Weekly Medley #4

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This has been one of those weeks that requires limited elaboration so I’ll try to spare you my usual meaningless lengthy blabber. I’m pretty much in the same kind of zone as any other University student, stressed to the maximum with more work to do than she can handle. On top of this, I haven’t really been sleeping (at all) due to the stress of this and to be honest, I haven’t really been going for anything elaborate beauty-wise, as you can probably imagine. To be honest this has been one of those weeks when it’s a struggle to pull myself out of bed in the mornings.

After trying the much talked about Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation ($11-12 CDN) last week and using it on the daily since, I’m pleased to report that’s a foolproof slap er on kind of foundation that successfully masks the dreaded sleep-deprived and stressed face with minimal effort – and when you have about three minutes before running out the door, it can be applied with the fingers somewhat attractively in maybe thirty seconds. Score.

 

 

Generally speaking, I am a magazine fanatic and there’s always one that I’m subscribed to at any given time and at the moment it’s Elle Canada, which I subscribed to on a whim and I’ve been particularly impressed with the newly released March 2014 issue. While remaining on the affordable end of style/beauty magazines, it has interesting style and beauty content while still containing interesting and relevant nicely written articles as well. It can be difficult. It’s one of those rare magazines that seems to be written for those who have graduated from high school but do not quite have their lives sorted out yet for the next twenty-or-so years. This month featured a pull-out Spring/Summer 2014 Beauty Trend Report and as one would expect, I was all over it – I’m not a person who necessarily chooses makeup and other beauty products based on trends but I do like to see some inspiration, especially on dreary days like these. I particularly enjoyed the article titled “The Hits” that detailed ten spring fashion essentials.

 

 

Over the last few weeks, I’ve noted that I have been running dangerously low on mascara – not a hyperbole – and after dropping into Walmart last week and seeing this on for eight or so dollars I picked up the L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess Mascara ($9-10 CDN) and I’m really loving it (even though it is not dried out yet!) thus far. I tried the original Voluminous Million Lashes years ago which I liked for big lashes but found rather difficult to remove. I like that it’s not a particularly wet formula so with the synthetic brush you can achieve perfect separation with buildable volume and length without the potential of clumping. This one is also foolproof on the lower lashes, even without taking some of the excess off of the wand. However, it’s not difficult like waterproof mascara to remove but it is more difficult than most mascaras (such as my long-love The Falsies). But I note I naturally have long curled lashes that are much too wimpy for my taste so I don’t need a mascara to perform miracles per se….

 

THE MASCARA WITH MINIMAL EFFORT
THE MASCARA WITH MINIMAL EFFORT

 

A few weeks back I was enticed into picking up some products at The Body Shop and along with the body milk I picked up the Aloe Protective Restoring Masque ($22 CDN) – however it’s on sale on the site at the moment for $13.20 if you’re interested in all honesty because I was feeling nostalgic wanting to try a product back from the line I used back in the day and for ages I’ve been wanting to venture into the overnight moisturizing masques but I’ve been non-committal. I’ve been using this a few times a week for the past few weeks and let me tell you, I could tell the difference right away – and that is not something I can say about a lot of skincare products. The tub is completely unhygienic and would be completely inefficient if it contained high concentrations of active ingredients but it is extremely economical, containing 100 mLs of the goo-like substance. It smells unenticing but I could not be more thrilled as it has not been fragranced-to-the-nth-degree as per usual at these natural sorts of stores (I might possibly be making reference to Lush here) but it’s not awful, but rather smells slightly medicinal like the gentlest unfragranced products. It has the texture of goo and is ultra-concentrated with moisture that stays in the skin after it has drunk it up. For the first half hour or so, the mask feels kind of tacky and gooey on the skin (due to its first ingredient aloe vera, I would hypothesize) but then the skin ‘drinks it up’. In the morning, I consecutively woke up dewy-looking and luminous skin that was quite soothed. It really helps to take down redness and irritation (particularly from breakouts I’ve noticed) and keeps the skin plump and hydrated even after it is washed off. And makeup sits so much nicer on the skin the next day, I’ve found.

 

Ummm, in terms  of post and video obsessions there’s one clear standout in my book: The Drugstore Beauty Chat with Lilly Pebbles on Anna’s channel (Vivianna Does Makeup). I always love their “beauty chat” videos as they are entertaining to watch, amusing yet helpful at the same time. I love the laid-back style of them and I’m constantly cracking up while watching one and this one was no different. There were some great additions to my wishlist as a result of watching but I couldn’t be happier. I just loooooove when these two get together and make these.

There are no words.

How was your week and what have you been loving?

