violet mood

On August 13, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

What is it about violet?

A bit of red, a bit of blue, beautiful on all skin tones and eye colors in some shade or another, unmistakably a color in the child’s sense, non-neutral, not of the earthground. Purple was, historically, my favorite color. The color that had, from the age one can identify discrete colors to, say, 13?, no peer. A sage green snuck in on it around then, and I grew more diplomatic and embracing in my preferences, but I remember an abiding love for purple.

Can you recall a time when all something had to be was a certain color to ensure success in your eyes? For me it hardly mattered what the thing was, so long as it was some compelling shade of purple. Preferably leaning toward violet, which—perhaps I have only made it up?—is more blue. So simple!

I am still like that with some shades. Even something quite worthless or otherwise unappealing can catch my eye if it strikes a chromatic chord. All that has changed is: the nature of the shade is more precise, and there is more than one.

Here are some of the violet lip things I like, ranging from lavender to fuchsia.

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Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in Shameless, MAC lipstick in Heroine, OCC lip tar in Butch, NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen, MAC pencil in Nightmoth, Buxom Full-On Lip Stick in Havana, ColourPop Grind pencil, Rimmel Violet Pop lipstick, Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Bauhau5, NARS Audacious Lipstick in Vera

Though there are so many species of purple, I like shades across the spectrum. I think it’s not so much about finding a shade that works for you in the broad sense of warm vs cool or pale vs dark, but a much more particular question of finding specific shades within each region. I think this goes for all colors, reds and oranges, pinks and so on. And for all wearable things, really, not only lipstick. Lipstick is a good example, though, as it is produced in such a crazy volume of often very very very similar shades, and you can establish fine distinctions in compatibility within each shade family.

It means, too, that lipstick lives on those borders between shade names. It’s a great reminder of how hazy the distinctions between colors are, and how fluid a creature color is. I think we can forget this with our shorthand color names, forget that those names are abbreviating small worlds of visible color.

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This ability to hone in on a precise shade is powerful because while vaguely hitting the target of a shade that is flattering to your complexion is effective, hitting the bullseye is devastating. The impact of the right color (colors, there are many) is incredible. You can look more awake, healthier, arresting, demure, sultry, chic, classic, alive in some new, different way to your usual, everyday aliveness. If you haven’t yet had this experience…I’m pretty sure you need to try on more colors.

There is the added appeal of purple being decidedly outside the realm of typical lip colors. It stands out. Whatever the shade, it reads in bold print.

Mini reviews:

Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in Shameless : Love this formula, this is not the best of the shades in terms of payoff but: drugstore purple! This is the truest purple of the bunch, the closest to your rainbow purple.

MAC lipstick in Heroine: Needs a lip pencil but a great, medium purple for yellow or olive skin tones. It’s bizarrely bright, and fantastic because it is so, so, so not your natural lip color. I don’t know of anything natural that is quite this color.

OCC lip tar in Butch: A pain to apply but really fun colors, and they stay put. This hovers on the border between lavender and powder blue. Good to have a few fun colors like this, I say.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen: was just talking about this, these can be messy to apply as well but great colors and a great price – this shade the darkest of the lot: autumn all over.

MAC pencil in Nightmoth: MAC pencils are a little dry but this also means they don’t move around on you and make a solid base. Nightmoth is a deeply pretty pinky aubergine.

Buxom Full-On Lip Stick in Havana: I don’t love this formula, somewhat patchy and smells poorly perfumed (semi-disguised play-doh), but this color is a great dark aubergine if you stick with it. Actually I don’t at all recommend this, but I don’t dislike it enough to ditch it, quite.

ColourPop Grind pencil: quite pleased with these pencils. Decently creamy, nicely pigmented, great out-of-the-box color selection, $5. This is a great match for MAC Heroine, just a little less yellow.

Rimmel Violet Pop lipstick: an easy, bright raspberry. Keep it up, Rimmel.

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Bauhau5: A vivid hot-house fuchsia. Lips that practically leap off your face. Fantastic long-wearing formula.

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Vera: A perfect warm aubergine. Slick and creamy formula, really lovely. As with most formulas, some colors perform better than others.

And some swatches done haphazardly on the back of my hand, taken with my phone, in a different order, with Revlon forgotten. You’re welcome!

