Yesterday a swap package arrived. It contained 2 MAC pigment tubs: Sweet Sienna and Your Ladyship.
Now, praising MAC items is usually infuriating- seeing as the chances are that the product has since bid adieu to the lineup, and one can only soothe this anger by reassuring oneself that, one of these days, next collection, next recycling initiative will have it... "Oh, it's Pink Grapefruit lipglass, again. Oh, and Femme Fi. And Deep Truth. Which is perm anyway dammit. Oh. OK, but next time, next time, I can feel it..."
Erm, anyway yes as I was saying, these 2 pigments I believe came out with Antiquitease - which seems like it was the best collection ever by the way- Gold Dusk is another firm fave but ...
I have never seen such a beautiful pigment! Sweet Sienna has got to be the most gorgeous pigment ever, it's like that beloved fave Stila Diamond Lil crossed with the taupey miracle that is Reflects Antique Gold. Breathtaking! And Your Ladyship is like a superior quality version of the erstwhile favourite Naked pigment (or as it's known, 'Naked Pig' haha).
OK so whilst this ecstasy and soaring revelry is at its peak, I feel I should rebalance my previous downer post with this, a list of those products which make the heart sing and the face beam; indeed the life force of our addiction. Let us begin...
Were it not for this, my friends, I'm not sure I could even get up in the morning. First place, as always, goes to Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation. (sadly in a discontined shade, but let's not spoil this joyous mood eh?)
It's in perfect shades for pale faces in particular, although comes in a wide variety right up to dark skin. It sets matte, is oil- controlling, has sunscreen, can deliver opaque coverage and lasts and lasts both on your face and in the bottle. Use your 187 for a dream application.
And for underye darkness or blemishes: for seamless blendable full coverage, it's got to be Lancome Effacernes. Hygienic tube packaging (who wants to compound the problem by using an easily contaminated pot/ stick form?) and this stuff also seriously lasts, both on your face (it's waterproof) and in its tube. Amazing!
If you are having a nightmare face day and you think nothing in the world could ever cover the horror... wrong! Estee Lauder to the rescue, again. It's Maximum Cover SPF 15, a thick smooth and very, very richly pigmented foundation (you seriously need a dot of this stuff for an entire face. As the SA said to me, "It's scary how little you need").
Designed for post-surgery skin, this covers all discolouration effortlessly and in fact can be your standby concealer.
--> Tip: Try this applied very thinly as a dupe for Painterly Paint Pot as a pretty long wearing crease proof eye base!
Conversely, for 'Good skin days',
nothing beats Origins Nude and Improved which I use in the beautiful shade, Almost Angel. Sadly, in the UK all Origins makeup has recently been discontinued, but if you can get this stuff, believe me it's like magic. Firstly, it smells divine, like an orchard (and it's natural, not chemical, smell.) This alone makes it a pleasure to use. Its texture is like whipped consistency, and although it masquerades as a tinted moisturiser, this literally does even out texture and make skin look velvety and perfected. The packaging is simple, a lightweight fuss-free tube (unlike the rather hefty frosted glass bottle DW comes in). I bought two; I will be devastated to run out. Like EL Maximum cover, the only criticism is that there aren't enough shades available.
*Blusher / Bronzer
Bare Escentuals again discontinued, surely I am cursed??! blusher in Flowers. The only consolation is that this stuff is so pigmented that a jar will last a hell of a long time. I try others, like NARS Dolce Vita (similar but more red) but I always come back to this. Gives a soft but bright pop of colour and lasts a long time on cheeks without changing colour (oxidising). The colour is a deep pinky red.
Their much maligned B.E Warmth also gets my vote, in that it flatters the blusher very well. I also like Too Faced Sun Bunny.
MAC limited edition Blooming is stunning. Looks dull and ordinary in the pot; transforms to a PERFECT delicate pink glow once on.Very special.
PIGMENTS- Yes, kudos to MAC, they get their own exclusive entry here, my fave pigments.
TEAL Just a stunning colour, vivid pure teal. Excellent non flakey texture, applies like a dream and co-ordinates with a surprising array of colours, notably greys and browns.
Your Ladyship or Naked
- These can't be duped by drugstore brands, they are delicate, angelic and perfect for highlighting or classic lid wash colour. Not too much sparkle, but just enough to keep it in with the luxurious image. It reminds me of some expensive tulle.
Sweet Sienna perfect smooth texture, as Teal. Complex cool taupey colour, adapts to any shade and is truly unique. Has elements of Stila Diamond Lil and MAC Satin Taupe :
Reflects Antique Gold Probably my secret fave. Über glittery but in a mature, rich way rather than an 11 year old makeup party way. Overriding taupe presence, has green and red sparkles when you really look at it. A cool gold shade that can be worn sheer or packed on with a mixing medium to make it go 'editorial'!
Silver (Pro colour I believe)This is literally molten silver on your lids. For a softer silver, Silver Fog is a great alternative. It really is like the pure silver as seen through a hazy fog. But if you want pure silver, that looks like silver, not tin or blue undertone, then pick up Silver for sure. Looks amazing with Violet pigment or Teal, or pink eyeshadow- yes, it cools it right down.
- Blanc Type: Rich, smooth, pigmented classic cream shade.
