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

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Loving Right Now + Weekend Reads


I hope everyone had a great week. I spent the last couple days in Los Angeles to visit with family, preview the new Hourglass store in Venice Beach and meet up with Edward Bess at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills. I'm a bit behind on reviews but am working all weekend editing and photographing for posts to be published this week. Right now I'm in love with (left to right):

  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette is one of my holy grail powder highlighter palettes with three shades of their Ambient Lighting Powders in Dim Light, Incandescent Light (exclusive to palette) and Radiant Light, it is something I find perfect for travel and it works for both eyes and cheeks
  • Charlotte Tilbury Blondie Lip Lustre is the perfect soft pale pink that doesn't wash out the complexion, lasts for hours and is also lovely as a layering color
  • NARS Anita Audacious Lipstick has been in frequent rotation as a good neutral rose pink
  • NARS Himalia and Subra Dual Intensity Eyeshadows are my go-to shades when I want something easy to wear that goes with just about any color of lip/cheek or clothing (if you just get one, Himalia is a must-check-out)
  • Tatcha Travel-Sized Beauty is my latest obsession, their minis of Beauty Oil and Classic Rice Enzyme Powder Cleansers are what I bring with me on weekend getaways (the packaging of the travel sizes are just as good in design and quality as the full size, huge plus for me)
  • Guerlain Waterproof Mascara has been a must-have all summer for volumizing and holding the curl, I just bought my second tube of it
  • Kat Von D Ink Liner is my everything for liquid liners right now
  • L'Artisan Mure et Musc is my favorite scent of the moment, I just purchased my second bottle after my last one accidentally broke (I knocked it off my desk and it shattered)
  • Edward Bess All Over Seduction is my holy grail cream highlighter, some asked me for a recommendation on a liquid/cream version that doesn't interfere with foundation if you put it on top, this one is THE one to try (Sunlight shown above, but I also adore Afterglow the darker peachy bronze version)
  • Formula X Remarkable Translucent Nail Polish is the perfect pale sheer (swatches soon)
Some weekend reads and videos I think are worth a look:


What are you loving this weekend? P.S. I'm behind on responding to comments and e-mails, I'll be responding as soon!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Foundation Testing with Clé de Peau Beauté, NARS and YSL


I've been testing out a few foundations over the past few months. I normally look for foundations with medium natural coverage (like Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet or Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation), but lately I've been reaching for ones with more coverage to cover imperfections and even out the skin. Four foundations I've been putting to the test include:

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Clé de Peau Beauté Cream and Silky Cream Foundations

I've heard so many good things about Clé de Peau Beauté foundations but have avoided them for years because I did not want to fall in love with a $100+ foundation. Several friends along with a couple bloggers I've met use foundations from the line and their skin always looks phenomenal. I decided to give both the Cream and Silky Cream versions a try. I was matched to O30 which is a neutral medium shade. Both are really good, but I have a slight preference for the Cream. For reference, Joey'space has a good comparison chart to show the difference. Both foundations have a medium cream texture that is very concentrated so you only need a little to cover the entire face. They are packaged in a convenient squeeze tube which is very easy to use. I like that there is no detectable fragrance once you apply it on the face.


The Clé de Peau Beauté Cream Foundation comes with a higher SPF of 29 and has a medium to full coverage for me. It has a semi-matte and velvety finish but looks very natural on the skin. I found it blends perfectly when used with a damp Beauty Blender sponge or Chanel Foundation Brush and both make the skin look flawless. It covers quite well without looking heavy or cakey. I prefer the Cream because it has a bit more yellow in it which matches my skin better and also has a more matte finish. Lasting power is very good for my normal skin, but with the hot humid weather we've been having in Southern California, I've found nothing really holds up the entire day without touch ups. This one does get a bit shiny on the nose area with the humid weather, but on the days I've tested it where it was cooler, I found it held up very well without any touch ups required. Beauty Professor has all the shades in the Cream formula swatched for reference.

