Friday, October 9, 2015

Rescue Beauty Lounge Fan Collection 3.0

I'm thrilled to share swatches of the latest collection from Rescue Beauty Lounge called The Fan Collection 3.0. This is a launch includes seven new nail polish colors inspired by fans of the Rescue Beauty Lounge line. Ji has mixed up seven dream nail colors and as always, they are absolutely stunning colors. In a world full of hundreds of nail polish colors, Ji never ceases to impress me - each time I open a box, I'm in total awe of her. She is a genius mix master.

There are seven new shades. These will be available for pre-sale starting October 13th for 48 hours so be sure you're signed up for her newsletter via to receive the link to shop. It will be available for sale to everyone else shortly after.

Ethereal is a gorgeous pearly seashell ivory shimmer. It has a lovely glow to it. It's semi-sheer but you can layer it for full coverage, I have it shown with three coats.

The inspiration, "It is reflected in a fleeting sunrise, the lining of a seashell, the bubbles of pink champagne in a gold-rimmed flute, the shimmering silk of a sari, the glow of a candle through a gossamer white curtain. Ethereal is elegant and infinitely wearable, but has the merest hint of flash. It’s a versatile polish that can be worn by anyone, for any occasion." —Nancy’s Fantasy.

Sanguine is a deep rich burgundy wine red shimmer. It's packed with loads of sparkles but applies very smoothly on the nail with a glossy finish.

The inspiration, "The color I crave is a juicy jelly a la Starfish Patrick with a bright, burgundy base. It is luminous, like Poco a Poco, illuminated by the soft, peached pink glow and subtle flashes of orange. The color is vibrant, bold, and spirited. At once bright and sparkling, mysterious and dark." – Lygie’s craving.

Electro Glacier is a baby blue with electric sparkles. This one took Ji a lot of mixing to get the right mix of bright, light and blue undertone to get the perfect color.

The inspiration, "This dream color would be an icy pastel blue/green with magical iridescent sparkles. It would be light and bright, never described as muted or dusty. More blue than Aqua Lily, and much lighter than Faraway, it is closer to the color of Bikini Bottom, but striking and opaque. I imagine the sparkle effect to be along the lines of Scrangie and NailsandNoms. Tiny, yet highly effective." — Ashley’s #want

Galaxsea is a stunning complex iridescent purple with blue, silver, magenta, and purple sparkles inside. It's almost duo-chrome with the way it's complex, but it's a very smooth sparkle. This one brightens up my mood, it's such a fun color to wear. It's almost like a glitter polish but very smooth and the base makes it easy to remove.

The inspiration, "Things that excite (and somewhat terrify) me are outer space and the sea. My inspiration for a new shade are those two extremes, as well as my favorite colors — multi-faceted shades of purple, blue, magenta– think fish scales. I love glitter in my polishes or sometimes a well-done shimmer makes an even bigger impact — think stars." –Danielle’s Yearning...

Golden Horn is possibly my favorite out of the collection. It's a gorgeous iridescent soft shimmering white that isn't too white with suspended gold flecks. It's an off white shade in color but not a pure white so it's wearable on my hands (while true whites always look like white-out). There is a beautiful soft shimmer in the base which makes it glow. I had to add a closeup of the bottle - the gold is really subtle from a distance but up close you can see how gorgeous it is.

The inspiration, "This is a beautiful place in Istanbul where the Bosphorus makes an inlet. The idea is to have an off-white base (nothing too strong) with gold particles in it, similar to Naked Without Polish (which had a pink base). I love Naked Without Polish and I believe this can be a unique addition to your line. The particles should show through, so probably the base will not be 100% opaque. I love white and gold, I think it can be worn all year round, it is classy and chic." – Sara’s Marvel.... 

Vixen by Sassy Shelly is such a surprise. It's a medium-deep gorgeous berry magenta in the bottle but the shimmers are so bright the mix creates a unique bright but deep color on the nails. There are so many beautiful colors in the shimmer it's a really complex color. Of course as always, I love RBL shimmers because even the complex ones apply smoothly on the fingers.

