Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Review: Morgana Minerals North Pole

North Pole is one the sample eyeshadows I picked up in my recent Morgana Minerals haul. This could be one of my all-time favourite greens! I love it so much. The Morgana web site describes it as an "icy teal with flecks of pink-violet", although I couldn't really see any of the flecks of colour when I was wearing it.

It's just a gorgeous super-shimmery teal. It went on really easily over my Pixie Epoxy and the colour just popped. If you want to see what it looks like over normal primer, see my swatch post here. I'm disappointed I didn't buy the full-size version of this eyeshadow because it's now out of stock and I don't know if it's coming back.

I can't really say much else, so I'll let the pictures do the talking.


Out in the sun.

Nails: China Glaze Bogie

I actually pained my nails with China Glaze Bogie last week, but was too lazy to post the pictures any earlier. Sorry! Bogie is from the Vintage Vixen collection, which has tons of absolutely awesome colours in it. I also have Emerald Fitzgerald and First Class Ticket from this collection, but I have yet to try those.
Bogie is a strange colour: is it purple? Is it burgundy? Or could it be brown? Indoors it could be all of them, but in the sun, there's definitely more purple than anything else. There's microglitter in there that's all sorts of colours. It's totally droolworthy in my opinion.

Left: in direct sun. Right: outside without direct sunlight.


The sparkles in this polish are amazing. Click on the direct sunlight photo and you'll see what I mean. In all of these, I apologise for the icky-looking bubbles. That happens when I apply too thick a layer of top coat. It's not very noticeable in real life, but those closeup photos are a bit scary. You'll find much better photos at Scrangie's blog here.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Huge blog giveaway

One of the blogs I follow is having a huge giveaway and I'm entering. Part of the rules are that I post about it on my blog. However, I think Blix (http://themoonmaiden-blix.blogspot.com/) is totally awesome and you should check out her blog, regardless of the competition. Her blog is titled Glitter is my Crack, which should explain why I started following her in the first place!

Anyway, if you'd like to check out this amazing giveaway, click here. Not only is there a massive amount of makeup on offer, but she's giving away five prizes! Wish me luck and good luck to any of you who decide to enter!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Rant: MAC rip-off pricing

OK, I know I've mentioned how expensive MAC is to buy in Australia, but it's reached a new level absurdity. I have my eye on two lipglasses from the Dare to Wear collection, which has only just been announced here in Australia. It's been out in the states for a while now -- long enough to make me drool over a number of products.

So now that it's finally here, I checked out the MAC web site to have a look at the new products. They want $43 for a f*&%ing lip gloss?!!!!! Forget it! MAC charges US$18 for these and we have to pay $43! On what planet is this acceptable? The current exchange rate is $1 = US$0.88, which would make it around $20.50. Even if you mark it up to a ridiculous $30, people will still buy it. But $43? Only the wealthy can afford that.

If MAC Australia thinks two lipglasses are worth the equivalent of almost a week's rent, I just may have to boycott the brand. As much as I love their stuff, this has gone beyond a joke.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Haul: Morgana Minerals

I bought a few goodies from Morgana Minerals (www.morganaminerals.com) about a month ago when they were having a sale. I ended up buying a bunch of samples, four full-sized eyeshadows and a lipstick. I'm only going to talk about the eyeshadows here because I want to do a separate review of the lipstick later on. I'd read about Morgana at various blogs and when they announced the sale, I thought I'd give them a go.

First of all, the web site is a bit of a nightmare to navigate. I did my shopping using the painfully long drop-down Categories menu. If I'd just kept returning to the home page, I wouldn't have missed out on the seeing the Shimmer Me Timbers Pirate collection. There were some awesome colours in there. Perhaps next time.

