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

Thursday, August 21, 2014

7 Shades of Grey Nail Lacquer


I'm in that in between mood of summer and fall for beauty. I'm loving the vibrant bright colors for summer but also craving colors that are either more subdued or darker for fall. Right now I have an obsession for grey nail polishes. Here are seven shades of grey, some newer and some older colors that I've been loving.

All swatched side by side along with Chanel Eastern Light which is a pure white for a baseline reference on color:



Each color close up and swatched on the nails. JINsoon Kookie White is a super pale white grey with cool tones. It's almost a pure white but the hint of grey prevents it from looking too harsh. I love the clean contrast it has with the skin. It applies very smoothly with two coats on the nails as long as you have a good base coat underneath. (Roundup of all my nail essentials and favorites here.) It's fully opaque with two coats, but as with most white colors, you need to take extra care to apply precisely around the edges and near the cuticles.



YSL La Lacque Couture in Gris Deco #23 has been on my wish list for ages ever since YSL revamped their nail polishes. It's a gorgeous pale grey with blue tones and has a slight hint of pearl mixed throughout. On the fingers depending on the light sometimes it looks more blue, other times more white or grey. It's truly beautiful and clean looking. The pearl gives it a bit of dimension. This one was a bit sheer so I prefer it with three coats.


Sephora's Formula X is another favorite of mine (more thoughts on Formula X here). The Sephora team sent the Formula X in Extraordinary for review and it surprised me. It looks so basic and plain in the bottle but it applies very smoothly with full coverage. I like that it's a pale grey but has color in it so it doesn't look white on the nails. I like the blue tones in it which brightens the color. I love beige-greys but sometimes they can make the skin look sallow or dirty. 


Burberry Storm Grey is another dove grey with blue tones. The brush is on the thick side which made it a bit difficult for me to get a clean application. It's not impossible though. The formula is smooth, rich and opaque - it just takes a bit more time to apply. The color has the perfect blend of blue and grey mixed together. On the nails it's a non-shimmer.


Dior Gel Shine Nail Lacquer in Junon is a powder blue color with a hint of grey. On me it leans more blue but I still see hints of grey tones in it. The Dior Gel Shine Formula is amazing. It has a lush cushy look with a high shine. Lasting power is really good and these are super easy to apply flawlessly. It's shown below with two coats. 


Dior Metal Montaigne is also in the Gel Shine formula. It's a metallic gunmetal color. Being a metallic color you can see brush strokes when applied but it's on the subtle side. It also applies very smoothly. I like that it's a darker color that isn't too dark.


Last but not least, I've featured Chanel Frenzy again. Many think of this as a classic grey color. On me it pulls more beige as it's a warmer-toned grey color. It has a sheer jelly finish so I need three coats for this one. It's an understated classic neutral.


If I had to pick one favorite, it would be impossible. Each grey has different nuances in the undertone that make them all very unique. I am quite smitten with the pale opaque grey nail lacquers at the moment although I also love a good dove grey color. Do you like grey nail polish? What are your favorite greys for nails?

Sephora and JINsoon provided polishes for review consideration. All others purchased by me. For more information, refer to my Disclosures.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cleansing Oil Testing | Tatcha, MAC, Shu Uemura, Josie Maran, Chanel and Dior


I've used cleansing oils for years but just recently started using them on a regular basis. I have been really impressed with the long-wear formulas brands have been releasing in foundation, powder, blush and concealer. Who doesn't want their makeup to last all day without touching up or fading? For me, the long-wear factor has had one downside: it doesn't come all the way off with a regular cleanser and leads to clogged pores and breakouts. Using stronger cleansers tend to irritate my skin.

I have my local Chanel artists to thank for recommending that I add a cleansing oil to my daily skincare routine. I did quite a bit of research, pulled out some samples, looked for online promo codes for minis with purchases and bought a few small trial/travel sized oils to do some extensive testing.

