Weekly Medley #35

oR9A9%iBQxqpAoYQsSZC+w21. The perfect escape from business as usual and that general craziness…. pouring through the pages of October’s phenomenal Elle Canada while drinking a cup of apple-cinnamon tea is amaaaaaazing.

2. Skincare-centric posting … I’m pleased to report that my skin has been pretty in control for a while now and I wanted to talk about the newer products that I’ve brought into the rotation and I did HERE.

3. Getting my reviewing game on … Beginning with this week’s post on the NARS Contour Blush HERE, I’ve been geting back into the routine of individual product review posts and I’m kind of liking it.

4. The crappy quality picture of my face… Do I even need to explain this? That aside, the Rimmel Colour Rush Balm in Lady Marmalade had to be mentioned for being all comfortable and balmy but also managing to last for ages on top. I really enjoyed the shade, too; it’s a coral. Shocker.

5. A perfumed body cream worthy of praise… You’ve caught me, this photo is not actually from a post within the last week or so, but I’ve realized my love for the Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Buttercream this week. It smells like an authentic zesty margarita and actually moisturizes like a champ too. If only it wasn’t irritating on the chronic leg eczema situation…

6. When all else fails, play The Sims … There’s something so comforting about playing The Sims as you’re too stressed to even think about tackling anything on your growing to-do list – but then there’s always that sad moment when you’re living vicariously through a simulation of your self. Alas.


Huh. I suppose this is going to be one of the shorter posts of this variety (and maybe any) by me and that would be because as I’ve been tackling my lovely little cold, it appears that full fledged heavy term-work has come over me and threatened to make me crash and burn. I might be being a little dramatic here but honestly work has been piling up and it’s at that point where I may actually have a breakdown if I don’t get to work on things so I need to get a move on in the sphere of non-beauty or blogging related things. As I write this, I’m afraid that I must return (yet again) to the books and word processors.

How was your week?

Maggie, x.

NARS Paloma Contour Blush

DSC_0725I’m pleased to be getting back into the habit of reviewing individual products and I’ll leave it at that. If you’ve been following me regularly around these parts, you’ll likely be aware of my favourable thoughts towards the contouring duo by NARS. I acquired the NARS Contour Blush in Paloma ($46 CDN) from Sephora via online order – as chronicled here and I’ve been using it ever since with pleasure. Obviously, my compact is looking a little worse for wear but this is what tends to happen with this style of rubberized packaging. T’is unfortunate. The “contour blush” is actually a powder duo, with much more of the contour shade to use in the 0.28 oz compact. In short, they are marketed to “create seamless, natural-looking definition with one sculpting product” and more specifically “the deeper shade enhances definition, while the lighter shade illuminates the high points of the face, providing an instant soft-focus effect without shine or shimmer” and I have to say that it achieves these claims. However, as lovely and angelic as this duo is, the price is rather hefty and the highlighting shade isn’t the ideal highlighter for me as I’m partial to shimmer on my cheekbones for that glow factor. Otherwise, it is impeccable. I have the middle shade offering and it might just be the most versatile suiting neutral-to-warm skintones of the quite fair to medium variety and it houses a bisque-hued cream shade for highlighting purposes as well as the ever-so-slightly-warm-tinged medium rosy-tan hue for contouring.

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Both shades are flawlessly formulated, with great buildable pigmentation and the easiest texture to blend in the world. They are nothing short of glorious powders, retaining an air of creaminess while being soft-matte textured powders on the skin. They don’t fade or require much work, either, and they are a natural option for sculpting on a daily basis in a subtle manner. It’s not an all-out fussy contouring duo. The contouring shade is ever-so-slightly darker than MAC Harmony and actually manages to blow it out of the water formula-wise as it provides that natural-looking shaping look to the cheeks without appearing too grey or stark. It’s also not orange-y or bronzer-like in the slightest, though, so it straddles the line of cool and warm. It’s definitely not muddy at all but has the ability to create instant cheekbones without much work or faff involved. You wouldn’t believe how versatile the shade is, either.

