Showing posts with label Giorgio Armani. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Giorgio Armani. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

On My Radar / New In Beauty


Happy Wednesday everyone! I have a roundup of new beauty releases on my radar. I was planning to share this tomorrow but there's a super special amazing deal that can't wait. Fall collections are trickling in and the new releases look amazing. My first post will be on NARS fall (which is incredible) and I'm currently swatching my picks from Chanel. Several have asked for the post on my travel carry-on contents - I promise to have it up as soon as I can! I'm editing the photos today and tomorrow. Here's what's on my radar from the top left then clockwise:

Sephora Pro has launched a collection of 5 brushes in the hakuho-do + SEPHORA PRO Brush Collection. Each brush comes encased in a beautiful rich red box. The brush tips are a pale white and grey color. Handles are lacquered in a shiny red with silver embossed labels. The presentation is just phenomenal. I'm testing the brushes this week and hope to have a review with first impressions soon.

Tom Ford Beauty has some amazing things coming out this fall. I'm most excited about the Skin Illuminating Powder Duo (currently available for pre-order, I've ordered it). I'm also intrigued by the Skin Primers that come in a Pink and Peach version.

One of my BFFs shared her love about Korean Skincare Peach and Lily over the weekend. She ordered some of the Cremorlab Sheet Masks and said "you need to try them." She has super sensitive skin and also knows her ingredients as she works in product development and closely with chemists. If she says something is good I trust her 100% - I'm ordering a few over the weekend. If you have any recommendations I'm all ears!

For Chanel fall I'm obsessed with the new Le Vernis shades in Vert Obscur, Ecorce Sanguine and Chataigne. Two are very very dark but they are perfect for fall. The new Les 5 Ombres de Chanel is to die for. My personal favorites are the four new Stylo Yeux Eyeliners.

Fresh has a new Limited-Edition Rose Face Mask launched to celebrate their 15th Anniversary. They've teamed up with London-based artist Jo Ratcliffe to create a beautiful special-edition floral design for the packaging. It's gorgeous.

Guerlain Fall isn't expected to arrive until next month but there is a new Terracotta Bayadère Face & Eyes Contour Palette that has caught my eye. I need to check it out immediately.

Marc Jacobs Beauty has three new face products that just launched. I need the Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer for sure. It wasn't on display at my Sephora last week but I hope to check it out soon. There is also a new Re(marc)able Full Cover Foundation Concentrate and a a new brush to go with it called The Face III Buffing Foundation Brush.

Armani has a new Luminous Silk Powder Foundation. I'm a 6.5 in the Luminous Silk and was matched to shade 4 at the counter. I'm not entirely sure it's the right match but I'm giving it a go anyways. The other colors in the 5, 5.5 and 6.5 range looked very pink to me. I'll report once I've given it a proper test.

Tatcha just launched a new Pore Perfecting Suncreen with SPF 35 (also available in a travel size). I'm really anxious to try this as I've been testing sunscreens all summer long. I have high hopes for this one.

Last but not least, many thanks to a couple of my readers who let me know Diptyque is on Hautelook for a limited time. There are a few select pieces available - but the deals are really good and it's worth a look. I bought two of the Lilac pillars although now I need a photophore to store it. This is my first time ordering from Hautelook.

What's on your beauty radar this week?

Friday, July 17, 2015

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks


I've been browsing items from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale for a few days now. I stopped by my local store for Early Access last week to take a quick peek and bought two of the beauty exclusives from MAC and Dior. Since things looked like they were selling out quickly I stopped by my local store again today - there were a lot of things I had on my list that sold out including the Deborah Lippmann Undressed Set and YSL Rock Attitude Glossy Stain. If you see something on your radar I recommend you order online or visit your store as soon as you can.

Beauty Exclusives I picked up include the Dior Eye Reviver Palette in Rosy Nordy Girl and the Vernis in Majesty (peach). They also had some of the fall collection out, I picked up the Cosmopolite Nail Polish (muted plum).


