Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes Mascara

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Okay, so I’m on the internet and all these fools are declaring BEST MASCARA I EVER USED and I’m trying to find out WHO got paid… because really? Here’s the thing, this mascara is not bad. And it’s actually better than Charlotte’s first effort, which… lets face it… was kind of Shu Uemura Basic. Because Miss Tilbury is such an earnest salesperson, it’s no surprise that the first mascara gained traction quickly. I’m sure this one will too.

But best mascara I ever used?

No.

First, I’m kinda mad that the tube is plastic. Charlotte gets you all jazzed to be damned with the fantastic compact that holds the Bronze & Glow and even the heavy frosted glass bottle for the Magic Foundation… and then this. Raggedy. And there’s really no excuse because Armani has those original gunmetal tubes even Too Faced has that epic pink metal mascara tube… so this was disappointing. You want to call a mascara LEGENDARY… first I’m gonna need some legendary packaging. Not this plastic mess with the lashes drawn on it. Girl bye.

Charlotte claims the mascara doesn’t clump. This is not true. I’ve been using it for a week, and there has been ONE OCCASION where it did not clump at my lashline. That’s the thing. There are no clumps for me at the end of the lashes, but I’ve had the worst time with it at the base. To compensate, I’ve been applying it just beyond instead of right at the roots, and that seems to work better for me.

Formula wise, this is a good mascara. But it’s not the best. The formula is ‘wet’ so you have to be careful about holding still for a couple of seconds while it dries. Incidentally, Tilbury’s original mascara formula was drier and layered better. This one claims two coats, and it’s best to stick with that because any more and your lashes are gonna look a mess. This was illustrated on Charlotte’s OWN video, when she did the doll lashes. Observe about 2:41 in:

She did that herself, and kept it in the video, so I need everyone to shut up about how this doesn’t clump because I sure see some lashes all kinds of stuck together. I was sitting there scratching my head and pointing like but… but…

And because she’s such an epic salesperson, there’s always some ‘special’ ‘secret’ ‘magic’ blend to all of this (even if there isn’t. Beautypedia gave the Magic Cream two stars for exaggerating claims and what not). Obviously this is an effective marketing strategy because damn if I don’t hear people waxing on about the same every time they use something of hers. Please understand that I am a MASSIVE fan of this brand, but I’m not gonna sit up here and pretend that everything is everything because… well… it’s not.

fotd legendary

This is a decent mascara. If you’re into Volume de Chanel (worse), Too Faced (better) or Armani (much better) you’re going to be just fine with this mascara. The price point and performance are absolutely on par with market offerings. If you love Charlotte and just want to have something of hers, I’m not going to discourage you from picking this up… if you can handle that cheap lil’ tube. But it’s not Legendary (I’m mad she went there) because for all the technology we have access to in makeup and skin care, this should have been better.

 

Japonesque… On Makeup

Brush brand Japonesque is branching out… to makeup. They’ve released a massive collection, including foundations, concealers, shadows, blushes, and lip lacquers. During a recent launch party, I got to sample the goods. I have to say, they’re pretty good.

I came away with the pressed translucent powder, which is the considered the collection’s Crown Jewel. I also got two blushes (#1 an #4), two lip lacquers, and a solid brush cleaner. Oh, and that fantastic little makeup bag.

Each pattern on the tops of the containers are unique… no two are alike. I thought that was a lovely touch.

The pressed powder actually works on my warm skin. There is NO flashback (and for my first try, I went in heavy with a dense brush). It reminds me a lot of the NARS version, without any discernible shimmer. This is totally matte, and milled to HD standards, so it literally just sets the makeup without adding any color.

The blushes are a surprise. I actually didn’t expect them to be as pigmented as they are, or perform as well as they do. #1 is a warm pink, and #4 (my favorite) is a cooler rose tone. It reminds me of NARS Mata Hari in the pot, but isn’t as plum on the skin. It’s more of a distinct pink color on me.

I have the lip lacquers in #5, which is a very strong baby-doll pink, and #1 which is an awesome golden nude. Application is tricky… I’m still working on it. This formula is very thick, and very opaque. I recommend a light touch on well moisturized lips. Otherwise you just kind of end up with a hot mess. Once on (properly) this formula doesn’t move though. It’s just getting it on that takes some getting used to.

