I wanted a 'color wash' with purple and brown, and I wanted several textures (which basically means mixing several different formulas for a singular effect).
Here's what happened:
Guerlain Parure Aqua Foundation in Dore 25
Chanel Soho Story Blush/Highlighter
Becca Cream Shadow in Gilt (lid)
Sugarpill Chromalust Loose Shadow in Hysteric (perimeter)
Guerlain Powder Kohl in Noir (waterline)
Estee Lauder Sumptuous Mascara
Kaplan MD Lip Treatment in Sheer Blackberry
***"The Guerlain Foundation in Dore 25 is about half a shade too dark for me. But Dore 24 is about a quarter shade too light. When I'm in between shades, I always go with the darker shade, and blend it out around the neck and jawline. On warmer skin tones, I find it's always more flattering to correct 'down' than to correct up. There's nothing worse than the flash of a camera catching the color difference between your makeup and your skin. If you correct for the warmest shades in your face, you never run the risk of looking ashy, or not having your foundation match your neck and decolletage."***
These foundations deserve to have a cult following. Beyond their DIVINE packaging, the performance of these foundations exceed expectations, and properly earn their place among Luxury Makeup.
I'll start with the Aqua. The formula is more cream than liquid, and sets soft (not matte). It feels like a luxurious face cream going on. Coverage is medium to full, and easily buildable. What makes this foundation particularly special is the color range. It does more than just range from light beige to dark. There is also a Dore (gold) line for girls with particularly warm undertones (raising my hand). And the best thing about the beige (for those of you who are not really yellow or orange underneath) is that it is truly neutral. Not PINK (I'm looking at you Dior), but neutral.
If there is a downside, it's this: I've heard complaints about the lightest beige even being too dark for fair skin. I cannot feel too bad, because it's much easier to shop for fair skin than it is to shop for warm, olive, medium, and dark skin. I know this to be true, as I shop for ALL skin ranges and tones on a regular basis (it's my job). So, let the rainbow coalition have this one. We've been waiting a long time for a foundation that both performs on a luxury level, and actually matches our range of skin tones.
Some may also complain about the fragrance. This foundation smells distinctly of violets. I personally love the scent. But if you've got an issue with a heavily perfumed foundation (or think that your skin might react to the fragrance), you may want to pass this by.
You've already seen pictures of me in the Parure Gold:
This is the most luxurious foundation I've used to date. It eclipses Chanel... and even Armani. Dior couldn't see this foundation on its best day. By Terry can't touch it... mostly because of the color range and versatility. The color and effect of this foundation is hard to describe. Although it only comes in the beige line, it features a gold undertone that warms the overall tone up very effectively. That gold undertone also acts as a light deflector (not a shine enhancer), working much like Meteorites to diffuse light around the entire face. The coverage is medium to full... but leans closer to full. Also goes on like a face cream, also smells distinctly of violets. I LOVE it. I'm getting a backup. I'm not kidding.
Neither of these foundations is cheap. But they're comparable. Parure Aqua is about $60... comparable to both Chanel and Armani. Parure Gold is $78. More expensive than Chanel, but cheaper than By Terry ($105). If you're going to drop major coin on a foundation... check out Guerlain. If they can match you, do not hesitate to invest in it. It's truly worth every single penny.
Year's ago, the line was at Naimies, and I'm sure I saw it at Sephora. Then there was this HUGE sale, and POOF! Everyone thought Vincent Longo had gone the way of the dinosaur.
The first time I noticed it again was mere *months ago, at Space NK in Bloomingdales. Even then, I didn't give it a passing glance. Like, who's got Vincent Longo on their radar anymore?
But... let's be fair. I don't know WHY the company got dumped by so many retailers, but it's not like the products are awful. As little as I remember about the line, I don't remember anything about it being of poor quality.
So, I decided to give ol' Vince another shot:
This is the liquid eyeshadow in a color called Lovely Brown. It looks like a lip gloss (and sort of applies that way), but it blends out like a mousse, and SETS like an Aqua Cream. OMG. It stains at little bit too. After I did my swatch:
...I tried to wipe it off and it did NOT budge! That swatch doesn't even do this color justice. It's a rich brown with aubergine undertones, and the slightest hint of gold shimmer. Just stunning. I'm truly impressed.
I'm starting small with this line. Just the shadow. If this one performs, there are a bunch of other colors that I'll go back for. Vincent Longo... welcome back to my radar. Consider me a cautious... but blossoming fan.
We have this thing where we buy each other gifts for our birthdays. Doesn't matter what it is... if she wants it, I'll try to get it. She never asks, so a lot of times I have to guess. But she doesn't like guessing about me, so she'll just come out and say "I'm not up for no guessing games, SO WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY?"
Well, this year... I wanted Illamasqua:
LOOK AT THESE LASHES!!!
They're the Luxury Lashes from Illamasqua's Holiday Collection. Appropriately called 'Opulence', they're a thick black lash, decorated with Antique Gold jewels. They're a true antique gold color too... not brassy gold and NOT cheap looking. I LOVE THEM! I have no idea where I'm going to wear them (yet)... maybe someone's NYE party.
I saw a brown and gold look in Allure (December 2010) for one of the shows... I want to say it was Marc Jacobs. I can't remember. Anyway, I LOVED the way it looked. So I thought I'd do my own interpretation...
