Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sephora VIB Sale Purchases

As all Sephora shoppers probably know, it's that time of year when Sephora offers a 10-15% discount coupon for Beauty Insiders. This coupon is valid on pretty much everything in the store and online. There may be exclusions, but it hasn't yet failed me. The sale runs until April 24.

This year is a little bit different for me as I've come to realize that there really wasn't all that much that I wanted to buy. In part, it's a desire to trim down purchases to necessary things. However, I do treat myself and I'm still lured by new product launches so this "haul" is a combination of all that. I refuse to entitle the post a "haul" as I really rather dislike that word. I don't think people should be "hauling" makeup. There's just something fundamentally wrong about hoarding perishable products. There's nothing right about hoarding anything really. I can understand the need to save money. But rather than buying in bulk, sometimes, it's better to buy just what you need. You may find you'll spend less in the long run.

So, here's what I've purchased so far...

The Kate Somerville Dry Skin Saver is the one thing I buy whenever Sephora has a coupon. My children have eczema and my 10 year old daughter had a really bad bout of contact dermatitis on her face last December. It set me on a quest for a product that works to bring moisture back to her skin and helps lessen itching, is non-steroidal and very pleasant to use. This has come out as a real standout among the items that we tried. She loves it and that makes her actually use it so I will probably be buying this several times a year for the rest of my life. Because it's a bit expensive ($48/4 oz.), she really only uses it on areas that are prone to sensitivity, like her hands and wrists, as opposed to the entire body (we rotate various creams and lotions for that purpose, depending on the season). It can also be used on the face! Right now, she is finishing up a jar of Tatcha Indigo Soothing Triple Recovery Cream for her face but as that is really expensive and the Kate Somerville Dry Skin Saver performs equally well, I guess we will be going with Kate from now on.

The other "necessity" in this purchase is the bareMinerals Stroke of Light Eye Brightener. I got a tube of this in September last year, I think. I've found that it's the one product I keep going back to now, when I am trying to camouflage some dark skin under the eyes. Make no mistake, this is not a concealer. I still love my Givenchy Mister Light Instant Light Corrective Pen for that purpose but as I've gotten older, I realize that I have no patience waiting for any of these pens to pump out liquid. It really is easier to pull out a wand and have the product there. And it seems I haven't got as much to conceal anyway that an eye brightener and some translucent powder is enough to even out my under eye area. Plus, this one doesn't really sink into fine lines that badly. Anything that does is easily tamped out by doing a light press with the ring finger. So, this is my new go-to. If $23 for 0.18 oz. is a bit much for you, I've found some success with the Sephora Collection Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer. It's comparable, I'd say. At $14, it conceals more and I've come to use it to cover up a pimple mark here and there. I use the shade Palmier and for bareMinerals, I use Luminous 2.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Sephora Collection Sweet Balm (Pink, Coral and Violet)

I walked into Sephora the other day looking for some cheap thrills. I usually have a list when we go shopping in Delaware (tax-free) but I really didn't have anything in mind to buy then. At checkout, I found these tinted lip balms and decided to grab all the shades that I could find. You know, in case I loved them and wanted them all. They only had one tester and I wasn't about to put that on my lips so I figured, at $6 a pop, it wouldn't hurt to just grab them all now.

I couldn't unwrap that thing fast enough when I left the store. What was it that enticed me so much? It was the nostalgic packaging. Sliding that button down to bring up the product always calls to mind awesome times in the 90s, grabbing lipstick at the drugstore in San Francisco with my cousin when she was taking classes at Berkeley.

Sweet Coral was a pleasant surprise. I'm always trying to avoid orange lips and I was so happy that this actually looked coral on me. It had enough pink not to look so orange and the pigment was perfect. It's got more oomph than your average Chapstick and it's made in Italy. I find the synthetic vanilla scent comforting. It reminds me of the old MAC lip conditioner that came in a pot. They don't make those anymore but I loved those for the way they smelled.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Benefit Cosmetics new stuff! (Dandelion Twinkle, Hoola Lite and They're Real! Double the Lip Lipstick & Liner in One - Lusty Rose)

I feel like I just typed the longest ever post title. I should have kept it at new stuff but I try to put the actual products in the post as part of the title so it's easier for me to sort through them when I need the info. Yey, Benefit has some new things for us...

I ordered the box of Dandelion Twinkle from Sephora over the weekend and got the lipstick for free (a $10 value!). Score! The item I received as a GWP is available for purchase and I'm glad I didn't pull the trigger right when I saw it. Dandelion Twinkle is noted as a Sephora exclusive and Hoola Lite is now available for purchase as well. I got my box of Hoola Lite over the weekend at an Ulta store. I think they got it first since I had seen it available on their website well before Sephora had it.

My initial use of the products has left me underwhelmed. I don't know what I was expecting of Dandelion Twinkle but I was disappointed. Below, the swatch on a sheet of Kleenex. It doesn't look shimmery and it seems like it would have good pigmentation but it's completely deceptive. It's a shimmery powder highlighter. On the box it says "nude-pink powder highlighter & luminizer" so that should level any expectations. I would only use it on the highpoints of the face since it's too shimmery for allover use. Without foundation on, I also felt like it emphasized some of the texture on my cheeks. But it works well on the bridge of the nose.

