Make-up Reviews

Sneak Peek: MAC Make-Up Art Cosmetics Fall As Seen By Maria Kalman Review and Swatches


Maria Kalman obviously thinks of Fall as being a vibrant time of the year. Although a Fall Collection no one can say that Maria Kalman hasn’t created some bold, bright, beautiful shades for her MAC Collection this upcoming September.

As part of the MAC Make-Up Art Cosmetics Collection the Maria Kalman for MAC Collection is made up of six shades of shadow and five shades of MAC Technakohl. Unconventional for Fall? For sure. Beautiful? No doubt.

Check it after the jump!

I have a very small stash of goodies from this collection that I’ve swatched for you and will give you a very brief babble about. This collection cries the Muse’s name as it’s filled with beautiful, fun shades. It’s not typically Fall but it’ll be nice to stash away for when Spring arrives next year!

I have two of the six shadows to show you and I’ll be quite excited to see the rest upon their release. The shades I have are Crest the Wave and Maria’s Mood. Crest the Wave is a rich buttery yellow with a frost finish and Maria’s Mood is a blue pink with a satin finish. Out of the two Crest the Wave has the best pigmentation but I’m not fond of the frost finish, regardless the shade is truly lovely. Maria’s Mood is a vast disappointment as it has a very sheer color payoff plus it’s a good deal chalky and almost matte in finish.


The MAC Technakohl is even more exciting than the shadows as they are so fun and funky with greens, oranges, and teals as the dominate colors. The two I have are Full of Fuchsia and Artistic License. Both shades are very fun and a rare treat for kohl colors!


Maria Kalman is famous for her whimsical visual dairies. Her shades for MAC are cheeky, witty, amusing, and playful.

Her collection will be available in September from MAC with the other three in the MAC Make-Up Art series.

What do you think of fun shades for Fall?

Loving this?

Haulin’?

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Sneak Peek: Richard Phillips for MAC MAC Make-Up Art Cosmetics Fall 2009 Review and Swatches


As Fall approaches MAC releases (September 2009) it’s brand new three part color series which is a collaboration with three artists who work in three separate mediums, photograph, paint, and illustration.

One of the three collections is the Richard Phillips for MAC Collection. Richard Phillips is an expert photo-retoucher and creates lush seven-foot tall oil paintings of men and women based on photographs he cuts out of magazines. His collection is the largest of the three color stories releasing and includes three shadow quads, various lipstick and lipglasses, and blushes covering lips, cheeks, and eyes.

Jump ahead for a small peek at a few pieces!

The Muse was treated to an early sneak peek of the Richard Phillips for MAC, MAC Make-Up Art Cosmetics Fall 2009 Collection and will give you a few pictures of the items she has available right now. Most of the items I received were very simple and would make for a stunning Fall nude look.

I’ll be indulging in all of the MAC quads but the one I have to show you today is the MAC Eye Shadow Quad in Notoriety. Notoriety contains Skintone 1 (light white pink), Skintone 2 (dirty gold), Notoriety (brown with golden pearl), and Rich & Earthy (coral bronze). The quad is surprisingly gorgeous in it’s simplicity and I’m looking forward to creating a warm, nude Fall look with it.


The two lipglasses I received were New Spirit (beige coral) and Young Thing (creamy gold). Out of the two New Spirit is the prettiest but isn’t unique for me as it reminds me of a few shades of lipglass I already own. Young Thing is a bit to nude for me so I’m doubtful it’ll be a love but we shall see!


MAC Lipstick in Lovin’ It neutral light brown which is fairly pretty and will pair up well with the Notoriety Quad. It’s a decent Fall shade but nothing to get too crazy over.


And finally MAC Blush in The Perfect Cheek is a pale matte off pink. This I’m really not loving and I’m unsure will even show up as it looks quite chalky and sheer. But I do admit it’ll also pair up with the other items and compliment the shades in this collection very well.


Overall, I’d say the quads are quite special in this particular release and I’m looking forward to seeing the other two, In the Gallery and Photo Realism. So far I’m not too impressed with the lipstick, glosses, and blush I have on hand but I’ll reserve further judgment until I see the rest in person!

Anyone hyped about this collection?

Haulin’ hard?

Haulin’ small?

Tell the Muse!

This post will be updated with swatch photos shortly.

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First Impressions: Illamasqua Eye Shadow Review and Swatches

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Matte is a difficult medium to work with and not one I’m fond of. I admire those who can work with matte shades and create gorgeous looks because honestly I stink at it. If matte is your game you must be over the moon that Illamasqua has made it’s way across the pond and now resides at Sephora.com and Sephora Times Square.

