Friday, June 27, 2014

THREE 4D Eye Palette in #04- Art of Parties

I have a theory that Idris Elba is the real-life inspiration for the Old Spice Guy. Furthermore, I have a theory that he knows he's not my boyfriend and is just deliberately rubbing it in my face with every smirking photoshoot in a waistcoat. I think he delights in being unattainable.
What a jerk.
THREE is like the Idris Elba of cosmetics: playful while being seriously seductive, and nearly impossible to touch in the flesh. It's hard enough finding swatches of THREE's sparkly little eyeshadows, hence my slight venture from my batcave/informal blogging retirement purely to effervesce about THREE 4d Eye Palette #04 in Art of Parties which I have had since November and have wanted to write about for quite as long. 

(Although, I will say, those who have already swatched/described Art of Parties are fabulous and their entries wonderfully helpful for those considering a THREE purchase.)  

THREE eyeshadows as a rule are silky and soft. If you're used to a heavy pigment lay down, the powder formula may seem sheer, but I find it easy to work with. Glitter figures very prominently but always artistically. THREE palettes also include a dark, silicone-y dry-cream that doesn't so much set as it sits. I think that's probably the biggest thing one has to get used to with THREE's formulations, though it's similar to the Shu Uemura Silk Smooth line, I find.  

Art of Parties is one of my oldest and dearest THREE purchases. I thought I'd get the most mileage out of the eyeliners but I seem to reach for this most often. 


A photography amateur like myself cannot even hope to convey how mesmerizing these eyeshadows are in real life, their microglitters dancing across the skin. (I direct you to the aforelinked blogs for closer approximations of the beauty.)


The cream shade here is a metallic gunmetal packed with fuchsia microglitter. Because it's THREE, of course, there are also other, contrasting flecks (I see teal and green) but the fuchsia dominates, both in pan and swatches. 

The sheerest shade of all is a pale champagne glitter with gold and pink flecks.

One of the standouts for me is the bright, clear purple which looks somewhat deconstructed once applied thanks to vibrant pink and royal blue glitters.

The final shade is a warm, medium brown that isn't too yellow for my very cool-toned skin. It is a satin finish with sparser and teenier glitters, mostly the fuchsia that ties this palette together (and also skews the color a bit more rosy, once applied, than its base shade.) I also spy some teensy green flashes.  


To me, this palette is really representative of the brand's aesthetic-- unexpected combinations that work together supremely well, in a very calculated way. This isn't your standard dash of tonally cohesive glitter (e.g., a green powder base with gold, yellow, green, and blue flashes). I really enjoy looking at THREE cosmetics. They're like petite works of art. 

All which deviates from the initial comparison to Idris, but my blog, my digressions. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Lunasol Velvetful Eyes in 01 Deep Bordeaux Velvet

Backstreet's back. Alright?

It's been a long adjustment but I'm finally starting to think about writing for fun again instead of just for school. And I bought a camera charger. And I'm getting excited about fall makeup.

I also got this, the best haircut of my life,
now sadly replaced by a very subpar haircut
One of the first fall makeup collections I've seen in this hemisphere has been Lunasol's. I scarcely paid attention to Lunasol last year, but my aesthetic must be changing because... well, you'll see.

Lunasol is a Kanebo brand known for lots of refined microsparkle that gives a wet look and relatively sheer pigmentation. And beige. This is the brand that gave us a quad named Beige Beige... which has three beiges and a midtoned brown. Three. Beiges.

To compare it to others in the Kanebo canon, Lunasol has more varying textures, as a rule, than KATE, which usually pairs a glitter topcoat with shimmers-to-frosts. KATE's microsparkle is generally pretty tonal, while Lunasol's microsparkle can get quite complex and multitonal. The color palette of each palette (ahem) is generally far more intuitive than SUQQU's unexpectedly delightful combinations. (Not to mention all the attention Lunasol gives to variations of beige.) And, while SUQQU palettes generally have a range of finishes, Lunasol tends to the heavily shimmery and sheer. While SUQQU collections are consistently exciting to me, I find Lunasol's collections far more uneven. (Three-Dimensional Eyes? Pretty great, if there's a color you like--the 3 light shades and 3 dark shades in different finishes are really helpful and consistently satiny-good. Spring 2013's Vivid Clear Eyes? Pretty boring.)

