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

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Edward Bess All Over Seduction Sunlight, Afterglow and Paradise


The Edward Bess All Over Seduction ($38) is hands down the best cream highlighter I have every tried and I'm thrilled to finally be able to share his newest color called Paradise which is a shimmering rose with a golden sheen. For those new to his line, the All Over Seduction is a solid cream highlighter that's cased in a small mirrored compact. They have a natural glowy sheen that I find just perfect - not too sheer, not too sparkly and never looks greasy. There are so many ways to use these, under blush, over powders, on the eyes - basically anywhere you want a bit of a glow. It makes the skin look fresh and naturally dewy.



The two original shades are Sunlight and Afterglow - both of which have been staples in my beauty collection for years. I've hit pan many times. Whenever I travel I almost always bring one if not both shades with me. For me it just doesn't get better than this for cream highlighters.


Sunlight is the lighter option which I'd describe as a light cool-toned champagne glow. The color payoff of course will depend on how fair or deep your skin is. On fairer skintones I suspect this will match your natural skintone more and appear to be more of a transparent sheen. On my medium skin it definitely shows up like a lighter highlighter.



Afterglow is deeper and more of a peachy golden bronze by comparison. On my skin it gives the cheeks that natural healthy lightly sunkissed look. Not quite bronzey, but just barely. I adore this color - I wish I had a powder eyeshadow just like it because it has the perfect mix of light shimmer, bronze color and peach (MAC All That Glitters has a close effect, I like layering that color on top of the cream highlighter on the eyes).



The newest color Paradise is a shimmering golden rose. It's a highlighter so it is on the natural side just like the other two shades. On my skin I can wear it as a very subtle blush, but it's still a highlighter and performs as such. For more color I like layering any pink powder blush on top. It's great for adding a bit of warmth to the skin for that polished glowy natural look.



A closer look at all three:


 
A few comparison swatches:


Tom Ford Skin Illuminating Duo in Moodlight (review here)
Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in Las Salinas (review here)
Tom Ford Cream Blush in Pink Sand (review here)


Bottom line all three are must-haves in my book. They are perfection. For me these are the best kind of cream highlighter to give the skin a natural youthful glow. They glide onto the skin easily, smoothly, don't emphasize pores and they never look frosty. The All Over Seduction does have a soft fig scent like his lipsticks but it's not overpowering or too sweet. I highly recommend checking them out.

You can find the Edward Bess All Over Seduction at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and online at Edward Bess. Right now Neiman Marcus has their Beauty Week Gift with Purchase Event going on - there is a department-wide gift but you might want to check out the individual brand gifts too.

Have you checked these out? What's your favorite cream highlighter?

Paradise sent courtesy of Edward Bess for review consideration.


Monday, January 25, 2016

Hair Care Loves in Rotation


I love testing new things in hair care and playing with different kinds of shampoos, oils and tools. Since the summer, my go-to daily shampoo and conditioner has been the Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo and Conditioner, but I've been experimenting with some new items and discovered some new favorites. For a bit My hair is thick and has a slight natural wave to it and extremely prone to frizz without any product or heat treatment. My hair color is natural - it's never been colored or highlighted (at least not yet). I like to switch shampoos up and alternate frequently - I wash my hair daily, so sometimes I feel like it needs more moisture, other times it needs a clarifying rinse. The two lines of shampoos/conditioners I used up recently are the Moroccanoil and R+Co Moon Shine. If you have any favorites/recommendations please let me know what you think I should try next!

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First up is the T3 PROi Professional Hair Dryer ($350, c/o). In terms of hair dryers, I've been a long time fan of Solano tools. In my experience they have been the best for my hair - they dry quickly, leave the hair shiny, smooth, glossy and frizz-free. I decided to give several other brands a try and nothing has given me the same results until I tried the T3 PROi. My beauty friend Rae raved about it and her hair always looks amazing everytime I see her - so I was thrilled to be able to try this. The PROi Hair Dryer comes with a mega hefty price tag but it does not disappoint. It far exceeded my expectations and allowed me to create a salon-quality results unlike anything I've tried before. My heart still belongs to Solano but this new one from T3 just might replace it's spot as my new favorite. (For reference, the last one I bought was the Super Solano 3600 Ion.) The T3 PROicomes with 2 detachable nozzles, three different heat settings, a cool-shot option and two different intensities/speeds. It's fairly lightweight for a full power full size dryer and easy to maneuver. The description says it's supposed to cut the dry time - if you blow dry with completely wet hair, it will not (but you'll still get amazing results). If you towel dry and then spend a couple minutes doing a rough dry first, the overall time to completely dry the hair is shortened compared to other dryers.

