Wednesday, October 30, 2013

This Orchid Steals the Show

Yes, I am a lipstick fiend that has a fair share of pinks in her collection.  From pale to frosty to matte, I have a wide variety of shades and finishes to choose from... and will probably be adding more to my stash before too long.  But out of all I own thus far, I have to say that my absolute favorite right now is the eye-popping Show Orchid by MAC.

Show Orchid is described as a "vivid hot pink" and it most definitely is.  It's a hot pink with a gorgeous violet shift and an Amplified finish, which means the color is intense, but please don't misinterpret that as being neon.  Yes, it is bright and bold, but nowhere close to being garishly fluorescent.  Laced with MAC's signature vanilla scent, it's a creamy lippy that does well in imparting an ample dose of shine to the lips during application as well as an opaque finish.

I've been pairing Show Orchid with MAC's Nightmoth lip pencil, which is a blackened plum color, for the slightest bit of contrast.  Loving this combo...

I am so happy that Show Orchid is part of MAC's permanent line up of lipsticks so there's no need for me to buy an entire warehouse worth of the shade.  I do check the website now and again, though, to be sure.  You know a lot of companies are good for discontinuing shades and products with little to no warning, so forgive me if I seem paranoid.  But for now, all is well in lipstick land as it seems to be beloved and well regarded by many, which has - in turn - secured its spot as a verified "OG" on MAC's lipstick roster.

MAC Show Orchid is available at MAC boutiques, Nordstrom and Macy's, and retails for $15.

Monday, October 28, 2013

From Dud to Stud, Pt. 2: Redemption

If you read my original From Dud to Stud post then you know that I was making moves to do away with a bunch of items that I considered less than par.  On the list of items was a CoverGirl blue eyeshadow that yielded very little color when swatched.  Well, as I was gathering some more items to trash, I gave it a second look and had a light bulb moment: Why should I throw it away when I could just re-purpose it?  Re-purpose it as what, you ask?  Well, how about as a deep, blueberry-hued lippie?  Hmm... OK.  Mission accepted!

First, I took a clear lip gloss and put a few swipes of it on the back of my hand. 

Next, I took my lip brush and swiped it back and forth across the CG shadow to loosen it up so I could gather a good bit of it on the brush and mix it with the gloss on my hand.

I then applied the blue mixture to my lips with the brush.  The final result was definitely cool, but I wanted a little more dimension so I took a white eyeshadow and dabbed it in the middle of my pout, instantly giving it more of a metallic look.

I absolutely LOVE how this turned out!  I loved it so much that I was inspired to complete the look with a "creative" eye.  I wanted to do something out of the box and totally on the fly.  I was emboldened to attempt my very first freestyle...

And I actually like how this turned out, too!  I always wanted to freehand a graphic eye look, but just never did it.  Well, I surprised myself when I came up with this simple, but "galactic" take on a cat eye and even succeeded at making it symmetrical!  Alas, that was what I was most worried about; I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to dutifully repeat the design exactly on each eye, but I did.  And I am poppin' my collar, y'all.  Pop! Pop!

Oh, and let me just tell you... I had a semi-emergency come up and had to run out and handle some things after I took these pics.  Umm, do you think I took this makeup look off?  I surely did NOT!  I ran out "as-is", galactic eyes/blue lips and all!  I thought people were going to look at me weird (not that I cared one iota), but not a single strange glance or off-colored comment was uttered.  And I felt so, SO pretty... I can't tell you why, but I honestly did.  Yes, I looked like I just stepped off a spaceship, but I felt comfortable wearing this look and, again, very pretty.

But it's the lips that are the focus of this post.  And the almost missed opportunity to bring them to life with an eyeshadow that was destined to be dumped.  This is probably "old hat" to most of you; most of you know that you can use an eyeshadow on the lips to modify and/or enhance the effect of a lipstick, but don't forget that - with a little gloss - you can make it into a lippy as well. 

And that's what I want to impart to you all: the idea that if you think outside the box, you can turn a deadbeat dud into a stellar stud.  Shadows can be whipped into lippies, lipsticks into blushes, eyeliners can double as lip liners, mascara to color brows, etc... and the list goes on and on.  Sometimes the only distance separating a makeup dud from being a stud is how far you're willing to allow your imagination to take you.  So, just have fun and be creative.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Flashback: Rockin' Good Shadows

Does anybody else remember these?  Better known for their high-end denims and apparel, Rock & Republic parlayed their fashion success into an ambitious cosmetic line some years ago.  It was a full roster that included powder foundations and brushes; an intoxicating mesh of color and beauty, but with a rock n' roll edge.  Their blushes were the most coveted out of the bunch while the eyeshadows were definitely a close second.  I wasn't able to cop any of the former, but was so happy to have gotten my mitts on several of the latter before they decided to discontinue the line.

Encased in exquisite black and metal packaging that astutely reflects the rocker chic motif, these R&R shadows are as pretty on the inside as they are on the outside.  The large, medallion-like compacts come equipped with mirrors and house deliciously pigmented shadows.  I own seven shades.

