30 November 2012

making faces :: beautiful feathers flock together

a flamingo and an ibis walk into a bar...
a friend of mine has this genius for coming up with horrible, fish-themed puns, which is something i greatly admire. i mean, we all know people who are skilled at wordplay, but i feel like he's really established a beach-head in the pescatory punning field- a true specialist. and the reason i mention this is because if i'm going to keep reviewing eye shadows by rouge bunny rouge, i am going to have to hone similar skills in making jokes about birds, just so that i always have something clever to use as a title. and i have pretty much decided that i want their entire flock, gaggle or murder- whatever bird-brained moniker you want to apply- to come home to roost in my makeup collection.

of course, i've been so delighted with their consistently high quality and their charming victorian fairytale marketing that i'm eager to explore everything the brand has to offer, but their shadows do hold a special place in my heart.

my most recent foray into their nesting grounds included my first purchase of one of their matte shades. i'd heard that they were pretty exceptional and so, despite the fact that the shades themselves don't sound as unique as their shimmery shades, i felt like i at least had to give them a try.

i went with the adorably named "bashful flamingo", which is a light peach shade, too dark to be flesh-toned on me, but still bright on the eyelid. it does indeed remind me of the softer, lighter feathers of a flamingo, although the name might be a little misleading for some.

the formula and application absolutely live up to the hype. it is the softest, smoothest, densest matte shadow i have ever tried. it lasts all day with minimal fading at the 8-9 hour mark. it's very opaque but it doesn't look heavy or powdery. and of course, it's the sort of shade around which you could build any sort of look.

as mentioned, it's noticeably deeper than my skin tone, so it's to dark to work as a highlight. those with medium or darker skin would probably be able to use it all over. now that i've seen one in action, i suspect that the more basic colour range of the matte shadows is a deliberate choice- they are the sort of shades that work with anything. for the few weeks i've had "bashful flamingo", i've reached for it often enough that the embossed logo on the powder is completely gone. it is just so easy to work with.

bashful flamingo :: natural light
bashful flamingo :: with flash


in my collection, i didn't actually have as close a match as i feared i would. inglot #352 is much lighter. i do suspect that there's something in the inglot range that would be a close match, just not one that i have. the magic in this case is really in the formula of the product.

l to r :: bashful flamingo, inglot 352 :: natural light
same as above :: with flash

now, the catch is that rouge bunny rouge are an expensive boutique brand. their matte shadows are better than inglot, but inglot's are still very nice and even when purchased individually, cost about half. this is also a good reason for rbr to have matte shades that are real workhorses- if you're going to spend that much, you want something that's going to fit in everywhere.

THERE'S MORE TO LOVE AFTER THE BREAK!



of course, another little birdie enchanted me with its song, one whose plumage was quite different. "whispering ibis" is a medium-toned green with gold pearls. it's a shade that immediately makes me think of early summer, when the grasses and ferns and leaves are in full bloom, rich with chlorophyll, before the heat has dulled their brilliance. i see this as an earthier complement to the airy, misty "periwinkle cardinal".

there is a real magic to this shade, something i've rarely encountered before. the colour applies extremely evenly and smoothly, but it's not quite opaque, at least not at first. there's a very slight transparency to it. normally, sheerness is something that annoys me in an eye shadow, but this is one of those rare cases where it really seems to add something. and don't worry- it doesn't take much effort to achieve full opacity, but it is interesting to see how the light plays off the base colour and the gold reflections.

whispering ibis :: natural light
whispering ibis :: with flash

that unique bunny-ness that seems to inhabit all rbr eye shadows is in full effect here. shades that should theoretically be similar- mac's humid or the deeper shade from nars blade runner- appear quite a bit darker and somehow "dirtier". all three have a shimmer, but it's the gold in "whispering ibis" that lifts it into another realm.

nars "blade runner" is quite a bit darker [and more opaque], whereas mac "humid" is warmer and looks almost khaki when seen next to the ibis. 
l to r :: nars blade runner, whispering ibis, mac humid :: natural light
same as above :: with flash
and lastly, we have a non-bird product, rouge bunny rouge's version of loose pigments. i chose a stormy grey colour called "night wind sailing", because a lady can never have too many greys. although the shades are described as "loose glitter pigments", they're far from glittery. they are very, very sparkly- noticeably more so than even the frostiest of their eye shadows- but they won't leave you with flecks of nastiness all over the place.