While I was initially a bit disappointed with the highlighting shade, it has grown on me as a finely-milled brightening shade for use setting my concealer that I use in hopes of camouflaging my hereditary dark circles as well as a matte highlighting shade that’s helpful used as a matte eyeshadow. I’m someone who is entirely too skeptical of the under-eye setting game to purchase a powder solely for that purpose but I have to admit the texture and subtle-pinky lean of the brightening powder do work nicely to smooth things out in a soft-focus way while brightening.

It appears that NARS has done it again; my recently-acquired credit card is cringing while I type this, clearly. It’s been over a month that this duo has been in my life and I’ve barely been able to do my makeup without it and I don’t want to. Obviously, I think this one is a gem and would recommend it in its $46 dollar glory… And to be helpful I thought I would provide you with a link but I do disclose that it is one of the affiliate variety because I believe in full disclosure, truth and all that.

NARS Contour Blush in Paloma

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Have you tried any of the NARS Contour Blushes?
Maggie, x.

Weekly Medley #31

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In a nutshell, last week was a week of feeling under the weather. I’m not saying that I began to not feel well last week but previously I chalked the feeling down to hormonal origin but now I know that I was most certainly fighting something off. There were also a few days of scorching weather and as nice as those days can be, I was not in the mood and continously found myself wishing for cooler autumnal weather. Don’t shoot me. Along with feeling more than a little bit run down, I experienced quite possibly the worse eczema breakout in my life with that painful itchiness and burning, along with the unsightly physical symptoms. I can’t chalk it down to one specific thing considering that I’m one of those people that are mildly sensitive to a myriad of things but I did go with my cousin to pick up her new kitten at the pet store (stupidly because I am quite allergic to dander) and suddenly felt awful; BAM, then the symptoms occurred. Allergies and skin sensitivities are no fun. At all. Ever.

I might not have been wearing makeup every day of the week and when I did I didn’t exactly go for the full deal but despite these two facts, there have been a good number of makeup related items that scored highly on my “things I loved” metaphorical checklist last week…

  1. Essie Sssssexy Snakeskin Magnetic Nail Colour- At the very end of the previous week, I had painted my nails in this opaque oxblood hue and despite my extremely questionable polish skills (pertaining to its magnetic effect), I found myself really enjoying them. Also, there were about five coats of polish on my nails (because it took that long for me to figure out how to create the design) and it still lasted nicely for 4-5 days. I will definitely be reaching for this colour in the very near future.
  2. A cup of tea in my favourite mug – Traditionally I’m much more of a latte kind of girl but since feeling so drab and generally questionable, I’ve found a cup of tea to be therapeutic and relaxing. There’s no type in particular but I have consistently been enjoying that whole relaxed tea-drinking experience.
  3. My new Nars Pro-Prime Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base & Contour Blush in Paloma – I have gone on and on about my intense love for the contouring blush on a few occasions since receiving my order in the mail and that still hold’s true as the product is pigmented and buttery, providing instant cheekbones but I’ve been really impressed with the primer as well; it might not always prevent creasing for me but it minimizes it the best out of any primer that I’ve tried.
  4. Kate’s “Forever Repurchased #8” post – Kate’s blog-posts are just the best in general, so life was extra good when I was reading her chronicle those products that are so amazing that she actually does that crazy thing and repurchases them rather than trying something new. These posts are really helpful as they show what products truly are so amazing that they beg to be repurchased but hers was also entertaining to read as well!
Apologies for the late post; regardless, how was your week?
Maggie, x.

