Category Archives: MAC

TAG: 7 deadly sin

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GREEDWhat is the most expensive and inexpensive product I own?

The most expensive is Estee Lauder eye shadow palette in Blue Dahlia. I think it was a LE in 2010. I am usually an all-for-neutral kind-of-girl and couldn’t imagine using the dark blue and teal eye shadow…and yet, it was so pretty I couldn’t resist. So, what the heck…And oddly enough I have been using it ever since at least once a week. It’s one of my all time favorite products and all in all well worth the money. I like to use the dark blue or teal as an eye liner. The white eye shadow is actually just a transparent veil of the finest teal and blue shimmer. So pretty! And the black eye shadow is my favorite shadow for smokey look or for softening up a harsh liquid eye liner. The eye shadows are very well pigmented and smooth but not as buttery as some other brands, I actually happen to like this or even prefer this texture.

The most inexpensive thing is by Essence, from the Rebels collection and it’s a lip&cheek pot in 01 peach punk. I would say it’s more a coral than peach but it’s pretty enough for summer. You need to work it a bit to pull off a smooth & even coverage as it is a slightly streaky… but for 20Czk ($1) I can cope with it.

 

WRATH: Love&hate relationship products?

Well, that would have to be luminizers and brighteners. I love the idea, I love the look of them and I rarely like them on my face. I guess having larger pores and oilier skin 4 months in a year just doesn’t go well with shimmer, even the finest one. Nowadays I can use some in winter and very, very sparingly so. This one is MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish in Shimpagne. I still haven’t found a way how to use it without having pores the size of a cricket ball …but it is too pretty to say goodbye to it, right?

 

GLUTTONY: What is my most delicious item?

This may sound weird to some but I really don’t like when product have a strong taste or smell. No fragrance and no artificial flavor is preferable to me. I think the problem is that most flavors are just way too artificial for me, why would anyone want to eat plastic strawberries?

 

 

SLOTH: What products am I too lazy to use? 

Lipstick. I love the look of perfectly painted lips. But that is the problem. I only like it when it’s perfectly done and that takes some time (base, contouring, powder etc.) and I just cannot be bothered most of the time. Lip balm or lip gloss is so much easier.

 

 

 

 

PRIDE: What beauty item gives me the biggest self-confidence boost?

For me I feel the most confident when my skin looks the best so when it comes to make-up this translates into foundation, concealer and powder. Anything that creates the most flawless skin possible. I guess it comes from those days when acne was my constant companion and even now my skin  is far from perfect. And at this moment these products are working for me –  though I am, as ever, on a hunt for even better ones (who isn’t?).

(From left: Rimmel Match Perfection Found. and concealer, Garnier BB cream for combo/oily skin, MAC Select Moisturecover NC20, MAC Matchmaster found. 1,5, Rimmel Stay Matte powder)

 

LUST: What do I lust after?

Well, how much time do you have?  Ok, I will try to be reasonable (a bit of an oxymoron when it comes to lust). I would like to get my hands on some Dior eye shadow palette, NARS bronzer in Laguna, Benefit blush Corallista or a perfume that will blow my socks off (don’t know which one it is yet). But in general, you put it in a cute box, it looks pretty and smell good…I need it!

Apparently the other version of this one is what attracts you to the opposite sex? (I assume you don’t want to hear about natural procreational instinct or Freud’s libido) It has to be that magic mixture of self-confidence, humour, intelligence, generosity, kindness and a laid-back attitude… and obviously some physical attraction. I am very modest, I know.

ENVY: What items would I like to receive as a gift?

Not sure how the question goes with the subject but… I don’t know actually. Besides make-up and beauty related items, house in New Zealand, a new car and a few plane tickets to travel a bit… I would like a new iPhone and an iPad. No, rather a new iPhone. If I get an iPad I will never get a chance to play with it in this household 😉

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Tools that make the difference

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There are four tools I need and love using on daily basis. One is an essential, second  is great to have and the last two are  something I can obviously live without (it’s neither bread nor water) but I really really really don’t want to if I can help it.