This year I've explored more in skincare than I have previous years and have found it's all a slow learning process for me. I am not an expert with skincare ingredients - I know many of you are passionate about skincare and know much more than I do about specific ingredients, formulas and what to avoid. I rely on the product specialists I talk to with various brands, online reviews and personal testing to determine what works for me. As always, I share what I've experienced personally - due to different skin types, your mileage may vary.


You might be wondering if you really need a cleansing oil. If you wear long-wear makeup like me and find yourself with small areas of clogged pores, I will say yes. To see how effective your current cleanser is, take a cotton pad soaked with cleansing water or a wipe and swipe your face after your normal process. You might be shocked to see remnants of product transfer to the cotton after you wipe your face down which means you didn't clean it enough. I've found Cleansing Oils and Cleansing Waters help break down long-wearing makeup for cleaner skin. I've found the best way to use these is to apply them to a dry face with dry hands and massage all over. Rinse with warm water to activate the foaming quality and emulsify to cleanse the skin. Some are designed to cleanse the skin fully and claim to have no film leftover so you don't need to double cleanse. I still prefer to use the two step method of a Cleansing Oil + Foaming Cleanser.

I've put 9 different cleansing oils to the test with various minis, samples and travel-sized options. I wish more brands would offer sampler/trial sets for skincare. I would be more likely to try new products and brands if sampler sizes were offered.

I've tested each oil for a minimum of 6 uses each over the past few months. With all of these, the best way to use them is to apply to a dry face with dry hands right on top of the makeup and massage it in circular motions all over the face.
  • Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil ($12 for 1.9 oz) I purchased the small travel size online based on the 4.2 out of 5 star rating on Sephora. I found this one to be my least favorite of all the oils even though I had high hopes. It has a very thick texture that feels goopy on the skin. It does a very effective job at cleaning and removing makeup, but I couldn't get past the texture. The scent is also too sweet for my taste and the flip open cap of the mini leaked product all over the place. It also made my skin feel a bit too tight after application.
  • Tatcha One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil ($12 for .08 fl oz or $48 for 5.1 fl oz) I was really pleased to find out large the trial size was after ordering it online from the Travel Sized beauty category. I was also happy to see the small version come with a good pump and also with good packaging. Sometimes minis are cased in cheap containers but the Tatcha is very well designed. This turned out to be one of my favorites. It has a medium-thin texture which applies well to the face. Massaging the product emulsifies on the skin. It cleanses well with water and gave the skin a moisturizing feel without any residue feeling. It has the signature Tatcha Camellia scent which is soothing and gentle.
  • MAC Cleanse Off Oil ($10 for 1 fl oz) has been a long-time favorite of mine. I like to keep the mini bottle and refill it for travel although it comes in the mini size. The $10 price seemed very affordable for a trial (when I first tried it many years ago). This is the best one for removing all trace of waterproof eye makeup without stinging the eyes.
  • MAC Tranquil Cleanse Off Oil ($10 for 1 fl oz) was a purchase I made after reading so many rave reviews, I liked the texture and soft scent, but found it less effective compared to the regular version. If you have super sensitive skin or want something more gentle this is a good option for you.
  • Chanel Le Blanc Immediate Brightening Oil-Gel Makeup Remover (mini sample shown, $60 for 5 oz) is something that has been used on my at several Chanel events. It's a clear gel that turns into an oil as you work it into the skin. It's lightly scented which might bother some of you, but it is extremely effective. It's the only one that will remove all traces of mascara and eyeliner. The upside of the gel texture is that it's slightly thick so it doesn't run into the eyes if you work it on the eye area. Even though it's thicker, it's not goopy and is very emollient once massaged but not greasy. This is the most unique formula I've tried.
  • Shu Uemura Anti/Oxi Skin Refining Oil (green sample gwp shown, $37-$77 for full size) has had so many raves online. It cleansed well and I found it emulsified nicely too. I couldn't get over the scent. It smells like green tea with an emphasis on the herbal side. I liked that it left no residue on the skin but it left my skin feeling a bit tight.
  • Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Cleansing Oil (brown sample gwp shown, $42-$90 for full size) is most like a traditional cleansing oil. It reminds me of the older versions Shu Uemura used to have. It's gentle yet very efficient leaving skin feeling clean.
  • Shu Uemura Whitefficient Clear Brightening Cleansing Oil (blue sample gwp shown, $38-$81 for full size) is a brightening oil, this one has the best scent out of all the ones I've tried, it's a refreshing clean scent, kinda like dryer sheets, but not quite as sharp. This one emulsified really well and is more gentle compared to the Ultime8.
  • Dior Instant Gentle Cleansing Oil (mini gwp shown, $36 for 6.7 fl oz) is one I had high hopes for. So many have raved about this one too. I did not like this one. It has a slightly sticky feel making it a bit hard to massage over the face. It didn't tug or pull, but didn't emulsify quite as well as the other more fluid options. After cleansing with water the skin felt sticky.
Here are how the minis size up next to each other and compare in packaging design, some of these were samples, some purchased. The packaging of the full size versions are usually better in quality and typically come with a pump.

