Nubar’s Venetian Glass Fall ’10: Arencia

Posted in Personal, Reviews on July 13, 2011 by manupmakeup

(Working through reviewing some older varnishes out of my case to resist the temptation to buy more!)

I love the colour of this.  Unfortunately, this particular application of it fell prey to our Argentine red tegu, Sherman – of which more later….

It’s a really rich orange, definitely more at the red end of the spectrum, with glowing coppery-gold flecks.  It reminds me of a fire: the embers and the sparks.  There’s a real depth to it.  Here’s a sloppy application done while watching TV just to give an impression of the colour.  (One of the things I want to show with this blog is that you don’t have to have any amazing glamour!skills – and I certainly don’t! – you can still have epic amounts of fun with makeup.)

It went on very easily (the brush is great), though I did find it a little on the light side.  I needed to put three coats on to get it opaque – if you don’t mind having it slightly translucent, you could easily get away with two.

The real downside is that you definitely can’t skip a topcoat – something I learned wearing it before.  This is a shame, because I like the less-shiny finish, but if you don’t use a topcoat it’ll die in short order.

This was demonstrated by tonight’s antics with the tegu.  I’d just finished putting on this messy application when we realised it was time to feed the tegu.  At this point, I’ll introduce Sherman:

At about four feet, he’s quite a sizeable beast.  However, he’s incredibly docile and spends most of his time sleeping in strange corners of the house (we let him roam free when he’s not in his cage soaking up UV rays and basking after he’s eaten).  Here you can see him sleeping on the sofa:

So here I was, slopping varnish onto my nails, when my Beloved Wife announces that it’s time to feed the tegu.  (He’s so soft he’ll only eat from someone’s hand.)  Which means finding where he’s hidden and hauling him out.  So a few minutes later we find him behind some book boxes…and he stinks.  Time for a bath!

I am here to tell you that Nubar’s Venetian Glass Fall ’10 Arencia without a topcoat cannot survive bathing a large smelly South American lizard.

Only one thing for it – OPI’s Black Shatter to the rescue.  (The only good thing ever to be associated with Katy Perry, in my opinion.)  I thought afterwards I should have used Silver Shatter, so that I matched Sherman. XD

And so the day was saved.  And yes, Sherman smells *much* better now!

Postscript: I got both these polishes through the awesome Pretty Indulgent, who I can’t recommend enough!



Posted in Blog Business on July 12, 2011 by manupmakeup

Over time, I’m also going to open this blog up to other chap-type-people who wear makeup as guest reviewers – there’s not enough of our voices out there. 🙂

Nyx Pump It Up Lip Plumper or, the killer bees

Posted in Reviews with tags , on July 12, 2011 by manupmakeup

So I ended up with this stuff – Nyx Pump It Up Lip Plumper in Angelina – inadvertently, and I thought I’d try it since the colour is so pretty.  I’ve never tried a lip plumper, even though my lips are a bit on the shite side on that front.  So I figured, why not give it a try?  It can’t hurt, can it?

Can it fuck.

The colour in the tube is gorgeous, a pearlescent rose-gold.  Here’s a swatch on skin:

You can see it in the tube on the right here:

So I put this stuff on my lips, and it’s really pretty, a sort of pale gold iridescence that already makes my lips look larger.  It slicks on easily, precisely, with the spongy applicator; it’s not too thick or sticky, but it’s not runny either.  I figure I’ll put a fair amount on – it looks nice, and it can’t hurt, right?

And then it starts to tingle.  Okay, we’re doing alright here.  Tingling I can do.  And then the tingle gets a little bit more.  And then a little bit more.  And a little bit more.

By now it’s like when you’ve eaten something really spicy and your lips are on fire.  It’s definitely crossing the edge into painful – not agonising, but definitely smarting.  I’m pretty sure this is not what is meant by “bee-stung lips”.  I back up from the mirror, alarmed, and straight into my wife’s shirt that’s hanging to dry on the shower rail.  By the time I disentangle myself from the sleeves (don’t get lip plumper on it!  Don’t get lip plumper on it!) the chillies-pain has died down into a slight burn.  It’s not actually an unpleasant feeling.

It did stop burning mildly after about ten minutes, and just tingled after that for about half an hour, and then I didn’t notice it any more.  (However, shortly after I put it on I ate a burger and licked my lips a few times.  And now my tongue is burning.  Fail.)

