Saturday, December 19, 2015

Dior 5 Couleurs Couture Colours & Effects Eyeshadow Palette in (236) 5th & Pine

Dior 5 Couleurs Couture Colours & Effects Eyeshadow Palette in 236 5th & Pine

Believe it or not, this is the first Dior quint that I have ever purchased. Naturally, I'm beyond excited. I think the last time I ever bought Dior powder eyeshadow was in 1998. 1998! My goodness! I was a year out of college and on a trip overseas that turned what would have been 15 hours on a plane into a 3 day voyage. Bored out of my wits, I found myself buying things from the duty free catalog on the airplane. I purchased a truly delightful Dior makeup palette that included everything one would need to create a full face. It had powder and blush, several eyeshadows and lipcolors, and a tube of mascara. I had that piece for many years and it served me well. But that's not why I bought this.

I was browsing the Nordstrom website and saw a photograph on the sidebar. It was a Dior quint that I had never seen before. Although I never buy them, I do keep track of Dior's releases. Lately, I've been enamored with deep, dark blue/grey/charcoal eye colors. I had purchased several eyeshadow sticks but always go back to powder to finish off my eye makeup. I just feel more comfortable working with powder. So that dark shade in this palette just called to me. Add the silver and gold, oh my, it's perfect for the holidays! But I couldn't find any information on 5th & Pine anywhere online so I couldn't tell if it was a new product and what collection it was with. I bought the palette at the Dior counter at my local Nordstrom and am eager to share some pictures and swatches with you.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Mini Lipstick Charms

I am an online shopping person. Looking back at when I started this blog, I was not. But it's the norm for me now. Some days I wax sentimental about those times I used to shop in the store much more. Now, it's more of, when I find the time, I swing by the store to look at something that I am thinking about buying online. Or maybe I feel bad and want instant gratification. But online retail therapy works for me too. Sometimes. I DO make mistakes. Case in point: the Charlotte Tilbury Mini Lipstick Charms that arrived at my door fairly recently.

Let me tell you. I couldn't bring this product back to the store and get my money back sooner. The thing was beyond tiny. I felt like I had shelled out $39 for a sample I could have gotten in a GWP. Honestly, this should be a GWP, considering how much CT products cost. But that's my opinion. Obviously, someone in their marketing team thinks otherwise.

Ok, It was kind of cute. I could use this to decorate presents with or stick it on my tree, like a regular ornament. A tiny ornament. Each lipstick tube was no more than 1.5 inches tall. And that's on the outside. It clearly states that there should be 0.04 oz. of product in each one. Oh my! That does sound like a sample. How could I have missed that detail? Honestly, I would have been more compelled to keep it, had it been three full-size lipsticks packaged in a similar manner. The tube is very pretty. But then again, if it had been three lipsticks in full-size, the price point would have been along the lines of $90 and I'm not too sure I would be interested in buying it then.

I apologize that there are no swatches. I didn't want to use it because I did not want to keep it. I took one look at the colors and shook my head. I would wear maybe one of these three shades. For reference, they are: Penelope Pink (a nude), Bitch Perfect (a pink) and So Marilyn (a red). I've got my eye on Bitch Perfect, as I feel Penelope Pink is too nude for my taste. But I really don't like the name of it. I mean, I get it but it doesn't sound nice to me. So, this is one case where I really hope that they bring a CT counter to my local Nordstrom soon so I can shop in the store. Really, some things have to be seen/held/examined/sampled before purchase.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Guerlain Holiday 2015 Picks

I thought it high time I really work with mobile posting so I tried to write this post on my phone. Well, it was a fail. I got the pictures (taken with the phone) to get into the draft, but only two sentences of the entire text was saved. So let me start from scratch.

I was very excited to share some pictures I took with my phone of the two items I ordered from the Guerlain Holiday collection. I placed two orders, one with Nordstrom, for the Météorites, and another with Sephora for the Rouge G.

While it's normal for Sephora to practically overnight me products, even when I select the normal free shipping option, I do get the occasional surprise from Nordstrom. It just has to do with how quickly the orders are packed and shipped and where the shipment comes from. In my case, Sephora normally ships from Baltimore, MD and I always get it the day after it is shipped. Both items arrived today, so kudos to Nordstrom for a real quick one there.

