MAC Ellie Goulding Halcyon Palette: Review and Swatches

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My Halcyon Days palette from the MAC and Ellie Goulding Collection has landed! I’m a big fan of Ellie and there’s a few posts here on her music, but it was a pleasure to support Ellie’s makeup collection too. And one that I am liking a lot!

I chose the Halcyon Days palette ($44 from MAC but about $60 through purchase order) mainly because I love MAC cream color bases (CCB). I have a few in red and pinks which I use as blush and lip color – they are very pigmented, true to pan in term of colors, long lasting, and just an overall pleasure to use. I also wanted to try MAC’s blot powder, included in this palette.

Let’s go over the CCBs first.  MAC was relatively accurate describing the colors as they translate on my skin. Color #1 Wish I Stayed is a light cream pearl and #2 Tint is a peachy brown, and both are good for eyes and lips in my case. Note that I don’t use highlighters – I have my own internal glowing mechanism i.e. my oily skin – otherwise #1 and #2 would also be good as highlighters. Color #3 Root is a taupe brown with shimmer, good for the eyes. Color #4 Everytime You Go, is a peachy pink, suitable for eyes and cheeks, but washes out on my lips if on its own. I double it up with #2 for a more wearable look.

All the CCBs are nicely emollient, sparkling in color, and blends easily. Using fingers are best for these, I find. The one downside of these is that they are not as long-lasting as my other CCBs. Without primer, on eyes, these fade noticeably after a couple of hours, and after 4 hours, only about 50% remains on my eyes. As blush, #4 lasted a bit longer but again, not as stellar as my other, full-size CCBS. I have not used them with primer yet.

The blot powder is describe as ‘medium dark’, and it’s really not that dark. I think even darker gals (NC 45) can use this – it is very, very sheer. A really good match for my NC25 face. This is definitely great for blotting, and for dusting over the CCBs to tone down the shimmer without sacrificing color. However, it’s not very good in controlling oil.

Overall, no regrets in this purchase. I really enjoy using the CCBs and the blot powder together, and if I may say so myself, it gives a very ‘Ellie’ look. My eye area has gotten drier as I age, and using these CCBs as eye color is a real pleasure. This palette would also be great for travel and I can’t wait to take it places.

Bottom line: no regrets even at the inflated price I obtained it for, and recommended for those who want to try MAC’s CCBs, and those with dryer skin.

MAC Halcyon Days palette
MAC Halcyon Days palette

MAC Halcyon Days Ellie Goulding (4)

[Local] La Tulipe Asian Beauty Travel Palette: Review and Swatches

While tooling around in the traditional market for the Purbasari lipstick, this little gem of a travel palette by local brand La Tulipe caught my eyes: Asian Beauty Travel Palette (normally Rp165,000 ~ US$12 but was on 15% discount). It was one of two La Tulipe travel palettes that I was shown, but I bought this one since I prefer its  color combination and cover illustration.

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Inside the La Tulipe Asian Beauty Travel Palette

The first row in the palette has four eyeshadows which are unnamed: #1 shimmery orange-y copper; #2 shimmery light pink; #3 a satiny matte dark brown (more on this below); and #4 golden cream. The second row is occupied by a face powder (suitable for someone NC 25-30, and described as a two-way cake though I haven’t tried it wet yet), a shimmery and slightly bronze-y peach blush , and two lip colors (a shimmery almost translucent orange, and a matte peachy pink).

Now, the dark brown is relatively matte, but with a very slight sheen. That’s why I mentioned it as a satin-y matte. In a jam, this will also work as brow color, if you use sparingly and just to fill in the gaps. It is not too red, so that’s a plus, but if you try to shape with it – where some color show on skin rather than amongst brow hair – the shine will show through more.

The palette is made of cardboard,  10.5 cm width x 14.5 cm length x 1.5cm deep (comparable to a conventional postcard). It comes with a plastic separator and a good-sized mirror. Two mini brushes are included, which were useless and I’ve thrown away.

