Showing posts with label MAC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MAC. Show all posts

Saturday, July 19, 2014

MAC Look in a Box All About Coral | Nordstrom Anniversary 2014


MAC has several limited-edition boxed sets and palettes available for this year's Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I bought the Look in a Box - All About Coral ($39.50) which includes 2 lip items and 2 eye products:

  • Passion Charge Lustre Lipstick is a glossy medium-bright coral peachy shade
  • Stoke the Flame Lipglass is a frosted peach with visible sparkles
  • Collective Chic Veluxe Pearlfusion Eyeshadow has a glitzy champagne, olive shimmer and plum-brown frost shade
  • Brownborder Technakohl Liner is a warm brown eyeliner, it's the only item you can purchase separately



I bought this mainly because I fell in love with the lip items. The Passion Charge lipstick and Stoke the Flame lipglass combination creates a pretty peachy coral lip that's perfect for summer. The lipstick is a lustre formula but has impressive pigment for a glossy lipstick. The lip glass looks good layered over lipsticks but has enough color to wear alone.



If you're like me and only like the lip colors, here are some swatches that I did in attempts to dupe Stoke the Flame Lipglass. I couldn't find anything identical but here are some swatches:

MAC Mimmy (Hello Kitty collection, discontinued)
MAC Eurobeat Dazzleglass (discontinued)
MAC Meteoric Cremesheen Glass (discontinued)



Some more dupe attempts with other corals and peaches. I was really surprised how close it is to Tom Ford Sweet Spot:

Tom Ford Sweet Spot (discontinued)
Edward Bess Forbidden Flower (discontinued)
MAC Fresh & Frisky Huggable (discontinued)


I swatched the eye palette in store and was really impressed with the pigment. On the eyes it proved to be a bit tricky to apply. The champagne color is quite glittery and when I applied with a brush I experienced a lot of fall out. I found it best either applied with fingers by patting all over the lids with a creamy base or on top of the other two shades to set. Once on the eyes it didn't budge, but the initial application had some fall out over the face. The khaki olive and brown plum applied smoothly with a brush and layered nicely for a smokey eye. I tested this in warm hot weather outdoors at an event that lasted from 1 pm to 7 pm. I spritzed the Urban Decay All Nighter Spray (also featured here) over the eyes and face and it made the look last all afternoon and kept it looking fresh - nothing budged.

The eyeliner is pretty basic. I like the smooth creamy texture and find it lasts long, but if you have a lot of brown eyeliners it's not a must-have. I did some comparisons for the eyeliner.




The MAC Look in a Box sets are limited-edition. It appears the All About Coral Set has sold out online along with a few other sets but I've linked it so you can find the Product/Item Number. I suspect it's still available in stores and you may want to have Nordstrom Customer service locate one for you if you're interested. They might restock online. I found the set to be a good deal for the price. If you only like a few items in the set I hope the comparison swatches above help find something similar.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

On My Radar


Here are a few things on my radar this week. Fall collections are starting to arrive and I'm excited about the upcoming releases. From the top left, clockwise:
  • NARS Fall 2014 launches this week online at narscosmetics.com, I have my eye on Dolomites Eyeshadow Duo, Unlawful Blush and the two new Satin Lip Pencils in Bansar and Mandore
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty has launched some new Lust for Lacquer lip glosses, there are three new Lip Vinyl Sheers in Shiny, Magic and Superstar and two new Lip Vinyl Full shades in Shooting Stars and Satisfaction
  • I've been on the hunt for new sunglasses and after hours of searching, I think I'm finally narrowed it down to either these Marc by Marc Jacobs aviators or some Kate Spade classic shades that are on sale
  • Chanel Les 4 Ombres have hit counters, I'm in love with Poésie and Tissé Rivoli but have my eye on Tissé Vénitien (greens), Tissé Grabrielle (smokey) and Tissé Vendome because the formula is just so amazing with rich smooth pigment
  • For the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, I picked up the MAC Coral Look in a Box, the eyeshadow trio has really pretty pigmented colors and the lips options are stunning peachy corals, I'll review this soon but I give this a huge thumbs up
  • In the past few months I've been testing out some cleansing oils from Chanel, Tatcha and Shu Uemura, I'll have a report soon on the ones I've tested but in the meantime I'd love to hear what your favorites are

