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

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.

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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 narscosmetics.com 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.

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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.

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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.
 
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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.

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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):

http://www.thebeautylookbook.com/2015/07/his-and-hers-travel-essentials-skincare.html





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.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

On My Radar / New in Beauty


It's a brand new month and this time of year summer beauty collections start to trickle in. So far I've been building a wish list that is primarily Chanel, Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs. Can't wait to see what everyone has in store for the upcoming season. Right now there are a few new things that are on my beauty radar:

Edward Bess recently launched his Matte Artist Eyeshadow Palette (1) I'll have a review on this in the upcoming weeks. This Friday Edward will be on the QVC Show at 5pm EST where he will be featuring some new product launches. One is his new Fully Defined Brow Duos (2). They will come in a choice of Neutral or Rich (on right) and both feature the same brightener shade to lift the arches.

If you missed out on the two latest runway shades from Marc Jacobs Limited Edition Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquers in Milk and Wine Not (3), the good news is they are now online at Sephora.com (VIB Rouge for now). Swatches of both shades here and here.

Guerlain has a four new shades of the Terracotta Natural Healthy Glow Powder Duo (4). The compact is a stunning pearly color and the powders are super soft in texture. Review to come soon.

Nuxe fans will be happy to know they've expanded the Rêve de Miel line with a Gentle Shampoo (5). I've been testing this and have fallen head over heels. It's an amazingly soft sweet honey scented shampoo that is gentle and leaves the hair soft. I'll have a detailed review on this soon too.

Surratt Beauty (6) just launched online at Sephora.com. I'm thrilled there is a new place to buy Surratt items. For reference, three of his lip items previously swatched and reviewed here.

The Dior My Lady - Diorblush Glowing Color Cannage Palette (7) is calling my name but I just purchased this one so I fear the colors will be too similar to justify both. They've re-launched the Coral Lip Glow (8) and it's in my wishlist.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipsticks (9) have finally launched in the US. I've been waiting for these to launch for months here.

Last but not least, By Terry (10) has 5 new shades of Hyaluronic Sheer Nude Hydra-Balm and 4 shades of a new Cellularose Moisturizing CC Cream. I have the CC Cream in Shade 3 (review soon) but initial thoughts are that it offers good natural sheer to medium coverage that's buildable and is very hydrating.

What's on your beauty radar this week?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Winter Glow


This time of year my skin feels like it lacks natural luster so I rely on illuminators and soft nude shimmers to fake that glow-from-within. Today I'm sharing my favorite go-to's along with thoughts on a few new items I've been testing to get that soft glow. Picks include items for nails, lips, cheeks and eyes. When it comes to shimmers I like to mix them in for one to two areas of the face with color rather than wear champagne shimmers all over the face, otherwise it's just too much. I like using these as a cheekbone or very soft brow bone highlight too in order to add dimension.

First up are pale shimmers for the lips. I am always a huge fan of those soft pale shimmers for the lips but can't always pull them off easily. I have medium pigmented lips with olive skin so often times pale shimmers make me feel like I have white lips. Two I've discovered that work for my lips include Rouge Dior Baume in Star and Lipstick Queen Ice Queen. Both have that lovely translucent quality with multidimensional shimmer to prevent these from looking too frosted.  


Both look similar in photographs on my lips but I think they are different enough to justify both. The Rouge Dior Baume in Star has a cooler-toned quality and is sheerer. Lipstick Queen Ice Queen looks lighter in the photos but it has a higher level of frost which reflects more. It has a mix of silver and gold particles which makes it a good layering lipstick. I have a slight preference for the Lipstick Queen because the shimmering quality is really pretty. If you are anti-shimmer for lips, you may find it too frosty.



For the nails, I've been obsessed with Rescue Beauty Lounge Bubblegum Punk for a fun multi-colored shimmer frost. It has an ultra smooth finish even though it's on the sparkly side. I can never resist pale shimmers for nails, but some are hard to work with if they are frosts. Marc Jacobs Beauty has released two new Hi-Shine Enamored Nail Polishes. Blanche was released last fall. It's a metallic soft white which I found took some extra effort to make work. Being a metallic I found brush strokes visible with two coats, but they disappeared a bit with the third coat. I have yet to find a good white shimmer that is streak-free. This one is pretty good if you are patient. Milk is a new addition to their Runway Shades. This is an iridescent beige that flashes pink and opal. I adore these kinds of colors but I know some women find the colors like this difficult to work with on their skin tone (something about the beige makes the skin look sallow). Milk flashes enough iridescent shimmer to prevent the beige base from dominating. I find it very wearable.



For highlighting, there are a number of multi-tasking products for eyes and cheeks. I love a good shimmer that gives a glow without looking frosty. I know everyone has different preferences for what degree of shimmer they are comfortable wearing so I'll give a summary ranking of what I think is the most subtle to the most frosted.

