Showing posts with label Dior. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dior. Show all posts

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Holiday Gift Guide: Festive Beauty Ornaments, Charms and Crackers

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This holiday season there are so many cute beauty gifts and sets. In case you're looking for a festive beauty gift that comes in cute packaging to save time on wrapping, I've rounded up some cute ideas that I call quick and easy gifts. You can pick up multiples without breaking the bank and have some on hand for last minute gifting. They can also make cute stocking stuffers or add-ons to something like a chic book, a bouquet of flowers or baked goods.

I'm smitten with the Molton Brown Re-Charge Black Pepper Cracker. The Rhubarb and Rose Cracker has a full-size hand cream in it.

This Christmas, Charlotte Tilbury brought back her Mini Lipstick Charm Set again this year which is good because even though they are uber tiny, they are so so cute. Swatches of Bitch Perfect and Penelope Pink in this post here.

L'Occitane never disappoints for gifting any time of year really. Year over year I buy most of my gifts from them because it never fails to make friends and family happy. There are so many good Hugs & Kisses Hand and Lip Duos this year. My favorite is the Pierre Hermé Jasmin-Immortelle Neroli which surprised me because I love Jasmin scents for the home, but rarely like to wear them. The Pamplemousse-Rhubarbe duo is perfect for any grapefruit/citrus scent lover. Other classics include the Shea Butter and Delightful Rose.

Hope you have a great rest of the week!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Loving Right Now

Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope your week is going well so far. A few things I'm loving right now, especially since the weather seems to have shifted overnight here in Southern California. It's still relatively warm compared to most parts of the US, but we've had some rain, lots of wind and dry weather. My skin has definitely felt the impact and my lips and skin have felt dry so I've needed to switch things up.

For lips I've been loving the Amore Pacific Moisture Bound Lip Treatment that I picked up from Sephora. It comes in a sleek little squeeze tube and has an angled applicator so you can apply it without using fingers. It's hydrating and feels lush on the lips. I'll give an update later as I'm testing a few new lip treatments. Also great for dry skin is the Amore Pacific Moisture Bound Oil-Free Essentials Set (not shown). I bought this a couple months ago and loved the items but found them too hydrating when we had super warm and humid weather in the high 80s (I thought fall weather would never arrive here). For right now, the cleanser and toner are just what I need to mix into my routine on days I feel extra dry.

These days I feel like I can't live without the Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist*, the travel size is perfect to keep in my purse and I love that the mini packaging is just as good as the full size. Be sure to check out their gift sets this year. Their packages are beautifully wrapped so you really don't need to do any extra work if you gift something.

For under eye concealer, I'm still loving the Charlotte Tilbury Retoucher Concealer as the best under-eye and spot cover up (I use Shade 3). Pigment and coverage is impressive but it blends out to a completely natural looking finish. Swatches of all the shades in this post here. Because many of you have been asking about the newer Mini Miracle Eye Wand Dynamic Duo Lift and Light Reflector, I picked up one in Shade 3. I'll report once I've given it a thorough test drive.

Another staple in my daily makeup rotation is the Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Base. Many of you have repeatedly asked what my favorite eye base is, and it's the one from Edward Bess. It evens out the lids and primes it for eyeshadow. It extends eyeshadow wear and doesn't crease. Many skin-tone colored primers dry out my lids or make them look wrinkly, the Edward Bess smooths out the skin and makes it glow naturally (even though there is no shimmer).

For color, I'm obsessed with Dior Addict Fluid Stick in Versatile (swatched here), Wander Beauty Exquisite Eye Liquid Eyeshadow* in Bronze (swatched here), and Chanel Rouge No. 19 Le Vernis (released last year, but still available at, swatch here).

I've been testing a number of different hand creams. I did a roundup of my staples back in January. I'll have another update soon. The Molton Brown Alba White Truffle Hand Treatment* and Hand Exfoliator* are really quite amazing. I've never done a hand scrub but the exfoliating treatment is incredibly helpful in scrubbing off dead skin and also offers hydration leaving hand silky smooth and feeling really good. (Not to mention is smells delicious.) The Alba White Truffle Hand Cream is ultra hydrating. 

Also not to be missed is the L'Occitane x Pierre Hermé Collaboration. Both brands have a special place in my heart and I couldn't be more thrilled that they partnered for a holiday launch. The packaging on the Hand Cream Trio is to die for. As soon as I saw it online I immediately went to my local store to pick it up. Unfortunately it appears to be an online exclusive in the US. If you're one to shop in store, there is a lot to choose from - but don't forget to check online for exclusive sets. The gift sets this year are so beautiful (more on these soon). There are some cute Lip/Hand Duos and other items that are only available online. (I ordered multiples of the trio and duos.)

