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

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Collection


The Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Collection launches today online at Sephora and everything is beautiful. The collection features items focused on creating the ultimate glow for the complexion, eyes and cheeks. The original Champagne Pop Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Powder (reviewed here) has been extended into two other formulas. In addition two palettes created by Becca and Jaclyn Hill have launched as limited-edition pieces. The collection launches online today 5/26 at Sephora and will be in stores 6/16. In the collection (the image below is interactive so you can click on the icons to go directly to the product pages online at Sephora):


A closer look at each item starting with the Champagne Collection Face Palette which comes a large sturdy mirrored compact. The two palettes have gold reflective packaging so if you see that they look different on other blogs or on social - it's because of the highly reflective nature of the surface. The Champagne Collection Face Palette has three blushes and two highlighters. All the colors in this palette are extremely pigmented but easy to blend - in testing this I found it best to use with a light hand. There is one shade of Luminous Blush called Rosé Spritz which is a very shimmer pink gold finish. There are two shades of Mineral Blush which are more on the satiny side and more natural-looking in Amaretto which is a medium tan and Pamplemousse which is a pink grapefruit color. You can use shades individually or mix to create different looks. I found I liked the look best when I used either of the mineral blushes first before layering any of the shimmery shades on top.

There are two highlighters - both of which are extremely shimmery and very glowy. I have and adore the original Champagne Pop (originally reviewed here and compared to Anastasia That Glow here). The Champagne Pop in the palette is identical in color but for some reason to my eye both highlighters in the palette seem to be a couple notches up in terms of glitz and shimmer. Both are still wearable if you apply with a light hand. Prosecco Pop is the more yellow gold option which usually isn't a flattering color on my olive yellow-based skin. I can wear Prosecco Pop with a very light hand, but I still prefer Champagne Pop by far. A closer look:


Swatched below with a medium hand, you can blend to sheer out or apply with a denser brush for more intensity. Pigment is so rich I suspect these colors will show up on a wide range of skin tones. The overall effect is very glowy but still wearable for conservative makeup lovers:


A look at the palette without sunlight or flash:

Next up is the Champagne Collection Eye palette which has two shimmers and three mattes. The overall undertone is warm. It has Chardonnay which is a pale white gold frost, Champagne Toast which is a warm tan copper frost, Cordial which is the prettiest mauve matte, Cognac a very warm toasted brown matte and Bordeaux a soft plum matte. The shimmers offer rich high pigment color while the mattes have a softer medium finish. Textures are soft making them easy to blend on the eyes but I do recommend using a creamy base (I like using the Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid or Poured Creme on the lids, but I think I'm the only one I know who does not have oily lids). For me the colors did take a bit of experimenting and blending because I cannot wear reds or warm shades like this easily. I swatched it next to Ombre Rouge which I just ordered (have not tried yet) for reference. Here in direct sunlight:



Another shot of the Becca Champagne Collection Eye Palette - because the packaging is gold it looks different depending on what is reflecting in the compact:

Last but not least are the three Champagne Pop complexion items. The Shimmering Perfector Liquid offers the most natural finish. It's very natural on the skin and on the medium-sheer side. The color almost matches my skin exactly so it adds a naturally dewy sheen. It does look luminous so if you have oily skin you may find it will look more luminous as the day progresses. The Shimmering Perfector Poured Creme has a more visible finish compared to the Liquid but still looks very natural. Out of the three Champagne Pops this finish and color is my favorite. Then you have the classic Champagne Pop Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed - for those who love highlighters there is a different formula for multiple colors in the Becca line so you can pick the finish that works best for you.


Below the Champagne Pop formulas swatched along with a few other Becca colors:



I've only been playing around with the collection for a few days but first impressions are that I really love all three Champagne Pop formulas. I did think there might be a chance that having Champagne Pop in three formats would be overdoing it but after testing them I think they are different enough to justify all three if you love highlighter. If you want to limit yourself to 1, my favorite is the Poured Creme because it has the perfect in between finish (powder being the most shimmery and liquid being the most natural).

For the Face Palette - I had already ordered it when it launched as a very brief preview and was able to test this one for a few more days. I tried this a number of ways and found it to be extremely pigmented and very glowy - but the colors are easy to blend for a wearable look and the blending does not require a lot of extra effort which is nice for me since I'm more conservative in the makeup I wear. The colors are naturally flattering for and the warm undertones brighten the complexion. Since the colors are pigmented I prefer to apply with a lighter hand. The Champagne Pop highlighter in the palette does seem to be more glowy and shimmery compared to the individual version (Prosecco Pop is exclusive to the palette). If you prefer a more natural glow or softer color this may be too shimmery or too pigmented for you.