Included in the pictures are the samples I received with my order. But let's put the spotlight on the really fun and festive box of Météorites. While it seems to be written nowhere on the packaging, I have found out that this is called the Perles de Neiges. A snowball of beige, gold and white, with stars in the mix. This has to be the cutest iteration of this product that I have ever received. Love that mirror on the inside of the lid!

The plastic snowball container seems sturdy as well, unlike some of the containers they've had the product in lately. This one is delightful to look at, lovely to hold and I'm sure it will be a pleasure to use.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Chanel Fall 2015 Collection Les Automnales - my picks

My makeup needs have drastically fallen over the last two years. Even a collection as tempting as the fall makeup that Chanel recently unveiled couldn't get me to pick up more than 3 items. I went with the blush in Alezane, the eyeliner in Érable and the repromote Illusion D'Ombre in New Moon, originally from last summer. I passed on it and purchased Mirage but with the trio presented for fall it stood out somehow and I think I'm ready to deal with any possible glitter fallout this time around.

The eyeshadow palette Entrelacs has some pretty useful colors but I simply had to pass because I purchased the travel makeup palette that Nordstrom sold for Anniversary and it was altogether a better value and also came with five neutral eyeshadow shades.

But here now, see, New Moon is just beautiful!

I chose Érable out of the four eyeliners because it seems to me like the shade I had hoped Ambre Doré to be. It turned out to be bronzy and worked really well with a bronze-themed eye. I swatched it below, next to two other recent eyeliners releases from the same line from Chanel. This is not for any other reason but for me to remember that I already own them! (And by the way, Perle de Lune is still THE BEST EYELINER EVER.)

Eyeliner in Érable

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Some L'Oreal picks for the neutral color lover (Lip Pens and La Palette Nude 1 and 2)

It's back to basics for me. I went in and bought a few select Chanel goodies to wear through the fall but on a trip to Target the other day, I decided to stop and peruse a L'Oreal display. I surprised even myself, that I ended up going back to the same display 4 times over the course of a week (which means I went to Target four times that week, uhm, yes, I do that!). The first time, I came home with one lip pen. The next time I went, I got two more. The third time I went to a different Target and grabbed yet another two lip pens. And finally, I decided to go for the nude palettes.

Let's just say, I really enjoyed those lip pens. They come in two finishes, matte and, well, not matte. The first thing I bought was shade 102, She's So Matte and yes, it's matte. Not 80s matte but just matte. I did like it and still do but I'm not really a matte person so I needed to have a look at the non-matte shades. I guess they're more of a satin finish. La Lacque gave me the impression that they would be overtly shiny but they are not. I bought three of those La Lacque shades and I like them all. I have 201 Lacque-Y Charm, 207 Lacque-Y You and 209 Choco-Lacque. One of my last purchases was shade 104, Game Set & Matte and I was a little unsure about it because I noticed a real separation of color at the tip of the lip pen. The tip looked lighter than the rest of the bullet. However, I found this to be a non-issue when I wore it. So, all's good.

What I liked about this particular lip pen is that with the diminished width, I can do a more precise line than I would normally, when applying lipstick straight from the bullet. It is easy to use and it retains that slanted tip. That's all in the way it's used, of course. But this makes it easy. I think it's easier than the completely pointy lip pens. The slant is what I like.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Nail Polish Catalogue

Guerlain Nail Lacquer in Baby Rose

Since we're in the thick of summer, we really do need to talk nails. My manicures are limited by the fact that I'm still changing diapers and I don't like the upkeep so I simply don't. But sandal season means pedicures are a must. In a typical summer, I get no more than three pedicures. I tend to remove polish after four weeks and trim the nails and then let them grow out a little before the next pedicure if possible. I just like the idea of letting the nails breathe.

