Sunday, 1 February 2015

Makeup Tips for Fair Skin (From Someone with Insanely Fair Skin)

Hello there little powder puff!

My my my has it been a long time! For those of you who follow my instagram, you would know that for the past few weeks I have been in my home country of Finland. Where it has been cold, icy and absolutely incredible. While I was in Finland, I spent a lot of incredible time with my gorgeous family, including a very special cousin of mine named Lena.

Being from Finland, Lena and I have a struggle in common: we are both very fair skinned, and it can be very hard finding makeup that suits us. So today, I am going to share with you a couple of tips and tricks that I have picked up, as well as use products both as recommendations and examples.

Please bare in mind that these are all things that work for me, and these are all images of makeup taken from my own collection. These tips might not work for everyone, nor may be original.

Starting with foundation:

Having grown up in Australia - Foundation is probably the hardest makeup for me to find. It is insanely difficult to find a foundation that will work with my skintone, since not only am I fair, but I have pink undertones. Every foundation I have tried by Revlon, Maybelline, Rimmel, ModelsPrefer, Australis you name it has either been too yellow undertoned, or too dark for me (I once spent 30 minutes in Priceline Pharmacy getting every single foundation tried against my skin. In the end the woman working there actually laughed and said "Your skin is impossible, it's fantastic." I can't say I thought it was as funny as she did.)

I have used to Rimmel Match Perfection in the shade 010 Light Porcelain, but it was still slightly too dark. This has resulted in me having to look high end, and fortunately (though unfortunately for my wallet) I found the MAC Studio Fix Fluid in their lightest shade NW10. This foundation is full coverage, however, so I wouldn't suggest it to anyone looking for a slightly more natural finish. Match Perfection is a very good foundation, and I would strongly recommend it.
The most important things to focus on when choosing your foundation are making sure you get the right shade (since of course it doesn't look the same in the bottle as it does on the skin. I would strongly suggest getting anyone in the store you're shopping at to match your skin tone to the right shade), and also the right kind for your skin type. I have dry skin, so the Studio Fix Fluid sits well on me, but it could be a bit too heavy for those with oily skin.

Moving on to powder, I don't have all that much to say. One comment I do want to make, however, is the amazing power of a translucent powder. If you do want to set your foundation/BB Cream/CC Cream and you have fair skin, it might be more worth your time investing in a translucent powder rather than a toned powder. I do own a MAC Mineralise Skinfinish in the shade light which I use to powder sometimes, but choosing a translucent powder means that you won't have extra coverage over your foundation.

I would very strongly recommend the Rimmel London Stay Matte powder in the shade 001 Transparent. Mine has received a lot of love, and I even hit pan on it a little while ago. Also pictured is the MAC Prep+Prime Pressed Transparent Finishing Powder. I own the pressed powder, which is secured in a compact with a mirror, but MAC also make a tub of the powder loose. Rimmel also make a version of this in a tub as a loose powder for a much lower price.

I mentioned in a previous post that being fair skinned it was often times hard to find a good powder for contour and bronzing, and that my little trick was to choose a powder in a shade too dark. As I said earlier in this very post, I often wear my MAC Mineralise Skinfinish in the shade Light, well there pictured on the right is my MAC Mineralise Skinfinish in the shade Medium/Dark. Since the lightest shade is perfect on my skintone, this powder is also perfect for bronzing and contouring.
Often when I look for a bronzer/contour, the colours are always too dark (For example the Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil - supposed to be for people with ridiculously pale skin. Too dark for me. Of course, of course.) However using this technique, means that you can find something that would be the perfect shade for you.

I use quite a few different contour powders (Nars Paloma, Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil, Too Faced Chocolate Soleil etc) but I will always come back to this. It is a nifty trick if you want something natural and light to accentuate your features. If you would prefer something a little more dramatic, try going one tone darker.

I don't know what it is, but there is something kryptonite about blush for me. I love blush. However I do have the problem (surprise surprise) that there are quite a few I can't wear. Blush tones that go too dark, are always a little too much for my cheeks (For example Exhibit A by Nars - which can only be explained as Crimson). 

For fair skin, the best tones to go for would be soft Dusty Rose  and Peachy Pink. The examples I'm using here are two of my absolute favourite blushes that I own. On the left is my Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush in the shade Peach Beach, and on the right is my MAC Mineralise Blush in Modest Blush from their 2014 Christmas collection. These two are perfect because they look so subtle and absolutely glowy. Modest Blush - in a dusty rose shade - gives a perfect flush to the cheeks if blended lightly onto the apples and then brought even lighter up onto the cheekbones. It creates a gorgeous wash of colour on fair skin. Dusty Rose shades are absolutely gorgeous for fair skin, and they are common to find! Most brands would make them, and I very very strongly suggest checking them out!

