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

Friday, July 22, 2016

Loving Right Now + Gift Card Giveaway


Happy Friday everyone! It's been one of those weeks I thought would never end and I am relieved that it's almost the weekend. Thank you to everyone who shared what you wanted to see on The Beauty Look Book blog in my last giveaway post. It's always great to hear feedback on what you've liked and also what you would like to read more about. There were a lot of requests for features on a wide range of topics and I am beyond flattered so many of you want to know what I think about well basically anything! Most popular requests were for higher end skincare (I did not realize you guys liked the skincare posts!), budget-friendly cosmetics, full skincare routine, current hair care routine, more hauls, favorites roundups, inside my purse posts, shoe features, tutorials, makeup storage, more travel (so happy many of you loved this), time management, exclusive promo events and videos!

Since reading your requests, I've started to pull items for a full summer skincare routine and hair care routine post. I do tend to test a lot of products on myself to review for you so my routine changes frequently - but I will pull my favorites and include items I've used up. A few notes:
  • Nordstrom Anniversary Sale hauls posted on the blog, makeup picks here and fashion and skincare items hauled here
  • Exclusive promo savings for readers via Space NK US here - my apologies for those who were not able to use the code on Oribe, after several e-mails to the team, they've fixed the code and it works on all Oribe items (full size and travel sizes)
  • Antica Farmacista is doing a special online promo code, enter code ANTICABLB at checkout for a mini body butter with any online order!
  • Summer bronzer edit posted here (many of you have been asking for this for weeks!)
  • On videos I am hoping to do some in the future!
  • Loving right now/favorites in this post here today!


Right now for skincare, hair care and the home, I'm loving the following:
  1. Chanel Fresh Body Cream is a summer go-to for body lotions. It smells lightweight and fresh and even though a tub is pricey. I use it sparingly but it has lasted a long time. It hydrates without feeling sticky and won't interfere with perfume. My wallet is crying at the thought of having to buy again but I think it is 100% worth the splurge.
  2. Clinique Take the Day Off Makeup Remover is what I use right now to remove mascara and eye makeup, its gentle but effective and doesn't feel greasy. You can find it in two sets for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in the Chubby Lash Set and Take the Day Off Set
  3. Antica Farmacista is a line I just discovered and I really don't know how this has passed my radar for so long, I received a few samples and the line is exquisite! My favorite item is the Cucumber and Lotus Flower Candle which is the perfect cooling relaxing scent for the home, I am going to need this one in all formats, detailed review next week - if you have any favorites from the line let me know! If you order online they're offering a free mini body butter with any order, use code ANTICABLB
  4. Shu Uemura Art of Hair Ample Angora Volumizing Mousse is something new to me, I will say up front I typically hate mousse products because they're usually sticky and make my hair hard to comb/brush, this one is really good though. I have naturally thick hair and find most volumizing products don't really add that much volume to my already thick hair (I have tried dozens of sprays, creams, lotions, shampoos etc.) This one combined with heat styling of the T3 PROi Dryer (best dryer ever, thanks RaeView for recommending to me!!) gives serious volume all the way through from roots to ends.
  5. La Mer The Tonic is a toner I alternate with the SK-II Clear Treatment Lotion, I like both but reach for the La Mer more these days to help remove impurities after cleansing and rebalance the skin. The formula has been a go-to for years and often times I try others in attempts to find a more affordable option, but this one never fails me.
  6. Kate Somerville Gentle Daily Wash is a favorite for every day multiple times a day. It's one of the few I can use frequently without it stripping my skin. I've tried and repurchased all her cleansers and this is the only one that won't irritate my skin on tender skin days. My brother has acne-prone skin that is even more sensitive than mine. I bought him this one to try and it's one of the few he says is gentle enough for his skin (he's in his early 20s). Also available in a larger 16 oz size with a pump and her Clinic Solutions Kit (I bought this for travel).

