Wednesday, August 29, 2012

In The Interim: Messy Wands is Moving (Literally)

Not-so-fun fact about me (or from what I can discern, the whole world): I hate moving. Thus, it is just swell that within the span of a year I've moved three times and am about to do it for the fourth time. But this time hopefully I'll stay put. Messy Wands is NYC-bound, at last!

I have two days to pack up an entire apartment and will only start getting internet access at my new place on Tuesday, so I just wanted to apologize in advance for the coming silence. I'm hoping my new apartment has fantastic light for photographs!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Upcoming Releases from Paul & Joe

Don't you just love really getting into a new brand? Recently I've been hanging around the Paul & Joe counter more often and have been surprised by the quality of their products at such a low price point. I'm now itching to try their skincare (from what I've seen so far, very moisturizing and chock full of hyaluronic acid) and would love to procure every single one of their boxed powders. 

I first previewed the Powder CS blushes in this post. They are super pigmented and long lasting, and to my recollection feature no scent. It comes with a tiny brush, but I can see myself chucking that into the bin immediately. Packaging-wise, my favorite is the geometric print but the blush in the pelican case fits my skintone the best. The box powders retail for $30 each.

The new lipstick range comes in three finishes: Sheer, Natural, and Full Coverage. The Sheer lipsticks are basically lip balms (barely showed up on me), while the Natural ones are what other brands would call "sheer lipsticks." On the other hand, the Full Coverage lipsticks are crazy pigmented! I tried on #304 (a vibrant red) and it lasted without feathering for eight straight hours. Unfortunately, it was also staining. My lips were a few shades redder after complete removal and remained so into the next day. 

These are the lipstick holders you can place the bullets into. I think the third from the right is just genius on their part, considering the majority of beauty bloggers I know are cat fanatics. The holder retails for $5 while the lipsticks go for $17 (the old formula was $20).

This is how the lipstick looks slotted into a holder

In celebration of Paul & Joe's 10th Anniversary, the owner and creator of the brand Sophie Mechaly curated a makeup kit of essentials, titled the Love Story Makeup Collection. It is made up of a Pressed Powder Duo, Face Color, and five Eye Color sheets, and comes with a soft pouch.

As with all Paul & Joe items, the powders feature quite an amount of shimmer. I thought I wouldn't like it but they were beautiful and more understated when swatched. When combined, the blush is a peachy coral while the highlighter was shimmery white. I was skeptical about the Eye Sheets and told Alex (the SA) that they look like sample eye shadows. She said there is a fair amount of product in each sheet, but I'd personally treat it as a bonus feature rather than the raison d'être to buy this set (said reason, in my opinion, would be the pouch). 

The Love Story Makeup Collection will be available October 2012 at and Bergdorf Goodman for $100. The fall lipsticks should be available in a couple of weeks, while I already spotted the lovebird blushes in store. If you need a contact or have any questions, Alex and Caroline of Bergdorf's Paul & Joe counter will be available to help you at 212.872.8648 and 212.872.2759.

As an aside, did you know I am now on Instagram? My username is messywands. I try to post adorable things and cupcakes on a regular basis. See you there!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

In Which I Get 'Editorial': Lush Emotional Brilliance

Let me preface this by saying it's entirely unintentional that for both my Lush looks I had a wind machine (or an AC unit blowing in my face) and a glossy eye on (which promptly smudged my mascara like crazy in thirty seconds). I don't quite remember what was going on, but it sounds like I had fun.

L-R: Lush Focus, Wise, Strong

L-R: Strong, Focus, Wise

Some time ago, I was sent three random products from the Lush Emotional Brilliance line to review (so, no. This is not a product of the "pick a color" game). I was glad a lip product was included because to be honest, I have never been sold on a liquid eye product. Even Ellis Faas, whose eyeshadow formula I absolutely adore, gets the back-of-the-drawer treatment in my book. Just because liquid eyeshadows are so tricky.

That said, I'll try anything.

L-R: Wise applied with fingers, Wise applied with brush

The foremost question on my mind when using liquid products is how to blend so they look natural. On my right eye, I tried applying the shadow with the doe foot wand, then finger-blending it. On the left eye, I applied with the Shu Uemura #10 synthetic fiber brush. Perhaps it's my lack of expertise, but the result is as you see in the picture above. To its credit, after the eyeshadow dried it didn't crease or budge at all.

