Madswan Style

My Beauty, My Style

Month: June, 2010

News: Aromaleigh – Inexpressible…

The closure of Aromaleigh was just announced a bit ago tonight.

I can’t even express how how disappointing this is. It is my favorite mineral makeup company. I think it’s very selfish of me to be upset about the closing, but I can’t help but be. *sigh*

I guess I won’t be finishing my review posts.

35% everything…time to stock up if you need to. I don’t think I’ve ever been so sad about a sale.




Sorry for the lack of updates this weekend, and I regretfully will probably be unable to get much posting done this week, either. This past weekend was my bridal shower and bachelorette party, and this week I have meetings about wedding stuff every day. And I’m running on almost no sleep. Yuck!

I’ll try to get at least a couple posts up, but no guarantees!

Review: Skin by Alison Raffaele Tinted Moisturizer

This is another of the things I purchased from the Hautelook Alison Raffaele sale ages ago. I paid $8.75 for this, but it sells for $35 at; it is 1.76 oz. It comes in three colors: light, light-medium, and medium. I purchased it in light-medium.


This comes in a squishy flat plastic tube in the signature shiny lilac color that the Alison Raffaele “Skin” Collection uses, and is consistent with the brand image. I don’t necessarily like the tube shape or the lid, though, because it is harder to store since the lid is rounded, and it can’t be stored on end. Though it looks sleek, the packaging actually takes up a lot of space.

The nozzle I also don’t really enjoy because it doesn’t hold the product in when it is open with the nozzle facing even a little downwards; you don’t have to squeeze the tube at all for product to come out. I’ve made a mess and gotten way too much product on the few occasions I’ve worn this!

There is a list of ingredients on the back, as well as more information on the moisturizer.

Click to enlarge


The consistency of the tinted moisturizer is quite thin, a bit more so than the average liquid foundation. It goes on smooth and feels very light and moisturizing. It is sheer in one layer, which is the way that I wore it because the color was a bit off for me, so it required a lot of blending and smoothing to look natural. The product desription says  it is meant to be medium coverage, and I would say it is somewhere between medium and sheer, depending on how it is applied and blended.

This tinted moisturizer has a rating of SPF 15, and uses physical ingredients (Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide) as opposed to chemical for the active sun blocking ingredients.

The color range is very limited, which is a negative. The color I purchased was also not right for me, and I am unsure whether any of the other colors would work either. It ended up being about the right color saturation for my skin tone, but ran way to orange on my face straight from the tube. I would be afraid that the light shade would just be a lighter version of the same color and don’t want to spend $35 on another, so haven’t purchased another color to test it out.



I gave it a 3/5. While I didn’t like the packaging and the color was wrong for me, I did really like the formula of the moisturizer itself. I’m not sure if I would rate this as high if I had paid full price for it, though.

Review: Alison Raffaele Soft Shadows

I’ve had these shadows for quite some time, but hadn’t gotten around to reviewing them, yet!

I bought these from a sale on Hautelook a few months ago for $4.88 each, but they sell for $19.50 on These are 0.11 oz. The colors I own are Moonlight (shimmer), Warm Grey (matte), and Taupe (matte).


These come in cute, lightweight, lilac purple plastic round compacts with a flower design on the top. The compact itself has a moderately good clasp; it holds the shadow shut well, but can be difficult to open. There is a mirror on the inside. The back has a sticker with the shadow name and some information (no ingredients, though).


I was very surprised with this product when I received it after reading the rave reviews on Makeup Alley. With the shadows themselves, on me, the mattes were chalky and not very pigmented. Moonlight was okay formula-wise, but the color doesn’t really show up on my skin tone. Maybe I got some rejects or am missing something?

I was also surprised that being called “Soft Shadow”, the product wasn’t softer. The texture of it is silky to the touch, but is hard in the sense that I feel like I have to really swipe my brush or sponge hard to get enough product to show up.

The colors themselves aren’t bad if unoriginal (though I feel that Taupe isn’t really taupe), they just aren’t pigmented enough to warrant using them for me. They are layer-able, but why layer when I have other products that don’t require that. Moonlight is the only one I’ve used more than once or twice because it does work nicely as a highlighter. I really wanted these shadows to work as I love some of the other products in the Alison Raffaele line, but for me, they were really a miss.

Swatches (these are as dark as I could swatch these colors with sponges, brushes didn’t work; there are probably ~5 heavy layers of each shadow. Click to enlarge):

L-R: Moonlight, Warm Grey, Taupe


I gave them a 1.5/5. The packaging is nice, and I only paid $4.88 for these. Moonlight I do somewhat like, but the matte shades I really do not. I would probably rate these less if I had paid full price as they would likely have been returned.