For makeup and fragrance:
  1. Hourglass Ambient Luminous Light Palette is nothing but pure love, it's a Nordstrom Beauty Exclusive for this year's Anniversary Sale and I think it is perfect. If you already own the palette from last holiday or the individual colors you can skip this one. Also there's a new marble palette that's coming out for holiday that you might want to wait for as previewed on @gossmakeupartist's Instagram (it looks dreamy but I think the colors are different!). My review + swatches in this post here.
  2. Chanel Aqua Glossimers for summer are sheered out glossimers new for summer. Review on all the shades in this post here. These are nice for an effortless wash of shine and a hint of color.
  3. Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche in Sugarcane is a perfect baby pink that covers the lip entirely, I also like Honeycomb which is a perfect nude, swatches + review of the neutrals in this formula can be found in this post here
  4. MAC Sunblessed Cremesheen (in the Nordstrom Sunblessed Kit) is a great pinky nude on me even though it looks more peachy in the tube. Swatched on my lips here.
  5. Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips are almost too hot to handle. I adore her Matte Revolution formula and was thrilled to see more neutrals and brights launched in her Hot Lips Collection. All the shades purchased by me and swatched in this post.
  6. NARS Long Hot Summer Eyeshadow Palette (review soon) is an exclusive to NARS online and boutiques. This has great neutrals deep enough for medium to tan skintones. I'll review and swatch this soon.
  7. Tom Ford Soleil Blanc is the perfect white floral summer fragrance. I love it. Review here.
  8. YSL Glossy Stain 07 is a ripe juicy peach that has enough color to be more than a neutral but isn't too bright so it will suit neutral makeup lovers (also in the Nordstrom Rebel Nudes Set)
I'm hosting one more Nordstrom eGift Card Giveaway! I'm giving away 3 $100 USD eGift Cards to Nordstrom. Details as follows:
  • Open internationally
  • You must be 18 years old or older
  • Enter through widget
  • Entries will be collected through Sunday 7/24/2016 11:30 AM PST
  • Winners will be selected at random via the widget, emailed Sunday evening
a Rafflecopter giveaway
What are you loving right now? Did you haul anything good from the Nordstrom sale or any other places recently?

Press samples featured include Shu Uemura, Antica Farmacista, Bite Amuse Bouche.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Summer Date Night Beauty Favorites and Clutch Essentials


Summer is in full swing and I thought I'd put together a roundup of some date night beauty favorites for the season. I like to keep things on the makeup side soft and shimmery - pretty much the same as everyday kind of colors but add more on the eyes. A good neutral lip can give a nice polished look and will go with every color of outfit. A good classic red, coral or bright pink lip can add more oomph to your look - if you like a good bright classic, I think the best color and formula right now are from the Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips and Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo lines. If you're a neutral lip lover, read on for my top picks.

First a note on clutches and pouches. Finding a good classic flat zip clutch is harder than you would think. For as long as I can remember I've been into the simple classic streamlined zip pouch, but being petite at 5'3" it's hard for me to find one that isn't too large. I'm forever looking for good classic options. The envelope style is pretty chic (one affordable option featured in this post here also eyeing this nude blush one here) but for some reason my heart belong to the flat zip ones.

My two most-used clutches are the Clare V Leopard Clutch (8" H x 11" W) and Truffle Privacy Clutch (6 1/2" H x 10 1/2" W). Small compact coin purses or card cases are also essentials for me. Any kind of textured leather makes wallets more sturdy and last longer, the Chanel classic quilted caviar is one of my favorites. The Tory Burch Robinson Coin Case is actually more like card case but also works as a more affordable option but still extremely well made and sturdy.


The best date night fragrances for me, some come in the tiny roller ball or small spritzer version to fit inside a clutch:
  • Diptyque L'Ombre Dans L'Eau which comes in a limited-edition travel size for summer. It's the fragrance version of Baies candle which I was surprised works well as perfume and has a mix of blackcurrant leaves and rose.
  • Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb is the ultimate date night fragrance (travel spray was taken with me on my summer trip). For daytime I feel like it's more of a fall/winter fragrance, but I think it's amazing for summer nights. It's a hard one to describe but the notes are bergamot, tea, freesia, jasmine, orange blossom, orchid, rose, patchouli.
  • Chloé Eau de Parfume is another favorite, I have a small bottle, but you can find it in a travel size as well, it's another classic floral with notes of Pink Peony, Freesia, Lychee, Magnolia Flower, Lily of the Valley, Rose, Cedarwood, Amber, Honey.
  • For those who want something more unique, Byredo is always a good option. I bought the Discovery Set over the holiday which has a sampler mix of scents. It's been discontinued but the current version is the Floral Discovery 6 Piece Set which has Blanche, La Tulipe, Bal D'Afrique, Inflorescence, Flowerhead and Rose Of No Man's Land. I highly recommend the travel/discovery sets. It's a great way to try out different ones without having to splurge on the full size bottle. Another option is the Nécessaire de Voyage Eau de Parfum Travel Set which has Black Saffron and Blanche with a case.


For eyes I like shadow sticks because they're easy to apply and blend with the fingers. They're great for touch ups or if you're on the go and compact enough to carry in a clutch if you don't have time to go back home to fix your makeup for date.


