Cosmetics

If That’s What You Wanna Do: Makeup Inspired by the 1975’s Love Me

“Another post about the 1975?” you’re probably groaning. I know, it’s been weeks since their album came out and I’ve all ready mentioned them so many times…but the moment I saw the video for Love Me back in October, I knew I needed to play with their look.

Just Keep Lookin'

The video, directed by Diane Martel, featured the band partying with a horde of cardboard celebrities, but let’s face it: the real star of the show was Matty Healy’s makeup, as done by the incredibly artistic Jeffrey Baum. Powder blue and neon pink is a very particular colour combo, and definitely serves as a throwback to the kind of retro 80’s glamour the band is channeling, but Baum keeps it from looking dated by keeping lips clean and natural, tying it all together with dashes of dayglo liner.

Bright Liner in Love Me

Considering that “Serendipity” blue is one of Pantone‘s dual Colours of the Year, I decided to bust out my new Sephora Pantone Universe lipstick and do some role reversal. You’ve seen the blue eye pink lip combo a thousand times, but I’m always interested in paths less traveled. And considering the song’s New Wave influences, I thought it was appropriate to play with some heavy contouring and bright blush.

"Love Me" Spinoff Look

I used Sugarpill‘s Dollipop, Urban Decay‘s Savage, Bones, Alien, Truth, and Too Faced‘s Your Love is King to create a bold pink eye and blend it out into my contour, a la some of my New Romantic image idols. Then, using Dior‘s Dior Addict Fluid Shadow in Magnetic, I traced a silver line under my waterline before creating a second line in black liquid liner–everyone has their favourites, but mine is Urban Decay‘s Perversion. Extending the line beyond my natural eye on both sides, I let the inside corner fall downwards while the outside corner continued up.

"Love Me" Spinoff Look

Rather than creating a full line along my upper lash line, I joined the lower line with a wing on top and piled on the black mascara. Leaving a slight gap between the upper and lower lines creates an even larger-looking eye–something between a doll and a wild animal, two things everyone aspires to of course.

"Love Me" Spinoff Look

I filled in my brows as usual, and finished the look off with the fabulously blue Serendipity lipstick from Sephora’s Pantone Universe collection. For such a light colour, Serendipity goes on opaque with the first stroke, so application was painstaking–moreso because the bullet itself is a rather strange shape and doesn’t lend itself well to drawing lines or creating shapes. If you’re a dedicated brush-user or have a magic supply of blue lipliner, this probably won’t bother you. Personally, I think this shade is worth a little time and effort–it’s the perfect counterpart to the classic (cliché?) powder blue shadow.

"Love Me" Spinoff Look

While I love the clean neon liner seen on the video’s models, I felt like taking it back–Love Me via ’81 if it was done by Boy George. Naturally, this isn’t a look for some light afternoon shopping or a family dinner. Luckily for me, there’s never a lack of good dance parties in town, and with a New Order show the same night, I was in good company.

The next time you see an artist or model in a video you like, take a look at their makeup. I challenge you to create something from it, to turn it into something you identify with or feel strongly for. Not only does it inspire you to break out of your daily beauty routine, it also creates a unique place for you within the music. You strengthen your relationship not only with the song itself, but also with yourself–it really is amazing how far a little makeup can push the boundaries of our identities.

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Cosmetics

Rouge Bunny Rouge: Your Fairytale Face

Rouge Bunny Rouge

The Makeup Show is like Christmas for makeup artists and bloggers–sure, IMATS draws some big name brands and personalities, but nothing beats the Makeup Show for specials and workshops. It’s an event that finds many people ticking off days, counting down their calendars. This year, I was particularly excited because their vendor list included Rouge Bunny Rouge.

If you haven’t seen Rouge Bunny Rouge’s picturesque packaging on Pinterest or their glowing, ethereal products on Instagram, allow me to be the first to praise their branding. Their graphic white-on-black boxes and sleeves feature beautiful botanical designs, and their products are stamped with bold black or white silhouettes, further referencing their fairy tale, enchanted forest theme. They had me hooked with packaging alone. But the Russia-based brand didn’t become the darling of bloggers by packaging alone. Their products could come in newsprint and they would be just as spectacular.

