Showing posts with label Bobbi Brown. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bobbi Brown. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Winter Skin Savers: Face Masks for Every Need


Today I'm chatting with you about the face masks I have in rotation right now. Winter weather usually means my skin starts to feels dry or lacking in luster and the best way to help improve my skin's texture, clarity and the way it feels in general is by using weekly mask treatments. I've teamed up with Nordstrom to share a roundup of 12 masks which include a mix of tried and true treatments along with a few new discoveries. I'm obsessed with masks in general - I often use them 2x per week, sometimes I mix it up depending on how my skin feels at a specific time.

First, a bit of background. When it comes to masks, or with any skincare in general, I would say recommendations depend on your skin type and what kind of treatment you're looking for. I've split up my recommendations into four main categories: 1) lift and firm, 2) moisturize, 3) clarify/purify and 4) boost radiance. I've put 12 to the test to see how they hold up for my sensitive skin and super sensitive nose. In terms of types, I love a good sheet mask, but for today I've rounded up the kind you apply, leave on for 5-15 minutes and rinse off. The traditional apply-then-rinse-off kind is what I prefer, they are easy and fun to apply and I like the whole process of rinsing with water for that squeaky clean feeling.



Up first are two lifting and firming face masks. I'll start with the best face mask I have ever tried which is the the La Mer Lifting and Firming Mask ($245 for 1.7 oz/50 ml). I was lucky to find a mini sample of this one during a gift with purchase event and it was pure love the first time I tried it. This is the most I've ever splurged on a mask, but it's one of those skincare products I tested and immediately thought, "oh my god this is amazing." It comes in a large tub with a brush applicator. I'm relatively new to using brushes to apply masks but after testing a few, I think I kinda like it. With this mask, skin feels ultra soft after using it. It's formulated to tighten, firm and refine the face and neck although I've only tested this on the face so far. Skin does indeed look and feel noticeably firmer after using this. Fine lines are minimized. After using this you can feel the moisture without any greasy feel and the skin glows. I would call this one life changing and at the high price I think it should be. It's a luxurious splurge but worth every penny. I don't think I've ever been so in love with a skincare product in my life.

Another good firming mask is the Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask ($70 for 75 ml/2.5 fl oz). This one is formulated to lift, smooth, brighten and tighten pores. It sounds like an all-in-one kind of mask and I think it works wonders to lift and plump the skin. This one needs a very thin layer, if you apply too much it won't dry properly and will be difficult to wash off. This one is heavily fragranced so it won't be everyone's cup of tea. I don't mind the scent (I find it pleasant and unique). After using it skin feels smooth and lifted. The skin glows and looks noticeably brighter after using it. I noticed redness was reduced drastically. It does shrink pores around the nose area too. If you want a sampler of her skincare (trial or travel size) you can still find the mask in her Red Carpet Skin Set ($85) or the Gift of Goddess Skin Trio ($59) and the sizes seem large enough to get several uses out of the tubes.


Next are masks for an added moisture boost. My favorite gentle moisturizing mask is the Caudalie Moisturizing Mask ($39 for 75 ml/2.5 fl oz). This one is a game changer for me, most moisturizing masks are too heavy or leave the skin feeling too glowy so for moisture I prefer sheet masks. For a more traditional mask, this one adds enough moisture to soothe dry skin and makes it glow without the heavy feel. It has the most wonderful refreshing clean scent making it feel extra nice. It also works really well to help calm irritated skin and reduce redness. I really like Caudalie for the gentle but effective skincare.

Bobbi Brown just launched new face masks. I bought the Mini Mask Trio ($20 for 3 minis each .24 fl oz/7 ml) which comes with super tiny tubes. For these I was able to get 2 uses out of each one which is enough to get a sense of how it will feel on the skin, but not quite enough to get a true sense of how it will perform. The moisturizing option is the Skin Nourish Mask ($47 for the full size). It has an ultra smooth almost gel-like texture. It has coral grass and green algae to help boost collagen production and smooth the skin. I felt it did smooth and sooth the skin. Given the fact that I already have some other favorites for moisture masks, I'm not sure I will purchase the full size.

My second most favorite moisture mask is the Glamglow Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment ($69 for 1.7 oz/50 g). This one smells delicious (I almost want to eat it). It adds the most moisture to my skin out of all the masks I've tried. It helps reduce any flaky areas or patches. It can tingle a little but it's not too strong. If you're super sensitive to tingle or scent, you might want to skip this one and opt for the Bobbi Brown instead which is more gentle but still adds moisture.



