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2013 Favourites- Eyes & Brows

I’m working my way through these favourites posts a lot slower than I’d expected but there’s only one more to go after this one. Today I’m looking at my favourite products for the eye and brow area so let’s get into it.

Favourite Eyebrow Definer- MAC Brow Crayon in Stud

I’ve been using the MAC Brow Crayon for years because it’s easy to buy, relatively cheap and the shade Stud is the perfect dark cool brown for my colouring.  I’ve tried brow markers, pens, pencils and gel products in the past but this is the one that I keep going back to. It’s just really easy to use and if I get a little carried away with it and over apply, I just brush through my brows quickly with a spoolie brush and it’s fine.

Favourite Eyebrow Gel- Laura Mercier Eye Brow Gel

I did a bit of a mini rave about Laura Mercier Products in my last favourites posts so it’s not going to surprise you that I’ve got another one of her products in this post. I used to favour coloured brow gels but have stuck to clear brow gels since discovering this one. I like it because it goes on well without getting that dry, crunchy texture that some brow gels have and it keeps my brows in place all day. If you’re like me and have brow hairs that grow in every direction, you need this in your life.

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Favourite Eyeshadow Primer- NARS Smudgeproof Base

I was a die hard Urban Decay Primer Potion fan but I started to get a rash from it (still haven’t worked out why, maybe a silicone allergy?) so I switched to the Too Faced Shadow Insurance primer. I loved that but the product kept separating which I found really frustrating. I’d heard lots of rave reviews about the NARS one so I decided to give it a go and haven’t looked back since. This primer lets me do what the others couldn’t and that’s using shadow or concealer directly on top of it and have no creasing even after a really hot day. I must have really oily lids because with the other two the only way I could avoid any creasing at all was if I put primer down first, a paint pot on top of that and then the eyeshadow. My eyelids have also stopped reacting so whatever is in here is working really well for me.

Favourite Mascara- Loreal Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black

I used to use this mascara for years but stopped to go see what else was out there but I came back to it in a big way this last year. I love everything about this product and the way it lengthens and thickens my lashes. It also holds a curl really well and I like it just as much with dramatic eye makeup as I do with a very bare eye look.

Favourite Liquid Eyeliner- Stila Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Black

This liquid liner by Stila has become my favourite because it’s very black and long lasting which is a necessity for me since my lids are so oily. I also really like the brush and the product comes out really easily and gives a lovely smooth line.

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Favourite Eyeshadow Palette- Stila ‘In the Light’ palette

Stila has been one of my stand out brands in 2013 because their products have been really high quality with great colour choices and the prices are also quite reasonable. I have a lot of palettes but the ‘In the Light’ palette has been a constant go-to for every day looks because the colours just work well together. You can tell from the picture above that Bubbly, the gold shade, has been my most used but you’ll find  that the gold shade is always the first to go in any palette I own. What can I say, I love me some gold lids!

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Swatched above from left to right is the top row of the palette: Bare, Kitten, Bliss, Sunset and Sandstone. The other two shades I use the most are Kitten for an inner corner highlight and Sandstone to blend out the crease. I also mix in a little Bliss with the Sandstone if I want something a little more subtle in the crease. Sunset is also really pretty on the lid and it’s the shade I wish I’d remember to use more.

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Swatched above from left to right is the bottom row of the palette: Bubbly, Gilded Gold, Luster, Night Sky and Ebony. Gilded Gold is probably the most disappointing shade in the palette because it’s not very pigmented, has a lot of fallout and just seems unnecessary. The palette would have been better if this shade had been replaced with a mid-tone taupe that could be used on the lid. I don’t tend to use this row much, apart from the gold shade, because I like more brown toned neutral looks. The last three shades are perfect for a cooler toned smokey eye look though.

Have you tried any of the products in this post? What are some of your favourites in this category?

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Hourglass Script Liner in Jett and Calligraphy Liner in Cognac

Hourglass is one of those brands I’ve been wanting to try out for a long time but I just never found a product that piqued my interest enough to dip my toe in. That changed when I was watching a favourites video by Lisa Eldridge where she was talking about a liquid liner by Hourglass. The liner she was talking about was the Script Precision Liquid Liner in Jett and she made it sound so enticing that I just had to rush straight to Mecca to purchase it.