The Eye Shadow Palette is all kinds of gorgeous but very warm. I have been experimenting with warmer shades recently though and the palette from Becca is really stunning. I start with the medium matte mauve shade, then layer the ivory and gold, then use the deeper shades to contour - the effect is very pretty and soft without being too warm. Pigment for shimmers is rich while the mattes have a sheerer more natural finish but still offer smooth easy to blend coverage.

Bottom line everything is beautiful and worth checking out. The Becca Face Palette may be too glowy for some in which case I'd recommend you opt for the Tom Ford Afternooner which has a much softer effect but similar warm color scheme.

You can find the Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Collection exclusively at Sephora. It launched online today 5/26 but everything is scheduled to launch in store by 6/16. 

The Champagne Collection Face Palette and Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed were already purchased by me, however Becca also sent the entire collection for review consideration.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Play! by Sephora - May 2016 Box


I signed up for the Play! by Sephora wait list several months ago and just received my first box for May 2016. For those not familiar with these boxes, Sephora launched a monthly subscription service and for $10 per month you will receive a box that has:
  • 5 deluxe samples plus a fragrance bonus
  • a pamphlet they call Play! Book which has information on the box contents + tips and tricks 
  • a card called Play! Pass which allows you to redeem a free one-on-one tutorial + bonus points with any product purchase during the same store visit
  • collectible makeup bag
Right now you can only subscribe online at Sephora.com/play - they have you sign up for a waitlist and once a spot opens they will send you an e-mail to claim a spot and join.
 
I have a first impressions look at the May 2016 Box contents as it just arrived in the mail a few days ago - eight sample-sized products come wrapped in a super cute drawstring pouch. It's photographed above on my desktop to show the scale and size relative to other items.


A look at the contents below, as of right now I haven't had a chance to try the items with the exception of the colors and perfume. I'm in the process of testing some other skincare items but once that is finished I'll be diving into the samples from this box. Inside the May 2016 Box:
  • Korres Wild Rose Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial (0.34 fl oz/10 ml)
  • Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Kimchi (0.05 oz/1.55 g, swatched on lips here)
  • Origins Maskimizer Skin-Optimizing Mask Primer (0.05 fl oz/1.5 ml)
  • Origins Clear Improvement Mask Packet (0.1 fl oz/3 ml)
  • Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask (0.1 fl oz/3 ml)
  • Briogio Don't Despair Repair Deep Conditioning Mask (1 oz/29 ml)
  • Tarteist Lip Crayon in Latergram (0.04 g)
  • Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine (no size listed, but it's a tiny vial)


My beauty friend Café Makeup has a post on the same box and many of my thoughts are similar to hers. I think it's a fun low-investment kind of beauty buy and at $10 per month I think the cost is relatively low and considering the cost of shipping (which they do not charge you extra for). Based on the May Box I think Sephora sent out a good selection of decent sized samples for that price. Even though the sizes of the samples are small enough that you should be able to get for free at the counter I have found samples to be scarce when shopping in store at larger retailers. Of course there are exceptions and building a good relationship with a sales associate does help. However as Amy mentioned in her post I agree it seems like a few years ago you could shop at a store and counters were much more generous with samples. These days they seem to be scarce.

I'm happy with my first Play! by Sephora Box. I think it's fun to get a surprise box of samples and it offers some things I would have never thought to try so the exploration part is fun. At this time I plan on keeping my subscription to see how it goes.

If you haven't subscribed for these you can add your name to the wait list online at sephora.com/play - right now the only way to purchase a subscription is online. I'm not sure how long the wait is. I think I entered in my e-mail early in the year and received an e-mail that I was off the wait list in April. There's a full page of FAQs here in case you have more questions.

I hope you enjoyed this first look at the Play! by Sephora Box :) Have you signed up for it? If you were able to join earlier and have already received a few months of boxes what do you think? Would love to hear your thoughts!