Dior Vernis Nail Lacquer in Lady

Prior to writing this post, I had purchased Guerlain Baby Rose (top picture) and Dior Lady (above). Both satisfied my need for easy to maintain neutrals that I could wear any time of the year. Baby Rose is super sheer but Lady is spot on. It's opaque in two coats, looks great on fingers and toes. The hint of pink is perfect. It's probably my favorite color this year.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Medium Brown

The last time I had a good Sephora coupon, I purchased what would be my summer stash, or so I thought. I included a tube of Guerlain Météorites Baby Glow, a Sephora brush on sale, the previously featured Givenchy Le Rouge À Porter in Corail Décoletté, a concealer pen, brow pen and two bottles of nail polish.

Notable in this purchase are two items repurchased for they are simply irreplaceable. I literally haven't found anything I like better than these two. It's rare for me to repurchase anything because I tend to find new and better products all the time. The Givenchy Mister Light Instant Light Corrective Pen in Mister Macaroon, however, remains an exception. In my book, best concealer pen ever. And there's the Anastasia Brow Wiz in Medium Ash, which I find makes my brows just right. It's the easiest pencil to maneuver. With it, I can create the smallest and most realistic strokes. I also like that it doesn't need to be sharpened and has a nice spoolie on the other end.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Givenchy Le Rouge À Porter in 206 Corail Décolleté

Summer has gone by in a flash. It's half over! If I've learned anything, it's that summer is such an awful time to wear makeup. I've decided that great skin, an awesome pair of large sunglasses and a good lipstick are really all I need to look good in summer pictures. Ok, add a good concealer if you can make it stay put. Then toss in some brow grooming.

So it's time to pick out a pretty coral lip color and I decided to pull the trigger on a slim Givenchy Le Rouge À Porter in shade 206 Corail Décolleté.

Monday, June 1, 2015

A Few Cleansers to Consider

So there's the idea that if you want your serums to penetrate the skin better, you'll need to exfoliate. Personally, I'm terrified of acid peels and the like so I steer clear when I hear that a bunch of acids (glycolic, alpha hydroxy etc.) are the active ingredient in a product. However, I'm more familiar with salicylic acid and it's the active ingredient in my spot treatment that I use when I get the occasional breakout so I thought I'd give the Vichy Normaderm Triple-action 3 in 1 Cleanser a try.

After the first use, I got so worried because it dried out my face so much! The instructions say that you can use it as a regular facial wash, a scrub and mask. I thought a quick washing would be good but maybe in the winter, there's just not much sebum and oils to remove that it dried me out terribly. I resorted to using it as a spot treatment. While I never saw instant results (like a zit going down in size considerably or redness disappearing), I would slowly start to see peeling of the top layers, which is what I usually experience with other spot treatment products that contain salicylic acid. What does this tell me? That basically, it's just another salicylic acid wash and clearly wasn't worth the $$$ I spent on it. Having said that, now that it's hot and humid, I have been able to use it without such disastrously drying results. But it's definitely not on regular rotation. Reserved for excessively oily, acne-prone days.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Clinique Cheek Pops Melon and Heather Pop

So I was going to take the Melon Cheek Pop to the beach and guess what? I didn't even have a second to put on any makeup. I barely had time for sunscreen but of course, I had to make time for that. The day after we got back, I had set up our family photo session. It was a poor time to do it but I had signed up for some Amazon Local deal (which was the only reason we were even doing it at this time of year, with this mall photo studio) and that deal was expiring that very day. In a rush to do anything and everything, I grabbed the first blush I saw in the drawer and used Melon Pop. That was a very good choice, thankfully. It applied beautifully and looked so natural in pictures. I couldn't wait to get my hands on the other shade I ordered, Heather Pop.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

New Obsessions, A Few (Dozen) Unreviewed Items

I am guilty of parking my almost two year old on a comfy chair with an iPad so I can write a really quick blog post. There's a part of me that's thinking, "you should be playing with her! why is she on the iPad?" but there's that other part of me that sees I haven't written a post in a couple of months and the pictures are piling up on my computer.

I've been into masks lately. Been trying ones here and there. $6 Sephora masks, an SKII mask that I've decided was worth another buy. I think I'll try a different Shiseido one next time. I've turned to the Shiseido Brightening line for a few products. Love that cleanser! And I'm rediscovering their foundations and powders. But I'm still having quite the love affair with oh so pricey Guerlain. A new bronzer in a coral silicone sleeve? I'm in! Contouring, I have to try that. Kevyn Aucoin or Becca? Marc Jacobs Beauty... I have to try that too. And of course, I need that new cream eyeshadow from Chanel. Caroube? Got it!