So once I found my way around, I ended up with eye colours from the new Limited Edition and Get Medieval collections, as well as the regular 2009, Christmas and Halloween collections. All of the eyeshadows are available in a number of sizes and configurations. The sample baggies are only US$1 each and then there are different sized sifter jars and refill bags, with the biggest size (a 10g jar with a generous 3-3,5g of product) costing US$8. The four full-size eyeshadows I bought were in the 5g jar and they cost US$5 each. The vegan lipsticks are US$10 each. There are also a few other products for sale on the site, including glitter, foundations and primers.

I haven't had the chance to wear them all yet because I'm still working my way through the ridiculously large amount of Aromaleigh samples I purchased just before the company closed down. I've worn Fortress, LE #7 and North Pole at this stage, and I'm totally in love with all of them. It wasn't until I swatched all my colours today that I realised how amazing some of these colours are. I'm definitely going to have to buy the full-sized versions of some of them!

For each of the following photos, the top image was indoors and the bottom one was taken outside in the sun. All eyeshadows were applied over Urban Decay Primer Potion.

L to R: Fortress, Nightmare, LE #7 and Warped.

L to R: Petroleum Green, Mordred, Shallow Grave, Potion and Goblet.

L to R: North Pole, Ashed Pine, Lady Godiva, Chivalry and Beowulf. The horizontal swipe at the bottom is Glitter Ghoul.

A closeup of Glitter Ghoul. This is the only colour I was disappointed with. It's a matte black with multi-coloured glitter in it, but the glitter mostly just fell off.

L to R: Skeletons in Your Closet, Harken, Twinkling Cherrine, Transylvania Twist and Tinsel Me.

Dumb moment: grabbing the wrong colour

First of all, let me start by saying that this hasn't happened more than a couple of times, so I'm not a complete dumbarse. OK, so what I did was swatch a couple of Red Earth eyeshadows in Priceline the other day and I found one I wanted called Cleopatra (they were 50% off, so they were only $8 each). However, the way the testers were organised was in a staggered formation, with the shrink-wrapped goodies in a single row in the back. Turns out I picked up a brown colour called Havana Nights. If I had even bothered to check the label, I would have realised my mistake, but since it was directly behind the Cleopatra tester, I just grabbed it.

I didn't notice what I'd done until I got it home (still without looking at the label on the bottom), removed the plastic and opened it up. It was only after I swiped my finger across the eyeshadow that I realised it was dark brown and not the dark golden olive/brown that I was expecting. Sigh. So of course I couldn't return it. Luckily for me, it's a really nice brown with flecks of gold glitter in it. It's just that brown isn't a colour I wear a lot of. I ended up going back to Priceline today to get Cleopatra (the last one), which was unfortunately smashed to bits. This wasn't evident from the outside because the plastic was intact. Methinks some twit may have dropped it in the store.

The mess that is Cleopatra.

Anyway, I thought I'd force myself to use my new brown eyeshadow today and I'm actually quite impressed. It blended nicely with the other colours I was wearing (Aromaleigh Phantasm and Viburnum) and darkened the crease and outer corner to create a smoky eye. Smoky eyes are something that I'm not particularly good at, since I'm used to solid blocks of bright colour, but I'm pretty happy with the way this turned out. Who knew brown eyeshadow would be so flattering to brown eyes? I thought it would just be boring.

I'll have to (carfeully) give Cleopatra a go and let you guys know what's it like. In the end, I'm left with two eyeshadows for the price of one, so I guess I can't complain too much!

Havana Nights: left swatch is indoors and right swatch is in the sun.

Cleopatra: left swatch is indoors and right swatch is in the sun.

P.S. I'll try to figure out the white balance on my camera. The indoor photos make me look as though I have corpse flesh! It's a fairly new camera so I still don't know my way around it yet. Next time, guys!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Review: Pixi Natural Mineral Kit

I stumbled across this little kit when I was in my local Chemist Warehouse a couple of weeks ago. It was only $5, so I couldn't resist. There were three different kits to choose from: No. 1 Santa Barbara, No. 2 Stockholm and No. 3 St Tropez. They're all quite earthy colours, but I ended up getting Stockholm.

