Showing posts with label Sephora. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sephora. Show all posts

Monday, August 18, 2014

simplehuman Sensor Mirror

To apply makeup, I've been using either a full length wall mirror from Ikea (similar here) or for close ups an older style Restoration Hardware countertop mirror (similar style here) that measures about 7 inches in diameter, both of which aren't ideal due to lighting situations where our larger mirror is stored in our house and also because of the small size of the counter top mirror. I've been searching for quite some time for a good countertop mirror that is slightly larger than what I have that is sturdy and well designed with a silver steel or satin nickel finish. Having a simple classic look for household items is a must for me so finding the right mirror with the right design, size and overall look has been a challenge for me. When I received press information about the simplehuman Sensor Mirror options, the e-mail couldn't have come at a better time, especially since I am a huge fan of simplehuman products for their simple, sleek and modern product designs. My favorites are their sensor soap dispenser and dish racks.

simplehuman has several sensor mirror options. The one I received for review is the regular Sensor Mirror ($200, 9.1 inches wide and 15.1 - 18.1 inches tall, approximately 3 lbs) - it's the larger size option with an adjustable stand which allows you to extend the height. The mirror is adjustable as well so you can bevel it at different angles. These come with an automatic sensor at the top so the lights turn on when your face nears the mirror and stays on as long as your face is relatively close (within the sensor's range).

The diagrams from simplehuman show the adjustable stand and how the mirror can be beveled:

The entire set contains the 5x round mirror, a USB power cable and outlet adapter and cleaning cloth with a limited 5 year warranty. The product description and benefits of the mirror include:
  • The tru-lux light system provides 600 lux and a color rendering index (CRI) of 90—more than twice as bright as the next best and more similar to natural sunlight.
  • The mirror features high-performance LEDs that are rated to perform like new after 40,000 hours—that's an hour a day, every day, for more than 100 years so you never have to change a bulb.
  • The light recharges using a standard USB port or wall outlet. (One charge lasts up to five weeks.) No alkaline batteries are required.
  • There are no cords to clutter up your countertop and the mirror is easy to use anywhere.
The mirror is extremely well designed and also well made. The lighting is impressive and mimics natural sunlight without being blinding. My first impression upon testing this out was, "wow." The magnifying power is simply incredible. I showed this to several friends and family and they were all incredibly impressed (male and female). Nobody I know gets excited about mirrors so I was really surprised by the reaction people had to this product. Reviews on Sephora and simplehuman also indicate that most everyone who has purchased this really loves this. I love how sturdy the mirror is and the sleek and simple design is aesthetically pleasing.

The standard size mirror is designed for you to be able to see your entire face. After testing this, I felt that I could indeed see the entire face, but only when I was up close to the mirror within 4-6 inches of the surface. Seeing my entire face up close in that much detail was a little too uncomfortable, but this mirror has made a world of difference when it comes to eyes and lips. It's great for tweezing brows and applying eye makeup. Applying eye liner and eye shadow is so much easier now that I can really see what I'm doing. Also applying mascara and curling lashes is easier now that I can see where to place the wands/tools better. It's good for getting a precise lip as well. For face makeup this works, but I tend to step back and see how my blush and bronzer are applied from a distance to make sure it's subtle and blended well.

The sensor is good at sensing movement. However I found it turned off too quickly if I moved my head away to pick up something. Temptalia had a similar experience with the sensors. I too wish there was a delay option to extend the time the light stayed on or that the sensor radius was slightly larger. I didn't find it too troublesome to be an annoyance, but having an extended timer for a shut-off delay is an option I would have liked.

Left side unlit vs Right side with light on:

Without the light sensor on:

With sensor light on:

Cleaning cloth and charging tools, plug in area is at the base of the stand, I love the design so it's really subtle and blends in well with the base. It's great that this doesn't require cords for use so there's no messy look to it and your counter or desktop will remain clutter-free. One charge is supposed to last up to 5 weeks, but I haven't had this long enough to see if it really does last that long.