"Wind machine" aside, lips: Cle de Peau Enriched Lip Luminizer #1

On the other hand, I definitely get along with liquid lip products. In fact, I was just searching for an orange-red that was orange enough without actually being orange (think about that a minute) when I received Strong. The formula is lightweight and slick, as in when you first press your lips together it slips around. I had no trouble applying it with the included wand, and in my tests it stays on until you have a giant oily meal. My applicator was a little loose at the base, but it could be that my sample was just defective. The only thing that bothered me was there's a sort of plastic taste and smell to the formula. By no means off-putting since I don't intend to eat my lipstick, but good to note.

Glossy eye courtesy of Le Métier de Beauté Magic Lustre Cream

I'm perhaps one of the last bloggers to be writing about this, but I would like to say that we might all be a little hard on the brand. After all, it is their first cosmetics collection, and as much as I won't be purchasing the eye products, I do believe the liquid lipsticks stand a fighting chance in the current market. It's at a relatively affordable price point and boasts a much wider range compared to its more conservative counterparts (I mean, they have one that's straight up purple), so I definitely think Lush is on to something. 

Lush Emotional Brilliance products retail for $22.95 and can be found at Lush stores or

The products in this post was sent by the PR of the company for editorial consideration.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sneak Peek: Shiseido Lacquer Rouge

L-R: RD203 Portrait, RD305 Nymph, BE306 Camel, RS404 Disco, RD501 Drama, OR508 Blaze, RD607 Nocturne, RD702 Savage

Such is the perils of guerilla swatching, but I take what I can get! For a quick review (and better swatches), visit Ars Aromatica.

I couldn't test it at the counter because the SA was absent and I didn't want to use the included wand. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I finger-applied them to my lips. My initial impression is they feel very comfortable and moisturizing. From the way they swatched on the back of my hand, I am quite certain these could be sheered out easily if you want an alternative to full coverage. 

Shiseido Lacquer Rouges retail for $25 and is available at most major department stores and Sephora. The downside is they look tiny at 0.2oz, but that is the same size as a Chanel Rouge Allure Laque that used to go for $32, and those things take a long time to run out.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Upcoming Fall Stuff: Paul & Joe and Le Métier de Beauté

A few days ago I asked on Facebook and Twitter what everyone's preference is regarding press releases and I received a unanimous "skip." I personally barely glance at press info when they're on a blog as well, though they're really useful when I need to fact-check for a post. That said, I still think these photos are probably worthwhile to post so you'll have an inkling of what's coming out for Le Métier de Beauté and Paul & Joe fall. 

Le Métier de Beauté

Cocoa Crazed nail collection

Four brown-toned polishes in:
  • Cocoa Me Crazy – vanilla bean cream with cocoa flecks
  • Hottie Choco-latte – creamy, shiny chocolate brown
  • Cocoa Cabana – bodacious brown with a hit of shine
  • Hot n’ Saucy – deep cocoa infused with cherry red under-tones

Breathless Kaleidoscope Lip Kit

Shade descriptions from top to bottom:
  • Cinema - a velvety, ultra-rich true red
  • Existential - sparkling mauve with rose effervescence
  • Beau - deep berry crimson with matte finish 
  • Celluloid - a glimmering, creamy flushed red

Nouvelle Vague Kaleidoscope Eye Kit, previewed here

On top of the regular fall collection, Le Métier de Beauté will once again collaborate with Neiman Marcus Fashion Director Ken Downing to produce the Coromandel Collection, where they will debut a new matte Velvet Crème Lip Color.

The fall collection will roll out to counters nationwide mid-October.

Paul & Joe

Clutch your hearts because these are adorable. Paul & Joe, like many Japanese brands before it, is revamping the way you buy their lipsticks. Now you can customize your purchase by choosing your preferred case and a separate lipstick bullet ($17 each for the bullet alone), where you can pick the texture (comes in sheer, natural and full coverage) and color. 

Other fall offerings include what I call the lovebird blushes and limited edition lipstick shades:

Color Powder CS in True Love, Inseparables and Les Tourtereaux ($30 each)

Paul & Joe fall will be available at and Bergdorf Goodman. The blushes are already listed on the site and sold at the BG counter. If you need a contact, my friends Caroline (212.872.8648) and Alex (212.872.2759) would love to help you!

Monday, August 20, 2012

One Woman's Freckles Is Another Woman's...

... skin condition. I kid, I kid!

On a whim – I blame that taupe eyebrow pencil I had lying around – I decided to dot on some freckles to see how I'd look. 

image via

While the model above is cute as a button (and potentially leopard-sexy), I on the other hand look like I need to put on sunblock. Maybe the trick is more concentrated dots?

