Friday, 28 October 2011

What's in my makeup bag!

WARNING: Loooong post ahead. LOL!

It is a fact that until recently I didn't feel the need to carry in my purse a makeup bag! I just did my makeup in the morning and all I carried with me was a lipbalm.
That changed radically one day at work: while washing my hands I glanced in the mirror and I saw a washed out resemblence of myself staring back to me! What had happened to my blush? To my strategically positioned highlight? Where did everybody go?
So, that day I decided to have with me at all times a little something for touch-ups on the go. 
The easy part was to make up my mind, the tough part was to actually make it happen, because I don't want to carry too many things with me since all my purses are moderately sized. 
That puzzle was solved with a little improvisation and it actually works for me just fine.

So, enough said, let me show you!
First item I wanted was a makeup bag and I decided to get this Mac one - €29 (€21,75 on a 25% discount) because:
  • the size was ideal for my purses
  • the black material is discreet enough (for work) but not boring
  • it has an inner pocket that's perfect for little things

Next thing I wanted to carry with me was my Mac Careblend pressed powder but the included sponge/applicator applied too much product on my face and I needed a brush to blend it out. Instead of that, I got an Ecotools retractable brush - €11 from Ebay (very decent brush, soft and doesn't shed) and every morning, when I do my makeup, I dab it lightly in my Careblend and put the brush in my little bag. This way, I don't have to carry with me the Careblend compact, and I use what's on my retractable brush for a touch up.

Next item I wanted in my purse was concealer (just in case I need it) so I put a little of my Benefit Erase Paste in a jar and I use it with a little brush that I had from a free Sephora brush kit.  Also, Mac Fix+ is a necessity to me because it refreshes and hydrates my skin.

The puzzle to me was how on earth I could manage to have with me something for highlight, blush and contour, without having to carry all these separate compacts. The tougher one was blush, because I had to carry with me a different blush almost everyday (depending on what I had put on in the morning), but I also have a few in pan form in a Mac palette (not something to have in my purse!).

So, instead of going crazy over this I decided to think outside of the box and the result is simple and fuss free. That's how:
  • I put in good use a Mac 4 pan empty eyeshadow palette that I already had
  • I looked at my eyeshadows and chose one that would do for highlight but I wouldn't miss from my eyeshadows palette. Crystal Avalanche was the winner (I don't use it that much since I got Creamy Bisque, I also have a Korres one in a similar shade).
  • next I wanted an eyeshadow as a contour. I chose Moleskin from my stash but I'm thinking of buying Omega or Kid because Moleskin is limited edition and I want to keep it for my eyes.LOL!
  • last but not least I chose two eyeshadows from my stash that I could use for blush: Passionate because it is a cool pink shade and Free to Be because it is warmer. This way, I don't have the exact shade of blush that I wore in the morning but I have something to refresh it that matches with the rest of my makeup, in cool tones and warm as well. Both eyeshadows didn't get much use from me as eyeshadows, but I really love them as mini blushes on the go!
Here's a swatch of them all. It is heavy because I wanted to show you the colors, it goes without saying that when I actually use them to refresh my face makeup I use the lightest possible amount on my brush.

Here's my little highlight-contour-blush palette

So, what I basically do is that I buff the Careblend on my face and then I use the same brush for contour and blush (for the highlight I use my finger). Then I spray my face with the Fix+ and I' m done.

Next thing that I carry in my makeup bag is a lipstick and lipgloss. I rotate these everyday, depending on what I used in the morning.
For instance, yesterday I wore Sweet Eve After lipcreme and Show Me! lipglass (both Mac pro longwear), here they are

The last thing that I always carry with me is not makeup related but a necessity to me and that is a hand creme. Currently I have the EOS one (€12 on Ebay) because I love the packaging, it's like a little pebble, very slim and purse friendly!

Here's my makeup bag once more

I'm totally satisfied with the above configuration since this way I manage to have with me everything I will need for a touch up in a very compact and low volume way.

What makeup item do you always have in your purse?

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Mac Fall Collection: Lightscapade and Porcelain Pink MSFs

The Mac Fall (at first it was named after Cindy Sherman) Collection was launched last Friday in Greece.

It's the collection with the promo pictures that I know a lot of people find grotesque, but, I couldn't care less for promotional posters, all I care about is the products.

With that been said, I didn't want to spend too much because:
  • my Mac Me Over haul was quite recent and 
  • the christmas collections are a month away, so, I'd better start saving!

