Showing posts with label Chanel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chanel. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Les Exclusifs de Chanel in Beige


My latest in fragrance is the Les Exclusifs de Chanel in Beige ($160 for 2.5 fl oz). There's nothing quite like a bottle of Chanel fragrance, I've been rationing a couple deluxe-sized samples I've acquired for quite some time and decided it was time to splurge on a full-sized bottle. I had narrowed down my picks to Beige, Gardenia and No. 22, I decided on Beige. There are three different sizes for most of the Les Exclusifs de Chanel, I purchased the smallest option because it usually takes me forever to go through a perfume, although now that I've been spritzing this for a few days now, I think I should have purchased the larger 6.8 fl oz size as I know for sure that I will run through this one.


Beige is a lightweight natural sweet floral. According to Chanel named "beige" because it's "an elusive colour with infinite variations, beige may seem quite ordinary. And yet, behind this apparent simplicity, it hides a discreet sensuality that builds slowly before revealing itself fully. This sensual outburst is interpreted by Jacques Polge through a bouquet of Hawthorn, Freesia and Frangipani, with shimmering hints of honey. A stunning blend of white petals and yellow gold…in other words, a breath of beige."

I couldn't find a better way to describe it. Beige does seems like it could be very ordinary but I like soft scents that seem to meld with the scent of natural clean skin. Beige is a white floral but the mix of honey makes it sweet and not too cloying so it's not overly floral. The power is quite strong and it's one of those that doesn't fade within an hour, it remains noticeable on me for several hours with just 2 spritzes (I do recommend 3 to 4 though, as I do with most fragrances).


The packaging and bottle design are stunning. There is a classic simplicity in the sharp clean lines of a simple glass bottle that make the Les Exclusifs de Chanel stand out. It looks beautiful on my dresser or bathroom counter and it makes me really happy when I wear this.


On the nails Chanel Desirio

If you're a fan of Frederic Malle Carnal Flower I think you will like Chanel Beige. The two are quite different from each other, but both have this smooth floral dry down that gives these a soft well rounded and mellow feel. Carnal Flower is more complex with strong tuberose while Beige is sweeter and lighter with freesia and honey. I don't typically find myself drawn to florals because I find they pull powdery on my skin. These two are the exception.


Bottom line perfect for right now as we transition into warmer weather. It's a lightweight sweet floral that brightens my mood and something my husband really likes on me (huge plus). You can find the Les Exclusifs de Chanel fragrances at Chanel Boutiques and stores with Chanel Beaute Studios (like Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills or Bloomingdales South Coast Plaza). Also online at Chanel.com.

Have you tried any of the Les Exclusifs de Chanel? What are your favorite ones? If not, what's your favorite fragrance for right now?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Loving Right Now


The week is flying by so quickly, I can't believe it's almost Friday. I picked up a couple new fragrances that have been on my wish list for ages. I picked up the small bottle of the Les Exclusifs de Chanel in Beige and Byredo Black Saffron (reviews coming in the next few weeks). Also new acquisitions are MAC Cremesheen Pearl Lipsticks in Shanghai Spice and Peach Blossom, both repurchases of lipsticks I used up a while ago. MAC lipsticks usually dry out my lips but I still can't stop using them because some of the neutrals are really good.

The Le Volume de Chanel Mascara is a long-time favorite. I just found out they released a waterproof version so I ordered it. So far I'm really liking it and I hope they release more colors in the waterproof or bring back the Navy Blue one because as far as colored mascaras go, that one was my favorite.

Also on the lips this week are Chanel Glossimer in Seashell and YSL Pop Water Glossy Stains (swatches and review here). For cheeks I still can't get over how much I love the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Radiant Light (also in a palette form). I'm going to call this one my never-ending bronzer. I use it a lot and still haven't made a dent. It will probably last me forever.