What's on your radar this week? Were you able to pick up anything from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale yet? With fall beauty collections starting to trickle in stores, what do you have your eye on?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Travel Makeup | Summer Edition


As requested, here are the items I brought with me on my recent trip. All the items were carried in my well-loved Bobbi Brown Train Case (from 12+ years ago and no longer available for sale, Old Hollywood Version still available). I tend to overpack for makeup so the case limits what I bring. If it can't fit, it doesn't travel with me. I've split the items into three categories: Lips, Face/Cheeks and Eyes.













To those who asked to see what I brought with me, I hope this helps! I always have a makeup overpacking problem so my fellow beauty lovers - if you have any tips I'd love to hear what you bring with you on trips/travel whether it's a weekend getaway, a week trip or extended vacation.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Travel / Trial Sized Beauty - Skincare for Face and Body


Since my last trip in April I've been on the hunt for more mini-sized beauty items for travel and testing. One area I always neglect in packing is skincare for face and body. I almost never check in luggage so I'm limited to one carry-on and therefore subject to the one quart-size bag rule for liquids. Squeezing in all the items into one bag is a challenge for me but I've learned that skipping out on good skincare usually results in ruined skin that takes weeks to recover (at least for me). This time I took extra care to plan in advance and did quite a bit of research in the weeks leading up to the trip looking for good travel-sized minis. This is what I brought with me, all of which fit perfectly into one quart sized bag. I love minis for skincare anyways as a way to test out new items without having to splurge on the full size.



  • SK-II Facial Treatment Cleanser ($70 for full size) was part of a mini gift with purchase from Saks, I frequently check the Special Offers page before stocking up on the full size, this is one of my favorite face cleansers, when I don't have minis of my regular face cleansers, I squeeze some into a little disposable container
  • Caudalie Cleansing Water (50 ml/1.69 fl oz) the mini size is part of The Favorites Set ($32) which I've been a huge fan of, this is a gentle makeup remover that makes the skin feel clean and moisturized (FYI there is a Caudalie GWP online for a Deluxe Size Divine Oil with $50+ purchases using code DIVINE through July 2nd)
  • MAC Cleanse Off Oil / Tranquil ($10 for 30 ml/1.0 fl oz) is one of the mini to-go sizes for MAC skincare, I bought this to test out since I've been a huge fan of the regular Cleanse Off Oil, I find the Tranquil version to be more gentle with a moisturizing feel, I prefer the Regular version to remove makeup before cleansing (with long-wear makeup, I've found I need a few extra steps to remove every trace of primer, concealer, foundation, powder and blush)
  • Chanel Gentle Biphase Eye Makeup Remover ($34 for the full size) is a mini I stock up on with gift with purchases during Chanel events, it's the best I've tried (I favor it over Lancome) that removes waterproof mascara and long-wear eyeliners without stinging the eyes
  • Giorgio Armani Regenessence 3.R Pre-Regenerative and Retexturizing Lotion ($53 for the full size) is my current toner of choice, it makes the skin feel really and soft and helps to smooth out the surface before serums or moisturizers, I got the mini size with a Neiman Marcus gift with purchase event and saved the bottle, I refill it with the full size when I go on trips or weekend getaways