Next up are some clarifying and purifying options. This type is my favorite kind of mask to use but many purifying/detox masks can be really strong and end up drying out my skin. Some dry my skin so much it leaves my face red afterwards and flaky by the next day. My newest discovery is the Kate Somerville EradiKate Mask ($54 for 60 ml/2 fl oz). This was used on me during a facial, my aesthetician mentioned that a lot of her clients had been raving about it. I saw really good results from my facial so I bought this the very next week. It's part of the anti-acne line and normally these kinds of products are too strong for my skin, but this one is pretty gentle. It's foam activated so you apply it to your skin and leave it on for 10 minutes. It starts to foam as it works and removes impurities. It tingles slightly as it foams up but does not sting (and I'm a huge wimp when it comes to skincare that tingles). It contains colloidal sulfur which helps reduce redness (it really works wonders in this area) and reduce acne. I highly recommend it.

Caudalie of course is on the list for favorites. The Purifying Mask ($39 for 75 ml/2.5 oz) targets spots to reduce blemishes. It clarifies the skin by drawing out impurities but it's super gentle. Out of all the purifying masks, I would say this is the most gentle purifying mask I've ever tried. If you need something stronger the Instant Detox Mask ($39 for 75 ml/2.5 oz) is really good at drawing out the gunk that builds up in your pores. It's a super deep cleansing mask - I prefer this on the T-zone or on spots (with Caudalie they recommend you mix masks at one time to target different needs on different areas of the face). It's on the strong side so I would recommend on the nose or on trouble spots, I would not recommend using it all over the face.

My most-used clarifying mask is the Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment ($69 for 1.2 oz/34 g). I've lost count of how many I've used up and repurchased. Anytime my skin starts to break out from buildup or hormonal acne, I use this and it clears up within the week. It cleans out the skin like nothing else I've tried. Regular use has also helped tremendously with acne scars. It's good for oily skin and helps rebalance the face. It's a more gentle version of the Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Mask. If you still find the Supermud too strong, try the Caudalie or Kate Somerville ones instead.

Bobbi Brown has a mask called the Instant Detox Mask ($47 for the full size). This is a like a gentler version of the Caudalie Detox Mask. I liked that it acted like a clarifying mud mask without being too strong. It cleared up my skin and helped to rebalance oily and dry areas without being too strong or too drying. I will be purchasing the full size of this one once I use up my Glamglow and Kate Somerville Masks. Pores were significantly reduced.

The last category is radiance boosting or complexion savers. Bobbi Brown has one called Radiance Boost ($47). This one felt like it had exfoliating properties with tiny grains inside. For radiance, I tend to prefer sheet masks, but decided to give this one a try from the mini trio set. It has superfine walnut grain to exfoliate dead skin cells and orange oil extract to rebalance the oils in your skin. I didn't notice as much of a glow as I did with the La Mer or Charlotte Tilbury masks, but I did notice a subtle glow and my skin did feel smoother with the exfoliating properties. This one has a gentle citrus scent. For now I will be sticking to my sheet masks for radiance.

Last but not least is the Caudalie Glycolic Peel ($39 for 75 ml/2.5 fl oz). This one is the most gentle peel mask I've tried. I do an occasional peel treatment with other brands but my skin is so sensitive that I can't tolerate the tingling sensation (some make my eyes water). The Caudalie has no tingle and is non-irritating. For this one you will see results over time. It's a super gentle treatment that helps with exfoliation that improves the skin texture and radiance over the course of a few weeks. It's the most gentle kind of peeling mask I've tried.
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If you're in search for a new mask, I hope you found this roundup helpful. There are so many different kinds of masks and brands. Nordstrom has over 200 options to choose from and you can filter options by benefit, price point and brand to find the one that suits your specific needs. I have tested quite a few, but for me testing has happened over the span of several months before I usually decide if something really works. My rotation changes as the season shifts to warmer weather. My top picks for right now are:
  1. La Mer Lifting and Firming Mask - for the most impressive results in terms of skin texture, appearance and feel (gives you baby soft skin)
  2. Caudalie Moisture Mask - best moisturizing mask
  3. Kate Somerville EradiKate Mask - best anti-acne redness reducing mask
  4. Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment - best clarifying and brightening mask for me




Do you have any favorite winter skincare masks? What's in your rotation right now? I always get the best recommendations from my readers, if you have any tried and true or new discoveries please share!

