Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dissolved in Dreams - Rouge Bunny Rouge Succulence of Dew Sheer Lipstick

Rouge Bunny Rouge Succulence of Dew ($33) Sheer Lipstick formula has become a personal favorite. This pictorial review is about Dissolved in Dreams, which is described as shiny, sheer watermelon with a silver shimmer.

Hannibal says the red goes with his grey fur

The description is very good. I can add no better adjectives. I was hoping that Dissolved in Dreams would be cooler, but to be fair, the flesh of juicy fresh watermelon fruit is a sheer, warm-leaning coral-red shade.

This red is Mr. Wenskins approved™

The shimmer in Dissolved in Dreams is more subtle than the metallic gleam in Tongue Tickles, and the texture is completely smooth on the lips, not gritty the way some shimmery lipsticks can feel. I hope the below skin swatch captures some of the shimmer in the sun.

The obligatory swatch on white paper to eliminate undertones:

Wowzers! That's a totally swoon-worthy red I can get behind.

Unfortunately, as gorgeous as it Dissolved in Dreams is on my skin and on paper, and make no mistake, this is one stunning color, it does not translate with the same beauty on my lips. It just sort of sits there, but I can see lotsof you loving this lipstick, especially if your lips are paler than mine.

I now own Murmurings and Tongue Tickles, along with this newest addition. Here are the three of them compared.

Bottom line: Another tube of sheer, smacking sauciness from Rouge Bunny Rouge.

INGREDIENTS: Octyldodecanol, Polybutene, Vp/Eicosene Copolymer, Synthetic Wax, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cera Microcristallina, Mica, Dicalcium Phosphate, Stearalkonium Bentonite, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Sucrose Acetate Isobutyrate, Propylene Carbonate, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Silica, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Tocopheryl Acetate, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Propylparaben, Parfum, Gardenia Tahitensis Flower, Tocopherol, Humulus Lupulus Extract, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Tin Oxide, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate, Atecollagen, Limonene, Eugenol, Citral. (+/-): CI 77891, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, CI 75470, CI 15850, CI 73360, CI 45410, CI 19140, CI 15985, CI 42090, CI 45380.

All photos mine except the first one, which comes from RBR Facebook page--with my edits.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fickle Friday: Inspiration

Source: via Zuzu's on Pinterest

Sometimes I get so busy and distracted I practically fail to recognize my own family, but when I consciously slow down and feel gratitude for my life and everything in it, I am astounded by the beauty that surrounds me.

I draw inspiration from all areas of life, but particularly from nature, which is, by design, perfect. For example, I could create an entire look from the above bouquet. The lilac from the alliums would be beautiful in cashmere (one can never have too many sweaters), the cool pink from the peonies as blush, a punch of fuchsia lipstick, and accents from the green foliage incorporated into a jaunty scarf. Perfect!

Most of the beauty that immediately catches my eye is based on color or line or both. I am first and foremost drawn to color. The below "True Summer" seasonal palette, for example, represents some of my best hues (as per my color analysis), so it should come as no surprise that many of the same colors make a frequent appearance in items I purchase, photograph, copy, or just drool over—especially when I come across things in nature that mirror them.

More inspiration, in both color and line:

Source: via Zuzu's on Pinterest

Source: via Zuzu's on Pinterest

I readily admit I spend far more time than I should reading beauty blogs, but I could lose an entire weekend in gardening porn. If only my yard had full sun, I'd be placing my fall peony and allium bulb order this very minute.

What kind of beauty inspires you?

Photo credits: See my Pinterest account for the various sources

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Eyeliner Techniques, such as Tightlining

The year I learned about the tightlining technique (2009—I'm a late bloomer) was the single best beauty-related tip I had heard of since ... I don't know, maybe since dunking fingertips from a fresh manicure into a bowl of ice water. (Yes, I am old enough to have lived before nail polish hardeners were readily available.)

I'll just come out and say that I have never been a big fan of eyeliner. I have large, round, doe eyes with plenty of skin real estate, but the moment I applied eyeliner above the upper lashes, I'd see little beady piggy eyes staring back at me in the mirror. How could something so seemingly minor so drastically change the appearance of my eyes?

