Friday, September 30, 2016

Victoria Beckham x Estee Lauder Makeup Collection - London Look

Fashion maven Victoria Beckham has teamed up with Estee Lauder to release a capsule collection of limited edition products that allow you to recreate her signature look; bronzed gleaming skin, smoky eyes and nude lips.

The collection comes in super-sleek black and gold Art Deco style packaging and I have to say it reminds me very much of Lauder's ultra-luxe Tom Ford beauty line, not just in appearance but also formula, as well as pricing. Be prepared to fork out S$70 for a single shadow and $102 for the Morning Aura Illuminating Creme, but you can also expect very smooth textures and great quality.

The "London Look" is probably the most wearable and universally flattering of the entire collection, and features a sparkly brown smoky eye, soft caramel nude lips, and her famed dewy, "sweaty" skin. I really liked the super smooth dual-ended eye kajal in Vanille and Black Saffron, but I have to say the formula is so soft that the beige pencil tip broke right off the first time I tried to use it. 

I do still love how easily they glide right on and smudge out, but just be aware this is a kajal, and it is meant for smudging. This formula will not set and become budge-proof. Also, if you're on a tighter budget and just looking for key items to get from the collection, this is the thing I would skip since you can more easily replicate this using cheaper alternatives.

As for the Eye Shadows and Eye Ink, I have to say I loved what I tried. Bitter Clove is that gorgeous brown with bronze-gold flecks, and it has a semi-creamy texture that almost has a bit of bounce to it when I run my brush back and forth across the surface with some pressure.

I did get a few questions from people saying they were not able to get a very opaque coverage with this, but I did not have problems building color up with a synthetic pencil brush. I just buff it on in a windscreen wiper motion and keep building until I get the intensity I want. It's partly the type of brush, and also taking a little time to layer the color. This type of creamy-glittery pigments don't always play nice with all types of brush bristles.

A couple more tips:
  • Apply this with your finger to get more pay-off, then buff out the edges with a brush
  • To bring out maximum sparkle as a final step, mist a soft buffing brush slightly with water and gently buff over the surface of your finished eye look to "polish" and bring out the shine even more

The Eye Ink in Black Myrrh looks like a shadow and can be used as such, but it's really meant to be a wet/dry eyeliner. It's not completely black; more a soft charcoal shade with a slight sheen. I used it dry to deepen the outer corners of my eyes in the look below, but also dampened my brush to apply it along my lash line as smoky liner.

Another fun thing to check out are the Eye Foils.This are liquid sparklers that smooth on and then set to a budge proof texture-less finish. You can apply it a bit more concentrated the way I did, or just sheer it out and pat it over your entire lid as a last step after eye shadow.

The shade I got to test is the paler shade, Blonde Gold. I have not seen the other shade but I would definitely suggest the paler one over the deeper if you want one shade that works well with any eye look, dark or light.

Eye look done with Bitter Clove, Black Myrrh, and Eye Foil in Blonde Gold (inner corners)
As for the lipstick, I'll say it's a great shade and a beautiful semi-sheer formula that feels and looks really pretty on the lips, but maybe not mind-blowing enough to justify $76 if that's way out of your comfort zone. If you don't usually go for lipsticks from lines like Tom Ford or Cle de Peau Beaute, this might feel like a bit too much.

The color Brazilian Nude itself is amazing though - a soft warm caramel-tinged beige that mutes the lip color but is not so pale that it looks patchy or washes you out. The undertone is somewhat of a neutral-peach; not too grey or too pink. This is as flattering as nude lipsticks come. The tube itself looks quite tiny - I was worried it would be one of those tiny "Lips n Boys" style tubes with half the amount of product as a regular lipstick, but this is full-size. It just comes in a super-slim tube to take up minimal bag space.

The last item I tried was also the one I was most excited about. And it doesn't disappoint.

Morning Aura Illuminating Creme is designed to create that VB "glow"; that dewy sexy sweaty effect on top of the cheeks. What was most interesting to me was the fact that it's not an oily-feeling product, unlike the face oils, petroleum jelly and Eight Hour Cream people traditionally used to get a similar effect. It feels like a light cream, but it does smooth out and have a slight slip that doesn't "dry" on the skin.

If you have oily skin or want a dry-touch finish to your face, you might not like the fact that this doesn't "set". It's meant to mimic the look of a bit of oil and sweat after all.

Tip to applying and not melting off the makeup underneath:

  • Smooth out a little on the back of your hand and spread it out into a thin layer on your fingers instead of applying a thick streak right to your cheek.
  • Lightly pat pat pat over your cheeks just to spread out a thin layer; don't rub and also don't pat too long or you might disturb any makeup beneath.

Also, I would suggest patting it not just to the cheekbones, but also a little in the center of your nose bridge (just avoid the area between the brows and the tip of nose so you don't look "oily") and a little above each brow bone so you have a more cohesive "dewy glow". It always looks a bit odd when people have a sheen only on their cheek bone and everything is matte-matte-matte.

If done right, it gives a "lived in" look to your face, which is the antithesis of a matte, powdered, "made-up" looking base. The point is to create a no-makeup effect almost like you don't need much foundation and powder.

Of course this is probably a product more suited to people or areas of the face where you don't suffer from blemishes or large open pores. Otherwise, like anything that adds a glow or sheen it will highlight everything you want to hide.


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