So far, I’m lukewarm on the brand. The blushes are amazing, and I really love the illuminators they’ve come out with (like the MUFE Uplights… but in much bigger containers), and I’m a big fan of pressed powder and blushes. The foundation color is okay… not amazing. And I’m still trying to make up my mind on the concealers. I’ll get back to you on those.

For now, you can find the collection at ULTA.

Lashing Out: Geisha Ink Mascara

The weather is heating up around here (a LOT) and this is about the time that I start testing mascaras that do all the things that waterproof mascaras do, without turning my lashes into stiff spikes. I personally am not a fan of waterproof mascaras, but because my skin is so oily, it’s difficult to find a mascara in hot weather that will actually stand up to the challenge.

Enter Geisha Ink:

On The Outside: I need them to work a little harder on the packaging. I don’t mind the box, but that little plastic wrap around the tube is tacky as all get out. And would it kill them to get a black top to match the tube? Even drugstore brand tubes are opaque. That sheer tube really takes away from the overall presentation. Not a fan.

On The Inside: This is a ‘tubing’ mascara, not unlike Fiberwig or Kiss Me. This mascara is more expensive than those two ($30), so I was curious to see if the performance justified the price. I feel like, if you’re going to charge Volume de Chanel prices, then I need to see Volume de Chanel lashes.

This mascara does one better. These are my lashes in the mascara, WITH NO CURLING. I have typical curved lashes… not curly. They always have to be curled before mascara application. Not with Geisha Ink. I can put this mascara on and it automatically sends my lashes upward. Two coats, and I’m good to go. This formula is ever so slightly prone to clumpy, and the wand picks up a LOT of product (the bristles are very dense), so I’d recommend pulling off some of the product before application. Otherwise I love it.

Now, if they could just work on that packaging…

You can find out more about Geisha Ink Mascara HERE.

 

First Impressions: Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic Blusher

What?

Yes, I know it’s a LOT of Charlotte Tilbury of late, but please bear with me. They JUST started offering international shipping. And after the nightmares about Selfridges sending smashed up products damn near a month after payment cleared, I’m glad I waited for the Tilbury website to offer direct shipping. The products are getting here in 3 days now. Just outstanding. I’m nearly done. Just a couple more eye pencils … and the foundation (when it becomes available) … that’s it. For real.

Meanwhile:

I arranged them in order, so that you can see how they actually look in real life, because I think the colors on the website are not representative of the actual product.

From the top left: First Love, Love Glow, Ecstacy, Love Is The Drug, Sex On Fire, and The Climax.

At first glance, I think that every single one of these blushes in universal in some way. I was worried that some of them would go ashy on my warm skin tone, or turn some pale skinned beauty into a pumpkin… but every single one of these is flattering. I can’t use every one as a blush, but they also work well as highlighters. And that ‘pop’ of color in the center is genius. It’s technically two products in one pot, because you can absolutely use the colors separately.

First Love

The outer ring works as a stunning highlighter on me, and the inner color adds a bit of peach. It reminds me a LOT of Rock & Republic Blush In Call Me, when blended together. We may have found a dupe!

Love Glow

This is a warmer version of First Love, with a little more ‘pink’ thrown in for good measure. It’s not exactly a cool shade, but I think it’ll work well on cooler skin tones. These blushes are buildable, but I’ve found that they really don’t need to be build up. Initial swatches pulled up a lot of pigmentation on both the outer and inner color. I dare say you might have to use a light touch, and then build to your desired intensity.

Ecstacy

As you can see this color is more pink than peach. It is a LOT like NARS Orgasm, but it’s definitely more of a pink color. The shimmer factor is a bit higher with this one too (like Orgasm). I understand why this is the current favorite among internet beauties, but I think everyone is missing out by passing on First Love. I think that color is more what I expected Ecstacy to be. First Love is much more golden peach.

Love Is The Drug

Pink. I was surprised by this one. I really expected it to be more peach, based on the internet renderings. But it’s definitely a lovely rose-colored pink. It looks absolutely amazing on me, and I feel like with a light touch just about anyone can wear this blush. It’s gorgeous.

