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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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

Colourpop Highlighters: A Review

“The more you leave out, the more you highlight what you leave in.” – Henry Green

Colourpop highlighters

Colourpop highlighters on dark skin

From L-R: “Sticky Sweet”, “Tasty”, “Avalon”, “Monster”

colourpop sticky sweet and avalon highlighters on dark skin

“Avalon” & “Sticky Sweet” Top- indoor swatch w/ flash , Bottom- outdoor swatch

Colourpop tasty monster highlighters on dark skin swatch

“Monster” & “Tasty”: Top- indoor swatch w/ flash, Bottom- outdoor swatch

Colourpop cosmetics tasty blush highlight on dark skin nw45

“Tasty” layered over NARS “Liberte”

I was a complete saddo and stalked the Colourpop website in anticipation of their new highlighters. Highlighters are in my top 3 makeup items of all time so these were a no-brainer. I restrained myself however, and I only bought 4: “Monster”, “Tasty”, “Avalon”, and “Sticky Sweet”. 

Colourpop’s newest additions are similar in texture to their amazing shadows in that they’re not quite cream but rather more putty-like in texture. Pictures truly do not do these justice as they appear much more shiny and pigmented in living colour.

The colours are described by Colourpop as follows:

“Monster”light pink with [a] highly opalescent duo chrome finish

“Tasty”candy coloured coral with multi-dimensional pink and copper duo chrome finish

“Avalon”a true golden bronze with golden pink duo chrome finish

“Sticky Sweet”a deep violet with pink duo chrome finish

All the shades (aside from “monster”) can be worn as a blush when built up or applied as a sheer wash of colour for a highlighted effect. “monster” and “Avalon” apply as true highlighters on me whilst “sticky sweet” and “tasty” straddle the line between a blush and highlighter. “Avalon” reminds me a lot of BECCA’s “blushed copper” but I do not own any colours like the other shades.

All 4 colours are beautiful but “monster” was the real surprise. It looks scary and pasty in the pan but it really comes alive when swatched on the skin. It’s like a cool/ pink- toned version of NARS’s “Albatross”.

“Monster” (and another shadow I ordered) came to me damaged as the product had separated itself from its container but Colourpop’s customer service was fantastic and they mailed me another one about a week later.

If you are familiar with Colourpop, these provide the same high quality as their other products and if you’re not, well what are you waiting for?! These babies are only $8 a piece and they are worth far, far more in my opinion.

Colourpop are currently offering a free eyeshadow with any purchase (while supplies last) and there are a few free shipping codes floating around too.

Have you tried any of these new highlighters? Let me know in the comments!

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

NARS Dual-Intensity Blush in “Panic”: A Review

“I’m not panicking. I’m watching you panic. It’s more entertaining.”- Lois McMaster Bujold

NARS panic blush dual-intensity

NARS blushI told myself that I would skip this offering from NARS when it was released. However, when I played with them in the store, “Panic” just had to be mine.

Following on from their fantastic dual-intensity eyeshadows, NARS have blessed us with dual-intensity blushes which can be used both wet and dry for full-on or lighter coverage. “Panic” is described as a “shimmering shocking fuchsia/ shimmering orange-pink” and I found that to be accurate.

NARS dual-intensity blush on dark skin dry

Blush swatched dry and blended out. Top- indoor swatch, Bottom- outdoor swatch.

NARS dual-intensity blush panic on dark skin wet

Top: panic swatched wet indoors, Bottom: panic swatched wet outdoors.

The texture of the dual-intensity blushes are very different from the regular line of NARS blushes and they have more of a radiant finish than the matte or shimmer found in the regular line. The blush isn’t soft or powdery and you do have to be a bit more vigorous with the brush action than usual.

The packaging is the usual NARS rubberized plastic and it opens and closes very easily with a magnetic clasp. Inside there is a large mirror and the two shade of blush that can either be worn separately or blended together.

I’ve worn Panic both wet and dry and I much prefer the dry application. It’s too finicky for me wet and I feel as though it’s difficult to get a consistent application. It does blend very easily though and it’s relatively easy to switch from a sheer to full coverage when used dry. It’s perfect for those who want  luminous sheen from their blushes.

Panic is a very pretty blush but I wouldn’t recommend the dual-intensity blushes over NARS’ fantastic regular blushes. Additionally, they are FAR more expensive at $45 each.

