Monday, September 1, 2014

MAC A Novel Romance Lipsticks Review

A while ago, I put up a preview of a few of the MAC A Novel Romance products. After having them for a bit, I feel I can properly review them.

Today I will be talking about the lipsticks from the range. The shades I have are:
  • Yield To Love
  • Hearts Aflame
  • Lingering Kiss
Yield To Love, Hearts Aflame, Lingering Kiss

Yield To Love, Hearts Aflame, Lingering Kiss

Yield To Love [Creamsheen finish]  is a medium plummy pink with a cool undertone. I was most excited about this lipstick when I got it, but I find that it's not my favorite. It's a nice enough daily shade, if a little light for me. One swipe yielded almost complete coverage, but two swipes gave opaque coverage. It went onto the lips smoothly, and wore comfortably. It lasted for four hours on me, and left a very mild stain. I did not find it providing any sort of moisture to my lips, but on the other hand, it wasn't drying either.

Hearts Aflame [Matte finish] is a deep red-brown shade. This was surprisingly the favorite of the three for me, and I think those with deeper skins will find this to be a very flattering shade of red. One swipe yielded complete coverage. It did tug at the lips a little during application, but I think this is due to it's matte finish. It wasn't uncomfortable to wear, but like most matte formulas, it was a tad drying. It wore well for five and a half hours, and left a stain behind. Because of the intensity of the color, it's best applied with a lip brush (to get more precise edges) and a lipliner is also a good idea.

Lingering Kiss [Matte finish] was the biggest surprise for me! This is a very deep plum red that really does look rather dark in the tube. I was afraid of it initially, but I liked how it looked on my lips! This actually went on my lips smoother than Hearts Aflame, despite being a matte finish as well. It was, however, a little patchy, and needed touching up in some areas during application. After the initial application, however, there were no problems. This was also a little drying on the lips, nothing uncomfortable though. I definitely think a lip brush and a lip liner are required with this shade! It lasted a very good amount of time, almost 6 hours, and left a stain behind.

Here are the swatches I posted initially:

Yield To Love, Hearts Aflame, Lingering Kiss
And here is how they look on me:

L-R: Yield To Love, Hearts Aflame, Lingering Kiss
Overall, I'd say these are some really nice shades. If you're deeper skinned, I would totally recommend Hearts Aflame! It's a gorgeous shade. Lingering Kiss was a surprising hit, but I feel that there are quite a few lip products out there that are similar to Yield To Love, so it's something that I wouldn't necessarily go for.

BGMM Rating: Yield To Love - A
                      Hearts Aflame - A
                      Lingering Kiss - B+

Friday, August 29, 2014

Let's Get Crafty! - DIY Gel Blush

I know this post is a tad late in the day, and my apologies for that. I meant to put it up sooner, but I've been busy cleaning the house as we're having guests over for the Labor Day weekend.

So I decided to veer off the course of reviews and into the world of DIY (do it yourself). Why, you might ask? Well, I had a bunch of things that were either 1. things I did not use, or 2. did not work for me, or 3. I had duplicates of (it happens, okay?). I didn't want to throw them away, so I decided to try to re-purpose them. And that got me thinking...

A while ago, everyone and their baby sister was raving about the Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel as a 'dupe' for the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer. I succumbed, and bought it, only to discover it did nothing for me. I was disappointed, and relegated it to the back of a drawer, never to see the light of day again.

The thing is, I did like the finish. It gives a soft, satin-y finish, and because it goes from gel to a powder finish, it spreads easily and is quite light. That gave me an idea - why not try to use it to make a gel blush?

The reason I opted for a blush was because I'm a huge fan of the Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Sultry. I love the color, so much so I have (ahem) three of them! I've been wanting a blush with a similar color, but I haven't really found anything like that... when Eureka! why not use it as a blush.

And so the idea was born!

Let's get started -

Step One - Gather all the necessary items.

What you will need:

- Monistat Chafing Relief powder gel (you can replace this with a silicone primer)
- Isopropyl alcohol (or ethyl alcohol)
- A clean, empty jar
- Toothpicks
- Your lipstick of choice

Step two - clean and sanitize everything!

I washed the jar with hot water and soap, and let it air dry. I then added some isopropyl alcohol, swirled it around the jar and the lid, and emptied it out. I let the jar and the lid dry again. The alcohol helps sanitize the jar (fun fact - alcohol essentially breaks down bacterial cell walls, meaning that the entire cell then ruptures, and the bacteria die. A 70% alcohol solution is best, but if you're using anything higher than that, I like to repeat the process twice. Try to avoid using any alcohol solution less than 70% as it won't be as effective in sterilization!)

Step three - Get your lipstick ready.

Twist up the lipstick. Decide how much of it you want to add into the blush. The more you add, the more pigmented your blush will be! I have brown skin, so I can get away with more pigmentation, so I'm going to use all the bullet that's seen in the picture.

Step four - Cut the lipstick into the jar.

I like to use a sanitized toothpick to cut into the bullet (dip the toothpick into the alcohol, and let it dry). You can, of course, choose anything else to cut it - just make sure it's sanitized! Before cutting the lipstick, I also like to sanitize the lipstick itself - I spray the bullet with alcohol, then I wipe off the outer layer with a clean tissue.

Step five - We're change states...

... from solid to liquid, that is (sorry, I couldn't resist!) Melt down the lipstick in the microwave. I used a glass jar, so I just popped it into the microwave and set it for one minute (I don't know the power setting, I'm afraid - you can try it in 30-second installments till it melts, which is what I did). Once it's melted, take it out carefully!

If you're not using a glass jar, use a small microwavable cup to melt the lipstick, then pour the liquid into the tin you're going to be using (again, be sure to sanitize the cup!)

