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making faces :: i'm a proud exhibitionist

hourglass visionaire eye shadow duo "exhibition"
after my initial hourglass experience, it was pretty much a given that i'd be going back to sample more of their wares. while their product line is lean- rouge bunny rouge and le metier de beaute, two brands i see as occupying a similar "face space" are considerably larger- the quality makes it worth grabbing pretty much anything that catches your fancy. and i must say that i like the fact that they've so far focused on adding to their core offering, rather than teasing the public with things that are available only fleetingly and snatched up by mean folks who live closer to a counter than i do.

one beauty that i always knew i was going to pick up was the "exhibition" eye shadow duo. after all, i loved the rich, smoky tones of "prism" and i am bananas for purple, so it is actually a statistical impossibility that this wouldn't find a happy home with me. and although i held off for a while, thinking that i already had many, many purples, i eventually realised that i was being foolish by trying to resist for the sake of resistance. i've never been a believer in the whole "martyr" theory that self-denial makes you a better person. i'm a perfectly good person the way i am and eye shadow is not going to change that.

this duo is a combination of a dusty, pinkish-mauve shade and an intense, dark eggplant purple. much like "prism", "exhibition" has awesome power. it's necessary to use a light hand or else you can end up overdoing things pretty easily. even if you want things fairly intense, i'd recommend building the colour in layers, rather than just caking it on. applying hourglass shadows too thickly is about the only way you can get them to crease. exercise a little caution and you can expect a full day of looking perfect. or more perfect than you usually do. [can i also recommend not jabbing yourself in the eye with the makeup brush while applying, the way that i did? because not jabbing yourself in the eye is wicked.]

as far as i can tell from using and from swatching colours on my hand, all hourglass shadows are incredibly smooth and blend together easily to create a seamless look.

although i do, as mentioned, have a vast stable of beautiful purples at my disposal, these shades were both pretty distinct. the darker shade is somewhat more dupe-able, only because it's harder to pick up the nuances of colour in use. but that said, it still looked different from any of the dark purples i already had. honestly, it looks almost black from some angles, but the red-purple shimmer catches the light at others, like seeing reflections of minerals inside a stone.

the lighter shade of the duo is a bit of a strange bird. although clearly a purple shade on its own, it's neutral enough that it looks brown next to cooler purple shades. mac's "shale" is a fairly close cousin, but is quite a bit darker and browner still. "illegal cargo"- the limited edition mac shade from a few years back, not the one that was released with last year's holiday collection- is a cooler, more lilac shade, although it has a similar neutral-grey undertone. chanel's "fauve", which i would have thought would be similar, is much darker, greyer and has a silver sparkle.

l to r :: mac shale, hourglass exhibition light, mac illegal cargo [l.e.], chanel fauve

the darker shade, as i said, has closer analogues. mac's "beauty marked" is most similar, although the finishes between the two are quite different. "beauty marked" is a black shadow with fine red-purple glitter sitting in it. "exhibition" is one smooth, shimmery shade. armani "lust red" is, appropriately enough, redder and the fact that it is a lot more reflective makes it look lighter as well. mac's "unflappable" is cooler and greyer.

l to r :: mac beauty marked, hourglass exhibition dark, armani lust red, mac unflappable [l.e.]

combined, these two are great for a stunning take on a smoky eye that's a bit different than the usual black/ grey combination [for that, "prism" is perfect]. for a lighter look, you can stick to having the lighter colour dominate, while the dark shade can be used as a liner or to deepen the outer corner. one of the reasons that these little duos work so well is that they move effortlessly from day to night time wear, even if you don't have the time to run home and refurbish yourself completely. they come with a small but fairly useful brush and a compact with a mirror that swivels. the closure is magnetic and strong enough that it can withstand being carried in a makeup bag or having a muscular tonkinese cat stand on it. [i have to admit, i get a kick out of stacking my hourglass duos one on top of the other and seeing how they stick together. i'm easily amused.]

here's a look at "exhibition" in action. i couldn't decide whether i liked it more used lightly or really smoked out, but i guess the nice thing is that i don't have to choose.

for both of these, i'm using my usual mac prolongwear foundation "nc15" and dr. hauschka concealer, shade "01". [i'll be reviewing that one soon.]

exhibition by day

eyes ::
hourglass visionaire e/s duo "exhibition" [soft mauve/ dark eggplant]
mac e/s "creamy bisque"* [pinkish ivory highlight]
chanel inimitable intense mascara

cheeks ::

mac beauty powder "briar rose"* [wild rose pink]

mac mineralize skinfinish "lightscapade"* [pearly highlight]

lips ::
mac l/s "radicchio"* [cool mauve-plum]

*suggested alternates :: creamy bisque = mac dazzlelight; briar rose = nars mata hari [brighter, redder]; lightscapade = guerlain meteorites teint rose; radicchio = mac plumful [sheerer, pinker], or you could try using "dish it up" which is limited but still available- see a comparison here.

exhibition by night

eyes ::
hourglass visionaire e/s duo "exhibition"
mac mega-metal e/s "prance"* [shimmery silver-mauve]
benefit they're real mascara

cheeks ::
edward bess quad royale "south of france" [sandy mauve]

lips ::
armani gloss d'armani "603" [sheer raisin]

*suggested alternates :: prance = mac crystal [cooler, less shimmery]; in retrospect, though, i found that "prance" made things look too heavy and shimmery. i'd probably go with a very neutral matte highlight [inglot has tons] or just not bother. the pigmentation of the hourglass duo is intense enough and doesn't need a lot else added to it.

and in case you're wondering, yes, that is a cat scratch on my nose. thanks, simon.

hourglass products are available from sephora and from zuneta.


as long as you're here, why not read more?

making faces :: soft touch

ah winter, how my lips hate you. it's too bad, really, because the rest of me likes winter, down to about -12 or so. but there's no arguing that i get dried out. nuxe rêve de miel is my super best friend at this time of year, even more so than otherwise. [i gave bite's agave lip mask a try only to find out i'm allergic to something in it.] but our [still] new apartment is somewhat drier than the old one [electric vs hot water heating], which meant that, for a long stretch, virtually every kind of lipstick was uncomfortable. the horror. [i wrote a post a while back about the formulas that are friendliest to chapped lips.]

faced with this dilemma, i decided to try something not exactly new, but [for me], out of the ordinary: being a gloss girl. now, i don't mind glosses. i buy them from time to time, and i used to buy more until i discovered that i just wasn't using them near enough to justify the continued purchases. my issues with glosses are that they feather…


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [winter edition]

it seems oddly canadian to have two posts in a row about winter/ cold/ snow, but they're obviously unrelated. after all, for most people winter is a season, but in colour analysis terms, winter is part of what you are, an effect of the different wavelengths that comprise the physical part of the thing known as "you". this might be getting a little heady for a post about lipstick. moving on...

if you've perused the other entries in this series without finding something that really spoke to you [figuratively- lipsticks shouldn't actually speak to you- get help], you may belong in one of the winter seasons. winter, like summer, is cool in tone; like spring, it is saturated; like autumn, it is dark. that combination of elements creates a colour palette [or three] that reads as very "strong" to most. and on people who aren't part of the winter group, such a palette would look severe. the point of finding a palette that reads "correctly" on you…