September 30, 2014
MY SEPTEMBER FAVORITES

MY SEPTEMBER FAVORITES


Well, well... here we are again. Another month has come and passed, we've officially said goodbye to summer and have spent the last thirty days easing ourselves back into our usual routines. September was a month full of new releases, but seeing as I've been super busy, I kept reaching for some of my fail-proof makeup and beauty staples. I finished up some products during the month (quite the feat for a beauty blogger) so I have pulled a fare few from the archives to have their turn in the spotlight.

Makeup Favorites // For face, I must say, with the exception of a stunning new release (you may have seen my Diorskin Star review) I have been on a Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet kick! I'm not sorry about it at all, and I know I continually mention this sleek little bottle, but what's a favorites roundup without your actual favorite product? There has also been a beauty of an eyeshadow palette thrust into the forefront, the Bobbi Brown Smokey Nudes Palette, for its ability to create such a great range of looks. There are the perfect amount of daytime appropriate shades, mixed with a few ideal chocolatey toned shadows for creating a bolder look come nighttime.

On mornings that I've hit snooze too many times, I've been swiping on the Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon in the shade Champagne Diamonds to brighten things up and create a finished look with only one product. My lip color du jour has been the Burberry Lip Mist in Field Rose, which is pretty much the most perfect everyday lip color for me, ever, so I'm kinda excited about it. I like a good lipstick for day time that I can swipe on and forget about, and this is definitely one of those. My perfect transitional blush shade has come courtesy of the Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm in Plumped Up Peony, a creamy, yet oil-free, blush that livens things up in an instant. Lazy girls, look out for this one!

Hair & Skin Favorites // I have yet to show you, but this month I went for the chop. I had been lusting over a long bob for quite some time and finally took the plunge, and I'm quite pleased with the results. Ever since, I've been messing with some products that have been adding some texture to my otherwise shapely cut, and my Bumble and Bumble Semisumo has been well-loved again. I like to create a second day hair look but still keep the cleanliness of first day hair, and this is great for just that.

I've also swapped out my coconut body lotion for my Lush Vanilla Dee-Lite, which is a bit more fall appropriate and soaks into the skin like an absolute dream. My fragrance always switches with the seasons, and right now I'm loving the feminine/masculine mix of Diptyque's Geranium Odorata. To me, all of Diptyque's scents are pretty transitional and versatile, so I enjoy changing them up based on my mood and the season. Oh, and confession - I've been eyeing up two Byredo scents, Seven Veils and Gypsy Water, and the Bibliotheque candle and I'm not quite sure whether or not to make the purchase or if it's just a gorgeous packaging-induced lust-session. Advice...anyone? 
September 28, 2014
MARC JACOBS MAKEUP: WHAT TO BUY

MARC JACOBS MAKEUP: WHAT TO BUY


Marc Jacobs Beauty is a brand that has been around long enough by now to earn industry accolades and, more importantly, a place in the hearts of beauty lovers everywhere. I have had a little run around the block with the brand myself, a love affair with their foundation, and yes, the packaging that's every bit as cute, sleek, and mod as the iconic fashion line. Did I mention the compacts give off the most satisfying "clicking" noise when closed? Yup, you know the sound...

While having a little reorganization of my beauty archives the other day, I got to thinking about what items from the brand are my favorites, and what advice I would give to someone entirely new to the brand. First off, here is what I have tried from the line: Marc Jacobs Genius Gel Foundation (pictured above is my second bottle of the stuff), Marc Jacobs Lust for Lacquer Lip Vinyls in a few colors, Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel in Roleplay, Marc Jacobs Style Eye-con No. 7 - Plush Shadow in the Vamp, and Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon in Ro(Cocoa). I can only speak from my experience with the products I mentioned, but let me tell you, overall I have been pretty impressed by the brand. For reasons I'm not quite sure of myself, I was not expecting much more than awesome packaging when it came to this line, so I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the formulas. 

