Showing posts with label Hourglass. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hourglass. Show all posts

Monday, November 2, 2015

Rosy Red and Pink Tinted Lip Balm Treatments for Holiday

Today I've rounded up nine of my favorite rosy tinted lip balms for the holiday season coming ahead. Many of you loved last year's roundup on holiday reds for lips and nails. This year's version is for the neutral lip lover who is afraid to wear bold reds on the lips but wants to try something with some color. If you're like me and almost always wears neutral colors on the lips, tinted lip balms, treatments and oils offer sheerer coverage and are more natural looking. I have a mix of pink and reds in a number of different formulas. If you're looking for a good double-duty lip product that offers tint and hydration, I hope this guide will help you find a new one this month.

Below are a mix of potted balms, wand/gloss-like balms, squeeze tubes and twist up sticks. All of these offer a glossy sheen. As usual with most balms, lasting power will not be the same as with lipsticks, but this means that they fade more naturally. Oils often come with a stain built in so there is the hydration aspect but the color will stain the lips and last longer throughout the day. Several of these have been reviewed in depth before. I'll link previous reviews.

Shown from left to right:

  1. By Terry Baume de Rose Nutri-Couleur in Bloom Berry ($56, review) is one of the most expensive lip products I own. Splurging on the regular Baume de Rose made a big dent in my wallet and once the tinted versions launched an even bigger dent was made. This is a super lush thick rose-scented balm. Bloom Berry is my holy grail red lip balm because it for me it's the perfect shade of berry red. The pot is really large so it will last a long time. I've had mine for over a year, there's still a lot left and it hasn't gone bad yet.
  2. By Terry Baume de Rose Nutri-Couleur Cherry Bomb ($89 for set of 5, review) comes in the full-sized pot, but I have it from a holiday set (both the pot and wand are identical in color). For those who want a brighter cherry red, this one is a lovely color that is bright but not too bright. It will give your lips a natural flushed look.
  3. Hourglass No. 28 Tinted Lip Treatment Oil in Icon ($42) is the latest from Hourglass Cosmetics. If you've tried the original clear lip oil, you are probably aware of how luxurious, hydrating and amazing the formula is. It has anti-aging ingredients and oils to hydrate, condition and soften the lips while reducing wrinkles. The packaging is truly unique with a press-pump dispenser and a gold tip cap. Icon is a sheer glossy see-through red. It's truly luxurious and gives the lips a healthy glow. Pigment is sheer but noticeable. It does fade to a natural shine throughout the day. Out of all the lip treatments this one feels the most hydrating on my lips.
  4. Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask in Smashed ($26, review) is a classic lip treatment that works wonders as a lip treatment. As a tint this is one of the sheerest and lightest in pigment so if you're super timid with color, this one offers a very natural wash of color. If you've tried the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Masks you are probably familiar with the thick but lush hydrating formula. It offers a veil of moisture that is really good for dry lips.
  5. Fresh Sugar Shine Lip Treatment in Cherry ($18.50, review) is a tinted lip treatment that is a classic red cherry color. It has high shine and comes in a tube with a sponge tip applicator. These also come in the twist up stick form. The stick has more pigment while the tube is sheerer but offers more shine. If you have super dry lips, you may find the color from the tube will settle into lines. The color is a vibrant cherry red but is sheer so it's not in-your-face bright.
  6. Burberry First Kiss Gloss Lip Balm in Rose Blush ($26) is a newer lip product from Burberry. I wanted the Crushed Red color but it's been sold out at my local Sephora (I need to just order it online already). I have a couple of these lip balms sight unseen. Part of me was expecting to be disappointed because I thought they would be basic and sheer. The other part of me had high hopes because I'm a fan of their lip products. These lip balms are really amazing. They offer enough color to show up on the lips and also have an amazingly smooth feel. There's slip but it's not greasy. I'm head over heels in love. It's also scent-free.
  7. Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector in Red ($25, review) is my favorite stick balm formula. You can read the full review with swatches of all the shade options linked above. The only downside is the size and price. They are on the small side which makes them pricey. The formula can't be beat though.
  8. bareMinerals Pop of Passion Lip Oil Balm in Punch Pop ($16) is a twist up stick balm oil treatment. If you've tried other traditional tinted lip oils you may have been disappointed with the color payoff (I know I have). The oils in stick form from bareMinerals offer more pigment. They swatch sheer on the hands but the texture of the lips really picks up the color. The ones I tested have a slight stain in the pigment as well which makes the color last longer than most balms. The formula is plush and also unscented. I give these a thumbs up for pigment and coverage.
  9. YSL Volupté Sheer Candy in 04 Succulent Pomegranate ($36) is a pinkish fuchsia color that's soft and sheer. I'm beyond obsessed with the Volupté Sheer Candy formula although for most it is either a hit or miss. If you want a super lush balmy feel with a glossy shine, these are among my favorite sheer lipsticks that offer hydration. They are scented like grapefruits or mangos (to me it smells like a mix of both) but it's not overly sweet and they also taste good.
Swatched below in the same order:

Swatched on the lips:

My top picks:

By Terry Baume de Rose Bloom Berry for the best color
Hourglass Lip Oil in Icon for the most hydrating feel
Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector and YSL for the best texture

If you're a neutral lip lover who is curious about rosy colors for the lips but want something a little more natural than the traditional bold red lipstick, I hope you found this roundup helpful! Do you have a favorite tinted lip balm or treatment?

Press samples featured in this post include items from Clarins, Hourglass and Bare Minerals. All others purchased by me.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

On My Radar / New in Beauty

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you've had a great weekend. A few things on my beauty radar right now (from top left, clockwise):
  • Chanel has a new mini launch with some new products. There are two new Joues Contraste Powder Blushes in Golden Sun and Vibration along with a new highlighter called Infiniment Chanel Illuminating Powder. I bought one blush and the highlighter - they are almost too pretty to touch. I hope to start testing soon.
  • For holiday Hourglass has launched their Ambient Lighting Edit palette. It comes with three Ambient Lighting Powders, two Ambient Lighting Blushes and one Ambient Light Bronzer. It looks phenomenal - however since I already own five of the six colors individually and in other palettes, I think this will probably be redundant to own. I use the powders I have regularly and have yet to hit pan in any of them (they last forever!).
  • I've been on a foundation brush kick - I've been testing a number of different ones in search for a cheaper alternative to my holy grail Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush. I'll have a roundup very soon, two of the latest I've tested include the MAC #196 Slanted Foundation Brush and the new Chanel #8 Two in One Fluid and Powder Brush.
  • Tatcha has a new Soothing Indigo Mini Set. It has travel sizes of the Rice Enzyme Powder, Recovery Cream, Silk Hand Cream and Body Butter. The Indigo line is really good for sensitive skin that is prone to irritation. Anytime my skin is dry, itchy or irritated, this line works wonders to soothe the skin and calms down redness. (There's a promo code CLEAN20 to receive a complimentary travel-size Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil on any order over $20. Offer expires 9/30/2015)
  • Truffle has some new products for fall. They've launched a new Privacy Wristlet in black and cabernet. The cabernet color also comes in their document cases, clarity clutches and privacy clutch (it's gorgeous!).
  • Lipstick Queen has a new full pigment lipgloss called Seven Deadly Sins. There are six colors available online from Space NK. In a season filled with new lip products, formulas and colors, I do not need another lipstick or lipgloss - but somehow I'm still intrigued by these. Lust looks like the perfect berry red based on online swatches.
  • Drybar products just launched at! Both my husband and I swear by The Chaser Shine Cream. Other favorites of mine include the Mai Tai Spritzer and Hold Me Hair Clips. I've loved everything I've tried from the line.
  • YSL has launched four new Matte La Lacque Couture Nail Lacquers. I'm not a fan of the matte nail look, but  I might make an exception for the YSL formula (the glossy ones are really really good).
What's on your beauty radar this week?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

New Face and Cheek Brush Acquisitions: Chikuhodo, Hakuhodo and Hourglass

I have a handful of new-to-me cheek and face brushes that I've been playing with for the past few weeks. When it comes to trying or purchasing new beauty products I'm usually pretty open to buying things sight unseen except for makeup brushes. There have been a few exceptions, but for the most part I primarily buy the mainstream brands that I can see or test in person. Roundup of my staples here and here. After testing just a few brushes from Chikuhodo, Hakuhodo and Hourglass, I can say that these are truly incredible tools worthy of their higher price tags. The materials used and the way they are cut are phenomenal making a huge difference in makeup application and feel on the skin.