Grab one of these if you like a more radiant finish to your blushes and don’t mind paying $45 (!) but in my opinion, there are better options out there. I’d recommend sticking to the regular NARS blushes as they’ve never ever steered me wrong.

The NARS dual-intensity blushes can be found at NARS or any usual NARS stockists. I found mine on eBay and I’d give it a gander for some bargains.

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

NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette Review

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NARSissistNARS are really messing with my low-buy aim for 2015. When they first launched their dual-intensity eyeshadows last year, I decried their $29 price tag but I still went ahead and purchased two of them in addition to the one I was gifted. I remember wishing they came in a palette as I loved so many of their colours so imagine my joy when I saw this beauty on the NARS instagram page!

This 8-shadow palette includes smaller versions of the full-sized shadows in addition to a shorter version of the #49 wet/dry eyeshadow brush, which retails for $28.

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L-R: Europa (gossamer pink peach), Himalia (shimmering topaz), Andromeda (alabaster), Lysithea (shark grey)

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L-R: Europa wet and dry application, Andromeda wet and dry, Himalia wet and dry, Lysithea wet and dry.

These shadows are designed to be used as is, or with a wet brush to give a more intense finish. My (admittedly not fantastic swatches) show how they look both wet and dry.

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L-R: Ursa Major (chocolate glaze), Subra (black orchid), Giove (navy), Sycorax (black)

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L-R: Ursa Major wet and dry, Giove wet and dry, Subra wet and dry, Sycorax wet and dry.

I absolutely adore these shadows but they are not all created equal. “Europa”, “Andromeda”, and “Ursa Major” (a shade exclusive to this palette) definitely took more swipes to show up like I wanted compared to the other colours. “Subra”, “Himalia”, “Giove” and “Sycorax” are a joy to work with and they can be used in so many ways. I love to use “Subra” as a liner as can be seen here.

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The addition of the #49 brush is very welcome and I don’t see a difference in quality between this shorter version and the full-sized version. The brush’s nylon bristles allow you to control how much product you put on your eye.

A quick word on packaging: the palette is small. It is also made of hard plastic with a mirrored lid, which is a welcome change from the usual NARS rubbery packaging. It’s nice and sturdy but I don’t think it’d hold up to many drops.

As much as I love the palette I can’t call it a must-have. There is not much variety in texture and the price is going to be prohibitive for a lot of people. The $79 price tag is easier to swallow when you consider the inclusion of the brush and the variety of shadows. However, these shadows were too expensive to begin with imho and NARS’ prices just keep on creeping upwards.

I’ve never bought a NARS palette before because as much as I love their brand, I tend to be generally indifferent to their shadows. However, these dual-intensity shadows are generally excellent quality and if you like at least three of the shades, I’d highly recommend getting this palette instead.

The palette is limited edition and it can currently be found on the NARS website or you can wait until the beginning of February when Sephora will begin to carry it.

Are you tempted by this palette or will you pass? Let me know in the comments!

Nana Adomah

Dress Your Face: Anastasia Tamanna Palette Review

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Products used listed at end of post

Anastasia Beverly Hills Tamanna palette

I went back and forth about whether or not to get this palette as I need another palette like a hole in the head. Of course it quickly sold out in store and I was hit with an acute case of FOMO (fear of missing out). Like the sheep I am, I snatched it up without a second thought when I saw it back in stock online.

Don’t be fooled by the blue. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Tamanna Dress Your Face palette is essentially a neutral palette. This is the 3rd palette released this year in collaboration with Instagram/ YouTube personalities and this is by far my favourite. This collaboration with Tamanna Roashan (a.k.a “Dress Your Face”) is perfect in that it will look good on almost anybody and a lot of thought has clearly gone into the colour selection.

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IMG_1380There are mattes, shimmers, semi-mattes, a gold, a brown, a black- basically everything you need for a successful palette.

Anastasia Tamanna palette swatch dark skin top row

L-R: fresh, blush, venezia, gilded, custom

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L-R: sangria, bengal, chocolate, china rose, noir

I’m not going to go through all the colours but my favourites are “noir”– a fantastic true black matte eyeshadow that reminds me of Urban Decay’s “blackout”, “gilded”– a beautiful dark gold shimmer, “china rose”– an orangey, pinky, goldish shimmer, and the reason I bought the palette: “sangria”– a cranberry shimmer that looks great on the lid, crease and lower lash line.

Quick note: I found both “chocolate” and “venezia” to be a little dryer than the other shadows.

The Tamanna palette also comes with a serviceable double-ended brush and 5 surprisingly useful “Get The Look” cards.