There are several different brushes that T3 launched. I decided to order the Freeflow Vent Brush ($17) first to try - it's a good medium size brush and allows air to flow through the hair allowing for faster dry time. I like the design - it's simple but aesthetically pleasing and seems very sturdy and well made. I've ordered a few more to try - I'll do a more detailed review once I receive them. Good hair brushes are something I feel like I'm always searching for. I have good basic tools, but most of them look meh.

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Next are three shampoos/cleansers. I'm a traditional liquid shampoo and conditioner kind of girl, but there are some really interesting products on the market that I would have never thought to use that surprised me. Maybe I'm late to the party, but I would have never thought to use scrubs or oils to clean the hair.


Above from left to right:
  • Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt ($52 for 250 ml, c/o) is something that is relatively new to the US. Christophe Robin is a colorist from France and launched his own salon and line of products. Net-A-Porter sent his new Cleansing Purifying Scrub for me to try a few months ago and so when I had the opportunity to meet him in person while he was in LA, I jumped at the chance. I will have a dedicated feature on more of his products soon, but in the meantime you can read about his story here. It was so great to learn about his story and the background behind the creation of his line. The Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt is an amazing clarifying product. It is a grained-paste product that you rub into your scalp. It rebalances the hair and rinses out completely without any residue left behind. It removes impurities and leaves the hair feeling squeaky clean. If you have normal to dry hair, you may need to follow with a moisture mask. For me this is a game changer. You can find his line at Net-A-Porter, Sephora and Saks Fifth Avenue.
  • Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo Gentle Radiance Cleanser x Maison Kitsune ($57 for 400 ml, c/o) has been on my radar for a while but the concept of using an oil to wash my hair just didn't seem appealing to me. Still the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo has cult-status and rightfully so. There are several formulas of the Cleansing Oil, the one I tried is the Limited-Edition Maison Kitsune in the Gentle Radiance Formula. It foams up into a really nice lather and cleans the hair really well. For me this is best used as once a week a clarifying treatment (alternating with the Christophe Robin) - at most 2x per week or on days after I work out. I do think it's absolutely necessary to follow with some kind of rinse out conditioner if you use this one as it can be stripping if you skip. Some shampoos I don't feel the need to use conditioner after, but this one you do.
  • Oribe Cleansing Crème for Moisture and Control ($44 for 8.5 oz/250 ml) is the most amazing cleansing creme I've tried. My local salon always uses some kind of cleansing creme to wash my hair before a cut but I'm particularly sensitive to scented hair products so I never end up purchasing what they use even though the results are amazing. I love all things Oribe although the line is fairly spendy so I feel like I have to keep this brand at arm's length or it can get very expensive at the rate that I go through hair products. This one moisturizes perfectly and leaves the scalp feeling well nourished but clean. Hair is perfect afterwards - tangle free, smooth and left light and bouncy with a bit of natural shine. I don't need to search for any other cleansing cremes as I have found THE ONE with the Oribe.
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Last but not least are some hair treatments and finishing products. I'm always trying minis of hair oils, sprays, creams and what not. It takes me forever to use up anything because I have so much in rotation. Scent is a big deal to me. If a hair product smells too floral, too vanilla, too perfumey or strong, I simply won't use it - no matter how good it is.


