Sunday, 6 May 2012

Magazines #2: Marie Claire Beauty Bible SS 2012

Anyone who's flipped through my pinboards will guess that I have a wee fashion magazine addiction, which has not been allocated its requisite % of drivel. And if you hadn't seen it, here's Part #1: Vivi Magazine, of what will imminently become a series.
 ...starting right now. Marie Claire Beauty Bible is a biannual cosmetics supplement which is sold independently of the main magazine in Hong Kong for the very accessible price of HK$20 (less than £2). It offers a tightly-edited rundown of the latest trends and new products each season with a cleaner layout and less padding/digressive random than Japanese beauty mags, which is why I try to pick up a copy whenever I can but also why I wouldn't keep one past its season.

Beauty trends 
I enjoy the more fashion/runway tilt of these collages as distinct from Japanese magazines which focus more on the domestic OL market or target very specific subcultures  and rely on a small stable of house models with a fairly narrow range of eye/face shapes.
What a delicious variety of looks -- blue eyeshadow FTW
Graphic shapes to play with
The magazine's own spinoffs on the trend, on three different eyeshapes

I prefer their take on the "English Rose" thing to the minimalist runway pics (umpteenth clean skin, bambi lashes + slick of lip balm season, yawn)
I'm not sure if this is an intentional Beatles ref or the Engrish adjectival striking again. *ponders*

Hair trends
does what it says on the tin


....seriously. Call me a saucy pedantic wretch but I think this answers my earlier Beatles question.
New Releases: false lashes oh wait, mascaras *eyeroll* We'll just look at the wands, then. The ones on the left give a more natural and the right a more dramatic look.

Tutorial: eyeliner
A back-to-basics primer about brushes, the differences between pencil, liquid and gel, and a few notes on tweaking your line to suit your eyeshape.

I'm currently trying to work out ways to wear white eyeshadow and liner; this is both sharp and soft
Judge away, but I think this is kind of awesome and subverts the prim dress

Skincare articles: 10 pages on on various kinds of acids, some products featuring them and the best bases, concentrations and combinations. 
incidentally a flattering soft take on This Summer's Orange

most interesting to me: unfamiliar acids used in Asian whitening/brightening products

And a paean to that Asian beauty staple, lotion -- featuring products split into four types (ultra-hydrating, whitening, oil-production-balancing and anti-ageing) and thirteen ways to use the stuff, from the obvious (use it for facial massage! use it as a daily five-minute mask! mix it with your foundation to lighten the coverage and texture!) to the intriguing (use a cotton pad doused in SPF-containing lotion to blot the face and refresh cakey makeup? likewise, treat it as a makeup primer? and on a cotton bud, to clean up makeup mistakes and prep the skin for corrections).
some lotion-massage techniques
Due to copyright, I posted less than 10% of the magazine, but it should give you an idea of the house style. This issue also included extended features on foundations, nails, fashion, perfume, overnight skincare, 24 hour moisture, and the expected summer-issue pieces on pedicures, hair removal and dieting (boo!)

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Rouge Bunny Rouge Refills -- Bohemian Waxwing, Trumpeter Koel and Lilac Reef Curassow Swatches

Epic title is epic.

Yes, kids, it's That Russian Brand, knocking my low-buy out of the way as casually violently as an ahjumma with ...actually nowhere in particular she needs to be.

My version of restraint consisted of buying only three of the six new shades released last Friday at zuneta, and due soon at beautyhabit for Americans. As usual, props to team zu for their awesome service -- I ordered on Saturday, received my shipping notification on Monday and my parcel landed on my Hong Kong doorstep on Wednesday.

Obligatory box porn -- actually only qualifying because of the GWP cream eyeshadow in Batiste Grayling (perfect timing, as I'd finished my beloved tube, swatched here). The new refills themselves are packaged sufficiently minimally to please a depotter, sandwiched between a thick paper insert inside a paper envelope. They made it to me safely, so no complaints here.

Each new single eyeshadow refill retails for £16 (actually £13.33 for non-EU customers) and contains 2g instead of the pots' 2.4g. The pan is also smaller, as a comparison between the new Bohemian Waxwing (L) and my depotted Abyssinian Catbird (R) shows:

The shadows are still made in Italy and are of the quality I've come to expect from RBR. However, the texture and finish of these new iridescents are, well, new, at least in my experience of previous RBR textures, sitting somewhere between the delicate holographic sheen of Fire-Tailed Sunbird and ultra-refined satin of Solstice Halcyon; although the three shades I chose also vary somewhat along that scale. All three are on the sheer side of the RBR average -- perhaps among the shades I didn't buy there's a buttery superstar like Abyssinian Catbird, Mysterious Tinamou or Angelic Cockatiels; I'll be hunting for swatches to find out.

The following swatch pictures are all taken in natural light without flash; the 'shade' (left-hand) pictures are more true-to-colour but those taken in full sun show some other nuances and convey a better idea of the textures.

