Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Urban Decay Matte Revolution Lipstick in Stark Naked, 1993, Bittersweet, and After Dark


A couple months ago, Urban Decay released a new lipstick formula called Matte Revolution. It is described as "a super-creamy, non-drying matte lipstick in an array of intensely-pigmented shades." The Matte Revolution formula "is enriched by Urban Decay's proprietary Pigment Infusion System, giving it an ultra-creamy texture, high-pigmentation, and optimum colour pay off. Shea butter and a nourishing blend of avocado, olive, and babassu oils deeply condition lips while illipe butter provides long-lasting hydration. Lastly, vitamin C and E deliver a dose of antioxidants to lips." They are scent- and taste-free. The packaging "features organically-shaped facets, and comes in pearlescent black design — setting this matte version apart from their original and sheer formulas. The trimline-style component supports the soft, creamy formula and prevents breakage while providing full-lip coverage in a single swipe." Each Matte Revolution Lipstick comes with 2.8 grams of product, and retails for $26.

Stark Naked, 1993, Bittersweet, and After Dark

Stark Naked, 1993, Bittersweet, and After Dark

Stark Naked is a light-medium warm muted peach-beige in a velvet-matte finish. This is a permanent shade. The texture is soft and creamy, and it goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It is darker than MAC Peachstock, lighter and more peach than NARS Barbara, and more peach than Bite Beauty Amaretto.
1993 is a medium-dark warm muted rosy taupe-brown in a satin finish. This is a permanent shade. The texture is soft and creamy, and it goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It is more brown than MAC Whirl, lighter and warmer than MAC Verve, and darker and more brown than Bobbi Brown Uber Nude.
Bittersweet is a medium cool muted orchid purple in a satin finish. This is a permanent shade. The texture is soft and creamy, and it goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It is more pink than MAC Men Love Mystery, and more purple than NARS Sylvia, and slightly darker and more matte than Bite Beauty Violet.
After Dark is a medium-dark cool brightened magenta-berry in a velvet-matte finish. This is a permanent shade. The texture is soft and creamy, and it goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It is slightly more muted and more matte than MAC Rebel, similar though more matte than NARS Fanny, and lighter than Tom Ford Black Orchid.

If you like the smooth creaminess of Urban Decay's original Revolution lipsticks but wanted a longer wearing, more matte formula, then this is the answer. All four shades here went on beautifully: super evenly with full colour pay-off, and no bleeding or feathering or emphasizing lip texture. I don't find them to be particularly hydrating, but I never once felt that my lips were dry. They're comfortable to wear, and last about five (for lighter shades) to eight (for darker/brighter shades) hours on the lips. They do have some slip and I actually find these to have more of a satin or velvet finish from the get-go, but they do dry down to a matte finish after an hour or so. (If you were looking for a seriously ultra-matte lipstick, then I'd look at MAC's Retro Matte finish or Kat Von D's Studded Kiss lipsticks instead.) In terms of formulation, I'd say these are the most similar to NARS Audacious. The colour range is pretty limited right now (nine shades available at Sephora, with two more shades exclusive to UD's website), but it's well-curated and widely flattering. For those who want a cheaper alternative to NARS Audacious, these are well worth trying.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Makeup and Beauty Blog: Monday Poll, Vol. 388

This week's Monday Poll:
  1. Are you more polished or punk rock? These days, I'm definitely more on the polished side of things, at least aesthetically. But I like to think I still have a punk rock mentality.

  2. Houndstooth or leopard print? I think it depends on what it is. Like, I have a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors in a houndstooth knit, but then I have leopard-print scarves... However, I do think I am naturally more attracted to houndstooth.

  3. Buns or braids? Buns. Well, one sloppy bun. I'm not opposed to braids, but I just can't be bothered with them.

  4. When was the last time you wore false lashes? I think sometime last year? I was doing an artistry event and wanted fuller looking lashes so I thought I'd break the habit and try some falsies... And I hate 'em. My lashes are already really long on their own and kinda heavy with the amount of mascara I use (three coats, baby), so adding falsies made me feel like I couldn't keep my eyes open. It's funny, I put false lashes on other people all the time, sometimes multiple times a day, but I just hate wearing them myself. They're just generally uncomfortable to wear. I don't know how some people do this everyday.

