Showing posts with label Nordstrom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nordstrom. Show all posts

Monday, September 22, 2014

Trending Now: Plum Lips


Plum lips are always something I look forward to when we transition into fall each year. I find plum shades to be classic colors and look forward to each year's new take on the shade. There are so many beautiful variations of plum ranging from soft neutrals to reddish plums to deep dramatic vamps. I'm a neutral lip lover so I feel like I can't pull off dramatic colors easily. Also since I have a lot of pigment in my lips, plum colored lipsticks and lip glosses can often pull really red or extremely blue. Nordstrom Beauty has curated a selection of 30 shades on their Trending Now Section featuring dramatic colors for a Velvet Berry Lip. I've partnered with Nordstrom to share my favorite plum lip picks for neutral lip lovers (like myself).


When it comes to plums or dark dramatic lip colors in general I prefer sheerer lipsticks or lipgloss formulas. They are more forgiving on the lips when it comes to fading. The contrast between your natural lip and the lipstick can become obvious when the color starts to wear off. You can extend the wear with a lipliner blended over the lip to help the fading look less obvious. My favorites for plums include Chanel Nude (which isn't really a true nude) and MAC Beurre Creamstick Liner.

My top picks for lip glosses include:


  • MAC Lovechild Lipglass is the prettiest mix of purple, gold and rose, on me it goes on purple, on others I've seen it pull more pink, it's universally flattering in my mind and has been a long-time staple in my lip wardrobe
  • NARS Sixties Fan Lipgloss is a dark wine in the tube but goes on a sheer reddish plum, if you're a no-shimmer kind of lip person this is a good option for you, it layers well over lipliners and matte lipsticks
  • Chantecaille Mulberry Luminous Lipgloss is new for fall, it is a deep wine infused with gold and red and plum shimmers, the coverage is medium to full, you can layer it for more pigment
  • Tom Ford Love Bruise Ultra Shine Lipgloss is a soft blue-toned plum, it has a semi-transparent finish but still shows a decent amount of color, there is shimmer in this but it's subtle
  • Chanel Pagoda Glossimer has been a long time favorite, I'm so happy they didn't discontinue this shade (many of my favorites have been discontinued), if want my recommendation on just one high-end plum lipgloss, this is my favorite
  • MAC Viva Glam VI Lipglass is another classic plum, this one has quite a bit of sparkle in the tube, it has a mix of rose and silver sparkles, but on the lips it's not too sparkly, I've seen this on a number of different skin tones and it looks good on everyone




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My top picks for lipsticks include:



  • Burberry Blueberry Lip Mist is about as dark as I will go for lips, it's a blue-based plum, but on my lips it pulls more red, your mileage may vary on the color, but I love how it looks so different on everyone I've seen it on, the Lip Mists have this unique lipstick/gel texture that glides on the lips and hugs them so the color really adheres well
  • Chantecaille Lotus Lipstick was featured in the fall collection and sold out in all the stores near me, I had to have the store locate it online to ship to me, if you can find it, I highly recommend it, the color has a glossy finish that looks very natural and has quite a bit of color
  • MAC Plumful Lustre Lipstick is a sheer blue-toned plum, it's almost identical to Chantecaille Lotus on my lips in terms of color and coverage
  • Chanel Confident Rouge Coco Shine is a soft lighter plum, it's one of the few light plums I've been able to find in a lipstick form, if you have darker skin tones or lips you might find this pulls more pinkish rather than plum
  • Guerlain Fabulous Rose is new from the Kiss Kiss Shaping Cream formula, there are a number of stunning plums and wines, this one has a lot of shimmer but it melds into the lips naturally so it doesn't look frosty, for a plum I was torn between Fabulous Rose, Cherry Pink and Air Kiss and the artist recommended Fabulous Rose for a warmer plum that would still be natural



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For coordinating the rest of your beauty look, I recommend keeping the cheeks and eyes understated. Too much color can be overwhelming if you have a darker plum lip. My absolute favorite go-to blush is NARS Madly. It's a soft beige peach pink color that adds warmth and color to the face that coordinates well with almost any lip color (not just plum, but also nudes, pinks and peaches). For the eyes to keep it simple I like NARS All About Eve and Kalahari Eyeshadow Duos which go well with plum lips and add subtle definition to the eyes. I like that you can layer the shades of Kalahari over the Himalia Dual Intensity Eye Shadows for more intensity. If I need more color I like adding a deep plum or brown along the upper lash lines for definition. I'm still on the hunt for a good plum eyeliner (one that has some shimmer and is really dark) but for now I like darker plum shadows applied with a small smudge brush like MAC Beauty Marked or NARS Subra.