The inspiration, "I’m dreaming of a shade that (as of yet?) has been missing from the RBL spectrum. It’s rich and decadent and just dripping with luxury. A vivid magenta! A semi-translucent jelly, but one that is so drenched in color that it can become fully opaque in just a few coats. Its depth is filled with shimmer, a shimmer like (the first) Scrangie so deep you feel as though you could dive right in and swim around for hours. A magenta that almost glows from within with stunning teal and gold, sparkling, shining through its layers..."— Shelly’s Dream... 

Last but not least, Many Splendors is the most unique color in the collection. It's a deep black and gold glitter that dries to a matte texture. Ji calls this lava-like and I completely agree. I love the look of this with a glossy top coat added, but I've swatched it here as is alone with 2 coats. Being a glitter matte, it is challenging to remove, so I recommend using a base coat to create a barrier for your nails.

The inspiration, "...a night-sky black polish that, like Uluru, responds to its environment revealing fiery flashes of red orange from within. “Many Splendours” could be thought of as a darker sister to my beloved bottle of Piu Mosso, however, like the island that inspired her, she will be truly one of a kind."— Angela’s envisage 

A few swatch comparisons:

Rescue Beauty Lounge Bubblegum Punk (swatches)
Rescue Beauty Lounge Morning Light (swatches)
Rescue Beauty Lounge Better Than Boyfriend Jeans (swatches)
Rescue Beauty Lounge (swatches)
Dior Galaxie 992 (discontinued, review here)
Chanel Tulip Noire 457 (discontinued)
Rescue Beauty Lounge Pretty Gritty (swatches)
Dior Czarina Gold (discontinued)
Rescue Beauty Lounge Scrangie 2.0

Be sure to check out more swatches, details and close ups on these amazing nail and beauty bloggers. There photos are amazing and nails impeccable. More details on the RBL Blog too:

Rescue Beauty Lounge Blog: Introducing The Fan Collection 3.0

These polishes will retail at $20 each. Pre-orders will start on October 13th for 48 hours. Be sure to sign up for the Rescue Beauty Lounge newsletter on their website to receive the pre-sale link. Also follow RBL on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with the latest from them.

Many thanks to Rescue Beauty Lounge for sending me samples for a preview.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

My Favorite Neutral Pink and Nude Lip Liner Pencils

I'm a neutral nude lipstick lover but I since I have pigmented lips I can't always pull off nudes. Many tend to either look super pale and chalky like concealer or are too dark on me - I know everyone has a different definition of nude when it comes to makeup, but to me a true nude is a your lips but better kind of color that is light and close to your natural skintone. I adore shades like MAC Cherish, Blankety, Creme Cup etc but they are almost impossible for me to wear alone without looking like I've swiped concealer all over my lips. Lip pencils often make it possible for me to wear lighter nude colors with blending or by creating a good softly lined base. If you've tried ordering lip pencils online like me then you know how hard it is to tell what the color looks like based on online swatches. I thought I'd roundup 20+ of my favorite neutral lip pencils alongside cult classics (some of which do not work for me even though they are wildly popular). As you'll see below many times you can't tell what the color will really look like until you swatch it. Also like nude neutral lipsticks, lip pencils have a wide variety of different undertones: warm, cool, pink, beige, peach, plum and brown.

Above photo: Diptyque Room Spray in Baies, Chêne candle recycled (boutique exclusive), stacked Blushes from Chanel and Hourglass 

A bit of background on what I look for in lip liners. I like ones that are soft and glide over the lips. I'm usually not a line and fill kind of girl when it comes to lip liners. I prefer to wear them around the outer edge and blend it slightly inwards to the center of lips to create an outlined base and then fill with a gloss or lipstick. Since many pencils are super pigmented and super saturated in color to help extend the wear of lipstick, I find lining and filling the entire lip leaves the lips looking really dry and emphasizes lines. This of course can be fixed with a good lip balm, lip primer or gloss.

I have 28 lip pencils to share swatches of, I'll link previous lip swatches if I have them. I was debating whether or not to swatch all on my lips - but nudes tend to look so different on me compared to everyone else. I think the swatches on the arms will help show the differences.

