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Jul 18, 2014

Champagne taste, beer budget #3: Chichi Nudes Palette

I’ve always been curious about the Urban Decay Naked palettes. The texture! The pigmentation! Much buttery, so colour! I haven’t been curious enough to shell out for them, though, especially since UD aren’t sold in NZ, so I’d have to buy online and use Youshop or similar.

Luckily for me, I’d come across various blog posts about the Chichi Glam Eyes Nudes Palette being a dupe for Naked 1.

I don’t own the Naked 1 Palette, so can only judge the Chichi on its own merits. I’d always turned up my nose at Chichi as a brand due to the cheap looking packaging and branding, but have read and seen enough over the past year or so to realise that a lot of their products are really great — not to mention affordable.

The palette contains a mix of matte and shimmery shades. Some of the shades are slightly powdery, particularly the mattes, but not enough to write the palette off. The shimmery shades are smooth and buttery — the lighter ones in the left half of the palette are great for an inner corner or brow bone highlight, or pressed onto the centre of the lid, while the darker shades are useful for smoking things out or adding a little emphasis to the outer corners. It’s been a couple of months since I got the palette and took these photos, and I’ve experienced no fall out while using the shimmers.

I would say the left half of the palette leans neutral-to-warm, while the right half leans neutral-to-cool. I’ve swatched it below, with the Art Deco Eyeshadow Base under the top row of swatches. The primer definitely brings out the shimmer, but not as much as my photo would suggest — I think it’s just the angle of the light (my bad).

I’m kind of an eyeshadow novice, but here are some ways of how I like to use the various shades in the palette:

  • #2 for an inner corner and brow bone highlight
  • #3 and #5 for blending things out
  • #4 and #7 for a bit of an all-over wash
  • #9 as a smoky liner

Here’s a really basic look — I told you I was an eyeshadow dunce! I used #5 all over the lid, #9 on the outer third, and #4 on the inner third, then #3 to blend things out.

The Chichi Glamorous Eye palettes, including the Nudes, retail for $31.49 at Farmers here in NZ. It’s also available online for $22.95 AUD. Right now Farmers are doing 3 for 2 on Chichi products too, so get in there — I can totally recommend their Lip Stains and single baked eyeshadows.

Jun 25, 2014

Are we Instagram friends?

I feel like most makeup enthusiasts are probably visual junkies. No surprise, then, that Instagram is one of my favourite things on the internet. I’m probably friends with a lot of you on it already, but in case we’re not, you can find me @brushandbullet

Fair warning:  I take pictures of a lot of random crap.

Jun 16, 2014 / 1 note
Jun 13, 2014

Peel and stick: OPI Pure Lacquer Nail Apps in Reptile

I’ve been a little obsessed with this particular set of OPI Pure Lacquer Nail Apps since Elizabeth Monson’s Proenza Schouler-inspired nails appeared on Into The Gloss two years ago. Drawing tiny phoenixes isn’t quite in my skillset, but I can just about handle peeling these and sticking them on my nails.

This is the Reptile pattern which have been around for several years now. OPI don’t seem to update the patterns on these, so they’re still fairly widely available, retailing at around $24 NZD. I found two packets of these separately on clearance, though, for $15 and $5.

Each pack comes with sixteen pre-cut stickers of different sizes. I managed to do both of my hands with fewer than half of the stickers, so depending on the length and size of your nails, you could possibly get up to three manicures out of these. I’ve noticed that other nail sticker type products come with a cuticle stick and mini file, but these don’t, so take note if you don’t have those lying around (you’ll find at least a file helpful). The stickers are pretty thin and slightly stretchy, so be careful not to stretch them out too much when you’re handling them or it can all go a bit tits-up.

They’ve lasted me almost a week; I’m only starting to get some tip wear now, but you’ll notice that my nails are pretty short. No peeling so far with a top coat (Sally Hansen Hard as Nails).

Jun 11, 2014

A Red Lip #2: Ellis Faas Milky Lips L201

I saw Rocky Horror Picture Show for the first time last weekend. An acquaintance was in the shadow cast — a thing I didn’t know was a thing — and a friend and I went along. 

