ROUGE BUNNY ROUGE HAULIN’.

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DSC_0147Ah, Rouge Bunny Rouge. Please and thank you. Can we just take a moment to appreciate the adorable ring dish complimentary with a RBR order? So damn cute. I posted a little while ago about their reformulated Witchery Modelling Mascara here, so I thought today I’d share some of the new items I picked up during the sale I mentioned earlier. If you’re not familiar with the brand, they’re a Russian cosmetics line that is now London-based with an aesthetic reflective of their whimsical nature. The names of the products alone are enough to make even the strongest of will run to place an order; if the fact alone that their eyeshadow collection is named “When Birds Are Singing” and that each shade is named after a different rare bird doesn’t intrigue you, please see a doctor straight away (you may be suffering from a lack of imagination capacity). As you might have been able to guess, it was the brand’s eyeshadows that lured me in first; a shimmering purple hybrid shade named Delicate Hummingbird? Sign me up. I’d heard a lot of buzz around the blogosphere about their incredible formula and stunning shades (I fully blame Kate from Drivel about Frivol and Karima McKimmie from Shameless Fripperies for this purchase) and decided to pick them up when they were 30% off, though I may have added a setting powder to my shopping cart before checkout. I also received a sample of the Bronzing Glow Liquid in As If It Were Summer Still, but more on that later as I actually own the full size and am working on a review to come. Here are the shades I picked up:

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L-R: When Birds Are Singing Eyeshadows in Bohemian Waxwing, Umber Firefinch, Eclipse Eagle, Abyssinian Catbird, and Delicate Hummingbird; Quartz Eyeliner Devotion Essence in Amethyst Essence

As you can see from the swatches, I was in a bit of a purple mood. The shades pull less so in person, but the camera simply doesn’t do them justice; these are b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l. I kid you not. I’ve only had them for around two weeks now, and I must say, they’re some of the most incredibly formulated shadows I’ve ever come across. Buttery,  pigmented, and blend like a dream. The shades are particularly complex in comparison to anything else in my collection; they pull different tones depending on the lighting. Bohemian Waxwing is a sheeny light taupe shade. Umber Firefinch is a deeper, very cool-toned taupe-y chocolate. Eclipse Eagle is described on the website (here) as “the richer darker sister of Delicate Hummingbird”, and is a grey-plum with multi-dimensional silver shimmer running through it. Abyssinian Catbird is a bronzed olive shade. Delicate Hummingbird is a shimmering purple. Out of all the shades I purchased, I must say that Delicate Hummingbird and Eclipse Eagle are my personal favorites for my skintone. I do love all the shades, but I find the two together to be more flattering even than the beautiful Abyssian Catbird, which pulls a bit too green for my liking on an everyday basis. The other shades are lovely as well, and quality is consistent throughout; they’re definitely some of the best shadows I’ve found yet to invest in. Don’t get me wrong these are ridiculously pricey for your typical eyeshadow, but they are by no means your typical eyeshadow (hint: I’d repurchase in a heartbeat). I also received a complimentary Quartz Eyeliner Devotion Ink in the shade Amethyst Essence, a sparkling lilac/violet hybrid, with my order, and I can already say I’m dying to get my hands on two other shades of this. It’s a gorgeous formula, silky in spite of the heavy shimmer/glitter factor, glides on evenly, and stays put. I will say that because the shimmer in it is sort of suspended in the product, I had to go over the line again once I’d drawn it on to make everything nice and vibrant/opaque, but the finish was well worth it. Glittery eyeliner that lasts all day in a stunning purple? Count me in. I’ve got my eye on the shades Tiger Eye Essence and Tanzanite Essence (again, thanks to Karima after seeing her sport the blue shade in this video), but I did also pick up a setting powder with my order. I bought this one sort of on a whim to test out, and RBR did not disappoint. Their Impalpable Finishing Powder in the shade Diaphanous is the most truly translucent setting powder I’ve ever tried, and looks like nothing on the skin (as the name implies). Not even the most magnifying mirror in the world reveals you’ve applied it; no powdery finish to be found with this one. It sets everything in place with a veil that lets your natural sheen peek through while keeping oil at bay. What’s not to love?