When the range first hit Sephora stores a little over a year ago I couldn't resist picking up a few pieces to try. I purchased the eyeshadow palette and a lipgloss, and out of the two, only found the lipgloss to be a must have for me. Unfortunately, I consider the eyeshadows to be the lowest performing of all the products I have tested from the brand. I find them to be a bit patchy when applied, and I'm not sure if it was a poor color choice that left me wanting more, but I have been afraid to try them again ever since. You know, considering they're not exactly a bargain purchase. On the other hand, having literally been lost in the world of foundations, I resorted to being matched in-store and after being handed a bottle of the oil-free goodness that is the Genius Gel, I fell in love. I used up an entire bottle before New Years rolled around - the finish is a long lasting, satiny matte that leaves the skin feeling plumped up from the added anti-aging skincare ingredients. My most recent addition from the brand is the Highliner eyeliner, which has quickly risen to the top of my eyeliner ranks, gracing my tightline nonstop over the past few weeks. The formula is a non-drag gel texture that doesn't budge once it has set, making it perfect for those often long week days. 

That being said, if I were to choose only one of Marc's lustworthy products, it would have to be the Lovemarc Lip Gel lipsticks. These beauties are like the lions of the lipstick kingdom in my opinion; creamy as can be in consistency, but still sitting on the lips like a gel, helping lock in hydrating sultry color for hours. Oh, and they smell like cupcake frosting, which never hurt anyone...
September 27, 2014
DOUBLE CLEANSE FOR HAPPIER SKIN

DOUBLE CLEANSE FOR HAPPIER SKIN


I'll spare you the details, but one measly breakout used to throw me into a state of desperation, during which I'd scrub the hell out of my skin with harsh cleansers hoping that my blemish would surrender to all of the chemicals. I'm sure this story is all too familiar to you, and well, needless to say my skin would fight back and toss me another round of blemishes to battle. It just wasn't going to give up so easily. 

I'm happy to say that, while those blemishes are now fewer and farther between (I'm knocking on wood as we speak) I have realized it's not at all about the quick fix. I now make sure that there is never any gunk left behind on my skin that would cause my skin any anger, or harm, by double cleansing. No, this does not mean grabbing some makeup wipes and swiping over your face twice instead of just once. It means spending a bit more time cleaning up your face at the end of each day. Piling on makeup day in and day out will cause a buildup of gunk in those pores if you don't work to get rid of it. It's gross, but it's just the truth. 

I double cleanse every single night now; the first step being my Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm and the next, any gentle soap-free foaming cleanser. For this, my current favorite is the Avene Cleanance Gel, a soap free pH balancing gel that lathers up just enough to remove any of the oily film that may have been left behind by the balm. The combination of the more nourishing balm and the residue-removing cleanser really leaves my skin in the perfect state of harmony; it's ultra cleansed but never dry or stripped of its' natural oils. For good measure, every other day I use my Clarisonic Mia 2 in conjunction with my foaming cleanser just to work some exfoliating magic...and my skin couldn't be happier. No more messing with chemical-laden cleansers that only lead to more breakouts, try something more gentle and just take some time to tend to the skin a bit more. Another words, love your skin and it will love you back. 
September 25, 2014
MY TOP FIVE MAC LIPSTICKS

MY TOP FIVE MAC LIPSTICKS


I think that this is pretty much a standard for any beauty lover; tackling the MAC lipstick collection. With so many shades available, and new ones popping up what seems like multiple times a month, it can be a daunting task to weed through and pick your favorites. Certain shades are loved by all, others are more taste-specific, and this roundup of my top five includes a few from each aforementioned category. Lets get this MAC party started, shall we

My affair with these lipsticks began when I was in high school; I would venture around 45 minutes from home to get myself to a mall that had a MAC counter. Luckily for me, not so much for my wallet (tear, tear) my local mall has upgraded a wee bit, gifting us a MAC counter with music bumping and all. Back then I had to have the shade Snob after seeing it crop up in just about every celebrity makeup look in my good old teen magazines. Lets just say that wasn't my best shade choice, a bit too white based and chalky for my tastes, but nowadays, I look to the brand for peachy pinks and creamy neutrals whenever I am sick and tired of what's already in my stocks. Oh, and of course - for some of the best reds and brights possibly, ever. 

From Left // Creme In Your Coffee is the perfect browny pink that is currently my go-to fall shade. Shy Girl is a classic nudey pink that is the "my lips but better shade" on every it girl's lips. Ruby Woo is the perfect little black dress of red lipsticks - it will never go out of style - or budge from your mouth once applied. Fresh Brew is an androgynous taupey brown shade that's ah-mazing for a bit of a 90's lip. Peach Blossom is my spring pout bottled up, although it's great year-round peach that brightens the complexion and just makes me...happy

So now that I shared my favorites, I want to know yours. It's only fair. Am I missing anything amazing that should've made it in my top five but didn't? 
September 23, 2014
DIORSKIN STAR FOUNDATION REVIEW

DIORSKIN STAR FOUNDATION REVIEW


You may have noticed the influx of new foundation releases recently, all promising lightweight, long-lasting, glowy coverage. Sounds good, no? It does, but, it's always the question of whether or not to spend the money weeding through those to find which suits you...the struggle.