  • Caudalie Divine Oil ($9 for 15 ml/.05 fl oz) is a must-have for me, I use it almost daily for the legs and arms, I love how this one smells refreshing and especially how it absorbs into the skin quickly, it's often available in value sets like this Sephora Summer Crushes set and I've seen it in seasonal duos, I bought my first Divine Oil because my friend said, "at $9 you won't be crushed if you don't like it, but you will, you need to try it, it's amazing" - she was right, I'm rarely without this one (it's often in my purse)
  • Caudalie Divine Legs (25 ml/0.84 fl oz) in the mini size is usually part of yet more value deal sets, there's one for $32 that comes with a 50 ml Divine Oil + 25 ml Divine Legs, I have super sensitive skin that often reacts to tanning and bronzing products, although this one from Caudalie doesn't tan, it does give a nice bronzed leg effect that I found very natural, since there were mixed reviews on Sephora, I thought getting the set with the mini was good to try, I tested the Divine Legs this past weekend rubbing quickly into the legs after moisturizing with a light layer of the Divine Oil, it dried quickly but I was able to work it in quickly before it set, I wore a black dress and skirt over the past few days so I didn't notice any transfer to clothing, I'll have to test this one out a few more times but I liked it and didn't experience any irritation
  • Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream (30 ml/1 fl oz) is another lovely item from The Favorites Set, I have a number of tried and true favorite hand creams, I picked this one because of the refreshing lightweight scent and compact size
  • Tatcha Indigo Soothing Silk Body Butter (30 ml) is a new addition to Tatcha's Travel Sized beauty, if you're on their mailing list you might recognize this as one of the past gift with purchases they offered (they have special promo codes), this one will this one will be available for purchase mid to late July, you can read my full review here, some might wonder if I brought a body oil with me, did I really need to bring a body lotion as well? I could have gotten away with bringing just one, but I like the Tatcha for it's soothing qualities, sometimes my skin acts up and gets itchy from being dry, the Tatcha Indigo line works wonders for hydration and soothing



  • Chanel Sublimage La Creme Texture Fine ($390 for the full size 1.7 oz) is one of the most amazing face moisturizers I've tried and also one of my biggest splurges, it hydrates the skin and keeps it looking smooth and clear, there are often minis available with gift with purchases, sometimes counters have samples to give out (they are more friendly with samples if you make a decent sized purchase) 
  • Ole Henriksen Truth Serum ($15 for 0.5 fl oz/15 ml) is one of my favorite serums, I love the small travel/trial size which is available at a good price, it's often part of deal sets as well such as The Works, the best part is the mini packaging comes with a super convenient pump dispenser making it easy to use
  • Tatcha Camellia Beauty Oil ($33 for 10 ml) is the cutest mini-sized beauty oil, it's the perfect size to test out in case you're hesitant about oils in general (I am), when I travel, my skin tends to dry out a bit, I used this at night before bed to smooth the skin and give it an extra boost of hydration over night, on regular days, I use the oil for day 1-2x per week alternating with my regular serum/moisturizer routine, it gives the skin a super hydrated refreshed feel without feeling heavy (more thoughts on this one here)
  • Tatcha Ageless Revitalizing Eye Cream ($29 for 3 ml) came with a Barneys gift bag event offer, I love testing out mini eye creams and this one is super tiny which was good to fit into the corners of my quart sized bag, I found this one to be a bit heavy for my needs, it's a rich creamy eye treatment I found good for overnight hydration (applied in small doses) but for everyday it will probably be too heavy for my skin type, this is the beauty of minis, you can test items to see how they work for you before committing to the full size



  • Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray ($14 for 30 ml/1.0 fl oz) has had so many raves on Sephora so I made a quick stop to one of the stores during my trip and picked one up. It's described as a weightless spray that keeps your makeup looking fresh for up to 16 hours. I attended a wedding over the weekend in semi-humid weather and thought this would be the perfect time to test something like this. Most of the wedding was indoors and it didn't last 16 hours so I couldn't really test this to see if it lived up to its claims. I did like the lightweight feeling, it spritzes a super fine layer of mist over the face evenly (huge plus for me) and it kept my makeup looking fresh and melt-free for around 7 hours.
  • Clinique Color Correcting Superprimer ($27 for 1 fl oz, review here) was my primer of choice for the weekend for its smoothing properties, you can see the difference in the texture of the skin once applied, it works well under liquid foundations as well
  • Origins Clear Improvement Mask Pods ($8 for 4 one-time use pods) is another item I picked up during my trip, I loved the concept of the one-time use pods and am usually skeptical about pore-cleansing masks since most usually are either too strong and sting the skin or so gentle it feels like nothing (my favorite from MAC was discontinued). I used one pod during my trip and was really impressed with how well this cleansed and tightened the skin, after one use pores were visibly smaller, there is a slight tingly feeling but it did not irritate or sting the skin, based on the reviews I've read and my experience with one pod, this one shows a lot of promise
All the liquid/gel items in my zip-loc quart size bag - yes, they all fit including a mini perfume and bottle of Chanel foundation :)


