Monday, July 27, 2015

philosophy x QVC Month of Miracles


philosophy and QVC have teamed up to offer special value sets with their Month of Miracles event this July. The Amazing Grace line has been a regular go-to for me. I'm a huge fan of the soft clean feminine scent Amazing Grace has in wide range of body products from the perfume, shower gels and body creams. It's refreshing, calming and there's something about the scent that makes the skin feel clean. This month there are a number of really good sets and bundles available now. The biggest set is the Philosophy Miraculous 12 Piece Shower Gel Collection with scents that sound amazing like Vanilla Coconut, Beach Party and Snow Angel.

The QVC x philosophy team sent two value items for me to try. One is a trio called discover the miracle of amazing grace which has an 8-fl oz amazing grace shampoo, shower gel, and bubble bath, an 8-fl oz amazing grace firming body emulsion, and an 8-fl oz amazing grace olive oil scrub. The QVC price is $52 for the set, during the event the price is $42.96.
  • The 3-in-1 shampoo, shower gel and bubble bath is a staple in my beauty routine. It's one of my favorite bath products to relax and unwind.
  • The Firming Body Emulsion is new to me - it smells a bit more like linen compared to the perfume version of Amazing Grace but layers really nicely with the perfume. It has pretty good strength for a body lotion and the scent lingers for a long time and fades nicely. It has a super clean feel.
  • The Olive Oil Scrub is also new to me and it's incredibly gentle on the skin. It's a body scrub but has a more liquid base which makes it easy to rub all over. It has tiny little beads inside but it's very gentle so you don't have to worry about it irritating the skin (some scrubs are harsh). It leaves the skin feeling super soft and moisturized but doesn't leave behind any greasy oily residue.
I love how each philosophy bottle has a little saying or quote on the front. It's something unique that has made an impression on me going back to the 90's when I first discovered the line. I've always found the packaging concept to be very beautiful.


The second value is the philosophy purity made simple 32 oz body cleanser. It retails for $42 (event price is $34.96). The Purity Made Simple Face Cleanser is something that has been recommended to me by so many readers - I tried it in a cleanser set early in the spring and wasn't a huge fan, but the body cleanser is a completely different story for me. If you're looking for a super gentle moisturizing cleanser that lathers well, I highly recommend this one. It comes in a large bottle with a pump. It's good for those sensitive to fragrance - it does have a scent to it but it's not fragranced with any perfume.


True to philosophy style, there's a beautiful quote on the front. It lathers up really nicely in the bath. I find it really does work well as a shaving gel. The Purity Made Simple Body cleanser leaves the skin feeling soft and clean, it doesn't dry out the skin. The body does feel nicely moisturized after a shower but it doesn't feel like there is a film on it. If you're sensitive to any kind of fragrance in shower products - I highly recommend this one.


You can find all the QVC x philosophy Month of Miracles sets available at special prices this month (this is the last week for them). I've been browsing the other value sets and am trying to decide between the Best of Fresh Cream 5 piece set or the Vanilla Coconut Duo (although it's not on sale). If you've tried either scent - which one do you like best? Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! I think there are a lot of good deals going on right now. It's a good time to stock up on gifts - there are a three skincare and bodycare brands that I think are no-brainers for gift giving, philosophy is one of them. I've gifted the Amazing Grace sets for a number of occasions. I think the miraculous 12 pc shower gel collection set would be amazing to split up as gifts. (The price for the shower gels individually would total $126, value price is $87.94.)


Do you have any philosophy favorites? I've stuck with Amazing Grace for so long because it just works so well for me - I've neglected to explore other items from the line. I'm open to suggestions :)



Many thanks to philosophy and QVC for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions my own. For more information refer to my disclosures.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Peachy Makeup Loves


Right now I'm obsessed with peachy makeup for lips and nails. All variations from peachy nudes, lush peachy apricots and bright coral peaches. Anything with peach is actually a staple for me - the color is almost a neutral to me because I find it goes with everything, almost every occasion or any color outfit. I've pulled a few of my favorites that I have had in rotation this summer.

Lips: Clarins, NARS, Tom Ford, Smith & Cult, Marc Jacobs Beauty, YSL and Fresh


  • Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector Sticks (c/o) have been in regular rotation. I'll have a review of all six shades hopefully this next week. All the colors have the perfect amount of color and shine for a tinted lipbalm. 02 Coral is a sheer light peach.
  • NARS Chelsea Girls Lip Gloss (c/o) is a new shade for fall, it was previously in pot form. It's now in tube form and seems a bit deeper in color compared to the original making it more wearable.
  • Tom Ford Skinnydip Lip Color Sheer is my favorite peachy nude gold shimmer, it makes the lips look shiny and naturally full.
  • Smith & Cult Her Name is Bubbles is something I've been testing out. I ordered 3 glosses, so far the gloss in Her Name is Bubbles is my favorite, it's a bright coral in the tube but goes on the lips a sheer lush peach. It smells like soft vanilla.
  • Marc Jacobs Uproar (c/o) is the prettiest sheer peach sparkle. It has an ultra luxe cushiony texture that feels super moisturizing on the lips. Review and swatches of all Enamored Hi Shine Lip Lacquers in this post here.
  • Tom Ford Lips & Boys in William is a high shimmer warm gold peach nude. The frost factor is high but I like it. If you can't do high shimmer frosts, try Skinnydip instead.
  • YSL Pop Water Glossy Stain in Wet Nude is the best sheer nude peach gloss ever. (Swatches and review of more colors here.)
  • Fresh Sugar Lip Shines now come in more shades, Sugar Nude is a sheer peachy nude shimmer with a high shine finish.