Sex On Fire

Again. Pink. This one is more of a deep violet-rose, but still in the pink family. Now, if you look at the website, this looks like a peach with a bronze center. It’s not. This will give off a very ‘flushed’ finish (reminds me of the original Benetint) without looking like you’re doing the most.

The Climax

This is basically a bronzer with a highlight. This will work as a blush on deeper skintones, but beware of the shimmer factor. I don’t sense discoball (yet), but I see the potential. This is a shimmery bronzey color, and that center color works beautifully as a highlight on medium to dark skin tones.

Overall, I like every single color. I’m surprised at the differences between what I thought I was going to get and what I actually got in terms of shade selection, so in that respect I’m glad I bought them all. Had I been looking for a deep peach color with Ecstasy or Sex On Fire, I might feel differently.

The colors cover the gamut in terms of shading, skin tones, and undertones. And they all have shimmer in them. A few of them have a more ‘matte’ center, but for the most part these are shimmer blushes. Since Charlotte Tilbury is all about getting that ‘glow’ – I’m not surprised.

The pigmentation is excellent, and the quality is superb. The blushes are silky, pick up with just the lightest touch of a brush, and transfer to the skin beautifully. There is no powdery buildup, no dusty residue in the pot, and absolutely no ashy factor with any one of these blushes. They all translate neutral to warm, so I dare say that in some respect all of these blushes are universal. It really just depends on what color you want.

I  hope these pictures shed a more honest light on what these blushes look like in real life. Swatches are coming. Ciao for now!

Product Review: Charlotte Tilbury (Haul #2)

Well this couldn’t have come at a worst time. 🙂 All this lovely eye makeup that can go NOWHERE NEAR MY EYES! Boo! At least not for another week or so. The next ‘installment’ of my Charlotte Tilbury exploration arrived at AIM Towers… featuring a selection of ‘not so basic’ shades of Rock n’ Kohl, Brow Lift (in Cara), Feline Flick (duh), Eyelash Curler and Bar of Gold.

As I get to experience these products, I’ve come to the conclusion that the Charlotte Tilbury makeup line is very much like Rock n’ Roll. The scene can be ‘glamorous’ and give off the illusion of perfection and freedom in every conceivable way. Everything (and everyone) is awesome, beautiful, amazing, perfect… and then you sober up. And you realize that while some of it might be cool, some of it is tacky as hell. And that’s about right for this makeup line. Some of these products are ON.POINT. But some of them really have you  like WITEFH………………..

I’ll leave you to figure out what that means.

Onto the haul:

I absolutely did not need this eyelash curler. But I gave it a try anyway, and I am so glad I did! This is actually a really good curler. It’s ‘looser’ than your standard variety (Shu Uemura), but is really gentle on the eyes and gives one hell of a curl. Works better than my Shu Uemura, and that’s SAYING something. No ‘pointy’ looking lashes when you’re done. You get an amazing curl with little to no pressure. This thing is excellent.

This is decent. Not fall out of your seat amazing, but not horrid either. It’s a good eyeliner. Better than NARS (well, they all are), but not as good as By Terry (still the best). Good mid-range eyeliner. Easy to handle, and very precise. Not a ‘must have’ unless you’re in the market for a good eyeliner pen. I’m not mad at it.

Now THIS is nothing short of AMAZING. The Brow Lift is GENIUS. Seriously. Charlotte took the Anastasia and Tom Ford sketch for eyebrow pencils and improved it 100 times over. Stuff’s PERFECTION. Sheesh, I can’t get over how good this thing is. First of all, the color is on point (Cara… for brunettes). It’s cool and a little grey and works perfectly with my dark brows without making me look a mess. The pencil itself separates into THREE sections, with a highlighter in the middle (that actually works and doesn’t look a shimmery mess), and a brush on the other end.

The best part is that after 16 hours of wear, my brows look like I JUST DID THEM. I’m the oiliest girl on the planet, and even after my skin has turned into an oil slick, the brows are perfectly combed, filled in, and NOT GREASY LOOKING. This is key. No matter what I use (from pencils to brow powders), my brows look oily by the end of the day. Not with this stuff. It doesn’t move until you take it off (not the highlight either). Highly recommend.

