Friday, October 30, 2015

M.A.C Lip Pencil in "Auburn" [review and swatches]

For years, I overlooked M.A.C "Auburn" lip pencil. Recently while feeling nostalgic for the 90's, I decided to look through the M.A.C website for a color that was reminiscent of the era. Even though I was a little kid during the 90's, I always stalked my older sister and her taste in movies, music, fashion, etc. I have always loved the 90's aesthetic. 
"Auburn" caught my attention this time. I immediately took to Google to look for reviews. Like most beauty addicts, I'm eager to see swatches and hear different opinions on products I'm interested in. Sadly, I couldn't find as many reviews than I would have if I did a search for "Cherry" or "Nightmoth". It seemed like others were possibly over-looking "Auburn" as well. I decided to take a chance, and bought it around my birthday. 

Swatches taken in artificial light with flash. Lips were lined and filled in with pencil only. 

(intense reddish-orange brown)
 I'm so glad that I finally gave this shade a try! I regret not trying "Auburn" sooner. It's unlike any other lip liner I currently own. It's an earthy mix of red/orange/brown that is reminiscent of the 90's aesthetic, but also modern enough to rock in 2015. It contrasts nicely with my skin, and flatters my copper-red hair nicely. I sometimes put this lip liner on with no other makeup, simply because I really love the color on.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Swatch My Collection [Part III: Kat Von D Liquid Lipsticks- Sephora Collection]

Sephora's house brand is exceptional. I really love the Kat Von D liquid lipsticks. Last January, I saw four gorgeous swatches of upcoming metallic liquid lipsticks. I'm still waiting on those beauties! Hopefully there will be a Holiday release? I need them like yesterday! 

 All swatches were taken (without lipliner) in artificial light with a flash. Like all liquid lipsticks currently on the market, a coat of lip balm before or after would suffice to combat any dryness you may encounter. I prefer to coat my lips in Rosebud Salve first, blot any excess product, and then apply color.

(warm rose)
This coral pink is such a gorgeous shade. I tend to love my corals with a pink undertone, so this kind of shade is exactly the kind of coral that I gravitate to. I was so impressed by the first shades I previously ordered, that I immediately placed another order for even more shades. 

(vivid hot pink)
The color description for this shade is definitely on point. The strong blue undertone is so striking and contrasts so nicely on many different skintones. It's the perfect Barbie pink with that matte finish that I can't get enough of.

(dark reddish fuchsia)
I love how this shade is the perfect mix of red and bright pink. It's such a face brightening shade, and I think this color would instantly perk up any complexion. This shade is so pretty and tropical. It makes me think of Summer! I think Bachelorette would look beautiful in Spring/Summer, but it could also warm up even the chilliest of Fall and Winter months.

(bright crimson)
Out of the two original reds (Underage Red and Outlaw, also reviewed in this post), this one tends to lean on the cooler side rather than the warmer Outlaw. Does any red even need an explanation? Red lipstick is always glam, whether it's in a tube or in liquid lipstick form.

(brick red)
This alternative to Underage Red is warmer, but certainly no less pretty or flattering. There is a red for everyone in this line. Since the original launch, there have been several new additions - including a few new reds, giving even more options!

(deep raspberry)
This was the first shade I tried from the Kat Von D liquid lipsticks, and I immediately bought a bunch of shades after my first swatch. I'm so impressed by this color and the velvety finish that all KVD liquid lipsticks share. This shade tends to look a bit more berry in natural light/outdoors, but photographs slightly pinker in artificial light.

(rich violet)
I was so in love with the pretty purple swatch I saw on the Sephora website, but it had the dreaded "out of stock" next to the product name. I decided to check eBay because I needed that purple on my lips immediately; and on eBay, I snagged one for myself. It was out of stock for several more weeks, but when it came back, I bought another two. The swatch shows a bit of a sheen in the photo, but it actually dries very matte. I probably should have waited a bit before taking the photo, but patience is just not my forte when it comes to makeup.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Swatch My Collection [Part II]: Anastasia Beverly Hills

Anastasia Beverly Hills and eyebrows are pretty much synonymous in the beauty industry. Lately, the brand has made waves by introducing highly coveted contour palettes and liquid lipsticks. I haven't gotten around to trying the contour palette (yet!), but I'm a huge fan of the liquid lipsticks. I managed to snag a few at the initial launch on the Anastasia Beverly Hills website, and a few more from the Spring/Summer launch.