Lip swatches of a few of the colors:

Nails: Dior, Smith & Cult, Chanel and Essie



  • Dior Sunkissed is the prettiest peach nude I've ever tried. It's super flattering and brightening on the hands without looking too pale, too pastel, or too peach.
  • Dior Majesty was released in the US as a Nordstrom Anniversary Beauty Exclusive. It's a brighter peach but still a soft color. Against a tan it makes the hands look darker but it's a fun bright peach without being too bright.
  • Smith & Cult Ghost Edit is a super sheer glossy nude peach. It took three coats for me to get the color to show. It's a nice glossy neutral that lets the whites of your nails show through. The look is polished and natural.
  • Essie Sunday Funday is such a pretty coral peach with a tiny hint of shimmer. For the price, the pigment and color is really good. I have yet to find a good base/top coat combination that makes an Essie nail polish last more than 3 days on me (I am still getting major tip wear by day 2). But the colors are fun to wear and affordable.
  • Chanel Mirabella is my favorite orange peach. I'm glad it hasn't been discontinued even though it was released last year. It's a pretty bright orange.

What's your favorite peachy lipstick, lipgloss or nail polish?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow: Light-Medium, Medium-Dark and Sun Tan + Sun Light


I've been a huge fan of Charlotte Tilbury's Filmstar Bronze and Glow Palette (originally reviewed here). It contains a bronzer and highlighter powder duo in a mirrored compact which creates depth and dimension. This month Charlotte Tilbury has launched two new extensions of her Filmstar Bronze and Glow in a Medium to Dark Palette and Sun Tan & Sunlight Cream Duo with the Norman Parkinson Collection - I ordered both online from Charlotte Tilbury's website and have been playing with them for a few days. (The original version has now been renamed Light to Medium.) I really like the original version because it works well with my skin tone and skin type. Highlighters can sometimes emphasize pores but the one from Charlotte Tilbury adds a nice even natural glow even though it has more of a frost finish.


My skin tone has been around a Chanel Beige 30 and NARS Punjab for a long time. After our month long trip to Europe I got a bit darker which puts me at a Chanel Beige 40 range (post on summer foundation rotation soon). When I was medium to light the original Filmstar Bronze and Glow ($68) worked perfectly for me. Right now the bronzer is more subtle on my skin - it still shows up but it's not quite as strong on my skin. In case you missed the original review, I've taken some new photos to post here.



The Filmstar Bronze and Glow Medium to Dark ($68) is designed for deeper skin tones. It's quite a few shades darker than the Light to Medium with a deep shimmery luminous bronze and an orangey gold highlighter. I thought the concept of an orangey highlighter to be odd, even for those with tan to deep skin tones, but it's surprisingly wearable and very pretty on the skin. I suspect if you have super fair skin the highlighter will look more like a strong blush. On me it's not quite traditional highlighter material but it does give the skin a warm glow. When you swatch it on the arm it will appear orange like the color you see in the pan. On the face it adds a really interesting glow.



With the Norman Parkinson Collection, Charlotte Tilbury has a new limited-edition cream Filmstar Bronze and Glow in Sun Tan & Sun Light ($80). I'm usually not a fan of potted or pan creams because I find they get messy with fingers, debris, dust and even brushes but since this is from Charlotte Tilbury I had to give this a try. There is a medium tan cream side and a shimmering gold cream. The tan shade does not swatch well on bare arms but on the face it applies smoothly and blends very easily (I tested mine over foundation). The shimmering highlighter swatches nicely on the arms and face. The highlighter has visible sparkles in it but isn't over the top and doesn't emphasize pores. This one is more luminous compared to the original version but it's easy to blend and sheer out. On my combination skin in this warm 80 degree weather it held up from morning until late afternoon without budging.



All come in the same sized-compact with two pans of product and a large mirror. The packaging itself comes in a rose gold metallic finish. The Norman Parkinson Sun Tan + Sun Light comes with a photo shot by Parkinson of Jerry Hall for British Vogue taken on Montego Bay, Jamaica, in 1975 on the lid. Also shown below is the Powder and Sculpt Brush which is sold separately.


I've swatched each one side by side. Note that all the swatches on the arms have been done with a rather heavy hand. Each one is easy to apply with a light hand and you can control intensity of color by layering. Pigment is pretty rich in each palette so I would recommend on your first few uses apply with a light hand and build up the color.



