MAC Dare To Wear Collection Swatches and Review

Thursday, July 29, 2010

MAC Dare To Wear Collection has officially been released at all MAC counters today with bright eye catching colors.  There are a total of 6 limited edition lipglasses and 3 permanent/3 PRO/5 limited edition/1 repromote eyeshadows.  Let's get to it shall we?

First up, we have the six lipglasses retailing at $18USD for 0.17 oz in a skinny plastic tube with doe foot applicators. These are nicely pigmented and don't have large chunks of glitters compared to Dazzleglasses. They are not as sticky as the regular lipglasses but are still tacky when the lips are pressed together. You can either sheer out the colors or apply more layers to create a bold look, making these suitable for all skin tones.

I surprisingly like all the bright bold colors in this collection but am turned off by the glitter. Although they are much smaller/finer, they tend to migrate all around the lips/chin/bottom of nostril once they dry or if you accidentally touch your lips.  That's a definite no go for me.  I wish they would release these colors without the glitter because they are very pretty.

Just a fleeting shutter...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

One of  my favorite hobbies on the weekend or during free time is to capture photos of landscape, people, things, etc.  I love photography and processing them after each shooting session.  With makeup, color accuracy is extremely important so the use of Photoshop is very limited.  The good thing about regular landscape or even wedding photos is the ability to capture quick raw moments that you can later enhance with Photoshop.

For every 100 pictures taken, you can usually use 10-25% of the images at most.  This accounts for blurry photos that can't be salvaged, vignetting, strange angles, or simply someone stepping into the shot while you're capturing a scenery.  Sometimes you can take images that look so ordinarily dull that you end up not giving it a second glance.  Adobe Photoshop is a great tool to correct lighting, add filter, or simply add a new perspective/angle to otherwise forgotten photos. However, that's not to say you should use photoshop for every single photo. That defeats the general purpose of photography.

Here I have a couple of images to share with you. I took these during our honeymoon in Europe last year where I added a new spin to each image using Photoshop. You'll notice all the watermarks are "Fleeting Shutter" which was from my old photography blog that I never got around to updating.

First up is a photo of a sign outside of Windsor Castle in England that shows the operating hours and cost of each ticket.  The day was cold and gloomy so this came out to be a very boring photo. I was using a fish eye wide lens angle so it captured everything surrounding the sign, which included a black gate and some odd looking building on the side.  Quite a distraction isn't it?

Chanel Joues Contraste Swatches and Review - Orchid Rose & Pink Explosion

Blush is usually the last or second to last step in most makeup routines.  It ties together the entire look and provides a subtle flush to face that says "I have a natural glow".  Here I share with you two blushes that came home with me which have become regular staples.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) Lip Tar Swatches and Review

Monday, July 26, 2010

During my trip to IMATS, one of the counters I really wanted to visit was Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, also known as OCC by many beauty lovers.  I have seen lots of raves and reviews on the lip tars from various blogs so naturally I was intrigued. It was definitely love at first swipe when I got my hands on them.  I wanted to pick up NSFW and Memento but those colors were already sold out.  I immediately picked up Melange for a MLBB look and was pleasantly surprised to see  Divine in the IMATS press kit. 

Beauty Blogs Backstage: Seven Questions with Yinka of Vex In The City

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Recently I joined Beauty Blogs Backstage, a group that pairs us up with different bloggers each month.   I thought this was a great idea to learn more about the writers behind each blog through our individual interviews. If you are interested in joining BBB, please visit the site here.  This month, I have been paired with the fabulous Yinka from Vex In the City. Here are my 7 questions for her:

1. What inspired you to start a beauty blog?
When I first started to read beauty blogs, I became frustrated that there weren't enough written by fellow black women who could swatch the shades I liked the look of. I figured that if I was looking for black beauty blogs, then there must be other women who were too. I've alway

2. How did you come to choose Vex in the City as the blog name? Is it a tribute to NY?
I can be quite fiery at times (the 'Vex' reference), I'm a huge SATC fan (with the exception of the disappointing movie sequel), love the city New York - and my boyf is a born and bred New Yorker. My blog name is a combination of the lot!

3. What are your must have HG beauty products?

Oooh where do I begin? NARS Gina blush, Estee Lauder Sumptous mascara, MAC Raizin blush, Botanics Soothing Eye Make Up Remover, Burts Bees Honey Lip Balm, Shiseido The Make Up Mascara Base..and more recently MAC MSF in Petticoat & Lancome Hypnose Drama mascara. I could go on and on!

