Mally beauty used to be a brand exclusive to the shopping network QVC. Over time I have seen her expand to Beauty.com and more recently at ULTA- read: the brand is much more accessible these days.

And why not? The Makeup Artist extraordinaire has an infectious personality and her products rarely disappoint. If you’ve never tried the Poreless Face Defender, you’re missing out! It’s a summertime staple for me.

One of my most used items from her line is the Evercolor Shadow Stick. It’s everything you want a shadow stick to be- long wearing, crease-proof, loaded with pigment and easy to blend.

Mally Evercolor Shadow Sticks

I currently own ten shades (and is it wrong that I still want MOAR?!) of the amazing and pigmented pencil.

To give you perspective on how this matches up to other popular formulas I did the math for you: Mally’s Evercolor Shadow Sticks retail for $25 for .06oz. By Terry’s Ombre Blackstar sticks retail for a whopping $43 for .057 oz and Laura Mercier’s Caviar Sticks are $26 for .05 oz. I own two of the By Terry pencils and although they are nice- they are NOT $43 nice in my opinion. The Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks are great and I own several shades- but they are more expensive and less product than Mally’s version. Mally also has the largest selection of colors- currently offering 24 shades while Laura Mercier offers 18 shades and By Terry offering only 12.

Mally Shadow Stick Swatches

Swatches L-R: Nautical, Deep Plum, Saddle Shimmer, Dusk, Rosy Taupe, Copper Rose, Sunlight, Angel Shimmer, Champagne, Platinum

My most used shade is definitely Champagne. It’s the perfect base color or everyday shade to give your lids a bit of lift and shine. I never experience fallout from the more shimmery shades and they DO NOT BUDGE once I put them on. They stay put with or without primer. My two most recent shades are Copper Rose and Sunlight. I saw a swatch of Copper Rose recently and knew I had to pick it up. Sunlight is a new shade (I think) and I added that to my cart with little hesitation. It’s less shimmery and more glowy- a perfect everyday color for those who don’t want shimmer but appreciate glowy lids.

I encourage you to give one (or 5) of these a try. QVC and ULTA sometimes have really nice and budget-friendly sets that allow you to try several shades for less than the price of two (like, here) <— not an affiliate link- I’m not getting paid for telling you this! ;)

Do I need more shades? Probably not. Will more shades end up appearing mysteriously in my drawer? Most likely.

Yes, spring is very near! Time to bust out the pinks and corals and of course, the cream blushes!

Here are my picks/thoughts:

 

17. 02. 2013

One of the things that really alerted me to the presence of beauty blogs a few years ago was my intense google search(ing) for swatches, and more importantly, comparisons. I have amassed several swatch comparison posts in my time as a blogger, many of which end up being quite labor intensive. It’s worth it, though, because I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten emails/tweets/comments thanking me for comparing X to Y and how helpful it was in deciding on a purchase. Not only that, but it benefits your truly as well. When I see things side-by-side my mind creates a little photo repository and the next time someone asks me or the general masses if A compares to B, I can generally recall how close they were or what major differences I saw.

Having said that, I have once again compiled a small archive of comparison swatches over the last few months which I probably would have done individual posts on but thought it might be more fun to just collage a few of them together for a neat little post. Enjoy!

Blue Aqua Liner Comparison Swatches

L-R: MAC Undercurrent, Urban Decay LSD, Stila Peacock, Sephora 12 Hour Peacock Blue Shimmer

Sephora had released a new shade of their 12 Hour Jumbo Pencils in Peacock Blue Shimmer some time last fall and I picked it up. I wanted to see how it compared to other shades I had in my collection. It ended up being fairly unique.

Remember that beautiful Lancome holiday shadow with the interlocking pattern (Fil d’Argent)?

Lancome Fil D'Argent

I never did a full post on it, but she is an incredibly gorgeous shadow. Comparisons below!

Lancome Fil D' Argent Swatch Comparisons

L-R: Chanel Fauve, Burberry Rosewood, Lancome Fil D’Argent, Le Metier de Beaute Corinthian

Dolce & Gabbana Caramel Blush Swatches Cooler

L-R: NARS Madly, MAC Gingerly, Tarte Exposed, Dolce & Gabbana Caramel, Burberry Russet

Of these I’d say Caramel is hands down my favorite! Thanks to two wonderful girls (Jessica of Don’t Call Me Jessie for introducing it to me and J. of Lil Lady’s Life for picking it up for me) this has happily been my most used blush of 2013 thus far. The lasting power is amazing…all freakin’ day!