Friday, May 13, 2016

Buxom Wildly Whipped Lightweight Liquid Lipsticks


Buxom Cosmetics launched a new liquid lipstick formula called the Wildly Whipped Lightweight Liquid Lipsticks ($21 each for5 ml/0.18 fl oz). These are indeed very lightweight in feel with a whipped texture that has a soft velvety matte finish. Unlike most matte finish lip products though, it doesn't feel matte at all, but rather has a cushiony soft moisturizing feel almost like a balm. I personally do not like matte finish lipsticks or matte liquid lipsticks because I find them drying in formula, make the lips look wrinkled because of the intense pigment and the colors usually darken or look dusty once they've dried. There are few exceptions with really good matte formulas I am willing to wear including Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution, Louboutin Matte Lipstick and Tatcha Kyoto Red - the Buxom Wildly Whipped formula also now falls into that category.


There are 12 shades total that come in a wide range from neutrals, to reds, corals, plums and pinks. All the shades offer full coverage with a single stroke although to cover the entire lip and get application precise around the edges I like to swipe a few times to apply. The tips come with a beveled sponge which makes application easy (I really appreciate well-designed applicators). They do have a plumping formula to make the lips look full, but they don't tingle like the Full On Lip Polishes or Lip Creams (several shades swatched here). I liked that they did not dry out my lips and the days after swatching and test wear - my lips did not show any signs of peeling or flaking. Lasting power is medium - I would say they last for a few hours as long as you don't snack, drink or touch your lips. There will be color transfer if your lips touch anything - but other than that they do stay fresh looking for a relatively long time.


A closer look at all the shades and swatches:

Descriptions:

Nudist is a light nude
Centerfold is a warm nude
Instigator is a fig neutral
Devious Dolly is a warm rose mauve
Wandress is a medium pink
Lover is a bright rose pink
Moonlighter is a bright pink-red
Flaunter is a bright warm orange
Dominatrix is a deep red
Exhibitionist is a bright fuschia pink
Criminal is a deep purple plum
Swinger is a medium lavender purple
Swatches with flash:


Swatches in natural light without flash:


Lip swatches of all shades on bare lips, for skintone reference I'm wearing Becca Aqualuminous Foundation in Beige in some photos while others I'm wearing the Make Up For Ever Foundation Stick in 123 + translucent powder. These are all matte in finish - the sheen in the photos is due to the camera flash/lighting.

Most of the shades have very smooth streak-free coverage. I found the darkest shade Criminal to be very patchy but dark shades can be hard for me to wear because the contrast makes it where if any of my natural lip shows through - it really shows through. As soon as I saw all the corals reds I thought they would all look the same, but after swatching them I really do see the difference in undertone. Some are deeper or brighter, others have more pink or orange undertone. If you like reds - there are quite a few options to choose from.

My top picks and favorites are Devious Dolly, Instigator, Centerfold and Lover. They're all on the bold side but I like that there are wearable shades mixed in for the neutral lip lover. I've been reaching for Devious Dolly a lot because I think it's conservative enough for everyday wear but has enough color and pigment in it that makes it more fun than the everyday pink nude or neutral.

I give the formula a thumbs up - it's really quite unique compared to anything else I've tried. I like that they don't dry down like a traditional matte - they have a soft cushiony feel with a very very slight sheen which makes them look more natural as it catches the light. I would call the finish a soft matte that has a slightly diffused finish. If you look through other photos and swatches @buxomcosmetics or search #buxombabe you can see how these look on others to get a better idea of the finish.


Bottom line - I highly recommend you try one. You can find the Buxom Wildly Whipped Lightweight Liquid Lipsticks at Sephora and Ulta. They retail for $21 each.

Wildly Whipped Lipsticks provided courtesy of Buxom Cosmetics.


Friday, April 8, 2016

Laura Mercier Face Illuminator Powders - Devotion, Indiscretion, Addiction and Seduction


Laura Mercier just launched three new shades of the Face Illuminator Powder ($44 each, 9 g/0.3 oz). They are currently exclusive to Sephora and come in the same formula and design as the previously launched Indiscretion Face Illuminator. Each highlighter is cased in a square mirrored compact and while they are described as powders the texture is very unique. They almost have a creamy look and feel but definitely are not creams. Laura Mercier calls this a "non-dusting texture" which I think is fairly accurate. They are powders without the traditional powdery feel. Each color is very shimmery and sparkly but the texture is smooth and they are not overly frosted. On the face they adhere nicely to the skin which makes them long lasting on me. The texture is soft and blendable so they are easy to layer. Pigment is medium and natural looking but you can build pigment for a more visible sheen. In terms of emphasizing skin texture or pores, only one emphasized my pores slightly which is the gold one mainly because of the way the color looks against my olive skin.