The Dior Star Foundation is the brand's latest launch, and is their take on this emerging trend in the foundation category. I've been testing this for the past few weeks, and since its induction into my stash only one other base has had a turn on my face - and that was my trusty Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet. I was a bit skeptical about trying this out, thinking it might be similar to the Diorskin Forever foundation, but lucky me - it's unlike any other in my collection.

Dior has positioned this as "its first brightening foundation: a weightless fluid capable of recreating the spectacular and perfecting light of Dior's studios. The complexion is instantly more luminous and visibly more even. A new generation of hollow silica beads captures and diffuses light in a correcting halo with no shine. At the same time, colour-filter pigments neutralize colour imbalances to recreate the perfect light. The complexion is clarified with a purer, more dazzling and long-lasting light. Anti-'Light-trap' skincare ingredients help reduce the appearance of dark areas, pigment spots and redness."

Marketing jargon aside: I find this foundation to be incredibly lightweight, with the level of coverage you would expect from a slightly heavier medium foundation. It adds radiance and evens out skin tone well, but still manages to look very natural under any lighting. Just be warned, if you are  looking for something to cover more major blemishes and imperfections, this is not going to be your savior. I love it, but save for the odd blemish I get now and again, I have pretty clear skin overall and this does the job of just making any discolorations I may have much less obvious. This is more of a 'light-inducing blurring skin tint' than it is a full coverage foundation and it's an amazing one at that. It's dewy without ever looking greasy, glowy without the glimmer, and semi-matte without looking too heavy. I guess you could say it's sort of everything I could ever ask for from a high-tech and modern foundation.

Another "oui" for Dior, quel surprise
September 21, 2014
THE WEEKEND FIVE

THE WEEKEND FIVE


The weekend hits and, while we would love to take the time to test all the products we've accumulated over the past months, we take it as an opportunity to take things down a notch on the makeup front. I am someone who likes to always at least rock a bit of mascara, for fear of looking shear alien-like without it. However, I do enjoy a bit of "no makeup, makeup" every now and again - you know - just the right products to help us look our best while not trying to achieve any particular look. 

The five products I have here are what I've been wearing since Friday's "work's over" bell rang metaphorically in my head. A bit of complexion enhancement and with things cooling down, the powder isn't as necessary as it had been during those more humid days. To me, weekend beauty is the embodiment of looking well rested, but like you couldn't be too bothered to look ah-mazing either. This means I skip my usual morning moisturizer and instead, reach for my Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer for a refreshed, lively, and moisturized complexion. This is a tinted moisturizer to be noted; it brightens up my complexion, never looks cakey, and almost lends a soft focus to imperfections while creating a jealousy-inducing complexion. On any areas that need a bit of extra coverage or light I use my Givenchy Mister Light Instant Light Corrective Pen and I'm good to go and still look like I'm wearing nothing on my face at all. For eye definition, there's nothing better for lazy times than a creamy eyeshadow stick, my favorite of the moment being the By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Misty Rock. It provides a sheer, indelible wash of lived-in color on the lids and manages to take the place of any lower lash lining that you could ever need. A swipe of my BareMinerals Flawless Definition Mascara on the lashes and Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Evasion on the lips and I am all set to go. 

This is a super low-maintenance makeup look that has you looking put together enough to feel great in any situation, but requires no upkeep whatsoever. I love it
September 19, 2014
DIPTYQUE LA COLLECTION 34

DIPTYQUE LA COLLECTION 34


When famed fragrance house, Diptyque, releases a new collection I'm all ears...and nose! Their scents and handblown glass packaging are nothing short of exquisite, adding touches of luxury and bringing a spa-like calm to all in their presence. In their continuous quest toward new olfactory horizons, Diptyque recently created a new collection steeped in tradition, inspired by it's original boutique address in Paris, 34 Boulevard Saint Germain. 