Above from left to right:
  • Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil ($49 for 100 ml, also in this travel set) is one of my favorite hair finishing oils. The full size is very expensive but you only need a little bit to coat the ends of the hair so it lasts a long time. It adds the perfect amount of shine to the hair, especially when the ends start to look or feel dry. It is fairly strongly scented but I love the way everything from Oribe smells.
  • Drybar The Chaser Shine Cream ($29 for 100 ml) this has made an appearance on my blog many times. I like it because it adds shine and also helps as a pre-heat treatment. It maintains and controls frizz and leaves the hair feeling ultra soft. My husband likes to use this one too.
  • Shu Uemura x Maison Kitsune Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Oil ($69 for 150 ml, c/o) smells amazing and has notes of camellia, grapefruit, white essence, musk and heliotrope. This is a multi-purpose oil. The directions say you can apply it on the hair pre-shampoo or afterwards as a leave-in product. I prefer to use it after shampoo either on slightly damp hair before I blow dry or just simply as a leave in product as my hair air dries. It's nourishing but very lightweight and won't weigh down the hair or make it look greasy. Hair absorbs it quickly so there's no residue left afterwards if you touch your hair. One pump is more than enough to cover my hair (it's a little past the shoulder length). I will definitely be repurchasing this once it is used up.
  • Kiehl's Heat-Protective Silk Straightening Cream ($17 for 150 ml) this is something I bought in store a while ago. I needed something as an add on to qualify for an in store promo so I decided to try this. I had used the Creme with Silk Groom when I was in college and liked it but it can be very heavy and easy to overdo. The girl at the store recommended I try this since I heat treat my hair regularly. I really like it to help straighten the hair and keep it smooth looking. I found it makes a noticeable difference in the way the hair looks in terms of helping give a more straightened look.
  • Edward Bess Black Sea Hair Hero ($44 for c/o) is my favorite texturizing hair product. It helps add volume, smooths hair, adds texture. Full review in this post here. The bottle is huge and even with regular use it's lasted me for like forever.
  • Original and Mineral Know Knott Detangling Spray ($26 for 250 ml) is the best detangling product I've tried. Some days my hair just feels extra tangled and there are knots in my hair even after shampoo + conditioner. A few sprays of this one makes any comb or brush glide through the hair easily without any tugging or pulling. I tried this at my salon in a mini first and loved it so much I bought the full size.

That wraps it up for new hair discoveries along with favorites I consider staples. Have you tried anything from any of these lines before? If yes please let me know what you recommend. If not, I'm open to other suggestions on what you've tried and love :) Do you have any hair products you consider game changers? I'm in the market for a new liquid shampoo and conditioner - what should I try next?



Some items featured indicated with a "c/o" beside the product name were sent free of charge for review consideration. Other items purchased by me.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Edward Bess Flawless Illusion Transforming Full Coverage Foundation


Last fall, Edward Bess launched a new foundation formula called the Flawless Illusion Transforming Full Coverage Foundation ($49 for .27 oz/7.7g, made in Italy). It's a compact cream foundation that I've been putting to the test for a few months now and I deem this another winner from his line. There are five shades in total: Fair, Light, Medium, Tan and Deep. It's completely scent free and comes in a solid cream format. It does offer full coverage that I find is easy to build and unlike many other solid cream foundations this one feels completely weightless on the skin. The finish is truly flawless - it melds into the skin for a natural finish, not dewy or matte, but somewhere in between. It smooths out the skin beautifully with really good coverage but looks like skin. It minimizes pores and fine lines. It's pure love. Here's a look at all five shades, first is with flash:


Under natural light, no flash:


Swatches below, applied with fingers:


As with most full coverage foundations I do believe you need to prep the skin properly before you apply foundation. I've tested it with and without primers, I don't think you need to add a primer with this one, but make sure your skin is properly moisturized and the foundation will glide onto the skin smoothly (I really love this one over beauty oils like the Laura Mercier Infusion de Rose Nourishing Oil or Kate Somerville Dilo Oil).

In terms of wear and lasting power, I found it lasted all day without separating anywhere. I do set with powder like I do with all my foundations. Over the last part of the year when we had a heat wave and lots of sunny weather here in Southern California my match was Tan. Now that I've started to lighten a bit my match is currently Medium - it's a neutral beige, not yellow or pink, but a true neutral. Additionally there is a new brush that Edward launched called the Retractable Buff and Blend Brush. It's one of the larger kabuki brushes I've tried and incredibly soft. It's made of synthetic hair and is very dense, but still very soft. You can use it with this foundation or powder. I prefer to apply the cream with fingers or a damp beauty blender sponge. This brush can act as a nice foundation buffer if you work it in with a circular motion.


