MAC

Hoping everyone had a good weekend. I happened to have some spare time, so I took the opportunity and made a tutorial. I have always been asked by my readers to post more tutorials on the blog, so today I wanted to share my current favorite way of wearing the brown lips. I adore the brown lip color which is trending everywhere now, but if you find that the color is too retro and grown-up for you, then I think mixing it with a soft peach color makes it more pretty and youthful.

kat-von-d-lolita-tutorial

 

Products Used:

  1. MAC Naked Liner / 2. Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Salmon / 3. Kat Von D Lolita (reviewed here) / 4. Hakuhodo Lip Brush (my HG!)

brown-ombre-lip-color-tutorial

Step by Step Guide

brown-ombre-lip-color-tutorial-step-by-step-guide

 

{ 7 comments }

I added another new highlighter to my stash. The MAC Star Trek Trip the Light Fantastic Powder is just too good to be missed. There are 3 colors released, and the standout for me is Luna Luster as the color is the closet to my complexion and I know it will look flattering on me. The other two colors appear very bronzey on me.

mac-star-trek-trip-the-light-fantastic-powder-luna-luster-review-swatch-1

I am not the biggest fan of Star Trek, but the design of this powder is just too pretty and fancy. It has a marbled multi-color design that looks like the universe, and the powder twinkles at some angles when it catches the light. It contains strips of ivory, peachy pink, and magenta – when all colors are swirled together, it shows up as a peachy pink champagne color but applies pretty much translucent with a brightening effect on my NC15/20.

mac-star-trek-trip-the-light-fantastic-powder-luna-luster-review-swatch-2

The texture is not the creamiest, with a slightly gritty feel. However, it applies beautifully on the face without looking powdery nor chalky. It gives an amazing pearly sheen to the face (not frosty/metallic), that actually blends into my skin. The finish is glowy and dewy that gives a visible highlight effect, whilst still looks natural and doesn’t make your face look like a disco ball. I have to say that I am surprised by how good it performs, and the finish of this highlighter is amongst my top 3 given the color works so well for my complexion.

Swatch

mac-star-trek-trip-the-light-fantastic-powder-luna-luster-review-swatch-3 mac-star-trek-trip-the-light-fantastic-powder-luna-luster-review-swatch-4

Bottom line: Highly recommend!

{ 4 comments }

zoeva-nude-spectrum-eyeshadow-palette-reveiw-swatch-mac-whirl-fotd

Zoeva is one emerging brand that has got me really interested. Despite their most popular and affordable brushes, their palettes are also phenomenal. The ZOEVA Nude Spectrum Eyeshadow Palette (available here in Australia) is literally all you need for makeup, being a neutral eye shadow lover, I gasped at how beautiful and flattering these neutral and hues are, and they will get me through day and night on a daily basis. For such a big palette, I am surprised that there is not a single shade that I don’t like.

zoeva-nude-spectrum-eyeshadow-palette-reveiw-swatch-4

The palette retails for AUD$75, which is equivalent to $5 per eye shadow! The palette is housed in a slim black paper notebook-like case with a frosted feel. It is very modern and sleek, and feels very well made.  There is a range of matte, satin, and intense satin (almost bordering metallic) eye shadows in the palette. All of the shades are buttery and silky smooth to apply, and they are so easy to blend (even for the matte shades) without fallout. All shades have good color payoff, with some shades having exceptional intense pigment.

zoeva-nude-spectrum-eyeshadow-palette-reveiw-swatch-5

The top and bottom rows each have 2 mattes and 3 shimmers, and the middle row has 1 matte, and 4 shimmers.

The top row has more earthy and subtle sandy shades in different variations.

The middle row has mainly champagne, taupe and bronze.

The bottom row has colors leaning more gold and copper.

zoeva-nude-spectrum-eyeshadow-palette-reveiw-1 zoeva-nude-spectrum-eyeshadow-palette-reveiw-2

I won’t describe each shade in words as there are too many. As usual I make sure my swatch looks like what I see in real life, so hopefully they will give you a better idea. All pictures were taken under neutral day light (not directly in the sun).

Swatch for the top row

zoeva-nude-spectrum-eyeshadow-palette-reveiw-swatch-1

Swatch for the second row zoeva-nude-spectrum-eyeshadow-palette-reveiw-swatch-2

Swatch for the third row zoeva-nude-spectrum-eyeshadow-palette-reveiw-swatch-3

 

Here are some FOTDs I created with this Nude Spectrum Palette. I have been gushing about how much I love brown lips, so I’d thought I’d do a proper FOTD wearing one of my favorites lately – MAC Whirl.