The Chikuhodo MK-2 Brush ($178) is one of three new brushes in the Makie Series. These are brushes that come with a beautiful print on the handles. These are made of grey squirrel hair and are incredibly soft and plush - it's the softest brush I have ever felt. It's semi-loose/semi-dense making it really good for all over powder or a soft wash of bronzer. It has a round shape but is semi-flattened which I like in a powder brush. This is the first Chikuhodo brush I've tried since they've been hard to find. Beautylish now carries the brushes and I've been thrilled with their quick shipping and awesome customer service so I've been doing some research to plot a sizable purchase. If you have any recommendations I would love them. The MK-2 along with all of the Chikuhodo brushes are a luxurious splurge but they are incredibly well made and soft. 

Front view versus side view:

Hakuhodo has been on my radar for ages. I saw the line for the first time at The Makeup Show LA this year. The website is a bit overwhelming with all the options for those new to the line. I should have done more research ahead of time, but picked out a few to buy based on density and shape. I picked out white brushes because they felt ultra soft. The three face brushes I picked out include the Fan Brush White ($45), J 501 ($100) and J 505 ($72). 

The Fan Brush White is made of 100% goat hair. it's a wide and fluffy but dense kind of brush. This one is ideal for powder and finishing. It's ultra soft but still medium-to-full in density so it will provide medium coverage if you layer on powders. I've used this to dust powder all over the face and also to blend powders along the sides of my face whether it's a soft bronzer or to blend in blush. The compact shape and size is designed for it to be purse-friendly, but you do need a case for it to keep the bristles in tact. There is a small black case you can buy from Hakuhodo for it that retails for $10. It's something I should have picked up but did not.

Next up are two synthetic fiber / goat hair blended brushes in J 501 ($100) and J 505 ($72). Both are ultra soft and plush. They remind me of the Tom Ford Brushes but are more tapered at the ends. They do fluff up a bit after washing but for the most part still keep their shape. J 501 is larger option, it was recommended to me for pressed powder because it's a dense brush. J 505 is smaller and ideal for blushes. To me they feel identical in density and softness compared to the Tom Ford. The only difference is the shape.

Front vs side view:

Below the 2 Hakuhodo brushes compared to the Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush ($72) for size and the Cheek Brush ($78). I have a slight preference for the more tapered shape of the Hakuhodo just for looks, but they perform the same and I've been such a huge fan of my Tom Ford Brushes I don't know that I can pick one over the other.

Last but not least is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Brush ($35). This has been on my radar for forever but it's something that has always escaped my shopping cart. It's a densely packed brush made of high-grade Taklon bristles (synthetic fibers) and comes with its own pouch to store. This one is designed to be used with the Ambient Lighting Powders to dust all over the face or the angled portion to apply contour/highlighting products but it's quite versatile. I also like to use it with the Ambient Lighting Bronzers because you can control the intensity of product easily with this brush.

Quick peek at more Hourglass brushes from the Abbot Kinney Boutique in Venice Beach:

Do you have any favorites from any of these lines? I have enough brushes to last multiple lifetimes but if I could start my brush collection all over again I would certainly choose to invest in ones from niche brands. They come at a steep price but the design, quality and way they apply product is truly phenomenal.

The Hourglass and Chikuhodo brushes were provided courtesy without charge for review consideration. All other items purchased by me.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sephora Beauty Insider Sale / VIB Rouge Haul

I took advantage of the Sephora Beauty Insider sale and used my VIB Rouge discount for a massive haul. I planned on stocking up on skincare and haircare staples, but there seemed to be a wave of new beauty launches too. I ended up placing a couple of orders online. Here is the majority of what I bought. I have one more package coming in the mail but I'll be out of town when it arrives at my home later this week. Be warned, this list is very long.