I like a good shimmer for the eyes because it dresses them up a bit whether it's to add highlight or deepen with a golden smokey shade. Favorites shown and swatched below include:


For lips, I'm all about the soft pink and peachy shades. Current favorites shown below to mix and match or layer:


Shown above but not swatched:
Swatched below:


For pressed powders, the two I've been reaching for the most include the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Powder in No. 20 and Clinique Stay Matte Sheer Pressed Powder in Stay Neutral. I've been on the hunt for a good retractable brush that's flat but not too small and I finally found one from Hakuhodo which is the H611 Portable Brush. It's soft and fluffy and super compact. If you don't need a powder to touch up, but want a good blotting paper to carry to absorb shine, the Tatcha Blotting Papers are the best ones I've tried (details on why they're the best in this review here).


That rounds up my summer date night beauty favorites! As always I'd love to hear what you love to wear and/or carry with you. If you have any favorite clutches or zip pouches - please share! One last note, shoes featured are from Ann Taylor.




Press samples featured include Tatcha Blotting Papers, Tom Ford Lip Color, Edward Bess Lip Definers, Truffle Clutch.

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Best Summer Nail Colors for Sandal Season


Summer is in full swing and I could not be happier that it's sandal season. Living in Southern California it feels like it can be sandal season year round but during the spring to summer time I love that's it's actually in season.Today I'm sharing my favorite nail + sandal combinations to wear right now from Nordstrom. I love adding color to the toes because it adds a fun polished feel to your entire look. I adore brights, aquas, teals and sometimes violet for the toes during the summer, but it can be challenging to coordinate some polishes with all colors of sandals or outfits. I've picked out my favorite versatile polish shades that will work with a wide range of outfits no matter what you're wearing (shoes or clothing-wise). I'm all about flats for comfort, but right now there are so many cute wedges and heels out for summer. Nordstrom has a dedicated Sandal Season section with handy filters to sort by style, heel height, color etc.

I hope you find this mini sandal + nail polish combo guide fun and helpful! Up first is the sandy nude + peachy coral combo:


Shown Above:
________________________________

Tan Brown Suede Heels + Coral Pink Nail:


Shown Above:
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Classic Black Wrap Sandals + Mauve Plum:

Shown Above:
  • Shoes: Steve Madden Werkit Sandals in Black Suede, runs true to size on me, the suede is comfortable on the feet and soft in between the toes so no breaking in required
  • Toes: Dior Mirage is one of my favorite mauve plums, in my experience, Dior polishes have the best brush for easy DIY application (they're curved to match the shape of the nail), the formula is also really good
  • Lips: Rouge Dior Brilliant Shine in Victoire and Miss
________________________________

Nude + Nude:


Shown Above:
________________________________

Summer brights:


Shown Above:
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What's your favorite summer pedicure color to wear? Do you switch things up depending on outfit or shoes? I'm forever searching for a good opaque off-white nail polish that doesn't look streaky, isn't sheer and that also doesn't look like white out on my toes. Any with medium-tan to deep skintone if you've found one please let me know! I love the way it looks on my friends but they are all at least 2-3 shades fairer than me and also have pink undertones so they can pull off white polish easier than me. If you have any sandal favorites please let me know! I live for recommendations because it makes it so much easier to narrow down styles to try on.



Many thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post. As always all opinions my own.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Chanel Les Beiges Duos 01 and 02 for Summer 2016


There are two face and cheek products in the Chanel Summer 2016 Collection. The Les Beiges Powder Duos are available in two limited-edition shades Duo No. 01 and Duo No. 02 ($65 each for 11 g/0.39 oz, made in France). These are similar in texture and feel to the regular Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powders which have a very natural look, soft velvety texture and semi-sheer but buildable coverage. Ever since originally reviewing them a few years ago, I've used Shade No. 20 to set for a very soft sheer setting powder. The new duos for summer have a very soft shimmer to them - if any of the blushes, bronzers or highlighters of late have seemed way to shimmery for your taste, these two are among the most subtle. They are perfect for those who don't want a pure matte but don't want a lot of shimmer either.

No. 01 is a duo with a shimmering orange and deep bronze. No. 02 is more like a blush with a pale champagne pink shimmer and medium reddish blush color.


Swatched with a medium to heavy hand below:


No. 01 is a duo with a shimmering orange shade that has a very soft glowy finish and a dark bronze. Mixed together creates a warm and deep bronzed look. You can apply with a fluffy brush for sheer coverage but I found it to be on the pigmented side for a Les Beiges powder. The first time I tried it I put too much on the brush and ended up with dark streaks on each side of my face. Definitely use a lighter hand when applying. That being said the color can be easily blended out. This is one of the darkest bronzer powders I own. If you are light or fair skinned you will most likely find this too warm and too dark.


Comparisons below to:


No. 02 is more blush material for me with a soft pinky shimmer highlighter on the top and a warm reddish coral shade on the bottom. It's a really pretty color for summer I think goes well with the pink Aqua Glossimer in Adenium (reviewed here).


