Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Addiction by Ayako Cheek Stick in Amazing, as in Uh-May-Zing

Here's my other Addiction Cheek Stick, in Amazing. (Un?)fortunately, sans fish face.

Amazing is a light fuchsia that is, like Revenge, flattering on both lips and cheeks. Dry lip bits aside (after all, this isn't a scrub), I remain amazed how moisturizing this is.  

Bottom line: need more shades.

Addiction by Ayako Cheek Stick in Amazing is available exclusively in Japan, but can be procured if desperate through Ichibankao, albeit at a high mark up. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Makeup So Good I Want To Cry: Addiction by Ayako Cheek Stick in Revenge

Oh boy, I'm so excited.

L-R: Addiction Cheek Sticks in Revenge and Amazing

These Addiction by Ayako Cheek Sticks have been all I wanted to use since I received them in the mail last week (thank you Momo-chan!). The nudge, or more accurately, shove off the Addiction cliff was due to The Driveller Kate and Glossed in Translation

Revenge blended out and swatched

Addiction Cheek Sticks are basically NARS Multiples, but creamier, more blendable, and well, wait till you see it on lips. To use, simply dab a little on the cheeks and blend out with fingers. Apply as usual to lips. Revenge is, to put it crudely, a reddish coral shade.

Notice how dry those lips are

And how glowy and un-dry they've become

These Cheek Sticks make me want to cry, because while I am dramatic about makeup like that, I also think good makeup deserves a good bawling on. This is the only moisturizing matte lipstick I've ever worn, and it stays on until you decide you have to eat or drink. The only downside to them is they come in a limited shade range, and of the ones available it seems only three of them will show up on my skin.

Oh, and the other terrible thing is Addiction is only available in Japan. There's always the Ichibankao option, which unfortunately marks them up about $14 from the original price. For more drooling, visit Addiction's website.

Friday, July 27, 2012

NARS Fall 2012: Vent Glacé Eyeshadow Duo and More Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil

L-R: Vent Glacé swatched right to left

L-R: More Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil, Amsterdam Pure Matte Lipstick

More Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil

Surprisingly (considering how much more colorful High Society and Amsterdam are), the Vent Glacé Eyeshadow Duo and More Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil are the more interesting aspects of NARS fall for me. They seem made to be paired together, and when done so, produces an ice queen-ish vibe that I'm oddly giddy about. 

Vent Glacé consists of a frosty silver white and a beige/brown/gray shade (even after playing with it for a week, I still cannot pinpoint the exact color). For some reason, when I first applied it to my lid over NARS eyeshadow base, the silver was patchy and refused to blend. On my second try, it was fine. I guess it was an eyelid fluke? The More pencil is an auburn that is decidedly unique to my stash. It was a pleasure to apply and wear, as is expected from the Velvet Gloss formula.

Vent Glacé Eyeshadow Duo retails for $34, while More Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil goes for $24. Both are available at narscosmetics.com, which currently offers free shipping on all orders.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

NARS Fall 2012: High Society Eyeshadow Trio and Amsterdam Pure Matte Lipstick

If you've been reading Messy Wands for some time now, you probably remember my NARS dilemma – I love everything when a new collection comes out, but end up using them just once or twice. The company makes good stuff and is especially good about going against trends, or at least surprising us with some unexpected pieces for every seasonal collection, so I'm not sure what's going on with my usage pattern.

L-R: High Society Trio swatched right to left

Perhaps I'm just not as adventurous about makeup as I thought I was? What a depressing thought.

L-R: More Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil, Amsterdam Pure Matte Lipstick

On short notice, the only way I could pull off High Society Eyeshadow Trio was using the two purples on the lids/crease and forest green on the bottom lash line. Pigmentation was good, though I'd rank the lilac lavender as best. The other two seems a little patchy in comparison.

Anyway, I broke the "rule" about focusing on either eyes/lips by pairing the trio with Amsterdam Pure Matte Lipstick. It turned out fine in pictures, but in real life... let's just say the boyfriend saw me coming out of my room and shrieked. (Of course, that turned out to be so much fun that nowadays I just do the craziest looks and stick my face in front of his.) As far as Pure Mattes go, Amsterdam is by far the least drying (thus best) one I've tried.

NARS High Society Eyeshadow Trio retails for $45, while Amsterdam Pure Matte Lipstick goes for $25. Both are available at narscosmetics.com, which currently offers free shipping on all orders.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ten Second Neutral Eye Look

I'm not even kidding. They say summer is supposed to be easy, so I racked my brain to find the easiest way to do an eye look. All you need is something like Le Métier de Beauté Dualistic Eye Pencil in Champagne and your finger.

Swipe it onto the lid.