I think the best value find for me is the T3 Compact Styling Set which is priced at $150. The Compact Folding Dryer is $150 by itself so with this Nordstrom set you basically get the flat iron for free. I love that the dryer will fold into a more compact size. If I could have only bought one thing from the sale, this would be it (they are boxed together).


MAC seemed to be selling through their sets faster than usual at the store. I picked up the MAC Look in a Box Pretty Natural Lip Kit that has Subculture Lipliner, Pretty Natural Lipstick and Feeling Fine Lipglass. I picked up mine during early access. Today my local store was completely sold out. It seems to have sold out online too but right now just came back. If you missed out - order soon, or keep the link bookmarked. It keeps popping back in stock. I'm a sucker for a good nude pink lipstick. Subculture Lipliner is a staple neutral I think everyone should own anyways.


Palettes are always big during the sale. I picked up three palettes, two are gifts for friends but I think now I want them too.  The Chanel Travel Palette is something I picked up for a friend. It has the Les Beiges Powder 20, a blush, five eye colors, lip colors, mini brushes and a small mascara. I am not a fan of compacts that don't have separators for cream and powder - I can see this one becoming a mess. Still it's really pretty and the pink blush and lips are so so gorgeous.

Lorac has the best priced deal with a $15 The Skinny Black Eyeshadow Palette. I bought this because it's a steal - how can anyone resist? My store had about 20 or so left on the floor display - there seemed to be a lot left.

For me, I picked up the new MAC Nordstrom's Finest Exclusive 15 Pan. It's not a Anniversary Sale Exclusive, but my associate said it's a Nordstrom Exclusive (kinda confusing to me). I'm sure it has a lot of repeats for me because I already own a lot of singles but the convenience of having everything in one palette is appealing.

There seemed to be a lot of new fall items trickling in. Armani had a display unit for the new powder foundation but it didn't have any product inside, nor did they have anything to sell. I'm hoping it will launch soon because I'm eager to test it out. I did pick up a few Fluid Sheers, left to right is 14, 17 and 18. It's been a while since I last checked out anything from Armani but I've been told 17 and 18 are new.

All of Chanel Fall is now in store and online. I picked up a few items last week from Saks. Today I picked up a few more items including the three Le Vernis shades in Vert Obscur, Ecorce Sanguine and Chataigne. There are two new eye palettes: Tisse D'Automne Quadra Eyeshadow and a new Les 5 Ombre Eyeshadow Palette. I hope to swatch this weekend and have reviews soon.

I ran out of some nail care products so I restocked on the Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Oil (purple) and Cuticle Remover (white). I picked up her new All About That Base base coat.


Last but not least I picked up three clothing items - I ordered mine online and they arrived a few days ago. Rag and Bone Theo Pullover is a super soft black v-neck sweater. I find sizing in brands these days all over the place for tops. For most Rag and Bone I am an XS - this sweater fits nicely but has a slightly loose feel. It's not too large on me but the look is slightly more relaxed than what the model shows. I ordered a Splendid Jersey Wrap Robe which runs true to size. I also ordered these J Brand Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans.





Did you pick up anything from the sale? Or are you planning to shop the sale this weekend? What did you end up picking out? I keep forgetting to stop by the shoes section - although since it's summer I can't get into the mood for boots.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Loving Right Now


The week is flying by so quickly, I can't believe it's almost Friday. I picked up a couple new fragrances that have been on my wish list for ages. I picked up the small bottle of the Les Exclusifs de Chanel in Beige and Byredo Black Saffron (reviews coming in the next few weeks). Also new acquisitions are MAC Cremesheen Pearl Lipsticks in Shanghai Spice and Peach Blossom, both repurchases of lipsticks I used up a while ago. MAC lipsticks usually dry out my lips but I still can't stop using them because some of the neutrals are really good.