If you're interested in replicating the look, here are the products I used:

Clockwise: Serge Lutens makeup base, Suqqu Keshizumi, By Terry 100, By Terry 200, LMdB Fawn*, Guerlain Rouge Automatique #100

L-R: bT 200, bT 100, LMdB Fawn, Suqqu Keshizumi

To dot on the freckles, warm the pencil on the back of the hand, then put the pencil on your cheek and roll it a little without altering position. Taupe shades replicate freckles in the most natural way.

As an aside, that Serge Lutens makeup base costs $80, and unless I'm using it wrong (I sweep it onto the eye, how else am I supposed to use it?), it's absolutely horrible. Creases within application. What's wrong with this picture?

The product(s) marked with * is provided by the company as a gift during a press event.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Not Vampy Enough Encounter

If you lurk around Twitter, you might have noticed extended chatter between me and my dear friends Larie and Tracy about our search for the perfect vamp lipstick (my requirement is a perfect balance between red, purple and brown, that's blackish but not too black. On top of that, in a formula I actually like). That lucky duck Larie already found hers, while I can only report a shade that's not vampy enough. But hey, I heard oxblood is a big trend this fall. 

The shade in question: Le Métier de Beauté 'Colour Core' Stain Lipstick in Castelo, a deep wine with a hint of shimmer so it doesn't seem flat when applied.

I like it.

Le Métier de Beauté Castelo retails for $30 and is available at Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, as well as select Nordstroms and Saks locations.

The product(s) in this post was provided by the company as a gift during a press event.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Spot the Brands

I'm running around New York today trying to get a million things sorted out. In the meantime, let's play Spot the Beauty Brands with this Bergdorf's display window. Most correct guesses get a virtual lipstick and actual bragging rights!

PS: I am now on Instagram as "messywands"! 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Exclusive Sneak Peek: Le Métier de Beauté Fall 2012 Nouvelle Vague Kaleidoscope Eye Kit

I have the full list of the entire upcoming Le Métier de Beauté Fall 2012 Nouvelle Vague collection, but for now, a sneak peek at the eye kaleidoscope.

Shade names:
  • Nouvelle - a sheer shimmering mink
  • Gamine - a cool satin pink
  • Icon - a matte mauve
  • Fin - a smoldering black carbon

Clockwise: Nouvelle, Gamine, Icon, Fin

L-R: Fin, Icon, Gamine, Nouvelle

All colors, lightly layered

On first glance, I was a little crestfallen to see the first three shades so similar to each other. However, I'll reserve my doubts until after I've had time to play with it.

That said, the black shade (Fin) in the eye kit did jump out at me. I have never seen such a pigmented black eyeshadow before. My fingers barely brushed the surface of the shadow and came up sooty. It was like touching charcoal, but in the best possible way. Below, I compared Fin with the blackest shadow I own, Giorgio Armani ETK Intense #13. As you can see, the ETK looks grey in comparison.

L-R: Giorgio Armani ETK Intense #13, Fin

Le Métier de Beauté Nouvelle Vague Kaleidoscope Eye Kit will retail for the usual $95 and will be available to all existing counters. The full collection will hit stores this October.

The product(s) in this post was provided for editorial consideration by the company.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Girl Crushing on Shu Pei or How To Fake A Higher Nose

I usually drool over every editorial scoured by the lovely people of Asian Models Blog, but this one of Shu Pei in the June edition of Vogue China just evoked such feelings in me. The location, the styling, the makeup, and for goodness sake can Shu Pei be a more perfect specimen of the human race?

I'm not and can never hope to be Shu Pei, but that shouldn't stop me from having some fun.

The look is ridiculously simple. Eyes are Giorgio Armani Waterproof Eye Liner #1 (limited for fall) tightlined and smudged out with Shu Uemura 10F, a light touch of smokey grey eye shadow to blend the edges, Burberry Trench Eyeshadow on the brow bone and inner corners, and Burberry Effortless Mascara for just-there eyelashes. I shaded a barely-there contour with Chanel Orchid Rose Blush (think a sideways triangle) and highlighted with Burberry Fresh Glow. For lips, a slick of Cle de Peau Enriched Lip Luminizer #201.

More importantly, Shu Pei's nose. I've never seen her in real life so I can't say for sure, but I want to bet that it is flatter than it seems. If you've been here long enough (or have me on Twitter/Facebook), you've probably heard me say I have no nose. While obviously not strictly true, glasses or anything that requires a nasal bridge to function is a bane, if not impossible for me to use.