Now to my absolute favourite kind of makeup - eyeshadow. Eyeshadow is much less dependent on skintone than most other kinds of makeup, and is more reliant on eyecolour.
Browns work for everyone, and nowadays since the Urban Decay Naked Palette has reached such fame, it is common (and rather easy) to find browns and nudes anywhere at any price. If you're still learning and developing your skills with eyeshadow, then working with browns is super easy, and you can go for so many different looks - from a subtle nude eye, to a dramatic smokey eye.

However for when you are interested in experimenting with a little more colour, purple tones work with every eye colour, and warm cranberries have become an absolute favourite of mine (the pictured single eyeshadow is my first ever MAC eyeshadow! My Single in Cranberry). Here are some other little tips on what might suit your eye colour:

  • If you have brown eyes then you should definitely explore purples and reds, but you should also try out some bright blue in there! It may seem a little daunting, but a bright cobalt blue can look incredibly flattering, and give a gorgeous pop to your eyes. Also give Copper a go!
  • If you have green eyes, try out some deeper plummy purples. They can really make that green colour glow as can taupes, and of course some sparkling silvers and greys!
  • If you have Blue eyes then you absolutely must rock a warm Gold. My favourite eyeshadow of all time is MAC's Amber Lights which makes that blue stand out like nothing else. You should also give a go at trying some terra cotta like shades. The warm red-brown will give you a spark.
Though one thing more I gotta say on that topic is never limit yourself! If you want to try a shade that people wouldn't recommend, then go for it! Makeup is all about what works for you, and what makes you feel good. Have a play, have a test, and see what you can find for yourself! Eyeshadow is truly the funnest and best way to explore all the different kinds of colours you can have fun with!

Finally we come to lips. My biggest suggestion for every day wear would be a soft pinky nude colour. These are just two of my favourite lipsticks (MAC Faux and MAC Honey-Love) as well as my favourite every day lip gloss (Nars Sweet Revenge). Try going for a pink toned nude over a brown toned nude, because often going too brown could make you look a little too 'washed out' and make the gorgeous glowy fair skin tone look slightly more sickly. For every day wear, these colours have a gorgeous natural tone that says "My natural lip tone.. but a little bit better."

However if you want to try and be a little bit more daring, I would 100% say Berry Berry Berry! Berry toned lips look absolutely stunning on fair skin. They add such a gorgeous deep colour, which makes that fair, delicate almost porcelain tone stand out even more. I would always recommend going for something warm and bright, such as bright reds, bright pinks and Berry tones because they add such an incredible light colour to the lips. Pictured on the left is MAC's Diva, Rimmel's Kate Moss lipstick in 107 and MAC's Lady Danger, while on the right is the Rimmel Kate Moss in 20, Revlon Colourburst Matte Balm in 220 Showy and a light pink H&M gloss (it does not have a name or shade).

It may look a little daunting to wear such bright colours, but I know you can rock it!

That's all for this week! Is there a post you want to see? Is there a product you want reviewed? Let me know by sending me a tweet,  commenting on Instagram or by leaving a comment in the comments section below and I would love to try it out for you!

Until next time, stay cute little powderpuffs!

xoxo Matilde Elisabeth

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Sephora came to Australia (And I went)

Hello there little Powderpuff!

As some would know - Sephora has recently opened the doors to their first ever store in Australia. Located on Pitt Street in the centre of Sydney, the shop is two floors and the anticipation that built in the months preceding the grand opening was immense.

Last week, my gorgeous, wonderful and ever talented God Mother asked me if I had been yet, and she requested a blog post about it and so today I finally ventured out into the packed city centre to check it out.

The first thing I noticed when I got there was that there was a line out the front. I wasn't surprised about this at all, since Sephora does take a prime spot in the middle of Pitt Street Mall - which is a shopping street between two major shopping plaza's in the centre of Sydney, and on top of that Sephora did only open a week and a half ago. I was going to meet my gorgeous, perfect, wonderful friend there and so I jumped in the line (I told her it was to save us a spot - in truth I just couldn't quench my overwhelming excitement).

It didn't take long to get inside (maybe two or three minutes of waiting) and once I got inside there.. it was really crowded. Like really crowded. I wanted to take some photos inside the store, but I was unable to due to the sheer number of people in there, as well as the fact I was.. uh... Told not to by a security guard (living life on the edge - getting told off by security in Sephora). So since I have no photos, I'm just going to use the power of words to try and paint a picture.

There are two floors and both of them are relatively small. There is a Benefit Browbar in the back right hand corner and little shelves of different brands. Something that stood out to me was how small the racks for each brand are. They were one gondola of products, each about a metre long with not too many products on each and this was disappointing. However I persevered.