Last three things I've been loving are the Gourmand Eau De Parfums from Urban Outfitters. I have Thé Matcha which is a super clean fresh scent. I have several others on my wishlist. Truffle pouches are always on my love-list. The Rose Gold Privacy Clutch is always fun around the holiday season. New for holiday is the Ivory Pearl Cranberry Pouch in Small* and Large. Right now Truffle has a 20% off sale on this color through 11/25 with code CRANBERRY at checkout.

Stay tuned for a hand cream and lip treatment roundup along with more holiday reviews and gift guides. What are you loving this week? Do you have any go-to's for dry skin during the colder fall/winter months?

P.S. The Garance Doré Book is so incredibly fun and chic!

Press samples included indicated by a * next to the items featured. All others purchased by me.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Sephora VIB Rouge Sale Beauty Haul

The Sephora VIB Holiday 20% off sale starts today for VIB Members in store (with your e-mail code or coupon mailer) and online with code VIB20. I am a VIB Rouge member and tested the code today to see if it would work (because several e-mailed me asking me to test it) but it doesn't. I have a roundup of what I bought last week when the code worked for VIB Rouge Members along with some quick swatches of the color/makeup items. I shopped in store - there were a few things in my online cart that were online exclusives but I didn't check out before the sale ended - no biggie since I splurged on a lot of other goodies. Here's the damage below.

For my husband, I picked up the Dior Sauvage Eau De Toilette Spray in the 2 oz bottle. He prefers smaller bottles because they take up less counter space. I had the 3 piece gift set on my list for him, but it's an online exclusive and he's picky about after shave lotions. I decided to stay with what was safe. I also picked up the Tom Ford Costa Azzurra Eau de Parfum for him. It's a fresh scent but still has enough masculine notes to wear year round. Sephora has the exclusive on the small 1 oz size so I thought I'd try it. I should have just bought the regular 1.7 oz size but my curiosity got the best of me with the tiny bottle.

For makeup, I picked up the following:
  • Burberry First Kiss Fresh Gloss Lip Balm in Coral Glow which is a stunning coral balm, it hydrates, feels good on the lips, and gives a healthy tint of color with a stunning glow
  • Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipsticks in Melted Nude and Melted Chihuahua have been on my list for ages, I can't believe it took me so long to buy these, Melted Nude might just be my new holy grail nude lip color, Chihuahua is what I wanted Kat Von D Lolita to be on me
  • Cover FX Illuminator in Sunlight has had so many raves, I had to try it, I've worn it 2x so far, I'm undecided about it, it's like but not pure love, for the price it's good
  • Sephora Colorful Contour Powder in Fiji and Highlighter in Secretive can't be beat at the $15 price tag (for each), I was hoping Secretive would be a dupe for Chanel Coups de Minuit, but the Sephora color is a lot sheerer in finish, Fiji is a nice warm subtle contour
  • Cover FX Illuminating Primer is another highly raved about primer, I have high hopes for it, currently testing, will report soon
  • Bite Beauty Mix and Mingle Duos in Café/Pepper (for me) and Latte/Cortado (as a gift) of course I could not resist these cute lip duos, Café is the best light pink ever, I wish it was available in the full size lipstick

Below swatches alongside a few other shades:

Burberry First Kiss Fresh Gloss Lip Balm in Coral Glow, Sweet Plum, Rose Blush (swatched here)
Too Faced Melted Lipsticks in Nude and Chihuahua
Kat Von D Beauty Lolita Lip Duo (swatched here)

Chanel Coups de Minuit (swatches here)
Sephora Colorful Highlighter and Contour Powder

For hair, skin, body I picked up a few items to restock and a couple new items:

If you shopped the sale last week or are planning to shop the VIB Sale this weekend, let me know what's on your list or what you picked up. Would love to hear about your hauls :)

If you're shopping in store, you can show the card or e-mail you received for the VIB Code or Coupon. If you're shopping online at use code VIB20 (good for VIB members only), you should be able to use it multiple times online from today until November 16th.

Happy shopping!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

October Beauty and Grooming Favorites

I fell in love with a lot this past month. I have a roundup of my favorites in beauty and skincare today along with my husband's October grooming lineup. Cases shown above are from Muji (left) and Truffle (right).