The Le Volume de Chanel Mascara is a long-time favorite. I just found out they released a waterproof version so I ordered it. So far I'm really liking it and I hope they release more colors in the waterproof or bring back the Navy Blue one because as far as colored mascaras go, that one was my favorite.

Also on the lips this week are Chanel Glossimer in Seashell and YSL Pop Water Glossy Stains (swatches and review here). For cheeks I still can't get over how much I love the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Radiant Light (also in a palette form). I'm going to call this one my never-ending bronzer. I use it a lot and still haven't made a dent. It will probably last me forever.

Non-beauty related is my love for these rimless aviators (more colors here). It's virtually impossible for me to find small sunglasses these days when oversized everything is in everywhere. Most of my sunglasses are several years old and it's rare these days to find smaller frames to fit my face shape and size. These are 59mm and the perfect size for me. I bought them in multiple colors (three to be exact).

Last but not least, I've been really liking the Armani Eye Tints (#9 shown above). I am eager to see how the YSL Pop Water Full Metal Shadows compare (still waiting on these to ship, I have a few on backorder).

What are you loving this week? Any new beauty discoveries or staples you're loving right now?

Friday, February 13, 2015

On My Radar / New in Beauty


Happy Friday everyone! I'm relieved it's almost the weekend. We have 80+ degree weather in Southern California right now, it's like winter never came and we are in a non-stop state of summer (I'm not complaining, although I do feel like I should have a tan right now). A few things I've spotted new in the beauty world:

1  /  2  /  3  /  4  /  5  /  6  /  7  /  8
  1. Christian Louboutin Beaute has a new Python Vulcano Limited Edition Nail Colour Coffret ($90, limited-edition) for spring. The three shades include Salonu, True Blue, and Hot Chick. I want to see this one in person as it looks stunning although I only own 1 yellow nail polish (Chanel Mimosa) and rarely wear it.
  2. Glamglow released their new cleansers ($39 each for 5 oz) in Supercleanse (Daily Clearing Cleanser), Thirstycleanse (Daily Treatment Cleanser) and Youthcleanse (Daily Exfoliating Cleanser). I have the white and blue ones that I bought a few weeks ago and am completely obsessed with both. Detailed review next week.
  3. Bobbi Brown has a new Sunkissed Nude Collection Set ($120, limited-edition) at Neiman Marcus. If you've been eyeing things at Neimans, save your shopping for next week when their Beauty Week Event starts on the 18th.
  4. Chanel has released some new items this month. The Collection La Perle de Chanel has a new Harmonie Levres Lip Palette, Joues Contraste in Crescendo, Illusion D'Ombre in Mysterio, Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Perle de Lune along with more items for lips and eyes. If you're shopping for Valentine's Day, the have complimentary overnight shipping with orders $125+ (until 5 PM EST). I ordered several items + a few of the new Rouge Cocos. I'll be swatching and photographing this weekend.
  5. Charlotte Tilbury Beach Sticks ($45 each, 5 shades) have finally launched in the US. I have a few that I ordered, I'll be swatting and have a review in the next week (fingers crossed).
  6. Giorgio Armani has two Limited-Edition Runway pieces, a Runway Palette ($120 for highlighter + 3 shadows) cased in an embroidered silk pouch and a new Rouge Sheer Runway Lipstick ($40). The palette looks incredibly beautiful but I'm not sure about the price point.
  7. Dior Beauty has 12 shades of Rouge Dior Brilliant Lipshine & Care Couture Colour ($35 each). There are several nudes I have on my wish list although I have yet to see or swatch these in person.
  8. Chantecaille has a small edited collection for spring. There is a new Glacier Eyeshadow Trio ($70), Arctic Rose Lip Chic ($36), and two Galactic Lip Shines ($34 each) in Aurora and Polaris. (I bought the palette and one lip chic, review next week.)
I hope you have a wonderful weekend! My husband and I are celebrating Valentine's Day early with a date night dinner tonight. What's on your beauty radar this weekend?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Valentine's Day Pink for Lips


This week I'm loving all shades of pink for the lips, in preparation for Valentine's Day I've compiled a list of new pinks that I've been testing along with some older favorites. Today's focus is on lip glosses with a glossy sheen that will give the lips a lush glow.



