Showing posts with label Edward Bess. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Edward Bess. Show all posts

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. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

My Favorite Neutral Pink and Nude Lip Liner Pencils

I'm a neutral nude lipstick lover but I since I have pigmented lips I can't always pull off nudes. Many tend to either look super pale and chalky like concealer or are too dark on me - I know everyone has a different definition of nude when it comes to makeup, but to me a true nude is a your lips but better kind of color that is light and close to your natural skintone. I adore shades like MAC Cherish, Blankety, Creme Cup etc but they are almost impossible for me to wear alone without looking like I've swiped concealer all over my lips. Lip pencils often make it possible for me to wear lighter nude colors with blending or by creating a good softly lined base. If you've tried ordering lip pencils online like me then you know how hard it is to tell what the color looks like based on online swatches. I thought I'd roundup 20+ of my favorite neutral lip pencils alongside cult classics (some of which do not work for me even though they are wildly popular). As you'll see below many times you can't tell what the color will really look like until you swatch it. Also like nude neutral lipsticks, lip pencils have a wide variety of different undertones: warm, cool, pink, beige, peach, plum and brown.

Above photo: Diptyque Room Spray in Baies, Chêne candle recycled (boutique exclusive), stacked Blushes from Chanel and Hourglass 

A bit of background on what I look for in lip liners. I like ones that are soft and glide over the lips. I'm usually not a line and fill kind of girl when it comes to lip liners. I prefer to wear them around the outer edge and blend it slightly inwards to the center of lips to create an outlined base and then fill with a gloss or lipstick. Since many pencils are super pigmented and super saturated in color to help extend the wear of lipstick, I find lining and filling the entire lip leaves the lips looking really dry and emphasizes lines. This of course can be fixed with a good lip balm, lip primer or gloss.

I have 28 lip pencils to share swatches of, I'll link previous lip swatches if I have them. I was debating whether or not to swatch all on my lips - but nudes tend to look so different on me compared to everyone else. I think the swatches on the arms will help show the differences.