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MAC Heroine, MAC Nightmoth, Buxom Havana, NYX Copenhagen, KVD Bauhau5, ColourPop Grind, Rimmel Violet Pop, NARS Vera, OCC Butch

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sweet william, oregano, mini cala lillies

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we like: Colourpop Cosmetics

On June 22, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

After months of hearing good reviews I recently picked up a few things from Colourpop Cosmetics, an L.A.-based brand that focuses on offering vibrant colors and quality formulas at a relatively low price point, ex. $5 eyeshadows and lipthings, $8 blush.

colourpop cosmetics

The first thing that stands out about this brand, aside from the fun color range, is the texture of these shadows. They are powders with a creamy mousse-like texture, such that if you press down on the shadow you make an indentation. [One upshot of this is that they can dry out.] I haven’t had much time to play with them yet but essentially if I want intense color payoff I treat them as a cream shadow and use my finger to pat the color on, and if I want a sheer wash of color I treat them as a standard powder and use a brush. Either way, quite a friendly texture, and the shades I have are all quite blendable. Some aremore pigmented than others – note the swatches, which are all a single swipe.

colourpop cosmetics eyeshadow

Straight off I give them mega points for their metallics, which, when used wet or with fingers, come off as true liquid metals. I picked up one of the eyeshadow sets (because I wanted a couple of colors that were only available in the set, annoyingly), Mondays in Malibu, and a few loose shadows as well.

colourpop cosmetics mondays in malibu

colourpop cosmetics shadow swatches

Mondays in Malibu: Sand Swoon, Gecko, Snakebite, Mirage, Hot Tamale, Prickly Pear

I wanted Hot Tamale (rusty brown) and Snakebite (gorgeous coppery gold), though Prickly Pear turned out to be lovely (lavender-mauve with gold flecks) too. Mirage (pale metallic sage) pretty as well, though not sure what I want to do with it. The others are nice but not shades I go for, and will likely find better homes.

colourpop cosmetics shadow swatches

Animal, Get Lucky, Game Face, Mooning

From the remaining extensive offerings I picked these four, which would make a great little quad, I realize now. See what I mean about those metallics? And Animal, that desert flower shimmery peach/coral, is STUNNING.

colourpop cosmetics blush pegacorn

Matte blush in Pegacorn

I picked up the blush in Pegacorn, a pretty rosy fuchsia. This blush is not as pigmented as [most of] the eyeshadows (thankfully, otherwise one would need to be quite careful), and doesn’t seem quite as…dentable, but the pigmentation is uniform.  I was looking for an aggressive pink for summer and this definitely hits the spot. It has a powder finish with the added virtue of being blendable with fingers. If you typically prefer cream blushes, as I often do, this is the powder blush for you.* I apply with either fingers or a duo-fiber brush and get a dolly flush.

*Or just get the Chanel cream blush…which is so, so beautiful. Wonderful formula.

colourpop cosmetics lippie stix and liner

Toucan, Grind

Of course I had to try a couple of lip products, so I picked up one of their Lippie Stix in Toucan, a vivid matte coral pink, and a Lippie Pencil (creamy, really nice) in Grind, a bold plum. Haven’t had a chance to wear these yet but pleased with the formulas so far, which are creamy and pigmented. Holding out for the matte liquid lipsticks they are releasing next week, which seem very promising indeed (all you Stila Stay-All-Day and Kat Von D liquid lipstick lovers, you may want to investigate). [N.B. have since heard negative reviews about it being difficult to apply two coats of the liquid lipsticks…still kind of want to see for myself.]

colourpop cosmetics

If you want to pick up some brights for summer, this is a great way to do it: these products are solid value for the money.

Are any of these colors jumping out at you? When I saw Snakebite swatched I jumped right over to their site. Give me a true metallic gold and I’m yours.

x

luxe lip: Tatcha Kyoto Red Silk Lipstick

On June 5, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

If you’re in the mood for a luxurious lipstick, you might consider the Kyoto Red Silk Lipstick from Tatcha. An ancient shade with a modern formula and beautiful presentation. This is a limited edition offering but currently available. Observe the handwritten note on my packing slip!

tatcha kyoto red silk lipstick

The color is the traditional geisha shade of shu-iro, which translates to vermilion or scarlet in English; an orange-toned red. This, though, is a red that can present as a true balanced red, a cool rosy red, or a warm red depending on the context. Quite a wily shade, and hard to pin it down. Or, easy to pin it down at any given moment but then always changing on you. It’s clearly warm toned when put against a distinctly ruby/cool shade, but has a deep rosy red color on the cotton round when I’m removing it…perhaps it is warmer on the lips than in the bullet? I don’t know. Good luck.