There is also a clever on/off button located on the base so in case you need to move it but don't want the sensor to keep flashing on and off as it gets close to objects, you can force turn it off:

Side views:

Some close ups of the lighting and magnifying power:

I've been using this for a week and now I don't ever want to be without one. My brother already asked if he could have it if I ended up hating it. For me I love it. There's no more squinting or straining eyes to see exactly where I'm putting my eye makeup on. I can apply mascara so much better now and see where to apply it precisely to my lashes. The $200 price tag is extremely steep for a mirror but it's a quality product that is well designed and extremely well made. There's nothing I've seen or tried that comes close to the design and quality. The lighting is bright and white so it doesn't distort color like some lights can. If you've tried simplehuman products you know that even though it might seem borderline insane to spend $30-$50 on an automatic sensor soap dispenser when hand soaps often come with their own pump and bottle, theirs is extremely well made and very functional.  I am a huge fan of all their products.

On pricing, for reference, the older Restoration Hardware mirror I have was around the $100 price range when I bought it several years ago - it was the only sturdy metal mirror I could find with a simple no-fuss sleek design. It has a regular mirror on one side and a magnified side on the other with a brushed nickel stand. For the simplehuman Sensor Mirror, I would probably be more willing to buy it at full retail price without hesitation if it were around the $150 range. At the $200 price, it's a bit steep, I probably would have shopped around to see if I could find a way to save on the price or wait until there were double/triple points event. Still, the mirror is built with a sturdy base and is well constructed with unique details I would have never thought of.

The simplehuman Sensor Mirror retails for $200, there is a smaller Mini Version for $130. You can also find these online at Sephora or as well as other simplehuman retailers.

The simplehuman Sensor Mirror was provided courtesy of Sephora for review consideration. All opinions are my own. For more information see my disclosures.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Marc Jacobs Beauty Magic and Superstar Lust For Lacquer Lip Vinyls

Marc Jacobs Beauty has two new Lust For Lacquer Lip Vinyls (Sheer) in Magic and Superstar ($28 each for 5 ml/0.16 fl oz). Magic is a sheer champagne gold nude shimmer and Superstar is a sparkling mauve pink with silvery shimmers. Both are very sheer like other shades in the same formula (reviews of Kissability, Heart Shaped and Overprotected). In case you haven't seen the previous reviews and are new to Marc Jacobs lip glosses, the Lip Vinyl Sheers have a flexible sponge tip. There is a soft vanilla-cake scent to these but they have a slight cooling sensation and plump the lips. I found them gentle enough for my sensitive lips. The texture is smooth and shiny.

Magic applies virtually clear on my lips adding shine. I was hoping there would be a visible golden iridescent glow on the lips but on me it's almost invisible. I expected Superstar to be really frosty based on what it looks like in the tube but it's actually not. It's a less frosted version of Chanel Blizzard Glossimer (which is a classic but very shimmery). I was surprised how pretty this one was.

Close ups and lip swatch of Magic, it's a sheer gloss that will be nice to top lipsticks, but if you're anything like me, you probably have plenty of sheer glosses in your arsenal:

Close up and lip swatch of Superstar:

Swatch comparisons to NARS Greek Holiday, NARS Gold Digger, Chanel Arlequin Glossimer (discontinued), Chanel Blizzard Glossimer, MAC Dazzleglass in Roman Holiday, Chanel Wild Rose Glossimer:

I expected to fall in love with Magic but ended up liking Superstar much more. Even though these are intended to be sheer glosses I can't help but wish they had more pigment. Still, I'm loving the look of Superstar on the lips.

Both are currently available now at Sephora for $28 each. Have you tried any of the Lust For Lacquer Lip Vinlys? What were your thoughts? Any favorites?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask in Champagne

Bite Beauty has released a new shimmery rose gold Agave Lip Mask in Champagne ($26 for .52 oz/15 g). This is the first item from Bite Beauty that I've tried although I've passed by the display units at Sephora numerous times. The Champagne shade is a sheer golden color with a hint of rose tones and reports indicate it has the same effect and benefits as their best-selling original Agave Lip Mask which is clear. I haven't tried both so I can't compare, but I really love the texture of the Champagne version.

