Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in #92 Diapason: Review And Swatches

Hi guys. Today I want to post a review on the iconic Chanel cream eye-shadow that I recently purchased and mentioned in this post. It is their Illusion d'Ombre in #92 Diapason.

Here's a closer look at it.

Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in #92, Diapason

This is a long-wearing cream eye-shadow that comes in a classic Chanel glass jar with a brush, which is actually quite handy in case you're using the eye-shadow as a liner. One thing to note about the product is that it is NOT one of those waterproof eye-shadows that set to a bullet-proof state, like, say, Maybelline Color Tatoos. It is not waterproof and it doesn't set, it is simply long-wearing.

The color is a shimmery brown-based plum with a hint of purple, which is gorgeous for green-eyed girls. Green-eyed beauties, hear me! This was created for you, because your eyes will look mesmerizing with this color! However, this is one of those beautiful neutrals that is not boring but interesting. Since it is such a pricey piece, I wanted to choose something I would get a lot of use out of, so I went for this color. Check out the swatches.

Swatches of Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in #92, Diapason applied in 3 different ways (bottom to top): blended out, regular swatch, concentrated as a liner

As you can see from the swatches this is a very versatile shade that can be worn in multiple ways. When sheered out it really looks like slightly plummy brown. It looks very beautiful as a liner too. You can also wear it as a base for another eye-shadow, as well as combined with other shadows or liners. Depending on how you wear it it can work as an everyday color or an evening one in more concentrated dramatic look. It looks gorgeous on the eyes. Check it out for yourself.

Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in #92, Diapason applied all over the lid and blended out in the crease, and applied as a liner on the top and bottom lash-lines. There's nothing else on the eyes, except for mascara.

Isn't it beautiful? It has enough softness to it to be not too much, but yet gives enough definition. I think it even makes my eyes look a little green-ish.

As to the quality: it is very very good. It blends like a dream, has great color payoff, is indeed long-wearing, I feel, so I have no bad things to say about it at all. The only thing I don't like about it is the price. I think I saw it on the Nordstrom site for $30 (I think), but, like I mentioned in the previous Chanel post, in Lviv it cost me at least 35% more. It's ridiculous! But if you can afford it, you won't regret it. It is a lovely product indeed.

Overall, I love, love, love it. And you can do so much with this product and this particular color. It is very low-maintenance and can easily be applied with your fingers. Oh, by the way, I believe this color is a limited edition one, so you should grab it while you still can.

Rating by category (out of 10, 10 being the highest score):

  • versatility - 10
  • product quality - 10
  • packaging - 10

Thank you so much for reading. I hope this review was helpful.

Disclaimer: all these products were purchased by me and I wasn't paid for a review.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

5 Popular Makeup Myths

Today I'd like to talk to you about makeup myths, or misconceptions, or wrong techniques or whatever you want to call them. They are mainly the stereotypes that have been living in the beauty world, and some even cultivated by some makeup artists, for years. I decided to break some of them :).

There's one thing I do want to stress before we start. You all know it, but sometimes it doesn't hurt repeating and I cannot stress that enough. There are NO RULES in makeup. You should do whatever looks good on YOU, whatever suits YOU and YOUR needs and, in the end, whatever makes YOU happy. It doesn't mean, however, that you can't or shouldn't perfect your makeup skills or your looks, or that you can't/shouldn't experiment, there's always room for improvement and experiment, so just be wise and simply balance-minded (if that's even a word) about your makeup and beauty philosophy, because YOU are the only legitimate judge for yourself in this sphere. So, with that in mind, let's get started.

Myth #1. Always use your ring finger for applying under-eye concealer

I started with this one because it is one of the most ridiculous statements I hear over and over again from many makeup artists, you-tubers and beauty bloggers. They say that it's the weakest finger and therefore you should use this one to apply concealer under the eye not to drag or harm you sensitive skin there. There are 2 misconceptions here that make this myth ridiculously far from being true.

1. When it comes to applying concealer the ring finger is not the weakest finger of all. It is about as weak as all the other fingers. The main argument behind claiming it the weakest is that when you put your palm facing down on the table and lift each finger, the ring finger will be the hardest to lift and therefore considered the weakest. But when you apply concealer you tap or push the product onto the skin, so you actually perform the opposite movement and if you do a similar test but simply push down each finger against the table you'll understand that the amount of pressure each finger creates is pretty much the same and you can push your ring finger as hard as any other finger.