  5. Something that made you laugh over the weekend? I am currently suffering from acute bronchitis, so I'm trying my best not to laugh because I'll cough and choke. But there were some parts of China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan (the sequel to Crazy Rich Asians that I just finished last night) that made me crack up. Old Chinese ladies are ridiculous.

Canadian National Exhibition: Summer 2015

My friend Ronsee and I made our annual trip to The Ex yesterday. As you may already know, we only go to The Ex for the sole purpose of eating. So we got there at 5:30, and bee-lined straight for the Food Building. This year's food offerings didn't seem as weird or fantastical as some other years (I think many food vendors are being way more cautious after the maple bacon cronut debacle two years ago), but we did find some real gems (and one major disappointment).

Bad Boy Burger from Bub's Badass Burgers

The first thing on our list was a Bad Boy Burger: A spicy beef patty, a piece of honey garlic fried chicken, pepper jack cheese, wasabi cucumber, hickory sticks, tomato, sriracha mayo, and buttermilk coleslaw, in between two Jamaican beef patties. The components worked really well together. It had a good amount of flavour, with the pepper jack cheese, wasabi cucumber, and sriracha mayo giving a nice kick, though the Jamaican beef patty does overwhelm some of the other flavours in some bites. The honey garlic fried chicken is a nice touch to this, though; it's tender on the inside and crispy on the outside, with a nice tangy-sweet flavour that works well with the spice. If you like Jamaican beef patties and you like burgers, this one is really worth trying out. 

Garlic snow crab fries from Jake's Lobster

There's a new item at Jake's Lobster this year: garlic snow crab fries. A box of fresh-cut fries topped with generous chunks of sweet crab meat, drizzled with garlic aioli, a pinch of dill and parsley, and a squeeze of lemon. Honestly, this was probably my favourite item of the night. You can always tell how popular an item is by the line-up outside the vendor booth, and I think this one had the longest line-up. (I felt kinda bad for their sister booth, Pull'd, which was insanely busy in previous years but is practically dead with everyone lining up next door at Jake's instead. I guess no one cares about pulled pork anymore.) It's better than all the other French fry offerings I've had at The Ex. This is something I'd order regularly at a restaurant if it were available. 

Poutine Balls from Vienna

Of course, we couldn't leave without having a poutine of some sort, you know? Vienna is offering Poutine Balls this year, which is a bit like "poutine inception." The Balls have a centre of cheese curd that is wrapped in mashed potato, rolled in bread crumbs, and deep-fried. And then they're topped off with more cheese curds and rich Bavarian-style gravy. Actually really tasty, though I wish the gravy were hotter — it’s meant to melt the cheese curds, but the whole thing was lukewarm at best. 

Chicken Waffle on a Stick from Mr. Mike

We were really excited to try the chicken waffle on a stick: chicken tenders coated in waffle batter, deep-fried to golden brown, and dunked in maple syrup (you can also have it dusted with icing sugar and drizzled with hot sauce, if you so wish). This was by far the biggest disappointment of the evening, and possibly the worst thing I've ever had at The Ex. The chicken was so dry, I could barely swallow it without the aid of water, and the entire thing was completely tasteless. I wish they had drenched the thing in maple syrup because at least then there would be some flavour. Don't waste your time with this. I am pissed, because I could've been eating bacon-wrapped grilled cheese sandwiches from Bacon Nation instead. 

Deep-fried cheesecake from Pickle Pete's

We decided to have dessert in the midway after taking some time to walk around and digest, and the main dessert item on our list was deep-fried cheesecake, which is new this year. It's essentially a slice of New York cheesecake wrapped in a tortilla and deep-fried. It tastes like a warm cream cheese-stuffed churro, drizzled with chocolate and tossed with cinnamon sugar, and it's pretty awesome. It takes some work to find because it's tucked away in a corner of the midway, but it's worth it. 

Coffee and Doughnut Milkshake from Fran's

We ended our night back at the Food Building right before it closed to get a Coffee and Doughnut Milkshake from Fran's. It tastes exactly like tiramisu in custard-thick milkshake form, and it's freaking delightful. It's extremely rich and makes you full really fast, so I suggest sharing with someone. Ronsee and I managed to finish about 3/4 of it before having to toss it. But it does make for a very delicious shareable dessert. And a great ending to our CNE food journey this year. 