it's hard not to admire the wonderful tube and wand that these come in, especially if you're a klutz like me. it does seem to be close to foolproof, in that the magic wand comes out of the tube with pigment you can apply to your lid without spilling any or getting pixie dust all over your face. i don't know how the denizens of the enchanted kingdom did it, but it's quite remarkable. i could quibble and say that you don't actually have any control over how much you get, or that you need to layer the colour because you're working with very small amounts at a time, but these are minor quibbles when i consider the fact that i'm still clearing up bits of a pigment spill from a couple of months ago.

night wind sailing :: natural light
night wind sailing :: with flash

the dark base shade of "night wind sailing" is similar to a few shades in my collection- not surprising considering i've a bit of a love affair with grey shadows. it's deeper than mac's"silver ring", more similar to the limited edition mac shade "anti-establishment", but the sparkle in "night wind sailing makes it look very different on application. although the product applies smoothly and evenly and doesn't result in little particles getting stuck in the crow's feet you've had around your eyes since you were in your twenties but have been becoming distinctly more noticeable in the last few years... ahem, despite all that, the shimmer is very eye-catching, so the light is constantly playing off it. nars "eurydice" has a much more restrained version of this look- multi-coloured shimmer in a grey base- but it's much darker and the shimmer is sparser.
l to r :: mac silver ring, night wind sailing, mac anti-establishment [l.e.], nars eurydice :: natural light
same as above :: with flash
rouge bunny rouge are one of the brands that i finally got around to trying this year and i can see this continuing for some time. they're actually preparing to release fragrances, which i'm curious to see [sniff] and there really does seem to be a kind of magic to their products that no one else possesses. they're not edgy or bold- most of their colours have a very natural vibe to them, even if they're not particularly natural skin tones, but they are all very special, both because of the superior formulas and because the nuances of each shade are so carefully thought through.

here's a look at them in action:

"bashful flamingo goes night wind sailing"
the base ::
diorskin nude skin glow liquid foundation "ivory 010"
diorskin nude hydrating concealer "01"

the eyes ::
rbr e/s "bashful flamingo" [bright soft peach]
rbr loose glitter pigment "night wind sailing" [starry storm-cloud grey]
lmdb e/s "fin" [blackest ever black]*
inglot e/s "352" [peachy highlight]
urban decay 24/7 eye liner "perversion" [black]
mac eye kohl "fascinating" [white]
givenchy noir couture mascara


the cheeks ::
guerlain terra inca sublime radiant powder [pinky light bronze]*
chanel joues contraste blush "rose initiale" [coral-tinged rose pink]

the lips ::
chanel rouge coco l/s "jersey rose" [delicate warm pink]

*suggested alternates :: fin = urban decay blackout, but "fin" is still available as part of the nouvelle vague" kaleidoscope and there really is no substitute for the real thing; terra inca = mac refined golden [not a great substitute, so feel free to suggest others]

sorry if the wet hair disturbed you... i only have so much time in the mornings and many days it's easier to just let it dry on the subway.


"whispering ibis"

the base ::
rbr milk aquarelle liquid foundation "coconut milk parfait"
diorskin nude hydrating concealer
diorskin forever compact flawless perfection fusion wear pressed powder "010"

the eyes ::
rbr e/s "whispering ibis" [fern green with gold pearl]
tarina tarantino e/s "saw dust heart" [blackened brown]*
tarina tarantino e/s "very wicked" [dark teal-green]*
tarina tarantino e/s "glinda's kiss" [frosty white-gold]*
tarina tarantino e/l "sparkling ammunition" [rich khaki green]
benefit bad gal mascara

the cheeks ::
mac sheertone blush "shy beauty" [delicate light peach]

the lips ::
chanel rouge coco shine "antigone" [shimmery strawberry red]

*suggested alternates :: saw dust heart = mac brun; very wicked = guerlain les gris [bluer]; glinda's kiss = mac white gold pigment

rouge bunny rouge products are available exclusively on line for those in north america and, indeed, for most of europe. they have recently started selling direct to consumers through their web site [www.rougebunnyrouge.com] and you can also order them from the wonderful folks at zuneta.

as far as i can tell, zuneta does carry the full range of bunny products, but there may be a few things hidden in the warren that are exclusive. unfortunately, the bunnies do not accept pay pal, while zuneta does, which makes things so much easier.

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