I have been watching Beauty Youtubers for a long time and though I tend to stick to European and Australian Beauty V/Bloggers (since they usually talk about brands available in Australia) I have watched a fair few American ones, as well, so there were already a tonne of brands in Sephora that I was incredibly excited to try. The ones I was most excited for where Makeup Forever, Tarte, Urban Decay, Becca and Anastasia Beverly Hills, so once I got inside on the first floor, the first thing I did was look around for those brands. I went to the Makeup Forever counter and looked at the shadows, I swatched a million of them and god damn they were beautiful. I am a major MAC lover, and my MAC eyeshadows are, to this day, my holy grail (over Chocolate Bar Palette, over the Naked Palette, over Nars, over everything else) and I have heard that the Makeup Forever shadows trump even those. However when I went to select the ones I truly adored - they were all sold out. They were sold out of pretty much every shadow other than the blue/green/yellow ones that less people buy. Admittedly, I was seriously disappointed, but I didn't let this deter me so I moved on to the Anastasia counter. They were sold out of everything, too. So was Tarte, so was Becca.

So I stood there looking around for a long moment, and I realised something. There was no Urban Decay. That was a major downer, as well. I knew there would be no Nars or Too Faced - since Mecca Cosmetica/Mecca Maxima has the rights of distribution for those brands in Australia - but so far Urban Decay aren't sold anywhere and I was so hopeful that Sephora would bring them here.
However later I did find out it was because Sephora is in dispute with Mecca over who would get the distributing rights for UD in Australia (don't quote me on this that is just what I heard on the grapevine aka the lady at the MAC counter told me about an hour later).

It was all a little disheartening. They were only selling about half the stock they would sell in an American store, and pretty much what they did sell was all sold out and of course on top of that - the promise Sephora had made about matching American prices has already been very controversially realised as simply untrue. I spent quite a while looking around the other counters - checking out YSL, Dior and some other brands that are all already available here and then moved on to check out the Sephora brand things.

The majority of these were sold out (unsurprisingly) but I did find two shadows I quite liked, before we headed upstairs to the level that was all skincare. We hardly looked around much up there - but since that was the level that had the cashregisters, we had to hang around there a while. In true Sephora style - there were shelves around the line for the register, selling sample products which was in its own rather exciting. I remember hearing fabled tales of the way sample size products suck people in in Sephora - and of course before I knew it I had three in my cart (oops - though in my defence one of them was a gift).

So finally after about 30 minutes in the store - we made it back out onto the street.

I grabbed five products - Two Sephora eyeshadows in Tiramisu and Faux Fur Jacket, the Philosophy Kiss Me Tonight lip treatment, the Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara (since I was told Diorshow was the best Mascara ever - but I wasn't so hot on the wand so I got this one), and finally the iconic Sephora product - a perfume Rollerball in Marc Jacob's Daisy Dream (it was legit a toss up between Daisy and Daisy Dream but I finally settled on Daisy Dream knowing that it's only a matter of time before I go back and get Diasy lets be serious).

Since this was all purchased yesterday - I haven't worn these products yet. The lip moisturizer I have tried and I quite like, and the perfume I very much like but since it's my makeup free Sunday, I have yet to put the eyeshadows or the Mascara to the quality test. I am especially interested in the shadows as I have heard some really great things about Sephora's brand and when I swatched them, they seemed very rich and pigmented.

Tiramisu (left), Faux Fur Coat (right)

So all in all, my first impression of Sephora was - disappointing. I am definitely going to go back in the new year and check out the brands and products that were sold out when I went yesterday since I truly truly do want to give those a proper go, but even if the store had full stock - the range of products offered is disappointingly low compared to what they offer in the North American stores, and that combined with the inflated prices truly did make the hype preceding the opening more than it really warrants.

A lot of places to shop for high end cosmetics in Australia (such as Myer/David Jones makeup halls, and stores such as Mecca, or stand alone brand stores) really are better than what Sephora offers the Australian market - which is purely that they sell brands that are new here.

Btw there's a giant lego christmas tree on Pitt Street Mall too like whaaaaat

And on that note, that is it for this week! Apologies if it got a tad ranty!

Is there a post you want to see? Is there a product you want reviewed? Let me know by sending me a tweet, or by leaving a comment in the comments section below and I would love to try it out for you!

Until next time, stay cute little powderpuffs!

xoxo Matilde Elisabeth

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Mecca Maxima is my Kryptonite (December Haul)

Hello there little powderpuff!

Happy December to each and every one of you! I hope you're all as excited as I am for the festive holiday season. Christmas has always been my favourite time of year. Being from Northern Europe, we make a very big deal every year since I was a little child when nothing was more exciting than the decorations, the advent calendar, baking gingerbread and making toffees, as well as my mother's secretive phone calls to her brother and mother where she spoke Swedish - a language I only ever marginally understood. It was a time of excitement and anticipation.

I say that like it isn't anymore. You are never too old to love holidays!