I recommend coating your lips with Rosebud Salve (or any super moisturizing lip balm of your choice) while you do the rest of your makeup. Blot, leaving a thin veil of balm on your lips. Then, apply your color. You could also apply balm after your color if you prefer, although it might slightly compromise the matte finish.

Swatches were taken in artificial light with a flash on the camera. 

This was my first liquid lipstick from the brand I tried. The shimmer really sets it apart from other liquid lipsticks currently on the market. Currently, this shade is sold out at the official ABH website and Macy's. I highly recommend frequently checking both websites though for a re-stock. It's so worth it! On my lips, one layer gives me a shimmery medium to deep berry color. The color intensity is buildable to your liking.

This was the second liquid lipstick I tried. It's such a gorgeous purple! It's darker than other purple liquid lipsticks on the market currently, but it's still gorgeous. The matte finish is so beautiful. It's a really fun and vivid purple with a perfectly matte finish. I have several purple lipsticks, but this one is my favorite. This shade is in stock on the official ABH website, and in stock on Macy's as well. 

This shade tends to look different on everybody, based on what I've observed from fellow bloggers. It's a vivid medium berry pink on my lips, and I really love it. It's a super pretty color, and I think this would look beautiful on any skintone. Sadly, this shade is not in stock on the official ABH website or Macy's at the moment.

This is a beautiful shade of pink with a prominent blue shimmer. I love colors with an unexpected iridescence of blue/turquoise/purple/etc. It catches the light so beautifully. Anybody who loves pink lipsticks should give this color a try. Like I stated previously, shimmer is somewhat rare in a liquid lipstick formula - so this shade really stands out. Sugar Plum is currently in stock on the official ABH website.

I don't believe that one can ever have enough red lipstick - ever (regardless of the finish or texture). This is a beautiful blue-toned red that looks beautiful on both warm and cool toned bloggers/customers/makeup lovers. I bought this along with "Sugar Plum" for my birthday last Summer, and I'm very happy with it. Sarafine is currently in stock on the official ABH website.

Truly outrageous Jem and The Holograms at Sephora!

I love seeing the new and super cute collections Sephora offers from their namesake brand to their exclusive brands Kat Von D and Bite Beauty! How adorable were the Disney Princess compacts that recently came out?! Even though I'm in my 20's, being a Disney Princess is still kind of one of my life goals. 

I was too young to watch Jem and The Holograms when the show originally aired, but my sister was a huge fan. In fact, when my parents were discussing baby names, my sister suggested naming me "Ashley" after her favorite character on the show! 

My namesake, Ashley.

 Onto the collection!
This set features four opaque matte shades and a shimmery shade that would make an awesome top coat for any of the other shades or on its own. I'm majorly crushing on the pinks and the purple in this set!
This palette features 24 bright and vivid shades to create a outrageously bold eye look. While I love neutral eyeshadows as much as the next girl, I'm also a huge fan of brights so I'm glad that Sephora treated us to the really fun and vivid shades in this palette.

When these promo images were first released, a friend of mine sent me the link to the photos in all caps conveying her excitement for this collection. Of course I saw the images already though, because what kind of hot pink lipstick lover would I be if I didn't constantly seek out new formulas and finishes of the shades I love?
 I love cute compact mirrors (hello, Sephora's Disney Princess collection!), so this naturally caught my eye. However; when I noticed the "out of stock" notification, I was like:



Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Swatch My Collection [Part I]: Lipstick Queen

I always love a good niche brand, and Lipstick Queen is one of my favorites. Catering to all things lips from tinted balm to lip liner to lipstick to gloss, Lipstick Queen is one of those reliable go-to brands. I tried my first Lipstick Queen lipstick in 2009, and it's been a constant love affair since. I love seeing new product launches, and the creative concepts behind Poppy's latest creations.

I thought it might be helpful to swatch my lipsticks by brand to provide swatches for fellow Lipstick Queen fans, and to hopefully recruit some new Lipstick Queen lovers.