Eye makeup: I used the matte taupe color (3rd color in the first row) in the crease, then layered with peachy champagne color (second color in the second row), and applied the golden shimmer (second color in the third row) along the lash line. The matte ivory (1st eye shadow in the first row) was used on the brow bone.

zoeva-nude-spectrum-eyeshadow-palette-reveiw-swatch-mac-whirl-fotd-4

 

zoeva-nude-spectrum-eyeshadow-palette-reveiw-swatch-mac-whirl-fotd-2

Other products used in the FOTD

Face: Bobbi Brown Face Base / YSL Serum Foundation (reviewed) / YSL Touch Eclat Compact (reviewed)

Cheeks: Marc Jacobs Beauty Contour Powder 20 (reviewed) / Giorgio Armani Blush 306 (reviewed)

Brows: Tom Ford Brow Kit (also used for nose contouring, reviewed) / BBROWBAR Brow Pen

Lips: MAC Whirl

img_8326

{ 1 comment }

I love doing top 5 (or more) picks posts, and today I am sharing some of my ultimate favorite eye shadow blending brushes. If you ask me to pick only a few favorite lip colors, it will be nearly mission impossible, but with brushes it’s a relative easy job as I tend to reach out for these brushes all the time, and I just know that my makeup routine will not be the same without them! They are suitable for all budgets, ranging from the most premium high end such as Suqqu, to the very affordable brand from the rising star Zoeva.

From left to right:

Suqqu M, Chanel Large Tapered Brush #19, Tom Ford Blend Brush, MAC 217, ZOEVA 227, Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush

best-top-pick-eyeshadow-blending-brushes-suqqu-tom-ford-mac-edward-bess-zoeva-review-4

 

All of these brushes are of very high quality, even though they are priced differently because of the type and source of bristles, where they were made and the packaging along with the brand name. However in terms of usability, they all stand the test of time and will last you at least 10 years of use. I have had each of them for a very long time, and none of them shed hair, change shape or fall apart.

best-top-pick-eyeshadow-blending-brushes-suqqu-tom-ford-mac-edward-bess-zoeva-review-2

 

MAC 217 – Using the MAC 217 as the standard blending brush. Needless for me to say how useful this brush is for eye shadow application, and you can find my detailed review for MAC brushes in this post.

ZOEVA 227 Soft Definer – If you love the MAC 217, you will love this ZOEVA brush made with goat hair which pretty much feels and works the same. The hair softness is similar, with an oval shape, but a tad more flat than 217 which is great for working the color into the crease. I love ZOEVA brushes in general which I have hauled a lot lately – they are affordable with a big selection, and I find that the quality is on par with MAC. Each brush comes in an individual zip bag.

Edwass Bess Luxury Eye Brush (available here in Australia) – This is the star product from his line. I have had this brush for more than 5 years. It boasts the same dome shape as the MAC 217, but slightly larger and feels softer and more dense against the skin. It is a powerful blending brush that gives lots of resilience so it blends eye shadow effortlessly. I normally like to use this brush for applying a neutral color over the entire eye crease area, and it only takes 1 to 2 strokes for the color to distribute evenly and seamlessly.

Tom Ford Eyeshadow Blend Brush (bought here in Australia) – The ultimate luxury eye shadow blending brush you could ever find, as the packaging and the handle feels so luxurious and precious that makes you not want to ever use it! Once you overcome the ‘obstacle’, you will find this is such a practical blending brush. The bristle is made of premium super soft goat hair, and it is all hand made in Japan. It is about the same size as MAC217, but the head is more tapered for a more precise application. It’s particularly great for blending the color just along the crease, and blending multiple colors.

Chanel Large Tapered Blending Brush (exclusive to Chanel.com only) This is best-seller out of the entire Chanel brushes collection. I was actually on the wait list for a while until it became available again. All Chanel brushes have black bristles, except for this exclusive edition with white bristles which makes me adore it even more! It’s made of goat hair, and is made in France. It’s a cute and ‘chubby’ blending brush compared to the MAC 217. The brush head is more rounder and dense with shorter hair, and it picks up lots of pigments which works perfectly with eye shadows that do not have intense color payoff. If you always want a brush that is tad smaller than MAC217, then this is the one to look out for.

