GoodBuy 2015

I usually use my annual post to talk about beauty products I purchased and liked, but did not blog about for whatever reason. This year, it will primarily be products I had every intention of blogging about, but never found the time. Time….between meals, diaper changes and playing with brightly colored singing toys with my little cutie, my free time is spent trying to find the energy to eat and shower. Oh, my poor neglected blog. Thankfully, my love of beauty products remains strong despite my ever shrinking budget. 2016 may focus on creative discussions of my existing collection versus new items.

Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Blush

The colors I picked may look like they belong in a crayon box, but they are lovely. Anyone, from fair to dark should give these a shot. These apply much more subtle than it may appear and blends out nicely. I would still suggest a light hand and soft brush to build up the intensity. Bittersweet is the first purple blush I’ve tried that works because it has a pink undertone. Rapture makes a lovely neutral cheek for darker complexions. I’m never one to take seriously the long-lasting claims brands put on their products. I don’t experience noticeable fading after a typical day, but I rarely do with any blush I use. ($26, 6.8 grams)

UD Bang

Bang

UD Bittersweet

Bittersweet

UD Quiver

Quiver

UD Rapture

Rapture

UD Blush swatch

L to R: Quiver, Bittersweet, Bang, Rapture

Giorgio Armani Eye Tint

On days when I can’t think of any creative eye shadow pairing, but want something quick, easy and pretty, I grab an Eye Tint. It’s one of those formula hybrids that start out as a cream/mousse consistency and dries down to a long-lasting finish. The applicator brings up way too much product to apply directly to my lid. I always use a synthetic flat brush to pick up some product. I find this product dries pretty quickly, so there isn’t much time to blend out. I start out slow and in thin layers and build up. For my complexion, I prefer a wash of color when using the lighter shades. The shimmer and intensity becomes a disco ball very fast. ($38, 0.22 oz.)

Armani Eye Tint Armani Eye Tint doe foot

Armani Eye Tint swatch

L to R: Rose Ashes #11, Senso #10, Emeraude #4

DSC_1158

DSC_1163

L to R: Onyx #5, Green Iron #6

Raw Apothecary Unrefined Raw Shea Butter

I’ve been using raw shea butter for over eight years. I’ve used multiple brands during that time, but this is by far the best. It is the softest, smoothest, raw West African Shea I’ve tried and thrilled to have discovered it. It is my go-to moisturizer for my skin and thirsty hair (although mixed with other oils and conditioners). It’s perfect for my little one’s skin as well. Shea butter has vitamins A and E, natural anti-inflammatory properties and has a light nutty scent that doesn’t linger. This Shea butter comes inside a clear plastic bag. You get a wooden spatula to help get the product out, which is helpful. The packaging does take some getting used to. An opaque jar is definitely needed for the portion being actively used, but it’s worth the effort. ($14, 1lb on Amazon.com)

Shea Butter

Black Up Cosmetics

Black Up

Black Up Cosmetics is not a new makeup brand, but it is new to me and newly available on Sephora’s website. Black Up has been around since the late 90’s and was founded by an African makeup artist. It describes itself as the first upscale beauty brand dedicated to women of color. Being a woman of color, and proudly addicted to makeup for over five years, how do I not know about this brand?! The only lame excuse I have is that it’s a Paris-based brand and I have stayed away from the cliquish makeup forums for quite a while.

I picked up some lip and cheek products and I’m very pleased. The blush ($26.50, 3.5g) is nicely pigmented, isn’t powdery and blends nicely; however, you don’t get as much product as with competing brands at the same price point. (Talc is the third ingredient on the list for those with sensitivities.)

The lipstick range offers a variety of matte, satin and shimmery/glossy finishes. The lipsticks ($23, 3g) I picked up have satin and shimmery finishes. They go on smoothly and are comfortable to wear. The glossy finishes are somewhat sheer, but buildable. What I didn’t particularly care for is you can feel the shimmer on your lips for at least one shade (#26). The satin finish (#13) had intense color payoff in one pass.

Blush #10

Blush #10

Blush #11

Blush #11

Blush #10 (left), #11 (right)

Blush #10 (left), #11 (right)

Blush shade #10 is a brown rose, while #11 is a coral brown.

 

Lipstick #26, #13, #9

Lipstick #26, #13, #9

Lipstick #26, #13, #9

Lipstick #26, #13, #9

Lipstick shade #9 is a bronze, #13 is red plum and #26 is an orchid purple.