Have you tried any Rouge Bunny Rouge products yet?

SUMMER BLUSHIN’.

DSC_0020 As much as I love plum-tinted, just bitten cheeks in Fall/Winter, summer corals and hot pinks have a hold on my heart that just might be as strong as Daenerys and Khal Drogo (can you tell I’ve still got my mind on Game of Thrones?). Don’t get me wrong, I love a good “Snow White” pop of barely-there red in the colder months, but give me fresh coral-tinted apples any day over the whole “I’ve just been running through the forest” look. Even if it means giving up all seven of my dwarves. Prince charming, I’ll keep. The most subtle of the bunch comes in the form of Nars Luster. It’s an orange-tinged apricot with a golden sheen, perfect for everyday wear from Spring onward. While it is subtle on first application, it builds effortlessly, going from a peachy haze on the cheeks to a bright pop of almost-orange. It’s very much a toned-down version of Nars Taj Mahal, if a bit pinker. A step up on the pigment scale is Clinique’s Cheek Pop Blusher in Peach Pop. I love the finish this gives; very glowy, almost lit-from within, all down to the crazy weird formula the brand concocted in a laboratory that’s probably the closest thing to paradise. It looks like a cream in the pan, but applies like a powder  and blends like a dream. The product just melts into the skin, building with ease from a fresh peachy coral glow to an intense pop of color. Love. The newest buy of the lot is Becca’s Mineral Blush in Songbird, a brighter, more intense version of Nars Luster, if a bit more orange. Although it’s insanely pigmented, this one blends to perfection. The more it’s blended out, the more visible the highlighter-esque golden sheen becomes. It looks especially good on medium-darker skins, as it’s pigmented enough that it takes no effort at all to make it show up on deeper skintones. Easy-peasy. For a true cream option, Kevyn Aucoin’s The Creamy Glow in Tansoleil is a beautiful option. These really are perfect for glowing cheeks: no shimmer to be seen, just a lovely dewy finish that stays put, even in hot weather. If it can handle Miami beach, it can handle anything. Believe me, this one’s not going anywhere; it lasts and lasts, keeping the dewy finish throughout the day. The no-fuss option for drier skin looking for some color with the extra glow. Last up, the budget-friendly blusher of the pack is Maybelline’s Dream Bouncy blush in Hot Tamale. This is definitely the “my friend made me do it” product; I was dead-set against this whole line, having heard awful reviews online about the lighter/medium shades. Fast forward three days and it was love. The texture is unlike anything else: think play-dough in a pan. Swirl a finger around on the top, blend onto the cheeks, and you’re good to go. It leaves a very similar finish to the Clinique blush, if in a brighter shade of pink. My advice? Buy two: one for makeup purposes, one to play with because it just might be more fun than real play dough. And there we have it! The best of the summer blushers to pop on those apples in hot weather. How do you like them apples?

THE MONTHLY ROUNDUP: JAN. 2014 EDITION.

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jan fav 2Ladies and gentlemen, I hereby present you with the first monthly favorites of 1997! (*High fives all around*)I mean 2013. 2014. Whatever. I may or may not still be dealing with the post-New Year disorder in which I am quite literally stuck in the past. I know my people are out there somewhere, all you rebels still signing the date as 1/__/13, but I digress. On to the products.

jan fav swatches

L-R: Revlon Tutti Frutti, Berry Smoothie, Pink Truffle, and Peach Parfait; Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Bronze; Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Hot Tamale; Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger.

Revlon Lip Butters– Peach Parfait, Pink Truffle, Berry Smoothie, and Tutti Frutti

These have been my go-to lip product all month long, and for good reason; They’re moisturizing, lightweight, and give the perfect amount of color for everyday wear. The three pink-toned shades are perfect your-lips-but-better offerings; peach parfait gleans a pretty shimmer that reflects perfectly to make lips look glowy, pink truffle deepens your natural lip color to a just-bitten pink, and berry smoothie packs a lovely punch with a hefty bit of fuschia added for good measure. Tutti Frutti is very spring/summer, but for the current season, it’s lovely dabbed onto the lips as a pretty stain (or worn full-on to turn some heads.)

