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making faces :: purpleberryvamp!

i'm a little late on the draw with this post, as i've been trying to do my weekly lip posts on sunday, but 'tis the season and that means i had family commitments on sunday, followed by mental health mondays yesterday. it also means that there's a significant chance that this week's "world wide wednesdays" will be delayed, although i'll try to avoid that if i can. [since you completely missed it the week before last. -ed.]

that said, part of me was delaying my review of last week's challenge results because i has an angry. for those who haven't seen my posts on this subject yet, i've been engaged in a challenge with a few other beauty lovers to go a week wearing different shades of a single colour family for a week. last week was something i dubbed "purpleberryvamp", because it encompassed several different, but related groups. for a lot of people, those might be shades that were on the fringes of their collections. for me, they are the heart. or the backbone. or something else that kind of keeps the rest organised and alive. so really, the last week was my moment to show off my lip-related crown jewels. and yet, i has an angry.

first of all, the weather was the worst it could possibly have been. i'm used to the dark around this time of year, but this was like living in the arctic circle, where it never got beyond that sort of twilight haze. there were a couple of patches of sunshine, which you'll see in the photos, but those were so slanted that they made things more difficult than the overwhelming gloom.

second [or perhaps the second part of the first point], an inordinate number of photographs went awry. many, many of them were out of focus, which shouldn't happen, given that i take a second to adjust focus for each shot. also, because of the poor lighting, three of the seven lipsticks look the same in the photos, but this was absolutely not the case in real life. and taking photos under such conditions makes my skin look duller, my eyes look heavier... well, everything looks worse than it did in real life. so i feel like a lot of the colours here are getting the short shrift. ah the travails of beauty blogging at yuletide.

third, given the number of options at my disposal, seven days turns out to be a really short time. i wanted to make sure to feature at least two each from the groups of purple, berry and vamp colours. however, i could easily do a week from each of these and be happy [provided i had better lighting conditions]. i have already done individual lip colour posts on each one- purple, berry, vamp.  i originally thought that i'd force myself to do one shade per brand only, but that fell apart one morning when i was getting ready in a hurry.

fourth, i have no idea what was going on with my hair last week, but clearly it was nothing good. fine, hair, you just do what you want and i'll think about how i'd look with a shaved head.

moving on...

as a refresher, the base i'm using is:

urban decay naked skin foundation 1.0
dior star concealer 010
mac paint pot "painterly" [eyeshadow base]
mac prep & prime finishing powder

i believe that on one or two occasions, i might have used hourglass mineral veil primer in a futile attempt to make things look smoother. well, i say futile because it wasn't evident in the photos. in person, it helps a bit and does make my foundation last longer.

day one

eyes ::
dior e/s palette "cuir cannage" [a selection of tawny golds and plums... i have a backlog of shit to review that includes this one]
urban decay 24/7 liner "rockstar" [shimmery eggplant]
hourglass film noir mascara

cheeks ::
nars blush "sin" [plum-berry with gold shimmer] i must repeat essential for fall/ winter

lips ::
guerlain rouge automatique l/s "l'heure bleue"

ok, the first thing you need to know [and i'm planning on doing a post on this once i have the information sorted out] is that the rouge automatique line is being discontinued from certain retailers at the very least and possibly everywhere. whatever the final result is, if you have shades that you think you might want, or that you think you might want to back up, now is the time.

moving on, i wanted to do a sort of smoky golden look, which i did, but i don't think it quite works on me. smoky looks are tricky for me to pull off, because they can [as in this case] make my eyes look a bit squished. also, everything on my face seemed to dry up on this particular day. i'm not sure why, but my lips felt crinkly, my skin was dry... well, you see the evidence before you.  additionally, the images show "l'heure bleue" as being more red than it really is. in person, it has red tones, but is lighter and more muted. the images in the linked review are more accurate, for certain.