Canadian National Exhibition
200 Princes' Boulevard
Toronto, ON M6K 3C3
(416) 393-6300

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sunday Video Love: In For the Kill


I randomly stumbled onto this video on a late-night YouTube binge session and it's one of the best covers I've ever heard, which I don't say lightly given how many thousands (millions?) of covers are on the Internet. I love La Roux covers because there are so many different ways of interpreting their music, and this is the perfect case in point: this version gives the song an entirely different passion, mood, and intensity than the original. Also, this girl is one hell of a powerhouse singer; imagine Amy Lee, Hayley Williams, and Lzzy Hale rolled into one. It's ridiculous this band hasn't been signed yet.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Saturday Nine: Viva La Vida (2008)

This week's Saturday Nine:
  1. The song refers to the singing of choirs. Have you ever been in a choir or a vocal group? I was in choir in elementary school, but it was mandatory.

  2. Chris Martin sings of when he "ruled the world." If you were in charge and had infinite power, what would you change right away? Sustainable drinking water for everyone. And ending famine. Let's get everyone's basic human needs sorted out first.

  3. Chris used to be married to actress Gwyneth Paltrow. USA Today, The Washington Post and The Daily Telegraph have all run articles about how Gwyneth seems to annoy so very many people. What celebrity gets on your nerves? Kylie Jenner. Also, Kanye West. Proof that you cannot buy class.

  4. Coldplay's first big hit was, "Yellow." What colour are you wearing right now? Dark grey shirt and black lounge pants.

  5. Sam remembers when she used to hear this song everywhere and can't believe that was 7 years ago! When is the last time you had a similar "my, how time flies!" moment? Um, when I got a Facebook invitation to my ten-year high school reunion last year.

  6. In 2008, when "Viva la Vida" was popular, John Grisham's latest legal thriller, The Appeal, was jumping off bookshelves. What have you read this summer? I read like, two to three novels a week, so I've read a lot this summer, but I just finished reading Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan, and now I'm reading the sequel that just came out, China Rich Girlfriend.

  7. Thinking of books: Let's say a biographer has taken the task of writing your biography. What would you title your life story? "Makeup Hoarder Extraordinaire (and Wannabe Foodie)."

  8. 2008 is also the year Paul Newman died of cancer. Name a Newman movie. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

  9. Random question: Do you like garlic? Yep, as long as it's cooked. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Pick-Ups & Deliveries: August 2015

You might have noticed that I didn't have a haul for July, and that's because I was being a really good girl and didn't buy anything (that I didn't need). I spent so much over May and June that I was really trying to cut back on spending, and I was trying to keep this more "thrifty" lifestyle until I saw that Ebates was having 8% cash back at Sephora. And that's when my self-imposed ban lifted.

Surratt Beauty Artistique Blush in La Vie en Rose, Ponceau, and Parfait

Viseart Eyeshadow Palette in Neutral Mattes, Sultry Muse, and Bridal Satin

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara, Naked Skin Concealer in Medium Dark Warm, and Matte Revolution Lipstick in After Dark, Bittersweet, 1993, and Stark Naked

I have been eyeing Surratt's blushes for the better part of a year, and I finally caved and bought the three shades that were on my wishlist. I decided that I wasn't gonna wait until the VIB sale because they're just gonna sell out in like, a minute (like last time), so I might as well take advantage of the higher cash back percentage from Ebates. I'm still wavering on whether or not to get the empty palette; they're expensive and not magnetized, but on the other hand, they are cute and given that the blushes are so small and delicate, I kind of do want a palette to put them in. We'll see how much I care about this in like, a month. I also caved and got the coveted Viseart eyeshadow palettes that I'd been contemplating over for the last few months. My first thought was that they are expensive for non-customizable eyeshadow palettes at $80 a pop. But then I realized that it ends up being $6.67 per eyeshadow and it contains a whopping 24 grams of product. So, you know. I bought three. Finally, I got four shades of Urban Decay's new Matte Revolution Lipstick (review coming up), a new tube of my favourite Perversion Mascara, as well as a new Naked Skin Concealer in a darker shade because despite not spending long periods of time outside, I am somehow tanned.

