Sunday, September 30, 2012

More Lip Products with SPF

Perhaps you've heard of my undying love for lip balm. They come in different colors, flavors, shapes, sizes, scents and even flavors. They come in all price points as well. But when it's free, I can't say no. Sephora's Beauty Insider program offers a lovely duo from Fresh for this year's birthday gift. I'm thrilled to have it because it rounds out my collection of minis to five.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Shadow in Rich Mahogany

The Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Shadows have been among the most impressive drugstore cosmetic products that I've seen all year. It's so impressive that I've amassed more pots than I imagine using up in a lifetime of wearing makeup and I still can't stop myself from looking and buying whenever I see new ones come out. This fall, I've seen at least 8 new colors. I think they're all limited edition and they've been hard to find. I realized that I must have caught on a bit late in the game since I was away on holiday through parts of August and September so I got my hands on but one... for now.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

L'Oreal Youth Code BB Cream Illuminator

I decided to try out the L'Oreal Youth Code BB Cream Illuminator. This was the last "BB Cream" product that I used over the summer and I still use it now. There are two shades and after testing a bit of both on my hand, I had to go with the light one.

Left: Light, Right: Medium

You'll find this item in the skincare aisle, not at the L'Oreal cosmetics display. They have another BB Cream product there which I'll tell you a little bit about at the end of this post. What this tells me off the bat is that the L'Oreal Youth Code BB Cream Illuminator should be treated more as a skincare item and not as makeup.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

L'Oreal Colour Riche Nail Color in 202 Broadway Boogie

Also from the L'Oreal New York Nudes Collection, this is the Colour Riche Nail Color in 202 Broadway Boogie.

When I initially bought the two shades that I have from this collection, I preferred Broadway Boogie. This shade applies a lot better than the previously featured 201 Park Ave Luncheon. The formula is smoother and easier to even out on the nail. However, unlike Park Ave Luncheon, instead of growing on me and looking prettier, in time I felt that Broadway Boogie simply started to look more yellow. And really, I'm not a fan of yellow nailpolish. Perhaps someone of a different skin tone will appreciate it better.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Rouge Dior Nude Lip Blush in 169 Grège

Rouge Dior Nude Lip Blush in 169 Grège

Natalie Portman posed for Dior's Rouge Nude campaign in appropriately nothing but her pick from the 8 shade lipstick collection, 169 Grège. I had to agree with her choice (perhaps not so much the nudity but it was tastefully done) of color. Although the numbers don't mean anything to me, the color is an easy to wear, warm and natural peachy beige.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup SPF 15

In an attempt to keep "foundation-free" all summer, I tested a variety of tinted moisturizers, BB creams and Giorgio Armani's new Maestro Fusion Makeup SPF 15. This last one of the bunch I did not purchase in full size. I started with a sample jar from the nearest Neiman Marcus along with a tiny sample jar of the Maestro Eraser Dark Circle Concealer. The shades provided were 4.5 for the Maestro Fusion Makeup and 2.5 for the concealer.

Applying the Maestro Fusion Makeup for the first time, I was told to use my fingers to blend the product into the skin. The associate said that if I used a brush, I would waste too much product. Massaging it into the skin, I sensed a certain sliminess which I initially mistook for silicone. I have a real issue with silicone in foundation products but I was told that what I'm feeling is the oil in the product. It is actually an ultra-fine oil-pigment suspension so it's cleverly moisturizing at the same time, or so I've been told.

Friday, September 21, 2012

L'Oreal Colour Riche Nail Color in 201 Park Ave Luncheon

L'Oreal nail polish has become a bit of a guilty pleasure. With the release of a dozen or so new shades, I didn't have a hard time picking out the New York Nudes Collection as my first indulgence. I grabbed two shades. This is 201 Park Ave Luncheon.

Park Ave Luncheon is a creamy beige. In my experience, it comes off a bit chalky-looking upon first application but it warms up as it dries. The longer I have it on, the better it starts to look. I had it applied on my toes at a nail salon but couldn't get a proper answer from the technician on whether or not it was difficult to apply. I thought she had a little trouble with it but either she was reluctant to admit having difficulty with any nail polish formula, couldn't express herself very well and couldn't explain to me what the issue was, or perhaps she didn't even understand my question.