SUQQU Brush M – Last but not least, leaving the best at the end. The Suqqu is the crème de la crème, as it has the softest squirrel hair that feels non scratchy even on the most sensitive skin. It is a smaller blending brush (same size as the Chanel) with a tapered end. The ultra fine and silky soft bristles deposit the pigments softly on the skin, so it is the best for applying dark colored eye shadows to create perfect shade gradation, as well as allowing for precise application around the eye corners. I have a post for the entire Suqqu brushes.

best-top-pick-eyeshadow-blending-brushes-suqqu-tom-ford-mac-edward-bess-zoeva-review-5

best-top-pick-eyeshadow-blending-brushes-suqqu-tom-ford-mac-edward-bess-zoeva-review-3

{ 3 comments }

I have lots of weaknesses – one of the biggest has to be collecting all the beautifully designed highlight powders. I am a big fan of highlighting, and whenever I come across a product that suits my complexion color, I have to own it. Reviewing the latest MAC Gleamtones Powder in Dunes at Dusk (LE) from the Vibe Tribe collection which did take me some effort to acquire, as it is all sold out at major MAC counters in Sydney.

mac-gleamtones-powder-dunes-at-dusk-vibe-tribe-review-swatch-1

Dunes at Dusk is a multi-color bronzing and highlighting powder in one pan. Love the motif design, and it contains four harmonious block of shades in soft shimmer finish. The texture is better than the permanent MAC powder – it feels more creamy and moist with a velvety touch to it, and it can be easily picked up by a soft bristle brush. All of the colors go on sheer as they are meant for a soft illuminating finish. You can apply the colors individually, and personally I prefer to swirl the colors together for application.

It gives a beautiful translucent and polished sheer veil of lit-within-glow to the complexion. When all colors are mixed, it has a very subtle tint to it, but it applies nearly colorless with in a hint of pink using a brush. It looks neither too warm nor too frosty on my face, which is hard to find for my NC15-20 cool toned complexion color.

mac-gleamtones-powder-dunes-at-dusk-vibe-tribe-review-swatchSwatch & Color Description (clockwise)

Shimmery golden peach

Shimmery lilac

Shimmery dusty mauve (also makes a great eyeshadow color)

Shimmery champagne  (great for the eyes as well)

mac-gleamtones-powder-dunes-at-dusk-vibe-tribe-review-swatch-3On me: Just a quick phone snap showing the MAC Gleamtones applied on the top of my cheekbones

mac-gleamtones-powder-dunes-at-dusk-vibe-tribe-review-swatch-2

{ 2 comments }

When it comes to makeup, I change my lip colors much more diligently than any other makeups. I can get away with wearing the same foundation and eye shadow for a long time, whilst for lip colors, I like to keep my many lipsticks on high rotation for an updated look. Lately I am a little over the pink and coral phase, and have become besotted with more neutral lip colors again. Perhaps it was to do with the current fashion trend, anything with a muted tone such as MLBB or browns in matte finish has my heart fluttered!

MAC-lipstick-velvet-teddy-please-me-snob-charlotte-tilbury-bitch-perfect-illamasqua-climax-shu-uemura-matte-pk335-swatch-review-2

Here is an array of my current favorite lipsticks!

MAC-lipstick-velvet-teddy-please-me-snob-charlotte-tilbury-bitch-perfect-illamasqua-climax-shu-uemura-matte-pk335

MAC-lipstick-velvet-teddy-please-me-snob-charlotte-tilbury-bitch-perfect-illamasqua-climax-shu-uemura-matte-pk335-review-swatch

Top row from the lip swatch collage is the MLBB shades with a dusty pink undertone – absolutely obsessed with this shade.

Illamasqua  Lipstick in Climax – One of my favorite colors from Illamasqua. Their quality is slightly better than MAC – very pigmented and smooth to apply without streaks. Climax is the most beautiful MLBB shade I own – it’s a tad darker than my own natural lip color with a peachy pink undertone in creme semi-matte finish. Think about your flushed lip color when you just step out of the shower.

illamasqua-lipstick-climax-review-swatch

MAC Lipstick Please Me (Matte) – My Holy Grail lip color, If I could only live with 3 lipsticks ‘Please Me’ would be one of them. It’s a MLBB with a dusty rose undertone in semi-matte finish. Just a natural but sexy color with a fashion spin and is easy to wear with different makeup looks.