Samples I purchased below: Tatcha, Josie Maran, MAC. Online samples with codes: Shu Uemura. Samples at the counter: Dior and Chanel.


To summarize my thoughts:
Best at removing all traces of makeup 
Tatcha One-Step, Chanel Le Blanc Oil Gel and MAC Cleanse Off Oil

Most gentle 
 Shu Uemura Whitefficient and MAC Tranquil Cleanse Off
Most moisturizing 
Tatcha and Ultime8
Best scent 
Tatcha and Shu Uemura Whitefficient

Top picks
1) MAC Cleanse-Off Oil
2) Tatcha One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil
3) Shu Uemura Whitefficient

I hope you found this roundup helpful. I've found that adding a cleansing oil to my routine has helped clean my skin better and has significantly decreased the amount of clogged pores and tiny bumps on the face. Do note that your mileage may vary depending on your skin type. I have normal but sensitive skin. If you are oily or dry you might find different oils work better for you.

What are your experiences with cleansing oils? Do you have any favorites or stories you'd like to share on what worked for you or what didn't work out so well? 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Dior Addict Fluid Stick Rose Tricheuse #669 (Nordstrom Anniversary Beauty Exclusive)


There are two Dior Addict Fluid Sticks that are Nordstrom Beauty Exclusives for their anniversary sale in Rose Tricheuse #669 and Mona Lisette #872 ($35 each). I picked up the lighter option Rose Tricheuse #669 which is a medium-bright coral with pink tones. I've been really happy with the Fluid Stick formula (see thoughts here and swatches here). These are highly pigmented lip colors that have a lipgloss formula that act more like a full-coverage lipstick.

The Nordstrom Beauty Exclusive shades are on the bright side for me but I've been trying more color for the lips, especially this summer. Rose Tricheuse #669 is a bright color but not fluorescent. Coverage is full like the other shades in the Fluid Stick formula but melds well with the lip. They have a slightly glossy sheen with a nice feel. I like that they don't dry out the lips like some liquid lipsticks can.






On the lips:


Comparisons to:

Tom Ford Paradiso Lip Sheer (swatched here)
Chanel Misia Rouge Coco Shine (Neiman Marcus exclusive)


Dior Rose Tricheuse #669 ($35) is a Nordstrom Beauty Exclusive for their 2014 Anniversary sale in the US but you can also find it at the Dior Beauty Boutique in Las Vegas, you can reach them at (702)-734-1102 (while their stock lasts).



