Saturday, April 25, 2015

What Color Am I: the MAC Face & Body Edition - More Again Again

Instead of getting myself into a complete tizzy of inaction, I received two generous samples from the MAC counter of the two shades I was debating: N1 and C1.  These are the two lightest shades in the shade offering of Face & Body.  (The regular counter doesn't carry white, so no samples of that to show)  A quick swatch on the side of my face as I showed yesterday (here)  probably wasn't a good way to get a full read on how it would look fully applied all over, so I did the whole put-it-on-peer-at-face dance this morning.

Here are the two shades I am contemplating.

Majority of you commented that C1 seems the more reasonable match than N1 on my last post specifically for its ability to cancel out some redness and also to tie in better with the rest of my body.  Josie went so far as to match my skin to a Pantone shade and RGB values (!!!!!!!) and called C1!!!!!!!  Omg, Josie, I bow down to your epic geekery.  Surely, I've not met many that can match your wit and your utter sexy geekery.

Here I am in my full technicolor glory, sans any makeup:
Lots of pink in there, I think, which is why the little N1 swatch looked good on the side of my face.

Application is pretty straightforward for this foundation.  It is runny and when applied straight on the face with fingers gives a very light coverage and a dewy finish.  But if poured a bit into the palm and then worked, meaning stirred with a finger pad, the liquid thickens and becomes a bit tacky.  Or when applied straight and rubbed in firmly into the skin, the liquid becomes thinner and gives a stronger coverage, with a streak-free and dewy finish.  I went for the greater coverage application option.

Here is MAC Face & Body in shade N1 applied (face only):
Yeesh.  I did not like this shade on me, at all.  While it did match my face, it gave a weird floating head effect (being so differently colored than my neck) and gave me a sickly sort of pallor.  Also the shade N1 dries a bit darker than when initially applied and ended up looking even odder.

Now here is C1 applied all over (face only):
I think it's a bit yellower than I like, but it wasn't orange, it wasn't too peachy.  It did dry a bit darker (freshly applied here), but not terribly so.  It also seems to tie nicely to my neck and chest.  What I particularly liked was that it was really great with canceling out a lot of redness on my face (chin, under the nose).

I also swatched a range of other foundations and shades in the N/NC 15-20 range so you can see how F&B compares with these others.  This is applied and let dry a few minutes to show the finish better.
I had these arm swatches sit all day long and noted some strong oxidation issues.  Addiction Tinted Skin Protector, Chantecaille FS in Chamomile and MAC Pro Longwear oxidized very strongly and brought on much darker and orange peach tones.  The foundations that stayed the truest to what you see above was the Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick and the SUQQU Frame Fix Cream N.  By the way, on the face, I found these two my best, most natural matches (but not for long with summer coming!).

Am I buying the Face & Body?  I will use up my foundation sample and see how I feel in a few days.  and I think that with my summer tan coming on, C1 would be a reasonable match for me.

And in conclusion: blah blah my face, yellow, blue, pink... more more face my face.  To all that called C1, you are all winners.  Big winners.  The end.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

I'm a (Foundation) Fraud

Haha.  *wilts*

I don't understand how people have their foundation undertones and color matches so well identified.  Life would be so much easier if I were a generic pinky beige color, right?  Right?  Every counter, every drugstore brand - BLAM!  perfect match!

Sadly, Belly is a riot of pinks, reds and yellows on the face.  And then my neck and chest being something else altogther.  Actually, this is all just a cry for help.  Help.  Help me.

I don't wear MAC foundations, so when I write things like "oh blablablabla, I am about an NC15-20", I really have no clue.  At one point (a few points), I actually did go get matched at MAC and the color matches were wildly differing.  Once I was matched to Pro Longwear in NC20.  I applied it all over my face and as soon as I went outside, I was horrified at the orange.  I mean ORANGE.  And then at a pro store, which was a setting full of natural light, I was matched to some dark NW something.  I guesstimate I am NC15-20 based on the fact that NC20 was dark and orange and NW made me cry.