  • Marc Jacobs Lust for Lacquer Lip Vinyl Sheer in Pink Diamond is a glossy sheer pink gold that gives the lips a tint of gold and pink, right now it seems to be removed from Sephora and Marc Jacobs Beauty so I'm not sure if these are being phased out or reformulated, for a similar effect check out MAC Nympette Lipglass
  • Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in Rose Shimmer 01 is a sheer light pink balm-like gloss, on the lips it gives a sheer natural wash of light pink with a tiny bit of shimmer, it has a soft vanilla scent
  • NARS Lip Gloss in Turkish Delight is a super pale powdery pink gloss, on my super pigmented lips this is high maintenance when worn alone, I find it's best worn as a layering lipgloss mainly because I have a lot of color in my lips
  • Zelens Lip Glaze in Rose is a lush baby pink cream, I have a hard time pulling off baby pinks on the lips that are non-shimmers, they are often too pale on my lip but this one was surprisingly good, it's pricey for a lip gloss but the texture and color are really really good, coverage is medium
  • Bite Beauty Lush Fruit Gloss in Strawberry is something I bought in the mini size over the holiday, this is the first Bite Lip Gloss I've tried and the color is absolute perfection for the perfect light-to-medium rose pink but the formula is less than stellar. I wonder if this is one of those glosses you need to "break in" with a few wears to make the formula better, it settled into lip lines like crazy which is a shame because the color and pigment is so pretty
  • Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Pink Pop is sheer bright pink gloss perfection, I love a good bright lip gloss that has a sheer texture because they give the lips just enough color to get that glow, this one has a very strong vanilla scent so if you're sensitive to fragrance, you might not be able to wear this one easily
  • Giorgio Armani Flash Lacquer in 521 is a sheer medium cool-toned pink, it's very sheer so alone it will give you a very subtle tint of color, it's lovely over a lipstick or lipliner 
  • NARS Lip Gloss in Angelika is a bright cool-toned pink with gold flecks of shimmer, this one is a pretty azalea pink kind of color with medium coverage
  • Hourglass Extreme Sheen Lip Gloss in Ballet is a lipgloss that acts more like a liquid lipstick, this one has crazy intense pigment and covers the lip entirely, if you want a glossy bright pink with super rich coverage, this is the best one I've tried
  • MAC Viva Glam Miley Cyrus is a super fun glitzy pink, I'm usually ultra conservative when it comes to anything with visible sparkles that is more than just shimmer, but this one is really pretty on the lips, I'm not sure that I would be able to rock this comfortably everyday, but it's not too glitzy if you layer a sheer wash of this on top of a lipstick
  • Zelens Lip Glaze in Pink is a healthy medium-bright pink, it has medium coverage leaning slightly more towards full but still has a glossy finish so it's not like a liquid lipstick, it's like Laura Mercier's Pink Pop amped up a few notches in terms of pigment and oomph, I highly recommend the formula because it plumps the lips naturally and feels ultra hydrating and smooth
  • Chanel Glossimer in Crazy Fuchsia is part of the spring collection, it's a super pigmented glossimer that has the prettiest mix of pink, violet and rose shimmers, long-time readers know I'm all about lighter neutral lips, but this one is just insanely gorgeous

Lip swatches on me (for reference some of these were taken over different days, foundations worn include the NARS All Day Weightless Luminous Foundation in Punjab and Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation in Bisque 04 with various setting powders):


I hope you found this lip gloss guide helpful in terms of picking out pink lip glosses with a diverse range of finishes, textures and different levels of color. To narrow down my top picks by category:

Favorite sheer light pink:
Clarins Instant Light Perfector in Rose Shimmer and Zelens Rose Lip Glaze

Favorite medium pink:
Laura Mercier Pink Pop and Zelens Pink Lip Glaze

Most unique:
Chanel Crazy Fuchsia Glossimer

This is by no means a comprehensive of all the pink lip glosses I've tried or adore, but rather an edited version of what I've been testing or using right now. What are your favorite pink lip glosses?