  • Devotion is a shimmering pale pink. It has a similar effect to some of the colors in the Anastasia Gleam Glow Kit, Urban Decay Afterglow Highlighter in Aura and Chanel Perles et Fantaisies (swatch comparisons below). This one swatched on the arms and hands extremely frosted but on the face it blends out to a really pretty natural sheen.
  • Indiscretion is a classic medium champagne color with a peachy tinge. This is my favorite out of the four, I already had the old original version (had a different name) and this is the same color. It adds a lovely glow to the skin. If you are fairer I suspect this will be more bronzey on your complexion compared to mine.
  • Addiction is a shimmering yellow gold. Gold highlighters with yellow tones often times emphasize my pores. This one is really pretty but not my favorite on my olive skin because I already have some yellow undertones. Shimmer is on the sparkly side but it's not over the top and blends nicely.
  • Seduction is my next favorite out of the bunch. It's a medium bronze shimmer that has some reddish undertones. I suspect those with darker skin tones will find this matches their skin tone more for a glowy highlighter while on me it's definitely bronzey.
The shimmer in each highlighter is really pretty. The colors in direct sunlight:



Close ups with comparison swatches:



Anastasia Glow Kit in Gleam (Crushed Pearl and Hard Candy review)



Anastasia Glow Kit in That Glow - Bubbly and Dripping in Gold (review)
MAC Cream Color Base in Hush from Contour Kit (review on kit)
Tom Ford Illuminator Duo in Moodlight (1/2 swatched, review)
NARS Dual Intensity Blush in Jubilation (peach side)



NARS Dual Intensity Blush in Jubilation (peach side)
MAC MSF in New Vegas (discontinued)
Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow (highlighter side, review)
Anastasia Glow Kit in That Glow - Sunburst (review)
 

I had some challenges photographing the bronze shades with the flash and cloudy weather, so I have two sets, first is without flash, next is with flash:

MAC MSF Metal Rocks (discontinued)
Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow Medium-Dark (review)




All four perform extremely well and give the skin a natural candlelit glow. The shimmer is noticeable on the complexion but not over the top. That being said, for my medium skin, the lighter shades Devotion and Addiction do have a more visible sheen on my skin because of the color contrast to my natural skintone. Devotion is all kinds of gorgeous for a soft light opal pink sheen without looking too pale. Addiction is pretty just not for my skintone. Seduction acts like a bronzer. Indiscretion is hands down my favorite.

With so many highlighters available to choose from picking one or narrowing down picks to a few might seem overwhelming. I certainly find that it is. If  you can try in person I recommend you do - finding the right one for you will be kinda like finding the right foundation for you. It depends on your skin type, skin texture, coverage, degree of shimmer and application preferences. I think the Face Illuminators from Laura Mercier have the a very unique texture compared to others. The non-powdery finish makes them feel almost like a cream so they adhere well to the skin. Shimmer is definitely noticeable to give the skin a glowy highlight so it's apparent on the skin but it's not over the top. I love that for the most part they don't emphasize my skin imperfections or pores too much. Your mileage may vary depending on what your skin texture is like. All this being said if you're going more for color effect rather than formula or texture you will be able to find a lot of other products that will give you a similar look (as shown by the handful of comparison swatches).

For me my top two picks are Indiscretion and Seduction for color and finish. I already own a lot of light pink highlighters but if you're like me (medium or even darker) you might find many light pinks have a sharp almost white look on the skin so they require a light hand or lots of blending. If I didn't already own so many I would hands down say Devotion is a must - it performs the best out of all the pale pinks I own because of the way it melds with the skin and just glows. The formula and texture is superior to other pale pink highlighters that I have.

I still have one more set of newer highlighters to review (the ones from Urban Decay) but out of all the ones that have recently launched, the Laura Mercier ones definitely have the best texture for my skintype, Hourglass Strobe Powders have a more subtle strobe effect, Anastasia Glow Kits are the most glowy and have the best value for price, I'm still undecided on the Urban Decay highlighters but will let you know my thoughts once I post the review.

Bottom line, the Laura Mercier Face Illuminator Powders are solid performers for quality, pigment, texture and lasting power. You can find them now at Sephora.