1 + 2 + 3 / Surratt Beauty just launched at Sephora, most of what I wanted was already sold out by the time the sale started, but I managed to order three Artistique Blushes in Guimauve, Parfait and Aurelole plus the Large Custom Palette Case. I also bought one Lip Lustre in Coquette.

4 / Urban Decay released the Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation in a wide range of colors. Each of the main shades come in Warm, Neutral and Cool. I picked out Medium Light Warm, I hope this is the right color for me, it's hard to tell in stores.

5 / Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders in Dim Light and Diffused Light come highly recommended by my readers as all over setting powders. I have Dim Light in the Palette Form which I really like but feel it's easier to dip a large fluffy brush in a larger compact. I've been obsessed with Diffused Light after testing it for a few days, it's the perfect all over setting powder.

6 / Koh Gen Do Cleansing Wipes are a must for me. I stocked up on the 3-pack.

7 / Laura Mercier Baked Blush Bronze Compact in Ritual is new for me, but I don't think it's a new shade. I have swiped it a couple times on the hand and it looks very dark, but there is a pretty pink glow mixed in. From what I have read, each one has different swirl patterns.

8 / Lavanila is new to me and I usually buy Dove deodorants but the concept of a soft vanilla scent in deodorant seemed really interesting. Fresh Vanilla Lemon is a light vanilla with a hint of citrus.

9 / SK-II Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil has been on my list to try for a long time. I decided to use the discount to save on this since full retail is $70. Review to come as I play with this.

10 / Christian Louboutin Nail Colour in Wherever is a deep but bright blue cream. I reviewed all of The Nudes here. I have several of the brighter Pops Colors and love the formula.

11 / Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No. 7 in The Lolita and The Lover are really pretty neutrals. Swatches and review posted here.

12 / Tatcha Aburatorigami Japanese Beauty Papers Duo is a Sephora exclusive. Review of the full size version here. This duo has a small pack of Evening Papers in a darker color that is purse-sized. I haven't tried them yet but I couldn't resist a small one for clutches or small bags.

13 / YSL Gloss Volupte in Nude Carat has been on my radar for a while. The sale made me do it.

14 / I've loved everything I've tried from the Drybar line. These Hold Me Hair Clips are perfect for sectioning hair up when you curl, straighten or blow dry the hair. They are large and angled so they really grip large sections of hair without tugging, pulling or getting tangled without leaving dents.

15 / Tarte is a line I haven't explored much of but the Smolder Eyes Amazonian Clay Waterproof Eyeliner has gotten so many raves. I bought Sunstone Bronze.

16 / Surratt Beauty Surreal Skin Concealer seems promising as it comes highly recommended by Beauty Professor. I don't have immediate access but I ordered Shades 4 and 5 based on her swatches. I'm excited to try it.

Other items on their way include some haircare, skincare and lipgloss:

Make Up For Ever Plexi Gloss in 101, 201 and 105P

There are still a few more hours left to shop the sale. It ends tonight online, codes valid through end of today 4/21/2015 11:59 PM PDT.

VIB Rouge Members get 15% off with code ROUGELOVE
VIB Members get 15% off with code VIBLOVE
Beauty Insider Members get 10% off with code BILOVE

Did you buy anything from the Sephora sale? I would love to hear about your hauls!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sephora Beauty Insider VIB Rouge 15% Off Event Starts Today: 4/12 through 4/21/2015

The Sephora Beauty Insider event is happening this month! VIB Rouge Members get early access starting today where you can get 15% off your purchases online at with code ROUGELOVE and in stores by showing the mailer or copy of the e-mail you received with the barcodes 4/12 through 4/21. VIB and other Beauty Insider Members will have access at later dates (will update as more as I receive more info).

I placed an order online this morning to avoid the crowds, although quite a few of the Surratt Beauty items I had on my wish list sold out already. I'll have my haul to share with you in the next week (my package is expected to arrive Tuesday or Wednesday).

In the meantime if you need some recommendations here is a list of items I've reviewed from the past few years that are good to save on. Sales on mid to high-end luxury products rarely occur except with the occasional friends and family discounts. In the mix a few splurges along with classic staples.