Skincare and Haircare

Up first is hair care and skin care. The items in last month's roundup are still in heavy rotation right now but instead of re-posting everything, I've highlighted some new favorites for this month.

Featured above from left to right:
  • Original and Mineral No Knott Detangling Spray is something I've been loving for months now. I bought this in a travel set online which has mini sizes. It's a miracle worker for my hair - I spritz it on after I wash my hair and I can brush my hair without any tugging or pulling. I've ordered the full size from Net-A-Porter. It has a lightweight clean scent, the product is certified organic and made in the USA. It adds a tiny bit of shine.
  • Kate Somerville Age Arrest Serum is something I've been using the past two months and it's possibly my new favorite serum. It's part of the anti-aging line and it's a skin renewal product. It contains tetrapeptides which help support collagen and elastin production. It also has marine extracts to reduce lines, wrinkles and sooth skin. One to two pumps of this gives the skin a smooth base and it really does make lines disappear in front of my eyes. It gives the skin a smooth look and feel unlike any serum I've tried before. I haven't tried the cream or other items in the line but I'm super curious now.
  • Pixi Glow Tonic has been raved about on so many blogs I read (it seems to have a cult following) I had to stop by my Target to check it out. I picked up the mini size and have been using it daily (morning and night after washing). I can't say that it gives my skin a glow, but as an exfoliating toner I am impressed. It brightens and makes the skin feel clean and hydrated. There's no stinging. It's very gentle. For those who are anti-alcohol in skincare this one is alcohol-free. It's seemed to keep my skin clear and texture seems better.
  • Molton Brown Replenishing Hand Cream in Gingerlily is a go-to right now. I'm really a huge fan of all the Molton Brown hand creams, but there's something refreshing and bright about Gingerlily that lifts the mood. You can also find it in this set here and also here. This weekend they have a sale at Receive 10% off orders $65+ with code FALL10, receive 20% off orders $95+ with code FALL20 at checkout.
  • L'Occitane Immortelle Precious Mist is one of my top two picks for face mists right now. The bottle dispenses a superfine mist and it's ultra refreshing and lightweight. Skin feels well hydrated but not overly moisturized. I love the fresh smell it has.
  • Erborian Bamboo Waterlock has been a favorite for moisture masks. It's a gel-like green mask. I featured it a few weeks ago in my Korean Beauty roundup. You can read the full review here.


For makeup, I've been really loving neutral lips. Lip glosses and lip sticks seem to be what I've been gravitating towards a lot lately. There are a lot of really good rich-in-pigment formulas these days.

From left to right:
  • Sephora Pro Full Coverage Airbrush #53 is hands down my favorite foundation brush right now. It gives smooth streak-free coverage for liquid foundations. I like the Mini #53.5 version as well for cream contours, but the full size is better for foundation. Find the full review here.
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty O!Mega Mascara is something I've used up and repurchased. It's something I've been reaching for because it's super dark and rich in color. The brush is well designed so it defines and separates lashes but is also volumizing. On me it doesn't smudge or flake.
  • Club Clio Waterproof Pen Liner in Kill Black is at the top of my list for glossy liquid liners. I got this in the Birchbox From Korea With Love set and I've been hooked. It dries to a glossy finish. It's cry proof (lasted through a tear-jerker movie for me). You can find it at Birchbox (waitlisted), Peach and Lily (in a set), Club Clio and Amazon.
  • MAC Vamplify Lip Glosses launched months ago. I was super late to the game with this and by the time they popped on my radar almost all the colors sold out. The good news is Spanking Haute and Tuned in restocked online. I ordered them immediately. I hope MAC makes them permanent, these are really good creamy full coverage glosses.
  • MAC Subculture is my perfect nude pink your lips but better lip liner. Swatches and roundup of neutral lipliners in this post here.
  • Chanel Glossimers in Beige Star 206 and Rose Tendre 204 are still in heavy rotation. They were part of the Les Beiges collection this year. Swatches + review here. For holiday both colors are also in this Turn Up The Shine Glossimer Trio Set.
  • For lipsticks, October's top three favorites are the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Very Victoria (reviewed here), Buxom Bold Gel Lipstick in Rebel Rose (swatches here) and Dior Addict Fluid Stick in Avante Garde (swatches here). All three are neutrals that wear beautifully for everyday.
  • The Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher Concealer in #3 has been really good for concealing under the eyes and brightening the complexion. Swatches of all the Charlotte Tilbury concealer shades in this Concealer Roundup here.
  • Last but not least is the Edward Bess All Over Seduction in Sunlight. It's still my holy grail cream luminizer. It's perfect for cheeks and eyes. I've hit pan on mine again and just opened up a new one.