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

On My Radar | New in Beauty and Deals of the Week


New items on my radar in the beauty world:
  • Dior Beauty has launched some new fall products for eyes, lips and nails:
    • 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette ($60) comes in five new shades in Bar 56, Carre Bleu 276, Pied De Poule 96, Trafalgar 876, Tutu 846
    • Rouge Dior Lipstick ($35) is available in five new colors with Carre D'Or 135, Bar 317, Rose Tutu 354, Rouge Massai 869 and Pied-de-Poule 977
    • Vernis Gel-Shine Nail Lacquer ($25) comes in four new cream finish shades in Pied de Poule 206, Rose Tutu 254, Bar 902 and Carre Bleu 769
  • Hourglass 1.5mm Mechanical Gel Eyeliner ($16 for single, $45 for set of 3) is the latest innovation from Hourglass with the thinnest waterproof gel liner that offers precision accuracy with a single stroke, available now at Hourglasscosmetics.com, at Sephora July 29, all other counters August 15
  • L'Occitane Frisson Verbena Collection ($12 to $55) has a range of fresh green and citrus body products perfect for summer, I'm in love with the Frisson Verbena Fresh Shower Gel and Hand Cream (thoughts on these soon)
  • Net-A-Porter Beautified Natural Nomad Pouch ($50) with Tata Harper Fortifying Body Oil and Lotion, Illia Sway Multistick, RGB Nail Polish, Remover Pad and Cuticle Oil, Rahua Volume Spray, Joya's Composition No. 1 Perfume, LAFCO Hand Lotion
  • YSL Volupté Sheer Candy ($34) has launched in four new shades in Belle Cannelle #14, Rose Candy #15, Cherise Desir #16 and Fraise Ganache #17

Some deals and codes that have come through my inbox recently:
  • Benefit Cosmetics - Free US Standard Shipping on any order with code SUNSHIP
  • Bloomingdales - bRejuvinated Beauty Event Gift with Purchase offers (over 60 offers) through July 28 or while supplies last, plus 4 free beauty samples with any online order
  • Clinique - Three free summer saver minis Moisture Surge Face Spray, 7 Day Scrub Rinse-Off, Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel with any online Clinique purchase, 7/23 – 7/24 or while supplies last
  • L'Occitane - 12 Hour Beauty Break sale, you have 12 hours to shop for select products up to 50% off, online only July 23rd 10:00 AM EST to 10:00 PM EST
    • L'Occitane code offerings while supplies last:
      • Receive 3 Hand Creams + Adorable Pouch with any $25 Purchase with code SHEAHANDS, valid through 7/29
      • Free 50ml Shea Cleansing Milk with any $30 Purchase with code REFRESH, valid through 7/29
      • Free Angelica skincare duo of hydrating Toner and Cleansing gel with $45 purchase, code ANGELICA, valid through 7/29
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty - Free shipping on orders $50+, free mini Highliner in Blacquer with any $75+ order with code MINI, while supplies last
  • Macy's - Over 150 online only gift with purchase deals from Clinique, Origins, Elizabeth Arden, Laura Mercier
  • Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Gift With Purchase over 70 gifts with purchases available for the sale from Caudalie, YSL, Jo Malone, Jouer, Guerlain, Cle de Peau, Lancome, Estee Lauder, Chantecaille and more
  • Sephora - Online Limited Beauty Insider Offers with $25+ orders (one code per order) while supplies last:
    • Ole Henriksen's 3 Little Wonders 7-Day Sampler with code WONDERS
    • Choose 1 of 3 Lip Minis from Too Faced, NARS or Sephora Collection with code LIPMINI
    • Fresh Soy Conditioning Eye Makeup Remover with code FRESHSOY
    • Deluxe sample of Ole Henriksen Ultimate Lift Eye Gel with code EYELIFT
    • Benefit Cosmetics They're Real Push-Up Liner 30-day Sample with code PUSHUP
    • Choose 1 of 3 Deluxe Sized Self-Tanners from Vita Liberata, St. Tropez, bareMinerals with code BRONZED
    • Early Access sample of Josie Maran Argan Black Oil Mascara Deluxe Sample for VIBs/Rouge, use code VIBJOSIE
  • Shu Uemura USA - A Midsummer's Night Sample Set with any $50+ order, includes Tsuya Radiance Essense, Classic Cleansing Oil (20 ml), Anti-Oxi Deluxe Cleansing Oil (20 ml), Stage Performer Instant Glow (10 ml), Mini PK70C Gloss, use code UNWIND
If you have any good deals or codes, please share in the comments :)

P.S. Don't forget to enter my Fresh Sugar Tulip Giveaway! There are up to four ways to enter and the entry period is almost up. I'll be selecting the winner over the weekend and announce who won next week.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Dior Aventure #551 Vernis Gel Shine Nail Lacquer