I realize that eyeliner is a desert-island item for many of you, but I had never mastered the look on me, despite repeated attempts over many years. I felt a bit vindicated for not towing the, um, line after I saw a Pixiwoo video where Sam demonstrates how to make large eyes appear smaller with the use of eyeliner and dark eyeshadow. In fact, the below video make it immediately clear why I had never felt comfortable wearing eyeliner all these years. On the flip side, I was nodding right along with the small-to-large-eyes demonstration ... right up until she decided to add eyeliner at around 09:20m. Immediately, the large, bright, open eye she had created closed up. Still very beautiful, but visibly smaller.

Maybe some of us don't need eyeliner. Despite dark-ash blonde hair, my lashes are a sooty charcoal fringe. Given my love of natural-looking makeup, it makes sense that I'd find a thick line alien on me. Sadly, however, my lashes aren't as thick as they once were. In fact, when I look closely at my naked lashes in a 10x magnifying mirror, I can see gaps where the roots meet the skin. Gaps.

Here's where tightlining became useful, by providing an application method where I could make my eyelashes look thicker and darker at the roots without giving the appearance of wearing any makeup at all. In fact, tightlining lets me easily skip mascara.

If you don't know how to tightline, here are the basic steps:
  1. Wash your hands and make sure the brush you choose for your eyeliner product is clean.
  2. Assemble the product of your choice (gel liner/brush, pencil, liquid eyeliner). All items must be at least water resistant.
  3. Raise your lashes upward by gently lifting the eyelid skin in order to expose the inner skin area at the lash roots.
  4. Look for tiny gaps between the hairs, and starting at the outer corner (where you'll want the most pigment) lightly wiggle the color from the brush or pencil into those gaps as close to the roots as possible.
  5. [Optional] Tightline your lower lash line by wiggling color into the gaps from on top, between the roots and the water line.
That's it. It's up to you whether you choose a color that matches your lashes or something brighter. Be careful of shimmer products, where the particles can get into the eye and cause irritation. Those are probably best used over the upper lash line, not on the water line, and even then, sparingly. Our lashes have a purpose—to protect our eyes against dust, pollen, rain, and sun, not glitter.

One more tip: If you use waterproof liquid eyeliner, try not to blink until it sets or you could end up with color on your lower rim. It's hard! The applicator always tickles my eyes, and they water, so I tilt my head back, open my eyes very wide, and it seems that if I then blink, the lids do not touch. Also, any tears run out the outside corners of my eyes and down my temples, so nothing gets smudged.

The following video from Beau Nelson of Beauté Cosmetics is how I learned how to tightline.

If you don't have time to watch the video yet, I took a screen capture of the before-and-after image. Impressive, isn't it? The result is extremely natural looking, which is not going to appeal to those of you who like a retro cat eye/flick.

The tightlining method was such a revelation for me. I started with a synthetic flat liner brush and gel eyeliner, and then I discovered an excellent eyeliner brush after reading comments on The Non-blonde blog: The Paula Dorf Transformer brush is slightly curved to follow the curve of the eyelid. I gave this brush a cursory review in my 2011 Favorites post.

I still rarely use pencils, which apply too thick a line, so having the right brush makes all the difference when applying color both over and under the lashes.

My eyes often feel irritated when I tightline below the lash line, so I decided to try Laura Mercier's tightline method (who is credited with having coined the term), by applying color over the top. Tools useful for the job are the Hakuhodo K005 or one of the Paula Dorf bushes (angle liner or transformer). I push color into my lash roots to make the most unobtrusive line possible, sometimes using gel, but most often using powder. For example, I found that Alima eyeshadow used on a damp brush lasts all day and doesn't irritate my eyes (it's mineral based and gluten free).

Other powder products that I tried need to be stiff, even a little waxy, or super pigmented. Here are a few that I push into the lashes from above, occasionally using Paula Dorf Transformer liquid:
  • Alima Satin Matte Eyeliner (Black Violet)
  • Alima Satin Matte Eyeshadow (Lilac) 
  • Bobbi Brown Matte Eyeshadow (Charcoal)
  • Laura Mercier Matte Eyeshadow (Deep Night)
  • Trish McEvoy Cream Eye Definer (Navy)--no added liquid necessary
What is your preferred eyeliner method? If you tightline, do you line above or below the lash line? What are your favorite products and tools to use?