I'll be off to the beach soon. It's always a dilemma. We're going to take lots of pictures. Shouldn't I be wearing makeup? Yes, I'm going to pack that new sunscreen and a dozen other ones because I haven't decided which one I'm going to use. But will I actually have time to put on makeup? The heat and humidity will just make it slide off. I know this already. But I'm going to pack a few things. Hmmm... I think I'll go with these to start...

Chanel Double Perfection Lumière Compact Powder and Fresh Effect Eyeshadow in Caroube 

Chanel Caroube swatch

Friday, March 13, 2015

Guerlain Terracotta Natural Healthy Glow Powder Duo in 01 Clair-Brunettes

This arrived at my doorstep today. And while I'm pleased to have received it, I am somewhat worried that I'm not going to like it as much as I'd hoped.

I'm a bit of a Guerlain devotee, especially when it comes to the Terracotta line. I have several of their bronzers and I love each one. Maybe some more than others but I find their quality to be unparalleled. On the surface, this feels like Guerlain attempting to jump into the Bonne Mine bandwagon and frankly, I don't think that they ever needed to do that. But I may yet eat my words since this just arrived and I haven't used it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mission Skincare

A few rules to live by:

1) Stop touching your face
2) Use sunscreen and reapply
3) Drink plenty of water
4) Exercise
5) Get enough sleep

It's a mere five things but it seems that my current lifestyle has made it more than a little difficult to follow through on some of them. Call it a New Year's resolution. I was determined to try.

I used to tell my favorite associate at Chanel that I always felt like my skin looked better when I regularly apply makeup. She chalked it up to the skincare ingredients found in many makeup products. However, I think it's simply that when I regularly wear makeup, I really do stick to a routine. Lately, that just hasn't been the case.

Through the winter, my skin had been dry and flaky. Yet I was also suffering from a hormonal breakout that refused to go away. A little research led me to believe that if my good old spot treatment wasn't doing anything, it was necessary for me to employ a regimen that addressed it and improved my skin overall. I wanted to have clear skin that was more even-toned. So I started searching for products that would exfoliate and brighten. Out came the Clarisonic which I had dropped using to about once a month. I had to reintroduce that to my regular routine.

Leafing through the January 2015 issue of Allure magazine, I found a really good starting point for my mission. Reading about the routines that a dermatologist recommended for several women with several different issues (which if I could, I'd address them all), I found a nice list of products that I could try. The trick, I figured, was to know what each product did and how they worked in conjunction with one another. The cost wasn't really an issue but the less expensive options always take priority.

I adopted the exact set that the dermatologist prescribed for brightening skin (only the morning set) since those were the products I most easily located in the stores.

Breakfast is served!

The products I tested are pictured above. From left, the Pond's Luminous Clean Wet Cleansing Towelettes, the Vichy Idéalia Life Serum and the Patricia Wexler M.D. Skin Brightening Daily Moisturizer with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 28. This post is my mini-review of these products.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Guerlain Météorites Perles de Blush

Have you ever been sucked in so badly by a brand that you would pay top dollar for a product that you don't think is worth it and still want to keep it? Sigh. Yes, I am the sucker who wanted Météorites as a blush that even after reading all the reviews that the product is packaged poorly (cardboard as opposed to tin) and is very, very tiny, I still ordered it anyway. And behold, when I opened the Sephora box that had my Méteorites Perles de Blush, I was still shocked that it was very... tiny.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Burberry Gold No. 25 Complete Eye Palette

This Burberry Gold palette was a holiday release. I picked it up after reading stellar reviews. It's of the same quality as the single eyeshadows that I've purchased and loved from the brand. Maybe that one quad I bought before was just a dud but this palette has renewed my interest in Burberry makeup.

