Showing posts with label Essie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Essie. Show all posts

Monday, November 16, 2015

Splurge vs. Save

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A few holiday treat ideas whether you're looking for a splurge or something more affordable.

There are so many good sets this year, I'll have holiday gift guide roundups of the best gifts I've found by price point and recipient coming soon. I love a good lip and hand duo - who doesn't need an extra boost of moisture during the holiday season? La Mer's The Replenishing Collection Duo ($75) is quite the splurge with a 1.7 oz of The Hand Treatment and 0.32 oz. of The Lip Balm. A more affordable option is the L'Occitane Shea Butter Hugs and Kisses Duo ($20 each) which is perfect for sensitive noses and skin. The Hugs and Kisses Duos come in a variety of other scented options (this one for example is to die for!!).

For the lips, matte full coverage lip colors are often in. They have bold color, rich pigment and matte formulas tend to last longer. Hands down the one of the best matte lipstick formula is the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipsticks ($32 each) because it's a luminous long-wearing and hydrating matte. Very Victoria (swatched here) is an amazing nude. 1975 Red is a limited-edition color that's a vibrant bright warm red (swatched here). Buxom Bold Gel Lipstick ($22) is a more affordable option. The Matte formula is pretty darn good and priced right (plus if you're a Sephora VIB you can get 20% off until November 16th with code VIB20). Swatches of all the Buxom Bold Gel Lipsticks here. I found Buxom Sinful Cinnamon to be an almost exact dupe for Charlotte Tilbury Very Victoria. Also Buxom Wildfire is identical in color to Charlotte Tilbury 1975 Red. I will say though that the Charlotte Tilbury formula really can't be beat (or matched).

For the holiday season, quick and easy gifts are candles. I'm a huge fan of Jo Malone and Diptyque candles for pine scents. Jo Malone Pine and Eucalyptus ($65) has the perfect Christmas-y vibe to it. A couple cheaper alternatives for holiday home scents are the Nest Birchwood Pine ($35) and Henri Bendel White Spruce ($35).

For the nails, I love a good sparkly gold, bright red or deep vamp, but for those who like a good neutral nude pink that will give your hands a polished look without making them look dead, Tom Ford Sugar Dune ($35, swatched here) is my holy grail nude pink cream. Dior Lady (review here) also reached holy grail status but was limited-edition and I'm so sad you can't find it anymore. The closest dupe I've found is Essie Topless and Barefoot (swatched here). It's a really good neutral that isn't sheer and gives the hands a polished feel.

Last but not least for those who love flat zip pouches, the Tory Burch York Duo Leather Pouches ($195 for set of 2) is quite the splurge. Both are made of textured Saffiano leather and are very thick and sturdy. I own the Black and Light Oak duo, I really like both, but it was a big ouch to the wallet. A less expensive alternative but something still high quality is the Truffle Privacy Clutch ($54). It's made of textured leather and is quite sturdy. With these two, you can't compare them exactly since one is a duo and one is a single, but the function is similar. I use the Truffle Privacy Clutches more often - the shape, size and simple sleek design is versatile as a makeup bag, pouch for your purse or a clutch. For those who like smaller pouches Truffle launched the Privacy Wristlet ($48 in three colors).

Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Summer Beauty Pick-Me-Ups

Ulta Beauty is turning 25 today and to celebrate their birthday they have 25 online beauty deals with free shipping on orders of $25 or more. Ulta Beauty is a regular stop for me for beauty staples, especially for nail care. My go-to products are the CND Stickey Base Coat, Super Shiny Top Coat, Butter London Nail Scrubbers and the Tweezerman Pushy Nail Cleaner. I've teamed up with them to share some beauty pick-me-ups from a recent store visit. If you haven't been to an Ulta Beauty store recently you will be amazed at the selection they have today - the lineup of products has expanded so you will find a wide range of items with a mix of drugstore and mid-end brands all in one store. If you're in need of something new in beauty but aren't sure what to look for, Ulta is a nice place to shop at your own leisure and browse without feeling any pressure to buy. I always discover something new.