Hoola Lite was more my speed. I never thought myself ridiculously fair, but the original Hoola always did feel a little bit too dark for my needs. Hoola Lite is much easier for me to use. In a way, it's like a too dark face powder and I could probably buff it over my entire face with a large, super fluffy brush, similar to how I would use the Chanel Les Beiges powder. The box describes it as a "light powder bronzer for face" and that is exactly what it is.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color in Hibiscus

One of the last few new releases before Bobbi Brown's departure from her namesake brand is the Luxe Lip Color line. I tried one of them at the store when I had a few minutes with the Bobbi Brown rep at Sephora and I liked it a lot but I did not purchase a tube at the time because I felt like I didn't need another neutral pink lipstick. The next time I went back in, to purposely look at the line, I plucked Hibiscus from the shelf and simply crossed my fingers that I would like the color.

Sephora's website describes Hibiscus as a plum wine. I thought it more a plum brown. But over and above the color, what's worth mentioning here is how richly and beautifully this lipstick applies. You get full on color in one swipe. It's moisturizing and long lasting too. That's a combination that you don't normally hear often. It's so comfortable to wear and looks fabulous on.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Chanel Joues Contraste 370 Élégance

Chanel's spring summer makeup collection for 2017 has some very nice things. However, what's come out a clear favorite for me has been this awesome blush, the Chanel Joues Contraste in 370 Élégance.

Chanel Joues Contraste in 370 Élégance (natural/warm lighting)

The day I purchased the three Le Rouge Crayon de Couleur pencils, I looked over the blushes as well. I thought about getting Jersey, which had been kind of on my list for awhile but I just never pulled the trigger. When I saw Élégance, and how similar the two were, I had to ask the Chanel associate if she could tell me the difference. Of course, now I can't remember exactly what she said (LOL, my aging self), was it that one was a little darker or a little warmer or had a little shimmer? Either way, when faced with similar products, I always try to get the newer one. So Élégance came home with me. 

Chanel Élégance in neutral lighting

I love, love, love this blush! I'd been buying all these pink blushers and dozens of highlighters and finishing powders that I had forgotten how beautiful a subdued, warm light brown looks on my skin tone. Added bonus: seems to go with any lipstick I put on (Rouge Dior Saint Germain and the Jumbo Lip Crayon in Rose Violine are favorite partners for it) and lasts ALL DAY. I have a box full of untried blushers and blush palettes but this is the one I leave on my vanity now. When in doubt, go Élégance.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Chanel Jumbo Longwear Lip Crayon (No. 2, 5 and 6)

I love how Chanel has taken the lip pencil and made it into an easy to use allover lip color. While I've liked NARS for their Velvet Matte and Satin Lip Pencils, I've often found myself annoyed by the fact that they need to be sharpened. This new Chanel Jumbo Longwear Lip Crayon is a twist up pencil in a size that's very comfortable to hold and easy to store. Of the eleven available shades, I picked up my favorite three, taking care to avoid all the ones that look orange to me. Ha!

I picked No. 2 Rose Violine, as my everyday workhorse. It's a neutral pink of medium pigmentation. While there are two shades of beige, I found them a bit too sheer for my needs and the store was out of No. 3 Rose Claire so No. 2 Rose Violine was the obvious pick. I also took home a red, the No. 5 Rouge and the shade that I was told the model in the promos was wearing, No. 6 Framboise. All colors glide on smoothly and cover the lips in vibrant color that lasts a long time and leaves a little stain. The only thing I would ask at this point, is for the entire pencil to retract into the case so I don't need to be ever so careful slipping the cap back on. But if you're used to lip pencils being that way (with the point sticking out), and you've got the budget, then this baby is 100% recommended.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Camélia de Chanel Illuminating Powder

I found a new powder illuminator on Chanel's website that although not advertised as a Lunar New Year release, echoes the limited edition releases from other brands that celebrate the Lunar New Year. The red compact and the release date of January 25, 2017 don't seem like a coincidence to me. Without further ado, here is the Camélia de Chanel Illuminating Powder.

I think the compact looks nice in red. Not that I would have them switch over permanently, but it's nice to be able to differentiate between the compacts once in awhile. And you would need to, because this is some serious high wattage here. Although the included half-moon brush is seriously useable, I personally recommend more specialized tools and a precise hand. A closer look...

I think of Camélia de Chanel as the older, more sophisticated sister of Becca Opal. The color is similar. I don't really love the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors because I find them to be too shimmery but if Guerlain Météorites and Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders don't do it for you, and the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector line is too over the top, this may be that middle ground that you are searching for. Apply on the highpoints of the face and let's celebrate!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Guerlain Météorites Happy Glow Pearls

Happy New Year! Happy Glow Météorites, yey!

This is the latest in a long line of limited edition météorites but what makes this especially, well, special, is that 2017 marks météorites' 30th anniversary. In tribute, or so I've read, is the release of this capsule collection which also includes a blush and a couple of lip colors. I haven't seen any of them although I chanced upon the météorites being available on Nordstrom's website so off I went to order it and here are some pictures.

This set comes in the sphere that's similar to the winter Perles de Neiges, down to the included puff and mirrored lid. The color scheme however, is completely different. The Happy Glow Pearls are a combination of champagne, purple, pink and the ones they call rainbow pearls (the really large white-looking ones). Just looking at it, I'm not sure I feel like it's that special. However, I do like the sphere. The only thing I'm wishing right now is that, for the arm and leg that they charge for a container of these météorites  they double the amount of météorites pearls that are actually in the container. I feel like I'm getting less and less every year but the price just keeps going up. And whenever you look at promotional pictures, you see a container brimming with pearls. When you get one, it's never really ever more than half full.