Showing posts with label Estee Lauder. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Estee Lauder. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Nordstrom + Estée Lauder Fall Gift With Purchase

http://rstyle.me/n/bb3qmubf6

Nordstrom has an awesome Estée Lauder Gift With Purchase going on right now. With any $45 Estée Lauder purchase, you get a sleek cosmetics bag filled with deluxe travel-size items and your choice of a lifting or repairing moisturizer duo. Be sure to use code LIFT or REPAIR at checkout to redeem the gift. The makeup bag is a two-toned zip pouch with a textured surface. It contains:
  • Perfectly Clean Multi-Action Foam Cleanser/Purifying Mask (1 oz.)
  • Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II (0.3 oz.)
  • Full-Size Pure Color Lipstick in Rubellite
  • Pure Color Gloss in Orchard Passion (0.2 oz.) 
  • Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara in Black
For the skincare duo minis, you have two options:
  • Lift option (use code LIFT)
    • Resilience Lift Firming/Sculpting Face and Neck Creme (0.5 oz.)
    • Resilience Lift Night Firming/Sculpting Face and Neck Creme (0.5 oz.)
  • Repair option (use code REPAIR)
    • Advanced Time Zone Reversing Line/Wrinkle Creme (0.5 oz.)
    • Advanced Time Zone Night Reversing Line/Wrinkle Creme (0.5 oz.)

I replenished on some favorites including the Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Multi-Action Foam Cleanser (for normal/combination skin) and the Perfectly Clean Multi-Action Toning Lotion which I find good for my sensitive skin (both are regular staples). I also picked up two new items from Aerin Beauty including the new Weekday Lip Gloss (a neutral mauve pink) and the Cool Gel Eyeliner Pencil in Essential Brown (a shimmering cool brown).


In case you need some ideas of what to try, some of my tried and true favorites below (each item is clickable). I find the Estee Lauder prices reasonable for a high-end line, two items will most likely be sufficient to qualify for the $45 min purchase.



The Estee Lauder Intensive Smoothing Hand Cream is one of my favorite hand treatments to smooth lines and hydrate dry hands. I also like the Aerin Bronzers for a natural bronze glow. If you need to replenish on skincare items, now is a good time to shop. I actually like the makeup bag this time, it's something I will actually use :)

What are your Estee Lauder favorites? I've discovered so many things because my mother is a huge Estee Lauder fan and passed along numerous recommendations to me over the years. The Fall Nordstrom Gift With Purchase is available online and in stores with ant $45 Estee Lauder purchase, while supplies last. If you order online, be sure to enter code LIFT or REPAIR to redeem the gift.



Thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post, all items purchased by me. For more information refer to my Disclosures page.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick | Insatiable Ivory and Intense Nude


Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipsticks ($30 each) launched several months ago and I just got around to checking them out at my local counters. Swatches and looks kept surfacing showing beautifully pigmented rich colors. There is a diverse range of color options with this new lipstick formula. I've avoided Estee Lauder lipsticks for a long time due to the super strong fig scent which I could not tolerate. I'm happy to report the new Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipsticks have no detectable scent and that they come in a sleek modern-looking navy and gold tube.

These are described as a high-intensity sculpting lipstick that comes in statement classic colors. I found the ones I tested to be very creamy and highly pigmented in color. They applied smoothly and the color did stay put quite long, however on my bare lips, the formula seemed to appear a bit thick and dry in texture emphasizing my lip lines (although right now I do have lips that are a bit more dry than they normally are). I added a bit of By Terry Baume de Rose underneath and this fixed all texture issues. Of course I picked out two natural shades. Insatiable Ivory is a peachy nude beige and Intense Nude is a medium rose brown with pinkish tones.


Swatches and close ups:



Insatiable Ivory pulls more peachy on my skin. It's a good nude shade that doesn't wash out the complexion. You get full coverage with two swipes:




Intense Nude isn't really nude (at least not to me). Some call shades like MAC Twig or Spirit nudes, but to me they're really rose colors with different variations of brown. I find Estee Lauder Intense Nude to be a more pinky rose brown rather than a true nude.




Some comparison swatches:

NARS Dolce Vita Lipgloss (swatches)



I like these lipsticks but feel they are on the steep side for Estee Lauder. For some reason I feel these should be more in the mid $20ish range, but that's just me. The quality is there but the colors, although classic statement colors, seem a bit basic for me. They do have a sculpting/defining quality which I attribute to the thicker (but smooth) texture. On me, I prefer something not quite as sculpting since I already have full lips, but I could see a difference with these as they made the lips more defined.

