Luxebeaute's Blog

January 18, 2018

Review: The Waterweight Line by MAC

Filed under: Cosmetics — luxebeaute @ 2:49 am

I didn’t really pay much mind to all of the hoopla surrounding the release of MAC’s waterweight foundation a few years back because I haven’t used a MAC foundation in upward 15 years. As I have gotten older so has my skin, and all of their foundations just began to sit heavy on my face and settle into laugh lines, even when they were lighter weight formulations. Per usual though, an impromptu stop into MAC and discovery of this lines recent expansion prompted my interest.

Studio Waterweight Foundation + SPF 30 ($35.00) This foundation is feather-light, yet somehow manages to provide a decent amount of coverage for me, and the SPF is a major perk. It plays well with other products, such as lotions, creams, and primers. The foundation itself is gel-like in consistency, feeling and acting more like a serum than foundation, which is great. I find it to be moisturizing, and it feels good on the skin. Wear time on this is slightly below average to me, and begins to somewhat fade out and off after about 6 hours. Even so, I am so impressed by the sort of “oomph” it gives my skin that I just utilize it for those mellow, medium active days. [For reference I am NC30 in this foundation]

Studio Waterweight Concealer ($23.00) This concealer is gel like and feather weight just like its big sister. I find the hydration on the concealer to also mimic that of the foundation. Truth be told, this could actually act as a better version of the foundation (providing more coverage). I find the wear time of this product to be a bit longer than the foundation; however, it does tend to crease just a smidgen around fine lines about 6-ish hours in. On the upside, its so easily bendable that you can just tap your fingers and smooth out the creasing without upsetting the coverage at all. On the downside, this contains no SPF – kind of a head scratcher to me, given that the delicate eye area really calls for protection. [For reference I am NW25 in this concealer]

Studio Waterweight Pressed Powder ($36.00) This powder is buttery soft, and somehow manages to feel hydrating. It evened out my skintone and seemed to smooth imperfections. It also leaves no powdery or dry look behind, which is a major plus. This is lovely be it used with or without foundation underneath. Used in conjunction with the waterweight foundation, it does set nicely and seems to give lasting power in terms of overall coverage. In terms of cons, the shade range is lacking which can make it difficult to find a match. Likewise, these are dual shaded powders with one half being slightly pink, and I found the first color I picked up which was a perfect match initially (Medium Plus) oxidized badly within the first hour and I had to exchange it and go lighter. However, once you find that perfect shade, you will be pleasantly surprised by how much the skin seems to love this formulation. This is one of the best feeling powders I have ever tried/used. [For reference I am shade Medium in this powder]

106 Triangular Concealer Brush ($25.00) This was a major miss for me. Although I was entranced with it via the application and usage via the MAC makup artist’s magical hands, once I got home and tried this on my own a couple times I was in misery. The bristles are really stiff, the shape is awkward,  and I found it to really pull and tug at the delicate eye area. This was a fail all around and I am betting this will be discontinued in a hot minute.

All in all, I am a fan of the Studio Waterweight line. So much in fact that I’d love to see expansion in the way of ultrahydrating lip products, as well as serums and the like.

 

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July 6, 2017

Review: Urban Decay Heat Palette

Filed under: Cosmetics — luxebeaute @ 1:42 pm

Confession time: This is the first UD shadow palette I have ever purchased… I know, I know – but hear me out! I had no real need for the Naked 1, 2, or 3 because they were chalk full of neutrals and transitional shades that I already own a plethora of in single form from various cosmetic co’s. As for UD’s other palettes, they were either smokey (which is my nemesis) or (again) dupes of shades I already owned. Until I spotted this baby that is. When I saw this, it was impulse buy central – my inner warm toned adoring demon took over, and I went for it. This palette is on FIRE.

