Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Guerlain Météorites Birthday Candle Pearls

I've mentioned before that 2017 marks 30th anniversary of Guerlain Météorites. While the brand released the Happy Glow Pearls earlier this year, the real tribute is apparently the Birthday Candle Pearls which has finally made it to our shores!

I've seen the product trickle in slowly, with a couple of department stores now stocking it online. Mine arrived yesterday.

The tin is inspired by the original case from 1987. It's a light pink tin with the design embossed in white. I personally didn't buy my first set of "pearls" until the Pucci pearls came out but I've been seriously hooked since then.

The Birthday Candle Pearls contain gold, pink, champagne and white pearls. The combination is supposed to bring warmth and radiance to the complexion, with the smaller pearls and softer powder creating that soft-focus effect.

I think that the météorites pearls are still a highly misunderstood product. It can be used as a subtle highlight when applied in the "g"method: move from the center of the forehead to the cheekbones and then straight up and down on the bridge of the nose and down to the chin. But most variants are toned down enough to be used all over the face as a finishing powder, to "correct" allover color and set makeup. Setting powder prolongs wear. Météorites, maybe not so much, but it lends an overall softness to the appearance of base makeup (ie. liquid or cream foundation) when applied correctly. It's not meant to be seen. It's meant to enhance whilst remaining invisible. Like magic, perhaps? I just saw Dr. Strange last night, so the idea of magic is still fresh in my mind today LOL. It's a luxury, that's for sure. Necessary? Not really. But I enjoy a good tin here and there, especially because I enjoy the violet fragrance and I like the understated glow it gives my complexion.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Laura Mercier Inner Eye Definer in Nightfall

I recently discovered that Laura Mercier has stopped making the Kohl Eye Pencils. Instead, they are now selling the new Laura Mercier Inner Eye Definer. This new pencil comes in six shades, several of which are the same (at least in name) as the old kohls, namely Black Gold, Black Navy, Black Violet, Brown Copper and Stormy Grey. They've done away with Black Turquoise and now we have Nightfall.

The formula description remains the same. It's a creamy formula that comes in a slightly thicker diameter pencil, meant for lining the inside of the eyelid and the base of the lashes. I was always mildly confused by this statement. What exactly is the inside of the eyelid? To me that means: waterline. And I never really put liner on my waterline because it irritates my eye and tends to get makeup on my contact lenses. So for me, the old kohl pencils meant soft, smudgeable color, great as a base for powder eyeshadow, to create depth, dimension and prolong wear.

I purchased Nightfall because I always had trouble with my Black Turquoise pencil. Application was typically patchy, like the pencil was too hard. But if I applied more pressure, I usually end up breaking the tip. This was case with a couple of the old kohl pencils. I never had this trouble with Black Gold or Brown Copper though. I thought that maybe with this version, they'd have solved the problem. But upon taking home Nightfall, I found that it had its own problems. The pencil really is quite soft but I can't seem to get a good line from it, unless I press a little harder. This results in bits of eyeliner, like little chunks, just coming off the pencil but not really adhering to my skin. And then, the impending fallout. It's terrible. I'm so unhappy with it!

Friday, July 21, 2017

BECCA Sunchaser Palette now 40% off at Ulta! Until 7-29-17 only

Today's Hot Buy at ULTA is the BECCA Sunchaser Palette. It's a trio of face and cheek colors: the bronzer in Ipanema Sunset, blusher in Apricot Blossom and Highlighter in Opal. This is a new palette for summer 2017, which they launched just last March. It is NOT an old palette.

The palette is $20 today until 7-29-17 only and at the moment of posting, it is available online and in stores. It may be easier to order it online as I'm certain that stocks are limited in stores. I worked that inventory checker before the store opened and it appeared that the nearest ULTA store to me had it in stock. When I got there, probably within 10 minutes of the store opening, the associates were unaware of this "hot buy" item and it was not on display in the front of the store as some special items tend to be. It was also not in the regular BECCA display and it took quite a bit of time and effort for the associate to locate the item in question. Their inventory checker said they had two and she eventually secured one for me. I'm just glad the store wasn't busy and that I had an associate determined to help me find what I was looking for. So props to ULTA for some good customer service today.

