What's On My Face Today

Face:

Cheeks:

  • Benefit Dandelion Dew Liquid Blush: I got this as a sample size from one of those Benefit airport vending machines and it's taken me a while to get around to trying it, but now that I have I know I'll buy a full-sized bottle. I don't think I've ever used a liquid blush before this one. It comes out about the consistency of a foundation, so it's super easy to blend (I just use my fingers, but a dedicated sponge would probably do a better job). The color is a peachy pink that leaves a sheer and natural-looking flush on the cheeks.

Eyes:

  • MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly (eyelid primer)
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Norvina Eyeshadow Palette: Back in the day when the first Urban Decay Naked palette came out, I used two shades almost every day - Sin and Sidecar - and ignored the rest. Today I'm wearing Wild Child (duochrome frosty pink) and Celestial (duochrome plum) and I can easily see these two becoming my go-to shades through the fall and winter. I love the whole palette though - the neutral golds and bronzes will make for some pretty color combinations, and I think there are some good matte/shimmer texture combinations to be had as well. I'm so glad I finally picked this up. I've seen a lot of the holiday palettes coming out with similar metallic pinks and purples, so clearly that's the hot combination of the moment.
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Dark Brown
  • Milk Makeup KUSH High Volume Mascara: I don't love this mascara. Today is probably the last time I'll use it (but I got a mini, so I don't feel so bad about ditching it). The brush is really oversized and I feel like that makes application kind of awkward. That wouldn't matter if the formula were better, but it's just okay, and it's left me a little raccoon-eyed towards the end of the day.

Lips:

Today's fragrance:

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What's On My Face Today

It's been a month since I last posted! Sorry about that - I've been going through some health issues that have taken up a lot of time and energy. It looks like I have a lot of catching up to do! (I have been updating a little more frequently on Instagram, so be sure and follow me at @lipstickpanic.)

Face:

  • Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick in Vanilla: I finally got this in a shade that works a little better with my summer complexion - just as the cool weather is finally starting to roll in! I've had the same experience with a couple of foundations this year: It used to be that I could just buy the fairest shade in a range and not have to think about it. Now that companies are broadening their shade ranges (which is a great thing!) it looks like they are also adding one or two shades on the lighter side of the spectrum as well, so I need to be more diligent about testing rather than just assume a fair shade will work for me.
  • Givenchy Prisme Libre Loose Powder in Mousseline Pastel

Cheeks:

  • Jouer Blush Duo in Coquette: I have to point out that this blush duo is NOT as cool as it's pictured in any of the photos I've seen online. I was expecting some pink with a little bit of pop, instead I got a fairly ordinary plum/dusty rose combination. That said, this blusher does blend well and holds on a long time without fading, so it works well for an everyday look.

Eyes:

  • MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly (eyelid primer)
  • Tarte Gifted Mascara in Black
  • Maybelline TattooStudio Brow Tint Pen in Medium Brown: This has been out in Asia for a few months now, but I finally found it in Target this past weekend! I like the applicator a lot - it draws natural-looking groups of lines instead of making you sketch in one tiny line at a time. I'd like to see a luxury brand tackle this style of brow liner though - the applicator is great, but the inky formula is a little inconsistent in that it doesn't always flow from the pen tip at the same rate, so it can be difficult to get both eyebrows filled in evenly.
  • NARS Hardwired Eyeshadow in Lunar

Lips:

Today's fragrance:

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Cosmetics Shopping in Germany!

Hello! Gutentag! I'm back from Germany! This two-week trip was all about culture - we spent a lot of time in museums, churches, and castles - but I did get a little shopping in too, so I wanted to tell you all about that. If you're planning a trip to Germany any time soon, here are the kinds of places you might find cosmetics and fragrances:

On our first morning in Munich, we stopped in the Marienplatz to get data cards for our phones, and I visited an independent parfumerie called The Beauty Spot on the Marienplatz (the city center) in Munich:


A few days later, we visited Oberpollinger, also on the Marienplatz in Munich. Oberpollinger is a huge department store, with five stories of retail and a very fancy restaurant on the top floor. We went for breakfast, but while I was there I stopped at the MAC Cosmetics counter. After just a few days of museum-hopping I had already been outside enough to get some color, so I needed to get a slightly darker shade of my Pro Longwear foundation. I mention this mostly because my experience at the store was so nice. I was already worn out from struggling with my German, but although the sales associate didn't speak much English either, we still managed to make ourselves understood to each other and even had some laughs. It was such a relief - I felt right at home for the first time. (She also gifted me a Cremesheen Glass which I LOVE, the bright pink La Salsa from the Fruity Juicy Collection of May, 2017.)