The Agave Lip Mask is a hydrating lip treatment. I've worn this during the day, for me it seems a bit too thick to wear overnight while sleeping. It really hydrates the lips well and helps mine recover after lip swatching and testing (the wiping and reapplying of lipsticks sometimes dries out my lips).

Pouch by One Truffle (review soon)

It's thick but very smooth and adheres well to the lips. I love the emollient quality in lip balms but am really particular with texture, feel and scent - for me I need one that adheres well to the lips so they don't feel like they are sliding off. The Agave Lip Mask fits the bill on all fronts. It's hydrating, sticks to my lips but isn't too tacky, and it has an delicious soft cookie-like vanilla scent. The scent does fade after a few minutes and I love that it's not overpowering.

Champagne swatches like a gorgeous gold shimmer similar to MAC Nymphette Lipglass, but it sheers out on the lips to an almost clear tint. The Bite Agave Lip Mask gives the lips a healthy shine but virtually no color.

On my lips it's practically clear:

As a lip treatment I love it. The formula is really good and hydrating. It comes in a metal squeeze tube which dispenses product easily without getting messy. Some metal lip tubes I've tried end up dispensing too much product once squeezed but this one is well designed so there's no excess.


Update: a few color comparisons in case you like the color of Bite's Champagne but want more color in a gloss, left to right: NARS Orgasm (new formula), Chanel Twinkle Glossimer, MAC Nymphette, Bite Champagne, Chanel Bon Bon 73 Glossimer (discontinued):

Bottom line love. The Agave Lip Mask in Champagne is currently exclusive to Sephora where I ordered mine. I'll have a roundup of lip balms I have in rotation in the next couple weeks but this one has made it into my top 5 picks.

Have you tried anything from Bite Beauty? Do you have the Original or Champagne Agave Lip Masks? What did you think?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Night Time Treatments: First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Overnight Mask and La Nuit de Chanel

I'm usually very picky when it comes to night time skincare treatments whether it's for the face, eyes or body. I don't like the heavy feel of product while I sleep. Scent also plays a big part in what I can tolerate for night time treatments as well, if it's too strong I find it interferes with my sleep. I've tested a number of minis and samples and due to the sensitivity of my skin and nose, I stopped using most of them after two uses. Two night time facial treatments I've fallen in love with that work wonders for my sensitive skin include First Aid Beauty's Facial Radiance Overnight Mask and Chanel's Le Nuit de Chanel.

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Overnight Mask ($38 for 1.7 fl oz) is a super hydrating facial treatment that brightens and nourishes the skin overnight. It has a white gel-like texture that feels on the thick side but blends into the skin smoothly. If you feel it being goopy or sticky on the face you've applied too much. It took a few tries for me to get the right amount without overdoing it. It has a wonderful fresh clean skincare-like scent. After using this I wake up with amazing skin like I just had a facial. The morning after my skin glows, looks brighter and feels smoother and looks well hydrated. It's good for my super-sensitive skin. It's gentle enough to use nightly but I've used this 1 to 2x per week for the past month. It's the only thing I've tried that gives me that perfect skin look when I wake up.


Chanel La Nuit de Chanel ($85 for1.7 fl oz) is something I've been using for over a year now. Even after regular use I still haven't used up a full bottle. For those new to this, the La Nuit de Chanel is part of their Resynchronizing Trio. It's a night time treatment designed to recharge the skin. It has frankincense extract to calm the skin and hyaluronic acid and shea butter to moisturize the skin. It works wonders on my face to calm flare ups, fix any dry spots, and helps clear up the skin. It has a white cream texture that blends in well with the skin. This one is scented (it's hard for me to describe) but it smells good and doesn't interfere with my sleep. I use this one almost every night. I like the pump it comes with which makes it super easy to dispense and mess-free.


Do you use any night time facial treatments? Or masks? What are your favorites? I'll be sharing some other hydrating and clarifying mask favorites in the upcoming weeks. You can find First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Overnight Mask in stores and online at Sephora and also at Chanel's La Nuit de Chanel can be found at all Chanel retailers, I purchased mine from Nordstrom.
 photo FirstAidBeautyFacialOvernightRadianceMask_zpsa894b91c.jpg photo LaNuitdeChanel_zpsb232dc40.jpg

First Aid Beauty provided press samples for review consideration. For more information, refer to my Disclosures.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Sephora Summer Surge Beauty Insider VIB Rouge Event

On Sunday I attended my first Sephora event for VIB Rouge members. Receptions were hosted across the US at select Sephora locations for 4x points on purchases, gifts, samples and access to brand experts and specialists. I brought a friend with me to the reception at South Coast Plaza we showed up bright and early at 9 AM.