Men's Grooming

My husband rounded up several of his grooming favorites from the past month. Some he tried first in sample mini sizes from various gift with purchases or samples I got for him. There are a few he liked so much that he bought the full size of. Others are repeat staples. From left to right below:
  • Jack Black Epic Moisture Nourishing Oil is a lightweight pre-shave oil. According to my husband this is the best one he's tried so far. Pre-shave oils are designed to prepare the face for shaving by moisturize the skin and creating a barrier in between the skin and razor. It's been instrumental in preventing razor burn. He likes that it comes beautifully packaged in a large container. Most other pre-shave oils come in small plastic bottles. The one from Jack Black lasts longer because of the size. It also comes in glass which makes it sturdy. It has no scent which is a huge plus compared to other brands that often smell earthy or like vegetable oil.
  • Kiehl's Ultimate Strength Hand Salve is a hand cream he got in the Men's Starter Kit. He's completely obsessed with this and keeps stealing mine even though he has two of his own. He's really picky with hand creams. Scent and texture are key because he doesn't like heavily scented hand lotions. The Kiehl's has a soft scent but it disappears after a few minutes. Texture is also important, he likes this one because it absorbs quickly into the skin and doesn't have any greasy residue but hydrates the hands really well. You can find it in a number of gift sets this holiday. If you're looking for a good one for your dad, brother, boyfriend or husband, the Costello Tagliapietra for Kiehl's Ultimate Man Full Body Refueling Set is a really good one. It also has the Ultimate Man Body Scrub Soap which is another staple/favorite.
  • Baxter of California is a line my husband recently started testing. He ordered the Herbal Mint Toner and Shave Tonic to start. In terms of toner he says he's not a toner kind of guy but since I told him it's something I found essential in my skincare routine he looked for one to purchase and test out. He's liked the Baxter Herbal Mint Toner enough to keep using it (he's about 1/2 way through the bottle). It makes his skin feel clean but moisturized. He likes that it has Witch Hazel which helps calm the skin. The Shave Tonic is something he says is kick a** awesome. For him packaging is key and the glass sturdy bottle and color of the green liquid is amazing for him. He uses this as the first step in shaving to prep the skin. It's also really good post-shave to moisturize the skin.
  • For hair Drybar The Chaser Shine Pomade is still a regular staple for grooming his hair (it's also my favorite). It's great for shine and styling but for him, once he puts it on, he can't touch his hair for the rest of the day or else there is glossy residue that will transfer to hands, hats or the headrest of the car. He tested out a mini size of Baxter's Grooming Lotion and says that it's better for everyday. It does the same thing and makes hair more manageable but without the added shine. Comparing the two, he prefers the Baxter feel and look. His hair is still soft and not greasy. However he likes the way the Drybar Chaser looks better.
  • For cologne, I got him a mini sample of Dior Sauvage (Sephora Beauty Insider 250 point perk). He likes it as a good everyday cologne that is suitable for year round wear. He says the intensity is just right that it's strong enough to smell manly but not so overpowering that it's overwhelming. In terms of lasting power he says it lasts just as long as Tom Ford and Chanel. It will stay on through lunch time before he notices it disappears. The scent is mild enough that he can touch up mid-day without feeling like he doused himself with cologne. He likes it enough that he's willing to buy the full size.
  • Harry's After Shave Lotion is one of his favorite after shave lotions because of the packaging and texture. He likes that it moisturizes the face and helps the skin heal after shaving. It smells clean and isn't heavy. The dispenser pump packaging is a huge plus for him.
  • Last but not least is the Nuxe Men 24 Hour Protection Deodorant. I bought this for him since he liked the Men's Shower Gel from the line. He's usually not a fan of rollerball deodorants but he gave this a try and it's the best men's deodorant he has tried. It has no alcohol or aluminum salts. It dries quickly, after he showers and puts it on, it's dried by the time he puts on his shirt. It leaves no white marks or residue. It prevents sweaty patches on the shirt. It is the best thing he's tried that prevents under arm odor. He has super sensitive skin that peels or gets irritated with a lot of deodorants, with this one his skin is perfectly fine without any reactions. You can find it at a number of different places. I've ordered from Nuxe. He's ordered some from
That wraps up our October beauty and grooming favorites! I hope enjoyed reading about what we tested and loved this past month. As usual I'd love to hear about your top beauty and grooming favorites. If you have any new discoveries please share in the comments!

