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making faces :: product review [givenchy, urban decay, makeup forever]

as per my last post, i indulged in my lip colour fetish again and placed an order with sephora. this was my first time ordering on line from them, something borne of just not wanting to make my way all the way out to pointe claire [although seeing the employees there would have been nice]. overall, the service was a little slow [i'm comparing here to other on line retailers based in the united states] and they made a small mistake in my order. [sephora offers free samples with each order, which you can choose. they got mine wrong. i'm not about to raise a huge fuss over something i got for free, but still, what was in the box didn't even match the invoice included, which was correct.]

all of the products i ordered and paid for were included, which, true to form, were very lip-heavy. i ordered an eye shadow duo and lipstick from hourglass, which i'll address separately, since it's my first experience with the company. in this round, i'll cover the others...

givenchy gelee interdit "celestial black"
givenchy gelée interdit "celestial black" :: this was sort of an odd purchase for me, because i knew from reviews and from reading about the formula that these brand new jelly-like glosses from givenchy were going to be sheer. normally, sheer isn't a big thing with me. but the images of celestial black just looked so gorgeous [in spite of the fact that you already have about a half dozen black-based sparkly glosses? -ed.] that i couldn't resist.

true to what i expected, the formula is quite sheer. on my hand, it looked like a slightly greyed clear gloss with a couple of sparkles. not so exciting. on my lips, i was surprised that the pigmentation seemed better. it seemed to make my lips pinker [fuchsia, almost!], as well as giving a darker cast. because of the settings i use on the camera to get clear photos, i didn't capture the plumminess it adds, but trust me, it's there.

the colour and, to a certain extent, the texture, reminds me of Mac's "Dazzleglass" lip gloss formula and, in this shade, i'm particularly reminded of the colour "date night". however the magic in this gloss is in the formula. and magic it is.

i didn't put much stock in the fact that givenchy claimed that these glosses were moisturising, because, in all of my makeup wearing life, i don't think i've ever come across a gloss that wasn't moisturizing. it's a gloss, they make your lips feel softer. it's what they do. however, the second i applied this one, i could feel that there was something different. my lips almost immediately felt "plush", the term i'll use to describe the condition between extremely moist and plump.

there is some science at work here, although how much is subject to debate. givenchy claims that "hyaloronique microspheres" create a plumping effect by, basically, causing the lips to retain water. sounds weird, but there is some reason to believe them. hyaluronic acid is naturally present in the body as an industrial-strength lubricant [in cartilage] and in the basal layer of the epidermis helping, among other things, in the healing of wounds by promoting the skin's inflammatory response. [inflammation means plumping. and don't worry, it's in a good way.] hyaluronic acid is a popular skin care ingredient because it is so good at carrying moisture and at hydrating basically everything it touches. the effects can are immediate, but can be long-lasting if they form part of an ongoing regimen.

i agonised over describing the scent as fruity vs. floral for a while before i happened upon givenchy's own description "lychee-scented". yup, that's it. smells like a lychee martini pretty much exactly. unfortunately, there's a strong undercurrent of vinyl when you first apply, which is about the only thing i didn't like about this gloss. yes, part of me kinda hoped it would be more pigmented, but it more than met my actual expectations, so i can live with that.

the bottom line? there are enough interesting colours in this line [and enough standard colours, including a transparent one if all you want is the feeling] that it's definitely worth picking up at least one. if you're a fan of sheerer, more sparkly glosses, grab more than one, because they're as good as having a medicated balm and coloured gloss in one.

$29cad/ $26.50 usd [rates them a "medium" on the currency gouging scale- extra taxes in canada do make things more expensive, but not much]

available at sephora

urban decay lipstick "voodoo" :: i swear i had this colour a while ago- back before i moved to montreal from toronto- but it went totally awol. i remembered it being a somewhat frosty, very orange-tinged deep rose-pink and, now that i have it again... yup, that's what it is.

although i wouldn't think of this as being a really hard to duplicate colour, i have to say that, in my 200+ lipsticks [yup, that many, accumulated over long years], i don't have another colour like it. i think it's because it occupies such a strange "no man's land" between pink and orange. most shades will pull some red in, but this one truly doesn't. as a result, this shade is a perfect medium-tone that can go pretty much anywhere, isn't light but isn't super-dark and is different without being shocking.