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15

This is hands down the best primer I’ve ever tried; it smoothes out the skin beautifully and leaves a porcelain, almost powder-like finish that’s soft to the touch but not in the least bit drying. A little bit goes a long way; I’ve been using this since I got it with my Ambient Lighting Palette (review here) in October, and it’s still going strong, plus it’s just the itty bitty 5mL size. Love.

Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush– Hot Tamale

This was a purchase egged on by my best friend ages ago; I was skeptical at first, mainly because of the fiery color, but also because from what I had heard buzzing around the internet, these were a no-go. BUT. This little pan of hot pink is such a stunner. It gives that perfect flushed look dubbed by one of my favorite bloggers, Essiebutton, as the “Snow White flush” that makes you look like you’ve just been running through the forest.  Plus, the texture is unlike anything else I’ve tried; it’s like a densely whipped, fluffy marshmallow not unlike memory foam that (ironically) doesn’t bounce back. Weird, I know, but I promise, pick one of these up and have a squish for yourself.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer– Ginger

Probably the best concealer I’ve tried thus far, this blends seamlessly into the skin, banishing dark circles. It is pricey, but it’s honestly incredible for both the undereye area and any blemishes you might have lying around, and in my opinion, well worth the price tag.

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick– Bronze

I’ve had this around for a long time in my collection, but it really is a stunner. In some lighting, it shows up as a rose gold sheen, while when out and about in the sunlight, it leans much more towards a golden tint. It’s not the most finely milled of highlighters, but because it blends so seamlessly into the rest of your makeup, the larger flecks of shimmer are barely noticeable. Fishing for complements on the state of your face? Pull out this bad boy and count the catch of the day; I guarantee you’ll get plenty.

Tweezerman Mini Tweezers

I picked up this adorable pair of brow helpers in TJ Maxx before Christmas on sale for just $11.00, including a travel mirror for on the go. They work exactly the same as the full size for a fraction of the prize, and are totally worth all the hype. They really are the best tweezers I’ve ever tried; the sharp tip is very precise and allows you to get even the tiniest of hairs. The Christmas  mistletoe print doesn’t hurt, either, making these perfect for travel.

L’Oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions Waterproof Mascara

This little tube honestly gives the best volume right at the root of the lashes I’ve seen from a mascara in a long time, and gives extra oomph to the bottom lashes to really make eyes pop. It layers really well too, without going spidery and turning into an overly made-up mess. A must-have for any mascara lovers’ collection.

There you have it! All the products I’ve been obsessed with this month. What have you been loving in January? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

THE HAUL: JANUARY 2014 EDITION.