I just got the item and I wanted to get the word out with a few pictures as soon as I could. So for swatches on skin tone that's within 2 shades of mine, you can check out this blog here, along with a quick review. Or you could go to the BECCA website for the swatches on three different skin tones.

The ULTA store I went to is next to a Nordstrom Rack where I saw a big sign by the door saying they now carried MAC items. I decided to stop in and peruse the said MAC display and various other makeup that they carried. Came home with a neat score of Burberry blushes to complete my collection, along with a pair of boots, two cosmetic cases, MAC eyeshadows and nail polish selected by my 10 year old daughter. It's good day!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

MAC Look in a Box: Saint No Angel

I grabbed one of the MAC Look in a Box sets in Saint No Angel, just to try. The set features two Little MAC lipsticks and two Little MAC Lipglasses.

I'm fairly new to the concept of little MAC but I like it a lot. They're smaller versions of the items, kind of like samples, and they're available for purchase. I don't regularly consume any full-size lip products, not even ones I love so this is a way for me to save money and still enjoy things that I like. For reference, I have the Little MAC lipstick pictured next to a regular size tube of MAC lipstick.

As for the colors, this is the nude set. There's another one called Baby Be Cool that's a cool-toned pink set. I'm on the fence about how much I like the one I picked as it's got a lot of brown (mostly, I'm having trouble with the matte lipstick in Love Me Lots). I wish it had more pink to it but I'm not sure I want to go full-on fuchsia like the other set.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Blush Glow with Mini Powder Brush

One item from Nordstrom Anniversary 2017 that I immediately knew I wanted to see was the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Blush Glow with Mini Powder Brush. My local Nordstrom has a Charlotte Tilbury counter so I was able to handle the product and swatch it in the store before I made up my mind to purchase it.

The kit is $75. The compact is the same one that the Filmstar Bronze and Glow duo has and I think the bronzer is the same one as well. (edit: I just saw the swatches on The Beauty Look Book comparing the bronzers on the three available duos and in her swatches, it looks like this new palette has the lightest bronzer. From my initial inspection, it didn't look like there was much difference between this new one and the bronzer in the Light-Medium duo. I stand corrected, but I think that it still works for subtle color on light to medium complexions.) But this offering comes with a blusher, rather than a highlighter. And I'll tell you, if you only get one item from the beauty exclusives in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, it should be this one. If you were considering the Hourglass trio, for a few dollars more, just get this. You get a nice little brush too! Perhaps it's not entirely fair to compare the two but as much as I love many things Hourglass, I just think this is the better buy. The bronzer in this compact is great for gently contouring light to medium complexions and the blush is very flattering. It's got a little "glow" to it but isn't overwhelmingly sparkly or shiny. For easy dimension and color, this kit here is money.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Laura Mercier Read My Lips Lip Duos in Roses and Nudes

For Nordstrom Anniversary, Laura Mercier offers up three new items: Laura's Luxe Eye & Cheek Palette and the Read My Lips Duos. I felt like I wasn't going to use the palette much, if at all, so I zeroed in on the duos. If you're like me and you like to have matching lip liners for your lipsticks, these combos are worth a look.

The Read My Lips duos are a set of two lip items. You get a Velour Lovers Lip Colour and a Lip Pencil, both in full size. Value-wise, you're basically paying for the lipstick and getting the lip liner for free. On whether or not they are worth your time, that depends on whether or not you've tried both products before. They are part of the regular Laura Mercier line so I own several shades of both the lipstick and the liner. The lipstick is matte. So if you're not a fan of that, I definitely recommend looking elsewhere. That said, as someone who isn't necessarily big on matte, I don't find these to be overwhelmingly flat-looking or drying when on. They're ok lipsticks in a mid-range price for department store brands. But even as a regular of Laura Mercier, her lipsticks are not something I tend to buy on their own or collect. To me, the selling point is getting a liner to go with it.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Sephora Collection Flash Jumbo Lip Pencils, Blush to Go and Lid & Liner Primer

I wanted to share my thoughts on a few items I ordered from Sephora recently. Here's the lot with my order. The items include a couple of Flash Jumbo pencils in matte shades and the Lid & Liner Primer. The rest are free samples.