Many thanks to Nordstrom for partnering with me to sponsor this post. As always, all opinions my own.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

On My Radar / New in Beauty


Is it too early for spring beauty yet? For those looking forward, there is a lot on the horizon for spring that focuses on fresh and glowing beauty. I've already spotted sneak peeks of new foundation releases from Chanel, Laura Mercier, YSL, Armani, NARS to name a few - all to be launching soon. For now, here's a roundup of new beauty launches on my radar that you can purchase right now if you need instant gratification. I placed a large order a couple days ago for some Dior spring items and also picked up a few pieces from Chanel spring. I'll be testing them in the next week and have swatches as soon as I can.
  1. Chanel Collection L.A. Sunrise for spring 2016 has started to trickle in stores and is now live on Chanel.com, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue. It has a brighter feel than what I normally go for, but I love that everything is lively and colorful. What I picked up (reviews + swatches soon):
  2. Charlotte Tilbury Magic just launched the Magic Skin Trilogy with two new additions to her Magic Line. I'm a huge fan of her Magic Cream ($100) and couldn't be more thrilled to see it available now in the Magic Night Cream ($145) and Magic Eye Rescue Cream ($60). I've been testing both of the new items for 3 days now, will have a report back after a few more days but I can say now that the Magic Night Cream is phenomenal - I wake up with glowing skin. (Also available in a Magic Skin Trilogy Set for $285.)
  3. YSL Spring Look just launched with a collection of pastels. I have my eye on the Glossy Stains ($36) in Tangerine Boho and Rose Folk along with the La Laque Couture Nail Polish ($27) in Love Pink.
  4. Bobbi Brown Extra Lip Tint ($33) launched a few weeks ago. I went to two counters to see if they had it in stock and both had sold out so I ordered it online. I'm excited to see how it compares to the ones from Clarins and Dior.
  5. Dior has a couple spring launches, one is a Lip Glow collection which features the Addict Lip Glow Color Reviver Lip Balm ($33) in Lilac. As a fan of the pink and coral, I'm really excited to see how this one wears.
  6. Dior Glowing Gardens for Spring has light and airy colors with powders ebossed with gorgeous floral designs. The Diorskin Nude Air Illuminating Powders ($58) in Glowing Pink and Glowing Nude look so pretty. There are two Eyeshadow Palettes in Blue Garden and Rose Garden ($63 each) but as one who rarely wears aqua or green eyeshadow, I will need to test before splurging.
  7. Tarte just launched their Chiseling Charmers Deluxe Contour Set ($24, online only). This looks promising.
  8. Glamglow's latest is a peel-off mask called Gravitymud Firming Treatment ($69). I need this like yesterday.
  9. Henri Bendel Champagne Candle ($30), need I say more? My local store was sold out but had one burning in-store. It smells amazingly fresh.
My wishlist is already a mile long. I will need to do some sorting, thinking and prioritizing before splurging. What's on your radar for the upcoming spring beauty season?


Monday, August 17, 2015

On My Radar / New in Beauty


I hope everyone had a great weekend! We had a hot weekend here in Southern California - it was nice to have lots of sunny weather but I do hope it will cool down soon. A few new items on my beauty radar right now:
  1. Louboutin Beauté is launching 38 shades of lipstick in September retailing at $90 each. These are encased in a heavy duty metal cases that look like mini jeweled ornaments. There will be three formulas in Silky Satin, Sheer Voile and Velvet Matte. All will come encased in a gold base and cap except three Rouge Louboutin shades (one in each formula) which comes in a solid black metal case.
  2. Lipstick Queen has six new shades of a Cupid Strikes Lip Pencil ($22 each). These are a lipliner and lipstick in one kind of product. I have my eye on the colors in Golden Arrow and Apollo - they look really pretty.
  3. Clinique for Men launched a new Sonic System Deep Cleansing Brush ($89.50). My husband has been using my Clarisonic for a while (he has his own brush heads) but I'm glad to see some lines launching ones for men's skin. Reports indicate the brushes are slightly different for men's facial hair. This one has a nice sleek masculine look to it.
  4. Clarisonic has a men's tool in the new Alpha Fit Cleansing System for Men ($189). This one is quite a bit more pricey compared to the Clinique. I ordered this already a few weeks ago - the video demonstrated how how versatile it is. My husband likes the look - it has a good design and compact look. He's testing it right now.
  5. Tom Ford Beauty has launched 13 new shades of Lip Color (in the full size, $52 each). I have my eye on so many colors, in particular Guilty Pleasure, So Vain and Lilac. Some swatches of the colors on the Tom Ford Forum via Specktra.net.
  6. Allure and Butter London teamed up to create a collection of 6 nail lacquers ($15 each). The colors include Disco Nap, I'm On the List, It's Vintage, Lust or Must?, Nude Stilettos and Statement Piece.
  7. Bobbi Brown has a small Greige Collection with a Eye Palette, two Nail Polishes and two Long-Wear Cream Shadow Sticks. I need to investigate the eyeshadows.
  8. Frederic Malle now carries the travel sized vials individually. They are expensive when you break down the price per ounce but it's still a nice way to buy a smaller size instead of splurging on the full size bottle if you're unsure. My go-to scent is Carnal Flower. I have my eye on Eau de Magnolia, Lipstick Rose and Dries Van Noten.
  9. and 10. Last but not least, Burberry Beauty has launched at Sephora.com! The full makeup line is available along with some new releases. Sephora has an exclusive Burberry Beauty Box (VIB Rouge exclusive). Other new items include the Kisses Lip Gloss, First Kiss Glossy Lip Balm, Face Contour Pen for Face & Eyes and a new 3-Piece Nail Color Set for Fall.
What's on your beauty radar this week?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Bobbi Brown Calypso Cheek Palette - Limited Edition


