Sunday, December 29, 2013

MAC Blot Powder/Pressed

I have been testing out new staples for the past few weeks and I have found a powder that has occupied a permanent place in my purse every since I first used it.  I am talking about the MAC Blot Powder (pressed version).  I may have dry skin but I always like to have some combination of a pressed powder and blotting papers in my purse.  I use a small amount of a loose powder on my face to set my makeup every morning but I find that my forehead and nose tend to get somewhat shiny throughout the day and I like to keep products with me that can quickly correct this issue.  I don't even remember what the last pressed powder that I reviewed on this blog was, I go through them so slowly and I just finished up a small powder that was so old that the writing had worn off the top of the compact by the time that I was finally done with it.  At this rate, the MAC Blot Power should last me for at least another year or two...

MAC has been one of my favorite brands recently and I have been picking up items for myself nearly every single time that I visited the counter to pick up gifts this past holiday season.  I was trying to remain practical with many of these purchases and I picked up some face items and an extra tube of the Opulash Mascara.  One of my biggest beauty goals for next year is to more brands and I need to try and look for other brands that can perform as well as MAC but this will not kick off for a few more days and it seems like my blog is on MAC overboard right now.

The MAC website provides the following description of the Blot Powder/Pressed, "A unique, oil-controlling pressed powder that sets foundation and finishes the face while adding minimal colour and texture.  For use in professional situations and for frequent touch-ups on set or throughout the day.  Provides a very sheer, matte-looking finish."

This powder is currently available in four shades and is a part of the permanent MAC product line.  I use the shade "Light", this is the palest shade and the only one that suits me.  The powder is very sheer and that is the only reason that can use "Light", if this product was more pigmented then I would need an even paler shade.

I usually use this powder only to touch up during the day, I apply a very little bit of it to my forehead and nose around lunchtime and my skin remains matte through the rest of the day.  I tried this product to set my face in the morning (instead of my usual loose powder) and it works equally well for this purpose but I just prefer to use loose formulas in the morning and then touch up with a pressed formula.  There is nothing special about this product and I can't say that it is an outstanding product but it works nicely and I would recommend it to someone looking for a good touch up powder.  I find that there are very little differences in between most pressed powder formulas and there is very little variation in between formulas/brands.  I would repurchase this product however it will take me a long time to use it up and I will probably want to try and review a different product by the time that I have gotten through this whole compact...

photo courtesy of MAC

Saturday, December 28, 2013

MAC Magnetic Nude

Earlier today we looked at the Punk Couture collection from MAC and now we are looking at the last of the new collections that were released on Boxing Day.  This collection is named Magnetic Nude and this is the one that I found the most exciting when I quickly looked at the preview of the two color collections a few days ago.  This one promises to be the polar opposite of Punk Couture, I found a few products that will be awesome for getting dressed up and going out and this collection will give me some shades to add to my core makeup collection and great shades to swear by.  At the beginning of every new year, I always look for new neutral shades to add to my line up, this is the time of the year that I look for new Holy Grails and then add more seasonal shades once the spring collections start coming out.

As I stated in the earlier paragraph, I am very excited about the Magnetic Nude collection and I am looking forward to finding quite a few new pieces when I look at it.  I am hopeful that I find a few of the following: several neutral shades of eye shadow that I can wear with ones that I already own, a great nude lipstick/lip gloss shade that will work with any eye makeup look, and a neutral nail polish that I can wear in between bright and dark shades.  I have been wearing reds on my nails since Thanksgiving and I need a change of pace for my manicures.

"Ignite your inner magnetism, as glimmering metallics and natural nudes redefine winter opulence. Skin is radiant in soft peachy nudes, fine golds and sheer pearls. Smoky eyes get a metallic effect, shaded with grey mauve, deep copper and iridescent pink. Flushed nudes lend a subtle yet sexy polish, in cool pink and coral Extra Dimension Blush, and pale, creamy shades for lips create a look that's naturally magnetic.", states the MAC website to describe the collection.  I am so excited for this collection and I am envisioning some great metallic nude eye makeup right now!

The Magnetic Nude collection from MAC!

