Showing posts with label Mascara. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mascara. Show all posts

Monday, November 17, 2014

New Additions to the Burberry Beauty Eyes Collection | Bold Lash Mascara, Effortless Liquid Liner + Effortless Kohl Eyeliners


Burberry Beauty recently added some items to their Eye Makeup lineup, including new eyeliners, mascaras and brow definers. All of the items are beautifully packaged in sleek and modern gunmetal-colored tubes. These should be available at all Burberry Beauty counters now, online at Nordstrom, Saks and Burberry. I've been playing with some of the new items for a few weeks now and have some to share thoughts on today.

Shown below:



Bold Lash Mascara ($29) comes in two shades, Ebony No. 1 and Chestnut Brown No. 2, I've been testing out Ebony and was really surprised with how easily it defined the lashes. It's not the thickest most volumizing mascara I have used but it does add very good volume. The color is a true black (many turn grey on me) and stays the same deep color once it dries. I didn't have any smudging or flaking and it came off the lashes easily at the end of the day with a bi-phase makeup remover. The brush grabs the lashes easily, even at the base, application is clump-free.



Effortless Liquid Liner ($34) is a liquid liner that has a pointed felt tip applicator. It comes in one color Jet Black No. 1 and is one of the deepest colors of liquid liners I've tried. The handle of the pen has a slightly groove making it easier to grip when you apply it. The handle + shape of the tip allows for super precise application. If you're a liquid liner pro, you will really like this one. If you're more of a novice like me, it will take a bit of feathering to get an even line, but I found it easy to control and apply on the lash line. Lasting power is really good. I swatched on the back of my hand in the morning and it didn't budge from around 5:30 am until 8:45 pm no matter how much I rubbed it. It did come off with a bit of water. On the eyes the liner lasted really well looking as fresh in the evening as it did in the morning. No smudging or creeping. Being a liquid product, I would say treat this like mascara when you apply. It will be wet when you apply, so let it sit for a minute. If your mascara is prone to transfer when you first apply when you blink, this will have a similar result. Try to let it set for a minute and dry.


Close up of the felt tip:


Effortless Kohl Eyeliners ($29 each) come in four colors, Jet Black No. 1, Chestnut Brown No. 2, Storm Grey No. 3 and Pale Grape No. 4. Burberry sent me Jet Black and Storm Grey for review and I've been extremely pleased. I've been a fan of the Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof liners, but many have commented that the quality isn't consistent among all colors. I do think it's hit and miss sometimes based on testers I've tried at the counter to the ones I have at home. Some are hard and tug at the eyes. If you experienced this but want a twist-up long-lasting pencil that comes with a sharpener at the end, the Burberry Effortless Kohl Eyeliners are the solution for you. These are rich pigmented Kohl Liners. The Jet Black is one of the deepest blacks I've tried (the Hourglass 1.5 mm Mechanical Eyeliner in Obsidian is one of the deepest I've tried and the Burberry is slightly deeper). Storm Grey is one of the richest greys I've swatched before, it's a deep color but not so dark it looks black. I don't think either of these are waterproof, but both of these have really good lasting power. You do need to let these sit for a minute to completely set, but once they do set, I found they did not budge.

These are a huge improvement in formula compared to the original formula of eyeliner Burberry released. The Eye Definer Eye Shaping Pencils have really good pigment and gorgeous colors, but lasting power is medium unless you set with a powder shadow on top.


Removable end reveals a built-in sharpener:


Swatches of the liners:


Comparison swatches:

Trish McEvoy Grey (discontinued)



A few more detail shots:



If you're looking for classic eye products that work and last long, I highly recommend you check out the new offerings from Burberry. I've already ordered the other two shades Effortless Kohl Eyeliners in Chestnut Brown and Pale Grape, two of each, one set for my mom who likes plum and brown twist-up liners that don't tug at the eyes and don't smudge, the other set for me.

I wrote about other brands of liquid liners I've tried and tested back in August. My top three picks back then were Tom Ford, Kat Von D and Charlotte Tilbury. The new Burberry has joined my top picks the list since it has a really rich deep black color that doesn't bleed or budge (although the Tom Ford is still hands down my number one favorite).





The new Burberry Beauty Eye Makeup additions are available at Burberry Beauty counters now, online at NordstromSaks and Burberry.