Bobbi Brown released three limited-edition Cheek Palette Trios each containing two blushes and one highlighter color. The Cheek Palettes are all color-coordinated which include Calypso, Pink and Berry ($45 each, blushes are .12 oz / 3.4 g each and the highlighter is .16 oz / 4.55 g). It was hard to narrow down one pick as all three are extremely pretty. I purchased Calypso which has a peachy theme. The three colors inside include:

Pretty Coral Blush is a soft coral peach with a hint of pink
Calypso Sparkle Powder is a pale peachy gold highlighter
Coral Sugar Blush is a lighter peachy color

Although the theme is peach and coral, I found all three colors pulled a bit more on the pink side on my olive skin. It's been a while since I've worn or purchased a Bobbi Brown blush. Her blushes used to be among my favorites but I found them better suited for my skin when I was darker and more tan (around Chanel B40 and a MAC NC40). Many of her colors tended to darken and oxidize on my skin  once I got lighter so I stopped wearing them (although I still adore and am obsessed with all of her shimmer bricks). 


Calypso has a light to medium undertone with medium but buildable pigment. I'm in love with the middle highlight because it has a really soft shimmer to it and even though it has gold shimmer, it's not too warm for the skin making it very wearable. The texture of the colors is soft and melds into the skin nicely. A few swipes of color is all you need and they are easy to blend. I like layering them together for depth. It's really an all-in-one cheek palette for blush, highlight and a slightly darker shade to add a bit of color on the apples.

Close ups and swatches:





A few comparison swatches:


I really like this one. I've been playing with it for a few weeks now and give it a thumbs up. I do think if you have a lot of peachy coral blushes the effect on the skin will be similar to other brands, but I like the convenience of having multiple colors in one small compact. It makes it easy for travel or to carry around with you for touch ups. Lasting power is quite good, these will warm up on the skin after a little bit but they won't darken or oxidize. I found they stayed put on my cheeks from morning until late afternoon without fading.



Bottom line: it's a good reliable everyday staple. I'm seriously considering the pink one, although it seemed like it might be too pale for me after swatching it in store. If you bought it, I'd love to hear what you thought. Or if you tested any of the three palettes, what did you think?

All three Cheek Palette Trios are limited-edition. Available at Neiman Marcus, Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Barneys New York and Bobbi Brown Cosmetics.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

On My Radar / New In Beauty


Some new items on my radar this week that have popped up. I'm still working my way through photographing and swatching items from Marc Jacobs Beauty, Hourglass, Burberry, Chanel and Charlotte Tilbury. There's not enough hours in the day for all the fun stuff. As usual I'd love to hear what's on your beauty radar right now. I'm in the process of testing out some eye creams (sample packets and a few I've bought) - if you have any favorite eye creams I'd love to hear your recs in the comments.

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  1. NARS will release six shades of Dual-Intensity Blush next week at online at Sephora, NARS Cosmetics and NARS Boutiques on March 4th and at all other locations April 1st. As someone who is obsessed with the Dual-Intensity Eyeshadows, I'm beyond excited for these.
  2. Chanel has some new items in skincare. The entire Le Blanc line has been reformulated so if you have some staples I recommend you check your counter as soon as possible to see if they have the older formulas to stock up. I just ran out of my go-to Estee Lauder toner so I decided to give the Le Blanc Brightening Moisturizing Lotion a try. I'll have a more detailed report once I give it a test drive. 
  3. Another new item from Chanel is the Hydra Beauty Micro Serum. From what I've heard, it will not replace the current Hydra Beauty Serum, but is simply an addition to the line for more moisture. I bought the Micro Serum yesterday and can't wait to try it out.
  4. The Bite Beauty Butter Cream Lipsticks are now available for everyone to purchase (no longer a VIB/VIB Rouge exclusive). There are eight shades of nudes and mauves which are super tempting. Given the fact that I have acquired a number of Chanel Rouge Cocos, Dior Glosses and Marc Jacobs Lipsticks buying another lipstick just seems silly. But many of you keep raving about Bite so I might check out 1 or 2.
  5. Dior has three new Gel-Shine Vernis Nail Lacquers launched with the release of the lip glosses.  The three colors are Rose, Pink and Corail. I'll have swatches for you next week.
  6. Bobbi Brown has new Cheek Palettes with different color themes in Berry, Pink and Calypso. These are so stunning and well pigmented. I haven't splurged yet but these are on my radar.
  7. Tatcha's latest is the Indigo Soothing Rice Enzyme Powder for sensitive skin. It's also available in a travel size. I'm a huge fan of the regular version (reviewed here) and this new one looks promising for days that my skin is experiencing extra sensitivity.
  8. Burberry has reformulated all of their shadows. In addition to their powder shadows, there is another new formula called Wet & Dry Glow Shadows in Optic White, Gold Pearl, Nude and Shell which are mind blowingly gorgeous. I'm working on swatches this week.
  9. Clinique has two Chubby Sticks out. There is a Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight and Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour. I like the look of the packaging and they look like they are really easy to use but reviews are mixed. Have you tried these? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
What's on your beauty radar this week?