We spent nearly the full two hours of the event browsing all the aisles. I was really happy Sephora had brand experts from different vendors on site. There were reps from a number of brands, we chatted with some super friendly reps from Hourglass, SK-II, Glam Glow and Nude. My friend works in the beauty industry and we've both been long time beauty addicts (she's my go-to for recs on hair care and skincare and perfume, so pretty much everything). I really liked that there was no pressure from anyone to buy anything which made our shopping experience very enjoyable. Some shots of the Sephora store, some are a bit blurry, but we were really excited so in the rush, I didn't get the best photos.

The South Coast Plaza store we went to had a Lip Bar, Brow Bar and Foundation Bar where you could get tips on application or color suggestions. We had too much distracting us to sit at any of the beauty booth areas.

There was a small gift bag with samples offered with any $35 purchase. VIB Rouge Members also received a red tote. Our bag included minis of Laura Mercier Foundation Primer, Dr. Jart Beauty Balm, Benefit Watt's Up, Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5 in 1 Cream, Buxom Mascara, Algenist Eye Renewal Balm, Escada Born in Paradise Perfume.

As we walked around the store several reps handed out a few extra samples if we purchased an item or two from their line. Here's the loot by the end of our shopping trip for me. We both had so many things on our wish list and literally had to say to each other "we need to go now" before we did more damage to our wallets.

  1. VIB Rouge Gift Bag with $35 Purchase (contents shown in above detail photo)
  2. Amore Pacific Natural Protector SPF 30 - sample 1 ml packet
  3. Sephora Age Defy Moisture Cream SPF15 - sample 2 ml packet
  4. Glam Glow Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment - sample 3 g packet
  5. Glam Glow Brightmud Eye Treatment - sample 1 g packet, we were told this is supposed to be the best for reducing puffy eyes and brightening the under eye area with 6 different caffeines
  6. Glam Glow Powermud Dual Cleanse Treatment  - sample 3 g packet - I tried this last night and it stung for 1 minute, afterwards the stinging went away and it seemed to by gentle yet effective, will report more on these after testing more
  7. Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer - 5 ml sample
  8. Glam Glow Supermud Clearing Treatment - deluxe 10 g tube
  9. Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Cream - 10 ml sample packets
  10. Make Up For Ever HD Powder - Beauty Insider 100 point perk
  11. Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner in Ro(coco) - Beauty Insider 100 point perk
  12. The Original Beautyblender (purchase)
  13. YSL Volupte Sheer Candy 15 and Gloss Volupte 10 (purchase)
  14. Glam Glow Supermud Clearing Treatment (purchase)
  15. SK-II Facial Treatment Cleanser (purchase)
  16. Living Proof No Frizz Smoothing & Frizz Fighting Travel Kit (purchase)
SK-II also had a few minis available, I gave them to my friend since she had never tried the line before. This was my first Sephora event so I did not really know what to expect. I found it to be a fun and relaxing/laid back shopping experience. I liked that they let us bring a guest that didn't necessarily have to be a Sephora Beauty Insider. The staff was really patient and friendly. The reps were so helpful in answering questions. The store was very busy but not over-packed so there was plenty of room to wander without having others bump into you or try to knock you over. The only things I would have liked to have would have been to include a map where the brand reps were and their special stations, the Sephora at South Coast Plaza is the largest I've ever seen and it was easy to get lost. I also think it would have been great if there were step up gifts available although everyone was very generous with samples and the 4x points is (in my mind) huge.

If you missed out, Sephora is still offering the tiered points on purchases through August 10 online and in stores.

Have you ever been to a Sephora event? Did you go to the VIB Rouge Event on Sunday at your local Sephora stores? What did you end up splurging on? Did you learn anything new?


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