Extra Dimension Eye Shadow - A liquid-powder Eye Shadow with prismatic reflections in ten shimmering tints. Impact ranges from sheer crystallized light to a highly polished metallic effect. Lasts up to 6 hours.
- A Natural Flirt - iridescent light pink
- Sweet Heat - soft peach pink
- Platinum Love - bright clean silver
- Amorous Alloy - deep terracotta copper
- Silver Dawn - dirty gray mauve

Fluidline - Ultra-smooth, Fluidline's gel formula provides the precision of a liquid liner with a silkier, softer finish. Goes on “foolproof” with a brush in an easy dip-and-stroke action. Long-wearing. Smudge-proof. Lines up in a rich array of colours and finishes. Brush sold separately.
- Chilled - frosted white gold
- It's Physical - brown with purple pearl
- Our Secret - metallic brown with red pearl

Opulash - Superlative style & state-of-the-art science merge. A new formula in a more saturated intense black with extra-volumization, expansion & curl delivered dramatically with our most bodacious brush yet. Lasts 15 hours!
- Bad, Bad Black - black

Lipstick - Colour plus texture for the lips. Stands out on the runway. Simmers on the street! What made M·A·C famous.
- Close Contact - creamy peach
- Sensual Sparks - dirty cool caramel
- Morning Rose - soft cool rose
- Carnal Instinct - deep brick red with gold pearl

Tinted Lipglass - A unique lip gloss available in a wide variety of colours that can create a high gloss, glass-like finish or a subtle sheen. Designed to be worn on its own, over Lip Pencil or Lipstick, Tinted Lipglass is the perfect product for creating shine that lasts. It's pigmented, very shiny and can impart subtle or dramatic colour. It contains Jojoba Oil to help soften and condition the lips. Tinted Lipglass is packaged in a convenient bottle with a sponge tip applicator that provides a quick, smooth, even application.
- A Quiet Roar - creamy off white
- Oh My Darling - pale yellow pink
- Overspiced - dirty muted coral
- Hell Bound - brick red with gold pearl
- Steel Kiss - dirty mauve with green pearl

Extra Dimension Blush - A liquid-powder blush with prismatic reflections in five shimmering shades. Impact ranges from sheer crystallized light to a highly polished metallic effect. Lasts up to 6 hours.
- At Dusk - midtone rose
- Autoerotique - dirty coral rose
- Pleasure Model - soft terracotta with pearl

Extra Dimension Skinfinish - A liquid-powder highlighter with prismatic reflections that sculpts, highlights and models the face. The cool, creamy near-fluid formula creates a luminous, well-defined finish. Wears 10 hours.
- Superb - soft peachy nude with multi-dimensional shimmer
- Magnetic Appeal - medium tan with fine gold sheen
- Fairly Precious - peach with dimensional pearly sheen

235 Split Fibre All Over Eye Brush - Subtle or sizzling, edgy or elegant, this split fibre brush allows you to create the eye look you're longing for with its signature blend of goat hair & synthetic fibres.

128 Split Fibre Cheek Brush - Designed for exceptional Blush application, this split fibre brush delivers a soft, diffused look with its unique combination of natural & synthetic fibers.

I have a lot of choices in this collection and this will contain some of my top picks for shopping in the New Year!  I will not go to the mall again until after the new year begins, at that point it should be calmed down from after the holidays and I should actually be able to look around without facing a mob of shoppers.  I might order a few pieces from this collection online right away and then check out the rest of them at the counter when I head out...

My favorite piece of this collection is one of the Lipstick shades, Morning Rose is a soft, cool rose that will be perfect for creating the My-Lips-But-Better look with my skin tone.  I will be able to wear this shade for the rest of the winter and then well into the spring and then pick up again next fall.  This will be a great addition to my lipstick collection and it is my first choice for the whole collection and my first choice from all the new MAC collections.  I can skip over the rest of the Lipstick shades and then move right over to the Lipglass.  I want the Hell Bound shade, this brick red will be very nice for getting dressed up or in a professional environment.  The other shade that I really want from the Lipglass line is the Oh My Darling shade, this neutral pink will work well with everything that I own and I can see myself going through this tube very rapidly.  The lip products are the ones that I would be ordering early because they are ones that I must have and I have used enough MAC lip shades to know that I will love these.

Moving over to the eye makeup part of this collection...  I have already picked up and played with Urban Decay's Naked 3, I will be putting this palette aside for warmer weather and I am sure that the nudes in this collection's palette will work well with and the other Naked palettes.  This new palette is made up of rose gold shades so I am already looking for shades from other companies that will work with this new set of hues.  I want A Natural Flirt, Amorous Alloy, and Sweet Heat to wear with the new shades and to mix with the hues that I already own.  This is a great collection for me to find more eye makeup shades.  I love the Opulash formula and I am considering picking up another tube of this product for when I run out of mascara.