All swatches were taken in natural daylight without lip liner to give the truest representation of the color.
(luxurious and flattering lavender)
How gorgeous is this?! Only Poppy could combine lavender pink and gold to create a shade this beautiful. This stunner is a part of the Lux collection. The tube is heavy and super luxurious. I also really like the nod to Marie Antoinette as well. 
(sexy shimmering red)
I applied this swatch heavily to show how buildable this shade is. One swipe lends sheer color, but a few layers gives a slightly iridescent soft red color. The finish is glossy and translucent. I would very much recommended this shade to anybody looking for a good "starter red" that isn't too overwhelming upon first swipe, but can be built up with more layers to customize color coverage to your liking.
Saint Rose
(inspired by the rosebud-painted lips of antique dolls)
This was the first Saint lipstick shade I tried back in 2009, and my first introduction to the brand. I loved it then, and I love it now. After I tried it, I was so eager to try the more opaque version of this shade. I swatched Rose Sinner as well in this post. 
(warm romantic pink)
This was the second Saint lipstick shade I tried. This is the perfect nude pink for my skintone. It's such a soft and pretty color, like something I imagine Juliet (Romeo + Juliet) or Ophelia (Hamlet) would wear. (Major Shakespeare/theatre fan here). I know this is a popular shade amongst brides and bridal makeup artists - and for good reason. It's so pretty! 
 (show-stopping purple with a flash of shimmering turquoise)
I remember ordering it as soon as I received the email from LQ about its launch, based on the color description alone. Since Poppy is the queen of creating memorable shades, I knew I had to have this! I love bold shades with an unexpected flash of blue or turquoise! This is another buildable shade from Lipstick Queen. I layered it on heavily to show the beautiful shimmer. Named for its nod to the gorgeous Marlon Brando's famous line in "A Streetcar Named Desire", this color makes a huge statement. 
(inspired by the rosebud-painted lips of antique dolls)
Since Lipstick Queen accomodates fans of sheer and opaque color in the Saint/Sinner line, this is the more opaque version of "Saint Rose" (swatched earlier in this post). This is one of my favorite lipsticks. It reminds me of the shade that Kate Winslet wore in "Titanic" during the famous dinner scene. I believe that everybody needs to have a face brightening shade in their collection - something that really wakes up their face and contrasts nicely with their skintone. You can find that shade for your complexion in the Sinner lipstick line. Mine happens to be "Rose Sinner".
Nude Metal
(metallic rose-gold nude)
I was so excited when the Metal lipstick line launched, because anything metallic in lipstick is exactly the kind of finish I love. The gold in this shade is very prominent on my barely pigmented lips without lipliner. Bold shades are my favorite, but the best kind of light/medium shade for me is one with an unexpected flash of color to give it that extra special something.
(metallic pillarbox red)
This was the first shade in the Metal line that first caught my eye, because it's a) metallic, and b) red. One can never have enough red lipstick, in my opinion. I love the metallic finish of this shade, and how pretty it looks in natural and artificial light. This shade has a special sentimental meaning to me because I received it on the day my halo brace was removed after I fractured my spine in a car accident. So in a way, this shade is a celebratory one for me. 
Click here to see other Lipstick Queen swatches I've done of Scarlet Red Sinner, Velvet Rope Lipstick in "Brat Pack", and Jean Queen!


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick - New Shades

So, I basically love, nay, am obsessed with metallic reds. I emailed Anastasia Beverly Hills earlier in the year and mentioned how much Id love if they came out with a Metallic red liquid lipstick, so I was thrilled to see one of their newest shades is indeed a gorgeous bright metallic red. Candy Apple is gorgeous, shiny, and full of metallic panache! I'm smitten. Can't wait to try this shade and many of the other new shades in the line. Great for the holidays!

Available at Anastasia Beverly Hills.

Lipstick Queen Fall 2015 Releases

Ha-cha! Whoopee! And all that jazz...! Chicago is one of my favorite musicals, so it's kind of awesome and totally fitting that glam lipstick brand Lipstick Queen has come out with a gorgeous line of metallic lippies for the Fall/Winter season. Poppy King is at it again, fusing gorgeous color with pops of shimmer. I absolutely need these new All That Jazz Lipstick. Choose from four gorgeous colors at $30 each.

Available at Lipstick Queen

Back in Action!

It's been quite a blog hiatus for me, but I'm back and ready to start sharing more beauty news, reviews, and more. So stay tuned! :)

- Ashley