Sunday, June 26, 2011

Starrydance Cosmetics: First Thoughts (Beta Reviewer)

Starrydance Cosmetics is the brain-child of the most lovely Gwynn Farrington. I met Gwynn through a common bad experience we shared (otherwise known as cosmetics company whose name I can't even bring myself to type out...) and after said company met its very timely demise, Gwynn has been living out one of her passions by making her own pigments. A few months ago Gwynn had an open calling for interested people to take part in the beta sample program so we could give her feedback before she officially launched her store. By my agreeing to be involved with the beta program, I committed to writing a blog/review, taking pictures, and doing some looks with the pigments I received. My review is coming a bit late (my samples did get to me a bit later since they had to cross a border), but I finally have all of the pieces together!

Here are the samples that I received (all pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them):

(No Flash)

(With Flash)

(Swatched over MT Coffinz "Under the Rainbow" primer, no base.)

My samples arrived with a comprehensive Sample Beta Program manual that describes all of the colours (ingredients, eye/lip safe descriptions and vegan-ness listing) Gywnn plans to have in her shop (at first). As you can see, my samples came in baggies--but worry not, samples, when sold officially through Starrydance Cosmetics, will be in 3gram pots. Yay for that, because baggies aren't much fun to work with!

The descriptions of the colours that I received:
  • White Stag: A fierce white with strong golden duochrome sparkle with just a hint of green in its depths.
My thoughts: I quite like White Stag! It is a very strong white!
  • Sol: A "white" with attitude. Goes on smoothly creamy white, with a strong red and orange duochrome and golden sparkle.
My Thoughts: The picture doesn't pick it up as well, but the duochrome in this colour is suppppppper pretty. You definitely get the red and orange shifts and it's gorgeous!
  • Storybook: The perfect pink tinted cream with lustrous golden sparkle.
My Thoughts: A pretty soft colour, for certain!! It pairs really well with pink toned colours.
  • Maneki Neko: A creamy light golden yellow with extra golden sparkle.
My Thoughts: The swatch of this one was lovely--but as you'll see later on, I was not able to get it to perform as well on my eye. I mentioned this to Gywnn and she assured me that she has tweaked the base of this colour so that it is stronger.
  • World Tree: A rich green with blue, teal, and golden highlights and soft duochrome.
My Thoughts: Like Maneki Neko--I found this colour to be lovely on the swatch, but I had to try really hard to get it to show up on my eye. The base on this colour has also been changed and I'm sure that it will be less sheer as a result.
  • Luna: A white with turquoise and golden duochrome.
My Thoughts: Lovely!! I consider this more of a very light blue colour, than a white (and I think that's because in the bag, it does appear quite blue)--but it is very very pretty. I'm a total sucker for things with a gold duochrome though!
  • Leviathan: A light blue with purple tones, with turquoise and white sparkles.
My Thoughts: A pretty blue for sure!
  • Kirin: A rich teal with turquoise and golden sparkles.
My Thoughts: I was very excited to receive this one as I had seen pictures of Gwynn using it on herself. It's a great teal--the swatch was a big more pigmented than I was able to get it to appear on my eye--but as you'll see--I think the colour pay-off I achieved is still pretty good!
  • Sphynx: The most perfect metallic bronze colour with gold and purple tones and sparkle.
My Thoughts: My favorite of the bunch! It's a deep rich brown/bronze and I looooooooove it!

The texture of all of the pigments is very silky and they were blended very well (no unmixed chunks or anything like that!). They're all quite glittery--which is good--if you're a fan of the glitter! I did find the colours a tad on the "pale" side (all but Sphynx--that colour is a very strong brown!), but I think that's more because my current collection is pretty loud and bold. The more subtle colours of Starrydance Cosmetics definitely have their place and if you're looking for pretty subtle colours, I think Starrydance Cosmetics will give you many many options to work with! White Stag, Storybook and Sphynx were the stand out colours for me!

I did three looks using all of the colours that I was sent.

The first look I tried out:

(White Stag>Luna>Leviathan>Kirin. White Stag as brow highlight.)

The second look I tried out (Oh, Sphynx, how I love thee!):


And lastly, the third look I did:

((Inner to Outer) Sol>Maneki Neko>World Tree)

The third look really demonstrates what I was talking about when I described my experience with Maneki Neko and World Tree. In the baggies, these two colours were very pretty and appeared light, but not sheer. And on swatches, I found the same to be true--but something happened with I put them on my eye. And I *packed* these colours on! It just goes to show you the importance of a good base! I'm sure the new version of these two colours will be much improved. The first two looks, however, had good results (I think!).