Bohemian Waxwing, described as "iridescent bronzed champagne" hides a cool mauve-tinged dustiness-- I'd expected a light rich, warm metallic from the description but this "bronze" has such a cool patina it swatches more like a taupe with a mauvey-gold flash. See how the iridescence in Waxwing compares to the clearer pinkypeachy-gold of of Fire-Tailed Sunbird? Abyssinian Catbird is there to show how taupe Waxwing looks against a complex but unambiguously bronze shade.

Trumpeter Koel ("dark lead-grey with lilac-blue iridescence") I swatched by its lonesome, as I'd passed up the previous black/silver/dark grey RBR shades as being not quite right. Despite its scary speckled appearance in the pan picture above, this swatches perfectly smoothly with zero grit and pretty much matches the description. This is the most pigmented of the three shades I bought and appears more shimmery because of the distinctness of its shimmer and base shades -- I would call its effect lilac-on-blue.

Lilac Reef Curassow is described most simply as "pale lilac with iridescent effect" and it's the  sheerest, simplest and driest of the shades I bought. Its iridescence is tonal and coupled with the scarcity and fineness of its shimmer, it swatches more like a demi-matte than a satin even. Under very strong direct sunlight, it's just about possible to separate its grey-blue base from its cool pink and white shimmer -- in all lights, the overall effect is still more lavender than lilac. It's so blue it makes the warmer lavender-grey of Addiction Concrete Jungle appear purple.

A ten-minute swatches-made-me-late-again FOTD, using all three shades together (not the most considered combination, but actually quite harmonious thanks to the mauviness in Waxwing.)
Bohemian Waxwing on lid and lower lashline // Lilac Reef Curassow blended up from inner corner // Trumpeter Kohl to line // Kiss Me Heroine Make Long&Curl mascara // Shu Uemura H9 Stone Grey brow pencil
Suqqu Momozoe blush // Guerlain Chamade lipstick // Sonia Rykiel Fresh Gel Foundation 10 // Ellis Faas concealer S201
And just to confirm, as usual for RBR, these shadows lasted the entire day without smudging, fading or creasing, without a primer. It's over 30ºC here and about 99% humidity (seriously, check out the HK weather report D:) and here are flash pictures taken after 14 hours of running around indoors and out:
I wanted to see how it looked with a warmer lip -- this is Ellis Faas Glazed L306

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Chanel Riviere Illusion D'Ombre and bluegreen babble

One of the first things I did after washing up on shore here was to inflict my unwashed, sleep-deprived self (plane diet consisting mostly of mini Nutella packets interpersed with the occasional Mozartkugeln -- seriously, Lufthansa FTW) on an innocent makeup-loving pal for a coffee and live swap.

Thanks to dear C for both putting up with and spoiling me royally, with these:

 Clockwise from top left:
  • OMI Solanoveil SPF50+ PA +++ Protect Face Milk Sunscreen (ingredients), alcohol-free, containing hyaluronic acid and arbutin
  • Kiss Mat Chiffon UV Moist Base SPF26 PA++, a moisturising primer
  • K-Palette 1 Day Tattoo Real Lasting Eyeliner 24H WP Micro, a waterproof liquid liner pen with an ultrafine 0.05mm tip (see glossedintranslation's review)
  • Avancé Lash Serum EX, a moisturising/repairing rather than a growth serum, a popular bestseller in Japan for over a decade
  • Chanel Illusion D'Ombre 87 Rivière (Asia-exclusive, see excellent reviews and swatches at The Non-Blonde and Joey'space)

I'll review this lot as well as the actual swap goodies (yeah, these are her ideas of extras) in good time but first up was of course Rivière, fitting in as it does so perfectly with my current colour phase:
Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace Water // Reiss skirt // Rivière (postmolestation)

natural light
direct sun
natural light
direct sun
Like other shades of Illusion D'Ombre (my favourite cream eyeshadow formula, btdubs) Rivière is complex and catches the light in fascinating ways, looking alternatively minty, seafoamy, and lilacy-grey. I agree with Gaia that its shimmer seems finer and more delicate than that in other shades, but it's definitely still visible both in the pot and applied -- predominantly silver, but pink and lavender too.

The pink was the nicest surprise for me -- too-silver eyeshadows tend to leave me cold -- so I played it up with Rouge Bunny Rouge Eaten All the Cherries in the socket, and added a dab of the gold shimmer from Suqqu Ginbudou on the inner corner to play its gold duochrome up. Matte navy from Suqqu Kakitsubata smudged along both lashlines which picks up a beautiful teal shimmer layered over Rivière.

Liner: K-Palette 1 Day Tattoo Micro
Lashes: Lancôme Hypnôse Drama
Brows: Shu H9 Stone Grey

With Revlon Fire&Ice lipstick and RBR Gracilis blush, Burberry concealer 01, Helena Rubinstein ColorClone liquid foundation 00, Shiseido High Beam White

Friday, 27 April 2012

Pictorial: Pressing Fyrinnae Loose Eyeshadows

O hai world! I'm posting from Hong Kong once again so expect more Asian makeup swatches and magaziney ramblings for the next few months :) Feel free to email requests for products you'd like to see swatched / compared / reviewed to the usual address.