If you're one who prefers neutral lips but want to try something plum with more color, I hope my picks and swatches help give you some ideas on how to wear a more subdued plum. If you're all about color, I highly recommend you check out Nordstrom's Velvet Berry Lip selections.

Do you have a favorite berry or plum-colored lipstick or lipgloss?
I would love to hear what your beauty go-to's are!




Many thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post.

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 25, 2014

Dior Addict Fluid Stick Rose Tricheuse #669 (Nordstrom Anniversary Beauty Exclusive)


There are two Dior Addict Fluid Sticks that are Nordstrom Beauty Exclusives for their anniversary sale in Rose Tricheuse #669 and Mona Lisette #872 ($35 each). I picked up the lighter option Rose Tricheuse #669 which is a medium-bright coral with pink tones. I've been really happy with the Fluid Stick formula (see thoughts here and swatches here). These are highly pigmented lip colors that have a lipgloss formula that act more like a full-coverage lipstick.

The Nordstrom Beauty Exclusive shades are on the bright side for me but I've been trying more color for the lips, especially this summer. Rose Tricheuse #669 is a bright color but not fluorescent. Coverage is full like the other shades in the Fluid Stick formula but melds well with the lip. They have a slightly glossy sheen with a nice feel. I like that they don't dry out the lips like some liquid lipsticks can.






On the lips:


Comparisons to:

Tom Ford Paradiso Lip Sheer (swatched here)
Chanel Misia Rouge Coco Shine (Neiman Marcus exclusive)


Dior Rose Tricheuse #669 ($35) is a Nordstrom Beauty Exclusive for their 2014 Anniversary sale in the US but you can also find it at the Dior Beauty Boutique in Las Vegas, you can reach them at (702)-734-1102 (while their stock lasts).



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

On My Radar | New in Beauty and Deals of the Week


New items on my radar in the beauty world:
  • Dior Beauty has launched some new fall products for eyes, lips and nails:
    • 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette ($60) comes in five new shades in Bar 56, Carre Bleu 276, Pied De Poule 96, Trafalgar 876, Tutu 846
    • Rouge Dior Lipstick ($35) is available in five new colors with Carre D'Or 135, Bar 317, Rose Tutu 354, Rouge Massai 869 and Pied-de-Poule 977
    • Vernis Gel-Shine Nail Lacquer ($25) comes in four new cream finish shades in Pied de Poule 206, Rose Tutu 254, Bar 902 and Carre Bleu 769
  • Hourglass 1.5mm Mechanical Gel Eyeliner ($16 for single, $45 for set of 3) is the latest innovation from Hourglass with the thinnest waterproof gel liner that offers precision accuracy with a single stroke, available now at Hourglasscosmetics.com, at Sephora July 29, all other counters August 15
  • L'Occitane Frisson Verbena Collection ($12 to $55) has a range of fresh green and citrus body products perfect for summer, I'm in love with the Frisson Verbena Fresh Shower Gel and Hand Cream (thoughts on these soon)
  • Net-A-Porter Beautified Natural Nomad Pouch ($50) with Tata Harper Fortifying Body Oil and Lotion, Illia Sway Multistick, RGB Nail Polish, Remover Pad and Cuticle Oil, Rahua Volume Spray, Joya's Composition No. 1 Perfume, LAFCO Hand Lotion
  • YSL Volupté Sheer Candy ($34) has launched in four new shades in Belle Cannelle #14, Rose Candy #15, Cherise Desir #16 and Fraise Ganache #17