Row 1, left to right:

Row 2, left to right

Row 3, left to right:

Row 4, left to right: 

Did you buy anything for the VIB Rouge Beauty Insider sale at Sephora? If you're shopping online be sure to enter in the code ROUGELOVE at checkout. If you're a VIB/Beauty Insider Member, what's on your wish list or in your shopping cart?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzers

Last week I was lucky to get a preview of the new Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzers ($50 each for 0.39 oz / 11 g) at the Abbot Kinney store in Venice Beach. There are two additions to the Ambient Lighting collection. There are two options of bronzer infused with highlighter combined into one mirrored compact:
  • Luminous Bronze Light is described as a medium tan shade fused with Luminous Light, a champagne pearl powder, for a softer candlelit warmth, ideal for fair/light complexions
  • Radiant Bronze Light is the darker option described as a warm bronze shade fused with Radiant Light, a golden beige powder, to mimic a summer glow, ideal for medium/deep complexions
Both are available now exclusively at for VIB/VIB Rouge Members. For the official launch details and dates:
  • April 7 – 14 the bronzers will be available to Sephora’s VIB Rouge customers
  • April 15 the bronzers will launch wide on and
  • May is when the bronzers will hit stores
A quick peek at the Hourglass store + event before I get into the review:

Ambient Lighting Bronzers and Blush (blush review here)

Incandescent Electra which is currently exclusive to the Ambient Lighting Blush Palette will be available separately on 4/15 and on 4/23, and will also hit stores in May, also shown below the Hourglass Brushes

Another reason to visit the Hourglass store: you can create your own custom Ambient Lighting Palette with any of the highlighter options

The two new bronzers are absolutely stunning. As a huge fan of the Ambient Lighting Powders and Blushes, I could barely contain my excitement when I was able to see the new bronzers in person. Both are on the warm side and are extremely pigmented. Although they have the highlighter aspect mixed in, I found them to have a more satiny glow with a very soft luminous shimmer. As with the blushes, the color portions and swirls are rich and super saturated so a little goes a long way. The colors are easy to blend and layer.

The Ambient Lighting Powder Brush is super soft and plush which will dispense just the right amount of product for a soft glow. If you want more color, use the tip to contour the cheeks or a denser blush brush. The texture is soft and airy which makes them glide on the skin in a soft smooth manner. Each one is hand blended so the swirls will be different in every compact.

Close ups of each Ambient Lighting Bronzer, Luminous Light has a mix of champagne and soft tan, it looks neutral in the pan but applies warmly on the skin.

Radiant Bronze Light is the deeper option and is a few shades darker than the Luminous version:

Swatches with different light and angles, first in natural light without any flash:

In direct sun with a flash:

Detailed close up:

Comparisons to the highlighter counterparts:

Two sets of swatch comparisons to other bronzers:

Hourglass Radiant Light (reviewed + swatched here)

Chanel Les Beiges Multi Color (from Summer 2014, reviewed here)

One last shot: left is Luminous Bronze Light, right is Radiant Bronze Light

I've been alternating between the two since the event and am partial to the lighter option Luminous Light. On my medium olive toned skin they add just the right amount of warmth and glow. They are both warm without being orangey. There is just the right amount of shimmer and glow to give the face depth and dimension without emphasizing pores like some highlighters do. I like these layered on top of blush or alone for warmth. Even though Luminous Light is designed for light to fair skins, I think it will still show up on medium skin tones like Chanel B40s (I'm a Chanel B30/NARS Punjab). These last all day long without fading or darkening, although I suspect if you are extremely fair these may be too warm for your taste. If that is the case and you are in search of a new bronzer, I recommend the Edward Bess Daydream, although the Hourglass ones are very different in finish and concept.

I give both a huge thumbs up. They both are similar on me so I don't think you need both, although I am happy I do have one of each color. They are different enough from the highlighters to justify both. Even though they come with a hefty price tag at $50 each, I think they are well worth every penny.

