Amy's Beauty Blog

Stop and smell the lipstick

Besame Cosmetics Wild Orchid Lipstick and 1915 Rose Delicate Rouge

(Wearing both products)

I’ve been a fan of Besame’s vintage aesthetic for quite a while, and these products don’t disappoint.

The newly-released Wild Orchid lipstick is a slight departure from the brand’s mostly-matte offerings, as it contains a slight shimmer. It’s not glittery and is very flattering. The shade is balanced between red and purple, so it skews neutral in tone and would work on many skintones. The shade wore well on me for 6-8 hours.

I’ve tried Besame cream rouges in the past and been thrilled, and their powder is equally spectacular. It’s so pigmented I barely needed to touch brush to pan, and it provided a lovely and blendable natural rosy pink flush with a hint of plum. I also love that the top of the packaging is detachable from the product pan, which means you can apply with the mirror wherever needed. 

Besame continues to provide classic beauty at an affordable price tag, with packaging designed to make every wearer feel like a diva. These products are available at Besamecosmetics.com

(This Review was not sponsored & I bought these products with my own money.)

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Too Faced Sweet Peach Collection (Photos and Thoughts)

Like many a makeup enthusiast (addict), I waited up until the wee hours on December 14th to get my hands on Too Faced’s Sweet Peach Collection.

I purchased the (cult mania) Sweet Peach Eyehsdow Palette, Papa Don’t Peach Blush, the Sweet Peach Glow Kit, and the Lip Oil in Tickle-Me-Peach.

The eyeshadow formula is very comparable with Too Faced’s full-sized chocolate bar palettes, so if you like those, you’re not in for any nasty surprises. They’re finely-milled, soft, buttery, and non-powdery.

The blush is a deep, bronzy peach, and it doesn’t have glitter, but it has a satin finish (definitely not matte). Would work well on deeper skintones. I had to use a light hand not to overdo it.

The Glow Kit is absolutely phenomenal. Seriously. The neutral bronzer is matte, so it makes a good contour, and the highlight is shimmery without being insane. This kit has its own blush, a slightly lighter pinky peach that can be built up.

I only ordered one lip oil because I’m not really a gloss fan, but it’s full coverage, smells amazing, and is hydrating like a balm. 

The peach scent is strong with all products, and they’re made with real peaches, so if you’re allergic or not into that, definitely give it a miss.

Here are some photos, including a quick look I did to try all the products. I’m happy to say there’s not a dud in the bunch. Highly recommend.


The Sweet Peach Collection is available at TooFaced.com (The eyeshadow palette is now permanent; some of the rest is limited [Too Faced has been weirdly confusing about this], so hurry)

I was not compensated for this review, and I purchased these products with my own money. 

Urban Decay Moondust Palette Everyday Makeup Look

Eyes: Urban Decay Moondust in Lightyear on lids; Moondust Specter in inner corners; matte taupe from Naked 2 in crease (I can’t remember which one-oops); Marc Jacobs fineliner in Blacquer on upper lash line; Benefit Roller Lash mascara 

(Note: The Moondust palette works best if you use 1-2 colors at a time and let them be the stars. If you use more than that, you risk getting really muddy and having a glitter bomb on your face.)

Lips: Lipstick Queen Saint Pinky Nude base; Lipstick Queen Butterfly Ball in Smitten on top (My lips are almost colorless on their own, so even sheer lip products show up strongly; on many people, this combo would show up as more sheer and less ruddy)

Face: Cover FX Natural Finish foundation in N10; Cover FX illuminating loose powder

Cheeks: Benefit Bella Bamba blush (lightly); Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Luminous Bronze Light (very lightly)

Misc: Brows – Benefit Brow Zings in #2; Concealer – L’Oreal Magic Lumi Highlighting Concealer in Fair

MAC Cosmetics Star Trek 50th anniversary collection


Where No Man has Gone Before lipstick & Strange New Worlds trip the light fantastic powder. (On me, the powder is a luminous coral blush; on darker skintones, it would be a highlighter)

This is a lovely collection that has Trekkie-chic packaging and is on-trend with the current push toward metallic and glittery textures. Not for the matte-only makeup lover. Every piece sparkles, but in a sophisticated, grown up kind of way. 

I don’t think it’s a can’t-miss collection for the general makeup enthusiast, but if you’re a Trekkie like I am, or if you love glitter, it’s right up your alley.

(Some places are sold out. My nearest MAC counter still has a ton.)

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande 2 Lipstick

Feels good & is surprisingly wearable. I expected it to be too blue-based for my warm-leaning neutral skin, but there’s a lot of yellow to balance the blue. I recommend trying it on at a counter before purchasing because it’s one that looks really different depending on skintone. Not one I planned to purchase, but it was a pleasant surprise.