4. Do you think beauty trends are driven by fellow beauty bloggers, fashion shows, or beauty magazines?

Hmmm I still think beauty trends are taken first from the catwalk, determined in magazine and then that is what's force fed to us, the public. A beauty blogger can influence a hundred others to go and buy a certain lipstick shade, but I view that as an enabling recommendation (LOL), rather than starting a trend.

5. As a fan of Sex and the City, which character would you say best describes your fashion/beauty style?
In regards to my make up style, I can't really choose. I go for the natural look for day and vamp it up at night! I own an insane amount of shoes - that must be the Carrie in me!

6. If you had to endorse one cosmetics brand, which would you choose and why.

Recent controversy aside (Rodarte), I'll still say MAC - a large proportion of my make up collection is from MAC and it was the first brand that I really began to take an interest in when I started to experiment with cosmetics. They cater for my skin tone, have a wide range of shades and finishes to choose from and are accessible.

7. What is your favorite weekend activity?

Anything that involves good company and laughter!

Want to see my answers to Yinka's questions? Head on over here!

Burberry Cosmetics Part III- Blush, Bronzer, Foundation, Lip/Eye Definer Swatches and Review

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

We're winding down to the rest of the products in the collection which includes:

6 Lip Definer Shaping Pencil  
5 Eye Definer Eye Shaping Pencil
5 Light Glow Natural Blush
4 Warm Glow Natural Bronzer
2 Sheer Luminous Pressed Powder
9 Sheer Luminous Compact Foundation
9 Sheer Luminous Fluid Foundation

Burberry Cosmetics Part II- Lipsticks and Lipglosses Swatches and Review

Monday, July 19, 2010

Reds, pinks, burgundy, beige, whatever your heart desires, Burberry has them covered with 21 Lip Color Soft Satin Lipsticks, 12 Lip Glow Natural Lip Glosses, and 6 complementing Lip Definer Shaping Pencils.

Burberry Cosmetics Part I - Eyeshadow Swatches and Review

For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you already know about my mission to uncover what Burberry has to offer in the newly released cosmetics collection.  My dear husband who is extremely supportive of my love for makeup and this blog, offered to drive to Nordstrom San Francisco, 1 hour (56.5 miles to be exact) away.  I came in with a camera and was mentally prepared to be kicked out of the counter/store for taking pictures.  Little did I know, I was about to meet one of the sweetest, kindest, and most helpful group of SAS/MAs I have ever met.  They helped introduce me to the line, test out the products, provided endless makeup remover wipes for the swatches, and answered any questions I had about the products. So here I bring to you an exclusive review of Burberry cosmetics all thanks to Kristy, Susie, Bo, and Tiffany.

Due to exclusivity, Burberry Cosmetics are only available at 8 Nordstrom counters in the US. If you have questions or need color advices prior to ordering, please give Susie a call at (415) 243-8500 ext 1421 or email her at She is a complete sweetheart and will help you with your questions/purchases/CP.  You can also order online from Nordstrom. For international ladies, Burberry is available at selected Harrods (UK) and Lane Crawford (Hong Kong) stores.

First up on my list was what Burberry named Sheer Eyeshadows.  These retail for $29USD for 0.088 oz. There are a total of 20 colors offered ranging from white to dark blue and everything else in between.

What are you doing on Thursday?

Clear your calendar, call your mom/sister/aunt/grandma/BFF because you don't want to miss this offering from Estee Lauder! This will be available at all Estee Lauder counters nationwide BOTH in Canada and the US.

On Thursday, July 22nd Estée Lauder will kick off its largest sampling program to date – America’s Night to Repair.  To anniversary the success of last year’s first annual America’s Night to Repair, for 4 synchronized hours – from 5:00pm – 9:00pm (all local times) – Estée Lauder Beauty Advisors will be distributing a total of 360,000 deluxe samples. Customers can choose either a 10-day supply of NEW Advanced Night Repair Eye Synchronized Complex or Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex at ALL Estée Lauder department and specialty store counters nationwide – one sample per customer while supplies last.  

Customers can visit for additional information.

I know I'll be at the counter on Thursday.  Patented serums to repair my skin/eyes that are free? Count me in! 

Will you be there?

Here's looking at you, kid

Sneak peek at the new Burberry Cosmetics Collection can be found here:

Blush/Bronzer/Foundation/Lip Definer/Eye Definer/Mascara

Burberry Cosmetics

Friday, July 16, 2010

To all my fellow beauty lovers and followers:

I know several of you have already expressed interest in seeing more information about the newly released Burberry Beauty Collection.  Are there particular products you'd like to see swatches/review of (eyeshadows, lipsticks, lipglosses, blushes, etc). Please let me know.

