Wednesday, July 3, 2013

MAC Tropical Taboo Collection- Summer 2013

The Color of Heat, Beat and Exotic Glamour......

Summer 2013 seems to be all about the tropics- sultry greens and blues, coppery tones and shimmery finishes. First Dior and now, MAC, captures the essence of the tropics for us.  The promo pics made me think of samba and bossa nova and Joao Gilberto, it made me crave sunshine and beaches in Brazil..

So, without further ado, play some samba and read on..

Mineralize Skinfinishes

My heart beats just a little bit faster for MAC's mineralize skinfinishes. 

Shimmery, matte or satin, I love them all..dearly :) I use them as eyeshadows, highlighters and blushes and yes, they make me happy.  Very happy.

Tropical Taboo features 5 mineralize skinfinishes retailing for $30 each. 

Soft and Gentle and Gold deposit are permanent while the remaining three are limited edition.

  • Adored: Warm coral with light beige pearl
  • Rio: Deep bronze with pale pink pearl
  • Lust: Frosty pale pink with rose-brown pearl
  • Soft and Gentle: Gilded peachy bronze
  • Gold Deposit: Frosty golden-bronze

MAC Tropical Taboo Mineralize skinfinishes, msf, Adored, Rio, Lust, Soft and Gentle, Gold Deposit

Top row (L-R): Adored, Rio, Lust
Bottom row (L-R): Soft and Gentle, Gold Deposit

Mineralize Eye Shadows

This collection features 6 mineralize eye shadows.  They are limited edition and retail for $23.50.  They're slightly larger than the regular MAC eyeshadows at 0.10 oz. They can be used dry for a sheer wash or wet for a more intense, metallic look. 

As gorgeous as they look, I don't think I'll be investing in them because MAC's mineralize eyeshadows tend to be spotty performers, in my experience.  If you're interested in learning more about these, Christine at Temptalia has a helpful review here.

  •  Bossa Blue: Royal blue with chocolate brown veining
  • Caribbean: Rose with coppery-red veining
  •  Cha-Cha-Cha: Deep blue-green with lime-green veining
  • Dare to Bare: Pale lilac and pink with yellow gold veining
  • Time and Tango: Lavender with silver veining
  • Tropica: Silvery blue with purple veining

Bossa Blue, Caribbean, Cha-Cha-Cha, Dare to Bare, Tropica, Time and Tango
Top Row (L-R): Bossa Blue, Caribbean, Cha-Cha-Cha. 
Bottom Row (L-R): Dare to Bare, Tropica, Time and Tango

Kohl Power Eye Pencils

There are 2 eye pencils in this launch and they retail for $16Orpheus is limited edition whereas Feline is part of MAC's permanent range.

I have Orpheus from a previous launch and as pretty as it is, the formula is not at all creamy.  It's hard and you have to go back and forth a few times to get a decent payoff.  I typically warm it on the back of my hand before wearing it on my waterline.  I'm hoping they've improved the formula with this launch.

  • Orpheus: Black with gold pearl
  • Feline:  Rich black
MAC Kohl Power Eye Pencils, Orpheus, Feline
L-R: Orpheus, Feline

Mineralize Blushes

This collection features 3 mineralize blushes.  They are limited edition and retail for $25 each.  I am currently testing all three for you and will have reviews and swatches soon! :) How gorgeous is Simmer btw? That sweet melange of peach and rose, mmmm mmm good..

  • Exotic Ember: Burnt orange with chocolate bronze pearl
  • Simmer: Deep Rose with peachy gold pearl
  • Sweet Samba: Deep pink with tan pearl
Exotic Ember, Simmer, Sweet Samba
L-R: Exotic Ember, Simmer, Sweet Samba

Mineralize Rich Lipsticks

This collection highlights 6 mineralize rich lipsticks from MAC's permanent range with the exception of Midnight Mambo, which isn't permanent.  I hope they make it permanent because it's a *gorgeous* shade.

The lipsticks retail for $22 and are slightly larger than the regular MAC lipsticks at 0.14 oz.