Press samples in this post sent for review consideration include items from Kate Somerville, Molton Brown, Buxom Cosmetics and Erborian. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Dior Addict Fluid Sticks

I've been a long time fan of the Dior Addict Fluid Sticks ($35 each for 5.5 ml/0.18 fl oz, made in France) since they launched in spring 2014. These are incredible lipstick/lipgloss hybrids that glide on the lips with full smooth coverage and the most beautiful shine. There have been several new color additions to the formula over summer and fall. I've been sitting on some new purchases for a while now. I photographed them months ago and they've been sitting in a folder waiting to be edited. Some are listed as limited-edition so I thought I'd swatch and review them so you don't miss out in case these didn't make your beauty radar.

If you're not familiar with the Dior Addict Fluid Sticks I highly recommend you check at least one out. These come in a cute chic silver and clear colored tubes with an angled sponge tip applicator. The sponge is perfectly shaped to get a precise line around the edge of your lip and also wide at the base to cover the lips perfectly. You have to try it in person to appreciate how well designed it is. These are fluid in texture and glide on the lips perfectly. The colors blend out to cover the entire lip with rich pigment but there is a very slight transparent quality so you can see a tiny bit of your natural lip underneath. Swatches of my picks from the initial launch here and here.

Onto the new colors I picked up. Unfortunately one you cannot find in the US - I picked one up in Paris at Sephora, but I will swatch a few other colors to try and dupe it below.

  • Beige Passion (summer 2015, Europe) is a perfect your lips but better natural pink beige. I wish it was available in the US but unfortunately it was never released here. On my lips it's a very natural color. I like that it's not too pale so it doesn't wash me out.
  • Ciel Rose (summer 2015) is a medium rose pink. It's bright but has a somewhat muted brightness to it which makes it conservative but not boring. It's the perfect in between of warm and cool which I think will make it a universally flattering color.
  • Tropiques (summer 2015) is similar to Ciel Rose, but it's brighter and more vibrant. Even though fall is here and plums are in, I still love a good coral pink year round. It brightens the complexion and face and gives a healthy flushed look.
  • Versatile (fall 2015) is a cool pink which I knew would be either hit or miss. In the tube it looked like it might be too cool-toned but it's actually really perfect. On my hand and arms it pulls a lot of blue so I was surprised that it was very wearable (blue-based pinks often look purplish or too mod on my skintone). If you are looking for a pretty cool pink, this one is really gorgeous.
  • Avant-Garde (fall 2015) is a mauve-nude pink which is a your lips but slightly deeper and more mauve. It's a pink nude in the tube and swatched on the arm. On my lips it pulls deeper and more cool-toned. Your mileage may vary on the color depending on your skintone. I think it's an amazing mauve nude - but it will probably look very different on you than it does on me.

Lip swatches:

Swatch comparisons below, note that Frisson has been discontinued and Tiny Pink is a Sephora Exclusive color.

One last shot of the colors below:
Overall a huge thumbs up. I am completely obsessed with these. They are lush liquid lipstick glosses and the formula is amazing. I like that they last a long time on my lips and don't slide off but still have that gorgeous shine to them. There is a slight perfumed scent to them that is hard to describe but I find it very soothing and refreshing at the same time. The scent does fade after a few minutes.

If you're in France, Beige Passion is still listed as being in stock online at Sephora France. The other colors are still available at most places online although I haven't checked in store. They have been out for quite a while now. I don't usually like to backup lipglosses but I do think Versatile is back-up worthy, it's the perfect pink I've been looking for that is cool-toned but still wearable.

You can find the Dior Addict Fluid Sticks at all Dior counters. Online at Nordstrom, Sephora, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's, and all other Dior retailers.

Have you tried any of the newer Dior Addict Fluid Sticks? Which colors are your favorites?

Friday, October 2, 2015

Monthly Beauty Favorites: Skincare

Happy October everyone! I hope you had a great September. It's officially fall but we're still having really warm sunny days in the high 70s and it feels like fall weather will never arrive. September brought about a number of new beauty discoveries, in particular new lipsticks. I think I fell in love with every single new lipstick formula I tried from Charlotte Tilbury (hands down one of the best mattes ever), Louboutin (oh so luxurious), Buxom Cosmetics (so many good colors with an amazing formula) and Tom Ford (how can you not love TF lipsticks?).