UPDATE: After several months more of experimenting, I have found that nothing compares to using natural animal hair for tightlining—particularly the Hakuhodo K005 (aka the Kokutan Eyeshadow Brush SL, where only the ebony handle and black ferrule are different--same weasel brush head). I realize that many of you will only use synthetics, and to be sure, they do an excellent job, but the uncut weasel hairs get in between the lashes the way a flat liner brush cannot, lets me follow the natural curve of the eyelid more easily, and the natural hairs deposit color like no one's business. And if that weren't incentive enough, the Hakuhodo K005 ($18) costs less than the MC 212 flat liner ($23). I have nothing to gain by saying this; I don't work for Hakuhodo, and I receive no kickbacks or free product. The K005 is just one outstanding brush. Period.

Photo credits: (1) Google images,  (2) mine

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Beauty Spotlight 02.18.12

From beauty blunders to brushes to a cold weather face, The Beauty Spotlight Team has you covered this week!

Perilously Pale thinks she may have found her new favourite nail polish brand. The incredibly beautiful shades from the a-england The Legend Collection have taken her breath away.

Prime Beauty channels her glory years--the 70's, with Make For Ever's Spring Collection La Bohème. Remember your inner gypsy?

Styrch has been busy traveling for work, but she managed to review Project Runway alum Althea Harper's Fall/Winter 2012 this week - she's once again in fashion love!

There seems to be universal love for Real Techniques brushes that Pixiwoo created. Lisa from Beauty Info Zone totally agrees with that and shows you just how wonderful they are.

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed checks out the new range of colours in the Clinique Almost Lipstick line to see if they really deserve the "your lips but better"claim!

Visionary beauty shows us her favourite cream shadow stick formula, By Terry Ombre Blackstar

Atlanta has totally skipped winter this year, so Shannon at Lipstick Musings has decided to start focusing on summer! She's starting with her new favorite sunscreen, Elta MD UV Physical SPF 41. Come share the love!

Modesty Brown shares her first foray into OCC Lip Tars and finally gets what all the fuss is about!

Zuzu's Petals came clean about some of her biggest beauty blunders. Come over to Everyday Beauty to see what they were, and share your mistakes!

The last couple of weeks in London have been (below) freezing! London Makeup Girl tells us what products she reaches for when the mercury goes below zero for her Cold Weather Face.

Pammy Blogs Beauty falls in love with L'Oreal's new 24 hour Infallible Eye Shadow. Has she found a new Holy Grail shadow?

Image source

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Master Class at Nigel’s Beauty Emporium featuring ELLIS FAAS Cosmetics

I recently learned that Nigel’s Beauty Emporium in North Hollywood will hold a special master class a week from this coming Saturday featuring ELLIS FAAS cosmetics.

Unfortunately, I missed the Ellis event in NYC this past October because I was away, and I have never been to a class at Nigel's because I live on the opposite coast, but if you can get there, please GO and then write about it!

The class will be taught by makeup artist, Carly Cowan, using Ellis Faas cosmetic line. See details about the event at the bottom of this post.

Ellis Faas

About Ellis
If you don't yet know who Ellis Faas is, you are missing out on something very special. Born in the Netherlands, Ellis was trained as a photographer who got her first big break when she was discovered by Mario Testino. She has now been a makeup artist for 25 years, and Paris Vogue has called Ellis Faas "One of the most influential makeup artists of her time." It isn't difficult to see what they mean. Besides Testino, she has worked with other fashion industry giants like Karl Lagerfeld. She has consulted for L'Oréal, Lancôme, MAC, and Clinique. Her eponymous makeup line, which is both famous and infamous for it's stunning, architectural packaging, has become extremely popular, especially among beauty bloggers, for it's infinitely flattering, human colors. She also practically brought back red lipstick after introducing her three variable ELLIS RED shades.

