Real Techniques Collector’s Edition Eyelining Set review

real techniques eyelining set review eyeliner
It is no secret that Real Techniques is one of my favorite brands of makeup brushes, so when the new 2016 collection came out at the beginning of the year (and a  sneaky 20% off helped) I picked up three of their new products. In the coming posts I’ll be reviewing them and comparing them with the existing makeup brushes from Real Techniques. The first one I want to show you is the Real Techniques Collector’s Edition Eyelining Set.  Curious to see if it is worth the money and how the brushes in this set compare to the other brushes from my collection? Then read on.
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MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipstick Oh Lady review, swatch and all day wear test

mac retro matte liquid lipstick oh lady

You might have noticed a week (or two?) of silence on this blog, but now I’m back! I finally got my doctorate and am now officially an unemployed doctor of philosophy. So now my days will be spent job seeking and of course blogging!

Better late than never they say, so MAC released their own liquid lipstick line last month and I finally get around to talking about them. The expectations were high, the colour range wide and interesting, so I was (almost) first in line to go check them out in store when they released. I ahd watched all the swatches and reviews on Youtube and set my heart on Oh Lady. Unfortunately I wasn’t fast enough to catch the color I desired, but I managed to order it online the next day.

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Kiko Infinity Single Eyeshadows Review and Swatches

Last week Kiko Milano launched their new High Pigment Eyeshadows and are therefore discontinuing the Infinity Eyeshadows. These are now in discount for 1.90€ and I thought it was a good time to share my opinion on the ones I have, to help you choose whether you still want to pick a few up.

The Kiko Infinity Eyeshadows represented the first option available within the brand to assemble your own palette, picking the colors and an empty palette. The concept was brilliant and it is continued in the new release. However, the Infinity shadows come in a round pan with a thin black plastic case that “clicks” in place in the slots in the palettes, whereas the shape of the new ones has changed to a rectangle. This allows for a smarter use of space in a palette, but as a round-pan affecionada, I don’t find the new eyeshadows as appealing.

The Infinity eyeshadows are meant to be used together with the Clic Palettes to make and easy and highly customizable system. However, a bit like the Ikea concept, only the Kiko shadows fit in the palettes and viceversa, the eyeshadow pans are not magnetized and they are not suited to be stored in any other palette.

Taking advantages of other discounts earlier in the year I ordered 9 Infinity eyeshadows and a 24 pan palette. There are about 90 colors to choose from and multiple finishes from matte to satin and the Infinity+ glittery shadows.

makeup, eyeshadow, swatch

makeup, eyeshadow, swatch

The idea of customizable palettes is a great one but unfortunately the formula of these shadows was not a great hit. The quality of the Kiko Infinity eyeshadows is not consistent through the finishes and colours. Some are nicely pigmented like the 207 Mat Papaya and 230 Satin Carmine, and others take more building up to reach full color. The most disappointing of the shades I have are 205 Golden Coral, 248 Starry Jarcanda an the Infinity+ 402 Chocolate. It took a good 4 swipes to get a good swatch and even though the colors are gorgeous, they don’t show up on the eyes like this at all.

So in conclusion I would suggest you stop by a physical shop to swatch the individual pans since it is difficult to predict the performance. However, since they are on offer for 1.90€, there are three more in my shopping cart on the Kiko Milano website. I hope the new shadows have been re-formulated as well as re-packaged to have better quality over all the range of colors.

Are you going to try these single shadows or do you have a few in your collection already?
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Vampy matte lips for fall with MAC

As soon as the weather turns to fall with cooler temperatures and cloudy days one of the first things I do is switch out my bright coral and pink lipsticks for the darker vampier shades. I am talking dark reds like MAC Diva and striking shades like MAC Rebel. If then October is also my birthday month and my friends don’t know what to get me, dark MAC lipsticks I say! And dark lips go nowhere without a pairing lip liner, to keep the edges clean and increase the staying power. So here is a small birthday haul with two new dark lip combos featuring two MAC lipsticks from the new permanent matte shades in The Matte Lip Collection and two matching lip pencils.

