Monday, October 20, 2014

Burberry Beauty A/W 2014 Nail Polishes | Elderberry, Antique Gold, Ink Blue, Dark Bottle Green and Teal Blue

Burberry Beauty has five new shades of nail polish for the fall 2014 beauty collection. The shades are rich and dramatic colors and I'm completely obsessed. These have amazing pigment and rich hues that I think are perfect for right now and for the upcoming winter months (although it still feels like summer in Southern California). The new shades for fall ($22 each) include: Elderberry, Ink Blue, Dark Bottle Green, Teal Blue and Antique Gold.

If you've read reviews on other Burberry polishes, such as Oxblood, Pink Azalea, Pink Peony and Orange Poppy you know I'm smitten with the Burberry Nail Polish colors but have mixed feelings about the formula and brush. The brushes on these polishes remain the same, they are wide and flat which makes it easy to get a precise application along the side edges of the nail, but if you have small fingers like me, you need to take extra care near the cuticles with application. The formula of Oxblood needed three coats for full coverage, but so far it's the only shade I've needed an extra coat for. The new shades for fall have a better and more opaque formula making them full coverage polishes with two coats. I did find Teal Blue to be slightly sheerer with a slight jelly-like finish, but the color went on smoothly.

Swatches of each color with two coats below. I had my top coat out to cover each nail, but the Burberry polishes ended up having a nice glossy finish on their own, so I didn't add it on three of the shades I swatched:

Elderberry is a dark plum. It's a vampy shade with perfect coverage. My nail wheels and most of my polishes are buried somewhere in one of our many packed boxes (my husband and I are still unpacking) so I wasn't able to do comparison swatches. It has a similar vibe to Tom Ford Black Cherry, but the Burberry isn't quite as dark.

Dark Bottle Green is a rich deep green color. This one surprised me because I'm normally not a fan of green nail colors on me but this one blew me away. It's really lovely and the application is perfect. It's one of my top three picks for the fall collection.

Ink Blue is a deep blue. The formula on this one is also perfect. It went on the nails smoothly with two coats. The first coat was enough to cover the entire nail but the second one smoothed it out perfectly. Love this one.

Antique Gold is a unique brassy gold shade. It's a metallic color and I was really happy that the brush strokes are subtle on this one. I think with any metallic you'll see some brush strokes but this one isn't noticeable. The coverage on the Burberry shimmers/metallics that I've tried are really good. This one included.

Teal Blue is just that, a teal blue color. This one is such a pretty shade of blue, even my husband commented on how pretty it was and he usually doesn't have much of an opinion about what I put on my nails. Teal Blue has a slight transparent quality, even with two coats it has a slight jelly finish. I could have added a third for full coverage, but I liked it with two.

I'm really happy with all of these, they are edgy classics. My top three picks include Dark Bottle Green, Teal Blue and Ink Blue. If I didn't have more polishes to review and swatch right now I would have Dark Bottle Green on my nails for the next week.

The Burberry Nail Polishes retail for $22 each. You can find the fall shades now online and in select stores at Burberry, Nordstrom and Saks.

Now that fall is officially here, what have you been wearing on your nails this fall?

The polishes were provided by Burberry for review consideration.

Burberry Beauty Fall 2014 - Sneak Peek

I have some beautiful items from Burberry Beauty to share soon. The design of the fall beauty collection is a reflection on the artistic themes of the A/W14 runway looks, features pigmented tones and hand-painted effects in a colour palette of bottle green, elderberry and ink blue. For the fall beauty look, the collection's new releases include:
You can find the items now at Burberry, Nordstrom and Saks. Stay tuned for nail polish swatches to be posted shortly. I hope to have the quads reviewed later this week, but I'll say right now I'm 100% in love with the rich colors of the nail polishes.

Many thanks to Burberry for sending these items for review consideration.