Anyway, warm weather is coming and I am of course in the market for something new and shiny for my foundation and I've always had a hankering for MAC Face & Body.  To make it even more puzzling for me is it doesn't come in NC or NW, they do N and C.  *furtively glances at the student next to me to cheat off their paper*

I've consulted with the real gurus of Makeupalley and searched through various blogs and stuff to understand this N and C business.  Also noted that some blog get them all wrong, too.  Let me just put this out there as another example of me not being a guru (or reliable), but then again, many people aren't either.

Yesterday I walked over to my nearest MAC counter to look at Face & Body.  C1 and N1 appeared to be close enough depth wise to my current sad faded skintone.  I think the mass of salespersons there could smell I was desperate for a sample, so they wouldn't help me.  D:

MAC Face & Body C1 (L); N1 (R)
I helped myself to giant blobs on my hand and then smeared streaks on my face.  The center of my face is darker and rather pink.  This explains when I get matched to NW and dark.  My neck is very pale and yellow and I have pale pink tones on my chest.  I are a patchwork of the rainbows!  I always try smears on the side of my face, which is the least irritated and red.

N1 on the left (closest to my ear); C1 on the right
Halps?  Undertone wise, does it look my N1 or C1 better?  And both dried darker and then why does white come in such a giant bottle anyway?!  *angrily knocks over bottles of N1, C1, White in undertone confusion*
Bwhahaha, I actually recieved unanimous consensus from makeupalley, but I totally want to go the other way.  I'm crazy.
What's your foundation matching strategy?  Any tactics that work best for you in getting the best match.  Teach meh, plz.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

If I Did Tutorials, It Would Go Something Like This

One thing I am not is a teacher or a guru.  I am also middling about doing anything step by step.  BUT. BUTT.  Probably one of the most frequently read comments and questions I receive have to do with layering.  Specifically, I've been asked how I layer SUQQU eye shadows.  I have a default placement that I would like to share with you because literally, whether I feature that particular look in the context of a post or not, it is likely the placement I wear whenever I wear a SUQQU quad.

Alrightie then.  Get ready of so many pictures of my face that you're going to DIEE.  DIIEEEEE.  Here is what I am using to demonstrate my "technique."

  • SUQQU Blend Color Eye Shadow in 08 Mizuaoi (d/c)
  • Tom Ford liner in Espresso (here)
  • SUQQU eye shadow brushes in F, L, M (here)
  • (unpictured but helpful would be) a good small pencil brush for smudging liner.  I used RMK E
A note I will make is that you can use any SUQQU quad though it seems to work best in the old format of white base, dark matte, and two shimmers (quads 01-08).  I am using the Tom Ford liner because it smudges nicely, but can easily use a liquid or pen liner to create a wing, or any other soft pencil or gel liner in various colors to contrast, deepen or whatever.  And I'm using the SUQQU grey squirrel brushes, which apply generally sheerly, but you can use firmer bristled brushes like goat hair, or Canadian squirrel hair to get a stronger pigmented finished look.

OK, do the base makeup:
I'm wearing SUQQU Frame Fix Cream N 002 (here), Surratt Surrealiste Concealer 04 (here).  I've done my brows and I've primed my lids with Nars primer.
Apply the quad "base" shade:
Using a large fluffy brush (and in our example SUQQU L), I apply the white matte base shade all over my upper lids and along the lower lash line.
Nearly imperceptibly, it creates a nice smooth and even effect on the lids.

Apply the darkest shade to create shape on the eyes:
I like a paddle-shaped brush to do this step.  The flat side is helpful in patting on the shape on my upper lids while the tip has some level of precision and can apply along the lower lash line.  The patting motion gets me the most even and intense coverage of this color on my upper lids.  At this point, I'm not worried about blending, or evenness in application.  The additional layers of the other colors will help achieve a well blended look.  Most important is getting the shape you like (e.g., more round, or winged out in shape) and making it about the same on both eyes.
 My eyes are not even, so I often goof the "get both eyes about the same" part of it. :D  Eh, close enough.

Now the layering:
This is when I allow my brain to kick in.  I think about which of the two remaining color to show distinctly by itself on my upper lid, because that will be the last color I apply in the quad.  In the case of Mizuaoi, I have a distinct aversion to blue tones.  I'd rather use the pale blue shimmer shade as a layering mixer over the dark purply blue and use the peachy pink shade more prominently and therefore taking the edge off an all-blue look.