  1. Le Metier de Beaute Dualistic Lip Pencil in Nudite is a medium pinky brown creamy lip pencil, this one glides on the lips easily and is very pigmented, it has a smooth texture
  2. H&M Lip Liner in Au Naturel is included in the roundup because it's a new one and the perfect neutral nude color and at $5.99 I couldn't resist ordering it, on bare lips it's a disaster for me, you definitely need to prep the lips with a bit of lip balm or primer, this is borderline too pale, but it works
  3. MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Cultured is new to me, it's a long-wear mauvey nude pink
  4. MAC Lip Pencil in Subculture is my perfect nude pink, it has reached holy grail status for me, I've gone through 4 of them in my life, it's the best light pink nude that is still wearable
  5. MAC Lip Pencil in Oak is a classic light flesh nude, it's a classic for me because it has no orange undertone in it but doesn't make me look dead, unfortunately I think it might be on the discontinue list - the only place I could find it was on Bloomingdale's so I ordered 3 backups
  6. MAC Lip Pencil in Stripdown is another good true flesh nude, it's brown in undertone and slightly warmer than Oak, it's a good one but I know many find it too brown/grey
  7. MAC Lip Pencil in Boldly Bare comes second to my favorite Subculture, it's what I wanted Spice to always be, Boldly Bare is the perfect pinky warm medium nude that works wonders with pale lip colors and glosses
  8. MAC Lip Pencil in Spice is a cult classic that was so popular when I was in high school, every cool girl owned it, on me it was always so brown and pulled orangey on my lips even though it swatches more neutral, I still use and wear it to tweak lip colors, it's just not my favorite
  9. MAC Lip Pencil in Dervish isn't really a nude, it's more of a neutral medium rosy pink, but it falls into the neutral category for me, it's a classic staple I think everyone should try
  10. MAC Lip Pencil in Whirl is another really good nude, it pulls more mauvey nude rose which I adore, the cool tones prevents it from looking orange or brown on my lips, it has enough depth to really define the lips perfectly
  11. MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Double-Time is a neutral medium warm brown-pink-nude, this lasts all day without budging
  12. MAC Lip Pencil in Soar is a medium to dark pink, it's a bit darker and deeper on me than the traditional neutral, if you have deeper skin or deeper lips, this will probably pull more neutral on you than it does on me
  13. MAC Lip Pencil in Hover is another deeper neutral, it's one of the deepest neutrals I own
  14. MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Staunchly Stylish almost matches Subculture but it's slightly deeper and has a more pigmented finish
  15. Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Re-Size and Re-Shape Lip Liner in Iconic Nude is my perfect true nude in the sense that it's a flesh-toned beige nude, this is a classic pigmented pencil that I think might be a universally flattering color
  16. Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Re-Size and Re-Shape Lip Liner in Pillow Talk is a classic rosy pink neutral, this one goes well with a lot of the Charlotte Tilbury Lipsticks like Bitch Perfect, Confession, Penelope Pink etc.
  17. Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Re-Size and Re-Shape Lip Liner in Pink Venus is a warm peachy pink, the color warms up the lips and adds life to the face
  18. Chanel Precision Lip Definer in Natural is a classic light neutral pink nude beige, if you're looking for the perfect beige pink nude, this is it, compared to other formulas Chanel can tug on the lips a little, but they aren't drying
  19. Chanel Precision Lip Definer in Beige Satin is one of the lightest colors I own, it's borderline too pale for me, but I like mixing it with beige and nude lipsticks
  20. Chanel Precision Lip Definer in Beige Innocent is another pale pearly lip pencil from Chanel, it's almost identical to Beige Satin but slightly lighter
  21. Chanel Precision Lip Definer in Nude is a cult classic that has been used on me for every single Chanel makeover I've had, it's always seemed to be darker than what I envisioned a nude to be, but it's almost magical - artists have used this with every lip color imaginable from red, pink, coral, beige, peach - this somehow transforms and defines lip colors in the most amazing way
  22. Laura Mercier Lip Pencil in Naked is light baby pink neutral, it looks super light on me, but when I blend it out, it evens out the lip tone
  23. Laura Mercier Lip Pencil in Chestnut is another cult classic that is super popular, it's always recommended for the lipsticks I look at when shopping at the counter, it's a mauvey warm neutral
  24. Marc Jacobs Beauty (P)Outliner Lip Pencil in Honey(bun) is a super pigmented creamy twist up lip pencil, all three shades of the (P)Outliner are reviewed here, Honey(bun) is a neutral bright peachy color
  25. Marc Jacobs Beauty (P)Outliner Lip Pencil in Prim(rose) is a rosey pink brown neutral
  26. Marc Jacobs Beauty (P)Outliner Lip Pencil in Nude(ist) is a beige brown nude
  27. Edward Bess Defining Lip Liner in Natural is in my top picks for lip pencil formula, it comes in a sleek twist up tube and mine have never dried out, I've gone through several pencils, it's a great go-with-everything kind of neutral, texture is smooth and doesn't tug the lips
  28. Nudestix Lip & Cheek Pencil in Soul is one of the few chubby pencils I really really like. I own a number of chubby sticks from different brands but always find them a pain to sharpen (they always get so messy). Nudestix has a wide number of great nudes, Soul is my perfect warm peach nude (swatched on lips here)
One more view of all the pencils:

From the * clockwise, Le Metier de Beaute Nudite, H&M Au Naturel, MAC Cultured, MAC Subculture, MAC Oak, MAC Stripdown, MAC Boldly Bare, MAC Spice, MAC Dervish, MAC Whirl, MAC Double-Time, MAC Soar, MAC Hover, MAC Staunchly Stylish, Nudestix Soul, Edward Bess Natural, Marc Jacobs Beauty Nudite, Marc Jacobs Beauty Primrose, Marc Jacobs Beauty Honeybun, Laura Mercier Chestnut, Laura Mercier Naked, Chanel Nude, Chanel Beige Innocent, Chanel Beige Satin, Chanel Natural, Charlotte Tilbury Pink Venus, Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk, Charlotte Tilbury Iconic Nude

Truffle Small Clarity Clutch in new Nude

In case you're in need of some recommendations for clear or sheer lipglosses to layer over liners if you like to line and fill, here are a few of my favorites. In terms of lip primers, I swear by the MAC Prep+Prime Lip and Buxom True Nude Lip Foundation in Naked.

Below shown from left to right:
I hope you found this roundup of neutral lip pencils helpful! I think the swatches show how different many of them are even though they look really similar just based on the pencils themselves. If I were pressed to rank my top picks, my absolute favorites/staples are:

MAC Subculture
MAC Whirl
Edward Bess Natural
Chanel Nude
Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk

Do you have a favorite neutral lip pencil? I'd love to hear about what your holy grail neutrals are!

Press samples featured include Marc Jacobs (P)Outliners x3, Marc Jacobs Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquer in Moonglow, Nudestix Soul, Buxom True Nude Lip Foundation, Truffle Clarity Clutch

Monday, October 5, 2015

Birchbox Everyday Glamour Limited-Edition Box

Today Birchbox is launching a new limited-edition box called Everyday Glamour ($48 for 8 items, approximately $200 value). It's a really cute box filled with the perfect items to treat yourself or a friend with a transition into fall theme. For those new to Birchbox, this is a special limited-edition box that is different from the monthly subscription boxes. The Birchbox Team was kind enough to send me one as an early preview to share with you today. The contents of the Everyday Glamour Box:

All items are available to purchase individually (P.S. Juliette @jdalfeen, one of Birchbox's Social Media Managers has a live unboxing video on Periscope):
I've been playing with the box over the weekend, some items are classic staples for me, others are new discoveries. First up are the four color items. The Cargo Texas Lash Mascara comes with a large plush brush. It's a true deep black that doesn't turn color once dry. I like how it thickens the lashes without clumping. In texting it over the past weekend it didn't smudge or flake. It holds the curl for a long time. It doesn't hold it all day, but I would say the curl stayed put for about 4-5 hours but I have super stick straight lashes.

