Showing posts with label NARS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NARS. Show all posts

Monday, January 26, 2015

On My Radar


Soft washes of neutral colors and getting organized are on my mind this week.

Deborah Lippman Whisper Collection (1) has four shades of pale pastels that look so dreamy. The names are absolute perfection with Chantilly Lace (pink), Misty Morning (grey), Dreamers Do (mauve), Fine Romance (nude).

The spring releases from Marc Jacobs Beauty look amazing. Three new #Instamarc Light Filtering Contour Powders (2) have been released to sculpt, highlight and add definition. Shades include Dream Filter (soft pink/medium bronze), Hi Fi Filter (warm peach/ deep bronze) and Mirage Filter (light gold/ light bronze).

There are new lipstick formulas as well from Marc Jacobs Beauty. There is a long-wear bold color formula called Le Marc Lip Creme and New Nudes Sheer Lip Gel (4).

NARS Spring 2015 is all about soft nudes (5). I have so many things sitting in my cart right now. I'm trying to resist the urge to order sight unseen since nudes can be tricky. They look so beautiful, especially the Guyane and Vent Salé Lip Glosses, Reckless Blush, Valhalla Eyeshadow and Porto Venere Eye Paint.

I've been accumulating quite a few flat pouches and clutches but don't have a way to store them properly. I've been propping them vertically next to each other. This GLAMdivide (6) lucite box by Glamboxes looks like it could be the perfect solution for me. (How do you store your slim clutches and flat pouches? I'm open for all ideas!)

New highlighting and contouring powders in different colors are popping up. Clinique Sculptionary Cheek Contouring Palettes (6) come in four shades: Defining Nudes, Berries, Roses and Nectars. Bobbi Brown Brightening Bricks (7) now come in four colors too including Coral, Pastel Pink, Pink and Cranberry.

Last but not least, if you're looking for a good chic document case, Truffle has a promo on their Clarity Document Cases for 25% off through Sunday 2/1 with code TIDY2015 at checkout.

What's on your radar this week?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Winter Glow


This time of year my skin feels like it lacks natural luster so I rely on illuminators and soft nude shimmers to fake that glow-from-within. Today I'm sharing my favorite go-to's along with thoughts on a few new items I've been testing to get that soft glow. Picks include items for nails, lips, cheeks and eyes. When it comes to shimmers I like to mix them in for one to two areas of the face with color rather than wear champagne shimmers all over the face, otherwise it's just too much. I like using these as a cheekbone or very soft brow bone highlight too in order to add dimension.

First up are pale shimmers for the lips. I am always a huge fan of those soft pale shimmers for the lips but can't always pull them off easily. I have medium pigmented lips with olive skin so often times pale shimmers make me feel like I have white lips. Two I've discovered that work for my lips include Rouge Dior Baume in Star and Lipstick Queen Ice Queen. Both have that lovely translucent quality with multidimensional shimmer to prevent these from looking too frosted.  


Both look similar in photographs on my lips but I think they are different enough to justify both. The Rouge Dior Baume in Star has a cooler-toned quality and is sheerer. Lipstick Queen Ice Queen looks lighter in the photos but it has a higher level of frost which reflects more. It has a mix of silver and gold particles which makes it a good layering lipstick. I have a slight preference for the Lipstick Queen because the shimmering quality is really pretty. If you are anti-shimmer for lips, you may find it too frosty.



For the nails, I've been obsessed with Rescue Beauty Lounge Bubblegum Punk for a fun multi-colored shimmer frost. It has an ultra smooth finish even though it's on the sparkly side. I can never resist pale shimmers for nails, but some are hard to work with if they are frosts. Marc Jacobs Beauty has released two new Hi-Shine Enamored Nail Polishes. Blanche was released last fall. It's a metallic soft white which I found took some extra effort to make work. Being a metallic I found brush strokes visible with two coats, but they disappeared a bit with the third coat. I have yet to find a good white shimmer that is streak-free. This one is pretty good if you are patient. Milk is a new addition to their Runway Shades. This is an iridescent beige that flashes pink and opal. I adore these kinds of colors but I know some women find the colors like this difficult to work with on their skin tone (something about the beige makes the skin look sallow). Milk flashes enough iridescent shimmer to prevent the beige base from dominating. I find it very wearable.