Comparisons below to:



Chanel Les Beiges Duo No. 01 look features Rouge Coco in Vera and Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit in That Glow on the eyes. Chanel Les Beiges Duo No. 02 look features Chanel Aqua Glossimer in Adenium and Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit in Sundipped on the eyes. Foundation worn is NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in Groenland + St. Moritz mixed together.

Overall thoughts are that these are very good powders quality and color-wise. I bought them last month so I've had some time to play with them. The Les Beiges Duo No. 01 is definitely more along the lines of a bronzer while No. 02 is more of a highlighter/blush on me. Based on pulling a few other powders to compare, a few final thoughts:
  • The powder texture is very finely milled and very pigmented for a Les Beiges powder formula.
  • By comparison to other formulas, the Les Beiges Duos are not as pigmented as the Becca Luminous Blushes, but you can still build the color for more intensity.
  • I applied by swirling a large fluffy brush to combine colors, the darker shades in each compact are more pigmented than the lighter top color so the result is that the deeper bottom shade dominates. The top shade helps diffuse and soften the bottom color if that makes sense.
  • No. 01 is easy to overdo - at least it was for me, I consider myself to have medium toned skin. If you're lighter than me, it will probably look orangey on your skin as it is on the warm side. If you're medium to tan to deep, you will probably rejoice that Chanel has finally released a darker colored powder!
  • No. 02 has a very similar effect on me to Hourglass Diffused Heat.
I don't have any regrets buying these but am not sure that I can call them must-haves. If you're looking to update your bronzer or blush collection with new colors that have that lovely satiny soft glow I think you will really like these. Even though it's probably best for conservative makeup wearers like myself to go easy on the shimmer and frost I can't help but be really into the super shimmers for the face that are popular these days.

Both duos are limited-edition. They retail for $65 each, available at Chanel.com and all other Chanel retailers.

Have you tried these yet? What did you think?

Monday, June 13, 2016

Chanel Collection Dans La Lumière de L'Été Le Vernis in Espadrilles, Turban and Cavalière for Summer 2016


Last month I reviewed one of the Chanel Summer 2016 Le Vernis Nail Colors in Espadrilles and today I have a review on two more shades in Turban and Cavalière. These are in the new and improved formula and retail at $28 each for 13 ml/0.4 fl oz, made in France. In case you missed the post I'll repost photos below but if you want to read the full review on Espadrilles here.

The three shades I have include:
  • Espadrilles which is a bright orange red cream
  • Turban is a medium bright pink-orange cream
  • Cavaliere (c/o) is a deep chocolate brown with very subtle gold shimmer mixed in

All three are full coverage and opaque with two coats. As mentioned in my previous reviews of the new Le Vernis formula here and here, the new formula is an improvement from the original in terms of coverage, pigment and lasting power. I have always had good experiences with Chanel polishes, but the new formula offers more opaque coverage.

If you've been a long-time Chanel or Dior nail polish collector, I do think the three colors in this post are similar to previous releases. I'll add a few notes below on the swatches, this round I did not have time to photograph comparisons in good light.

Up first is Espadrilles reposted, it's a bright orange red that screams summer to me. I've been wearing it a lot on the toes - it goes with a lot of the shoe colors I have in my closet right now.



Turban is one of those pink-orange mixed colors that I reach for frequently. It looked like a medium bright warm pink next to Espadrilles. I pulled a few others I thought might be dupes. Chanel Fracas (discontinued) is similar in terms of pigment and brightness but it's more pink. Chanel Tutti Frutti (discontinued) is more blue in undertone. Dior Wonderland is more pink and lighter in undertone. Louboutin Miss Loubi is close but deeper and richer in color (this is my favorite out of the bunch).




Cavaliere is an interesting color. Based on the promotional photos and on the model on Chanel.com it looks like a shimmering bronze with visible gold frost. On my nails it's more of a chocolate bronze with the shimmer barely detectable on the nails unless light hits it directly. It's still a lovely color - just not quite what I expected. It will be a good summer to fall kind of transition color that I will feel comfortable wearing as the seasons shift.




Three quick looks taken over the past few weeks for fun:



Shoes - Steve Madden
Purse - Prada
Sunnies - Marc Jacobs 


Skirt - J.Crew (old style)
Sandals - Madewell

Chanel Turban snapshot:

Pouch - Truffle
Candies - Sugarfina
iPhone Case - Gray Malin


Out of all three colors, my favorite is Espadrilles. There are a couple other colors that were launched in the collection but when I saw them I didn't feel like I would really wear them. Canotier is a pale gold frost and Emeraude is a stunning shimmering green but I'm not really a green polish wearer. I'll do aqua or blues but I rarely feel emerald shades call my name. If you've tried it let me know your thoughts! For the other two, I think Cavaliere is unique compared to the other colors that I own. I tried it on the toes and was surprised that it actually worked for a polished edgy look. Turban is gorgeous - but I already own many colors similar to it. That being said it has a lot more coral and orange compared to other medium summery pinks which makes it different but still similar.

