MAC Kinda Sexy Lipstick

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As much as I love a good bold lip of the red or coral variety, sometimes I come to admit that it’s those more difficult to find those flattering neutral shades that are the essentials or most valuable and for me, the MAC Matte Lipstick in Kinda Sexy ($19) is definitely one of those. I’ve waxed on about my love for Patisserie, the sheerer warm toned pink tinged neutral hue, and this one offers a similar kind of thing and I suspect it will become just as loved over time. Kinda Sexy definitely sits on the more pigmented and long-lasting side of things with its matte finish and it definitely has a bit more colour to it, while still being neutral. It’s a neutral hue with strong peach undertones that still fits into the cliched my-lips-but-better territory but it actually serves to darken/brighten the lips, while still remaining neutral. This lipstick isn’t ‘nude’ in the strictest sense on fair skin like mine, but it might be considered one (and a nice one at that) on deeper complexions — you’ll have to let me know.

Despite the neutral hue of this shade, it’s not a slap er on kind of hue that doesn’t require a mirror or any care but the extra effort proves worthwhile because the shade actually serves to stain the lips and last through a good moderate amount of eating and drinking. Despite being a matte finish, it doesn’t dry out my perpetually chapped lips or emphasize the patches in the slightest. This matte formula is impressive in how comfortable it is on the lips and I’ll definitely have my eye out for more matte shades — this matte is nothing like the uber-dry/drying Ruby Woo, if you were curious. My lips are peeling in the below picture and this shade does not emphasize it in the slightest, if you ask me. I find this shade lasts about 5 hours, which kind of blows my mind given that it’s such a neutral shade.

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Being a neutral (but brightening) shade, Kinda Sexy goes with just about any sort of makeup look, regardless of how minimal or dramatic the rest of the face is and it’s one that I grab for when I don’t want to think about what shade would go. I’m obsessed with this shade at the moment and as a result, it has found a home in my bag and I don’t expect this to change any time soon. For the sake of full-disclosure, the link below will be an affiliate link, too.

DSC_0471Shade comparisons: MAC Kinda Sexy (top), MAC Patisserie (middle), Revlon Matte Balm in Complex (bottom)
 
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MAC Lipstick in Kinda Sexy ($16/$19)
What’s your favourite MAC Lipstick?
Maggie, x.

The Monthly Roundup #8: July 2014

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I might moan and groan about those superficial daily life struggles more often than not but it’s not expected for those to be taken 100% seriously to account for my life, however, there is no exaggerating when I say that July was not a good month; it didn’t start off on a positive note and it ended on a wholeheartedly negative one. But, I’m moving on. Wait, I lied because I have to address the sad truth that it’s not particularly upsetting that school will be starting up again in a little over a month – there’s something comforting in the monotony of that routine. Is anybody with me on that one?

1. The Beauty Bargain #4: L’Oreal Glam Bronze Mono in 04 Universal Sun
In short, where I managed to articulate my love for this red-toned bronzer in a somewhat satisfactory fashion, covering all the bases. I was also rather pleased with the photo shown above, considering my truly amateur skillset.
 
2. My Go-To Spring/Summer Lipsticks
Again, where I was actually pleasantly surprised at the quality of the pictures in said post but also made the effort to narrow down my favourite lip products and showcase them on my lips – without going overboard.
 
3. Beauty Thoughts: The Verdict
Where I tried a new post format that involved simply giving my thoughts on a handful of products and was pleased with the result and varying lot. I might expect more of these to come – thoughts?
 
4. The Essentials with Laura
Surprisingly where I brought another face and perspective to my little corner of the internet and was able to share her favourite products with you. I hope it felt refreshing.
 
5. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
As one might expect, where I gathered my honest thoughts and provided a detailed account of them on this hyped luxury buy. When I say detailed, I’m not exaggerating…
 
What were your highlights?
Maggie, x.
 
 

 

 

An Apology to Rimmel Kate Lipstick in 08

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I’m afraid that I misjudged this one — and that I shortened its name in the title for the sake of rhyme and rhythm — when I picked this one up fairly early into the new year. I had already tried the matte formulation and was impressed and I wanted to give the original formula a go; the my-lips-but-deeper hue of the Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish Lipstick in 08 ($7-8 CDN)seemed like it would fit the bill. I fell in love with the formula but was disappointed with the shade as the rosy hue of the shade was dominated by its brown undertones, looking a little to ‘mature’ and brown on the lips – so despite it’s comfortable creamy texture and beyond-tolerable vanilla-fruity scent it was a bit of a failure, tossed towards the back of my drawer.