For highlighting, there are a number of multi-tasking products for eyes and cheeks. I love a good shimmer that gives a glow without looking frosty. I know everyone has different preferences for what degree of shimmer they are comfortable wearing so I'll give a summary ranking of what I think is the most subtle to the most frosted.

First up are creamy ones. NARS St. Lucia Multiple is the latest from NARS (currently a Nordstrom exclusive, available at all NARS counters in March, review here). It's a multi-purpose creamy twist up stick. On me it gives a natural glowy soft pink highlight to the cheeks and eyes. On fairer skins this will probably give you more color and look more blush-like.

My holy grail cream highlighter is Edward Bess All Over Seduction. He has two shades, Sunlight is the paler one (shown below) and Afterglow is a bronzey version. Both are incredibly natural and glowy. The texture blends in beautifully with the skin and the shimmer is finely milled. If you're afraid of shimmer I highly recommend you check these out because it's impossible to overdo and looks amazing on everyone I've seen it applied on.

One of the newest illuminators I've been testing is the Chantecaille Liquid Lumiere Anti-Aging Face Illuminator in Sheen (I received this as part of the Net-A-Porter holiday beauty box but it's available separately). At first swipe I found the shimmer in this one to be on the high side but after playing with this I found it blended out to a soft smooth veil of shimmer. It does have more shimmer than Armani Fluid Sheers or the Edward Bess Sunlight but it is still very wearable. The pigment and shimmer is intense but it's concentrated so you only need a tiny amount. A little goes a long way. If you're one of those beauty lovers who is in search of a liquid highlighter that won't disappear on the skin once you blend it this is a good one to look into. I've dabbed it on top of the cheekbones or eyes (after foundation/powder) and it doesn't disrupt your makeup base. Check out the review on Best Things in Beauty to see how the colors look once blended properly. 



For additional highlighters, my go-to powder highlighter is from Hourglass. The Ambient Lighting Palette (review here) goes with me on all trips. I use the full size versions at home and take this palette with me for on-the-go or on vacations. The palette came out after the individual ones were released, so I have some duplicate colors. If you're new to these powders, I hands down say go for the palette. There is a good amount of product so it will last you a long time and it's super convenient to use and carry with you.

I used to use the Kevyn Aucoin Celetial Powder in Candlelight a long time ago when it had the larger compact packaging. I liked it but didn't love it. Several have recommended I check it out again claiming it reached holy grail status for them. I like the new compact packaging and the powder is lovely but I don't love it. I find it a bit too pale for my medium-olive skin. That being said if you thought the Hourglass Luminous Light was too shimmery or glowy I recommend the Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight because it is a notch down in the shimmer intensity. If you prefer neutral to cool-toned highlighters then you will really like Candlelight. I have friends who are on the fair side (Chanel Beige 10 or MAC NC20) and they swear by this one.

Last but not least, I think the NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadows in Himalia and Dione are the best shimmers on the market. It has a really good blendable cream texture. The shimmer/frost is high on this so your mileage may vary. Full review here. If you don't have a lot of the colors you may want to check out the NARSissist Dual Intensity Eyeshadow Palette. I already own 5 of the 8 shades so I'm having a hard time justifying a purchase since it will result in a lot of dupes for me.



What do you like to use to get a nice glow in the winter time?

The Lipstick Queen Ice Queen, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, Rescue Beauty Lounge Bubblegum Punk Nail Polish and Chantecaille Illuminator were provided as press samples for review consideration. All other items purchased by me.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Inside My Bag


Here's a peek at what's inside my bag this week (another shot here @beautylookbook). Truffle  Clutches are keeping my bags streamlined and organized. I like to use the Clarity Clutches for makeup because I can see what's inside (nude is shown). The Privacy Clutches for me are used to keep card cases, wallets, notecards and keys in (blush shown). I ordered a bunch of these for Christmas and gave them out as gifts to friends. They put them to use immediately and it brought a smile to my face seeing that they were well received - everyone has been sending me pictures of their pouches in action.

As usual, I have too many lip products in my purse. Left to right is NARS Dolce Vita Lip Gloss (review), Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre in Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (swatched), Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Étourdie (swatches), and Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask in Champagne (review).