Friday, February 13, 2015

On My Radar / New in Beauty


Happy Friday everyone! I'm relieved it's almost the weekend. We have 80+ degree weather in Southern California right now, it's like winter never came and we are in a non-stop state of summer (I'm not complaining, although I do feel like I should have a tan right now). A few things I've spotted new in the beauty world:

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  1. Christian Louboutin Beaute has a new Python Vulcano Limited Edition Nail Colour Coffret ($90, limited-edition) for spring. The three shades include Salonu, True Blue, and Hot Chick. I want to see this one in person as it looks stunning although I only own 1 yellow nail polish (Chanel Mimosa) and rarely wear it.
  2. Glamglow released their new cleansers ($39 each for 5 oz) in Supercleanse (Daily Clearing Cleanser), Thirstycleanse (Daily Treatment Cleanser) and Youthcleanse (Daily Exfoliating Cleanser). I have the white and blue ones that I bought a few weeks ago and am completely obsessed with both. Detailed review next week.
  3. Bobbi Brown has a new Sunkissed Nude Collection Set ($120, limited-edition) at Neiman Marcus. If you've been eyeing things at Neimans, save your shopping for next week when their Beauty Week Event starts on the 18th.
  4. Chanel has released some new items this month. The Collection La Perle de Chanel has a new Harmonie Levres Lip Palette, Joues Contraste in Crescendo, Illusion D'Ombre in Mysterio, Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Perle de Lune along with more items for lips and eyes. If you're shopping for Valentine's Day, the have complimentary overnight shipping with orders $125+ (until 5 PM EST). I ordered several items + a few of the new Rouge Cocos. I'll be swatching and photographing this weekend.
  5. Charlotte Tilbury Beach Sticks ($45 each, 5 shades) have finally launched in the US. I have a few that I ordered, I'll be swatting and have a review in the next week (fingers crossed).
  6. Giorgio Armani has two Limited-Edition Runway pieces, a Runway Palette ($120 for highlighter + 3 shadows) cased in an embroidered silk pouch and a new Rouge Sheer Runway Lipstick ($40). The palette looks incredibly beautiful but I'm not sure about the price point.
  7. Dior Beauty has 12 shades of Rouge Dior Brilliant Lipshine & Care Couture Colour ($35 each). There are several nudes I have on my wish list although I have yet to see or swatch these in person.
  8. Chantecaille has a small edited collection for spring. There is a new Glacier Eyeshadow Trio ($70), Arctic Rose Lip Chic ($36), and two Galactic Lip Shines ($34 each) in Aurora and Polaris. (I bought the palette and one lip chic, review next week.)
I hope you have a wonderful weekend! My husband and I are celebrating Valentine's Day early with a date night dinner tonight. What's on your beauty radar this weekend?

Monday, January 26, 2015

On My Radar


Soft washes of neutral colors and getting organized are on my mind this week.

Deborah Lippman Whisper Collection (1) has four shades of pale pastels that look so dreamy. The names are absolute perfection with Chantilly Lace (pink), Misty Morning (grey), Dreamers Do (mauve), Fine Romance (nude).

The spring releases from Marc Jacobs Beauty look amazing. Three new #Instamarc Light Filtering Contour Powders (2) have been released to sculpt, highlight and add definition. Shades include Dream Filter (soft pink/medium bronze), Hi Fi Filter (warm peach/ deep bronze) and Mirage Filter (light gold/ light bronze).

There are new lipstick formulas as well from Marc Jacobs Beauty. There is a long-wear bold color formula called Le Marc Lip Creme and New Nudes Sheer Lip Gel (4).

NARS Spring 2015 is all about soft nudes (5). I have so many things sitting in my cart right now. I'm trying to resist the urge to order sight unseen since nudes can be tricky. They look so beautiful, especially the Guyane and Vent Salé Lip Glosses, Reckless Blush, Valhalla Eyeshadow and Porto Venere Eye Paint.

I've been accumulating quite a few flat pouches and clutches but don't have a way to store them properly. I've been propping them vertically next to each other. This GLAMdivide (6) lucite box by Glamboxes looks like it could be the perfect solution for me. (How do you store your slim clutches and flat pouches? I'm open for all ideas!)