Also in the box will be one Jouer Powder Eyeshadow (colors will vary per box). I owned several Jouer Powder Eyeshadows many years ago - I should explore these more. They have a wet-to-dry formula that's super soft and blendable. The colors are good everyday kind of shades and the packaging has these little sliders on the side so you can connect multiple colors together. Espresso is a natural medium brown with a hint of shimmer.

Each box will have one Smith & Cult Lip Lacquer, mine came with Life in Photographs which is a sheer pale milky pink. On my lips it's almost clear - but if you're the kind of person who likes to line and fill lips with a natural lipliner and top with a sheer gloss, this is a good one because it smooths out the lips, adds shine and doesn't feel goopy or too sticky. The glosses have a very moisturizing feel and stay put without sliding around. There's a soft vanilla scent but on the lips the scent fades after a minute. I have a few of these glosses and really like them.

The last color item is a Ciaté Nail Polish in Paparazzi which is the perfect cream vamp plum shade for fall. It goes on smoothly. Full coverage is achieved with two coats. I'm on day 2 of the manicure and so far no tip wear or chipping yet. I'll update the notes here after testing if for a full week on lasting power.

Swatches of Paparazzi and Life in Photographs: 

For skincare items, the Everyday Glamour Box comes with three items to try. The first is a NER:D Sheet Mask called the Skin Repair Master Mask. I haven't had a chance to try this but I hope to this week. If you've tried anything from NER:D, I'd love to hear your thoughts. This one is supposed to have healing and soothing properties which sounds like the perfect end-of-week treatment.

There's a mini vial of the Caudalie Divine Oil which is a classic staple for me. It's an amazing dry oil perfect to add moisture and glow to the skin. I use mine on the body - it absorbs quickly and and has a really nice relaxing scent. I like to apply it on in the morning or night after showers. It's a good touch up product if you're feeling dry mid-day. The minis used to come with a spritzer, I do wish it still did. These days the mini vials don't have one.

Last but not least is the Michael Todd Concentrated C Antioxidant Moisturizing Serum. This is a new line for me. I'm super hesitant to try new serums on my face since I have very sensitive skin and in general extremely picky with serums. I've only tried this for a couple days - but first thoughts are that this is an extremely moisturizing and hydrating serum. If you have super dry skin I recommend giving this a try. I always layer moisturizer on top of serum. The dry-down texture of many serums doesn't work so well with foundation if you wear it alone. The texture of the Michael Todd is on the thick side, I was worried it would be too heavy because you can really feel it on the skin. However once it's absorbed it feels weightless. Throughout the day my skin feels less oily and greasy - it seems to hydrate while controlling oil. It's supposed to have ingredients that repair sun damage and reduce brown spots. It will take time to see results but so far I like the way it feels on the skin.

Overall, thumbs up. The Everyday Glamour Box does indeed have a good selection of items for everyday glamour. The plum nail lacquer in Ciaté Paparazzi couldn't be more perfect as a fall transition color. Smith & Cult Lip Lacquers add a nice natural shine to the lips, good to layer over your go-to fall lip color. The Caudalie Divine Oil is a must-have in my opinion, the travel size is pretty affordable so if you're looking for one new body product to try, I highly recommend it. The other items in the box are pretty new to me and I like the variety offered in skincare and body. I think it's a nice way to try a lot of items at a value price.

If you're looking for a treat yourself gift or a box for a friend, the holiday boxed sets are starting to trickle in. I'm usually a pick-your-own-individual-items kind of person but last year's sets were phenomenal and the ones trickling in this month look even better. The Birchbox Everyday Glamour Box is definitely worth looking into. You can find the Everyday Glamour Box online at Birchbox now. It is limited-edition.