If you want to read some reviews with photos and swatches, click my Ellis Faas label. See also The Non-blonde and Witoxicity blogs, both of whom are huge Ellis Faas makeup fans.

ELLIS Red: So gorgeous I could just weep

Meanwhile, here's a short Ellis Faas interview for you to enjoy, where Ellis discusses her makeup philosophy and describes how her makeup line came to be.

Details of the event
If you live in or around the LA area and would like to attend this master class, here's all the info you need:

Location: Nigel's Beauty Emporium
Date: Saturday, February 25, 1:00 - 3:00 PM
Cost: $50 reservation fee (reimbursable in ELLIS FAAS product at the end of class/no discounts apply)
Contact: Nigel Beauty Emporium to register. Space is limited!

Keep up with Ellis Faas products:

Web site:
YouTube: Ellis Faas channel
Facebook: ELLIS FAAS Cosmetics
Note: Ellis Faas lip and eye products are now also available at

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Maintaining Youthful Eyebrows

Eyebrows are a thing of beauty. Usually.

Our eyebrows are perfectly designed to protect our eyeballs from dust and debris and frame our face, though for some, a face without visible eyebrows is "A Look."

At the opposite end of invisible brows is the very dark eyebrow, which can also be a signature look (or in the case below, perhaps a red-carpet mistake).

For those of us just trying to look natural, the importance of a well-groomed, full brow cannot be overlooked. Subtly-defined brows can shave years off our appearance without having to resort to other aids, like a surgical brow lift. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

This article addresses brow makeup, but there is no shortage of information on brow shaping and grooming, much of which can be done for you in a salon. Style and beauty bloggers occasionally discuss it. See, for example, Une Femme's recent article on threading, as well as an article Perilously Pale wrote this past summer on the importance of brows.

Brows are important. But without resorting to using a Sharpie to give shape to our eyebrows, finding the perfect texture and color can be a challenge for some of us, especially as we get older and our brows change.

Eyebrows are not a particularly hot topic. A new brow color rarely reaches the same level of excitement as a new lipstick or palette from the current season's collection. In fact, I'd guess that most of us are not nearly as fickle with brow products as we are with lipstick or eyeshadow. We find something that works and we stick with it because it's easy and doesn't require much thought; it's not like we have to decide each morning between brown or blue, matte or metallic.

But what happens when our tried-and-true product no longer works?

I gave my eyebrows almost zero thought when I was under 40, other than tweezing strays and keeping them neat. I assumed the eyebrows I had at 17 would be the same eyebrows I had at 87. Wrong. Not that I'm 87, I'm barely pushing 85, but still. My brows were the one constant in my mirror, until the day I noticed that my faithful brow powder was starting to look a bit harsh.

Genetics and race determine what our brows look like, but many of us enjoy full, natural brows when hormones are on the rise, well into and past their peak. As hormone levels change or decline, such as during and after pregnancy or when we become perimenopausal, some of us notice that our once-full brows now look sparse; perhaps we can even see skin through them or lighter hairs are growing in. Loss of volume could be the result of chronic overplucking, certain medications, poor nutrition, low iodine levels, hormonal imbalances, skin disorders, or a thyroid condition. But in many cases, volume loss is simply a part of the aging process.

If you notice a marked change in your eyebrows, discuss it with your doctor, who will want to rule out any medical conditions, such as an underactive thyroid. One sign of hypothyroidism is hair loss at the outer third edge of the brow, closest to the temples.

Blackout bar used to protect woman's privacy

Does that hair ever come back? It has not for me.

I have read good things about home remedies using certain oils, such as castor and coconut, which are reported to encourage hair regrowth if applied to the brow area before bed and left on overnight. Apparently, the vitamins penetrate the skin and stop protein loss.

There are also plenty of OTC lash grown serums, some of which can also be used on brows. I tried two different serums over a period of 6 months, but all they did was make the tail end of my brow hairs longer. I could have curled them up like this:

In any case, I saw virtually no change in volume on brows or lashes, but I did notice an increase in super-fine, downy blonde hair under the brows. No thanks.

