Swatches

Reader’s Request: MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Refined Swatches

Sorry I really should have posted these with my original haul post from MAC SugarSweet. As requested from a few readers here are some swatches from MAC Minralize Skinfinish in Refined.

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I was visiting on Cozy a few days ago and many of the girl’s were impressed with how pigmented Refined was. Just a note I thought it applied best and deepest when used with a kabuki brush. It works a treat as a blush so long as you buff the color into cheeks with a kabuki. With any other brush it acts more as a highlighter! Just thought I should add that if you were curious.

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MAC SugarSweet Shadestick Review, Swatches, and First Impressions

Oh my god I’m in such a pissy mood right now! After work today I picked up my friend Jai and whisked us away to MAC to snatch up some SugarSweet for ourselves. Normally it’s just easier for me to head to MAC Soho to haul or Macy’s on 34th but my mate Martin, who works for Apple, was working the Mall circuit today so instead of our normal haunts we hit the MAC at the mall. Martin is our shadow so we can’t go anywhere without him in tow thus we decided to become mallrats so we could kill two birds with one stone, pick Martin up for dinner and snag some MAC.

Such a big mistake. We are so killing Martin, tis his fault we couldn’t haul MAC SugarSweet today. Upon arriving at the MAC we noticed that they had the display out for SugarSweet and it only had the Shadesticks on it. So we asked after the rest and you guessed it, nothing in stock yet.

Boo, freaking, hoo! What the hell? To say we were disappointed is an understatement but we did get some yay factor in as we got all of the Shadesticks and I think that’s what Jai and I were the most excited about.

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Jump ahead to have a look!

I only have my eye on a few other things from the collection so I am happy, at the very least, that they had the Shadesticks because that was honestly high on my list of things to get. I also want to snag Perfect Topping and Sugarshot. My list isn’t all that huge so I guess I’m not too devastated. I’m avoiding the glosses like the plague because as one reader mentioned they are seriously nice but with 2-3 uses they are going to be one big mess so it’s just not worth it. The lippies aren’t exactly all that fabulous so I can safely skip those and the rest of the shadows hold little appeal. I do wish MAC had release a blush or two with the collection.

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For me the gems of this collection were the Shadesticks. It’s been a while since MAC released Shadesticks and these are some stunning shades. The revamped packaging is pretty slick as well which makes them even more appealing. I wasn’t always a lover of Shadesticks but after seeing how easier they make it to apply pigment I started to like them.

Four new shades are released with MAC SugarSweet and one regular catalog shade. Penny is the shade that’s already available from MAC and just released in new clothes for this collection.

Cakeshop, which you would think would be the shade of batter or cake, is a frosty green almost olive shade. Wonderful shade and a possible favorite for me but strange name! Lemon Chiffon is a creamy shimmering white gold, another favorite for me. Butternutty, really a crummy, rubbish shade when viewed but swatched it’s a gorgeous nude pink that’s stunning! Red Velvet is a deeper pink with an almost matte like finish. And finally Penny is a pretty peachy copper shade.

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I absolutely love all of the shades and think they are well worth picking up. Correct me if I’m wrong but the price on these has gone up as they are $16.50 USD each but I recall them being a little less? Or maybe not.

I highly recommend grabbing some for yourself as they really do make life easier with shadow application and particularly pigment application. I find I get less fall out and a deeper color pay off when I use a Shadestick prior to applying pigment.

Overall, MAC SugarSweet is the first collection I’ve been excited about in months and I highly recommend heading over to MAC and having a swatch, you’re sure to fall in love with a few of the items available.

I also caved while I was in store and purchased Popster Tinted Lip Conditioner and Tippy Blush. I wasn’t too surprised after seeing Hello Kitty in person for the first time that still it failed to wow me.

In closing the Muse thinks the new MAC Shadesticks deserve a Muse Approval for purchase. Likey!

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Shills Electric Eye Concealer Review

When I first started blogging Etude House, I kid you not, Evil-bay sellers started carrying ridiculous amounts of the brand. Now that I’ve begun blogging Shills everyone and their mum is selling it.

Which is good and bad. Good because it’s easy to get a hold of, bad because it’s so terribly jacked up. A majority of items from Shills is damn fine product so it’s probably well worth what you might pay for it off of Evil-bay but still…it’s the moral of it all, you know?