Non-beauty related is my love for these rimless aviators (more colors here). It's virtually impossible for me to find small sunglasses these days when oversized everything is in everywhere. Most of my sunglasses are several years old and it's rare these days to find smaller frames to fit my face shape and size. These are 59mm and the perfect size for me. I bought them in multiple colors (three to be exact).

Last but not least, I've been really liking the Armani Eye Tints (#9 shown above). I am eager to see how the YSL Pop Water Full Metal Shadows compare (still waiting on these to ship, I have a few on backorder).

What are you loving this week? Any new beauty discoveries or staples you're loving right now?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

In Rotation: Skin Toners


I think a good toner can make a world of difference in keeping the skin clear and refreshed. This time of year my skin typically goes crazy as the seasons change, however this year right now my skin has actually been getting better, clearer and feels smoother. I attribute this to a few things I've switched up in my skincare routine for day and night. I'll have a roundup of cleansers and moisturizers I've been using, but for now today's focus is on toner.

Today there are so many different types of facial toners on the market, each one has a different purpose. For me I have crazy sensitive skin that will react within seconds to many toners. Others will feel great upon application but then make my skin super oily within minutes. Five I have in rotation all have different purposes. You definitely don't need more than one toner at a time although I typically have 2-3 toners on hand to rotate depending on how my skin feels.

Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Multi-Action Toning Lotion ($25 for 6.7 fl oz) is my most-repurchased toner. I've gone through a few bottles of this one. For me it's the best everyday kind of toner if your skin is normal. It's gentle but effective in helping clean the skin after your regular cleanser and there is a very soft exfoliating factor built in. I like that it's good for my sensitive skin and doesn't dry the face out or leave a film residue. If your skin is normal/combo or dry there are other toner options from Estee Lauder that you might want to check out. (There's a gift with purchase online at Nordstrom right now in case you wanted to stock up on some items.)


Ingredients:


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The SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion ($70 for  5 fl oz) is my second most-repurchased toner. This one is on the pricey side but is another good everyday kind of toner. It contains a mix of AHA and Pitera™which is unique to the SK-II skincare products. These help clarify the skin and exfoliate dead skin cells to help prep your skin for moisturizers or serums. This one is very gentle on the face and really works to clear up the skin. I had tiny little bumps on the cheekbones and this helps keep them away. It's refreshing and it leaves the skin feeling soft. There is a slight moisture feel left on the skin after you apply it but it doesn't feel like residue. It's gentle enough that it doesn't sting the skin even on days when the face is a bit tender.


Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Saccharomycopsis Ferment Filtrate*, Butylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Peg-150, Cellulose Gum, Disodium Edta, Citric Acid, Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Benzoate, Methylparaben *Pitera.

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Chanel recently reformulated their Le Blanc line. I was at the counter buying the new Hydra Beauty Micro Serum and my go-to sales rep said she highly recommended the new Le Blanc Brightening Moisturizing Lotion ($67.50 for fl oz) for my sensitive skin. I have never been able to use any of the Chanel toners in the past without getting tiny little red bumps within minutes, another rep commented she too could not use any of the toners from Chanel but this one was worth trying. I gave it a shot and have been really impressed. I've been needing extra help in the brightening area, especially with some acne scars. This one is extremely gentle. It has a texture that is thicker than most traditional toners but still absorbs nicely into the skin with a cotton pad. It helps soothe the face and really does work to help with my acne scars. After using this for a few weeks my skin feels rebalanced and clearer. There is some hydration with this which is perfect for right now as my skin needs moisture and clarifying at the same time.


Ingredients:


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Kate Somerville Clarifying Treatment Toner ($26 for 5 fl oz) came highly recommended to me by a rep who doesn't work for the line. We were discussing face masks and treatments to help with my acne scars. By now my chin and jawline breakouts have almost completely disappeared (it's 97% there to clear skin) and what I have to fix next is the scars and dark marks. He said hands down the Kate Somerville toner is his favorite and that it's designed for post-acne scars. I typically don't like tones for acne-prone or oily skin because I find them too stripping and it ends up sending my skin into overdrive oiliness. This one is alcohol-free and has witch hazel to fight acne-causing bacteria, phytic acid to lighten skin for scars, and aloe to soothe and calm.

