Category Archives: *Brands: Mid & High End

OCC Rollergirl, Pool Boy, Mannequin Lip Tar Swatches

Press Samples – Affiliate Links
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

Purchased – Affiliate Links

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.

bloglovin’ // instagram // facebook

NARS Olympia Contour Blush Review & Swatches

Press Sample – Affiliate Links
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

Press Sample – Affiliate Links
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.

bloglovin’ // instagram // facebook

Clear Lip Liner & Lip Primer Comparison

Purchases & Press Sample – Affiliate Links
clear lip liner - lip primer

Lip Primer & Clear Lip Liner

Milani and OCC each recently released clear lip liners (or should I call them lip pencils? I never know which to write). I purchased the Milani to try it out, then received the OCC as a press sample. So, I thought I’d do a comparison of those two items plus all the other clear lip liners & lip primers I own. This post is a comparison of the following six items:

– NYX Lip Primer – $6.99 at Ulta
– OCC Anti-Feathered Clear Lip Pencil – $16 at Sephora
– Sally Hansen Plumping Lip Primer (in jar) – around $6; I’ve only seen it at CVS
– Maybelline Clear Lip Pencil – $4.95 at drugstore.com
– E.L.F. Lip Lock Pencil – $3 at eyeslipsface.com
– Milani Clear Anti-Feathering Lip Liner – $4.49 at Milanicosmetics.com

I expect a lip primer / clear lip liner to do two things – prevent feathering & extend the weartime of my lipstick.  All six of the items I tried prevented feathering (as tested on my hand, because lipstick rarely feathers on my lips).  However, in terms of extending the wear of my lipstick, there’s a clear winner, a clear loser, and four items in the middle.

Best for extending weartine: Milani

Milani clear lip liner

The Milani Anti-Feathering lip liner has a soft texture.  It creates a sort of “grippy” surface on the lips for your lipstick or gloss to adhere to.  Although it’s marketed mostly as preventing feathering, it actually did the best job of extending the weartime of my lip products. Do note that if you use too much pressure or sharpen it to too fine of a point, the tip will break off.

I’ve seen the Milani liner at CVS stores and Walgreens stores for around $6, and it’s available on the Milani website for under $5. Recommended!

Worst for extending weartime: ELF

ELF lip lock pencil

The E.L.F. lip lock pencil is only $3, but I still don’t think it’s worth it – it does nothing to extend the wear time of my lip products. On the positive side, it does prevent feathering and I like the packaging – it’s much easier to cover my lips with this size pencil than a slim pencil, plus it doesn’t need to be sharpened.

When I posted about this previously, a couple people commented that this product is meant to prevent feathering (which it does), rather than extend wear. I think the description on ELF’s website implies that it does both; but the intent really doesn’t matter. In the end, if you’re looking for a cheap anti-feathering pencil this is great; if you want something that extends wear, it’s not.

Average: OCC, Maybelline, NYX, Sally Hansen

clear lip liner - lip primer-2

I found the Maybelline & OCC pencils (the nearest two in the photo above) to be extremely similar – both are slightly hard, waxy pencils. Both prevent feathering and help lipstick last longer, but both are a bit difficult to use due to the thinness & texture of the pencil.

The NYX lip primer (farthest away in above photo) is a chubby pencil, so it’s easy to use. It looks light pink in the photo, but applies almost-clear; I can’t see it swatched on my skin, and it mutes the natural color of my lips just a little. This is a solid choice, just not my favorite.

sally hansen plumping lip primer

The Sally Hansen plumping lip primer (review) might actually be my favorite of all of these products.  The Milani does do a little bit of a better job at gripping the lip product, but the Sally Hansen makes up for it in being easy to apply.  You can see that it’s in a jar in the first photo in this post, and that’s because it broke off a while back – not ideal, but it’s still easier to use than a skinny pencil. Do note that the “plumping” aspect shows up as a minty tingle, so this is not a good choice for those with sensitive lips.

Overall, I’d recommend the Milani, the Sally Hansen (as long as you don’t have sensitive lips), and the NYX.  The ELF lip lock is also a good choice if you only care about preventing feathering, not about weartime.  And I’d skip the Maybelline and OCC – they work, but the others are all easier to use.

Do you use any type of lip primer? I’d love to hear what works for you!

*I recieved the OCC pencil courtesy of the brand and The Makeup Show. I purchased all other products featured in this post. This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

bloglovin’ // instagram // facebook

NARS Laos Matte Multiple Review & Swatches

Purchased – Affiliate Links
NARS Laos matte multiple-2

NARS Laos Matte Multiple

NARS recently released six shades of the matte multiple, which is a new product (the formula is different than the regular multiple, which I’ve never tried). First, let’s talk about the size – the original multiple is .5oz for $39, while the matte multiple is .26oz – about half the size – for the same price. It’s disappointing that they halved the size while keeping the price the same, but the matte multiple is actually a decent size. As  a comparison, Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge is .13 oz, Illamasqua cream blush is .14oz, and MAC Cremeblend blush is .19oz. On the budget side, NYX stick blush is .21oz and NYX cream blush is 12oz. So, I think the size of the matte multiple is fair, though I do think the price is a little high for NARS. Continue reading