Lancôme Teint Idole Foundation Stick: A Review

“You know how it is when you get back with somebody you’ve loved. It felt better than it ever was, better than it ever could be again.”- Junot Díaz 

Lancome teint idole 510 530

Hello my name is Nana and I’m a foundation junkie.

I absolutely did not need to make this purchase but boy am I glad I did. I’ve used it almost everyday since I bought it over a month ago. I’m having a bit of a stick foundation love-in at the moment (as seen in my last post) and they’re so easy and mess-free to use.

The Lancôme stick is the most weightless foundation I’ve used. It really feels like I have nothing on my skin but the coverage is excellent. I would characterize it as a medium-coverage foundation but it can be easily built up to full coverage depending on how much you use and the tool with which you use to blend it. I’ve tried it with both a brush and a sponge and I like the finish I get with the beauty blender best. It gives a lovely natural, skin-like finish that’s perfect for all times of the year.

Lancome teint idole stick swatch 510 555

“510” and “555” in sunlight (L) and indoors with flash (R)

I bought the stick in “510”, rather than the “530” I usually am in Lancôme foundations since Winter means that my skin has lightened. I was also given the stick in “555” after I had already bought the “510” and since “555” is much too dark for me, I’ve been using it as a contour shade and it works well for that purpose too.

The stick comes in 20 shades, which is fewer than the 35 shades available in the liquid teint idole ultra foundation, but there is still a good range for most skin tones.

The stick also comes with an SPF of 21 and it’s oil-free. The stick formula ensures precise application and it glides beautifully onto the skin.

My only con is the size of the product. It’s 0.31 oz, which is significantly less than the 0.44 oz of the Make Up For Ever foundation stick but puts it on par with the Bobbi Brown foundation stick (which I also think could be bigger) and at $42, it puts it in the same price range.

Lancome teint idole foundation stick 510 555 on dark skin

The foundation in action

Continue below to find out the rest of the products on my face:

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My MAC Lipstick Collection

I recently filmed a video of me swatching all of my MAC lipsticks. I honestly didn’t even realise I had so many until I started filming (thanks Back 2 MAC)! I always find these type of videos useful, especially when looking for what lipsticks actually look like on people. I plan to depot most of my lipsticks soon into a more convenient palette so I decided to film before the big event.

Most of these lipsticks were acquired from my local CCO and via MAC’s “Back 2 MAC” program. If you take any 6 empty MAC containers to a MAC store/ counter you can get a free lipstick (or eyeshadow in PRO stores).

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the video and let me know what your favourite MAC lipsticks are!

Nana Adomah

My Top 5 Brow Products

“You must never underestimate the power of the eyebrow”- Jack Black

Brow products for brunettes

Brows continue to be king in the beauty world and I love nothing better than a well-groomed brow. I have naturally thicker brows than can veer into the unruly, due to the curlier nature of my brow hairs, so I like to keep on top of things. I have a few brow products I use depending on the look I want each day and the following are my favourites:

1. Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow (#30 & #40)- $22

Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow 30

Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow #30

I’d tried a few brow products before this but this has become my absolute favourite. It’s the most long-wearing brow product I own and it lasts for ages and ages. I’ve been using the tube pictured above for over a year and there’s still a good third left. The best part of all is that the tube design ensures that it won’t dry out. #30 is a perfect chocolate-brown shade for dark hair but I dabbled in #40 in the Winter when I wanted really dark brows. Check out how it looked on me here.

2. Tarte Amazonian Clay Volumizing Brow & Hair powder (Rich Brown)- $25

Tarte amazonian clay volumizing brow powder rich sand

Tarte Amazonian Clay Volumizing Brow & Hair Powder in “Rich Sand”

IMG_2240

I’d never been a fan of brow powders as they often didn’t give me the definition I wanted but I fell head over heels for this product late last year. This Tarte powder can easily be applied as lightly or as heavy as I like and I love the naturally defined look it gives my brows. It has very good staying power for a powder and it’s multi-purpose as it can also be used on the hair. I use this several times a week and I’m nowhere near hitting pan on it.

3. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz (Dark Brown/ Brunette)- $21

Anastasia Brow Wiz brunette dark brown

Anastasia Brow Wiz in “Dark Brown”/ “Brunette”

The cult favourite from OG brow guru Anastasia lives up to the hype for sure for me. This is hands down my favourite brow pencil as it’s super skinny. This allows me to shape my brow exactly as I want and it pairs well with all my other brow products. The product itself is non-waxy and it’s more like a powder in pencil form, The addition of a spoolie on the other end is also a plus. HOWEVER, as much as I love my Brow Wiz, it’s terrible value for money. It often unexpectedly runs out on me if I use it daily for a month or so and $21 for 0.003 oz of product is pretty shocking. However, I love this pencil so much that I don’t feel comfortable unless I have one in my stash.

4. Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil (Dark Brunette)- $32 

Although I balked at the price of this initially, it works out to be a much better value that most other higher end brow products as you get 0.014 oz of product. The pencil has the perfect firmness and the triangular shape of the pencil allows you to choose whether you want a full-on brow, or a more natural looking brow. This also has an attached spoolie so you have everything you need in one product.

5. Anastasia Beverley Hills Dipbrow Pomade (Chocolate)- $18

Anastasia Dipbrow chocolate ABH

Anastasia Beverley Hills Dipbrow in “chocolate”

This is a solid gel/ mousse brow product that comes in an impressive range of shades to suit almost everybody. It took me a bit of time when I first got this to get the hang of it but the trick is to use the tiniest amount on your brush and it becomes much easier to control application. It also lasts a very long time (but not as long as the MUFE Aqua Brow) and it has yet to dry out on me. It’s easy to get the “Scouse brow” look with this product as you can easily use too much but practice makes perfect.

Honourable mentions:

NYX automatic eyebrow pencil ($4.99)- This was just nudged out of the top 5 but I love how hard this pencil is. It is the perfect firmness needed in an eyebrow pencil but it suffers from the “runs out far too quickly” syndrome for me.

MAC Fluidline in “Dipdown” ($16)- technically an eyeliner but most often used as a brow gel. Gives a great “power brow” but didn’t make the top 5 because it has a tendency to dry out very easily.

NYX eyebrow cake powder kit ($5.99)

Sleek eyebrow stylist ($8.99)- almost identical to the Hourglass pencil in packaging but this pencil is far waxier. Still an excellent product for the price if you don’t mind a waxier pencil.

What do you like to use on your brows? Are you a powder, pencil, or gel girl? Or do you like to mix it up like me? Let me know in the comments!

Nana Adomah

May Favourites

‘Lots of people go mad in January. Not as many as in May, of course. Nor June. But January is your third most common month for madness.’ – Karen Joy Fowler
Makeup to breakups BECCA songbird MAC peach lustremakeup to breakups bag I would cry but my mascara is designerMay favouritesI’ve never done a “favourites” post before and there’s no time like the present! Without further ado, here are a few of the products I’ve been loving the last month or so:

1. Breakups To Makeup cosmetic bag- The cult brand is now carried at Sephora and even though I wanted all three bags on offer, I restricted myself to one. Super sturdy and super roomy. I’ve even used it as a clutch!

2. Urban Decay “Enigma” Eyeshadow Primer Potion– I’ve been loving this neutral-toned eyeshadow primer as it really makes my matte shadows and my bright shadows in particular pop. The best part is 100% of all proceeds from this particular shade goes towards an initiative to empower women. Look out for a full review on this soon. Get it here.

3. Marc Jacobs Magic Marc’er Precision Pen Waterproof Eyeliner– I got this as part of a 500pt perk from Sephora and I love it! I’ve waxed poetic about the pencil version of this since the inception of Marc Jacobs Beauty but I’d never tried the liquid version until now. It’s ridiculously pigmented with a glossy finish. This is high voltage liquid liner. Best of all- it stays put no matter what! I’m not sure if I’ll get the full-size one as it’s very expensive IMHO but grab it here if you’re interested.

4. BECCA Mineral Blush in “Songbird”– I’ve had this blush for about two years and after some neglect, I’ve fallen in love with it again. It’s a gorgeous coral shade that looks surprisingly fantastic on dark skin. I use it most often on the days I don’t want to look too made up. Grab it here.

5. MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter in “Peach Lustre”– This is almost like the famous YSL Touche Éclat but for brown skin. I use it for gentle correcting but it can most definitely be used as a natural looking highlighter too. It stays on well throughout the day too. You can find it here.

