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making faces :: i'll get you, my pretty

a word to the wise: never dis "the wizard of oz" in my presence. it was the first film i ever saw in a theatre. [in rerelease, not when it originally came out. although i'd bet you'd all want to know my anti-aging secrets...] i grew up with a record of the film [basically key points of dialogue and all the musical numbers] that i listened to almost every day for years. the only thing that got me through elementary school was the idea that i might be sucked up into a tornado and launched into a technicolour dimension full of talking animals and fabulous shoes. i'll be honest- i never could figure out what dorothy found so damned appealing about going back to dust-bowl era kansas to live in poverty, when she could have just stayed on in oz with all her friends, safe from the witch who wanted to euthanise her dog. especially since the emerald city was in need of an overseer. but the movie has played a pivotal role in my life and do not take kindly to its detractors.

so when i found out that jewelry designer tarina tarantino, whose revamped cosmetics collection has received some rave reviews, especially over at temptalia, was doing a "wizard of oz" themed palette, it did seem sort of obvious that i'd found the point at which i could get acquainted with the brand.

and it's not like i'd heard that someone was remaking "the wizard of oz" [in point of fact, "the wizard of oz is itself a remake, since the books of l. frank baum had already been adapted for the screen in the early silent era; i have them on dvd!]. a remake would have been insulting, as they almost always are. this is a tribute to the novels, the film and even the tales that followed in "wicked". it's hard to dislike someone's effort to pay tribute to something you love.

SWATCHES! PHOTOS! PRODUCTS IN ACTION! RIGHT THIS WAY...



and it would be hard to dislike this palette even if it were a tribute to something i hated, like "shades inspired by the republican candidates for president in 2012. [ok, scratch that. that palette would be mind-blowing. a bright white-silver for newt. a tarnished gold for rick perry. something zany for michele bachmann, like an electric teal with a pink-red sheen. a flaming red for ron paul. a dirty brown for santorum. a flat, all-purpose beige for romney. i'd buy six, i swear.] the point is that there is absolutely nothing about this palette [the tarina taratino one, in case you lost track there] that's not to like. its six shades are uniformly excellent in texture and pigmentation. [the formula reminds me of the best urban decay shadows more than anything.] they are remarkably well chosen for a selection of neutrals with an edge and shades with real pop. it costs $46 canadian at sephora, which makes the value truly excellent, especially given the quality. here's a rundown of what you get:

"glinda's kiss" is an ivory-white highlight shade with a noticeable gold sheen. i love the fact that it never looks like a full-on white, but never appears overly warm either. it really brightens my eyes when worn as a lid colour. i works as a highlight, although you'll probably want to sheer it out a little- all the shades have pretty intense colour payoff.

with flash
natural light

there are a few shades that compare to this, although i do find that this one captures the white/ gold balance especially well. mac's laundry daze is very similar, but its finish is more satiny, so it's more like a light yellow. i have an old mac shade called "white wheat" that works on the same highlight with gold sheen principle, but the gold really takes over in that one. armani eyes to kill #19 is much more sparkly. i suspect that mac's "white gold" is similar, but I don't have it to compare.

natural light l to r :: mac laundry daze [l.e.], glinda's kiss, mac white wheat [l.e.]
with flash l to r :: mac laundry daze [l.e.], glinda's kiss, mac white wheat [l.e.]
"silver shoes" is a rich, smooth gunmetal grey with multicolour shimmer in it.

natural light
with flash
it's a beautiful shade, but there are actually a lot of similar shades out there. urban decay's "gunmetal" is similar, but much more sparkly. the limited edition mac shade "stovepipe black" is quite close- just a little lighter and- although this may sound odd- pinker. the colour payoff on this shade was particularly good, i'd say, and there are lots of ways to wear this sort of grey, so it's not too much of a concern to me that this was probably the most easily duplicated shade of the palette.

natural light l to r :: urban decay gunmetal, silver shoes, mac stovepipe black [l.e.]
with flash l to r :: urban decay gunmetal, silver shoes, mac stovepipe black [l.e.]
"dandy lion" wow... where do i start? this shade would probably make the whole palette worth the price on its own. it's a rich olive green base with an intense gold sheen and you really get the duochrome effect with this one- you can see both the base and the reflect colour. it's truly stunning.

natural light
with flash
i love me some khaki/ olive green shades, but i have nothing like this. shades like mac "juxt" are far lighter- more a complementary kind of thing that a comparative colour. the lighter side of nars' paramaribo looked comparable, but is lighter and more gold. rouge bunny rouge "abyssinian catbird" is much darker and more bronze/ brown. i've seen a shade from shiseido that looked similar, but i don't have it for comparison purposes. other than that, i've really not seen anything that comes close.

natural light l to r :: nars paramaribo- lighter side, dandy lion, rbr abyssinian catbird
with flash l to r :: nars paramaribo- lighter side, dandy lion, rbr abyssinian catbird
"sawdust heart" is actually spelled "saw dust heart" on the palette. i'll forgive them that little typo, because the colour is just such a great workhorse shade. it's a matte dark brown that leans a little cool/ grey, but it's got excellent, even colour payoff and it's a dream to work with.