I also purchased the gloss, though it’s not on in the photo. It’s fairly sheer but is much more mauve than the lipstick and mutes down the brightness. It’s pretty and provides another wearable option on its own or overtop. 

Overall a Viva Glam winner, especially for those of us who found VG Ariana 1 a bit too extreme for our daily needs. 

Kailijumei Flower Lipstick


My beautiful new Kailijumei flower lipstick in Minutemaid. Imported from Asia. Looks clear, but goes on as a lovely pink.

Smells faintly citrusy–nice but not detectable once it’s on.

Took two weeks to arrive. Recommend for the beauty of the product itself, but also feels great on lips.

MAC Series: Ruby Woo Lipstick

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MAC RiRi Woo Lipstick – Review, Photos, Swatches

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As a recent lover of Ruby Woo, I was intrigued when RiRi Woo first came out a few months ago. The insane feeding frenzy and online-only availability meant that I was far from getting my hands on it. The reviews were intriguing, with some saying it was exactly like Ruby Woo and others touting various differences. I finally found it today on-counter as part of the RiRi Hearts MAC fall collection.

First of all, the packaging is adorable, as you can see. The rose gold bullet is beautiful, and even the inside maintains the gold theme. Otherwise, it behaves like regular MAC lipstick packaging–sturdy, useful, and unlikely to come apart in your handbag.

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The bullet has Rihanna’s signature etched into it. I’m not a Rihanna fan, but even so, it’s a very elegant touch. There’s nothing about this product that I find tacky, even though it has such unusual graphic elements. All of it works together nicely.

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As to the product itself:

I’ve swatched Ruby Woo on the left and RiRi Woo on the right. I see a difference. Do you? To my eye, RiRi is darker and less pink. It comes across a little more muted on my lips than Ruby does, and I actually prefer it.

When it comes to wear, RiRi seems creamier to me. It’s the same Retro Matte formula as Ruby, but I think it’s the new, improved version that the new collection of Retro Mattes have. (Supposedly it’s the same as it’s always been, but I think there’s a major difference in creaminess and comfort.) I don’t know if you can see it in the swatch, but RiRi doesn’t drag nearly as much as my Ruby does.

The bottom lines:

If you like the retro matte formula, you will like the formula of RiRi Woo. It delivers the usual long wear time, opacity, and elegant flat finish.

Do you need it? That really depends, in my opinion, on your attitude toward red lipstick. Ruby and RiRi are definitely not exactly the same color, and the difference is even more apparent on lips than in a swatch. If you’re the kind of person for whom red lips are an occasional thing, and you already have Ruby Woo, you’d be fine to skip it, because, for you, it’s probably close enough. However, if you’re like me, and red lips are a staple for you, I think RiRi is a good option. You may find that, like me, it flatters you even more than Ruby does, and the formula is affordable for the wear time and good pigmentation it delivers.

Do you plan to check out RiRi Woo?

MAC Retro Matte Lipstick – Review, Photos, Swatches

Ah Ruby Woo, what a polarizing muse you are. Much like a spicy jalapeno pepper, MAC’s ubiquitous red lipstick is loved by many and loathed just as passionately by others. There’s one thing, though, that gets pretty universal agreement–once on, Ruby Woo lasts forever.

That’s why, along with MAC Cosmetics’s recent emphasis on long-wearing products, they chose to release a small collection of retro matte lipsticks–the same formula as Ruby Woo (supposedly, but more on that later). Before now, Ruby Woo has been the only permanent retro matte, and it was only recently joined by limited edition shades inspired by Rihanna. Information is somewhat conflicted at the moment, but supposedly this new collection is all permanent. (Even if this is true, my counter, at least so far, only has the amount of each shade that usually releases with LE collections, so hurry.)

Bottom line (if you’re in a rush): I really like this collection, and I believe it will more than satisfy all the matte finish lovers out there.

On to the goods:

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L to R Fixed on Drama, Steady Going, Flat Out Fabulous, Runway Hit, Relentlessly Red, All Fired Up, Dangerous, Ruby Woo

Thoughts:

I’m going to talk about the shades as they seemed to me. In my opinion, MAC’s website has some of the worst color distortion I’ve ever seen, and their shade descriptions are also a bit off sometimes.

Fixed on Drama is a deep, vampy shade with a lot of purple in it. I think this kind of color works particularly well as a matte, because the flat finish gives the feel of classic drama, but the wearer also has the option of more modern glam if she wants to top it with a lipgloss.

Steady Going is a light, blue pink, very vibrant and a bit like a mattified version of Viva Glam Gaga. This is a type of shade that I usually avoid because it makes me look dead, but if bubble gum pinks are your thing, it’s a nice shade with good pigmentation.