2. Because the ring finger is supposedly the weakest it will apply the least amount of pressure to your under-eye skin. That is also not true, because even if it were the weakest, which we already proved to be wrong, you'd still be able to drag your skin if you're not careful or if you are heavy handed, because it is YOU who controls your fingers and you can either damage or not damage your skin with ANY finger.

So, bottom line: it is not wrong to apply your concealer with a ring finger, but it is definitely wrong to think it is the only and the most proper way to do it. You can do it with any finger you feel comfortable with. I personally often do it with my middle finger and blend it out with a ring finger, but usually only because it is the only clean finger left. An amazing world famous makeup artist Lisa Eldridge also often does it using her index finger (you can check out her videos for proof of that). So, use whatever finger you're most comfortable with and simply be gentle.

Myth #2. No all-shimmery eye-shadow looks after 30

Ok. Here's another stereotype that is so far from reality. I will say this. Everything depends on your skin condition on your eye-lids and your personal preference. There are millions of women out there who, when they're 30+ and even 40+, still look like they're 20, or maybe even older, maybe they just look good and don't even have fine lines leave alone wrinkles, so they can easily pull off any eye look, even an all-shimmery one. There will be a bunch of people who'll say, no you can't wear shimmers at that age because it emphasizes all imperfections and fine lines, and even if you don't have any, you still need some mattes as blending and crease colors and all that non-sense. I'll say Yes and No to this. If you prefer mattes, that's fine, wear them, but if you like you shimmers and pearls and your eye-lids are in pretty decent condition (they don't even have to be perfect) you can wear shimmers. It all depends on the look, the eye-shadow, the colors you choose. I'll even say this, some matte eye-shadows may emphasize your imperfect skin texture and fine lines if your eye-lids are dry, because they may not blend so easily and cling to your dry areas a bit therefore emphasizing them, whereas the low-level shimmers will blur them out. As an example I want to show some pictures of Karen from http://www.makeupandbeautyblog.com/, who is definitely over 30, but looks stunning both in mattes and in shimmers and no one can convince me of the opposite. She is beautiful.

However, I need to make a few notes here. Firstly, I love both shimmers and mattes equally and understand the beauty of both, so I'm not being prejudiced in my opinion. Secondly, I would steer away from wearing straight glittery eye-shadows all over the lids regardless of age. Glitter ALL over the eye never really looks flattering unlike low-level shimmers, pearls, metallic and satin finishes, which usually look good on most people. Thirdlyas you age at some point you will have to incorporate mattes into your eye-looks for obvious reasons, but only YOU decide when and to what extent it will happen. You have to see what eye-shadows look good on you, as simple as that. Until then, you can rock the shimmers or mattes as your heart desires :).

Myth #3. Covering birthmarks

This is one of those myths that I myself discovered to be a myth when I only started with makeup as a teenager. I have a small dark birthmark on my left cheek, so this myth I had to deal with in real life. When you cover your birthmark, especially a dark one (it probably doesn't apply as much to light birthmarks as they're much less visible), you will end up looking like you actually have tons of makeup on your face, but when you put it back with, say, a brow pencil or an eye liner, it will look like you have no makeup on. I know it sounds strange but just trust me in this. It was tested and proven. You have to be careful about the shade and choose the right shade to do it but once you've found it, it's going to be just an extra 2 seconds and a great difference in how it looks. I'll show you an example. Please, don't mind the quality, I'm only posting these pictures to illustrate my point. The lighting and the makeup is different in the pictures but just focus on my birthmark and you'll see what I mean.

Here is my makeup without the birthmark put back. It looks like I have tons of foundation on, almost like I wear a mask, whereas in reality I hardly have any, since the eyes and lips are so loud. That's the effect of a covered birthmark.

I put back my birthmark here and my face looks like I have less or no foundation on my face compared to the previous picture above, whereas in reality I have a bit more coverage here. The way my birthmark looks here is actually the way it looks when I don't have any makeup on. It is its natural color. That's the effect of a darkened birthmark.

Another example of a darkened birthmark, but from a different angle.

Your birthmarks are what makes you unique and special, so don't hide them, just keep them natural. And... who can imagine Merilyn Monroe without her cute and flirty signature birthmark?

Merilyn Monroe and her signature beauty mark

There used to be a whole trend of putting fake beauty marks on your face, so if you have one you don't even need to fake it :). Just keep it naturally defined.

Myth #4. Problematic skin needs more coverage

This is another misconception that problematic and acne-prone skin needs more coverage. The truth is the more coverage you have, the more obvious your skin texture and imperfections become, especially when you're dealing with acne, leave alone the fact that you're clogging your pores with too much heavy product, which in itself can cause more breakouts.