MAC Haute Dogs Mineralize Rich Lipsticks

MAC Haute Dogs Mineralize Eyeshadow Quad in Pure Bred

MAC Haute Dogs Brushes in #161, #139, and #288

MAC Lightful C Marine-Bright Formula Softening Lotion and Essence

I put in an order with MAC to replenish my Lightful C Softening Lotion and Essence (which I still think is MAC's most underrated range of products) and for some of the new Haute Dogs collection. Aside from the lipsticks and eyeshadow quad that I reviewed last week, I also picked up all three of the limited edition brushes that launched with this collection (they are freakin' beautiful, and if you are a brush fiend like me, you need to check these out). Honestly, if there's one thing to pick up from the Haute Dogs collection, I'd say it's any of the brushes, but especially the #139. It's good for liquids or powders, blushes, highlighters, foundations, whatever. It's super-duper soft, more so than MAC's permanent duo fibre brushes, and it gives such a gorgeous airbrushed look. I might have to get a second one... 

Simple Traditions Whipped Soap in Lilac, Blackberry Sage, Caribbean Coconut, Coconut Lime, and Lemongrass Verbena

Hare Polish Nail Lacquer in For Margot Tenenbaum, Bisbee 2.0, Desperately Seeking Blue Skies, Rosa Meditativa, and Attack of the Army from Albiorix

Finally, I did some Etsy shopping! I'm not a hardcore Etsy browser, but sometimes I'll find myself getting sick of what the mainstream retailers are selling and wanting to look at more unique items. You can find some amazing hand-crafted products and help indie retailers along the way, so it's really a win-win. I found this ultra-cute fresh handmade bath and body shop called Simple Traditions, and was immediately intrigued by their whipped soaps. There's great ratings and reviews for them, so I bought five different ones. The texture is amazing (as the name implies, they are whipped, so it's airy and creamy at the same time), the foaming ability is incredible (you know how I like my foam), and the scents are unbelievable. No regrets on the five I chose, but my favourites are Blackberry Sage (fresh, sweet, and tart) and Lemongrass Verbena (smells exactly like a lemon cupcake). So worth checking out if you're interested in some new body products; I can't find any other product like this in regular stores. I also checked out Hare Polish since it's been a while since I last saw their offerings, and ended up ordering five new shades (um, how much do I love the name "For Margot Tenenbaum"?). I get bored of nail polish shades really easily because I find that all companies just end up copying each other so I rarely find anything really unique or interesting in stores. But Hare Polish never disappoints me with their creations.


What did you buy this month? Do you have any favourite Etsy shops?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunday Video Love: Leave A Trace


It has been two years since CHVRCHES released their debut album, and they've gotten huge since then (seriously, I hear "The Mother We Share" playing at restaurants, "We Sink" at make-up counters and Sephora, "Lies" at clothing stores, and of course, "Dead Air" was featured on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay soundtrack). So we've been waiting with bated breath for new material, and they finally released the music video for their new single last week. If it's any indication, the new album still has CHVRCHES' signature synth-pop background with passive-aggressive lyrics, but with bigger production and a more mature, confident, atmospheric sound. I can't wait for their second album to launch next month, and to finally see them live in October.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Saturday Nine: Hello, Dolly! (1964)

This week's Saturday Nine:
  1. This song is about a woman returning to the town where she was happiest. How many towns have you lived in? Technically, three different areas of one city (the Greater Toronto Area); one for 20 years, one for one year, and I have lived where I am now for seven years.

  2. Crazy Sam played Ernestina in her high school production of Hello, Dolly! and still remembers one of her lines: "Hey, you with the big ears! What are you doing after the show?" Tell us something that you memorized for school that is still rattling around in your brain? I have only ever had one detention in my life (I think maybe Grade 10?), and it was an English teacher that was heading it, and she made us memorize and recite Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 individually before we could leave detention. I still remember the first eight lines: 
    Let me not to the marriage of true minds
    Admit impediments. Love is not love
    Which alters when it alteration finds,
    Or bends with the remover to remove:
    O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
    That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
    It is the star to every wandering bark,
    Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.

  3. This week's featured artist, Louis Armstrong, got his start entertaining diners on riverboat dinner cruises. Have you ever taken a dinner cruise? No... but I have had many dinners on cruises. Those midnight buffets were indeed wondrous.