I use both the L and the M brush.  I use the L to sweep the pale blue shimmer shade on top of the dark blue I've already applied and slightly past the top edge of that dark blue shape.  That adds complexity to this look, right?  The main dark shade is layered with the pale blue on my mobile lid, and above the crease the pale blue stands alone.  It's a gradient!

The M brush is helpful with its pencil tip to apply the pale blue in a layer over the dark blue on the lower lash line.

Now layer some more more:
Ok, these quads come with a fourth color for a reason, so we're going to use it as the final layering shade.  After wiping the L brush and the M brush clean on a microfiber cloth (or tissue), I dust the peachy pink on the brush.  I sweep it on top of the inky purply blue, the pale blue on the upper lid with the L brush.  I make sure to extend the peachy pink shape higher up on the lid, so it can be unobscured by the purply blue, and the pale blue.  Complexity, right?

M brush is used to apply the peachy pink on the lower lash line.  In this case, I just focused its placement on the outer third of my lower lash line.  Improvising and tweaking these placements a little bit is easy to do and adds a little something different each time I wear these quads.
The only real blending I do is when I sweep the layers on top of the main dark shade.  That dumb phrase "it practically blends itself!" is kind of true!

Final touch is the liner application and mascara.  I put the Tom Ford Espresso in the lower waterline and along with upper lash line.  I use a pencil brush (RMK E) to smudge both lines softly, while adding a bit more of the dark shade from the quad to it to set it.
Here is the finished look, adding Rouge Bunny Rouge Impalpable Finishing Powder (here), and RBR Sea of Clouds liquid highlighter* on the high points of my face, Chanel Joue Contraste in Rose Ecrin, and Rouge Bunny Rouge sheer lipstick in Musings*.
For me, this is my fail safe placement.  When quads don't look good using this placement, those are the ones I tend to purge for one reason or another.  (When there is a cream pan, or a split pan, or eight colors, then I start to get confused!)

Whether this technique works for you or not would depend on probably a whole host of factors.  I have a very shallow crease, so layered gradients like this always work, while placements with dark crease + dark outer V are harder.  The general shape or profile of your eyes may or may not work with this technique the same way.  But why not give it a try and write back on how it works for you?  I think this would work well on those with monolids and hooded eyes like mine.

So satisfying posting twenty selfies in one post.  :D  This totally allows me to indulge in my narcissistic tendencies for like a good hour composing this post.  *scratches itch*  AAH!

Are there particular eye shadow placements you tend to favor?  Share your knowledge so I can learn!

* items were provided without charge by the brand/PR for my consideration.  However, all my opinions are my own!  Yes indeed!  Please check out my full disclosure policy statement here.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Rouge Bunny Rouge Succulence of Dew Sheer Lipstick - Musings, Relish of Heaven and Perfume of His Gaze

>> This post features products provided without charge by the brand for my consideration<<

After giving into my raging lust for a lipstick in a gorgeous lightweight and lip-loving formula (that's my Jasmine Weighted Air post, dudes), I jumped at the opportunity to try out a few more colors in the sheer lipstick range.  There may have been evil cackling involved.  No need to report me to the brand.  They will be able to see the deranged look in my dead eyes.  Next time, they will back away slowly. @___@
 I chose a selection of briiiiight (Relish of Heaven), wearable (Musings), and a little oddball (Perfume of His Gaze).  Not shown here, but they also reformulated Murmurings (here), a cool deep plum which I featured in the old formula way back when.
L to R: Perfume of His Gaze*, Musings*, Relish of Heaven*, Jasmine Weighted Air

Swatches not in the same order as the above bullet picture, because I like to keep your brain agile.
From L to R: Musings*, Relish of Heaven*, Jasmine Weighted Air, Perfume of His Gaze*