A few swatch comparisons. I'm a huge fan of many other Edward Bess foundations and creams - unfortunately I'm out of a few of them because I've used them up. Here's what I have to compare, with a couple NARS shades as a baseline in case you're my skin twin. In my foundation testing experience, NARS Punjab is one of the most yellow/olive toned foundations I've tried. Santa Fe is one shade lighter but pulls more neutral/pink. I hope this helps show the undertone of the Edward Bess foundations below.

Edward Bess Complexion Correcting Mousse - thicker and richer in coverage
Edward Bess Sheer Satin Compact Foundation - sheerer and more dewy in coverage
NARS All Day Luminous Foundation - has a more coverage

Bottom line yet another winner from Edward Bess's line - he can do no wrong. This spring seems to be the season of new foundations - many of which seem to be focused on a getting a glowy and dewy look. If you are in search of something that is more natural in finish but still offers full coverage, the one from Edward Bess is worth a look.

You can find the Edward Bess Flawless Illusion Transforming Full Coverage Foundation at Edward Bess counters. Online at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, QVC and Edward Bess.

Foundation kindly provided courtesy of the amazing Edward Bess.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

On My Radar / New in Beauty


1  /  2  /  3  /  4  /  5  /  6  /
7  /  8 (launches on the 15th) /  9  /  10  /  11  /  12

There are so many gorgeous new items launching this spring. It seems to be the season focused on glowing complexions with new foundation formulas, blushes and highlighters. I'm still smitten with the NARS Hot Sand/Laguna Duo (I've finally found my holy grail highlight/contour powder duo). I've been testing the new NARS Velvet Skin Tint which is slated to launch this Friday on January 15th online at NARS and NARS Boutiques (elsewhere February 1st). First impressions are very good, I'll have a review posted this Friday with swatches.

Also on the NARS front (they've been killing it this spring!) are two palettes. There is an eyeshadow palette called L'Amour Toujours Palette which I've been testing. It's incredible - if you visit the NARS website they've done eye swatches of all shades on three skintone which is so helpful. Second, there is a new cheek compact called the NARSissist Cheek Palette which is a Sephora Exclusive. I'm working on swatches right now, I hope to publish by the end of the week.

Diptyque has launched their Valentine's Day collection early with the new Rosaviola Collection in a collaboration with fashion designer Olympia Le-Tan. The packaging is beyond adorable I can't wait to see these in person.

For cheeks Hourglass launched their Ambient Lighting Strobe Powders and I'm saying yes to all even before testing or swatching them in person. I hope to check them out at the Hourglass Boutique sometime this weekend as I'll be in Los Angeles for IMATS. Kat Von D Beauty fans will be thrilled to know she's launched seven blush duos called Shade + Light Two Tone Blush.

For the glowing complexion, Beautylish just launched some items from Natasha Denona. Her line is new to me, but so far you can customize your own glow kit with items such as primer, foundation, cream highlighter, powder highlighter and body shimmer. I just started testing the Face Glow Foundation in Shade 30 Light Medium which is an amazing cream formula. The color seems to be just slightly too light - I'll have to do more testing before I can review.

I just posted a roundup on winter skincare focusing on face masks. I'll be sharing more of my current winter skincare routine in the next couple of weeks including some thoughts on new cleansers - the Kate Somerville Exfolikate Cleanser is really good.

Last but not least, Edward Bess just launched a new lipliner shade called Barely which is my new holy grail nude lipliner. It's the best nude pink ever made.

I'll have a foundation review post up soon and some swatches of spring glossy tints from YSL. What's on your radar right now? Any new discoveries you'd like to share? Spring beauty collections are still trickling in - what do you have your eye on?