Rouge Bunny Rouge Packaging

I was particularly excited to play with their products in person before purchasing. I arrived at the show just after opening to assure I could touch and feel without interruption–a good plan, considering I monopolized the table for close to half an hour. When a foundation runs for $60 and a pan of eyeshadow fetches $19, you want to get as much playtime in as possible. By the time I left the table, I had accumulated products for nearly every feature on my face and all I wanted to do was go home and play some more.

Raw Garden Palette in Chronos

I’ve eyeballed the Raw Garden palette since I first saw it on Instagram, but just couldn’t justify the price tag, let alone the international shipping charge on top of it. As soon as I saw the vendor list, this palette danced back into my head. The five hummingbird-emblazoned shades inside are exclusive to the palette, ranging from pale neutral to smoked navy, all in shimmering metallic finishes. It really is better suited to dramatic, smokey looks, which I don’t wear often, but with such beautiful packaging and jewel-box colours, it’s perfect for making special occasions even more special.

Rain Dove, Rufous-Tailed Weaver, Abyssinian Catbird

I have a habit of buying the same eyeshadow colours over and over again, which is why I was drawn like a moth to flame towards Abyssinian Catbird. It’s exactly the shade of metallic antique gold that I live for, in the most buttery, rich formula I’ve ever felt in a powder shadow. I also fell head-over-heels for the opalescent blush-taupe of Rain Dove, which really is the perfect all-over lid colour, and Rufous-Tailed Weaver, which is somewhere in between as a shimmering golden-taupe.

Milk Aquarelle in Almond Milk

The textures are absolutely beautiful. Each and every product is impossibly soft and creamy, making them some of the most blendable, skin-friendly products I’ve ever used. The Milk Aquarelle foundation is surprisingly fluid, truly milky, so a little goes a long way. It gives a soft, velvety radiance to the skin.

Relish of Heaven

Rouge Bunny Rouge Relish of Heaven

And lipstick. Oh, lipstick. I really, truly love lipstick, so when I saw the Succulence of Dew lipstick in Relish of Heaven, I knew I wasn’t leaving the table without it. Despite being labeled a “sheer” shade, the colour is so bright and alive on the lips that you’d never know. The light shimmer in the formula makes the bright orange-coral appears wet and glossy, which I prefer to a matte especially going into summer. I don’t normally include multiple product photos when they’re so similar, but that shimmer!!

Velvet Fritillery

While a cream shadow like their Silk Aether isn’t something I’d normally pick up, I was able to select a shade as a free gift on a show special. Velvet Fritillary is a taupey grey khaki that I thought would make a great base for a soft, romantic smokey look. Another light-as-air, moussey formula that spreads easily and layers well. They recommend using a fluffy brush to blend it out, but using a finger will provide more coverage.

Luxury cosmetics often come at a price, and I’m not talking about the money–most high-end brands I’ve worked with aren’t exactly vegan friendly, and can be owned by parent companies who still conduct animal testing. I was absolutely thrilled to find that Rouge Bunny Rouge is 100% cruelty-free–they do not conduct animal testing on their products or ingredients, source from suppliers who share their philosophies, and do not sell on the Chinese market where animal testing is mandatory. Most of their products also appear to be vegan-friendly.

Rouge Bunny Rouge Raw Garden Look

In this look, I layered colours from the Raw Garden palette over a base coat of Velvet Fritillary. I used the violet shade on the lid, blending the olive-gold into the outer corners, rose-gold into the crease, and highlighted the inner corners and brow bone with the champagne shade.

Rouge Bunny Rouge Raw Garden Look

Needless to say, I am absolutely thrilled with Rouge Bunny Rouge. Their products are stunning, perform beautifully, and I can feel good about loving them with their animal-friendly philosophies. After all, a company that aims to make you into the fairy-tale princess you’ve always longed to be should be kind to all the woodland creatures (and domestic, and jungle, and ocean, and–)…

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Metamorphosis 142.0 – You’re My Obsession, Sephora + Pantone Universe Pt. 1