After testing this for several weeks I think the upsides are that it really works to calm down the skin, especially if you have redness from irritation. It helped soothe areas that were tender from dry patches and acne. I do think it's a bit drying on the forehead for me, but it worked really well on other areas of the face. I've seen a difference on my cheeks and chin area with this. For toners that brighten the skin and help reduce irriration, I would say it's a toss up between the Chanel Le Blanc and Kate Somerville Clarifying Toner. The Chanel is better suited for normal to dry skin while the Kate Somerville seems to be clearly for normal to oily skin.


Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Caprylyl Glycol, Glycerin, Carbomer, Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid, Oleanolic Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Methyl Gluceth-10, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Phytic Acid, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Lactic Acid, Disodium EDTA-Copper, Panthenol, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Chlorphenesin.
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Last but not least is the By Terry Cellularose Hydra-Toner ($65 for 6.8 fl oz). I had used a few samples of this in the past and it comes highly recommended by a few friends. I don't consider myself a huge fan of rose scented products but I am a big fan of the Cellularose Brightening CC Lumi Serums (review here), Baume de Rose (for lips) and the Cellularose Nutri-Baume (for a face moisturizer on dry skin days). For me to fall in love with those items even with the rose scent says a lot about the products themselves. For me the rose scent in the By Terry line is a soft rose that is wearable and soothing (at least to me). The Cellularose Hydra-Toner is their Clarifying Comfort Toner and it's the best one to soothe skin over the entire face (not just spots). It's designed for all skin types and I would say formula-wise this is really truly good for all skin types. It leaves the skin feeling refreshed and glowing and also works to shrink pores and remove any signs of dryness. I do think the rose scent is stronger in this compared to other By Terry products. I cannot use this in the evening because the fragrance interferes with my sleep. This one leaves the skin looking the most dewy/glowy without feeling greasy or any residue.


Ingredients:




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Good toners have helped keep the skin clear and it's an extra step to help make sure the face is truly clean with subtle exfoliation. All except the By Terry are almost fragrance free, each has a soft clean scent that is very subtle even for my super sensitive nose. If you're in search of a new toner as we transition seasons, I hope this roundup is helpful. I think using a good toner can really help rebalance and readjust your skin as it reacts to weather changes. Sometimes my skin just gets used to something after using a product for an extended period of time and it becomes less effective so I like to switch things up every so often. For reference, I use all of these with a cotton pad (my favorites are Cle de Peau Beaute and Chanel). In summary:
  • My everyday go-to toners are Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean and SK-II, these are good for normal sensitive skin that needs daily balancing and clearing
  • For seasonal transition, brightening and hydration, the Chanel Le Blanc is amazing, I've been incorporating this one into my weekly routine and I've been really pleased with it, it seems to be suitable for dry skin days but also works to clarify and rebalance, the skin is brightened and looks softer
  • For acne scars and soothing, the Kate Somerville is really worth looking into, although if you have normal skin, you may not see as much of a difference with this one
  • For all skintypes, the By Terry Cellularose Hydra-Toner seems the best for oily, dry, and sensitive, it will leave your skin feeling truly refreshed and glowing

Do you have a favorite toner? I would love to hear about your favorites and skin type. Do you use the same one year round or do you switch things up as the seasons change, or even on a weekly basis?





Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Chanel Rouge Coco Ultra Hydrating Lip Colour


Chanel relaunched their classic Rouge Coco Lipsticks in a new formula with new and re-promoted colors ($36 each for 3.5 g / 0.12 oz, made in France). I ordered several online last month and have been playing with the shades for a few weeks. I've been a fan of all the Chanel Lipstick formulas (back to the days of the Aqualumieres and Hydrabase) and each time Chanel discontinues one my heart breaks a little. The good news is that the Rouge Cocos that launched this year are indeed improved from the previous formula. The new ones are more hydrating with a smoother texture that glides on the lips. The main difference to me between the old and new is that the revamped version has a more luminous look that doesn't tug when you swipe them on the lips. According to Chanel the Rouge Cocos "are made with jojoba and mimosa butters, sunflower wax and silicone for lasting hydration and luminous results."