This is a beautiful palette consisting of 12 lovely neutral and warm shades. This palette is seriously the rainbow of warm hues – well, if one existed. There are ambers, browns, burnt oranges, rich siennas, copper tones, shifty bronzes, and rust shades. It consists of both mattes and shimmers, and can be worked into day or evening looks. The pigmentation is marvelous, staying power is excellent, and I got no creasing or fading. Dispite the fact there are so many similarly hued shades in this palette, the colors did not muddy at all. I see you UD, yes, I see what you did.

While I love the shades and performance, I am not a huge fan of the bulky packaging. However, I can get over that. I think this is an excellent and well priced palette for the warm shadow lovers out there.

naked heat

 

 

May 3, 2017

Spotlight on: Makeup Monsters Cosmetics

Filed under: Cosmetics,Cult Beaute: Artisan Product Reviews — luxebeaute @ 10:14 pm

You want an amazing liquid lipstick in quirky uniquely fun packaging? Are you into bold and offbeat aesthetics? Do you need your lip colors in a wide variety to fit whatever mood you may indulge in on any given day? Well, Makeup Monsters is likely the answer to your vanity woes.

Makeup Monsters is an indie cosmetics company founded in 2015 in Spokane Washington. From their webpage:

“At Makeup Monsters, we embrace individuality and exude fun in everything that we do! After-all, in the end, makeup should always include fun. Our brand focuses on creating broad color selections to suit anyone’s tastes and high quality formulas that will leave a lasting impression. Our products are made with the highest quality ingredients and are vegan and cruelty free! When you purchase from our brand, you’re not only supporting a small business with a big heart, you’re becoming a part of a family that encourages individuality in the makeup community and stands against the testing and using of animals for beauty…

I purchased 6 of their matte liquid lipsticks ($15.95 each): Redwood, Cornucopia, Nefarious, Blackened Heart, Just Add Marshmallows, and Hook, Line, and Sinker. Every one of these applied and wore like a dream. One swipe coverage, completely opaque with an even finish, and I got no feathering. These wore 6 hours+ and through meals with minimal fading.  I did not find these to be overly drying at all – in fact, I felt they were quite light and comfortable. The formula is of a great and comfortable consistency as well – not too watery or thin, and not overly thick. Transfer is minimal, to the point I barely took notice. TBH, these liquid lipsticks are a wonderful alternative for those (like me) who have given up a certain brand’s LL’s for ethical reasons [AKA he who shall not be mentioned by name]. Matter of fact, the formulation and consistency, some of the colors, and packaging is incredibly similar to “you know who’s”, almost to the point I wonder if they share a manufacturer. The color range of these is impressive; while I stayed in the fairly neutral-esque zone (flesh, browns, bricks, and greige), there is a wide range from unique fun brights to neutrals and much in between. Full disclosure: The more I wear these MM liquid lipsticks, the more impressed I am. While Stila is still my #1, MM is only a hair behind.

If you are a LL fanatic or addict, and you are looking to support indie brands, you cannot and will not go wrong giving this brand a whirl.

 

 

July 1, 2016

ABH Modern Renaissance Eye Shadow Palette Review

Filed under: Cosmetics — luxebeaute @ 10:06 pm

Believe it or not, this is my first Anastasia Beverly Hills palette purchase. I know, I know, these have been all the rage since ABH first began cranking them out. Thing is, color and formulations (upon the good old fashioned swatch test) just never really made me swoon. Well, until this gem of a products release!

This palette is chalk full of striking warm toned and berry shades. These all apply like a dream and are easy to blend. These shadows are incredibly silky as well as opaque, This palette is a complete collection in terms of various finishes, and the inclusion of transition, brow bone, highlighting, and inner corner shade options.

Shades:  Tempera (beige with an ultra-matte finish), Golden Ochre (earthy yellow with an ultra-matte finish), Vermeer (iridescent shell with a metallic finish), Buon Fresco (antique lavender with an ultra-matte finish), Antique Bronze (metallic sable with a satin finish), Love Letter (raspberry with an ultra-matte finish), Cyprus Umber (dark coffee with an ultra-matte finish), Raw Sienna (neutral amber with an ultra-matte finish), Burnt Orange deep orange with an ultra-matte finish), Primavera (shimmery gold with an ultra-matte finish), Red Ochre (sienna with an ultra-matte finish), Venetian Red (crimson with an ultra-matte finish), Warm Taupe (earthy gray with an ultra-matte finish), Realgar (brick with an ultra-matte finish).