By Terry Cellularose Brightening CC Lumi-Serum | Apricot Glow and Sunny Flash

I'm always a fan of liquid highlighters that give a nice luminous glow, especially ones that have just the right consistency to mix in with foundations. Finding ones that are warm enough in color with just the right amount of shimmer for my medium olive skin isn't easy. There are a number of liquid highlighters on the market that are perfect for highlighting that are very shimmery or pale in color. Finding the right one to mix product in with foundation or use as an all over primer is tricky for me because I prefer ones that are beige, golden, yellow or darker in color. I had been eyeing the By Terry Cellularose Brightening CC Lumi Serums ($89 for 30 ml/1 fl oz) for quite some time and finally splurged over the summer on Apricot Glow No. 3 and Sunny Flash No. 4. I've been very pleased with both.

The By Terry Cellularose Brightening CC Lumi-Serum is a color correcting fluid. It has a nice smooth texture that blends in nicely with the skin. By Terry calls these "color control radiance elixirs." The reps that have helped me at Space NK and Barneys explained that these are called serums because of the ingredients inside these that help smooth and nourish skin while brightening dark spots. I'm not sure if the serum actually helps lighten dark spots or just lightens the look of dark spots. I haven't used this long enough to see results of dark spots fading. Over the past four months that I've been using these, I haven't noticed dark spots fade, although this does really help to even the look of the skin and creates a lovely glow.

There are four different shades, I tested a sample packet of all four and prefer the options 3 and 4 because they work best with my skin tone. You can use these individually or mix them together to get different effects. Due to the high price of these I haven't splurged on the other two.

Swatches with different lighting shows how soft these liquids are, they have a subtle luminous glow that is visible but not too shimmery, these have a soft rose scent that is really soothing and not overpowering. However if you have an extra sensitive nose, you may want to test in person before splurging:

Out of the four shade options, I picked out Apricot Glow which is their universally flattering shade for fair to medium skin tones and Sunny Flash which is the bronzed version. I really like how Apricot Glow has a yellow-peach undertone which flatters my medium olive skin. There is a subtle pearlescent quality in it that flashes slight hints of pink, but it's predominantly golden and peach which I find adds that perfect glow when used all over the face. I like this as a primer to give a healthy looking radiant effect. If you add foundation and powder on top, you won't see the glow as much but I do see a visible difference in the overall look. I like this one mixed in with foundation as well.

Sunny Flash is a shade darker than my skintone but I like this mixed in with foundations to warm them up. I also like this layered on top of the cheeks or eyes to add a bit of depth and warmth. If you add powder or foundation on top, you won't see as much of the glow but I really like how this looks to smooth out the skin and cheek area. It has enough color to give a very slight contour. It has visible shimmer in it so it makes the skin glow, but not too much.

The serums come with an easy to use pump dispenser:

Some comparisons to other highlighters and illuminators. All of these have beautiful shimmery particles which make them look different depending on how the light interacts with the highlighters. I've taken three different swatch shots to show the base color along with the luminescent quality:

NARS Hot Sand Illuminator (discontinued)
MAC Strobe Liquid in Golden Elixir (discontinued)

I'm really pleased with both. Many highlighters look good for a few hours if I use them all over the face or mixed in with foundations but end up looking too dewy by early afternoon. The By Terry Cellularose Brightening CC Lumi Serums have a thinner texture that isn't quite as emollient as others which I find makes them last longer on the skin. You get the nice glow without looking greasy in a few hours. I found them both suitable for my super sensitive skin, neither clogged or emphasized pores, although I did find they looked best when used over well-moisturized skin. At $89 each these are quite expensive. I haven't found anything quite like Apricot Glow though, it's a very unique golden apricot color which I've been looking for what seems like forever. I highly recommend both.


The By Terry Cellularose Brightening CC Lumi-Serums come in four shades. They retail for $89 each, available at Space NK and Barneys New York.

PS If you have been waiting to splurge, you may want to take advantage of Space NK's Discover Promotion which ends on 10/21 for $20 off a $75 purchase with code DISCOVER20.