6. Murad Acne Spot Fast Fix– I’ve been very lazy with my skin care this month and it shows. However, this has been great for whenever I feel a spot coming on. I don’t know if it’s in my head but it seems to stop the spot before it appears on the surface of my skin. Additionally, it doesn’t have that horrible sulphur smell that a lot of spot treatments do. Get it here.

7. Laura Mercier Sponge– I’m a huge fan of the original Beauty Blender but I’d always see these fly off the shelves at Sephora and my interest was piqued. I took advantage of a coupon I had and bought a 4-pack of these last month. They make my foundation look amazing and because they’re a bit stiffer than other beauty sponges, they don’t soak up product. They’re very durable and they can be easily washed and reused. They work out to be $3.50 each so the price is most definitely right.

8. Hourglass Hidden Corrective Concealer– Another product I’ve had forever but ignored until recently. It’s a creamy concealer that’s not too creamy and it covers any blemish on my face while still feeling very lightweight. I especially like using it under my eyes when I don’t want the overly highlighted look. I wear the shade “sable”. Get it here.

9. Sephora Collection Full Action Extreme Effect Mascara in “Blue”– I’ve rediscovered my love for blue mascara and this is the perfect shade. It’s definitely noticeable but it’s by no means in your face. The brush and the formula also work well for my eyelashes so I have no complaints.

Let me know if you’d like an in-depth review of any of the products mentioned. What have you been reaching for lately? Let me know in the comments!

Nana Adomah

MAC The Matte Lip Collection- Part 2!

‘That always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people want to be around someone because they’re pretty. It’s like picking your breakfast cereals based on colour instead of taste.’ – John Green
MAC antique velvet lipstick dark skin

MAC whirl lipstick dark skin

MAC men love mystery lipstick dark skin

MAC men love mystery, antique velvet, whirl swatch on dark skin nw45 woc

L-R: Men Love Mystery, Antique Velvet, Whirl outdoor swatches in direct sunlight

MAC men love mystery, antique velvet, whirl swatch on dark skin nw45 woc black woman

L-R: Men Love Mystery, Antique Velvet, Whirl indoor swatches

mac antique velvet lipstick on dark skin nw45 woc swatch

Antique Velvet

MAC whirl lipstick on dark skin nw45 woc swatch

Whirl

MAC men love mystery on dark skin nw45 woc swatch

Men Love Mystery

As usual, MAC have gone into overdrive with their seemingly endless “limited edition” collections this year but The Matte Lip Collection is very welcome and best of all- permanent! Most of the lipsticks released in last year’s matte lip collection were limited edition so this is a very welcome change. I already own “Flat Out Fabulous”, “Ruby Woo”, and “Heroine” from the collection so I tried to be good and I limited myself to just three. I decided on “Men Love Mystery” (a pinkish violet), “Antique Velvet” (a reddish chocolate brown), and “Whirl” (a lipstick version of the best-selling pinkish brown lipliner).

I was so excited to finally get these in the post that I had to throw up some quick swatches on my lips. These are all without any sort of liner so you can see the true shade of the lipsticks. “Men Love Mystery” will definitely need a liner when I wear it out of the house and I’m thinking that “Whirl” will also benefit from one even though it’s not strictly necessary. “Antique Velvet” looks darker on me in person and I’m looking forward to rocking it in the Autumn/ Winter.

The three lipsticks I ordered are of the “matte” formula rather that the “retro-matte” formula so they are nowhere near as drying as Ruby Woo et. al. They feel comfortable on the lips but make sure your lips are nice and smooth before rocking them. I’m sure a few of these shades (“Whirl” in particular) will sell out but these are permanent so take your time if you’re willing to be patient.

MAC’s The Matte Lip collection can be found online now and in stores in a few weeks’ time. There are a whopping 22 shades and they retail for $16.

Are you planning on getting anything from this collection? Let me know in the comments!