Sephora pink tweezers are the essential tool. I have many shapes yet this slanted version is the one I reach for the most often. I have two of them, one in the stand with my brushes and the other one in the bathroom. It’s made of metal and provides  a good grip. There is nothing to really rave about but it’s a very dependable instrument.

The second tool that makes the difference is the famous MAC Stippling brush. I received it many years ago through a make-up gift exchange from a very generous fellow make-up junkie. This was 5-6 years ago and the brush is still like new. I was impressed that there was no shedding, it’s easily washed and dries up quickly, regaining it original shape again. There has been so much written about this brush that I will be brief. What I love about this brush is how versatile it is. You can use it with powder or liquid products. You can use it for stippling mineral powder into your face, for applying any foundation formula, for blush, bronzer or highlighter … I particularly like it for bronzers or blushes that are on the pigmented side and I need to be careful with them. I have also used if for applying mousse foundations and that works great as well.

MAC Stippling brush $34

Beauty blender (or the pink egg) was “The thing” a few years ago, everyone was raving about it and I couldn’t understand how some kind of a sponge that is just prettier than the others can add anything performance-wise to my make-up routine. I have tried many sponges, they usually sucked up a looooot of foundation and then the application wasn’t the flawless either. So how could this porous oddly shaped egg work? Well, I don’t actually know how..I just know that if I had to keep just ONE tool and throw all my brushes away and could keep the egg I would do just that. Because this little pink gem is a perfection in disguise. If I remember correctly I wasn’t in love at first sight. It worked well. No streaky application, it didn’t suck all my foundation in … but at the same time it wasn’t  a major wow factor either. That was because I had a wonderful foundation. I realized the difference the egg makes after I got a terrible one. One that sits on top of your pores making them actually bigger (if that’s possible) than they are. One that is splotchy, difficult to blend, one that is too powdery or too oily… name a foundation flaw and this blender can fix it. Well, apart from a wrong shade or longevity obviously.

The way you use it is also different. You dont stipple or even smear your foundation with it, you bounce it in a small and quick motions working in steps all over your face. I also prefer to use it when the egg is slightly damp but it’s not necessary.  With my last foundation, MAC Matchmaster, the MA used the stippling brush and while I liked the result well enough to buy it, I immediately knew I can make it work even better with the egg. Some mattifying foundations can settle in my pores thus making them more visible. This doesn’t happen with the egg. I also use it for cream blush, powder bronzer, corrector and mineral powder. I don’t understand how this egg is in its material and texture so much different from the other sponges but it’s simply wonderful. My one is pretty used but it’s as old as the MAC brush and should be replaced soon.

Beauty Blender $20

The last thing is Shiseido cleansing facial brush that I got from my then-boyfriend (now husband) almost 11 years ago! There used to be a large Shiseido boutique here in Prague and I needed a moisturizer. As you can imagine, I walked out from there with three items in my bag and wondering why the heck did I allow the SA lady to convince me to buy an super overpriced brush for cleaning my face. The brush was the most expensive item costing at that time about $60!! Crazy! Well, forward those 11 years and not only I still have it but I finally use it twice a day and see fantastic results.

I still suffer with,what I feel like is, millions of blackheads and occasional break-outs mostly along my jaw line. I don’t know why my jaw line and the sides of my cheeks were so congested. But I have lately changed two things and my skin is 80% better. I actually never had such a good skin. First thing I changed is that I stop drinking a copious amounts of milk with my coffee and drink soya milk instead. Some suggest that too much dairy products causes acne alongside the jawline and while I never gave too much credit to these rumors I was (for other reasons as well) willing to finally give up my milk. The other one is that I started using the brush instead of my regular scrub. The brush has super soft white bristles and  five rubber-like pink massaging “thingies” (I really don’t know how to call them). I add a dollop of my current facial cleanser onto the damp brush and in circular motions I go all over my face concentrating on the problematic areas. My skin is very soft, my pores are the smallest the have ever been and  there are no bumps and visible blackheads along my jawline and therefore no infected bits either. I’m so happy.

Shiseido brush: $25

These were my fave tools, what are yours?