Overall this trip I felt like I packed all the essentials (and then some) for skin care face and body. I did skip bringing shampoo, conditioner and shower gels and relied on what was at the hotel (I was really happy that they had Neutrogena). I ended up using everything I brought with me along with the two items I purchased on the trip at Sephora. I don't travel often so it's taken a few tries for me to get the right mix of products while I'm away from home. I think this time I've finally found my perfect mix of items for skincare. (If you want to know what makeup I brought with me let me know in the comments below, otherwise you can see what I carried with me on previous trips by clicking on the Travel tag.)

Do you have any favorite travel sized beauty items? What items did you end up loving from mini-testing that made you buy the full size? Any new discoveries lately? Also if you ended up hating something from testing out a mini, I'd love to hear about your experiences.

Some items in this post were provided for review consideration and some minis were acquired from various gift with purchase events. Most items were purchased by me. For more information please refer to my Disclosures.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Inside My Makeup Bag


Here is a peek at what I've had inside my makeup bag this week. The clear makeup bag is from Bobbi Brown which I found as a gift with purchase several years ago during a Neiman Marcus beauty event (for those looking for a clear makeup bag, a few other alternatives from MAC, Make Up For Ever, Sephora, Lulu).
  1. Chanel Les Beiges No. 20 for mid-day touch ups
  2. MAC Sharon Osbourne Refresh Mineralize Skinfinish Duo (still available at Macy's)
  3. Chanel Hydra Beauty Lip Balm (new for me, review soon)
  4. Jo Malone Grapefruit Cologne (mini from a gift with purchase)
  5. By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Misty Rock which I works alone on the lids, it's a medium pink shade with plum shimmer, I swipe directly from tube onto lids and then blend with the fingers
  6. Tom Ford Paradiso Lip Color Sheer (sold out most places, but still on tomford.com)
  7. Burberry Lip Glow Balm in Pink Peony
  8. MAC Brush #168SH (mini size discontinued)
  9. Marc Jacobs Overprotected Lust for Lacquer (love the tingle)
  10. YSL Kiss and Blush #3 Rose Libre still testing these out and figuring out to use these, I like them on the cheeks, for the lips, I'm still undecided
  11. Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm is a staple, love the clear finish, decent price and the unique scent of this one (see Malin + Goetz Los Angeles store feature here)
  12. Guerlain Maxi Lash Waterproof Mascara I rarely touch up with mascara in the middle of the day, but I sometimes carry one with me because in the mornings I typically am running out the door and have missed a few makeup steps before I leave the house, mascara and lips are usually the last two items I apply
  13. Diptyque Geranium Odorata is such a pretty soft floral, the roller ball tip makes it easy to apply quickly, I keep it in the velvet pouch it comes with (not shown above)
  14. NARS Andromeda Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow accidentally made it into the makeup bag this week, but I'm not complaining
To see the full contents of what has been in my bag most of this week, check out the post on Styled Notes. Hope you have a great Thursday! 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Loving Right Now


A few things I'm loving right now include pinkish glosses such as Tom Ford Sahara Pink (swatched here) and NARS Belize. I've been reaching more for the swipe-and-go pencils and glossy lipsticks these days. I've re-fallen in love with NARS Gloss Pencil in Hopi (reviewed here).

