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

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Inside My Bag


This week I've been playing with the Charlotte Tilbury Beach Sticks, new Burberry Eye Shadow formulation, the Dior Eye Reviver Palette, Marc Jacobs Contouring Duos, Chanel Rouge Cocos and much more. Thank you for your patience while you wait for reviews - I know some of you have e-mailed me and been asking when the reviews will be posted. I'm working as fast as I can. It's only Wednesday and I'm already exhausted. I've been trying to go easy on caffeine so I've been coffee-free for a few days which has impacted my energy levels. Here's a quick peek at what's in my bag this week. Why I carry this much stuff is beyond me, although I have been traveling on a few mini road trips this week.

Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm (reviewed)
Chanel Glossimer in Fleur D'Eau (review)
Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in Ibiza (review tomorrow)
L'Artisan La Chasse aux Papillon
Tom Ford Lips & Boys in Peter and Ian (review)

Marc by Marc Jacobs Aviator Sunglasses
Louis Vuitton Wallet, Goyard Tote, Sony NEX-6
Compartes Chocolate Bar

What do you have in your bag this week? I hope your week has been going well! P.S. Kelly Clarkson's new album Piece by Piece is awesome.

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 20, 2015

Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Crescendo #250


There's a new Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush called Crescendo ($45 for 4 g/0.14 oz, made in France, limited-edition). This is a soft luminous baby pink in the baked formula. For those new to Chanel blushes, in the powder form there are two formulas. Most US-sold blushes are pressed powders while all other countries have blushes in the same color/names but are baked. I almost always prefer the US version since I find the baked ones more sheer in color and quite a bit more powdery in texture. Crescendo seems to perform a bit more like the US versions even though it is baked and had quite a bit of powder kick-up when I dipped a brush into it.


Crescendo is a soft but buildable pink color. I would call it light to medium, leaning more towards medium in color. It looks bright in the compact but applies like a soft sheer pink. There is enough color in the blush that it shows up on my medium skin. It's a neutral-cool color on me and gives a natural pink flush. It has an airy feel to it with the lightness and brightness the pink has. It's not shimmery or matte, but rather has a soft luminous satiny finish.


Here it is swatched on the arm:


Comparisons to a few other blushes, note these were swatched with a light to medium hand, using an eyeshadow brush. The colors are all buildable for more pigment.


Chanel Narcisse (discontinued)
Chanel Angelique (new for spring, review here)

I found the closest dupe to Chanel Crescendo to be MAC Lovecloud in the pans and swatches, the MAC is slightly more pigmented and darker. I have a number of other older/discontinued Chanel and MAC blushes I suspect are similar that are unfortunately still boxed up (to be organized and put away in makeup drawers and shelves over the next week). Chanel Crescendo is a lovely soft pink but does seem to be something you can easily duplicate, if you own a lot of Chanel blushes I think you can safely skip and shop your stash. That being said, I do think it can be hard to find a good baby pink that has enough brightness in it to bring the skin to life, that isn't too pale and that also doesn't darken or look muddy after it warms up on the skin. Crescendo stays put on the skin without turning color and works as a good in between light and bright giving a luminous glow.

Due to the powdery texture, I do think this will look chalky or powdery on your face if you have super dry skin. It works well on mine right now, I always wear moisturizer + foundation + powder, but if you are slightly dry, I'd recommend adding a dewy cream blush or highlighter underneath to help the color adhere better to the skin (something like Edward Bess Sunlight works wonders).

I'm really happy with my purchase even though it is fairly similar to other pinks in how it wears on the face. I bought mine sight unseen from Chanel.com. It's currently listed as limited-edition.

Did you check out anything from the Collection La Perle de Chanel? What did you end up getting?

Chanel Rouge Allure Virevoltante and Aqualumiere Glosses in Tutu and Corset


I ordered three of the four lip items from the Collection La Perle de Chanel including the Rouge Allure in Virevoltante #158 ($36) and two Aqualumiere Glosses ($30 each) in Tutu #91 and Corset #92 (all limited-edition). All three are pinks with a very spring-like feel. Right now it appears the entire collection is exclusive to Chanel.com and Chanel Boutiques that carry the full beauty line (like Rodeo Drive, NY on 57th Street etc.). It may arrive at counters at a later date but I don't have any information on release/availability. You may want to refer to the Chanel thread at Specktra for more insight and in-store spotting.