If you had asked me as a child what colour I liked most, I would have responded, “odden my wooaaaaah dodden.” For those of you that don’t speak nonsense, that would translate roughly to “orange is my faaaaaaavourite colour.” It might have even meant, “I’m obsessed with the colour orange.” I was. As a kid, I wanted everything orange: orange clothes, orange backpack, orange highlighters, orange notebooks, orange ribbons for my hair, heck I wanted orange hair. As I got older, the obsession waned. It was still my favourite colour, along with it’s more grown-up, peachy cousins, but it didn’t factor so heavily into my life. Aside from a brief flirtation with orange streaks in my hair as a teenager, orange sort of fell completely out of my rotation. These days, it’s rare I wear colour at all and when I do it’s some shade of blue or green…

But back in November, I laid eyes upon Pantone’s official 2012 Colour of the Year: Tangerine Tango. Suddenly, my love for bright, vivid, retina-searing orange came rushing back. I wanted an orange purse, orange shoes, orange gloves, orange scarves… but above all, I wanted an orange lipstick.

via Pantone

Unfortunately, it was harder to find these things than Pantone would have you believe: designers might have been all over this shade for 2012, but in late 2011, it was still an elusive beast. That is, until Sephora announced it was teaming up with the iconic colour company to bring us a line inspired by this year’s hottest swatch.

Naturally, I rushed out to purchase the set. I thought long and hard about what to buy, but the Collector’s Edition included a little of everything. And everything is what I wanted.

Under a shiny shield of protective plastic, the set includes the Color of the Year eyeliner in Tangerine Tango Twist, eyeshadow quad, Prisma Chrome blush, blush duo, creme lipstick, and lipgloss.

The Color of the Year eyeliner pencil is packaged in a self-sharpening plastic tube, though the base does come off to reveal a small plastic sharpener to reshape the tip of the liner.

The tip is smooth and the formula is creamy, so it does not pull or snag on the delicate skin of the eyes. I was actually quite impressed with the formula: I expected this to be a bit messy and smear easily, as most of the Sephora-made pencils I’ve tried have, but once set it stays in place amazingly well and lasts a good 12+ hours until I choose to remove it.

You can see that there’s a bit of silver sparkle to this liner, but it does not come off as gritty or flakey in the least. Swatched here over bare skin, I applied the top line thicker and heavier and the bottom line with less pressure.

The Color of the Year Eyeshadow Quad was the one product in this set I would not have purchased on its own. I haven’t been terribly impressed with Sephora’s pressed shadows in the past and I have tons of both orange and neutral shades. However, Sephora’s partner collections are always significantly better quality than their standalone shadows, so I thought I’d take the chance anyway. This is packaged in a sleek, magnetic palette much like the Inglot packaging I love.

Each of the shades in this quad correspond to Pantone colours, which I do find interesting. Clockwise from top left, Sparrow (Pantone #18-1404), Pavement (Pantone #19-3900), Carnelian (Pantone #16-1435), and Scallop Shell (Pantone #12-1010).

Used over a primer, these shadows are actually quite well-pigmented. They’re soft and easy to blend, and with the design of the palette extremely portable. I wouldn’t say these shades are particularly unique, but they are true to the theme of the collection.

The Prisma Chrome formula is fairly new to Sephora, though I admittedly have not tried their Prisma Chrome eyeshadows. It promises a soft, pigmented formula with eye-catching, light-reflecting shades. The Color of the Year collection came with this Prisma Chrome blush in Apricot Brandy (Pantone #17-1540).

For some reason, I expected this to be more of a creme-to-powder consistency, but it reminds me more of a baked powder in texture. I tried first to apply it with my fingers as I would a cream blush, but found that the super-fine powder stuck to my finger tip  and did not transfer well onto my face. That said, when applied with a brush, I get a shimmering wash of colour that lasts all day without transferring or fading in the slightest.

Of the blushes, this is the most orange. It’s a warm coral-orange with a strong gold shimmer. Swatched here heavier towards the top, blended out towards the bottom.

In case that wasn’t enough blush for one set, the Collector’s Edition also contains the Color of the Year Blush Duo. Packaged in the same sleek, magnetic palette as the eyeshadow quad, it consists of two large pans of blush in different finishes.

Desert Flower (Pantone #15-1435), shown here on the left, is a matte finish and appears significantly pinker than Coral (Pantone #16-1539) on the right, which has a gold shimmer.

Desert Rose, applied heavily at the top and blended out towards the bottom, is the lightest, pinkest shade in the set. It definitely leans peachy, but if I saw this shade on its own I wouldn’t consider it “orange.”