First up are creamy ones. NARS St. Lucia Multiple is the latest from NARS (currently a Nordstrom exclusive, available at all NARS counters in March, review here). It's a multi-purpose creamy twist up stick. On me it gives a natural glowy soft pink highlight to the cheeks and eyes. On fairer skins this will probably give you more color and look more blush-like.

My holy grail cream highlighter is Edward Bess All Over Seduction. He has two shades, Sunlight is the paler one (shown below) and Afterglow is a bronzey version. Both are incredibly natural and glowy. The texture blends in beautifully with the skin and the shimmer is finely milled. If you're afraid of shimmer I highly recommend you check these out because it's impossible to overdo and looks amazing on everyone I've seen it applied on.

One of the newest illuminators I've been testing is the Chantecaille Liquid Lumiere Anti-Aging Face Illuminator in Sheen (I received this as part of the Net-A-Porter holiday beauty box but it's available separately). At first swipe I found the shimmer in this one to be on the high side but after playing with this I found it blended out to a soft smooth veil of shimmer. It does have more shimmer than Armani Fluid Sheers or the Edward Bess Sunlight but it is still very wearable. The pigment and shimmer is intense but it's concentrated so you only need a tiny amount. A little goes a long way. If you're one of those beauty lovers who is in search of a liquid highlighter that won't disappear on the skin once you blend it this is a good one to look into. I've dabbed it on top of the cheekbones or eyes (after foundation/powder) and it doesn't disrupt your makeup base. Check out the review on Best Things in Beauty to see how the colors look once blended properly. 



For additional highlighters, my go-to powder highlighter is from Hourglass. The Ambient Lighting Palette (review here) goes with me on all trips. I use the full size versions at home and take this palette with me for on-the-go or on vacations. The palette came out after the individual ones were released, so I have some duplicate colors. If you're new to these powders, I hands down say go for the palette. There is a good amount of product so it will last you a long time and it's super convenient to use and carry with you.

I used to use the Kevyn Aucoin Celetial Powder in Candlelight a long time ago when it had the larger compact packaging. I liked it but didn't love it. Several have recommended I check it out again claiming it reached holy grail status for them. I like the new compact packaging and the powder is lovely but I don't love it. I find it a bit too pale for my medium-olive skin. That being said if you thought the Hourglass Luminous Light was too shimmery or glowy I recommend the Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight because it is a notch down in the shimmer intensity. If you prefer neutral to cool-toned highlighters then you will really like Candlelight. I have friends who are on the fair side (Chanel Beige 10 or MAC NC20) and they swear by this one.

Last but not least, I think the NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadows in Himalia and Dione are the best shimmers on the market. It has a really good blendable cream texture. The shimmer/frost is high on this so your mileage may vary. Full review here. If you don't have a lot of the colors you may want to check out the NARSissist Dual Intensity Eyeshadow Palette. I already own 5 of the 8 shades so I'm having a hard time justifying a purchase since it will result in a lot of dupes for me.



What do you like to use to get a nice glow in the winter time?

The Lipstick Queen Ice Queen, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, Rescue Beauty Lounge Bubblegum Punk Nail Polish and Chantecaille Illuminator were provided as press samples for review consideration. All other items purchased by me.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Inside My Bag


Inside my Prada Saffiano tote (similar color here, similar style here):

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustres in Seduction and Sweet Stiletto (reviewed here)
Frederic Malle Travel Spray in Carnal Flower
Canon G16 Camera
Key ring and small wallet by Louis Vuitton


I'm a huge fan of the pouches and clutches by Truffle. I have multiples now in different colors and styles and love how they really help keep things streamlined and organized in my purses. They just released a few additions in Nude, Black and Rose Gold. They are a bit of a splurge, but I feel they are well worth the price because they are well-made and very sturdy. Right now Truffle is offering 25% off your entire purchase with code HOLIDAY25 at checkout (it ends on Monday December 1st).

The Privacy Clutches are also good for on-the-go. If you don't want to lug around your purse and just want to carry the essentials, it will fit quite a bit but still keep everything streamlined (see what I fit in the Blush version back in August).

Sometimes I'll carry multiples in my purses that don't have compartments. They are pretty good at staying flat and keeping their shape so it keeps everything streamlined.

P.S. If you're like me and have been eyeing Charlotte Tilbury items you might want to look into the holiday offer at Beautylish. They are offering a $20 gift card for every $100 you spend (also ends on Monday).

What's in your bag right now? How do you keep your bag organized or streamlined. I usually tend to throw things in each day of the week so by the weekend it gets heavy and messy. Compartments help keep me organized but not all of my bags have separators.