Do you spot any favorites in this box? If you've tried anything from the brands, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Many thanks to Birchbox for sending a preview box for review.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Golden Sun and Vibration and Illuminating Powder Infiniment Chanel

Chanel launched a new mini collection focusing on cheeks and complexion. There are two Joues Contraste Powder Blushes ($45 each for 6 g / 0.21 oz) in Golden Sun 280 and Vibration 270, a new Illuminating Powder called Infiniment Chanel ($65 for 12 g/0.42 oz) and a new angled 2-in-1 Foundation Brush for Liquid and Powder ($45). Other items in the feature include repromotes with a focus on the Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation, Hydrabeauty Microserum and Le Blanc de Chanel Makeup Base. I reviewed the new Chanel brush a couple weeks ago here. It's a very good one that provides streak-free smooth application on foundation. Today I have a review on the 3 items for cheeks.

Swatched below with a heavy hand:

All three colors are new to me. It was pointed out to me that Golden Sun might be an older color that was discontinued but I don't own the original so I'm not sure if it's the same color repromoted or if it's a new color with the same name. The current Golden Sun #280 blush is the most perfect shimmering beige nude with a hint of tan. It's a gorgeous stunning neutral that adds a tiny bit of warmth and natural contour/depth to the face that's ultra flattering. I'm head over heels in love with it.

A few comparison swatches below, all are discontinued except:

Vibration #270 is another unique color. To me it looks like a bright warm pink, but at the counter, one of my favorite reps described as more of a bright coral pink. I think it's somewhere in between both - depending on how light or dark your skin is will determine how it looks on your skin. On me it's a very pigmented vibrant color. A tiny dab adds such a pretty healthy glow but it is easy to layer. That being said it's also easy to overdo because it's so pigmented so I recommend applying with a light hand.

Comparison swatches:

Chanel Joues Contraste in Angelique and Rose Initiale
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Radiant Magenta 

Last but not least is the new Infiniment Chanel Illuminating Powder. This launched in other countries earlier a few months ago and I was hoping it would be released in the US. I was thrilled to find that it did. It's described as having a "shimmering peach-pink shade to brighten cheeks and a luminous beige tone to subtly highlight or enhance." The peachy-pink tone is actually more peachy on my skin and it's in an embossed double C pattern in the middle. The light beige color is a soft luminous beige that is very soft and pretty on the skin. I tried applying both shades individually - but unfortunately the Cs are right in the middle so no matter how much I tried, with any powder or blush brush I ended up mixing. The light powder would be so perfect if it were separated because I think it would be an amazing setting and finishing powder. The peachy center makes the color too dark for all over my face at my current skintone of Chanel Beige 30/40.

I love this swirled together on the cheeks alone for a very natural barely-there glow or over other blush to soften and illuminate colors. I don't have any dupes or comparison swatches for this one. The mix of the light beige and peachy shimmer is really unique, I would say the light beige has a similar effect to if you mixed Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused and Dim Light, the peachy color isn't like anything I own. Do note this powder is heavily scented - I was a bit blown away by how floral and strong it was when I opened the compact. The good news for me is that I didn't find the scent lasted too long and it faded after a few minutes. Even though it has a slightly luminous shimmer, on my skin this looks more matte.

I'm beyond thrilled with all three additions. Golden Sun is one of the prettiest nude shimmer blushes I've tried. It seems fairly basic in the compact but has such a stunning mix of shimmers it gives the face depth and dimension. Vibration is something that also appears standard in the pan but it's such a striking bright warm pink that isn't too warm. I thought it would be really similar to other Chanel blushes I have but am happy to find it's darker and more pigmented than the others I own. If you've found Chanel blushes too light in color for your skin, this is a good one that fills the gap of darker shades. I have a huge love for the Infiniment Chanel Illuminating Powder but given how subtle it is, I suspect it might be hit or miss for many of you. I like the way it adds a very natural hint of color and glow on the skin, but the effect is very very natural - it's more of like a soft finishing powder with a tint rather than an illuminating powder. The peach makes this one too dark to wear this all over my face. I adore it but think it would have been better if the colors were more distinctly separated so I could wear the beige all over and add the peach as a darker contour.

You can find all three items at Chanel counters now. If you're looking for a good angled foundation brush, the new one in this collection is worth looking at too. Online at Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and all other Chanel retailers.


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