I definitely plan to order some full sizes from Gwynn in the near future. And if you're wanting to go check them out, Starrydance Cosmetics can currently be purchased through their Artfire page and this Friday (if all goes to plan) they will be officially having their Grand Opening which will also involve the unveiling of their second shop on Etsy!!

I'm looking forward to what you have up your sleeve, Starrydance Cosmetics!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

EOTD/FOTD: Madd Style Cosmetcs + others "Malibu Induced"

Greetings, readers!

After a long hard week at work, I decided to play good and hard with some makeup this evening--while sipping some Malibu (of course, hence the name of the look). I decided to go a bit "un-wearable"--though admittedly I did wear this out. I had to go feed some kitties I am kitty-sitting. They were not too shocked to see me, so I take that as a good sign. :)

The look:

And a (rare) full face shot (to complete the "FOTD" portion!):

Products used on eyes:
  • MT Coffinz "Under the Rainbow" primer
  • NYX Eyeshadow Base in "White" applied over primer
  • Madd Style Cosmetics "Sparkle Motion" applied in inner eye/duct area
  • Madd Style Cosmetics "Afternoon Delight" (from the Birthday Collection) applied to first 1/3ish of lid
  • Madd Style Cosmetics "Frankenstein" applied to second 1/3ish of lid
  • Madd Style Cosmetics "Emerald" (from the Dark Crystal collection) applied to the third 1/3rdish of lid
  • Madd Style Cosmetics "Poison Berry" (from the Birthday Collection) applied at outer corner and into crease
  • Madd Style Cosmetics "Disco Biscuit" applied to center crease
  • Madd Style Cosmetics "Pisces" applied to inner crease
  • Madd Style Cosmetics "Columbia" (from Rocky Horror Picture Show collection) applied as brow highlight
  • Madd Style Cosmetics "Heart Breaker" (from the Birthday Collection) applied to inner 1/3rd of the lower lash line
  • Madd Style Cosmetics "Sugar Plum" applied to the middle 1/3rd of lower lash line
  • Madd Style Cosmetics "Jive Talk" applied to outer 1/3rd of lower lash line (and blended up a bit into the Poison Berry)
  • Madd Style Cosmetics "Cocoa Puff" to darken brows
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Easy Glide Pencil in "Zero" to tightline and on waterline
  • Madd Style Cosmetics "Black" (from the Up in Smoke collection) used to set the water line
  • Gabriel Color Mascara in "Black" applied to top lashes
  • Urban Decay 24/7 liner in "Zero" to line upper lash line
  • Quo #806 False Eyelashes
Products used on face/lips:
  • Thebalm's "Mary Lou Manizer" on cheeks, bridge of nose, above the cupid's bow. (This product has not be confirmed as vegan by the company, but I looked up all of the ingredients and am fairly confident that I'm safe--they're all chemically derived!)
  • BarryM lip liner in "Fuchsia" (that really doesn't look like it's spelled correctly to me) to line lips and used to fill in the lips
  • OCC Lip Tar in "Anime" applied over the liner

The end!


Lots of products!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Madd Style Cosmetics: Deconstructed Strawberry "Ice" Cream!

Good Evening! The month of June was named the "Frozen Treats" month for the Madd Style Cosmetics models (have I mentioned already that Madd Style has moved from Etsy to Artfire? Because it did!!). I'm not particularly big on sweets, but it is hard to deny the awesomeness that is strawberry ice cream. But instead of doing a straight forward pink look, I decided to deconstruct it just a bit (yes, I've been watching far far too much Top Chef lately!). Lets see if you follow me on my interpretation. :)

So you've got the pink/strawberry, check! And for the "ice" part, I decided to try a different kind of technique with loose glitter to make what I like to call an "icey" lid!

(No flash)

Do ya get me?! I sure hope so! Read on to find out how I got to the final product!

First, you'll need supplies.