Have you checked out the summer collection yet? Stay tuned for a review on the two Les Beiges duos soon. In case you missed the post, Aqua Glossimers reviewed here.

You can find all three colors at Chanel counters & retailers now, also online at Chanel.com. I bought Espadrille and Turban from Nordstrom. Cavaliere was sent courtesy of Chanel for review.

Monday, June 6, 2016

10 Mascaras Tried and Tested


I've been playing with quite a few mascaras over the past several months - some from early January. As I've worked my way through a few tubes I've made notes on thoughts for these and kept them to photograph next to each other so you can see the brush sizes and shapes. I have really straight relatively wimpy lashes that are often barely visible unless I have mascara on. I rarely ever wear anything on the bottom lashes because most brushes are too big to catch the tiny lashes. That combined with the fact that most mascaras smudge on me is another factor for why I don't wear anything on the lower lashes.

I have tested a few lash growth serums but am still undecided - I suspect that they require months of use to see results. I received a sample tube of Rapidlash earlier this year and as of today I've hit the 71 day mark of use. I have started to see some results but they are still on the subtle side. If you have ones you've tried that worked let me know.

Onto the mascaras I've tested out. Some are repeats of classic staples. I usually like waterproof versions because they are the ones that really don't smudge on me. However there are quite a few that leave the lashes looking and feeling a bit crunchy or that turn slightly greyish when they dry so I'm really picky with formulas. The image below is interactive so you can click on the icons below to shop the mascaras:

Shown above from bottom to the top:
  • Clinique High Impact Mascara ($16.50) is one of the mascaras I've used for the longest, I discovered it years ago and it's a great basic mascara to add definition and volume, it's not the most volumizing formula but the black is a true black color and doesn't smudge, flake or clump.
  • By Terry Terrybly Growth Booster Mascara ($48) is one I received as a gift with purchase at a counter a year ago, it's a formula that is very expensive but gives a really nice lush look to the lashes, it is supposed to have a growth formula inside it, I haven't noticed any visible growth from this one but it's not one I use daily, I like this because it doesn't flake, irritate or clump, it holds the curl and adds nice volume you can layer.
  • Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara ($29.50) I love Dior mascaras but often times they just don't hold the curl for me, I gave this a try in hopes of finding one that does and was thrilled to find that it did for me. There were a lot of mixed reviews online - people either love it or hate it. I found it held the curl and did not smudge. I would have liked a bit more noticeable drama for me, you can layer it but on me it was easy to over-layer where you get that slightly cakey look. The fact that it held the curl and didn't smudge moved this into my thumbs up list.
  • Burberry Bold Lash ($29) is one I used a few years ago, loved it and repurchased once. I gave it another buy and have no regrets. This is best on me with one good coat. I apply at the base of the lashes and wiggle the tube to apply - it coats lashes evenly without clumping and it does not smudge on me.
  • Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara ($23) is one I tried in the Birchbox Beauty in Bloom Box (review here and it's still available). It far exceeded my expectations and I proceeded to search for it in stores. I could not find it anywhere near me so I ordered online. It's my new favorite formula although it is a bit hard to remove in the evening. I like this for the most drama and definition. It holds the curl and doesn't smudge and looks like a true black.
  • Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara ($26) is one I had high hopes for because I really love the O!Mega Lash Mascara (that one has been my most repurchased formula over the past year). The Velvet Noir has an ultra deep color. It has a unique curved brush that dips in the middle of the wand to match the curve of the eye and get the corners. Application is really easy and it looks incredible. Unfortunately for me it does not hold the curl. Smudging is minimal but still happens a tiny bit on me with this one.
  • Marc Jacobs Feather Noir Mascara ($24) is an ultra skinny mascara - one of the tiniest wands I've ever seen! It's made mascara application on lower lashes possible for me. I have super sensitive eyes so it does tickle a little when I apply this but it has such a fine wand it will catch tiny lashes without touching the skin. It did not smudge on me when I used on lower lashes. I think this is a winner if you're one who is looking for a lower lash mascara.
  • Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes Mascara ($32) I love all things Charlotte Tilbury so when this launched I had high hopes. The regular mascara from her line is ok in my experience. This one is like a face lift for the lashes. I rarely notice the smell of mascara but this one smells like it has a tiny bit of perfume and it smells amazingly fresh and pretty. I have mixed feelings on this one. I've put this to the test over the last month. It gives that faux mascara look by adding incredible volume and definition - it's really impressive. It holds the curl, doesn't flake and is non irritating. However half the time it smudges. The other half of the time it does not. Even when I have an extra powdered under-eye sometimes it still smudges. If this came in a waterproof formula I think it would be 100% flawless for me. Right now it's 50/50 on the smudge factor.
  • Chanel Le Volume Mascara ($32) is a classic. I like the regular black version but try to buy the plum shades when they launch because they are often limited-edition. There are two formulas the regular Le Volume and Le Volume Waterproof. I like both but for me waterproof is the way to go especially in humid warmer months. It adds volume and doesn't smudge.
  • MustaeV Maxi Lash Volume Mascara ($18) is one of the deepest black mascaras I've tried. It has a super skinny wand so it's easy to grab all the lashes - even the ones around the edges. I was really impressed how well it stayed put - no smudging for me on all testing occasions. It's not the most volumizing for me because I have such wimpy lashes but it's a good everyday kind of mascara that never clumps on me and I love the true black color.
Another view of the mascaras, different angle:


So which one is my favorite? Right now it's a three-way tie between the Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara, the By Terry Terrybly Mascara and Chanel Le Volume. The Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes is almost perfect - it smudges on me half the time I wear it.

If you're looking for a new mascara I hope you found this roundup helpful! As always - I'd love to hear about your recommendations! At this time I don't use a base/primer or a top coat for the lashes. I know several of you have recommended the Clarins Double Fix as a way to prevent smudging. I still have yet to try it but just ordered it so will let you know how it works. I've played with a few false lashes on occasion but find them too time consuming to apply on a daily basis - I know it just takes practice to get used to but it's something I just haven't gotten into yet.

If you have any tips, tricks or advice on lash growth serums I'm all ears!

Press samples featured include the Charlotte Tilbury, MustaeV, RapidLash. Gifted item includes the By Terry Mascara.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Chanel Aqua Glossimer for Summer 2016


The Chanel Collection Dans La Lumière de L'Été features six colors for lips in a new gloss formula called Aqua Glossimer ($30 each for 5.5g/0.19 oz, all limited-edition). These are similar to the regular Glossimers which I've been a long time fan of for natural color and shine. The new Aqua Glossimer is a lighter kind of gloss with a lightweight almost watery cushion feel and sheer color. The colors in the tubes are absolutely gorgeous. Once I applied them on my lips I was undecided how I felt about them. They have a very sheer finish and almost feel jelly like. At first they felt so emollient I thought they would slide off my lips. I did put these to the test though and am happy to report that they do not slide around but stay put, however if you don't like that thinner emollient feel for a gloss you may want to add a neutral lipliner first to help it feel like it won't slide.

The colors have a mix of jelly non-shimmers and a couple shimmers. The 3 deeper colors have better color payoff. The lighter shades give the lips a barely there tint. If you like color to show up I would say pass on these - they will simply be too sheer for you. Curiosity got the best of me and being a Chanel fan I just had to try them. I am happy with the formula and colors - I think they are fun for an effortless kind of wash, however if I will say that if you want a nice wash of color I would recommend the YSL Rouge Volupte Shines I reviewed in April instead even though the formula is completely different. The color payoff is much better but will still give you that beautiful sheen. If you still want a gloss but with more color stick with the regular Chanel Glossimer formula or try the YSL Pop Water Glossy Stains - I reach for these frequently and I repurchased Wet Nude and Pink Rain.

Onto the colors for the Aqua Glossimers. They also come with a slightly different applicator which has a pointy tip instead of the regular rounded tips:
  • Tanami is a sheer coral with a hint of pink
  • Sirocco is a bright orange red with gold shimmer 
  • Rouge Desert is a sheer brick red but on me it brightens a bit because it's sheer
  • Dzhari is a gorgeous plum red with shimmer, unfortunately most plums turn red on me, this may look more true to the tube on your lips
  • Sahara is a sheer your lips but better shimmer, it's a pale peach gold in the tube but is almost transparent on my lips
  • Ademium is a soft rose pink without any shimmer



Swatches:


All swatched on bare lips, for skintone reference I'm wearing NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in Groenland + St. Moritz mixed (review here) with NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation in Punjab (review in this post here) on top to set.

One last look:


I give them a thumbs up for the formula and natural shine. They have a very nice hydrating emollient feel and do not slide around. Lasting power is about average for a gloss - they stay put like most other glosses will but color transfer will happen if your lips touch anything or you snack. If you're looking for an effortless kind of wash of color you'll like these. However I don't think they will appeal to everyone because they are on the sheer side. You can build the color by layering it and it won't feel too goopy. If you're a natural lip lover like me but want a bit more color try the YSL Rouge Volupte Shines I mentioned above - there will be similar colors but they have more pigment and color payoff.