Jump ahead for my first impressions and review of a few Illamasqua Eye Shadows I got to test out this week!

I’ve read a few reviews comparing Illamasqua to MAC but for myself personally I think they are considerably different brands. Packaging, pigmentation, and price are a just a few things that set Illamasqua apart from MAC.

For the most part my adventures in Illamasqua Eye Shadow has so far been a tad on the disappointing side since I’m not a matte girl. The formula of the shadows is weak in pigmentation and a tad on the chalky side. I haven’t applied on my eye as of yet but so far they prove difficult to blend just on my arm. The swatches I did take had to be built up with several swipes. I did take note that wet or applied with a base they seem brighter and more intense but without they aren’t anywhere in the same vicinity as the pigmentation of a MAC eye shadow. Colors appear buildable which redeems the fact that at first swatch you aren’t going to jump up and down in delight at how pigmented the eye shadow is. I tried two shadows out so far which were Moan and CanCan. Moan is an olive green and CanCan is a pretty violet.

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I did enjoy the interesting, unique packaging. It’s a square cut curved design that’s quite chic. This is 2g of eyeshadow for $20 where as MAC is 1.5g and $14.50. Obviously, the design isn’t only larger than a standard MAC shadow but it actually proves to hold more product. Remember looks can be deceiving sometimes and packaging can appear large but not contain a large amount of product but these prove to in fact hold a bit more shadow.

So far I can’t say that Illamasqua would replace MAC for me. I expected more for the price tag and was a tad shocked I wasn’t doing cartwheels around the room as it’s been very hyped up by makeup lovers far and wide so I did think I’d fit right into that groove. I do have to try these on my eye before making my final decision. So far I’m not too impressed but I will reserve judgment as I plan on purchasing a few of the shimmer finishes for myself because my current review could be a bit bias since matte really isn’t my medium of choice and I don’t have the skills to work with it.

So far Illamasqua won’t take over MAC for me as the price is higher and the pigmentation so far isn’t nearly as up to par. But we shall see….I need to explore and test further. If matte is your finish of choice you’ll be thrilled with a majority of the offerings from the line. In a sea of shadows dominated by various finishes, matte is a unique offering in the makeup world especially a collection of cosmetics that caters to such a finish.

Have you tried Illamasqua Eye Shadow?

Do you love them?

Tell the Muse!

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Estee Lauder Sensuous Gold Collection Review and Swatches

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Summer is coming to a close really quickly this year. Must be the all the rain or the fact that I went on holiday so early but Summer feels like it flew by really fast this year. How sad.

As I brace myself for my favorite season, Autumn, I’m over indulging in all things Fall. For the most part I always associate warm golden brown shades, sparkling golds, and fiery oranges with the season which is why I’m ever so delighted that I can have Fall and maybe a bit of Summer too with the new Estee Lauder Sensuous Gold Collection.

Jump ahead for the review and swatches!

At first glance I thought that perhaps the Estee Lauder Sensuous Gold Collection was some sort of late Summer release. Truly Fall didn’t cross my mind at all since the collection is so warm and bronze-like. But upon further investigation and after trying the collection out I’d say it’s ideal for that time when Summer is just changing to Fall and the weather is still very warm. With warm shades of bronze, brown, and pale pinks the colors are all very work friendly and elegant. This isn’t a loud, vibrant look but more of a subtle touch of color that accentuates eyes with a burst of warmth.

Rounding out the collection are two brand new limited edition quads containing an array of buttery smooth shadows in golden pinks, browns, and golds ($35 Each). Each palette is a golden copper tone, quite pretty and fitting with the “gold” theme. The Estée Lauder Signature Eyeshadow Quad in Rose Amethyst contains a pale mauve pink, a deeper mauve, a warm nude beige, and a golden chocolate brown. The Estée Lauder Signature Eyeshadow Quad in Rose Gold contains a sheer nude peach, a light golden brown, a pale pink peach, and a fiery terracotta. The shadows have a beautiful sparkly over spray but the shadows are for the most part matte with a slightly pearl finish. Don’t get scared even though they are matte they manage to have a wonderful texture that blends like a dream. Overall, each creates a warm, work friendly look that’s elegant, chic, and very fitting for the warmer days of Fall.