Sephora’s annual 20% sale is going on now so, this is a brand to consider.  Blackupcosmetics.com also offers 20% off your first order if you sign up to their newsletter. Happy shopping!

Fyrinnae Halloween 2015

2

I look forward to Fyrinnae’s Halloween eye shadows every year, but this year’s collection is one of the best Fyrinnae has released in a while. All of the shades are Arcane Magic’s (two are Exquisites) that change colors depending on the angle and lighting. I was so excited about this release and filling my basket so fast I bought a shade released this summer. The eye shadows in this collection are really nice and the color changes are intense. I used Pixy Epoxy for my swatches, which brightens and intensifies the shades. The shades are prettier and easier to wear when worn over my favorite primer (Nars) without sacrificing the color shift. What is better is that these are not limited edition. You get 3 grams of product for $7.30 or a sample jar for $2.55.

Fyrinnae Halloween 2015 1aFyrinnae Halloween 2015 1b

Top Row: Yurei’s Wrath, Lost Lenore, Incubus.  Bottom Row: The Alchemist, Canterville Chase, Lady Glamis.

Fyrinnae Halloween 2015

  1. Arcane Magic Lost Lenore is a medium purple with green sparkle that changes to pink-purple with pink sparkle.
  2. Arcane Magic Yurei’s Wrath is a cranberry red that changes to an orange-brown.
  3. Arcane Magic The Alchemist has blue-green shimmer on a black base that changes to a dark pink-purple. Fyrinnae’s black base shades are more difficult to use and perform better on a sticky base. I’ve found blending these shade types with a fully brush muddies the color.
  4. Arcane Magic Canterville Chase has green shimmer and a touch of gold on a medium dark taupe brown base that changes to a pink-beige shade. In the pot, this shade looks like a dupe of Mac’s Club or Blue Brown pigment or Urban Decay’s Lounge, but it’s easier to wear. It makes a lovely “everyday” lid shade for dark complexions and a fantastic smoky eye for lighter skin tones.
  5. Arcane Magic Lady Glamis is pink-bronze sparkle that changes to a golden green on a dark base. This shade is all sparkle, very holiday worthy. The color change is intense, but the level of sparkle may turn some off. It performs better when applied with your finger on a sticky base. If you attempt to blend this with a brush, be prepared to pick shimmer off your entire face.
  6. Arcane Magic Incubus is not a Halloween shade, but new for summer 2015.  (Oops, I was so excited at this release I wasn’t paying close attention.)  It is a golden-green that changes to turquoise then purple.

Fyrinnae Halloween 2015 2a Fyrinnae Halloween 2015 2b

Top Row:  Shipwreck, Wicked Faeries, Abandoned Hotel.  Bottom Row: Forest Creatures, Werewolf Moon, Predjama Castle.

Fyrinnae Halloween 2015

  1.  Arcane Magic Shipwreck is a dark blue with bright green sparkle, which makes it look like a dark teal. The shade changes to all blue then violet.
  2. Arcane Magic Forest Creatures is a bronze and olive green shimmer that turns to a golden bright green to almost emerald depending on light and angle.
  3. Arcane Magic Wicked Faeries is a cranberry shade that changes to shimmery dark bronze-brown.
  4. Arcane Magic Werewolf Moon is a turquoise with golden-green highlight that becomes a bluish teal to almost violet when at an angle and closer to light.
  5. Arcane Magic Abandoned Hotel is a yellow green with a lot of turquoise-blue sparkle, which changes to pink sparkle. The color change for this shade is striking, but it’s very sparkly and fallout prone. A sticky base would be best for this shade or apply with finger if using a regular base/primer.

MAKE UP FOREVER ARTIST SHADOWS

Make Up Forever reformulated their shadows last year. Obviously, I’m slow to blog about this topic. Okay, really slow, but in my defense it took a while for me to warm up to these. I initially tried three shades during the fall Sephora sale last year and I wasn’t wowed. Sometime later, I swatched more shades at Sephora, but passed. Eventually, I came around during another Sephora sale earlier this year, but not every shade I have is impressive and varies based on the finish.

MUFE Artist shadows case

The Great

I’m most impressed with the iridescent (I) and metallic (ME) finishes. They swatch nicely and applies even better. The texture is creamy smooth and blends easily. You really get an intense color payoff. I have to take it easy on the paler shades because it could be too stark on my skin color.

The Good

The diamond (D) and matte (M) finishes are nice and have good color payoff. The mattes are soft, buttery and blend nicely. As they are soft, they kick up a bit of product when getting the color onto your brush. The diamond shades (more so the blackened colors) have fallout when applying.