The concept is that it gives radiance to any complexion. I’m not guaranteeing it would do that but I’m pleased with its chameleon-like nature, and—however it reads—I really like the effect.

red lipstick swatches

Swatches in daylight, L to R (Kyoto Red in the center): Lancome Rouge in Love 181, Tom Ford Narcotic Rouge, Tom Ford Cherry Lush, Tatcha Kyoto Red, MAC Russian Red, MAC RiRiWoo, MAC Lady Danger

It’s not a sheer formula but it’s the sheerest of what I’ve swatched here. Lady Danger is more orange, Russian Red is darker and more blue-toned, Cherry Lush is brighter and rosier. I don’t find it as creamy as any of these formulas, actually, despite Tatcha’s silky promises, but it’s good for a matte formula (it’s more matte than the other matte formulas above, as well), and the fact that it isn’t crazy opaque makes the formula friendlier, in my opinion. I do an initial application to get a general shape, blot, and do a second application to refine the shape. Could use a lip pencil beforehand to make the edges more crisp but I tend to prefer softer edges anyway, so direct from the bullet is fine, with maybe a little help from my best friend, the cotton bud.

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Wearing it in the previous post, doesn’t really come across as orange-ey here, I wouldn’t say.

If I had to choose between these formulas I’d probably go with Tom Ford’s matte over this one…(that is, if I wanted to spend ~$50) but this is a unique color to my eye, and that is in its favor. I also really appreciate the fact that this is almost exclusively a skincare brand that released just one shade of one formula of lipstick, and this is it. Thus saying, this is the only lipstick you need.* Rather, this is the only shade of lipstick a geisha needs, and don’t we all want to channel her intrinsic elegance and impeccable taste? I like this brand.

*Though, we know that is not the case here…

tatcha kyoto red silk lipstick

[My name is Meghan. If you’re new to my blog, welcome!]

The lipstick is faceted at the tip, creating a distinctive silhouette that reminds me of Charlotte Tilbury’s lipsticks and some of Tom Ford’s new releases but which is its own creature. I wouldn’t say this makes application more precise but it looks really pretty. Also, I’m confident that this is the heaviest lipstick I own. Luxe points.

tatcha kyoto red silk lipstick

Here I’ve just drawn on the booklet that accompanies the product. Doesn’t look orange here at all to me!

xo

the bordeaux lip iii

On December 6, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

Nope! Still not done with this bordeaux lip fixation.

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L to R: Chanel Rouge Allure in Elegante, NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Terre de Feu, Bite Beauty Matte Creme Crayon in Aubergine, Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Cassis, NYX Matte lipstick in Siren

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They are all totally different! I swear!

OK, this batch tends more burgundy than bordeaux, more oxblood than plumred, but the effect is the same; that badass balance of vibrant and deep that makes for an arresting, wintry lip.

I’ve liked every lip product I’ve tried from Chanel’s Rouge Allure line, regardless of finish, but I especially like the classic line. It’s surprisingly light on the lips, a thin but still uniform deployment of pigment. I’m impressed with Chanel across the board, from fragrance to face cream. They’re pricey, yes, but they perform. That said, I don’t tend to look to them unless they have a specific shade I’ve set my heart on, and Elegante was one of those. OK, OK, actually it is a lot like MAC’s Hang Up (which giving away this coming week!), so it’s not a surprise that I like it, but it’s a touch darker and leans a bit more toward purple. Not quite as glossy.

NARS Terre de Feu (wearing/going on about here) is the ruddiest of the bunch, and I sense no likelihood of tiring of it. Volga on the way, btw.

Bite Beauty impresses me more and more with each product I try (I’ve only tried various lip stuff). The crayon is solid (those little mini ornament things from Sephora are a great way to try the crayons and the lipsticks), creamy, matte, not drying, actually hydrating a little (!), stains (??), and to the luminous creme lipstick I am going to have to devote a post because it is one of the most beautiful formulas I’ve seen yet. Also a lot like Chanel’s Elegante but glossier and creamier (thicker on the lips, too). NYX Matte lipstick in Siren a pretty fantastic drugstore dupe, and really good in its own right. A little drying, maybe, but so long-wearing.

[OK, so some of them are pretty similar.]

So you’ve got a pretty good idea of the shades preoccupying me at the moment – any recommendations?

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