MAC Betty Bright Lipstick

A long time Archie fan (I  still read the comics, Team Betty ftw) I had to indulge in some of the MAC Archie’s Girls collection. I picked up two blushes and two lipsticks, my favorite being Betty Bright. I knew it would be a popular color, as all coral/peach shades MAC releases tend to be. I also knew a comparison swatch fest would be in order….

MAC Betty Bright Comparison Swatches

L-R (all MAC): Watch Me Simmer^, Sunny Seoul, Vegas Volt, Costa Chic, Betty Bright^, Ever Hip^, Cut A Caper^, Fresh Salmon^, Flamingo^, Reel Sexy^, Pleasureseeker^, Ravishing

The lipsticks marked with ‘^’ are all sadly limited edition. I included because I know many of you may own one or more of those shades and would perhaps be curious as to how they compared. The closest is Flamingo but they are different formulas. Costa Chic is also somewhat close but unfortunately not an exact dupe.

IMG_1657

Taupe cream shadows and liners! I know Taupe is really a general term as it applies to colors that are both warm or cool, brown toned or purple toned, matte or shimmer…you get the idea. I have several that I picked that I believe fall into the “generic” taupe category (though I wouldn’t describe any of these shadows as ordinary)!

Taupe Cream Shadows Liners Comparisons

L-R: MAC Electric Cool in Superwatt, Loreal Bronzed Taupe, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill #4, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill #27, MAC Dangerous Cuvee, Buxom Pug, Bobbi Brown Galaxy, Loreal Liquid Diamond, Chanel Illusoire, Tarte SmolderEyes Gunmetal*, Sephora 12 Hour Dark Taupe Shimmer, Mally Dusk*, Mally Rosy Taupe*, Sephora 12 Hour Taupe, Lancome Taupe Brilliant, Annabelle Armour, Urban Decay Mushroom, Urban Decay Stray Dog

Of the above (I know… !!!!) the shade that comes to mine first when I hear the word taupe is Chanel Illusoire. Not this specific brand but just a shade type in general. It’s the perfect mix of purple-grey-brown, flecked with iridescent shimmer. There isn’t a shade in the bunch not worth owning.

IMG_1654

Enter the beige/champagne cream shadows. I should do regular eyeliners too  but I didn’t really think of those at the time, and frankly I didn’t have space on my arm for them all! This type of shadow is my most used. They are the one-swipe wonders of the beauty world. One swipe and you can instantly brighten your eyes and face. They are great as bases or to add a touch of shimmer to any look.

Champagne Shadow Comparison Swatches

L-R: MAC Electric Cool Pure Flash, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill #8, Loreal Blinged and Brilliant, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill #9, MAC Vintage Selection, Loreal Iced Latte, Maybelline Barely Beige, MAC Bare Study, Sephora 12 Hour Beige, Tarte SmolderEyes Champagne*, Tarte Clay Shadow Stick (unnamed)*, Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy, Milani Champagne Toast, Mally Champagne*, Chanel Emerveille

Again, Champagne and Beige shadows take on different forms, some leaning cooler and others leaning warmer. Of the shades above, Giorgio Armani #9 is definitely my most used. I am also very happy to finally have MAC Vintage Selection in my collection. I missed out on it when it was first released in 2010 (I think) but MAC has recently brought it back in their permanent collection.

I hope you enjoyed the comparisons! If you have any comparison requests feel free to leave a suggestion below…I’m always looking for new ideas!

Items marked with a ‘*‘ were provided by PR for review purposes only

Rose gold. It’s no secret why this shade is so popular. Seemingly flattering on all skin tones and a goes-with-everything reputation, rose gold became a fast hit in my makeup routine earlier this year. If I could describe the shade in one word, it would be enchanting. I thought I would feature some great options in this shade that I have come across so far.

Rosy Outlook.

 

Gilded lillies are for amatuers.

 Tarte Amazonian Clay Shimmering Powder in Rose*: This is a subtle and super soft highlight. It gives a gentle ethereal glow without saying “Hi my name is shimmer and I’m all over your face” The powder has an excellent texture and is as lasting as I have come to expect from Tarte’s Amazonian Clay line. If you think the next highlighter is just too much, this may be the one you are looking for. This is a product that would work for pretty much everyone, especially if you despise shimmer/glitter. This is a grab-n-go kind of product that doesn’t require a lot of thought or precise application.