The Silky Cream Foundation comes with SPF 23 and also has medium coverage but has a slightly dewy finish. This one is better suited for dry skin, but I've found it is still suitable for my normal skin. The finish is really lovely on this but it has a slight hint of pink in it but I still find it to be a decent match for my skin tone. The Clé de Peau Beauté rep who helped me at Neiman Marcus said most people prefer this formula because it looks more natural on the skin and those with normal to dry skin find it blends easier, but her personal preference was for the Cream. The coverage on this one is also phenomenal with a natural dewy look. It's a bit too rich for my skin right now with the super warm weather but I suspect this will be really good for fall/winter. I could have skipped this one entirely since I prefer the Cream version.

Ingredients (Silky Cream on top, Cream at bottom):


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NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation

I've also been testing the NARS Radiant Cream Compact foundation. This one has been out for quite some time but I never tested it. A makeup artist applied this on me at a recent makeover event I attended. I told her I was looking for something with more coverage than the Tinted Moisturizer but not as heavy as their Sheer Glow Foundation. She suggested I use the Radiant Cream Compact and was matched to Punjab. I am typically not a fan of compact foundations because they are usually extremely heavy on my skin, but the NARS is surprisingly lightweight with a finish that has a natural glow. It's not overly dewy and I don't know that I would call it radiant, but it does have a soft luminous finish without looking shiny or greasy. I really like the way this applies with a damp Beauty Blender or fingers for smooth even coverage. The entire set is refillable and the mirrored compact with sponge is sold separately for $10. After testing this for almost a month now, I think I could have definitely skipped buying the compact. The sponge that comes with the foundation is a good one, but not the best for this cream foundation. I found it applied too much product and also found it to look a bit streaky. I loved how this covered smoothly and didn't settle into fine lines or pores for me.

I've found lasting power to be quite good, but those with oily skin will probably need to touch up mid-day. It didn't leave me an oil slick (like Armani Luminous Silk does) but it did look a bit too dewy by 1:30 pm in the afternoon after applying it in the morning. I really really love this one. For reference, Café Makeup has all the shades swatched.

Ingredients: Dimethicone, Water, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Dipropylene Glycol, Glycerin, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Paraffin, Nylon-12, Peg-400, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Cera Microcristallina (Microcrystalline Wax), Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Aluminum Hydroxide, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Polysilicone-2, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Ceramide 3, Palmitic Acid, Pentylene Glycol, Tin Oxide, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate, Maris Aqua (Sea Water), Spilanthes Acmella (Spilanthes Acmella Flower Extract), Ethylhexylglycerin, Barium Sulfate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Algae (Algae Extract), Alumina, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, [+/- (May Contain): Mica, Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Ci 77491 (Iron Oxides), Ci 77492 (Iron Oxides), Ci 77499 (Iron Oxides)].

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YSL Fusion Ink Foundation


The last foundation I've tested that I wanted to share is the YSL Fusion Ink Foundation. There has been a lot of hype and excitement over this new release from YSL. I bought this at Nordstrom and my experience was slightly frustrating since the rep didn't know how to properly match me (she wanted to give me ones with pink tones) so I ended up matching myself to B40 which turned out to be a really good match. I really wanted to love this but it did not work for my skin.

Reports and reviews have been mixed on this. Some adore it while others do not. I tested this on several occasions and fell head over heels in love with the color, texture and blendability. What I did not like was the thin runny liquid texture which made it drip all over the place when moving the tip from the bottle to the back of my hand, face or sponge. Even though it had a thin texture, I loved the way it covered my skin. It looked velvety with flawless coverage and lasted all day even in hot humid weather. The Fusion Ink foundation blended quite well and I found it easy to layer for more coverage while still looking natural like skin, but just slightly matte.

After a few weeks of testing I found it did not work well with my sensitive skin. When I applied it, the foundation stung my skin upon first application but the stinging sensation went away after it was blended. Even though it seemed to last well all day, by the time I took it off in the evening, I found my face covered with red spots and bumps. I tried this on six different occasions just to make sure it wasn't anything else that caused the reaction. Each time I had the same redness by the end of the day. It also clogged pores and caused breakouts in my chin area which took a couple weeks to clear up. Your mileage may vary on this one. If you can get a sample to try first, I recommend it.