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The only problem was that the tester on the shelf was dried out so, before I took the liner home, I opened it up in the store to swatch it on my hand to make sure it was OK. My instinct proved right as it turns out that the liner was completely dried out. I got a refund straight away but, as there was no more of the Script liners left, I decided to buy the Calligraphy liner in Cognac. I eventually did manage to find the Script liner at another store and it was fine but take that as a word of warning if you do decide to go and purchase it yourself and check your liner first!

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As you can see from the picture above, there is a big difference between the two liners. The Script liner on top has a teeny tiny tip while the Calligraphy liner is more comparable in size to most liquid liner pens out there. The Script liner only comes in the shade Jett (which is black) while the Calligraphy liner comes in 3 shades. The shade I picked up, Cognac, is a medium-dark brown (maybe closer to dark brown?) with a bit of warmth to it. I’ve swatched both below.

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The benefit the Script liner has is that, due to its size, it’s perfect for very precise detail work that is more difficult to achieve with a lot of other liquid liners. It’s great for drawing a very thin line close to or even in the lash line. I tried it out below and I could have actually made the line thinner if I had wanted.

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It’s also possible to draw thicker lines with this but it’s more time-consuming due to the small tip. I still use it if/when I have time to do my makeup but I usually favour other liners when I’m in a rush (which is most days) because I find that I need to spend more time ensuring there aren’t any gaps when I draw a thicker line. I even had to go back and redo the liner for the picture below because the flick wasn’t coloured in fully. It does give a very beautifully defined look though.

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If you’re a connoisseur of black liners (or any black products really) you’d know that not all blacks are created equal. While Jett is a lovely black and looks dark in pictures and in person, when compared to others I own, there are more pigmented liners out there. I’ve swatched some of the below from left to right: Hourglass Script liner in Jett, Stila Waterproof liner in Intense Black, Illamasqua Precision Ink in Abyss, NYX Studio Liner in Extreme Black and Maybelline Master Duo in Black Lacquer. Stila is the best in terms of pigmentation and longevity and NYX is a close second and very budget friendly.

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Cognac is shown below on the eye. It’s a lovely liner to use but I just don’t find the colour to be that unique and I also find that it tends to migrate under the eye about half way through the day. For the price you pay, I don’t think the Calligraphy liner is worth the splurge because there are much nicer/long-wearing liquid liner’s on the market for a cheaper price (hello Stila!). I also found a tiny bit of fading with Jett but the precision makes it a more unique product.

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Hourglass isn’t cheap and each of these liners set me back $48 AU and will cost you $32 in the USA. If you’re always on the hunt for the thinnest liner you can find then I think that the Script liner could be worth the splurge but I would skip on the Calligraphy.

What do you think of these liners? Have you found another liner that’s smaller than Script?

Savvy by DB liquid liner- Charcoal, Black Brown & Navy

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I’ve done quite a few posts where I’ve used the Savvy by DB liquid liners as part of a look but haven’t ever actually featured them. I thought it was about time that changed because they’re good budget friendly options for those looking for a liquid liner. I have 3 of the 4 available shades, Charcoal, Black Brown and Navy which are swatched below in the same order. I was considering whether to pick up the Black but I already have quite a few black liquid liners so didn’t see the point. The pigmentation on these is pretty good, especially considering how cheap they are.

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The ‘brush’ that it comes with is actually some type of silicone applicator that may be a little hard to maneuver if you aren’t good at applying liquid liner. I find that it gives a really thin line since the tip is so small but it can also achieve a thicker line with some patience. I compared it below to the old packaging of these liners. The old applicator is on the top and the new one of the bottom.

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You can see that the old one is made of felt and is quite a bit shorter and denser than the new applicator.  This made it much easier to achieve a thicker line. The pigmentation and formula also seems to have changed. I have the Black Brown in both formula’s and I preferred the old one since it was a lot more pigmented and was a cooler toned brown. You can see that the new formula (swatched below on the left) is almost watery looking compared to the old one. The new formula also dries glossier than the old formula which was completely matte looking.

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These don’t really fade on me and I can wear them all day without any problems but they’re not meant to be long-wearing or waterproof. Like I said earlier the formula is a little watery so, every so often when you use this, you may find that you’ll need to add more product here or there. I used each liner on the eye to show how they look. The Charcoal shade is a nice alternative to black and I can see myself pairing this with cooler toned eye looks.

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The Black Brown should really be renamed Chocolate Brown but is still lovely on the eyes. The warmth in the shade makes me think it would look stunning with blue eyes.