I decided to do a different favorites roundup this month and focus on skincare loves. Smooth clear skin has been a focus lately and I've been trying new things over the past few months. It takes time to see visible results - so here are some things I've been putting to the test and absolutely love. My skin has improved a lot - even my husband has commented on it. As always if you have any skincare recommendations I'm all ears! I just picked up this AmorePacific Moisture Bound Set because so many of you raved about the Enzyme Peel in the comments.

Here's what I've been loving this month (the bag above is one of the pouches from the MAC Clearly MAC Trio):

My go-to moisturizer all throughout the summer has been the Eve Lom Brightening Cream ($110 for 1.7 fl oz). It's described as a hydra-cream designed to "correct pigmentation and boost luminosity to reveal beautifully radiant and even-toned skin." It has a brightening ingredient called Dermapep™ that corrects hyperpigmentation - after using this I've noticed my skin is visibly more bright, complexion is smooth and dark spots become less noticeable. I would say it's better as a daily lightweight moisturizer rather than a spot corrector - but it has kept my skin smooth, lightly hydrated and works well with all the foundations I use. Even with daily use for months I still have a good portion of the jar left - so I'm thrilled it's lasted a long time.

Last month I had the opportunity to receive a complimentary facial at the Kate Somerville Clinic on Melrose (more on this soon). It was hands down the best facial I've ever had and I highly recommend the clinic. Since then I've been slowly incorporating some Kate Somerville items in my routine. On your first visit they provide a detailed questionnaire for you to fill out on your skin type, preferences and goals. Mine included dark spot correction, texture improvement, anti-aging prevention, help with wrinkles on my forehead, brightening. The facial and products are used in various treatment processes in concentrated formulas based on your needs. Three things I've been loving:
  • The Daily Detox Cleanser ($34 for 4 fl oz) is a really good deep-cleaning cleanser for everyday. I use it with my Clarisonic. It helps fight acne and removes impurities from the skin. It's helped to rebalance my skin and even with the heat we've been having my skin is less oily. It contains phytic acid which helps fade post-acne scars and reduce inflammation. I can't rave about this enough.
  • Dermal Quench Liquid Lift Advanced Wrinkle Treatment ($95 for 2.5 oz) was recommended as a replacement for my regular toner. It's a product that helps combat all my skin issues: aging, wrinkles, uneven skintone. It also helps with dryness - and I've seen a big improvement in my skin. Forehead lines have started to soften and using this helps prep the skin for serums or moisturizers.
  • RetAsphere 2-in-1 Retinol Night Cream ($85 for 1 fl oz) is something I've been experimenting with as well. It's been recommended by many that I incorporate some kind of retinol treatments into my routine. I have super sensitive skin and things I've tried in the past have been too strong for me. This one is ultra gentle and as a night time treatment, I've noticed it's helped smooth the skin while increasing firmness. My skin looks more glowing and soft. I've tried this every other night for several weeks and I've had no irritation.
The Aesop Parsley Seed Mask ($39 for 60 ml) still remains a tried and true favorite. It's my go-to cleansing and clarifying mask that really draws out all the yuck from your skin. It's recommended use for 2x per week, but I've found it gentle enough for me to use 4x per week on trouble spots. I love how effective it is while still being suitable for sensitive skin.

I've tested a number of cleansing oils and have several favorites. These days I've been loving the SK-II Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil ($70 for 8.4 oz). It has a lightweight pleasantly refreshing scent to it. It has a good medium thickness to it - it's fluid but not too fluid. I love how it blends into the skin easily and seamlessly. It emulsifies well with warm water and removes all trace of makeup (I still remove my waterproof mascara/eyeliner with a cotton pad first though). Leaves the skin feeling completely clean, soft and hydrated with no greasy residue.

Tatcha is always a favorite in my regular skincare routine. The Pore Perfecting Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35 ($68 for 2 fl oz) is my holy grail face sunscreen. It has a smooth texture that disappears completely into the skin (no white cast). It helps control oil on me and doubles as an amazing primer for foundation. The Indigo Soothing Silk Hand Cream ($38 for 2 fl oz) is a staple for sensitive or dry skin. I've bought many tubes and given them as gifts to friends. The entire Indigo line is phenomenal. If you're new to the line, there is a mini set that I also recommend.

I've featured the MAC Prep + Prime Blemish Control Gel ($22 for 05 fl oz) before and it's still a staple. It's one of the few acne spot treatments I can use during the day without it making the skin look weird and goopy (others leave a weird clear film that is noticeable). It's also one of the few that really works to help acne spots disappear without making the skin super red by the next day. I think I'm on my third tube - I also recommended my husband try it and it's strong enough for his skin.