New highlighting and contouring powders in different colors are popping up. Clinique Sculptionary Cheek Contouring Palettes (6) come in four shades: Defining Nudes, Berries, Roses and Nectars. Bobbi Brown Brightening Bricks (7) now come in four colors too including Coral, Pastel Pink, Pink and Cranberry.

Last but not least, if you're looking for a good chic document case, Truffle has a promo on their Clarity Document Cases for 25% off through Sunday 2/1 with code TIDY2015 at checkout.

What's on your radar this week?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Inside My Bag


Inside my Prada Saffiano tote (similar color here, similar style here):

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustres in Seduction and Sweet Stiletto (reviewed here)
Frederic Malle Travel Spray in Carnal Flower
Canon G16 Camera
Key ring and small wallet by Louis Vuitton


I'm a huge fan of the pouches and clutches by Truffle. I have multiples now in different colors and styles and love how they really help keep things streamlined and organized in my purses. They just released a few additions in Nude, Black and Rose Gold. They are a bit of a splurge, but I feel they are well worth the price because they are well-made and very sturdy. Right now Truffle is offering 25% off your entire purchase with code HOLIDAY25 at checkout (it ends on Monday December 1st).

The Privacy Clutches are also good for on-the-go. If you don't want to lug around your purse and just want to carry the essentials, it will fit quite a bit but still keep everything streamlined (see what I fit in the Blush version back in August).

Sometimes I'll carry multiples in my purses that don't have compartments. They are pretty good at staying flat and keeping their shape so it keeps everything streamlined.

P.S. If you're like me and have been eyeing Charlotte Tilbury items you might want to look into the holiday offer at Beautylish. They are offering a $20 gift card for every $100 you spend (also ends on Monday).

What's in your bag right now? How do you keep your bag organized or streamlined. I usually tend to throw things in each day of the week so by the weekend it gets heavy and messy. Compartments help keep me organized but not all of my bags have separators.

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving and that you are enjoying the weekend! I spent the last 3 days sick in bed with a bad cold, but my fever broke and I am starting to feel more like myself this afternoon.

The Black Privacy Clutch was gifted by Truffle without charge, all other items purchased by me.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bobbi Brown Black Scotch Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner


For the holiday Bobbi Brown has a new Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner color called Black Scotch ($24 for .1 oz/3 g). It's a gorgeous deep shimmery blackened bronze. It fits the gap in my eyeliner collection between black and bronze. The color is quite pigmented and applies easily along the upper lash line. It has an emollient texture which makes it glide onto the eyes. I find it sets and dries after a minute. After that short wait period, there is no smudging. I haven't tried it along the lower lash line, mainly because I haven't found any gel or pencil liner that will stay put on the bottom. But on the top lid, it lasted all day without budging or smudging. Sometimes I like to use these Gel Liners as a base for a darker shadow. The combination of gel liner + powder shadow on top really intensifies darker colors and makes a smokey lash line easy with the blending and layering.


Up close you can see the tiny bits of gold and bronze shimmer:



Swatched you can see the gold flecks:


Gel liners have been around so long and are so popular sometimes I forget that some women are new to liners that aren't pencils. In case you are just starting to explore different kinds of liners, two brushes I really like to use are the Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eye Liner Brush and wider smudge brushes like Tom Ford Eyeliner/ Eye Definer Brush #15. For gel liners sometimes I don't want a super precise line because I like to pack on the color a bit more and then smudge with one brush. Smudge brushes help me do this.


Comparisons below show how Black Scotch is quite different from many other bronzy brown eyeliners. There might be dupes from MAC with some of the limited-edition releases but many of my pencils are still buried somewhere in a storage box (note Bobbi Brown Bronze has been discontinued):


One last shot:


Bottom line: a beautiful classic. I really like that it's a deep color without being brown or black. The bronze and gold shimmer is visible once you apply it without it being too glitzy. It has just the right amount of sparkle.

You can find the Black Scotch Gel Liner at all Bobbi Brown counters now. Online at Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Barneys, Bloomingdales, and Lord and Taylor. Note that it is listed as a limited-edition color, but right now it should still be relatively easy to find.

Did you check out anything from the Bobbi Brown holiday collection? I picked up the gold highlighter, lipstick and nail polish (swatched and featured here). I'm debating whether or not to track down the pink highlighter.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Holiday Beauty: Champagne and Gold Shimmers


The holidays are just around the corner and the next couple of months will be very busy ones. During the holiday season I find myself always gravitating towards warm gold and champagne shimmery shades. They are easy to coordinate with different outfits and makeup looks. I find warm golds and champagne also help brighten and warm up the complexion. Holiday beauty releases are starting to trickle in at Nordstrom and I've teamed up with them to share my some recent holiday beauty discoveries - all gold and champagne themed.