All that being said I do recommend these. Given that they are sheer and if I were to do it over again, I don't think I would have purchased all six. I almost never try glosses at the counter on my lips because they aren't sanitary so with these you don't know until you try them on your lips. My top three picks would be Adenium, Tanami and Sirocco.

You can find the Aqua Glossimers at counters now. All the shades are limited-edition. They retail for $30 each. Available online at Nordstrom (where I bought mine), Neiman Marcus, Chanel.com and all other Chanel retailers.

For those curious about what other bits of Chanel Summer I will be reviewing, I have both of the Les Beiges duos and the Le Vernis in Turban that I will be reviewing soon (preview here). Espadrilles has already been reviewed in this post here.

Have you tried these yet? What did you think?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

My Summer Beauty Essentials


Summer is just around the corner but it's on my mind right now. For the beauty world, seasonal collections launch ahead of season so many of you have probably already started to update your makeup wardrobe for warm weather. For me - I love wearing summery bronze shades year round, it's a color I like to incorporate in bits to add warmth and life. I've teamed up with Nordstrom to share some of my summer beauty favorites covering a bit of everything from lips, eyes, cheeks, skin and fragrance. They have an entire page dedicated to Sexy Summer Must-Haves if you're looking for something new. Up first are fragrance and body must-haves.

Sunnies by Marc Jacobs here, hat from Nordstrom here

First up are items for the skin and body. In the summer I love a bright nail polish whether it's bright coral, red, orange or pink. My current obsession of the moment is Chanel Espadrilles which is a bright orangey-red cream. Two coats give full coverage and the new formula is a huge improvement in terms of lasting power over the original (even though I was a fan of the original). For fragrance, Tom Ford Soleil Blanc is the perfect white floral for summer but if you want something lighter the new Neroli Portofino Acqua (c/o) is really quite amazing. I've been wearing this for a few months now but haven't felt like I was ready to talk about it just yet - it's one of the lightest Tom Ford scents to date but still has very good lasting power. If you found the original Neroli Portofino too strong, the new Acqua version is the best one yet.

For self tanners - I've tried quite a few and they either smell really bad or cause an allergic reaction on my skin. A long-time favorite for a very natural gradual glow is the Clarins Radiance Plus Golden Glow Booster which you mix in with moisturizer, but the effect is very natural. I read a ton of reviews online to find another one before deciding to cave and try the Soleil de La Mer Face and Body Gradual Tan. It's quite pricey but worth every penny. I've only tried on the body so far, but it gives a nice golden tan and smells amazing for a self tanner. You can use until you get the color you want, I found it worked for me after 4 days of use. Color lasts several days while fading gradually afterwards. It's streak free, didn't stain white jean shorts and non-orangey.

Protecting your skin with sunscreen that lasts is important. I have very sensitive skin and most sunscreens cause tiny little bumps to form on my skin by the end of the day. Two that I swear by are the Supergoop! Sunscreen Oil with SPF 50 and Coola Sunscreen Sprays which range from SPF 30 to 50 and come in unscented or scented options. I like the Coola because I can apply to my back easily in harder to reach areas. It's weightless so you don't feel like it's greasy or heavy on the skin. I ask my husband to try out sunscreens I use as well - he's really particular about products having a non-greasy feel and he approves of the Coola line.


For the lips, even though many associate summer color with brights or bronze shades, I love pinks, nudes and corals for a softer look. The best nude I've tried in a long time is Tom Ford Ultra Rich Lip Color in Revolve Around Me (c/o). It looks boring in the tube but on the lips it's so so good! The Tom Ford Moisturecore Lip Colors (c/o) are perfect color-wise and come in six options ranging from a soft gold nude, deep copper, berry, coral and a few neutrals. The one I've been reaching for the most is Pipa (I bought back ups of both shades).

Chanel launched new Glossimers in the summer collection. I'll have a full review on all the shades soon, but they are a new formula called Aqua Glossimer which comes with a slightly different applicator and a sheerer almost jelly like finish.

In an attempt to find more affordable color options to the Tom Ford I picked up a few other formulas. The Bobbi Brown Sheer Lip Color has a similar finish and feel to the Moisturecore Lip Colors but feels so much smoother and glide on the lips. I picked up Boho Bronze which is similar to Cala di Volpe and is $27 vs the $55 price tag of the Tom Ford. MAC Huggable Lip Colors have been a favorite (Touche is a really good nude) for an effortless kind of lip color that adheres well to the lips and makes them glow with a natural hint of color. They launched a few more shades recently and I picked up Seoul-Ful, Bare Hug and Bonsai Bloom.

Last but not least I was really excited to see a new Kevyn Aucoin Lip Gloss in Sunlight. It's one of the prettiest bronzey shades I've tried. However when I got home I found it really close to Chanel Unity Glossimer.