urban decay have a real thing for scenting all their lip products differently, for better or worse. "oil slick" has a delicious caramel scent. "voodoo" smells like licorice allsorts. it's a bit candy-sweet for my tastes at first, but i found i minded it less the second time i applied.
i am a big fan of urban decay lipsticks since they reinvented them a few years back. i feel like they have so many cult products and that their eye shadows are so revered that the lipsticks get forgotten. and that's a loss. i have no idea what happened to my first tube of "voodoo", but damn i'm glad i have it again. the kind of shade that every woman should have in her arsenal.

as an aside, one of the "freebies" i got with my order was urban decay's cult favourite "primer potion" [primer for eyelids to keep makeup from creasing or applying unevenly] in "greed". ok, i give up. what is the fuss about? the stuff caked onto my eyelid unevenly as i was applying it and creased before i applied makeup. i do not need a "pre-crease" treatment. yikes. glad it was a sample. 

$26cad/ $22usd [moderate on the currency gouging scale]

available at sephora

makeup forever rouge artist intense #15 :: the first time i had any experience with makeup forever was when i got my makeup done there for a friend's wedding. she and her bridesmaid were getting made up there, so i figured i'd join them. what i chiefly remember is that the girl spent a long time on me- longer than anyone else, which is enough to make you feel a bit insecure- and that what she tried was different than anything i had done before. different. i'm not sure that i liked it better. but i ended up trying a few of their products and having a mixed reaction. i still have one of those products- a flesh-coloured lip and eye pencil that is truly a godsend. since then, however, i've been a little iffy to embrace them because some of the other products seemed way too heavy and stiff, the kind of thing that one could work with in a theatre, but not in real life.

i was drawn into their revamped lipstick line with its massacred french/ english name because there seemed to be so many beautiful intense colours. the shades fall into frost or semi-matte finishes and are known, as i might have expected from my previous experience and the name, for being pretty intense.

shade #15 is one that drew me in because it's a beautiful purple base- a bit like mac's "violetta", but cooler- with blue early shimmer throughout. hot dammit, count me in.

i found the formula runs dry- not so dry it was hard to work with and not drying which refers to how it feels on the lips, but dry in the sense that it didn't spread incredibly easily and that it required a couple of passes to get even coverage. evenness was a bit of an issue, because i also found that it wore a little unevenly, so that when i reapplied, i had to sort of dab carefully to get colour only where it was needed. however, like most drier lipstick formulas, it had good lasting power. even after a drink and a snack, i only had to reapply because i wanted the nice blue sheen to be more visible- there was still plenty of colour left.

i've heard that the frosts in this line can actually be a bit more difficult to work with than the other shades, so i might not have gotten the best impression of the formula. not that i hated it, but it wouldn't make me rush out to buy another. the reason i chose this one was because, of all the ones i'd seen, it struck me as being the most unique. the matte shades, while they might be easier to work with, also seem to lack depth. we shall see.

$22usd/ $19usd [moderate on the currency gouging scale]
available at sephora

and here are a couple of looks that show the products in action...

this was something i did in five minutes because i wanted to snap pictures of both the lipstick and the funky new haircut that dom and me did. that said, for five minutes, i think it's pretty cool. it says something about the power of palettes- having colours laid out in front of you, rather than having to hunt for little individual pots- because that was how i got everything i wanted. i looked down and it was there. the per'fekt cheek colour was included by accident in my order, so i thought i'd try it out. not bad. probably wouldn't buy it, though. there are enough natural gel cheek colours and none of them really excite me.

face ::
diorskin nude hydrating concealer "001"
nars sheer glow foundation "mont blanc"

eyes ::
mac e/s "family treasure" e/s
mac e/s "gaelic gold"
mac e/s "heather belles"
mac superslick liquid liner "on the hunt"
makeup forever concealer pencil "ivory/ beige 100"
yves rocher lash-plumping mascara "grey-black"

cheeks ::
per'fekt cheek perfection gel "blushed"
guerlain terra inca sublime radiant powder [really, this went everywhere]
mac blush "clove"

lips ::
urban decay l/s "voodoo"

i have just got to work on my titles. the photos here are a wee bit crappy, but i just was having no luck. and aside from the bad luck with the photos, it was a dry, hot, dusty day in montreal, so my eyes were puffed like i'd been punched. hoorah. i chose to keep some of the clumsy photos, because i do find that it gives a good sense of the shade of the lipstick and how it catches the light.