day two 

eyes ::
chanel e/s palette "les harmonies du soir" [shimmery pink, antique gold, cranberry, warm taupe]*
urban decay 24/7 e/l "rockstar"
urban decay 24/7 e/l "underground" [warm light taupe]
makeup forever smoky extravagant mascara

cheeks ::
dior blush "brown milly" [warm plum] so much love for this shade. so much.

lips ::
mac amplified creme l/s "tribalist" [blackened berry]*

*suggested alternates :: les harmonies du soir" = guerlain "les bois de rose" highlight shade, rouge bunny rouge "golden rhea" [lighter], mac "star violet", mac "satin taupe"; tribalist = who cares about dupes? it's available again as part of mac's holiday collection! hurrah! go nuts! 

this look is a severe case of "what the hell happened?" i love this particular chanel palette. i love "tribalist" and was thrilled when mac re-promoted it [although i've heard that the new version doesn't have the perfect, creamy application of the original]. so why do they suck so much together?!?!? i'm respecting the concept of emphasizing either the eyes or the lips, but somehow, this just looks... watered down. i think that the problem lies in the eyes. i've softened the liner to such an extent that they look too timid. the lip becomes overwhelming. if you checked the linked post on "tribalist" above, i used it with a smokier look that works much better. i should add that another problem is that the feeble light washed out the colours. i tried to tweak them a little so that they looked more realistic, but it still leaves the lipstick looking more blue than it does in person. that said, i do find that this colour works when i'm sporting that teeny tiny bit of a tan that i get every summer. a slightly golden tone to the skin really brings out the depth of the shade.

day three


eyes ::
rouge bunny rouge e/s "alabaster starling"[silver white with a hint of pink]
rouge bunny rouge e/s palette "chronos" [shade #5] [cool stormy grey]
marc jacobs e/s palette "the punk" [shades #1 and #3] [dirty light pewter, bright red-violet]
makeup forever aqua eyes e/l "matte black 0l" [black]
hourglass film noir mascara

cheeks ::
hourglass ambient blush "ethereal glow" [light cool pink]
hourglass ambient lighting powder "incandescent light" [shimmery lavender-white]

lips ::
nars audacious l/s "angela" [radiant orchid]

the description of this lipstick i've used is the same as pantone's colour of the year for a reason. it matches the bright, mysterious orchid purple dead-on. i do have more nars audacious lipstick reviews to complete [part of the backlog] and this is one of them. you can see my thoughts on the formula here. this is one of a few shades i've picked up since then. i do find that the overwhelming coolness of this look is a bit stark on me- it's for certain a "true winter" look and i have some definite warmth to my complexion [while still falling into the "neutral" camp]. that said, it's one of the more successful looks of the week, in that it looks more or less like it did in real life.

day four

eyes ::
guerlain e/s palette "attrape-coeur" [all shades except the darkest one]*
mac e/s "sushi flower" [bright coral-pink]
urban decay 24/7 e/l "perversion" [blackest ever black]
hourglass film noir mascara

cheeks ::
becca beach tint "watermelon" [bright raspberry]
hourglass ambient lighting powder "luminous light" [candlelight glow]

lips ::
guerlain kiss kiss l/s "cherry pink" [shimmery pink berry]

*suggested alternates :: attrape-coeur = mac "crystal avalanche", mac "seedy pearl", urban decay "asphyxia"

chalk up another on the "to review" pile. this is my second kiss kiss lipstick and you can see my original review of the formula [in another shade] here.  notice how this shade looks exactly the same as "l'heure bleue" in these pictures? it really doesn't. i know that, because when i was looking at the shade, i was afraid that the two were dupes, so i swatched them side by side on my hands and walked around in different sorts of lighting before i made the decision to purchase "cherry pink". "cherry pink" is brighter, glossier, more shimmery, less opaque and a touch warmer than "l'heure bleue". and in fact, those differences are wicked obvious in person. my camera just decided that it couldn't be arsed.

