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

Girl Doesn’t Like This Stuff

This is going to be a quick one, so I can’t even call it a review. I got my hands on the new Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft-Matte Hydrating Foundation ($10.99 at Ulta) and got the foundation on my face and was immediately disappointed.

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I have very oily skin, and large pores on my cheeks and nose, and the stubborn scars left by acne and this foundation accentuated every one of those trouble issues, settling into and exaggerating every imperfection while simultaneously sliding around my face until I was a patchy, cakey mess. This foundation made me miserable to be wearing it, and I couldn’t even be bothered to give it a second chance.

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Here are swatches of the two lightest shades, for your viewing pleasure. The texture was moussey and soft, and reminded me of a thinner version of the Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation (surprise, that foundation was awful for me as well) and there seemed to be a decent color selection.

I had high expectations for this foundation (Velvet Matte anything should be my jam) but it was really just an unmitigated disaster. 0/5 would-not-reccomend.

Review: L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Gloss

L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Gloss $9.99 at Ulta.

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The short of it: THESE ARE PERFECT GETTHEMNOWOMG!!!

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The long of it: If you’ve spent any time here at GirlDoesn’t, then you might be familiar with how consistently I bargain shop…I wait for coupons and sales and steadfastly refuse to pay full price for something I know I can get much cheaper if I can only be patient.

These beauties changed that game for me. I couldn’t wait. At $10 a pop these are half the price of most mid-range to high-end liquid lipsticks, so they aren’t, by comparison with the popular Stila and Kat Von D and Ofra and Lime Crime liquid lipsticks, break-the-bank expensive, and if you were to walk out of a drugstore with one new lipstick in your purse, then $10 bucks is totally reasonable.

But Girl isn’t totally reasonable. And I can’t walk away with just one new lipstick in my purse.

L’Oreal often goes on sale BOGO 50% off and about three times a year goes 40% off at Ulta so I KNOW I can get these for between 6 or 7.5 dollars if I’m patient–which is much much less than what they’re worth. And when you seem to buy lippies in bulk like I do…well 6 dollars x 10 hurts a lot less than 10 dollars x 10. And I love makeup but even with the excuse “I can write about these on my blog!” I can’t rationalize spending $100 dollars on lipstick in one go.

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So, I made away with four…three nudes and a bright red. These have a whipped creamy texture, a slightly fruity smell, go on like a gloss (with plenty of time to play before they set), are wonderfully opaque and not at all even a little bit streaky, and go matte but never quite dry so even hours later you can rub your lips together and feel the creamy gloss (instead of the dry flakes of a traditional matte liquid lipstick), AND they leave behind a soft lovely stain which means they fade gracefully (important if you forget you’re wearing these and that you might want to touch up, because they are that damn comfortable). They aren’t kiss-proof but then I didn’t pay forty bucks for these to waste them on Boyfriend’s mouth.

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If the stunning formula isn’t enough to convince you, this applicator should do it. I haven’t used a wand as perfect as the one you see above. The little well in the middle holds the right amount of product to get your pout in one go (so no double dipping required) and it’s the exact right shape to get full, sweeping color or tuck into the corners of your mouth and cupid’s bow.

Seriously, get your hands on a couple of these. Or all of them.

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

Review: Stila Perfectly Poreless Putty Perfecter

Still Perfectly Poreless Putty Perfecter $39.00 at Ulta. stila1 The short of it: Get thee to a Stila retailer and try this right. now. stila2 The claims: This first-to-market, skin-perfecting, natural matte foundation has an innovative bouncy, putty texture which allows perfect pickup and buildable, undetectable coverage that looks like skin, not makeup. It goes on like a cream and blends seamlessly with a powder-soft mattified finish that doesn’t feel like you’re wearing foundation. Complexion instantly looks smoother, and imperfections and uneven skin tone virtually disappear, for a poreless, perfected skin appearance. Oil free. stila3 The long of it: I was instantly thrilled with this product. I couldn’t decide between the fair and light shades when I was in Ulta and after swatching this weird gunk on my hands and wrists and arms a lady in black came armed with swabs to help me out. She said “Go with the fair.” and I didn’t listen. Both of them blended well into my jaw line but the fair shade was just a little but too pale for my comfort zone. I walked out with light and took pictures before sticking my finger into this play-dough-esque-not-quite-a-cream-not-quite-a-powder moldable hybrid of a primer or foundation or setting [balm? powder? I don’t know.] mystery magic product of joy. Stila claims you can wear this under or over foundation, or as your foundation, and after wearing it a few different ways (though never “over” anything other than primer) I like to wear it best on its own.

stila4Using the sponge that comes in the compact (protected from the actual product by that clear cap) I just swipe in the product a few times, swipe across my face, and blend outwards towards my temples and neck. The first swipe shows all the divots where my pores are enlarged which was alarming the first time I played with it, but the second swipe is like magic…my complexion tone and texture is smoothed and my redness is concealed and it looks and feels like I’m wearing NOTHING. For the first few hours of wear this wizard-putty is invisible on my skin. It keeps me matte for about four hours before it starts to look a little dewy (though nothing alarming) and it starts to break down around hour six or seven and by “breakdown” I mean it starts to look a little powdery upon close inspection.