Weekly Medley #29

Recently Updated26Want to catch up?
Sunday August 3: 10 Indulgent Sunday Staples | Tuesday August 5: The Review- Skin79 Snail Nutrition BB Cream | Thursday August 7: I USED UP PRODUCTS #3 | Friday August 8: The Daily Face #21 – Actual “No Makeup” Makeup | Sunday August 10: The Current Obsessions

 

Another week has passed and therefore it’s time for another Weekly Medley post. Standard. This week has been a weirdly low-key one especially after the stress and generic hectic-ness of previous weeks and although the weather was a wee bit bipolar, it wasn’t too much of a terrible one, which was a rather nice change of pace, I must say. Now that its August, I had decided that it was time to go and buy a thing (or five) so some shopping happened but I was more restrained than one might expect. The first trip was actually a good ol’ day of in-person mall shopping and I came out with the fabulous sleepwear set shown above (I’m in love), a nice structured red satchel and a printed top from Forever 21, a few things from Shopper’s that were on sale (and one that I redeemed points on) and a candle or three as my first Bath and Body Works purchase.

I’m a huge comfy clothes slash sleepwear person and I’m passionate about caffeine so the $17.80 sleepwear set was right up my alley and I’ve been loving the comfortable summer set, just as expected. I talked about it in yesterday’s post already, but I must reiterate my love for the Bath & Body Works Beach Day Candle that was on for a good price as well as being absolutely amazing. Considering that I’m not particularly sad that the season is coming to a close and that Fall is coming, it’s no surprise that I was on board with the autumn scents in store and I’m excited for when I get to burn the Spiced Pumpkin Cider Candle and the weirdly scrumptious Cayenne Caramel Candle. If you’re familiar with the store, I would love to have some other scent recommendations — hint hint nudge nudge. However, my purchases did not end there; yesterday I made an online order at Sephora for the extra points offered as a promotion but was actually rather practical which both excites and horrifies me equally. I know Sunday is technically the start of the new week but since moving these posts to Monday, I’m taking creative liberty and pretending that they existed in the previous week.

It might be a while until I have my new items (courtesy of Sephora) in my possession but I’m excited nevertheless and feel the need to chronicle them here. Frustrated by my creasing issues, despite not having oily eyelids, I’ve bit the bullet and gone for the NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base ($29), along with the NARS Contour Blush in Paloma ($46) that I’ve heard nothing but fabulous things about and have been lusting after. It pleases me to be actually making progress using up products but at the same time it’s not fun having to buy new products because you ran out of the previous; I have maybe a day or two left out of my REN moisturizer and rather than repurchasing it, I’m trying the more moisturizing version of the Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet that I loved so much in the past, the Caudalie Vinosource Intense Moisture Rescue Cream ($40). I’m excited to try that one out, for sure. I’ve been really interest in trying out the rather expensive liner so I had to snap up the sample of the Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Gel Crayon when it was offered as a 100-point-perk. Clearly.

My low-key week was also pleasant because I was pleased with the blog posts that I wrote — it can make such a difference, truly. How was your week?
Maggie, x.

P.S. The bright lip that I’m sporting in the above collage is the Rimmel Colour Rush Balm in Lady Marmalade that I raved about yesterday here!

The Essential: NARS Orgasm Blush

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I was fully intending to title this post “The Eternal Standby”, but then I decided that perhaps that was a tad overdramatic and would make any further posts of this kind rather difficult as my indecisive nature coupled with choosing products of that nature would be an absolute disaster. The NARS Orgasm Blush ($33 CDN)is one of those products that straddles the line of being a cult favourite and one that many (including some of those who I trust implicitly about all things beauty) dub as completely overrated but regardless of all that hoopla, it’s one that I can go through phases of using constantly and forgetting about for a while, but as soon as it is dug out again I remember why exactly I fell in love with it in the first place, regretting my neglection instantly. As it’s morning here (as I write this post and even earlier when I took pictures), the pink-leaning coral with fine golden shimmer running throughout wasn’t showing up great so I’m using a flash photo despite my qualms of how it makes my foundation look (my loved Rimmel Wake Me Up, if you’re curious — it’s not shiny in real life FYI).