During the holiday season in Sydney - it may be hot and sunny but we have some amazing decorations up. Near where I work, there is a large shopping centre and this year they have decorated by creative animal statues made of fake pine, decorated with lights. Also in this mall is a store that has become my addiction - Mecca Maxima. Mecca Maxima is one of three stores in a chain (the others being Mecca Cosmetica and Kit Cosmetics), and it is a large makeup store that carries several brands that aren't distributed by many (if any) others in Australia. These include Nars, Too Faced, Stila, By Terry as well as others such as Bobbi Brown and YSL Cosmetics and of course the Mecca Cosmetica/Kit Cosmetics own brands.

Before Sephora opened in Sydney earlier this month (vague sounds of joyous shrieks heard in the background), there weren't many of these kinds of stores. Most high end makeup in Australia is sold in independent stores - such as M.A.C Pro Stores - or in counters in makeup halls in major department stores including the two biggest: Myer and David Jones.

This month I've dropped into Mecca Maxima quite a few times - and as it is a struggle to go in there and not fall in love, I have managed to pick up these six products.

I'm sure many have heard of the Veil Mineral Primer. When I went in there, I had heard a lot of talk about this product and I got talking to a lovely woman who worked there and she couldn't stop talking about how wonderful it is. I have problems with dry skin, and after using the Benefit Prefessional for months, it felt as though it was ahrdly doing anything and since it is a cream to powder formula, it was far more drying than it was anything else. This primer, however, is incredible. I only bought the travel sized bottle (8.95mL) instead of the fullsize product (30mL) just because it is a very expensive product and I had to make sure I would actually like it before I could justify forking out almost $70 for the full size bottle.
The formula is very gentle on the skin, and once it is spread over the face it is most definitely unnoticable. It is very smoothing, and it certainly makes my foundation last a lot longer (maybe even longer than the PoreFessional did.) Primer is still a relatively new thing for me, but this product is exceptionally luxurious and beautiful and I would recommend it to anyone.

Going on the Hourglass theme, I also picked up another product - the Ambient Lighting Blush Palette. This blush trio is a special edition for their Holiday Collection, and every time I went into Mecca this month (and last month) I would stop, stare and whimper a little at how damn beautiful it is. Then I went in, looked at them and one of the women working there mentioned offhandedly that they had been so popular that there were only four left in stock at this particular store and no more would be coming back into stock. Ever. So I grabbed it and bought it and honestly I think I have been using it every day since.

Lucky too cause I went in two days later and the whole display was gone. Whew.

The palette consists of three blush shades - Luminous Flush (Peachy pink marbled with a light golden highlight), Incandescent Electra (bright orange/pink with a white highlight marbled through) and Mood Exposure (browny/plum blush with a lighter browny/plum highlight marbled through). The range of colours is perfect and they are easily buildable. A light swipe of a blush gives a gorgeous almost radiant sunkissed look, but laying it on a little heavier can bring a deeper flush to the cheeks. 
The way the highlight is marbled through causes a perfect sheen on the cheekbones when the light hits, bringing more definition and when bared with a subtle contour they can bring new angles to the face.

If you want to get your hands on this product I would suggest going to your nearest retailer that sells Hourglass and hopefully you can still find one!

*powderpuff Fact! All of Hourglass's products are certified animal cruelty free! Hourglass are a brand from the United States, but within the last few years the European Union have made it illegal to sell cosmetic products in the EU who test on animals. This means that all products bought in a country in the European Union are cruelty free and that most European Brands (such as Soap and Glory) are made cruelty free. 

The Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara. If you haven't heard of this product then where have you been for the past few months? Bloggers and youtubers have been raving about this and Mecca Maxima has been out of stock since forever it feels like, but I managed to get my hands on one finally! The formula of this is a little thicker than most others I have tried (especially Benefit's They're real) and is more similar to the more Gel/Paste forumla of Benefit's Bad Gal Lash.
It is no secret that I am a bit of a Mascara addict, but one of my biggest pet peeves is Mascaras with those flimsy plastic wands (such as Benefit's They're Real, Rimmel's Wonder'Full Argan Mascara etc). I much prefer wands with long, thick brushes with proper bristles (which is why my Mascara favourites are M.A.C Opulash, Benefit Bad Gal Lash and now the Better than Sex). The shape and make of the wand means you can really get the product through your lashes and they get coated well in product and they are separated at the same time. Volume, length, separation and no clumps - tell me what else could you want in a Mascara?

Brows Brows Brows. I never did anything with my brows until earlier this year when I began to use the Benefit GimmeBrow (I use both the light and dark - depending on mood and look that day of course.) However since using those products I felt that they weren't really giving my brows the shape that I wanted them to as well as they didn't do much to help cover the scar situated in my left eyebrow from being pushed into a tree when I was 3. Siblings are great.
After a lot of research I went on the hunt for a brow powder duo. Most brow kits you get these days come with one powder and one kind of wax, whereas this Bobbi Brown duo (which is also available in a lighter shade) has two different powders which gives options. My hair is naturally quite dark, which means my brows are also quite dark and really, what can I say. I want brows like Cara Deleveingne. I am jealous of the strength of her brow game.