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My look created using the Rose Gold Palette (Hydra Lustre Lipstick in Cinnamon on my lips and Pure Color Multi-Shimmer Gloss in Rose Gold)
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My look created using the Rose Amethyst Palette (Hydra Lustre Lipstick in Terracotta on my lips and Pure Color Multi-Shimmer Gloss in Amethyst)
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Estée Lauder Signature Hydra Lustre Lipstick with Gold Shimmer are available in four shades to accompany this collection ($19.50). These are a dreamy, moisturizing lipstick with a golden sparkle in hues of brilliant Fall shades. My two favorites? Terracotta, a nude golden peach, and Cinnamon, a brilliant brown bronze with golden shimmer. The formula is beautiful as it glides onto lips leaving behind pigmented color and a high sheen as if I topped with gloss. Gorgeous!

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You might very well think MAC when you see the new Estee Lauder Pure Color
Multi-Shimmer Gloss ($18). This gloss is made of three shades of shimmering sheer gloss for a sparkling lip look. Rose Gold is made of sparkling warm peach shades and Amethyst is a trio of light pinks to deeper rubies. The glosses apply very subtly for the most part and aren’t terribly pigmented but they add an extra pop of lovely when paired up with the Hydra Lustre Lipsticks.

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All in all the Estee Lauder Sensuous Gold Collection manages to capture the essence of Summer while bringing it right through to Fall. The shades are all very sophisticated and chic for creating subtle eye catching looks. Indian Summer in September? Easy with this collection. Might as well milk Summer for all we can and what better way to do it than with such a warm, bronzy collection that sizzles but also manages to keep the theme of Autumn as well!

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Clinique Bamboo Pink Collection Review and Swatches


I believe it was 1930, when the Muse was still a fresh faced teenager, that she hauled her first real live counter lipstick. That lipstick happened to be Clinique Bamboo Pink. Isn’t Bamboo Pink such a timeless classic that never goes out of style? Truly Clinique put the shade on the map for many a fan and I imagine at least one or two of you out there consider it your HG (holy grail) color of choice. With it’s deep tone of nude pink it’s just one of those shades that begs at the door of gorgeous.

Clinique realizes all of this. They realize they have a sure fire hit on their hands with Bamboo Pink, they realize how many fans of Bamboo Pink are out there, and cheeky, smart little company they are they released an incredible collection themed for the color.

Fabulous? Yes.

Check it after the jump!

Although it’s a Summer Collection, Clinique Bamboo Pink will get you through Fall, right into the long, cold Winter, and back into the warm weather again as the color just works well with anything you throw it’s way.

You have to hurry if you want this as it is available for a very short time although the Muse thinks they should keep it a permanent collection.

The collection consists of Clinique Fresh Bloom Allover Colour in Bamboo Pink ($29.50), Clinique Colour Surge Eye Shadow Quad in Bamboo Pink ($25), Clinique Butter Shine Lipstick in Bamboo Pink ($14), and Clinique Powder Brush ($30).

The collection is really worthy of a look at in my opinion as it creates a rather fresh, radiant look. The colors all work well together to create a warm, sophisticated look. Each piece in the collection is crafted in a bamboo like design in keeping with the theme.

For my look below I used the Clinique Colour Surge Eye Shadow Quad to create a beautiful, dramatic eye look. The colors are all intense and pigmented. They have a slight shimmer finish but for the most part are very velvet and buttery smooth. They blend like an absolute dream and have incredible color pay off. The shades all range in shades of pink that can be used alone or blended together. The shadow has almost a creamy formula and wears very well on the eye.


On my face I’m wearing the Clinique Fresh Bloom Allover Colour in Bamboo Pink. You can use this to highlight or to act as a blush. It gives a luminous glow to skin with a nude pink color pay off if you’re using it as a blush.


On my lips is Clinique Butter Shine Lipstick in Bamboo Pink which is a fantastic lipstick. Highly moisturizing, glides on like a gloss and feels incredible on the lips with excellent color pay off. Bamboo Pink is such a timeless shade for lips and it pairs beautifully well for finishing the completed look!


Sadly I wasn’t thrilled with the Clinique Powder Brush. This was scratchy on my face and shed a fair bit. It applied the Allover Colour quite well but the scratchy bristles irritated me and I’ll probably end up tossing it in a draw and forgetting about it quickly because of this.


Overall, count this Muse impressed with the whole collection. Honestly, I don’t favor this completed look for Summer as it’s a little to warm but I’ll be sporting this happily in the Fall as I think it makes a rather killer rosy, glowing look for the cooler weather!


Anyone haul this collection?

Wanting to?

Are you a Bamboo Pink fan?

Tell the Muse!

The Bamboo Pink Collection is available now at Clinique counters and online.

Big Muse Approval for the lipstick and eye palette! Those are my two favorite pieces.

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