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making faces :: meanwhile, back in the enchanted garden

those who think of winter as a season of crystalline snow reflecting moonlight and shadow tree branches glittering softly with armfuls of flakes against a background of sweet-smelling pine, fir and spruce have never spent winter in  a city. for those of us who are urban-dwellers, winter is a season of salt stains and snowbanks encrusted with black shit serving as an uncomfortable reminder of what our lungs probably look like. sure, everything looks pretty when you get that first light powdering and there are lights and white-and-gold garlands everywhere in honour of yule, but that lasts for like ten minutes.

this is truly the time of year when i long to escape to some fantasy world without the filth and frostbite that threatens to engulf me. i need the enchanted garden of rouge bunny rouge.

take me away!

ok, i can't actually visit the enchanted garden because i don't know the magic phrase that will transport me there. but i can order goodies from the garden to have, hold and wear, which will just have to do for now.

in the year since i first laid my hands on one of the delightful products from this english and russian company [we know that's just a front for the fact that they come from the land of make-believe], i've become a real evangelist, singing their praises to anyone who'd listen; this means you. they are one of a small group of brands who really seem to hone what they do to perfection. they're smaller, but when they release something, you can bet that a lot of work has gone into perfecting it before it reaches your hands. most recently, they've launched a small fragrance collection, which i'm hoping to try in the near future.

most recently, however, i picked up another of their shadows and a new lipstick, because the ones i've bought in the past have been such delights.

the eye shadow "bohemian waxwing" is described by rouge bunny rouge as an "iridescent bronzed champagne". normally, rbr's descriptions are spot on, but i feel like this one, as gorgeous as it sounds, misses the mark a little. to my eye, it's a warm taupe shade with a kiss of bronze, no more, and a great deal of multicoloured- although predominantly silver- shimmer. although i can't quite pinpoint how to describe it and i clearly can't photograph it, since the pictures i took all do at best a decent job of conveying the rich hazelnut base shade without any of the complexity. i'm especially annoyed at myself for missing the shimmer, because it's actually quite crucial to understanding how the shade works on the eye. it shifts quite noticeably and quite delightfully in the light, sometimes seeming lighter, sometimes showing a kind of rainbow iridescence.

bohemian waxwing :: natural light
my take is that this may be the perfect shadow. it's one of the few i'll use completely alone because it's complex enough that it doesn't require assistance. it's pigmented enough that it'll work on any skin tone. it's neutral enough that it can work with any sort of look- whether you're off to work at the bank or getting dressed for the oscars. i've worn it several times and the most i can say against it is that after fourteen hours or so, you don't really see the shimmer anymore, just the base colour. after fourteen hours or so. i hate to play favourites but given it's fantastic quality and flexibility, it's hard for me not to think of this as one of the best shades i own, period.

HOP ALONG...



in terms of comparisons, one did leap to mind: le metier de beaute's "corinthian". the two are like siblings, different, but ultimately from the same place. "corinthian" has a strong purple tone that "bohemian waxwing" doesn't, whereas the latter has that aforementioned kiss of bronze. both are indicative of the best things that a cosmetic company can produce- a colour fascinating enough to hold one's attention, with nuances that make it defy easy description.

l to r :: bohemian waxwing, lmdb corinthian :: natural light
now after that breathless love-fest, the next thing i have for review can't possibly warrant the same love. oh, wait, maybe it can.

the lipstick i purchased was one of the rouge bunny rouge "colour burst" shades, their more opaque line. although i don't know if they quite reach the ecstasy-inducing heights of their eye shadows, but they are a really nice formula. i find them very soft on the lips, which is a blessing in weather like we've had lately. the latest shade to enter my collection is "nothing unknown", which the bunnies say every woman should have in her lipstick wardrobe. every woman?

well, i must admit, they may be on to something. the colour is a very soft nude, but it's real magic lies in its opalescent sheen. it might be a pretty neutral on its own, but the reflective pink-white awesome that rests atop it really lifts it into the realm of the remarkable. once applied, it just comes alive [not literally] and makes a perfect complement to a natural look or a smoky eye.