Blend with finger.

Clean up with concealer. Add a natural mascara (Burberry Effortless Mascara in Midnight Black is my go-to for a "natural lash" look) if desired.

Twenty seconds, tops.

P.S. Everyone wish the Boss Bandit Rae a happy happy birthday! In honor of you, soulmate, I shall flail for the next 24 hours, no matter how strangely people look at me.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

An Update (and ooh nail wheels!)

(all pictures can be clicked to enlarge)

I spent the last weekend in Vermont and experienced firsthand a sort of modern rustic American lifestyle. I hiked, I ate eggs straight from the chicken, we sat around a campfire with a guitar at night, we had waffles with oodles of local butter, fruit, and maple syrup. Then, I came back to the city and it became a little tough to get back to the swing of things, largely because the phoneless, Internet-less trip was perfect to ignore a few brewing problems (such as having to get a job within the next 51 days or I'll have to leave the States). It's been three days and I'm still finding new insect bites. Those are uncomfortable.

Most bloggers will tell you nail polish posts are the easiest to write, so what better to make myself get back into blogging again than a plethora of polishes? These (shamefully) aren't all of my nail lacquers. There's another shoe-box-full that I haven't managed to swatch. The reason I nail wheeled it (read this ala Barney Stinson. I chuckled) is so I know what polishes I actually own and what to avoid buying more of. It's been as helpful as I thought it would be and I've started wearing long forgotten colors again.

Butter London



Le Métier de Beauté

Rescue Beauty Lounge

Rescue Beauty Lounge

I didn't intend to label them, since this is really just an "ooh colors!" kind of post, but if you want to know the name of a specific color, I'll try my best to reply you in the comments.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Guide to Makeup Shopping in New York City

The idea for this post is courtesy of Arianne of Glitter Geek, who is visiting NYC in a month and wanted to plan out her beauty shopping route beforehand. I was already making a list of shops we have to visit in her short three day stay, and thought I might as well chronicle it here in case someone needed it in the future.

First, and how do I say this without being all disclaim-y? I'm not an expert in New Yorkness. I've logged in less than a year's worth of living in NYC (though I will be living there), but the aim is to start a list that hopefully will grow through time, whether through experience or your input. Thus, feel free to suggest additions to the list in the comments!

*I don't list every brand each store carries, just because that would make the list too tedious. I try to include only the less conventional brands/brands you can find only at that store.

The Messy Wands Guide to Makeup Shopping in New York City

1. Bergdorf Goodman (58th St and 5th Ave)
Did you think it would be anything else? Besides housing one of my favorite beauty brands ever, their window displays are always a treat to behold. 
Notable brands: Le Métier de Beauté, Paul & Joe, Hourglass, Kevyn Aucoin, Edward Bess, Tom Ford

2. Barney's (61st St and Madison Ave)
The beauty level of Barney's is smaller than I thought it would be for a luxury department store, but houses some ultra-exclusive lines.
Notable brands: Tatcha, Serge Lutens, Koh Gen Do, Sunday Riley, Beauty is Life, Sue Devitt, Deborah Lippmann

3. Bloomingdale's (59th St and Lexington Ave)
The Bloomingdale's beauty department is worth visiting because aside from being quite large, it houses Space NK. 
Notable brands: By Terry, Vincent Longo, Ellis Faas

4. Saks Fifth Avenue (49th St and 5th Ave)
Huge beauty level surrounded by beautiful bags. 
5. MAC Cosmetics Times Square (506 Broadway)

6. Inglot Times Square (48th St and Broadway)

7. Sephora at the Meatpacking District (27 9th Ave)
While there are almost as many Sephora locations as Starbucks outlets in NYC, the Sephora at Meatpacking is unique because it stocks more obscure brands. That said, unless you're in the neighborhood, I don't think a specific trip is necessary since those brands are available in the department stores listed above.
Notable brands: Ellis Faas, Koh Gen Do, Edward Bess

8. Duane Reade
A couple years ago, Duane Reade committed to expanding its beauty section. A few of them even has beauty bars with brow shaping services. *When I find a particular DR that demands shouting about I'll update this with a specific address.

9. Kiehl's Flagship Store (13th St and 3rd Ave)
This store is huge, as befits the first ever Kiehl's store (originally a homeopathic pharmacy).

10. Make Up For Ever Boutique (12th St between 5th Ave and University Pl.)
Three words: custom blended foundations.

11. Chanel Boutique, SoHo (139 Spring St)
For exclusive collections. I believe they still have the SoHo de Chanel Blush on display.

12. Benefit Cosmetics Boutique, SoHo (454 W Broadway)
Houses the original bottle of Benetint and is possibly the cheeriest makeup store in the city.