Your skin needs to breathe and look like skin. I think that anyone regardless of skin condition should use as little of foundation as they can get away with, use only what you need to even out the overall skin tone, NOT cover the breakouts or other imperfections, and just spot treat the problematic areas correctly afterwards, making sure to use only matte textures for these areas to avoid extra attention. Whatever you do on your skin, it has to look like YOU rather that you wearing a thick flat mask of "perfect skin". I won't ramble too much about it, I'll just share a video of one of my most favorite makeup artists, Lisa Eldridge, who shares the same concept on this subject as I do and shows how to cover acne beautifully without caking up the skin. Here it is.

Myth #5. Using the same bronzer for bronzing and contouring

The beauty and makeup market is huge and of course there will be those unique bronzers that will work equally well for bronzing and for contouring, but they are rare, and quite often companies make bronzers meant for just one purpose: either bronzing or contouring. So, you have to keep that in mind looking for a bronzer and choose the right products for your purposes. If you want a bronzer for actual bronzing you can get away with a much warmer shade with slightly yellowy-peachy-reddish undertone, depending on your skin tone of course. It may even have a bit of shimmer to give you that sun-kissed glow. However, if you try to use such bronzer for contouring you'll end up looking muddy and like you've chosen the wrong color of foundation, especially if it has shimmer and you want to contour with it. It won't create the shadow you need since it reflects the light. On the other hand, if you want to contour you should look for something matte and much cooler in tone without any significant warm undertones, quite ashy, I'll say. That would be perfect to create the shadows where you want the areas of your face to recede. I often use a taupe-y eye-shadow to do that. And again, if you try to use this type of product for bronzing and warming up your skin tone... eeem... you'll end up looking ashy and dirty - bad, bad idea. So, if you want a product for a particular purpose, keep those things in minds. Below are a few examples of good natural bronzing and contouring.

Jennifer Lawrence. This is a great example of a very naturally looking contouring

Good heavy contouring

Great example of natural bronzing

Jennifer Lopez. Good example of heavier, but still naturally looking, bronzing and contouring

So, bottom line for bronzing/contouring products (unless you find one of those universal all-rounder bronzers perfect for your skin tone, which are difficult to find): keep the undertone and finish in mind, as well as your own skin tone (your bronzer has to be friends with your skin tone, not enemies), and blend-blend-blend.

Conclusion: There's no right or wrong in doing anything in makeup, so don't be limited by stereotypes. My best advice to you would be to look closely in the mirror when you've tried something new, and listen to the feedback from the people around you: those who love you will always complement you on anything that looks beautiful :). Mark those things in your head and you can also try and keep my humble suggestions from this post in mind too.

I hope this was helpful, and thank you very much for reading.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter!

May we always remember the reason for celebration. Happy Easter, dear friends!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

TheBalm Balm Voyage! Palette: Review And Swatches

Happy Thursday everyone! I feel like reviewing theBalm palettes may just turn into a series of posts :)... maybe. Anyway, reviewing another great palette for you, guys.

It's the Balm Voyage! palette. I would just buy this baby for the packaging itself: it's that great.

This palette is available at theBalm site http://www.thebalm.com/balm-voyage.html for $42.50 and at http://www.feelunique.com/p/theBalm-Balm-Voyage-Face-Palette for 35GBP. I'm pretty sure many other stores carry it as well. You could probably find it at Amazon too.

TheBalm Balm Voyage! Palette

TheBalm Balm Voyage! Palette


Don't you just love these vintage images as old postcards with these ladies travelling the world? Oh, and the inside mirror, where you see your face as part of the passport picture of a cute Anita Vacation? Oh, Anita, Anita... I definitely feel like Anita Vacation :). It just cracked me up! Just looking at this packaging already brings me pleasure. Love, love, love it!

Ok, now on to the facts. The packaging is pretty typical for theBalm: sturdy cardboard with magnetic flips, one covering the eye-shadow part of the palette and the other covering the cream products. The nicely sized mirror is there too as I already mentioned. There are a few suggested looks too.

The palette is quite big. It is approximately the size of my head in perimeter. The eye-shadow pans are huge compared to the ones in the Balm Jovi palette, so you are getting a very decent amount of product here. Yet the packaging is still very compact and super thin considering that, so it is still great for travelling for which it was created according to the company's description.

The Palette

You're getting 16 eye-shadows in the palette and 3 lip/cheek creams. I won't go into long details about the quality, because it's just top-notch, there's not much more to say here: the pigmentation, the creamy formula, the blendability and staying power of both eye and lip products are excellent. I feel like in that sense theBalm can do very little wrong in their palettes if at all.