  • Divine Choice: Cool bubblegum pink
  • Glamour Era: Brown with peach undertones
  • Lady at Play: Warm coral-red; this will pull more coral or red depending on your undertone.
  • Luxe Naturale: Pale peachy beige
  • Midnight Mambo: Intense violet (I bought this shade and am testing it this week.  Stay tuned for the lowdown on it)

Divine Choice, Glamour Era, Lady at Play, Luxe Naturale, Midnight Mambo
L-R: Divine Choice, Glamour Era, Lady at Play, Luxe Naturale, Midnight Mambo

Cremesheen Glass

Tropical Taboo features 4 cremesheens.  They're limited edition and retail for $20

I typically don't go for the cremesheens because I find them a bit gloopy.  Also, the wear time isn't phenomenal- they typically last between 1 to 2 hrs max on me.

If you're interested in more info. on these, here's a great review.

  • Calypso Beat: Pale neutral peach
  • Fever Isle: Bright red coral
  • Japanese Spring: Pale dirty pink
  • Narcissus: Dirty eggplant

Calypso Beat, Fever Isle, Japanese Spring, Narcissus
L-R: Calypso Beat, Fever Isle, Japanese Spring, Narcissus


Lip Pencils

This collection features 4 lip pencils.  They're limited edition shades and retail for $15.

  •  Ablaze: Bright apricot
  • Have to Have it: Soft warm beige
  • Heroine: Bright purple
  • Hip 'n' Happy: Dirty blue pink

Ablaze, Have to have it, Heroine, Hip 'n' Happy
L-R: Ablaze, Have to have it, Heroine, Hip 'n' Happy


This collection features 3 brushes from MAC's permanent line-up.

  •  187 Duo Fibre Brush; Retails for $42
  •  159 Duo Fibre Brush: Retails for $35
  • 287 Duo Fibre Eye Shadow: Retails for $32

MAC duo fibre brushes, 287, 159, 187
L-R: 187, 159, 287

Quite an extensive launch but MAC's summer launches always are!

The collection is available online on MAC and at counters in Nordstroms, Bloomingdales, Saks etc.

Stay tuned for reviews....and happy 4th of July!! 

Have a lovely weekend,

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Going, Going, Gone!

Must-buys from MAC, before they disappear


MAC and I have a bit of a love-hate relationship.  Like any self-respecting makeup addict, I adore most of their products but and there's a BIG but, I hate that they discontinue some really great products..

I was browsing MAC's website when I came across their "Goodbyes" section.  For those of you that may be unfamiliar with it, the "Goodbyes" section is where products go to die.  They're usually a combination of permanent, pro and limited edition makeup and accessories that are on their way to being discontinued.  And no, contrary to my fervent hopes, they're NEVER on sale!

I usually don't buy anything from this section because honestly, most of the products on there have good reasons for being discontinued.   The eyeshadows are either too chalky or too gritty, the lipsticks are mediocre and the blushes don't have good payoff...all good reasons to weed them out of production.

However, this time, I was stunned at the products they're discontinuing and wanted to share a few "must-haves" before they're gone.  I've already bought a few of these as backups, hoarder that I am ;)

These are the eyeshadows I recommend highly:

Jete ($15)

This shade was recently resurrected as part of the MAC By Request Collection, voted for by fans.  I'd describe Jete as a champagne base with a hint of coral/pink.  The finish is a veluxe pearl, one of my favorite finishes by MAC.  Veluxe pearls are usually buttery soft, shimmery without being gritty and are easily buildable.  Jete is very versatile neutral that can be applied as a light wash over the eyes for a workday look or packed on for a lovely evening look.  It's a shade that flatters all complexions.

MAC Jete Eyeshadow
MAC Jete eyeshadow

Samoa Silk ($15)

Samoa Silk has been a permanent fixture in MAC's repertoire of eyeshadows for years. It's a peachy orange with a veluxe finish that's matte.  It's a wonderful go-to neutral and despite being matte, isn't chalky or powdery.  I sometimes use this to set my undereye concealer- the peachiness of this shade helps to cancel out the blue in my undereye area quite nicely.