Left to Right (top to bottom): Duo Lash Adhesive; Gabriel Color Mascara in "Black"; NYX Eyeshadow Base in "White"; MT Coffinz "Under the Rainbow" primer; Madd Style Cosmetics piggies (clockwise from the top left): Janet (Rocky Horror Picture show collection), Dazzle Dust (also called "Bone Daddy Dust" in the Nightmare Before Christmas Collection), Kiss with a Fist (Love and Hate collection); Birfday Suit; She Bop; Pointed Crease Brush; Fluffy Crease Brush; Domed Crease Brush; Angled Liner Brush; Small Concealer Brush; Pencil-style Brush; Slanted Shadow Brush.

As always, you want to start with a squeaky clean eye.

Then you want to do some priming. Primers will help your piggies to not crease and they also provide a solid base for them to hold on to. My primer of choice lately is MT Coffinz's "Under the Rainbow" primer. I rub my ring finger on the product, dab it into the center of my lid and then spread it out to the whole lid (up to the brow), down to the inner eye/duct area and a bit below the eye on the lower lash line.

Using a similar method of application, I applied my base (NYX Eyeshadow Base) over the primer and spread it on to the whole lid. The white base will help to also give the piggies something to stick to and will help to really make the colors "pop"!

Now for some colour! Taking a pointed crease brush, dip it into Janet (or any "light" pink that you have--MSC's Ice Cream Day Dream would work out well here!) and swirl the brush around in the lid of the pigment to help distribute the colour to all of the bristles. Then, starting at the outer corner of your eye, sweep this color into your entire crease area. Concentrate quite a bit of this pink in the inner part of your eye, since you'll be adding a darker pink over top of it on the outer portion of the crease a bit later.

To soften the edges of Janet, take a clean fluffy crease brush. Starting at the outer corner, again, lightly buff out (or blend) the colour to make it more of a "wash" of colour in your crease.

Using the same pointed crease brush, dip it into a deeper pink. I chose She Bop for this purpose. It's described a bright deep pink with a silver shimmer and aqua sparkle. (I love it!) Place this colour at the outer corner of your lid. Don't be scared--it will be bright! But we like bright, right?!

Using that same pointed crease brush, bring She Bop into the middle of the crease, blending it in with Janet. In the middle picture, you see that I have switched back to the fluffy blending brush to help diffuse that color. Then, if your blending gets a little too blendy and you end up with bright pink up in your eyebrows (like I did!), it's okay--use your magical finger eraser to get the shape that you're after!

With the She Bop still handy, grab an angled liner brush. Dip it into She Bop and line your lower lash line with this colour. Take it in as far as you like--I took it all the way in!

Now comes the sticky part! I can't remember who I saw do this on youtube. I *think* it was xsparkage. Taking your Duo Lash Adhesive, put a dab of it on your finger and apply it to the lid where you hadn't applied colour to earlier. The Duo will get tacky very quickly, so move fast!!

With the Duo on your lid, grab your small concealer brush and dip it into Madd Style's Dazzle Dust. Then press this on to your lid on top of the Duo! Try not to get the Duo in your eyelashes (like I did)--it causes some interesting 1) glue in your lashes and 2) glitter + glue in your lashes! Neither of those are particularly good problems to have, as you can imagine.

To help blend out the Dazzle Dust, just a bit, take a domed crease brush and dip it into Dazzle Dust. Carefully apply this to the edge of the Dazzle Dust. You could even skip this step and leave the look as more of a cut crease look, that would be fine too!

(Gah! So much glue and glitter in my lashes!!!)

Next, using a pencil brush, dip it into Kiss with a Fist (if you don't have the Love and Hate collection--any nice white will do here! Xray Spex would also be great, I bet!). Apply the Kiss with a Fist to your duct area and blend it down to meet the She Bop on your lower lash line. Also, blend it up a bit to meet the Janet up in the inner crease.

Finally, for a highlight, dip a slanted brush into Birfday Suit (my go-to highlighter). Apply this just below your brow and blend it down into the pinks to help make that transition a bit smoother. I also like to bring this brush (with the remaining Birfday Suit) down to the outer corner to help blend out that edge (if it's looking harsher than I want it to be).

Lastly, apply some mascara--and your look is complete!! (And if you did get Duo in your lashes (and glitter on top of that) use a spoolie--do I even know how to spell spoolie?!--and use it to separate your lashes. Be gentle!)

(With flash--this definitely helps to show the pinks truer to colour!)

(Without flash)

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! I wish I had paid a bit more attention when I watched xsparkage do this--because I'd be curious to know how she went about getting this stuff OFF of her eyelid after applying it. I used THREE different makeup removers before I was successful!

