GoodBuy 2014

It’s that time again makeup lovers. This is my annual post that quickly shares products I discovered during the year, but didn’t blog about. I don’t blog about everything I get for various reasons. Some items are limited edition, and by the time I get around to blogging it may be sold out. My 2014 started out with a bang as I became pregnant with my first (and only) child after years of trying. This explains my absence from posting a lot this year and possibly going forward. (It took me a week to prepare this post alone.) Thankfully, I gave birth to a healthy, adorable boy a few months ago.

Okay, back to makeup. Enjoy and Happy New Year!!

Paula Dorf Brushes

L to R: Eye Blender Brush Sheer Crease Brush Eye Contour Brush Smokie Lid Brush

L to R:
Eye Blender Brush
Sheer Crease Brush
Eye Contour Brush
Smokie Lid Brush

Paula Dorf 2

I have to thank a great makeup artist and YouTuber Lisa Eldridge for turning me on to these brushes. They are priced similar to Mac, but better quality and hand crafted versus machine cut. The softness is similar to that of Hakuhodo. They are soft enough to feel good on your skin when applying, but stiff enough for good control. The wood handle is short and travel friendly with the name of the brushes etched in. What really set these brushes apart for me are the shapes (with the exception of the crease brush) that you rarely see.

The Smokie Lid Brush ($28) is my favorite. It looks like it would stab you, but it is really soft and holds it shape well after cleaning. (I formed this brush into a point after washing so the look of it may be different elsewhere.) It’s great for use under the lower lash line or used for detailed crease work. The Eye Contour Brush ($28) looks like a crease brush that has been chopped at an angle. It’s good for crease work and deepening shades in the outer corner. The Eye Blender Brush ($30) is a very large eye brush that can be used for blending all the shades on your eye. I personally like it for cheek highlight and detailed contouring. The Sheer Crease Brush ($30) is your basic blending or crease brush and I like using it for both. You can find Paula Dorf brushes on her website. The one downside is it takes an incredibly long time for her to restock the sold out items. I stalked her site for months looking for the Eye Blender brush to be available.

Revlon Ultra HD Lip Lacquer

L to R:   #515 Pink Ruby #530 Rose Quartz #535 Strawberry Topaz #550 Citrine

L to R:
#515 Pink Ruby
#530 Rose Quartz
#535 Strawberry Topaz
#550 Citrine

Revlon HD gloss swatch

Drug store makeup is always a risk for me because I like to swatch and try products first. For the past few years, the quality of drug store has improved a great deal so I’m more confident when I shop. These HD glosses (excuse me, lacquers) are really nice. The pigmentation varies, but you get a decent color payoff for the sheer shades. What I appreciated the most was the base oil isn’t a mineral oil, like their older glosses. The formula isn’t too sticky, but it is thick. I find it comfortable to wear. The applicator is a stumpy brush similar to Nars, which some may find irritating. The price may vary, but I paid $9. Pink Ruby is by far my favorite, while Rose Quartz is more of “my lips but better” shade as my lips are quite pigmented. Continue reading

Fyrinnae: Exquisites Collection

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Fyrinnae has added new products to its lineup. According to their website, “the Exquisites are a new variation of their popular Arcane Magic eye shadows. These new shadows have stronger color shifts without depending on an opaque base hue, making them stunning alone or over many other colors.” I would agree with most of that statement. The shades definitely have a stronger shift, but two are sheer and would perform better on an opaque base. These shades are also pricier than the typical Arcane shades, but still affordable at $8 for 2.3g of product.  The typical Fyrinnae shadow is 3g, but the Exquisites shadow weigh less according to Fyrinnae.  These shadows come in the same pot as the others and are just as packed with product.

On Wings of Silk

On Wings of Silk

On Wings of Silk

This shade is described as a transparent pale bronze with pink sparkles, shifting to a greenish gold with hues of peach and lime. To me, on my NC45 skin tone, this is a pinkish bronze that shifts to light gold. It is a nice shade with a sticky base or regular primer.

Elegant Revelry

Elegant Revelry

Elegant Revelry

This shade is described as green and turquoise sparkle on transparent light reddish brown base and shifts to light blue and ruddy pink when close to the light. This is one of those sheer shades that look best on a sticky base. When swatched on a regular primer, it reminds me of a Mac’s Reflects shade with a colored base. The colored base of this shade does not come across at all when swatched, just the intense sparkle. The sparkle comes across more green. The colored based, while in the pot, gets stronger and looks more plum when held closer to the light.

Princess for a Day

Princess for a Day

Princess for a Day

This shade is described as a turquoise-blue sparkle that turns to a vivid pink on a sheer burgundy base. This is another sheer shade where the base doesn’t come across too strong on my skin tone, but the color shift of the sparkle is amazingly strong. Like Elegant Revelry, it looks best on a sticky base or on top of a colored base.

Dreamwoven Luxuries

Dreamwoven Luxuries

Dreamwoven Luxuries

This shade is described as a complex blend of red and blue hues that shifts to shades of green and gold. This color swatches and applies much better and more complex than it appears in the pot. To me, this is a brown gray taupe base with pale pink and blue-green shimmer. It shifts to an olive green base with pale gold shimmer. This shade is the sleeper hit of the collection and applies beautifully on typical primer. Depending on the shape and angle of your eye, and how the light hits it, you will see all the colors at play. It’s a “one shade wonder”.

Breathtaking

Breathtaking

Breathtaking

This shade is described as a vibrant pink shimmer on sheer beige, while away from direct light. Closer to light or at certain angles, it shifts to a bright golden peach shade. To me, it’s a cool pink shimmer on a light brown base. The shimmer shifts to a coral when closer to the light. The shift isn’t as strong when applied to the eye on a regular primer.