  1. Le Metier de Beaute Dualistic Lip Pencil in Nudite is a medium pinky brown creamy lip pencil, this one glides on the lips easily and is very pigmented, it has a smooth texture
  2. H&M Lip Liner in Au Naturel is included in the roundup because it's a new one and the perfect neutral nude color and at $5.99 I couldn't resist ordering it, on bare lips it's a disaster for me, you definitely need to prep the lips with a bit of lip balm or primer, this is borderline too pale, but it works
  3. MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Cultured is new to me, it's a long-wear mauvey nude pink
  4. MAC Lip Pencil in Subculture is my perfect nude pink, it has reached holy grail status for me, I've gone through 4 of them in my life, it's the best light pink nude that is still wearable
  5. MAC Lip Pencil in Oak is a classic light flesh nude, it's a classic for me because it has no orange undertone in it but doesn't make me look dead, unfortunately I think it might be on the discontinue list - the only place I could find it was on Bloomingdale's so I ordered 3 backups
  6. MAC Lip Pencil in Stripdown is another good true flesh nude, it's brown in undertone and slightly warmer than Oak, it's a good one but I know many find it too brown/grey
  7. MAC Lip Pencil in Boldly Bare comes second to my favorite Subculture, it's what I wanted Spice to always be, Boldly Bare is the perfect pinky warm medium nude that works wonders with pale lip colors and glosses
  8. MAC Lip Pencil in Spice is a cult classic that was so popular when I was in high school, every cool girl owned it, on me it was always so brown and pulled orangey on my lips even though it swatches more neutral, I still use and wear it to tweak lip colors, it's just not my favorite
  9. MAC Lip Pencil in Dervish isn't really a nude, it's more of a neutral medium rosy pink, but it falls into the neutral category for me, it's a classic staple I think everyone should try
  10. MAC Lip Pencil in Whirl is another really good nude, it pulls more mauvey nude rose which I adore, the cool tones prevents it from looking orange or brown on my lips, it has enough depth to really define the lips perfectly
  11. MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Double-Time is a neutral medium warm brown-pink-nude, this lasts all day without budging
  12. MAC Lip Pencil in Soar is a medium to dark pink, it's a bit darker and deeper on me than the traditional neutral, if you have deeper skin or deeper lips, this will probably pull more neutral on you than it does on me
  13. MAC Lip Pencil in Hover is another deeper neutral, it's one of the deepest neutrals I own
  14. MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Staunchly Stylish almost matches Subculture but it's slightly deeper and has a more pigmented finish
  15. Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Re-Size and Re-Shape Lip Liner in Iconic Nude is my perfect true nude in the sense that it's a flesh-toned beige nude, this is a classic pigmented pencil that I think might be a universally flattering color
  16. Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Re-Size and Re-Shape Lip Liner in Pillow Talk is a classic rosy pink neutral, this one goes well with a lot of the Charlotte Tilbury Lipsticks like Bitch Perfect, Confession, Penelope Pink etc.
  17. Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Re-Size and Re-Shape Lip Liner in Pink Venus is a warm peachy pink, the color warms up the lips and adds life to the face
  18. Chanel Precision Lip Definer in Natural is a classic light neutral pink nude beige, if you're looking for the perfect beige pink nude, this is it, compared to other formulas Chanel can tug on the lips a little, but they aren't drying
  19. Chanel Precision Lip Definer in Beige Satin is one of the lightest colors I own, it's borderline too pale for me, but I like mixing it with beige and nude lipsticks
  20. Chanel Precision Lip Definer in Beige Innocent is another pale pearly lip pencil from Chanel, it's almost identical to Beige Satin but slightly lighter
  21. Chanel Precision Lip Definer in Nude is a cult classic that has been used on me for every single Chanel makeover I've had, it's always seemed to be darker than what I envisioned a nude to be, but it's almost magical - artists have used this with every lip color imaginable from red, pink, coral, beige, peach - this somehow transforms and defines lip colors in the most amazing way
  22. Laura Mercier Lip Pencil in Naked is light baby pink neutral, it looks super light on me, but when I blend it out, it evens out the lip tone
  23. Laura Mercier Lip Pencil in Chestnut is another cult classic that is super popular, it's always recommended for the lipsticks I look at when shopping at the counter, it's a mauvey warm neutral
  24. Marc Jacobs Beauty (P)Outliner Lip Pencil in Honey(bun) is a super pigmented creamy twist up lip pencil, all three shades of the (P)Outliner are reviewed here, Honey(bun) is a neutral bright peachy color
  25. Marc Jacobs Beauty (P)Outliner Lip Pencil in Prim(rose) is a rosey pink brown neutral
  26. Marc Jacobs Beauty (P)Outliner Lip Pencil in Nude(ist) is a beige brown nude
  27. Edward Bess Defining Lip Liner in Natural is in my top picks for lip pencil formula, it comes in a sleek twist up tube and mine have never dried out, I've gone through several pencils, it's a great go-with-everything kind of neutral, texture is smooth and doesn't tug the lips
  28. Nudestix Lip & Cheek Pencil in Soul is one of the few chubby pencils I really really like. I own a number of chubby sticks from different brands but always find them a pain to sharpen (they always get so messy). Nudestix has a wide number of great nudes, Soul is my perfect warm peach nude (swatched on lips here)
One more view of all the pencils:

From the * clockwise, Le Metier de Beaute Nudite, H&M Au Naturel, MAC Cultured, MAC Subculture, MAC Oak, MAC Stripdown, MAC Boldly Bare, MAC Spice, MAC Dervish, MAC Whirl, MAC Double-Time, MAC Soar, MAC Hover, MAC Staunchly Stylish, Nudestix Soul, Edward Bess Natural, Marc Jacobs Beauty Nudite, Marc Jacobs Beauty Primrose, Marc Jacobs Beauty Honeybun, Laura Mercier Chestnut, Laura Mercier Naked, Chanel Nude, Chanel Beige Innocent, Chanel Beige Satin, Chanel Natural, Charlotte Tilbury Pink Venus, Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk, Charlotte Tilbury Iconic Nude

Truffle Small Clarity Clutch in new Nude

In case you're in need of some recommendations for clear or sheer lipglosses to layer over liners if you like to line and fill, here are a few of my favorites. In terms of lip primers, I swear by the MAC Prep+Prime Lip and Buxom True Nude Lip Foundation in Naked.