Thanks, as always, for reading and if you have any questions, let me know! Likewise, if there are any Madd Style Cosmetics colours you'd like to see me use or any particular looks you'd like to see me try--let me know that stuff too! :)

Edit: Oh! And for the fact about me that you didn't know!! I recently received my Master of Arts in English. Reading is one of my great passions and I'm not sure exactly where my degree will lead me, but I'm sure it will be somewhere fun. I read a lot of different kinds of books--19th Century Lit, Sci-Fi, modern--to name a few. I'm not too picky when it comes to the kind of book--but I did realize that the font is something that has become increasingly important to my experience as a reader! I received a book (a collection of pieces that were awarded the James Tiptree Jr. award) for my birthday and the font it was published in is TERRIBLE. I sigh just thinking about it! So if you're a potential publisher out there, be very careful with your font choices!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Madd Style Cosmetics: Teal Ribbon Fund Inspired

This tutorial is brought to you by Madd Style Cosmetics (now at Artfire!) and by the lovely colour: Teal. And there is an extra special purpose behind my choosing teal, too! To learn more about how to achieve this look and to find out more about what the Teal Ribbon Fund is, please keep reading.

The Teal Ribbon Fund was established by a wonderful group of crafty ladies (a.k.a: The Glitter Bitches) when they discovered that a fellow GB member, Kim Mayhew, was diagnosed with uterine cancer. Kim is the brains behind Ant Farm Studio and her struggles were not just her fight (and subsequent win! YAY!) against cancer, but also that she was faced with medical expenses to cover the cost of the surgical procedure necessary to rid her body of the disease. The Glitter Bitches have since banded together to host giveaways and they have several Artfire shop items (marked with the TRF emblem) whose sales will help to raise money for Kim's medical expenses. To read up more about the fund, please go check out this wonderful blog post--it explains how you can donate handmade items to the fund, where you can buy products that support the cause, and updates everyone about how the fund-raising efforts have been going! So far the GBs have helped to raise $730 for Kim, but their goal is $1,500--so *you* can still help out!!

Now on to my Teal Ribbon Fund inspired look!

First, gather the necessary supplies:

(Left to Right: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils in "Zero" (black) and "Yeyo" (white); Gabriel Color Mascara in "Black"; Mt Coffinz "Under the Rainbow" Eye Primer; Madd Style Cosmetics pigments (clockwise from the top left): Vortex, Pisces, Birfday Suit, Up in Smoke collection "Black", Ol'55; Paddle Style Eyeshadow Brush; Angled Liner Brush; Fluffy Pointed Blending Brush; Slanted Eyeshadow Brush; Pencil Style Brush; Thin Angled Eyeliner Brush.)

Next, have a squeaky clean lid!

Start by priming! Taking your favorite primer (mine at the moment is Mt Coffinz "Under the Rainbow" primer) and apply it to the center of your lid. Then blend this out to your whole lid, up to the brow, down into the inner duct area and finally on the lower lash line.

Then, you're gonna dirty it up with some black eyeliner! Take your UD pencil in Zero and cover your entire eyelid with the product. Be careful to get as close to your lashes as possible--this will help intensify the look of your lashes. I used a black base for this look, instead of my usual white, to help deepen the look of the main teal colour I am going to use in this look.

While you have the black pencil out, do some tightlining. See what I have marked as the "waterline"? To tightline--you're going to put black pencil on that same part of skin, but the skin on your eyelid and not your lower lashes. This will take some practice--but just trust yourself and try not to poke yourself! Hold the pencil up against your upper lashes and slowly draw the colour on to that piece of skin. This will further help darken your lashes and make them appear fuller. It will also help darken the entire look.

(I don't know why my black pencil has white pencil on it!!! That's a bunch of silliness!)

Next, taking the white pencil, you're going to line just below your lower lashes.

Then you gotta blend out that black a bit. By blending the base out you're going to help the teal colour you're going to apply over it blend out more seamlessly from the lashline to the crease. If you didn't blend it out, what you could end up with is a line where the black ends and the pure colour begins--and that wouldn't be quite as nice! Gently use your finger to blend the base out towards your crease in the general shape that you want the finished look to take.

Once that is nice and blended, take the white pencil one more. Apply it to your duct area and blend it slightly up into the white. By putting white in the inner corner you're going to open up your eyes--this is especially key since the lid is going to be quite dark.

Your lids are now primed and based! Yay! You're ready for some pretty colour!