The last piece that I really like is one that I want to see at the counter first, the Extra Dimension Blush in the rose hue is really pretty however I am wary of any blush from MAC that has shimmer in it.  MAC can go too heavy on the shimmer for face products so I must try this one at the counter first and then decide.  If the shimmer is faint, this blush will be a great choice for me but if the shimmer is too heavy then I will be skipping over it.

This is by far my favorite of the new collections and the one that I will be spending the most money on, I will be ordering some of the best products online soon and then will be visiting the counters in the new year to try the rest of the items out.  Now we can start looking forward to seeing what MAC brings out for spring!

photo courtesy of Nordstrom

MAC Punk Couture

Punk Couture is the first of the two full color collections from MAC to be released yesterday and is the one that looks to be the most relevant to many of the trends that I have been seeing in beauty and fashion magazines over the past two months.  The punk looks that have been all over the runways the past few months are often too much for me to pull off and I have not been dabbling in any of these looks nor have I any plans to.  I know that this collection will excite a lot of ladies but I doubt that I will find many items for myself in it.  I have much higher hopes for the Magnetic Nudes collection that was also released yesterday...

This collection contains bright shades for eyes, lips, and nails...I might find a new lip hue or nail polish shade from this collection so I still might be able to pick up some items from this collection.  I think that I would be more likely to buy new nail polishes from this collection but I will check out every single product and see what I find that might work for me and my beauty style.

The MAC website provides an overall description of the collection.  "Introducing daring new shades for eyes, lips and nails inspired by punk's rebel spirit and revolutionary impact on high fashion. Eye Shadow x 4 blends and builds fierce eyes while vibrant neon Pigments instigate a chaos of colour. Deep tones of matte Lipstick attract all the right attention in Hautecore, Studded Kiss and Instigator, while the gleam of Jet Boy and No Apologies Cremesheen Glass shimmers with golden and purple pearl. Black-as-night cream and teal green lacquer nails in pure, polished punk."  Teal Nail Lacquer might be right up my alley this winter...

Here is the Punk Couture collection!

Punk Couture: Eye Shadow x 4 - An Eye Shadow Quad in four shades: light taupe mauve, rich blackened plum, silvered violet with gold, and intense black. The highly pigmented powder formula applies evenly, blends and builds beautifully.
- All Races - light cool taupe mauve (Matte)
- Idol Eyes - silvered violet with gold (Lustre)
- Magic Moor - rich blackened plum with pearl (Veluxe Pearl)
- Carbon - intense black (Matte)

Pigment - Pigment is a highly concentrated loose colour powder that contains ingredients to help it adhere to the skin. Create a subtle wash of colour or an intense effect. Does not streak or cake. Easy to blend and long-lasting. Please note: Pigments are sold by weight not volume. Containers can appear to be less than full due to settling of the product.
- True Chartreuse - rich flat chartreuse green
- Neo-Orange - intense neon salmon
- Magenta Madness - intense neon blue pink

Haute and Naughty Too Black Lash - Our two-in-one mascara in an intense carbon black. Creamy, velvety, lightweight formula sweeps up lashes and coats from root-to-tip. The dual-wiper system customizes your lash style: naturally defined or powerfully dramatic.

Penultimate Eye Liner - A liquid pen-style liner that provides the ultimate precise, bold line in a rich, deep carbon black shade. Goes on fluidly, in one steady stroke, to style any fashion of eye line.
- Rapidblack - true black

Eye Kohl - A soft-on pencil liner that lines, defines and shades the eyes with rich colour and a silky-smooth, matte/pearl finish. Ophthalmologist tested.
- Smolder - intense black

Lipstick - Colour plus texture for the lips. Stands out on the runway. Simmers on the street! What made M·A·C famous.
- Studded Kiss - dark oxblood red
- Instigator - deep blackened plum
- Punk Couture - deep blackened grape
- Hautecore - true matte black

Cremesheen Glass - A lip finish that fuses the creamy, sheen-filled nature of Cremesheen Lipstick with the shine of M∙A∙C Lipglass. Soft, comfortable, non-sticky. Applies with a doe-foot applicator. Use as a top layer to its namesake Lipstick or on its own.
- Jet Boy - sheer black with gold pearl
- No Apologies - sheer black with pinkish purple pearl
- Dark Outsider - creamy true black

Nail Lacquer - Revolutionary new high gloss formula. Three long-wearing finishes - Cream, Sheer, and Frosted. Visibly different. Provides no-streak/no-chip finish. Contains conditioners and UV protection. Go hi-lacquer!
- Impassioned - bright warm pink
- Formidable - teal green with pink multi changing pearl
- Nocturnelle - black as night black

I love the Nail Lacquer in Formidable, this teal with the pink pearl is simply amazing and I must order a bottle of this shade.  I have nothing like this shade in my collection and I have never seen anything like this hue before.  I have a feeling that this shade will sell out instantly and I cannot wait to get to the counter and I will order this one online later tonight.  Already I am seeing that many of the lip shades are completely sold out and I don't want to miss out on this nail polish too. 