This brow kit in the shade Saddle/Mahogany comes with two mirrors (if the visible mirror is pulled out there is a magnified one behind), a pair of tweezers and a small brow brush - which makes it fantastic for travelling or on the go, the powders are also very easy to use with no fallout at all. The colour I use mostly is Saddle, which is the lighter of the two, but for an even more dramatic look the darker of the shades can be used. Having a duo also means that you can use both for extra definition (Mahogany on the inner to define, while Saddle blends out lighter on the dies with a light highlight below the browbone).
And lets be real - as my gorgeous friend Tanja says - "Mmmmmm Bobbi"

These last two products were suggested to me by the gorgeous Elle from OnceUponABeautyTime. You should definitely check her out on youtube, as well as her blog and Instagram. She's a wonderful Beauty Blogger also from Sydney. 

In her own haul from Mecca Maxima, she mentioned the Nars Audacious lipsticks and I simply had to go out and check them out. If there is one thing I am a sucker for - it is a Berry Lipstick. I love them so much but for some reason I have always struggled finding the right Berry lip, so when she mentioned the Audacious Lipstick in the shade Charlotte, I just had to run out and check it out. After I swatched it the first time, I became obsessed simply because of how vibrant and beautiful it is. The colour is deep with a satin finish and the texture is very rich, creamy and luxurious. I had never tried Nars lipsticks before, but I heard fabulous things about them and I am so thrilled with this first one! I put it on as soon as I finished taking the photos and I am so excited to wear it many many times in the future - starting tomorrow!

Last but certainly not least - I have a moisturiser. I know Skincare isn't the main focus of this blog, but the Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cream is a holy grail product that I cannot not rave about. My skin is exceptionally dry. So dry that at times I get patches where skin starts flaking off and foundation clings - especially on my eyelids, between my brows and on my cheekbones or jawline. Recently I was having an exceptionally bad time for my skin and Elle suggested I try out this product, saying that Kate Somerville was something that could never go wrong. So after a trip to Mecca Maxima, I bought a tub and I tried it out.

The product should be put on twice a day (once in the morning - under makeup, and once in the evening as a night cream). I began using it that evening, praying it would work (I had tried straight sorbelene, products from the Body Shop, garnier, Aesop, QV and nothing did a thing) and two days later there was already an improvement. Within a week of starting to use it my skin was soft, even and not a single dry or flaky patch could be seen. I was astonished and so absolutely thrilled that I couldn't believe it. 

This product was not on the cheaper side, but my belief is that if there is one product it is worth forking out for it should be skincare or the products you wear on your face daily (such as foundation). I would recommend this to each and every person who asked me what a good moisturiser to use is, and don't be intimidated by the word Goat in the title!

Well that's a wrap for this week!

Is there a post you want to see? Is there a product you want reviewed? Let me know by sending me a tweet, or by leaving a comment in the comments section below and I would love to try it out for you!

Until next time, stay cute little powderpuffs!

                                                                                         xoxo Matilde Elisabeth

Saturday, 29 November 2014

My Favourite Makeup Products (The Ones I Can't Survive Without. Literally.)

Hello there little powder puff!

It has been way too long since I last posted, so today I wanted to come back with something a little special. I'm joined by a wonderful guest - the ever beautiful and talented Annika Victoria, with whom I had a little play with some of my favourite makeup products. 

Although I haven't been as into makeup as I am now for very long, I have always had an interest and I started to collect those products that I absolutely loved and that became my 'Holy Grails'. These include some of my every day staples such as my favourite foundation, powder and the pencil eyeliner that I have loved and worn consistently for years and they also include a couple of other favourites that I safe for more special occasions, such as my Nars Illuminator in the Shade Copacobana. All the products I will mention are ones that I believe are worth all the hype they get, and ones I would recommend.

First step was to, of course, take the before shot. We both removed whatever makeup we had on to start from scratch with a blank canvas.

I brought along my favourite products from my makeup kit and unpacked everything. Annika and I both took a look through, picked out some things and we got going!

One of my absolute favourite inventions in the makeup world is Palettes. I have always thought that Palettes are a good investment simply because of the way they jam pack so much into one little space. They offer a lot of variety in colours and options for different looks. In this photo you can see tw of my absolute favourite neutral palettes, the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette and the much hyped up Urban Decay Naked Palette. A problem I often have with palettes, though, is that there is often those colours that I just really don't like, nor would ever wear. It's getting more and more common these days for brands to be selling their eyeshadows in individual pans with empty palettes so that you can make your own. A brand I adore doing this with is, of course, M.A.C. They sell both eyeshadow and blush palettes to be filled individually whcih gives you 100% control over what you choose to be included. My favourite eyeshadow is a M.A.C one. It's a warm gold called Amber Lights and I think it is just the most gorgeous colour, perfect for summer for a bright golden eye, or for winter paired with a dark berry lip.