Just a few necessities: MAC

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After months of trying to convince myself that I can easily find as good a foundation/concealer/powder in a drugstore as in a higher end shop I gave up a week ago. I’m not saying you cannot find a good make-up in a drugstore, just that I wasn’t lucky with my choice. I got tired of spending small amounts of money so often and then being unhappy with the product, not using it or giving it away. It could also be the fact that I just may be..ehm…a little spoiled. Even as a poor scarf-dragger (Uni student) I managed to scrape money from my students jobs and buy myself “proper” foundation…and now when I’m in my mid-thirties I should go back to drugstore? I would if I could… I almost got Bourjois Healthy mix foundation and then chickened out. What if it’s another badly chosen shade – you know drugstore’s poor light. What if it makes me break out again – then again, even the most expensive product can do that. What if if if… I just had enough. So I went to the one shop that I know that will make me happy without totally breaking the bank. MAC. Now I know that some of you swear by Armani foundations but I tried it, liked it but not that much to shell out so much $$$ for it. MAC may not make the best foundations in the world but they are pretty good.

In the shop I was greeted by the only MA (make-up artist) available – a young blond man who was definitely more put-together that morning than me 🙂 He was very nice though and together we selected following items.

 

Matchmaster spf 15 Foundation in 1.5

I only had a MAC foundation twice before and it was Select spf 15 in NW20 and NC 20. I liked that one a lot. And I like Matchmaster even better. There is a slight difference between them. Select is to me very easy to apply and is very natural-looking. Provides medium semi-matte coverage but doesn’t stay matte through the day. The MA applied Matchmaster using the stippling brush and I have to admit that while he was ecstatic how natural it looks on me, I wasn’t.  It looked too matte and foundation-obvious. But after he applied other products I was happier. I should also mention that for some reason the shade looks quite dark in the bottle and I first couldn’t believe that when he said “you have rather fair skin” he wanted to put this one one me.

While I do have MAC’s Stippling brush I prefer to use  my beloved Beauty Blender aka the egg. This is the best make-up tool I ever had and I cannot live without it (of course I can, I’d just rather not to). And Matchmaster+Egg=the most natural look I have had in months. So polished, semi-matte, almost poreless (I have rather big pores) and the shade 1.5 is perfect too. While in the shop I thought it slightly darker but good for spring/summer season, using the egg it’s perfect. The foundation lasts all day which is unusual with my oilier skin (the weather is warmer, my skin is oilier again). I did need to re-apply powder 1-2 times through the day but I’m happy with that.

Only thing I didn’t like was the price, I believe this one is MAC’s most expensive foundation: $33 or 910Czk. But counting all the drugstore foundations I in the end gave away, it may actually be cheaper.

 

Select MoistureCover in NW20

Since I wanted something for my dark circles I opted for the moisturizing concealer in a warmer shade and it works brilliantly. Covers all imperfections around the eye are easily, I also use either the egg or if in hurry just my fingers. I only wish it was slightly less slippery (silicones?) but it’s not a major deal for me. Sells for $17 / 450Czk

 

Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium

I have only previously used their Blot powder, that I may still get for hot summer days, but no other “proper” powder. And here I have to blame Mary from ALoveTart blog. I have already written about her and her blog (here). I’m afraid she could sell me a cow’s dung with a smile and I would be happy about it. She raved about this powder so many times and her face looks so flawless in all her videos that, of course  my skin HAS to look the same using MSN. Well, close enough. The sides of my face have lots of redness in them and using Matchmaster and Mineralize Skinfinish Natural (MSN) covers it pretty well without any cake-y look. The finish is extra smooth, matte without being flat. I also love wearing this powder over (in)famous Garnier BB Cream. It’s a perfect “quick-I’m-in-hurry” face. But even better, when I’m lazy I can just use the concealer and MSN over it with a heavier hand and ..voila! polished&pretty enough to go out. Sells for $29 / 650 Czk

I love all my new “necessities” but if I could afford only one thing next time it would definitely be MSN in Medium.

I bought all MAC items myself, the BB egg was a gift from a dear friend a looong time ago.