Anyway.

I’m loving Shills Electric Eye Concealer at the moment and along with my Bobbi Brown Creamy Palette and Mally Concealer System, it’s one of my three favorite concealers!

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Shills is a Taiwanese brand that has a certain Benefit style packaging. As you can see with Shills Electric Eye Concealer it has that quirky, chic Benefit-feel with the black and white photo of the glam little lady on the cover and just the general font style, etc….In my humblest opinion I do believe Shills was trying to go for a dupe of Benefit Boi-ing with this concealer but it actually turns out packaging wise it’s all Benefit but formula wise it mimics Bobbi Brown.

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Obviously the packaging draws the eye instantly and it becomes an instant want item but turns out what’s inside also happens to be a winner. The concealer is a mega moisturizing creamy formula that’s comparable to Bobbi Brown concealer. Anyone with dry under eyes will absolutely love what a dreamy, creamy formula this is. The concealer blends seamlessly and covers beautifully. Dark circles, puffy eyes, fine lines, and other problem areas simply disappear with this. It offers nice flawless coverage while brightening the eye up and giving your eyes a more awake, well rested look. Likey.

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Possible problem though for some would be the lack of colors. It’s available in one shade which would be suitable for fair to medium fair skin types but anyone darker it probably would be a no go. It has a base of hints of salmon and peach with a dominate creamy, porcelain shade which is perfect for anyone with lighter skin but if you’re darker chances are you won’t be wanting to indulge.

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Aside from it’s lack of colors it’s a great little concealer for the price. I think I paid around $5-$6 USD for it and on Evil-bay I’m looking at anywhere from $12-$15 USD. I do think it’s well worth paying the extra cash for it as it works quite well especially if you like a very creamy concealer. I did a few shots comparing it’s texture to Bobbi Brown Corrector Concealer and it’s quite a good dupe for the new Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Concealer I recently reviewed so you can see how similar the product is to both.

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Overall, if I run out, Shills Electric Eye Concealer is on my repurchase list. Loves it and Muse Approving it for purchase! Check it out, it’s a good one.

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Stila Mango Crush Lip and Cheek Stain Review and Swatches

I can’t believe I’m about to say this but this morning when I was test driving Stila Mango Crush I realized I was too pale to use it. Gasp! Outrageous right? Although it looks mighty nice on I think it’ll look way more flattering, gulp still can’t believe I’m saying this, on sunny skin. Obviously Stila’s intention was to make a shade that was flattering on tanned skin and in this case I’m in agreement with them.

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You’ve been reading Musings long enough by now probably to realize what an advocate the Muse is when it comes to brightening, whitening, and remaining as pale as possible. I’m a medium fair skin and I do everything in my power to bring my skin down to, at the very least, a fair shade without looking too ghastly. I think I blend out well enough that you’d never realize my skin was a shade or two darker than it actually really is. This morning I was having a test run with Stila Mango Crush and I realized that it’ll actually be way more flattering if I simply sat in the sun for a while or used a tinted bronzer or bronzing powder prior to applying.

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I’m loving the shade. It’s a gorgeous deep coral color that has a hint of a pearly shimmer that’s very pretty. It’s plenty pigmented to give a nice pop of peach to cheeks. I think the idea was for it to taste like mango as with the other stains in the line they taste and smell like their namesakes. However, I thought it tasted like cucumber and not mango.

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The stain comes in a click style pen and with a brush applicator. Simply click for a squirt of color and brush on. A per my rantings in my prior reviews I’m not a fan of using the product on my lips and following up on my face so I’ve taken to simply wiping it clean with a MAC Cleansing Cloth after each use. My first venture with Stila Cherry Crush I ended up purchasing one for my lips and one for my cheeks but I’ve become economy friendly now and just wipe down the brush after use with the cloth and I’m good to rumble. I like the style of packaging as it’s travel friendly and mess, fuss-free.

As mentioned above it gives a rather lovely pop of peach to my cheeks but I think it would look even better on a tanned face. Tomorrow I’m going to try using a bit of a bronzing powder to see how it looks on. The shade is quite pigmented and should work well on most skin types however it may not be deep enough for a darker skin tone. It looks quite nice and natural on lips as well.