The new Rouge Cocos are medium in coverage but the pigment is buildable. Each color has varying degrees of shimmer, most have some shimmer mixed in which gives them that luminous glow, but most of them do not have a frosty finish. What remains the same is the sleek packaging design and rose scent. Some of the colors like Mademoiselle, Legende and Teheran are re-promoted colors. Based on my old vs new Mademoiselle, the colors appear to be almost 100% identical, the new version isn't quite as dark and has a more luminous finish giving it a modern updated look.

For the color range, there is a lot to choose from. If you like neutrals there are several beautiful options. There are five main color categories with names that inspired Coco Chanel:
  • Lovers - passion reflected by dramatic reds
  • Family - a tribute in understated nude shades
  • Best Friends - celebrated by romantic pinks
  • Muses - an homage in bright corals
  • Artists - honored by deep plum shades  

Shown above: Rouge Coco in Mademoiselle, Catherine, Cécile, Vera, Suzanne
Glossimer in Sweet Beige (swatched here)
Le Crayon Levres in Beige Innocent and Beige Satin
Cire Trudon in Odalisque

I ordered eight colors, all neutrals of course. The closeup below shows the luminous shimmer mixed into each of the colors. The finish on the lips is soft and glowy without being frosty at all.


Ingredients listed on the box (clickable for larger viewing):


On to the colors I picked out with swatches and descriptions:


Note the glow in the swatches below is simply the luminous glow these give off when photographed with a flash, they aren't frosty or overly glossy, but the finish does make them look a bit shimmery:




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Louise is a flesh beige nude with silver and gold flecks of shimmer. This one is closest on me to a true nude color. It has a luminous finish that covers the lip entirely.



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Adrienne is a medium neutral beige with a very slight hint of peach that gives it warmth. If I had to pick one favorite, this would be it.



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Julia is another medium nude caramel color (it's darker than Louise). It has some brown tones in it so if you're one who can't wear super pale nudes, this is a good alternative because it has color in it and won't wash you out.



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Catherine is a sheer soft peach. With a few swipes it almost looks like a baby pink. More swipes will bring out the peach in it. It's one of the sheerer ones I tried so based on this, I think Catherine will look very different on different skin/lip tones. It reminds me of one of the older Hydrabase Lipsticks in Lola (long discontinued).



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Vera is a soft pale baby pink. This has sheer to medium coverage that needs several swipes to build up color. If you have pigmented lips like me, I recommend wearing a lipliner with this one to prevent the outer rim of the lip from showing thru making it look like you have a dark lipliner with a light lipstick.



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Cécile is a medium neutral-cool rose pink. This is one of the more shimmery ones I tried. I think the frost can be softened by a lipliner (like Chanel Nude or Natural or MAC Boldly Bare) or by adding a bit of sheer gloss on top.



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Mademoiselle is a warm rose. The new one seems slightly lighter in color compared to the original version, but to me they are almost identical once on the face.



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Suzanne is a medium plum with sheer to medium coverage. This one looks almost glossy on the lip because of the sheerness. It is buildable but the luminous sheen on the lips gives it a slightly sheer look.



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Because all of the Rouge Coco colors have a luminous hydrating finish they won't last all day or for super-extended periods of time like the Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Cremes but they do last longer on the lips compared to sheer lipsticks like Chanel Rouge Coco Shines or YSL Volupte Shines. I would say lasting power is average for a lipstick. You can get several hours of wear without it fading or budging as long as you don't touch the lips with a cup of tea, coffee, water or snacks. Out of all the Chanel Lipstick formulas my favorites are still the Rouge Coco Shines and Rouge Allures, but the new Rouge Coco is pretty fabulous too. I have a super sensitive nose but have always been able to wear the rose-scented Chanel lipsticks. Some have commented they cannot wear anything fragranced so if you are one with an extra sensitive nose, I'd say stick with the Rouge Allure or opt for one of the new Burberry Kisses Lipsticks.