  4. Armstrong took his nickname, "Satchmo," from "Satchel Mouth" — a slang term for someone with a wide mouth, which Louis believed was his most distinguishing feature. What do you think people notice first about you? Usually my eyes.

  5. In 1936, Louis became the first African American to get featured billing in a Hollywood movie. Have you seen any of this summer's big movies? I don't watch a lot of movies in the theatres anymore, but I did watch Ted 2 and Trainwreck. What can I say, when I go out to watch a film these days, I want something stupid and light-hearted.

  6. When "Hello, Dolly" composer Jerry was growing up, he was close to an aunt named Belle who encouraged his love of music. Tell us about one of your aunts or uncles. My dad's sister married my mom's brother, so I am related on both sides of the family to their children (my first cousins).

  7. Though famous for composing the scores of Hello, Dolly!, Mame and La Cage Aux Folles, Jerry Herman can't read music. Can you? I used to be able to read both treble and bass clefs because I played piano until I was 10, but then I switched over to violin (which I played until I was 18), so I can only read treble clef now.

  8. Now retired, Mr. Herman lives in Miami. This is Miami's "wet season," which lasts into October. When did it last rain where you are? There was a thunderstorm a couple days ago.

  9. Random question: Have you suffered a sunburn this summer? No. I don't think I ever have. But nowadays, I don't spend enough time in the sun to possibly get one. I do have a wicked driver's tan, though.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

MAC Haute Dogs: Mineralize Rich Lipsticks


Today, MAC released their first Fall colour collection called Haute Dogs: "(Wo)man's best friend is barking up the right tree in a well-groomed collection of new canine-inspired hues from MAC... From aristocratic to collars-off cool, shades of every pooch are perched to prime your every mood." The collection includes a total of 33 products, and sees the launch of five new and limited edition shades of Mineralize Rich Lipstick, which is described as having "a luxurious formula and gorgeous colour, enhanced with a 77-Mineral Moist Complex that provides lips with nourishment and lasting hydration. The impact is instant — softer, smoother, more supple lips that are luminous and shiny." Each bullet is made larger at the base and is cut at a steeper angle to give the product more surface area which enables it to lay down more product in one swipe. Like all MAC lipsticks, they are vanilla-scented but taste-free. They are packaged in a black hourglass-shaped case with a magnetic closure. Each Mineralize Rich Lipstick comes with 3.6 grams of product, and retails for $27. These are not applicable for the Back to MAC recycling program.

Barking Gorgeous, Fashion Pack, Rare Breed, Nose for Style, and Labradorable

Barking Gorgeous, Fashion Pack, Rare Breed, Nose for Style, and Labradorable

Barking Gorgeous is a light warm peach-beige with a soft sheen and fine pearlized pigments in a creamy finish. This is a new and limited edition shade. The texture is soft and creamy with a lightweight consistency, and it goes on smoothly and evenly. It has medium-high pigmentation and semi-opaque to opaque buildable colour pay-off. It is lighter than Shy Girl, darker and more peach than Creme d'Nude, and more peach than Pure Zen.
Fashion Pack is a light warm pinked beige with a soft sheen and fine pearlized pigments in a creamy finish. This is a new and limited edition shade. The texture is soft and creamy with a lightweight consistency, and it goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It is slightly darker and more pink than Luxe Naturale, similar to Japanese Maple, and lighter than Creme Cup.
Rare Breed is a light-medium muted warm rosy beige with a soft sheen and fine pearlized pigments in a creamy finish. This is a new and limited edition shade. The texture is soft and creamy with a lightweight consistency, and it goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It is darker than Pure Pout, lighter and more pink than Posh Tone, more pigmented and less sparkly than Viva Glam V.
Nose for Style is a medium-dark muted warm claret red with a soft sheen and fine pearlized pigments in a creamy finish. This is a new and limited edition shade. The texture is soft and creamy with a lightweight consistency, and it goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It is more brown than All Out Gorgeous, more muted and more brown than Dare You, and lighter and more muted than Dubonnet.
Labradorable is a dark cool berry wine with a soft sheen and fine pearlized pigments in a creamy finish. This is a new and limited edition shade. The texture is soft and creamy with a lightweight consistency, and it goes on smoothly and evenly. It has medium-high pigmentation and semi-opaque to opaque buildable colour pay-off. It is darker than Lush Life, darker and less red than Hang-Up, and sheerer than Dark Side.