Below shown from left to right:
I hope you found this roundup of neutral lip pencils helpful! I think the swatches show how different many of them are even though they look really similar just based on the pencils themselves. If I were pressed to rank my top picks, my absolute favorites/staples are:

MAC Subculture
MAC Whirl
Edward Bess Natural
Chanel Nude
Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk

Do you have a favorite neutral lip pencil? I'd love to hear about what your holy grail neutrals are!

Press samples featured include Marc Jacobs (P)Outliners x3, Marc Jacobs Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquer in Moonglow, Nudestix Soul, Buxom True Nude Lip Foundation, Truffle Clarity Clutch

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

My Favorite Lipsticks of All Time

In honor of National Lipstick Day I've compiled a mini guide covering my absolute favorite lipsticks. I'm a your-lips-but-better kind of girl when it comes to lip color, but I like playing with all kinds of textures, formulas and finishes. A lot of women ask me what's the one lipstick I would recommend. My answer is usually, "well, it depends ..." The right lipstick really does depend on what you are looking for. Sheer or full-coverage? Matte or glossy? Neutral or bright? The options and types of lipstick available today is mind-blowing. I've split my favorites into several different categories. It was really difficult to narrow down my picks - I've tested dozens of brands and formulas, many of which are all very good. This is my edited list of tried-and-true.

Colors shown in above photo: Tom Ford Lip Color in Blush Nude, NARS Audacious Lipstick in Viviene, Burberry Beauty Kisses in Tulip Pink, Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Intrepide, Edward Bess Lip Color in Island Blossom, Marc Jacobs Beauty New Nudes Sheer Lip Gel in Anais

So many lip products are scented. A lot of my readers are super sensitive to any fragrance in lip products. I too have a sensitive nose but don't mind certain scents like vanilla, rose (in small doses), fig or mint. I think most lipstick I've tried have some kind of scent or another. Finding a fragrance and taste-free lipstick with a smooth hydrating feel is a challenge, but the newly launched Burberry Kisses Hydrating Lip Colors are hands down the best ones I've tried. They come in a wide range of colors from nudes, rose pink, plum, coral, reds, brick and berries. There is literally a shade for everyone. The colors are shimmer-free (at least the ones that exist now). They cover the lip entirely and the color is easy to build. Full review + swatches in this post here.


If you're looking for a full coverage lipstick that has super rich pigment but one that won't leave the lips looking flat or dull, there are three formulas that I am obsessed with. First is the the NARS Audacious Lipsticks. There is a wide range of colors available. If you love neutral lip colors, there are tons of options. Many look similar but NARS created them with slight variations in undertone so you're bound to find at least one neutral that will work whether you have pink, yellow, olive undertones. My top picks: Raquel, Anita, Barbara and Julie. Review + swatches on lips here. Note that most of the shades can be found at most NARS counters, however 10 of them are exclusive to and Barneys New York (Vanessa, Julie, Carmen, Ingrid, Dominique, Kelly, Sandra, Vivien, Silvia, Marisa).

Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks also have an amazing rich full coverage finish. They are super pigmented and very rich so they do require some blending or a tiny bit of blotting. She has some amazing neutrals and the perfect 90s pink-brown shades along with really good pinks and nudes. My top two favorites: Confession and Penelope Pink. Swatches of my picks here. Note these do have a vanilla scent.

Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Cremes have the most incredible opaque full-coverage formula. The finish is flawless and lasting power is very impressive. The color range is for those who prefer the bold lip. The range contains a lot of bright and deep colors. Swatches of the entire lineup in this post here. My top three picks are Infamous, Boy Gorgeous and Blow.