It DEFINITELY had an effect, though, which was even discernible the next morning.  The colour/sparkle didn’t stay on long, but my lips were noticeably pinker from the increased blood flow.  I was surprised to find that I like the effect: I don’t normally like how my lips look in lipstick, so applying this a while before I apply lipstick might actually make a difference.  I’m going to keep it in my arsenal for now; I just wish the colour stuck around longer.

(I’m afraid I forgot to take before-and-after shots, and now my lips are showing the effects.  If I use it another time, I’ll try and remember!)

Final thoughts: for the love of god don’t give anyone head when you’ve just applied this.

Everyday makeup

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , on July 12, 2011 by manupmakeup

So I thought I’d post the kind of thing I wear quite often on an average day.  I like to wear a bit of makeup if I feel in need of a pick-me-up, but I don’t always want it to be particularly noticeable because I risk coming in for queerbashing if it is.  (The city I’m living in is pretty liberal, but I’ve had bad experiences in the past.)  There’ll be more exciting looks coming in later posts.

So an example of what I might wear on a regular day if I’m not going out anywhere in particular:

The shadows (on the right) are CoverGirl’s Smoky ShadowBlast in Bronze Fire.  They look pretty sparkly under a flash, as you can see here, but without direct light and applied sparingly they’re pretty subtle, which is good for my purposes – and they still have a nice pearly shimmer when the light does catch them.  I like these shadow sticks, which twist up like a lipstick, because they’re so convenient and easy to apply.  The thinner end does blunt down fast, though, which makes precision application trickier.

The eyeliner is just a cheap one I picked up in a sale somewhere – by a company called Theatre, in 081 Brown colourway.  In warmer weather like this it does go on smoothly, though, and again is quite subtle.

As you can see, I could get away with looking like I wasn’t wearing any makeup, but there’s just enough for me to be able to feel I’ve smartened up a bit.

I often put a touch of something on my lips, too.  My lips get majorly rough and cracked, so I’ve been using things that’re a little bit moisturising for me.  Here’s L’Oreal’s Colour Juice lipgloss in Caramel Creme:

As the picture shows, it’s quite gloopy, well-pigmented with a nice iridescent shimmer.  On, it looks like this:

It has a sweet, caramelly, very slightly fruity flavour (my wife commented on it favourably when she kissed me) which is very pleasant.  The tube has a flat slanting top for application, which helps in getting it on precisely.  And as it has SPF15, it helps stop my lips cracking and generally feeling like shite.  I’m interested in trying it over another product next.

Do note that it *is* a bit sticky, so if you’re not a fan of that it might be one to avoid.

I haven’t had any grief when wearing any of this – I’ve actually had some compliments on my appearance from people who haven’t even realised I’m wearing makeup!

You can see the packaging here (together with something I’ll be reviewing in the next post):

Introducing myself

Posted in Blog Business, Personal with tags on July 12, 2011 by manupmakeup

I’m J, and I’m one of those rare birds: a man who likes makeup.

I’ve worn makeup on and off since my early teens.  I’ve had about a decade off, for various reasons, and now I’m tentatively heading back into the fray.  And chronicling my adventures here.

To dispel the assumptions that people tend to make: I’m not a drag queen, though I’m interested in drag from time to time. I’m not, actually, gay – I’m a bisexual man married to a woman. I’m not Terribly Glamorous: I like to dress up from time to time, but more often I can be found in cutoffs and a tshirt channeling Foul Bachelor Frog or ruining my nail varnish growing veggies in the garden.

(On the other hand, I really like sparkly things, cute kitties, My Little Pony – and makeup.  Go figure.)

I’ll be trying and reviewing things from indie etsy eye shadows to mainstream drugstore cosmetics to (when I can afford it) fancy-schmancy shit.  As well as reviews, I’ll also be blogging about what it’s like to be a man who likes makeup in this society.  Thus the name “ManUp” – something that those of us who don’t conform to male gender expectations get told.  Well, screw you: I’ll man up with makeup, and look fabulous doing it.

Don’t expect deep knowledge, amazing photos, neat eyebrows or flawless skin.  Do expect a wild, humorous, peculiar and occasionally foul-mouthed ride.