I thought I might post the prizes ahead of time before choosing the winner. Here's the next prize:
1-MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Petticoat
1-MAC Pigment in Later
1-MAC Greasepaint Stick in Greengrease
1-MAC Greasepaint Stick in Uniformly Blue
1-MAC Greasepaint Stick in Dirty
1-MAC Greasepaint Stick in Brown Now
*Remember, all you have to do to win is follow/subscribe. You cannot be a hidden follower. In order to win, I have to see you. Winners are selected at random (literally from a bowl of names written on little pieces of paper). One winner will be announced every Friday until the end of the year. Good Luck!*
Congratulations! Gloss and Sticks is the first winner in our Holiday Giveaway. She's already been notified by email. Gloss, you have 48 hours to reply to my email with your mailing address, and I'll get your prize right out to you!
Here's what you won:
1-Kevyn Aucoin Founation Stick in Beverly
1-Kevyn Aucoin Eyeshadow in Tusk
1-Kevyn Aucoin Eyeshadow in Blush
1-Cargo Blu-Ray Pressed Powder in #40
*If a winner does not respond with a mailing address within 48 hours, the offer will be rescinded and another winner will be chosen.*
Congrats again! The rest of you guys... stay tuned for more giveaways! Remember, all you have to do is follow/subscribe to the blog to qualify. You cannot be hidden. In order to win, I have to see you. Good Luck!
I'm admittedly a bit of a makeup snob. So I'm always surprised when I come across something that really works for a fraction of the price of luxury brands. I can't take credit for this latest discovery; it comes courtesy of another makeup maven... who informed me that they were being discontinued.
So I bought just one, because I'm a skeptic. And I tried it... and WOW. I instantly went back and bought the rest of the colors available at that particular store. Many were sold out. That's likely because they've been discounted as much as 75% OFF. You heard me right. I didn't pay full price for any of them. I had to drive around a bit to get them all... but get them all I did (I think. There might be a metallic grey floating out there that I don't have).
So RUN -- don't walk -- to get your hands on these things. They actually have a better applicator than the Guerlain version (although Guerlain's packaging is much nicer). They're not as finely milled, but the color payoff is noteworthy.
And not to worry... if you can't get any, I'm giving away three of them for the holidays. With any luck, you'll be selected as the winner!
You KNOW I had to dive right in and try this new palette. It's so good... really pigmented and everything blends out beautifully. It's exactly what I expect from a luxury brand... except this level of quality comes with a fabulously low sticker price.
Sleek has to be the little company that could... if there ever was one! I first heard about it last year... and I've been stacking palettes ever since. I understand that the company is going through a 'resurgence' of some kind, after going bust a couple decades ago. Don't hold me to it... I may have gotten bad info.
In any case, their eyeshadow palettes are AMAZING. Besides their incredible pigmentation, blendability and staying powder, the palettes are very inexpensive! It's Rock & Republic quality with Wet n' Wild prices. Unbeatable.
The latest addition to their shadow collection is the Bad Girl Palette. LOVE! Look at this...
This kind of reminds me of the Graphite Palette (also divine), but there are greens and a shimmer champagne color in here. I think there's even a couple of mattes (okay, maybe one). I'm very excited about this...
If you can, get it. Sleek palettes tend to come and go rather quickly. Now that they have a website that ships worldwide, you've got no excuse!
A few people have asked me about Meteorites... so here's a quick review.
I use the Meteorites in the original color (which is techically no color). There is also a Pink and a Bronze version.
It's a collection of multi colored pearls (with a gold underbase) that's designed to even out your skin tone. Each color is designed to do something specific for the skin: green to combat redness, lavender to even out sallow tones, and so on. The result is 'white light' or the appearance of no color imperfections on the skin.
Some have likened it to a powder 'airbrush' of sorts... as it's supposed to give the illusion of perfection.
Here's what I like about it: Meteorites works very well as a finishing powder for normal to dry skin. It really does give the appearance of an even skin tone, at first glance. You DO need to use it in conjnction with your foundation. It has NO actual coverage. Despite the many colored pearls, the result is translucent.
You should be aware... on oily skin, it tends to 'stick' if you're using it to set a foundation. Unless your foundation sets matte on its own, this is not a good finishing powder. I used it once with Kevyn Aucoin's Skin Enhancing Foundation (which lies wet until you set it), and it did not end well.
What I don't like is actually rather minor. When I bought the pearls from Sephora, it came in this stunning little box and just looked like a treasure. When I opened it, I realized that the the actual container is CARDBOARD. WTH? I figure for more than 30 dollars, the least you can give a sista is plastic. Glass would have been elegant. But cardboard? Trifling.
It looks like the new line of pearls comes in a case a little more worthy of the price. If that's true, then good for them. You ought to give folks the quality that they expect to pay for... packaging included.
I keep Meteorites in rotation. It's a practical tool for me. It also smells nice. It's not at the top of my list of finishers, but it does well for what it claims. If you have the $$ to spare, get it. But if you're looking for something more practical in terms of packaging and performance (and less luxurious), this isn't really the product to covet. It's lovely. But honestly, it's not really necessary.
Playing around with Estee Lauder again... this time I used the 'Midnight Star' Eyeshadow:
I used the one eyeshadow to do most of the work. I did pop a Paint Pot under it to boost it through the crease though.
Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation (5.0)
Chanel Joues Contraste Blush in Rose Temptation
MAC Paint Pot in Fresco Rose
Estee Lauder Eyeshadow in Midnight Star
Guerlain Powder Kohl in Bleu
Make Up For Ever Lash Fibers
YSL Faux Cils in Radical Black
Kaplan MD Lip 20 in Blackberry Shine
Here's something I've noticed with the shadows: They pack on beautifully, but leave a bit to be desired with blending. I find that if you blend them too much, the color tends to skip... leaving little gaps of skin in between. Not good. I will give the brand kudos for the color payoff. But the formula needs a bit more work so that the shadows are more silky, and blend a bit more easily. I spoke to the SA at one counter and she told me to email the company... because apparently they're interested in feedback. I think I shall.