Maggie, x.

holed up in the library again and indeed, I do wear glasses and warning I'm not actually wearing foundation here
holed up in the library again and indeed, I do wear glasses and warning I’m not actually wearing foundation here

 

Makeup Additions #2

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Things have been a little hectic here and I apologize for neglecting the blog but I’ll spare you from rambling on about the craziness of university life as I’m sure you can fill it in for yourself if you so desire. It’s been snow-central this week so my product selections might have been inspired by the whole snowed-in motif that’s been going on here. These aren’t all necessarily brand spankin’ new products but these are the products that have been added into the daily rotation…

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette ($62 CDN)

So almost a month after my wishlist post and two months waiting since it came out, I finally picked this up and let me say that I am really enjoying it. There are a few shades with a glittery tendency that are difficult to work with (Trick, Buzz and Dust) a la Sidecar from the original palettes but they are light enough that I don’t find it to be a problem and these shades are very usable. Although this palette focuses more on lighter shades, there is a good variety of shades with different depth to create cohesive makeup looks unlike many palettes. At first I was wary of this palette because I expected it to be icier pinks but the shades are warm with a rosiness to it and on my warm-toned skin, both interesting and flattering. It seems really versatile thus far and I’m impressed despite all the hype. And there are three matte shades although they call one a satin and they are divine – the cream-coloured Strange, the light mauve-taupe Limit and the medium-dark rosy brown Nooner. I would expect this to be featured in daily face posts and a review soon.

wearing Strange, Limit, Nooner, Buzz & Blackheart
wearing Strange, Limit, Nooner, Buzz & Blackheart

Bourjois Sweet Cherry Cream Blush ($20 CDN)

It’s nice that Bourjois is available here in Canada but it’s annoying how much more expensive it is here than in the UK but this is a worthwhile purchase nevertheless. There isn’t a huge amount of product in the warm rosy pink pot (like the product) it’s a buildable formula that sets like a powder. In my experience this is longlasting with sheer but buildable colour payoff that blends seamlessly into the skin. It isn’t powdery-looking and flat but it doesn’t have any sort of shimmer in it either.

the cream blush in action with regular application
the cream blush in action with regular application
the blush built up
the blush built up

 

L’Oreal Super Blendable Crayon Concealer ($12-15 CDN)

I must apologize in advance for the state of my concealer (which is in W 1-2-3 if you’re interested) but it came broken inside the package and I wasn’t going to pay for a new one. It’s somewhat emollient but not overly so and provides nice buildable coverage that looks like skin and does not tend to highlight dry patches and stays put. I actually like this for undereyes and blemishes and I don’t feel that way about all concealers but it’s not the fullest coverage concealer out there.

Have you tried any of these? What have you added to your routine recently?

 

 

Daily Face #5: I Sort of Have a Routine *Gasp*

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Although I’m self-professedly not the kind of girl who sticks to a daily makeup routine without changing it up a bit on the daily basis, lately I’ve been sticking to quite a “routine” of sorts and I thought I’d share as I haven’t done a daily face this year – what horror, har har har. This is the kind of makeup that seems to happen when (a) I make the effort to actually apply something and (b) I don’t want to think on autopilot.

So I might have lied; well kind of. I’ve gotten into a routine in terms of what products I apply and what I go for buttt as I’m not completely broke as I’ve picked up a few things lately there have been a few recent additions as well. The overall routine, however, has remained constant.

I’m convinced that I was delusional before when I thought I didn’t like Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse Foundation. Since doing my “shopping my stash” post, I’ve been reaching for this foundation exclusively – and that’s saying something because I’m a foundation hoarder and I can never seem to stick to one. It has a hydrating creamy consistency providing medium coverage that can be built and a slightly dewy finish. Particularly when paired with the Lancome La Base Pro silicone-y primer, it sits on my dry skin nicely, providing coverage without it looking obvious or making my skin look dull.

I’ve done something shocking, I’ve fallen back in love with my MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder , which I wear in the lightest shade after passing powder off for months because I don’t “need it” and worried about cakiness and the like. Maybe now since I’ve been a little more frugal with my foundation application or something, it’s made its way into the daily rotation. Applied with a powder brush, it adds a tiny bit of coverage and sets the skin and helps with imperfections such as pores and texture while providing a natural (not matte) finish. Unless I have an absolutely frightening dry patch, it does not highlight them at all and it’s amazing. Concealer has been my standard highlighting Rimmel Match Perfection underneath my eyes in the lightest shade.

For the last little while I’ve rambled on about my love of MAC Harmony Powder Blush for the daily contouring and bronzing job, but recently I’ve been reaching for the creamy Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Creme Bronzer in Warm Tan because there is something magical about the way it sits on the skin that’s worth the extra effort to blend in. Benefit Girl Meets Pearl Highlighter ends up on my cheekbones daily automatically for that healthy dewy sheen.