Makeup to the rescue!
If I can't reverse mother nature's mean tricks, I can certainly fake it. It's amazing what a little well-placed brow makeup can do to improve the appearance and lift the eyes. Look at the woman's eyebrows in the following before-and-after image.

In the "after" image, she looks younger, fresher, and more awake, even more confident and approachable.

My brows are are still well shaped with a defined arch, but they have become so sparse I rarely need to pluck anymore (and plucking stray hairs used to be a task I performed 3-4 times a week). So I thought I'd share my tips that give me my 20 year-old brows, at least until I wash my face:
  1. Choose a brow color that is 1-2 shades lighter than my hair. When I am 100% grey/white, I will switch to a color 1-2 shades darker.
  2. Using a stiff eyebrow brush or clean spoolie, brush the hairs downward and find the arch.
  3. Using a thin angle brush, lightly apply color to the arch with short, feathery strokes.
  4. Brush brow hairs up and out and use the angle brush to fill in sparse areas only. Brow powder (which should be slightly stiff, even waxy) gives my wispy brows definition; it's also a great choice for those seeking a more natural look. Pencil (or gel) provides a more dramatic look or is useful for anyone who is actually missing whole sections of the brow, such as that outer third I mentioned earlier.
  5. Very lightly use what's left on the brush to almost-imperceptibly extend the tail end.
  6. Set in place with a clear mascara.
Once done I can forget about my brows all day, as they require no touchups. And aside from defining the arch, I try to avoid adding much color to the top or bottom of the brows, focusing only on the sparse areas and blending outward.

Because my natural brows appear lighter, thanks to volume loss, my biggest challenge has become finding the right color. I find myself stuck at step #1 in my own process. My beloved Clinique Brow Shaper in Shaping Charcoaled is starting to look a bit dark, although it has been THE perfect cool, ash brown for my pure ash eyebrows for many years.

Too dark? Big deal, buy something new. I tried, and I was completely unprepared for the disappointment. How hard could it be? Well, it would appear that there is no shortage of brow products for warm-toned people, but for those of us with light hair that has an ash base, it is proving to be more challenging than I ever imagined it could be.

Everything I have tried is either too warm (yellow or red), including all of the so-called taupes, or too dark. I don't want to think about the money I have wasted on various cool-looking eyebrow powders and pencils, including the famous Shu Uemura Seal Brown, which looks a bit green on me. Most of them have been the wrong color, and when I managed to find a harmonious match in color, it would be too dark.

So if you have made it this far, I have to disappoint you. There is no new holy grail. I have halfheartedly settled on using up an eyeshadow I was no longer using on my lids: Bobbi Brown Slate. It's not waxy, so it does not last all day, and it is still too warm. So I will keep looking until I find that holy-grail brow product that will carry me into my 87th birthday!

If you have begun to notice thinning brows, what is your favorite brow product? Do you prefer pencil or powder or gel?

Photo credits: (1-8) google images, (9-10) mine

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bitter Beauty Blunders

Almost all of my beauty blunders can be directly attributed to one primary thing: IMPULSE.

Video, volo, emo*.

Any amount of would-be rationalization, no matter how small, rarely reaches my level of consciousness while I am making the purchase. I'm not saying this is wrong—I have a good job and spend my disposable income on what makes me happy. But that doesn't mean I don't make some really big blunders, despite the best intentions, and despite heeding some of the prevailing advice of the day. I should add that not all of my purchases make me happy; in fact, I sometimes experience buyer's remorse before the item even reaches my front door.

Here are some of my most noteworthy failures.

Brown eyeshadow
I have blue eyes. Blue + orange-brown = smashing, right? FAIL. Try as I might, I do not look good in brown eyeshadow, no matter what makeup artists would have me believe. Dirty and unwashed; that's my result, and I had the good sense NOT to buy MAC Rule. Still, I wish I could take back all the money I spent trying to find the right brown.

Biggest disappointment: Dior 5-Colour Eyeshadow in Iridescent Leather 539. Best brown for any eye color? Phhhhhht. Too warm, way too shimmery and all around yuck.