MAC Samoa Silk eyeshadow
MAC Samoa Silk eyeshadow

Kid ($15)

Kid is a warm peachy brown shade that's perfect for fair to medium-toned skin.  It's a veluxe finish, basically matte without any chalkiness.  I use this shade as a wash and also in the crease to blend deeper browns or tone down brighter shades.

MAC Kid eyeshadow
MAC Kid eyeshadow

Weathered ($21)

Part of MAC's Pro Longwear Eyeshadow collection, Weathered is an incredibly complex blue-gray shade with multi-colored shimmer.  You could wear it over a black base for a lovely duo-chrome effect or pair it with a lilac shade for a sultry smokey eye.  Either way, this shade will rock your world!

MAC Weathered eyeshadow
MAC Weathered eyeshadow

These are currently available online at MAC

I've already ordered backups of these, will you be buying any for your collection?

I'd love to hear from you :)

have a lovely week,

Friday, May 24, 2013

Product Review and Swatches: Maybelline Color Whispers in Nudes, Pinks, Reds and Plums

It's Friday, it's the end of May and it's freezing in SF.

It's so cold, I contemplated getting out of bed, putting on a winter coat and climbing back into bed...

So much for global warming...! :)

Then I realized the amount of energy I'd waste by climbing out of bed, so I asked el hub to turn on the heater.....

Now that I'm toasty and sipping my hot cuppa coffee --I take it black as night and sweet as sin--I figured I'd write the review I've been penning in my head all week...

If you follow my blog and I'm sure you do (right, right?), you'd have seen my last review on Maybelline's Color Whisper in Mocha Muse.  I've been testing all the other shades I bought this week and am finally ready to spill the beans..


The shades I bought and tested are:
  • Some like it Taupe (#15) - Similar to Mocha Muse except that there's no pink to this shade.  It's a warm, light brown with tiny gold, micro shimmer.  The shimmer is very subtle, pretty and not gritty.

  •  Lust for Blush (#25) - This one's similar to Mocha Muse except that it's much pinker.  It's a light, pink rose with more pigmentation and depth than Mocha Muse.

  • I Crave Coral (#260) - One of my new favorites, it's a bright tangerine that instantly brightens the face.  Don't be put off by the bright color in the packaging, it goes on sheer and you can build it up to get the intensity you desire.

  • Cherry on Top (#50) - Deep rose pink.  This is a cooler shade because the pink has blue undertones to it.  

  • Who wore it Red-er (#45) -The name of this shade reminded me of the TV segment, "Who wore it better"!  If you've never seen it, it's basically a segment comparing celebrities wearing the same outfit and judging who wore it better.  This is a beautiful shade that makes my teeth look so much whiter.  I'll be buying 2500 of these as backups just for that.

  • Rose of Attraction (#75) - This is a rosier version of Lust for Blush with silver micro-shimmer. The shimmer is not over the top or gritty, you won't look like a disco queen from the 80s'.

  • Berry Ready (#85) - Intense berry shade.  I was surprised at the pigmentation and richness of color in one swipe.  This one's great for nights out on the town!

  • A Plum Prospect (#100) - A light, purplish plum, less intense than Berry Ready



Some Like it Taupe

This shade slightly muted the natural tones in my lips but that's about it.  If you have highly pigmented lips, this may not show up on you.

Bare Lips

Some Like it Taupe on Lips

Lust for Blush

This came off as a cool pink with very light lilac undertones on my lips.  My natural lip color has a slight purple hue and this shade emphasized it ever so slightly. 

Bare Lips

Lust for Blush swatch
Lust for Blush on lips


I Crave Coral

This is a beautiful shade that swatched a warm coral peach on my lips.  I'll be wearing this a lot this summer.

Bare Lips

I Crave Coral swatch
I Crave Coral on lips

Cherry on Top

Bare Lips

Cherry on Top swatch
Cherry on Top on lips

Who wore it Red-er

This particular shade was more strawberry pink than red on my lips.  Still, quite pretty!

Bare Lips

Who wore it Red-er swatch
Who wore it Red-er on lips

Rose of Attraction

Bare Lips

Rose of Attraction swatch
Rose of Attraction on lips

Berry Ready

Bare lips

Berry Ready swatch
Berry Ready on lips

A Plum Prospect

Bare lips

A Plum Prospect swatch
A Plum Prospect on lips


These aren't touted as long-wearing shades, see my review on Mocha Muse for more info. on that.