The Zelens Lip Glazes, Hourglass Extreme Sheen Lip Gloss and Laura Mercier Lip Glace were provided as press samples for review consideration, all others purchased by me.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Giorgio Armani Eye Tints - Onyx, Cold Copper, Senso, Rose Ashes and Gold Ashes


Giorgio Armani's latest includes a new liquid/cream eyeshadow called Eye Tints ($38 each for 6.5 ml/0.22 fl oz, made in France). These eyeshadows are all shimmery and come in twelve different colors. I ordered several sight unseen and literally gasped when I opened the boxes. They are really beautiful.

The shades above, left to right (note the tubes themselves only have numbers as labels):

  • Onyx 5 is a super sparkly olive green with silver and green shimmers
  • Cold Copper 9 is a smooth shimmer neutral tan
  • Senso 10 is a unique plum brown bronze shimmer
  • Rose Ashes 11 is a warm peachy gold base that flashes pink and rose 
  • Gold Ashes 12 is a super sparkly cool-toned champagne shimmer
These Armani Eye Tints have a fluid texture but aren't so fluid that they are like liquids. There is a bit of thickness to them which makes them slightly like a cream, but the texture is still on the fluid side. The color sheers out once you blend them but it is easy to build and blend. I've been playing with these all last week - my favorite way to apply is straight from the tube onto the lids and then blend on the eyes with a finger.

Onyx and Gold Ashes are extremely sparkly, but not quite as frosted or as pigmented as Armani Eyes to Kill shadows and not as glitzy as some of the Chanel Illusion D'Ombres. I've tried Gold Ashes all over the lids and it blends out really nicely for an even wash of sparkle. The other shades Cold Copper, Sense and Rose Ashes have a more finely milled shimmer. In terms of lasting power, I found these dried down to a satiny finish on the eyes after they set and lasted all day without budging. You can layer a powder shadow on top of these but if you do, I recommend working quickly with your shadows - these tend to set and dry quickly, although it's not immediate which allows you to blend and layer, dry time is on the fast side (at least for me).

For reference, Café Makeup has all the shades swatched and Color Me Loud has a detailed review on Senso #10.

These come with a beveled sponge tip applicator:



Close up of all the shades:


Swiped straight from the tube:


Swiped on a larger area:


Comparison swatches:


Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Epatant (review)
Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Mirage (review)
NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in Himalia (review)
Nudestix Magnetic Eye Color in Twilight (review)
Chanel llusion D'Ombre in New Moon (d/c, review)
By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Bronze Moon (swatches)
Armani Eyes to Kill 9


I really like these, although I am partial to the Eyes to Kill Intense Shadows. I know many have found those too shimmery and too intense so if you're looking for something softer I recommend you check out the Eye Tints. They have a smooth texture that offers light to medium buildable coverage. 

Armani Eye Tints retail for $38 each. Currently available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks and Giorgio Armani Beauty. Have you checked out these new shadows yet?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Beauty Look Book's Guide to Building a Makeup Wardrobe


This year I've received quite a few e-mails from new readers who just started getting into higher-end cosmetic brands. Being a beauty junkie and beauty blogger, I put dozens of products to the test each mont. This allows me to offer comparisons in order to help others determine differences or similarities across brands, formulas and product families.

For the makeup newbie it can be a bit overwhelming to sort through all the options. Finding good makeup that works for you often has to be done through trial and error. I think we've all been at that place where we bought something that ended up not working so well for our skin tone or skin type. Finding a store with a wide range of brands to choose from with a good return/exchange policy is one of the main reasons I really love to shop at Nordstrom. Today I've teamed up with them to create a personal beauty guide on how to start building a makeup wardrobe.