Some deals and codes that have come through my inbox recently:
  • Benefit Cosmetics - Free US Standard Shipping on any order with code SUNSHIP
  • Bloomingdales - bRejuvinated Beauty Event Gift with Purchase offers (over 60 offers) through July 28 or while supplies last, plus 4 free beauty samples with any online order
  • Clinique - Three free summer saver minis Moisture Surge Face Spray, 7 Day Scrub Rinse-Off, Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel with any online Clinique purchase, 7/23 – 7/24 or while supplies last
  • L'Occitane - 12 Hour Beauty Break sale, you have 12 hours to shop for select products up to 50% off, online only July 23rd 10:00 AM EST to 10:00 PM EST
    • L'Occitane code offerings while supplies last:
      • Receive 3 Hand Creams + Adorable Pouch with any $25 Purchase with code SHEAHANDS, valid through 7/29
      • Free 50ml Shea Cleansing Milk with any $30 Purchase with code REFRESH, valid through 7/29
      • Free Angelica skincare duo of hydrating Toner and Cleansing gel with $45 purchase, code ANGELICA, valid through 7/29
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty - Free shipping on orders $50+, free mini Highliner in Blacquer with any $75+ order with code MINI, while supplies last
  • Macy's - Over 150 online only gift with purchase deals from Clinique, Origins, Elizabeth Arden, Laura Mercier
  • Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Gift With Purchase over 70 gifts with purchases available for the sale from Caudalie, YSL, Jo Malone, Jouer, Guerlain, Cle de Peau, Lancome, Estee Lauder, Chantecaille and more
  • Sephora - Online Limited Beauty Insider Offers with $25+ orders (one code per order) while supplies last:
    • Ole Henriksen's 3 Little Wonders 7-Day Sampler with code WONDERS
    • Choose 1 of 3 Lip Minis from Too Faced, NARS or Sephora Collection with code LIPMINI
    • Fresh Soy Conditioning Eye Makeup Remover with code FRESHSOY
    • Deluxe sample of Ole Henriksen Ultimate Lift Eye Gel with code EYELIFT
    • Benefit Cosmetics They're Real Push-Up Liner 30-day Sample with code PUSHUP
    • Choose 1 of 3 Deluxe Sized Self-Tanners from Vita Liberata, St. Tropez, bareMinerals with code BRONZED
    • Early Access sample of Josie Maran Argan Black Oil Mascara Deluxe Sample for VIBs/Rouge, use code VIBJOSIE
  • Shu Uemura USA - A Midsummer's Night Sample Set with any $50+ order, includes Tsuya Radiance Essense, Classic Cleansing Oil (20 ml), Anti-Oxi Deluxe Cleansing Oil (20 ml), Stage Performer Instant Glow (10 ml), Mini PK70C Gloss, use code UNWIND
If you have any good deals or codes, please share in the comments :)

P.S. Don't forget to enter my Fresh Sugar Tulip Giveaway! There are up to four ways to enter and the entry period is almost up. I'll be selecting the winner over the weekend and announce who won next week.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Nordstrom Anniversary Beauty Exclusives | My Picks


The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale has officially started for everyone. It will run through the August 3rd. After browsing through the items during the Early Access and carefully reviewing each option I narrowed by beauty picks down to 5 items. My top five picks include:
  1. Chanel Dentelle Précieuse Illuminating Powder ($80) is a definite must-have for me, it's a stunning luminous beige highlighter with rose, bronze and peach tones (review here)
  2. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Cheekbones Set ($110) is on it's way to me, (I just ordered it)
  3. MAC Look in a Box - All About Coral ($39.50) is such a great deal for the price, I put the items to the test yesterday in warm summer weather, detailed review up soon
  4. NARS Dolce Vita Lip & Nail Set ($52) I have this one on hold for me at the store to pick up soon, I thought about this one for several days before caving
  5. Diptyque Baies + Figuier Set ($120) I ordered this as a gift for a loved one, I have several candle wick trimmers and can't rave enough about them, it's really much better than using regular scissors because of the angle and design, plus you don't have to worry about getting your regular ones dirty from burnt wicks



Will you be shopping the sale soon? What are your top picks? If you are a Nordstrom Cardholder, did you get anything during Early Access?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

2014 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Beauty Exclusive Highlights - Early Access for Cardholders