Up first is the Mario Badescu Skin Care Facial Spray. It has aloe, herbs and rosewater and with a super relaxing lightweight scent. It's one of the most affordable facial sprays I've tried and I think it's highly under-rated. It hydrates the skin with a superfine mist. I like that it's truly refreshing without that heavy feel.

Nude clutch by Truffle

For eyes I picked up one of the Naked2 Double Ended 24/7 Glide On Pencils. They come in a variety of colors, I picked one with Pistol and Perversion. For eyeshadow palettes, the Naked Basics2 Palette is a no-fail option. I already own one but bought one as a birthday gift for a friend. I swatched it below next to Naked Basics. Both are staples as far as matte shadows go.

One of my friends swears by Lancome Définicils Mascara and she always has the perfect lush black lashes. I've only tried minis before. I'm giving this one in the full size a try. (If you have a favorite Lancome mascara let me know.)

I didn't realize Ulta Beauty carried Becca Cosmetics, but now I do. I picked up the Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Rose Gold. I debated between the pressed and poured version. The pressed seemed to have more pink undertone so I opted for this one. It has the prettiest warm rosy champagne gold shimmer. The left side is a heavy swatch, right is blended out a little.

For nails, I like to shop for cheaper finds like OPI and Essie. I play around with both a lot but don't buy many because of the lack of testers. Two staples include Peach Daiquiri and Topless and Barefoot. Both are relatively affordable options although they don't last longer than 3 days on me, but for the price I think they are worth it. I just need to make sure I reapply top coat 2-3 times throughout the 5-7 day period I have the color on. Although I switch things up frequently to swatch so sometimes it doesn't really matter.

Peach Daiquiri needed three coats for me.

Topless and Barefoot is the best neutral nude pink. It's not too nude and not too pink. Two coats works ok, I find a third coat gives this one complete full coverage.

For lips the options are endless. There are so many different finishes, formulas, textures and packaging options. I think I got a bit lost with all the options but I wasn't in a rush so I was able to take my time to browse. Stila was one of my very first beauty loves back when I was in high school and all the way through college. I'm glad through all the changes that they've kept some of the original line. The Lip Glazes are always fun. Apricot is a staple glow. Kitten is a fun frosted champagne beige shimmer.

Urban Decay has some really good new lip products out. I think many have been out for a while but my focus has always been on their shadows and Naked Palettes. The Revolution Lipstick in Naked is a neutral nude pink cream. It has medium to full coverage and has a slightly glossy sheen. There are a number of neutrals to pick from and they have different finishes from matte, sheer and regular. The High-Color Lip Glosses are full-coverage glosses. Almost like a liquid lipstick but still glossy in formula. Kinky is a really pretty light neutral pink beige. I'm completely obsessed with it.

Last but not least I tried something from Tarte. The twist up chubby stick lip products come in a number of different finishes and textures. After swatching up a number of colors all over my hand, I picked out the LipSurgence Lip Tint in Sweet. It's a soft light pink with shimmer but goes on the lips a more rosy flushed soft pink. It has a soft minty scent and feels cool on the lips. I really like the way it looks and feels - I'm going to have to check out more of the colors soon.

Today on August 19th in celebration of their 25th birthday, they have 25 value sets available online. In addition they are running a sweepstakes through August 29th where 25 lucky Ultamate Rewards Members will win 25,000 points. Details here on

Do you have any recent discoveries from Ulta Beauty? What are your favorite beauty pick-me-ups?

This post was created in partnership with Ulta Beauty. Many thanks to Ulta Beauty for sponsoring this post. All opinions my own, more information on my disclosures

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Peachy Makeup Loves

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

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

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

Lip swatches of a few of the colors:

Nails: Dior, Smith & Cult, Chanel and Essie

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

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

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Color Focus: Rosy Pinks for Lips and Nails

I will admit that I tend to associate rosy pinks more with spring or summer, but I feel that rosy pink lips can pretty much be worn year round. For lips, I tend to lean more towards more natural pinks since I already have a lot of pink in my natural lip tone, so these won't be the rosiest pinks that are out there.