Swatches of the three lip colors (please excuse the misspelling of the rouge allure, should be labeled Virevoltante):



The Rouge Allure in Virevoltante is a creamy raspberry pink color. There is a tiny bit of shimmer in it, much like the secret shimmers in some of the nail lacquers. You see it in the tube, but it doesn't translate on the lips. This gives the Rouge Allures a beautiful sheen and a bit of dimension. On my lips it's a cream and although it doesn't change color once applied (i.e. darken or oxidize), anything with a hint of fuchsia tends to pull very bright on my complexion. The coverage is medium but layer-able. There is no detectable scent from what I can tell. Lasting power is quite good until you touch the lips with a coffee cup or snack. It's creamy, non-drying and feels very lush on the lips without that overly-moisturizing feel.




The two Aqualumiere Glosses are both very sheer. I've purchased quite a few of the glosses in this formula so it was no surprise that these would be almost transparent on the lips. On me they are too sheer to wear alone, but I've almost always liked wearing Aqualumiere glosses on top of lipsticks. They had a hint of shine and color without altering your lipstick color too much. They are more enhancing rather than tinting and feel super luxurious and smooth. If you like more color or if you have a lot of sheer glosses, I'd say skip these unless you're a die-hard Chanel fan. I like these and will use them, but they will probably not be everyone's cup of tea, especially at the $30 price.

Tutu is a baby pink with the prettiest soft shimmers. Corset is a brighter raspberry pink that has a rather complex mix of pink, rose and some fuchsia shimmers making it look different depending on how the light hits it. Both have a refined shimmer in the color (not frost). They add a lovely glow to the lips and these make mine look full.





There is one more item in the Perle collection for lips which includes this stunning lip palette called the Harmonie Levres Lip Palette in Arabesque ($55 for five rosy-toned lip colors). It was seriously tempting for me but I resisted purchasing it because I rarely use lip palettes, I tend to reach for lipstick tubes instead.

Overall I give the Rouge Allure Lipstick a huge thumbs up. It's opaque, creamy and has a naturally glossy sheen. I like that it's a vibrant raspberry pink that isn't too bright making it wearable for everyday and also for night. I personally adore the Aqualumiere Glosses but the sheerness makes the colors easy to replicate with other lines.

You can find the Collection La Perle de Chanel online now at Chanel.com. All the lip items are limited-edition. If you've spotted in store or at counters please share in the comments :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Chanel Mysterio Illusion D'Ombre and Perle de Lune Stylo Yeux Waterproof


I ordered two eye items from the Collection La Perle de Chanel which includes the Mysterio Illusion D'Ombre ($36) and Perle de Lune Stylo Yeux Waterproof ($32, limited-edition). Both are cool-toned shimmers true to classic Chanel style.


Mysterio Illusion D'Ombre is a platinum silvery color that has a slight hint of khaki and silver mixed in. It's a color that contrasts with my olive skin making this more dramatic on my medium-toned skin. On my lids it's extremely sparkly with a dramatic sheen but you can blend out the color easily. I applied with my fingers and upon first swipe on the lids it looks extremely opaque. I'm usually in the 30 range for Chanel foundations. If you are fairer than me I suspect this color will look more sparkly and less dramatic in color on your skin. If you are darker this will look clearly silver. In the pot it looks neutral, on my olive skin it's more cool-toned. The sparkle and shimmer is very fine and when I applied this with my fingers and a brush I experienced no fall out.




Perle de Lune Stylo Yeux Waterproof is a twist up eyeliner that is a stunning cool-toned grey shimmer. The color is almost blueish with a slight purply tint on my skin, but my olive skin tends to bring out the cool tones in anything silvery colored. This is the most beautiful color I've seen in a liner and it's dark enough that I can actually wear it comfortably as a liner versus some of the lighter silvers that are gorgeous but, well, not something I can wear as a traditional liner. I've tried and bought a number of liners in the Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof formula and the wear and texture of these pencils is not always consistent. I've had a few that felt dry and didn't glide on the lids well. I know some other bloggers I adore and respect have reported inconsistencies with their liners as well in other shades. I was relieved and pleased to find that the Perle de Lune I ordered glides on the eyes smoothly without any issues. There is no patchiness in the color or tugging with this pencil.