Bottom line, they are good basics and there are a lot of wearable colors. I like that the colors seemed to just work, no lipliner or gloss needed to tweak the colors, although it was a bit dry on its own for me. Since I haven't tried much from Estee Lauder lately, I thought I'd try something new from the line. It's like, but not love. I'll still be reaching for my Burberry, Tom Ford, Edward Bess, YSL lipsticks.

I purchased my Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipsticks ($30 each) from Nordstrom. There are currently 25 colors to choose from.

Did you try any of these lipsticks? What did you think?

Sneak Peek, Reviews Soon: NARS, Clé de Peau Beauté, Elizabeth and James, One Truffle, YSL, Chanel and more ...


A quick sneak peek at reviews to be posted soon, some things I've been testing now for a couple weeks, others I'm working my way through swatches as fast as I can:


Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

On My Radar / New in Beauty


Some new items on my radar this week, top left clockwise:

As fall collections and new skin/haircare items start trickling in, I'd love to hear what's on your beauty radar!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Estee Lauder Crystal Baby Collection | Nail Lacquer, Shimmer Lip Gloss and Illuminating Gelée Powder Blush


Estee Lauder has released a mini collection called Crystal Baby which I spotted at Nordstrom last week. I haven't been able to find any information about this on the web so I'm not sure if it's an exclusive to Nordstrom or will be released elsewhere. I picked up three items, but entire collection consists of:
I snapped a really quick photo with my iPhone at the counter:


The three items I purchased are the Nail Lacquer, Shimmer Lip Gloss and Illuminating Gelée Powder Blush. Swatches here and more details below:




The Crystal Baby Nail Lacquer is a soft shimmering nude pink that flashes a hint of blue, violet and pearl sparkles. On the nails it's very neutral on my skin. With my current skintone it's almost a nude because it matches my olive complexion. However I love how it gives a subtle polished look which I find office appropriate for conservative work places. I didn't have time to test this long since I took it off after two days to try other products. In my experience Estee Lauder polishes are average for lasting power 3-4 days max.




Some comparisons to Chanel Rose Cache, Chanel Frisson, Guerlain Jardins de Bagatelle, Guerlain La Petite Robe Noir, OPI A Butterfly Moment (review here), Dior Incognito (gel) and Dior Frimas (review here, from holiday). I find OPI A Butterfly Moment to be pretty close in color. The difference is subtle but the Estee Lauder is a tad bit more pink.


Crystal Baby Lip Gloss is a warm frosted pink with lots of pearl. If you can tolerate the fig scent it's a really pretty color. It has enough color to wear alone although I like to wear this on top of other lipsticks for added shine. It's not sheer but not full coverage - I find it falls somewhere in between.



Crystal Baby Illuminating Gelée Powder Blush is a unique gel-powder. Similar in concept to prior limited-edition Gelées by Estee Lauder, this one has intense shimmer. On my skin it's not frosty but I do need to apply with a light and gentle hand. It applies well with a loose fluffy brush all over the cheeks as a highlight or on the eyes. You can use the sponge it comes with but it makes the shimmer more intense. I found it did not emphasize pores with a light swipe, although if you swipe one swipe too many it will emphasize imperfections. It's a lovely light opalescent pink. I recommend applying with a light hand.



Comparisons below to Armani Fluid Sheer #8 (reviewed here), MAC Fairly Precious (reviewed here), NARS Adelaide (review here, still available at NARS), Estee Lauder Tease (discontinued) and Bobbi Brown Pink Shimmer Brick (appears to have been discontinued).


I found this mini collection to be an unexpected surprise. I discovered it on route to the Chanel counter at my local Nordstrom. I'm glad the display caught my eye. All the items I picked out are lovely delicate feminine colors. Thumbs up on all items from me. According to the sales rep the entire collection is limited-edition. Available now at Nordstrom.



Wednesday, June 4, 2014

On My Radar / New In Beauty


I hope everyone is having a good week so far. I'm still trying to get used to the fact that we are already into the month of June. For some mid-week beauty cravings, here are some highlights on items on my radar and a sneak peek of what's coming out soon. Details from top left, clockwise.

MAC Pedro Lourenço will be released in stores and counters this Thursday. Items have been posted online early though and are selling out quickly. I was able to order the Nude Eyeshadow Quad ($44). I have my eye on Gold Mirror Lipglass and Mirror Lipglass ($16.50 each). I'll be trying to track these down this Thursday.