After this particular failure I kind of abandoned the whole quest of finding that neutral-albeit-slightly-deeper lip shade and convinced myself that the MAC Patisserie Lipstick and Bobbi Brown Rose Pot Rouge were as close as I was going to get but when I decided to binge-watch Tijan Serena’s videos and spotted the very same lipstick in her March Favourites, I tried again. I was having quite a ‘meh’ day so I wasn’t expecting much but I discovered that when applied with a lip-brush rather than straight from the tube, it was a flattering rosy hue that not only didn’t emphasize uneven texture on my lips and lasted ages but it didn’t have a bothersome smell or any other bothersome side effects. In other words, when the intense pigmentation is toned down with a lip brush, the strength of the brown undertones diminish, leaving the lips with a flattering rosy shade.

This might sound a bit familiar as I tried to get into this rediscovery in my Lip Product Addict post but then restrained myself somewhat – but of course I left some extraneous details in, you know me… It’s safe to say that I’ve been reaching for this one quite frequently lately and of course, the inanimate object was begging for an apology, heartbroken from it’s lack of written love from me. It’s up there for my favourite lipstick formulation at the drugstore (with the Revlon Lacquer Balms), the formulation is that fantastic and if you haven’t I’d recommend giving these a go, especially this neutral everyday kind of shade.

Have you tried either of the Rimmel Kate Moss Lipstick formulations? As I love the formula, I would kill for a shade recommendation or 394882…

Maggie, x

 

The Acquisition: MAC Sweet & Sour Lipstick

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I’m actually free from all that exam-period loveliness and it feels strange indeed but I’m thrilled about it. In celebration, a beauty product or two was obviously in order and I went by the mall to pick up MAC Sweet & Sourand I couldn’t be more thrilled about it. Sweet and Sour came out with the “All About Orange” collection last summer that I regrettably skipped on afterwards so I couldn’t have been more thrilled when MAC recently made it permanent with a good number of previously limited-edition lipsticks and glosses. And I picked it up when I spotted it. It retails for the standard MAC lipstick price — $19 CDN — and the muted orange-leaning coral lipstick has the ever-popular Cremesheen finish and while this finish as a whole isn’t my favourite as its not forgiving on the lips and can feel kind of grainy at times, this has to be one of the best Cremesheens I’ve ever tried. This lipstick lasts three to four hours on the lips, is not drying — but it can accentuate dry patches slightly — and feels light and creamy on the lips so it has my vote.

I seem to compare any peachy-toned lipstick in the light colour family to the popular MAC Shy Girl which I cannot wear much to my dissatisfaction but this one is honestly an amped-up version of the popular shade that sits much nicer on my warm-toned fair skin. This shade is a perfect spring-summer everyday one for me as it isn’t full out orange or anything but has that hint of summeriness to it. I would have to describe it as being halfway between a warm-toned nude and a true tangerine kind of shade and because of this its surprisingly wearable on an everyday basis. I love this and I’m actually happy that MAC has surprised me by making some glorious shades permanent – woo. I doubt I’ll even need to make an effort to keep you updated on my thoughts on this shade; I suspect it will turn into one of my instant obsessions. MAC Sweet & Sour Lipstick is glorious. That just about sums it up. Oh, and I’m slightly in love if I haven’t mentioned it before. And I don’t know what to do with myself.

Will you be picking up any of the now-permanent shades?

Maggie, x.