Anyone who fancies the brand's creations as much as I do, I urge you to grab a beverage of your choice (it's Friday, so be creative) and a pen and paper and start creating those wish lists. Seriously lust-worthy stuff, guys! The brand invites you to experience 50 years of Diptyque in one quintessential collection they describe as being "inspired by encounters and a philosophy of openness and curiosity, truly free, in which each product tells a story and becomes the ambassador of an area of expertise."

The range consists of a limited edition fragrance and, as a first for the brand, an array of scented pillar candles, textured candle holders, paper goods, and soap stone diffusers. To mark these new releases, each Diptyque location has arranged a Bazaar so that anyone entering the boutique can experience this emblematic collection and be transported into the sensory creative vision of the brand's founders. I seriously suggest you take a peek, as the Bazaar is a beautiful arrangement of old favorites and new creations that revive the original scents of the potpourris found in the Paris flagship. 

I couldn't leave the Bazaar without stocking up on some of my favorite Diptyque pieces (yup - I'm calling them that). It's safe to say the Feu de Bois Candle* is one of my all time favorites; reminiscent of the smell of burning firewood drifting through the winter air, it's perfect to cozy up to on a cold night in. I have never previously sniffed the Noisetier Candle* but oh boy, am I glad I did. It really embodies the fragrance of the first signs of autumn - smelling of hazelnut, which is apparently a divine combination of woody and fruity notes. Another fixture at the Bazaar, Diptyque Volutes Eau de Parfum*, a leathery tobacco scent grounded with notes of amber, is a scent I have been wearing for a while now and I can't get enough of. Let's just say, I don't think my love affair with the brand, or it's delicious packaging, will be ending anytime soon. 

Do you have any longtime Diptyque loves? Have you ever been lucky enough to visit the original store location on 34 Boulevard Saint Germain?
September 16, 2014
AUTUMNAL HUES

AUTUMNAL HUES


Pumpkin spiced lattes, apple picking resulting in fresh baked pies, sweater weather; all things reminiscent of fall. If you told me a two weeks ago that we'd be well on our way into the season come mid-September I would have called you a liar. But hey, it's okay with me because personally it's one of my favorite times of the year. It's about time that those previously caliente days cool down and give way to that relaxed, crisp air and a much richer, yet muted palette of autumnal hues.

When I imagine an ideal scenario in the fall, I envision a fresh faced girl with windswept hair, naturally flushed cheeks, and gently metallic effortless eye makeup. Based on the trend report for this coming season - only a few days away now - it seems that those really are the key components that make up (pun, definitely intended) this fall's beauty forecast. I think regardless that these are things that can be effortlessly beautiful every autumn, which is what I like to go for with my makeup look, switching out one item at a time for a more minimal take on bolder trends. 

A standout trend that I can get behind is the strategic placement of bold and graphic liner, as a cat eye  is my absolute go-to for nights out. I think it's just about every year that we see the liquid metal eyes return; try toning it down a bit for day time and you'll be perfectly on trend without running the risk of looking over done. Think chocolatey, bronzed tones or rubies and shimmering taupes swept over the lid paired with mauve cheeks. Blush becomes less of a statement, and more of a way to mimic how cheeks would look with a bit of windburn to add some life back into your now, much paler complexion. For day time it seems that brown-tinged pink lips are catwalk recurrences, and I foresee my MAC Cremesheen Creme in Your Coffee lipstick getting its' moment in the spotlight for just that. A bold berry for night is just the ticket - and of course you can never go wrong with a classic red lip, which were painted on otherwise bare faces backstage. The complexion is a clean and creamy one, like that of a porcelain doll, taking things a step further with spidery intense lashes to seal the deal. Is there a modern romantic 90's vibe to all of this, or is it just me? 

Will you be picking up any these autumn trends and adding them into your beauty arsenal?
September 13, 2014
CHARLOTTE TILBURY DROPS IN THE U.S.

CHARLOTTE TILBURY DROPS IN THE U.S.


It's no secret that makeup artist mega-star Charlotte Tilbury's launch has been long-awaited over on this side of the pond, as she is easily the baddest b**** in the beauty biz right now. Pardon my French, but she is. We all need to be a little more like Charlotte in our thinking; she uses makeup to help women look and feel their best, her BFF is Kate Moss, she wears high heels to elevate her mood, and she's a kick ass mom. She is a staple backstage at just about every fashion week and sought after by Hollywood's finest - this woman knows how to create one sexy smokey eye. Now Charlotte's makeup line has landed on US soil and I couldn't be more impressed, a brand with true identity built upon passion and hard work. 