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

What's Inside My Makeup Bag

Inside my makeup bag truffle clarity pouch

It's only the first week of the year and even though I've tried to clean out some of my purses and reorganize, I've already accumulated way too much in my makeup bag. I just emptied it this morning and counted 12 lip items ... wait no, 13 eek! Everytime I go out with my husband, he's always asking what it is that I'm lugging around and if I really need to carry all this stuff. Of course I don't, but I still do. Here's a peek at what's inside my makeup bag which is the Truffle Clarity Clutch Small in Nude. Some will be reviewed on the blog very soon.
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Lips


Featured from left to right:
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All the other stuff


From left to right:
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I'll say now that the Dior Lip Glow in Lilac is way better than the Pink one (which turns fuchsia on my lips sometimes). I ordered all the Too Faced Melted Lipsticks from the chocolate launch because how can one resist anything chocolate? There are hits and misses with the colors - I'll be editing swatches to upload later this week (my husband said one of the colors looked absolutely hideous on me). I pulled out my Tisse Rivoli eyeshadow quad recently - it is one of my favorite neutrals in quad form but I misplaced it and couldn't find it for months (I had put the compact in my blush drawer which is why I couldn't find it with all the other eyeshadow compacts). My goal for the new year is to find some more makeup organization solutions. I've been using Muji Acrylic organizers and drawers, but I need something bigger with taller drawers - any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. There are a number of options out there I've been researching - I've been making notes on dimensions and picing, it's kinda overwhelming to sort out! 

What's in your makeup bag this week? If you keep your makeup contents to a minimum, how do you edit/organize what you carry? 



Press samples featured above indicated by a *. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Best in Beauty 2015: The Beauty Look Book Makeup Favorites


I look back on the last twelve months and can't believe an entire year has gone by. This has been one of the most challenging yet rewarding years I've had yet and I have lots to look forward to for 2016. I took a quick look at my blog posts for the past year along with an inventory of my favorite beauty products. I started with a massive list - there were so many good launches this past year, especially for lipsticks. Brands have really upped their beauty game with better formulas. I've edited my list as much as I could to what I considered game changers this year.

I have four categories of best in beauty this year. The first up is makeup favorites. I have 20 of my top makeup picks for lips, eyes and face - nails have their own category (up next).
  1. NARS Chelsea Girls Lip Gloss is this year's best creamy nude (review here)
  2. Charlotte Tilbury Penelope Pink, Iconic Nude + Seduction make for the best nude lip combo ever, I used up an entire tube of Penelope Pink this year! (swatched here and here)
  3. Marc Jacobs Hi-Shine Enamored Lip Glosses = the best lip gloss launch (swatches here)
  4. Rouge Louboutin Silky Satin = most luxurious lipstick formula created and the best red lipstick I've ever swatched (3 formulas swatched here
  5. MAC x Ellie Goulding Lipsticks were the best pinks launched (swatches here)
  6. Burberry Kisses Lipstick = the best lipstick formula launch this year huge plus that they are unscented and also non-drying on the lips (my picks swatched here
  7. Tom Ford Lip Color Sheers in Skinnydip and Rose Soleil (swatches here) were the best new colors launched for the entire year (so good I have backups even though they are permanent)
  8. Hourglass Lip Treatment Oil in Icon is best new tinted lip treatment formula (swatched here)
  9. Urban Decay Naked3 was my most-used eyeshadow palette of the year (swatches here)
  10. Burberry Wet & Dry Glow Eyeshadow in Shell = best all over eyeshadow shimmer color for the lids ever made (review here)
  11. Clio Kill Bill Liquid Liner was the best liquid eyeliner discovery (review here)
  12. NARS Yeux Irresistible Palette wins for the best smoky eye palette of the year (swatches here)
  13. Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise colors are the best cream shadow launched this year for formula and color selection (swatched here)
  14. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer wins for most luminous bronzer + highlighter combination (swatches + review here)
  15. Tom Ford Moodlight is the best highlighter launch of 2015 (look + review here)
  16. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow in Medium Dark = the best bronzing duo launched and also the one I used the most this past year (look shown on face here)
  17. Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder in #2 is best setting powder of the year, if it ever gets discontinued I will literally want to die (thoughts + review here)
  18. Sephora Pro Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation Brush #53 best foundation brush discovery for flawless streak-free coverage (review here)
  19. Wayne Goss Anniversary Set = the best brush set launch of the year (review here)
  20. Edward Bess All Over Seduction = most-used cream highlighters of the year (swatches here)
What were your favorite makeup picks this past year?

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 Moltonbrown.com. 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.

Makeup

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 Amazon.com.
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
MAC Oak
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

 

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