wait to wear some of these colors especially for spring and summer.

1 Mar 2011

Lady Gaga Born This Way Music Video Makeup

I was totally inspired by Lady Gaga's sexy-androgynous-futuristic music video for Born This Way, and immediately was so drawn to this look. Although prosthetics are used in the face for the video, especially for the cheekbones, shoulders and forehead, I wanted to imitate the angular look by contouring. The eyes are very oval and extremely dark blue and black.

I didn't show how I cover my eyebrows in this video because quite honestly I'm not particularly good at it, but I use the glue stick method. There's many videos on Youtube that show you how to do that.

Makeup Forever Mat Velvet+ 15, Ben Nye concealer wheel, glue (for eyebrows), Ben Nye Contour Nr.1, MAC Copperplate e/s, Illamasqua Blush in Intrigue

Illamasqua Alluvium pigment, Essence Glamourama e/s, Essence Black Mania kohl eyeliner, MAC Nr. 42 lashes,

Illamasqua Intense Lipgloss in Absorb

Mavala - Lagoon