I have been lusting over these rose gold and burgundy encrusted products ever since I became an addict of British beauty blogs, so was super excited that I could finally test them out for myself. By the time the products were available for order I had done some prior research and had a few things in mind in terms of what I had to have from Charlotte. First of all, based on reviews and her portfolio of work, the woman clearly knows lips. I picked up the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Re-Shape and Re-Size Lip Liner in Pillow Talk which creates the illusion of fuller lips if drawn slightly outside the line, and is the most natural looking lip liner I've ever tried. I've been topping it with a bit of the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre Luxe Color Lasting Lip Lacquer in both Portobello Girl and Blondie, for a long-lasting 'my lips but better' look with an added bit of fullness. I had to refrain from picking up these beauties in more colors, as the packaging is so beautiful and the light vanilla scent doesn't hurt either. 

I knew Charlotte was famous for her sultry eye looks, so naturally, I had to give one of her eye products a go. I couldn't get myself to go for a full palette, as currently, I have enough eyeshadows to fill a small bathtub, so I opted for the Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon in Champagne Diamonds. While these creamy eyeshadow sticks are meant for eye color enhancement, I didn't choose any of the brown eye compatible shades, simply because I love a bit of champagne shadow paired with my favorite winged liner eye look. Upon first application, I was a bit skeptical of the silver micro glitter-laden formula, but twelve hours later when not one sparkle had budged - I was sold. These are great long wearing formulas for days when you just need your makeup to stay put. Of course, the last item will come as no shock, considering how beautiful it is. The Charlotte Tilbury Cheek To Chic Swish & Pop Blusher in Ecstasy is all kinds of dreamy and comes with two shades in one; the center is for popping onto the apples of the cheeks, and the outer shade is the coordinating highlight made for swishing up the cheek bone. I like how this two shade palette provides a multitude of cheek color options and it really mimics my natural flush.

Charlotte Tilbury, you did not disappoint. I will definitely be coming back to this brand in the near future - in fact, I have my eye on a few of her lipstick shades already. Have any of you tried Charlotte's products yet?
September 11, 2014
WHY CHANEL'S PERFECTION LUMIERE VELVET IS AWESOME

WHY CHANEL'S PERFECTION LUMIERE VELVET IS AWESOME


I have five good reasons why, you too, should add a bottle of the Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet to your face base repertoire:

1) The coverage can vary. The stuff is so fluid that the smallest dot can be massaged in with fingers to things out nicely, but still look natural. For a higher coverage finish, try using a bit more product and blend into skin with a buffing brush - trust me, you will look so airbrushed you might think your reflection is fooling you.

2) It lies somewhere in the middle of the finish spectrum, keeping things matte enough to get you through the day, but melts into your skin enough to have 'em all fooled. 

3) Similar to a liquid-to-powder, you won't find yourself in need of too much, if any, t-zone powdering. I still like to add a bit of my favorite Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder just because I love the glowy finish, but the less powder needed, the better.

4) It contains enough SPF to keep you protected in everyday situations. If you're going to the beach, please use a face lotion with a bit higher SPF as well...better safe than sorry and all of that. 

5) The black plastic packaging is perfect. Seriously, I don't know why more brands don't package their foundations in similar ways. The sleek bottle is great for travel because you never need to worry about it breaking, and it's compact size fits in any makeup bag without taking up all the room. 

I could keep the rambling coming, but that's no surprise considering this stuff is seriously good. I picked up this bottle when it first released early this spring, but I was stuck on something else at the time. I wasn't sure how I felt about this when I first tried it out, although there was no denying that it looked good on, I think I was just a bit confused. The application is definitely unique and not something I was used to before. The formula is probably the thinnest out of any in my stocks, but once it's blended into the skin it just melts right in without a trace. It gives a natural coverage with more lasting power than the Chanel Vita Lumiere Aqua, but still boasts the same skin-like finish. Think of this as the better option for those of us with slightly oilier skin, or those of us who would prefer to not have to top things up with powder halfway through the day. Check, and check. I can tell you right now, unless something magical in terms of bases is released in the next few months, you won't catch me unarmed with a bottle of this stuff. Chanel, I thank you.