Nana Adomah

Edited to add: Here’s a quick FOTD with me wearing “Whirl” today with “Chestnut” lipliner. Excuse the deer caught in headlights look. I can’t seem to take a good selfie these days 😦

MAC Whirl lipstick on dark skin NW45 WOC

Face Of The Day: Shades Of Orange

“I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being” – Hafiz of Shiraz
NARS persia fotd dark skin woc nw45 NARS persia on dark skin nw45 fotd swatch NARS Taj mahal Persia on dark skin woc nw45

I often used NARS Persia eyeshadow as a transition shade but I’ve never made it the focus of an eye look before. This Memorial Day weekend is blessing us with glorious weather and I decided to do a quick orange eye just because. I even wore lashes! This was a super simple look and it wore perfectly for the whole afternoon. Click below for a list of products used. Continue reading

MAC See Sheer Lipstick: Swatches and FOTD

“Beauty is excrescence, superabundance, random ebullience, and sheer delightful waste to be enjoyed in its own right.” – Donald Culross PeattieMAC See Sheer lipstick

MAC see sheer on dark skin swatch

MAC See Sheer on dark skin NW45 swatchI’ve had my eye on MAC’s “See Sheer” lipstick for years. I fell in love with it back when I lived in London but I could never remember the name of it when it came time to purchase for some reason. I was looking for a lipstick as my free “Back to MAC” choice a little while ago when I re-discovered this lovely orangey coral shade.

“See Sheer” is the perfect no-fuss Spring/ Summer shade and the best thing is that I don’t need a liner to rock it! It’s part of MAC’s “luster” formulas and it has a decent amount of slip. It’s semi-sheer but you can easily build it up to a fuller coverage. It wears very well but it can settle into cracks and lines in the lips after a few hours.

“See Sheer” is one of those colours that I think will look good on everybody. It’s sheer enough to suit numerous skin tones but still gives good colour pay-off.

You can grab it at any MAC counter or online at MAC for $16 (when did MAC lipsticks hit $16? SMDH).

Have a wonderful weekend everybody!

Nana Adomah

Collective Haul ft. NARS, Make Up For Ever, MAC, Kat Von D, Cover FX, Smashbox and more!

“You’re either in it for the long haul or you’re not” – Crystal Gayle

I filmed a haul video over on YouTube and wanted to share. Look out for reviews on a lot of these products soon!

Nana Adomah

Best Makeup of 2014

IMG_19412014 was a great year for beauty. I discovered new brands, I fell in love with old ones and I become more discerning about the products I purchased. I tried to avoid unnecessary hype where I could and I also learned to “shop my stash”. I’ve been trying to compile this best of 2014 list for a few weeks now and I’ve been struggling to cut the list down to a manageable length. I love sharing beauty discoveries and I also love to read recommendations from other people so I’ve decided to split my list into makeup and skincare.

Without further ado, here are my favourite makeup products of 2014:

Foundation: I tried a LOT of foundations this year and I have to say that my number one pick has to be the BECCA ultimate coverage complexion creme. This one-pump-wonder has the most amazing pigmentation and coverage, stays put the whole day, and still looks like skin. I will definitely be doing a dedicated review very soon.

Honourable mentions: Cover FX natural finish oil-free foundation, Dior Star foundation, Lancôme nude miracle, Make Up For Ever HD foundation.

Concealer: This was my easiest pick out of my list and the honour goes to the NARS radiant creamy concealer. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this. It covers blemishes beautifully without looking cakey and it has great staying power. My only gripe is the price but this is definitely one product that lives up to the hype.

Honourable mentions: Amazing Concealer, MAC studio finish concealer, Smashbox BB for eyes

Eyebrows: I flirted with MANY brow products in 2014 but the one that rose to the top is the Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow. The tiniest amount of this gel fills in brows perfectly and it really doesn’t budge once it’s dry. Anastasia Beverly Hills’ dipbrow pomade got all the hype but this old faithful is a better product imho. It does everything dipbrow does but better. Anastasia’s brow wiz was another product I loved but I couldn’t give it the top spot because there’s far too little product in the pencil for the price.

Honourable mentions: Hourglass arch brow sculpting pencil, Anastasia Beverley Hills Brow Wiz, Tarte Amazonian Clay waterproof brow mousse

Eyeliner: For pencil eyeliners, my heart unequivocally belongs to the Marc Jacobs highliner gel eye crayon in “blacquer”. I’m a contact lens wearer so I don’t muck about when I’m looking for an eyeliner. This liner is deliciously creamy, intensely black and Does. Not. Budge. once it dries. I used to carry my eyeliner in my makeup bag so I could touch up during the day but that is now thankfully a thing of the past.

For gel/ liquid liners, I have to give the nod to Benefit’s They’re Real push up liner. I HATED this with a passion when I first got it but something told me to give it another chance I couldn’t be more pleased. Once I learned how to use it properly, it made doing a winged liner so easy and it truly does not budge until you want it to.