Last but not least for lips, I've been loving the Glossier Coconut Balmdotcom ($12) and Dior Crème de Rose ($28). Both are super hydrating and make the lips feel smooth without that greasy feel. My lips are super sensitive and I've gotten reaction to several lip balms (they go numb and then tingle and swell up). These are perfect for my sensitive lips and keep the dry flakes away.

I hope everyone has a great Friday and will have some time to enjoy the weekend! As always I'd love to hear about your current beauty favorites. It's a great way for me to learn about new things :)

Press samples featured in this post include items from Kate Somerville, Eve Lom, Tatcha and Glossier. All other items purchased by me.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Peachy Makeup Loves

Right now I'm obsessed with peachy makeup for lips and nails. All variations from peachy nudes, lush peachy apricots and bright coral peaches. Anything with peach is actually a staple for me - the color is almost a neutral to me because I find it goes with everything, almost every occasion or any color outfit. I've pulled a few of my favorites that I have had in rotation this summer.

Lips: Clarins, NARS, Tom Ford, Smith & Cult, Marc Jacobs Beauty, YSL and Fresh

  • Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector Sticks (c/o) have been in regular rotation. I'll have a review of all six shades hopefully this next week. All the colors have the perfect amount of color and shine for a tinted lipbalm. 02 Coral is a sheer light peach.
  • NARS Chelsea Girls Lip Gloss (c/o) is a new shade for fall, it was previously in pot form. It's now in tube form and seems a bit deeper in color compared to the original making it more wearable.
  • Tom Ford Skinnydip Lip Color Sheer is my favorite peachy nude gold shimmer, it makes the lips look shiny and naturally full.
  • Smith & Cult Her Name is Bubbles is something I've been testing out. I ordered 3 glosses, so far the gloss in Her Name is Bubbles is my favorite, it's a bright coral in the tube but goes on the lips a sheer lush peach. It smells like soft vanilla.
  • Marc Jacobs Uproar (c/o) is the prettiest sheer peach sparkle. It has an ultra luxe cushiony texture that feels super moisturizing on the lips. Review and swatches of all Enamored Hi Shine Lip Lacquers in this post here.
  • Tom Ford Lips & Boys in William is a high shimmer warm gold peach nude. The frost factor is high but I like it. If you can't do high shimmer frosts, try Skinnydip instead.
  • YSL Pop Water Glossy Stain in Wet Nude is the best sheer nude peach gloss ever. (Swatches and review of more colors here.)
  • Fresh Sugar Lip Shines now come in more shades, Sugar Nude is a sheer peachy nude shimmer with a high shine finish.

Lip swatches of a few of the colors:

Nails: Dior, Smith & Cult, Chanel and Essie

  • Dior Sunkissed is the prettiest peach nude I've ever tried. It's super flattering and brightening on the hands without looking too pale, too pastel, or too peach.
  • Dior Majesty was released in the US as a Nordstrom Anniversary Beauty Exclusive. It's a brighter peach but still a soft color. Against a tan it makes the hands look darker but it's a fun bright peach without being too bright.
  • Smith & Cult Ghost Edit is a super sheer glossy nude peach. It took three coats for me to get the color to show. It's a nice glossy neutral that lets the whites of your nails show through. The look is polished and natural.
  • Essie Sunday Funday is such a pretty coral peach with a tiny hint of shimmer. For the price, the pigment and color is really good. I have yet to find a good base/top coat combination that makes an Essie nail polish last more than 3 days on me (I am still getting major tip wear by day 2). But the colors are fun to wear and affordable.
  • Chanel Mirabella is my favorite orange peach. I'm glad it hasn't been discontinued even though it was released last year. It's a pretty bright orange.

What's your favorite peachy lipstick, lipgloss or nail polish?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dior Eye Reviver Backstage Pros Illuminating Neutrals Eye Palette - Nordy Girl

Dior has a new Eye Reviver Backstage Pros Illuminating Neutrals Palette for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale called Nordy Girl ($62 for 9.3 g/0.32 oz). This is a similar palette to the first version Illuminating Neutrals Eye Palette 001 I reviewed back in March (swatches + review here). The overall effect, pigment level and finish of the shadows between the two is almost identical with the Nordstrom exclusive version being more pink and rosy.

The Eye Reviver Backstage Pros Palette provides a selection of five soft neutrals that will give the eye a super soft polished look. The texture of the shadows is very soft and the colors meld onto the skin smoothly and evenly. Each of the 4 shadows layers well with each other and there is a dark gel liner at the end which has good pigment. I found the liner to be budge proof but it is creamy so it will take a little time to set and dry. I prefer topping any pencil or gel liner with a bit of power shadow to help it set.