That being said, the lighter shades- Some like it Taupe, Lust for Blush, I Crave Coral etc.- wore for an average of 2 hours whereas the deeper shades- Who wore it Red-er and Berry Ready- slightly stained the lips and lasted for about 3 hours.

Overall Rating

4 out of 5 stars

I found the Color Whispers to be very hydrating and buildable with the exception of Some Like it Taupe.   The texture on these is phenomenal and my lips didn't feel cakey or heavy during the entire wear time.  There are lots of beautiful color options in this range especially given the price-point and I'll be wearing them this summer and fall.

Where to buy

Check your local drugstore, CVS, Walgreens, Rite-Aid or visit Maybelline.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Product Review and Swatches: Maybelline Color Whisper in Mocha Muse

Whisper soft shades for Summer!

On a recent trip to my local Walgreens, I came across Maybelline's newest lip products- Color Whispers by Color Sensational.  The packaging was cute as were the shades so I bought a few shades to try out.  I'll be reviewing them for you over the week and if you'd like to learn more, please tune in :) 

The first shade I tried out was Mocha Muse.  For swatches and more details, please read on.


The packaging on these is very similar to the Revlon Lip Butters except that the Color Whispers seem to be in a slimmer packaging.  The cap is a translucent color similar to the actual shade of the product and I like that you can actually see the product inside.  The cap fits securely so it won't get loose and accumulate gunk in your purse (huge plus!).  The lip product is in a twist up tube which makes it easy to apply.

Maybelline Color Whisper Mocha Muse
Maybelline Color Whisper Mocha Muse
Mocha Muse
Mocha Muse


Mocha Muse is a sheer, pinky brown shade.  At one pass, it's translucent but you can definitely build up the color to get a more opaque look.  The interesting thing about this shade is that it swatched differently on my arm versus my lips. 

Mocha Muse - picture taken in daylight
Mocha Muse - picture taken in daylight


Maybelline describes the Color Whispers as pure color pigments suspended in a weightless gel delivering sexy, soft, see through color with a touch of shine, without the heavy waxes & oils found in traditional lipcolor.

I have to agree.  Mocha Muse applied like a dream and left my lips feeling moisturized and cushiony.  It's like a cross between a buttery lip balm and a lipstick.  I applied a few swipes of the product across my lips and it glided effortlessly- without any gunkiness or build-up. 


Maybelline doesn't tout these products as long wearing and with good reason.  I feel the combination of texture and pigment concentration lend to a wear time of about 2 hours.  That's how long Mocha Muse lasted on me, without eating or drinking.

If you do plan on purchasing this shade, you may need to constantly re-apply throughout the day.  Although it's not advertised as long-wearing, I'd have liked it to last for atleast 3 hours (that's how long the Revlon lip butters last on my lips, depending on the shade).


Due to its translucent nature, Mocha Muse will pull out the underlying tones of your skin.  For example, if you have yellow undertones, it may appear more "pink-coral" than pink-brown.   On my arm, it swatched as a warm tan with a slight hint of pink.  However, on my lips, it appeared very pink.  My lips naturally have a lot of pink to them and Mocha Muse emphasized that.  I applied 4 swipes of the shade to build up opacity in each swatch.

Color Whisper Mocha Muse swatch
Mocha Muse swatch on arm

Color Whisper Mocha Muse swatch on lips
Mocha Muse swatch on lips


The Color Whisper Range currently retails for $7.49 each although they may vary depending on the drugstore or online retailer you visit.  I got them for a buy one, get one half off deal at my local Walgreens so they were a bit more affordable.


4 out of 5 stars

I really enjoyed Mocha Muse despite the short wear time.  My lips felt hydrated and looked great.  I felt this shade in particular was a "my lips but better" shade and I'd recommend it if you're looking for a moisturizing, nude pink, lip balm for summer.

Where to buy

Check out your local drugstore or shop online at Maybelline.

Have you tried out the Color Whispers yet?  What's been your experience with them?

