A Blog for the Makeup Insane.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

MAC's Venomous Villains

Recognize that dashing creature on the left? No, not Cruella. The other one. Kate-ella. Earlier tonight I attended the Venomous Villains event at my local M.A.C. store. The line was fairly long to get in, but moved quickly, and it wasn't long before I had a cocktail in my hand and my eye set on the prize.


My favorite of all the Disney villains. The One to Rule Them All. I had known for months that she was going to be one of the featured villains in this limited edition line, and she was the reason I bribed my husband to go to the mall even though he'd rather stay home and play on the 360.

I didn't buy all of the Maleficent set because I'm not big on nail polish, and I didn't really like the 'Briar Rose' blush/powder. However, I did get both lipsticks, both glosses and both eye shadows. I also picked up one of the Cruella eye shadows (Sweet Joy) which is a pretty light golden color, and I got one of the Cruella powders (Her Own) which is a lovely brownish rose. Also I grabbed the Dr. Facilier Truth and Light powder.

Here are swatches of the Maleficent lippies. From left to right they are Dark Deed, Violetta, The Wrong Spell and Revenge is Sweet.

The color is slightly off here, even though I tried to make it as close as possible. Dark Deed is a beautiful purple-wine color while Violetta is a rich magenta. The Wrong Spell is a dark purple with ... what seems like a hint of ash. Very striking, while Revenge is Sweet is candy pink and enticing as you would expect. I immediately tried all four on when I got home. I think Dark Deed is my favorite of the lipsticks and Revenge is Sweet my favorite of the glosses, but I look forward to playing around with all of them to see what kind of looks I can come up with.

Here are the shadows:

She Who Dares is one of M.A.C's Mineralize eye shadows (as is My Dark Magic), so they're swirls of color mixed together and highly pigmented. This one is a rich purple-blue and black along side a dark mossy green and black. The photo is pretty true to the shades, but you can achieve different shades with a careful dab of your brush.

My Dark Magic is very much the same color scheme as the lips -- purple and rich fuchsia -- but with some black swirled in. They're fairly close in color on the skin, but have more contrast in the package. Still, I think this offering might be my favorite of the shadows, though I do love that green.

Not all of the eyeshadows are mineral. The Cruella shadows are very much the regular singles, and there are pigments available with the Dr. Facilier set.

All in all I'm in love with what I bought, and had common sense not at least blinked in my direction, I might have bought more. If you're a M.A.C. fan, you can't go wrong with these colors, and if you're a Disney fan... well, you NEED this makeup! The packaging alone is to die for.

For more images (fabulous images!) of these products, check out Temptalia's blog.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Inexpensive Primer

If you haven't used a makeup primer, you're probably aware that they exist. A primer goes on over moisturized skin before foundation to help your makeup slip over your skin and not settle into pores and lines. Primers are also somewhat mattifying and give your skin a soft, smooth appearance. They come in liquid and gel-like formulas, some clear and some flesh tone. Makeup Forever makes tinted primers to help with color correction on your skin -- for example a green tinted primer to take away redness.

Many of these primers can be expensive. And companies tell us we need to have several - one for face, one for pores, one for eyes...

So here's a way you can have this effect without spending a lot of money. Buy a tube of Monistat's Chafing Gel. No, I'm not lying. Though Monistat targets their product as a gel to prevent chafing, it's purely dimethicone, which is silicone -- the ingredient in most primers. Plus, it gives a nice powdery feel to your skin and is completely fragrance free, so it's as easy on your skin as primer can get. Added aloe and vitamin E are really good for your skin -- pop it over areas where you've waxed (brows and upper lip) to soothe and help combat irritation.

You can add some mineral foundation/concealer powder to a small amount of the gel to use over areas where you have large pores, or mix a little concealer in and use it as a light weight eye primer. It's not heavy and will help your eyeshadow adhere and cut back on creasing or oily lids. Mix it with a little green corrector, or even a bit of light green eye shadow to prime over acne or rosacea.

Best of all, it's available at most drugstores at a fraction of the cost of high-end primers. And yes, I have some in my makeup organizer. I love it.

photo from monistat.com

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

DIY: Mixing Medium

In yesterday's post I talked about using mixing mediums with pigments. Mixing mediums are liquids used to change the consistency of makeup so it can be used in a variety of ways -- such as using shadow/pigment as eyeliner or diluting liquid makeup.