NARS is coming out with 12 new shades and formula of eyeshadow called Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow ($29 each) which have a unique wet or dry application formula. The colors range from delicate peach pink to fierce black orchid. These will be available for sale beginning July 1 at NARS boutiques and on narscosmetics.com along with a new eyeshadow brush. In the meantime NARS has created two videos for a preview. (For full color listing, check out The Non-Blonde.)
Burberry Summer Showers has arrived online at Burberry with three new colors of Nail Polish in Orange Poppy 221, Pink Peony 222, Pink Azalea 223 ($21 each). There are corresponding Lip Glow Balms and Fresh Glow Blushes as well to match each shade. These look like beautiful brights perfect for summer weather.

Jo Malone has a new Cologne Intense in Tuberose Angelica ($145). Being a huge fan of the other Cologne Intense fragrances, I'm eager to try this one out. My Jo Malone rep said it has already arrived in store, perfect timing for Neiman Marcus's Camp Gorgeous Event (June 5 through 15 or while supplies last, gift with purchases online and in stores).

Estee Lauder has a new mini collection out called Crystal Baby. There is a new Crystal Baby Nail Lacquer ($21), Crystal Baby Illuminating Powder Gelee ($40), Crystal Baby Pure Color Gloss ($24) and four shades of Crystal Lipstick ($26 each) in Crystal Baby, Crystal Blush, Crystal Doll and Crystal Innocence. I have three items to show you soon.

Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Balm in Sugar Rose is one of the classic pinks ($22.50 each). A new shade in Sugar Tulip has just been released. Sephora.com has an exclusive early release preview for purchase for those who are VIB Members. I ordered this last week and it just arrived. I can't wait to try it as it looks like a fresh pink.

What's on your radar this week? Did you order the MAC items when they went live online? Any other new or recent discoveries?


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Nail and Hand Care Essentials


The most frequently asked questions I've received have been focused around hand and nail care. I review lots of nail polishes and change colors frequently and taking care of my hands has always been a must. I'll go through my hand and nail care routine and answer some questions that I receive on a regular basis.


I'll share a bit of background on my nail/hand care routine and history. I played the violin when I was younger and kept playing through through college. This required me to keep my nails extremely short with only a sliver of the white tips showing. Out of habit and personal preference I've always kept my nails on the shorter end, although in recent years I've started growing them a bit longer. You can see the difference then in 2010 vs. now in 2014. For everyday hand activity I've had a diverse work history that has required a lot of typing from number crunching and market research. I tend to type with my hands at an angle (rather than having finger more at a 90 degree angle) so my nails don't tend to hit the keys as much as someone who holds their hands at a more perpendicular angle to the keyboards. Some frequently asked questions:
  • Are your nails always professionally manicured? Or do you maintain them yourself? My manicures are a mix of both professionally applied nail polish and DIY. For the longest time I couldn't properly do my own nail polish for a full manicure. Being able to paint one's nails doesn't always come naturally, it takes lots and lots of practice. I would say my manicures are 50/50 done myself versus at a professional salon.
  • How often do you get professional manicures? It varies depending on what I'm testing out, swatching, and also time constraints. I would say it ranges from every other week to once a month.
  • Your nail polish seems to have a long wear life without tip wear, I work at an office job that requires a lot of typing, how do you avoid tip wear? Tip wear will probably depend on how long your nails are, if they are on the long side there will be a lot of surface contact which can lend to more tip wear. I recommend keeping them on the shorter end to avoid breakage. Make sure you use a good base coat, brush the tips of the nails with a bit of color to cover the end of the nail, make sure your top coat covers not just the top of your nail but brush over the tip end as well.
  • What base and top coats do you use? I'll go into what I use below, I usually use Deborah Lippmann Rehydrating Base Coat and Chanel Top Coat but it varies depending on what brand of color I'm using.
  • My nail polish never lasts more than 3 days, it starts to peel and chip no matter what brand, help? Several things could contribute to short-lived manicures. For prep, your nail might not be entirely clean. Even with polish remover, if you've used oils or lotions, there could be remnants of product still lingering on the nail. Use a nail cleaner or polish remover that helps clean (more below). You could be loading on too much color too soon. While it may seem to be a time saver to load up more color for 1 coat, don't do it. Apply your polish in thin coats even if it looks uneven the first coat. The second or third (for sheerer colors) will smooth out the surface. You also might not be covering your entire nail tip with top coat - doing so will make sure you covered the entire nail.
  • What advice would you give to those who are a novice to DIY manicures? I would recommend getting your nails professionally manicured the first 3-4 manicures you have so you can observe their application technique in person. You really only need salon manicures every once in a while for a clean up. It's easy to maintain your nails yourself in between salon visits. You don't necessarily have to do it yourself, as some can vouch, manicuring your own nails can sometimes take longer and be more frustrating.
  • Do you need to stick with the same brand of polish and base/top coats? Or can you mix and match? I don't think you need to stick with the same brands, although using the same can often be best. Different brands have different formulas and don't always work well together for me. For example I'm super picky with top coats - I don't like any sign of shrinkage where the top coats dry and shrink over the nail polish leaving a visible line around the edges. (Seche and OPI do that with Chanel for me). I like to mix and match.
The items I use are going to broken down into the following categories: Removers, Treatments, Tools, Base Prep and Top Coats. Like most beauty routines, I believe nail care items should be built slowly over time with testing or by researching reviews online.