As there's nothing like needing to pack for a suddenly-impending three-month trip to whip the random-venture subset of my procrastination skillset (o yes) into shape, I present the sparkly, sparkly fruits of my last makeuppy project -- pressing all the Fyrinnae minis!

This is the first time I've repressed anything (yeah, yeah) and I'm indebted to two excellent tutorials in particular: Kristina's from Sasquatch Swatch and makeupalley's Pressing Minerals notepad. The real lightbulb moment was when I realised the process was very like making scones and therefore nothing to be scared of.

Since those tutes (and any googleable scones recipe) will tell you all you need to know, this post isn't strictly a pictorial so much as a 'here's what I did and it seemed to work fine', but hopefully it will be helpful to those newer to Fyrinnae (whose samples are much smaller now than they seem to have been a few years back) and to fellow non-US-residents without such easy access to commercial mixing mediums and tools.

Pure Glycerin and Surgical Spirit (90% pure alcohol) -- both to be found for under £2 near the first aid sections of Boots in the UK. (Sorry they're so grubby -- blackened Fyrs are tenacious.)
  1. Kitchen towel / paper for pressing
  2. Glass pipette (for alcohol -- I used the top from an empty dropper bottle)
  3. Plastic pipette (for glycerin -- you can use glass too, I just had this lying around)
  4. Aluminium 26mm pan from ebay (opt for aluminium as tin can rust) and 10p piece for pressing
  5. Tin 15mm pan from Yaby (which I bought before reading about the rust thing...) and 5p piece for pressing (which is slightly too large, so I used my pinky finger for less-filled pans)
  6. Toothpicks for mixing (I found these much better than spatulas or whatnot for such small amounts)
  7. Labels!
  8. Pen!
  9. Fyrinnae minis!
  10. (not pictured) Ethanol fumes!

1. Drop a tiny bit of glycerin into a Fyrinnae mini (straight into the pot was fine as they don't fill it with as much sparkly as they used to :/). Start off slow because you can add but you can't take away. This is about the right amount for a sample of a regular Fyrinnae shade (halve it for an Arcane Magick sample).

2. With a toothpick, mix evenly to the consistency of breadcrumbs (think scones after rubbing the butter+flour together) or slightly clumpy wet sand. There may be a slight colour change depending on the finish / shade of eyeshadow, it's no big deal. (Minimal spillage entirely due to me giggling at Season 2 of Community whilst doing this, not because the pot was too small.)

3. Add alcohol a few drops at a time, mixing until the pigment starts pulling away from the pot in a solid 'dough'. Unlike the glycerine stage, it's no big deal if you accidentally add too much -- the alcohol's all going to evaporate off anyway; too much will just mean a longer drying time. This is a bit too much alcohol for a regular sample:

This is how it looks when it's just starting to pull away / form a dough ball. The ideal is to end up with a perfectly unified ball that's picked up all the pigment naturally leaving the pot entirely clean -- think baking again. And again, don't worry about the colour change at this stage.

4. Scoop out the mixture with your mixing toothpick and squidge it into your pan more or less evenly. If making duos or trios, it's helpful to have a mixture that's a little drier (has less alcohol) and (like playdoh) more manipulable. Some pots contain more than others so it's best not to have too rigid an idea of exactly which shades you want as a duo/trio -- they may not all fit into one pan. This probably isn't an OCD-tendencies-friendly activity anyway :P Check out those polluted boundaries!

5. Place a sheet of kitchen towel over the top and gently press until you can see a pan-sized circle of alcohol soaking through.
I prefer to use my fingers to lightly press from the edges of the pan inwards -- going straight in with a coin and a vertical press can make the mixtures ooze out over the edges. And unlike making scones, it's not a lickable treat >:C

6. After a few passes, moving to a clean spot on the kitchen towel each time, when the paper stops picking up much alcohol with a gentle finger-press, you can start pressing more firmly with a coin on top; a 10p piece is just slightly smaller than a 26mm pan and works well. Feel free to do fake push-ups with a pan under each hand. A 5p piece was too big for my tiny Yaby 15mm pans, so I mostly skipped coin-pressing for those and just left them a bit longer to dry out.

Repeat until the paper stops picking up much alcohol even with a coin on top (from bottom left, the start of coin-pressing, to bottom right, the end, or, when I got bored.)

7. Pan! Ready to be labelled and then left alone to dry for 24-48 hours.

8. Bask in the glow of ethanol-sniffing and glitter-snorting achievement, in both natural light

...and with flash

10. Marvel at all the space you've saved! Hmm, the ex-pigment-drawer seems to be calling for a rainbow of coloured eyeliners.... hey, I don't make the rules.

P.S. 11. for my consolidated Yaby mini palette of pressed Fyrinnae sparkles, see here.