Rosy Pink Lipglosses:

1. MAC Sweet Strawberry Lipglass
2. MAC Bingo! Plushglass
3. MAC Creme Anglaise Cremesheen Glass
4. Le Metier Siena Lip Creme (GWP)
5. Becca Rosita Lip Gloss
6. Nars Stella Lip Gloss
7. Paul & Joe Limited Edition 001 Lip Gloss
8. Chanel Imaginaire Glossimer
9. Edward Bess Love Always

Swatches, same order:


Rosy Pink Lipsticks:

1. Chanel Ischia #96 Aqualumiere
2. Chanel Tasmania #99 Aqualumiere
3. Bobbi Brown Ruffle Metallic Lip Color
4. Le Metier de Beaute Cannes
5. MAC Strawbaby Lipstick (Fafi label came off)
6. MAC Party Mate
7. MAC Skew

(The swatches didn't turn out so well, I might try again later)


Nail Polishes:

1. OPI California Raspberry
2. Essie Very Cranberry
3. OPI Grand Central Carnation
4. Dolce & Gabbana Rose (received as a GWP, but part of the regular D&G line)
5. Paul & Joe #13

For the swatches, the order is:

1. Thumb = Paul & Joe #13
2. Index = Dolce & Gabbana Rose
3. Middle = OPI Grand Central Carnation
4. Ring = Essie Very Cranberry
5. Pinkie = OPI California Raspberry

My blush collection has a lot of nude pinks, hot pinks, dusty pinks, peachy-pinks. I don't have very many rosy-pink colors for cheeks other than my Bobbi Brown Raspberry Pot Rouge. Hence, no focus on the cheeks. I definitely do not have any rosy pink eyeshadows.

Would love to hear what your favorite rosy pink colors are!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dior Red Dahlia Nail Polish (Sephora Exclusive)

This is a follow up on my Sephora Haulings post to show more pics of the new Dior Red Dahlia Nail Polish for Fall 2009 which is a Sephora Exclusive (other counters received Black Plum).

I wasn't happy with the original swatches because the photos were pulling more red than fuchsia for the Red Dahlia, so hopefully these will give you a better look at what it really looks like.

Black Plum & Red Dahlia

1. MAC Rougemarie (bottle shown)
2. Dior Red Dahlia (bottle shown)
3. OPI Miami Beet
4. OPI Quarter of a Cent-Cherry
5. Nars Jungle Red

1. OPI Quarter of a Cent-Cherry
2. MAC Rougemarie
3. Nars Jungle Red
4. Dior Red Dahlia
5. OPI Miami Beet
6. Essie Private Bash
7. Essie Very Cranberry
8. Chanel Shanghai Red

Two views, left to right: MAC Rouge Marie, Dior Black Plum, Dior Red Dahlia, Nars Jungle Red, Nars Chinatown, Essie Very Cranberry

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Recent Sephora Haulings: Urban Decay, Lorac, Benefit, MUFE, Dior

I occasionally stop by Sephora and a couple days ago went to check out the new fall collections and saw they had the new Urban Decay/Dior fall items and picked up Ruthless Eyeshadow and Naked Lipstick and Red Dahlia Nail Polish.

The haul along with some other items I have picked up over the past few months:

Close ups of the items, Lorac Baked Matte Satin Blushes in Velvet Rope & Exposed:

Benefit Coralista & Rich Beach Eyeshadow (also featured HERE):

Benefit Lipsticks in Swoonderful, Lady's Choice & Good to Go - all great neutrals:

Benefit/Urban Decay Lipsticks (no flash, L to R Jailbait, Naked, Swoonderful, Lady's Choice & Good to Go):

Urban Decay Lipsticks in Jailbait & Naked:

Urban Decay Eyeshadows in Ruthless (deluxe), Shakedown & Naked (mattes):

Make Up For Ever Super Lipgloss + swatches in 20, 21, 30:

Dior Nail Polish in Red Dahlia (Sephora Exclusive) compared with some other fushia-pink-red shades - this is pulling more red in all the photos I've taken. It's most similar to OPI Miami Beet, so you might want to try googling/searching for pics and swatches of that shade to get a better idea:

1. Dior Red Dahlia (bottle shown)
2. OPI Miami Beet (bottle shown)
3. Essie Private Bash
4. Essie Very Cranberry
5. Chanel Shangahi Red

Will be updated soon with comparisons to some true/classic reds so you can see the fuschia tones.

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