The first lip combo is MAC Nightmoth lip liner and MAC Instigator lipstick. The lip pencil has been on my most wanted for a very long time, being the darkest one I found in the market. Nightmoth is described as a “blackened plum” and is indeed a dark plum color with a strong burgundy red component. The formula of MAC lip liners is always wonderful, creamy to apply and extremely long lasting. It is perfect to wear on its own (as you see above) or paired with most dark lipsticks that are dark red or plum. I find that it is great to darken up other lighter lipsticks like MAC Diva and MAC Rebel, giving them a little extra oomph. Then of course it is a perfect match for MAC Instigator lipstick, even though the latter has more of a purple tone to it as you can see in the pictures above. MAC Instigator is described as a “deep blackened plum with a matte finish” as well, but has is slightly cooler than NIghtmoth with more berry-purple undertones. I was once again impressed with the matte finish of this lipstick, which is the only way I would wear such dark shades. In my head matte means dry and pulling on the lips but this is very comfortable to apply and wear, last well on its own and even better with a lip liner. You can see that when I applied Instigator on top of Nightmoth, it appears even darker and a bit more plum than alone, so that with the lipstick and lip liner there are three possible looks. Of course there is also the option of using the lip pencil only to outline the lips without filling them in, which is my preferred way to wear MAC Instigator. As you can see the finish is not completely matte but with more of a satin sheen. The lasting power on me is around 4 hours for the lipstick alone and around 6 hours when I use Nighmoth all over the lips as a base. Slightly less than a lip stain, but on the other hand it is easier to re-apply the lipstick when the lips feel slightly dry and you’re left with the lip pencil alone.

The other lip combo I received is MAC Chestnut lip liner and MAC Antique Velvet. I first laid my eyes on this lipstick when I went to my local MAC counter to swatch the newly released matte shades and I had a wonderful makeup artist apply it on me. She told me that if I liked it and wanted to wear in for the rest of the day she would put some lip pencil as well to make the look clean and perfect. Once she applied MAC Chestnut on the outer edges I was sold! These are a perfect color match and work incredibly well together. Antique Velvet is described as an “intense brown” and is the color of chocolate, a dark warm brown. The texture is slightly more drying than Instigator but still comfortable to wear. There is still a slight satin sheen to it when applied same as the previous one. I find it an incredibly peculiar shade that complements quite well my red hair and the warmer complexions. The lasting power of the lipstick is longer in this case, lasting a good 5 hours and for me not making it necessary to put the lip pencil all over the lips, but only on the outline, saving me from the drier feeling that the pencil gives.
I am so happy with these new lippies and see myself wearing them constantly through fall and winter. My favorite look is a light eye look with winged liner and one of these dark lip combos. Easy and of impact at the same time.
What do you think? Would you wear these dark shades?
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L’Oreal Collection Exclusive La Vie en Rose: Pink Lipstick for Free a Girl

After the Collection Exclusive Nudes and Pure Reds, L’Oréal has released a new limited edition called La Vie en Rose. It is another collection of lipsticks and nail polishes associated with famous women of different skin and hair colors, meaning that there is a perfect pink shade for everyone out there. As I have loved and keep using many of the previous Exclusive lipsticks (you can find reviews and looks here, here and here), I was very excited to try the new line. To add to this, purchase of these lipsticks in The Netherlands in the month of October will support the Free a Girl organization, which fights to free young girls all over the world from forced prostitution and helping them towards a better life of their own choice. A great cause to promote in this pink October. But let’s take a look at the collection. There are 8 total shades but only four have been released in The Netherlands and I picked up two of them: Blake’s and J.Lo’s Soft Rose.

Blake’s Soft pink is a bright coral that stole my heart in the bullet but then fell short in application. There is no sign of the pigmented matte formula that characterized the Pure Red collection and that I loved so much. This lipstick goes on quite sheer and becomes streaky when I tried to build it up. Such a shame of this gorgeous color.

J.Lo’s pink has definitely a better formula and the color is a beautiful deep berry. To be honest I was hoping in a darker color just from looking at the tube, but I like this tone as well and it definitely something that wasn’t in my collection.
The other two available colors were Doutzend’s Soft Rose, a bright barbie pink and Julianne’s, a very light pink, both not very suitable for my skin tone so I didn’t pick them up, but if you’re interested, check out Vera Camilla’s swatches here.