day five

eyes ::
mac e/s "vex" [dirty green grey with pink sheen]
armani eyes to kill e/s "rose popilla" [dirty grey-beige with pink sheen]*
armani e/s palette "neo-black" [shimmery white-gold, deep khaki, matte black]*
urban decay 24/7 e/l "perversion" [blackest ever black]
ysl baby doll mascara

cheeks ::
nars blush "seduction" [deep sangria]
hourglass ambient lighting powder "dim light" [warm champagne beige]

lips ::
rouge d'armani #611 [deep cabernet red]

*suggested alternates :: rose popilla = yikes. i think if you applied "vex" over a deeper taupe base, you might get something similar, but it's a remarkably difficult shade to duplicate; neo-black = mac white gold pigment, guerlain"les fumes", a few other armani palettes have the same matte black, the matte black in guerlain "les noirs" is similar, but softer. 

i find that the photos of this look turned out the best and you know what? it was absolutely the best look of the week in person as well. i'm not sure why, but this particular vampy red just makes everything right for me. also, "rose popilla" is a miracle unto itself and "vex" remains one of the best things that mac has ever produced. the light does make things look cooler [well, warmer, actually], but everywhere i went on this particular day, when i caught a glimpse of myself, i was happy with what i saw. it does help that the products used on this particular day are ones that are champions when it comes to lasting power. pure armani love.

day six

eyes ::
dior e/s palette "cuir cannage" [clearly a different application than the one above, with the lightest shade dominating lid space]
mac e/s "dazzlelight" [shimmery neutral highlight] 
urban decay 24/7 e/l "rockstar"
hourglass film noir mascara

cheeks ::
hourglass ambient blush "mood exposure" [warm shimmering plum]
hourglass ambient lighting powder "diffused light" [slightly warmed white]

lips ::
rouge d'armani sheer #602 "black lacquer" [sheer grape]

dammit!!! this look worked very well in person, but in photos, it just looks washed out. plus, uh, hair. or rather, crazy cowlick. with the incredibly soft light, you lose the sharpness of the colours and then everything falls apart. it looked better in person. it would look better on anyone in person. even the freakin' cowlick looked better in person. the armani sheers, in particular this one, are a great option if you want to try a stronger colour, but feel nervous about it, or if you're used to wearing stronger colours, but have a situation [like work] where you feel such things would be inappropriate.

day seven

eyes ::
mac e/s "vanilla" [peachy highlight]
mac e/s "paradisco" [coral with gold sheen]
chantecaille e/s "marigold" [soft rose gold]
mac e/s "spiced chocolate" [dark reddened brown]*
ysl gel liner "sea black" [blackened blue]
ysl gel liner "gold star" [warm antique gold]
marc jacobs lash lifter mascara

cheeks ::
chanel creme blush "chamade" [spicy rose]
guerlain powder "parure de nuit" [whitened coral pink]*

lips ::
chanel rouge coco shine "fiction"

*suggested alternates :: spiced chocolate = mac deep damson [redder]; parure de nuit = nars "sex appeal" [deeper, more pigmented, warmer]

ultimate fail. this is the third of the "shit these things look alike in photos" looks. "fiction" looks way redder here than it does in person, where it reads as a cooler berry. most disappointing, though, is how sad and flat the skin looks, because i assure you, it was wonderful in person. that's not a brag, either. it's just that the combination of a cream blush and a delicate powder made my complexion really glow in a way that it just doesn't otherwise. it's about the products! other than the armani #611 day, this was my favourite look of the week [although i have to admit that my lips were dry enough that the lipstick started to bleed towards the end of the day], but the photos are probably the worst reflection of reality. i'll have to ask for your trust on this one.

and that's all the time i had. we're already into pink/ mauve week, which includes all sorts of pinks, so for me it's going to be pink/ fuchsia/ mauve week. if you'd like to take a quick review of what's happened so far, please see:

coral/ orange week
red week

valé! into the pink!


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…