Here are the swatches.

Swatches as they appear in the palette

The color selection is what makes this palette so interesting, because you've got something for both worlds: the neutral one and some unique interesting colored one, which allows for great variety of looks.

As to the lip/cheek colors, I will say that they are very-very pigmented and bright, so if you want a hint of color, be sure and use a light hand when applying those as they are truly opaque, especially the orange one in the middle. I'd actually prefer having some neutral color here, at least one for a perfect balance but it is just my personal preference and it in no way makes the palette worse. It's definitely not for the faint heart girls in terms of lip color.

So who would this palette be good for? I think it'll be great for someone, who is looking for a palette that has it all, both the neutrals and the fun colors. If you're a strictly neutral girl you might find yourself not wearing some of the colors... on the one hand, but on the other hand - this palette could be a great way to gradually infuse some new shades and experiences into your makeup life if that's what you're looking for. Also if you're a color lover, you'll definitely love this palette. I would probably not recommend it for beginners as they might be a bit intimidated by those brighter colors and not know what to do with them and how to combine and use them. It'll be better to get them something safer, more neutral and maybe even in a smaller size to make it easier.

There's one note that I want to make. It is really odd though... This is a really-really lovely palette but for some reason I feel like I prefer the Balm Jovi one better. I don't even know why, because the Balm Voyage! offers sooo much variety. However, despite this, I'm finding myself reaching for it not as often as I expected (even considering the fact that I'm a big color lover and adore the colors in this palette). I find myself wondering too long about the color combos or something when I open it, ...again, I don't even know why since it has never been an issue for me. Anyway, I just wanted to point that out even if it doesn't make sense :), because it is my honest opinion on it. It might change over time I'm sure, or I'll figure out why, and if so, I'll definitely update this post with my thoughts.

Rating by category (out of 10, 10 being the highest score):

  • versatility - 10
  • product quality - 10
  • packaging - 10
  • travel-friendliness - 10
Thank you very much for reading.

Disclaimer: all these products were purchased by me and I wasn't paid for a review.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

In the Beginning of Chanel Collection Were...

...just 4 products but very lovely ones. I only recently tried Chanel makeup for the very first time, maybe a couple of months ago. I've heard so much rave about it as well as criticism that I thought I should try it and make my own conclusions. Besides, it just feels so good being able to treat yourself with such luxury makeup items once in a while that I just couldn't resist :).

I only have a few items but just wanted to show them to you as a teaser for upcoming reviews. The very first thing I got from Chanel was a limited edition eye-shadow palette in Charming from the Christmas 2013 collection. It was a gift from my parents on my birthday. I'll be honest, I just fell head over heels for it when I finally got it, that's how much I wanted it. The other 3 items I got myself at the Chanel counter in my city, Lviv. The prices are ridiculous for Chanel here, it almost makes me sick, but at least I was able to see what I was getting and swatch it making sure it was the right color before spending this huge amount of money. So, I got a Le Volume de Chanel mascara in black, their limited edition cream eye-shadow (illusion d'Ombre) in #92 Diapason and a Rouge Allure lipstick in ... um... don't remeber... hahaha, OMG, sorry about that, I just don't have that lipstick with me while I'm writing this post. I'll update it a bit later with the color. #88 Evanescente.

My small Chanel collection

My small Chanel collection (closer look)

Please, forgive the quality of the pictures, they were made in artificial light in the evening, but I'm only posting them so that you'll get an idea about the products, not necessarily the exact colors. I'll have better pictures and swatches of each of the product in individual upcoming reviews.

Just a couple of final words about the products. I'm loving all of these and am very happy I got them, they're beautiful. Are they worth the money they cost? I don't know about that, it only depends on how much money you have and are willing to spend on makeup, so only you can answer this question for yourself, but if you have the money and want to spend on some luxury makeup items Chanel will definitely deliver the luxury factor to you along with good quality, at least in the products I mentioned.

Thank you for reading this post and keep checking out my blog for upcoming reviews of these products.

Disclaimer: all these products were purchased by me and I wasn't paid for a review.

Monday, April 7, 2014

TheBalm Balm Jovi Rockstar Face Palette: Review And Swatches

This palette has been around for about 2 years or so, and that's about as long as I've had it. This is the first large palette I got in my life (I never really cared much about palettes before), and it has become one of my favorite ones. It is a lovely palette indeed so I wanted to review it for you in case you're considering getting it as it is still available at theBalm site (http://www.thebalm.com/balmjovi.html) for $39.50, FeelUnique (http://www.feelunique.com/p/theBalm-Balm-Jovi-Palette) for 34 GBP if you're in Europe or at Amazon.com.