Step six - Let's get mixing!

Add about a 1/2 teaspoon to 3/4 teaspoon of the Monistat gel/silicone primer to the liquid, depending on the amount of lipstick you used. Take a sanitized toothpick, and mix the melted color into the primer. Take your time here, and be thorough - if you don't mix well, you could end up with little grainy bits (which is the lipstick that's clumped together and solidified). It's also important to ensure your lipstick is completely liquid before you mix!

Step seven - Mix well, and freeze to obtain the final product!

Keep mixing till everything is one smooth mixture (if you get grainy bits like those in the picture above, you need to keep mixing. If it still doesn't mix completely, you'll need to put it into the microwave again, to melt the lipstick 'grains')

Once you're done mixing, and it looks smooth and creamy, put it into the freezer for about 15 minutes.

Step eight - Ta da! You're done!

Your customized gel blush is now ready to use!

So, how does it work?

As you can see from the swatches, it's not as intense as the lipstick. It looks 'creamy' and softer, while still being the same shade.

It also blends out very smoothly and very easily. The best part is that you can use this over foundation, or over powder, without disturbing the rest of your makeup!

I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. I still have quite a bit of the Monistat left, but now I'm excited, because that gives me a chance to create more blushes!

P.S - this blush, thanks to its silicone nature, has a certain amount of pore-blurring activity, so that's a bonus!

What do you think? Will you be trying this out? Have you ever gone down the DIY route for makeup?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lakme Eyeconic Kajal Review

I'm fairly sure that y'all must know by now I went on a bit of a shopping spree when I was in India on vacation. Being an eyeliner fanatic (I find it very difficult to go without it!) I had to try these out first.

Lakme is an Indian company that's been around for... well, for as long as I can remember! My mother used to wear their kajal back in the days I roamed around in diapers (from what she's told me). It's also the 'safe' brand, i.e if you're a kid starting out in the world of makeup, chances are someone's going to direct you to a Lakme counter.

Still, with the plethora of choices available in the Indian market today, how does this brand hold it's own?

The packaging is your standard, plastic, mechanical-pencil packaging. The liner itself is retractable (thank heavens! I have several Stila ones that are impossible to twist down) and the twist mechanism works smoothly. The top of the liner is sharpened to a point, but it doesn't come with a sharpener for when the tip is worn down.

The name of the color is written on the little strip at the bottom. This is inconvenient, because, with the exception of the white on, the others all look the same, and there is no way to distinguish one color from the other except for reading the 'tag' at the bottom. Not a huge deal, but some amount of color-coordination would have been helpful.

There are six shades available in this range: Black, Brown, Grey, Green, Blue, and White. I have here four of the six shades with me.

The shades I have are:

  • Grey
  • Brown
  • White
  • Green

White is a stark white (you can barely see it on the sheet!). It's soft and surprisingly smooth and creamy, and glides on easily, even in the waterline.

Brown is a standard deep expresso brown. This is also smooth, and doesn't tug at the eyelid. It goes on well in the waterline, pretty pigmented, without requiring multiple swipes (two to three swipes will be more than enough).

Grey is a warm toned grey with a hint of blue in it. I like using grey for those days when I don't want something as intense as black, and this is a great substitute. The warmness of the color means that it doesn't look very stark against my skin. This is, like the others, smooth and creamy, and glides on the eyelid without tugging.

Green is a deep teal. It's a nice way to add a dash of color to any eye look, and looks particularly fetching when worn with bronzes and golds. I expected this to be more of a forest green, and was a little surprised because it came out teal, but I'm a fan of teal liners so I wasn't too disappointed. If you're looking for a true green liner, though, you might want to skip this. The formula on this one was on par with the others.

Coming to performance, this liner claims to be waterproof, smudgeproof, and is supposed to last up to 10 hours. It is waterproof, and smudgeproof, even on my oily lids, which came as a very pleasant surprise. As to the 10 hour wear claim, it did last a good amount of time on my lash line - 9 hours with minimal fading - but on the waterline it was shorter lived, lasting about 6 hours. It also did smudge a little bit when I wore it on the waterline, and I don't have particularly wet/watering eyes.

Formula wise, they are a good formula - they aren't as smooth or as creamy as, say, the Urban Decay liners, or even the Too Faced liners, but for the price point (they are on par with drugstore makeup) they are fantastic.

Overall, I do highly recommend these liners, and I'm pretty sure were I given the chance and the opportunity to repurchase them, I would!

BGMM Rating: A

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Changes to blogging schedule.

Hey everyone!

I've been having issues of late with the current blogging schedule - primarily because I'd like to test out the products I'm reviewing, and trying to post every day gives me less time to actually try products for their wear and tear. As you can imagine, I've been lagging behind on posting because of this. Factor in classes and my work schedule, and it becomes even more difficult!

As a result, I'm going to be changing my post schedule to every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I will also be resuming the Weekly Favorites post on Sunday.

This will give me a chance to give you better content, without putting as much stress on me.

Thanks for understanding! Let me know in the comments if there's anything in particular you'd like me to post about.



Monday, August 25, 2014

Lorac coming out with PRO MEGA palette soon!

I'm squealing in excitement because I cannot WAIT for this! Lorac is coming out with a mega version of their famous Pro palettes, called the Pro Mega palette. According to Beauty Logic Blog on Instagram, the palette will be out in November!

Prepare your wallets!

Photo credit: Beauty Logic Blog Instagram
What do you think? Are you as excited as I am?

*Edit - I've been told that the actual source of the picture is Beauty Logic Blog on Instagram. I've updated this post to give the correct source! :)