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving and that you are enjoying the weekend! I spent the last 3 days sick in bed with a bad cold, but my fever broke and I am starting to feel more like myself this afternoon.

The Black Privacy Clutch was gifted by Truffle without charge, all other items purchased by me.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Concealers In Rotation


For years I've stuck to concealers from two lines: Clé de Peau Beauté and By Terry. I've never had much need for concealer but my skin changed this year. These slightly dark circles under the eyes started to appear and I've needed a lot more coverage in certain areas of the face with scars and blemishes. Both of my go-to concealers still work really well for me, but I've been experimenting more with other brands and products. I thought I'd share a round up of the ones I have in rotation right now plus what tools I use.


My personal preference for blending concealer is for rounded brushes made of synthetic materials. My most reached-for tools include the MAC 252, Chanel Concealer Brush #10 and Trish McEvoy Medium Laydown #40. All of them are about the same medium size which works best for me. I've tried smaller detail brushes during makeovers and while they are good for precise application, I usually find larger brushes for cream products work better for me. They blend concealers well and also double as cream shadow brushes. Some days I will use fingers or a sponge, but my preference these days is for the brush.

Concealers I use right now:

  • Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer in Almond is my current skin tone match. The Cle de Peau Beaute concealer is the best stick formula I've tried. It covers the skin very well but looks natural. It works well under the eye area when dabbed on with fingers to warm up the product and doesn't look cakey. The color selection is limited but they recently added two shades (all shades swatched here). This is one of the best I've tried, it's pricey but performs well and a tube will last you a very long time.
  • NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard and Ginger are new discoveries for me. I've had several of the older formulas in gift with purchase compacts in the past but wasn't impressed with the formula so I never thought to try the new formulas. A NARS artist recommended I try this during a makeover when I asked for a foundation with full coverage. She suggested the Radiant Creamy Concealer and it really does cover incredibly well and blends out to have a soft velvety looking finish. It comes with a sponge wand tip. I use both Custard and Ginger and mix them depending on what area of the face I am trying to cover. I've found this to live up to all the hype.
  • Edward Bess Extreme Cover Cream is a full coverage creamy concealer in a pot. This one is definitely the most creamy that I've tried. It's also the most pigmented but blends nicely to cover areas completely. Since the pigment is really intense, I recommend using only a tiny bit, otherwise it will be too heavy. The container is tiny but the formula packs a punch so it will last a very long time. All the shades swatched and review here. The color selection is a bit limited, but Medium is a good match for me. This one has a slightly dewy finish but does not get oily as the day wears on.
  • By Terry Touche Veloutée in Beige #3 is a highlighting concealer in a click pen type of packaging. This one gives a brightening effect even though the color Beige matches my skin tone exactly. I like it best under the eyes to cover dark circles and brighten the skin. It's also good on days you have a bit of redness around the nose. This one has a smooth medium coverage and dries to a semi-matte but natural finish.


Swatches of the shades below (with Clé de Peau Beige for reference):


If you ask me to recommend just one concealer, I would say that I think picking a good one depends on where you want to use it and what you want it to do: eyes, spots, cover completely or brighten? For me, a concealer for under the eye won't necessarily be suitable for spot coverage along the jawline or cheeks.

For under the under eye area, I look for colors that either brighten or have a bit of warmth. Many artists want to go lighter than my skintone to "brighten" the area, but it really just ends up looking ashy if it's too pale. If they insist on using one that is 1-2x lighter than I think they should I usually ask them to try 2 shades on me just to make sure I can see it for myself. I think all the concealers I listed above will work for under the eyes because they have a good blendable formula, but my favorite for under the eye area is the By Terry Touche Veloutee. It has a slightly sheerer coverage compared to the others which prevents the area from looking flat.

For cover up on spots or acne scars, the Edward Bess will give the most opaque coverage followed by the NARS and then Clé de Peau Beauté.

My top two picks include the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer and Clé de Peau Beauté, but there are a few downsides. If you test the NARS concealers at the counter or store, you may find it difficult to find an exact match and might be in between colors (like myself). When it comes to foundations, powders and concealers I want to find an exact match, but it's not always possible. There are times I have to buy two shades to mix which can get pricey. If I can't find a almost exact match for concealer, I will skip it all together, but I've made an exception for the NARS. I found the price of the NARS reasonable and the formula is really amazing so I did not mind splurging on 2 tubes to mix colors. The downside for the Clé de Peau Beauté is also a limited color selection and price of $70 is very steep. That being said, I do think if you can find a good match I do think formula is well worth the price. A tube should last well over a year even if you use it on a regular basis as a spot cover. 





I hope you found this round up helpful! Do you have a favorite concealer?

 

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