I've been carrying the Tatcha's Original Aburatorigami Beauty Papers to blot. They are packaged in a slim compact sturdy paper case making them easy to carry with me, although the new Travel Sized Papers-To-Go Tube is now on my wish list. Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Powder in 20 stays with me these days for refreshing makeup although I often forget to bring a powder brush with me so having it in my bag is kinda pointless.

Two last beauty items I've been carrying with me include Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black mini and L'Occitane's Shea Butter Hand Cream (from the limited-edition holiday L'OcciBox).

What's in your bag this week?

The Truffle Blush Clutch and L'Occitane Hand Cream were press samples. All other items purchased by me.

Monday, January 5, 2015

NARS Eye-Opening Act - Beauty Look Book Picks


This month, NARS Cosmetics introduces a limited-edition collection called the Eye-Opening Act featuring Tilda Swinton as the face of the campaign. This collection focuses on creating different looks for the eyes with new products and colors.


All the items in the Limited-Edition Eye-Opening Act Collection are exclusive to Nordstrom through March 15 of this year:
  • Matte Velvet Eyeshadow Stick ($28 each for 0.05 oz / 1.6 g)
    • Flibuste - black
    • Dark Angel - brown
    • Reykjavik - grey
    • Glénan - blue
    • Nunavut - purple
  • Yeux Irresistible Eyeshadow Palette ($48 for 6 shades each 0.03 oz / 1 g)
    • All About Eve Duo Eyeshadow (right side) - Flesh-toned neutral with shimmer
    • Jezebel Eyeshadow - Shimmery sable
    • Thunderball Eyeshadow - Midnight gray
    • Colombo Eyeshadow - Vintage gold shimmer
    • Brousse Duo Eyeshadow (left side) - Sable
    • Coconut Grove Eyeshadow - Deep Brown infused with reflections 
  • Inoubliable Coup d'Oeil Eyeshadow Palette ($48 for 6 shades each 0.03 oz / 1 g)
    • Dalliance Eyeshadow - Dusty lilac stone
    • Pyla Eyeshadow - Smokey hunter green
    • Sidi Bou Saïd - Blackened grape
    • Pandora Duo Eyeshadow (left side) - Sheer white shimmer
    • Luberon - Iridescent sand with rose gold sheen
    • Pandora Duo Eyeshadow (right side) - Matte black
  •  Illuminating Multiple St. Lucia ($39 for 0.5 oz / 14 g)
    • Sheer Rose

I ordered some items sight unseen a little over a week ago and have been putting them to the test. I have my picks to share with you today. First up are the new Matte Velvet Eyeshadow Sticks. These are twist up creamy shadows that come in five colors. I've had really good experiences with the NARS Larger Than Life Eyeliners and Soft Touch Shadow Pencils so I thought these new shadow sticks might be a cross of the two products. I ordered Reykjavik, Flibuste and Dark Angel sight unseen.


The shades I ordered are quite intense and pigmented. I found Reykjavik (grey) and Dark Angel (brown) easy to apply straight on the lids along the lash line. They glided on without tugging. Flibuste (black) was a bit drier in texture and tugged a little bit on my eyes but I was still able to apply on the lash line fairly easily. The Velvet Matte Shadow sticks do dry very quickly and once they set they don't budge. For me, these work best as a liner. I've played with these by using a small smudge brush to apply them (take the brush and swipe the shadow stick, then use the product on the brush to apply to the eyes). Or I've also applied these directly to the eyes and blend with the fingers or a blending brush very quickly.

I like the sleek and simple packaging but given the intensity and pigment of the colors, I feel these act more like eyeliners rather than eyeshadows and wish they came in the Larger than Life Eyeliner form for easier and more precise application. That being said, for any darker cream shadow I usually use a brush to apply (versus fingers) whether it's a pot, twist up stick, chubby stick or compact form.




Here are a few swatched comparisons. I think the NARS Reykjavik grey is a phenomenal grey color. It's my favorite out of the ones I've tested because it's an intense grey without being too light or dark.


Next are the two Eyeshadow Palettes. These are my favorite items from the Eye-Opening Act Collection. Both are super compact and cute. I thought my favorite for sure would be the Yeux Irresistible but I actually really like Inoubliable Coup D'Oeil just as much, especially since it has a lot of new colors (versus repromoted shades).