Over the holidays, Sephora had a lip pencil set that I felt was going to make it into the regular product line and I think that this is it. I knew from experience to steer clear of the shimmer shades because they tended to leave glitter behind as the lipstick fades (not a problem with certain shades but it is not so great on others). In case they hadn't resolved that issue, I stuck with the mattes.

The two I have are both very wearable on my complexion although I prefer Rapid Nude as it is a little brighter and less brown. However, for a little definition, I found that I could use the two colors together. I outline my lips with Swift Nude and then apply Rapid Nude all over the lips after. The result is quite matte, but it looked nice. I'm not normally a fan of a very matte finish but these were palatable. The color goes on very opaque and I like that. I'd say longevity is decent. It didn't even fully come off after I'd eaten (and I attempted to remove it all with a napkin). Some people like that so I think this should have its fair share of fans.

I recently bought a revamped Laura Mercier eyeliner (I should write a post about that, hmmm somebody remind me) and as the artist was putting it on me, I mentioned that sometimes I have trouble with their liners transferring to my upper lid after a little while. After asking me if I use a primer (I sometimes do), I was told to set it with translucent powder. So when I stumbled on this $5 gem from Sephora, I had to have it. I've used it once so I'm not entirely sure what I think of it yet. I didn't get eyeliner transfer that day and my cream eyeshadow didn't crease so I guess it works. However, I used it as a setting powder for my eye makeup and not as a primer. I'll have to try several things before I can fully say this is worth it. So, perhaps more on this later.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Revlon Kiss Balm and Sonia Kashuk Lip Pencils

Cheap thrills from Target that I've accumulated over the past year... Nothing over $8 (before tax) here. Just for fun, I've managed to pick up three variants of the Revlon Kiss Balms. I started with Berry Burst and then got Sweet Cherry. Recently, I picked up Tropical Coconut as well, because I was on my way to the beach! There's a Target gift card offer on these right now, if you spend $20. (Only until Saturday, June 24th) The Revlon Kiss Balms are $4.49 each.

I also have some Sonia Kashuk lip pencils to show you. The Velvety Matte Lip Crayons are a lot like the NARS ones that I really like. But at $7.99 apiece, I could get 3 of them for the price of one at NARS. I have two: Raspberry Nude and Candy Nude. The Lip Definers are priced the same. The two above are Petal and Hibiscus. The gift card offer works on those too. Swatches are at the end of the post.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Urban Decay UD Jean-Michel Basquiat Collection

I think Karen at Makeup and Beauty Blog said it best: this is UD's best collection ever. I don't normally go around buying entire collections, not even when they are on sale like these are now and yet here I am, completely tempted to grab the rest that I originally didn't get.

UD Jean-Michel Basquiat Collection

I started with the Gold Griot Eyeshadow Palette which I saw her write a post about. It was a practical set of colors, with a "just for fun" shade thrown in here and there. I quite agree that the quality is there, and the packaging has the right aesthetic. Everything looks good and is good.

UD Jean-Michel Basquiat Gold Griot Eyeshadow Palette

I stopped myself from grabbing the blush palette initially, because I still had several blushes that I hadn't opened. And yet when they went on sale, all thoughts of practicality just went out the window. Even the three lipsticks went into the basket.

The thing is, it's such a cohesive bunch. The entire collection fits. If you had only this eye palette, only the blush palette and only the lippies from the collection, your makeup would still look great because you can find the right combinations within the collection. You just can't go wrong.

