Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Flower Power Challenge LOTD with Chinovi

This week's challenge in a makeup group I'm part of was "Flower Power." 

This was my entry to the Flower Power showcase, but it didn't turn out remotely as I imagined it in my mind's eye. I'm just not enough of an artist. Still, I liked how the colors worked together.

I liked the colors enough that I wanted to use them to create a more wearable look to wear to work today. I took all but the black shadow used to outline the "flower petals" and created this more wearable look. Yellow isn't the best color on me because I have such a heavy yellow undertone to my skin, but so what? I love yellow and refuse to discriminate against it!

I don't know what was going on with my hair in this photo. Crazy hair!

Mineralogie cream concealer #U3 under eyes
Etude House Precious Minerals BB Cream
Too Faced Pink Leopard Bronzer
Darling Girl Pink Outrage shimmer blush
Guerlain Meteorites finishing powder in Teint Rose

I used all of the same colors on my eyes in the second look as I did with the first look, with two exceptions: In the first look, I used Chinovi Clover on my brows, and I used Chinovi Amen to line the petals and Chinovi Gossip to provide a bit of lighter green highlighting to the darker green tendrils around the eyes.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance
MAC Brule on brow bone
Chinovi Hot Cocoa on outer 2/3 of lid and beneath outer 1/3 of lower lash line
Sugarpill Goldilux stippled w/ wet brush on outer 2/3 of lid over Hot Cocoa
Chinovi Speechless on inner 1/3 of lid, tear duct area, and immediately under brow arch
Chinovi Hello in crease
Chinovi Clover applied with Rock-A-Betty Beauty’s Wet Spot under lower lash line
MAC Blacktrack Fluidline
Benefit High Brow on lower waterline
Benefit They’re Real! mascara on lower lashes
Fresh Firebird mascara on upper lashes
Shu Uemura Hard 9 brow pencil in Seal Brown
MAC Brun eyeshadow on brows
Anastasia Brow Fix

MAC Pink Treat cremestick liner
Tick:Tock Cosmetics Friday I’m In Love lip gloss

Monday, May 28, 2012

Little Mouse Ears - Review & Swatches

Little Mouse Ears logo shamelessly stolen from their Facebook fan page.

I am in a makeup group online with the Sarah, the owner of Little Mouse Ears, and independent mineral makeup company based in Ireland. Little Mouse Ears sells loose mineral eye shadow, lip balms and glosses, nail polish, blush, bronzers, pressed mineral shadow palettes, bath and body products, and jewelry. 

Last January, Sarah of Little Mouse Ears hosted a review pack raffle in our online makeup group, and I won one of the small review packs. The package arrived quickly, and I immediately swatched and took photos, but I wanted to spend a good amount of time giving a proper review, but never seemed to find the time, or I just plain forgot when I did have the time. So now, four months later (or more?), this review is very, very overdue! But... in the meantime, I also won another prize pack from her, so I get to swatch and review two sets of samples now instead of just one! And I swatched and reviewed all of the colors with my new camera, so the photos are better than the original ones I took last winter.

First, I'll feature the review pack I won in the raffle last winter. This is what I received from Little Mouse Ears: 
  • Full Size of Cream loose eyeshadow from the Music is Life eye shadow collection
  • Sample of Pink Floyd loose eyeshadow from the Music is Life eye shadow collection
  • Sample of Blue Oyster Cult loose eyeshadow from the Music is Life eye shadow collection
  • Sample of Fornell loose eyeshadow from the Navy collection
  • Sample of Sister Hazel loose eyeshadow from the Music is Life eye shadow collection
  • Sample of Ducky loose eyeshadow from the Navy collection
  • Sample of Kensey lip gloss from the Navy collection
  • One pair of Jealous Mama earrings
  • Handwritten note from Sarah, which my dog subsequently ate

L-R, Top Row: Cream (closed), Pink Floyd, Blue Oyster Cult, Fornell, Sister Hazel, Ducky
L-R, Bottom Row: Kensey (closed), Jealous Mama (in bag)

L-R, Top Row: Cream (open), Pink Floyd, Blue Oyster Cult, Fornell, Sister Hazel, Ducky
L-R, Bottom Row: Kensey (open), Jealous Mama (open)

When I received these sample items, Little Mouse Ears was still hand-writing the labels, but if you keep reading to the review of my second prize pack, you'll see she's now using printed labels, which look much more professional. 

Following are swatches in lamp light, indirect natural light, and direct sunlight, respectively:

 L-R: Cream, Pink Floyd, Blue Oyster Cult, Fornell, Sister Hazel, Ducky, and Kensey lip gloss
(lamp light)

(indirect natural light)

(direct sunlight)

Cream is a very light, shimmery, cream color. The the first image above (lamp light) captures the true color the most accurately. It applies smoothly and evenly and is the perfect highlight color. 