Applying it myself on the fingers, I wasn't terribly pleased with the formula. I thought it was a little on the thick side but when I attempted thinner coats, I couldn't get the nail coated properly. I felt that it required going over a few places a number of times to get a more or less even coating throughout the entire nail. Nonetheless, it's a good color when you simply want to look polished.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid

I got to try a whole slew of sunscreen products throughout the summer. As it draws to a close, I need to make note of the better-performing items of the bunch. One such is the La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid (which I will be referring to simply as Anthelios 60 throughout this review).

By all means, I think that this sunscreen product competes remarkably well with the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sun Protection SPF 55 that I have been buying for the last few years. In fact, I think that Anthelios has, at this point, outperformed my beloved Neutrogena as a facial sunscreen to use with or without makeup on.

The La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid is fast absorbing and has a matte finish. It provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and contains the brand's Cell-Ox Shield which boasts a mixture of sun filters and antioxidants. It is reasonably water-resistant and is recommended for outdoor or beach use. However, I think that it's excellent for use under makeup as well. Because the skin laps it up really quickly, it's easy to put liquid foundation over it. There are no tell-tale white marks. Even when worn without any foundation on top, any residual whiteness goes away rather quickly. I've found myself preferring this over any other facial sunscreen product now. What makes it different from the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sun Protection SPF 55 is that it hasn't made my eyes sting. I also like the addition of antioxidants into the formula. It is fragrance-free, which makes it suitable for sensitive skin.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Boots No. 7 Protect & Perfect Hand Cream SPF 15

The Boots No. 7 Protect & Perfect Hand Cream SPF 15 received a 2010 Good Housekeeping Anti-Aging Awards Honorable Mention in the Best Hand Cream with SPF 15+ category. I was originally searching for the winner, the Dior Capture Totale Multi-Perfection Hand Repair Creme SPF 15 but I couldn't find a tube of it anywhere. I think it has been discontinued. I've used the Deborah Lippman Rich Girl Anti-Aging Hand and Cuticle Cream SPF 25 for the last several years. I like it enough to buy another tube but I'm always on the lookout for something else with SPF.

Knowing that Target carries Boots No. 7 items, I tried looking for the Protect & Perfect Hand Cream at the store without any luck. I found the shelf empty. A few weeks later, I discovered two boxes of it in a bin marked with a clearance sticker. The price? $4 each. (I later learned that the product was being repackaged and they are currently back on shelves at a retail of almost $15.)

The hand cream is easily absorbed and that feeling of being moisturized lasts a long time, even after I'd washed my hands again. It leaves a slightly greasy residue that makes me not want to touch anything immediately after using it though (certainly not any touch screen device, nothing metal or glass and no magazines). The fragrance is pretty strong too but that's not a dealbreaker and I don't think that it has caused any adverse effects.

Boots makes quite a number of claims that are difficult to assess: the fading of age spots through a whitening complex for one. The product packaging says that hands will look younger, with the appearance of fine lines reduced... in two weeks! On my hands, age spots and fine lines aren't so much the issue so I can't tell if it's working. This moisturizes well but for winter, I sense that it's going to be too lightweight. It having SPF makes a difference as I've found it hard to find hand creams with SPF these days. I have two tubes of this. I'll use them up and we'll see.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The New Chanel Rouge Allure in 93 Exaltée and Fuschia 55 Precision Lip Definer

The new Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colours are now available in 16 shades. There seem to be quite a number of reds and a few rudimentary pinks that all start to look alike the more I stare at them. I told the Chanel associate that I was getting a little bored with the usual colors that I buy and I wanted something exciting. "How do you like your red?," she asked. "A little more blue, perhaps? Or warmer?," she continued. I told her that I'm usually recommended a cherry but that was not what I had in mind. Perhaps a fuschia. For fall, you know?

Exaltée is described as an intense fuschia and I think that it stands out from the pinks and reds. To be released with a Lip Definer named Fuschia, I expected a match made in heaven. I recommend grabbing both. If I had to spell out the differences between the pencil and the lipstick, I'd say there's a little more rosiness to the lipstick and the pencil is simply very fuschia. The pencil seems to have a matte finish. The lipstick ends up being more of a semi-matte. The colors are vibrant on both pencil and lipstick. Wearing it, I had no doubt that all anyone could see were my lips.