Coral is a bright peachy shade with a heavy golden shimmer. I have a few blushes in my collection that are quite similar to this one, but it does have a strong colour payoff that sets it apart.

However, my favourite products in this set by far are the lipstick and lipgloss. In fact, I feel like they deserve their own post. Stay tuned later this week for a full report!

Love you to the Moon and Back,

Luna Valentine

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Metamorphosis 135.0 – Subtle Darkness, Detrivore Cosmetics’ December Collection

Some days, I want to wear something “dark” without actually wearing something dark. Luckily for me (and all those who have ever shared my sentiment), one of my favourite companies recently released an entire collection that fits the bill: Detrivore Cosmetics’ December Collection.

Consisting of three cool and three warm neutrals, these six shadows have become staples in my day-to-day looks. And in the vein of Detrivore’s previous releases, each shade is almost unsettlingly beautiful.

Predatory is described as a “frost pink satin eye shadow filled with white shimmer.” It’s a cool-toned pink with a strong blue-white shimmer, an absolutely perfect base for many eye looks. I’ve found countless uses for this shade, being neither a pink, nor a neutral person. I will admit, this shadow wins extra points for the name.

Topiary is a ” light brown taupe with white shimmer.” The white shimmer gives it almost a blue cast, causing it to lean very cool. To be perfectly honest, I don’t really grasp the taupe-fever that consumes so many makeup addicts, but this is a beautiful colour that lends itself well to many looks.

Mimicry is also described as a “taupe satin eye shadow filled with white shimmer,” though it’s definitely darker and a bit less shimmery than Topiary. It’s also cool-toned, and makes a perfect crease shade when paired with the previous two colours.

Aurum is an appropriately named “light gold satin eye shadow.” It’s a lovely pale yellow-gold, though not metallic. This makes a gorgeous highlight for warmer looks.

Decline is described as a “light orangish yellow satin eyeshadow with gold and orange shimmer,” and reads as a pale orange-brown shade with a satiny finish. This would be beautiful on warmer complexions and stunning during the summer.

Nocturnal is a “brown satin eye shadow filled with white shimmer.” Like Topiary and Mimicry, the white shimmer can appear a bit blue, but Nocturnal is still a very warm brown shade. It reminds me of the shield beetles we have here, which–while not detrivores–I think is oddly appropriate.

These six shades are entirely different from anything else in my collection, and definitely completely different from anything Detrivore has previously released. At this point Detrivore jars fill a large part of my storage drawers, and with Distorria constantly formulating breathtaking new shades, their numbers will only continue to grow. I’ve all ready been eyeing up the newly-relased Graveyard Collection, an array of loose mattes.

Love you to the Moon and Back,

Luna Valentine

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Metamorphosis 131.0 – A Breath of Fresh Air, January Julep

For me, January begins to cold, bleak stretch of late winter that never seems to end. In my Northern East Coast area, it’s bitterly chilly, intensely windy, colourless, barren, and honestly more than a little depressing. I need to find joy in little things–blades of grass that still seem green, little birds nesting in my trees, a shiny new pair of boots… One of the fastest ways to lighten the mood is a pretty new nail polish, and January’s Julep Maven box brought me three of those.

Leah is described as a “vivid and refreshing grass green with a hint of shimmer.” I would describe this as more of a lime-jellybean green, or a granny smith apple-green, though it’s still quite refreshing. In the bottle, there is a sort of silvery blue-green shimmer, but on my nails it looked like more of a creme.

This was swatched two coats over Julep’s Nail Therapy and sealed with Fast Dry Top-Coat. It went on evenly, completely opaque in two coats.

Megan, a “playful and sultry Mediterranean aquamarine shimmer,” was the one I was most excited about. In the bottle, it’s an almost iridescent silvery green-blue. On my nails, the silvery shimmer makes it a steely ocean blue, even a tad frosty.

Swatched here is three coats over Julep Nail Therapy and sealed with Fast Dry Top-Coat. This shade applied a bit more sheer, but was completely opaque on the third coat. Above is indirect sunlight, below is direct sunlight. It can appear bluer or greener depending on the lighting.

I do apologize for the shadows in these pictures: they look like irregularities in the polish itself but really, it’s just shadows.

Julep sent one more polish that I just have not had the opportunity to swatch yet but will be sharing with you soon!