Most of my makeup preferences are for natural colors that will enhance features. New readers frequently e-mail me requesting a customized shopping list of my top beauty picks for them to take to the counter. Picking favorites is almost impossible for me since I really do love a lot of brands, but I've compiled an edited list that I think will be good for the makeup newbie. I've split my guide into three categories: Lips, Eyes and Cheeks.


For lips, if you're just starting to get into makeup, my recommendations would depend on what kind of look you want. Even if you want a natural color, texture and finish plays a major part in picking out the right lip product. Do you prefer sheer, glossy, velvety, full-coverage? Are you a lipstick or lipgloss kind of person? Do you like shimmer or prefer creams?
Chanel Rouge Allure Glosses offer rich pigment with high shine and flawless coverage. My favorite soft pink is Sensible 15. If you want a no-fuss medium to full coverage lip gloss that stays put, these will give a really pretty shine while adding a good amount of color. There are naturals and brights in this formula to suit a wide range of skin tones. Another really good full coverage lip gloss is the Dior Addict Fluid Stick. These are a hybrid lipstick + lipgloss and it packs in a ton of color with high shine. Whisper Beige 219 is a good natural beige nude that won't wash out the complexion.

If you prefer to ease into color and want just a tint of color and shine, Chanel Glossimers are among my favorite out of all the lip glosses in the market. Shades range from sparkling light pinks, bright corals, soft rose, beiges to plums. The holiday Chanel Give It Shine Glossimer Lip Trio has the perfect collection of shades to start your lip wardrobe. It has Amour (soft peach), Sweet Beige (nude beige shimmer) and Wild Rose (the perfect rose pink shine). These have a smooth texture with a naturally glossy sheen.

If you want a more budget-friendly lip gloss, MAC Lipglasses are hard to pass up. These are a bit sticky and tacky, but there are a lot of colors and finishes to choose from. Lovechild Lipglass is one of the most universally flattering colors I've seen. It's a soft plum with pink tones and gold shimmer. On me it pulls very natural, on fair skin it's the perfect plum, on darker or deeper skin tones it also looks good. Laura Mercier Lip Glacés also offer a wide range of colors with a natural finish. Pink Pop is a bright but sheer pink which brings the complexion to life with a sheer wash of bright color.

If you are more of a lipstick kind of person but want something natural, Chanel Rouge Coco Shines are my favorite no fuss swipe-and-go kind of lipstick. Boy 54 is the best classic rose pink shade that adds the prettiest hint of color and shine. The sheer formula won't be as long lasting as a regular lipstick but the color is flawless and formula is hydrating. These are really good if you're timid with bold colors and want something to ease into for lips. The sheer glossy formula is slightly transparent and lets you natural lip shine through.

If you want a full coverage lipstick but still want something that looks natural, the NARS Audacious Lipstick formula is hands down the best that has been released this year. The formula is full coverage with an amazing coverage that melds with the lip. If you have dry lips or peeling flakes you will need to moisturize or prep with a lip balm first, but if your lip is smooth, these are the best I have tried. It has a semi-matte and semi-velvety finish but there is a slight sheen to these which prevents it from looking flat. Raquel is my perfect nude pink. Brigitte is a nude pink beige that has more color but is still very natural.




For the eyes, there are a lot of different eyeshadows and liners that I adore. If I were pressed to pick my current top three favorites for eyeshadow, they would be Urban Decay Naked3, Chanel Tisse Rivoli and Dolce & Gabbana Smoky.


The Urban Decay Naked3 Palette is my most reached-for palette. It has 12 shades of neutral rosy-toned neutrals that can create a wide range of looks. There are shimmers, sparkles and mattes all of which have really incredible pigment. The texture of Urban Decay eyeshadows is buttery smooth and this particular palette doesn't have any glitter shades which is a huge plus for me (and any neutral makeup lover). This is the one palette that goes with me on almost every trip. It's a palette I find can go with everything. Pink shadow can be hard for me to wear (it often gives me a pink-eye look) but Naked3 is neutral enough to be very wearable. If you don't feel comfortable wearing rose-colored shadow the next best option is Naked2 which is more neutral and taupe-based.