I'd love to hear from you, leave me comments or questions..

enjoy your weekend,

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How to get the Great Gatsby Look: Makeup tips and video

Art-Deco Glam


The most memorable wedding I've ever been to was an art-deco themed, flapper style wedding in a little town off the sourthern coast of Spain.  The bride wore a fantastic beaded gown, the groom looked dapper and the crowd was simply magnificent.  Everyone dressed up to the tees in historically accurate hairstyles and beaded flapper dresses and the best part was- it worked! It worked without looked campy or costumey!!

I wore a black ruffled dress, a hot pink feather boa and lots of beads while el hub dressed as a gangster with a cigar dangling from his mouth...we danced all night along.

Ok, getting back to the original reason for this post..with the release of The Great Gatsby, art-deco fashion and makeup has stepped back into the limelight.  I thought it'd be fun to put together a list of makeup tips to get you looking like a glam flapper.

Hope you enjoy stepping back in time....


1920s' Makeup

Clara Bow, Louise Brooks and Marion Davies were the original "it" girls paving the way for the signature look of the roaring twenties- Deep cupid bow lips, dramatic eyes, thinly drawn eyebrows, blushing cheeks and alabaster skin.  Face powder was used with a passion to achieve a very matte look while eyebrows were probably plucked to oblivion.  As mascara hadn't been invented, ladies used a "spitblock" to darken their lashes.  Yes, it's exactly what it sounds like and I'm so glad we don't use it today!!!

Marion Davies
Marion Davies

Clara Bow
Clara Bow

Here's what you'll need to get the look:

Lips: Deep berry or burgundy lipstick (MAC Rebel or Milani Sangria would be great choices) .  I'd draw a small cupid's bow with a berry lipliner and then use a lipstick brush to apply the lipstick. 

Eyes: Dark gray eyeshadow or a deep cool brown (without any red tones).  Sweep across the lid and buff up towards crease.  Interestingly, the twenties were all for droopy eyes instead of the lift that we aspire towards today!  Apply the dark eyeshadow along the lower lashline too so that the eyes look rimmed.  You're shooting for "owlish" eyes, I kid you not..

Brows: If you have thick, hairy brows (mine are like chubby caterpillars),you can conceal them with a heavy cake concealer or wax based concealer.  Set them with powder before drawing on the eyebrows.  If you have thin brows, you could try "soaping" to get the hairs to lie flat.  Take a bar of soap, add a few drops of water to it and using a spoolie, gently apply the soapy lather to your eyebrows.  MUAs all over the world use it on runways and fashion shoots because it works! Conceal using your regular concealer and then using powder or pencil, draw thin arching eyebrows across the eyebrow, extending slightly lower at the ends to get the "droopy" look.

Face:  Cameras were ancient back in the twenties and starlets applied tons of cake makeup on their faces to highlight their features.  If you don't have a cake based foundation, thinly apply 2-3 layers of liquid foundation instead.  Use a lot of powder, preferably one or two shades lighter than your skin, to set.  Sweep a bright pink or peach blush on the apples of your cheeks- don't take them beyond the apples/sweep them along your cheekbones towards your ears.  Milani's Coralina or Dolce Pink blushes are great, inexpensive choices for this look.

 Here's a helpful tutorial I found on YouTube that nicely demonstrates the techniques used to achieve the classic 1920s' look:

Have fun with this look and let me know if you're looking forward to the movie..I know, I am...

have a beautiful week,

Monday, May 13, 2013

Dior Bird of Paradise Collection- Summer 2013

Ready to soar through Latin America?


Christian Dior's passion for the luxuriant, tropical nature and animals of Latin America and Brazil inspired Dior's Summer 2013 collection.  The Bird of Paradise collection embraces the lush vibrancy of nature and brings us eyeshadow palettes featuring shimmering shades in aquatic blues, verdant greens and hints of buttery yellow for truly exotic eyes.  The collection also has two new Dior Addict lipsticks inspired by the warmth of the tropics.