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DSC_0289I call this the “January Edition” not because I’m planning on doing a haul every single month (my bank account isn’t nearly large enough to afford twelve of these posts a year), but because I know that coming up in March for my birthday there will be quite a large haul, followed (hopefully) by a Paris haul in the summer. This month, I took the plunge and made an impulse Sephora purchase and picked up a few things I’ve been putting off buying for ages. The first, Origins’ Make A Difference Plus Rejuvenating Moisturizer, I’ve gotten samples of not one, not two, but four times at my local counter. I even made a friend accompany me last time to get an extra sample and pass it off as hers. I kid you not. Needless to say, the woman who works there despises my presence every time I approach, so I placed the order online. Ha. It’s the most gorgeous, lightweight moisturizer to use as a night cream, and the smell. Oh. There are no words. Basically it smells like there’s a party happening. On your face. While you sleep. Not to mention you wake up with the softest, most supple skin imaginable. Love. Next up, I’ve been meaning to try Tarte’s Smooth Operator Micronized Setting Powder for ages, and I saw on Sephora.com that the limited-edition version released last year with the Aqualilies collection was on sale. Same powder, but prettier packaging, ten dollars off? Please and thank you. Into the cart it went, so there will be a full review up sometime next week. Stay tuned, kids. The rest of the Sephora items were actually samples; the site was running a promotion that gave you the option to pick 2 luxury-sized samples (hint: use code VICESWAP to shop the deal) so I picked the Tarte Maracuja oil and Becca’s bronzing skin perfector. First off, I’ve never actually tried a proper skincare oil before, and the results were fantastic; brighter, softer, and hydrated skin all came to light in the morning. I’m currently deciding between the full size of this or the Pai Rosehip Oil, but I digress. The Becca sample is actually aimed to give you that tan glow to your skin. Now, I’m basically brown all year round, so no word here on whether or not that helps in the fake tan department. Personally, I lvoe Becca products, especially their Skin Perfector Line, so I think this will make a great cheekbone highlighter-type shade for the summer to help on top of a bit of bronzer. I also got the birthday kit from Benefit they give if you’re a Beauty Insider, since I accidentally put my birthday in as a January birthday when I signed up. #Sorrynotsorry. The kit includes a sample of their Watt’s Up! highlighter, a lovely champagne-golden shade, and the They’re Real! mascara, so lot’s of exciting stuff here, judging from all those exclamation points Benefit brands their products with. Honestly though, the Watt’s Up! gives a great, long-lasting sheen to the cheeks, and the mascara is perfect for separating lashes. If your lashes don’t typically hold a curl, I’d recommend a layer of waterproof mascara first before a layer of this, but it really is fantastic. Lastly, I finally got myself the Nuxe Rêve de Miel lip balm, which is lovely at night as a sort of lip mask, since it’s quite thick. So there you have it! All my recent purchases from the month, simples.

What have you picked up recently? Let me know in the comments below!

2013 EYESHADOW HALL OF FAME.

eyes-bestLooking back on the past beauty year in review is a typical thing going around the blogosphere these days, so I figured I’d throw my hat in the ring with a few of my own posts. I will be doing two more over the weekend; one for general beauty and one for fragrance and bath favorites, but these eyeshadows were so good I had to give them the honor of their own post. Yes, they all happen to be MAC; over the course of last year I really didn’t venture too far into single shadows from any other brand, and I fell so in love with these it was unnecessary to start. First up we have Mulch, a stunning deep bronze. This one is a firm favorite all over the lid and blended out into the crease and under the lower lashline for a quick and easy smokey eye all year round. For a bit of understated color I’ve been reaching for Sumptupous Olive all year long; I love this paired with Woodwinked, but it also looks amazing on its own smudged around them lashlines. Love. Handwritten is my favorite deep brown shade; it’s quite warm-toned which suits my skin better than say, Espresso. I love this as an alternative to liner on lazy days, but it’s perfect to create a smokey eye working its magic in the crease. The all-time favorite shadow award easily goes to Woodwinked. This was the first eyeshadow I ever (yes, ever) bought, and I may or may not have bought it in secret while out with friends and then hid it in my sock drawer so mum wouldn’t find out whilst I figured out how it worked, but I will confess to nothing. Let me just say this; if you’re at all into gold/bronze shades, you need this in your life. Rant over.

You can buy all the products here. What shadows have you been loving this year? Let me know in the comments below!

THE NEW THING VOL. 1: MAC SYRUP

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Ooh yes. She’s a beaut. For the past three months, I’ve been hoarding a little collection of empty MAC containers to exchange for a free lipstick, but I just hadn’t had the time until Monday. If you haven’t heard of it, MAC do a nifty little program called “Back-to-MAC”, wherein you can exchange six empty containers (depotted eyeshadow containers, used up powders, etc.) for a free lipstick. I was told at the counter I visited in Dillard’s that the policy has changed a bit; you can exchange them for a free eyeshadow, lipstick, or eyeliner at freestanding stores or a lipstick (excluding the Viva Glam and Sheen Supreme lines) at counters in department stores. After a bit of searching for the perfect rosy shade and a lot of blotting paper, I finally happened upon Syrup.