For fans of Mineralize Rich Lipstick, here are five shades that are perfect to bring you into Fall. Of course, there are three nude shades in this launch and they're suitable for wear all-year-round, but they go well with the colour story of this collection and with dark, smoky eyes that the Haute Dogs palettes are promoting. Barking Gorgeous is great for light to medium warm complexions, Fashion Pack is great for fair to light cool complexions, and Rare Breed is a great MLBB for fair to medium complexions and a lovely nude for medium-dark to dark complexions. Nose for Style and Labradorable are quite typical shades for launches this time of year, but I do think they're unique for the Mineralize Rich Lipstick range; Nose for Style is more muted and much warmer than the reds in the permanent range (great for fans of Dare You, Dubonnet, and Viva Glam I), and Labradorable marks the darkest, vampiest shade released in this formula so far (great for fans of Hang-Up, Dark Side, and Media). The Mineralize Rich Lipstick is meant to be MAC's "luxury lipstick" with its soft, lightweight gel-based formula, sleek magnetized tube, and higher price point. The moment you swipe this lipstick on, you immediately notice that it's whisper light, soft and creamy, and pigmented to boot. And for the duration of wear, lips actually feel soft and hydrated. Moreover, this formula has a very impressive wear time considering how light and creamy it is; I get an average of four to five hours of wear before needing to re-apply, with darker and brighter shades leaving a slight stain. Those looking for a lightweight, more hydrating lipstick from MAC should look into the Mineralize Rich formula.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

MAC Haute Dogs: Pure Bred Mineralize Eyeshadow Quad


Tomorrow, MAC will be releasing their first Fall colour collection called Haute Dogs: "(Wo)man's best friend is barking up the right tree in a well-groomed collection of new canine-inspired hues from MAC... From aristocratic to collars-off cool, shades of every pooch are perched to prime your every mood." The collection includes a total of 33 products, and sees the launch of three Mineralize Eyeshadow Quads, of which two are new and limited edition, and one is permanent. Mineralize Eyeshadows are described as "a powder formula of refined baked minerals that provides ultra-lightweight coverage... Apply it dry for low to medium coverage with a shimmery finish, or wet for more intense coverage and colour." Each Mineralize Eyeshadow Quad comes in a black round mirrored compact, contains a total of 2 grams of product (0.5 grams per each godet), and retails for $55.

Pure Bred

Pure Bred

Pure Bred #1 is a light cool-toned beige in a metallic finish. It has a soft, silky, finely-milled texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It looks the same used both wet or dry. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is less pink than Phloof!, less golden than Dazzlelight, and lighter and more metallic than Shroom.
Pure Bred #2 is a light-medium peachy beige in a metallic finish. It has a soft, silky, finely-milled texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has medium-high pigmentation and semi-opaque to opaque buildable colour pay-off. When used wet, the colour becomes more saturated and a touch more metallic. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is similar to All That Glitters, slightly lighter and less bronze than Sweet Heat, and darker than Naked Lunch.
Pure Bred #3 is a medium-dark warm coppered berry-plum with silver sparkle in a metallic finish. It has a soft, silky, finely-milled texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has medium-high pigmentation and semi-opaque to opaque buildable colour pay-off. When used wet, the colour becomes more saturated and more metallic. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is more sparkly and more copper than Cranberry, darker and more reddened than Star Violet, and darker and warmer than A Medley of Mauves #2.
Pure Bred #4 is a dark warm muted chocolate brown in a satin finish. It has a soft, silky, finely-milled texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has medium-high pigmentation and semi-opaque to opaque buildable colour pay-off. When used wet, the colour becomes more saturated and more frosted. It is darker and less metallic than Bronze, less plum than A Medley of Mauves #4, and darker and more reddened than Havana.