MAC-lipstick-please-me-snob-review-swatch

Second Row is the cool toned dusty pink shades

MAC Lipstick Snob (Matte) – One of the top sellers from MAC. It’s a cool toned milky dusty pink color. Not an easy color to pull off, as it can look a little streaky on the lips, and the key for application is to blend and blend until the color is completely blended into the lips. I would say it is a stunning color on blondes with cool skin tone and blue/green eyes. On me, since I have cool skin tone, I can still manage to pull of this color. It does wash me out a little, and I tend to use Snob on top of having my lips colored with a darker lip liner such as the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Liner in Iconic Nude (reviewed here), and together they look perfect.

MAC-lipstick-snob-review-swatch

Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte PK 335 – Similar to Snob, but a tad darker in a complete matte finish, and it’s much easier to pull off. I love wearing this color alone, or mixing it with other colors. I actually bought this color after I saw the Shu gal had this lip color mixed a plummy lip liner, and it looked beautiful on her which resulted in this purchase!

shu-uemura-matte-pk335-review-swatch

Third row is the brown and nude shades

Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick B*tch Perfect (CT KISSING Lipsticks reviewed here)- A delicate peachy pink color with a tiny tinge of nude brown undertone in a satin sheen finish. It’s a very easy color to wear for all skin tones, and leaves a luminous finish to the lips if matte is not your thing.

charlotte-tilbury-lipstick-bitch-perfect-review-swatch

MAC Velvet Teddy (Matte) – Possibly the world’s most famous and wanted shade because of Kylie Jenner who swears by this lip color. I love it too. It’s such an edgy and high-fashion color – a pure deep beige brick brown shade that is on every IT girl’s lips at the moment.

MAC-lipstick-velvet-teddy-review-swatchGroup Swatch

MAC-lipstick-velvet-teddy-please-me-snob-charlotte-tilbury-bitch-perfect-illamasqua-climax-shu-uemura-matte-pk335-review-swatch-3

You can purchase MAC and Shu Uemura beauty products at David Jones Online in Australia.

 

{ 1 comment }

This post is getting back to square one – talking about the very basic and essential makeup brushes that everyone needs in their makeup kit. I have been blogging for years, and I hardly get a chance to share my thoughts on the essential products, and introducing them to girls who just started their venture into the fancy makeup world which can get confusing. I am a makeup brushes collector who started collecting brushes from the mainstream brands, and later advanced into more  premium brands. Not everyone is willing to buy brushes from the very exclusive brands such as Suqqu and Chikuhodo, and this post is inspired by my most frequently asked question from my girlfriends “What MAC brushes should I invest in”.

MAC-makeup-face-eye-brushes-review-overview

Why starting with MAC..? Perhaps it’s to do with their successful brand image and a lot of their products truly stand the test of time. I have had some MAC brushes for more than 10 years and they are still in good condition. Though I am having a lot more options these days , the MAC brushes in this post are still the most used and practical, and I highly recommend them in a heartbeat to everyone.

Starting with Eye makeup brushes.  MAC offers an abundance of options for eye makeup brushes – some are nice to have, and some are absolute essentials in my opinion. I have lots of them, and the must-haves for me are:

1. MAC 217 Blending brush – If you can only have one blending brush, make it this one! I have 3 of them – one for blending powder eye shadows, one for applying cream eye shadows, and one as a stand-by! Perfect size for blending color across the eye lid, and it’s soft but not super soft so it picks up pigments easily and does a good job for blending with some degree of resistance.

2. MAC 224 Blending Tapered brush – Bigger, less dense and more fluffy than 217. This brush picks up less pigments, and it is great for applying a sheer wash of color. I mainly use it for applying shading color to the eye socket area all the way to the upper nose bridge for contouring. Very easy to use and it’s fool proof!

3. MAC 226 Small Tapered Blending brush: The 3rd blending brush you need is the MAC 226. It’s slightly slimmer, smaller, more dense than 217, and it has a more tapered pointy end which gives you better precision control. Great for blending the colors in the crease area.

4. MAC 219 Pencil brush: Pencil brush is for drawing lines then smudging it for a softer blended finish. This is a firm and dense brush so it picks up lots of pigments, and the pencil shaped tip allows precise application around the eye corners and along lash lines. Absolutely must have if you like to smudge a soft wash of color along the lower lash line.