Are you a By Terry fan? What are your favorites?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Tom Ford Lip Color Matte | First Time, Pink Tease, Pussycat and Velvet Cherry

Tom Ford has released a new lipstick formula called Lip Color Matte ($50 each, made in Belgium). I spotted some shades at the Tom Ford Boutique on Rodeo Drive last week. The new Lip Color Mattes are currently available online at Tom Ford and Neiman Marcus, they should be released at all Tom Ford retailers later this season. I found some helpful swatches and photos on Instagram from @beautyprofessor, @reallyree and @tanyabuzzetta. I saw seven different shades in Pink Tease, First Time, Velvet Cherry, Pussycat, Flame, Plum Lush and Ruby Rush, although there are reports that an additional shade Black Dahlia might also be released.

The Lip Color Matte formula is a lipstick with a velvety semi-matte finish. They are designed to be matte lipsticks but they aren't really a traditional full matte which is a huge plus for me. I rarely say I hate anything beauty related, but on me, I really hate matte lips. I find they emphasize lines, look heavy/thick and end up aging the face. Finding colors that work with the matte texture is also tricky for me. The Tom Ford Lip Color Mattes have a soft cushy velvety texture. They glide on smoothly onto the lips and don't look dry. I do find that if you have any peeling or dry areas, prep the lips with a lip balm for a few minutes and then wipe it off before applying the lipstick. Another good alternative I like is MAC's Prep + Prime Lip (it's a good lip primer to keep lipstick in place, but not really a lip moisturizer).

These have the same vanilla scent as the regular lip colors do. Lasting power is quite good, they aren't budge proof but they do stay put fairly long. I picked out four colors, three neutrals and one deep burgundy red. The others were very dark and bright - good if you want a dramatic lip, but too dramatic for my taste. The color I bought include:

L to R: First Time, Pink Tease, Pussycat, Velvet Cherry

  • First Time is a peach nude pink, this one applies nicely on the lips, you have to let it sit for a minute and warm up on the lip though, it doesn't change color but the texture melds into the lip after a minute of sitting on the lips
  • Pink Tease is a very cool-toned medium pink, this looks like a neutral pink in the tube, but on my lips it went a bit fluorescent and pulled very cool on my skin, this one needs tweaking with a gloss or lipliner to warm it up, otherwise it makes my lips look really dry just because the color clashes with my skin
  • Pussycat is a cool mauve pink, this one surprised me, I thought it would go on too blue-toned based on how it swatched on my hand, it's a surprisingly wearable mauve
  • Velvet Cherry is a deep red, this something I usually don't go for, but it's a classic deep dark red that isn't too dark, this one needs careful application and lip prep, it has such a sharp contrast with my natural lip color, precise application is key, I applied it below straight from the tube (scroll down) although I should have fixed it with a lip brush

Close ups and swatches, you can see below the coverage and pigment is really good:

Comparisons, Set One has the following (I'll link previous swatches and reviews):

Set Two has Aerin Wild Lilac, Tom Ford Black Orchid (discontinued), MAC Ruby Patent Polish, Burberry Blueberry Lip Mist

Lip swatches of the four lip mattes I picked out below:

I like First Time, Pussycat and Velvet Cherry. In real life they look very natural and smooth on the lips, a camera flash tends to emphasize any shadows or fine lines so they might look a bit dry in the photos above. The exception is with Pink Tease which I am not a fan of (at least on me). I can't really pull off cool-toned bright pinks well, they end up looking too mod-like. The color just looks really aged and dry on my lips, but in all fairness, all colors similar in tone and brightness do the same.

I'm not a fan of matte-finish lipsticks so I can't say I am absolutely in love with these, but I am very pleased with 3 of the 4 shades I bought. I personally prefer Tom Ford's other lip formulas and color options, but the Lip Color Mattes still perform very well and I do think they are worth looking into, especially if you like rich deep colors.

The Lip Color Mattes can be found online and in stores at Tom Ford Boutiques and Neiman Marcus for $50 each. They should be widely available at all Tom Ford counters soon. (PS Neiman Marcus has their Incircle event now and an online mini lipstick gift with $100 purchase, while supplies last).

Are you a fan of matte lips or Tom Ford lipsticks? Have you picked up any of the colors?