So I was at MAC a week ago and somehow I found myself at the register with a few products I’d been lusting after in my bag. I have no idea how this happened. Even though the last thing in the world I need is blush, I picked up the duo palette and had to pick up a blush to go inside along with the eyeshadows and I chose MAC Powder Blush in Tenderling and I’m glad I did. It’s my first truly neutral blush that livens up the face without looking like blush and is that perfect complement to wearing a bolder lip in daytime life. It’s matte-but-not-flat and the warmish brown shade leans peachy in a flattering way. If you have colouring like mine, you need this in your life. 

Although I do tend to rotate between specific eyeshadows, I’ve been reaching for this “eye” exclusively. After priming, I filled in my brows with my latest addition, MAC Coquette eyeshadow , which I purchased at the reccomendation of the salesgirl after I complained of my brows looking too red-toned despite whatever shadow I used. Hallelujah,  she was right. I also used the shade in the crease. On the lid I wore the product that I’ve used up two times and have been lusting after to repurchase since I began this blog, MAC All That Glitters which has the nicest sheen to it without being over-the-top and sits halfway between a champagne and a copper. There’s nothing like this shade to wear on the lid when you want a lighter neutral colour but are bored of the usual champagnes. In the inner corner and browbone, MAC Dazzlelight has been my go-to as it’s not overtly shimmery and looks natural. For definition in the outer-corner of the eye, I used Club but this shade I tend to switch up. I’ve been wearing a thin but slightly-winged line of my well-loved L’Oreal Lineur Intense and as always, I’ve been coating my lashes with good ol’ Maybelline The Falsies. This is one of those types of eye makeup that looks fairly natural on the lid but really defines the eye and looks polished.

If you know me, I’m not usually one to wear the same lip daily but lately I’ve been wearing darker lips (the blush makes this far easier) and particularly I’ve found myself going for MAC Dubonnet. Because of the amplified creme finish of the lipstick, it’s moisturizing but the formula does tend to slide around the lips with any sort of eating or drinking. I’ve discovered that blotting it slightly doesn’t reduce the hydration and really helps the lipstick to last longer with minimal maintenance – because of the creaminess of the shade, I used to find that if I wasn’t careful I could rub the lipstick off of my lips before it stained them creating that dreaded lipstick ring around the edges of the mouth.

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It’s difficult for me to get the balance right while wearing the darker lips that I adore; I need to add definition to my eyes and cheeks to balance out the face or bold colours tend to look hideous on me and what I’ve been doing has helped me to get the balance right (in my opinion!) and I wanted to share. This is my low-key and effortless dark lip sort of makeup choice and I will continue to wear it, I swear.

x,

Maggie.

Have you tried any of these products? What makeup products have you been reaching for daily?

I USED UP PRODUCTS #1

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Ever since beginning this blog, I’ve planned on doing empties posts — I went as far as to accumulating the products in a specific bag and putting it on the desk as a reminder. Somehow I’ve managed to procrastinate from even doing one of these helpful mini-review posts of products that I actually finished. Note: Quite frankly, I’m not surprised. I left out products that I’ve mentioned using up time and time before and spoke about in depth… Bioderma… ahem.

L’Oreal Total Repair 5 Instant Miracle ($6 CDN)

Thiswas a meh product for me. I do have naturally dry, wavy-curly hair that is horrifically prone to tangles and in its natural state ends a bit more than half way down my back and therefore I need pretty intense conditioning. It by no means “instantly repairs” the hair but is a decent conditioning treatment that does provide some protein without containing the culprit dimethicone that weighs down the hair. My problem is that it is not concentrated and I went through the 200 mLs in slightly over a month and I was disturbed as higher-end counterparts I’ve tried have lasted me 5-6x the amount of time with better results at maybe four times the price. I did not see an improvement in the state of my hair and did not find it to be intense by any means. The scent is the typical L’Oreal perfumey-floral scent that I’m not a fan of.

Bee By The Sea Natural Products Sea Buckthorn and HonEy Nourishing Face Cream ($30 CDN)

This was an extremely nourishing face cream with that typical heavy night cream texture that did help to soothe the skin with it’s high concentrations of coconut oil, olive oil and grape seed oil but did not do anything spectacular or noteworthy for the skin. It’s free of irritants and is a simple mixture of ingredients that moisturizes well. It was a nice moisturizer, sold on the website and at health food stores but didn’t do enough so that I’d want to repurchase.

Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser ($11-12 CDN)

I’ve talked about this gentle cleanser extensively, both in my first post ever, [heeeere] and in my skincare routine from the early days of the blog and my feelings haven’t changed. The fragrance and detergent free creamy cleanser lasted for six months with twice daily use and impressed me with it’s gentleness on my sensitive skin while still being effective. I will either repurchase this or the newer edition of this cleanser that Neutrogena has recently released. I highly recommend it. I turned my combination-skinned friend onto it as well and it’s also working well for her so I don’t think it’s restricted to drier skin types. Doesn’t remove makeup, though. I used it in the morning and for the second cleanse at night.