Many thanks to Burberry for sending me these items for review consideration.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A First Look at Charlotte Tilbury Beauty | Eyeshadow Palettes, Colour Chameleon Pencils, Mascara and Eyelash Curler


I've been playing with Charlotte Tilbury Beauty over the past month and have some items to share with you today. Included in today's feature is a review on two of her eyeshadow quads, two shadow pencils, mascara and eyelash curler.


What I ordered with swatches of the shadows:





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Colour Chameleon Color Morphing Eyeshadow Pencils in Champagne Diamonds and Amber Haze


I purchased two of the Eyeshadow Pencils in Amber Haze and Champagne Diamonds. These are creamy shadow pencils that set very quickly. I ordered mine sight unseen based on swatches I had seen on other blogs. They looked stunning online but I really should have read the reviews more closely. Amber Haze is a gorgeous warm shimmery copper brown. It applies very nicely on the eyes with super rich pigment. You do need to work with this one quickly because it sets (dries) very fast. When you apply these I recommend having all your brushes ready to blend right after you apply to smooth out harsh edges. Champagne Diamonds glitters like diamonds. This one didn't work well for me, I found it too glittery and sparkly which made it extremely chunky/gritty feeling on my eyes. The base is pigmented if you pack the pencil on, but once blended it's pretty sheer on me and all I saw was glitter.

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Eyeshadow Quads in The Rock Chick and Uptown Girl


I ordered my quads from pre-made look sets. The Rock Chick is a smokey eye palette with a soft shimmery pale grey, a satiny medium grey, a deep matte charcoal and a glittery silvery shade. When I first saw these online I thought the glitter might be problematic for me and for all of those who prefer more conservative shadows. I was really surprised to find the glittery shade in The Rock Chick subtle enough to wear layered over the darkest shade for a pop of sparkle. The pigment of all the shadows is incredible, I was able to apply on the eyes and blend easily without any eye base required. The darkest matte charcoal color has a really good texture and allows you to get a good smokey eye. I did get some fall out when I applied the glitter on the face, but after it was applied to the eyes it stayed put.


For reference, the Rock Chick swatched next to Tom Ford's discontinued She Wolf:


Uptown Girl is a cool-toned palette with a soft champagne shimmer, a lavender blue shimmer, a medium plum and a sparkling glittery pale pink. When I saw this one I suspected it might be too lavender/purple for me, but still wanted to give it a try. It's a lovely palette but way out of my comfort zone with the purple tones. I definitely recommend you research swatches online on other blogs, purples tend to pull really purple on my skin while on others it might not look quite as blueish. The glitter in this one was a bit too much for me to wear comfortably but I suspect it was just the overall undertone of this palette I found too cool in general.


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Full Fat Lashes Mascara and her Life Changing Lashes Eyelash Curler


Charlotte Tilbury's Mascara currently comes in one shade. It's called Full Fat Lashes Mascara. On my super straight short lashes this one defined nicely but unfortunately didn't give much volume or hold curl. If you have thick lashes that only need a little bit of definition I think this will be a good one, but if you're like me and need serious help with lashes, you might find this one too subtle. (My favorite mascaras here.)


Her eyelash curler comes in a rose gold color. I found it took a few uses to loosen the hinges (the first few times it seemed to stick when I pressed it together). It fits the curve of my eyes nicely so it doesn't pinch the sides or edges. Her eyelash curler does indeed curl the lashes very nicely. I'm not sure I would call it life changing for me, I prefer Chanel's and Le Metier de Beaute's eyelash curlers for my eye shape and for better curling (see my reviews here). Still this is a very good lash curler. I took it with me on a recent weekend getaway and was really pleased with the way it worked.


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Overall thoughts: I'm overall pleased with what I've tested from Charlotte Tilbury's beauty line. I ordered all of my items sight unseen which many of you know can be hit or miss. Her quads are definitely worth a look even if you're not a fan of glitter shadows. Had I been able to look at her line in person I probably would have skipped Uptown Girl and opted for one of the matte quads or something with warm tones. I really like The Rock Chick for a classic smokey eyeshadow palette. You can layer the colors for more intensity or blend them for something more subtle.

For her shadow pencils, Amber Haze is absolutely gorgeous although you do need to work very quickly with it. Once it sets it stays put like nothing else I've tried. Champagne Diamonds was a complete miss for me, but this is because I'm super picky when it comes to glitter in eyeshadows.

I can't call her mascara a must-have for me - it came in two of the sets I bought otherwise I wouldn't have purchased it (I gifted my second one to someone else to try).