The 2014 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale has arrived for Nordstrom Cardholders. Early access starts today July 10 and runs through the 17th. You will need to sign into your online account linked to your Nordstrom Card in order to shop the sale online or see sale prices. There are over 200 Nordstrom Beauty Exclusives for the Anniversary Sale along with some Gift With Purchase Items as well. (Some of the GWPs are available at select stores or online only.) The focus seems to be almost exclusively on value sets rather than exclusive collections. Here are a few select items I wanted to highlight (left to right, top to bottom):
  • Chanel Dentelle Précieuse Illuminating Powder ($80) is finally in the US as a Nordstrom Exclusive, it's currently not listed as an Anniversary Exclusive online (although that is what my sales associates have told me)
  • La Mer Refreshing Collection ($295) includes the Moisturizing Soft Cream Smooth, Weightless Cream (1 oz.), the Moisturizing Soft Cream Smooth, Weightless Cream (1 oz.). Eye Balm Intense (0.17 oz.) and 1 Hydrating Facial Mask
  • NARS Dolce Vita Lip & Nail Set ($52) comes with a Dolce Vita Lipstick, Dolce Vita Lipgloss and Limited-Edition Dolce Vita Nail Polish in a lacquered keepsake box
  • NARS Schiap Lip & Nail Set ($52) comes with Schiap Lipstick, Limited-Edition Schiap Lipgloss and Schiap Nail Polish in a pink lacquered box
  • NARS Limited-Edition Cheek Palette ($49) comes in a black mirrored compact with Orgasm, Laguna, Mistinguette and Goulue
  • Bobbi Brown Nude on Nude Color Set ($85) comes with a 12-pan eyeshadow palette, Full-size Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner in Black and Full-size Smokey Eye Mascara in Black
  • Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Killer Cheekbones Set ($110) comes with a Powder/Sculpt Brush and Bronzer/Highlighter compact
  • Lancôme Mascara Wardrobe ($39.50) comes with minis of Artliner Precision Point Eyeliner in Noir (0.4 oz.), Cils Booster XL Super Enhancing Mascara Base (0.07 oz.), Hypnôse Custom Volume Mascara (0.07 oz.), Hypnôse Drama Instant Full Body Mascara (0.13 oz.), Définicils High Definition Mascara (0.07 oz.) and Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover (1.7 oz.)
  • Kiehl's Since 1851 Creme de Corps Home & Away Duo ($75) has one Creme de Corps with Pump (33.8 oz.) and one Travel-size Crème de Corps (2.5 oz.)
  • Deborah Lippmann Recipe for Love Set ($29) comes with You Got Me (0.27 oz.) a dusty dove grey crème, Make Someone Happy (0.27 oz.) a blooming blush bling glitter, Let’s Stay Together (0.27 oz.) a mysterious mauved plum crème
  • Moroccan Oil Moisture Repair Hair Set ($85) has Moisture Repair Shampoo (16.9 oz.), Moisture Repair Conditioner (16.9 oz.) and Oil Treatment (1.7 oz.)
  • Diptyque Baies & Figuier Candle Set ($120) comes with two 6.5 candles in Baies and Figuier with a wick trimmer and candle snuffer
  • Laura Mercier Flawless Expressions Set ($85) has an Eye and Cheek Palette, Deluxe-size Caviar Stick in Rosegold (0.03 oz.), Full-size Full Blown Volume Suprême Mascara in Black (0.2 oz.) and Full-size Lip Glacé in limited-edition Gilded Rose (0.15 oz.)
  • Giorgio Armani Ultimate Eyes to Kill Set ($85) includes Smooth Silk Waterproof Eye Pencil in #1 (0.03 oz.), Eyes to Kill Mascara in #1 (0.23 oz.), Flash Lip Lacquer in #107, Perfection Eye Makeup Remover (1.35 oz.), Luminous Silk Foundation in #5.5 (0.17 oz.) and Fluid Sheer in #7 (0.17 oz.)
  • Jo Malone Cologne Collection ($88) comes with six 0.3 oz mini spritzers of Nectarine Blossom and Honey, Orange Blossom, Blackberry and Bay, Pomegranate Noir and Grapefruit
  • Lorac Nude Skinny Eyeshadow Palette ($15) is a seven pan palette with warm nude shades
  • MAC Look in a Box All About Coral ($39.50) comes with Lipstick in Passion Charge (luster finish), Lipglass in Stoke the Flame (frost finish), Veluxe Pearlfusion Eyeshadow in Collective Chic and Technakohl Liner in Brownborder
  • MAC Look in a Box All About Pink ($39.50) comes with Lipstick in Embrace Me (matte finish), Lipglass in Unlimited Style (frost finish), Veluxe Pearlfusion Eyeshadow in Fabulous Three and Technakohl Liner in Photogravure
  • MAC Look in a Box All About Beige ($49.50) has two blushes, six eyeshadows and two lipsticks in shades of soft tan, copper and pewtered bronze
  • L'Occitane Shea Butter Softness ($48) includes Ultra Rich Shower Cream (2.5 oz.), Milk Shea Butter Extra Gentle Soap (3.5 oz.), Shea Ultra Rich Body Lotion (16.9 oz.), Shea Butter Hand Cream (0.3 oz.) and Shea Butter Foot Cream (0.3 oz.)