L’Oreal Voluminous Original Mascara in Blackest Black ($10 CDN)

Why does it feel like the only makeup products I use-up are mascara? I internally debated whether or not to include a question mark because the question was rhetorical and to be honest it was stressing me out. I know that for many people this is “the” mascara but after using it, I have to say the product with a cult-following is not for me. I have long and thin kind of eyelashes that I never curl because they have a natural bend to them and look for volume in my mascara, generally favouring drier formulas that promise volume. Because the skin on my entire body (except my eyelids hilariously enough) is very dry, it isn’t exactly surprising that I have zero issues with mascara smudging, smearing or transferring so I can’t comment on all of that. I found that the formula of this mascara was too wet, even when it began to dry out. The brush was a standard fibre one that wasn’t too large or small that I think would work for lots of people but I found too much product was deposited on the brush and would clump in a very annoying way. I wouldn’t say this mascara is bad, I just don’t particularly like it.

x,

Maggie

What products have you used up lately?

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?

Daily Face #3: Minimal Makeup & Dark Lips

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EYES: Maybelline Bad to the Bronze Color Tattoo, Maybelline Copper Chic Quad, L’Oreal Lineur Intense in Carbon Black, MAC Charcoal Brown, Maybelline The Falsies Mascara

FACE: Laura Mercier Radiance Primer, Diorskin Nude Foundation in 011, Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer/Highlighter in Ivory, Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in Light, MAC Harmony Blush, MAC Semi-Precious Pearl MSF, Nars Orgasm Blush

LIPS: Revlon Lacquer Balm in Enticing

I don’t know about you but I’m a go big or go home kind of girl when it comes to makeup. I don’t feel as confident without it on but being without it in public doesn’t bother me and if going out bare-faced means a couple of minutes of sleep, I’ll gladly go out without it. I don’t tend to be one of those girls who has a go-to minimal makeup routine for every time I leave the house or anything but lately I’ve been intrigued by the concept. I’ve always liked the look of the bold lip with minimal makeup that still defines the features and here was my attempt.

When I’m keeping my overall makeup quite subdued (minus the lip), I like to keep my face dewy and natural-looking, although this seems to be my foundation preference overall as of late but it’s even more important when going through major issues with dehydration. When your skin looks as dry, pale and dull as mine does this time of year, a radiant complexion tends to be an essential. I’ve been using Laura Mercier Radiance Primer, underneath the tiniest amount of Diorskin Nude($47) that I can get away with wearing that still offers coverage.  I’m recovering from a stress-induced breakout from last week that has left me with dry marks and scars and I’ve been spot-concealing them with Maybelline Fit Me ($10) because it covers them without emphasizing the dryness.

I’ve returned to my contour of choice, MAC Harmony Blush  — ($25) when I wear anything bold (or wear any makeup in general), adding some shape to the face is essential and this is a staple of mine. I couldn’t decide on what blush to wear, so I reached for the old stand-by, pink-coral Nars Orgasm Blush ($32) and I was feeling looking particularly glowing so out came my MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Semi-Precious Pearl (LE – sorry!) for my Thighlighter. The texture of MAC MSFs are really smooth and seem to blend in with the skin and I think the product itself is a gem.

I wore the Maybelline Copper Chic Eyestudio Quad ($10) and after having it for ages I’ve decided I quite like it, although it’s certainly not mind blowing and slightly on the sheerer side. I quickly placed the frosty champagne on the inner lid, the sheer and slightly glittery copper pink on the rest of the lid and put the warm burgundy in the outer v and the lower lashline, blending into the crease. On me at least, I think that a thin and subtle winged liner pairs nicely with a bold lip and of course I used my latest love, L’Oreal Lineur Intense in Carbon Black ($10) along with a generous amount of my favourite mascara — I don’t think I even need to spell it out, do I?

Revlon’s newly launched Lacquer and Matte Balms have been getting lots of press since their release but most tend to gush about the Matte Balms, but I have a Lacquer Balm and I adore it – mentioned hereEnticing is a comfortable to wear, glossy neutral-toned darker red that actually does not cling to the outside of the lip as it fades. It wears for about four hours on the lips with light eating, I’d say. I think it’s a nice festive bold lip, but that might just be my inner need to justify my makeup purchases… If MAC Ruby Woo was less matte and had a baby with MAC Dubonnet, Revlon Lacquer Balm in Enticing ($10-11) would be the offspring. Need I say more?

What did you think of this Daily Face? Have you tried any of these products?