Above Tom Ford Lip Color Sheers Skinnydip and Rose Soleil
YSL Rouge Volupté Shine #8, Volupté Sheer Candy #14, Volupté Shine 22, Volupté Sheer Candy #15
Chanel Rouge Coco Shines Confident and Intime

My personal lipstick formula of choice is usually glossy and semi-sheer. I find sheer lipsticks more forgiving on the lips so you don't need a super precise application. They are easy to swipe when you're on the go and the sheer glossy finish usually means fading is more gradual and natural. My top four sheer lipstick formulas are with brands that have a lovely shine and sheen with the perfect hint of color.

YSL Rouge Volupté Shines and Volupté Sheer Candy Glossy Balms are a classic staple. The Rouge Volupté Shines have a cushiony feel with a wonderfully soft but sweet grapefruit candy scent. It's sweet but not overly sweet. Colors have medium lasting power because they are super glossy but have decent pigment for a sheer lipstick. My favorite shades are #8, #9 (swatched here) #22 (shown above third from the left) but really all the shades are amazing.

Volupté Sheer Candy Glossy Balms are super sheer and give the slightest wash of color but leave the lips glossy and pretty. I like the bright ones because they give the lips a nice soft wash of color that is bright but the sheerness tones down the color so it really gives them a natural tint. My top picks are #1, #9, #15-17 (#15 through 17 swatched and reviewed here).

Tom Ford Lip Color Sheers = pure luxury. Four shades were introduced for summer: two repromoted in Paradisio and Sweet Spot and two new shades in Skinnydip and Rose Soleil swatched here. I like these because they have a lot of color even though the formula is sheer. The brights are very bright but the neutrals are just amazing. I brought along Skinnydip and Rose Soleil with me on my month long trip to Europe and they were perfect for the entire trip.

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine always a favorite among my friends. This is the ultimate sleek modern chic lipstick. The formula is lush and glossy. It's the ultimate swipe and go kind of no-fuss lipstick. There is a shade for everyone in this line. I would be hard pressed to pick just one shade, if I did, I would say for light to tan skintones Boy is a classic.


I don't usually like liquid lipsticks. I find the finish to be drying or cakey but the one exception is Dior Addict Fluid Sticks. Some may say they are more of a gloss, but others say it's a lipstick + lipgloss hybrid. I put them in the liquid lipstick category because the coverage and finish is super opaque like a lipstick. They go on like a gloss but it thickens a bit once it dries and has rich coverage like a lip color. There have been a number of shades released for summer and fall. I'm working my way through testing some, but the original shades are amazing. Lip swatches here.

Marc Jacobs New Nudes Sheer Lip Gels have a unique gel formula. They are called sheer but they aren't really all that sheer. The pigment and coverage is medium to full but you can control coverage easily. My favorite neutral is Role Play but there are a number of great nudes and corals in the line. Swatches + review of all the colors here.

Last but not least, my personal top picks for the ultimate luxury lipstick. I know each person has their own favorite. Edward Bess has been a long time favorite. His lipsticks are perfectly creamy and go on the lips flawlessly. They have a natural shine with rich pigment. Each of his lipsticks contains the most perfect lush fig scent. Rose Demure is the perfect neutral rose. Island Blossom is the best bright peachy coral ever. Pure Impulse is my holy grail nude. (I love Island Blossom + Pure Impulse layered together.)

Tom Ford Lipsticks are amazing in all the formulas. The regular Lip Color is my favorite with Pink Dusk and Spanish Pink being at the top of my list (Pink Dusk is swatched here). The Tom Ford Lipsticks have this super rich super pigmented formula that I find unique. It provides coverage to the entire lip with lasting power that stays put from morning to night. The Lips & Boys from last holiday was pure genius. Most of the colors have sold out but you can still find some online. my personal favorites are Peter, William and Luca. Peter is the prettiest nude shimmer. These are some of the most expensive lipsticks on the market but in my mind they are worth every penny if you can splurge.

Surratt Beauty Lipsliques are something I've been accumulating one at a time since they launched at Sephora. I have a review of two shades Gamine and Hevyn here but have added 3-4 more colors over the past few months. Given the size and amount of product you get, these lipsticks are extremely expensive but the formula is phenomenal. It's a richly pigmented glossy lipstick in a sleek twist-up tube. Gamine is nude peach perfection. Hevyn is nude pink mauve perfection. There's no tweaking required with these - they are that good.