Monday, September 17, 2012

eos 3-pack Lip Balm Collection inspired by Alice In Wonderland

Have you seen them at your local Target? Disney's collaboration with eos brings us this limited edition lip balm trio inspired by Alice in Wonderland.

What's not to like? They've fulfilled my wish to have a vanilla sphere (I have one in the smooth stick form, see here) and added Mickey Mouse ears. Check out the imprint.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Guerlain Kiss Kiss Gloss 873 Grenade In!

After having been seduced by the Rouge G in Gracy (76), I found myself yet again enamored by one of Guerlain's fall 2012 offerings. This time, I purchased Kiss Kiss Gloss 873 Grenade In!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Night of Olay Firming Cream

The other night, I went through the last of the night cream that I'd been using for the past couple of months: Olay's Night of Olay Firming Cream. It wasn't originally my intention to get it. I went to a CVS looking for Lierac products but discovered that only a few CVS stores carry the line. I really needed a new night cream and Olay was within my budget so I thought I'd give it a shot.

Opening the jar, I was met with the soft pink cream infused with the traditional Oil of Olay scent. It reminded me of my dad, who used Olay's Beauty Fluid back in the day. I also realized that I wasn't very fond of this smell. I like my dad, ok, but having the smell, on my face, all night long... I decided that I would simply finish off the jar and try something else next time.

I have to admit though, that the only thing I didn't like about the cream was, in fact, the smell. It feels nice on the skin and absorbs relatively quickly. I have no trouble spreading all over the face and neck. I used it all through the summer and I've been well-moisturized but not laden down with product. I can't tell if any firming was actually achieved but I can tell that the skin seems to be in good condition. In the grand scheme of things, this is a rather inexpensive night cream. I would buy it again if not for the fragrance.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Rouge G de Guerlain in Gracy 76

Just when I was starting to feel fall kick in, I got a glimpse of the Guerlain 2012 Holiday Collection inspired by Liu. Oh, those pictures hit me hard. The dragon is especially close to my heart (being a dragon myself, it feels made for me) and I imagine that I will cave and buy at least half of that collection as soon as they hit counters in October. Well, time to save up! For now, I thought I'd indulge in Gracy, shade number 76 from the Rouge G de Guerlain line.

What's in a name, no? 76 for Philly and the year of the fire dragon. Gracy called to me during a late night visit to the Guerlain boutique at Epcot at the Walt Disney World in Florida. It was almost 11 PM, at which time the store would be closed. I was the only customer and the place was lighted in a pale yellow warmth that made Gracy less raspberry but more like pink watermelon and it felt like that perfect in between shade. The one that takes you from summer to fall without a hitch.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Rouge G de Guerlain for fall

It is finally...

This is my favorite month of the year. The weather begins to cool (and after a couple of weeks in the south, I need some serious cooling down) and the month itself is full of landmark events. Birthdays... anniversaries... the first day of school and an official switch over to fall makeup for me.

I didn't acquire much of the fall selections that have come out. I made some very careful decisions about what to purchase based on what I think I might want to use more frequently in the coming weeks. I wanted to zero in on more unique shades that still adhere to the classic look that I've set for myself. This is usually the time when I do my annual weeding out of little loved cosmetic purchases. It made me realize that I have more than enough shades of violet nail polish, for instance, but not enough beige (which totally justifies indulging in the L'Oreal New York Nudes collection). I rediscovered forgotten favorites in my stash (hello my Rouge G's) and I am making a concerted effort to try products out before making purchases.

The Rouge G above was purchased from a Guerlain boutique in Orlando that offered free engraving services the weekend that I was there. They surprised me by adding some gold to the engraving. I always thought that they only did it in silver (see my Rouge G in Gisele here). They engrave on perfume bottles too but their latest La Petite Robe Noire did not quite interest me.

The new Rouge G L'Extrait matte lip colors felt very nice on the lips and were very long lasting. I seriously thought about grabbing either M65 or M71 but was majorly put off by having the shades named after the seven deadly sins. I'm trying to imagine being asked by a complete stranger what shade of lipstick I'm wearing and responding with either sloth or gluttony. It didn't feel good. If there's humor there, it's completely lost on me. M41 Envie was the only one whose name I could stand but my husband was irked by how very orange it looked on me. So I picked from the fall Rouge G lipsticks instead and settled on Gracy 76 (the engraved case I have shown above). Review soon.