Rescue Beauty Lounge Buy 2 Get 1 Free, Now Until Monday 10/20/2014

Rescue Beauty Lounge is having a promotion where you buy 2 nail polishes and get 1 free with world-wide free shipping! The offer is good now through Monday 10/20/2014 noon EST. There are a few exclusions, the promotion excludes Italian Summer and Anatomy of a #Kdrama. The following colors are excluded from this promotion: Oh Slap!, Monologue, Cue The Montage, Instant Amnesia, Not Your Baby, Will They Won’t They, Burn The Evidence, Gondoliere , Motorini, Oliveto, Bicicletta, Gelato Al Cioccolato, Meow Meow and Melanzane but are eligible for worldwide free shipping.

I love almost all of the colors I have, the formula is really phenomenal and among the best I've tried but my top five picks include: Naked Without Polish, Stormy, Small Dim Summer Stars, Kellie Gonzo, Forgiveness.

No codes necessary for the promo, but be sure to select the Free Shipping option at checkout.

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Formula X Challenge with The System Kit

I'm a huge fan of Formula X line and have been particularly impressed with the way The System works to extend manicure wear. Several of you have asked for a follow up post to my original one back in May wanting to see nail shots of my Formula X manicure through the course of a week. I've put the color in Blazing to the test for the Formula X Challenge. My manicure lasted quite well for almost an entire week. My husband and I have been busy packing boxes and bubble wrapping fragile items for our move and my manicure still managed to survive. For those new to the Formula X System, it's a set that comes with four easy to use items:
  • Nail Cleanser – An essential step that frees nails of residue and oil, optimizing base coat and lacquer adherence
  • Base Coat – An advanced adhesive primer containing essential bonding agents that form a sticky layer to fuse with your lacquer
  • Nail Color Of Your Choice – Choose from over 200 Formula X shades and effects
  • Top Coat – A super glossy, state-of-the-art, long-wearing final step that enhances your lacquer’s shine and performance, this helps extend your nail polish like no other

The color I've tested is Blazing which is a rich shimmery wine-red. It applies very smoothly with two coats. The first coat will look a bit sheer, but it levels out perfectly with the second coat. Even though it's more of a metallic, it doesn't have visible brush strokes which is a huge plus for me. It has a multi-dimensional look because there are different colors of shimmers infused throughout the polish. There's a mix of deep red, bright red, pearl and plum. It looks different depending on how the light hits the nails. Sometimes it's clearly red. Other times it looks more cool-toned and more plum. I'm obsessed.

The System is super easy to use and apply on your own. I've found the nail cleanser makes a huge difference in helping your polish adhere better to the nail by prepping the surface of your nails. Below are Steps 1 through 4 to apply polish with the Formula X System:

Below is my Formula X manicure over the course of 6 Days. Your mileage may vary with polish lasting power depending on nail length and everyday activity. I usually cover the end/tip of the nail with a thin dab of polish and smooth it with top coat over the edges to help the color last longer. If you type a lot for work, longer nails may be subject to tip wear faster, especially if your nails tend to hit the keys frequently. I try to keep mine on the short side and hold my hands relatively flat when I type, but the tips of my index and middle finger have more surface contact compared to my other fingers and end up getting tip wear first.

Day 4 and still perfect:

On Day 5, I started to see slight tip wear on index and middle fingers, I attribute this to packing boxes and extensive use of bubble wrap and tape for our move:

I've had really good results with the Formula X nail colors and System set. I know many of you have chimed in with comments on past posts and also raved. I highly recommend a visit to their dedicated website www.formulax.comIt's a nail art destination for Formula X fans to browse images and get inspired. It's filled with clickable images of nail products and looks. You can also click on any interesting color palette for ideas on Formula X shade color combinations. Formula X fans can then upload their own nail looks right to the website, or with tag Instagram images with #myformulaxpic and have their nail look appear on the inspiration grid.

Right now, you can visit their website for a chance to experience The System yourself with the Formula X Sweepstakes. They are giving away 150 Formula X System Kits (terms and official rules apply). Entries will be collected through October 28, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. PST (must be a US resident and 18 years or older).

To stay up to date with the latest and for more inspiration be sure to follow Formula X on Instagram @formulax, Twitter @formulax, Facebook or Pinterest.

Have you tried Formula X? What colors are your favorites?

Many thanks to Formula X for sponsoring this post.


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