Check out the promo and product pics below-


This gorgeous collection features the following products:

Diorskin Nude Tan BB Creme 

Dior infused its original BB Creme with a natural bronzing agent and hydrating ingredients like jisten, mauve and hibiscus, as well as green, red and white tea extracts that work to illuminate the skin.  What I like about this product is that compared to the original Diorskin BB Creme, this version has SPF 15.
Bronzing power coupled with UV protection, yes please!

The BB creme retails for $44 and is available in 2 shades:

01: golden, yellow undertone

02: bronzy, pink undertone

Diorskin Nude Tan BB creme
Diorskin Nude Tan BB creme

BB creme swatch 02
BB creme swatch 01

Diorskin Nude Tan Paradise Duo

This is a limited edition product that combines bronzer and blush.  Temptalia has an excellent review on these if you'd like to learn more.  From my research, it seems as they're fairly similar looking once applied so you may not need to purchase both.

The duo retails for $56 and is available in 2 shades:

Pink Glow
Coral Glow

Diorskin Nude Tan- Pink Glow
Diorskin Nude Tan- Pink Glow
Diorskin Nude Tan- Coral Glow
Diorskin Nude Tan- Coral Glow

5 Couleurs Eyeshadow

These products are limited edition and feature satin finish eyeshadows embossed in Dior's signature logo and pattern.

Each palette retails for $60 and is available in 2 versions:
Peacock- green, dark blue-green, light chartreuse, turquoise blue and buttery yellow/champagne
Blue Lagoon- light, medium and dark blue with shimmer finish

Dior 5 Couleurs Peacock
Dior 5 Couleurs Peacock
Dior 5 Couleurs Blue Lagoon
Dior 5 Couleurs Blue Lagoon

Dior Vernis Nail Lacquer Duo

These are mini nail polish duos that feature a cream finish nail polishes and a metallic finish one as well.

Each duo retails for $29 and is available in the following shades:

Samba: Features a metallic finish blue-green nail polish similiar to Chanel Azure and a cream finish in a muted, milky green base.
Bahia:  Features two cream nail polishes in petrol blue and hibiscus pink.

Dior Vernis Bahia
Dior Vernis Bahia

Dior Vernis Samba
Dior Vernis Samba


Jelly Lip Pens

Dior describes them as "Jelly Balms," with the color and sheen of lip gloss and the moisturizing benefits of a lip balm.  They're jumbo lip pencils and they look similar to the ones by Tarte, Clinique and Revlon.

Each jelly lip pen retails for $26 and comes in 3 shades:

Copacabana: Shimmery brown-pink
Carioca: Peachy, orange with a slight gold sheen
Gaia: Rose-pink
Jelly Lip Pen Copacabana
Jelly Lip Pen Copacabana
Jelly Lip Pen Carioca
Jelly Lip Pen Carioca
Jelly Lip Pen Gaia
Jelly Lip Pen Gaia

Dior Addict Lip Maximiser

According to Dior, this peachy, apricot lip gloss boosts volume instantly and restructures in the long term due to a blend of hyaluronic and marine-based fillers that smooth, moisturize and plump lips.  For those sensitive to fragrance, it does have a mint-vanilla scent.

It retails for $31.

Dior Addict Lip Maximiser
Dior Addict Lip Maximiser

Diorshow Liner

This is a long-lasting, waterproof liner that comes in a retractable pen form.

It currently retails for $29 and is only available in Aqua green.

Diorshow Liner Aqua Green
Diorshow Liner Aqua Green

Dior Addict Lipsticks

Dior adds two new shades to it's pre-existing line of Addict lipsticks.  If you're new to Dior Addict lipsticks, they are high shine, semi-transparent, moisturizing lipsticks that are extremely comfortable to wear.

The two new shades retail for $31 each and come in the following colors:

Exotique: Warm coral pink
Passionnee:  Bright blue based pink

Dior Addict Exotique
Dior Addict Exotique
Dior Addict Passionnee
Dior Addict Passionnee

This is a fairly large rollout by Dior and the color palette is perfect for a glowy summer look.

The entire collection is available online at Sephora, Nordstroms, Bloomingdales and Dior.

Will you be getting any of these products?  Are there any "must-buys" on your wishlist?

I'm still debating on whether I want to invest in these as I already have similar shades--and I need to stop buying makeup every week :)

Have a wonderful week,