Laura Mercier Face Illuminator in Rose Rendezvous: Not for the faint of heart. This is Bam! Pow! highlighter and although and it can be worn subtly, the shimmer is ever-present. The texture is divine and the the pattern goes without saying- GORG. It’s limited edition which does tack on a little bit of frenzy if you want to get this before it’s gone. However, I don’t think it’s something everyone will love nor is it something I would universally recommend to everyone.  You have to be careful because it’s easy to overdo. I overlook it because frankly, it’s a gorgeous powder.

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Wash Shadow in Rose Gold 8: It’s pretty self-explanatory. It is more of a sheer shadow, soft to the touch and easy to blend. It’s shimmery but not glittery or gritty. It’s almost a satin in my eyes. It’s lovely all around and I don’t experience fall out with this formula.

And the Gold you Rose in on...

Mally Lip Laquer in Delish Apricot*: A great long lasting liquid lipstick because it’s quite thick and very pigmented. It’s the only rose gold-ish shade for the lips I own. It leans more apricot as the shade name suggests, but it is positively stunning.

bareMinerals Prime Time Primer Shadow in Sundance: This shade reminds me of MAC’s Rubenesque paint pot, only on steroids. It stays put all day when I use it as a base, but on it’s own I have seen it start creasing at the 6-7 hours. Nothing horrible and nothing worth returning the product over. It’s smooth and pigmented and a little of this goes on loooong way. It’s a small tube, but since you need so little I don’t mind. I like that it’s in a tube vs in a pot for sanitary reasons.

Swatches L-R with flash: Mally Delish Apricot, Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous, Tarte Rose, Bobbi Brown Rose Gold, bareMinerals Sundance

 

Swatches L-R in Natural Light: Mally Delish Apricot, Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous, Tarte Rose, Bobbi Brown Rose Gold, bareMinerals Sundance

 

Good as Rose Gold

Orly Rage: Shimmering metallic goodness. I love this shade. have loved it since I purchased it several months ago…I think back in March or April. It’s graced my nails many times and for a nail polish addict like me, that’s saying a lot. I like the formula and it holds up well on my nails without chips for at least 4-5 days.

MAC Soiree: A limited edition color. Identical to Orly Rage, only Orly Rage is better in my opinion. The sparkle is better, the formula is better. If you missed this polish from last year’s Cham Pale collection, you aren’t missing out because Orly’s Rage is readily available at Ulta (and other places too).

Which is which?

Can you tell which is which? I kind of don’t want to say, but if you must know my middle and pinkie fingers are both Orly Rage, index and ring are both MAC Soiree.

What are your rose gold recommendations? Do you find the shade as enchanting as I do?

*Items with a ‘*’ were provided by PR for review purposes only*

Hi ladies! Today I had a case of the Mondays. Not that my day was bad (although working in finance on a day when the Dow drops 600 points isn’t the most fun) but what I mean is that I was (am) tirrrreeeedddd. Always a problem when I stay out or up late on weekends and sleep in and have to get back to my normal routine. I end up awake at midnight, trying desperately to fall asleep. The result? Getting about 5 hours of lackluster winks.

On days like today, concealer is the most useful tool. I have tried and tested several concealers in my day. After finding holy grail worthy products I have decided to dish what I love, dislike and am undecided on.

First Group of Contenders

Garnier Skin Renew Anti Dark Circle Roller- Grade: B+

I actually *really* like this product. It feels cooling to my eyes in the morning. It’s easy to apply and it’s not thick so application takes just seconds. I prefer this on days when I am going pretty bare faced (hellloooo weekends) and in the summer it’s been nice too because I prefer something light weight. I don’t notice creasing with this product and I don’t set it with a powder.

Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette- Grade: B-

This gets a B- grade because it’s only useful for me as a face concealer because under the eyes it’s a hot mess and doesn’t stay put. As a facial concealer alone, the grade would be B+/A- range. But I have to consider that most gals wouldn’t want to buy two concealers, especially when this one comes with three already. The powder included is very nice for setting. These blend well and hide spots nicely.