One more swatch shot with some sunlight shining through shows how these colors glow:


A few comparison swatches:



By Terry Ombre Mercure #15, Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Fantasme, Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Mysterio, Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Epatant, Armani Eyes to Kill #9, #19 (discontinued), #4, #17 (discontinued), Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Moonlight


Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Underground, Chanel Stylo Yeux in Perle de Lune, Silver Light, Rose Platine, Chanel Le Crayon Yeux in Khaki Platine, Dolce & Gabbana Eyeliner #12 and #15, Burberry Effortless Kohl in Storm Grey, MAC Khol in Dig It! (discontinued)

I'm overall really pleased with both the Mysterio eyeshadow and Perle de Lune eyeliner. They are beautiful easy to wear colors that are perfect for spring and updating your makeup look for the season. For this collection, there are a few other items for the eyes including the Les 4 Ombres in Tisse Rhapsodie (I passed because I know it's something I won't wear due to the pastel/purple colors) and Tisse Vendome (repromoted quad, review here).

You can find the Collection La Perle de Chanel online at Chanel.com now. I am still trying to find out if this will show up at counters. If you've spotted it, please share in the comments :)


Sneak Peek: Collection La Perle de Chanel Picks


Chanel just released new items in the Collection La Perle de Chanel on Chanel.com. I ordered some items at the end of last week and I couldn't be happier with my picks. The colors are classic Chanel beauties. Here is a quick sneak peek, I'll have swatches and reviews up today and tomorrow of what I ended up ordering. Above shown from left to right:

Virevolante #158 Rouge Allure (limited-edition)
Crescendo #250 Joues Contraste (limited-edition)
Perle de Lune #916 Stylo Yeux Waterproof (limited-edition)
Mysterio #102 Illusion D'Ombre
Corset #92 and Tutu #91 Aqualumiere Gloss (both limited-edition)



There are some items I did not order that are also in the collection including:

Harmonies Levres Lip Palette (limited-edition)
Tisse Rhapsodie #248 Les 4 Ombres (limited-edition)
Tisse Vendome #204 Les 4 Ombres (repromote, review here)
Inimitable Intense Noir #10 (repromote)
Rouge Coco Baume (repromote)

Right now it appears the collection is exclusive to Chanel.com. I don't know if counters will be receiving it at a later date. I have read reports that Bergdorf Goodman had the collection in stores. More info and thoughts on the items are on Specktra.net. If you are interested in the items I suggest ordering sooner than later since the colors look like they are almost all limited-edition colors.

Stay tuned!

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?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Valentine's Day Pink for Lips


This week I'm loving all shades of pink for the lips, in preparation for Valentine's Day I've compiled a list of new pinks that I've been testing along with some older favorites. Today's focus is on lip glosses with a glossy sheen that will give the lips a lush glow.



  • Marc Jacobs Lust for Lacquer Lip Vinyl Sheer in Pink Diamond is a glossy sheer pink gold that gives the lips a tint of gold and pink, right now it seems to be removed from Sephora and Marc Jacobs Beauty so I'm not sure if these are being phased out or reformulated, for a similar effect check out MAC Nympette Lipglass
  • Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in Rose Shimmer 01 is a sheer light pink balm-like gloss, on the lips it gives a sheer natural wash of light pink with a tiny bit of shimmer, it has a soft vanilla scent
  • NARS Lip Gloss in Turkish Delight is a super pale powdery pink gloss, on my super pigmented lips this is high maintenance when worn alone, I find it's best worn as a layering lipgloss mainly because I have a lot of color in my lips
  • Zelens Lip Glaze in Rose is a lush baby pink cream, I have a hard time pulling off baby pinks on the lips that are non-shimmers, they are often too pale on my lip but this one was surprisingly good, it's pricey for a lip gloss but the texture and color are really really good, coverage is medium
  • Bite Beauty Lush Fruit Gloss in Strawberry is something I bought in the mini size over the holiday, this is the first Bite Lip Gloss I've tried and the color is absolute perfection for the perfect light-to-medium rose pink but the formula is less than stellar. I wonder if this is one of those glosses you need to "break in" with a few wears to make the formula better, it settled into lip lines like crazy which is a shame because the color and pigment is so pretty
  • Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Pink Pop is sheer bright pink gloss perfection, I love a good bright lip gloss that has a sheer texture because they give the lips just enough color to get that glow, this one has a very strong vanilla scent so if you're sensitive to fragrance, you might not be able to wear this one easily
  • Giorgio Armani Flash Lacquer in 521 is a sheer medium cool-toned pink, it's very sheer so alone it will give you a very subtle tint of color, it's lovely over a lipstick or lipliner 
  • NARS Lip Gloss in Angelika is a bright cool-toned pink with gold flecks of shimmer, this one is a pretty azalea pink kind of color with medium coverage
  • Hourglass Extreme Sheen Lip Gloss in Ballet is a lipgloss that acts more like a liquid lipstick, this one has crazy intense pigment and covers the lip entirely, if you want a glossy bright pink with super rich coverage, this is the best one I've tried
  • MAC Viva Glam Miley Cyrus is a super fun glitzy pink, I'm usually ultra conservative when it comes to anything with visible sparkles that is more than just shimmer, but this one is really pretty on the lips, I'm not sure that I would be able to rock this comfortably everyday, but it's not too glitzy if you layer a sheer wash of this on top of a lipstick
  • Zelens Lip Glaze in Pink is a healthy medium-bright pink, it has medium coverage leaning slightly more towards full but still has a glossy finish so it's not like a liquid lipstick, it's like Laura Mercier's Pink Pop amped up a few notches in terms of pigment and oomph, I highly recommend the formula because it plumps the lips naturally and feels ultra hydrating and smooth
  • Chanel Glossimer in Crazy Fuchsia is part of the spring collection, it's a super pigmented glossimer that has the prettiest mix of pink, violet and rose shimmers, long-time readers know I'm all about lighter neutral lips, but this one is just insanely gorgeous