It takes a special effort on Lunasol's part to intrigue me, I think, but the shadows really do perform well, in my experience. They feel smooth and last well (through my rigorous routine of naps, school, humidity, that jog that I tell myself I'll take.) The deeper shades, especially, tend to have an almost murky, in-between-colors kind of thing going on, usually with contrasting microshimmer, and I can dig it, since I have figured out, thanks to Kate, that my weird in-between coloring (what's my hair? red? ash or chesnut? what is that blonde doing there?) really loves weird in-between colors (like taupe.) The contrasting microsparkle really sets Lunasol apart from KATE and keeps me interested in the line despite disappointing collections. And of course, the name Lunasol evokes an attention to light details, and when Lunasol gets it right, they really do.

This fall, Lunasol released four shades of a new quad called Velvetful Eyes. The shadows are molded to look like rippled cloth and what drew my eye instantly was the textural variation--it's not just sheers and glitters. The second thing I noticed was the only-slightly-consumptive, droolworthily autumnal Deep Bordeaux Velvet, a deeply alcoholic duo of satin shades paired with a shimmery rosy beigey purply rose and a microsparkle palest petal topcoat.


This picture is lamentably inadequate: first, the lightest shade should be pink and very sparkly. Secondly, the whole thing should be a bit redder and murkier. (Haru has a scan here.) 


Still trying to capture that this is indeed wine and not just grape...

Lunasol is marketing that these sets will achieve "monotone makeup with the deep luster and depth of velvet" but what I really want you to see here is that these aren't variations on one hue; they're variations on a color theme, bordeaux, and the finish is roughly darkest/mattest to lightest/blingiest.

Here I've swatched the four colors, which, due to lack of daylight, appear more brown and less interesting, along with the lightest, sheer sparkly shade over the darkest purple. 

My lack of photography skill means I can't pick up the subtleties in the sheer, palest pink microglimmer (I can see blue, fuchsia, pink, lime, and gold); molten rose-beige-mauve (so much less cheery than it appears in the pictures!) with microshimmer that mimics the glimmer of the lightest shade; a mid-toned mahogany satin with perhaps the most subtle shimmer interplay; and finally, deepest merlot satin with the sparsest pink, blue, and green microshimmers. 

Trying desperately to represent that the lightest color is indeed glistening pink, not white
All in all, I think this is a lovely fall quad. It's squelched my lemming for THREE's Star Guitar, which appears to be a bit warmer and perhaps rustier.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I've been going through a MOMENT


This moment has consisted largely of caring not one whit what the rest of my face is doing as long as my lips are pouty and lacquered. 

My greatest tip for pulling off really shiny thick lipgloss is this: hack off all your hair. No one has time for unpeeling strands of hair from one's goopy glue lips.  

The current fave is Soap & Glory's Sexy Mother Pucker Extreme-Plump XL, an almost-clear gloss that isn't as sticky as the regular version. Because it's a milky-looking gloss but stimulates blood flow to the lips, it actually makes for a lovely natural rose-pink lip, if you have naturally rosy lips like mine. While it tingles like a good red curry, it somehow leaves my lips softer instead of chapped. (Learn from this, Thai food.) It does an A++ job of filling in lip lines, though it's no substitute for actual, y'know, injections. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Flotsam & Jetsam

I lost interest in blogging for a while. No biggie, really. I lose interest in lots of things and pick them back up. I hope that's okay. I like you, gentle reader, but I don't really blog for you, which I hope isn't an alienating confession.

At this point, I blog to write, to keep my typing fingers remembering the clack of keys and the rhythm of potential syllables dancing in my head. There may be odd lapses in the posting cycle, but life is full of odd lapses. I hope to post something beauty-related soon, when the mood strikes.