I drew the line at the eyeliners because I knew I really would not use the colors. I also did not get the second eyeshadow palette. I didn't think I needed all those colors as I still had several rather colorful palettes that I hadn't even touched yet. But overall, if I had gotten everything, I mean everything, I don't think that I would have regretted it.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Travel Makeup - COVER FX put to the test + Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo in 227 Esquisse

On a recent trip, I decided to take all the COVER FX makeup that I had, along with other essentials. I wanted everything to fit in a somewhat small Sephora pouch so it was a rather pared down version of essentials but I needed to have everything in there for a full face, brushes and all. The only thing that didn't fit was my compact powder, which was fine because I like to have that in my purse with lipstick anyway.

The complexion products are all COVER FX. I had two shades of the cover click concealer + foundation, the enhance click highlighter in Bubbly and the pressed setting powder. I also brought my YSL Touche Eclat highlighter in 2.5 with me because it was such a perfect match for the COVER FX cover click concealer + foundation in G20. I thought that they might work particularly well together since I did not like COVER FX as an undereye concealer. And they did!

Top to bottom: Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo, COVER FX click stick (the G20 tube to the left of it),
Burberry Fresh Glow, Burberry Eyebrow Pencil, YSL Touche Eclat Pen, Chanel eyeliner,
Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes Mascara, Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel,
(partial picture) CT Natural Beauty Palette, COVER FX powder

COVER FX click stick in G20 (that's all there is in the full-size tube)

YSL Touche Eclat Radiance Perfecting Pen in 2.5

If you've never seen any of the COVER FX complexion products, you'll find them in these small sticks that fit into the customizable click stick (when you remove the lid) which you can buy for $2. The click stick is absolutely optional. I bought it because the idea was cute and I wanted to see if it would really improve the experience of using the COVER FX products (it did not). Because my cover click concealer + foundation in G20 was fragile (the stick was a little smushed at the top and then broke but I put it back in), I decided to keep that covered and put the N60 and the highlighter (Bubbly) in the click stick instead.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Guerlain Terracotta Sun Trio and Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Luminous Colour

I have a couple of items that I bought as soon as they came out because I like to keep updated with the Terracotta line of Guerlain and Les Beiges by Chanel. I thought I'd write this piece about the two of them together, just by way of saying, they were both underwhelming and possibly unnecessary updates to the line.

The Guerlain Terracotta Sun Trio Bronzing Contouring Palette comes in three shades, as far as I've seen. I have Light, the lightest one, and the other two are Natural and Deep. Maybe I bought the wrong shade or I'm using it wrong but there's something not quite right about the way this applies on me. It's so hard to use it as a contouring trio because the division makes it so that the highlighting and contouring shades are very tiny. I have a hard time getting my brush on just one color at a time. But if I swish my brush on the entire lot, all three shades, this actually feels more like a too-yellow face powder on my light skin. The culprit, I think, is the large bottom half of the compact, which has that yellow-toned powder. So if you think of it as a contouring trio, that bottom half should be your true match and for me, it's just off.

I realize that if I tried the darker shade (Natural), maybe I could make it work as bronzer, just swishing my brush over the entire thing every time. Or I could make do with the one I have, with some effort. I figure that if I can evenly get more of the darkest shade on the brush... ok, you know what? Too much work. I guess I'll keep it as my compact for the summer, to stow in my purse. But, still not sure of the proper niche for this Sun Trio in my collection.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Love, Bite Lip Set (bite multistick in Cashew and Gelato, Crème Lip Gloss in Rose Pearl)

Sephora is still currently selling this set from bite beauty called the Love, Bite Lip Set. If you haven't yet sampled their multisticks and lip glosses, this is a good start. The set itself is a good value price-wise. $42 gets you two multisticks and a lip gloss, all full-sized. You get the lot in a tin packaged with a small mirror. Bought alone, the multisticks are $24 apiece and the lip gloss is $22 so think of it as getting one full-sized item as a bonus. I bought this set because I was curious about both products but I'm keeping it on the performance of the multisticks alone, which isn't much of a discount but still works out ok for the price.