For eyes I love shimmer. Even neutral shimmers add a little something that's fun but wearable for every day. I've been on the hunt for a good copper nude shimmer. Many coppers are too warm or red for my eyes/skintone. Bronze has been a go-to but I have been on the hunt for something a little different.


Long-time readers know Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Rose Gold is a staple of mine. Shadow sticks are so easy to use and convenient to apply - you just smudge and blend with a finger. If you're looking for something a little more glitzy, the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Golden Pink is more shimmery and more visible on the skin. If you want something lighter for an all over wash Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes in Opale (c/o) is really one of the best there is.

For other shadow sticks, the Burberry Eye Color Contour Smoke and Sculpt Pens are really good. Pale Copper is more of a bronzey taupe on my skin but still very pretty. A more affordable option is the new MAC Pro Longwear Waterproof Color Sticks which are pretty much budgeproof after you apply them.

In terms of golden copper shades, Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerize in Bette is one of my favorites. I know a few of you have mentioned you found it too emollient for your skin type in which case I'd recommend you try Tom Ford ones or the Burberry Eye Color Creams which has a harder stiffer texture and more suitable for oily lids.

My perfect copper shade is the Kevyn Aucoin Loose Shimmer Eyeshadow in Sunstone which comes with a rollerball applicator. Just glide them across the eyes and then blend with a finger or brush.

The hunt for the perfect bronze eyeliner ends with NARS Larger than Life Eyeliner in Via Appia for me. No matter what other colors or brands I try, this one is my tried and true.


For complexion I love glowing skin. I wear bronzer year round so when summer rolls around I'm happy that bronzer is "in." I've already reviewed a number of these shown below on the blog - some of which are back-up worthy in my mind which is why I have pristine new ones featured below. I've added other swatch shades as well for reference.

If you ask me what one bronzer I would recommend - it would be a very tough choice for me to pick just one. If you like a luminous glow, the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzing Powders are really good because they mix highlighter and bronzer in one. They can pull warm and if you are fair you may find them too dark or too warm in which case I'd recommend Tom Ford Bronzing Powder in Terra which is a cooler-toned matte. My personal favorite is Gold Dust (shown below) because it's the perfect mix of tan and gold in one. Both are goof-proof - the texture is really smooth and easy to layer without overdoing it.

NARS Laguna Bronzer is always a classic staple you can't go wrong with. They launched a Liquid Laguna Bronzer this year which is easier to control for a soft sheer warm glow. Also new is a Laguna-Tiare Bronzer in a scented option which smells heavenly!!

If you're set on bronzer and just want something to add to your cheeks for a glow, Tom Ford Fire Lust is hands down the best liquid illuminator I've tried. It's subtle but one of the prettiest I've tried. It's steep in price but worth it. You get a lot of product so it will last a long time.

In terms of blush, two that I deem absolute must-haves are Tom Ford Cream Cheek Color in Pink Sand and NARS Dual Intensity Blush in Sexual Content (c/o). Pink Sand was limited-edition last year but brought back again this season. It's a really special pink gold cream that is oh so pretty. NARS Dual Intensity Blushes aren't new but there are two new shades for summer in Sexual Content (shown below) and Liberation. The best thing about these is they have a unique cream to powder texture which is good for warm weather - it holds up on my skin without getting greasy or oily looking.

Last but not least - for foundation, I think finding the right one depends on skin type, coverage preference, color options and humidity levels. I've been loving the NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint (c/o) for months now - it offers natural medium coverage and blends perfectly into the skin. I wore this over the holiday weekend - we went to the desert in Borrego Springs and it was almost 90 degrees (it was dry vs humid). The foundation stayed put all day long without needing a single touch up. This is my foundation of choice right now and I will be taking it with me while I travel later this month.

Above: hat from Nordstrom here (I bought it in both colors because it's a perfect fit)




I hope you enjoyed this summer beauty roundup! I tried to include swatches of multiple colors as a reference guide in case you're looking for a specific color or formula. Sometimes you'll find the perfect color in a lipstick or eyeshadow but want it in a different formula (ie powder vs cream). Or you may find a bronzer formula you like but want it in a matte version vs shimmer. I love mixing things up. Many of you have asked for a dedicated summer bronzer post so stay tuned for that one in the upcoming weeks. I'm still testing out a few to see if they will make the cut for what I would recommend.



As always please share your favorites for summer below. Especially if you have sensitive skin, would love to hear about what you've tried and love for sunscreen and self tanning! I've seen a few sunscreen sprays pop up that are new for the season  but would love to hear about your favorites too.

Many thanks to Nordstrom for partnering to sponsor this post. Some items in the post were press samples marked with a c/o next to the product names. More information in my Disclosures.

 

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