Love you to the Moon and Back,

Luna Valentine

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Metamorphosis 128.0 – Artistic Inspirations, a review of Innocent+Twisted Alchemy

There are so many indie companies floating around out there, it’s hard to try every single one. But every once in a while, a company comes along with a truly original concept and you simply need to try them. This was the case with Innocent + Twisted Alchemy. It wasn’t the branding that caught my eye, not even the pretty-looking colour blends, nor the fact that they seem to have great reviews. What caught my eye were the hand-drawn illustrations done by the owner. A little Ai Yazawa, a little Mistukaz Mihara, completely original, the owner even creates shadow collections based on her pieces. I had never seen anyone do anything quite like it.

But knowing that holiday collections were close at hand, I held off buying until Black Friday. I had just enough spare change scraped together for four samples. Innocent + Twisted uses clamshells for samples and absolutely stuffs them full of products. While I think $2 is steep for a 1/8th teaspoon baggie, it is perfectly reasonable for the samples you get here.

Shooting Stars is part of the limited holiday collection and described on site as a “navy blue with an explosion of golden sparkles.” The base is a very blackened blue, with bright gold generously scattered throughout. Sometimes, I think the gold almost gives the blue a green tint, like dark, murky ocean waters.

Guilty Grinch is another holiday limited, described as a “dark teal [with] multi-colored sparkles.” What stands out most to me are the bits of red and green and violet through the formula, like glittering confetti over the velvety blue-green base. This is definitely my favourite of the shades I ordered.

Hidden Present is an “army green with an explosion of pink sparkles.” The pink in the sparkle is light, like a dusty rose rather than a magenta, which I think can almost look gold or silver depending on the light. Green shadow enthusiasts should most definitely get their hands on this one before it’s gone–the green itself is pretty a pretty enough olive shade, but the added interest of the pink makes it really unique.

Twisted is the only colour from the permanent line I ordered. Described on site as “violet with green shimmer,” it’s a very deep, dark purple with a healthy dusting of turquoise-green sparkles. It’s incredibly pretty and has gotten a lot of wear, despite the fact that I really don’t wear purples often. This one gave me the hardest time photographing, since unlike the other shades, the turquoise here really is a shimmer and not sparkly enough to catch the interest of my (admittedly ancient) camera.

The photos below were taken slightly out of focus to try to capture the sparkles and shift. All were taken in natural light.

Shooting Stars

Guilty Grinch

Hidden Present

Twisted

All things considered, I would definitely order from Innocent + Twisted again and would gladly recommend them to people looking for pretty shades from a unique company. If you’re looking for ways to spend some Christmas cash, Innocent + Twisted also offers Lucky Packs–randomly chosen shades in full size, clamshell, and bagged samples. I’ll definitely be ordering one!

Love you to the Moon and Back,

Luna Valentine

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Metamorphosis 127.0 – Early Resolutions and a NotD

If there’s one thing I’ve learned this season, it’s that no one is exempt from the stresses of the holiday rush. It doesn’t matter if you work in retail, in an office, or in any sort of technical position, everyone feels the weight of the season crushing them at some point. That said, I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season.

One my New Year’s Resolutions is to be a better blogger–to stay on top of my posting schedule and post more quality articles. I would love to hear from you, my readers, about what you’d like to see written. Want more swatches? More nail posts? More outfits? More event coverage? Something completely different? Please, let me know! My contact information is clearly posted on my contact page, and there’s always Facebook and Formspring.

I’m really hoping that this will be a year of transformations. For all my new experiences and complete and total “up” moments, I fell into a slump towards the end of this year. I can blame my health, my dress code at work and school, my lack of income, any of it, but at the end of of the day they’re just excuses. This year, I vow to become 100% comfortable with myself, my body, my features, and my identity. Readers who actually know me will realize what a giant statement that is. If I’m not 100% comfortable with myself by the end of next year, at least I’ll be well on my way.

Since I’m a slave to school until May, I only have this week off as a winter break. In accordance with my first resolution up there, I’m going to try to put up a post every day between now and the date I return to the classroom.

Today, I have last week’s nails. Julep’s December colour was Helena, described as an “ultra-saturated fuchsia.” The colour itself is sort of a chameleon: in some lights, it looks like a deep purpled magenta, in others it’s a neon violet, in others still it’s a bright, true pink. I honestly did not expect to like this colour as pinks don’t usually play nice on my hands–but since this isn’t your typical pink, I didn’t really have a problem.