The Nail Lacquer is the only shade that I must own from this collection but I actually like a few more items from it than I thought that I would.  The Eye Shadow x 4 would not be an everyday look for me but I would like to own it and I would use it when getting dressed up and going out at night.  Idol Eyes is a very unique shade and one that I would like to add to my collection.  I already own the Eye Kohl in Smolder and only use it when going out so I certainly don't need another one, I am actually out of my Penultimate formula so I am considering buying another tube or trying another liquid eye liner form from MAC.  The last item that I would like from this collection is a Lipstick shade, Studded Kiss is the only shade that I would be able to pull off from this collection.  All of the others are black hues or has a black tint to them and I would never be able to pull them off.  I am slightly sad because I love the Cremesheen formula and always want to add more of these glosses to my collection.

Two collections from Boxing Day down and one left!

photo courtesy of MAC

Friday, December 27, 2013

Fitness Friday - Side Lunges

I had stated right at the end of finals season that one of my goals over winter break was to visit the gym more and try new exercises with every visit.  I had featured lunges on one of my previous Fitness Fridays and today we are looking at another variation on the traditional lunge.  Side lunges are a move that I have been trying out since the beginning of winter break and one that I am finally beginning to improve at.

I pulled all of the information on this exercise from the Pop Sugar website and I have included detailed steps to follow when performing this exercise.  "Side lunges offer a new take on regular lunges. They allow you to work your hips, glutes and thighs a bit differently than traditional squats and lunges while still targeting the major muscles of the lower body. They offer a really good workout and are friendly on the knees, reducing the risk of injury. First, start with your body weight. Once you get the movement down, add dumbbells for more of a challenge. "

Here is how to do them:

- Holding a pair of dumbbells, stand with your feet and knees together.
- Take a large step with your right foot to the right side and lunge toward the floor.
- Make sure your right knee does not extend past your toes and keep your left leg relatively straight.
- Push off through your right foot to return to the start to complete one.
- Do three sets of 10 on each side.

I am still doing these side lunges without weights and I have to keep my hands on my waist to try and remain stable.  I find it hardest to remain stable when doing these and I have fallen over many times already over the past two weeks.  I can feel these in my thighs the next day but they are starting to get easier and I have finally worked up to the 3 sets of ten on each side!

photo courtesy Pop Sugar

Thursday, December 26, 2013

MAC Huggable Lipcolour

The day after Christmas (or Boxing Day for those in the UK and Canada) is a huge day for MAC, they release new collections on this day every single year and they are often among the best ones of the whole year.  In years past, these collections have contained products and shades that would work well all throughout the year and have often become colors in the permanent MAC line up.  The first one that comes to mind is All Ages, All Races, All Sexes (or something to this effect) that was released several years ago and became an instant class for the line.  I am looking forward to seeing what MAC has up their sleeve this year!

Three new collections have come out today and we will start looking at them immediately.  I am in the mood for some new shades of blush and lip gloss that I can add to my permanent line up of products and that would work well with many of the products that I already own.  MAC has brought out two full color collections and then one that introduces a new lipstick formula...the lipstick collection is where we will start because all of you know my love of MAC Lipstick formulas and I get very excited to try new ones out as soon as I can!  I have been rotating back and forth in between the Urban Decay Revolution and the Too Faced La Crème lipsticks and I am ready to revisit some MAC formulas.

The new Lipstick formula is named Huggable and the packaging looks exactly like that of the Sheen Supreme formula that I love to pieces and count among my overall favorite lipstick formulas.  I will be checking shades out and trying this formula as soon as I can get to the counter again!

The MAC website provides the following description of the new formula, "When it comes to gorgeous lips, don't compromise shine for colour. You can have it all in a new formula inspired by Asian trends, hugging your lips in 12 hues that stay bright and luminous for up to six hours. Featuring an array of creamy emollients, Huggable Lipcolour provides a lasting, glossy finish that leaves lips smooth and sculpted."