Ingregients: Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Isododecane, Alcohol Denat, Vinyl Dimenthicone/Methicone, Silsequioxane, Crosspolymer, Phenyl, Trimethicone, Disteardimonium Hectorite, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Water, Propylene Carbonate, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Silica Silyate, Fragrance, Calophyllum Inophyllum Seed Oil, Aluminum Hydroxide, Benzyl Alcohol. 

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Swatches comparisons to a few others that I've had in rotation:



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Overall thoughts:

I'm still a huge fan of Chanel foundations as my go-to for the best color match and formula options for my skin tone and skin type. I give the NARS Radiant Cream Compact foundation and Clé de Peau Beauté Cream Foundation a huge thumbs up. I was particularly impressed with the lightweight feel of the NARS and also really pleased with the natural dewy coverage it provided. It gives the face a natural but slightly glowy look while evening out the skin. The color Punjab is a perfect match for me.

The Clé de Peau Beauté Cream Foundation is really the best foundation I have ever tried. I really wish it wasn't so expensive but the coverage, look and feel is truly phenomenal and there is nothing that comes close from my testing experience. I have a lot of foundation loves, but this one beats them all.

I do like the look and feel of the Clé de Peau Beauté Silky Cream but it is better suited for normal-dry skin and cooler weather. I could have skipped the Silky Cream and gone just with the Cream formula but I really didn't know what to expect before I tested them extensively. Given the high price of the Clé de Peau foundation, I do think it's a try before you buy kind of thing. The shade selection is on the lighter end so if you're medium to dark you might have a hard time finding a match in the cream formulas.

The YSL Fusion Ink unfortunately was a complete fail for me. I don't know if I'm going to return it or not, I bought mine at Nordstrom and the associate assured me I could return it without any issues if it didn't work, but I still hate returning things. The coverage, color match, overall look and lasting power were all so good, but the formula didn't work well with my skin type (which is super sensitive) and caused red bumps to surface everywhere.

Have you tested any of these? What were your thoughts? If you haven't, what are your favorite foundations in rotation right now?



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Deep Smoky Teal Nail Lacquers | Louboutin, JINsoon, NARS, Marc Jacobs Beauty and Rescue Beauty Lounge


I'm currently obsessed with these dark smokey teal shades of nail polish. There are so many different kinds of teal. Some are straight blue-green creams while others have this pretty mix of green, blue, black and silver. Ones I'm obsessed with right now:


  • Louboutin Lady Twist ($50) is the ultimate luxurious deep teal version of a vamp shade. It has a full coverage with rich pigment. It applied very smoothly but due to the longish brush, I found it took a tiny bit of extra time to get a precise application near the cuticles. I will have a more detailed review on other Louboutin shades coming up, but to sum up, I've been very pleased with the formula, coverage and wear time.
  • JINsoon Heirloom ($18) is a darker deeper version of Chanel Azure, Heirloom is an intense metallic green teal loaded with tons of complex shimmer particles, it applies very smoothly for a metallic. The way this flashes different colors makes it resemble a peacock.
  • Rescue Beauty Lounge Small Dim Summer Stars ($20) is one of the prettiest complex shades I have ever seen. It's silver, green, teal, black all mixed into one polish. It has the prettiest micro sparkles mixed throughout so when you look at it on the nails sometimes it looks silvery, other times more green and in other lighting more teal. I loved this one so much I bought a back up.
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty Sally ($18) is an iridescent blackened green. Don't let the first coat disappoint you, it will be very very sheer with the first coat, but it transforms into this full coverage beautiful green with the second coat. It's almost black on the nails but there is still enough color so it does look green with a slight hint of teal
  • NARS Wrong Turn ($20) is part of the 3.1 Phillip Lim + NARS Collection. This is such a unique color because it changes with a top coat. In the bottle and on the nails it's a metallic gunmetal grey. Once you add a top coat it transform into this deep teal shade. (See both swatches on Beauty Geeks). It applies like one of those rich metallic shades that adheres really well to the nail and applies flawlessly. It's a definite must have.
  • Rescue Beauty Lounge Monologue ($20) is part of the Anatomy of #Kdrama collection (featured here). It's a deep rich navy blue with a unique metallic sheen. It's not quite in the teal family, but I had to feature it again for those who prefer something with more blue/navy.