the one issue that i have with rbr lipsticks is that while they are all very nice, there's a lack of consistency in their formulas. although technically a full-coverage lipstick, "nothing unknown" is quite sheer with a single pass. it needs to be built up a little. although all the rbr shades are muted, the others i own- including those in the sheer finish "succulence of dew" line- have been more pigmented in a single pass. with a shade as soft as this and as nuanced, you really want to be able to get the full effect.

nothing unknown :: natural light
being a softer shade, it's not especially long-lasting, but i do find that a hint of the colour lingers for quite a while. more interesting, what seems to linger is the sheen, rather than the base colour.

i struggle to find neutrals that work really well for me, without looking like concealer on my lips or that are too brown, or that don't mix well with my natural lip colour or... look, it's just difficult. i like that this shade pulls a bit pinker than most neutrals [thanks to that ethereal sheen], so it doesn't look deadening against my skin, but it's still not a pink shade. and while i don't know if it's quite universal [even built up, i think ladies with very pigmented lips would have trouble getting a lot of cosmetic bang for their bucks], it would likely work just as well on a lot of different complexions.

i wasn't really able to think of any comparative shades with this one, because i don't have anything that has that combination of base shade and duochrome effect. i don't even think i've heard of any shades that sound similar.

rouge bunny rouge products are available through zuneta and now through the brand's own web site [where you can currently get an rbr keychain when you order over $50 worth of goodies]. their products are as precious as jewels and are priced accordingly, but if you're ready to jump down the rabbit hole, the wonderland of the enchanted garden is a lovely place to hide out.

here's a quick look at these goodies in action. those of you who read the blog regularly might be a little confused by these photos, but owing to the time it takes me to photograph, swatch and write, it's likely you'll be seeing blonde me for a little while longer. truly embarrassing admission: i'm actually happy to be back in black, because- among other things- i had some posts i never managed to write up from when i had black hair before and now i feel like i can finally post them and they won't look hideously out of date.

"bohemian waxwing"

the base ::
urban decay naked skin foundation "1.0"
diorskin nude hydrating concealer "010"
mac fluidline brow "redhead"
dior pressed powder "001"

the eyes ::
rouge bunny rouge e/s "bohemian waxwing" [bronze-taupe with multicolour shimmer]
mac prolongwear e/s "keep your cool" [dark taupe-grey]
stila e/l "lionfish" [deep bronze-brown]
ysl effet faux cils mascara

the cheeks ::
rouge bunny rouge liquid highlighter "sea of clouds" [bright shimmery white]
guerlain rose aux joues blush "chic pink" [delicate pinky-peach]

the lips ::
chanel extrait de gloss "merveille" [rich plum]

for those of you wondering, yes, that is a gloss from chanel's new spring collection and, yes, i will have more to say about it in the near future- along with some of its springtime friends.

"nothing unknown"

the base ::
clarins everlasting foundation "103"
marcelle beauty balm "light/ medium"
diorskin nude hydrating concealer
dior pressed powder "001"

the eyes ::
estee lauder cream shadow "sinister" [intense, sparkling black]
nars duo e/s "marie galante" [sheer shimmery orchid, deep shimmery marine blue]
sephora + pantone universe e/l "black"
ysl effet faux cils mascara

the cheeks ::
rouge bunny rouge liquid highlighter "sea of clouds" [bright shimmery white]
guerlain cheek powder "parure de nuit" [very light coral-pink]*

the lips ::
rouge bunny rouge colourburst lipstick "nothing unknown" [pinky nude with opal sheen]

*suggested alternates :: parure de nuit = nars sex appeal [more peach]

"hey there, clever blogger, i noticed that there is a rouge bunny rouge product you wore in both looks and yet you haven't reviewed it."

yeah, i have been trying out the "sea of clouds" highlighter quite a bit and i do plan on reviewing it in the near future, but this was already running long and... ok, i'll be honest. i forgot to swatch it with everything else. the bottom line: it's a lovely highlighter that really brightens the complexion and doesn't accentuate pores and, best part, i'm not allergic to it, which i am to a lot of other liquid highlighters.

you might also have noticed that there's a new product from estee lauder in there, one of the new potted cream-gel-mousse shadows. i'll also be posting a review of that in the near future.

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am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

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