I'd never heard of Pixi before so I did a web search to see what I could find out about the company. It turns out that it's based in the the UK and has an online store at www.pixibeauty.com. Imagine my surprise when I discovered my Natural Mineral Kit was worth28 (take a look here)! I have no idea how I was able to get this so cheap. I've also never seen Pixi cosmetics anywhere in Australia before, so I'm not sure who else may stock the brand.

Anyway, the kit is in a cute little cube, with three magnestised sections for eyes, cheeks and lips. The eyes section is at the top, containing four eyeshadows and a decent mirror. The cheeks section has two colours: one is a powder, while the other is a cream. The lips section has two lip glosses.

The eyeshadows are really nice. They're nicely pigmented and they last all day without creasing. The colours are light, shimmery shades, with a darker brown that's also quite shimmery. I was quite impressed with them.

The blushes are only OK. The powder blush is super pigmented, so you need an extremely light hand when applying it. I just dabbed a blush brush in and then blew off as much as I could before I applied it. Even then, I had to lightly dust over my cheeks to avoid looking like a clown or a stripey freak. The cream colour was much easier to work with because it's sheer, although it's not something you'd want to apply over powder.

The lip glosses are lovely. I love both of them. The darker shade is a deep, sheer red. It goes on like a dream and it's sticky or anything. The lighter colour is really sheer but glittery, which makes it great to wear over the top of another lipstick or gloss. I'm fond of wearing it over the top of the other colour in this kit.

Overall, for $5 I suppose I can't be too picky. However, I'll definitely keep using the eyeshadows and lip glosses in this palette and likely avoid the blushes. I think it'll be great to take with me when I travel, for quick, simple makeup.

Top row: the four eyeshadows. Bottom row: powder blush, cream blush and the two lip glosses. You can see how shimmery everything is (click on the right picture to see the glittery awesomeness in the light lip gloss).

Friday, August 20, 2010

Nails: OPI The Color To Watch

So this week I'm wearing one of my newest nail polishes, OPI's The Color To Watch from its latest Switzerland collection. It's unlike any other purple that I own and I have many, many purple polishes. Most of them are quite dark, so a pale colour is kind of new to me.

Ooh, pretty!

Although it's a much lighter colour than I'm used to, as you can see from the pictures, it's just gorgeous. It's a pale mauve with tons of blue and pink microglitter, although the camera seems to have only picked up on the blue. Trust me, there's a little pink in there, too.

In direct sunlight, you can see the pretty sparkles. Without direct sun, you can see its lovely purple base.

I actually found it more difficult to apply than my other OPI nail polishes. Is it me or is the brush thicker in The Color To Watch? Anyway, that aside, I needed three coats to get this looking as awesome as it is in the bottle. Two coats looked pretty, but it was still sheer and I could see that it was a little patchy.

This was taken indoors: it's still a lovely metallic purple, even without the glitter being visible.

Otherwise, I'm in love with this colour. I think it's aptly named and wish my photos could do it justice. There's a much better (and larger) photo at Scrangie's blog.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Splurge: Make Up Store eyedust in Blurry

I recently had some time to kill at Broadway Shopping Centre, so of course I had to visit Make Up Store (www.makeupstore.se) while I was there. I don't get to visit often because there are only a handful of them in Sydney, which my wallet is thankful for.

The eyedusts are my favourite Make Up Store products, although I do own a few awesome microshadows and a couple of other glittery goodies. It's been a good six months or more since I was last in a store because the eyedusts now come in new packaging that makes them easier to travel with and minimises spillage.

It's a tight-fitting lid that clicks shut, so there's no spillage.

I was drawn to Blurry because it's not just a simple shimmery eyeshadow. It's a dark silver shadow with multi-coloured sparkles in it, although youcan't really see them all that well in my photos. You can definitely see the different colours in the sunlight, but it's decided to stay away today.