I am all about lazy girl makeup and this is in every way a wonder product for those of us who can’t or won’t take the time to maticulously layer on products in the morning. There is nothing else like it (that I’ve been able to find) and while $39.00 isn’t outrageous for a higher end foundation (or primer? or setting…something?) it is still a pricey product for someone accustom to drugstore prices, especially because you only get right under .4 oz of product. But a little goes a long way and I think this putty is worth every penny. The only real downfall is the shit shade range. I would comfortably fit between the fair and light shades and while I’m more than willing to work with what is available, I think that for such a great product, Stila should make it fit more skin tones.

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

Girl Doesn’t Do Any Ol’ Eye Shadow Palette

I’m discerning when it comes to, well, everything. I’m picky. I know what I like. And when it is time to spend my money on anything (but really, we’re talking cosmetics/skincare), I only want to invest in products that can hold up to my expectations. I’m not a try-it-and-see-if-I-like-it type. I’m a research-the-fuck-out-of-it-and-if-after-weeks-I-still-think-I-neeeeeed-it-then-maybe-I’ll-bite-the-bullet-and-buy-it type.

That’s how I got into blogging, I guess. I saw how useful the beauty blogging/vlogging world could be when it came to making well-informed choices and finding quality products worth their price tag.

For palettes in particular, I have…not so much rules as general guidelines. Packaging matters to me. Not just aesthetically, though that has serious value, but ergonomically as well. I want the design of my palette to inspire just as much as I want it to be comfortable and easy to use. For me that means shadows organized in a way that appeals to my personal taste (which is hard to nail down…) and isn’t overwhelming. Too many shadows can be just as bad as too few, I think. If I open a palette and have too many options (think any E.L.F palette over 12 shadows…) I set it down and reach for something else.

As well I don’t like bulky or gigantic palettes (think Too Faced), or palettes made of nonsensical material (velvet?!) or palettes that include extra space for that double ended brush that never gets any use. Why should I pay for that junk? I don’t need it, I don’t want it, and I have other options.

It helps to have these “guidelines” because it means I’m not spending as much as I would be otherwise. It narrows down my available avenues, keeping me and my budget in check. As well, it keeps my “collection” small. I want to do more with less and being picky helps me achieve that goal without feeling like I’m missing out on something.

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These are palettes I’ve been eyeing lately and they adhere to the guidelines I’ve come to follow. 1. Kat Von D Monarch Eyeshadow Palette $46 at Sephora

I like the look of this palette, the packaging is eye-catching and user-friendly and the autumn colors are my particular kind of jam. I think if I ever invest, I would get a lot of use out of this. Plus, the names of these shadows! Entomology (matte cream), Telepathy (pearl gold), Tiny Death (glitter cream), Wrath (deep pearl orange), Papilio (pearl chocolate), Summerfly (glitter gold), Killing Jar (pearl copper), Delaney (pearl silver), Vanish (matte taupe), Disintegration (pearl brown), Shadow Box (matte chocolate), Deadhead (matte black).

2. Stila Eyes are the Window Shadow Palette in Mind $49 at Sephora

This palette is all matte, which I dig. It looks similar to the Monarch palette in terms of shade range, but I can’t help liking those warm toned browns and oranges with the contrast of cool toned grays and taupes. The packaging is sleek and would likely hold up better than the cardboard of Kat’s palette but I don’t know if I would ever take the plunge and pay fifty monies for it. I like it, I want it, but something keeps me from thinking I would get enough use out of it for the cost. It could be the way the colors are placed that doesn’t completely inspire me to want to smear them on my face, no matter how thoroughly I enjoy them individually.

3. Viseart Eyeshadow Palette in Neutral Matte $80 at Sephora

Oh look, another neutral matte browns palette with a pleasant pop of orange. There is no way I would spend 80 dollars on an eyeshadow palette but that doesn’t mean I won’t window shop this little guy. Similar again in color range, and I should think you don’t need both the Stila palette AND this one but a girl can day dream. Viseart claims to create makeup formulas that harness the best of natural and organic resources with modern technology (yay good for you ingredients) and they are an artisan brand from Paris (ooooh, French cosmetics). There is something appealing to me about all of that, which adds an allure to this palette that the other (less “artisanal” la de da) palettes lack. Extra points for marketing?

More soon,

Girl