If these are a little on the pricier side, Chi Chi also make some amazing ones. Each one has 12 shadows and they range from dark purple tones, to more naturals and they all go for $22.95AUD. Hint: one of them is a perfect direct dupe for the Urban Decay Naked 1.

Matilde wears:
  1. Benefit PoreFessional face primer
  2. M.A.C Studio Fix foundation in NW10
  3. Nars Contour/Highlight duo in Paloma
  4. M.A.C Fleur Power blush
  5. Nars Copacabana cream Illuminator
  6. Benefit Gimme Brow in Medium/Deep
  7. M.A.C paintpot in Bare Study
  8. M.A.C Gingersnap eyeshadow (all over the lid)
  9. M.A.C Bronze eyeshadow (blended into the crease)
  10. M.A.C All That Glitters (inner corner and highlighting brow bone)
  11. Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl Kajal pencil eyeliner in 001 Black
  12. Benefit Bad Gal Lash mascara
  13. M.A.C prep and prime lip primer
  14. M.A.C lipiner in Nightmoth
  15. M.A.C lipstick in Gospel

Annika wears:
  1. W7 Camera Ready face primer
  2. Maybelline Fit Me concealer in 01 Ivory
  3. Maybelline Fit Me foundation in 120  
  4. Maybelline Fit Me pressed powder in 120
  5. Maybelline concealer in 01 Ivory
  6. Nars Contour/Highlight duo in Paloma
  7. Nars blush in Orgasm
  8. The Body Shop Brush On Radiance pearl highlight
  9. M.A.C paint pot in Bare Study
  10. M.A.C eyeshadow in Amber Lights
  11. M.A.C eyeshadow in All That Glitters
  12. Rimmel Scandaleyes kohl kajal pencil eyeliner in 005 Nude
  13. Modelsprefer Skinny Liner in Black
  14. Rimmel Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara
  15. Maybelline Super Stay Lipliner in Red
  16. M.A.C lipsticks in Lady Danger and Ruby Woo

Together we looked.. pretty damn fabulous.

  1. Crop top - Topshop
  2. Skirt - UniQlo
  3. Shoes - Dr Martens
  4. Hat - Gift from my parents
  5. Glasses - Alex Perry

It's incredibly hard to make a comment on my favourite foundations and powders since I have so far tried one that works with my skintone. Australian pharmacies and department stores sell a great number of different foundation and powder options, but since I am pale (with pink undertones) I have never managed to find one that foes light enough for me.

The problem in Australia is that no shops or companies stock the lightest shades here simply since they don't think people will buy them. (is there a stereotype that every Australian is tanned or..) I use the M.A.C studio fix fluid foundation in the lightest shade - NW10, and for powder I use the Mineralise Skin Finish in the shade Light. The non high end foundation I've had in the closest match to my skin was the Rimmel Match Perfection in the shade Light Porcelain with a translucent powder, but that was slightly too dark. 

For contour, highlight and blush I only have a couple of recommendations. Contouring has been a relatively new experience for me. I was never any good at it, and was incredible intimidated by the whole thing when I first got into makeup. The powders I use for contour I use are the M.A.C Mineralise Skinfinish in Medium/Deep or for when I want to look "A little more Kimmy-K" (as the ever gorgeous young woman working at Mecca Maxima said) the Nars contour/highlight duo in Paloma

For blush, I hhave a tonne of suggestions purely based on colour preferences. My all time favourite blush is the M.A.C Peaches & Cream from the Sharon Osbourne collection earlier this year. This collection (along with the Kelly Osbourne collection) have both finished up, so it's no longer available. Benefit have a great reputation for their Boxed Blushes (mostly Coralista, Rocketeur and Dandelion), but I think their best blush is actually their most recent cream to powder Majorette blush. It's a bright orange colour - which would often disconcert me - but it's so light and summery and beautiful. Other favourites are of course the Nars Orgasm and M.A.C's Fleur Power. Even though Orgasm is a gorgeous shade, my skin is too pink for it (the pink undertones cancel out the pink of the actual blush, Gah!) so it just ends up looking more like a gold highlight on me which is of course why I leapt at the chance to use it on Annika. The angst when I realised I couldn't pull it off.

Oh the angst.