Haven’t tried these yet (can’t). But these are the colors that I got. I figure a basic eyeliner is like a cheese pizza; if you can’t get the basic formulation and performance right, then it doesn’t matter what else you pile on it… it’s still gonna be garbage. That’s how I feel about colored eyeliners. If your black is trash… I’m not even going to bother with the rest. I’ll try these out and get back to you.

And now we arrive at what may be the tackiest and most trifling thing in the entire line. This damn Bar of Gold. Charlotte… for real… just NO. Let’s see…where to start:

This packaging is cardboard. CARDBOARD. C.A.R.D.B.O.A.R.D. Once I got over the size of this tiny little annoyance (the pot is actually on par with a standard highlighter, but most companies have the good sense to put said pot in a more substantial package), I realized that the thing was cardboard. OMG. So pissed.

There is nothing, NOTHING luxurious about this product. It’s BASIC in the most BASIC of ways. You can get better packaging at your local drugstore. There is no weight to it, no beauty, nothing. It’s a basic highlighter in a cheap cardboard box. If it hadn’t cost so much… I’d give it to my niece. She’d never know the difference from the Wet n’ Wild and NYX stuff she currently sports.

And the product itself… not amazing. The highlight portion of the Filmstar Bronze & Glow is MUCH MUCH better. It’s actually warmer, if you can believe that. This ‘gold’ goes ashy on me. WITEFH for real! How does gold go ashy on a warm skin tone? SMH There was little to no thought put into this product. Maybe after one too many shots of gin (and some other stuff) …  the Tilbury team thought this might be a fantastic idea. It is not. Not by a long shot. Ya’ll stop getting drunk and brainstorming! Dammit.

This product just pissed me all the way off (as if you couldn’t tell). I want an apology to EVERYONE who paid for this because it is absolutely shameful.

Thus concludes my thoughts on Haul #2. Swatches next. Ciao for now!

Fragrant Notes: Margiela REPLICA Fragrance Wardrobe

The Margiela REPLICA Fragrance Wardrobe is meant to complement the designer’s clothing line by the same name. The fragrances run the gamut from candy-sweet to dark and smoky. I recently got to try the fragrances in person, and found only two of them that work with my personal chemistry and tastes.

My favorites are Flower Market and Jazz Club.

Flower Market is an unexpected favorite. I am typically NOT a fan of florals. I don’t like cloying sweet smells, and typically shy away from anything featuring a chemically produced floral scent. But this fragrance is fresh and beautiful, and really DOES harken memories of walking through the Flower Mart (for me, in Downtown LA)… possibly in Paris.

Jazz Club is smoky and sexy. This was my first choice because I absolutely love a dark, smoky fragrance. Although this fragrance is classified as ‘masculine’ I find that it works very well with my chemistry. This fragrance ‘warms’ on me, and adjusts throughout the day. Every time I wear it, I get compliments.

Now what’s awesome, is that I can layer these two to get something unique and unexpected. I put Jazz Club on the bottom, then layer Flower Market on top after about 60 seconds. The result is nothing short of amazing. I find it funny (and fitting) that Jazz Club is masculine and Flower Market is feminine. So maybe my spirit is a little bit of both. 🙂

You can find out more about Margiela REPLICA Fragrances HERE.

 

Product Review: Charlotte Tilbury (Haul #1)

This is the first in a series of reviews for Charlotte Tilbury’s new makeup line (which is finally shipping to the United States… YIPPEEE!). Based on my first shipment, I’m going to go out on a limb and say the collection runs the gamut. Some things are mediocre, some are good, and some are hands down excellent.

This is what I started with:

I got the Filmstar Bronze & Glow set (with the sculpt and highlight bursh), Full Fat Lashes, and K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Stoned Rose.

The Filmstar Bronze & Glow is exquisite. It’s about what I expected from Charlotte Tilbury (who previously was completely dipped in Tom Ford). The quality of the powders is excellent, and they feel like silk going on. Now, the sculpt shade is tricky because it’s really not designed for warmer skin tones. This works very well on pale to light/medium skin tones. It’s JUST enough of a go for me… and I mean JUST. If you’re even a quarter shade darker than me (I’m NC43 for comparison), this is a waste of your money. The highlight shade is a gorgeous warm champagne color, that is so subtle that you’ll think you were born with a glow. Charlotte’s team did extremely well on this one. Kudos.