Lip swatches on me (for reference some of these were taken over different days, foundations worn include the NARS All Day Weightless Luminous Foundation in Punjab and Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation in Bisque 04 with various setting powders):


I hope you found this lip gloss guide helpful in terms of picking out pink lip glosses with a diverse range of finishes, textures and different levels of color. To narrow down my top picks by category:

Favorite sheer light pink:
Clarins Instant Light Perfector in Rose Shimmer and Zelens Rose Lip Glaze

Favorite medium pink:
Laura Mercier Pink Pop and Zelens Pink Lip Glaze

Most unique:
Chanel Crazy Fuchsia Glossimer

This is by no means a comprehensive of all the pink lip glosses I've tried or adore, but rather an edited version of what I've been testing or using right now. What are your favorite pink lip glosses?

The Zelens Lip Glazes, Hourglass Extreme Sheen Lip Gloss and Laura Mercier Lip Glace were provided as press samples for review consideration, all others purchased by me.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Skincare Treats and Splurges


Following this month's theme of "treat yourself," today I'm sharing some of my favorite skincare treats and splurges. I'll highlight some items I view as game-changers based on what I've tested focusing on things I believe are worth the splurge to pamper the skin. For a bit of background on my skin, I have normal but sensitive skin. This winter it leans on the slightly dry side, but still is relatively normal. I'm in my early 30's right now and a year ago, my skin went through some changes with major break outs causing some scars and texture issues. I spent the last year working to streamline my skincare routine and am really thankful that it's returned to it's normal state over the past few months. I'll be sharing more about my skincare routine later, but for today I want to highlight items I feel are good for pampering. 


Up first is sunscreen. I've always hated wearing sunscreen on the face because of the strong sunscreen scent or greasy feel. I don't like wearing layers of product under my foundation and powder and since I've always spent the majority of my day indoors I thought it was pointless to wear extra sunscreen. So many have emphasized the importance of protecting your skin and wearing sunscreen has become a priority. Unfortunately, I since I can't tolerate the sunscreen smell, I have had to splurge on sunscreen for the face. Three that I really like that won't turn the face white and that don't have that traditional sunscreen smell include:

1 / Clarins UV Plus HP Multi-Protection Day Screen SPF 40  ($41 for 1.7 oz) is my latest sunscreen discovery. It's a lightweight white fluid that has a semi-matte feel. I picked this up because of recommendations from friends and also wanted to take advantage of the Nordstrom gift with purchase going on right now (details here). I like that it doesn't feel runny or have that greasy fluid feel. It stays put and doesn't feel like you have anything on the skin. Straight out of the bottle there is a very faint fresh linen-like scent but once on the face, there is no detectable scent. I love that it doesn't turn the face white.