Mally Cancellation Conditioning Concealer* Medium- Grade: A-

Another product that I am really happy with. It blends nicely into my skin, fully covers dark circles and spots on the face. It doesn’t crease even if I don’t set it with powder (which I traditionally don’t like to do as powder ages skin and makes me look dried out). I would have given this an A grade if it weren’t for the price point/product amount. I would like to see a little more product for the money here.

Benefit Erase Paste Medium- Grade: C-

It’s the creasing on this product that lowers it’s grade significantly. It covers under eye circles like a dream and the salmon undertone to it really helps. However, this stuff is THICK. I used this in the winter last year. I must have liked it because I used an entire jar. This is my second one (mini version). I find this is WAY too thick to use on the face. It’s not a summer time concealer for me at all. Overall, if this didn’t crease so easily I would give it a much higher grade. AND if it was multipurpose.

Concealer Contenders, Round 2!

Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Medium- Grade: A

This concealer is fantastic. It’s the perfect shade match for me too. It has a great consistency. It’s not watery, nor does it have molasses-like thickness. I like the wand applicator too. There is a reason why this is the concealer I choose to carry in my daily makeup bag. It lasts all day on me without creasing and works in equal measure under the eyes and on the face. Too bad we cannot get this easily in the U.S. thankfully I was able to con the lovely H of 25FLondon to send me one! ;)

TheBalm Time Balm Concealer Medium- Grade: B+

I do like this concealer. The only problem I have found with it so far is it’s just a tad too dark for my skintone. Can’t blame the concealer for that now can I? lol. This concealer is again thanks to the lovely H. I have heard so many raves about this product (my mom included) so it was nice to finally give it a go. I mix it a bit with another concealer you will see shortly and it creates a great shade for under the eyes and all around my face. It stays put on me with very minimal end of the day creasing.

Milani HD Advanced Concealer 02- Grade: B-

Firstly, I don’t necessarily have a fond-ness for click pens in general. I don’t like them frankly. That’s not why this product borders the B-/C+ range, though. It’s because it’s under eye concealing properties aren’t the best I have seen. It definitely brightens and lightens but it doesn’t completely cover. I do like it on the face, however, and under my eyes on days when I just want a little bit of brightness and not a heavy concealer. It’s also pricier than I would like to see for a drugstore product. Overall it’s one of those YSL touche eclat dupes that does what the YSL ones do, for a fraction of the price. If you have tried the YSL, you know they don’t do squat for concealing…they are really just brightening. This actually does give you some concealing, just not 100% coverage. I still enjoy having this around.

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer NW20- Grade: A+

The.best.concealer.I.have.tried.period!!!!! It’s too light for me right now, and to be honest I think the lady at MAC got me way too light of a shade. I can’t use this on my face for that reason (would look leper-esque) but I was able to use it under my eyes up until the middle of June. Now it’s too light to even use there which is a bummer because I LOVE this stuff. My bottle is about 1/4 gone and I have had it since March. It NEVER creases on me, doesn’t need to be set with anything, blends well, covers everything and it isn’t unreasonably priced. This gets my highest recommendation. Only word of caution: the pump. Because this concealer is pigmented you only need a tiny amount so trust me when I say slowly compress the pump and get just a dab out. A whole pump wastes product. The pump is an after thought for me. I don’t care. A product this good could be sold in a ziplic bag and I would still buy it.

Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer Medium- Grade: B

I got this product in the Tarte Glow Your Way to Gorgeous set on QVC. It will be released on it’s own in the near future. At any rate, it’s thick…soooo thick that you need to rub it on the back of your hand first (Thanks to Amy from The Beauty Call for the tip) to warm it up. First, normally that’s too much work for me. Second, it’s a waste of product because it rubbed into my fingers and into my hand. BUT when it goes on my skin it gives the loveliest finish under my eyes and it really does what it says it’s going to do: not crease! It is moisturizing which is great because everyone could use moisture in the eye area. I docked it a few points for not really being able to use it on my face. I don’t like thick concealers all over my skin….I feel like it would cause break outs.

Swatches L-R: Collection 2000, TheBalm, Milani, MAC, Tarte, Garnier, Sonia Kasuk (all blended), Mally, Benefit

OVERALL PICKS:

I hope this helps you ladies out there in search of a great concealer. The 4 above I wouldn’t want to go through life without!

Oh, and I had to include one dishonorable mention:

ELF Concealer & Highlighter Duo

ELF Under Eye Concealer & Highlighter- Grade: F

It does not conceal and it does not highlight. The consistency is very watery and thin. Totally not worth the money.