More photos and swatches, Louboutin Lady Twist



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For reference, here are the shades swatched side by side along with a few other additions:

Rescue Beauty Lounge Small Dim Summer Stars
Rescue Beauty Lounge Teal (d/c)
Rescue Beauty Lounge Monologue
Marc Jacobs Sally
Louboutin Lady Twist
JINsoon Heirloom
Chanel Azure (d/c)
Chanel Nuit de Russie (d/c)


Larger view:


Do you have a favorite teal?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Monthly Beauty Favorites


I discovered quite a few new favorites in August it was difficult to narrow down my list to under 20 items. My Sony NEX-6L/B just broke right after photographed my monthly favorites along with some new items from Tom Ford Fall and Edward Bess. It will take 2-3 weeks for me to get it back after it goes to the repair center. As a blogger and photographer, I really should have more than one camera for times just like this. I called up my brother to ask for a camera recommendation. I wanted something that was super easy to use, easy to hold, affordable and compact. He said hands down buy something from the Canon G Series - after doing a few hours of research and watching several videos, I ordered a Canon PowerShot G16 as my second camera. I took my first photos with it for the Tom Ford Black Cherry post and am so impressed with the image quality and functions. Many of you have asked me for more info on my cameras, as soon as the Sony gets back from repair, I'll do a post on both to compare. If you have any camera favorites I'd love to hear what you love. I hope to upgrade to an SLR by the end of the year.

Onto my favorites for the month of August:
  1. Truffle Privacy Clutch in Blush has become a favorite for a classic, sleek and compact clutch. It's super sturdy and extremely well made. Use code LABORDAY for free US shipping through Monday. (Review and more photos here.)
  2. Clare Vivier Wallet Clutch is another new favorite, it's the compact version (measures 8" x 5") of their regular Flat Clutch (measures 11.5" x 7") making it perfect as a change purse that will also hold a lipstick, business cards, and keys. 
  3. West Elm Acrylic Trays are a new discovery for me. I've been a huge fan of their Lacquer Trays (we have them all over the house). I'm thrilled West Elm made one that is high quality at an affordable price. Huge thumbs up (they come in the square and rectangle options).
  4. YSL Volupté Sheer Candy has been a go-to this summer, I almost always have one in my bag or purse with me. (Review on new shades here.)
  5. Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black is a favorite darker scent. It will be perfect as we transition to fall and suitable to wear through winter. (Full review here.)
  6. YSL Gris Deco has been the most commented-on polish I've worn all month. It was amazing how many people asked me "what nail polish are you wearing?" It has this unique mix of blue in it to make you wonder if it's blue, grey or white. I love it for a super polished look that's not too pale. (Swatches and review here.)
  7. Diptyque Figuier is one of my favorite Diptyque scents. I never tire of it no matter what the season is. I'm particularly fond of it in fall/winter. It's a warming soothing scent that completely lifts one's mood. It's super relaxing and lush. (Cleaning and recycle tutorial here, find the 411 on size options here.)
  8. Tom Ford Eyeshadow Quad in Nude Dip sold out online within a few hours, I still haven't seen it pop up on Nordstrom or Bloomingdales yet, there is a possibility some other retailers might re-stock. You will have to do a bit of calling around to locate one but it's definitely worth the extra effort. I'd recommend calling Neiman Marcus Fashion Island or Beverly Hills to see if they have any left. (Review soon.)
  9. Guerlain Cils D'Enfer Waterproof Mascara is something I've been obsessed with for a few months now. I discovered this one thanks to The RaeViewer's channel (if she loves it, I usually end up loving it too). It really stays put, doesn't smudge, has a deep lush black finish and doesn't make the lashes look crunchy. (My review here.)
  10. Garance Doré x Rifle Paper is one of the cutest collections I've seen for stationary. I love the chic designs, they have cards that are really fun. They make great gifts, I know my friends have loved the notepads and birthday cards. 
  11. L'Occitane Hand Cream Pouch has been selling out very quickly (it's a steal!), I managed to buy three sets when they restocked a couple weeks ago, it looks like it just sold out again, but I recommend you keep checking, I expect they will restock again.
  12. Clé de Peau Beauté Almond Concealer is an exact match for me. I'm thrilled they expanded their color options. I hope they do the same for foundations as well, I just tested a couple and fell head over heels with two of the formulas (my wallet is crying now). (Swatches here.)
  13. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow has been a staple duo this month. The line will launch in a few days in the US. (I'm so excited!) I am still photographing the two sets I ordered from the UK. Reviews will be posted as soon as possible.
  14. Edward Bess Illuminating Eyeshadow Base is one of my holy grail eye bases. (My thoughts here and here.)
  15. Kat Von D Ink Liner has seriously made my life easier when it comes to liquid liner. (Review here.) You can't beat the ease of use, color, pigment, and quality at an affordable price.
  16. NARS Audacious Lipstick in Raquel is my new favorite nude pink. It's literally everything I have ever wanted for that perfect nude pink lip color. I can't always pull off nudes on the lips because they often look so pale. This one is absolutely perfect. It's a good nude pink that doesn't wash out the complexion. (Swatches here.)