I knew that Sephora didn't have any standalone stores in Germany, so you can imagine my surprise when I walked into Galeria Kaufhof, another German department store chain, and found a Sephora inside. Galeria Kaufhof reminds me a lot of Macy's - it's a moderately-sized store with fashion and home departments. The Sephora had on offer a lot of their own Sephora Collection products and a few more Korean skincare brands than I'm used to seeing in the U.S. stores, but I didn't see any other U.S. brands. (and I wonder if that's because of the same trade limitation that keeps Sephora from opening standalone stores there). I did pick up a couple of things from Charlotte Tilbury - the Wonderglow Primer (which I love!) and Magic Foundation in 1 Fair.


Germany has a couple of ubiquitous "drogerie markt" (drug store) chains - dm and Müller. They're a lot like CVS or Walgreens in the U.S., except that they don't have pharmacy counters. They carry some over the counter medications, plus other sundries, mostly cosmetics and body products. A few of the drugstore brands they carry aren't available in North America. dm, for example, has their own brand - Balea - that has some good skincare lines.


In Germany and Austria, prescriptions must be filled at a proper Apotheke, or pharmacy (you'll recognize them by their prominent signs). While these places mostly provide medications, they do also carry some finer skincare and fragrance lines. In Berlin, I went into one where I finally found Roger & Gallet fragrances (it's possible to order some Roger & Gallet products to ship to the U.S., but I had never tested any of them before so I was happy for the chance to do that):


Karstadt is another German department store chain. It reminded me of a cross between Macy's and Target, if that makes any sense. Their stores have a wonderful selection of products - everything from fashion to toys to home furnishings, all in colorful displays. The one we went into in Berlin even had a gourmet grocery belowground. We only stopped in to visit the Apotheke inside, though, so I can't tell you much about their cosmetics department (although I think most of what they carry are the major brands available in the U.S. anyway).


Douglas is a chain of standalone stores. They remind me of Sephora in terms of their layout, but they don't seem to carry as many brands. I saw them all over, but I only went into the one in the Mall of Berlin. Most of what they carried were brands available in the U.S., with a few exceptions - I picked up another palette from Zoeva, along with a few of their store brand mascaras and some skincare:


Finally, we stopped at Kaufhaus des Westens in Berlin. This is probably the largest department store I've ever been in, maybe even larger than Harrods in London. It reminded me a lot of Bloomingdales, with its individual boutiques for fashion brands like Louis Vuitton and Prada. They have a huge cosmetics floor but mostly carry brands available in the U.S., so I didn't buy anything there, just spent a lot of time marveling at the size.


Europe at this time of year can get a little warm. It was in the mid-70's to low 80's most days, which doesn't seem particularly hot. The catch is that a lot of European buildings don't have air conditioning - they haven't really needed it before now, so global warming is making things a little uncomfortable. Even the museums were warm - I've gotten used to those being chilly havens because, you know, temperature control is important for preserving the art and artifacts. But across Germany, most museums are in buildings that are, themselves, hundreds of years old, so retro-fitting with modern air conditioning may not be easy. In the apartments we rented, our only option was to leave windows cracked to get some air flowing. Basically, I was a giant sweatball for two solid weeks - I never really cooled down, except in the earliest hours of the morning.

But my MAC Pro Longwear foundation worked like a champ. I'm so glad I tested foundations before I left. At the end of August I'll be putting it to the ultimate test: the New York City subway in the hottest part of the summer.

Current obsession: Marie Antoinette. We spent a few days in Vienna, and while there we visited the Hofburg, the palace where she grew up (her mother was Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria and the only female Habsburg ruler). I picked up a book about her life after I got home, and suddenly I'm down a rabbit hole, learning about her life, the strategic importance of her marriage, and how very much she was a product of her environment. I'm not sure she could have turned out to be anything other than she was, and I'm also not sure that she was quite the villain that popular history paints her to be.

Current music: Depeche Mode. They were in town while we were in Berlin. In fact, they were playing at a venue near the Olympic stadium the day we visited, Evidence of the band and their music was everywhere, so I've been revisiting my collection since I got home.

In a few days, I'll be off traveling again, this time on a work trip to Baltimore, so I probably won't be writing much until mid-August. Keep an eye on my Instagram account though! If anything interesting happens that involves makeup, you'll see it there!