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The Navy is probably my favourite and I’ve been using it more and more. I think pairing this with a neutral or ‘no makeup’ makeup look is an easy way to make blue eye makeup work friendly.

7All in all though these are great little liners and I’d definitely recommend them. I hope that a purple and forest green shade are also added to the range some time in the future. They seem to only be available in Australia where they’re imported for Priceline and go for $6 each.

Have you tried these liners yet? What’s your budget friendly liner recommendation?

Beauty on a Budget: Milani Liquif’Eye Metallic Eye Pencils

I recently picked up the Milani Liquif’Eye Metallic Eye Pencils and I have to say that I’m in love with them! They are literally the creamiest pencils I have ever tried and I think they’re even softer than my HG Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Eye Pencils which is saying alot! They come in 5 different colours: Silver, Aqua, Brown, Gold and Black and while they’re called ‘Metallic’ only the Aqua, Silver and Gold have any noticeable metallic-ness (sorry for the made up word!) to them.

I purchased mine from http://www.cherryculture.com/ while they were on sale but they normally cost $5.49 US on the site. If you live in Australia you can also purchase them from http://www.crushcosmetics.com.au/ but on that site they’ll run you $14.95 AUD and they only stock the black, brown and gold pencils.

Here are some swatches and even though I’m sure you can work out which is which I’ll just tell you that from left to right they are the: Brown, Black, Aqua, Gold and Silver

The colours are amazing and I love them all except maybe the brown which isn’t as rich as I was hoping it would be. The gold pencil literally looks like liquid gold when you apply it and it’s amazing on the eyes. I don’t wear alot of silver so I haven’t really worn the Silver pencil yet but I love the colour and I think it would look lovely on. The black is really pigmented and I think it’s the blackest pencil I own save for an authentic kohl product I have from India. I saved the Aqua for last because it’s my favourite. It’s the most beautiful shade of aqua/teal I’ve seen and it looks amazing on the eyes, especially against a darker skin tone.

I took a photo of the Milani pencils compared with some other liners I own so you could get an idea of how the shades relate to other brands.

Top row: Rimmel Soft Kohl pencil in Sable, Smashbox Limitless Eye Pencil in Onyx, Rimmel Soft Kohl pencil in Jungle Green, the peach/gold side of Rimmel two-tone eye definer in It Girl, Smashbox Limitless eye pencil in Graphite
Middle Row: Milani Liquif’Eye pencils in Brown, Black, Aqua, Gold and Silver
Bottom Row: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on eye pencils in Corrupt, Zero, Covet and Eldorado and MAC Fascinating Eye Kohl.

One of the main things I love about these pencils apart from their creamy texture is how long they last. They give you enough time to smudge them if you want but once they dry they don’t budge which is awesome! To show you what I mean I have the same swatches as above except this time I rubbed all of them quite a bit. You can see that the Milani ones in the middle row have not moved! What surprised me is that they seem to be even more budge proof than the Urban Decay pencils.

So I know I’ve talked these up but they also have some cons and I have to say that the creamy texture, while fantastic, also works against these pencils. They’re so soft that the tip tends to bend and break off which is super annoying! I haven’t had to sharpen these yet but I imagine you’d struggle to get a sharp tip with them. To get a more precise application of these I usually use a liner brush and rub the product on to it and then use the brush to apply it to my eyes.

I’ve also found that the extremely creamy texture means that these don’t last very long at all on my waterline. This probably isn’t the products fault because my waterline is, well, extra watery (lol) but my Urban Decay pencils seem to last a bit longer when applied in the same way. I don’t use pencils on my waterline very often so this isn’t a major issue for me but maybe it’s something to consider for yourself.

All in all I think these are fantastic and you’ll be hard pressed to find a better product for the price and I wouldn’t hesitiate to buy more if Milani releases new colours. What do you think of them? Let me know below!

Eye spy: Smashbox Wish for the Perfect Pencils Set

Hello! It’s been a while since my last post and I apologise. Blogging for me is one of those things that I can only do when the urge hits me and the creative juices are flowing because otherwise you end up reading a half hearted attempt at a post with really lame pictures. Anyway, I thought I’d kick off my December posts with a great gift idea, the Smashbox Wish for the Perfect Pencils set.

This set by Smashbox contains 4 of their travel sized Limitless Eye Liners in Onyx (black), Orchid (dark blue/purple), Graphite (dark grey) and 14K (champagne gold) and costs $16 US. For any Aussies or people out of the US that are interested, I purchased mine from http://www.kissandmakeupny.com/ for that price. Kit Cosmetics in Australia is selling it for $39.95 AUD but they seem to be sold out at the moment.