Below, Helena is shown in two coats over butterLONDON’s Nail Foundation with one coat of Essie’s A Cut Above on the ring finger.

These photos really downplay the blue tones this shade can have in certain lights. Under the fluorescent lighting of my classroom, this looked downright purple, while natural sunlight made it look like the bright pink it appears above.

Pink lovers in general would love this shade, but if you’re picky about your purples, this might not be your ideal. This would not have been a shade I’d order on my own, but I’m glad it was send in the December Maven package. There’s definitely nothing like it in my collection so far!

Love you to the Moon and Back,

Luna Valentine

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Metamorphosis 124.0 – Sheer Heart Attack: Shiro Cosmetics’ Death Note Collection

When I was a kid, there were some things that were just terminally un-cool. Being labeled a “nerd” or a “geek” was the death of your social life, and anyone who willingly embraced the title was committing social suicide. I was in a whole different realm of social exclusion what with my piles of black eyeliner and floor-length lace skirts, but I dangerously bordered nerd territory: aside from my voracious reading, I also watched anime.

Now, it seems like people are going out of their way to be called “nerds,” and “geek chic” is an actual aesthetic. Niche companies are springing up left and right to appeal to people’s nerdy tendencies, whether they want a Companion Cube made of soap, comic book character-inspired perfumes, or eyeshadows named for they’re favourite anime.

Shiro Cosmetics is one of these companies. Offering several collections of themed eyeshadows and a line of lipsticks based on internet memes, they’re definitely a fan favourite. But when they released their latest collection of shadows inspired by the anime series Death Note, I was immediately drawn in by the deep, complex colours. I have to admit, I haven’t seen much of the series. By the time it reached popularity in America, I had sort of fallen out of the scene. But you don’t need to be a die-hard fan to appreciate these shades. Of the ten new shadows, I ordered five and received samples of two more.

Heart Attack (top) is described as a “deep maroon with blue duochrome.” It has a distinct pink-red tone with a satiny finish and a purple-blue shimmer. I kept my camera slightly out of focus so you can see how delicate the blue shimmer is. Task Force (bottom) is listed as a “shimmery deep burgundy,” and swatches velvety-smooth and intensely pigmented. The shimmery particles in this shade seem larger than those in Heart Attack, giving this a slightly more dramatic feel.

Shinigami is a “dark royal purple with silver sparks.” You can see the sparkle is intense, with several different sizes of silver micro-glitters sprinkled though this amazing plush purple. I have not experience much fallout from this shade, especially when worn with a tackier primer like Evil Shades spectrum pots or Darling Girl glitter glue.

More Coffee (top) is a “creamy shimmer in a rich coffee base,” producing a brown-taupe shimmer. Heaven Nor Hell, a “velvety, shimmer gunmetal gray,” has a slightly different texture than the other shades, and is indeed incredibly velvety. The base shade appears to be a very dark, charcoal gray overlaid with a thick blue-gray shimmer.

Other Kira is a “charcoal with bright golden sparks” and is one of the most beautiful and interesting blacks I’ve gotten my hands on. The base is an intense, deep black absolutely loaded with gold micro-glitters. Like Shinigami, this looks like it should be a glitter bomb but with the right primer I have not had any difficulties keeping it all in place.

I received Detective as a sample with my purchase, which is described as a “taupe with strong blue duochrome.” This is an incredible shade with a very noticeable blue shift over a medium brown-gray base. Taupe lovers will absolutely want to get their hands on this one.

Perfect World, a “pure (not yellow-leaning) and slightly metallic gold,” was also included as a sample in my order. This is light, shimmery gold and is not at all yellow or green. It’s also not really metallic as much as frosty, and I imagine it would make a nice highlight for brown or bronze eye looks.

The following shots were taken indoors, without flash to better show the sparkle in a lot of these shades that my camera simply cannot pick up in daylight.

Left to right: Heart Attack, Task Force, Shinigami, More Coffee

Left to right: More Coffee, Heaven Nor Hell, Other Kira, Detective

Top to bottom: Heart Attack, Task Force, Shinigami, More Coffee, Heaven Nor Hell, Second Kira, Detective, Perfect World

These are beautiful, deep shades with velvety-smooth formulas, perfect for smoky, blended looks regardless of whether or not you’re familiar with the series.