Huggable Lipcolour - A new high-shine formula featuring an array of creamy emollients, providing a lasting, glossy finish that leaves lips smooth and sculpted. A unique gel base allows each shade to smooth effortlessly onto the skin, with a feather-light finish giving immediate moisture, lasting up to six hours.
- Touche - light beige cream
- Fresh and Frisky - soft neutral peach cream
- Fashion Force - cool coral cream
- Lovebeam - midtonal warm pink cream
- Cherry Glaze - orange red cream
- Feeling Amorous? - midtonal fuchsia cream
- What A Feeling! - midtonal cool pink cream
- Out for Passion - soft warm rose cream
- Red Necessity - deep warm wine cream
- Commotion - deep cool plum cream
- Rusty - deep auburn cream
- Rich Marron - midtonal nude cream

This formula sounds very similar to Sheen Supreme; it combines moisture, color, and shine all together to create a wonderful formula that performs on all levels.  This one has the potential to be another MAC favorite of mine.  My early favorite shade is What A Feeling!, I love this cool pink and I will save this one for the beginning of spring.  Bubblegum pink lip shades are favorites of mine in the spring and this one will be a valuable addition to my collection!  Red Necessity is a shade that I would wear right now and so is Touche.  Touche is a great nude and I would wear this shade all year long, I could see this one being a prime addition to my line up and working with almost all of the makeup that I already own.  I have been using nudes a lot lately and I always want more nude shades.

I will be trying this new lipstick formula the next time that I head over to the MAC counter and I am confident that I will walk away with several new shades in this new formula.  I will report back on what my findings are and I would appreciate any comments from those who have already tried this one out.

photo courtesy of MAC

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Year Ahead...

Merry Christmas everyone!  I have decided to take some time today and look to the future of this blog.  We have already started to look at the collections for next spring and we will keep this coverage up over the next few weeks.  In addition to my traditional product reviews and collection posts, I will be featuring some different brands this year on my blog.

Earlier this month, I made a list of brands that I feel that I don't own many products from and want to learn more about.  I will pick one brand for each month and we will look at some background on the brand and highlight a few of their best selling products.  In addition, I will be ordering five of their best-selling/top rated products each month and I will be reviewing them on the blog.  I feel that I have been using and loving the same brands over the past few years and I want to see what I have been missing.  As much as I love MAC and Urban Decay, I need to expand my horizons for my makeup and skincare and discover new loves.

First in the Brand of the Month series is...Bobbi Brown!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Lorac Behind The Scenes Eye Shadow Primer

I have been testing out the Lorac Pro Eye Shadow Palette over the past few days and I decided to test the matching eye shadow primer that came along with it.  I was in need of a new eye shadow primer to begin with and it was just easier for me to test this formula right along with the eye shadow palette.  As many of you already know, my favorite eye shadow primer is the original formula from Urban Decay and there are very few other formulas that I would repurchase over that one.  The Lorac formula is yet another one that will be following that trend, it is a nice eye shadow primer but not one that I would grab over the Urban Decay...

"Get Lorac's Behind The Scenes Eye Shadow Primer and all eyes will be on you! This gentle, lightweight, oil, fragrance and paraben-free formula keeps your eye shadow picture-perfect from daytime to Prime Time. Created by Celebrity Makeup artist Carol Shaw to be used Behind The Scenes on photo shoots and on the Red Carpet, this unique eye shadow primer easily glides on for crease-resistant, silky-smooth color that lasts!", states the Lorac website.

I will start off my review by stating that this is a good product, it is not the best primer but I didn't find any major faults with it.  I said above that I tend to find that most eye shadow primers fall into this category and there is nothing wrong with these primers but nothing can hold a candle to Urban Decay Primer Potion.

The Behind The Scenes Eye Shadow Primer has a light lotion texture and quickly absorbs into the skin on my eyelids without leaving any type of sticky residue.  I like that the squeeze tube allows me to control how much product I use and I will not be wasting any of this primer due to a doe foot applicator, the packaging is much nicer than many of the primers from other brands.  The primer keeps my eye shadow from fading and creasing for about six hours but I have found that most eye shadow formulas that I have used it with so far will start to fade soon after that and I will have slight creasing on my lids at the end of the day.  I have found that the tube is the best aspect of this product and I would love to see more brands bring out eye primers with this type of tube.

I have gotten better results with this product when I use it with matte or satin shadows but it tends to produce fall out when used with glitter-infused formulas.  Again, I have found that result with nearly every eye primer formula (expect the Urban Decay) and I can't say that this product is bad.  I find it to be a good but quite average eye shadow primer and one that I will not be repurchasing when I need another primer.  I am still testing out the palette that this came with and I will have my full review within the next few days.

photo courtesy of Lorac