Sparkly, über shimmery eyeshadow
Sparkle just isn't my thing. Even as a much younger woman, I preferred matte and satin finishes and that's what I still prefer. A rut? I don't think so—I feel uncomfortable wearing makeup that looks like makeup (except for lipstick), always have, always will. I do like a moderately gleaming, satiny finish, which means I still try some of the new shimmer eyeshadows, only to be disappointed in how the finish looks on my lids. I'll read about them on blogs or in magazines and they look so gorgeous, but I should give it up and stick with what works, because very shimmery eyeshadows are just a waste of my money.

Memorable disappointments include Bobbi Brown Pewter #3 from the Fall 2010 Chrome collection and Rouge Bunny Rouge Abyssinian Catbird and Alabaster Starling eyeshadows. Beautiful colors to look at—on someone else.

Yellow foundation
I laugh at makeup brands that say—nay, insist—that all skin tones must wear yellow-based foundation. My skin has mauve undertones, and eons ago I was color printed at Prescriptives as Blue/Red. A recent seasonal color analysis confirmed my long-held suspicions as Summer (True/Cool, to be exact), where I finally understood that of all the skin tones in the world, I am one of a small minority whose skin does not look good with any added warmth. And yet makeup artists keep slapping yellow makeup on my face, and I occasionally buy it, thinking perhaps I got it wrong. I won't rush out to buy foundation that resembles a bottle of calamine lotion (Prescritptives Camellia, I see you winking at me), but I do try to steer toward neutral beige makeup with a slight pink base (like Make Up For Ever Face & Body #38 Pink Porcelain).

Recent (priciest) disappointment was Rouge Bunny Rouge Milk Aquarelle Liquid Foundation in Coconut Milk Parfait. Amazing finish in the wrong color. Whose fault is that? Mine! I got a sample first and still bought the full-sized bottle, hoping the sample had oxidized and that the real product would be the pale milky pink-beige, as described on the Zuneta web site. FAIL.

I tried. Even though I was not tempted by bronzer my entire adult life, my introduction to beauty blogs a few years ago made me wonder if I was missing something. In the last 2-3 years, I have tested or purchased Armani, Edward Bess, Guerlain, Chanel, Dior, Rouge Bunny Rouge, Physician's Formula, and probably many others I have forgotten.

As for the concept of bronze, just about everyone but the extremely pale can get at least a tiny tan, so tan is within my natural coloring ... somewhere. I used to like how my skin looked in summer (I lived near the beach), so my problem is not that a tan looks fake on me—it is trying to fake that sun-kissed color from a pan. I don't tan golden brown; I tan a rosy light brown, and that bronzer colors just does not appear to be sold anywhere.

Bronzer fail: Edward Bess Ultra Luminous Bronzer. It's an excellent product, but I should have known better. In fact, I now believe that some people are just not meant to fake a bronze. If we want one, we should go outside for 15 minutes.

Pigmented, matte red lipstick
In the 90s, when corporate women flocked to brown lipstick, I was still wearing red (my version of red via Prescriptives). In later years, I wholeheartedly embraced new-to-me brands, like Besame Cosmetics, Julie Hewett, and Lipstick Queen. But before that, I had incorporated my red lips into A Look, which I wore with very little other makeup besides groomed brows, mascara, and maybe a pale wash of greige eyeshadow. At work I'd wear a low, slightly-messy chignon and skirt or pant suits—more Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy than Gwen Stefani.

But my red lips betrayed me and became a beauty blunder. One day I was talking to a colleague, and I suddenly noticed he was talking to/staring at my lips. After, I took a good, long look at my not-20-year-old face in the mirror, I acknowledged that a retro, pinup-red mouth no longer suited the face I was walking around in today. But every time a new red lipstick hit the market I would swoon. I did this until a couple months ago, when my lips and I had a Come to Jesus moment. I accepted that red lipstick is perfectly fine, even flattering, as long as it is sheer, very much like my still oft-worn Laura Mercier Gel Lip Color in Sweet Cherry. ♥