If having 12 shadows to play with in one palette is too overwhelming and you need something more edited, Chanel Tisse Rivoli is my favorite neutral quad. The texture adheres well to the eyes and layers well. The colors are smooth and pigmented. For something with more dramatic color, Dolce & Gabbana Smoky (swatched here) is my holy grail smoky eyeshadow quad.

For a cream shadow that is a good over wash shadow the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color in Rosegold is a good pick. It's a soft shimmery champagne with rose and gold tones. It is creamy and blends easily on the eyes. You do need to let it sit for a minute or so to dry and then afterwards they last pretty well. It also works as an eye base for powder shadows and helps bring out the pigment.

For liners and mascara, a simple classic black is a good place to start. Not all black eyeliners are good though. Some pull grey in undertone or can smudge easily. Finding good eye makeup that you don't have to worry about throughout the day is essential. My favorite mascara is the Armani Eyes to Kill Stretch because it grabs every little lash and volumizes, holds the curl, doesn't smudge, doesn't clump and defines the lashes really well. For me this one lasts all day without budging.

For liners, the Tom Ford Liquid Eyeliner is hands down the best liquid liner I've tried. It's extremely pricey but it is worth every penny and will last you a very long time. There are two ends with different sizes of tips which allows for precise application and complete control. If you're new to liquid liners, this hands down is the best one I've tested. It makes applying liquid liner super easy. If you prefer a pencil liner, Burberry's Effortless Kohl Eyeliners were just released this year. Jet Black is one of the deepest and richest black liners I've tried and it stays put all day from morning to night. It comes in a twist up pencil format with a built in sharpener at the end which I find very convenient (especially if you carry it on the go or when you travel).




Out of all the beauty products I own, I would say blush, bronzer and highlighters dominate my makeup collection by far. Picking out a few favorites was a difficult task. For the face I've narrowed down my recommendations to a few items that will multi-task.


If I could only wear one blush palette for the rest of my life I would pick out the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette. It has three shades in a mirrored compact that cover all the shades you could need to go with any look. Luminous Flush is a coral pink, Incandescent Electra is a soft peach, Mood Exposure is a plum rose. The colors are very pigmented with easy to control buildable color. There is a bit of highlighter mixed into each blush which gives these a luminous glow. Those who don't like shimmer need not fear with this one. The shimmer is finely milled and very natural on the face. It's impossible to overdo but the pigment is rich enough to add visible color.

For a bronzer and highlighter, Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow offers both in one  convenient mirrored compact. The bronzey shade can be used as a contouring powder, although I like it as a bronzer on me. The highlighter is a pale warm gold champagne which has a high frost but looks very natural on the skin. The two combined can be used on the cheeks, temples and eyes.

Liquid illuminators are also something I consider in a makeup wardrobe. They can be used as highlighters on top of powder/foundation to add a glow or they can be used under blush to help color adhere better. I like to use these on the eyes occasionally to highlight. If you need a bit of shimmer in your foundation these can be mixed in. My favorite liquid highlighter is the Soleil Tan de Chanel in Sunkissed. It's a pale golden champagne that dries to a semi-matte finish which means it stays put all day long. If you want more color options or want something more dewy, Armani Fluid Sheers are classic staples that will give you that glow from within look.



I hope you found this introductory guide useful! Whether you are new to higher-end makeup or want to know what my current favorites are, I hope this provides an edited list of recommendations for you to start exploring. If you could recommend your top 5 beauty picks to a makeup newbie, what would they be? I would really love to hear what your favorites are!