face ::
nars sheer glow foundation "mont blanc"
diorskin nude hydrating concealer "001"

eyes ::
mac e/s "crystal avalanche"
mac e/s "illegal cargo"
mac e/s "vile violet"
mac e/s "restless"
mac eye liner "black swan"
stila sparkle eye liner "curacao"
makeup forever concealer pencil "ivory/ beige 100"
ysl faux cils mascara

cheeks ::
per'fekt cheek perfection gel "blushed"
body shop bronzing powder "01" [note- this is old- i've no idea if it corresponds to what's currently available]
mac blush "new vibe"

lips ::
makeup forever rouge artist intense "15"

mufe #15 + givenchy celestial black
one note: i thought that the mufe lip colour would look just freakin' awesome with the givenchy gloss. and at first, i thought i was right. then i noticed that, when i applied the gloss, it made the lipstick, already prone to unevenness, more uneven. splotchy, in fact. so i wiped away the lipstick + gloss combo and started over.
Immediately upon application, Hyaluronique Micro Spheres create a plumping effect on the lips by holding naturally present water within the skin's surface.
Immediately upon application, Hyaluronique Micro Spheres create a plumping effect on the lips by holding naturally present water within the skin's surface.
Immediately upon application, Hyaluronique Micro Spheres create a plumping effect on the lips by holding naturally present water within the skin's surface.


as long as you're here, why not read more?

making faces :: fall for all, part 2 [a seasonal colour analysis experiment]

well, installment one was the easy part: coming up with autumn looks for the autumn seasons. now we move into seasonal colour types that aren't as well-aligned with the typical autumn palette. first up, we deal with the winter seasons: dark, true and bright.

in colour analysis, each "parent" season- spring, summer, autumn, winter- overlap with each other season in one colour dimension- hue [warm/ cool], value [light/ dark] and chroma [saturated/ muted]. autumn is warm, dark and muted [relatively speaking], whereas winter is cool, dark and saturated. so you can see that the points of crossover in palettes, the places where you can emphasize autumn's attributes, is in the darker shades.

it's unsurprising that as fall transitions into winter, you get the darkest shades of all. we've seen the warmer equivalent in the dark autumn look from last time, so from there, as with all neutral seasons, we move from the warmer to the cooler cognate...

mental health mondays :: all the monsters are here

i had meant to post about this project much earlier, since it was done during october, but i still think it's very much worth a look. artist shawn coss drew a "portrait" of a mental disorder for every day of october [mental health month], something that tries to convey what the feeling of having that disease is. his work reminds me a little of ralph steadman's iconic hunter s. thompson covers, and especially gerald scarfe's animations for pink floyd's the wall. his figures are somewhere between spectral humans and insectoid aliens, all ravenous appetite and primal destructiveness.

i chose a few favourites to share, but i highly encourage you, if you like what you see, to pre-order the book he's publishing with all the drawings. [you can also get 11x17 prints of individual images.]

autism spectrum disorder

as coss notes himself, asd is not a disorder, per se, but he included it since it's still listed in the dsm-v. autism does very much affect the min…

making faces :: burberry bits

during my brief sojourn in the west last month, i did have the time to stop by the holt renfrew there and
see one of the only two burberry makeup counters in canada. i'm not in the least bit happy that this collection has been limited to the toronto and vancouver flagship stores, especially since we have a beautiful flagship store here in montreal. and now that i've actually gotten to try burberry products, i'm even less happy about the limited availability.

burberry are still newcomers to the cosmetic world, having launched their collection just a few short years ago. they've already become darlings of the makeup mafia, with virtually all of their products garnering rave reviews from ladies who know their stuff. as you might expect from a design house, the products are pricy and even by the standards of prestige brands, their prices are high, but it's worth noting that you tend to get a fair amount of product. which is especially nice when you're limited as t…