Many companies make mixing mediums for different uses, but there's a recipe for making a simple mix that will suit most needs. I've made and used this myself, so I can vouch for how good it is. I use it mostly with pigments and shadows and it's great. Here's what you need:

Rubbing Alcohol
Bottle of any size to keep mixing medium in
Distilled water
Natural vegetable glycerin -- you can get it at the grocery or drugstore

Wipe out/clean the bottle and cap with the rubbing alcohol to disinfect. Then, add the glycerin and water so that the mix is 1/3 glycerin, 2/3 water. That's it! Shake before using, and remember to separate the powder/makeup you want to use onto a palette or lid and add mixing medium to that. That way you'll avoid contamination. If you're using the medium on solid eyeshadow, put your damp brush at the edge of the shadow pan so you're only wetting a small section.

For a video on how to make this recipe, check out EnKore on YouTube

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pssst.... About Those Pigments

Okay, so who out there has purchased pigments? Pigments are those loose powders you can get from M.A.C. and other cosmetic companies that you can put directly on your skin, or mix with gloss, nail polish and other powders.

If you are like me and you love makeup with a garishly capital 'L', then you have a tendency to want every item you see on Sephora or Ulta, or calling your name in the cosmetics section of Macy's. Those pigments -- oh so bright and rich and multipurpose -- sing out like a siren's song from your computer screen, or the display in front of you. But which one do you buy? They're so expensive!

I'm going to tell you something that will make you love me forever -- if you haven't already figured it out on your own. I'm going to tell you where you can get pigments -- beautiful pigments -- for around $1.50. No, I'm not lying, and no, they didn't fall off the back of a truck.

Pigments are really nothing more than mica powders. Some brands will add extra powders to drive up the adhesion and slip properties, but essentially they're all the same. Now, you can buy micas. I have probably 50 of them stored in my craft room at this very moment. Some come mixed with Titanium Dioxide and others don't, but they're basically all the same, and they will stick to your skin with varying degrees of adhesion. On bare skin they'll be light, but if you put down a base, such as eye primer, they'll stick so beautifully & brightly!

Here's another tip -- chapstick makes an excellent base for micas/pigments. Apply to your finger tip and smooth over your eyelid et voila! Just don't use the flavored kind, and the butters and oils in the stick will also keep your delicate eye area moisturized. Vaseline works too.

So, where can you get these pigments? TKB Trading is one retailer. Coastal Scents is another (although some of CS's pigments have bismuth oxychloride in them, which can be a skin irritant. Bare Minerals uses this as well -- just FYI). Do a search on micas or mineral makeup ingredients and you'll find plenty. A lot of these places will sell you a 1 oz bag of mica for approximately $4.00, and that's fabulous if you plan on making eyeshadow/blush/lip color for friends or to sell, but for your own private use, you can order their sample sizes, which are about 1 teaspoon of color in a little baggie. PERFECT.

Now, if you don't want to keep the color in a baggie, most of these sites sell 5g pots that will hold your samples beautifully. To apply, either use your primer, or dampen your brush with mixing medium (more on that in my next post). Even your foundation will provide a base for these colors, though they won't be as bright. A note: if you're dampening your brush, put a little mica in the cover of the pot and work with that rather than re-dipping your brush in the pigment. You don't want to invite bacteria into your product!

What if you want to make eyeshadows and don't want to use primers and mediums and all that jazz? Well, a lot of these DIY sites also have base mixes for sale. All you have to do is mix your mica with the prepared base and you have a beautiful shadow that will adhere to your skin without any help -- although primers will always make colors last longer and pop more.

The best part? $10 (plus shipping) could get you up to 10 pots and 4-5 samples, and you know exactly what's in your makeup. $10 wouldn't get you anywhere near a pigment by a big makeup company. Never mind that they have larger pots. Unless you're a makeup artist you're not going to use that much. And if you are, you can still buy a 1 oz bag for less!

So there you go! Let me know if you buy some micas and from where -- especially if you love them!

Photo of Chameleon Violet Mica from CoastalScents.com