Devotion and Seduction sent as press samples. The other two shades purchased by me.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Sephora 15% Off Love Note Shopping Event - April 7 to 13, 2016


The Sephora 15% Off Love Note Shopping Event starts today for VIB Rouge members and runs through April 13th. By now you should have received either an e-mail or card in the mail for the event. You can shop the sale in stores with the e-mail you received or shop online with code ROUGENOTE at checkout. Start dates and discounts for beauty insider vary according to the tier you are in, dates are as follows:
  • VIB Rouge Members - April 7 to 13, 2016 receive 15% off with code ROUGENOTE
  • VIB Members - April 8 to 13, 2016 receive 15% off with code VIBNOTE
  • BI Members - April 9 to 12, 2016 receive 10% off with code BINOTE
I have a roundup of recommendations in case you're wondering what I think is worth the splurge. Many brands rarely go on sale except for holiday sales or friends and family events so I like to use these times to stock up on skincare. I'm still working on editing down my own personal shopping list - if you have any recs let me know in the comments!

Shown above:

1  /  2  /  3  /  4  /  5  /  6  /  7  /  8  /  9  /  10  /
11  /  12  /  13  /  14  /  15  /  16  /  17  /  18  /  19

I have a mix of recommended items for skincare, makeup, haircare and tools. Highlighters and glowing blushes are extremely popular right now - I'll be working on a few more reviews as fast as I can hopefully before the sale ends:
  • Maison Martin Margiela Replica perfumes are new discoveries for me and Lipstick On and Beach Walk are my favorites so far. If you're new to the line there are a few travel sets that serve as a nice introduction to the line. The REPLICA Discovery Set for Her ($65) includes Beach Walk, Lazy Sunday Morning and Tea Escape.
  • NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint ($44, reviewed here) is my favorite new base formula launched this year for medium-but-natural looking coverage.
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty The Bronze Bronzer Brush No. 12 ($78) is a splurge but it's the best large fluffy bronzer brush I own. It's soft and dense and feels extremely smooth. Applies just the right amount of bronzing powder to the face for a soft diffused look.
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty The Shape Contour and Blush Brush No. 15 ($38) is a contour brush but also doubles as a foundation brush for liquids or creams. It applies liquids to the face without any streaks and blends creams to a flawless finish.
  • beautyblender® nude ($20) is one of the newest beauty blender tools, in my initial review I rated the original pink on the best one, the nude version is just as good in providing streak-free smooth coverage. For color correcting, the micro.mini correct.four set ($30) is nice to have to use with different color creams so you don't have to worry about mixing product colors (color correcting review in this post here).
  • T3 PROi Professional Hair Dryer ($350, review here) is hands down the best hair dryer I've ever tried. I discovered this thanks to my beauty friend RaeViewer - it worked wonders on her hair and it gives the hair a salon quality blow out.
  • Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick ($26 each) is Bite Beauty's newest lipstick launch. All 34 colors have been swatched and reviewed on the blog. Roundup review and links to all of the swatches here. My top three shade picks are Honeycomb, Sake and Pepper.
  • Viseart Eyeshadow Palette Sultry Muse ($80) is something I just discovered from The Makeup Show recently. I'll have a review soon but will say right now it's everything that everyone has raved about and more. You need this in your life.
  • Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Aqua ($150) is Tom Ford's lightest perfume to date. Each new addition to the Neroli Portofino line gets better every year and the aqua one is the best one yet. It has a citrus feel but it's light and the scent also has an aquatic vibe to it. Full review soon.
  • Tom Ford Soleil Blanc ($220, reviewed here) is summer in a bottle. Out of all the possible scents for summer I think this is probably going to be my favorite, although the Neroli Portofino Aqua is also very good.
  • Tom Ford Skin Illuminator in Fire Lust ($72, review here) is a staple in my makeup wardrobe, if you haven't bought one from previous seasons I highly recommend it since the Tom Ford Beauty line is now available online at Sephora.
  • Sephora Collection Pro Full Coverage Airbrush #53 ($38, review here) hands down one of the best foundation brush discoveries I made last year. I liked it so much I bought a second one.
  • Urban Decay UD x Gwen Blush Palette ($45) I have yet to review this on the blog, but both of the UD x Gwen palettes are really phenomenal. If I had to pick one I would say the blush one wins - I hope to have swatches edited and the review posted soon, but this one is a must.
  • Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer ($27, reviewed here and here) is a miracle worker for brightening the under eye. A little goes a long way so you only need a tiny dab - but once you apply it, under eye circles and darkness are gone. When I attended the Makeup Show - we were told that they were planning to expand the color range.
  • Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation ($43, worn in tutorial here) review forthcoming, but this is the best foundation stick I've tried that is tied with the one from Tom Ford. The main difference is the one from MUFE isn't quite as thick in texture so I can wear it all over the face. I prefer layering this on top of my regular liquid foundation in places I need extra coverage but it's a winner.
  • Kate Somerville Eradikate To Go! ($22) I've already gone through 2 packs of these. They work wonders on pimples like nothing else I've tried. My husband likes them too. They are gentle enough to use on sensitive skin so I bought a set for my brother. The color is tinted pink so they are best used on days you don't need to go outside in public or at night when you sleep.
  • Kate Somerville Exfolikate Cleanser ($38, review here) favorite cleanser of the moment. I already used up a tube and am on my second. I will probably be stocking up on this during the sale because it's that good.
  • Laura Mercier Face Illuminator ($44) in Indiscretion has made a comeback and now there are three new colors in the same formula. I've been playing with all of them and will have a review soon but if you liked the super glowy radiant finish of the original one but wanted a different color I think you will be really happy there are more options now.
  • Too Faced Melted Chocolate Liquified Lipsticks ($21 each, reviewed here) are some of my favorite liquid lipsticks and they smell (and taste) delicious, Chocolate Honey and Metallic Frozen Hot Chocolate are my favorite colors
For the sale I plan on stocking up on some basics. I'll report back with a haul once I've placed an order but in the meantime I hope you found this roundup of recommendations helpful! I think I could have gone on with a list 2-3 times long but I tried to narrow down my top picks for right now. In terms of highlighters I think the Anastasia Glow Kits that I just reviewed are my favorite so far. I'll have a review of the Laura Mercier and Urban Decay up as soon as I can to compare.