2 / Chanel UV Essentiel Complete Sunscreen UV Protection SPF 50 ($55 for 1 fl oz) is something I've used for years. Chanel has three different sunscreens with SPF 20, 30 and 50. This is a lightweight product that is very fluid. The color is also white but it's transparent on the skin. I've used and repurchased this numerous times because it layers well over moisturizer and under foundation. My husband and I have shared this for years. This one is heavily fragranced though, so if you have a super sensitive nose and can't wear fragranced skincare products, you may want to skip this one.

3 / Shiseido Urban Environment Tinted UV Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 43 ($32 for 1 fl oz) is something I discovered a couple months ago. I adore Shiseido as a skincare line, but was really disappointed to find almost all their facial sunscreens left a white cast on my skin. Since I wear medium to full coverage foundation daily, it didn't really matter in the end, however, I prefer sunscreens and skincare that doesn't leave a white residue on the skin. This one comes in three colors which makes it the perfect tint + sunscreen in one. The color selection is pretty limited but the color is sheer enough to be quite forgiving on the face. I found Shade No. 2 to be the best match although for an exact match I'm really in between No. 2 and 3. It's a lightweight sheer coverage tint that can be worn as a base for your regular makeup. 


Next up includes facial cotton and cleansing water. Both of which aren't really necessities but these three have been life-changing for me.

4 / Cle de Peau Beaute Cotton ($20 for 120 pads) is hands down the best facial cotton I've tried. It comes in a box which keeps the cotton's shape in tact. I used to use Shiseido's facial cotton for years, but a friend insisted I try the ones by Cle de Peau and the difference is really noticeable. The Cle de Peau is sturdier and larger in size compared to other cotton. It's soft, silky, doesn't separate and glides on the skin without leaving any cotton remnants or fibers on the face. It's the ultimate luxurious splurge for the skin and I can't recommend it enough.

5 / Caudalie Cleansing Water ($14 for 3.38 fl oz) is a classic favorite for me. This refreshes the skin and cleanses it gently. I wouldn't recommend using it in place of a cleanser on a regular basis, but I like to use this to remove all my makeup at the end of the day and then follow up with a regular cleanser if I have long-wear foundation or powder on. It doesn't irritate the skin and does a good job at removing makeup (not eye makeup/mascara though). 

6 / Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water ($39 for 10.15 fl oz) is the best cleansing water I've tried. I've tried lots of different cleansing waters from NARS, Dior, Lancome etc. and the Koh Gen Do is my most repurchased cleansing water. I've found it's the most effective but is still very gentle on the skin. It's definitely worth the splurge.


Testing out masks can be very expensive. For me it's hard to splurge on a $50+ box of sheet masks or any mask in general unless I can test a small sample first, so I've relied on online reviews and blog reviews heavily before splurging. Four skin pampers I adore:

7 / Kiehl's Clearly Corrective™ Clarifying & Hydrating Intensive Treatment Masque ($58 for 6 sheets, 0.85 oz each) is a surprisingly good sheet mask that I think is highly under-rated. I don't know why it's a limited-edition product or exclusive to Nordstrom because it's amazing. I've tried a number of sheet masks and this one is very gentle but makes a visible difference in the texture, appearance and clarity of the skin. After use your face is left hydrated and super soft.

8 / SK-II Facial Treatment Mask ($17 for 1 sheet, or $135 for a 10 pack) is something that has reached cult-status but is an extremely expensive splurge. I resisted buying the box for a long time because I couldn't justify spending that much on a mask without having tested it. I took the plunge a year ago and have no regrets. Due to the price tag, I do try to limit use to one per month. If you've been interested in this but didn't want to splurge without testing, the good news is that they now offer this mask in a 1 sheet option for $17. There are a number of good sheet masks on the market, the SK-II is my favorite in terms of how it leaves the skin glowing.

9 / Glamglow Super-Mud Clearing Treatment ($69 for 1.2 oz) is something I discovered last August. It's one of my top picks for clarifying masks that is super effective at drawing out impurities from the pores. I like that you can feel it work on the face but it's still gentle enough for my super sensitive skin. I've repurchased this four times since my initial purchase - it's that good. Use for this one varies for me from 1 to 3 times per week. I like that it's non-irritating.

10 / Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment ($69 for 1.7 oz) is something I discovered thanks to my readers. I had a couple mini sample packets from gift with purchase events but was a bit nervous about testing this one. A number of readers recommended that I use the Supermud first and then follow with the Thirstymud right after for the ultimate at-home facial treatment. I tried this and it's pure genius. It seemed a bit odd to apply something to dry out the skin and then apply something right after to put the moisture back in the skin, but the combination is really quite amazing. To those who recommended this tip to me, THANK YOU!!