Yeux Irresistible contains a mix of warm and cool. All the shades are available in other Single Shadows and Eyeshadow Duos with the exception of Colombo which is exclusive to this palette. For me this one has colors that will create a smokey or dramatic eye.


Here are the shades swatched with a heavy hand. If you're familiar with NARS Eyeshadows you are well aware that they have a smooth texture with medium pigment that is easy to build. All the shades here perform just like the individuals. They glide on the eyes nicely and layer well with each other. There is only one shade I've found requires extra work. In my experience with Thunderball (the single), I've found it works best when packed on the eyes with a detail brush as a liner. If you apply with a regular eyeshadow brush all over the lids, you may find it looks uneven and chalky. I found performance to be the same with this palette.
  • All About Eve II is a cool shimmering champagne pink with finely milled shimmer
  • Jezebel is a reddish brown color with subtle shimmer
  • Thunderball is a matte navy teal grey
  • Colombo is a shimmering gold with a very soft texture
  • Brousse I is a shimmering plum
  • Coconut Grove is a satiny dark brown that acts more like a matte on the lids



___________________

Inoubliable Coup d'Oeil surprised me. With the exception of Luberon, all the other colors are very much cool-toned which can be hard for me to wear easily. That combined with the fact that I rarely wear green shadows on the eyes made me a bit hesitant to order this. I decided to give it a try and I'm really glad I did. Most of the colors with the exception of Pandora Duo are new and exclusive to this palette. The combination of these colors creates a unique and softly defined eye.

  • Dalliance is a sheer soft matte lilac tan, it goes on smoothly over an eyeshadow base
  • Pyla is a soft olive green with a slight grey tone and satiny shimmer
  • Sidi Bou Said is a dusty purple grape color with a satiny matte texture
  • Pandora I and II is a sheer iridescent cool white shimmer with a matte black
  • Lumeron is a shimmering coppery rose gold champagne




Last but not least is the new St. Lucia Multiple. This is a beautiful soft shimmering rose champagne. On my medium-toned skin it's a highlighter color (I use the NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation and All Day Luminous Powder Foundation in Punjab), but I suspect on fair skin tones it will look more bronzey with more color. This one has a finely milled shimmer with a super smooth texture (no glitter). On my skin it's light enough that I can wear it on the eyes without having to worry about getting that pink-eye look. On the cheeks it adds a very natural but visible glow to the skin. It's really stunning. It's a multi-dimensional color with lots of different colored shimmers in it. It has a rose base with champagne, silver, and pink shimmers that makes it glow. I found it sheer-to-medium in coverage. It's not invisible on the skin, but it is on the sheer side for my particular skin tone. You can build the color naturally.





I'm really pleased with the eyeshadow palettes and new multiple. The colors in the palettes make creating an eye look easy whether you want something for day or night. There is a nice simplicity to the color combinations that will give you a classic look with a modern edge. The small size of the palettes makes these easy to carry with you if you need to travel or carry something with you to take you from day to night if you can't make it back home to get ready. The new St. Lucia Multiple is really quite stunning. It is sheer but gives a really stunning glow. I have mixed feelings about the Velvet Shadow Sticks. If you're looking for a more pigmented version of the Soft Touch Shadow Pencils, you will probably like the Velvet Shadow Sticks. I like the packaging design and the rich pigment. I also found lasting power very impressive (they don't budge). I do think they set a bit too quickly for me and due to the intensity of the colors I think they work better as liners than shadows.

All the items in the NARS Eye-Opening Act are limited-edition. They are currently exclusive to Nordstrom counters and online. Have you checked out the collection? Or have anything on your wish list? I'd love to hear your thoughts?




This post was sponsored by Nordstrom. All opinions my own. All products purchased by me. For more information please refer to my disclosures.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

On My Radar / New In Beauty


Happy weekend everyone! New spring collections and launches are starting to trickle in. Spring seems to be filled with some lovely pinks and roses. A few things on my beauty radar, from top left clockwise:

Guerlain Spring is filled with soft delicate pinks. I have my eye on the Les Precieux Eyeshadow Palette, Rosy Silk and Peach Satin Kiss Kiss Lipsticks and Baby Rose Nail Lacquer.

Diptyque's latest is the Rose and Ivy Collection. There is a new candle out called Rosafolia. Available now at online Diptyque and in Diptyque Boutiques. In addition there is a new scented oval and perfume released with the collection.