- Contrast: Midnight blue, pigmented and blendable. Can be used for daywear or glammed right up.
- Brun: The nearest in MAC's perm line up to the incredible Dark Edge (richest brown, in Cult of Cherry Tempting quad). Works as crease colour, or brow shade. Versatile, it's an ideal staple.
- Plumage: Sophisticated teal shade, very remarkable worn either as lid or crease colour, works with many different colours- always looks great!
as is the 2008 Holiday smokey eyes quad:
Mustn't forget MAC Paint in Bare Canvas. Doesn't crease. Amazing worn the Kim Kardashian way, with Contrast in crease and Naked pigment on top.
No.91, No.92, No.62:
Highly pigmented, silky and beautiful bright bold colours. Picture is blurry, and these are now replaced with different shadows in Guerlain's newly revamped lineup. I have yet to try the new brigade, but I hear they are less pigmented (?) although much bigger size now.
Prescriptives -Buttermilk. I love this so much I use it all the time, it's similar to Blanc Type but a bit more creamy yellow tinged. They used to have a shade called Buttercup, which I think was the same shade just renamed. It was replaced with this, I used that before. I find Prescriptives eyeshadows can be amazing quality actually but they don't have enough colours to keep me coming back. Nevertheless, this one is just so pretty for lighting up the eye area and creating 1920s style eyes.
They are sold in horrid compacts, or bought as loose square pans:
After loving it, I managed to get the very hard to find, discontinued, duo in Noir et Marine- but it was very lacklustre by comparison (perhaps because I disinfected it with alcohol and dried it out? Maybe that was stupid...) but anyway it put me off buying the limited edition Brown duo. Plus seeing as my hair is now virtually black, I wonder if it would be too light anyway. The black is amazing, very deep jet black and can even be used in the waterline and stays put very impressively. Read Karlasugar's brilliant blog entry which convinced me I had to have it.
For a cheaper and quicker option, I love GOSH Velvet Touch eyeliners, available in Superdrug for around £5(UK)or online. My favourite staple is Metallic Brass, an exact dupe of MAC's Buried Treasure and I also adore Hypnotic Grey, a deep charcoal. The liners are waterproof and stay in the waterline for hours.These pencils in fact seriously rival Urban Decay 24/7 liners... except Covet, which is such an incredible emerald green that it is simply peerless, and made for the lower lashline/ waterline.
- no HG as yet sadly, but I like Max Factor Masterpiece (original) combined with Lancome Hypnose.
-I have a soft spot for Chanel 'les Gouaches de Chanel', I keep searching for them and have stocked up. It was a limited edition set designed to look like an artist's palette:
and they last a really long time, as they're sort of dry textured. It comes with a gloss tube to put on top of them, but in of themselves they are like pure pigments. The red is exceptionally striking, but it also has a brownberry shade and a nude pink too. It's a great set and I'm always excited to use it, even though I've had it a while.
For instant Angelina Jolie lips, I love MAC's Kinda Sexy, it's nude without the corpse effect. It avoids any beige or mauve creeping in as it's particularly peachy. Wear it with MAC Beurre or Estee Lauder Spice Writer.
For the best warm red I've found, I'm afraid it's another MAC ltd edtn, from Naughty Nauticals, called Port Red. Best described as 'ruby slippers' red, I bought 4, as I just thought it was that good. It looks amazing with MAC Cherry lipliner.
MAC Blot (Pressed)- In a league of its own for its oil controlling properties.
Estee Lauder Lucidity also very good, especially for evening out skin texture and helping diffuse age lines. Go for the pressed, the loose is a little sparkly.
- Makeup removal:
Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean foaming facewash. Only need a tiny pea size amount to thoroughly clean ALL makeup off. Contains caffeine and conditioning extracts and really does foam and feel clean! It leaves skin squeaky clean, and manages not only to remove makeup in one go, but also to balance oily and dry areas of your face. Just a word of warning- DON'T get this in your eyes, it reallllly hurts!
*Eye makeup remover
I have tried Clarins 'Heavy' eye makeup remover, it is so much weaker than this... I have tried Gatineau's mammoth size bottle from QVC, it is a joke. I've tried oily drugstore eye makeup remover. But this one is the King of all eye makeup removers, in one gentle swipe your heavy eye look has gone. No tugging and inviting wrinkles, no holding you up when all you want to do is get to bed. It is, of course, Lancome Bi-facil.
I use Clinique toner No.2 , the notorious purple one. I don't care it's got alcohol, it feels like it's working and I like seeing the dirt come off tangibly.
Nivea Oil Free moisturiser - Great makeup base, non greasy and very soothing due to its witch hazel and allatonin.
Clinique Total Turnaround - a miracle cream that palpably brightens and renews the skin at night.
Panoxyl Acnecide Gel Alcohol based 5% - Dries out spots and kills them in record time.
Origins Spot Remover- Tiny but mighty, this is like some witches' remedy, it really cuts down to even cystic acne and attacks it. Removes swelling and redness and can effectively stop spots in their tracks. Best spot treatment available OTC. Has a herby medicinal smell of thyme, which personally I like but some may find it unappealing.
......That's all for my exhaustive round up of fave products, it hardly scrapes the surface but it surely represents my selective top faves!
--> What about YOURS?