Oh, I made my major pen purchase of 2013: the Monteverda Intima in Neon Pink. I am in lurrrve. Simple in its details, unexpected in its palette, as its essentially a recreation of a lava lamp in acrylic resin, a classic pen material as it's not too heavy or clunky and has an inexplicable give in the grip. It's a bit tactile but I don't always require a nib as smooth as glass. I have hopes that some figure-eights with a paper bag and general use will improve the performance.

TL:DR ballpoints are unfortunate and only suitable for airplanes*

*and today's fountain pens generally perform well in airplanes, yay for technology

I've been flirting with fragrance, because, I think, I like fragrance reviews: so based on association, intuition, and attraction. In my own life, I prefer to sample from the Etsy and indie markets rather than dive into a pricey niche obsession. Today, I'm trying out Solstice Scents Jack and the Devil in the safety of a well-air-conditioned room, as it's not your typical summer scent, by any means--I smell mostly patchouli, pumpkin, and spicy resin with a bit of a wet-rice smell if I really think hard about it (rice bran oil is the carrier here; it's not overtly 'ricey' but it's a smell I remember from rice fields and, more pleasantly, Filipino coffee.) It's prettier than the name would have you believe. Liking patch in anything is a new development for me, but I'm in no rush to order a full-size, particularly since my return to the tropics is imminent and I think Jack goes best with a cold day, a warm blanket, and a slightly dangerous book. (Google says it's Franz Kafka's 130th Birthday, so perhaps Amerika or The Trial.)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Apologies... here's some swatches!

Life be cray cray. Therefore, I may be a bit off the grid. I hope to do some FOTDs soon; I've barely been wearing makeup of late. Oh well. 

In the meantime, here are some palette swatches with taupes:


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thrifty Thursday: L'Oreal Colour Riche Balms

Once upon a time, I had the great good intention of blogging more than once per week but life happens. Fortunately, I had a backlog of Thrifty Thursdays saved up, so here's one from the vault.

I really enjoy tinted lipbalms and L'Oreal has produced a few of my favorites in their Colour Riche Balm line. I have pigmented lips naturally, and I look for shine and a non-drying natural tint in my balms. I don't require a whole lot of pigment. 

I'm glad to say these balms cater to my humble needs. I prefer them to Revlon Lip Butters, which have been known to make my lips peel-- though by anyone's definition the Lip Butters are lipsticks and hence have more pigment. 

I have three balms from the Versailles Romance limited edition collection for this spring, Provence Romance, Legally Regal, and Sundays by the Seine, and two from the permanent line, Nourishing Nude and Tender Mauve. 

Pardon the blur. I lost my camera for a bit there and was dependent
on the one I'd gotten for my high school graduation.
High school was a long, long time ago, friends.
I've seen the Versailles Romance collection complete with lip balms at Rite Aid and Target. The collection reminds me of Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette. The colors of both the nail polish and the lip balms are pastel, but decadent and a little weird.

Once applied, though, they look pretty tame.

Provence Romance is the sheerest one I've tried of L'Oreal's balms (which is saying something because the balms on the whole are not the most pigmented formula around) and consequently the only real disappointment. It's a shy pink with a sheen that is only barely visible on my shy pink arms.

Legally Regal is one of the more pigmented balms I've tried from L'Oreal. It's a cool, pale pink but it's sheer enough not to look stark or truly pastel.

Sundays by the Seine is hard to take pictures of. It's a sheer almost-seafoam blue with iridescent blue-purple shimmer. I plead guilty to having bought frosty mint-green lipstick from Cover Girl in the late nineties, though why I did so eludes even me. Fortunately for all of us, Sundays by the Seine is not at all like that. It's only pigmented enough to mute the redness of my lips down the slightest bit. It doesn't look frosty and it makes my teeth look whiter. A victory all-around.


The two I have from the permanent line are much easier to find and far less pastel.

Nourishing Nude is a pink-based nude without shimmer. It isn't too light for nude-fearers and it isn't too brown for brown-fearers. Just a basic MLBB.

Tender Mauve is the other MLBB shade that caught my eye in the line but it's more of a rosy mauve. Again, not too light.


All of these are glossy enough to camouflage any textural issues and most (save for Provence Romance) give a slight tint that finishes my look without being too high-maintenance or fussy.