What have been your favorites this past month?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

NARS Audacious Lipsticks | Lip Swatches for Barbara, Raquel, Vanessa, Anita, Julie, Brigette and Juliette

All the lipsticks lined up at the NARS Melrose Boutique (previous feature here)

Here is Part 2 of my NARS Audacious Lipsticks review with lip swatches of my picks. They retail for $32 each. Some of the colors are exclusive to Barneys New York and NARS Boutiques. I will make a note for the retailer exclusive shades.  I picked out all the neutral shades in Barbara, Raquel, Vanessa, Anita, Julie, Brigette and Juliette.



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Barbara is a tan rose nude pink on me. It's a great peachy beige.




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Raquel is the lightest color in the lineup. It's a pale pink beige cream.




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Vanessa is a cool mauve nude. This one is a Barneys/NARS Boutique Exclusive. On me it pulls more blue in some light, but in others more neutral. The photo below shows it to be a bit more cool toned.



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Anita is described as an antique rose. I find it almost identical to Vanessa. The difference is slight but Anita is a bit lighter and warmer in color.




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Julie is another Barneys/NARS exclusive. This one is described as a nude pink. On me it has a hint of peachy tone to it. It's really quite lovely.




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Brigette is described as a nude rose, but on me it's a brighter peach with a hint of pink.




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Juliette is a bright coral. It looks neutral-ish in the tube but on the lips it's really bright. For me this is a super bold lip.




Bottom line is I need more lip space. I wish I could wear them all at once. If you're like me and love neutrals, I hope this helps show the difference between the neutral nudes and pinks. There are a couple more neutrals (such as Jane) I saw at the store but they pulled more orange/brown on me versus a true neutral. It would be hard for me to pick out my favorite shade because they all work so well on the lips. They are creamy, hydrating, full coverage and long lasting. They apply smoothly as well. Some of the lip swatches show more texture than others since I did a lot of wiping and reapplying it dried out my lips a bit. However on a regular non-swatching day these apply flawlessly.

My top three picks would be Barbara, Anita and Julie.

Have you checked out any of the NARS Audacious Lipsticks yet? Which ones do you have your eye on? These are currently available now at Nordstrom, Sephora, Barneys New York, NARS Boutiques and online at narscosmetics.com.



Julie and Juliette were provided courtesy of NARS for review consideration. All other shades purchased by me.
 

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