Overall, I really loved Stila Mango Crush and must say I love that they keep extending this line and growing it with new shades. It’s a wonderful color for Summer and it’ll work well into the Fall. The stain is long wearing with no touch ups between so it’s virtually sweat proof, rain proof, and sunny day proof. Even when the rest of your makeup has well worn away you’ll still be sporting a sunny shade of sunset on the apples of your cheeks!

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Well done Stila! Keep crushing and the Muse will keep buying! Stila Mango Crush Lip and Cheek Stain is Muse Approved for purchase. This was a little sneak peek review so you’ll have to wait a little longer for Mango Crush, she’ll be available in May from Stila and Sephora. For now check out Cherry Crush and Pomegranate Crush for cure your lemmings!

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Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Sand & Sea Eyeshadow Palette Review and Swatches

Happiness is the new Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Sand & Sea Palette! Loves it!

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Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess has some particularly great items that were released with this very early Summer-like collection but the one I’m loving the best is undoubtedly the Sand & Sea Palette.

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A little golden sand, a bit of the ocean, and the perfect blue sky and you’ll have an ideal palette for creating numerous Summer looks that are sure to please. The palette is made up pf six silky shimmering shades of color that range from aqua to gold and than some. Housed in a slick slim line case in a golden bronze shade that flips open to reveal a full size mirror, you’ll be wanting to tote this little guy along on your next tropical getaway!

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The shadows are all silky smooth with a satin finish with the barest hint of shimmer. The colors have quite good color pay off and blend very well. Plenty of variety is housed in the palette and the colors fitting in with their name of “Sand and Sea”. You’ll get an aqua shade, a sky blue, a deep chocolate brown, a shimmering sunset gold, a light cream beige, and a subtle bronze. Contrasting aqua with the sandy, golden shades creates a rather interesting effect on lids that really brings out a bit of the Summer. The palette is a nice price at $38 USD which rounds out to around to $6 dollars per a shade of shadow. You’re getting quite a fair bit of product for the price. I’m a sucker for gorgeous palettes and this is really a nice one especially considering the variety you can get from all six shades. I created three separate looks for you with the palette but you can get any number of combinations from it.

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For my look below I started out using the light blue shade all over my lid and crease. I followed up by using the deeper shade of aqua on my lid and blending slowly upwards. I finished the look by lining my lower lash line and my lower waterline with the Estee Lauder Duo-Tone Eye Pencil. You’ll also notice I used a tiny touch of the gold shade above my crease just blended upwards slightly for a hint of shimmer!

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For my second look I started off by giving my entire eye a color wash using Tea Biscuit (light cream beige), I paid particularly close attention to my high brow area, highlighting with this shade. I followed up with Ginger Drop (subtle bronze shade) on my lid and completed the look by contrasting Ginger Drop with Gold Nugget (sunset gold shade) in my lid and blending upwards.

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For my final look I used just about all the shades and the kitchen sink! Tea Biscuit was used as an all over color wash and followed up with Ginger Drop on my lid and contrasted with Gold Nugget on the outer v of my eye and blended into the crease. A tiny touch of Bronze Cube (chocolaty brown shade) on my crease blended upwards complete the upper part of my eye. For a bit of pop I added some aqua to my lower lash line and lined my lower waterline with the Estee Lauder Duo-Tone Eye Pencil.

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Although this is a review of the Estee Lauder Sand & Sand Palette I also used the new Estee Lauder Duo-Tone Eye Pencil in my few of my looks which deserves a mention. This pencil is a dual sided liner that has two shades of color in one pencil. The Muse wishes that more brands would embrace this idea, I heart two shades of color for my dollar! This is worth a look and a buy if you’re a fan of aqua shades as this has two shades of brilliant aquas that are unique and pair well with the palette.

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Overall, I’m really enjoying my adventures with the entire Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Collection. It’s Summer-friendly and has plenty of beautiful shades to last well into the Fall if you choose to haul the palette out when the cooler weather sets in (I know, I know! Spring isn’t hear yet and I’m on about Fall but hey makeup junkies must prepare ahead). The palette is a nice value for the price and offers plenty of color options for quite a few eye looks. If you’re looking for a warmer bronze palette to flatter your Summer tan look no further than the Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Sand and Sea Palette, tis Muse Approved for purchase! Head on over to your counter for a swatch, the Muse guarantees you’ll fall in love with it.

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See more of the Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Collection by visiting www.esteelauder.com

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