My Favorite Cosmetics

Title is self-explanatory. Coming to you live (not) from my small (for a blogger) collection, here are photos and descriptions of my favorite products! Note that these are what work for me, not necessarily for you. Links lead to a product’s page on its company’s website.

Favorite lipstick: Lipstick in Russian Red by MAC

A classic, matte-finish red. I can’t sympathize with people who agonize over finding the right red, because this one is perfect. According to MAC, it’s an “intense bluish-red” (sic), and it definitely doesn’t pull orange. (Good, because orange is a damn strange color….) Not ridiculously dry and drying like Ruby Woo, the finish isn’t completely flat, and has a  small bit of sheen. If you want your red to be completely flat, get Ruby Woo or pat a matte, red powder (eyeshadow or blush would work) on top of your lipstick of choice (this is a technique utilized by a conveniently neat, little Napoleon Perdis duo). …Instructional tangent aside, Russian Red is just so damn classy. In spite of the Madonna (who—excuse me, whom—I dislike) association. Runner-up: Lip Tar in NSFW by Obsessive Compulsive Comsetics. Also a blue-red,  NSFW comes in liquid form. It’s less convenient due to this, both because of the necessity of a lip brush and because Lip Tars sans lipliner feather on me. It’s cheaper and more versatile (i.e., mixable), though.

Top—bottom: OCC, MAC

Favorite blush: Blush Subtil Shimmer in Mandarin Sky by Lancôme

Yes, it’s a peachy pink with gold sheen. Paging François Nars. But I can name this one in front of my grandma. Lancôme’s swatch for this is a bit off (which is business as usual for website swatches), but the description is admissible. The flush from this powder is, to put it in the wrong word, graceful. It’s just never wrong. The golden sheen (no glitter included) makes highlighter unnecessary. This blush has a floral scent to it, so I don’t like smelling it; eh, I can breathe through my mouth for a few while I apply blush. Runner-up: Blush in Flushed by Sleek. If blushes, like lip colors, can be “vampy,” then this is it. Quite pigmented (so use the right brush!), no detectable smell from afar. This one’s a keeper.

Top—bottom: Sleek, Lancôme

Favorite mascara: Plushlash in Plushblack by MAC

I swear, my tube of Plushlash was flawless for a year (yeah, I don’t use makeup often, I thought that was established? Please don’t crucify me, germophobes) until it started to gunk up—and, simultaneously, the matte stuff on the packaging started to peel off. My lashes were never clumpy (disclaimer: I brush through my lashes post-application anyway, for maximum definition); had a deep, matte black color (I can’t stand shiny lashes!); and the volume and length were nice. It’s not waterproof, which I would prefer—my eyes water for myriad reasons—and it could’ve held a curl better on my wonky right eye. A lot of people disdain MAC mascaras, but for $14 at the time I bought it (MAC increases their prices every year), it was a great middle-of-the-road option. Runner-up: Great Lash Lots of Lashes Mascara in Very Black by Maybelline. Good: very nifty brush, holds a curl better than Plushlash; bad: dark gray color, also not waterproof (Maybelline inexplicably does this thing where they release the waterproof version of a mascara a couple of months after the “washable” version).

Top—bottom: Maybelline, MAC

Favorite nail polish: For Christ’s sake, I can’t choose one. I love them all for different reasons! Hell, I haven’t even worn them all!!

Someone please buy me an IKEA Helmer

Censored due to overwhelming dustiness

Favorite “neutral” eyeshadow: Chrome Eyeshadow in Beanie by NYX

To give away as few spoilers as possible on a decade-old show, if you’ve watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which you damn should; watch it and Angel ASAP), then you know who Dawn is. If you know who Dawn is and also like makeup, then you know that her eyes were always gorgeous. Wearing this eyeshadow makes my eyes Dawn-pretty. Seriously. Now, for the bad news: I can’t find the Chrome Eyeshadows on NYX’s site, probably meaning that they’ve been discontinued. They’re not available at Ulta or Urban Outfitters anymore, either. Cherry Culture has them, but for how long? For a product whose packaging was redesigned just a year or two ago (after I got it, so I have the annoying cube packaging), this is bizarre, but ANYWAY. If you can find this, and you want to be Dawn, get this. WHILE YOU STILL CAN Runner-up: Eyeshadow in Quarry by MAC. Matte, taupey brown goodness. I may never be able to remember which is named which when you put it and Copperplate in front of me, but Quarry is my favorite child (shh, don’t tell them). I even use it to fill in my brows sometimes when I have brown dark blond hair.

NYX. Left—right: Dry, wet on bare skin; dry, wet over primer.

In true matte fashion, Quarry swatches terribly

Left—right: NYX dry, wet over primer; MAC dry on bare skin, dry over primer.

Okay, damn, I just wrote ~800 words about makeup again, so let’s leave the rest for another post. Here are more pictures instead. Click ’em to make ’em bigger.


About Helena

I'm too Internet-old for this.
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