NARS Eye-Opening Act is a new launch exclusive to Nordstrom. I will have a review out next week. It includes St. Lucia Multiple (which is stunning!), two eyeshadow palettes in Yeux Irresistible and Inoubliable Coup d'Oeil along with five new Velvet Shadow Sticks.

Hourglass Cosmetics has new Eyeshadow Palettes coming out this spring called Modernist Eyeshadow Palettes. Infinity is the first one released, available now at Barneys New York. I can't wait to see this in person.

Dior Kingdom of Colors has two new Nail Lacquers in Glory and Lady for spring. There is also a really interesting Top Coat that looks like confetti.   

YSL Volupté Tint-In-Oil is a lip tint suspended in oil. It comes in eight colors. I've read mixed reviews but I have three sitting in my shopping cart. I can't decide whether or not to pull the trigger and buy without testing first. 

Bite Beauty has a new Agave Lip Mask in Smashed which is a berry hue. I am putting this one to the test right now and hope to have a full review with swatches later next week.

The Sephora + Pantone Universe Shimmering Marsala Cheek Trio keeps calling my name. I think it's only a matter of time before I cave and purchase this too. If you bought it, I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

What's on your beauty radar this weekend?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Monday, December 29, 2014

Best Beauty Discoveries and Highlights of 2014


2014 has been a very exciting year and I feel incredibly blessed in so many ways. I am grateful for each and every one of my readers. Without your passion for all things beauty this blog would not be a possibility for me to keep up. Each week I am touched by the kindness some of you have shown through e-mail and comments. I think the internet and social media is amazing with the way it enables us to connect with each other across the world. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for following me through this blog :) 

I have a roundup of beauty highlights in 2014. There have been so many great beauty releases and innovations this year. I think the holiday sets this season were the best ones I've seen to date. I've linked previous reviews of my favorite beauty discoveries for 2014 below. Please let me know what your top beauty discoveries were as well, I'd love to hear what your favorite picks were!
This year marked the year for a number of brand launches and store openings. New beauty brand launches in the US that I was really excited about included Gucci Beauty and Charlotte Tilbury. A number of brands added new stores and boutiques. Diptyque on Larchmont opened in Los Angeles. In Venice Beach Caudalie and Hourglass Cosmetics opened up boutiques. Another highlight for me was finally visiting the NARS Boutique on Melrose (although it opened a few years ago).

Additional highlights include a couple special features for The Beauty Look Book. In January I was really excited to be featured on Barneys New York - The Window. In March of this year I was beyond thrilled to discover that InstyleUK included me in their Top 50 Websites (thank you!!).

The best thing for me this year though was being able to connect with some bloggers and YouTubers in person (in beauty and fashion). Meeting them was incredibly inspiring. There are few things that give me that warm fuzzy feeling like seeing women support other women and I value their friendship, advice, encouragement and positive outlook on life. 

What were your top beauty discoveries this year?

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Inside My Bag


I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend! I have a few things to share that I've been loving lately - all of which are compact in size making it easy to slip into a flat leather clutch.

First, Elizabeth and James just released a new Solid Perfume Compact for Nirvana Black and White. It's the prettiest solid perfume compact I've seen. It comes in heavy duty a mirrored compact with the same detail as the full size bottles. It's currently a VIB/VIB Rouge Exclusive at Sephora.com through 12/27 and will be officially launch in the new year. The solid Nirvana Black smells just like the Eau De Parfum and Rollerball (full review on those here) with decent lasting power.

Next, I've been really enjoying the Tom Ford Lips & Boys clutch-sized lipsticks. I have posted a few sneak peeks here and on my Instagram, I'm working as fast as I can to get the full review and swatches up this week. Below is William, a sheer glossy nude peach shimmer.

NARS is a regular go-to these days with their Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in Dione (review) and Audacious Lipstick in Barbara (review). I've been shopping my stash with both formulas.

For the dry winter weather, I've been using hand cream and lip balms religiously. Two I really like at the moment is L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand cream mini that I got as a gift with purchase at the boutique (always a classic) and the Malin + Goetz Lip Moisturizer.



