Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Case for Retiring Your Cosmetics

Two down, three more to go. That's how I'm faring right now with my quest to come up with enough empties to bring back to the MAC store and get a free lipstick. (Wait, are they still doing this? Last time I checked the MAC store at Ala Moana was doing so. If the other MAC stores aren't doing this, then I stand corrected.)

Today I decommissioned one of my old MAC lipsticks - Smoove, which was an iridescent dark plum (that used to look great with all the gloss I wore in college) - after the bullet broke off and I couldn't put it back together using my old lighter. Now the lipstick bullet rests inside a tiny plastic sauce container (like the ones you get at the plate-lunch places to hold your shoyu, ketchup, or hot sauce of choice) while the empty case rests in a drawer next to another old MAC container that used to hold cake eyeliner. After doing this I also had to decant another MAC lipstick (Under World, a very dark red) into another sauce container, leaving behind a half-inch in the case so I can still carry it around without having to pull up a separate brush. And once that lipstick's all but worn down, there's still a lot of other MAC stuff to go, like the gel blush that I still can't seem to diminish no matter how often I use it, or the shimmery lilac eyeshadow that I thought I'd lost but I now layer it with all the beige shadow I have on hand. (Oh, wait, that would be Crystal - a definite must-recommend for those who want to try out the lavender eye that we keep seeing more often. )

Other than that, though, it's either I'm stuck in a comfortable rut or really lucky about shopping for makeup, because most of the stuff that I do have at hand have all worked for me in one way or another - which is why I rarely throw stuff out. (And if I do, I probably have my reasons - like, say, eyeshadow that crumbles in the bag, or mascara that runs and irritates my eyes.) And the thing with the department store stuff, like Stila and MAC, is that they do last a long time in storage for the most part. So I'm more likely to spend more on something that I'd want to use more often than on something that looks trendy on me.


Speaking of trendy... how about a rant, for a change?

This weekend I also found a drugstore that had testers for L'Oreal's HIP line, which I was so excited about... until I tested it out in my hand.

I'm not saying that I'm not a fan of high-pigment makeup (come on, I'm giving MAC some business, am I not?); it's just that I found the eyeshadows to be a tad too powdery. No doubt that the color payoff is major and the texture is silky, but... I don't know, maybe the color turns up different when it's on your face, and maybe it does last. Also, all the "looks" they keep plugging to promote the product look like rejected out-takes from a MAC photo shoot, especially with all that bright shimmery eyeshadow all up to your brow and cheek bones. Maybe it might look hot if you're Scarlett Johansson (and judging from the TV ads, she does), but plot out all those eyeshadows on me and I'll end up looking like the love child of Boy George and Mimi from The Drew Carey Show.

That said, I still don't think it's a bad product, even if it does seem a little overpriced for something you can snap up at Longs. My favorite products in the line are the Eye Shadow duo in Lively (dark bronze and forest green - reminiscent of Nars' Blade Runner duo), the Brilliant Shine Lip Gloss (an edgier, vanilla-scented version of L'Oreal's own ColorJuice) and the bronzers (it's not just limited to "light," "dark" and "sparkly" any more, folks). So, yes, I'm still holding out hope.

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