I got my palette from theBalm site and from that moment on my love for palettes has started and grown ever since. I'm so glad I got this palette, I love absolutely everything about it. In fact, I think that the first positive experience I had with it actually contributed a great deal to how many palettes I own now and to my overall love for them. If not for that, who knows if I would have ever dived into this amazing world of makeup palettes.


Just look at this gorgeousness! Isn't it awesome? I think theBalm is one of the best makeup companies in terms of packaging altogether: it's always fun, cute, original, witty, slightly vintage, always has a character and despite all of that it's super compact. What else can you wish for?

This palette in particular is just the BOMB in how small and slim it is and how much it's got packed and offered for you inside. It's a cardboard type packaging with magnetc closures that is perfect for travel because of its size. The great thing about it is that the cream face products have a separate fold covering them that prevents the powder products from falling down and creating a cream mess. It's so simple yet brilliant and practical! It also has a decently sized mirror, which, again, is very handy for travelling. Once you flip the bottom cover you'll see 4 suggested looks, which is quite user-friendly and can give some ideas for days when you don't want to think too much.

TheBalm Balm Jovi Rockstar Face Palette

TheBalm Balm Jovi Rockstar Face Palette 

The Palette

The palette contains 12 eye-shadows, 1 highlighter, 1 powder blush and 2 lip/cheek creams. The highlighter and the blush can also both be used as eye-shadows. What makes this palette especially universal is not only the fact that it has all your colored makeup for your face, but the variety of finishes offered by the selection of eye-shadows. Basically, you have 3 vertical rows, where the 1st one is metallic, the 2nd one is matte and the 3rd one is soft-perl/shimmer. This just makes it suitable for everybody.

Check out the shadows and swatches more closely.

Swatches as they appear in the palette

Swatches as they appear in the palette: closer look

The color selection is great: it's got very wearable colors, both neutrals and a few brighter and more interesting shades yet still wearable, there's also a nice balance of light, medium and dark colors. The matte dark brown can even work as a great brow color for dark haired girls or darker brows. In fact, it works perfectly as such, I've used it like this myself.

The highlighter is gorgeous and the blush is very nice too, quite a universal shade. As to the lip colors, I feel like they were chosen personally for me. They make a perfect combo for all occasions: great neutral nudy-pink and bright red, slightly deeper than your classic red, which again makes it even more wearable. So I feel like all the colors work very well together in this palette. You'll be able to create TONS of looks with it.

The pigmentation of these shadows is simply fantastic! The formula is sooo smooth and velvety. They blend super easily and stay put ALL DAY even without a primer without budging or creasing or fading. I think it is one of the best eye-shadow formulas out there, at least it's one of the best ones I've tried along with Laura Mercier's ones. It's also very consistent throughout all the different finishes, they're all equally amazing and there's no dud shade in here at all. One little note on the creams here: they work very well as cheek blushes, they're also quite nice as lip colors, but more as a stain type of product as it doesn't give much of hydration or that glossy shiny finish, so don't count on them to be extra moisturizing, they can actually be a bit drying, not a lot, but still; they're not super long-wearing either. However if you put them over a lip balm they work absolutely fine.

Overall, the more I look at this palette, the more I analyze it and actually use it, the more I'm amazed at what a hit theBalm has made with this little baby. You've got all you need in it to create a great variety of looks from simple natural daytime looks to super dramatic smokey ones including a red carpet look with a red lip. The colors are great, the amazing quality is there, the price is very reasonable for what you get, so for me I feel like I don't ever want to be without this palette. If I'm travelling it's one of the first candidates among palettes that's going with me, because I have my eye-shadows, my brow color, my blushes, my highlighter and my lip colors, so I only need to take my face base products (foundation, concealer, powder) and my mascara and that's it! Pretty amazing, huh? This product would also be a great gift or be useful for someone starting out with makeup because it gives a lot of options in one little item. I really cannot imagine anyone being dissatisfied with this palette. It's pretty amazing.

Rating by category (out of 10, 10 being the highest score):

  • versatility - 10
  • product quality - 10
  • packaging - 10
  • travel-friendliness - 10
I hope, this review has helped some of you to make up your mind and you found what you were looking for. Thank you for reading till the end. I really appreciate your time.

Disclaimer: all these products were purchased by me and I wasn't paid for a review.