The four shades in this quad are wonderfully complementary. There's a brown-gold (a little reddish in certain light, a dark gold, a green-gold (more of a khaki) and a beige-gold. I still reach for Burberry Trench as a true highlight but the beige-gold shade will do if I didn't have other options. The texture and pigmentation is stellar. They blend so well too! I know, $60 is a lot of money to throw on four eyeshadow shades but this is such a well-executed combo that I think is worth it. I love the gold packaging too. At least it's easy for me to tell it apart from the other (grey) compacts.

Friday, January 23, 2015

L'Oreal Infallible (Silkissime) Silky Pencil Eyeliner

I got a few products that were on the Allure Best of Beauty list last year. The first one I bought was the L'Oreal Silkissime Eyeliner in Charcoal and Gold. I liked them so much that I went back to get Highlighter (which I haven't used because I just keep using the other two). These are so easy to use and truly silky. They glide on with ease and give a good dark line. Super pigmentation! Lasting power! I use a waterproof eye makeup remover and they come off with no problems.

L'Oreal Silkissime Eyeliner in Charcoal and Gold

I like these a lot that they've pretty much become my go-to liner for daily use. Granted, I wear makeup less often these days and part of me simply reaches for them because they are right on my desk. Thinking about what I dislike about these is that I have to sharpen super often. While they glide on effortlessly, the line created is by no means skinny. If you like a good fat line, this is your baby. I go in and line all around, mix and smudge with a pencil brush and then I clean up with a Q-tip dipped in makeup remover. Otherwise, it's a mess, and that's just not how I like to look. I typically layer the gold then the charcoal and I get that black-gold look that I love. I like to pair with the colors from the Burberry Gold palette. Easy, smoky and pretty.

L-R: Charcoal (twice), Gold, Highlighter (twice)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Snapshot January 2015

It's my eldest daughter's 8th birthday today and her little sister is 15 months. I really enjoy spoiling them and dressing them up. But partly because of that, I've diverted a large chunk of my makeup budget to other things. I did make a number of investments in the last of couple of months that I think should tide me over for the next half year. Acquired and unreviewed, here's what's currently occupying my desk.

I'm probably going to end up doing a Guerlain feature sometime in the near future as I've been really loving a number of items from the brand. The new Lingerie de Peau powder, the reinvented KissKiss lipsticks, the Terracotta foundation from last summer and the Meteorites Perles D'Etoile in the center of the photograph above. They are all lovely and highly recommended.

I've been way too busy to play with all my new eye shadows but Burberry Gold was nice (it's the open compact). As are my new eyeliners from L'Oreal. The Silkissime liners are pretty good and truly deserve their Best of Beauty stamp. I almost forgot I also bought Urban Decay's Naked3 palette. I really should use that.

A couple of lipsticks that I thought I'd love but don't use very often are Dior Darling and Dolce & Gabbana Only Monica. The former I got sold on by another blog. The latter, by Monica Belucci. However, on occasion, I do pull out Only Monica and find that I like having it on. It brightens the face but it is just not a go-to, Then there was that $60 mistake of a Chanel order which featured the eyeliner in Or Blanc (the one that's still in the box but yes, I have used it) and Le Vernis in Sweet Star. Both no good to me. (Or Blanc was flaky and Sweet Star wasn't flattering on.)

I can't think of anything else that was noteworthy, good or bad. I just wish that I had more time to put on some proper makeup more regularly. A trip to the grocery is reason enough for me but my little girl begs to disagree. So here's hoping for more me time this year.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

NARS Digital World Lip Pencil Coffret

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Belated all... It has been a busy holiday and now that we're all back to the grind, I thought I'd take a few minutes to add something to my much-neglected blog. I admit, I think about closing it altogether sometimes. But on those rare occasions, I'm reminded that the reason I started blogging was to help me keep track of the things that I buy. It has proven useful especially when I'm out shopping and find myself tempted to buy something but I get a nagging feeling that I already own it. I check the blog on mobile and I get my answer. Right, I bought that already. Just to avoid duplicates, I also try not to buy old things. I used to buy new releases only because I'm afraid to fall in love with an item and later find it discontinued. Now, I've come to realize that I have more than enough choices to get much use out of certain products and quickly find something else to replace it if it ever disappears from the market. We all evolve, I think. Although sometimes I feel like I just get older.