The pros: cheap; the colors relatively pigmented and neutral for Asian skin coloring; shimmery but still office-appropriate; the powders soft, buttery and blend easily; the lip colors not drying; the individual pans not too small; and the packaging classy.

The cons: the eyeshadows will need a primer to be longer-lasting; all the powder products heavily fragranced; and some people may find the color combination old-fashioned.

Edit: I’ve had a chance to use the face powder wet, and results are not good. There is some coverage, but the buffing takes time, oil control is poor, and the finish is very coarse. This is best as a setting powder in a thin layer.

Bottom line: I think this is probably the best travel palette I’ve ever seen from a local brand. It’s a classy palette that you won’t be embarrassed whipping out in front of co-workers or in the airport lounge. Recommended!

Backside of the La Tulipe Asian Beauty Travel Palette (click to enlarge)
Backside of the La Tulipe Asian Beauty Travel Palette (click to enlarge)
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Swatches of all contents, La Tulipe Asian Beauty Travel Palette
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Wearing #1 (left) and #2 lip colors, the face powder and blush (over MAC BB Cream), La Tulipe Asian Beauty Travel Palette
Face powder and eyeshadows, La Tulipe Asian Beauty Travel Palette
Face powder and eyeshadows, La Tulipe Asian Beauty Travel Palette

[Local] Review and Swatches: Purbasari Lipstick No. 82 Mirah

Purbasari Matte Lipstick No. 82 Mirah (4)These ultra cheap Purbasari Lipstick Color Mattes have been making local waves for a while now, but I’ve only been able to acquire one recently. They’re really down-market, so your best bet in finding one is at cosmetics shops in the traditional or wet markets where they’ve been selling briskly.

I got No. 82; on the bullet, it is called Mirah (ruby, in English). I could not find the color name on the box, though. The color swatch on the box is actually quite accurate  – it is a berry red. Visually the bullet looks nice, but feels flimsy.

Mirah is a true matte that goes on thick and opaque in one swipe. If you like precise application of your lipsticks, then you will need to use a lip brush. The lasting power is very good (no fading even after 4 hours with many drinks), and it does not stain cups when you’re drinking. Mirah lasts through a moderate meal, leaving a good amount of stain on the lips. It feels dry, but not to the point of discomfort. This actually reminds me on a Lancome matte lipstick I had, in this exact color, in the late 90s, ha!

Overall, this is a great product for its price of only Rp29,000 (about US$2!). I am not a big fan of the matte lip look, but Mirah also looks great glossy. At this price, purchasing more will satisfy cravings for new makeup without breaking the bank!

Purbasari No. 82 Mirah (left) and compared with Colour Pop Too Sexy and NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream Prague
Purbasari No. 82 Mirah (left) and compared with other matte lipsticks, ie. Colour Pop Too Sexy and NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream Prague

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Purbasari Matte Lipstick No. 82 Mirah - ingredients
Purbasari Matte Lipstick No. 82 Mirah – ingredients

 

Teaser: MAC Poesia

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MAC Cosmetics just released a teaser of (one of) their spring 2016 collection, Poesia. Poesia is a fashion line by designer Chris Chang, and a cursory look over her designs reflect a fondness for patterns, and clashing of prints. Kunqu, the inspiration for the MAC collaboration, is a form of performing art, an opera, from China.

Up til now, my favorite MAC collection is the collaboration with Manish Arora (2008). I also really liked the packaging of the Guo Pei collection (2015), although the pricing is a bit steep for me. I hope the Poesia collection is not priced too high. I wonder what the compact in the middle is – I hope it is a blush duo or blush palette (rather than a bronzer, a face powder, or even bronzer and blush duo).