So I got the two items I wanted most from the collection, that is the MSFs (€29,50 each):
  • Lightscapade, described as Soft candlelit beige with multidimensional shimmer and 
  • Porcelain Pink described as Soft pinky coral with gold veining  

They're both repromotes from previous collections but I recently got interested in Mac so I didn't have any of them.  It is also a fact that the new Lightscapade is quite different from the old one because the veinings are very subtle and at first it looks like a light beige powder (although it doesn't matter to me because it is a freaking awesome highlight as is).
They're so finelly milled that feel silky soft (no chunks of glitter, thank god!). I also think that Porcelain Pink can also be used as a blush if your skintone is quite fair.

Here's Lightscapade

And Porcelain Pink

Here are a couple of swatches

They 're both so gorgeous that I couldn't skip them!

Now, if you live in Greece and are interested in these, don't wait too long because I think that the stock is limited: my local Mac store in Kallithea had only 3 of each left, and I got them on Friday aftenoon!

Do you have a must buy from this collection?

Monday, 10 October 2011

EOTD and a new eyeshadow!

Today I played a little with a new eyeshadow, Cypress Green #49 by Korres, already depoted and put into my "random" eyeshadow palette:

Cypress Green is a medium-dark cool green, and coming autumn I thought it would be ideal for a fall look.
I used it with Short Shorts and Sun Blonde, both eyeshadows by Mac (you can see them HERE) and I did two variations : one more subtle and one more intense and smokey. In both variations, I used it with a light hand because I didn't want it too dark, so bare in mind that it is actually much darker and intense than you see it in the following photos.

1st variation

Cypres Green: outer corner, crease and under the eye
Sun Blonde: lid
Short Shorts: inner corner and brow bone
I also used a hint of Moleskin to blend the upper part of the crease.
It doesn't really show here but it's a discreet but polished daytime look, perfect for work (minus the mascara accident, lol)!

2nd variation

Cypres Green: lid (except the middle of it), crease, under the eye
Sun Blonde: in the middle of the lid
Short Shorts: brow bone
I also used a hint of Moleskin to blend the upper part of the crease.
This look is more vibrant but not too intense, I can wear it in daytime when I want a little more emphasis on the eyes.

I also used Mac Painterly paint pot, Avenue fluidline and Benefit They're Real mascara in both looks.

So that's my eye of the day, I know you can't really tell because I suck in taking this kind of photos, but, I thought to share it with you nevertheless!

What's your most used fall color?

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Basics: Face tools

First of all, face brushes are the tools that enable me to achieve the best possible results in combination with the products that I use (foundation etc.).
Given the fact that they come in contact with my face on a daily basis, they must be of a good quality and they must be regularly cleaned.
That being said, I was really sceptical and undesicive about selecting face brushes. The reasons are:
  • there are too many choices out there
  • they are not cheap
  • even if they were cheap, it wouldn't be practical to me to have too many brushes 
So, after a lot of searching and reading and taking in consideration my needs and the products that I use, I visited my local Mac with a clear plan. 

The first brush that I had to try was the very popular 187 (also known as duo fibre or stippling or skunk brush) and the Mac assistant told me that this is definitely THE must have brush. Although I'm always reserved when I hear raves about a product, this time I found the raves to be true.
In the store I wasn't that impressed (but I'm never impressed with brushes), but when I got home I used it right away and then I got sooo excited, because it is simply PERFECT for:
  • liquid foundation: I get an even, flawless coverage, almost airbrushed, with minimal use of product. 
  • powder: it delivers the desired amount of powder for my dry skin (that is less is best).
  • blush: even the more pigmented ones (that were a nightmare to blend) have become my best friends
  • bronzers: I was intimidated to use on my fair complexion but with this brush it is a pair made in heaven!
  • mineralize skinfinishes: I get glow without the discoball effect.
Best feature is that it delivers the right amount of every product and even in layering it doesn't get cakey.
Mac 187 - €46 (€34,50 on a 25% discount)
So, here's my loved Mac 187 brush

Next day I run back to my local Mac shop and I got the 188 as well. It is the same brush as the 187 but narrower.
I use this one for the base products for eye makeup:
  • concealer: it blends it like a dream (and I use cream concealer, not the easiest product to apply)
  • powder: here too, it applies just the right amount (as already mentioned, less is best for me)
  • paint pots: with cream eyeshadow bases in general, I get an even, flawless coverage.
Mac 188 - €37 (€27,75 on a 25% discount) 
Here's my loved (and a little dirty!) Mac 188 brush