13. NARS Flagship Store (413 Bleecker St)
Self-explanatory. Worth noting: There are a few Marc Jacob-related stores in the vicinity, and more importantly, a Magnolia bakery just a couple stores away.

14. OCC Makeup Flagship Store (174 Ludlow St)

I hope this helps first-time visitors get a sense of what's available makeup-wise in New York City. Remember, if you have a unique store you think would be a great addition to the list, please let us know in the comments!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sneak Peek: Guerlain Fall 2012 Swatches

THIS JUST IN. Swatches of Guerlain Fall 2012: Femme D'Amour & Femme Fatale Collection (full preview here).

There are six new Rose Aux Joues Blush Duo ($50) shades released for fall. Excerpted from the press release:
One dominant shade adds a pop of color to the cheekbones, while its smaller counterpart can be mixed or used as a striking juxtaposition or contour shade.

Peach Boy is an almost-orange peach and a peach shimmer, Chic Pink is a shimmer "NARS Orgasm" shade and a matte beige pink, Over Rose is a warm rose and a light pink, Pink Punk is an apricot pink and plum brown shimmer, Golden High is a golden orange shimmer and matte light peach, while Red Hot is a red brown shimmer and less shimmery red. 

Of the six, Pink Punk and Red Hot have the best pigmentation, while Chic Pink and Over Rose were disappointing. I had to layer Chic Pink four times to obtain the above swatch, and even after four layers, Over Rose refused to show. The texture of the blush varies from shade to shade – the first three are more dry to the touch whilst the latter felt more buttery. These impressions are based on finger swatching.

One new L'Ecrin 4 Couleurs in 14 Les Fauves ($59) will join the permanent shade range. *As a reader pointed out, Les Roses is from the Spring collection.

And finally, the Rouge G L'Extraits ($48), each named after the seven original sins. Another excerpt from the press release:
Liquid, creamy, consistent, ultra-pigmented and velvety, this exceptional lip color is the perfect combination of a lipstick and a gloss and will ensure an incredibly sophisticated look. The liquid texture glides gently over the lip and within a few moments, the silky color becomes matte. This non-sticky, non-drying and non-feathering texture leaves your lips looking flawless for hours.

L-R: M06 Avarice, M25 Colere, M27 Luxure, M41 Envie, M65 Paresse, M69 Orguel, M71 Gourmandise

I tried on Avarice and proceeded to do a little dance in the store. It's less thick compared to Chanel Rouge Allure Laques and slides on like smooth butter. It takes a few seconds to dry down to the matte result you see above, and as I write this I've been wearing it for four hours with no visible wear. It seems like it continues to stain through time, so beware when wearing scarves and such. The best part is these babies are not drying at all, and if you're a regular reader you'll know that's all I ask for from matte formulas.

I would love to thank my friends at Neiman Marcus who allowed me to photograph this, so if you're thinking of placing a pre-order (since the testers just arrived at the store, I'm assuming they'll be available in a week or two), please contact Shawn Kelly/Traci Dastou of Neiman Marcus Boston at 617.536.3660 x2111.

Dior Fall 2012: Golden Savannah and Wild

It's a pity/blessing my Dior items came just after my Giorgio Armani and Chanel ones, because while you know I have much love for the brand, the two items I sampled from their fall collection are pretty, but relatively adequate. 

Swatched from darkest to lightest shade, under really strong direct sunlight

First, there's the '5 Couleurs' Eyeshadow Palette in 774 Golden Savannah. This is probably a personal affliction: I like the idea of khaki and jungle tones, but in reality they're not my strong suit. While I have to say Golden Savannah is perhaps the most flattering khaki palette I've ever worn, the effect pales in comparison to when I have GA ETK Intense #24 on.


L-R: Dior Wild, Chanel Troublant

Dior 'Addict' Lipstick in 646 Wild reminded me of a lighter, lipstick version of Chanel Troublant. While this might not be apparent from the product photo, the lipstick features little flecks of microshimmer. On my lips it comes off as a light, almost-my-lips rose with hints of plum.

I can see it going well with fall eye stuff, or just as a MLBB shade, but you know, budgets and stuff. The Dior 'Addict' Lipstick formula is notoriously short-wearing, and I think it fades within three hours on me. Coupled with how close it is compared to Chanel Troublant when on the lips...

Sensibility is not my forte, so once again I implore you to help me decide. Try something else or stick with this? Is it really similar to Chanel Troublant?

Dior '5 Couleurs' Eyeshadow Palette in 774 Golden Savannah retails for $59 and Dior 'Addict' Lipstick in 646 Wild goes for $30, available at all Dior counters (but not Sephora).