I have my picks split into different categories for lips, eyes, highlighters and nails:



For lips, there are a number of stunning shimmery gold and champagne glosses new this season. I like neutral golds for layering. They can bring a nude lipstick to life or when layered over a brighter pink, peach or red, soften the lips and give them a nice glow.
  • Dior Gold Rain is new from the Golden Shock collection which is a sheer but sparkling gold.
  • Burberry Nude Glow Lip Glow isn't a new shade but I like to use this one year round. It's a soft gold shimmer.
  • NARS Soleil d'Orient is a shimmering champagne that has a slight hint of pink. It's pigmented enough to wear alone but also looks good over nude lipsticks.
  • Charlotte Tilbury Ibiza Nights is good for those who want more sparkle, it has the prettiest mix of shimmers but isn't over the top. 
  • Bobbi Brown Malt Shimmer Lipstick comes in a special-edition gold packaging this holiday which is fun. It's a warm shimmery coppery shade with gold shimmer.  





Golds are always in for me. They are neutral but easy to dress up. I like neutral gold eyes because they won't overpower the face if you wear a bolder berry, pink or red lip.
  • Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows are a long-time favorite. I like these applied on the lids with a brush. The pigment is really incredible and easy to layer for more intensity. If you use a damp brush the color transforms into a more intense and more metallic look. Any variation of Armani gold looks good on most skintones, they create some of the prettiest universally flattering shades. My favorite Armani likes to wear Eyes to Kill 6 packed on the lids and combine it with soft peach cheeks and a nude lip, the look is really quite stunning.
  • Dior Versailles 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette is a beautiful palette of pale shimmers and one deeper chocolate shimmer. The middle gold shade has a bit of a chunky sparkle which is nice for subtle layering. 
  • Laura Mercier Rosegold Caviar Stick Eye Color (mini) is another year-round classic. I like this as a base on the lids to help bring out the pigment in shadows. It's also good as a highlighter. Sometimes on lazy days I'll wear this on the lids and just finish with mascara for a no-fuss look.





Gold shimmers and highlighters are a must for me, especially during the holiday. The warmth of the gold ones can enhance the skin naturally and make the complexion look more alive.
  • Armani Fluid Sheer 10 is a nice neutral gold. I like this dabbed on top of the cheek bones (after powder, foundation and blush) with a foundation brush to add highlight. It's also good as a cheek base to use underneath blush.
  • Bobbi Brown Bronze Glow Highlight Powder is a shimmering warm gold. It feels almost like it has a slight gel texture but it's still a powder. The shimmer on this one is medium-to-high, but not frosty.  
  • Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow is another good gold highlighter. I like this used all over the face as a primer to illuminate the skin or mixed in with foundation to give it a glow.




Gold and red seem to be the hit shades this holiday for nails. There are a number of different gold polishes, some with glittery effects, others more subtle. I've been playing with three over the weekend.
  • Dior Mirror is a sheer white gold shimmer in the special holiday packaging. It has a transparent quality with two coats, I prefer three with this one.
  • Guerlain Coque D'Or Night at the Opera is a neutral gold shimmer (this one is my favorite).
  • Bobbi Brown Scotch is an interesting warm copper sparkle. It has smooth even coverage with two coats but the color is primarily sparkle.

Left to right: Guerlain, Dior and Bobbi Brown


What are your favorite colors to wear during the holiday? Do you have any favorite gold or champagne makeup shades or do you prefer the more dramatic plums and reds?



Thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

On My Radar / New in Beauty


I've been busy with a move, I didn't plan to take a break from blogging but ended up having to take a few days off. I have quite a few new things I'm excited to share with you and hope to get everything unpacked from boxes in the next few days. In the meantime, here are some new things that have popped up online in the beauty world. Holiday collections and new releases are trickling in each day.

Diptyque has three new scents coming out this holiday in Spice, Winter and Resin (1). Three are available online at Neiman Marcus in the large size. If you are near a Diptyque Boutique, they will have an exclusive in-store one-day preview this Wednesday October 15 before it is released officially in November. (These will also be available in the smaller sizes too.)

Marc Jacobs Beauty The Sky-Liner Set (2) has 7 mini Highliner Gel Pencil set for the holidays. It has in O(vert) (forest green), Brown(out) (bronze with shimmer), Th(ink) (deep navy), (Plum)age (vivid purple), Blacquer (black), Sunset (golden bronze shimmer), Midnight in Paris (inky indigo blue). This is on my wish list.

Chanel Holiday (3) has arrived in stores and online. I bought the Volage Rouge Allure, Phenix Le Vernis, Les 5 Ombres Palette and Envol Illusion D'Ombre. I'm in love with the peachy lipstick and eyeshadow, more thoughts on the other items soon.