For face mists, I've used the MAC Fix+ for years but it is extremely lightweight. It's a good basic refresher for mid-day or even to prep the skin for foundation but there are others I've tried that are better in terms of how they impact the skin.

11 / Caudalie Beauty Elixir ($18 for 1 oz) is the ultimate spa-like facial mist. Spraying it on the face instantly lifts the mood and makes you feel like your skin has gone through a mini facial. It is heavily fragranced with a minty touch so I know it won't appeal to all. I personally really like it. It cools and refreshes the skin and pores will tighten with this spray. I like that it doesn't interfere with your makeup. My mom really likes this one too.

12 / La Mer "The Mist" ($65 for 3.4 oz) is an amazing facial spray. It dispenses a fine mist that is fragrance free. It's really good at calming any redness or irritation and suitable for super sensitive skin. The packaging makes this well worth the splurge - the spritzer dispenses a perfect spritz of mist evenly over the face. If you're in the market for an unfragranced face mist that refreshes the face, this is a good one to look at.

13 / Chanel Hydra Beauty Essence Mist ($90 for 1.7 oz) is something that has been on my radar for a long long time. It's used on me at almost every Chanel makeover I've had. I couldn't bring myself to splurge on it. For me it's the best thing you can splurge on for a face mist - but it's still quite a splurge. If this were priced at the $60-$65 price point I would say hands down "you need this." At the $90 price point it's a stretch and for me it was hard for me to part with that much money for something this size. This is one of those products I really adore but I do believe it's overpriced. Am I happy I bought this? Absolutely yes. Will I repurchase? I don't know.

I hope you found this roundup of skincare treats and splurges helpful. As always I'd love to hear about your skincare favorites. What do you like to use to pamper or protect your skin to give it that extra love and care?



This post was sponsored by Nordstrom. All items purchased by me. For more information refer to my disclosures.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Dior Vernis Kingdom of Colors - Lady and Glory Comparisons


I hope everyone had a great weekend! I was planning to upload swatch comparisons on the Dior Kingdom of Colors Spring 2015 Nail Polishes on Friday but took a few days off from blogging for a much-needed weekend break. As promised here are some comparisons for Dior Spring 2015 Vernis Gel Shine Nail Lacquers in Lady #294 and Glory #660. Both nail wheels have the same colors, just two different views for lighting:


Louboutin Madame Est Nue + Tres Decollete (swatched)
Dior Tra-La-La (review)
Dior Incognito (swatches)
Dior Lili (review)
Chanel Rose Cache (swatched)
Tom Ford Sugar Dune (discontinued, review here)
YSL Beige Leger (swatched)
Dior Star
Dior Wonderland (reviewed here)
Dior Lucky (older formula swatches, review)
Dior Pasteque (discontinued)
Chanel Tutti Frutti (review here)
Chanel Pink Tonic (reviewed here)


To me Dior Glory looks identical to my old Dior Lucky and very similar to other pinkish reds. I still love it but definitely think you can find similar colors. Dior Lady on the other hand is powder pink perfection. It's not too dark, not too light, has full coverage and has just the right amount of cool/pink tones to make it look soft and feminine but not too pastel. I love how elegant and understated it is without being too neutral or nude.

In case you missed it, full review of Dior Lady and Glory (and the spring top coat) with swatches on the fingers here. You should be able to find the Dior Spring Collection at most counters now. I bought both of my polishes from Nordstrom. Also available online at at Neiman Marcus, Saks, Sephora, Bloomingdales and Dior.com.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Inside My Bag


Here's a peek at what's inside my bag this week (another shot here @beautylookbook). Truffle  Clutches are keeping my bags streamlined and organized. I like to use the Clarity Clutches for makeup because I can see what's inside (nude is shown). The Privacy Clutches for me are used to keep card cases, wallets, notecards and keys in (blush shown). I ordered a bunch of these for Christmas and gave them out as gifts to friends. They put them to use immediately and it brought a smile to my face seeing that they were well received - everyone has been sending me pictures of their pouches in action.

As usual, I have too many lip products in my purse. Left to right is NARS Dolce Vita Lip Gloss (review), Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre in Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (swatched), Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Étourdie (swatches), and Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask in Champagne (review).