Except for the Cashew Multistick, I had a difficult time photographing these products for color accuracy. The swatches tell the story though, so I wouldn't fuss too much about individual product pictures.

The multisticks are basically a cream product with a powder finish. They can be used on lips and cheeks. I think lids too, but I didn't try that because I didn't think the colors would work well for me that way. Normally, I stay away from products like this. I rarely use cream blush because I find that the best way to apply them involves using fingers and my cheeks can be pretty touch-sensitive. And usually, multi-use products means they perform well as one but not the other. In this case, I think this product is perfectly useable as both blush and lip color. Nice surprise!

I've decided to invest in a beauty.blusher by beautyblender. This really helped in blending out the multisticks. I tried applying it by dotting my cheek directly with the product and then sort of spreading it out with fingers and finally blurring the edges with the beautyblender. I also tried just taking a bit of product, warming it with fingers and then dotting my cheek with the warmed up product before finishing with the beautyblender and thought that method actually worked better. It's just a little messier and wastes more product. Both colors can be blended out to a natural effect, which is very nice. I prefer the warm Cashew though. It's a rosier sort of brown compared to Gelato, which has a fair bit of that taupe shining through the mauve. Gelato kind of reminds me of the lipstick in Cava, which worn alone, makes me look like a corpse. So if you like Cava, Gelato is a very complementary shade.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Chanel Ombre Première Eyeshadows: more colors

As promised, I have the rest of the Chanel Ombre Première Eyeshadows photographed and swatched for reference. This is a massive collection and I don't even have half of it but these 7 colors are my picks. I haven't been able to really play with this lot either. I had a really good experience with the first two that I got so I'm pretty excited to show these. I'm going to start with the powder eyeshadows. The three below, from left to right, are Bronze Antique, Talpa and Flesh.

L-R: Bronze Antique, Talpa, Flesh

Right now, I'm not planning to get anymore of the powder eyeshadows. Most of the colors in the collection are permanent so there's no need to rush to get any of them. If something catches your eye, it may be a good idea to hit up a counter and play around a little before making a purchase. You could also wait for more reviews from users/bloggers who got in on the game early.

I really think that singles are making a comeback, after the years long obsession we've had with palettes. Personally, I find anything with more than 4 colors a little overwhelming sometimes. I buy them and they tend to sit in a box for ages before I'm done with whatever I'm playing with and decide to start with a new one. I'll confess, I grabbed one of the Urban Decay Basquiat palettes but it's still sitting on my vanity untouched. I've actually only just started using a Zoeva palette that I've had for a year now. A year! Clearly, I don't need more makeup.

Sometimes we need to be reminded that liquid and cream products tend to have a shorter shelf life than powder products so before you load up on the cream eyeshadows, bear in mind that you've got to use them often enough to warrant the expense. If they have been opened, you've got to start the countdown to the day that you should stop using them. A good rule of thumb, if you really can't recall when you opened something, is simply to use your senses to assess the condition of the product. Look for product separation, change in color, odor and/or texture. Any of those could be a sign of degradation and to be on the safe side, don't put it on your face anymore if you note any of that. This is quite easy on bottles of foundation and cream products in tubs. When in doubt, toss.

I'm personally guilty of keeping many old products but I tend to stop using them in favor of newer products because well, I always find myself getting new products. I do get rid of liquids and creams a lot more than powders. I have more trouble ridding my collection of powders because it's nice to have an archive, and once in awhile, I do go back to old favorites. I just try to scrape off the top layer to reveal what I think to be a fresher layer underneath. And I make sure everything is neatly put away after use. I rarely use my fingers to apply product. If I have to, I would usually pump or scrape a small amount of product from the container to the back of my hand. I wipe off any excess that could drip off the pump of foundation bottles and moisturizers with a clean tissue at every use. Anything leaky that cannot be cleaned is tossed. And so on...