NARS Golshan Satin Lip Pencil

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I picked the Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Golshan ($30 CDN) at Sephora when the $20 off of $50 promotion was going on and a Christmas present or two and I’m glad I did – even though the last thing I needed was another wearable-but-vampy lip product. I haven’t tried that many products from NARS, but I’ve liked every product I’ve tried a great deal – NARS Orgasm blush ($33 CDN)  is one of my daily staples (I’m wearing it in the pictures below!) and I love NARS Kalahari eyeshadow duo ($39 CDN) and although I have only tried a sample of NARS Sheer Glow ($55 CDN), I think its a great foundation but not one that I want to pay prices that are on par with freaking Chanel for. This product is no exception to that rule. Sephora describes the lip pencils as dressing ” up lips in statement shades that seduce with rich, color-bright pigments, while drenching them in decadent moisture. This modern, long-wearing, vitamin-enriched formula for lips looks sumptuously saturated and dramatically defined” and in my experience, Golshan delivers what is promised by these claims. There is 0.07 ounces provided in the lip pencil.

On the Sephora website, Golshan is described as a “spiced wine” which seems to be a fairly accurate description but I would characterize the shade as more of a warm burgundy shade with slight brown undertones to it. It’s pretty much a warmer-toned “spiced wine” in my humble opinion. It has my ideal finish, a true creamy-looking satin while not just being drying at all, but being moisturizing in itself for a few hours until the balminess wears off.  It’s one of those balmy lipsticks in pencil form that seem to be all the rage recently and I do adore them. These actually do not cling to dry patches in the lips, despite their amazing colour saturation and pigmentation and glide onto the lips feeling exactly like a balm.

the comparisons
the comparisons

In comparison to NARS Golshan, Rimmel Kate Moss 107 ($8 CDN) is much cooler in tone and is much more of a rich berry shade and MAC Dubonnet Lipstick ($18 CDN) is extremely similar – Dubonnet is slightly vampier, with less warmth to it and as it is a amplified finish, it has more slip on the lips, not lasting as long. Dubonnet also has a stronger brown undertone.

I don’t find the colour to bleed or slip around very much, especially considering the finish. Golshan was incredibly long-wearing lasting for a bit over six hours with some eating and drinking before I seem to succumb to eating the oiliest of foods in the fashion that no lip product can survive. The hydration of the balm lasts for several hours and then wears off, leaving the colour intact and stains the lips a good deal. Unlike most lip products in bold colours, this one does not cling to the outside of my mouth as it fades — it provides the sought-after even fading. However, there is one thing that irritates me about the balms – they are not twist-up and soon I will have to purchase a sharpener for it.

If you can’t tell already, I highly recommend the Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Golshan and I definitely will be trying more in the future. They are worth the $30 price tag, I’d say. It’s hardly even noticeable but they do have a subtle makeup-y scent to them that isn’t exactly pleasant but I doubt many would be bothered by it.

NARS Golshan in action
NARS Golshan in action

Pigmentation       10/10

Formula                   9.5/10

Longevity                9.5/10

Packaging               8/10

Overall Value       9.5/10

36.5/40= 91% A+

Have you tried any of these lip pencils? What are your thoughts?

My Top 6 Cold-Weather Lipsticks

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I’ve said it before but I feel compelled to say it again – I don’t really abide to the whole ‘you wear dark colours in the winter and corals in the summer and only the summer’ kind of thing. My staple lipsticks do change with the season, however and I thought I’d share mine. If you’ve visited my blog before you would know that I’m fair with yellow-undertones and have cool-toned brown hair but I don’t think I’ve mentioned that I have pale, somewhat ghastly looking lips and this does influence the kind of shades I like — browns look more brown on me because of the lack of pigment in them and I look like I time-travelled from the early nineties, I’m sure you get the gist. And pinks, especially cool-toned pinks look horrible on me so they won’t be featured here.

MAC Patisserie ($18 CDN) is that effortless, nude-y shade that adds life to my face while still looking relatively natural. I don’t like the phrase but it fits in the ‘my lips but better’ category’ as it’s a darker nude. The undertones are a warm pinky-brown and the lustre finish is forgiving and foolproof to apply. It’s been part of the daily rotation ever since I bought it in October. This is one of the only shades that looks good with any sort of makeup.

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L’Oreal Sunset Angora ($12 CDN) is not your typical fall/winter colour at all — in fact it pretty much screams summer — but I think it’s flattering on me and I reach for it often — at least I have since I picked it up recently, but I’m sure it will remain a favourite. Aside from the old-fashioned smell (blech!), the lipstick is notable for its light hydrating texture and sheen. It’s a creme formula medium-toned pink coral with warm undertones. Another everyday kind of shade like Patisserie but this one packs more punch. This is about as pink as I’m able to get, it appears.