In each picture, the first swipe is on bare skin, the second is over Urban Decay Primer Potion and the third is over Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy. You still can't see the coloured glitter very well, though. It's there, I swear!

The only problem with Make Up Store's products is price. A single eyedust is $32, so you can imagine how important self-restraint is! I became a club member that day and only paid a $6.60 joining fee, instead of the usual $10 for some reason. It gives you 10% off every purchase for a full year at any Make Up Store outlet, even if it's in another country! I thought that was great. It also got me 10% off my eyedust, so it's almost paid for iteself already.

All of the eyedusts are insanely glittery, but super-fine, so they blend easily and apply really smoothly. I found that packing your brush with eyeshadow and then tapping off the excess minimised fallout, which was nice. The eyedusts are also really pigmented, so with the darker colours, I'd suggest applying your eye makeup before doing the rest of your face because any fallout will be really noticeable. It's best to think of them as an investment because I guarantee you'll get a lot of use out of them and have them for a long time.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Nails: Sportsgirl Nail It nail polish in Green Tea

This week I'm wearing a new acquisition. I bought one of the Sportsgirl nail polishes in the colour Green Tea. It was only $7.95 too, which was a bargain. I'm really liking the range of beauty bits and pieces they in Sportsgirl right now.

The polish went on really smoothly. I did two coats, although having seen it in the sunlight, I probably should have done three. Still, you'd have to be looking hard to notice it's not completely opaque all over the nail. Green Tea is a dark green/teal nail polish with no shimmer. It's just gorgeous! It's dark yet bright and is actually one of only a couple of polishes I own without sparkle.

It appears a lot more teal in the sun.

There's a range of colours available in this collection (check out the Sportsgirl web site, although for some reason, Green Tea isn't on there). My local store had testers, so if you like the look of these nail polishes, try them out.

Freebie: Estee Lauder Pure Color lip gloss with Marie Claire

This is just a quick post to let all you Australian ladies know about this awesome freebie. This month's 15-year anniversary issue of Marie Claire comes with a free full-size Estee Lauder Pure Color lip gloss. The issue is $9.20, rather than the usual $8.20, but considering the gloss is worth $42 retail, it's a bargain. I'm not sure whether there's just one colour available or a couple, but the one I got was Passion Fruit shimmer, which is a lovely darkish pink with subtle golden sparkle.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Nails: OPI Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees (Suede)

I wanted something really quick for my nails this week, so I went for the Suede version of Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees by OPI. I don't own the original version of this colour, but from the swatches Ive seen on blogs, this suede polish is quite different. I also have the suede version of Lincoln Park After Dark, as well as the original, and they're even less alike.
The suede nail polishes from OPI are totally amazing. Not only do they look better than plain matte polishes (in my opinion, that is), they also dry quickly. It goes on very evenly and because of the way the suede looks, there's no need to worry about brush strokes being evident. Two coats took me a total of 15 minutes to apply and allow to dry. That's it.
OPI recommends not wearing a top coat over the suede nail polishes, but I've personally worn them both ways and they're fine. If you want the more matte look, forgo the top coat; if you want your manicure to last longer and like a glossy finish, by all means add a top coat. Scrangie (www.scrangie.com), the nail polish master, has swatched all the suede colours here, with and without the top coat. I don't think it loses any of its impact by having a top coat.

Of course, the worst thing about suede nail polishes is the fact that they don't last as long as regular polish. That's fine for me because I enjoy wearing different colours and can afford to spend the time applying them. For those who are time-poor, this may not be good, although considering you can just reapply the whole thing again in just 15 minutes, I don't really think this is an issue.

I totally forgot how much I like this nail polish until I put it on earlier today. My hayfever is driving me insane at the moment, so I didn't want to fuss with my nails too much. They look awesome! Maybe I'll wear the suede version of Lincoln Park After Dark when this manicure starts to chip.