I've been carrying the Tatcha's Original Aburatorigami Beauty Papers to blot. They are packaged in a slim compact sturdy paper case making them easy to carry with me, although the new Travel Sized Papers-To-Go Tube is now on my wish list. Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Powder in 20 stays with me these days for refreshing makeup although I often forget to bring a powder brush with me so having it in my bag is kinda pointless.

Two last beauty items I've been carrying with me include Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black mini and L'Occitane's Shea Butter Hand Cream (from the limited-edition holiday L'OcciBox).

What's in your bag this week?

The Truffle Blush Clutch and L'Occitane Hand Cream were press samples. All other items purchased by me.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Monday, December 29, 2014

Best Beauty Discoveries and Highlights of 2014


2014 has been a very exciting year and I feel incredibly blessed in so many ways. I am grateful for each and every one of my readers. Without your passion for all things beauty this blog would not be a possibility for me to keep up. Each week I am touched by the kindness some of you have shown through e-mail and comments. I think the internet and social media is amazing with the way it enables us to connect with each other across the world. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for following me through this blog :) 

I have a roundup of beauty highlights in 2014. There have been so many great beauty releases and innovations this year. I think the holiday sets this season were the best ones I've seen to date. I've linked previous reviews of my favorite beauty discoveries for 2014 below. Please let me know what your top beauty discoveries were as well, I'd love to hear what your favorite picks were!
This year marked the year for a number of brand launches and store openings. New beauty brand launches in the US that I was really excited about included Gucci Beauty and Charlotte Tilbury. A number of brands added new stores and boutiques. Diptyque on Larchmont opened in Los Angeles. In Venice Beach Caudalie and Hourglass Cosmetics opened up boutiques. Another highlight for me was finally visiting the NARS Boutique on Melrose (although it opened a few years ago).

Additional highlights include a couple special features for The Beauty Look Book. In January I was really excited to be featured on Barneys New York - The Window. In March of this year I was beyond thrilled to discover that InstyleUK included me in their Top 50 Websites (thank you!!).

The best thing for me this year though was being able to connect with some bloggers and YouTubers in person (in beauty and fashion). Meeting them was incredibly inspiring. There are few things that give me that warm fuzzy feeling like seeing women support other women and I value their friendship, advice, encouragement and positive outlook on life. 

What were your top beauty discoveries this year?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Chanel Collection Rêverie Parisienne Blush Camélia Rosé and Angélique


Chanel has two stunning options for cheeks this spring in the Collection Rêverie Parisienne. There is a beautiful floral cheek powder called Blush Camélia Rosé ($55 for 3 g/0.1 oz, limited-edition) and a new Joues Contraste called Angélique #190 ($45 for 6 g/0.21 oz). Both look like spring in powder form and they look quite stunning in the compacts.

The Blush Camélia Rosé has two shades in one compact. There is a soft light pink and a medium rose intertwined in a stunning camellia rose pattern. The overall tone is cool-toned and there is a slight hint of silver sparkle in the powder. On my medium olive skin this is semi-sheer but has a glowy finish. It does show up on my Chanel Beige 30 skin but it is very subtle. My first impression when I saw this was to think "this is so tiny!" - I do wish Chanel had skipped the brush on this one and made the powder larger like the Beiges De Chanel or seasonal highlighters. Still, it is remarkably beautiful in the compact and on the skin. If you need something more dramatic or visible but still natural and glowy I would recommend Hourglass Mood Exposure (reviewed here and here).



Angélique #190 Joues Contraste is a stunning peachy pink blush. It has a super smooth texture with a glowy finish. I found the pigment in this one just perfect. It has a lovely mix of pink, peach and rose in it so warms and brightens up the skin. If I had to pick one of the two cheek options, this would hands down be it.



Here are the two spring shades swatched side by side:


A few comparisons:


Hourglass Incandescent Electra (exclusive to the blush palette)
Chanel Espiegle (discontinued)


I'm in love with Angélique Blush. It is such a pretty peachy pink that I tend to gravitate towards. I have mixed feelings about the Blush Camélia Rosé mainly because of the size. It is a pretty soft pink rose that has a lovely glow but I do wish it had just a tiny bit more pigment on my medium skin.

For reference on other Chanel Spring 2015 reviews:


You should be able to find Chanel spring at all counters now. Online at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks, Bloomingdales and Chanel.com.




 

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