5. MAC 227 Large Fluff brush: Last but not least for blending, the MAC 227 is magical! It’s a big, fat and round-shaped brush that is the best brush for softening any harsh lines. All you need is to dab a beige color and blend it under the brows for a cleaner eye makeup look.

6. MAC 239 Eye Shader brush: Having a couple of shader brushes is also essential, and you can’t miss MAC 239. Perfectly designed for laying down the shadows on the lid and prevents fall out to build a more intense finish.

7. MAC 242 Shade brush: Designed for laying cream based color. It’s made of synthetic fiber, quite soft and very flat, and I like to use it for packing on the colors on to the eye lids, or drawing lines using the tips. It can also be doubled as a concealer brush over smaller areas. MAC also have the bigger sister version 252 which is more ideal for applying concealers than eye shadows.

MAC-makeup-face-eye-brushes-review-overview-2MAC-makeup-face-eye-brushes-review-overview-3

Face Brushes – I have less recommendations for the MAC face brushes than their eyes. Simply because I think there are much better options from other brands for face brushes, so I have only picked a few that I absolutely love.

MAC 168 Large Angled Contour brush: If I could only have one MAC face brush, it would be the 168! I have had this one for more than 10 years and it is being used on a very frequent basis, and the condition is still excellent! It’s very soft, doesn’t shed, and it’s a versatile brush as it can be used for applying blushes, as well as for buffing highlighting/shading colors for contouring purposes with the slanted angle design.

MAC 129 Powder and Blush brush: A good and basic design for a dome shaped blush brush. It has the right size and shape for multiple ways of application for the cheeks, as you can use it in a swiping motion, or pat it and swirl it for a wash of color effect. The full rounded shape gives an even and smooth finish. Not the softest brush, but it means it will pick up the pigments from even the most sheer blushes.

MAC 130 Short Duo Fiber brush: Stippling brushes are great for buffing face colors into the skin in a natural effect, and it works well with both powder and cream products. I love the size of 130 and the flat-top design, as it is perfect for blending concealers for under the eyes areas, or applying highlighters over the T-zone, and applying cream blushes over the cheeks!

MAC 159 DuoFiber brush: Another super versatile brush. The paddled-shaped brush is great for applying foundations and concealers for a natural finish. Also works well for applying a sheer wash of powder and cream blushes. Overall you can pretty much do your whole face with this brush! Experience slight shedding during the first few washes.

MAC-makeup-face-eye-brushes-review-overview-4

In Australia, the MAC Brushes are available here online.

{ 5 comments }

MAC Flamingo Park is a whimsical collection for anyone who loves pretty and girly makeup. I was instantly drawn to the new Flamingo Park Blush colors – it’s like an array of the prettiest pink and peaches that were calling my name. I could have easily picked up 4-5 colors that I wanted, but I narrowed them down to 2 must-haves for me – the LIFE’S A PICNIC, and WHAT I FANCY.

left: LIFE’S A PICNIC right: WHAT I FANCY

mac-flamingo-park-blushes-review-swatch-lifes-a-picnic-what-i-fancy-4

mac-flamingo-park-blushes-review-swatch-lifes-a-picnic-what-i-fancy-3

The quality of these blushes are the same as their permanent powder blushes. They are nicely pigmented and smooth. The powder is soft enough to be picked up by any brush and apply evenly. Both colors do not have shimmer, and gives a semi-matte finish with a soft glow.

My first pick was the LIFE’S A PICNIC. Reason being it instantly reminded me of my all time favorite Chanel blush Vibration (reviewed here). It’s a beautiful and unique pinkish coral red color that just instantly brightens up my complexion. It’s ultra bright and pigmented, so application has to be very light-handed. Using a soft brush gives a sheer wash of naturally flushed cheeks.

mac-flamingo-park-blushes-review-swatch-lifes-a-picnic-6

WHAT I FANCY is another pretty and soft spring blush color to wear. It’s a pastel milky peachy pink that gives an innocent and angelic wash of color to the cheeks. To me it’s a fool proof color that can be worn sheer, or built up to accentuate the apples of the cheeks, but regardless it will always make you look young and fresh.

mac-flamingo-park-blushes-review-swatch-lifes-a-picnic-what-i-fancy-5

 

Swatch

mac-flamingo-park-blushes-review-swatch-lifes-a-picnic-what-i-fancymac-flamingo-park-blushes-review-swatch-lifes-a-picnic-what-i-fancy-2

{ 4 comments }