Saturday Spotlight: Molly Cosmetics

With a very special and heartfelt thank you to Molly Cosmetics for taking the time to answer a few questions about makeup and beauty and what it takes to start a cosmetics company, please find to follow a short and sweet interview with one of the two founders of Molly Cosmetics–a new makeup company founded by two best friends and based in Hong Kong.

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They have stunning matte liquid lipsticks and glittery pigments galore, as well as makeup tools like brushes and a blending sponge, all for very affordable prices. If you’d like to learn a little more about how they got started, and where they want to head next, Girl posed a few questions over email and despite how busy they are, and how quickly they’re growing, Molly Cosmetics took the time to answer with enthusiasm.

GD: On your website About page, you mention that Molly Cosmetics was born over lunch and a mutual love of matte liquid lipsticks. How did Molly Cosmetics get its name?
MC: We both agreed that we wanted it to be a girl’s name that was easy to remember, and also sweet. We chose a couple and decided taking ‘Molly’ – not only does Molly sound sweet and friendly, if you think from the point of view of design, ‘M’ looks great in many different fonts, so it really is perfect.
GD: Starting a business from the ground up must be very difficult and time consuming; what does it take to build a cosmetics company from scratch? How has Molly Cosmetics benefited from being founded by two best friends?

MC: All it takes is focus, patience and determination, like any other projects you take on in life. You do research, what your target market needs, what would appeal to them… It is not as difficult as you have imagined, almost anyone can do it with the wish and will to do it! All you need is that passion.

Most people say, don’t start a business with your best friend because sometimes that can hurt your friendship. It could be true, but in our case it didn’t seem like there was any problem. We decided to start the company together because we know each other well, we have total trust in each other, we have very similar likes and dislikes, our values in things are almost identical, and because of all that, we make decisions fast, and even when one is not available, one’s decision is always what the other would have chosen. That was one of the main reasons why we grew faster than expected.
GD: What do you think makes a person beautiful? How does makeup fit in to that ideal?

Everyone is beautiful in their own way! But what is really important is personality!

Makeup enhances one’s features, but like our idol Kevyn Aucoin said, “Let people see your face, not your makeup.” So moderation is the best, define your eyebrows, a little blush, some eyeliner, and lipstick, basically a little lift in your complexion, bringing out the best features in you, and that’s all you need!
GD: How would you like to see Molly Cosmetics grow? Any products you can’t wait to try producing?

MC: We don’t really want it to grow as fast as a rocket. Although we would love to carry many different products, yet like makeup on your face, ‘foundation’ is the most important. We have set goals for ourselves, and we want to steadily achieve one after another. One thing that is certain is that we want to develop into a brand that is perceived as very affordable, fun…versatile products that are suitable for both the general public and professional makeup artists!

We are launching eyelashes and more lip colours in the near future. And one day we would really love to be able to produce eyeliner, eyeshadows and a serious awesome lip care line!

GD: What has been your favorite part about founding a beauty brand, and sending your products out into the world?

When we saw people posting pictures of themselves using our products, and they told us how they loved them and how they have talked about them all day long to their friends and family, it made us realize we did something right, and of course it felt extra good because makeup is our passion, and the coolest part is that Molly Cosmetics had linked us to thousands of ‘strangers’, now our–not fans but–friends, who shared the same love and passion, which we wouldn’t have had connected with in any other way.

More soon,

Girl

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Girl Doesn’t Need an Excuse to Buy Makeup…

…but she’ll find one anyway. This past weekend I was in a car accident that shook me up enough to justify treating myself to something I wanted but definitely didn’t need. I really dig those mini-lip products that come out around the holidays; sets that let you try a bunch of different colors for much less than it would cost to buy one or two of the full sized products. Enter Tarte Dressed to the Nines LipSurgence Lip Creme Gift Set $34.00 at Ulta.

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I now have all three of these Tarte mini LipSurgence holiday sets…the Kiss and Belle set from last year and the Pure Delights set from the year before that and now, of course, this year’s offering: Dressed to the Nines. So far the Kiss and Belle set is my favorite. It came with two mini lip glosses and six lip crayons and I hammed on those glosses so hard that I used them up within a few months. AND that set included both matte and high sheen finishes. The variety made it for me.

