Tuesday, December 23, 2014

EOTD: Makeup Geek In The Spotlight and Mesmerized

I purchased this.

I did a simple look for work yesterday using two of the new Makeup Geek Foiled Eyeshadows, In The Spotlight and Mesmerized. I used In The Spotlight as an all-over lid wash and Mesmerized to line my eyes. I really love the pigmentation and finish of these eyeshadows. I also picked up Houdini from the new Foiled Eyeshadows collection, and there are several others that I'd eventually like to buy, too. They're just so pretty.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance all around eye area
Darling Girl Calla on brow bone
Makeup Geek In The Spotlight Foiled Eyeshadow as an all-over lid/crease wash
Makeup Geek Mesmerized Foiled Eyeshadow to line upper and lower lashlines
CoverGirl Clump Crusher Extensions Lashblast Mascara
Shu Uemura Hard 9 Brow Pencil in Seal Brown

Have you tried any of the MUG Foiled Eyeshadows yet? Which one is your favorite? 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

EOTD: Gold & Brown with Darling Girl Cosmetics

I purchased this.
PR samples.

I did this look over the weekend incorporating a couple of my favorite eye shadows from Darling Girl Cosmetics, Jeweled Taupe and Woogy. I don't know why I hadn't thought to pair them together before this.

EOTD Template
Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Emerge to prime all around eye area
Darling Girl Cosmetics:
  - Glitter Glue over entire eye area
  - Calla on brow bone
  - Slave for Sensation to transition between brow bone and crease
  - Naughty Bits in crease
  - Woogy on outer 1/3 of lid, blended into crease and beneath outer lower lash line
  - Jeweled Taupe on inner 2/3 of lid and lower lash line
  - That's A Big Twinkie to highlight around tear duct area
MAC Blacktrack Fluidline lining upper lashes
Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes! waterproof mascara
Shu Uemura Hard 9 Brow Pencil in Seal Brown on brows

Friday, December 5, 2014

Friday Favorites: Mattifying Products

I have excessively oily skin for as long as I can remember. It's not just oily in the T-zone, it's oily everywhere, particularly on my cheeks, forehead, and the upper nose area between my eyes. While I am grateful that it's helped keep me from getting wrinkly, it's still a problem in its own right. Not only does it feel gross and look gross, but makeup often slides off my face by 10:00 a.m., and by the time I leave work at the end of the day, I look like something the cat dragged in. I will never forget my utter horror when I looked in the mirror one day back in 1997 or so, and actually saw a drop of oil sliding down my forehead. Yes, it can get that bad!

I've tried a number of methods of controlling the oilies. The Oil Cleansing Method is my skin cleansing routine of choice, as it definitely reduces oil production, but my face is still greasier than I'm comfortable with. Before I used OCM, I was going through 4-6 blotting sheets a day plus ridiculous amounts of powder for touch-ups throughout the day. After starting to use OCM a few years ago, I was using around 2 blotting sheets a day. I've tried all sorts of mattifying products from drugstore to high-end, and most haven't worked for me. There are two, however, that have done wonders for my skin, making me feel like I have "normal" skin now, and as a bonus, my makeup still looks great at the end of the day.


I "discovered" Urban Decay's De-Slick a few years ago. It was the first product that ever did what it said--it actually helps control my skin's oil production. Even after I started using De-Slick, I would occasionally try other products, but none worked as well. The trick to using the De-Slick is to spray it on your face both before your makeup routine, as well as afterward. The product instructions state to spray 2-4 times before and after makeup application. On the hottest days of the year, I don't bother to use De-Slick, because under those conditions, my skin produces so much excess oil that this product just isn't effective. But on more temperate days, and especially during the dryer, cooler winter months, De-Slick does an amazing job of reducing oil production. I may still need to blot and touch up with powder once a day at most, but even then, that's nothing compared to the number of blotting sheets I used daily before using this product.

A couple of years ago, Urban Decay repackaged the De-Slick. I bought four bottles of it when it was on sale for 50% off, and I'm just now on my last bottle of it. Along with their repackaging came a 25% price increase per ounce, which is a bit annoying. Previously, their 6 oz. bottles were $36, and now their 4 oz. bottles are $30. Still, I'll buy it again, because it's a great product, particularly during the cooler months of the year. I have found that with regular (but not daily) use, the 6 oz. bottles last me about 3-4 months. I imagine the 4 oz. bottles would last me 2-3 months of regular use.


I've used the Illamasqua Hydra Veil primer and really liked the smooth surface it gave my face for applying foundation. So when Illamasqua released their Matte Veil earlier this year, I was really excited to give it a try. I figured if it had all the same priming properties as the Hydra Veil but also helped control my oilies, maybe it would be the answer to oily skin issues. I was in London in September and of course I had to visit the Illamasqua flagship store in Soho since I had so much fun there on my trip last year. I came home with a respectable haul of beautiful Illamasqua products (I would buy everything in the shop if I were wealthy!), but what I was the most excited to put to use was the Matte Veil.