Love you to the Moon and Back,

Luna Valentine

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Metamorphosis 123.0 – The Search for the Perfect Brow

Life is busy: we have hectic school schedules, demanding careers, families, pets, possibly even social lives to attend to on any given day. I’d like to think that this blog has always presented makeup and cosmetics as fun and artistic tools of expression, but sometimes they become vital necessities. There are definitely days I can’t be bothered fussing with multicolored eyeshadows in the mirror when I’m rushing out the door before sunrise, but I cannot leave the house without dabbing some concealer until my eyes to fake a full-night’s sleep. As I get older, I find that I’ve taken a lot for granted, and one of the biggest things I battle in the mirror every morning is my brows.

Some people need to test every eyeliner in existence. Others need to own every bronzer on the market. I find myself madly searching for the perfect brow tool. I’ve tried markers, pens, pencils, and powders: some have worked, some have left me with smeared lines and faded arches. One brand practically synonymous with brows is Anastasia of Beverly Hills. In their own words:

Anastasia has long been the definitive eye and brow expert for icons such as Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Oprah as well as hip up-and-comers like Diana Agron, Selena Gomez and Kristen Cavalari and has recently expanded into colors that match their superior standards for skincare based cosmetics.

When I was contacted by the brand’s PR to review the Beauty Express Brow Kit, I was ready and willing. I am restless in my search for the perfect brow, and after seeing this video I’m pretty sure that this kit makes brows completely and entirely foolproof:

“Beauty Express” brow-kit instructional video from Anastasia Beverly Hills on Vimeo.

Anastasia products are available at Sephora as well as their website, Anastasia.net. I’ll be updating you on the Beauty Express Brow Kit when I’ve had a chance to thoroughly test-drive it, as well as giving you a chance to snag your own.

Have you tried Anastasia of Beverly Hills? What are you favourite brow products?

Love you to the Moon and Back,

Luna Valentine

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Metamorphosis 119.0 – Julep Maven It Girl Box October 2011

I realize it’s almost November and I’ve been terrible with swatching lately. I seem to sit on colours for weeks before they make it up here. Thus is the case of October’s Julep Maven box, which arrived here much earlier this month. Why have I been holding out on you? My nails are in terrible condition and I’m sort of embarrassed. They take quite a beating in school.

This month’s It Girl box included a brightening hand cream (review to come) and two polishes: Leighton and Jaime. To be honest, I almost requested a shelf pull this month since I thought I had too many similar colours. But in the name of science, I decided to keep the box as-is and compare with my existing polishes.

Turns out, my fears were entirely unfounded. I can’t find exact dupes for either of these polishes. In the case of Jaime, described as an “ultra-saturated, dark turquoise blue,” is rather similar to a few in my collection (Zoya’s Breezi, butterLONDON’s Blagger), but none close enough to consider a dupe. If you don’t wear a lot of blue and have either of those, you can probably live without this, but if you’re a blue-lover like me it’s a good one to keep around.

I have a ton of silvers. True silvers, pewter-silvers, borderline-gunmetal-silvers, you name it. And I have them in every finish imaginable. It was hard to imagine that Leighton wouldn’t be a dead-on match for at least one of them. But…it’s not. Despite my massive arsenal of silver nail polishes, this is a colour I definitely do not own. While it’s described as a “pure liquid silver,” it’s not the metallic foil I anticipated. Rather, it’s sort of a frosted grey, like brushed steel. It’s a lovely colour, dramatic without being vampy. I think it will be a lovely winter colour. However, as with all frosted polishes, be careful applying or it can look wonky.

That’s not bubbling you see, that’s actual damage to my nail plate. Some of them have been repaired (which you can also see), but I wasn’t able to hide much. Below is a larger shot of the shade on my nail: you can see it’s not really a “metallic” as it is a “frost.” I actually held this against some brushed steel and it was the exact same shade.

Once again, I’m quite pleased with the shades and products Julep has included in the month’s box. I’ve all ready received the preview of November’s box and can honestly tell you, I can’t wait to see it!

Love you to the Moon and Back,

Luna Valentine

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