Friday, May 13, 2016

Sea Witchery with NYX Liquid Suede in Stone Fox

I didn't learn to swim until my first year of college and still can't traverse more than two lengths of a pool without having to rest. Strictly speaking, I'm the last person who should be laying claim to sea witchery of any kind. But that's the great thing about makeup: it allows us to put on and take off as many characters as we wish. And come to think of it, do sea witches even do much swimming? I tend to picture them sitting in murky grottoes surrounded by their eel and seahorse familiars, not doing the backstroke from point A to point B. In any case, I wish I could give you a photo of NYX Liquid Suede in Stone Fox amid drifting seaweed, but the best backdrop I can muster is an old volume of Bakhtin:


I mentioned in my review of Amethyst (which I'm wearing as I type this) that the NYX Liquid Suede range is oddly limited: there are some very bold colors and some very drab ones, and little in between. So despite my love for the formula, I wasn't tempted to add to my Liquid Suede collection until last week, when a sale on NYX combined with a $3 coupon meant that I could score one for about $2.50. Now, any regular reader of Makeup Rehab will tell you that allowing a sale to influence your spending is a rookie mistake. No matter how deep the discount, you're still spending more than $0 and committing to yet another lipstick that you probably won't finish before it expires. I knew all this, but like...whatever.

The two Liquid Suedes that most appealed to me were Stone Fox, a dark teal-gray, and Soft Spoken, a trendy pinkish brown reputed to be a dupe for Kat Von D Lolita (though I couldn't tell you which of the 57 batches of Lolita it's supposed to dupe). I initially bought Soft Spoken, thinking I'd get a lot more wear from it than I would from Stone Fox, but trying it on made me realize that it was meant for warmer complexions than mine:


The lighting isn't great here, but you can see that Soft Spoken pulls very brown and drab on me, tamping down my coloring and making me look even paler than usual. Looking at this photo, I'm reminded of Kate's recent post on "work-appropriate" makeup. She argues that the "natural" colors generally recommended for the office look best on warm, muted complexions, while people with high-contrast coloring look "washed out and weakened" in the same colorshardly the impression anyone wants to give in an interview or presentation. As someone with similar coloring to Kate's, I agree completely with her suggestion that "there's a difference between what's sold as natural [nude lips, soft, neutral eyeshadows, etc.] and what appears natural on an individual." I'm done trying to find my perfect pink-brown lip color, because I don't think it exists. Wearing a lipstick like Soft Spoken, I look soft-spoken, as if I want to fade into the background of whatever room I'm in. Screw that. 

Before returning Soft Spoken, though, I made a few comparison swatches out of curiosity. L-R: Revlon Matte Balms in Fierce and Sultry; Soft Spoken; Topshop Lip Bullet in Motel. It's odd that Soft Spoken looks so dark here, because it seemed much lighter on my lips.


Back went Soft Spoken to CVS, and I picked up Stone Fox instead. It was a momentous purchase: the first lipstick in my collection that contained no red whatsoever. Even my most daring shades—Amethyst, & Other Stories Droguet Purple, MAC Antique Velvet—have a bit of red, which makes them distant cousins to my natural lip shade. Stone Fox, though, is a dark gray with hints of both blue and green, a far cry from anything else I own. Here it is swatched next to Amethyst:


They look identical in opacity here, but Stone Fox's formula is superior to Amethyst's. I have to fiddle with Amethyst to get it perfect: work the first coat into my lips as a stain, add a second coat, wait for that to set, then touch up any bald patches. Stone Fox is opaque straight from the tube. Pigmentation aside, Stone Fox performs similarly to Amethyst: it takes about a minute to set, after which it feels soft and a bit tacky, but not sticky. It doesn't transfer much, it's non-drying, and it stays more or less pristine until I eat. Can't ask for much more than that. Unfortunately, the doefoot applicator isn't the best for achieving a clean outline, as my lip swatch of Stone Fox makes very clear. It's a learning curve!


And just for fun, here's OCC Stained Gloss in Dune over Stone Fox:


In these photos, Stone Fox seems to pull blue (which it does on most people, I think), but in the context of my face, it looks decidedly greener, verging on a grayish teal. Here it is with no other makeup except concealer:


At the risk of sounding completely insane, I'm tempted to say that Stone Fox looks more natural on me than Soft Spoken. It harmonizes with my complexion and eyes, and it provides the same level of contrast that my hair and eyebrows do. It also feels appropriate for the unseasonably gloomy weather we've been having.

Full disclosure, though: I have yet to wear Stone Fox out of the house. I can't help but be influenced by my surroundings, and I live in a stuffy suburb that's far less quirky than most university towns. This doesn't mean that I wear pearls and yoga pants every day (or at all), but it does mean that I'd feel self-conscious wearing Stone Fox on my daily perambulations. 


To the left is the makeup I wore yesterday to the library: NARS Habanera eyeshadow duo (the mint green always makes me think of the ocean), Illamasqua Zygomatic blush, ColourPop Lunch Money highlighter, and ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip in Trap. To the right is the same makeup with Stone Fox in place of Trap. The makeup on the left is already bolder than 95% of the makeup I see on a daily basis, but for some reason I can't take that final step and wear Stone Fox to a place where there's any chance of seeing my students. Maybe I'll just wait until I visit the UK next month: I feel much less awkward wearing eccentric lip colors there.

