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making faces :: coral orange crush

continuing in the challenge of "one shade a week" lipstick, i bring you part two, which actually has two colours included, one of which has a huge subset of shades to its name. interestingly, i've already done features, way back, on both coral and orange, which is kind of interesting since i don't believe that either one is particularly flattering on me. i can find ones that i like, but considering the number of available options, the ones that i can pull off are surprisingly limited.

a while back, mac cosmetics did a limited edition series of lipsticks [most of which have now joined their permanent collection] called "all about orange". there were both coral and orange hues on offer and a decent range too- bright, subtle, yellower, redder, shimmery, matte- and although i really liked some of the shades swatched on my hand, they all looked terrible on my face. i wanted to make them work, but for different reasons, none of them did. i have managed to put together a week's worth of shades that i think i can pull off [to varying degrees], or at least that i like enough that i'm willing to overlook the slight incompatibilities with my skin tone.

it's been stupidly bloody overcast here for what seems like a month and so some of the photos- i'll explain which further on- are not as accurate as i would like. damn you mother nature!



as was the case last week, my base products are always the same ::
urban decay naked skin foundation 1.0
dior star concealer 010
mac paint pot "painterly" [eyeshadow base]
mac prep & prime finishing powder

day one 






eyes ::
ysl e/s palette #4 "saharienne" [darkest shade wasn't used]
urban decay 24/7 eye liner "demolition" [dark cool brown]
guerlain cils d'enfer mascara

cheeks ::
hourglass ambient blush "incandescent electra" [light shimmery peach]

lips ::
mac amplified creme l/s "vegas volt"

i figured i'd start off with one of my trickier lipsticks and what do you know? this is one of my favourites from the entire week. vegas volt was the first orange-toned lipstick i ever bought and as much as i love it, it's a lot harder for me to pull off than i'd originally hoped. it's a vivid orange coral with very little pink and no red to speak of, which i've learned is a problem area for me. i do much better with reddened corals, followed by pink ones. although this shade is bold enough not to sink into my skin, it often looks ill at ease against my colouring, like something pasted over my real lips. i'm not sure why it works here, but the soft neutrals [including a lot of the grey shade from "saharienne"] and the pinky-peach blush seem to allow it to take the spotlight in the way it clearly wants to. yes, lipsticks have wants. of course they do.

day two




eyes ::
rouge bunny rouge raw garden e/s palette "chronos" [shades 1, 2, and 3]
inglot e/s 351 [matte ivory highlight]
hourglass ambient lighting powder "luminous light" [candlelit glow]

cheeks ::
hourglass ambient blush "luminous flush" [bright natural rose]
hourglass ambient lighting powder "luminous light"

lips ::
mac kissable l/s "so vain" [dirty soft coral]*

*suggested alternates :: so vain =  er... um... sorry, you're on your own with this. there may be close dupes, but i can't think of any or find anything close in my sizable collection. my advice would be to take a regular peach shade and combine it with a soft, cool nude to approximate the distinctive "dirty" quality.

dear mac: please bring these wonderful liquid lipsticks back and introduce new shades. you've added far inferior products to your permanent assortment. i've never managed to wrap my head around
why i like this colour so much. it's the kind of coral that normally doesn't work on me, but i think the fact that it's more muted, less sunny, makes it more wearable. since it's a lighter, softer colour, i thought i'd do a bit of a smoky eye, without getting too dramatic. i'm still loving the "chronos" palette.

day three




eyes ::
guerlain e/s palette "les sables"
stila stay all day pencil liner "lionfish" [coppery brown]
stila stay all day sparkle liquid liner "electric" [bright emerald green]
ysl baby doll mascara

cheeks ::
mac blush "dollymix" [bright girly pink]
mac mineralize blush duo "rhapsody in two" [light yellow peach/ soft pink]*

lips ::
mac satin l/s "toxic tale" [electric coral]*

*suggested alternates :: rhapsody in two = hourglass luminous light + chanel rose initial [applied lightly, although i suspect the resulting mix will still be cooler and brighter than rhapsody in two]; toxic tale has just been reissued and is available now as part of mac's oddly named "red red red" collection. 

first: that smudging you see on the green liner happens every time i wear this colour. although it felt ok at first, i'm starting to wonder if i'm slightly allergic to the formula. second: it's supposed to be waterproof, but even the slightest dampness on my eyes [they weren't watering heavily or anything] causes the damage you see before you. why??? third: i feel like this look should work better than it does and i can't put my finger on why i don't quite like it. it's possible that i'm reacting to my hair. i wanted it to be soft and smooth, but my bangs have reached a crucial point where my insistent widow's peak is forcing them up at a weird angle. but i also feel that the lipstick, smooth and even as it is, looks heavy. not quite sure why that is. and i'm getting distracted by the smudgy liner [and now that i've mentioned it a few times, i imagine you are too.]