I find myself reaching for this palette near daily. The only con I have is that this formula is so buttery soft that I do get quite a bit of fallout, but hey, I can live with that.

This palette is said to be Limited Edition, although demand might change this. It can be purchased at Sephora and the ABH website for $42.00

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May 18, 2016

Artisan Beauty Product Review: Amrita Aromatics

Filed under: Cosmetics,Cult Beaute: Artisan Product Reviews — luxebeaute @ 7:58 pm

Yet again I was lucky enough to receive a lovely package for review from Amrita Aromatics (Northampton, MA.), an amazing artisan Indie Company which specializes in unique fragrance, facial product, and lip treatment creations.

Company Description: Amrita Aromatics & Apothecary is a small artisan line of pure botanical creations by perfumer and herbalist Ananda Wilson. Each item is carefully crafted completely by hand with a deep investment of creativity, inspiration, love, time, and over 20 years of skill and practice. Every product is all natural, utilizing synergies of wildcrafted botanicals, handmade extracts and preparations, carefully sourced pure essential oils, absolutes, attars, and exquisite rare aromatics. Many hours of inspiration and critical thinking is given to each creation. I am continually inspired by nature, trees, water, art, rhythms, dance, music, myth, and life phases. Working with plant aromatics is my devotion and specialty; with a knack and nose for blending unique and highly praised, sacred, therapeutic perfume blends – both perfectly simple and evocative ones as well as deeply complex, sophisticated, and rich compositions. They are designed to elicit pleasure medicine, amplify intentions, catalyze sensory bliss, self care ritual, emotional support and seduction, and to ignite your imagination with a powerful terrain of scent imagery and narrative.

Review:
If you love facial oils or are looking for a miracle in a bottle, look no further than the potions created by Amrita Aromatics. As someone who suffers from extremely dry skin, trust me when I state my opinion here is no exaggeration. I tend to rotate between Isis Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil ($125.00, 1 oz), Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Overnight Detox Oil ($52.00, 1 oz.), Life-Flo Pure Rosehip Oil ($6.00, 1 oz.), and Acure Certified Organic Pure Argan Oil ($11.00, 1 oz). I use these products nightly, every night, without fail and they are wonderful products with amazing results – yet somehow Amrita Aromatics has managed to magically create some sort of amazing mystical blend which knocks the above oils out of the winning circle. Amrita Aromatics carries 3 staple facial beauty oil Elixirs: Precious (Argan, Turkish Rose, and Red Tea), Aromatic (White Sage and Blue Chamomile), and Neroli (Green Tea). While these may sound like somewhat simple recipes, they are actually complex blends which include skin loving botanicals and additional oils. These absorb beautifully into the skin and leave no residue or excess oil to lay atop the skin; it is as if your face is drinking this oil down to its deepest layer. After using these, I awoke to glowing and baby soft skin and I didn’t even bother to put any foundation or powder on. While I would be hard pressed to say one is better than another my skin seems to favor Precious, which is specifically made for skin toning and anti-aging ($36.00, 1 oz.). For those who prefer a lighter oil or are normal or oily skin types, Aromatic will work wonderfully for you.