 

Review and Swatches: Too Faced Melted Kisses and Sweet Cheeks

Too Faced Melted Kisses Sweet Cheeks (3)The Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipsticks and Love Flush Long Lasting 16-hour Blushes have been getting good reviews online. At US$21 and US$26 they are expensive for me, so I waited patiently until a travel set come around. It recently did, and at $36 for the set ($6 per item) it is very good value. This limited edition set is packaged for gifting, with individual boxes for each sub-set of coordinated blush and lipstick, so that might be an added convenience if you are giving these away.

Too Faced Melted Kisses Sweet Cheeks (1)
Packaging of the Too Faced Melted Kisses and Sweet Cheeks Holiday 2015 set

There are 3 sub-sets of coordinated blush and lipstick: a peachy pink blush with a beige lipstick; a pink blush with a soft warm pink lipstick; and a maroon blush with a berry lip color. All the colors are in the permanent line, so you could get full sizes of these if you like them enough.

I really like all three blush colors in this set; they are easy to use and blend, relatively opaque, and have very good lasting power (at least 6 hours before fading, on my oily skin). Tarte’s 12-hour blushes still outperform these in the lasting power, but these are still very good. The pan is tiny – below I’ve given size comparisons – therefore very convenient to take with you daily for touch-ups, or to take during your travels.

Too Faced Melted Kisses Sweet Cheeks (5)
Comparison of Too Faced Sweet Cheeks blush pans with other blush brands

The lipsticks I really, really like, especially the colors Peony and Fig – I might need to get full sizes of these! Nude, the beige brown lip color, is just not for me as it washes me out, but the quality is as good as the other two. I like the applicator (a squeeze tube with a sponge applicator attached), the texture, and the lasting power of these lipsticks. There is a noticeable scent, but it doesn’t bother me.

Bottom line, this is a beautiful, useful and fun set that I have no regret purchasing, and would recommend to anyone.

Too Faced Melted Kisses Sweet Cheeks (4)Too Faced Melted Kisses Sweet Cheeks (2)b

 

 

 

Getting on Board the Bright Matte Blue Eyeliner Trend

emma stone bright blue eyeliner
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Bright matte blue eyeliner is having a moment. My girl crush Emma Stone gave it an unusual placement here. I’m not stranger to bright blue eyeliners, and have at least a couple shimmery ones. But a matte one?

I shopped my stash to see a possible dupe, and found it in my MAC Manish Arora palette – Electric Eel. It is indeed electric; very bright but it has never occurred to me to use if as eyeliner.

MAC Cream Color Base 'Movie Star Red' and MAC Manish Arora eyeshadow palette
MAC Cream Color Base ‘Movie Star Red’ and MAC Manish Arora eyeshadow palette (Electric Eel is 2nd from the right)

I like the result. It is a fun color, and drawn thinly with the help of Illamasqua’s Sealing Gel, is a very interesting and versatile look. I’ve paired it with various lip colors and it still looks good: pale pink, bright blue red, sheer orange and, particularly, bright warm/orangey red. Give it a try!

fotd blue eyerliner red lips

Layering Liquid over Liquid: Dior Fluid Stick ‘Rieuse’ and OCC Lip Tar ‘Memento’

Dior Fluid Stick Rieuse over OCC Lip Tar MementoMy preference for liquid lip colors is for opaque ones, so I often shun lip glosses. The Dior Addict Fluid Sticks are marketed as lip gloss but I really like the formulation, staying power and feel of these. I chose Rieuse as it was one of the most opaque in the line up, but I was never able to get it to show its true color on my lips, even atop nude beige lip colors.

Recently I got the Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) Lip Tar in Memento. It’s a beautiful warm, light peachy pink on my lips, really like it. One day, on a whim, I layered Rieuse on top of Memento, and voila! Rieuse in all its glory! So, yes for layering liquid on liquid products (just wait a bit for the first layer to settle).

Incidentally, the whole OCC Lip Tar line in the old, squeeze tube packaging is being discounted online at Sephora, as the packaging is being replaced. They are great value at $9 for 10ml, grab what you can of the few left.

Dior Fluid Stick Rieuse over OCC Lip Tar Memento2