Pink Floyd is the perfect lightly shimmery, baby-girl pink. It applies smoothly, evenly, albeit fairly softly, and the color cannot be built up. It's very pretty and looks beautiful paired with Sister Hazel.

Blue Oyster Cult is a very pretty, shimmery, baby-boy blue. It applies smoothly, evenly, and like Pink Floyd, fairly softly without the ability to build up the color. 

The Little Mouse Ears website says Fornell is teal, but I see more of a dark sagey teal-green. It's slightly shimmery, but even when applied over Darling Girl Glitter Glue, I have a really hard time getting the shimmer to stay fixed; it seems like there's more fallout than shadow that stays put, and it brushes or blows away, leaving a semi-matte sage-teal base color. It also streaks around the edges, leaving a strange, grayish cast around the perimeter. 

Sister Hazel is my favorite of all of the Little Mouse Ears colors I've tried so far. It goes on like butter, with full, even application. It's a gorgeous, rich hazel-brown that leans toward a shimmery, silver taupe. I can't put into words how pretty it is.

Ducky is  described as "medium brown" on the website. It's a matte, camel-brown, with a red base. It's my least favorite of the colors I've tried from Little Mouse Ears. It applies nicely, but the color itself looks terrible with my skin tone, so it's not one I'd ever wear.

Kensey is a coral lip gloss. IIn the swatch above, I applied it more heavily at the top, and less heavily at the bottom. When I first tried Kensey, the gloss was separated and lumpy. I thought perhaps it had to do with sitting in a mailbox in sub-zero temperatures. However, when I tried it again in May, the gloss didn't seem to be as lumpy and didn't appear to separated at all and I thought perhaps the warmer weather helped the gloss ingredients blend. Unfortunately, as soon as I put it on my lips, the gloss began to separate again. If you click on the photo below, you can see a larger image, which magnifies the separation issues:

Despite the separation problems, it actually feels really nice and moisturizing on my lips, doesn't bleed or feather, and lasts for a long time. There's a good chance that sitting in my freezing cold mail box could have damaged the product. Little Mouse Ears sells some really pretty lip glosses that I'd like to try out, so I will likely give her glosses another try, and hopefully if I order in the summer months, there won't be be any separation or lumpiness issues.

Last, but not least, I received a pair of Jealous Mama earrings:

I don't see these earrings on her website anymore, and I'm terrible with identifying parts and pieces, but they  have what I'd call blue, green, and turquoise flat shell beads sandwiched between a lime green Swarovski crystal and a clear crackled glass bead. A french hook is used and there is a little bit of dangle. They're really cute and yes, I've worn them out and about! They're good quality and well-made.

And now on to the second packet of samples I received from Little Mouse Ears! I received these a couple of weeks ago after winning another prize sample pack in the makeup group Sarah and I are both in. All of these products were named after a contest in our makeup group in which names were nominated based on uncommon names of ladies in the group, or of the people they love. 

This is what I received:
  • Eye shadow samples from the NTMS collection in Gwen, Ana, Kairi, Mina, Meghan, and Leah
  • Kota Bear blush sample
  • Little Mouse Ears business card
  • Handwritten note from Sarah, not pictured

L-R, Top Row: Gwen, Ana, Kairi, Mina, Meghan, Leah
Second Row: Kota Bear blush (closed)
Third Row: business card

L-R, Top Row: Gwen, Ana, Kairi, Mina, Meghan, Leah
Second Row: Kota Bear blush (open)
Third Row: business card

Following are swatches in lamp light, lamp light with flash, indirect natural light, and direct sunlight, respectively:

L-R: Gwen, Ana, Kairi, Mina, Meghan, Leah, Kota Bear (swatched heavily on left, blended out to the right)
(lamp light)

(lamp light, with flash)

(indirect natural light)

(direct sunlight)

None of the NTMS collection eyeshadows have descriptions on the website.

Gwen is a nude pearl color. The swatch in the direct sunlight photo above is the most accurate representation of the true color -- the other swatches come across as much more yellow than the color really is. Gwen is a strange color -- it applies very dark and matte-like with a much lighter shimmer around the perimeter. I was curious if this had something to do with the way I swatched on my arm, so I swatched on my eyelid, with the same results. In the photo below, you can see how the color on my lid is much darker than the surrounding color, even though I applied Gwen all over my eye area as a single-color wash. Because of this unevenness and inconsistency in color, I will probably not use this color when creating any looks. 