Flat Out Fabulous is a bright purple pink. It’s cool-toned, but with enough pink to keep it from being overly formal. To my eyes, it reads a lot like Catfight from the new Urban Decay lipstick collection.

Runway Hit is a peachy pink nude/neutral. I strongly considered a purchase, since it looked much better on my pale skin than a beige nude. I decided against, however, because of the matte finish. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE a matte finish, but there’s just something about a totally dimension-less nude that I found a little bit strange. It was like I’d painted tile grout onto my mouth. Granted, it could have been worse, but I realized that I prefer more sheen and dimension to anything that close to a nude lip. However, if you like matte nudes, it’s a very flattering one.

Relentlessly Red is…not red. In fact, on me it was a matte dupe for the limited (but frequently repromoted) Amplified shade Watch Me Simmer. I didn’t swatch them together, but this one looked very close when I tried it on at the counter. It’s a BRIGHT neon coral pink. I adore bright colors, but as with Runway Hit, I felt like the matte texture didn’t do this one any favors on me. It’s rare that I ever think a lipstick is too bright for me, but something about the combo of neon and matte just didn’t work on my face. I looked like my entire head was a mouth. If you have darker skin (or different toned skin) than mine, I’m sure your mileage will vary, and it’s worth giving it a shot.

Dangerous is an orange red, somewhere between Lady Danger and So Chaud, and similar to Nars’s Heatwave and Jungle Red. It has a beautiful burnt mutedness to it that makes it very wearable. This is one where I think the matte shade really took it to the next level of awesomeness. The only reason I didn’t purchase is because I have too many similar shades in matte and semi-matte textures.

Ruby Woo is a classic red that skews both cool and warm, depending on lighting and wearer. It’s been reviewed approximately 3 million times. It’s the shade that inspired this collection, and if you’re reading this, you most likely know all about it.

All Fired Up is a true raspberry pink that is bright but muted enough to be day-wearable (at least for me) and has a rosy red undertone (definitely warm). I saved this one for last because it’s the shade I purchased.

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I’ve worn this for two days, so here are some thoughts on product usage:

* These lipsticks supposedly have the same retro matte formula as Ruby Woo, but I’m pretty convinced MAC has actually improved it. I have a tube of Ruby Woo from a past purchase, and it’s much drier and more difficult to apply than any of these colors were when I swatched them, including the Ruby Woo from this collection. All this to say, if you haven’t enjoyed the formula in the past, you might consider giving it another try.

*These lipsticks wear a long time. I have a medical issue that means I have to drink water constantly, and these last through that and even through meals. I get several hours of wear time, and even when I touch up, I usually still have pretty good color. For me, this makes them great for work.

*I definitely recommend trying these in store before buying if at all possible. As I mentioned above, the matte finish does different things to different shades.

*Are these drying? MAC retro mattes contain Kaolin Clay. Much like the Tarte Amazonian Clay lipsticks (at least, they’re similar on me), they tend to form a clay-like layer over the lips that dries quickly and lasts a long time. For me, they’re neither moisturizing nor drying. When the beauty world has things like Revlon Lip Butters and Chanel Rouge Coco Shines available, it’s easy to label anything “drying” that isn’t incredibly emollient. My own standard is that drying means visible and feel-able unpleasant dryness and/or peeling on my lips, not just the absence of moisture. These do not feel moisturizing, but even after several hours, I do not find the sensation on my lips unpleasant. (I do recommend conditioning lips beforehand, a good idea with any matte formula.)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this review. Have you or do you plan to pick up any shades?

 

Vintage Makeup Finds

I love vintage makeup because it makes me feel connected to women of the past and their fascinating history. Today, my sister and I came across some fabulous vintage powder compacts at a local antique shop. We wanted to buy about ten of them, but we kept ourselves to three.

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This is a Prince Matchabelli compact from 1931. I love the gold crown detail.

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The interior of the compact shows the patented technology that allowed the owner to put loose powder into the middle compartment and then release it into the compact to use, making things simple and mess free.

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This lovely compact is Rex 5th Avenue. My research indicates it’s from the 40s, but it could also be 50s.

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The interior shows the powder puff and the mesh cloth that kept the powder from escaping when the compact was opened.

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This is another Rex 5th Avenue compact, definitely from the 1940s. The rhinestones make it an extremely rare find.

We also came across several compacts with built in lipstick and rouge compartments. I’d like to pick up a few, but they tend to be more expensive and will have to wait for a future shopping trip. In particular, I have my eye on a Bourjois compact from 1936.

Do you like vintage cosmetics, or are you more of a modern beauty addict?

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