Her eyelash curler is a nice to have but not must-have for me. I do believe finding the right lash curler depends on the shape of your eye and how deep-set they are. This one has a nice curve and is wide enough so it doesn't pinch the corners of your eyes. For me, I do have others that I prefer but the Charlotte Tilbury version is still good.



Have you checked out Charlotte Tilbury's line? What are your favorites? Or any other thoughts on anything you've tried and tested? I don't have easy access to see the items in person so I'm living vicariously through those who have tested and swatched it.

You can find the Charlotte Tilbury beauty line in the US online at Nordstrom, Net-a-Porter, Bergdorf Goodman and Beautylish.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Charlotte Tilbury Beauty - Preview of The Beauty Look Book Picks


Beauty fans will be thrilled to know that Charlotte Tilbury's beauty line has finally launched in the US. The range has launched online first at CharlotteTilbury.com, Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman, Net-A-Porter and BeautyLish starting September 2nd. Later this fall, the line will launch in select stores starting October 7th at Bergdorf Goodman in NYC and October 10th at Nordstrom at The Grove in Los Angeles. Launch events will also be hosted with Nordstrom in other cities including Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Orange County, Washington D.C. and Las Vegas through Spring 2015.

I fell head over heels in love with the Filmstar Killer Cheekbones Set which was available at Nordstrom during the Anniversary Sale. I couldn't wait for the line to launch in the US so I decided order a few of her look sets from the UK site along with some other items. I'll have detailed reviews on all the items, but many of you have asked for a preview post wanting to know what I ordered and whether I thought the sets were worth it (versus buying items individually).

I did quite a bit of research when trying to decide what to buy. Some of the lipsticks and lip glosses looked extremely brown in stock photos so I relied heavily on blog swatches to help me pick out colors. I went with two of the sets simply because I found it easier to purchase an entire look rather than mix and match items. There are definitely duplicates in some of the sets with items such as mascara, makeup bag and some liners. (I gifted my extra makeup bag and mascara to another beauty friend.)

I ordered my items from the UK site and Paypal converted Pounds to Dollars. I think the prices I paid were slightly higher in the UK versus US prices, current US retail prices listed below. (Note all items are available individually as well).
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The Rock Chick Set ($225) includes:


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The Uptown Girl Set ($225) includes:


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Wonderglow Instant Soft-Focus Beauty Flash ($52)
Beach Sticks Bronze and Blush in Ibiza and Moonbeach (not yet available in the US)


There is a lot to digest with her line - it all looks so overwhelmingly good. I'll have reviews posted in the next week by category: face, eyes and lips with thoughts and swatches. I'm still happy I ordered the sets although you don't really save all that much buying a set versus individual items. I normally like to pick out items individually rather than stick to one preset look, but the color combinations are really good and easy to use for ideas. Even though I look nothing like the model used for each look, I found the looks helpful to see how soft or dramatic items would look on another face.

I've had really good experiences so far. I'm relieved since I spent a small fortune and bought everything sight unseen. More thoughts soon.

You can find Charlotte Tilbury in the US online at CharlotteTilbury.comNordstromBergdorf GoodmanNet-A-Porter and BeautyLish.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Dior Beauty Favorites + A Few New Discoveries


Several new readers have e-mailed telling me they have just started to explore higher end cosmetics asking for advice on where to start building their makeup wardrobe and what I recommend for them to buy. Many are open to trying new brands and products but often prefer recommendations from one single brand to simplify their makeup routine. I personally like to mix it up with different brands each day depending on mood but for those who want to stick with one single brand, Dior is one of a few lines I've tried that I would feel comfortable using exclusively for everything from foundation, skincare, makeup and tools. I've partnered with Nordstrom to share some of my Dior Beauty favorites with you today.

I've been using Dior beauty since my college days (early 2000's). Over the years they've revamped almost all formulas for every product. I always panic anytime I hear "reformulate" thinking why change something when it's already really good? Dior has revamped their products for better though. Their nail polish keeps getting better, the Gel Shine & Long Wear Nail Lacquer is the latest and it has a lush glossy look with rich pigment that applies flawlessly. Their Addict Lip Gloss is a classic favorite for a super glossy natural tint. It comes in a diverse range of colors from pales, brights and darker shades.



A few of my favorites which I highly recommend for anyone whether you're getting into Dior or higher end lines include:
Dior's Purifying Foam Cleanser is one of my top cleanser picks out of all that I've tried. I've repurchased this countless times. There are several different formulas of Dior cleanser, the Purifying Foam is for Normal/Combination skin. It is really effective at cleansing the skin but is still gentle. My husband loves it as well. It foams up nicely and leaves the skin feeling really clean without making it tight or leaving a film.