Oribe Liquid Gold Set (4) has mini 50 ml sizes of the Gold Lust Shampoo, Conditioner and Hair Oil. I tried a couple sample packets of the shampoo and conditioner and fell head over heels. I have some other shampoos I'm currently using now, so I may wait and get this set once those are used up.

Dior has added more shades to their 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette line (5). I have Cuir Cannage and Versaille to share soon. There will be two limited-edition options for holiday as well in Golden Shock and Golden Reflections.

Tom Ford Beauty has new matte lipsticks for the holiday (6). I am normally not a fan of matte lips but saw these last week and splurged on four shades. The colors currently available are Pink Tease, Pussycat, Ruby Rush, Plum Lush, Flame, First Time and Velvet Cherry.

Bobbi Brown has several holiday items and sets this year (7). There are some really pretty items from the Scotch on the Rocks collection. I played with these briefly at the counter a few days ago. I have my eye on the Bronze Glow Highlight Powder, Black Scotch Gel Liner, Scotch Nail Polish, Bellini and Gold Glitter Lipgloss, I will need to play more before deciding whether or not these will be too shimmery or not.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! I will resume posting as soon as I can, in the meantime I'd love to hear what's on your beauty radar :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Bobbi Brown Limited-Edition Mixed Metals Collection


Bobbi Brown has a new limited-edition eye set called the Mixed Metals Collection ($130). It's currently exclusive to Neiman Marcus, Harrods and Bobbi Brown online. This is a five-piece set which includes:

  • Small black cosmetic zip case with rose-gold colored detailing
  • Mixed Metals Shimmer Brick Eye Palette, .14 oz/ 14g
  • Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink, 0.1 oz/ 3g
  • Smokey Eye Mascara, .17 fl oz/ 5 ml
  • A Mini Dual Ended Eye Shadow/Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush with cap

I'm not typically drawn to such cool-toned eyeshadows but the colors in this palette are really striking. The Shimmer Brick Eye Palette has 10 different colors, all with high shimmer. It is an extremely tiny palette and if you want to apply individual shades you will need an extra small detail brush to pick up individual colors. (See sizing info on the previously released Sequins and Raw Sugar versions.)


I bought mine at Neiman Marcus a few weeks ago in store. I purchased it without asking about the price expecting it to be in the $80ish range (not sure why, but it's what I anticipated). Bobbi Brown's website says this set is a $150 value, but if you break down the price of the full-sized items, to total is $100. The gel liner is $24, mascara is $28, palettes have been released around $48ish. I'm not sure that I would value the small brush and bag at $50 to get to the $150 value.

Onto the review. The Mixed Metals palette itself has really striking colors I find beautiful for just about any occasion. It is on the shimmery side but not too frosty (at least for me). They blend very nicely together and layer together for a number of different looks. I rarely use more than 5 shades of shadow all at once. The same applies for this palette, but I like that there are different variations of shades to create different looks depending on your mood.


I really like any of the deeper shades layered over the Black Ink Gel liner (which is a classic goof-proof eyeliner I think everyone needs in their beauty kit, or the brown one if you don't like black eyeliners).


I've never really been a fan of Bobbi Brown's mascaras but the Smokey Eye Mascara is a really nice clump-free defining and lengthening one. The first use proved to do absolutely nothing but after reading reviews, I gave the wand a few pumps and product finally adhered to the brush wand. It's a super rich black color that doesn't smudge, flake or fade on me. Since I have thin straight lashes, I typically need something that adds a lot more volume. But on low-key days, the Smokey Eye Mascara has proved to be very good. I like that it's a really lush black color.


Swatches below, all the shades are really pigmented:




I really like this set but can't help but feel it is overpriced for $130. (Although it is completely my own fault for not checking on the price at the store before buying it.) The brush is usable and decent quality so it's something I will definitely use even if it is tiny. The pouch is small and compact but sleek looking so I know it is something I know I will get regular use out of too. I wish Bobbi Brown released the palette individually and also that the palettes would start coming in larger sizes. Ideally I would love this to be the same size as the Urban Decay Naked Palettes or Naked Basics simply because it would be easier to dip a brush into and pick up individual colors. You can definitely take a brush and swirl together multiple colors like you can for her face Shimmer Bricks, but I find the colors so beautiful on their own I wish I didn't have to be so careful in trying to pick up one specific shade.

Neiman Marcus does have their Beauty Event going on right now through the 21st (or while gifts last) and Bobbi Brown does have an individual gift with purchase for their line. So if you're looking to splurge, now might be a good time to get extra samples with your purchase.

The Bobbi Brown Mixed Metals Collection is limited-edition.
Available at Neiman Marcus, Harrods and Bobbi Brown online.


 

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