...but I don't have to tell you twice.
September 10, 2014
FALL LIPSTICK ADDITIONS

FALL LIPSTICK ADDITIONS


You may look at these colors and think to yourself, "those, my friend, are just your average neutrals" perfect for yearlong. While, you are correct, they are great for any time of the year, I am looking at neutrals with a fresh perspective after a spring and summer filled with peach and coral tinged lip options. I have rotated out some of my warmer weather lipsticks (so long Nars Schiap - until next year) and picked up a few additional colors for the fall "wardrobe" as well.

In the cooler months I tend to reach for shades that either mimic that of my natural lip color, or grab a stick to stain my pout with a berry or wine hue. Gone are the humid (sweat filled?) days of mid-July when it can be difficult to get makeup to stay put, and present are the days where opting for a more amped up face becomes manageable. Since it's not cool enough to justify the bold berries where I'm from, but the weather has definitely turned down a notch, I have been loving going back to basics with the lips so I can dial things up in eye and cheek territory.

The first shade I plopped in my shopping basket was a new release from Dior's fall collection. Whoever said they didn't love a bit of Dior 'Rouge Dior' was lying to you. I picked up the Dior 'Rouge Dior' Lipstick in the shade Bar which caught my eye because it is really unlike any other shade that I own. It is a pale, creamy mauve with a teeny bit of opalescent shimmer running through it that really enhances the natural lip color and feels super nourishing on. I can see myself wearing this alone dabbed on top of lip balm for an illusory fuller pout, or popped over top a deeper shade in the center to add dimension to an otherwise flat color. The second I picked up is not a new release, but is new to me nonetheless. I already own a Burberry Lip Mist in a dark shade, which is one of my wintertime faves; I love the formulation of these so I picked up another in  the shade 'Field Rose' for a more everyday option. This is the shade I'm donning in this photo, a soft rose pink, a shade I imagine a burberry model rocking alongside tousled hair, a glossy brown eye, and of course a checked trench.

Both shades have claimed their spots in my daily fall (it's here in spirit, gals) lip game and I am already itching to add more. Come on, enable me!
September 09, 2014
MIXIN' IT UP

MIXIN' IT UP


Every now and then I have to remind myself to give my current makeup routine a good shuffle and allow different products to have their moment in the spotlight. You may have heard of beauty junkies doing this before, "shopping the stash" is a commonly used phrase by those who own way too many products to fit on one face. I try to do this every month or two so that I don't get stuck in any makeup related ruts and to avoid letting mass quantities of beauty goodies go to waste under my bathroom sink. Here are some noteworthy mentions of my early September 'makeup mixup' so to speak. 

Benefit 'That Gal' Brightening Face Primer // The main reason that this made it in here is because I am trying to use the remainder of the product up before it needs to be binned. It's an old favorite from the days when I would often skip a morning moisturizer (shame on me, I know) and slap a dewy primer on the skin instead. I have to say, it works quite well as a primer as it's slightly dewier finish allows foundation to really adhere to the face, while the pink tone brightens things up a bit.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation // This will always be a favorite of mine for its' cream to powder like finish and ability to keep things natural yet matte. It fell to the wayside during the warmer months because the shade I have is a bit light for tanned skin. Now that we see fall in the distance I am back to loving this and think it will remain a staple for months to come. 

BareMinerals Faux Tan All Over Face Color // This bronzer reigned supreme during my mineral foundation days; I can't tell you how many pots of BareMinerals foundation I went through over the years. When my skin started to mature and, with that, become a bit more dry I upped the ante with creamier formulas but I am glad I rediscovered this. It is a silky, finely milled formula that seems to melt into the skin, giving the illusion of a naturally sun kissed bronze. This shade looks good all year round, just be careful to use a light hand when picking up the product on your brush!

Givenchy Mister Light Instant Light Corrective Pen // This has not been a member of my stash for too long, however, I have sort of forgotten about it during my love affair with the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. I am not too sure why I haven't reached for this more often, as the potent vitamin rich formula wakes up tired eyes and covers shadows with a light reflective fluid texture. Definitely a winner for days when you want an uber natural look but still need some help looking awake. 

Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Cheek Color Balm // This is a fairly new release but I have decided to give it some longer term love. I tend to switch cheek colors on a daily basis but have been loving this as a nondescript shade that just mimics my natural flush and goes with any makeup look I may decide to wear. I have the shade Plumped Up Peony and I think this is beautiful shade for the fall months, it has a warm cozy feeling and a plum finish. 

Lipstick Queen Jean Queen Lipgloss // So many lip glosses, so little time. This is a perfect, shimmer free formula that adds just the right amount of definition to my natural lip color. So cliche, but it really is a "my lips but better" shade. Supposedly it also offsets the blue in jeans perfectly acting as a great compliment for denim days...which for me are most

Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Cream Eyeshadow // I picked this shade "Shimmering Bronze" out of my Muji drawers sheerly because of its deep color and staying power. I have been loving a smudgy dark brown eye as the main focal point of my makeup lately and this is just the ticket - plus it won't move until you want it to. 

What products have you been using lately to mix things up in your routine? 
September 08, 2014
NAVIGATING A CONCEALER PALETTE

NAVIGATING A CONCEALER PALETTE


For the longest time, I avoided concealer palettes like the plague. I mean it; even if I picked one up I would use one or two shades, those usually being the two lightest offerings. Now that I'm getting a bit older (23 seems old to me, okay?) I will pretty much take all the help I can get, and learning how to use different shades of concealer to counteract various skin woes has been an invaluable bit of information when it comes to makeup application. Subtle concealing the right way can make all the difference - Trust me. 

The palette I have here is the Make Up For Ever 5 Camouflage Cream Palette No. 2 which is best used on light to medium skin tones. When I first picked this up I was at somewhat of a loss in terms of how to use the different shades appropriately. With some research and trial over the past six months or so I think it's safe to say I can now "navigate" my way around a concealer palette. While this particular palette is home to four flesh toned concealer shades and one lilac corrector to banish dullness, I have mapped out the most common concealer tones and what their purposes are as a "cheat sheet" of sorts.

Green // Green and red are opposites on the color wheel, which makes this the best shade for helping reduce red tones in skin. This can include spots, discolorations, rosacea, or acne.

Purple // Most commonly a lilac tone as seen above, purple lives opposite yellow in the color wheel, making it the best shade to counteract yellow tones in skin. If you have a dull or sallow complexion, correct placement of this shade will instantly brighten up the complexion.

Salmon (Peachy Pink) // Best used to brighten the under eye area but also works well as a highlighter.

Yellow // This shade counteracts purple or grey tones in the skin, making it a great way to cover bags, bruises, or veins.

Neutral // A neutral shade of concealer will cover any minor blemishes or imperfections and make for a seamless finish. They work best when matched with the skin tone and can be layered on top of colored correctors for bigger problem areas.

Palettes like these are always welcome additions to the stash because popping one sleek little number into your bag is a heck of a lot easier than lugging around various concealers. I mix the first two shades together to create my perfect skin match, the darker shade works well as a very subtle contour, and the middle is bright enough to counteract any dark circles I've got goin' on. It has become my go-to for combating just about any imperfection and has such great staying power that it even works great on its own for days when you can't be bothered slapping on a full face. 
September 07, 2014
BOBBI BROWN SMOKEY NUDES EYE PALETTE

BOBBI BROWN SMOKEY NUDES EYE PALETTE


I might have mentioned that my interests have not been as piqued lately by new launches as they have been in the past. Low and behold, Bobbi Brown decided they would throw another one of their beautiful neutral palettes into the ring this Fall and I just couldn't resist. The last thing that I *needed* was another neutral palette, but the variety of finishes in this one, not to mention the way it is packed up in a two tier box really caught my eye. 

This palette is the so called "star" of Bobbi Brown's fall Smokey Nudes Collection, and boy is it a beaut. The box contains eight hefty sized eyeshadow pans in some of the most beautifully versatile shades and finishes I've yet to come across. In the palette, there are four mattes, two metallics, and two sparkles eyeshadows, when blended together can create smokey eye options that are suitable for both day and nighttime wear. As pictured above, my favorite shades in the palette include Cream as a base color swept up to the brow, Smokey Brown shadow dusted all over the lid, and Nude Beach on the inner corner and right above the pupil for an eye opening effect. I have a feeling this palette will be getting a ton of use as it's great for any time of the year and creates a wide range of either subtle or more attention-getting looks. 