Ana is a beautiful maroon shade with lavender shimmer, giving it a merlot finish. It applies evenly, smoothly, and I'm really excited to wear this one in a look. It's very, very pretty. 

Kairi is a simple and pretty shimmery lilac purple. It applies evenly and smoothly without much fallout. I don't typically wear pastel colors, but it's so pretty that I'll figure out a way to work it into a look! 

Mina is a stunning basic blue and has a soft, crystalline shimmer. It goes on smoothly and evenly, and would make a stunning eye liner color. 

Meghan is a pretty, shimmery "blurple" color that's a cross between blue and purple. It applies quite nicely. 

Leah is a pretty, shimmery silver-grey. Like Ana, Kairi, Mina, and Meghan, it applies smoothly and evenly. It would pair really well with Kairi. 

Kota Bear blush is described on the website as pink blush with violet shimmer. It's a very feminine pink and is such a pretty color. It's heavily pigmented, but blends out to a soft, wearable shade of pink. I can't wait to use it. 

Overall, I'm happy with my Little Mouse Ears products. Fornell and Gwen seem to have some formulation issues, but otherwise, the products are high quality and well-made. I give my experience with Little Mouse Ears four out of five stars. 

* Products were gifts from Little Mouse Ears. All opinions are my own. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Zoya Pinta & Kendal Gradient Manicure

All the cool kids are doing gradient manis these days, so I decided to try my hand at it. Yeah, my first attempt was a complete disaster. Not only was it the second messiest nail polish mess I've ever had to clean up, but I discovered the hard way that my cosmetic sponges were super cheap and contributed to an even worse mess.

So the next day, I tried again. This time, rather than using my cheap cosmetic sponges, I grabbed a new kitchen sponge and cut it up. I wasn't thinking about the fact that the holes in a kitchen sponge are much, much larger than the holes in a cosmetic sponge.

So my mani turned out like this:

It's not remotely what I was trying for, but I still really like how it turned out. Someone said it reminds them of storm clouds, and I can definitely see that. I also really like how complimentary the colors are that I chose -- Zoya's Pinta (darker purple) and Kendal (lilac). 

Here are the two colors in their bottles. I didn't realize until I was typing this blog post that both nail polish lids have nail polish all over them. I'm telling you, my first attempt at this mani was such an insanely crazy mess, that I will probably be finding surprise splotches of nail polish in random places for a long time to come. 

Have you ever done a gradient mani? How did it go? Do you find they get easier with practice?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

I've Got The Blues with Geek Chic Cosmetics

You know what's crazy? I never wear blues like this, yet I know for a fact that I wore this look last Monday, yet I have no recollection of creating this look! I knew this was a crazy hectic week, but I didn't realize how crazy hectic until I came across my notes and photos for this look and realized I have no memory of it whatsoever. That's nuts! I don't know what possessed me to use these colors together, because I never use blues and silvers like this...but I like it! I think it works. 

Benefit Erase Paste in Fair
Etude House Precious Minerals #23 BB Cream
NARS Orgasm blush
Guerlain Meteorites Perles in Teint Rose

Too Faced Shadow Insurance
MAC Brule on brow bone
Geek Chic Sexy in Suspenders on inner ¼ of lid, upper and lower
Geek Chic Purity Burns on 2nd quarter of lid, upper and lower
Geek Chic Bad Wolf on 3rd quarter of lid, upper and lower
Geek Chic Normandy on outer quarter of lid, upper and lower, and blended into crease
MAC Blacktrack Fluidline
Stila Smudge Stick Liner in Blue Ribbon on lower waterline
Benefit They’re Real! mascara
MAC Brun and MAC Charcoal Brown eyeshadows on brows

Darling Girl Cosmetics Satin Lip Stain in Night Owl

Friday, May 25, 2012

Bubble Marquee Princess with Chinovi Cosmetics

I can't seem to stop using my Chinovi Cosmetics eyeshadows lately. They're seriously such high quality -- they apply beautifully, practically blend themselves, and wear like iron. I love them!

I had spare time today, so I took photos both in natural lighting and with flash. I think the flash brings out some different aspects of the color both on my eyes and my lips.