Honourable mentions: NARS larger than life long wear eyeliner in “via veneto”, Stila stay all day waterproof liquid eyeliner, MUFE Aqua black, Kat Von D ink liner,

Blush: I stuck with my beloved NARS and Sleek blushes this year and my most used shades were NARS’ “Liberté”, “Torrid”, and “Dolce Vita”, and Sleek’s “sunrise” and “coral”. BECCA’s blush in “songbird” muscled its way in towards the end of the year and it’s definitely a shade I believe everybody should own.

Honourable mentions: Kat Von D ” heartagram”, Make Up For Ever HD blush #515- tangerine

Mascara: I went mascara crazy this year. I began to appreciate why higher-end mascaras cost so much after I flirted with Dior, Lancome, YSL, and Givenchy. MUFE’s smoky lash and old favourites like Benefit’s They’re Real did not disappoint. This category is very hard but I have to give the edge to the Givenchy Noir Couture 4 in 1 mascara over the Lancome Grandiose. It gave me length, it gave me volume, it gave me durability, and it gave me conditioned lashes. If only it was a little easier on the pocket….

Honourable mentions: YSL Babydoll, Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies, Dior New Look, Lancome Grandiose, Givenchy Noir Couture Volume

Eyeshadow: This was surprisingly easy for me as the eyeshadow I used the most was the old-stye Make Up For Ever eyeshadow in #162. I used it as a crease colour, as a transition colour, and as the star of my favourite brown smoky eye look.

Honourable mentions: ColourPop super shock eyeshadows in “cricket” and “so quiche”, MAC “woodwinked”, NARS “Persia”, NARS dual intensity shadow “callisto, UD “mugshot” and “blackout”

Lipstick: It’s extremely difficult to pick just one lipstick but I loved the hell out of my Urban Decay Revolution lipstick in “shame” (check out my review here) and my Hourglass opaque rouge liquid lipstick in “Icon”.

Honourable mentions: Bite “vento” lipstick, MAC “flat out fabulous”, NARS “damage” and “Dragon Girl” lipsticks.

Lipgloss: This has to be another tied category with the winners being the Dior Addict Fluid Stick in #575 “Wonderland” and the NARS “Priscilla” lipgloss. They both had great pigment and stayed really well on my lips without any stickiness (my pet peeve).

Honourable mention: They arrived too late to fully make it to the top but the Smashbox lip lacquers are fantastic. YSL gloss volupte #49, Buxom full-bodied lipgloss in “Dolly”.

So there you have it. This list was surprisingly difficult to put together but I have to say that I’m really loving my collection at the moment. I’m hoping to buy (FAR) less this year but I’m excited to see some truly innovative makeup. Let me know if you’d like an in-depth review of any of these products and keep an eye out for part 2 featuring my favourite skincare!

Nana Adomah

Purple Is Not Just A Noun: MAC “Gunner” lipstick review

IMG_1533It seems like MAC have a new collection out every week and I don’t tend to get caught up in the hype but I knew that “Gunner” would be mine as soon as I saw the pre-release. I love purple lipsticks and I don’t have a shade like this so I bought it with no guilt!

“Gunner” is part of the Nasty Gal collection and it is one of a trio of lipsticks called “Stunner” (a true red), “Runner” (a plummy burgundy), and “Gunner” (a matte, deep purple). “Gunner” is so purple that it can lean blue in certain lights. It reminds me a little of OCC’s “technopagan” lip tar and it’s nothing like MAC’s popular “smoked purple” as I’d initially feared.

Image 12-9-14 at 5.46 PM

Top: swatch with flash, Bottom: swatch in natural daylight

 

“Gunner” is matte but not a retro-matte so it won’t dry out your lips like Ruby Woo et. al. However, a matte lipstick is a matte lipstick so make sure your lips are in tip top condition before rocking this as it is very unforgiving.

Image 12-9-14 at 5.41 PM

“Gunner” on myself paired with Urban Decay’s “Smoked” palette

I predicted that “Gunner” would be popular and it seems to be out of stock already on the MAC website but continue to check as they may replenish stock. The Nasty Gal collection is in selected MAC stores and online here.

Would you rock a purple lip? Let me know in the comments!

 All the other colors are just colors, but purple seems to have a soul. Purple is not just a noun and an adjective but also a verb – when you look at it, it’s looking back at you.” Uniek Swain

Nana Adomah