Products Used:

Eyes:

Brows: Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow #40

Main Lid- “gilded” and “china rose”

Outer V- “chocolate” and “sangria”

Crease- “sangria”, “chocolate” and Make Up For Ever eyeshadow #162

Highlight- “fresh” and NARS “Madrague”

Lower lash line- “sangria”

Eyeliner- NARS “subra” dual intensity eyeshadow

Mascara- Yves Saint Laurent Babydoll

Face:

Foundation- Becca Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme in “sienna”

Concealer- NARS radiant creamy concealer in “amande”

Contour- Sleek contour palette in “dark”

Blush- Sleek “coral”

Lips:

Sephora ultra shine lip gloss #22 “Shimmery Deep Rose”

The palette is sold out in quite a few places but you can still find it at Macy’s and Nordstrom online for the great price of $29.

Nana Adomah

FOTD: Truffling

IMG_1141  It’s been a while since I posted a face of the day (FOTD) and there’s no time like the present!

I recently got this Mary Kay mineral eye shadow in “Truffle” and I was determined to use it today. It’s a really nice autumnal/ wintery shade and even though it’s 30C/ 86F in my little corner of Georgia I’m still going to beg like I’m back in England and enjoying a real Autumn. Truffle is shimmery burgundy with micro flecks of gold and it applies really nicely with very little fall-out.

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Daytime swatch with flash

This look was super simple and I literally did it at my desk. I paired the simple burgundy eyes with no top liner and lots and lots of the YSL “Babydoll” mascara. I skipped the liquid foundation and instead used my favourite NARS concealer in “Amande” with my all-time favourite powder (MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in “Deep”) on the rest of my face.

I’m determined to conquer my fear of nude lipsticks this year so I finished off the look with the Laura Mercier Stickgloss in “Brown Sugar”

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Product Rundown

Brows- Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz “dark brown”

Highlight- Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette “white chocolate”

Crease- Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette “triple fudge”

Lid- Mary Kay mineral eye shadow “truffle”

Transition- Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette “milk chocolate”

Liner (waterline)- Urban Decay All Nighter Eyeliner “perversion”

Mascara- Yves Saint Laurent Babydoll mascara “black”

Concealer (under eyes)- NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer “amande”

Powder- MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural “deep”

Blush- Sleek “sunrise”

Lipstick- Laura Mercier Stickgloss “brown sugar”

Liner- Make Up For Ever Aqua Lip “6C”

Happy Autumn!

Nana Adomah

 

NARS Audacious Lipstick in “Lana” Review

I’ve been completely slacking on my social media game this summer so it came as a complete surprise to me when I was gifted one of the new lipsticks from NARS. I had no idea that there was a new line coming out but boy am I impressed.

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NARS audacious lipstick in “Lana”

 

The Audacious Lipstick Collection has been released in celebration of NARS’ 20th anniversary and there are 40 shades in all. Each lipstick is named after an iconic actress and I’m guessing that mine is named after Lana Turner. “Lana” is a bright orangey red and I still haven’t worn it out of the house but I’m determined to challenge myself. All my reds are blue-based reds so it’s nice to have a warm-toned one in my collection.

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New super-luxe packaging

The Audacious lipsticks are far removed from the plastic casing of the regular NARS lipstick line and these are made of a sleek, matte, black metal with a sexy magnetic closure. The NARS logo is embossed directly onto the bullet and it is also faintly etched onto the outer metal casing. Unfortunately, these lipsticks have also been hiked up in price to $32 compared to the usual $26 of the regular NARS lipstick line. $32 puts the lipsticks right next to the Givenchys, the YSLs, and the Diors of the cosmetic world and I’m sure that this may act as a deterrent for some. However, to be fair, NARS has at least tried to let you see where the extra money has gone.

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Fully pigmented in one stroke.

The lipstick has amazing pigment and you get full opacity in just one swipe. The best thing about it is that you barely feel as though you’re wearing anything at all since the formula is so lightweight. I have no idea how NARS managed to pack so much pigment into such a thin formula but I’m very impressed.

I would class these lipsticks as a “nice to have” rather than a “must have” so definitely go ahead and splurge only if you have the extra coins. These come in an impressive range of shades and they are a nice addition to the NARS line albeit at a very high price.

The NARS Audacious lipsticks can be found at Sephora or at NARS.

“I have a real love affair with lipstick. It gives you more power.” Francois Nars

Nana Adomah