The following are all taken in natural lighting, no flash:

The following are all taken with flash:

The flash really shows off the purple holo-shimmer in Darling Girl's Jar of Hearts Holo-Gloss:

Mineralogie Cream Concealer #U3 under eyes and on chin
Etude House Precious Minerals BB Cream
Fyrinnae Enrapture blush
Guerlain Meteorites in Teint Rose

Too Faced Shadow Insurance
MAC Brule on brow bone and inner nose bone area
Chinovi Cosmetics Bubble on inner 1/3 of lid and tear duct area
Chinovi Cosmetics Marquee on outer 2/3 of lid
Chinovi Cosmetics Princess in crease
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Shadow Pencil in Delinquent under lower lashes
MAC Blacktrack Fluidline along upper lash line
Benefit They're Real! mascara
MAC Brun eyeshadow on brows

MAC Lush-n-Lilac Cremestick Liner
Darling Girl Cosmetics Jar of Hearts Holo-Gloss

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pretty Purples & Pinks with Chinovi & Darling Girl

I wanted to wear a pretty purple and pink spring-type look yesterday. I chose to wear Chinovi Cosmetics on my eyes and a beautiful Darling Girl Cosmetics lip gloss. This is what I came up with.

These photos don't show how sparkly the Chinovi eyeshadows are. You can either use your imagination or check out  my swatches here to see their sparkly prettiness!

Benefit Erase Paste in Fair
Etude House Precious Minerals #23 BB Cream
MAC Pinch O’ Peach blush
Guerlain Meteorites in Teint Rose

Too Faced Shadow Insurance
Chinovi Cake Pop on inner ¼ of lid and tear duct area, beneath inner ½ of lower lash line
Chinovi Hiccup on rest of lid
Chinovi Unicorn beneath outer ½ of lower lash line and in crease
Chinovi Bubble as transition between crease color and brow bone
MAC Brule on brow bone
MAC Blacktrack Fluidline to line upper lashes
Benefit They’re Real! mascara
MAC Brun and MAC Charcoal Brown eyeshadows on brows

MAC Prep + Prime Lip
Darling Girl Liquid Kiss Luxe in Audrey

Monday, May 21, 2012

Darling Girl Night Owl Satin Stain Preview and Review

I am so excited to share with you a preview of Darling Girl Cosmetics' Satin Stain, a soon-to-be released glossy lip stain product. The color that Susan at Darling Girl sent me is "Night Owl", which is a gorgeous, bright (but not shocking), violet-purple with blue undertones. The Satin Stain is packaged in a 5.9 ml tube with a doe-foot applicator.

The ingredient list is: Mango butter, fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E, carnauba wax. May also contain: Castor oil, mica, titanium dioxide, and FD&C color.

I picked the three purple lip products in my collection that seemed to be in the closest color family to this color, so you could see them together for comparison purposes.

Top Row, L-R: MAC Riveting Rose lipstick, MAC Odyssey lipstick, MAC Heroine lipstick
Bottom Row: Darling Girl Cosmetics Night Owl Satin Stain 

Below are photos of the Night Owl Satin Stain on my lips:

It applies very smoothly, evenly, and opaquely. It doesn't take much to get full color and full coverage. Once it's on my lips, it feels incredibly smooth and silky. So many stains will tint my lips, but leave them feeling dry or tacky. The Satin Stains are a glossy stain that leave my lips feeling like they have a lightweight gloss or balm on them. They don't feel dry or tacky at all. They feel moisturized and very supple.

As for the "stain" aspect of this product, I don't find it to have the long-lasting stain effects of some of the other stains I've used in the past (Philosophy The Supernatural, Benefit Benetint, and Fyrinnae's Lip Lustres), but it is by far the silkiest, smoothest stain I've used, and I'm happy to sacrifice a little color-wear time if the product helps keep my lips moisturized.

On Sunday, I applied the Satin Stain and then I ate lunch. I wasn't trying to keep the color on my lips. In fact, I was enjoying my leftover enchiladas so much while reading some online makeup drama, that I completely forgot about my lips. As soon as I finished my lunch, I took the following photos:

As you can see, I lost some of the color, but there was still enough on my lips that I didn't feel at all like my lips were naked or dry. I was happy with the amount of color left on my lips after eating a meal.

The only real downside to this product is the feathering. I do have fine lines around the edges of my lips, and certain products cause bleeding or feathering. Even when I applied a clear lip liner around the outside of my lips, I still experienced some feathering. However, it wasn't the worst I've experienced, and a quick clean-up around the edges of my lips with a cosmetic sponge every now and then seemed to keep the feathering under control for the most part. I really would prefer not to have any feathering, of course.

I do not know what price Darling Girl will be charging for these Satin Stains, but all of her other products are  very reasonably priced, so I can only assume this one will be, too.

I like the product enough that when the Satin Stains are released, I will purchase more if the colors appeal to me. I will work around the feathering issue as best as I can. If I had no problems with feathering, I would give this product a full five stars, but the feathering is enough of an issue for me, that I'll give it four-and-three-quarter stars instead.

Are you looking forward to this product and do you think you'll buy it when it's released?

* This product was a gift from Darling Girl Cosmetics. All opinions are my own.