Below swatches of each version on the face. I have both the bronzer side + highlighter applied and blended lightly in each shot. For skin tone reference I'm wearing Marc Jacobs Genius Gel Super–Charged Oil–Free Foundation in Golden Medium with NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation in Punjab + Chanel Les Beiges 30 dusted on top to set. On the lips is Fresh Sugar Shine Lip Treatment in Nude (the gloss version). Coral nail polish is Essie Sunday Funday.

I'm really happy with the Medium to Dark version. It gives the face some warmth and color. I don't know how the orange will translate on deeper skin tones - if you've tried this please chime in with your thoughts in the comments below. I applied with with a medium hand and it's not too orangey. The cream duo in Sun Tan and Sunlight from Norman Parkinson is a really nice easy-to-use duo. It's very luminous on my skin and as you can see in the photo above the sheen really stands out with a flash. Even in natural light the cream highlighter looks very luminous and on me it was easy to overdo. I recommend applying with a light hand but it gives a nice golden strobe effect.

For brush recommendations, after playing with the original one for a year, I have to say hands down the best one is the Charlotte Tilbury Powder and Sculpt Brush ($49). My original thoughts that it was not a must-have and could be replicated with other regular blush brushes. The shape, texture and density of the brush make this my go-to for any kind of subtle contour/highlighting. It's one I reach for constantly even though I'm usually a fan of MAC cheek brushes. For the cream duo I'm still experimenting - so far I like using fingers the best.



All the Filmstar Bronze and Glows are available online now, they should be arriving at Charlotte Tilbury counters soon. Do note that the Norman Parkinson Duo is limited-edition. Available online at Nordstrom, Beautylish, Bergdorf Goodman, Net-A-Porter and Charlotte Tilbury.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dior Eye Reviver Backstage Pros Illuminating Neutrals Eye Palette - Nordy Girl


Dior has a new Eye Reviver Backstage Pros Illuminating Neutrals Palette for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale called Nordy Girl ($62 for 9.3 g/0.32 oz). This is a similar palette to the first version Illuminating Neutrals Eye Palette 001 I reviewed back in March (swatches + review here). The overall effect, pigment level and finish of the shadows between the two is almost identical with the Nordstrom exclusive version being more pink and rosy.

The Eye Reviver Backstage Pros Palette provides a selection of five soft neutrals that will give the eye a super soft polished look. The texture of the shadows is very soft and the colors meld onto the skin smoothly and evenly. Each of the 4 shadows layers well with each other and there is a dark gel liner at the end which has good pigment. I found the liner to be budge proof but it is creamy so it will take a little time to set and dry. I prefer topping any pencil or gel liner with a bit of power shadow to help it set.

If you're looking for a super conservative eye look that you can do everyday these are the palettes for you. Either of the Eye Reviver Palettes are pretty much goof proof and impossible to overdo if you want a soft looking eyeshadow look.


The colors of the Dior Nordy Girl palette include:

Soft matte pale pink white
Shimmering pigmented light pink frost
Shimmering mauve plum
Shimmering pink mauve
Shimmering mauve
Matte plum-brown liner




For comparisons, I pulled both the 001 and Nordy Girl to swatch side by side.


Close ups:



I had mixed feelings about the original version (post + eye look here). These palettes are good staples but given the neutral nature of each, they are very easy to dupe and if you own a lot of eyeshadows or palettes it's likely that you probably own similar colors. That being said, Dior does make very good quality palettes - the shadows are smooth with soft medium buildable pigment that makes for a polished look no matter what colors they have. These Eye Reviver Palettes have soft texture shadows that fall in between a full matte and full shimmer. The shimmer is finely milled but super natural on the eye so if you hate frost eyeshadow or complete mattes, the shadows in these palettes fall somewhere in between. If you prefer all mattes, the Urban Decay Naked Basics and Naked2 Basics are hands down my top picks.

Since they both seem very similar, I don't think you need both. The pigment of the colors with Nordy Girl is better in the sense the colors are richer and more pigmented on the skin. The 2 lightest shades have really good pigment, however the next 3 medium shades are almost identical on my medium olive-toned skin. The pigment of the Original 001 is slightly sheerer but there is more contrast between the five shades which allows for more variation.

I own a lot of similar shadows so I can't call them must-haves for me. I am pleased with the quality, lasting power and overall color scheme. If I were to recommend a good starter palette to someone new to makeup, I would recommend these as goof-proof easy to use eyeshadows.

If I had to pick one of the two, I favor the Original Version because it has more contrast in the colors. The Nordy Girl is more visible on my skin and has a more dramatic feel because cool tones look sharper on my olive skintone. If you're deciding between the two, I would say base your decision on your preference for warm (opt for 001) or cool tones (pick Nordy Girl).


The Nordy Girl Eye Reviver Backstage Pros Illuminating Neutrals Eye Palette is a limited-edition product for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (retails for $62). I hope you found the review of both Eye Reviver Palettes helpful.

Did you check out the palette from Nordstrom? What did you think?

 

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