NYX I Dream Of St. Lucia Eyeshadow Palette Swatches and Review

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Aside from single eyeshadows and trios, NYX also has 5 color eyeshadow palettes under The Caribbean Collection. These retail at $8.75USD for 0.28oz/8g.  There are a total of 10 different palettes in the collection and I Dream Of St. Lucia is a standout with bright colors fitting for this year's scorching summer.

The one that started it all...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I find myself writing about the latest and greatest collection release from MAC at least once a month on this blog. It's both exciting and thrilling to stand at the counter on the release date, oogling over the products and furiously swatching/photographing/posting them on the blog to share with you.  There are even times when I would get tempted by my own review or photos of the products.  I think the MAC marketing teams are geniuses by teasing us with these endless limited edition releases. This got me to think, how did all the frenzy started and what caused me to be so mesmerized by MAC?  I thought long and hard about it and realized it was Trax.

Ten years ago, I went into a frenzy phase of collecting purple eyeshadows.  I searched high and low for the perfect purple/eggplant/lilac. One day, I stopped by MAC and saw Trax eyeshadow staring back at me from the shelves.  Needless to say, I bought it with my college student budget and it became an everyday staple.  Although I didn't exactly know how to apply it back then, I kept on piling it onto my eyelids day after day prompting my oh-so-sweet brother to ask "Who punched you in the eyes??".  My MAC collection has undoubtedly grown over the past 10 years beyond just one eyeshadow, but I'll always remember the one that started it all. Thanks Trax!

What is your favorite cosmetics brand? Do you remember the first one that started it all?

MAC In The Groove Mineralize Eyeshadow Trio Swatches

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Once again I headed off to the mall to get the remaining swatches but I could only get the Mineralize Eyeshadow Trios (except Soften The Mood).  Half of the cremesheen lipglasses were missing because of use on customers or the testers were stolen.  Sorry I couldn't get the complete collection swatches up for you, so this will be last post on ITG.  Please check other blogs or Specktra for cremesheen swatches.  The eye pencils are all from the permanent collection so check your local counters in person if you don't already have them.

MAC In The Groove Mineralize Skin Finish, Lipsticks, and Mineralize Blush Duo Swatches

Friday, July 9, 2010

Since the collection is massive, I will break the swatches into 2 parts.  Today I only got to swatch the MSF, lipsticks, and Mineralize Blush Duos.  I literally ran out of space on my tiny arm to swatch the rest.  I'll go to the MAC counter again tomorrow to finish swatching the remaining products! Click here for recommendations and review on each product in this collection.

On my skin tone All Styled Up looks the same as I Like That but they are not the same.  I Like That is darker and is a blue pink rather than yellow pink like All Styled Up.

MAC In The Groove Initial Review

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Today is the big launch of MAC In The Groove Collection at all counters in the US.  When I say big, it's an understatement.  This is a ridiculously large collection with 30 new products released altogether.  There are 6 lipsticks, 6 cremesheen glasses, 9 mineral trio eyeshadows, 5 Mineralize Blush Duos, and 4 Mineralize Skin Finishes. If you are a mineral product fan, this will be enough to drive your wallet to the ground.  I went into the local Macy's to check out the collection today but completely forgot my camera at home, thus I'm not able to provide any swatches for you.  I'll try again tomorrow.  This collection is huge so I'm not sure how many trips I have to make to cover all the products.  I'm sure it's covered by many other blogs, especially the swatches forum on Specktra.

What I will do however, is give you my take of the products and collection as a whole. Ready? Let's jump right to it!

Case of the lost and forgotten

As I cleaned up after the photograph/swatch session last night, I came to the realization there are still makeup products sitting in their bags untouched.  I suddenly felt guilty and overwhelmed.  The cosmetics trend keeps on changing everyday with new collections releasing left and right.  By the time we finally get a hot product in our hands, there's yet a new one to purchase.  Case in point, I've gotten only one use out of Marine Life since I purchased it back in May.  It's already July and now MAC In the Groove is coming out with everyone trying to get their hands on Stereo Rose! I haven't had a chance to use all of the products from my Asia haul yet or even get around to reviewing them for you.  Thus..I'm now on a mission to use a different lipstick, lipgloss, and blush everyday until everything has been in rotation at least once.

Do you feel the same way about makeup? 