I hope you enjoyed this roundup of my favorite lipstick formulas. As always I would love to hear about your favorite lipsticks. Do you have a favorite formula or color that you're obsessed with?

The Marc Jacobs Beauty Lipsticks were provided courtesy of Marc Jacobs Beauty for previous collaborations. All others purchased by me.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Travel Beauty For Three Weeks in Europe

Today I have a roundup of what makeup I brought with me on my 3-week vacation. My travel beauty picks for makeup and tools were packed into my Anya Hindmarch In Flight Patent leather-trimmed travel case and MustaeV Bloom Pouch (liquids, skincare and fragrance packing in this post here). These kept everything compact, organized and made everything relatively easy to find. Above photo: Longchamp Expandable Tote, Marc by Marc Jacobs Rimless Aviators, sandals by Hermes. Beauty details broken down below.

First up makeup breakdown. I limited myself to 1 eyeshadow palette. I usually almost always bring one of the Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palettes with me on travel because they are versatile and can be used to create a number of looks. I decided to try something new for this trip and brought the MAC Nordstrom Naturals Palette with me instead. It worked just as well to create a number of different looks - I like that there's a good mix of matte and shimmer. If you're limited on space - there are some good browns that can double as brow powder.

For face products I brought a mini tube of NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in St. Moritz (currently only in one size, I was lucky it was a good shade match). Other face cream products listed in my liquids post. For powder I brought my Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder in Shade 2, I knew there was a chance I would get a tan on my trip so I brought the Chanel Powder Foundation in Beige 30 and 40 with me (40 shown above).

For cheeks products I brought the NARS Dual Intensity Blush in Craving, Edward Bess All Over Seduction in Afterglow, Edward Bess Bronzer in Daydream, Tom Ford Cream Blush in Pink Sand (discontinued) and Charlotte Tilbury Blush in Ecstasy. I definitely could have skipped a few of these but I'm one who always layers cheek products.

Eye makeup included my favorite stick shadow Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Rosegold. For pencils I brought Marc Jacobs Ro(Cocoa) which is the perfect bronzey taupe liner (it lasts all day). I also brought the Tom Ford Liquid Eyeliner, NARS Brow Perfector, Chanel Fresh Effect Eyeshadow in Caroube and Charlotte Tilbury Chameleon Pencil in Amber Haze. I also brought my NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow in Himalia which is a good bronzey tan beige shimmer for the lids and one waterproof mascara by Guerlain.

I kept my lip products edited to one lipliner in Charlotte Tilbury Pillowtalk. For lipsticks I brought three including Tom Ford Summer Lip Color Sheers in Skinnydip and Rose Soleil and one Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Reveuse.

Tools and brushes:

Above (excuse the messy brushes, I haven't had a chance to wash them yet):

MustaeV Bloom Pouch (large, also featured here and here)
MAC 135 Large Flat Powder Brush is a new brush from MAC, it's large fluffy and flat which is perfect for a sheer dusting of powder or bronzer
MAC 239 and MAC 219 Brushes
Chanel Powder Brush is a dense brush ideal for powder foundation
Chanel Eyelash Curler (discontinued)

Several of you have asked about the Anya Hindmarch case that I've previewed on a few posts and on Instagram. I bought mine from Net-A-Porter although several have told me they've found it discounted at Duty Free locations while they were traveling. Based on online photos and reviews I couldn't tell if it was one open case with two openings or if it had two compartments. It has two compartments - one is slightly deeper than the other. It's fairly pricey for a makeup pouch but the material is very sturdy and it's very well made.

The MustaeV Bloom Pouch comes in two sizes, small and large. I discovered the line at The Makeup Show LA earlier this year and love them. I brought the large one with me on this trip. The small one was featured in this travel post back in April. I've added a repost shot of the large one below to show how it stands up.