I have my eye on two things: the Chanel Highlighter and NARS Dolce Vita Box Set, but that may change once I see the items in person. I love the look of the Diptyque sets since you basically get the candle snuffer and wick trimmer for free with the purchase of the two candles. My mom loves L'Occitane and Bobbi Brown so I might pick up a couple sets for her since her birthday is this month.

What do you have your eye on for the sale? Will you be shopping the sale for early access?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Summer Skincare Cleansing With the Clarisonic Aria


I've been experimenting more with skincare this year and wanted to share some of my favorite items along with a few new discoveries. I have sensitive acne prone skin that is mostly normal. Most of my life I've maintained a clear complexion with a simple gentle foaming cleanser + toner and weekly mask. The past couple of months my skin has been going through a mess with seasonal weather changes, a change in my workout routine along with some added stress. My holy grail go-to foaming cleansers from SK-II and Dior simply were not enough to cleanse my face completely at the end of the day causing clogged pores and break outs. Over the past few months I've added a few more steps to my skincare cleansing routine and my skin has finally started to clear up and improve in texture and clarity.

Added Step 1 came from a recommendation from one of my favorite Nordstrom Chanel artists. I've added a step to remove long-wear makeup by using a gentle but effective cleansing oil or cleansing water to break down every trace of makeup on the face. Cosmetic companies have developed amazing innovations in makeup to make it long wearing and last all day through the night. Some of these long-wear formulas don't come off completely with a regular cleanser and remnants will clog pores. They need extra work to remove where a cleansing oil or water will help break down makeup. My current favorites are MAC Cleanse Off Oil and Caudalie Cleansing Water. I alternate depending on what kind of makeup I'm wearing. On full makeup days, cleansing oil is needed. On tinted moisturizer days I use the cleansing waters.

Step 2 has been the addition of the Clarisonic Aria Sonic Skin Cleansing System from Nordstrom which has made a huge difference in clearing up my skin and getting it back to normal. My friends and family have been telling me for years that I should invest in a Clarisonic device because according to them "it really works." I've always been intrigued by the concept but was overwhelmed by all the options. Also since I have had pretty good skin I didn't see the need to spend money fixing something that was perfectly fine. Given my recent skin flare ups, I needed a change and this has been a really good solution to return my skin to it's normal state by using it 2 to 3 times per week.


If you're new to Clarisonic, here's a quick rundown of each device they have for facial cleansers. You can read more about Clarisonic Technology here. These Clarisonic tools are designed with a patented oscillating sonic technology creating more than 300 movements per second to help loosen oil and dirt in your pores with the motion the outer and inner brushes create. It's designed to exfoliate the skin and clear and tighten the pores.

There are currently four different devices for the face, each device comes in a wide variety of color options ranging from white, to colorful pink, lavender blues and classic black. All the options come with the Sensitive Brush but have different brush head replacement options depending on your needs. The kits also come with a sample size of one of their cleansers. You may want to consult a product specialist to find out which one will suit your specific skin needs. I like using the Live Chat with Beauty Stylists on Nordstrom. They've been super helpful in the past (they've even helped me locate discontinued items in stores).