You can buy the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzers at online at Sephora now if you're a VIB/VIB Rouge. Starting April 15th which is just around the corner for everyone else. In stores starting May. Have you checked out the latest from Hourglass? If not what are your favorite Hourglass items?

The Luminous Bronze Light and Ambient Lighting Powder Brush were gifted at the press preview. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

New In Beauty / On My Radar

Today I have another roundup of new beauty items on my radar. This time of year is my favorite because all the pretty spring-summery colors and fragrances start coming out. The Sephora Beauty Insider sale starts soon (the 12th for VIB Rouge) so if you're a beauty addict like me, you've probably started a wish list and have been moving things in and out of your online shipping cart.

1 / Last week I was lucky to get an early sneak peek at the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzers ($50 each). You can see a little preview here and here. I'm hoping to have the review up this weekend but I can say right now they are amazing. They are currently available exclusively at for VIB/VIB Rouge Members, launch for everyone on 4/15 online at Sephora and Hourglass Cosmetics and hit stores in May.

2 / To celebrate the opening of the Diptyque Beverly Hills Boutique, the store has released a limited-edition Beverly Hills Candle ($70) exclusive to the store that has lemon + mint essential oils,  orchid and freesia accord. 10% of the proceeds will be donated to LA> a leading independent nonprofit contemporary art space in Los Angeles supporting artistic and curatorial freedom. The candle is exclusive to the boutique, you can order one by calling the Beverly Hills store at (310) 385-5941.

3 / Also new from Diptyque is the Florabellio Eau de Toilette (in a 50 ml is $90 and 100 ml is $125). It's available starting this month and is supposed to be a mix of sweet, salty, apple blossom and apricot-scented osmanthus mist. The Diptyque South Coast Plaza Boutique has a promo going on if you pre-order the fragrance they will include a 12 ml mini of Florabellio as a gift with purchase. You can reach the store at (714) 850-9995, ask for Raven.

4 / Christopher Kane for NARS Summer 2015 Collection features some stunning beauty pieces. It launches online at and Boutiques on April 15th, everywhere else May 1st. 

5 / Jo Malone has three newly packaged colognes that are special-edition versions of some previously released scents ($125 each for 3.4 oz). Plum Blossom comes in a purple cap and label, Osmanthus Blossom comes with a spring green packaging, Sakura Cherry Blossom comes with the pink packaging.

6 / Laura Mercier has released eight new shades of the Creme Lip Color Smooth Formula ($27 each). The new shades include a mix of nudes and rose and plum: Lychee Parfait, Biscotti, Milky Way, Crushed Pecan, Praline Cream, Rose, Audrey and Dry Rose. Some of the names look familiar to me from her older formulas. I think a trip to the counter is in order for me soon.

7 / Tarte has a new Showstopper Clay Palette ($38) which looks perfect for summer. It has six warm-toned shadows, blush, bronzer and highlighter all in one. It's in my Sephora shopping cart right now since the store locator function shows it's online only right at this moment.

8 / Caudalie has four new masks. I ordered all four on Monday since I'm on the verge of running out of my Glamglow and Aesop masks. I have high hopes for these and will review once I put them to the test. I like the concept of different masks for different needs. The four options include the Purifying Mask, the Instant Detox Mask, the Moisturizing Mask and the Glycolic Peel Mask ($39 each).

What's on your beauty radar this week? Are you planning your Sephora haul like me?
What's in your shopping cart?

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 27, 2015

Hourglass Equilibrium Biomimetic Skin Active Serum

Hourglass Cosmetics launched their first skincare products in January of this year with two items in a line they call Equilibrium. There are two items both are available in limited quantites at the Hourglass Store on Abbot Kinney, Bergdorf Goodman (New York, in store) and Liberty (London, in store).