  • Musings* is a warm rose.  It is a very natural and subtle shade.  It is the least pigmented of the shades shown here, but like all the others, can be easily built up in color to fuller opacity without going gloppy.
  • Relish of Heaven* is a bright warm red.  This is a gorgeous warm red, with good pigmentation while still retaining a juicy kind of transparency.
  • Jasmine Weighted Air you've seen before on this blog.  Gorgeous and face brightening fuchsia.
  • Perfume of His Gaze* is described as a cool toned rose taupe by the brand.  This is what I mentioned as an oddball color.  It kind of is weird.  There is some grey, some purple and some pinky brown in this shade.  This has the softest texture of the colors I've tried and particularly wet looking and glossy when applied.
I've put it on these new three shades (excluding JWA), so you can see all these colors in the context of the rest of my face and makeup.  Since I spoke extensively on the formula and wear when I posted about JWA, I will give you some verbal blah blah on my thoughts on how these colors are working for me.


Musings is the least exciting of these Sheer Lipsticks, which is not a dig on the wearability and prettiness of this color.  It is really lovely.  I think though that it is so low contrast on my face, that it has the effect of softening up all the rest of my features.  The old convention of playing up one feature of the face (like if you go bold on your eyes, go more subtle on the rest of the face) seems to have a bit of merit.  With such soft eyes and subtle cheeks, I think my lip color in this case ends up a bit blah looking.  It does make a great shade to pair along with dramatic or smoky eyes.

Relish of Heaven:
I always think bright colors like Relish of Heaven photographs even nicer than they look in person.  I have to admit that even though on most days, I prefer softer mlbb type colors, a bright dramatic color like RoH looks pretty darn incredible.  With exactly the same makeup as when wearing Musings, my eyes look darker and brighter and my skin looks glowing.  (well I am cheating on the glow)

It does seem like finding a good red has something to do with either playing up a contrast in undertone (such as a warm red on cool skin or vice versa), or finding some sort of harmony (like the warm RoH with my warmer skin).  I had been sorely tempted by Tatcha's red LE lipstick which Messy Wands featured (here), but since reds is not something I wear all that often and with Relish of Heaven filling in the spot of a bright, slightly warm red, I can safely pass.

Perfume of His Gaze:
Heheh.  Even more than the drama of Relish of Heaven, my secret favorite is Perfume of His Gaze.  By the way, if Perfume of Gaze is a familiar RBR name, but the color looks not in line with your memory, it is because they recycled the name for this new color.  I like this color much more than Musings, personally.  It is a deeper shade, so provides a bit more contrast to my skin and more in line with the depth of my dark features (eyes, brows, hair) and has a cool tone that is harmonious with my own weird cool lip color.

Other Products Worn:
Products I am wearing in all these looks are the same, rotated with the lipstick colors.

The base I particularly love for a nice dewy look is my Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick.  Now that it is much warmer, I will likely need to go for a less emollient formula as my skin gets a bit oily.  I've set it with RBR's loose finishing powder.  Also wearing RBR Delicata on the cheeks.

I'm wearing an assortment of RBR matte eye shadows (here) with Bashful Flamingo on the lids, Sweet Dust Seriema in the crease, and Blackpepper Jay to deepen the outer corner and to define the lash line.

Allow me also to give you a closer look at what is on my eyes and all the copious amount of highlighter  (RBR Sea of Tranquility) I am wearing.  It makes me a little buggy when the very last thing I do (mascara application) goes all wrong.  I smeared it all over the lash line.  Hmm, if I were a bit more conscientious, I would re-do it or attempt a clean up.  But I think you know how lazy I am by now and I am nothing if not authentic to my true innerds.
Were you able to try any of these new sheer lipsticks yet?  Which color is your favorite?  OOH OOH!  *jumping up and down*  Rouge Bunny Rouge was so kind to offer a very special discount for all my readers.  Yep, using this code will also brand you as a Wondegondigo reader, but that is a small price to pay for a 20% discount.

Use the code RBR-WONDEGONDIGO20 to receive a 20% discount on the Rouge Bunny Rouge Website (all regions!).  And come back and tell me what you picked up!  This code is good until August 31st, 2015.

Disclosure: this post features product (*) that was sent free of charge by the brand/PR for consideration.  However, all my opinions are my own!  Yes indeed!  Please check out my full disclosure policy statement here.
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