Does it seem like we're always behind and most things we purchase out of hype/new release end up a case of the lost and forgotten in our drawers?

NYX Lip Lacquer Pot Review and Swatches

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Aside from the cream blushes, I also picked up a lip lacquer pot from the NYX booth.  There are a total of 12 shades available on the NYX website coming in at $6USD for 0.14oz/4g.  Out of the colors sold at IMATS, I only purchased LLP12 Okie Dokie Artichokie.  Now that I think about it, I should have also picked up Simply Red and Ultra Violet.

NYX Rouge Cream Blushes Swatches and Review

During IMATS, I visited the NYX booth to pick up 4 Rouge Cream Blushes and one Lip Lacquer Pot.  I have been looking all over local stores for these cream blushes but haven't been able to locate one.  When I saw them, I had to put them in the bag.  Most reviews rate these very high in terms of feel/pigmentation. Some even say they can be dupes to MAC's Cremeblend blushes from Lillyland Collection.  Let's see how these compare!

Chanel Fall 2010 Collection Review and Swatches

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

After the Asia trip, I said to myself, "No more hauls. You are not allowed to enter a makeup store".  I sort of kept this in mind so at IMATS, I did a very very small haul despite the incredible deals offered.  However, last weekend I went to Macy's and mistakenly stopped by the Chanel counter.  It all went downhill from there for my wallet and the vow not to spend.  As a neutral/natural look makeup lover, I feel this is one of the best collection Chanel has released to date.  I fell head over heels with Chanel's Fall 2010 Collection that's now released in stores.  The colors are not your typical plum/mauve/dark shades.  They are soft shimmery pink/peach colors that are very flattering and just imparts that natural glow.  This is what I'd call "naturalNchicmakeup" and I couldn't help but pick up almost all the lip products.  I have 3 Glossimers and 2 Coco Rouge to share with you.  I've also picked up a JC blush in Orchid Rose which I'll review in a later post. 

IMATS Los Angeles/Pasadena 2010 Part IV

Monday, July 5, 2010

Last but not least in the 4 part IMATS coverage is the student competition that was held on Sunday at 2:45pm.  I was not able to see Alice in Wonderland competition which I thought would be the most exciting.  This competition's theme was Brother Grimm I believe and it was equally inspiring.

Each of the students had a workspace on a platform and attendees were advised not to disturb or talk to them during the competition.  This made a lot of sense because the students were under time constraints to complete their looks for the competition. 

IMATS Los Angeles/Pasadena 2010 Part III

Saturday, July 3, 2010

IMATS = International Makeup Artist Trade Show and it wouldn't be complete without showcasing some of the most impressive jaw dropping makeup artists' works.  I was snapping away at all the models in the show from various makeup brands, schools and artists.  These range from special effects to airbrush makeup that just blew me away.  Here I share a selected few models with you since there are too many to post.

First up is a gorgeous model from MUFE.  These colors were hand drawn onto her. 

IMATS Los Angeles/Pasadena 2010 Part II

Friday, July 2, 2010

One of the major themes I saw this year at IMATS is glitter.  Glitter body art, nails, skin, face, douse yourself with glitterati!  Ok maybe not the last part but there were a lot of vendors showcasing the latest products at IMATS.

First up, Glimmer Body Art Glitter Tattoos.  There are lots of designs to choose from and these advertise to last up to 7 days.

IMATS Los Angeles/Pasadena 2010 Part I

This year I had the opportunity to attend the annual IMATS 2010 event in Pasadena California.  It was a 2 in 1 trip since I was attending a wedding on Saturday in Long Beach.  Although I wasn't able to attend the event on Saturday, I made the best use of time on Sunday.  I had an amazing time at IMATS and would like to give special thanks to two very sweet ladies, Ann and Sara from Ann Flowers Communications for providing me an opportunity to cover the event.

I have to say IMATS is hands down one of the best trade shows I have attended.  The talent displayed through student competitions, makeup artists, and makeup vendors are incredible. IMATS and Ann's team did a great job of organizing the event with ticket booths, security, and line set up.  It was very easy to find the entrance and place to pick up tickets since there are signs with instructions.  I thought it was a great idea to provide each attendee with a large bag to put our purchased goodies. It took me so long to finally post about this because I took over 850 pictures from this event.  Yes you heard it correct..over 850! I've been frantically trying to download, filter, and edit them to share with you.  I will break this coverage into 4 parts since there are lots to cover. All images are copyrighted so if you'd like to use them, please contact me first. Now onwards with the show!