Same for this brush. Now, I don’t think I’m going to be a fan of Charlotte’s brushes in general because they lack the weight that I’m accustomed to in a quality makeup brush. They are like Beaute… sort of hollow. The handle feels that it may be made of cardboard. Not a fan. BUT the head on this brush is absolutely perfect for sculpting. It’s like the perfect crease brush, but made larger for the cheeks. Once you use this brush, you’ll never use an angled contour brush again. This thing is genius. It gets ‘right’ into the hollow of the cheekbone,and blends out beautifully. Massive fan of the brush head. I just wish it was on a better handle.

Dear Charlotte: I need you to stop embellishing about this mascara. Seriously. It’s not THE ONE. Not even close. It does 2 of the 5 things you claim. It lengthens and separates. Period. It DOES NOT curl, it DOES NOT volumize… and whatever else you’re saying it does… it doesn’t do that either. Cut it out, and go back to the drawing board. Try Volume de Chanel, reformulate, then get back to me. This is very much like Shu Uemura Basic mascara. The formula is very clean and takes about five coats to make a difference. I dare say it’s for people who don’t like wearing mascara. It looks very natural and lovely on, but it is NOT dramatic. Not even close. There’s no volume to speak of. I’d wear it with a bit of lip gloss and cream blusher for a ‘flushed’ natural everyday look. If I’m looking for drama, I’ll go for Volume de Chanel, Too Faced Better Than Sex, or even Dior Backstage.

Now this… THIS IS WHAT YOU BRAG ABOUT! K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick is THE TRUTH. OMG. This might be the best lipstick I’ve ever used. Not kidding. It’s AMAZING. The formula ‘binds’ to the lips and feels so wonderful and comfortable on. I want every shade. I’m so serious. I can’t stop wearing this lipstick. Stoned Rose is so flattering on me… you can’t imagine. I love the way my lips look in it. It’s like my lips… but under a beauty filter. Just gorgeous. Charlotte really hit it out of the park with this lipstick. I am thoroughly impressed. I will definitely be going back for more.

Shipping to the states is pretty quick (one week),and so far… I’m pretty happy. I’ll just use the mascara for casual purposes. Rock n’ Kohl is coming next… so when that gets here… I’ll let you know how the pencils perform. Ciao for now!

Lip Service: Tory Burch Lip Color

I’m not really sure who to fuss at about this. Tory Burch for the lovely ‘on paper’ presentation but lackluster reality, or Nordstrom for the horrid … cheap… display of this makeup brand.

I had to be led to the Tory Burch display so I could take a look at it… past the gorgeous shiny displays for Giorgio Armani, MAC (naturally), and Chanel. sitting in the midst of all the lovely photos and amazing layouts is this little plastic ‘bin’ looking thing, with one of each item from the Tory Burch makeup collection sitting on top of it.

Just raggedy.

I ‘dig’ through the display to see what’s what. The lovely bronzer, that looks so pigmented in pictures, lacks any real color payoff… except perhaps on the palest skin tones. But the lipsticks are a different story. They look to be stronger in the tube than on the lips, and apply more like a shiny gloss (think, Chanel Rouge Coco Shine). So I end up with the darkest color (that’s not really dark at all), and a fabulous orangey coral color.

See how beautiful the tubes look? Classic Tory Burch pattern and color. And the gold is raised, which is nice. But the tube is nearly weightless, and that’s problematic. Think of the weight that a standard tube of Chanel, or even Hourglass (my hands down favorite presentation) lipsticks have. These tubes lack such weight… any weight actually, and the translation is ‘cheap.’

Knock on Wood:

This color reminds me a LOT of Clinique’s Black Honey Lip Color. It’s strong in the tube, but slick and sheer on the lips. A wide range of skin tones can wear this color with no issue. Initially, I was worried about it going goth, but it’s actually a very warm and inviting color.