Diorskin Airflash Skin Foundation is one of the longest wearing foundations I've tried. There is a learning curve for application though. The Airflash comes in an aerosol spray. Hold it about 5-6 inches away from your face and close the eyes before you spray. You have to make sure your face is completely relaxed or else it will apply unevenly and miss spots. I spray in a Z motion twice from top to bottom. I don't always get a flawless application with the spray but it is easily fixable with a brush or sponge. I set with a sheer loose powder and it stays put all day. If you find yourself getting oily or shiny from this, you've probably applied too much. It is long-wearing and has fuller coverage, so to take it off, I recommend you use either a Cleansing Water or Cleansing Oil combined with your regular facial cleanser.


Dior has a good range of gloss options. The Addict Glosses are sheer, shimmery and add the perfect tint to the lips. My favorites are Nuit Boreale (a pale iridescent pink with some blue and green shimmer), Bed of Roses (a soft pink rose) and Diablotine a sheer but bright coral. If you're one that likes more pigment, the new Dior Addict Fluid Stick is incredible. They have super rich pigment and they glide onto the lips really nicely. Blend it and the color melds with your lip flawlessly. It's a hybrid lipstick and gloss so it has that lush gloss look but pigment of a lipstick and stays put relatively long.



For nails, Dior has always been a favorite. The formula has been revamped several times over the year and it just keeps getting better. There are a lot of limited-edition shades released each season. They often don't do repeats of the trendy shades although sometimes they will release something similar at a later date. I've been a collector for years and have amassed a sizable collection. If you're just starting to get into higher end nail polishes, Dior is a great option. I am one who really believes there is a difference in formula. The ones by Dior glide on seamlessly. The pigment and coverage is phenomenal these days. The brush is chiseled at the tip for easy two-swipe application. The colors are rich and range from classic to neutral to trendy. I love the Gel Top Coat over other Dior Polishes. I can get up to 7 days of wear without any tip wear or chipping. If you're looking to start with color, my top three can't-go-wrong picks are Incognito for an everyday classic neutral, Wonderland for a brightening pink and Nuit 1947 for a classic vamp with a jelly finish.


Painting on Nuit 1947 with the Gel Top Coat




The Diorshow Brow Styler is something I discovered mid-July. One of my favorite Dior artists recommended this for me. I was skeptical since the Brow Styler only comes in one shade in the US in Universal Brown 001. It's a light taupe brown that actually works for my lighter brows and dark black brown hair. Often times an exact match to my hair makes my brows look too intense and sharp. I like to opt for a color that is lighter but doesn't contain any red or isn't too ashy. The Universal Brown appears to be really universal from what I've seen.



above, wearing Nuit 1947


For lashes, my go-to lash primer is the Diorshow Maximizer Lash Pluming Serum. It's a white base you apply to your lashes as a primer. It helps add volume to the lashes and makes them look thicker without clumping. The trick to this one is to not let it dry completely before adding mascara. You can still add it, but applying your mascara while this is still a bit wet helps the product glide on better. The mascara will adhere to the primer and if it's completely dry, I find it tugs a little. You don't need to rush application, but I wouldn't wait a long time.

For mascaras, I've tried almost every Dior mascara made. They have the best mini samples each time a new one is released. I've developed a couple really good relationships with Dior reps at my Nordstroms so they always call me when they have samples. My favorite is the regular Diorshow for the plush bristles and rich color (and it doesn't flake or smudge). Nordstrom sent me one of the new ones for review which is the Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara. It has a curved comb which helps get all the lashes in a few strokes, no need to angle it in weird ways. It's supposed to help curl lashes. For my super straight lashes I always need a lash curler, but I find this one does keep the curl well. After testing it, I found it doesn't flake or smudge. I did need to wipe off the brush with the first application (I use a piece of paper to wipe off excess) but I usually need to do that with most mascaras.

above, wearing Wonderland

For eyeshadow, Dior has so many options. Their 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette also keeps getting a makeover in formula, color options and packaging. They've retained the same navy rectangular compact but the newer ones keep getting sleeker in design. Nordstrom sent Bar 056 (one of the five new fall options) for review. I normally cannot wear greys on the eyes as they turn out to be too cool-toned. Bar offers a lovely classic subtle palette of greys I can actually wear without looking washed out. If you're looking for an everyday neutral, Rosy Tan 754 is hands down one of my favorites. I jus opened my backup a few months ago after going through one entire palette.