Shades from top left // Cream Eye Shadow (creamy matte beige), Naked Eye Shadow (warm matte nude), Woodrose Eye Shadow (soft matte mauve), Silver Brown Sparkle Eye Shadow (grey brown with silver microglitter), Watercolor Pink Sparkle Eye Shadow (light pink sparkle), Nude Beach Metallic Eye Shadow (white silver nude shimmer), Smokey Brown Metallic Eye Shadow (mauve brown shimmer), Smoked Shadow (dark matte brownish grey). 

Will you be picking up this palette or do you think it's a skip for you this fall? 
September 05, 2014
REVIEW: GLAMGLOW YOUTHMUD TINGLEXFOLIATE TREATMENT

REVIEW: GLAMGLOW YOUTHMUD TINGLEXFOLIATE TREATMENT


Guys, did you know that this little jar here contains the world best mask?! Earning enough accolades to become the winner of such a title must say something about a product, don't you agree? 

I know that this is not the first you've heard of this mask, so revolutionary I am not. However, I resisted trying the GLAMGLOW for quite some time due to it's hefty price tag and quite small jar size, but caved under the weight of oodles of rave reviews. I am always on the lookout for masks that can help keep my skin clear and in check, and masks in general because they often rear instant results of some form. So, I figured that if this one lived up to my expectations (and that of it's amassed cult following of celebs) then it would totally be worth that pretty penny. 

The mask itself contains a list of ingredients that you can actually recognize, which is always a good sign, including volcanic rock, french sea clay, green tea leaf, lavender, cucumber, and chamomile. It's described by the brand as "a ten minute professional 'facial in a jar' for behind the scenes use in Hollywood's Entertainment...for instant camera-ready glowing skin." So yes, this mask is extremely deep cleaning, but it also is touted as a great exfoliant and I can definitely see why. Although the words "tinglexfoliate" reside in the product title, I wasn't expecting it to be as tingly as it was, but to me, that's a sign that things are getting to work deep down in my pores. What also came as a surprise to me was that after such a tingling mask, things didn't look at all dry or tight, which I am going to attribute to the soothing and moisturizing ingredients that make up this wonder pot. Not only is my skin instantly brighter, smoother, and poreless, but after about a month of weekly use I have seen a long term change in my skin. Things are looking more radiant and my skin texture is refined, I even see less random breakouts occurring. 

So is this the world's best mask? Unfortunately I can't say because I am yet to try all the world's masks but I would definitely say that this is a top contender. What are your thoughts, have you had good experiences with this mask or do you know of something that will give the GLAMGLOW a run for it's money? 
September 03, 2014
POWDER TO LOOK LIKE YOU DIDN'T

POWDER TO LOOK LIKE YOU DIDN'T


A sheer wash of powder over top of foundation can mean the difference between a dewy and oily complexion. Powders are decidedly a staple in my everyday makeup routine, the bit that I don't think I could go without, but finding one that keeps things looking natural and radiant isn't an easy feat. I love the look of radiant skin that is lit from within (who doesn't?) but my combination skin won't allow me to have that without a bit of powder to cut down on shine. After many a "cake face" day I have learned what to look for in a powder that really works with your skin and doesn't cause that flat complexion that we all dread as a result. What we really want is an Instagram filter for the face...am I right?!

This means, a soft focus powder without too much coverage and just the right amount of pigmentation and glow. For this effect I adore using the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders in Diffused Light, for a sheer everyday powder that's never flat, and Dim Light, for when things just need a nice shot of glow sans obvious shimmer. My other go-to is the Mac Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light that gives a more matte but still dimensional finish that is the least detectable skin colored powder I am yet to come across. The Mac Mineralize Skinfinish in Lightscapade is also amazing for the most radiant complexion ever - I love dusting this one across the skin at night for an uber radiant complexion that catches the light in all the right places - think all-night mood lighting in a compact. If you want to go luxurious, the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Powder is a great option without the shimmer and is great for highlighting, bronzing, and everyday powdering. I guess you could say it is a "do it all" powder that can even be worn alone with quite a nice scent as a bonus. Last, but certainly not least, the Make Up Forever HD Powder is by far the most finely milled setting powder ever, reaching cult product status for both makeup artists and bloggers alike. If you are looking for something to dust over top of your makeup that doesn't add any color or shimmer but does give a hit of lasting power and cuts shine - this is your guy. 

Powder junkies - be warned - you will fool them all with this roundup of powders.