Smack Dab:

This is my favorite of the two. Smack Dab is a warm, juicy orange based coral. The color is sheer, so the effect is flattering, not garish. If you don’t have Tom Ford’s Firecracker, this is a decent compromise for a little less money. You won’t get the presentation or pigmentation of Tom Ford, but you won’t be paying nearly $50 for it either. 🙂

These lipsticks are not bad, but I do feel that not much thought was put into this makeup line overall. It just seems to be done by committee, with no real thought about how customers might react to a $32 lipstick that feels and performs more like a $5 counterpart. I’m not sure who the audience is for this makeup line, but I think it’s fair to say that I’m not a part of that audience. I like for my makeup to make a statement from presentation to performance, and this makeup sort of gets lost in translation.

You can find out more about Tory Burch Beauty HERE.

Makeup Show Haul: Le Maquillage Pro Foundation Palette (Part 1)

Put down the BBU Palette and push aside Make Up For Ever… Le Maquillage is out to destroy everything  you ‘think’ you know about the ultimate foundation palette. This palette features THIRTY SIX different pans for foundation, concealer, and every type of color correction you can imagine. I have to thank my dear Stephanie for tipping me off about this palette. The wells are deep enough to hold an ample amount of product, and the formula itself is pure pigment. This means that unlike the BBU Palette or the Make Up For Ever Palette, you have to ‘mix’ this formula before you can apply it.

It’s impossible to get this palette at Nigel’s (local beauty supply), because it’s insanely expensive and even with a pro discount it’s not expected to be a high seller. So they have very few in stock, which are typically immediately snapped up by the artist who got there ahead of everyone else. I finally managed to get one at The Makeup Show LA.

The palette is about 11 inches long and about 6 inches wide. The wells are about 2 inches long, and at least an inch deep. Because the formula is pure pigment, you’re getting twice the product of a standard foundation palette. The palette leans to the warm side, but there is a neutral ‘white’ for any manner of mixing, and there is nearly a full row of paler colors (including several pink and lavender based versions) to adjust any foundation mix as needed. I’m particularly in love with the orange and peach ‘correction’ shades, and made special note of the ‘green’ shade to combat redness in the skin. And the foundation colors go SO DARK that I’d be hard pressed to find someone who ‘couldn’t’ match a skin tone using this palette.

This is a TRUE Pro Artist’s base palette. I do not recommend entertaining this palette if you only do makeup on yourself or on a low number of clients, because it’s pricey. The retail is $395, and the pro price isn’t that much lower. It’s an investment, to say the least. But if you regularly work on a wide range of skin tones, and never want to be at a loss for matching foundations or concealers, this palette is definitely worth every single penny.

In Part 2, I’ll demonstrate the ‘mixing’ technique for this palette, and put up swatches.

You can find out more about Le Maquillage Pro Foundation Palette HERE.

Makeup Show Haul: NARS Matte Multiple

This is the first in a series that I’ll do for each thing that came home with me from The Makeup Show LA. I want to separate the posts because I feel like massive posts about hauls really don’t do the products justice. Over the years, I’ve gotten a lot more savvy about what I’ll buy and what I’ll pass by. Much of the stock at The Makeup Show can be purchased online or at local beauty supply stores for the same (and sometimes LESS … Stila, I’m looking at you) than the show price.

Onto the haul.

The NARS Matte Multiple is beyond… just BEYOND. I really didn’t think I was going to like them, as I’m not the biggest fan of the standard multiple. I’m not keen on all that shimmer, and the staying power on some of the colors are suspect. But all that changed when I tried the Matte Multiple.

From the Left:

Anguilla (Cool Medium Pink)

Exhumas (Pink Apricot)

Siam (Reddish Coral)

Laos (Warm Rose)

Altai (Ash Brown)

Vientiane (Reddish Brown)

Cappadoce (Neutral Brown)

The texture of these multiples is very silky. I imagine it’s chock full of silicone. Reminds me a lot of silicone based foundations. The formula can be sheered out or layered for more intensity, and the finish imitates skin. I’m really impressed. The cooler brown works extremely well for contour, as does the darkest brown. Every single color is flattering on my warm skin tone, so I’d go so far as to say most of these colors are pretty universal.

While these multiples set nicely, they are not immune to creasing on a really oily skin type. I’d recommend setting them with the help of primers and powders. On a normal or drier skin, I found that they set without any help, and were very kind to the driest of skin types with a little help from a moisturizing primer (no flaking).

Overall, I’m quite impressed with these and say they are well worth the 39.00 purchase price.

You can find out more about NARS Matte Multiples HERE