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Now, because the colors offered each year are not drastically different enough to justify collecting all three sets (and any future sets to come) I do not recommend that a sane and healthy person horde them all, the way I have. BUT the idea of having an incomplete collection of these little guys, coupled with my true enjoyment of the formula (I have not found a lip crayon-stain-hybrid I like better) and their tiny adorable size, I crossed this set off my wishlist right as soon as I gave myself a reason.

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Tarte offers these crayons in a creme, tint, and matte tint formulas and for the past two years the holiday set has included the tint and matte tint versions. This year they are all creme…a creamier more pigmented version of the same minty, staining lip crayon I know and love.

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Note: Pictures taken in natural light. Products purchased by Girl.

Review: Milani Amore Matte Lip Cremes

Limited Edition Milani Amore Matte Lip Creme $8.99 on Milani.com

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The short of it: These are comfortable and long-lasting but the nude colors are definitely less streaky and easier to wear than the vampy colors.

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(In order from left to right: 01 Crush, 02 Adore, 03 Beloved, 04 Lust)

The claims: This revolutionary, highly saturated liquid-to-matte formula dries to a soft, velvety finish for fuller-looking lips. Its double-sided, flexible plush applicator hugs the contours of lips, working to lock in bold, opaque color. Non-sticky, smooth and ready for all-night wear, the limited edition Amore Matte Lip Crème is the ultimate transfer resistant kiss-me-matte.

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(In order from left to right: 05 Embrace, 07 Romance, 06 Desire, 08 Flirt)

The long of it: I really lucked out with these. The CVS where I found them must have JUST set them out because the display was full. AND they rang up for only $2.99 a piece. WHAT?!?

They smell like cherry cola? Or maybe a rootbeer float? Something a little sickly sweet. The smell dissipates eventually but if you’re sensitive to smell these might be too offensive.

The colors range from pink-nude to deep wine, and while I only found a few I can comfortably pull off, I think the selection of colors is really decent for a Fall-released eight-option limited-edition set of liquid lipsticks

The applicator is a flat (double-sided) plush and it isn’t the easiest wand to use. These liquid  lipsticks are very, well, liquid-y and the wand doesn’t make precise application totally feasible. This is not the sort of product you can slap on as you rush out the door.

The wear on these is by far the best part. The lighter shades go on opaque and have only come off my face with an oil cleanser or by eating greasy foods. Additionally, reapplication looks just as good as the first time around…there isn’t any bunching or crumbling or weird pilling of product because of a second layer. And they aren’t drying!

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(From top to bottom: 01 Crush (warm brick brown), 02 Adore (pink nude), 03 Beloved (brown rose), 04 Lust (cool rose)).

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(From top to bottom: 05 Embrace (deep reddish plum), 06 Desire (bright red), 07 Romance (deep red), 08 Flirt (deep vampy wine)).

As you can see from the swatches, the darker colors are streaky. The reds and purples photograph similarly but are different enough in person that if you wear those colors, it is worth getting both. Purple lips are not a statement I can make, or if I can I choose not to. And I’m only newly experimenting with red lips, so the fact that the darker colors are a little disappointing is not really an issue for me.

My favorites are by far Beloved and Lust, and they were more than worth the $2.99 price tag.

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Note: Pictures taken in natural light. Products purchased by Girl.

Girl’s Summer Favorites

It’s finally September. The nights here are getting cooler, my sweaters are coming unboxed, pumpkin spice everything is on its way. And while I don’t have enough makeup (yet!) to make monthly favorites worth the post, I can more than fill you up on seasonal favorites. These are the things I’ve really enjoyed over the course of my summer:

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Books and beauty products are two of my most loved functional art objects.

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Stay, Illusion by Lucie Brock-Broido is a book of really stunning, eerie poetry. “Each child still has one lantern inside lit. May the Mother not / Blow her children out.”

And the It Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Vol 1 Matte Luxe Transforming Eye Shadow Palette…really soft, nicely pigmented, totally wearable matte shadows. I really really like these colors, even if they are housed in a weirdly puffy fleshy pink velvet palette.

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The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton is also a breathtaking and eerie book, this one fiction set in the late 1600s. Highly highly recommend if you like historical fiction, or poetic prose, or mystery, or magic realism.