For three weeks I brought plenty to last me the entire trip. I did miss my eyeshadow palettes and lip glosses but given the heat and warm weather a good portion of the trip was makeup-free for me so it didn't really matter. I worried that skipping concealer would be a mistake but my skin has cleared up pretty nicely in the past few months so for face coverage, tinted moisturizers and powder was enough.

In case you missed it, how I packed all my liquids in this post here (Muji containers, clear pouches, his and hers travel skincare, fragrance and body care):

What do you like to bring with you on extended trips? Do you have any packing tips or favorite carrying cases?

The MustaeV bloom pouch and easy go brush was gifted during The Makeup Show. The Afterglow highlighter was also a gift courtesy of Edward Bess.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Travel Beauty Picks for Spring

A couple weeks ago I attended the third rewardStyle conference in Dallas, Texas. It was such an amazing week and I was thrilled to meet so many incredible women, many of whom have been such a huge inspiration to me over the years. It was also great to discover and meet some new people. I loved hearing about how other bloggers got started blogging, their professional backgrounds, chatting about work/life/blog balance, and more. The week was packed with events, meetings and educational sessions but I managed to snap a few photos of my week there. Today I'm sharing the beauty items I brought with me. I waited to the last minute to pack my items and didn't plan in advance (which is how I ended up bringing 3 mascaras with me and way too many brushes). I'll go through what I packed, how I packed it and what I ended up using.

Quick snapshots from the rewardStyle conference. For more on the event, you can search the hashtag #rStheCon via social channels to see more of the festivities. One of the biggest highlights of my week was being able to hang out with Rachel from Beauty Professor (yay #bbloggers!):

Here's how I packed the vast majority of my beauty items. I brought a lot of items with me, most were to use for day or night. Some items I brought with intent of finishing up some posts and product reviews. Due to the busy scheduling of meetings and events I didn't get to complete the reviews I planned. Even though I brought a lot of items with me several pouches and brush holders helped keep everything compact and organized.

  1. Barneys New York Love Yourself 2015 gift with purchase bag is the perfect size to carry lots of compacts, lipsticks, tools, mascaras etc. I like that it's large but sturdy. For travel I usually travel with my Bobbi Brown Train Case (shown here and here) but the Barneys Makeup Pouch fit into my suitcase better for this trip.
  2. Make Up For Ever Dany's Pouch is a two-piece makeup pouch you can use to store brushes, pencils or mascara wands. It keeps the brush tips from getting smashed and when you travel it doubles as a brush holder.
  3. MustaeV Bloom Pouch (c/o) is something I received at The Makeup Show LA. The pouch comes in two sizes, small is shown above. Large version is shown here. These are flat zip pouches that come with a magnetic closure and a top that folds down so you can transform it into a brush holder. It's an innovative makeup bag that stays relatively flat when you zip it making it slimmer and easier to slip into small spaces.
  4. Truffle Large Clarity Pouch (c/o) measures 10 inches by 12 inches. The see thru plastic makes it easy to see what's inside so you don't have to dig around bags to find things. The flat shape is flexible but I personally like to keep flat things inside so the material doesn't become stretched. That being said, the Truffle bags are extremely sturdy so they tend to keep their shape.
  5. Quart-sized ziploc to keep all my liquids. I usually travel with one carry on and one personal item since I just find it easier to travel that way. My trips are usually on the shorter side so I can get away with one suitcase. 

The liquids, skincare, hair care and more:

I was able to fit all of these items in the quart sized bag. Most of these are minis I've been saving up for months from Sephora Beauty Insider offerings, online promo codes and gift with purchase events. A few brands I like offer travel items you can actually purchase. I wish more brands offered travel sizes you could buy or test out. Do you stock on up on minis to save for travel or do you use them as soon as you get them?
  1. First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser mini gwp
  2. Caudalie Instant Detox Mask mini gwp
  3. MAC Prep + Prime Blemish Control Gel
  4. Bioderma travel size (review here)
  5. Lancome Bi-Facil travel size gwp
  6. Chanel Le Coton
  7. Q-Tips 
  8. Drybar The Chaser sample gwp
  9. Byredo Black Saffron mini sample gwp
  10. Tatcha Indigo Hand Cream travel size (c/o) 
  11. Cle de Peau Beaute Essential Correcting Refiner gwp
  12. Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist travel size (c/o) 
  13. Make up For Ever Instant Brush Cleaner travel size
  14. Bumble and Bumble Invisible Oil Primer gwp
  15. Bumble and Bumble Straight Blowdry Creme gwp
  16. Chanel Le Lift Creme gwp
  17. Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Serum gwp 
  18. Chanel Le Nuit sample gwp
  19. Chanel Sublimage Eye Cream gwp