Since I can't alter the height of my nose, I'll settle for the appearance of one. Note: pictures show accentuated shading so you can, well, see it. I usually go with a much lighter hand.

here's a close-up, and mandatory funny

People with tall noses have different kinds of shadows on their faces, and as I've explained in my face contouring tutorial, it's all about manually creating light/shadow. I used a contour powder one shade darker than my skin to darken the hollows (the two triangles) by the nasal bridge, blending it into the eyebrows. Then, I shaded the sides of my nose (the two straight lines).

Also, a sorely-needed update to my brow tutorial (cringe). While the specifics of where your arch and tail should be have not changed, I've since found out where your brows start does affect the perceived height of your nose. A brow specialist at Shu Uemura told me I should only have the space of two fingers between my brows, and I realized it really does make a difference.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Rescue Beauty Lounge Poppy

Every Rescue Beauty Lounge post I write begins with a quick visit to to make sure the polish in question hasn't already sold out. In this case, you're still in luck, but not for long.

Some time ago, Ji blogged about a devastating letter she received in regards to her GOMM collection. Among its stipulations were a name change to all the polishes and a ban from them being brought back in the future (for those new to RBL, Ji holds Bring it Back votes from time to time so newcomers will have a chance to acquire older colors). This collection in particular was a result of her admiration for a certain artist's work and seeking to channel it through another medium that she loved. Undoubtedly, in turn she introduced the artist and her work to thousands of other women. To hear that her work was attacked and disrespected by the very people who should embrace it... As a longtime RBL fan, I know the hard work and effort Ji puts into each of her polishes, so I can only imagine her heartbreak.

Back to the polish: I purchased the entire collection during pre-order and showed Abiquiu and Santa Fe Road earlier. The picture above features Poppy, a shimmering red that befits the name. I applied two coats out of habit. Texture is smooth and lovely, as only expected from the brand.

At the time of her blog post, she was told she had six months to sell the GOMM polishes. I personally don't believe it will remain in stock that long. Poppy retails for $20 and is exclusively available at Rescue Beauty, which offers free shipping for US orders over $100 and international orders over $200.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Makeup So Good It's Still Making Me Cry: Addiction by Ayako Eyeshadows

Along with the Cheek Sticks, I picked up some Addiction by Ayako eyeshadows thanks to my wonderful friend. Around the Internet, these are touted as some of the best eyeshadows ever, and when the entire world tells me it's that good, I just have to investigate. I had to buy these sight unseen, so I mostly relied on The Driveller Kate's swatches of the entire line to narrow down my picks. Trust me when I say it wasn't easy.

While the eyeshadows came in single pans, I decided to purchase the 6-pan palette for convenience. The palette does not come magnetized, but the eyeshadow pans will have glue on their backs anyway. Depotting is as easy as sticking a paper clip into the hole at the base. No heat necessary.

Addiction eye shadows are divided into four color types: (P) for pearl, (M) for matte, (ME) for metallic, and (S) for sparkle.

Top L-R: Sandbar (P), Flash Back (ME), Fudge (ME)
Bottom L-R: Midnight Oasis (M), Twig (P), Concrete Jungle (P)

L-R: Fudge (ME), Flash Back (ME), Sandbar (P)

L-R: Midnight Oasis (M), Twig (P), Concrete Jungle (P)

A closer look at Concrete Jungle, my favorite of the six I chose. The color is a true dove gray, and I can very safely say I don't own anything remotely close to this in my stash.

Highlighted inner corner and under brows with Sandbar

Worn with THREE Eye Belong Eyeliner (review to come), smoked out with Midnight Oasis

Sandbar under brows blended into crease, Midnight Oasis all over lid and lower lash line

that pesky crease line! Bad primers make me sad

obligatory deer in headlights pose

Cheeks: Chanel Brume d'Or; Lips: Dior Beige Angelique 314

While NARS Outremer dashed my hopes for a vibrant International Klein Blue eye shadow, Midnight Oasis rekindled the flames (of desire? haha). In the pan I suppose it doesn't look as brilliant as Outremer does, and when worn it is a tad darker, but that, ladies, is what I call a blue.

What can I say? Hands down, Addiction features the best eyeshadow formula I've ever tried. Buttery doesn't even begin to describe how it feels when applied to the lids. All the hype is true, and I'll be  contributing to it from now on. Addiction eye shadows are $40 on Ichibankao (original price $27 in Japan).