Eyeshadow palettes
I would dearly love to bank all the money I have wasted on eyeshadow palettes. To be sure, they are pretty to look at, but nearly every eyeshadow palette I have ever purchased has had at least one dud color you couldn't even make my corpse wear. Every Dior quint, every Chanel quad, 75% of Chantecaille's Les Dauphins quad; 50% of Chantecaille Tiger in the Wild quad, Becca face/eye palettes, Bobbi Brown, Edward Bess, Laura Mercier, NARS, MAC, Guerlain, and the list goes on. The problem with palettes is the pairing of cool with warm or too much shimmer. I can't even list my biggest blunder because they were all blunders, and I surrender. Where I get the most value and happiness is from customizable palettes, a la Trish McEvoy, Laura Mercier, and Bobbi Brown. I wish more brands made this an option, but I have more eyeshadow than I will ever use up in this lifetime, so I suppose it doesn't matter.

As for my relationship with makeup in the future, I am now much more attuned to what colors and finishes are my most complementary, and I try to make more discerning purchases, but I still make mistakes.

Do you have any purchases that belong in the annals of beauty blunders?

Photo  credits, mostly Google images except for Edward Bess and the eyeshadow palette drawer,which are mine.

* Roughly (and badly) translated to "I see, I want, I buy."

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Rouge Bunny Rouge Sheer Lipstick - Succulence of Dew in Tongue Tickles

Rouge Bunny Rouge Succulence of Dew ($33) Sheer Lipstick formula is very quite nice, though I had only tried it in one color--Murmurings (see that review for all the adjectives). I've been curious about trying some of the other cool-based colors, so I ordered two more. This pictorial review is about Tongue Tickles, described as shiny, pale, carnation-pink with a white shimmer.

I find that to be an excellent description, maybe even a little more complex than that. Indoors, it looks a bit unexciting in the tube.

Tongue Tickles, natural daylight, no flash

But when the sun hits it, Tongue Tickles becomes a knee-buckling, visual explosion of shimmery goodness. I see medium pink with delicate coral undertones and a gorgeous, almost liquid, metallic finish. Despite a high shimmer finish, there there are no sparkles or glitter, and the texture is completely smooth on the lips, not gritty the way some shimmery lipsticks can feel.

Tongue Tickles, indirect sunlight

Tongue Tickles, natural daylight, no flash

The below skin swatch helps capture some of the shimmer. I appreciate that the lipstick formula is sheer, so underlying lip pigment can help transform Tongue Tickles into your prettiest pale pink.

Tongue Tickles, indirect daylight

The obligatory swatch on white paper to eliminate undertones:

Natural daylight, no flash

Tongue Tickles is a pale pink but not in a 60s mod frosty way. Hopefully you can see its icy beauty.

RBR Tongue Tickles

The metallic shimmer reminds me of Chanel's limited edition Glossimer: Star 148. (Note that the number 148 is now being used for Petit Peche--they are not the same.) While Star is much less pink and has undertones of lavender, it's the silvery metallic shimmers that made me think of the similarities between the two. Of course, wearing them together would be overkill, as Tongue Tickles provides metals aplenty.

I have been enjoying the following new Zuneta video, where Zu partnered with Rouge Bunny Rouge to create a "Gentle Nude" look for Valentine's Day. Here the makeup artist applies another one of the Succulence of Dew colors (Perfume of His Gaze) on the model.

Zuneta presents RBR ¬ Sheer Lipstick from Zuneta Beauty on Vimeo.

Bottom line: Another tube of sheer, saintly goodness from the inimitable Rouge Bunny Rouge.

INGREDIENTS: Octyldodecanol, Polybutene, Vp/Eicosene Copolymer, Synthetic Wax, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cera Microcristallina, Mica, Dicalcium Phosphate, Stearalkonium Bentonite, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Sucrose Acetate Isobutyrate, Propylene Carbonate, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Silica, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Tocopheryl Acetate, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Propylparaben, Parfum, Gardenia Tahitensis Flower, Tocopherol, Humulus Lupulus Extract, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Tin Oxide, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate, Atecollagen, Limonene, Eugenol, Citral. (+/-): CI 77891, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, CI 75470, CI 15850, CI 73360, CI 45410, CI 19140, CI 15985, CI 42090, CI 45380.

All photos mine except the first one, which comes from RBR Facebook page--with my edits. Video at end from