Beauty Obsession: Foundations

I think in the makeup world everyone has their own obsessions, product wise. My underlying obsession that never really changes is for foundations. This could be because I have never really found a foundation that I feel is appropriate for every occasion or season, but I don’t think I ever will find one that does EVERYTHING. I have amassed quite a few foundations, but have yet to review any of them! *Shakes finger at self*

So, next week, I’m going to try to start weekly foundation review posts. I’ll probably start with tinted moisturizers and powder foundations, since that’s what I’ve been using the most of this summer.

What is your beauty obsession?

FOTD: Drama!

Another stormy day today! I wanted to inject some drama into my look, so I went to my Aromaleigh Victoria’s Revenge colors, yet again. It’s really a very simple eye; only a few colors, but I like the way it looks!

Looks like I had a blending weird spot on the left eye…off to round it out!

What I used:


  • Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer
  • Hourglass Illusion Tinted Moisturizer in Light Beige
  • MAC Studiofix Concealer in NC20
  • MAC Fun ‘n Games (Hello Kitty LE) – cheek


  • Too Faced Shadow Insurance
  • Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy
  • Aromaleigh Skeleton Key (Victoria’s Revenge) – lid
  • Aromaleigh Gaslight Tears (Victoria’s Revenge) – outer corner and crease
  • Aromaleigh Bleeding Poppy (Victoria’s Revenge) – blended above Gaslight Tears
  • Aromaleigh Blossom (Midsummer Night’s Dream LE) – highlight
  • Urban Decay Glide-On Pencil in Zero
  • Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara in Black


  • Dior Creme de Rose Lip Balm

FOTD: Elegant Taupes

Today was another dreary one here, and I decided to try out a simple look with some Fyrinnae shadows that I just bought. I think it turned out quite elegant, and definitely doesn’t go with the t-shirt I’m wearing!


  • Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer
  • Hourglass Veil Fluid Makeup in 1.5 Nude
  • Dior Diorskin Nude Natural Glow Powder in 022 Cameo
  • Bobbi Brown Blush in Almond
  • MAC Studiofix Concealer in NC20


  • Too Faced Shadow Insurance
  • Fyrinnae Koala – all over lid
  • Fyrinnae Knickers in a Twist – outer corner and crease
  • Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner in Sepia Ink
  • Clinique Superfine Liner for Brows in Black-Brown
  • Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara in Black


  • Aromaleigh Lip Balm in Italian Blood Orange
  • Dior Rouge Dior Lipstick in Rose Interview

I’m pretty new to the Fyrinnae party, but I must say that my first impression of these colors is that they are phenomenal! I’m already deeply in love with Koala, a rose-y taupe that is somewhat similar to MAC’s Satin Taupe, but better, I think. I may need to place another order, soon, for some more taupe goodness! 🙂

FOTD: Another Blue One!

It is a dreary day here today, so I wanted to do some fun makeup to lift my mood!

This is what I did (click to enlarge):


  • Hourglass Illusion Tinted Moisturizer in Light Beige
  • Dior Diorskin Nude Natural Glow Powder in 022 Cameo
  • Eve Pearl Bronzing Highlight Duo in Classic


  • Too Faced Shadow Insurance
  • Aromaleigh Waltz (En Pointe Collection) – inner corner
  • Aromaleigh Return to Tiffany’s (Hot in the City Collection) – middle of lid
  • Aromaleigh Serenade (En Pointe Collection) – outer corner
  • Aromaleigh Morphing Moon (Les Papillons Collection) – crease
  • Aromaleigh Glowing Luna (Les Papillons Collection) – lightly to highlight
  • Aromaleigh Arabesque (En Pointe Collection) – on lower lashline
  • Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner in Sepia Ink
  • Clinique Superfine Liner for Brows in Black-Brown
  • …and I’m silly and just realized I still need to put mascara on!


  • MAC So This Season lipglass, blotted
  • Dior Creme de Rose Balm

…off to put some mascara on! Hehe!

Review: Aromaleigh – Part 1: Matte Shadows

So I decided it would be best to break down the Aromaleigh review into different parts, I’ll do this one on mattes, then probably work by collection, or other weird logic. We’ll see. For now, on to the mattes!

Aromaleigh has a few different collections containing matte shadows: Pure Eyes Mattes ($7.00 full size), the Carolina Summer Collection (all matte, $7.25 full size), the Retro Hi-Fi Matte Collection ($8.00 full size), and formerly, the Rocks! Sonic Collection had a few matte shades in it’s lineup (this line is not available at the moment as it is being reformulated).