L-R: Corrosive, Brink, Sabotage

Soft to the touch, these pearl shadows are more like silk than butter.  They're firm, but give up an immense amount of color with almost no effort.  A simple swipe was suitable enough to gain an opaque result on my fingertips.





I was really confused when I found out Rock & Republic was pulling the plug on their line of beauty products.  I mean, it appeared to be doing well since everybody and their momma seemed to be talking about it.  Trying to get your hands on any of their blushes was an arduous task before the announcement, but afterwards?  Fuggitaboutit!  It was nearly impossible. 

So, I am over the moon and very grateful that I was able to procure the eye products plus a few brushes (also awesome!) that I wanted because - although short lived - the quality of the line was absolutely stellar and totally deserving of its glowing reputation... A reputation that continues to rattle in the beauty annals long after the death of its catalogue.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Barbie: Kimora Lee Simmons

When you think of Kimora Lee Simmons, you immediately think of her coined term "Fabulosity!".  Fearlessly brandishing a sense of fun and free spiritedness, she's been a colorful fixture on a host of shows, including her own reality series Life In the Fab Lane.  In addition to being a television personality, this model-turned-entrepreneur has also helmed fashion lines such as her signature brand KLS and Baby Phat, which is an offshoot of hip-hop mogul and ex-husband Russell Simmons' Phat Farm line.  And now with all of the accomplishments notched on her belt, she can add the overseeing and designing of her very own Barbie doll to the list.

From her bright pink, chiffon blouse with the KLS metal closure to her pink, denim mini-skirt, Kimora's fashion sensibilities and design aesthetic is captured in full, making this Barbie every inch her little doppelganger.

Clutched in her perfectly manicured right hand is a pink, faux leather, signature handbag trimmed in an earthy brown.  It comes complete with a working zipper.

And clasped in her left is the pink leash attached to her beloved dog Zoe, a black Pomeranian.

Oh, and did you happen to catch the nude fishnets she's rocking?  Yes, honey!  FISH-NETS.  Perhaps you didn't notice them before because they were slightly obscured by her leather thigh-highs...

Pink, faux leather, thigh-high boots to be exact.  Yes, honey!  Just like the real gal, mini-Kimora Lee ain't playin'.  These high-heels are both giving life and taking it away - killin' 'em dead, y'all!

And now let's talk about the huge, furry elephant in the room, shall we?  The piéce de résistance, if you will.  Do you see the coat she's draped in?  It is a full-length, faux chinchilla with a satin, animal print, signature lining.  Yes, honey!  You read right.  And it is just as lush and gorgeous as the picture reflects.

Thick, long eyelashes frame her almond eyes as soft pink colors her lids and a sparkly gold highlights her perfectly arched brows.  Her full lips are painted a pretty mauve while her cheeks denote just a pinch of pink.  With the added touch of beaded, hoop earrings and dark black shades nestled atop her head, this mini-Kimora is practically dripping in "fabulosity"... which is what the real-life beauty is all about.

So, I must say... I believe they totally hit it out of the park with this one.  Every attention to detail, even the most minor, was paid and the payoff is huge.  The likeness is spot on and the doll properly evokes Kimora's love of fashion and her big personality, the latter of which I happen to like.  But I don't feel like you have to be a fan of hers to truly appreciate this doll.  The accessories are fun, the fashion is bold and she's an all-around beauty to boot.   And isn't that a huge part of what owning a Barbie is all about?

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Little Horse Raddish, Anyone?

NYX Jumbo Eyeshadow Pencils.  Do you use them?  I don't have many, but I do own a few.  Three, to be exact.  I own the ubiquitous Milk, Rust and this one, which I bought to help boost the color quotient of a tepid eyeshadow I was looking to rock.  And it did just that.  So, let's shoot the breeze for a moment and gab a tad about NYX's Jumbo Pencil in Horse Raddish.

Horse Raddish is a pearly, seafoam green.  It is a highly emollient, creamy pencil that can be used as an eyeliner and/or eyeshadow base.  When recruiting it for the latter, it is best to use a good primer underneath and blend well to prevent creasing.  Employing these practices when using this and other creamy bases has afforded me the luxury of crease-free lids for eight hours plus.

Because of its creamy texture, it moves very smoothly across the skin, depositing a liberal amount of color during application.  Again, underneath a proper primer and working in cahoots with a powder eyeshadow, I had no problems with the color fading or migrating at all.  And it's such a unique color to find as a base that I probably would have bought this regardless, wonky eyeshadow or not.

I've seen where people have been downright obsessed with these Jumbo Pencils and bought every color they ever made - the whole collection!  I'm not quite as devoted, however, I do find them handy.  And the spectrum of hues they cover can't be denied.  So, if you've never tried them, you may want to give them a once over.  They won't hurt your pocketbook and can certainly give your look a dose of intensity in the process.

NYX Jumbo Eyeshadow Pencil in Horse Raddish is available at Ulta and various beauty supply stores, and retails for $4.50.