Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Today only - Create Your Own Laura Mercier 6 Pan Palette

I get emails about promotions on the Laura Mercier website and I thought that this was a deal worth sharing. For $79 pretax, you customize a 6-pan palette. This is a clear $157 value so very nearly half off. On top of that, if you shop with ebates (I do have a referral link on the sidebar on the right of this page), link thru for an additional 6% cash back. Shipping is free. The catch though, is that you can only choose from a small set of products. Personally, I think they put out a decent selection of popular shades so I took the chance to get colors that I've never before received in full size or that I needed a replacement for. You get to pick a cream cheek color, a powder blush, one cake eyeliner and 3 eyeshadows: 1 matte, 1 sateen and 1 in a lustre finish. Heads up! Today only. And don't forget your two free samples.

If you're new to the brand, and are of similar coloring to me (skin tone fair to medium or approximately NC20-25, brown eyes and hair), I think a good starting point would be the Praline Cream Cheek Colour, Guava, Bamboo and Coffee Ground eyeshadows, Rose Petal blush and Ebony eyeliner. It will make for a pretty, brown-based eye with a natural flush for cheeks. Alternately, you can go with Morning Dew if you need a highlight shade. Choose Vanilla Nuts or Buttercream if you prefer more beige with no pink. All three are matte. Then you go with Sable and African Violet or Kir Royal and Topaz to get a taupe and violet combo that looks lovely with brown eyes. (Although traditionally it is more a green eye combo, taupe and violet are among my favorite eyeshadow shades.)

Note: I love Laura Mercier products for everyday but I am not in any way linked to the brand. I'm all about getting a deal for a value product and today's deal was worth posting about. I hope my suggestions helped. Also, I just discovered that they computed cashback prediscount so it came out over $9. There's a deal and then some, don't you think?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Laura Mercier Palette $50 - today only

Remember the Laura Mercier Flawless Expressions Palette that Nordstrom sold for $85 during the anniversary sale? Well, the brand's website is selling the exact same boxed set for $50 today only as part of their 12 days of flawless promotion. The price is more on point for what we've got here. Take a peek at that post here.

Sephora has a $48 eye and cheek palette that has 8 eye colors and one big cheek color that's been on my radar. (Artist's Palette for eyes & cheeks - no, this is not a paid link and no, I don't get commissions for sales of anything on this post. It is all just for reference). I've read people saying that one's a bit disjointed as the eye colors seem cool-toned but the cheek color leans warm (and could lean orange on certain skin tones) but I have yet to actually try it. What I did purchase are some lip products and the Urban Decay Naked3 palette. A little happy Christmas for everyone here. Pictures to follow. (Below, a little stocking stuffer for my daughter, the Hello Kitty An Apple A Day Trio of lip glosses)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Sweet Star

Sometimes, no matter how much research you do on a product, it just fails to meet your expectations when you finally receive it. This rarely happens with me and Chanel nail polish but here's a case when it actually did. Sweet Star.

There are several challenges to be addressed here. It's a duochrome metallic that's difficult to photograph and I relied on the few reviews I had seen online. None of the counters I had seen had it. It was a limited edition shade that had gotten so much press before reaching American shores. It was either, get it or risk not being able to get it. Something possessed me to pull the trigger because I usually have a good experience with Chanel nail color. So I ordered it online.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Essie Dress to Kilt Nailpolish

I was looking for a red to wear now and thru the holidays and stumbled upon the Essie fall ad in a magazine. Dress to Kilt had to be mine! The first Target store I went to was out of stock but I found it in another store a few days later. Add a Cartwheel discount and I was definitely sold. Testing it out on one nail just to see if it was all that I'd hoped it was, here is the result.

Love it! It's a wonderful shade of red. I'm not worried about the formula since most Essie nail colors I've bought have held up decently. And with shades as dark as this red, the pigmentation is usually awesome. This is no different. What you see is just one coat and nothing else. I think I might leave it at that.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

MARC by MARC JACOBS Salty Pretzel Stud Earrings

I've been busy shopping in an attempt to style my family into coordinating looks for the big family portrait. I take the annual family picture very seriously. Once the children are done with their individual portraits, we move on to the family picture which I usually take myself. I say usually because I've attempted to have it done by a portrait studio before and have only been happy with the results once. Either way, having everyone's looks gel while not appearing too matchy-matchy has been harder than anticipated. So when I start to stress out about the clothes, I just look at accessories. This piece from MARC BY MARC JACOBS really caught my eye. A pretzel design for the ears, how brilliant! It's so sneaky that you wouldn't realize it was a pretzel unless you were truly looking at it. I never saw it in any other finish but I heard that there are others. Mine is in silver with crystals.