On the nails right now: Dior Aventure #551 Gel Shine Nail Lacquer ($25 for 10 ml/0.33 fl oz). I've had this color since April and have worn it several times on tips and toes. Aventure #551 is a pretty coral. It has a slight transparent finish but gives almost near full coverage with two coats. The finish is lush and glossy with a flattering mix of pink, coral, peach making it one of my favorite summer shades for nails. I like that it's bright without being fluorescent. I've had really good experiences with the Dior Gel Shine Nail Polish formula, Aventure is no exception. All the colors I've tried wear extremely well with a wide range of top coat brands like Dior Gel Top Coat, Chanel Laque Brillance Extreme and Rescue Beauty Lounge. Lasting power is quite good with 5+ days (no tip wear). I didn't have time to re-swatch nail comparisons but you can see Aventure compared to Chanel Tutti Frutti and Mirabella.




Huge thumbs up. I swatched 16 of the new Gel Shine Nail Lacquer shades earlier this year. Detailed reviews and swatches also of Tra-La-La, Front Row, Wonderland, and Vibrato.

I purchased Aventure from Nordstrom. Also available at Sephora, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales and Saks.



Friday, July 18, 2014

In Rotation | Beauty Look Book Mascara and Lash Primer Picks


I typically limit myself to a couple of mascaras I use at any given time since I keep them for 3 months max before tossing but I've been testing new ones and I've discovered some new favorites. I have half a dozen I'm using right now and I've picked out my favorites to share.

When it comes to my lashes, I'm really picky with mascaras or lash primers. I have really straight ones that often don't hold the curl with most mascaras even with a lash curler (my essentials here). I also find a lot of black mascaras turn grayish looking after they dry on my lashes, smudge or end up feeling crunchy and flake during the day. When it comes to mascara I look for something that will last all day without clumping, flaking, smudging and something that stays a true lush black color and holds the curl.

I'm hesitant to try lash primers and lash serums because I don't like having an extra layer of product on my sensitive eyes. I'm a novice in this area so if you have any recommendations I am all ears.
The mascara and lash products I have in rotation right now:

  • Shu Uemura Lash Builder ($33) is a lash builder serum to help create a longer lusher lash look, I've been testing this for a few weeks and am still undecided on what I think but it's been in my lash rotation, it darkens and defines the lashes when you apply it but I haven't seen a visible difference after I apply colored mascara, reviews seem to indicate you will see results over time
  • Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum ($28.50) is something I've used for several years, I don't use it everyday but it's a favorite base that helps mascara adhere better to the lashes and makes it catch the lashes resulting in a fuller look, I like that it doesn't impact the curl after using a lash curler
  • Guerlain Maxi Lash Waterproof ($30) is something I discovered thanks to RaeView, it's the first waterproof mascara I've tried that doesn't make my lashes feel crunchy, this one needs 2-3 uses to break it in, it gives lush rich black lashes, volumizes, doesn't clump/flake/smudge and defines the lashes nicely, I haven't tested it at the beach or pool but it seems to be sweat proof and lasts all day
  • Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Stretch ($32) is a staple in my beauty arsenal, I've repurchased this numerous times (probably a dozen tubes by now), it's my favorite mascara of all time because it does everything I want - lengthens, defines, thickens, darkens the color and stays put, it's easy to apply and gets the little corners easily because of the tapered brush tip, the bristles are well designed to grab on to the lashes and glides on easily
  • Chanel Le Volume de Chanel ($30) is the only Chanel mascara I like, it's a lightweight mascara that glides on easily and doesn't clump, it stays put and doesn't dry to a grayish finish like other Chanel mascaras do (at least for me), I like the Black and Bleu (navy) for fun, but mostly use the black
  • NARS Larger than Life Volumizing Mascara ($25) is another favorite that I've repurchased numerous times, it is one of my favorite volumizing mascaras that doesn't flake or smudge, this one has a big fluffy brush so it can be prone to clumping after a while due to buildup, I wipe down the brush with a small piece of paper wrapped around the tip (tissue or paper towels will get caught in the bristles, so paper actually is best to clean the brush) and then it's back to perfection
If I were pressed to pick just one mascara to live with the rest of my life, it would be the Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Stretch. If you're looking for something more wallet-friendly, a few other  less expensive favorites I've tested and purchased numerous times include Clinique High Impact Mascara ($16), Topshop 3d Curve Mascara ($20, or in this Eyeliner/Mascara Set for $24) and MAC Plushlash Mascara ($16) has been a long-time favorite. I've tried dozens of drugstore mascaras (literally) and for some reason they've all turned grayish in color on my lashes and I've never found one that holds the curl.