If you're looking for a super conservative eye look that you can do everyday these are the palettes for you. Either of the Eye Reviver Palettes are pretty much goof proof and impossible to overdo if you want a soft looking eyeshadow look.

The colors of the Dior Nordy Girl palette include:

Soft matte pale pink white
Shimmering pigmented light pink frost
Shimmering mauve plum
Shimmering pink mauve
Shimmering mauve
Matte plum-brown liner

For comparisons, I pulled both the 001 and Nordy Girl to swatch side by side.

Close ups:

I had mixed feelings about the original version (post + eye look here). These palettes are good staples but given the neutral nature of each, they are very easy to dupe and if you own a lot of eyeshadows or palettes it's likely that you probably own similar colors. That being said, Dior does make very good quality palettes - the shadows are smooth with soft medium buildable pigment that makes for a polished look no matter what colors they have. These Eye Reviver Palettes have soft texture shadows that fall in between a full matte and full shimmer. The shimmer is finely milled but super natural on the eye so if you hate frost eyeshadow or complete mattes, the shadows in these palettes fall somewhere in between. If you prefer all mattes, the Urban Decay Naked Basics and Naked2 Basics are hands down my top picks.

Since they both seem very similar, I don't think you need both. The pigment of the colors with Nordy Girl is better in the sense the colors are richer and more pigmented on the skin. The 2 lightest shades have really good pigment, however the next 3 medium shades are almost identical on my medium olive-toned skin. The pigment of the Original 001 is slightly sheerer but there is more contrast between the five shades which allows for more variation.

I own a lot of similar shadows so I can't call them must-haves for me. I am pleased with the quality, lasting power and overall color scheme. If I were to recommend a good starter palette to someone new to makeup, I would recommend these as goof-proof easy to use eyeshadows.

If I had to pick one of the two, I favor the Original Version because it has more contrast in the colors. The Nordy Girl is more visible on my skin and has a more dramatic feel because cool tones look sharper on my olive skintone. If you're deciding between the two, I would say base your decision on your preference for warm (opt for 001) or cool tones (pick Nordy Girl).

The Nordy Girl Eye Reviver Backstage Pros Illuminating Neutrals Eye Palette is a limited-edition product for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (retails for $62). I hope you found the review of both Eye Reviver Palettes helpful.

Did you check out the palette from Nordstrom? What did you think?

Friday, July 17, 2015

Dior Vernis in Sundown 464

Above: Flip flops by Tory Burch, Sunglasses L Rayban, Sunglasses R Marc by Marc Jacobs, Pouch Fauré Le Page

I spotted a new nail summer polish in Paris at Sephora from Dior called Sundown #464. It's a shade we didn't get in the US but was released in other countries. It's a bright summer pink with a hint of coral (no shimmer). I had this applied on the last week of our vacation - the manicurists used Deborah Lippmann for the base and top coat and my manicure lasted a full week after before tip wear started to occur. (For more swatches you may want to check out Color Me Loud.)

I took it with me to the beach in Mykonos to take photos. Below it's swatched with two coats:

As soon as I got back home to California, I pulled some other shades to see if I could dupe it. My first instinct was to compare it to other Dior colors. I looked at all my Chanel Le Vernis nail colors as well to see what would be the closest. Dior Sundown is almost an exact dupe for Pasteque from many years ago (now discontinued). I ran out of fingers to swatch them on so I don't have it shown below.

Dior Aventure (reviewed here)
Dior Wonderland (swatched here)
Dior Glory (discontinued, review here)
Chanel Le Top Coat (new for fall, review soon)

Swatch-wise, Dior Sundown is a 99% dupe for Chanel Tutti Frutti. The Dior is just the tiniest bit brighter in color, but the base and overall look from arms length is almost identical. Dior Wonderland is the next closest color but several shades lighter and more pink. Dior Aventure has a lot more orange and warmth making Sundown look almost pink next to it. Dior Glory by comparison looks red.

I'm a huge fan of Dior nail polishes. The application is flawless and smooth - once you try one you'll be impressed with the brush shape and fluid texture. It's really quite amazing. Lasting power is usually around 5-7 days without tip wear when I use either the regular Chanel Laque Brilliance Extreme, Rescue Beauty Lounge or Dior Gel Top Coat.

Have you seen Dior Sundown? What did you think?


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