Using a flat-ish paddle style brush, dip it into MSC's Vortex. Vortex is a gorgeous navy blue with a heavy green iridescence--this makes the color appear a very dark teal once it is applied (and it is especially dark on my lids because of the black base I applied under it!). Press the pigment into the bristles really well and then press it on to your eyelid. Cover the entire lid.

To blend out this color use the tip of your flat brush and press the colour up from your lid into your crease. I found that my paddle brush worked VERY well (better than I expected--because I rarely use *this* specific brush in my collection). If you feel like you need to blend it out even more, follow my next step.

Taking a clean small domed fluffy brush and starting at the outer corner of your eyelid, blend from outer to inner--concentrating on moving the color up into the crease and fading it towards your brow bone. Let the brush do the work for you!

Switch your brush again--this time to an angled liner brush. Dip it into Ol'55 (currently Ol'55 is not listed in the MSC shop--but it will be back! You should all wait with baited breath because it's an outstanding blue-teal colour!) and apply it (starting at the outer corner and moving inward) to the entire lower lash line. Then, using the same brush, dip it back into Vortex and apply it to the outer most corner of the lower lash line and create that outer shape that you want your shadow to take (I am doing this in the third picture).

At this point, you'll have something like this:

Next--switching to an itty bitty pencil brush--take it and dip it into the magical Pisces
(an AMAZING light aquamarine colour with a CRAZY heavy gold duochrome). Apply this colour to your duct area--being careful to blend it in slightly with the Ol'55 on the lower lash line and blending slightly up into the Vortex in the inner most part of your lid.

For the brow highlight, take your favorite highlighting brush (right now I'm pretty much obsessed with using my Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics slanted shadow brush for this purpose) and dip it into Birfday Suit. Apply this colour below your brow and make sure to blend it together with the Vortex.

Apply some mascara--and you could be finished at this step! But if you want to make it a bit more dramatic (I was feeling particularly dramatic the other day!) then follow me to the last step!

Take that same Urban Decay black pencil and line your waterline (remember, it's that skin between your eyeball and your lower lashes). Then, to help this black colour stick--set it with a matte black pigment. To do this, take your thinnest angled liner brush, dip it into your matte black pigment (I used the Madd Style Cosmetics Up in Smoke collection matte black--but it is no longer offered through the shop) and slowly press it over top of the black pencil. You'll notice in that third picture that I have some of the pigment on my actual eyeball. Don't worry--you can dab that away!

Now, you're left with something like this:

And that concludes the look!

Thank you for taking the time to read about the Teal Ribbon Fund and I hope my tutorial has inspired you to play with some dark colours over a dark base to create your own smoldering look!!

And for something new! Something I'm going to do at the end of each tutorial is share something with you all about myself that you might not already know! :)

The new piece of information for today: I wear glasses!

I don't wear them all of the time--mostly just when I'm reading or trying to see the computer screen more clearly! These are my newest pair though...and I am kind of in love with them. Yay for glasses!!

(Also--I just realized--if you're coming here from Facebook, then my current profile picture totally gives away my glasses secret!! Ha ha!!)

Friday, June 10, 2011

EOTD: Madd Style Cosmetics "Canucks Pride"

I was requested by a friend to do a look inspired by the Vancouver Canucks--who, by the way (if you don't know), are about to win their first FIRST Stanley Cup. At least that is what me and the majority of Vancouverites are hoping for!! Using my trusty arsenal of Madd Style Cosmetics pigments I came up with this look:

Products used:
  • OCC Skin: Primer as primer.
  • NYX Eyeshadow Base in "White" for a base (applied to the lid and lower lash line).
  • MSC Dr. Rockso applied to duct and inner lid.
  • MSC Disco Biscuit applied to outer half of lid and up into crease.
  • MSC Zombie Crush applied to lower lash line.
  • MSC Columbia applied as a brow highlight and to help blend out the Disco Biscuit.
  • Barry M Intense Black Mascara 3 in 1 applied to top and bottom lashes.
  • Barry M Wink black marker liner applied to upper lid. (Doing a winged liner with the honking huge tip of this marker pen is not as easy as I was hoping it would be. I probably just have to keep practicing at it--but once I finally get the hang of it, I have no doubt that the pen will run out the day after!)
For the Monday game I'm thinking about doing a look inspired by their old black/yellow jersey. We'll see what I manage to come up with!!

Go Canucks Go!!