I used to use cheap nail polish removers from CVS and Target, but after I started changing my nail polish frequently, I found that they made my nails and fingers extremely sensitive and that my nails started to peel (the actual nail). Based on reviews and recommendations I've found several new removers that are gentle for sensitive fingers but still very effective in removing all traces of polish. Items shown above described left to right:
  • Zoya Remove + Big Flipper is a 3 in 1 product that removes color, preps the nail and conditions. I discovered this thanks to the recommendation of Café Makeup - we discussed nail care, I shared my finger woes, she said try the Zoya, it's "so good." She was right. Read the reviews on Zoya or Makeupalley and you'll see others agree. There are different size options, I like the Big Flipper because it has an easy push down dispenser.
  • Sephora Formula X Delete Nail Polish Remover is another love (reviewed here). This is another item I bought based on online reviews. It has a similar push down dispenser lid. I like this one because it's compact and the design is very sleek and simple. The easy to use pump action makes it super handy -  you don't have to flip over the bottle and risk ruining painted nails if you need to clean edges or mess-ups.
  • Dior Dissolvant Abricot is an ultra luxurious and pricey non-acetone remover, it has a rich abricot scent formulated with ingredients to nourish, hydrate and strengthen. I found it was extremely effective in removing Dior's Gel Top Coat and dark polish underneath. I'm not a fan of the price and those sensitive to fragrance may find this too heavy. I went through one bottle pretty quickly and repurchased a second. It's the only remover I've tried that has a slightly moisturizing/hydrating feel. If the bottle were about 3-4 times larger I think I could justify the price for more frequent use.
  • Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Remover is the only cuticle softener that I've tried but I was lucky to find a really good one on my first try. It comes in a milky white liquid with a dropper. Apply to the cuticle area for a minute and then push back with a cuticle tool and it removes excess cuticle skin easily. This is a definite must for anyone who does their own manicures. It's gentle but super effective.



I attribute good looking hands to good hand care. I'm almost always carrying one to two hand creams in my purse. I rely on L'Occitane because they come in travel sizes, a variety of scents and have fun packaging. Plus the formula is hard to beat. For extra care I've discovered layering oil into hand cream can help give an added boost of moisture. I prefer hand creams that absorb quickly into the skin and that aren't greasy feeling so it doesn't ruin paper, clothes or get everywhere you touch. My current loves, left to right:
  • Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Oil is as good as it gets (there's a mini version as well). A little goes a long way with the dropper, you only need a little bit. It's not greasy but can get sticky, I recommend applying this with precision to the cuticles and rub in quickly. It has Jojoba Oil, Coconut Oil, Mineral Oil and smells amazing. I use this about once a week and it keeps the cuticles looking really good.
  • Caudalie Divine Oil is a must for me (review here), unfortunately they've changed the packaging of the mini size and it doesn't come with the spray pump dispenser. When I visited the Venice Boutique, they had hand massage treatments and they mixed the oil with their Hand and Nail Cream (review here) which is another staple of mine. I can't rave enough about these.
  • Tatcha Soothing Silk Indigo Hand Cream (review here) helps to soothe dry or irritated hands, it hydrates well and absorbs quickly into the skin, the packaging is compact enough to fit into the purse
  • L'Occitane Hand Creams have been a classic for me for years (check out the L'Occitane Hand Cream Bar), they can be on the pricey side for the side, but the formula is worth every penny, these come in a variety of scents and special formulas, my current favorites are the Shea Butter Honey (soothing and creamy) along with the new Vitória-Régia from the Viva Brazil collection (lush sweet floral). L'Occitane has monthly gift with purchase promotions in stores and online, it's one of the few brand newsletters I subscribe to that I don't mind receiving weekly (they have good deals). I've converted so many of my friends to L'Occitane as these hand creams make good small gifts or add-ons (just add a box of Godiva chocolate or small bouquet of flowers).
  • Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Hand Cream was a huge step-up gift with purchase from Neiman Marcus at one of the Estee Lauder events they had a year ago in store. I was a bit intimidated by the size and packaging as it looks like an intensive treatment. It is indeed an intense hand cream but still very gentle and is the best at smoothing lines. You can see the effects immediately and over time it does improve the overall look and appearance of your hands.