I am a lip balm addict. So much so that I embarrassingly admit that my night stand holds lip treatments ranging anywhere from good ole fashioned $1.00 Chapstick to $75.00 Sisley Paris and all in between. So when I opened my package from Amrita Aromatics to find Cocoa Rose lip balm I was “woo hoo-ing” on the inside (hey, I was at work so I couldn’t perform the dance of joy which usually ensues when I package of goodies arrives!). Cocoa Rose is made of deeply moisturizing butters and oils, and is an excellent blend of Cocoa and rose which leaves a unique combination of scents to linger. Ordinarily I am not a fan of chocolate type products nor would floral on my lips appeal to me – however, there is just something about this combo that works. When I use this scented lippie, I feel like Victorian royalty. After using Cocoa Rose for a week straight, I can honestly say it is a much better workhorse than my two faves: Natura Biss Recovery and Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Balm – Which came as a VERY pleasant surprise to both me personally and my wallet. Cocoa Rose is indeed heavily scented and therefore won’t appeal to those who are smell sensitive. Yet the end results (IE dry lip solution) were so great I suggest trying out one of their other lip treatments. Amrita Aromatics carries Cocoa Rose ($9.95 ea.), Absinthe Vanilla ($12.00), and The Kissy Fit Set ($22.00) which includes Crushed Rubies Lip & Cheek Glow (Vedic Spice), Smoked Coffee Kiss (Lapsang Souchong Tea & Coffee), and Jasmine Cooling Lip Tingle. Amrita Aromatics also offers membership for their perfume club, which often gives special discounts on limited addition releases.

I have nothing put positives to say about Amrita Aromatics. This is an up and coming artisan beauty brand in which blows many high end skin care lines away. I highly recommend you give them a try.

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Photography by Ananda Wilson, Marlaina Donato, all rights reserved. Photos used with permission. 

                          

February 29, 2016

Colourpop Ultra Satin Lips Review

Filed under: Cosmetics — luxebeaute @ 9:36 pm

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Hallelujah! I am like a kid in a candy store when it comes to CP’s new lip line launch – which is a major surprise for me considering how disappointed I was with their Ultra Matte line. But this one… can I get an Amen along with my animated proclamations  of Hallelujah?

The Ultra Satin line is nothing short of brilliant, and the formulation is a dream. Pigmentation is outstanding and the color selection is perfection.These are extremely comfortable and not drying in any way, nor have I encountered any patchiness or feathering. These go on creamy and somewhat mousey – application feel is similar to the Stila Stay all Day formula.

Not quite a stay all day formulation, however, I personally categorize this line as a liquid lipstick in the similar vein of Ofra and Nyx as far as texture, feel, and basic wear time goes. It dries down matte but not too much, and provided I am not eating anything oily, these last on my lips aprx 4-5 hours. The launch includes 16 shades, although CP is sure to add more as time goes on. Did I happen to mention these are $6.00?

 

November 18, 2015

TBR: MAC & Dita Von Teese

Filed under: Cosmetics,Vintage and retro — luxebeaute @ 1:53 am

“Inspired by the launch of Dita Von Teese’s new book, Your Beauty Mark, her vivid red lipstick is the signature shade for the seductive spirit. Available exclusively online in select markets December 2015.”

 

MAC-Cosmetics-Dita-Von-Teese-lipstick-holiday-2015

TBR Dec 8 2015 Online exclusive

Mac & DVT have teamedup yet again to bring us a lovely product – this time a limited ed. lippie in a vibrant tomato red matte, aptly and simply named Von Teese. I would say this shade is more of a classic red with a modern twist to it; its bright and not deep, and there is somthing both modern and retro about it.

While indeed this is a lovely shade, I have to admit there is something… I dunno, rushed or incomplete about it? Not the shade itself I suppose, but the product line – or lack thereof. I was surprised to only see a lipstick released and not a set or any other products. I also found the plastic packaging to be quite lackluster, considering that I really thought if its only one product it would be a real deco looking show-stopper. I dunno, it may just be me but I am growing tired of some of the latest MAC collabs that seem rushed and thrown together. Not to mention I have enough limited ed. reds in the same ole’ Mac packaging. Even so, this is gonna sellout quick and its def worth picking up if you are a crazed LE collector such as I. So grab it while you can before it ends up on Ebay for 3X the original price.