This was one of my very first purchases from Sephora and was my first foray into NARS and it definitely impressed in formula even beyond the flattering hue. It’s pigmented in a buildable way, has good longevity and its texture is smooth and sits on the skin organically, bringing some subtle glow and brightness to the face. I’m shocked that being the blush hoarder that I am, I haven’t tried any more. I plan on remedying this is in the not-too-distant future…

 

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L-R: MAC Stereo Rose MSF (LE), NARS Orgasm Blush, MAC Springsheen Powder Blush
 

I’ll have you know that I was rather pleased with myself today, for actually providing a comparison swatch photo and a not altogether horrendous one at that, if you ask me. These illuminating coral blushes will forever hold a place in my heart as they seem to flatter my fair but warm-toned skin like no other but NARS Orgasm holds a special place due to its versatility. It doesn’t look outwardly coral on the cheeks but rather looks rosy in a way that outdoes traditional pink offerings and instantly brightens the face without looking obvious in the slightest. Although the shimmer particles in this one are the most noticeable of the three, it blends into the skin whilst looking invisible and has less of a metallic sheen than the others. Because of its pink-coral hue, it tends to suit both warm and cool looks and the smokiest of eyes and bold lip offerings; this is why it’s a standout in my book. If you need further convincing of my love for this, I’ve actually hit pan on this beauty. Mmhmmm.

So this was not the planned post for today but when I put on my makeup, featuring this beauty, I was overcome with inspiration — typical. I want to know your thoughts on this famous product, regardless of whether you’re on the love or hate side of things!

Maggie, x.

NARS Kalahari Eyeshadow Duo

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The NARS Kalahari Duo is one of those tiny palettes that seem to get neglected in my makeup stash for the larger palettes with more variety in terms of shade options but it’s one that I always adore when I pull it out and just slap it on. I’ve rambled on time and time again that I’m someone who goes for the full on eyeshadow shebang when I wear makeup but these two colours add effortless definition to the eye with the lighter shade on the lid and the darker in the crease. I might have mentioned the duo once or twice in the days of the blog but they have been robbed of the recognition that they deserve.

A month or two before beginning my blog, I picked this beauty up at Sephora during the event they had in April that granted VIBs a good percentage off (I believe it was called ‘Chic Week’) as a treat from finishing my exams. I paid $39 CDN for the gorgeous neutral duo and thankfully the price hasn’t gone up since for the 0.14 ounces of product. Being a MAC Eyeshadow girl, I had always gazed longingly at the NARS shadows but could not justify spending so much more for shadows but I decided I would treat myself and I am glad that I did. NARS duos contain a great deal more eyeshadow than the typically MAC and Urban Decay pots do, containing 0.07 ounces of each shade compared to the traditional 0.05 – because of this, if the shades you select will get lots of use, they are surprisingly economical so I wouldn’t necessarily be put off by the price.

Although I’ve heard fantastic things about the rest of NARS’ shadows, I cannot comment as I have only tried this one but this one is fantastic quality. I would rank these shades as among the best that I’ve ever tried with very little fallout, fantastic pigmentation and longevity along with the most blendable textures to work with. I really like the lighter gold shade in the palette but it’s the taupe that is the standout in the duo. Speaking of the gold shade, it’s a subdued gold-beige shade that reminds me of MAC Patina with better payoff and a sheeny finish and microshimmer throughout. The more spectacular shade in the duo is a slightly warm-toned plummy taupe shade that looks deceptively light and shimmery in the pan and transfers on the eyes as a medium-dark shade with a satin finish. While the taupe has that sheen to it in the pan, it transfers to the crease and outer corner as adding depth to the eyes without any sort of shimmer.

I really appreciate the almost neutral-undertones of these shades because so often these golden shades are extremely warm, which I do like, but these had more of that unique quality, having both pretty neutral undertones without beginning to make the eyes look tired as some cool-toned shades can do.

Below, I’m merely wearing these two shades over a cream-coloured base (and some less than stellar eyeliner) but they do also pair nicely with additional shades – MAC Sketch is a favourite of mine to pair with the two but the duo doesn’t require it.

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If you can’t tell I absolutely adore this duo and have my eyes open for another duo to try in the near future!

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?