I've been a Chanel fan for as long as I can remember using beauty products. The new Rouge Cocos do not disappoint. I think the diverse color range is one of the strengths of this release. There is a good selection of colors for neutrals, lights, mediums, deeps, brights. If you're a neutral lip lover like me you will be happy to see there are neutral, cool and warm-toned options.


My top three picks: Adrienne, Louise and Suzanne

The Chanel Rouge Cocos retail for $36 each. In the US there are 29 shades all currently available for purchase at Chanel counters and boutiques. Also online at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales and Chanel.com.

Have you checked out the new Rouge Cocos? Which colors did you pick out?

Monday, March 9, 2015

Trending Now: Spring Neutrals


I can't tell you how happy I am that neutrals are in this spring season. There's usually something neutral-toned with every seasonal release but this year the focus is on nude and neutral colors for eyes, lip, cheeks and. I've pulled a mix of items from fresh new releases along with some classic favorites to share today.


For blush there a number of great neutral colors that will add a nude glow to the skin. I like a neutral blush that won't darken or look muddy once it sets on the skin. For the cheeks I prefer something that has a bit of a sheen to add dimension and give depth to the face. Texture and blendability are important so you can layer and build color easily.

Clockwise from the left: Charlotte Tilbury First Love, Charlotte Tilbury Sex on Fire, NARS Reckless, MAC Tenderling, Tom Ford Frantic Pink


My all time favorite soft pink shimmer is Tom Ford Frantic Pink. There is nothing like it. It has a soft satiny silky feel with a buttery soft texture that melts into the skin. All the Tom Ford blushes I've tried are phenomenal and blend beautifully with a multi-dimensional finish that adds color and depth.

NARS Reckless is new for spring and it's a super pale powdery pink with tiny flecks of silver micro sparkle. I'm normally not one for glittery blushes but the shimmer in this one is fine enough to be wearable if you dust this lightly over matte blushes for an extra oomph.

As far as matte neutrals go, MAC Powder Blushes are the best ones I've tried. Tenderling is a classic soft tan with a very slight hint of pink. Other staples include Cubic (more pink), Prism (more nude) and Buff (a bit darker).

The Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic Swish and Pop blushes are definitely worth checking out. These are similar to the Tom Ford in the soft and natural shimmery sheen but have two colors to mix. The outer ring is for the apples of the cheeks and the darker center color is to add a pop of color. I like to swirl my brush in the compact and apply both mixed to the face. First Love is the perfect nude that isn't too light. Sex on Fire is slightly darker and has more color but is still a really good neutral.


Beauty Look Book readers know I'm all about neutral lips. I could probably go on for days about neutrals. I'll have a roundup later on more spring releases for lips but for now I wanted to share my top picks that I've been loving right now.
Above from left to right: Tom Ford Lip Color Pink Dusk, Chanel Rouge Coco Adrienne, NARS Lip Gloss Guyane, Tom Ford Lip Gloss Rose Crush, Chanel Glossimer Sweet Beige, MAC Lipliner Boldly Bare, Charlotte Tilbury Lip Liner Pillow Talk



Tom Ford Pink Dusk is as good as it gets for me in terms of a natural pink lip that leans slightly neutral/nude but is still pink. I've used up a couple tubes of this one already. This comes with a steep price tag but it just works. No extra tweaking required and it has full flawless creamy coverage. In my experience there is no dupe that can match it in quality, pigment, coverage and color.