TBR Dec 8th 2015 – online exclusive

 

June 25, 2015

TBR: MAC Giambattista Valli Collection

Filed under: Cosmetics — luxebeaute @ 1:14 am

“Fashion designer Giambattista Valli brings his effortless elegance and luxurious celebration of the female form to a stunning collection of timeless lipsticks.”

To Be Released: July 9th 2015

 

February 20, 2015

TBR: MAC Bao Bao Wan Collection

Filed under: Cosmetics — luxebeaute @ 1:06 am

MACBao Bao Wan and Mac have teamed up and released a lovely limited edition collection of bolds and golds!

I am a sucker for my bold lippies and nail colors mixed with gold toned illuminating shiny distractions for eyes and highlighting, so my adoration for this collection will come as no surprise. The collection consists of the Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow palette (5 shimmering shades), a light bronze Beauty Powder, 4 gorgeous bright limited ed. lipsticks (3 matte and one Lustre formula), and 3 pearlescent nail polishes. This collection is sure to sell out quick, so mark your calandars!

Release date First week of March

 

May 15, 2014

The MAC Maleficent Collection and Review

Filed under: Cosmetics — luxebeaute @ 12:27 am

mac-cosmetics-maleficent-character

Maleficent is my all time fave Disney villain. Given that, I was beyond excited to hear that MAC was releasing yet another collection in her honor. The inspiration for this collection is based on a combination of the original animated dark diva and the look given to Angelina Jolie for the upcoming Disney film Maleficent in theatres May 30th. The collection is said to consist of the actual colors and products used for the film. This limited edition collection is made up of different color-tones and uniquely different packaging design than 2010’s Venomous Villains collection. This time around MAC chose to go with a much more subtle yet chic and sleek design: double winged black raven imagery.

The Collection: The collection is made up of 12 products, although not all of these are limited edition packaging and/or colors. The Lipstick ($17.50), Lip Glass ($22.00), and Nail Lacquer ($17.50) are the only products released which are truly limited edition, as they are both special release shades and package design. The eyeshadow quad ($44.00), Sculpt Powder ($23.00), Beauty Powder ($30.00), Eyelashes ($17.50), and lip liner ($21.50) come in the limited winged design, yet the colors and actual products are in regular rotation. There is also an eyeliner, lip liner, brow stick, and Prep + Prime highlighter in this collection, yet they are in regular rotation at MAC and the packaging has not been changed.

 My Opinion: I felt this collection was marketed oddly in that MAC didn’t go all the way in changing the packaging design on all to reflect the theme. The eyeliner, lip liner, brow stick, and Prep + Prime highlighter should have been listed as an additional way to achieve the look, not actually included as “limited editions”. Minimally they could have made mini’s of these left plain, packaged in a cute bag, and upped the price to suit their desires for profit. This was rather boring to me and since I wasn’t purchasing these items to transform myself into the Disney Diva herself, I didn’t purchase these. I also did not purchase the shadow quad because I already had all the included colors , the Beauty Powder (it’s too light for my skin tone), the nail polishes bc I leave that up to the salon, nor the lashes (I use Latisse so no need for falsies)… I opted for the lipstick, lip glass, and the sculpt powder and I have to say I am impressed. Although the sculpt is not limited, I wanted to give it a try and I found it makes a lovely and subtle contour for my NC25-30 skin tone. The lippies are both limited red shades and they are wonderful in both color and formulation.

 There are some hits and some misses in this collection, that is for sure. However, luckily all items are sold separately so fans can pick and choose to their liking. That alone gets a huge “thumbs up” – I don’t know about everyone else but I can’t stand when I buy a collection and only end up liking 1 or 2 things out of 5 or more, so this is a great alternative for such disappointment. If it’s not so much about the colors or products but about the collector appeal, I personally feel MAC did a great job. Although there are rumblings amongst many who find the design rather lackluster, I find it to be a great depiction of symbolism; as the story goes, Maleficent lost her wings and she also had Diablo her beloved messenger raven and I love how MAC utilizes this aspect of the story.

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