The Meh  

The finish I liked the least are the satin (S) finish shades. The strange thing is the satin shadow swatches are lovely, initially. To be specific, you would get great payoff on your finger or your brush. So, you think you’ve got yourself a great shadow, but the intensity disappears once it’s applied. I found this consistent when using my finger, a sponge applicator (used for photos) and a brush. I find myself reapplying several times to build the intensity.

If you’re new to these reformulated shades, be warned they come in a temporary case, meaning a cheap, flimsy plastic. You’re forced to use an empty magnetic palette already in your collection or purchase a custom palette case. On Sephora’s website, you’re offered a deal when you buy multiple shades. When you add two shadows and a Duo Palette to your basket, a $9 discount will be applied automatically at checkout. When you add three shadows and a Trio Palette to your basket, a $20 discount will be applied automatically at checkout. Each shade retails for $21 and you get 0.07oz of product and individual Custom Palette Cases are $1.

Makeup Forever Artist Shadows

Makeup Forever Artist Shadows

1 – I-318 Linen Khai
2 – I-508 Olive Beige
3 – I-544 Pink Granite
4 – I-838 Slate Pink
5 – I-824 Orcher Pink
6 – I-606 Pinky Earth
7 – ME-612 Silver Brown

Makeup Forever Artist Shadows

Makeup Forever Artist Shadows

1 – ME-612 Silver Brown
2 – ME-840 Pink Chrome
3 – ME-818 Pinky Tile
4 – ME-624 Black Gold
5 – D-326 Black Bronze
6 – D-308 Aquatic Khaki
7 – D-830 Black Rose

Makeup Forever Artist Shadows

Makeup Forever Artist Shadows

1 – S-560 Taupe
2 – S-602 Cinnamon
3 – S-836 Pinky Ash
4 – S-228 Petrol Blue
5 – M-536 Milk Tea
6 – M-650 Cookie
7 – M-646 Latte
8 – M-660 Speculoos

Makeup Forever Artist Shadows

Makeup Forever Artist Shadows

1 – M-660 Speculoos
2 – M-636 Cappuccino
3 – M-630 Sweet Chestnut
4 – M-546 Plum Brown
5 – M-500 Ivory
6 – M-738 Auburn
7 – M-608 Red Brown
8 – M-618 Espresso

Make Up Forever Artist Palettes: Nudes and Artistic

Make Up Forever recently released two new palettes, exclusively to Sephora featuring their reformulated eye shadows. There is a neutral palette (the “Nudes You Need”) and a more colorful palette (the Artistic “Colors You Crave”). Each palette contains nine for $42 (0.06oz each). This is an amazing deal. Despite the fact the shadows are smaller than their full-sized singles; 0.06oz is larger than your typical Mac and Urban Decay shadows. Make Up Forever’s full-sized single shadows are 0.07oz and retails for $21. With these palettes, you’re getting nine, fantastically pigmented shadows for under $5 each. Thank you.

MUFE Artist palette cover #1

The Nudes You Need

The Nudes You Need

MUFE Artist Palette #2

The Colors You Crave

The Colors You Crave

Make Up Forever arranged the palettes as a trio for certain eye looks. Each column represents a suggested look. The only gripe I have with these palettes is there aren’t any matte shades; at least give me a less frosty finish for the paler shades. There is also a shade that appears in both palettes, which is ME-512 (Golden Beige).

The palette itself is a hard card board with a decent magnetic closure and contains a large mirror. The Artistic palette is Limited Edition.

Neither palette contains shades that aren’t easily duped, but the quality, amount for the price can’t be beat. It’s definitely worth checking out for that reason alone.

 

The Nudes You Need

The Nudes You Need

1 – I-582, Pearl; 2 – S-556, Taupe Gray; 3 – S-102, Onyx; 4 – I-514, Pink Ivory; 5 – D-562, Taupe Platinum; 6 – I-544, Pink Granite; 7 – ME-512, Golden Beige; 8 – ME-644, Iced Brown; 9 – D-652, Celestial Earth.

The Colors You Crave

The Colors You Crave

1 – I-872, Pearly Pink; 2 – ME-910, Electric Magenta; 3 – S-924, Purple; 4 – D-552 Crystalline Gray Beige; 5 – ME-232, Turquoise Blue; 6 – ME-302, Peacock; 7 – ME-512, Golden Beige; 8 – ME-700, Amber; 9 – ME-930, Black Purple.