Fyrinnae Exquisites swatchThe swatches are all on Fyrinnae’s Pixy Epoxy.

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Eye Shade Palette

I think the masses agree that Estee Lauder’s Pure Color Envy lipsticks are fabulous. If you don’t think that, go try them again because they are great. Having said that, the newly released Pure Color Envy eye shadow palette should be equally great too, right? Wrong. Save your money. Definitely don’t make my mistake and buy them sight unseen.

The Good

For those that hated the packaging of the current Pure Color palettes (also similar to their blush), you’ll appreciate the new look. The older packaging is very hard to open, which is hugely annoying during a morning rush. The new packaging is similar to the Pure Color Envy lipsticks, dark and sleek with a magnetic closure.  The new palettes are a bit taller, noticeably lighter in weight and will pick up your fingerprint from across the room (technically not a good thing, but moving on).

I didn’t experience any fading throughout the day, but I use a primer. The better shades blend easily, even the matte ones.

The Bad

The pigmentation was inconsistent and I struggled to get a decent swatch with some shades. That is sad to say considering their Pure Color palettes are very nice. Perhaps my expectations were too high. For $50, I prefer to be thoroughly impressed and I’m not.

The label for the Pure Color palettes included the colors of the shades as well as the name of the palette. I found this very convenient because you don’t have to open the palette to get the one you want. The label for the Pure Color Envy palettes do not include this, which is a shame. Why ruin a good thing?

The “What the heck”

You get less product for the same $50 retail price as the current Pure Color palettes. The Pure Color palettes offer 7.6g, which the new Pure Color Envy only offers 7g.  This wouldn’t nearly irritate me as much as it does if the Pure Color Envy palettes performed better.

 

Fiery Saffron

Fiery Saffron

Fiery Saffron is a more complete palette with a good mix of pearl, satin and matte finishes. The matte shades are fantastic. They have a creamy feel, very pigmented and blend out nicely. I had a hard time getting pigmentation out of the lighter shades. I had to pack on the color to get decent payoff when applying and swatching. The worst performer was the shade in the long pan on the left.

Fiery Saffron

Fiery Saffron

 

Fierce Safari

Fierce Safari

Fierce Safari needs a matte shade. The darker two shades performed the best. The shade in the long pan wasn’t bad either in terms of pigmentation, but I had to put a good amount of product on the brush. I couldn’t tell the difference between the first (far left) and third shade (upper right) once applied or swatched. The worst performers is the white shade and the shade in the upper right.

Fierce Safari

Fierce Safari

There are a total of ten new palettes. I strongly suggest you go try them out first. Hopefully, you’ll find one you like.

KEVYN AUCOIN PURE POWDER GLOW

If you’ve been on the hunt for an intensely pigmented blush with fantastic texture, consider Kevyn Aucoin. I’ve had these blushes for several months now and they are quite impressive. This product is not for heavy handed beauties. The texture is buttery soft and it’s incredibly easy to pick up too much product. You’ve been warned, no swirling of your makeup brush. These blend out beautifully. I didn’t experience any fading with the colors I purchased. The shades lasted over ten hours over the powder foundation I wear.

What isn’t so great about this product is the price for the amount of product. It’s priced at $37 for 3.1g (0.11 oz.). I definitely prefer more product at this price point, but considering how little you need to get a full application, I got over it.

The packaging is attractive with a push button opening. It’s a light weight plastic, so it doesn’t feel expensive. What is also convenient is the label includes a description of the color along with the product name. There is no need to remember the name, which is helpful if you have a sizeable blush collection.

Dolline is described as an apricot. It is peachy-pink shade with a matte finish. It reminds me of Nars Gina, but Dolline is brighter and much more pigmented. In fact, Gina is the only blush I’ve hit pan on because I need much more product to get the payoff I need. This is not an issue with Dolline.

Dolline

Dolline

Fira may scare some, but I love these deep red-orange shades. It is described as mango and is matte. The texture of Fira isn’t as buttery as the other two, but it doesn’t impact the pigmentation. If you already own Nars Exhibit A, you don’t need this shade. (Since, I’m addicted to all things beauty, this doesn’t apply.) Fira is more orange than Exhibit A and has a softer texture and easier to blend.

Fira

Fira

Neolita is described as berry. It has minute gold shimmer. The shimmer is more noticeable in the pan than when applied, but it does add a subtle sheen to the cheek.

Neolita

Neolita

Despite the price point, this product is worth checking out.

K Aucoin case

L to R: Dolline, Fira, Neolita     Dolline, Fira, Neolita

Fyrinnae Burlesque Collection

Fyrinnae recently release its Burlesque Collection for spring 2014. It contains five new loose eye shadow shades, which includes three new Arcane Magic colors. It’s an interesting collection of shades that screams fall, but if you’re a fan of the blackened-base shades, then you’re in luck. I wish I could say I like this collection, but it is not my favorite. I find the blackened-base shades more difficult to use and typically requires a sticky base to get the true color. Since I’m typically (as in always) pressed for time in the morning, sticky bases are a distant afterthought.

Fyr Burlesque Swatch

1. Gaiety is a bright aqua with pale blue shimmer. This shade looks great as a flash of color under the eye.

2. Bawdy Librarian is a warm tone, medium dark coppery brown loaded with copper shimmer. This is my favorite of the five. It makes a great shade for a brown smoky eye or a quick wash of color for brown skin tones.

3. Devilish Debutant (Arcane) is a dark purple on a black base that is supposed to change to a golden/green. On my brown skin, it simply looks like a dark brown.

Continue reading