For the eyes, I picked up a few more By Terry Ombre Blackstar Cream Eye Shadows and have been thoroughly impressed with the pigment and wear time. NARS has new Dual-Intensity Eyeshadows coming out July, I'll have two to share with you soon. (Pictured above is Europa). Still making it to my favorites list is Guerlain Maxi Lash Waterproof. It stays put, separates the lashes, thickens, volumizes and holds the curl. Let me know if you want a full review. Topshop Coal Eye Kohl Pencil has become a staple in my weekly makeup routine (review here). I love that it's a true black, applies very smoothly and stays put.

My skin has been acting up for the past few months because of a number of things. I've started running and that combined with weather changes and a bit of extra stress has turned everything upside down. I've started experimenting by adding a few extra steps to my skincare routine. I've found that using a cleansing oil such as MAC Cleansing Oil helps break down long-wear sunscreens and foundations. I've also been mixing up my serum routine with Chanel Le Jour and Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Serum under my regular moisturizer. I alternate with these and my skin has improved in texture within the course of a week.

Also loving Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet for the perfect amount of coverage and just the right amount of matte finish.

I've also found myself reaching for Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream on a regular basis (review here). I alternate hand creams depending on what's closest to me or what's in my purse (I have various hand creams scattered around the house, car and desk). I like the fresh scent of Caudalie and the compact size is perfect for putting inside my makeup bag. Last but not least I got a Sephora Beauty Insider sample of the Elizabeth and James Nirvana White which is a pretty light floral. (It's still available online for redeeming and I spotted it in stores last week.) There's a new 1000 point perk online for VIB Rouge Members. Seeing as I only have 50 points, I don't think I will be getting it any time soon.

What are you loving right now? Did you discover anything new or fun over the weekend?

This post features some items sent as press samples from Topshop and NARS for consideration. All opinions are my own. For more information refer to my disclosures.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

MAC Sharon Osbourne Patentpolish Lip Pencils | Innocent, Patentpink, French Kiss and Ruby


The MAC Sharon Osbourne Collection has four Patentpolish Lip Pencils ($21.50 each for 2.3g/0.08 oz, limited-edition). These are a swipe-and-go kind of lip pencil that come in a twist up packaging. No sharpening needed. Two of the colors are repromotes from the spring release of the Patentpolish Lip Pencils ($20 each) although the ones with the Osbourne Collection come in a special edition red packaging and are slightly more expensive. The four shades include:
  • Innocent (repromote) is a pale nude, it goes on streaky and extremely pale upon first swipe, after letting this one sit for a minute, it warmed up on my lips, it works alone for me but I prefer to add a bit of a darker lipliner to blend and warm up the color 
  • Patentpink (repromote) is another pale pink, another slightly streaky color and upon first swipe looks extremely mod and pale, once it warmed up it looked better
  • French Kiss is an easy to wear brownish warm nude, this one since it's darker went on smoother in color and has better coverage
  • Ruby was a pleasant surprise, it looks dark and brown in the tube but goes on a natural ruby red with a good shine, out of all four this is my favorite


Swatches show a slightly transparent texture and glossy shine:



I didn't test out the colors from the original release but the swatches I saw of these from other bloggers looked promising and several were kind enough to e-mail me recommendations to check these out. The Patentpolish Lip Pencils are a unique formula. It's like a chubby stick with a thicker smooth texture and a slightly glossy finish. They glide on easily and even though there is a good amount of shine, I found they stayed put without feeling super glossy or emollient. They aren't drying but at the same time I didn't find them super hydrating either. My lips usually peel a day after using MAC lipsticks if I don't use a balm underneath. The same happened with these. As long as I moisturize well in the morning and at the end of the day with a good lip balm then my lips are fine.

These are designed as a swipe-and-go kind of product. I like the convenient twist up factor and especially am a fan of the fact you don't need to sharpen. I didn't really find them to be a one-swipe kind of lip pencil though. My feelings for these are mixed. For the lighter colors, to get an even application I had to swipe back and forth several times for smooth decent coverage. If you try these you might not like what they lighter colors look like at first swipe. I certainly did not but after letting them sit for about 30 seconds I found they melded to my lip and warmed up to a better more natural looking finish. The darker shades applied easily and flawlessly. French Kiss and Ruby both have very smooth coverage and better pigment. Coverage on these is medium-sheer with a slight transparent look.