Chanel revamped all their Rouge Cocos (a full post on these soon). The new versions apply better on the lips with a texture that is smooth and hydrating. The coverage is medium on these. Adrienne is a soft warm pinky nude, similar to the Tom Ford Pink Dusk, but the Chanel is more beige and has a soft sheen to it. There is a very smooth shimmer to the Rouge Cocos that gives these a beautiful glow that isn't frosty.

NARS Guyane Lip Gloss is a super pale powdery cool nude pink. Alone it can look awful but this works wonders layered over other lipsticks or liners. (Above shown layered over MAC Boldly Bare Lip Liner). It works well with pinks, nudes, peach and rose lip colors.

Two lip liners I've been loving include Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk and MAC Boldly Bare. Both are really good neutrals that go with a wide range of lip colors. They are rich in color but blend nicely and help extend the wear of lipstick by creating a base. Both are good line + fill liners.

For nude gloss, Chanel Sweet Beige Glossimer is a classic soft beige with gold shimmer I think everyone should own. There is a slight hint of pink and brown in it so it won't wash you out. Tom Ford Rose Crush is the ultimate pigmented nude pink gloss. It covers the lips completely and adds a really pretty sheen.


For eyeshadow palettes, my top picks are still Urban Decay Naked2, Chanel Tisse Rivoli and Tom Ford Orchid Haze. Those are classic staples for me. If you're looking for something different and new, there are a number of new palettes and shadows that have just launched.

Above clockwise from left: MAC Amber Times Nine, Dior Eye Reviver Eyeshadow Palette, NARS Eyeshadow Valhalla, NARS Paint Porto Venere, Burberry Wet and Dry Glow Eyeshadow Shell, Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick Rosegold




MAC released several 9-pan palettes. Each palette comes with 9 mini-pan shadows in different color themes. MAC Amber Times Nine is the most neutral option with a variety textures ranging from matte, satin, shimmer and sparkle. The texture of the shadows are soft with medium but buildable pigment.

Dior released a new 6-pan palette filled with shimmery cool-toned neutrals. It's called the Dior Eye Reviver Eyeshadow Palette. These are ultra soft in texture with a finely milled shimmer that adds the prettiest sheen to the eyes. The shadows blend on the eyes for a natural look with very soft finish.

For single shadows, Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Rosegold is one of my holy grail champagne shimmery cream shadows. It's the perfect color for an all over wash and also works as a good base for powder shadows. Burberry's Wet & Dry Glow shadows are game changers for a unique gel/cream-to-powder kind of metallic. Shell is the prettiest soft pinky peach. If you want something more glitzy, NARS Valhalla is a super sparkly soft peach neutral. It's hard to tell in the swatch but it has peach and coppery bits of micro sparkle (versus the traditional silver or gold) which makes it super unique.

For nude eye bases, I typically prefer creams with a bit of shimmer. NARS Eye Paint in Porto Venere is a soft but pigmented nude powder pink that evens out the lids. If it seems to pale for you, MAC Paint Pots come in some good neutral matte cream colors. Above shown is Soft Ochre, Groundwork, Painterly and Layin Low.


For nails there are a number of good classic neutrals and nudes. Christian Louboutin has ten flawless nudes in a variety of shades from pink, beige, to cream (swatches of all ten shades here). For a cool-toned pink neutral, Dior Lady has reached holy grail status. I will need a backup. If you want a neutral that isn't a flesh-toned nude, Chanel Particuliere is a classic but can pull warm on some skin tones. Dior Palais Royal is a cool-toned version of the Chanel. If you are looking for a good neutral beige cream that has good coverage, Tom Ford Toasted Sugar is really lovely.



What are your favorite neutrals for lips, cheeks, eyes and nails? Have you checked out any of the new spring releases this year? What are your favorites? I'd love to hear about your all-time favorites or new discoveries. For more ideas, Nordstrom has an entire beauty section dedicated to New Neutrals.



This post was sponsored by Nordstrom. Press samples include NARS Valhalla, NARS Reckless, NARS Guyane and Burberry Shell. All other items purchased by me. More information in my Disclosures.

 

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