Category Archives: *Brands: Mid & High End

Smashbox Always Sharp Eyeliner Review & Swatches

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Smashbox Always Sharp

Smashbox Always Sharp liners in Raven & 3D Orchid

Today, I have a short review of Smashbox Always Sharp eyeliners ($20 at Sephora).  Really, I can say it all in one sentence: the always-sharp packaging works as advertised, and the liners themselves are fine – decent quality, but nothing exceptional.  If you’d like more detail, read on! Continue reading

My Favorite “MLBB,” Neutral, & Natural Lipsticks & Glosses

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MLBB lipstick

Good morning! Today I have quick reviews & swatches of five of my favorite mlbb (my lips but better) / neutral / natural lipsticks & glosses. These aren’t what I’d call nude lipsticks – I think of those as paler than my natural lip tone – but rather rosy, natural colors. I tend to wear this type of lip color to work, and all five of these are frequently used.

MLBB lipstick

MAC Out For Passion // Tarina Tarantino Queen Alice // Revlon Pink Truffle // Maybelline Intoxicating Spice // Essence Choose Me!

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OCC Rollergirl, Pool Boy, Mannequin Lip Tar Swatches

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OCC Plastic Passion lip tar

Pool Boy //Mannequin // Rollergirl

I received a few OCC items at The Makeup Show, and today I have swatches of three lip tars from the new Plastic Passion collection.  You can see all of the Plastic Passion lip tars at here on Sephora.com. For beautiful swatches of all six shades, check out Portrait of Mai’s post here.

Lip Tars, as you are probably aware, are an intensely pigmented liquid lipstick.  I find that they work best when I apply the thinnest layer possible.  I don’t generally experience bleeding with lip tars, but if you do, a clear lip liner or lip primer will help. Continue reading

Ellis Faas Foundation & Concealer Review, Swatches, Photos

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ellis faas foundation concealer 102 202

Today I have a review of Ellis Faas’s foundation & concealer, which I purchased at The Makeup Show a few weeks ago. First, let me note that these are way, way more expensive than almost anything I’ve written about on this blog.  The concealer is $40 for 2.4ml and the foundation is either $65 for 14ml (in pen form; this is what I have – it comes with two 7ml cartridges) or $90 for 30ml (in a pump top bottle). I bought these at a discount, but if I manage to finish them, I’d repurchase at full price.

First, let’s talk about the packaging. It’s lovely, but known for being difficult to use. This is my second concealer pen (I lost the first), and both have functioned just fine – the brush on the first was a bit wonky (see it here), the brush on this one is fine.  I don’t love click pens for concealer, but I don’t mind them.

ellis faas concealer brush

Concealer brush / applicator

The brush on the foundation bothers me more. The foundation comes out just fine, but I feel like too much product is lost in the brush, and I don’t like this style of brush for application – I prefer fingers, a beautyblender-type sponge, or a flat-topped brush. I’m probably going to either cut off the brush or just decant the cartridges into a squeeze tube.

ellis faas foundation brush

Foundation brush / applicator

The products themselves, however are truly excellent. The texture is perfect; they just melt into the skin.  Aside from the coverage, I can’t see that I’m wearing foundation.  The foundation is on the sheer side, and the concealer has medium coverage. Note that the ingredients for each product are online at ellisfaas.com.

I have the foundation in shade 102 and the concealer in shade 202; each is the second lightest shade, and each is described as being for “fair/light skin with neutral undertone.” The concealer is just a touch darker than the foundation, which I find works well.

ellis faas 102 202 swatches

Left: foundation in 102, unblended & mostly blended
Right: concealer in 202, unblended & mostly blended

In the following collage, I have no makeup on in the left hand photo. You can see some redness, some unevenness and lots of freckles.  In the center photo, I’m only wearing foundation; my skin looks better – more even, but still natural. The foundation diffuses light really well, and the texture of my skin looks better as well.  In the right hand photo, I’ve added concealer – I do realize it’s hard to see a difference. The concealer really is great though!

no makeup // foundation only // foundation & concealer

no makeup // foundation only // foundation & concealer

Overall, I adore these products.  I plan to use every last drop of each, and it’s likely that I will repurchase both eventually. If you can stomach the price, I’d highly recommend them both.

*I purchased the product(s) featured in this post. This post contains one or more affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

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NARS Olympia Contour Blush Review & Swatches

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NARS Olympia Contour Blush

NARS Olympia Contour Blush

Good morning! I saw this morning that NARS has released information about their new Contour blushes. There are three shades, and each retails for $42; they’re currently available for pre-order at Nordstrom. Here’s a little collage of the shades so you can see them side by side (images from Nordstrom).

NARS contour blush

click to enlarge

I was lucky enough to recieve Olympia at The Makeup Show – I’ve actually been waiting to hear more about the product before posting this – and have swatches and a review for you today! Continue reading

Make Up For Ever HD Blush #215 Review & Swatches

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MUFE HD Blush 215

MUFE HD Blush in shade 215

Make Up For Ever recently released a line of new HD cream blushes, which I believe replace their old HD blushes (review from quite a while back). I was lucky to receive shade 215, which is the one I had my eye on. It’s a lovely pink-coral, and actually quite similar to the shade of the old-style HD blush I used to own (#6 Quickie). The color in the pan below is more accurate than the color in the photo above.

MUFE HD Blush 215 pan

MUFE 215

This blush blends out really beautifully – it’s just as easy to do a sheer application as it is to build the color. The finish is more matte than most cream blushes, but not as matte/powdery as most cream-to-power blushes.  I think the finish and texture would be great on most skin types – it definitely works well on my (normal-to-dry) skin.

MUFE HD Blush 215 swatch

Unblended // Blended

I only have this one shade, but I’ve swatched several shades at Sephora, and all seem to be easy-to-wear, flattering colors with the same excellent texture.

Recommended!

*I received the MUFE blush courtesy of the brand and The Makeup Show. This post contains one or more affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

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