I was initially unsure about these when I saw the online pictures on Nordstrom's website. But when I received them, I was pleasantly surprised that they didn't look so costumey and the crystals seemed well-adhered and not likely to fall off quickly. Also, the model that they use for a lot of the earrings I looked at, well, I think she has tiny earlobes that all the pieces looked humongous on her. These turned out to be just the perfect size for mine. They are also not too attention-grabbing as to detract from your outfit but at the same time, once noticed, becomes a conversational piece. These will go nicely with the infinity ring I got almost a couple of years ago. I might even consider it for the family portrait.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Guerlain KissKiss Shaping Cream Lip Colour in 303 Beige Booster

A few years ago, I started the tradition of getting myself one new Guerlain lipstick on my birthday. Since I discovered Rouge G, it is typically a new shade from that line. This year, however, Guerlain re-launched one of their older lipstick lines, KissKiss, and I decided that I needed to try it. I cashed in Shopkick rewards at Sephora and took home the shade Beige Booster.

My lips but better is a long, overused term in lipstick world. While some may find their signature to be a vibrant red or shocking pink, I think many women still prefer to look not much different from their everyday selves, just better. Beige Booster is NOT a beige lipstick but falls neatly into the everyday neutrals category. It does in fact, look like my lips, just a little bit darker. It has the perfect balance of pigment and sheerness so that it still lets the natural skin of my lips somewhat show through but it is rich in color. Application is smooth and it feels comfortable on the lips, more so than the previous KissKiss line which I found to be a tad drying.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Laura Mercier Flawless Expressions for Eyes, Cheeks and Lips

This is one of Nordstrom's offerings for the anniversary sale, which starts today, July 18th, for non-Nordstrom credit card holders. I purchased mine during the cardholders pre-sale period.

The set features an eye and cheek palette with 6 eyeshadow shades and 2 blushes, one tube of lip gloss in Gilded Rose, a small caviar stick in Rose Gold and a full-size Full Blown Volume Supreme Lash Building Mascara in black.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in 625 Secret and 629 Atmosphere

As usual, in the middle of summer Chanel releases its fall makeup collection. While I'm certainly not in a fall mood, I found myself gravitating towards the nail polishes that they offered. I picked up two of three, Secret and Atmosphere.

Collection États Poétiques speaks of opposites. Hence you have the practically black Orage, which I did not get because I have others in my collection that would serve the same purpose, and then there's Secret, a beige with a touch of pink. Application-wise, Secret wasn't as easy as some other colors I've worked with. However, I find that it's worth the effort to get a little more opacity out of such a color because most of what I have in that family is pretty sheer. Secret has enough pink to not look chalky but it's still a delightful neutral that I happily wear on my toes even in the thick of summer.

Atmosphere is basically icing, a topper. I wouldn't wear it alone but I thought it paired very nicely with Secret for a pearlescent effect. I used two coats of Secret and then one coat of Atmosphere with no top coat. Here I have two views, one in the sun and one in the shade.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint Beautifying Foundation with Sunscreen and Sephora Collection Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation

Foundation can be a really complicated subject. Personally, I use several different types in different shades. My favorites tend to see-saw between just a few brands. Guerlain is one brand where I've found really good formulas and formulas that failed me. But mainly, what sells me on foundation is the color match. Right now, it seems that heaven can be found in the form of the Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint Beautifying Foundation in the shade Clair.

I bought mine at Sephora. I initially took home the next darker shade which I think was Naturel but that one turned orange on me. I was hesitant to bring home Clair because it looked incredibly light when I squirted some on my hand. However, after putting it on, it was simply perfect.

How do I define perfect? In this sense, this is a color I can pump a few drops of on my fingers and put on like I was simply putting on moisturizer. The end effect looks exactly like me with a few less blemishes. Color matching to my neck isn't an issue because it seems that this just seamlessly blends into the skin of my face so whatever normal shading exists (that is, my neck can be darker than my face without makeup on) still exists but looks absolutely... normal.

Pump of Guerlain foundation

The product is scented, like everything in the world of Guerlain. It's expensive, like everything in the world of Guerlain :) but really, an ounce for $53 of something I would love to use everyday doesn't sound too bad. This is my favorite everyday foundation right now. It wins on color, feel, and ease of use. Even the product packaging is brilliant, in my opinion. The plastic tube is slim and won't break. The pump works properly and doesn't make a mess. It's light and travel-friendly. On top of it all, it has SPF. Winner, is all I can say!

Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow in 95 Mirage and Long Lasting Eyeliner in Ambre Doré

That's enough nail polish for a few days, I think. If you feel like a good no-slip eyeshadow/eyeliner combo for the summer, Chanel's Illusion D'Ombre and Long Lasting Eyeliner lines have a few good things for you. My pick for eyeshadow of the season is shade 95 Mirage - a good medium bronze that is buildable in intensity and will suit many skin tones.