  • Mia $99 is a one-speed tool, this is designed as a starter brush, comes in a small portable size
  • Mia 2 $149 - $169 comes in several different kit options, this took is sized similar to the Mia, it has two speeds and comes with a protective travel case for storage, the Mia2 has the most color options available to choose from
  • Aria $199 is slightly longer and sleeker in design compared to the Mia/Mia2, the Aria has three speeds, this one comes with a USB-Enabled Universal Voltage pLink Charger and regular plug so you have more charging options (if you're on the go), it also comes with a charging/drying stand
  • Plus $225 is the deluxe version of the Clarisonic for face and body, it comes with two different brushes and a Universal Voltage Charging Cradle

After hours of online researching, it was a tie between the Mia2 and Aria. I liked the compact size of the Mia 2 and the fact that it came with a super cute protective case and so many color options,. I also found the price point reasonable. However I also liked the sleek look of the Aria along with the drying stand and charger options. I ended up purchasing the Aria since it had more options for brush speed and the convenient stand.

All Clarisonics come with some kind of sample-size cleanser. I've tested three (two have been from Nordstrom GWPs). My favorite is the Deep Pore Daily Cleanser and I've been working my way through 2 mini tubes. A little goes a long way and it's gentle enough for my sensitive skin but really deep cleans without drying out the skin. After using this your skin won't feel tight, nor will it feel like there is a film left over. I've also used the Clarisonic with my go-to foaming cleansers SK-II Facial Treatment Cleanser and Dior Purifying Foam Cleanser. Both are thicker in texture than most Clarisonic options, but they are still flexible enough to use with the device.


Close up of the Aria hand held, it has a sleek slender design so it fits nicely into my small hands, it's easy to hold and although it has some weight, it's not too heavy.


The Sensitive Brush that the Clarisonics come with shown below. I find it gentle and soft, on the face it almost tickles because it's so soft. On the nails currently is Chanel Tutti Frutti Le Vernis.


I'm still a newbie with the Clarisonic Aria. I'm nearing the end of Week Three of testing it out. I've been using the Sensitive Brush it came with and find it very gentle on the skin, my preference is for the Delicate Speed (the softest one) and after reading some rather scary reviews, I decided to ease into it. My first week I used it twice, the second week I upped usage to three times. Even though I find the Aria to be very gentle I've read one needs to be careful not to overdo the exfoliating. The first two weeks I didn't see much of a difference in the skin although I found it made the skin feel really soft and clean. At the end of the second week and into the third my skin has started to make its way back to normal. (Let me know if you want updates in the future at the 2 month or 3 month mark.) The drying stand is super convenient for storage. Overall I'm really happy with my purchase and am already looking into the other brush options now.


Have you used a Clarisonic or any of the different brush heads or cleansers? I have read so many different reviews, I would love to hear about your thoughts and experiences. The Pedi Sonic Foot looks incredible, but I usually prefer to have my toes manicured at a salon.

Many thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Deal Alert: 10% Off Select Beauty Brands and Items at Nordstrom through June 10

Nordstrom is having a special promotion going on in stores and online where select items and brands are marked down 10% off for a limited time, now through Tuesday, June 10, 2014. Brands qualifying include Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Estee Lauder, Dior, Lancome, Laura Mercier, Kiehl's, NARS and more (select items only). Click on the Beauty Sale Section to see which items qualify. (In stores you may have more options, my local counter was offering Chanel at the discount for a limited time.) Some items I found qualifying shown below.


http://rstyle.me/n/h3p6mubf6

Happy deal shopping!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Nordstrom Triple Points Beauty Gifts March 19 - 23

http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=MeQoh28EORo&subid=&offerid=276223.1&type=10&tmpid=8157&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fshop.nordstrom.com%252Fc%252Fbeauty-gifts-with-purchase%253Forigin%253Ddlp

Nordstrom Triple Points for card holders starts today and there are a lot of gift with purchases online and in store. I have my eye on the Burberry set with has a lovely metallic case as a gift. Some other gifts that look interesting:

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Do you have anything on your wishlist that you've been saving for? 

 

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