Here they are swatched on my lips:





Out of the four shades, my favorite is Ruby and it's the only one that I would say is a must-have. Good natural looking reds are hard to come by for me. Most either turn fuchsia on me or have too much brown. This is the perfect balance of bright and natural to be flattering for day or night.

The Sharon Osbourne Patentpolish Lip Pencils in Innocent, Patentpink, French Kiss and Ruby are all limited-edition. Even though many items from the MAC Osbourne collection have sold out, these pencils are still relatively easy to find in stores, at counters and online. All the colors are limited edition but you can find all the Patentpolish Lip Pencil shades right now at maccosmetics.com, Nordstrom, Macy's, and Bloomingdales.




Saturday, June 14, 2014

MAC Sharon and Kelly Osbourne Mineralize Skinfinish Duos and Satin Blushes


I have a few more additions to share from the MAC Sharon and Kelly Osbourne Collections. There are two new Mineralize Skinfinish Duos in Refresh/Sharon and Jolly Good/Kelly ($33 each, limited-edition). Each collection also features a Satin Blush in Peaches & Cream/Sharon and Cheeky Bugger/Kelly ($22 each, limited-edition). If you're contemplating any of these, act fast. Both of the blushes sold out online super quickly. My sweet husband bought the Satin Blushes for me from a MAC store the day the collection launched in stores. The Mineralize Skinfinish Duos are easier to find but are going fast online. I found the cheek items to be really pretty and naturally flattering to complement bolder eyes/lips.

Sharon's collection is warmer in tone while Kelly's is cooler and lighter. I found they both worked for my olive medium skin, I have a slight preference for the items from Sharon's collection. My thoughts on each item for the cheeks:
  • Refresh Mineralize Skinfinish Duo has a satiny warm bronze and a shimmering champagne peachy pink. The pigment on this one is really good and it shows up well on the skin by itself.
  • Jolly Good Mineralize Skinfinish Duo is more satiny in texture. It has a shimmery finish but not as frosty or shimmery as other MSFs. The color is on the nude side so on my skin it is very sheer similar to Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders. If you're in want of a more contrasted highlighter you may not like this one.
  • Peaches & Cream is a rose pink satiny texture blush. It has a bit of shimmer in it but on the cheeks it isn't overly frosty. Even though it has the word "peaches" in the name, it's not really peachy or warm, it's definitely more rose.
  • Cheeky Bugger is a cool toned lighter pink. It's also a satin finish. On me it shows up even though it's pale in the pan. It gives a natural pink glow.
Refresh/Sharon

Jolly Good/Kelly

Peaches & Cream/Sharon

Jolly Good/Kelly

Here they are swatched on my Chanel B20/30 arm:


Close ups of the Blushes side by side:




Close ups of the Mineralize Skinfinish Duos side by side:




Overall thumbs up. The pigment and texture of these are really good and easy to apply. I like how the Mineralize Skinfinish Duos look naturally flattering on the skin. The Jolly Good/Kelly MSF duo is sheerer and is good as a subtle softening powder. Refresh/Sharon MSF Duo is better in color and pigment to show up on its own. Both Peaches & Cream and Cheeky Bugger blushes are stunning and I wish they hadn't sold out so quickly but I am happy that I was able to get them. If you can get to a counter or store soon, I highly recommend it. They are both worth the extra work to track down.

Sharon's Refresh Mineralize Skinfinish Duo is still available online at Nordstrom, Macy's and Bloomingdales.

Kelly's Jolly Good Mineralize Skinfinish Duo is available online at Nordstrom.

Both blushes Sharon's Peaches & Cream and Kelly's Cheeky Bugger have sold out online but you may still be able to track them down in stores and counters.




 

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