By the way, I discovered while writing this post that NYX just released a dozen more Liquid Suede shades! I knew it was only a matter of time before they expanded the line a bit. Here's the entire lineup, and here are some swatches of the 12 new ones. Lots of purples and blues, if you're into that sort of thing. Truly weird lip colors—blues, greens, grays—are trickling into the mainstream this year (see also Bite's new shades for summer), and I couldn't be happier. Sea-witch vibes for all!

15 comments:

  1. I had an epiphany just now, looking at your full-face shot. I struggle in my own way with pink-browns, because they are so frequently warm-toned and look anything but natural on my face. My lips are so pale I've had little luck finding an "MLBB" shade that doesn't look stark (and hence I'm curious about a super light, sheer peach in UD's new lineup), and the supposed "neutral" undertone of my skin acts like a flip-flopping traitor (cool pink? nope! warm pink?? haha, nope!). Ramble coming to a close, based on my nonexistent knowledge of your actual face and preferences, I think you should abandon pink-browns for plums. Grey tones and purples. I'm dying to recommend Shiseido Hellebore but it's $$$ and difficult to view in person. Anyway, me and my unasked for two cents are gonna back out of your business.

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    1. I totally agree! The closest thing I have to a perfect MLBB is Urban Decay Rapture, a rosy plum (my designated interview lipstick), and my favorite lipstick of all time is MAC Up the Amp, which has a slight but noticeable gray tone. Knowing that I can abandon the quest for my perfect pink-brown is a welcome revelation.

      Are you not cool-toned? I consider myself cool-ish neutral and I could have sworn you were cooler (in both senses of the word) than me...

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    2. Oh, that I wish I knew. Undertones! I'm probably most accurately in the "cool yellow" range, but I only recently learned that that's a thing, so we'll see.

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    3. I've been told I'm "pale olive," due to my grayish undertones, but I'm way more cool-toned than most olive people. But then I hear that "cool olive" is a thing, so...who knows. All I know is that I look good in purple and bad in orange.

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  2. You look good in all things with a touch of grey! And yes, you do look great in darker/starker colours. I wish I was like that, my dark colours would get lots more love :P

    I really wanted to buy Stone Fox when it first came out but I think it's crazier for me than for you. I'm glad it has a good formula though, and I might consider it if I can get it for next to nothing.

    (BTW, I view Makeuprehab as a guide, not a gospel. If I could get Stone Fox for $2,50 I probably would too, I've been ruminating over it for like a year.

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    1. Well, Stone Fox looks kinda crazy on most people! I still think you should try it if you can get a good price. And yes, gray is one of my favorite neutrals. About 80% of my wardrobe is gray or black...

      MakeupRehab is definitely better as a guide than as a gospel. I'm all for limiting consumption, but not for inducing unnecessary guilt in yourself or others.

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  3. It does look more natural, more harmonious than soft-spoken if that makes sense. This colour feels right on you, like it belongs on your face :) !

    I've given up warm brown and beige a while ago now. Even the warmest gold and copper look terrible on me... I bought a bunch of them when I started wearing more make-up a few years ago, just because these colours are so fascinating... and ended up giving them to my mom !

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    1. Unfortunately, my mom and I have the same coloring (she's even more cool-toned than I am, actually), so I can't give her my too-warm makeup! There are a couple of warm browns that work on me (Revlon Fierce, for instance), but they have to be quite saturated, not pale like Soft-Spoken.

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  4. It's so weird to see the side by side shot of you in Trap and Stone Fox. Stone Fox lends some vibrancy and brightness to your face while not looking clownish. In fact, Stone Fox is more flattering on you than Trap, let alone Soft Spoken. Soft Spoken to you is like Revlon Matte Balm in Sultry to me -- the swatches are bold and beautiful, but they make our faces more muted and even slightly sicky.

    I found the post by morelikespace fascinating. It's a bit difficult to locate her original post on how to identify your coloring though. I tried googling some keywords but it's not helping. I hate to bother you, but do you have it bookmarked? I'd love to read it. Only if it's not an hassle for you, of course.

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    1. I agree, I would have guessed she was wearing bolder/more colorful eye makeup in the last Stone Fox photo than in the Trap photo. So interesting! (I have that same problem with Revlon Sultry, by the way.)

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    2. Well, the lighting was slightly different in the two photos, which could account for the apparent difference in eye makeup! But yes, I do think Stone Fox is a bit more flattering than Trap. I should just go ahead and wear it one day.

      Kate actually has a whole series on identifying your seasonal coloring! Her "sci-art" tag will take you to those posts: http://morelikespace.blogspot.com/search/label/sci-art

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  5. Ahh, Dune looks so good on top of Stone Fox! And it looks really great on a bare face, too. Very editorial. It also really makes the green in your eyeshadow pop compared to Trap, I think. This is all really cool to see!

    The store I work at still doesn't carry NYX, but the next time I can find it I'm going to have to swatch both Amethyst and Stone Fox, both thanks to you. I don't know if I can justify both, though! Especially not since they're like $12 here with no hope of coupons. :(

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    1. Yeah, I don't think I'd spend $12 on Stone Fox, much as I like it. Amethyst is so great, though! But again, maybe not worth $12 if you wouldn't wear it much. I do find that the more I wear it, the more wearable I feel it is. Maybe the same thing will happen with Stone Fox eventually...

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  6. Hey, now, Bakhtin is good shit. Also, damn you for making me want to wear unusual lip colors again. D:

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    1. Bakhtin IS good shit. I'm using his essay on chronotopes for my dissertation intro. And I didn't know you were ever into unusual lip colors!

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