make up for ever aqua xl colour paints and ink liners

make up for ever aqua cream paint 4

Many years ago when I was a beauty writer for a magazine, I attended the press launch of Make Up For Ever’s Aqua range. It was one of the most memorable makeup presentations ever: the waterproof nature of the range was demonstrated on a synchronized swimming team with elaborate face paint, who emerged from the pool with their makeup perfectly smudge-free and as vibrant as it had been before they’d jumped in. I was so impressed that the whole thing just stuck in my head forever!

So when Make Up For Ever started expanding their waterproof range recently, I got super excited. It’s awesome to see a makeup line you like evolve, especially when it’s for the better, and especialy-especially when you’re able to say you remember it “way back when” like a total granny. Today’s Aqua XL lineup is not only incredibly comprehensive but ever-expanding. The latest additions are the Aqua XL Colour Paint (waterproof cream eyeshadows) and Aqua XL Ink Eye Liner (waterproof liquid liner) ranges.

make up for ever aqua cream paint 1

The Aqua XL Ink Eye Liners come in 15 colours divided into Matte, Metallic, Satin and Shimmer finishes. Even the lighter colours like ___ are very bold and pigmented, so you aren’t going to find yourself having to go over the same area again and again to build up colour. The liner tip is super fine and fairly stiff, which I found makes for excellent detail work. If you do a lot of really artistic, editorial looks, I highly recommend checking these out.

MUFE AQUA XL

As for the Aqua XL Colour Paints, they come in 20 shades divided into Matte, Lustre and Iridescent finishes. What really gets me excited about them is that they come in little squeeze tubes, so are less likely to dry out as quickly as cream shadows that come in jars. Actually, Make Up For Ever has been pretty dialed-in about the shelf life of their products lately. Take for instance Aqua Brow, which is very similar to Anastasia Beverly Hills’ cult-fave Dipbrow Pomade – where my Dipbrow pots can go maybe a year without stiffening noticeably, my tubes of Aqua Brow have maintained their consistency perfectly so I’m pretty optimistic about these cream shadows as well.

In terms of texture, these are very creamy and are relatively blendable…though you have to work fast because they do set fairly quickly. When I first attempted this FOTD, I tried to apply the dark blue cream all over my lids first, but found that it was setting before blending out fully. After another attempt, I discovered that trick (with darker colours at least) is to do all your crease/transition colours first with powder shadows, before patting this in place and quickly blending out any edges.

Aqua Colour Paint 1

Aqua Colour Paint 4

I used Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows in Milk Tea (M-536) and Dark Purple Taupe (M-546) from Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Vol 4 in my crease, and then applied Make up For Ever Aqua XL Colour Paint in L-22 on my mobile lid afterwards, blending it out with a bit of Prussian Blue (M-240) where necessary. For a look like this, I do think it’s important to have a (preferably matte) powder shadow in the same colour as your main lid shade that you can use to blend out the edges of the cream shadow.

I used Aqua XL Ink Liner in M-10 as an all-over liner, with a flick of L-40 in my outer corner, and am wearing Make up For Ever Aqua Matic in I-90 along my lower lashline and ME-54 in my inner corners as a highlight.

Aqua Colour Paint 3

Aqua Colour Paint 2

Though starting with powder, applying the cream and then blending again with more powder sounds complicated, it’s actually quite a cinch in practice and far quickler/less frustrating than trying to blend out the cream shadow on its own…especially when it’s as pigmented and intense as this one was!

Aqua Colour Paint 5

Face: Make Up For Ever UV Bright Cushion // Cheeks: Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in Antique Pink (M-806) // Eyes: Make Up For Ever Dark Purple Taupe (M-546), Prussian Blue (M-240), Milk Tea (M-536) all from the Artist Palette Volume 4, Make up For Ever Aqua XL Colour Paint in L-22, Make up For Ever Aqua XL Ink Liners in L-40 and M-10, and Make up For Ever Aqua Matics in I-90 and ME-54 // Lips: Make Up For Ever Artist Acrylip in 201.

 

This post features products that were provided as press samples, however all opinions and observations are my own and not influenced by the brand or its PR team. This post contains affiliate links.

nars liquid blush

June 3, 2017  |  NARS, Product Reviews  |  2 Comments

nars liquid blush 1

NARS came out with a new line of liquid blushes recently, and since they have been the talk of the town I thought I would do a super quick first impressions/swatch post for anyone wondering what they’re like. Sorry I don’t have more photos yet, but if these work out for me I’ll be back with more info and FOTDs for sure!