For makeup, I packed summery colors with lots of shimmer. For cheeks, I layered the Tom Ford Cream blush with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting bronzer and blushes. To highlight I relied on Edward Bess's Afterglow. For the eyes I primarily used the Tom Ford Cream and Powder Duos and the MAC Palette. Those two were sufficient to get me through the trip. I didn't end up using the Burberry Shadows or any of the Cream Shadow Sticks I brought with me. 

  1. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger (review here)
  2. YSL Touche Eclat in 5.5 (swatched here)
  3. Chanel CC Cream in Beige 30 (review here)
  4. NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Punjab (in mini empty sample jar I had on hand, review along with swatches here)
  5. Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in Ibiza (review here)
  6. Tom Ford Cream Cheek Color in Pink Sand (review here, c/o)
  7. Burberry Wet & Dry Glow Eyeshadows in Nude and Shell (review here, Shell c/o)
  8. MAC Warm Neutrals x15 Palette
  9. NARS Brow Perfector in Caucase
  10. Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Base in Dune (swatched here)
  11. Chanel Stylo Eyeshadow in Caroube (review soon)
  12. By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Brown Perfection and Frozen Quartz
  13. Burberry Bold Lash Mascara (c/o) 
  14. Marc Jacobs O!Mega Lash Mascara (c/o) 
  15. Armani Eyes to Kill Stretch Mascara
  16. Tom Ford Cream and Powder Eyeshadow Duos (review here, c/o)
  17. Marc Jacobs Poutliner in Honeybun (reviewed here)
  18. Edward Bess All Over Seduction in Afterglow (swatched here)
  19. YSL Glossy Stain in Wet Nude (review here)
  20. Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Reveuse (review soon)
  21. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Radiant Bronze (review here)
  22. NARS x Christopher Kane Lip Gloss (review soon)

For brushes and tools, I brought some of my favorites along with the Make Up For Ever Instant Brush Cleaner. It gives a good quick clean but doesn't give them a thorough washing like shampoo or traditional brush cleaners. Left to right includes:

Wayne Goss Holiday Brush (reviewed here)
old mascara wand I recycled for brows

Additional beauty items I brought with me:

  1. Tatcha Japanese Blotting Papers (regular and evening versions)
  2. Misc hair ties
  3. Drybar Lemondrop Detangler Brush
  4. Lavanila Fresh Lemon Deoderant
  5. Drybar Buttercup Blow Dryer
  6. GHD Flat Iron
  7. Drybar Hold Me Hair Clips
I definitely overpacked beauty items, but it's something I almost always do. With the exception of foundation, I think I brought enough items to last a full month even though I was only traveling for a week. I used all of the liquids for skincare and haircare that I brought with me so I think those items were well packed (I relied on the hotel for other things like shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, toothpaste). For makeup, I could have left 60% of the items at home. I did intend to swatch/review a lot of the items but should have known better that time and energy would be limited while traveling. For brushes I used fingers to apply foundation during the week so I could have skipped the cream foundation brush. All of the other brushes were used during the trip and I could have left the instant brush cleaner at home but I found it handy to clean off the eye brushes for a quick clean.

There were a lot of skincare items I wanted to bring with me but didn't have small containers to pour out product into for travel. I know many of you have mentioned you buy small travel jars at Target or the Container Store for your travels, if you have any specific favs or other recommendations to store liquids or creams while you travel I would love to hear about them!

Do you travel a lot? If yes, how do you carry/store your beauty products? How do you edit what you bring with you? Are there any things you can't be without when you travel? I can't live without my hairdryer or flat iron so it usually goes with me on every trip even though they take up a lot of room in my suitcase.