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Revlon Lip Butter in Cherry Tart ($9 CDN) was not a product I fell in love with immediately after first use. I’ve had it for four months, I believe, and I had lukewarm feelings towards it before a month or two ago — I dug it out again and found that I really liked it with minimal makeup for that bitten, rosy glossy lip. It’s easy to wear because of it’s sheerness and it’s especially great if you want to wear red lips and are intimidated by doing so. I think the undertones are quite neutral if you were curious.

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MAC Ruby Woo Lipstick ($18 CDN) is easily one of those famous, cult-classic red lips and I absolutely adore it. It is not the kind of lipstick that gets the most use on a daily basis (but I have worn it during the day!) but it’s the perfect red to pair with minimal makeup for that sophisticated look. Wearing such a showstopping red in the winter at your palest is a look I adore and Ruby Woo is the product for the job. It’s a retro matte which means that it wears for ages and ages on the lips but is so so drying and can look patchy as it fades. It’s a bright almost-neon red with slight-cool undertones. This is undoubtedly my favourite true-red lipstick.

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Revlon Lacquer Balm in Enticing ($10-11 CDN), yet another lipstick love of mine that fits into the red colour family, has a wonderful hydrating and smooth formulation in the pencil format that I adore. As I’ve mentioned a few times on recent posts, it is a glossy deep red with good buildable pigmentation with neutral undertones and a hint of brown to it. This is one of those deeper shades in the berry colour family that is easier to wear and can be applied on a more everyday basis without requiring much maintenance.

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Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Golshan ($30 CDN) is easily the most expensive lip product that has ever been in my possession and my acquisition of it resulted from the recent VIB Promotion at Sephora and I know I bought it recently but it was love at first sight — the perfect hydrating and long-wearing dark lip. I’m not going to get into much about the formula as you can expect a more detailed post in the near future but I will say that it wears evenly on the lips for a long time. It’s described as a “spiced wine” but it has more red in it than that in my opinion. It’s a warm burgundy shade with slight brown undertones without being brown at all. It knocked my loved MAC Dubonnet out of this top five and that should say something. I need more of these, pronto.

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What are your favourite lip products for the cooler seasons?

It May Be Winter but I’ll Wear Coral if I Want To

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My latest makeup crisis has been lip colour related. I know that nudes, reds and vampy shades are in season at the moment but sometimes we don’t want to wear either of the three. My problem is that as I’ve said many times before, the natural pink-y shades do not work on my skin-tone particularly if they are cool-toned and that leaves coral-y shades which tend to scream summer. However, I really find lighter coral shades flattering and I think the whole you wear this colour in the summer and this other colour in the winter to be particularly irritating and limiting. These two lipsticks would typically be thought of as summer shades but I’ve been incorporating them throughout the cooler months as well — they’re what neutral shades look flattering on me. In my opinion, wear whatever makeup whenever you want to. End Rant. 

I picked up Juicy Papaya ($9) as soon as I spotted the four newer Revlon Lip Butters in my local drugstore sometime in August and I’ve been making good use of it ever since. The formula is nice and hydrating, lasting the 3-4 hours on the lips and being foolproof to apply. Blah, blah, blah. I’m that weird girl who adores that these have no scent or taste — I generally find scented products weird with the exception of mint-scented ones. This shade is difficult to describe but my best attempt would be to call it a warm-toned muted light coral shade. It’s exactly what I was hoping MAC Shy Girl to be but wasn’t. 

L’Oreal Colour Caresse Lipstick in Sunset Angora($12) is a much more recent addition to my makeup stash; I’ve been hesitant to pick one up because they retail for more than ten dollars and I’ve been waiting for a sale but they might just be worth their surprisingly high price tag. Going by the formula of this shade — a muted medium-toned warm-toned pink coral –, this moisturizing lipstick offering from L’Oreal might give Revlon a run for its money… well aside from the annoying perfume-y smell that is. Compared to these, the lip butters are thick and waxy on the lips and feel more like they’re coating your lips, whereas these feel lighter and more hydrating on the lips. The pigmentation is at least as good and they wear for the same amount of time.

Have you tried either of these? Do you think coral lips can be worn in the dead of winter?