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It’s a gorgeous, plummy rose shade that’s not heavy on the lips but stays put for three to four hours. There’s no noticeable shimmer in it once it’s on the lips, but it has a nice sheen to it because of the lustre finish. MAC lipstick finishes can be quite confusing, but lustres are generally more hydrating than your average lippy and are sheerer in application, lighter on the lips, and glide smoothly on. This one’s a great everyday shade for all skintones; it pulls a pinky-plum rose on my skin tone but could easily lean more rose or purple-y depending on the undertones in your skin. Definitely at the top of my year-round lip wardrobe.

THE BLUSH GUIDE.

Flushed cheeks. Glowing cheeks. I’ve-just-been-running-through-the-forest-like-Snow-White-cheeks. Cheeks. The toughest trick in the world of lipsticks and mascara? Not really. Every woman, it seems, has, at one point, been on the journey to find the perfect blusher. With so many options today, how do you ever begin to find the right one? Blusher tends to be skin tone-specific; certain undertones in the shades look best on certain complexions. Sound tricky? Here’s my breakdown of the world of blush for every skin tone.

Porcelain Skin
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For the uber pale, glowy cheeks can easily be achieved with apricot-tinted blush. Try Nars “Luster” blush for a bit of shimmer to highlight cheekbones and give a gorgeous, luminous finish without being glittery. For a rosy flush, try out Dior’s Rosy Glow Healthy Glow Awakening Blush in #001 “Petal”. Adjusting to your skin tone, this one looks scary in the pan, but gives the perfectly natural pink  flush to the skin, especially for very light complexions. You can buy the Nars blusher here and the Dior one here.

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In most cases, blusher for fair-skinned women stays in the range of peachy-pinks. Try Nars “Orgasm” blush (which you can purchase here) for glowy cheeks all year round. To get the Snow White flush, try out something crazy pigmented for a bit of fun, like Kevyn Aucoin’s The Creamy Glow Blush in “Liquifuschia”, sold here, or Tarte’s Amazonian Clay blush in “Natural Beauty”, here.

 

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Like fair-skinned women, peachy-pinks, as well as corals, tend to be the most flattering on medium complexions; try out Benefit’s “Coralista” Blush, here. If a deeper version tickles your fancy, try out its pinkier sister, “Bella Bamba”, here. Bright rose shades are lovely for a pop of color, like Illamasqua’s cream blusher in “Laid”, which you can pick up here.Screen shot 2013-07-30 at 2.37.21 PM

Olive/Tawny Skin

Olive and Tawny skin tones (think Eva Mendes, Nina Dobrev, Freida Pinto) can get away with brighter shades. In general, the rule of thumb is: the darker the skin, the brighter the blush. There are exceptions, but that’s usually an okay rule to go by. Now, don’t go out and pop cherry blusher heavily on them apples and say I told you tom but it’s a good starting rule to know. Try out different shades of coral and amber for the perfect natural blush. For glowing skin, Nars “Luster” looks amazing patted on the apples of the cheeks, as does Nars “Torrid”. Olive-skinned ladies may have a problem with Nars “Orgasm” showing up on their skin; even though it’s meant to be universally flattering, I wouldn’t recommend it. However, for a pinky flush, Nars “Deep Throat”-its less shimmery, more pigmented counterpart-may be for you. You can pick up all four here. Try out MAC’s “Frankly, Scarlett” blusher lightly applied along the outer part of your apples for a true flush, here.

Almond Skin

Lastly, deep-skinned women can try out almost any bright blusher there is. Tangerine shades, however, tend to be the most flattering on almond skin. Although it looks absolutely terrifying in the pan, Nars’ “Taj Mahal” (here) blusher looks incredible on dark skin, giving it the most perfect golden-orange glow imaginable. For the perfect flush, try out fuchsia shades like YSL Crème de Blush in #5 Fuchsia Temptation (here). If you have a MAC Pro store nearby, check out their powder blusher in “Full Fuchsia”, or order it online here. Screen shot 2013-07-30 at 2.52.57 PM

So there you have it! My quick and easy guide for finding your perfect blush.  Simples.