Full clutch contents this weekend:

1 / NARS Audacious Lipstick in Barbara
4 / Chocolate Mints Tin
5 / Louis Vuitton Key ring
6 / L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream
9 / Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre in Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds (review soon)
10 / Tom Ford Lips & Boys in William
12 / iPhone


Hope you have a lovely Sunday afternoon!

The Elizabeth & James solid compact was provided for review consideration. The mini L'Occitane hand cream was a gift with purchase in store. All other items purchased by me.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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




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


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

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

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

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

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




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


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

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

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



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





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

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Holiday Beauty: Reds for Lips and Nails


The holiday season is in full swing and I have another holiday inspired beauty post to share with you today. Last month I shared some Champagne and Gold Shimmer favorites from Nordstrom. I'm a neutral makeup lover at heart but still like to like to wear brighter colors. Red is very much in season although finding a good red nail color is easy with so many good options, finding a good red lip can be challenging for me. I have full lips that tend to pull a lot of pink with lipsticks and glosses. Many reds can be too bright, pull orange, or turn fuchsia pink if they have too much blue.


I've pulled seven of my favorite reds ranging from soft pink red to a deep berry red for lips that I'd recommend for neutral lip lovers. They have enough pigment for those who want a bolder lip, but still natural enough to be wearable for even the most conservative makeup wearer.

If you're super scared of red, opt for a pink red. YSL Volupté Sheer Candy Succulent Pomegranate #4 (1) is a super sheer but hot pink with some red. It has a sheer glossy finish which makes it more wearable. Burberry Oxblood Lip Glow Lip Gloss (2) looks super dark in the tube but has a jelly finish making it a super sheer jelly pink red.

If you're braver for more color, NARS Tech Fashion Gloss Shade IV (3) is a warm red, there is a hint of a natural shimmer in it making it not a pure red. The warmth also makes it softer.

For those who want a true red with shine, I'd recommend Chanel Rouge Allure Gloss in Seduction (4) which stays put quite well for a gloss formula. It's layerable for rich color but still has a hint of pink making it a youthful red. NARS Burning Love Lip Gloss (5) is a true red that packs a punch. For a gloss, this is also very pigmented. This is the true-est red I have that is the perfect in between of warm and cool. For me, this is the perfect holiday red.

If you want a lush brighter red, Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Sugar Cherry (6) is surprisingly pigmented on the lips. Swatched on the arms or hands it looks like it will barely show up, but the Fresh Sugar Lips tend to adhere really well to the lips which brings out the color. This one just glows.

For those who want a deeper berry red, Burberry Beauty Lip Mist in Oxblood (7) is as perfect as it gets for deep reds. It's a hybrid gel formula so it's supposed to be sheer, but the formula hugs the lips and swiping back and forth brings out the color. Burberry Blueberry Lip Mist is a redder and deeper option. Oxblood also comes in a more pigmented Lip Cover version as well.


If you still are convinced you can't pull of red lips but still want to wear red, nail polish is the easiest way to incorporate a bit of red into your holiday beauty routine. The best thing about red nail polish is that it's timeless. There's no need to buy a new color if you already own reds, you can always shop your stash from spring or summer. That being said, I do always look forward to what brands release each holiday for their version of what they think is the latest and greatest modern red. Three I'm loving right now include:

Burberry Oxblood is re-promoted this season with gold packaging for holiday. It's a jelly deep oxblood color. Two coats will give you a deep plum red. Chanel Expression (from late fall) is the perfect hybrid of red and pink. On me it definitely leans more red, but the pink tone brightens the colors and makes the hands look alive (not drab). YSL Rouge Pablo was a release from spring. It's a bright and very warm red but festive.



Some inspiration on what to coordinate with a red lip. Keep the eyes and cheeks simple since the statement color will be on your lips. Neutral earthy eyes can be dressed up with deeper smokey browns or blacks.  For cheeks, I've always found earthy, peachy or soft bronzed colors work well with any undertone of red.




Do you like to wear reds for lips and nails for holiday? Please let me know what your favorite go-to's are! Or if you have any new recent discoveries I'd love to hear about those too.





Special thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post. Burberry Oxblood Lip Glow, Lip Mist and Nail Polish were provided for review consideration. All other items purchased by me. As always, all opinions are my own. For more info, you can refer to my Disclosures.

 

design + development by fabulous k | COPYRIGHT © 2009-2014 THE BEAUTY LOOK BOOK