I mentioned above that my all time favourite eyeshadow was the M.A.C eyeshadow in Amber Lights. Eyeshadows are the kinds of products that I can never get enough of, and I have too many favourites to mention all of them. However when it comes to Mascara and Eyeliner I do have two products that I think stand above a lot of the others I have tried. With Mascara, I have tried my fair share (is owning 15 Mascaras a little excessive? Yes? Maybe? Just a little bit?) However the one that I truly think stands out is the Benefit Bad Gal Lash. I was a user of the cult classic They're Real for a long time, but after I tried Bad Gal Lash, I just never went back there. I do dabble in my two M.A.C mascaras, but I always come back. I really do not like thin, plastic wands, and this Mascara has a giant wand made of bristles and it picks up so much product and spreads it evenly over the lashes to define and lengthen. 

I think my ultimate Holy Grail eye product would be, without a doubt, the Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl Kajal Waterproof eyeliner pencil in 001 Black. I wear eyeliner pretty much every day in my waterline and tightline, and this is the one I find myself reaching for every day. As someone with sensitive skin and a sensitive waterline, I hate eyeliner pencils that are hard to put on, or where you need to apply too much pressure. This one, however, is perfect. It glides on perfectly with little effort and seriously does not move all day, but is easy to get rid of in the evenings. I've already been through two of these, and I have two in use at the moment!

Honourable mention: Maybelline Colour Tattoo cream eyeshadows. Well worth the hype - well worth the money. Well worth a try! (Hint: their shade Barely Branded is a nice dupe for M.A.C's paintpot in Bare Study)

Finally, we have lip products. Lip products are one of those things I could really talk about for hours on end. First and foremost I want to mention my lip primer. Using the M.A.C Prep&Prime lip primer has really changed lipstick for me. My lips are almost permanently chapped, but when I use this primer, it smoothes my lips out in seconds, and it means that the colour used comes out smooth and perfect and absolutely flawless.

I am not a big wearer of lip glosses or lip tints. Mostly I stick to my Lipsticks. M.A.C's Matte lipsticks will always have a very special place in my heart, as all of my favourites are from that line. My favourite nude is Honey Love, my favourite red is Lady Danger and my favourite Berry is Rebel. However another line that I believe is worth all the hype it gets are the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains and the Revlon Matte Balms. These come in a wide range of exceptionally pigmented colour that look perfect and stay all day! My favourites are Crush and Honey, as well as Standout.

Did I leave out one of your absolute favourite products? Is there a makeup product you want to see reviewed? Do you want to try something, but aren't yet game? Let me know! Leave a comment on this post, or send me a tweet and I'll do my best to check them all out!

Until next time, stay cute little powderpuffs.

                                                                                         xoxo Matilde Elisabeth

Sunday, 9 November 2014

With November Comes Christmas Collections - M.A.C Heirloom Collection Review

Hello there, little powderpuff!

Last week I said I would start with my first review! I then said maybe I would start with a product that wasn't M.A.C. I have good news and I have bad news.
The good news is that I have a review- the bad news is that it's M.A.C.

But lets be serious, when is M.A.C ever bad news?

Never. The answer is never.

Now that November is coming around, Winter/Holiday collections are starting to be released. Over the past few weeks, NARS, Too Faced, Chanel, Bobbi Brown - you name it. They have started to release either new products, or gift sets just in time for the Holiday rush.

On Monday November 3rd M.A.C released their Holiday collection titled Heirloom. The collection includes three Palettes of eight eyeshadows; three Eye Bags that include one eyeshadow duo, one eyeliner and one mascara (each set includes different shades of each); three Lip Bags that each include one lipstick, one lip liner and one lip glass; three Brush Sets (all of which have a brush that remarkably resembles the ever famous and ever wonderful M.A.C 217); Two face Palettes which each include three eyeshadows, one pressed powder, one cream colour base and two lipsticks; two exclusive eye and lip bags which each include a quad of Mineralize eyeshadows, one lipglass and one lipstick; two 'Viva Glamourous' keepsakes - one including a bag that holds in it both of the Rihanna collection lipsticks, the other being a palette of eight lipsticks. Other than the gift collections (most of which include a glittery bag, or glittery packaging) there are individual products including the following:

  • two blushes
  • two pigments
  • eight eyeshadows
  • two fluidline gel eyeliners
  • two eyepencils
  • one power eyepencil
  • five lipsticks
  • five lipglasses
  • three nail laquers
Please note that in the individual products, palettes and sets some are exclusive shades while others are part of the permanent collection.

There were so many incredible possibilities in the store when I went there, but over the past week, I picked up three sets to do a quick review on.

Starting with the palette:

The packaging of this collection is one of my favourites I have seen this holiday season. Each of the palettes comes styled like this (including the face palettes, but exclusing the Viva Glam lipstick palette) but each are different in colour - White, Silver or Black. They are decorated with an antique bust of a woman as a broach in the centre, covered in glitter with pearls around the edge.

The palette is closed with a magnet, and the M.A.C symbol is just below the seam.