natural light
with flash
there are certainly similar shades out there and the one that leapt to mind first was mac's "showstopper". "showstopper" isn't permanent, but mac usually releases it as part of a palette at least once a year, so it's not hard to find. the shades are almost identical when swatched, but the difference is in the pigmentation. "saw dust heart" is rich and deep from the first pass. "showstopper" requires some patience to build up. both are a little prone to fading, as many matte shades are, but because it's so much more pigmented to begin with, "saw dust heart" comes out the clear winner.

natural light l to r :: sawdust heart", mac showstopper [l.e.]
with flash l to r :: sawdust heart, mac showstopper [l.e.]
"ozma" is a shade that's likely going to catch a lot of people's attention. it's a bright, happy, summery teal that leans blue/ cyan. i found this one a tad drier and stiffer than its neighbours, but it still had plenty of colour to go around. most interestingly, i found that it was very possible to sheer this one out to a light wash, while not sacrificing the evenness of texture. so you can embrace the bright or work your way up: "ozma" is happy both ways.

natural light
with flash
in terms of comparisons, fyrrinae "mermen" is greener and has a blue shimmer. mac "partylicious" is a little bit lighter in the base colour and has a very noticeable gold sheen.

natural light l to r :: fyrrinae mermen [l.e.], ozma, mac partylicious [l.e.]
with flash l to r :: fyrrinae mermen [l.e.], ozma, mac partylicious [l.e.]
"very wicked", the final shade, is the sort of thing that you really don't see very often. it's a dark green-grey with a lot of shimmer and a cool undertone, a gorgeous sort of spruce green that can add a sultry emphasis to a more blue-toned look.

natural light
with flash
it's bluer than mac's "antique green" pigment, which is a bit warmer by comparison. mac's limited edition "emerald dusk" pigment is bluer and greyer.

natural light l to r :: mac antique green, very wicked, mac emerald dusk [l.e.]
with flash l to r :: mac antique green, very wicked, mac emerald dusk [l.e.]
and there you have the shades of the "emerald pretty". i cannot recommend this highly enough. nor quickly enough, because it's limited edition. the good news is that tarina tarantino is distributed through sephora, which means it shouldn't be hard to find, and that her line isn't yet well-enough known that you don't stand a chance of getting it. you'd never leave this technicolour paradise.

here are a couple of quick looks i put together with the palette. in both cases, i'm wearing marcelle's beauty balm in "light/ medium" as a foundation/ tinted moisturiser and smashbox's high definition liquid concealer in "fair/ light" as a base.

this first look illustrates what i was saying about the shade "ozma": i'm wearing it, but it's diffused over the lid, so that, while everything looks a bit blue, you aren't struck by a bright flash of teal that you would expect.

eyes
tarina tarantino e/s "glinda's kiss" [white gold]
tarina tarantino e/s "ozma" [bright blue-teal]
tarina tarantino e/s "dandy lion" [olive green with gold sheen]
tarina tarantino e/s "very wicked" [cool, dark grey green]
mac powerpoint e/l "black swan" [black with silver glitter]
mac eye kohl "fascinating" [white]
armani eyes to kill mascara

cheeks
mac blush "bite of an apple" [bright coral]*

lips
mac l/g "red devil" [bright coral red] *

*suggested alternates :: bite of an apple = mac salsarose [redder and pinker, with a sheen]; red devil = chanel nakkar



this look was more something i was playing around with to see how "dandy lion" worked with blue eyes. answer: very well, although it makes mine look greyer than they usually do, a fairly common occurrence with warmer green shades. i was playing around with different ways of blending the shade and so, yes, i'm very aware that it looks slightly different from one lid to another. i eventually opted to go out with the right lid- the one that showed more of "dandy lion"'s full splendour, but when i was taking the photos, obviously, i was still coming to a decision.

eyes
tarina tarantino e/s "glinda's kiss" [white gold]
tarina tarantino e/s "dandy lion" [olive gold]
le metier de beaute e/s "jade" [deep leaf green]
tarina tarantino e/s "sawdust heart" [dark cool brown]
mac superslick liquid liner "desires and devices" [dirty brown-green]
benefit bad gal lash mascara

cheeks
guerlain terra inca sublime radiant powder [rose bronze]

lips
armani l/s "raspberry zincite" [mauve pink]

i realise that i'm wearing that armani gloss all the time now, but i suppose that that's the hallmark of a great colour, right? i just love how it looks on my lips that, yes, i admit, i'm favouring it more than its roommates at the moment. i can't think of another lip colour i've worn three times for looks on this blog...


the emerald pretty palette is limited edition, but currently still available at sephora. you can order it at any time on line, but it's worth checking their nifty new web site, because it'll let you know if the item is in stock near you. not every sephora location carries the brand. 

tarina, you've made an awesome first impression and i will be back for more. 

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