First off, here is a picture showing the pencils so you can get a rough idea of how big they are. They’re definitely travel sized but I think that they’re big enough that you would get a good amount of uses from each one. I personally prefer buying more travel sized pencils than purhcasing one or two full sized ones because I don’t often use pencil liners. Plus I think it’s a great way to test out colours before deciding if you want to invest in a full sized one.

Here are the swatches of the colours in the order (from left to right) Orchid, Graphite, Onyx and 14k.

The swatches pictured are relatively true to colour except that the first shade Orchid has slightly more of a purple tinge to it and the last shade pictured (14K) has just a tiny bit more yellow to it.

My first thoughts on these pencils are that they’re pretty good quality and the pigmentation was really good on all of them except for the shade 14K which goes on a bit patchy as you might be able to tell. This was a shame because the 14k colour was the reason I bought the set in the first place because I really wanted a good gold eyeliner to use around my tear duct. Unfortunately this shade was more cream coloured than gold so it didn’t really meet my expectations. It would probably look good on a lighter skin tone but the fact that it doesn’t go on very smoothly would still be an issue.

The darker shades are all very intense and I found that they work really well on my waterline and along my lower lashline. I tried lining my top lashline with them but they’re not soft enough to line my lids without tugging and skipping and leaving a wobbly line. The only pencil eyeliner that I’ve found that lines my top lashline properly and smoothly is the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on eye pencils. The Smashbox pencils are definitely not as soft and creamy as the Urban Decay ones but they last just as long.

Here’s a picture showing what the pencils looked like after I’d rubbed the swatches quite vigorously with a cotton ball dipped in makeup remover:

These pencils definitely don’t budge without some work or a good oil based cleanser so they’re great for use in hot and humid climates such as the type of Aussie summer we’ve been having. They’re also great for those who might have issues with eyeliner’s usually fading or migrating through out the course of the day.

Smashbox is one of those brands that make really great products that people tend to overlook. I think that this set is pretty good value for money, especially if you’re a fan of the smokey eye look or dark rimmed eyes. I think it also makes for a really good little christmas gift as you can’t go wrong with eyeliners in such wearable shades. The 14k shade aside, this set definitely gets my tick of approval!

Damn you fine!- Shiseido The Makeup Fine Eyeliner

Liquid liner is one of my must have beauty items because I wear it every day and I feel somehow incomplete without it on. I’ve tried using pencil and gel eyeliners and nothing really gives me that same definition that a great liquid liner does. I know that alot of women stay clear of the liquid liner because it’s apparently hard to use but like everything else in life, practice makes perfect!

This liquid eyeliner by Shiseido is hands down the best liquid eyeliner I have ever tried and I think that it’s also great for those who are new to the liquid liner world. It’s designed to act like a pen and is similar to the MAC Penultimate liner. I used the MAC penultimate liner for quite a while and repurchased it when it ran out because I loved how easy it was to use but I always wished it was blacker. That’s where this Shiseido one comes in because it is an extremely black eyeliner and it has a super fine tip which is a must for me.

The packaging is very simple but chic and the pen itself is a very pretty burgundy metal that feels very sturdy and has a good weight to it. It’s very different to the MAC one which is made of black plastic.

The main design difference between the MAC penultimate liner and the Shiseido one is that the Shiseido is made to be refillable and the MAC isn’t. I think that it’s such a great idea to have a refillable pen because it always seems like such a waste to throw out pretty packaging. The liner has cartridges similar to a fountain pen that you just remove and replace as needed.

The pen has a click button at the end which you press to dispense more product into the tip. It doesn’t ever dispense too much product so you always get a beautifully clean, crisp line. I like the fact that this liner can be manipulated in different ways to get a thinner or thicker line. Here are some lines I drew with the liner to give you an idea of its capabilities.

I’ve also included a picture with the liner on my eye so you can see how it looks. I always draw my line thin at the beginning of my eye and thicken as I head towards the end of my eye and this liner does it beautifully.

If you’re looking for a great liquid liner then look no further than this one because apart from the price, there really aren’t any cons that I can think of about this product! I should tell you that this liner isn’t waterproof but the lasting time is pretty good because it doesn’t fade or flake off like some liquid liners do. If you need something waterproof then keep looking but if you’re not fussed then this is definitely a winner!