It seems like MAC is really working hard on improving existing formulas, because this is by far the best Mineralize Eyeshadow Quad I've come across in terms of texture and colour pay-off. Whereas some of the permanent quads are grittier and sheerer, all four shades in Pure Bred go on really smoothly whether used wet or dry, and have nearly opaque colour pay-off across the board. I find that the typical Mineralize Eyeshadow Quad will have a pretty big difference in colour pay-off when used wet and when used dry, but the four shades here look almost exactly the same when used either way. They also apply a lot smoother and blend out a lot easier, making them much more user-friendly than many of the other existing quads. It seems like they've used a different binding agent for this quad, too, because they adhere a lot better to the skin without primer and wear longer as a result (about eight hours without fading). For fans of baked eyeshadows, this quad is definitely worth checking out. And for those who had previously written off MAC's Mineralize Eyeshadow Quads, this might actually change your mind.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Makeup and Beauty Blog: Monday Poll, Vol. 386

This week's Monday Poll:
  1. Mountains or ocean? Ultimately, I'd say the ocean because it's so free and vast and calming, and I love the sound of waves. Ironically, I don't like beaches because I don't like heat or sand... but I do love the water itself.

  2. In my opinion, if you want to be successful at something, you have to be __________. Driven, intelligent, passionate, open-minded, and personable.

  3. Places where you feel safe? In my house. It's the one place where I can be totally myself, where I won't be judged, and where I have the most control.

  4. What's your stance on wearing rhinestones on your face? If you like it, then do it and rock it with confidence. I just see it as an extension of make-up, really. Of course, on that same note, I do think there's a time and a place to wear rhinestones on your face. Like, if you have an office job, maybe leave them at home.

  5. Have you ever had your tarot cards read? Yes, several times. I had a friend who used to invite me to hang out at her apartment, and if she was feeling clear-headed, she'd cleanse and read tarot cards for me. Like with palm-reading, you have to take it with a grain of salt, but it's very intriguing.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sunday Video Love: Bad Blood (A Cappella)


Okay, I know, I know, you're sick of this song, everyone's sick of this song... but this kid is talented (yes, it is one person multiplied by five, so his video editing skills are good, too!) and this cover is just too awesome to overlook.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Saturday Nine: Stay With Me (2014)

This week's Saturday Nine:
  1. Sam Smith explains that this song is about just not wanting to wake up alone. How about you? Are you comfortable being by yourself? Honestly, I love being by myself. I think I have to socialize so much in my work life that I really prefer solitude on my days off. I mean, I go out with friends for dinner and whatnot, but when I'm at home, I love being alone. I always have to spend at least one of my days off per week by myself.

  2. Last year a lawsuit filed by Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, who maintained that "Stay with Me" was really just "I Won't Back Down." Petty and Lynne won. Have you ever served on a jury? No, and I don't know anyone who has. 

  3. Smith performed this on The David Letterman Show. Did you watch Dave's final episode last May? No, I'm not big on late night shows, and I've never been that into David Letterman (or Sam Smith, now that I think about it). I watch segments of some late night shows on YouTube sometimes, and the only one I really enjoy is Jimmy Fallon.

  4. Smith says his style was influenced by ladies with "massive voices," including Adele, Amy Winehouse, Chaka Kahn, and Whitney Houston. Of those four, which do you listen to most often? I guess Adele, because at one point, that's all anyone was playing everywhere I went, so I didn't really have a say in it (honestly, I could live a happy life without listening to "Rolling in the Deep" ever again). But on my own, I play Amy Winehouse the most out of those four artists.

  5. Speaking of style, Mr. Smith is a smart dressed man who looks comfortable and dapper as he walks the red carpet in a tux. Do you enjoy getting dressed up for special occasions? In makeup, yes. In clothing, no. I rarely ever go to special occasions, anyway, so it's normally fine that I don't have lots of fancy clothing... but I feel like I will need to invest in more in the near future because I'm just at that age now where I have to go to more and more weddings.

  6. "Occasions" is a word that makes Crazy Sam stumble because she can never remember how to spell it correctly. Are you a good speller? Yes. English was my best academic subject in high school (I even majored in English Literature for a year in university before I realized that it was useless to what I wanted to do for a living), and I read a lot of novels now, so I'm kind of nuts about spelling and grammar.

  7. Sam Smith was born on May 19, which makes him a Taurus. When did you last check your horoscope? It's been a while, maybe half a year or more. I believe more in the Eastern zodiac than the Western one, in any case.