The line currently consists of 4 shades: Luster (pale peach), Orgasm (golden pink), Torrid (coral) and Dolce Vita (earthy red) all of which are pretty darned close in colour to their original powder counterparts. They’re all warm shade which works for me personally but I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that NARS eventually expands this line with some cool pinks as well. I think Gaiety, Desire and Mata Hari would be amazing additions.

nars liquid blush swatches

As you can see, Luster is the lightest/sheerst of the bunch, with Dolce Vita is the deepest/most pigmented. Orgasm and Torrid are similar in terms of intensity, though Orgasm is much more shimmery. In terms of texture, these start out as VERY liquid – more watery than they are creamy – so much so that I was surprised at their ability to completely dry down to a powder. I like to think that this will make them easier to blend out (i.e. give you more time to do so before they set) since they were all extremely pigmented.

I haven’t had the chance to use these on myself yet, but I’m definitely interested to know how they perform on skin and especially if they live up to NARS’ claim about being able to go over powder. Like I said, I’ll check back in and update everyone once I get to play more with these, but in the meantime I hope this has helped answer some of your questions!

Pricing & Availability: NARS Liquid Blushes are US$30 each and are available at Sephora US, on NARS’ website and at NARS counters at department stores.

 

This post contains affiliate links.

chanel cruise 2017

May 23, 2017  |  Beauty, Chanel, Product Reviews  |  No Comments

I’ve always found summer makeup collections to be the most freeing – light textures and fun colours galore – and Chanel’s cruise 2017 line does a lot to reaffirm that opinion. The main colours are bronze (naturally), coral (of course) and a rather unexpected deep emerald green.

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The first thing that caught my eye from this collection was undoubtedly the Les Beiges Healthy Glow Luminous Colour powders. I’ve heard so many good things about the amazing quality of Chanel bronzers from friends and fellow makeup lovers before, but hadn’t tried one till now. This new addition to the Les Beiges line is sort of like a subtly illuminating bronzer meant for all-over use. It gives your skin a warm, luminous glow and because it’s quite sheer you can use it pretty liberally without worrying about turning yourself orange. I was recommended the Medium Light shade for my (NC15) skin, and although I was surprised at first to be matched to something other than the lightest colour, it totally made sense once I realized how sheer the formula was. As with all Chanel powder products, this has a light rose scent to it.

chanel les beiges healthy glow

The star of the cruise 2017 show was (for me at least) the limited edition Inimitable Waterproof Mascara in Vert Profund which was, indeed, profoundly green. I don’t think I’ve ever used mascara that wasn’t black, so although I approached this with a healthy dose of skepticism I ended up being thrilled with the final effect. It’s a dark enough emerald green that it didn’t look downright kooky in real life, while still being interesting and very eye-catching. Like, very VERY eye-catching. I noticed a couple of people I interacted with during the day did double takes, so if you want to really draw attention to your eyes, this would be the product to buy!

Chanel Inimitable Mascara Vert Profund

The Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Horizon is another limited edition colour for the season, and though it looks quite black it actually smudges out to reveal a grey-green undertone that beautifully compliments the mascara. Unfortunately despite my best efforts I couldn’t really capture the subtle green hue, but it’s definitely more evident in real life, especially when paired with emerald lashes! I had a preconceived notion of pencil liners being very clumsy to use, but the fine tip of this stylo coupled with a great formula (i.e. one remained workable for long enough to carefully smudge out with a brush before setting fast) made me forget my allegiance to liquids and gels.

Chanel Eyeliner Stylo Horizon

Finally, I got to test Rouge Coco Shine in Golden Sand from the collection’s lip products. It’s weird – I seldom pick up brown nudes for myself, but whenever they find their way into my stash they end up being the shades I reach for the most. This swatched a bit rosier than it looked in the tube, and turned out to be a fabulous example of what I like to call a “No-brainer Nude” aka the kind of colour that works any look and that you end up reaching for over and over again.

Chanel lipstick golden sand

Here are some swatches from the collection:

chanel cruise 2017

And so you can kind of see them in context, here’s a FOTD I did using all of the above as well as some nude-ish mattes from the Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Vol 4 on my lids for definition. It just isn’t in my nature to skip eyeshadow!

chanel cruise 2017 4

The grey-green of the eyeliner is a little more evident in this shot, as is the glow from the Les Beiges bronzer:

chanel cruise 2017 3

When I was finished, I was struck by how editorial the look turned out to be. The green mascara really pushed this into the category of makeup that is simple yet striking and although I worried at first the nude lip would be too bland, it really pulled everything together while allowing the eyeliner and mascara to be the focal point (as they should be).

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This post features products that were provided as press samples, however all opinions and observations are my own and not influenced by the brand or its PR team. This post contains affiliate links.