The palette that I chose was called the Beige Eyes Palette - the others are the Smoky Eyes Palette and the Plum Eyes Palette. It has neutral colours from a matte light beige to a matte dark brown. Each palette has a combination of Mattes, Lustres, Velvets, Satins and Frosts, which means that each of the three options has great diversity of finishes and can be used to create many different looks. Each palette also comes with a brush - a Pencil brush for applying the pigment all over the lid, then another for blending.

From left: Her Mistress (Matte), Sweet Sovereign (Lustre), Faire Maiden (Lustre), Tempting (Lustre), Omega (Matte), Quintessential (Frost), Mystery (Satin), Night Whisper (Velvet)

As usual, the Matte shades don't have as much pigmentation as the Lustres, Satins or Frosts - the lighter shades in particular. Personally, I prefer Frost shadows most and so I was slightly disappointed that this palette has majority Lustres, but they swatch well - as M.A.C shadows always do - and each of the individual shades are nice and very usable. The colours are pigmented and easily blendable and this palette specifically is very diverse and can be used to create subtle nude looks for the day time using Her Mistress or Sweet Sovereign over the lid with a warm colour in the crease such as  Tempting, and with the addition of Mystery and Night Whisper also into the crease and blended out, they can be transformed into a smokier nighttime look. 

Next comes the lip bag:

Each of the lip bags comes with a white glitter and pearl makeup bag that are the perfect size for carrying makeup in a bag for every day use. These are on the same theme as the packaging for the Palettes, except the bust of the woman is on the zipper and the pearls line the seam around the opening. Each bag has one large interior with a small pocket on the side. The lip bags came in three different selections - Red Lip, Nude Lip, Coral Lip.

The bag I selected was the Red Lip bag which included the classic M.A.C matte lipstick Ruby Woo. Both the lipliner and Lipglass are also called Ruby Woo, and it is the first time the shade has been released in these different formulas. The Bullet is patterned differently to how they usually are, with a matte black case with black patent spots and the brand name around the rim and the lipliner is the same, while the lip glass has the red spots just below the lid. 

From left: Ruby Woo Lipglass, Ruby Woo Lipstick, Ruby Woo Lipliner

Each of these products can be used together. The liner can be used beneath the lipstick or the lipglass as it builds a perfect matte foundation. Each one is heavily pigmented and the only differences between them is the formula. I have never been a particularly large fan of lipglosses of any kind purely because of the formula and texture (I've had long hair for the majority of my life and sticky lipgloss + long hair + wind = sticky, sparkly, glossy nightmare.) The formula of this lipglass is sticky, but it is one of the more manageable lipglosses I have tried and thankfully it isn't messy. I find matte lipsticks tend to be quite drying, but so far I haven't had this problem with Ruby Woo, even if I forgo lip primer*.  

*Powderpuff tip! Don't have a lip primer? Use a small amount of lip balm or chapstick right before applying the lipstick. If the balm isn't too thick in consistency it can work wonders at helping the lipstick or lipliner glide on easily for a smoother coverage. You can also use lipbalm as an eyeprimer! It can help your eyeshadow stay put for longer if you dab it on first with a finger.

Finally is the Eye Bag:

The diversity in different products was amazing and these three products are really all you need to make an effortless smoky eye and in truth mine have received a lot of love already. The bag includes the Powerpoint Eyepencil in Stubborn Brown, the In Extreme Dimension mascara in black and an exclusive eyeshadow duo all put together in a black bag exactly like the one in the lip bag.

From left: Stubborn Brown Eyepencil, Stolen Moment, Just Gleaming

These shadows are so pigmented. I have been searching online and I cannot find what finish they are, but to me they have the pigmentation and shimmer of a frost shadow (is this why I like them so much? Probably.) Stolen Moment is a rich chocolate brown with silver undertones (if you are familiar with M.A.C eyeshadows, think Satin Taupe but deeper in colour), while Just Gleaming is a stunning off white highlight that reminds me somewhat of the Mac pigment Naked. These can be used together or individually. My favourite way of using this set is by blending Stolen Moment all over the lid and under the lower lashline while using Just Gleaming in the inner corner, blending it into the lower lashline as well and using just a tad as a brown bone highlight (this shade could even be used as a highlight on the cheekbone, if you are game for that much shimmer that is,) then using the eyeliner in the waterline and tightline and finishing it off with the mascara.

Here is a photo taken from my instagram of me wearing the look I just described:

It's quick and easy to do as you don't need to worry so much about blending different colours through the crease and socket and it makes brown and green eyes in particular stand out.

In my own personal opinion the Eye Bag was the best part of the Holiday collection for this year, but you should check it out for yourselves and see what takes your fancy! You can check out these products on the M.A.C website or drop in to your closest M.A.C counter or store, but remember! This is a limited collection and I know it's been selling out pretty quick!

Until next week (when I shall try harder not to review a M.A.C product) stay cute, little powderpuffs.

xoxo Matilde Elisabeth