Mirage was a last-minute purchase on my part and I am so glad I went in! While I'm not the biggest cream shadow fan, I've gotten used to the general texture of the line. The bouncy, spongy feel in the pot gives way to some smooth creamy color that you can lay down as a sheer wash or build to a dark, smoky eye. This one has no glitter specks that tend to annoy me. It's just shimmery color that's subtle enough for morning church but can be layered to reach a darker, more intense glimmer for night. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in 619 Pink Tonic

If it feels like a parade of nail color, I apologize. But as summer approaches, nails become my main thing. I find that the weather doesn't make me feel like putting on any makeup much these days although I have discovered a really wonderful new foundation that I absolutely must write about one of these days...

One more nailpolish then, from Chanel's summer collection, if you'll indulge me... I have Pink Tonic.

I am less thrilled with Pink Tonic compared to Sweet Lilac which I simply adored. The formula was no less smooth and application was still a breeze despite the color being very bright. However, I find Pink Tonic to be rather ordinary as far as color goes. If you don't have many bright pinks, by all means grab it. Otherwise, you may find Pink Tonic a bit of a redundancy. Still pretty, just not noteworthy.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in 615 Sweet Lilac

There comes a point every now and then when I say, I have too many ______ so I really shouldn't get _____. One of these things is purple/violet/lavender nailpolish. Lilac, as far as I'm concerned falls right in this category. If the only other color family it falls in is pink, well, I don't really have a shortage of pink shades in my roster. But Sweet Lilac was irresistible!

Chanel really nailed the color this time. It has the perfect dose of pink to sweeten the shade without making it look chalky. I find that it reaches a good opacity in two coats but it is light enough to make miniscule mistakes completely unnoticeable. There is shimmer but you can only see it in sunlight. The finish comes off more of a cream.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Dior Vernis Gel Shine Long Wear Nail Lacquer in Bonheur

As I said, I loved the formula of these Dior nail polishes. In a color as bright as Bonheur, it proved just as good. I had these on my toes forever before I removed them. It's a pink that's perfect to transition from spring to summer.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Dior Vernis Gel Shine Long Wear Nail Lacquer in Incognito

We are well on our way to summer and yet, look at all this rain. It's been a crazy seesaw between weather conditions these past few weeks. Hot then cool, sunny then rainy... and when the weather can't make up its mind, a good neutral always works.

Enter Dior's new Vernis Gel Shine formula with shade 257 Incognito. Incognito always looks right. It goes with any color outfit that you may be wearing. It goes with every purse I own. This formula is superb! It is smooth to apply, reaches a decent opacity in two quick coats and dries to a neat shine. Honestly, it makes the $25 I spent on the bottle feel well worth it. I topped it with the Dior Gel Coat top coat and was very happy with the results. As for longevity, it's awesome. It stayed put right until I got tired of it and wanted a brighter color. Bonheur coming up next!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Mascara

A quick review of an item I've had sitting in a drawer for over a year now. I first brought out the tube last month and after putting on a complete face, my new mascara was to be the icing on the cake. It had such awesome reviews and I sincerely thought it quite nice the first time I used it. Subsequent applications had me lowering my opinion a little. With little else on, I started noticing things I didn't like about it.

Eyes to Kill has a good formula. Smooth to apply, neither too thick nor too runny. It volumizes nicely and grants some length. The tube didn't dry up quickly, which is awesome especially at this price point ($32 now!). The color was satisfactory, quite nicely dark, but the brush wasn't making my life easier. This is Diorshow all over again for me. Big fatty brush KOs lashes. With repeated strokes, clumps. Sigh. Try again.

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill mascara brush

Thursday, March 27, 2014

eos Pomegranate Raspberry Shave Cream

Since the weather has warmed up a tad, I thought it a good time to invest in a new shaver. I bought that teeny tiny little Venus razor which supposedly nullifies the need for shaving cream. I've found, however, that I still preferred shaving with some kind of foam better. Generally, I use Gillette shaving gels but the EOS brand bottle caught my eye. A plastic bottle is something I feel alright about leaving in the shower stall, something which I try never to do with a can. My daughter picked out the scent (as I would otherwise pick unscented) and we took it home.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Snapshot March 2014

It's been awhile, hasn't it? I know because my daughter is now 6 months old and the last post was from September, an autopost a few days after I had the baby. The vanity has long since been relocated to the 7 year old's room and I am once again doing my makeup in the bathroom. So the snapshot here is from between the two sinks, the makeup from the day after I joined my daughter's first grade class and read them a story.

Although inwardly I didn't think myself nervous, I found myself sweating through every pore on my scalp as I read them the story. Just another anxious mother eager to please a group of seven year old boys and girls. But the makeup held firm. Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks (in Sandglow and Amethyst) and the limited edition Chanel in Moon River are pretty resilient in the face of water. Urban Decay's 24/7 Liners (I wore Zero on top, Underground on bottom) are likewise unbudging. Chanel's Les Beiges are a good finishing powder, adding just a light veil of bronze over my skin made sallow by winter. I'm faithful to Anastasia's brow powders and use that pretty much every time.