What are your holy grail lash primers, serums and mascaras? I've been researching lash serums and would love your thoughts on any you've tried.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Travel Makeup | Summer Edition


As requested, here are the items I brought with me on my recent trip. All the items were carried in my well-loved Bobbi Brown Train Case (from 12+ years ago and no longer available for sale, Old Hollywood Version still available). I tend to overpack for makeup so the case limits what I bring. If it can't fit, it doesn't travel with me. I've split the items into three categories: Lips, Face/Cheeks and Eyes.













To those who asked to see what I brought with me, I hope this helps! I always have a makeup overpacking problem so my fellow beauty lovers - if you have any tips I'd love to hear what you bring with you on trips/travel whether it's a weekend getaway, a week trip or extended vacation.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Color Focus | Bronze and Metallic Nail Lacquers


This time of year my favorite colors for beauty are the bronzey metallics for well, everything: lips, nails and cheeks. For nails there have been quite a few lovely releases from early spring that I wanted to highlight.

  • Dior Vibrato 618 Gel Shine Nail Lacquer ($25) is a new color that was released with the reformulation of Dior nail polishes. This one is a bit harder to find in the US. You can order it from the Dior Boutiques (I ordered mine from Las Vegas Palazzo) or online at Dior.com or Selfridges. It's a stunning metallic loaded with tons of different colors of sparkles. It has the complexity of Chanel Graphite but with a gold bronze base and with much better coverage. I found this to be a one-coat wonder but prefer two.
  • Tom Ford Incandescent ($32) was part of the Spring 2014 Collection and was highlighted back in February (here). It's miraculously still available for purchase. If you haven't looked at it yet, I highly recommend it. It's a stunning rose gold bronze nail polish.
  • Bobbi Brown Raw Sugar Nail Lacquer ($15) was released with the Raw Sugar Collection (Shimmer Brick Eye Palette featured here), it's a beautiful cool bronze metallic. I had to go to several counters before I found one that still had this in stock but it's definitely still out there for purchase. You can still find it at Bloomingdales, Barneys and Bobbi Brown.
  • Bobbi Brown Bronze Nail Lacquer ($15) was released earlier this spring (swatches here). It's still available for purchase at Saks and Bobbi Brown. I like that this is a good shimmer that doesn't show brush strokes.
  • Burberry Metallic Khaki #202 ($21) is a dark bronze khaki gold shimmer. I like this one because it's dark but not so dark that the shimmer doesn't show through. In sunlight it's really pretty. The texture is really smooth with the first coat being slightly transparent/jelly like. The second coat is what makes this one perfect.
  • YSL Bronze Aztec #28 ($25) is a dark metallic deep blackened bronze with gold shimmer. It has really good coverage with two thin coats and dries quickly.

Close ups and swatches, Dior Vibrato and Tom Ford Incandescent:




Bobbi Brown Raw Sugar vs Bronze:


Bronze:


Raw Sugar:


Burberry Metallic Khaki and YSL Bronze Aztec:




Comparison swatches below to some other bronzey metallic nail polishes: Chanel Delight (still at Chanel.com), Chanel Golden Sand (discontinued, similar Gold Shimmer in this Le Vernis Trio), Tom Ford Burnt Topaz (still available at Saks)



My current favorites are tied between Bobbi Brown Raw Sugar and Dior Vibrato. What's your favorite bronzey metallic nail polish?

 

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