Equilibrium Day Fluid Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($115 for 1.7 fl oz/50 ml) is a daytime treatment that is designed to give radiant, supple and healthy-looking skin created from within. From Hourglass:
  • This is designed to complement the evening treatment, and shield skin from the sun with SPF 30. It contains a plant-derived phosphatidylglycerol, which improves skin’s texture and tone. The light, luxurious fluid also contains a blend of four organic chemical compounds providing broad spectrum SPF 30 to shield the skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
Equilibrium Biomimetic Skin Active Serum ($350 for 1.7 fl oz/50 ml) is a rebalancing product intended for night time use only. Description per Hourglass:
  • This revolutionary nighttime re-balancing treatment contains a powerful family of ingredients designed to counteract the visible signs of aging - resulting in radiant, healthy-looking skin created from within. The serum is created using an ultrasonication process, producing microscopic oil droplets which deliver the ingredients into the skin at the most optimal level.

Equilibrium at the Abbot Kinney store opening last September, more on the beautiful store here

Hourglass kindly sent me a sample of the Equilibrium Biomimetic Skin Active Serum for review back at the beginning of the year and I've been putting it to the test for 50+ nights. This is a resurfacing and rebalancing night time treatment that comes in a black pump bottle. The bottle is made of Miron violet glass to protect the contents from harmful light. The product description recommends use of the product for 40-56 days (after a full cellular turnover cycle) to see full results. I wanted to give this a thorough test drive in order to provide as detailed a review as possible on using this.

In testing the Equilibrium Biomimetic Skin Active Serum I saw results in two weeks. If you've followed my skincare posts, you know that ver the past year and a half I've had fluctuations with skin issues. I've discovered a number of products that have helped to rebalance the skin and bring it back to it's normal state. Testing skincare is usually touch and go - you have to really test things over a long period of time to see if they end up working as you hoped. The biggest issue I've had with my skin included texture issues all over the face, breakouts on the chin area and scarring. The items I've tried and tested from Ole Henriksen, Tatcha, SK-II and regular go-to's have helped with the texture and breakouts.

The Hourglass Equilibrium Serum has helped keep my skin clear and removed my chin breakouts and has worked remarkably well in fading scars. This is a fluid type of product that is very gentle on the skin and has a moisturizing feel without any detectable scent. It absorbs nicely into the skin so it doesn't feel like there is product that is just sitting on your face that will slide off once your head hits the pillow. It feels very soothing on the skin which is a huge plus for my sensitive face. The results have been incredibly good. My skin has noticeably (and dramatically) improved in texture and clarity. 

There are three other night time treatments that I've used over the past couple of years that I will offer a comparison to.

1) Chanel La Nuit de Chanel is part of the Resynchronizing line. I bought this and used it up entirely. I found consistent use helped keep my skin clear but wasn't strong enough to help with serious scars or texture issues. I used it up and really liked it, I will probably go back to this once my skin returns to it's normal state. If you have normal sensitive skin that needs basic and simple hydration at night, I highly recommend this.

2) The SK-II Skin Refining Treatment is something I used and love. It improved my skin's texture significantly after several months of use. This one is gentle on the face and after using this I noticed better skin texture, clearer complexion and a glow. The Hourglass by comparison exceeds the SK-II in terms of giving you results faster more dramatic improvement in skin. Both are good and over time they will give you a similar result (better complexion and texture), the SK-II will take a bit longer to give you the same results.

3) I've also written about and used the Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Treatment (reviewed here). This one also improved my skin's texture and reduced breakouts on the chin area. This one isn't the best for those with sensitive noses because it is fragranced. If you have super delicate skin you find this one tingles too much. I found the scent to be ok, but many have commented they found it too strong.

So out of the four night-time treatments I've tested, my top two picks include the Hourglass and SK-II. I didn't want to fall in love with the Hourglass one due to the hefty price tag but it truly delivers results and performs exceptionally well. My husband has commented on how much my skin has improved after I used this and asked "what are you doing differently?" It's gentle enough for nightly use - in testing this, I would recommend using this almost every night to get the best results (skipping this for 3+ nights resulted in breakouts coming back after testing some other products). I give this a super huge thumbs up.

The Equilibrium line is available at select locations: Hourglass Store on Abbot Kinney, Bergdorf Goodman (New York, in store), Liberty (London, in store). More online at Hourglass Cosmetics. Have you tried any of the Hourglass Equilibrium products? If not, what do you currently use at night?  

The Equilibrium serum was provided courtesy of Hourglass for review consideration.

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.


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