The overall impression of the lipsticks is that they are quite sheer and creamy, with a satin finish and are very comfortable on the lips. I am disappointed by the pigmentation because I had high expectations but I am sure I will get a lot of use from J.Lo’s pink nonetheless.

October 11th is the International Day of the Girl Child and in collaboration with Free a Girl, L’Oréal has an initiative to raise awareness through the hashtag #laatjelippenspreken (let your lips speak). Post a selfie with your pink lips on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to show your support! I know I will for sure!

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New Real Techniques Sculpting Set: all the brushes you need to contour and highlight

Happy Monday beauties, welcome back to the blog. Today I have to show you the newly released Real Techniques Collector’s Edition Sculpting Set.

I have been terrible at getting stuff done last week and it resulted (among other things) in only one post. Sigh. I should really get on top of things and plan my blog posts better, writing more in the weekends. As we all know, life just gets in the way sometimes. The house is finally pretty much done and now I’m on to the final rush to get all my experiments done at work before writing the PhD thesis. Cross your fingers for me that I can get everything done in time!Life aside, let’s talk beauty.

Contouring has been all the rage in the beauty industry lately with brands launching contouring kits left and right. However, there aren’t many options regarding contouring brushes at the drugstore. Of course you can splurge on the infamous NARS Ita brush, but for those of us with a lower budget, it was about time we got a nice complete kit to do all our shading. So a warm welcome to the Real Techniques Sculpting Kit.  This is a limited edition set that comes in an exclusive shiny pink design and contains three brushes, two in the permanent range and one exclusive cut. 

The first brush is the Sculpting Brush, newly released in the permanent line and gives the name to this limited edition set. The main idea is to use this dense angled brush to carve out your cheekbones and temples, aided by the soft bristles to achieve a natural blended contour with little effort. As soon as I got it I noticed how similar it looks and feels to the Cheek Brush from the Nick’s Picks set so I decided to take a closer look. They are both denser than the average powder brush and feel very similar, but the Sculpting brush has shorter bristles and a more angled cut, whereas the Cheek brush has a longer and rounder cut. You can apply a lot of product with these brushes if you are not careful, but if used with a light hand, the lighter bristles do a great job at distributing and blending and each one has the appropriate shape for its function. Up to now I have been using the Contouring brush from the Real Techniques Core Collection but that is quite small and takes some work, whereas this new cut make contouring much faster. I have become quite a fan.

The other brush already present in the permanent line is the Setting brush, available to be purchased individually. This small fluffy brush is perfect to set your under eye concealer with powder and apply highlighter precisely, which is how I’ve been using the one I already have. This might not be a new addition to my collection, but it’s always handy to have more multitasking brushes like this one. 

Finally the set exclusive is the Fan brush, which got me really excited because I didn’t have one in my collection. This cut is perfect to apply a light layer of highlighter, or contour your nose very precisely, or swipe away eyeshadow fall out from underneath your eyes. The bristles are extremely soft and it is a real pleasure to swipe over the skin.
I knew I couldn’t resist this when I saw the sneak peaks of this set, because I was already thinking of buying the Sculpting brush alone, released a few weeks earlier. The value is definitely higher when buying this set, which retails for 20$. The sculpting and setting brushes bought individually would cut you back of 18$ alone, so you pretty much get the fan brush for only 2$.
As I type this the Collector’s Edition Scultping Set is sold out on but should still be available in physical and online stores who have stocked up. If you can get your hands on it, I really recommend it, otherwise you can always get the two brushes from the permanent line.
Did you manage to snitch this set up? Are you interested in any of these?
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New Maybelline Color Drama Velvet Lip Pencil

maybelline color drama lip pencil review swatch
When I frist saw the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils come out, they ended up on my wishlist immedeiately, but due to their slightly high price, they never made it into my shopping bag. To be honest, 25$ for a lip product is way over my budget. So you can imagine how excited I was at seeing the new Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencils on the stands a few weeks ago and curious to see if they had come out with a dupe.
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