P.S. For those planning a trip whether it's overnight or for an extended period, the Tumi Just In Case duffle is a lifesaver in terms of packing. I usually end up bringing more items home with me than I took with me and the Tumi Just In Case Duffle is something that folds into a small pouch you can store in your suitcase. You can see the diagrams on the Tumi website to see how it works, but it's a foldable sturdy nylon tote that has a their add-a-bag sleeve on the back so you can put it on the handles of your suitcase. 

Some items in this post were samples from gift with purchase events and some were press samples all of which are disclosed next to each listed item with a gwp or c/o note. The remainder items from my purchased by me.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Edward Bess Matte Artiste Eyeshadow Palette

Edward Bess launched a new eyeshadow palette called Matte Artiste which has eight shades of luxurious matte shadows. It comes cased in a large mirrored compact and a small brush. All eight shades are well pigmented and ultra soft making them super easy to blend and layer. There are a few places you can buy it right now, the palette retails for $75 at Neiman Marcus (there's a GWP going on this week online) and Bergdorf Goodman, but QVC has a special price online for $59.12.

The palette's eight colors include:
  • Beige is a cool-toned beige cream
  • Mystique is a medium warm camel
  • Allura is a warm deep brown
  • Hypnotique is a cool deep brown
  • Veil is a soft powder pink (this one is quite amazing)
  • Stone is a medium soft grey
  • Mojave is a greyed-black-brown
  • Smoke is a deep smokey black with a soft feel
The texture is extremely soft but the pigment is very good. The soft texture makes them a bit powdery in the compact. Using a brush will show a bit of powder kick-up much like those of the Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palettes (Infinity reviewed here). However this doesn't translate to powdery fallout when you apply them on the eyes. As with any powder shadow, the colors might have a tiny bit of debris that falls to the cheeks, but I have yet to use a powder shadow that doesn't fall out even a little bit. On the lids, the colors are really very good. Even the lighter neutral mattes show up well but they don't make my medium olive skin look washed out.

I am usually not a fan of matte palettes because an all-matte palette tends to my lids look flat. I like to mix on mattes and shimmer together, I rarely will wear an all-matte eye with the exception of Urban Decay Naked Basics and Naked2 Basics. Edward's Matte Artiste has made the cut for me to be an all-matte palette that I can wear without additional tweaking or layering of other colors. Each color is completely matte but they don't appear flat on the eyes. The colors all work well together, there is a diverse range of options with the eight colors but some good in-between colors for those who prefer less contrast.

Lasting power is quite good. The pigment is ultra rich and they lasted on my lids all day from early morning until the evening. Having eight colors makes for a lot of options in terms of layering and combining. I have played with this one using 3-4 colors at any given time. All perform really well.

Close ups of the colors:

For those who want to know how the Edward Bess Matte Artiste compares to Urban Decay Naked / Naked2 Basics, here are the swatches side by side. I think it's different enough to justify owning in terms of matte shades. While I really adore the Naked2 Basics, Edward's offers a darker range of colors for more definition.

Above: Edward Bess Matte Artiste Palette shown with a selection of other Edward Bess favorites

Bottom line: a winner in my book. I'm a huge fan of all things Edward Bess and this one is no exception. If you're in the market for a good palette of mattes, this is one definitely worth looking into. However if you weren't a fan of the Hourglass Palettes because of the soft powdery texture, you probably won't like this either and may want to test this one in person first before purchasing. I personally really liked the Hourglass palette and I really like this one, but I think some people might prefer shadows that aren't quite as soft in texture. My experience is the shadows are very soft and you will see powder debris and kick up in the palette once you dip a brush in any of the pans, but that is where the powdery-ness ends. On the lids they glide on really nicely without a lot of fallout (there is a tiny bit, but that is to be expected with any kind of powder).

If you've tried this one please chime in with your thoughts in the comments below. I'd love to hear your thoughts, or if you have a holy-grail matte eyeshadow palette, please share! You can find the Edward Bess Matte Artiste now at QVC (where I bought mine), Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman.


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