Luna Sleeping Night Oil by Sunday Riley is worth every penny. I saw results in a couple days and my skin only continues to get better.

L’Oréal Infallible Pro Matte 24HR Foundation is my very favorite foundation. Ever. I have to mix two shades to get a match but totally worth the hassle.

Tarte Showstopper Clay Palette isn’t something I needed in my life but with Ulta points and coupons I got it for a decent discount and I’m glad I’ve gotten to play with it. The shadows are pretty and soft and the palette travels well.

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At the Mouth of the River of Bees by Kij Johnson is a collection of strange and haunting short stories, each one more bizarre and heart-breaking than the next.

That H&M gold spike necklace has rarely left my neck.

My two favorite nail polishes for the summer were L’Oréal 109 Orange You Jealous and Essie Cashmere Matte in Comfy in Cashmere. The coral color I wore on my toes almost constantly, but the Essie Cashmere Matte colors chip within only hours of drying so I wore that color only when I was prepared for the upkeep.

The Malin + Goetz mojito lip balm came in an Ipsy and it is by far the best lip treatment I have ever used. It has a gel-like texture and I only wear it at night because it is thick…but it smells and tastes delicious, and it restores my lips to their full health in a single night, despite whatever moisture sucking liquid lipstick I wore that day.

Rimmel’s Stay Matte Powder in translucent is a new product to me, even though it has been a cult favorite for so long. I don’t like caking powder on top of my foundation, I always feel like it makes my makeup look unnatural and heavy. But I’m giving this one the chance to change my mind. I think it’s working.

Last are the two lip colors I have been wearing most often, NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Cannes (a mauvy nude) and Jordana Modern Matte in Matte Bare ( a dusty pink nude). I loved both of these (very similar!) colors even though they seem to be more Autumn-appropraite than summer-bright. But Girl does what she wants.

More soon,

Girl

Girl Doesn’t Have an Expensive Face

These are the products I’ve been using on an everyday basis, with slight variations to lip color or mascara. I’ve included only products I’ve purchased myself, excluding anything I’ve gotten from a subscription service to provide an accurate idea of the “cost” of my face.

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Primer: Smashbox Photo Finish More Than Primer Blemish Control $16.00 at Sephora.

Foundation: L’Oréal Infaillible Pro-Matte Foundation (In 101 Classic Ivory & 102 Shell Beige) $11.99 at Target.

Eye Shadow: It Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Vol 1 Palette $42.00 at Ulta.

Mascara: Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies Mascara $6.99 at Ulta. 

Lip Treatment: Smith’s Rosebud Salve $6.00 at Sephora.

Lip Gloss: NYX Butter Gloss (in Créme Brûlée) $4.99 at Ulta.

Lip Cream: NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream (In Zurich) $5.99 at Ulta.

Total across three stores (not including taxes!): $105.95

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EXCEPT GIRL DOESN’T PAY FULL PRICE IF SHE DOESN’T HAAAAAVVEE TOO!!

So, from Sephora and Target I bought primer and foundation and lip salve at full price because I’d convinced myself I needed those things exactly at that moment and couldn’t wait for deals or coupons. When I repurchase the foundation I will wait until Ulta has L’Oréal at 40% off, or at least buy-one-get-one at 50 % off.

Everything I purchased from Ulta was discounted first by deals and then by coupons because Ulta always has a $3.50 off $10.00 or 20% off one item coupon running. The eyeshadow palette was on super-deal one day only for 50% off and I snatched it off their website. I had to pay shipping but. worth. it. The lip products and the mascara were all purchased during 40% off “brand” sales which Ulta does periodically with the drugstore brands they carry.

Primer: $16.00

Foundation: $23.98

Eye Shadow: $26.95

Mascara: $4.19

Lip Treatment: $6.00

Lip Gloss: 2.99

Lip Cream: $3.59

Total (not including taxes or coupons!): $83.70

Taking into account that mascara should only live to be 3 months old (but who actually throws out half a tube of perfectly useable mascara?) and that primer is a half size but that the eye shadow and lip products have much longer lasting power… if these potions and tinctures lasted me an average of sixth months and I wore them seven days a week, my face costs about $0.46 a day.

Note: Pictures taken in natural light. Products purchased by Girl.