I have shades from all the matte collections except Retro Hi-Fi, and writing this gives me the itch to go get some, now that I realize that I don’t have any from that collection. Most of the mattes I have are from the Carolina Summer Collection, which contains shades that are subdued and lovely; I would consider most of the colors to be almost neutrals, even if they are a color. I also have a few of the Pure Eyes Mattes, but most of them are samples. The Pure Eyes Matte collection is a good place to start color-wise because it has a good range of colors. The Retro Hi-Fi Matte Collection contains all bright, fun shades, and I don’t know why I don’t own some of them! I also own two mattes from the Rocks! Sonic Collection.

Swatches of the shades I own over Too Faced Shadow Insurace, natural light (click to enlarge):

L-R: Bluemonday, Blueorchid; Peach, Latte, Grape, Eros; Starfish, Dune, Catteleya, Willow, Bouganvillea

I divided the swatches by collection: the first two are Rocks! Sonic shades; the next four are Pure Eyes Mattes, and the rest are Carolina Summer shades. My personal favorites are Catteleya, Bouganvillea, and Blueorchid.


Old  logo – New logo

These are all packaged in Aromaleigh’s normal clear plastic 5 gram sifter jars. They have the Aromaleigh logo sticker on top, and a label with the color name, collection (though this doesn’t always match up), and ingredients on the bottom. They come with a sticker seal over the sifter, so they don’t arrive messy. The packaging is pretty standard, in my opinion, though the Aromaleigh stickers do make it look nice and cute, while still professional. I thought the inclusion of the ingredients on the bottom was very nice, as well.

The brand imaging of Aromaleigh has taken big steps just this year with the new logo, new stickers, and even logo-printed tissue paper (so cute!) that orders come wrapped in.

The Product:

The product itself across the shadows is pretty consistent, even across collections (with the exclusion of bluemonday). They are smooth and pigmented, and best of all, NOT chalky! They can be a bit difficult to blend if you aren’t used to working with mattes, but I felt they performed quite well in blend-ability.

They also LAST! These things stay on my lids like no other. I always use an eye primer, but that is true with any brand of shadow I use, and these hold up much better than even my MAC mattes. I can go all day, even sweating, and this stuff stays put and has never creased on me (which is something that happens for me with most shadows, even with a base). This is why for a while I was only using Aromaleigh.

The color selection is also impressive. There are lovely work-appropriate shades in the Carolina Summer Collection, a wide variety of very wearable shades in the Pure Eyes Matte Collection, and super-fun brights in the Retro Hi-Fi Matte Collection. There’s certainly a wide selection, and it can be overwhelming for first-time buyers, so if you are looking into any shadows at Aromaleigh, I would suggest starting with samples ($1), and a lot of them!

The only matte that I own that I don’t love is bluemonday. Compared to every single other matte I’ve tried from Aromaleigh it is the only fail. It is a bit chalky and doesn’t adhere well, though the color is great. Since the Rocks! Sonic line is discontinued for reformulation, though, this product is no longer available, so problem solved (but neither is blueorchid *tear*)! I may look into getting a couple Retro Hi-Fi mattes to indulge my love for a good blue shadow!


I gave Aromaleigh’s mattes a 5/5. Mattes are hard to get right, and these are done perfectly! They are the best mattes I’ve tried in general (except for bluemonday), and for the price and selection, you just can’t beat it.

Edit to add: Forgot to mention — all shadows in this post are either bought by me or were free samples.

Also, for today, the Carolina Summer Collection is 50% off at Aromaleigh (link is not an affiliate)!

FOTD – More new goodies!

I received in the mail yesterday an order I placed ages ago with Editor’s Closet for some Eve Pearl goodies. Of course I wanted to use them right away, so here is what I wore today (wow, bad brow day!):


  • Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer
  • Hourglass Illusion Tinted Moisturizer in Light Beige
  • Eve Pearl Salmon Concealer in Medium
  • Eve Pearl Bronzing Highlighter Trio – swirled together on cheeks


  • NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
  • Eve Pearl The Eye Palette in Diva Eyes – I used the shades Desert Rose (inner 1/2), Cinnamon (outer1/2), and Sugar Plum (crease)
  • Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow in Bone – to highlight
  • Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Liner in Sepia Ink
  • Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara
  • Clinique Superfine Liner for Brows in Black-Brown


  • Eve Pearl Lip Color in Love Story
  • Clinique Long Last Glosswear in Kissyfit

I’m loving the new EP stuff on first try; will do a review after a few more uses!