  8. Tauruses are supposed to be reliable, organized and ambitious. Do any of those three adjectives describe you? I am reliable and quietly ambitious, though I should work more on organization. I mean, I am organized to a certain extent but I usually get overwhelmed or lazy and then I procrastinate on it. For example, I have piles of makeup from like, a year ago that still need to get divvied up into my drawers.

  9. Random question: Look at the floor. Do you see carpet, rug, hard wood or tile? Carpet.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Ardency Inn Modster Manuka Honey Enriched Pigments in Disco, Orchid, and Hell


When I first heard of Ardency Inn's Modster Manuka Honey Enriched Pigments almost exactly a year ago, I was set in trying to get all 12 shades. But, of course, there was a lot of hype around them and many of the shades were never in stock (I still can't get my hands on Royal, a deep purple shade that really put the spotlight on this formula). These appeared all over beauty blogs and YouTube videos, and regardless of whether you tried getting them in store or online, at least half of the shades were always sold out. So, yes, it took me about a year to get nine shades. I told myself that I wouldn't post about these until I got all of them, but now that they are being pulled out of Canada entirely, I decided to forget about getting the last three shades and just to post these now. The reason I'm still posting this is because Ardency Inn will still be carried in its entirety in the US (on their own website as well as Sephora), so they're technically still available to purchase (only the liquid liner appears on the Sephora Canada site now). They are described as "a collection of organic and mineral pressed pigments enriched with mānuka honey," which is "a mono floral honey produced in New Zealand and Australia from the nectar of the Mānuka tree, [and] was used for the first time in a colour cosmetic formulation to provide unparalleled creaminess and staying power." Each Pigment comes in a black clear-lidded plastic pot with 1.7 grams of product, and retails for $21 USD.

Disco, Orchid, and Hell

Disco, Orchid, and Hell

Disco is a medium-dark cool-toned silvered purple in a metallic finish. It is a permanent shade. It has a soft but thin texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has medium-high pigmentation and semi-opaque colour pay-off. It is cooler and less sparkly than MAC Black Grape, more muted than MAC Grand Galaxy, lighter and more silver than Makeup Geek Caitlin Rose, more purple than Makeup Geek Mesmerized, cooler and more silver than Urban Decay Rapture, and more muted and more silver than Urban Decay Psychedelic Sister.
Orchid is a medium vibrant cool-toned fuchsia-violet with blue-violet shimmer-sheen in a frosted finish. It is a permanent shade. It has a soft, almost buttery texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is darker and brighter than MAC Stars 'n' Rockets and Urban Decay Fishnet, brighter than MAC Pink Pearl Pigment, lighter and more pink than Makeup Geek Masquerade, and brighter and more blue-toned than Make Up For Ever ME912 Orchid.
Hell is a dark warm taupe-brown with a grey pearl in a metallic finish. It is a permanent shade. It has a soft, almost buttery texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It can be layered and blended out easily. It is darker and more reddened than MAC Satin Taupe, darker and greyer than MAC Mulch, slightly more reddened than Urban Decay Hustle, more grey than Urban Decay Lost, richer and more metallic than Makeup Geek Taupe Notch, and darker and more brown than Makeup Geek Mesmerized.

I am so freaking sad that Ardency Inn was pulled out of Canada because these are some of the most gorgeous eyeshadows I have ever had the pleasure of using, in terms of texture, pigmentation, application, and colour pay-off. These give off rich, saturated colour without any effort, and blend out like a dream, too. I'm especially impressed at the wear-time, which reaches about the ten hour mark without fading or creasing, even without eye primer. I would say that they're the most comparable to Makeup Geek's Foiled Eyeshadows (which ships outside of the US), but I do think that Ardency Inn has more shades that are more wearable and universally flattering overall. Unfortunately, Ardency Inn doesn't ship outside of the US from their site, and they are only carried at certain Sephora locations in the US and on the US Sephora website. So for those of you who live outside of the US who don't want to bother with the hassle of acquiring these, you can definitely make do with Makeup Geek's Foiled Eyeshadows (which are indeed fabulous, but currently only come in pans so you have to put them in a custom palette)... But if you live in the US or are visiting the US, these are totally worth the hunt.