The next brush is the Mac 168 angled contour brush and I got it when I started to contour my face with matte bronzing powder. I found that I needed more precision (in comparison to the 187), for example under the cheekbones etc. I also tried it with blush, higlighters etc, and it works great when I want a little heavier application (again in comparison to the 187). It also can be used for foundation. I don't love it like the 187 or 188, but it is a really practical one.
Mac 168 - €37 (€27,75 on a 25% discount).
Here's my handy Mac 168 brush

Here they are all together :-)

Cleaning my brushes is an essential step that I rarely miss:
  • everyday, after I 've completed my makeup, I spray some Mac Brush Cleanser on a paper towel and I swipe them repeatedly on it. For that reason I keep in my brush case a small travel bottle with a spray pump.
  • once a week, I wash them with a baby shampoo
Mac Brush Cleanser 235ML - €11,00 (€8,25 on a 25% discount).
Mac Small Travel bottle (package of 2) - €5,50 (€4,12 on a 25% discount).
Mac Spray Pump - €4,00 (€3,00 on a 25% discount).

Talking about face basics, I could not ommit my Mac Face & Body foundation. Although its coverage is on the light/sheer side, I love it because:
  • it melts into my skin and it actually looks like my skin but better
  • it evens out my skintone
  • it gives my dry skin a dewy and fresh look
  • even when I use two layers, it doesn't look like "makeup"
  • it is quite affordable even fullprice - €34 for 120ML of product!
The funny thing is that I get the best coverage and less dewiness from it (more natural this way) when I apply it with my palms: I put some on my palm and rub my palms together until it starts feeling less slippery and more sticky. Then I "rub" it gently all over my face.
Shadewise, I was never into Mac foundations because they're dark for me, but in the summer (when I purchased the F&B) I was tanned so N1 was perfect. Now, it starts getting darker on me, so I got the Face & Body in White (available only at the Pro Mac stores, I got it in the Ermou street store) and I mix the two colors. Now that I think of it, this is a way to adjust the foundation to my skintone throughout the year, at least until I get excited to try something new!

By the way, I tried to get the new Mac Matchmaster in 1.0 (I think it's the lightest Mac shade) but there's nowhere to find it! The lightest shade they got is 1.5 and it's not that 1.0 is sold out (Mac at Ermou street hadn't even set the display for this collection). Maybe Mac supposed that all greek women are fairly tanned??? Well, news for you Mac, there are many greek women that could use the 1.0!

Anyway,  back to the topic..
Mac Face & Body 120ML - €34,00 (€25,50 on a 25% discount).
Here are my foundations

During the summer, I also used some Elf mineral makeup (very lightly) as a setting powder.
Although it makes my makeup last even longer (all day) without touch ups (dry skin), I didn't like it that much, it felt weird, not itchy but close to that.

So, last week, after reading all the positive reviews about the Mac Careblend pressed powder, I decided to give it a try and I got one in Light. What makes this setting powder "special" is that it is supposed to be the most moisturising of all the Mac powders. Powder and moisturizing definitely sounds like an oxymore but, it really has a creamy-like feeling. I use it only with the 187 brush, so that I get the least possible amount of it and then I buff it into my skin.
It has a mirror and a little sponge application.
Mac Studio Careblend Pressed Powder - €25,00 (€18,75 on a 25% discount).
Here 's my Careblend

Last thing that I use on an everyday basis is the Mac Fix+ spray. It is supposed to be like a setting mist, after the makeup application to blend everything seamlessly together. It can also be used as a moisturizer, before makeup application.
Well, it didn't sound like that much, nor like a product that I must have had, but, one day, I saw the mini bottle of it and I got it out of pure curiosity. And (surprise!) it became a staple product to me. I keep the mini bottle in my purse at all times and I also keep a large one at home with my makeup stuff.
The reason I love it is mainly because it gives me the solution to "combat" the midday dullnes, when my face becomes flat and dehydrated. A couple of spritzes is all it takes to bring life and moisturization back to it!
I also use it after completing my makeup, it melts everything into my skin.
Mac Fix+ 30ML - €11,00 (€8,25 on a 25% discount).
Mac Fix+ 100ML - €17,50 (€13,12 on a 25% discount).
Here are the two of them

So, long story short (LOL!) these are my basic tools for face makeup.

What's your staple product for face makeup?
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