For those new to Dior or new to higher end lines, I hope you found this helpful as an introduction to Dior Beauty. There is a lot to explore within each product family for eyes, lips, cheeks, nails, tools, lashes etc. Even though I like to mix up brands in my daily beauty routine, I find Dior is one of the few that can really be a one-stop shop. I've fallen in love with their lipsticks, blushes and bronzers (although many are limited-edition ones). If you click on the Dior tag at the bottom you'll see more Dior reviews I've featured over the years. If you're a Dior fan, I'd love to hear what your favorites are. I'm always up for discovering new things.

Shop my favorites from Nordstrom:



Many thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post. The Dior Bar Quint and Iconic Overcurl Mascara were provided for review. All other items purchased by me.

Friday, July 18, 2014

In Rotation | Beauty Look Book Mascara and Lash Primer Picks


I typically limit myself to a couple of mascaras I use at any given time since I keep them for 3 months max before tossing but I've been testing new ones and I've discovered some new favorites. I have half a dozen I'm using right now and I've picked out my favorites to share.

When it comes to my lashes, I'm really picky with mascaras or lash primers. I have really straight ones that often don't hold the curl with most mascaras even with a lash curler (my essentials here). I also find a lot of black mascaras turn grayish looking after they dry on my lashes, smudge or end up feeling crunchy and flake during the day. When it comes to mascara I look for something that will last all day without clumping, flaking, smudging and something that stays a true lush black color and holds the curl.

I'm hesitant to try lash primers and lash serums because I don't like having an extra layer of product on my sensitive eyes. I'm a novice in this area so if you have any recommendations I am all ears.
The mascara and lash products I have in rotation right now:

  • Shu Uemura Lash Builder ($33) is a lash builder serum to help create a longer lusher lash look, I've been testing this for a few weeks and am still undecided on what I think but it's been in my lash rotation, it darkens and defines the lashes when you apply it but I haven't seen a visible difference after I apply colored mascara, reviews seem to indicate you will see results over time
  • Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum ($28.50) is something I've used for several years, I don't use it everyday but it's a favorite base that helps mascara adhere better to the lashes and makes it catch the lashes resulting in a fuller look, I like that it doesn't impact the curl after using a lash curler
  • Guerlain Maxi Lash Waterproof ($30) is something I discovered thanks to RaeView, it's the first waterproof mascara I've tried that doesn't make my lashes feel crunchy, this one needs 2-3 uses to break it in, it gives lush rich black lashes, volumizes, doesn't clump/flake/smudge and defines the lashes nicely, I haven't tested it at the beach or pool but it seems to be sweat proof and lasts all day
  • Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Stretch ($32) is a staple in my beauty arsenal, I've repurchased this numerous times (probably a dozen tubes by now), it's my favorite mascara of all time because it does everything I want - lengthens, defines, thickens, darkens the color and stays put, it's easy to apply and gets the little corners easily because of the tapered brush tip, the bristles are well designed to grab on to the lashes and glides on easily
  • Chanel Le Volume de Chanel ($30) is the only Chanel mascara I like, it's a lightweight mascara that glides on easily and doesn't clump, it stays put and doesn't dry to a grayish finish like other Chanel mascaras do (at least for me), I like the Black and Bleu (navy) for fun, but mostly use the black
  • NARS Larger than Life Volumizing Mascara ($25) is another favorite that I've repurchased numerous times, it is one of my favorite volumizing mascaras that doesn't flake or smudge, this one has a big fluffy brush so it can be prone to clumping after a while due to buildup, I wipe down the brush with a small piece of paper wrapped around the tip (tissue or paper towels will get caught in the bristles, so paper actually is best to clean the brush) and then it's back to perfection
If I were pressed to pick just one mascara to live with the rest of my life, it would be the Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Stretch. If you're looking for something more wallet-friendly, a few other  less expensive favorites I've tested and purchased numerous times include Clinique High Impact Mascara ($16), Topshop 3d Curve Mascara ($20, or in this Eyeliner/Mascara Set for $24) and MAC Plushlash Mascara ($16) has been a long-time favorite. I've tried dozens of drugstore mascaras (literally) and for some reason they've all turned grayish in color on my lashes and I've never found one that holds the curl.



What are your holy grail lash primers, serums and mascaras? I've been researching lash serums and would love your thoughts on any you've tried.
 

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