This post was sponsored by Nordstrom. All opinions are my own.
For more information please refer to my Disclosures

Monday, November 3, 2014

Holiday Beauty: Champagne and Gold Shimmers


The holidays are just around the corner and the next couple of months will be very busy ones. During the holiday season I find myself always gravitating towards warm gold and champagne shimmery shades. They are easy to coordinate with different outfits and makeup looks. I find warm golds and champagne also help brighten and warm up the complexion. Holiday beauty releases are starting to trickle in at Nordstrom and I've teamed up with them to share my some recent holiday beauty discoveries - all gold and champagne themed.

I have my picks split into different categories for lips, eyes, highlighters and nails:



For lips, there are a number of stunning shimmery gold and champagne glosses new this season. I like neutral golds for layering. They can bring a nude lipstick to life or when layered over a brighter pink, peach or red, soften the lips and give them a nice glow.
  • Dior Gold Rain is new from the Golden Shock collection which is a sheer but sparkling gold.
  • Burberry Nude Glow Lip Glow isn't a new shade but I like to use this one year round. It's a soft gold shimmer.
  • NARS Soleil d'Orient is a shimmering champagne that has a slight hint of pink. It's pigmented enough to wear alone but also looks good over nude lipsticks.
  • Charlotte Tilbury Ibiza Nights is good for those who want more sparkle, it has the prettiest mix of shimmers but isn't over the top. 
  • Bobbi Brown Malt Shimmer Lipstick comes in a special-edition gold packaging this holiday which is fun. It's a warm shimmery coppery shade with gold shimmer.  





Golds are always in for me. They are neutral but easy to dress up. I like neutral gold eyes because they won't overpower the face if you wear a bolder berry, pink or red lip.
  • Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows are a long-time favorite. I like these applied on the lids with a brush. The pigment is really incredible and easy to layer for more intensity. If you use a damp brush the color transforms into a more intense and more metallic look. Any variation of Armani gold looks good on most skintones, they create some of the prettiest universally flattering shades. My favorite Armani likes to wear Eyes to Kill 6 packed on the lids and combine it with soft peach cheeks and a nude lip, the look is really quite stunning.
  • Dior Versailles 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette is a beautiful palette of pale shimmers and one deeper chocolate shimmer. The middle gold shade has a bit of a chunky sparkle which is nice for subtle layering. 
  • Laura Mercier Rosegold Caviar Stick Eye Color (mini) is another year-round classic. I like this as a base on the lids to help bring out the pigment in shadows. It's also good as a highlighter. Sometimes on lazy days I'll wear this on the lids and just finish with mascara for a no-fuss look.





Gold shimmers and highlighters are a must for me, especially during the holiday. The warmth of the gold ones can enhance the skin naturally and make the complexion look more alive.
  • Armani Fluid Sheer 10 is a nice neutral gold. I like this dabbed on top of the cheek bones (after powder, foundation and blush) with a foundation brush to add highlight. It's also good as a cheek base to use underneath blush.
  • Bobbi Brown Bronze Glow Highlight Powder is a shimmering warm gold. It feels almost like it has a slight gel texture but it's still a powder. The shimmer on this one is medium-to-high, but not frosty.  
  • Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow is another good gold highlighter. I like this used all over the face as a primer to illuminate the skin or mixed in with foundation to give it a glow.




Gold and red seem to be the hit shades this holiday for nails. There are a number of different gold polishes, some with glittery effects, others more subtle. I've been playing with three over the weekend.
  • Dior Mirror is a sheer white gold shimmer in the special holiday packaging. It has a transparent quality with two coats, I prefer three with this one.
  • Guerlain Coque D'Or Night at the Opera is a neutral gold shimmer (this one is my favorite).
  • Bobbi Brown Scotch is an interesting warm copper sparkle. It has smooth even coverage with two coats but the color is primarily sparkle.

Left to right: Guerlain, Dior and Bobbi Brown


What are your favorite colors to wear during the holiday? Do you have any favorite gold or champagne makeup shades or do you prefer the more dramatic plums and reds?



Thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post. 

 

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