With the Matte Veil, a little goes a long way. The jar comes with a tiny scoop, and one scoop of product is all I need to apply a thin layer of the product over my face before I start my makeup routine. On the most warm, sultry days when my oil production ramps up even more, I need to apply about 25% more to the oiliest parts of my face. As long as I make sure to also powder my face, the Illamasqua Matte Veil keeps my oilies at bay all day long. I never carry blotting sheets with me when I'm using this product; I simply don't need them or powder touch-ups. This primer also provides a beautifully smooth surface for applying foundation afterward. No more Crisco face skin causing my makeup to slide off my skin! It's so effective that I actually can't use it on days that my skin doesn't produce as much oil, or it over-mattifies my skin, making it feel dry and tight.

Illamasqua Matte Veil is pricey for me at GBP £30, which is equivalent to approximately USD $47 (per the exchange rate as of the day I'm writing this). However, I can justify the purchase because:

  • It is the answer to all of my oil elimination prayers.
  • It's multi-purpose, both priming and mattifying.
  • I consider it part of my skincare routine more than my makeup routine, and I'm always happy to spend a little more on good skincare that really works and that my skin doesn't react against.
  • As I noted earlier, a little goes a long way; this jar is going to last me a good, long while. 

The Illamasqua Matte Veil is hands-down, the best mattifying product that I've used.

I think these two products are both great for my skin, and I will continue to use both of them. The UD De-Slick is perfect for the cooler, dryer winter months when my skin doesn't product as much oil. The Illamasqua Matte Veil is perfect for the warmer summer months when my skin's oil production can go into overdrive.

What I have also discovered the hard way is that I cannot use these two products together; together, they overly-mattify my skin to the point that they suck all of the moisture out of my it, leaving my face miserably dry with unsightly flakes, and then my skin goes into an even greater level of oil production in its attempt to combat the dryness. It's a constant battle to find the right balance, and using these two products together tips the scales in the opposite direction of overly dry, tight, miserable skin. However, someone with even oilier skin than I (bless your greasy little heart!) may find these two products work together really well.

Of course, your mileage may vary. These two products may not work for you, the way all of the other mattifying products I've tried were ineffective for me. However, if you have oily skin and haven't found anything yet that helps balance out your oil production, one or both of these products could be the answer to your skincare needs.  If you have tried either of them (or end up trying them), I would love to hear how they ended up working for you. 

If you have oily skin, what do you do and/or use to combat your oilies? 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

EOTD #3 with Smashbox Double Exposure Palette

I purchased this.
This was a gift.

I wore this look to work one day last week. I wish I would have caught the colors more clearly with my camera, but the light has just been so crummy. Once again, I used my Smashbox Double Exposure palette and mixed in a bit of my Smashbox Full Exposure palette. Between these two palettes, I'm not sure that I need any other palettes. Ha ha--we know that's a lie! :)

Too Faced Shadow Insurance over entire eye area
Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Emerge as eyelid base, and blended into crease
Smashbox Full Exposure Palette:
  - M4 on brow bone
  - M1 and M2 mixed on brush and applied above crease
Smashbox Double Exposure palette:
  - Quartz (wet) on inner lid and beneath inner lower lash line
  - Flushed (wet) on outer lid
  - Espresso (dry) in outer crease and blended into center crease
  - Quartz (dry) on top of Flushed
  - Fig (dry) lightly applied in crease
  - Haze (dry) smudged beneath lower lash line
Estee Lauder Pure Color Kajal Eye Liner Pencil in Blackened Plum lining upper lashes and lower rim
Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes! waterproof mascara (one coat)
Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara (two coats)
Shu Uemura Hard 9 Brow Pencil in Seal Brown on brows

Monday, December 1, 2014

Swatches: More Fyrinnae Exquisites!!!

I purchased this.

This past summer, Fyrinnae released five new eye shadows that they call "Exquisites." I did quite an extensive post of swatches as soon as I got my order of the Exquisites collection. Fyrinnae recently added three new Exquisites to the collection, and I ordered immediately, "oohing" and "aahing" out loud over their sparkly gorgeousness when I received them last week.

According to Fyrinnae, the Exquisites "have stronger color shifts without depending on an opaque base hue, making them stunning alone over over many colors. The transparency makes them suitable for a wide variety of skin tones without compromising color." For this reason, I have swatched them over a clear, sticky base (Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy) as well as over a black base.

Both photos were taken in direct sunlight.

L-R: Beyond World, Fantasy Creatures, Mythical Dalliance
(black base on top, clear base on bottom)

This next photo is taken out of focus to show the incredible amount of sparkle in this eye shadows. They are ridiculously sparkly!

L-R: Beyond World, Fantasy Creatures, Mythical Dalliance
(black base on top, clear base on bottom)

When I was wiping these colors off my arm, they smudged together in a mix of sparkles pressed deep into the black base. You would not believe the gorgeous color that happened--deep, sparkly, mysterious, and sooo pretty. I wish I would have taken a picture! What it showed me, though, is that you're not just limited to using these colors over a clear, black, or colored base; they can be played around with and mixed together to create new and vibrant shades that are incredibly unique.

Which of Fyrinnae's Exquisites are your favorites? Have you bought any of them yet?