day four



eyes ::
rouge bunny rouge e/s "solstice halcyon" [muted mauve taupe]
rouge bunny rouge e/s "alabaster starling" [silvery white with pink tinge]
mac e/s "copperplate" [matte warm grey]
mac e/s "dazzlelight" [shimmery neutral highlight]
urban decay 24/7 e/l "smoke" [charcoal grey]
urban decay 24/7 e/l "desperation" [soft warm grey]
hourglass film noir mascara

cheeks ::
rouge bunny rouge powder blush "gracilis" [muted mauve pink]
hourglass ambient lighting powder "dim light" [soft champagne beige]

lips ::
guerlain rouge g lipstick "gipsy" [rich pumpkin orange with golden shimmer]

ok, this is where the colours start to go a bit wonky. specifically, the colour of the lipstick is redder and brighter. there's a better image of gipsy's actual colour in this post. it's funny, because guerlain describes this shade as "tangerine", which i think of as brighter and a little redder, but in these photos, it actually lines up with the description. rouge g lipsticks are almost always perfection and this one falls in line. it's simply gorgeous and despite the fact that it's a bit too warm and brown for my complexion [when you see the proper colour], i'll wear it because it's just too beautiful not to. that said, i feel like this look is an example of me not learning a lesson. remember the hazy soft summer look i did on my eyes way back and how horrifying it was? this isn't much better. i adore every single one of these shades individually, but this sort of hazy combination immediately puts every kind of emphasis on the area under my eyes and this in turn makes them look tired and/ or faded. i'll probably only make this mistake seven or eight more times before i learn my lesson.

day five




eyes ::
chanel e/s "beige lamé" [warm beige with silver-white sparkle]*
mac e/s "remotely grey" [rich grey brown]*
mac e/s "vanilla" [peachy highlight]
illamasqua precision gel e/l [black]
ysl baby doll mascara

cheeks ::
mac blush "devil" [bright reddened orange]
hourglass ambient lighting powder "diffused light" [barely yellowed white]

lips ::
sephora liner "tangerine tango" [bright orange with slight pearl]*
givenchy rouge interdit l/s "candide tangerine" [juicy tangerine]*

*suggested alternates :: beige lamé = rbr gracious arasari + any sheer sparkling highlight; remotely grey = mac concrete; tangerine tango = urban decay bang lip liner; candide tangerine = rouge d'armani #300 [slightly warmer]

after my dissatisfaction with the previous day, i went with what i knew to be safe territory. this is my favourite orange lipstick ever [and my favourite look of the week]; are you surprised? i love the boldness, the saturation, the fruitiness of this shade and i find it returns the favour. if you're not comfortable with bright colours, this will likely send you running, but i think it's a slightly offbeat take on the traditional "pinup" look- substituting orange for the expected red and warming up the neutrals on the eye to go along with it.

day six




eyes ::
rouge bunny rouge e/s "whispering ibis" [fern green with gold pearl]
dior e/s "blue lagoon" [light green shade only]*
le metier de beauté e/s "chameleon" [dirty antique gold]
rouge bunny rouge e/s "snowy egret" [dirty white gold]
urban decay 24/7 e/l "smoke" [charcoal grey]
guerlain cils d'enfer mascara

cheeks ::
dior blush #889 "new red" [coral red]
chanel poudre signé [lightest shimmery gold]*

lips ::
bite bite luminous creme lipstick "cin cin" [medium apricot]

uh... what the hell happened? most of the colours are fairly accurate in this picture [the sweater i'm wearing is more teal, less green, than it looks, but it's not far off], but the lipstick is way off. it's much closer to real life in the original review linked above. i tried several times to get this right, but it kept skewing red. why would a gloomy grey sky turn things red? i don't know. i tried fiddling with the image a bit to make the colours more accurate, but no matter what i did, the lip was always off. it's too bad, because i think it looks decent here, but it was more interesting in real life. cin cin is a distinctive shade.

day seven




eyes ::
mac e/s "manila paper" [shimmery parchment white]*
rouge bunny rouge e/s "golden rhea" [soft gold]
rouge bunny rouge e/s "rain dove" [soft mushroom]
rouge bunny rouge e/s "rufous-tailed weaver" [acorn brown]
chanel e/s "khaki vert" [deep khaki green]
nars e/s "mekong" [espresso brown with gold shimmer]
tarina tarantino e/l "sparkling ammunition" [deep oilve]

cheeks ::
mac blush "hipness" [bright peach]*
rouge bunny rouge highlighting liquid "sea of tranquility" [very light pink gold]

lips ::
rouge dior "montmartre" [reddened pink-coral]

*suggested alternates :: manila paper = mac dazzlelight [cooler]; hipness = guerlain peach boy [deeper]

i has a sad. i could not for the life of me get this to photograph properly. first of all, the lips are skewing red again. second of all, the pictures all looked a little out of focus. i checked the lens, was careful about the light, verified the batteries, did everything as i normally do, but i still got a weird fuzziness. third of all, i should know better than to apply a liquid product to my cheeks just after i've used an exfoliant, because my skin reacts badly, which made it look rougher. it's sad, really, because this is probably my favourite coral ever and everything looked better in person. as with "cin cin" above, the lipstick is much more colour accurate in the original review.

surprisingly, i had a few shades in this range that i didn't get to, but i did cover my favourites. mostly. in retrospect, i wish i'd had time to include chanel "coquette", which is a lovely coral that slots nicely between the soft and bright options. alternately, nars "autumn leaves" is that rare beast, the browned orange and could easily have been included. however, we move on from here to a week i've dubbed "purpleberryvamp", which is clearly a combination of different types of shades. whereas oranges and corals were a bit of a stretch for me to wear every day, this next group represents a major part of my lip wardrobe. i don't even know where to start. i'm thinking of imposing some rules on myself like no brand repetition, at least two each of purples, berries and vamps, nothing that's currently unavailable... funny how an embarrassment of options is looking to be the biggest challenge yet.

if you'd like to see more along this line, you can also check out week one of the month-long lipstick challenge, featuring red lips [just in time for those holiday parties to which i'm never invited]. 

i'll leave you on a whimsical note, with a piece of music i remember from my childhood. my parents listened to a fair amount of classical music and this was one of my absolute favourites. i used to demand to hear the oranges on a regular basis. and since writing this post has once again put me in the mood to hear the oranges, you can too. [warning! earworm!]

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