My tools are very basic, items were either found at local drugstores or Ulta. There are a wide number of tools out on the market, I'm sure there are more experienced nail experts who know more about tools, my picks were picked out without much research or planning.
  • Revlon Nail Clipper is an older version that I have, they've gone through a few revamps and upgrades in packaging design but the overall shape and size remains the same
  • Tweezerman Nail File I've picked up various nail files over the years, I find Tweezerman to be sturdy but with a rough enough surface to be effective on harder nails but not too harsh, the ones from Sephora that I've bought come with a plastic storage sleeve which is convenient for storage (and makes sure it doesn't scratch your other products)
  • Ulta Crystal Nail File if you're one who hates the feeling of filing nails, you need to check out Crystal Nail Files, a multitude of brands have these such as OPI and Sephora. These have a unique fine-grade glass surface that is good for sensitive or thinner nails, it gently smooths edges and also has a tapered precision tip to clean beneath the nail.
  • Tweezerman Pushy Cuticle Pusher is a smaller tool for cuticles, I prefer smaller shapes, although some prefer ones with larger curved tips to match the natural shape of the nails. I find the Tweezerman one to be small enough for my small fingers, it's sturdy and effective for me. For any kind of cuticle removal or care, I recommend you proceed with extra caution. Don't push too hard and be extra gentle with the cuticles - this is where I recommend you observe a professional several times before attempting on your own.
  • Revlon Cuticle Nippers are another basic drugstore purchase, I've had two from Revlon, both have lasted over 5 years, just make sure you clean them regularly with warm water and soap (I use antibacterial dish soap) or alcohol. I wouldn't recommend using cuticle clippers regularly, I use them to clip hang nails or only use if the cuticles have been softened and properly prepped.



For base coats, I look for something that helps protect bare nails. I look for items that won't turn the nails yellow, items that aren't drying and that also don't make the nails peel. I'll highlight the ones I use briefly, let me know if you need more information on any of these, I find they all work well with other brands such as Chanel, OPI, YSL, Dior, Tom Ford and NARS.
  • Sephora Formula X Nail Cleanser (reviewed here) is a relatively new discovery for me but I find that having a completely clean nail surface before using base coat or color really makes a difference in the wear of nail polish
  • Sephora Formula X Base Coat (reviewed here) is a sticky formula that helps polish adhere well, I like this best with the Formula X polishes but I've also tried (and love it) with Dior, Marc Jacobs and Chanel
  • CND Stickey Base Coat is a classic that I've repurchased multiple times, it's an affordable option that works well with all brands I've tried
  • Deborah Lippmann Rehydrating Base Coat is my most-frequently used base coat, I don't usually have nails that peel except when I do a lot of swatching and comparisons on the fingers, this helps immensely



  • Sephora Formula X Shine Top Coat (review here) is an awesome top coat but is on the thicker side, it works best with Formula X brand nail colors, when I used The System and their Nail Color, I had a manicure last over 7 days without any tip wear or chipping
  • Creative Nail Design Super Shiny Top Coat is another beauty staple, some of the nail salons I go to layer this with a Revlon top coat for an ultra cushy look (I haven't looked into the Revlon personally)
  • Chanel Laque Brilliance Extreme is my all time favorite top coat, it helps my polishes last long, doesn't crack or chip and give a lush shiny gloss
  • Rescue Beauty Lounge Top Coat is another item I've repurchased (I'm on my third bottle), it's just as good as Chanel, some say it's better, mine has a pinkish tinge because I didn't let my pink nail polish dry long enough and had some color transfer
  • Dior Gel Coat is a top coat I've found works best with Dior Polishes (Chanel v Dior post here), it works well over other brands for a gel-shine finish and lush look, but can be prone to cracking on certain brands
This sums up my hand and nail care favorites. I hope this give you a comprehensive overview on my personal hand and nail care routine. To recap, I definitely think you can maintain your hands and nails on your own but regular salon visits help keep hands looking better. You don't need an expensive salon to maintain your nails, there are a lot of good ones that are more affordable.





This post contains some items that were sent for review consideration. Most items were purchased by me. Press samples include Sephora The System, Tatcha Indigo, L'Occitane Vitória-Régia. For more information refer to my Disclosures.
 

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