Thoughts I had during the night:

  • Should I get the props pack? Nah, I want popcorn.
  • We’re going to regret sitting in the front row, aren’t we.
  • They only have packaged popcorn. Ice cream it is.
  • Oh my god this ice cream is amazing. Worth the lactose intolerant aftermath.
  • Why is this guy wearing an Elvis costume?
  • It’s really cold in here.
  • Boobs! So much boob! And butts.
  • Do high schools really put the play on? Holy crap.
  • Nice legs. 
  • Free condoms!
  • That is some intense contouring.
  • What is happening. WHAT IS HAPPENING.

It was completely unhinged, but really cool to see a bunch of people with so much enthusiasm and just not giving a shit. Also, worth it alone just to see our friend Colin (who played The Criminologist) in a corset. 

If we’re friends on Instagram you may have seen a shot of the makeup I wore. Here’s another shot: 

I think I first fell in product design love when I went to Mecca Cosmetica a few years ago for a browse, had the Ellis Faas foundation and concealer put on me… and then choked at the pricing. Luckily, the Ellis Faas site ships worldwide, and the prices are much more reasonable (relatively). Plus they have free shipping if you spend over $50 USD/35 Euro/30 GBP (which is basically taken care of if you order two products, or one VERY EXPENSIVE FOUNDATION).

One of the tenets behind the Ellis Faas concept is that of using “human colours”. L201, for example, is based on the colour of blood — pretty true to life, don’t you think?

I really don’t want to think about where some of their puce-ier colours come from.

The Milky Lips formula is not a long-wearing one at all, unfortunately, and doesn’t even leave a stain behind on me; it was completely gone after I mauled my ice cream. Definitely one to wear over a layer of lip liner. 

I’ve seen a lot of criticism about the applicators online, which is fair enough — the click-pen design is notorious for being finicky. The metallic casing also gets dinged up pretty easily if you have it rolling around in a makeup bag a lot. I’ve been lucky enough to not have had many issues with the products I’ve tried, apart from one of the eyeshadows which completely hardened inside the applicator and the whole bullet just broke apart. Bizarre, but their customer service was quick to respond and send a replacement. Also, by most accounts they’ve improved the click pen design, so fingers crossed.

In an ideal world I would have a perfectly edited Ellis Faas Holder full of products, which I’ve posted about in the past when this blog was only on tumblr. Their concealer remains one of my favourites, ever, but at 22GBP for 2.5mls it’s not exactly a bargain. Still, it’s going to be the first thing I repurchase when I am gainfully employed and no longer a student!

Jun 10, 2014

Ulta3 nail polish: a review

A few weeks ago I came across a photo on Makeupper’s Instagram feed — there are two new cheap and cheerful cosmetic ranges launching in New Zealand. One of these is Ulta3, which will be familiar to bargain-hunting Australian friends who like a bit of super affordable lippie and nail polish action. 

Ulta3 nail polish ($4) and lipsticks ($6) are now in select Postie Plus stores. I picked up Blossom Fever first of all, a dusty pink shade which wore on my nails for an unheard-of eight days with no chipping and only some tip wear. So I had to go back and pick up a couple more — as luck would have it, PP are doing a buy one get one half price across the whole store, so I got Lily White and Stop the Presses for $6 total.

I was a moron and forgot to take a photo of the polish actually on my nails, but luckily I captured it on a nail wheel. 

Lily White is opaque in two coats. It totally reminded me of using Twink on our nails in primary school! Stop the Press contains black and white hexagonal particles of two different sizes in a clear base, and I think it would look best over a solid pastel. I found the application a little tricky; multiple coats are needed to get decent coverage with the hex bits, which take an age to dry.

Both Blossom Fever and Lily White are fairly thick polishes but are pretty easy to work with. I was definitely impressed with the lasting power of the former, but I took the Lily White off after two days because I was impatient for something new (which will be in an upcoming post), so I don’t know if it has the same longevity.

Overall, I think the nail polish range is pretty good. There aren’t any amazing, out of the ordinary colours, but no complaints here at that price point.

I would try the lipsticks but I need to actually wear some of my stash first! Let me know if you’ve tried them, though, and what you think of them.

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