To recap on dates and codes:
  • VIB Rouge Members - April 7 to 13, 2016 receive 15% off with code ROUGENOTE
  • VIB Members - April 8 to 13, 2016 receive 15% off with code VIBNOTE
  • BI Members - April 9 to 12, 2016 receive 10% off with code BINOTE
What's on your shopping list? Are you going to order online or stop by your local store? Or both?

Press samples featured include the NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint, Marc Jacobs Beauty Brushes, T3 PROi, Tom Ford Fire Lust, Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer, Kate Somerville Exfolikate Cleanser.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquers in White Snow and Resurrection


There are a few new shades of the Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquers ($18 each for 13 ml/0.43 oz) for spring and I picked up two from Sephora in White Snow and Resurrection. White Snow is a sheer milky cloud white and Resurrection is an opaque powdery pink cream. For those curious about the other new colors, there are 6 total in pastels and creams. The other four shades include Sundays Cool (lavender), Good Friday (mint), My Peeps (cool pink) and Confession (grey).


I find pastels can be hit or miss for my medium olive skintone. I love the look of white polish on other girls but on me it often looks like white out. Marc Jacobs White Snow has a sheer finish which requires 3 coats for me, but the sheerness helps make it more wearable on my hands compared to a pure white polish. Opaque pastel pink creams are often streaky or look too powdery on my hands. Marc Jacobs Resurrection is a high-maintenance pink in the sense that the first coat is a streaky mess, but it evens out to a smooth finish with the second or third coat. Each coat dries faster than most other polishes so I don't mind the extra work and the color has just the right mix of white and pink so it's not too contrasted with my skintone.

I just bought these and applied them so I didn't give them a week-long test run to see how long they lasted. However in my experience with other Marc Jacobs Nail Lacquers - lasting power is very good and I can get up to 7 days of wear without any tip wear or chipping. I usually combine the Marc Jacobs Nail Lacquers with the Formula X Base Coat and the Nails Inc. 45 Second Top Coat. A closer look at both shades.

White Snow:



Above: Sweater by Rag & Bone, Bag by Celine, Jeans by J.Brand


Resurrection:




Both are fairly standard classic colors so I suspect they can be easily duped however I'm always on the hunt for a classic sheer white that isn't too sheer and that also isn't too opaque. White Snow is pretty darn good if you don't mind layering more than 2 coats. Resurrection is nice but not a must - especially if you already own a lot of pale pink cream colors.

You can find Marc Jacobs Beauty Nail Lacquers online and in store at Sephora. Also online at Marc Jacobs Beauty. Have you tried any of their nail polishes before? If so what are your favorites? A few of mine include Daisy, Wine-Not and Petra.


Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Friday, March 25, 2016

Kat Von D Beauty Lock-It Foundation and KVD + beautyblender® Customizable Complexion Set


I'm a bit late to the game in trying out the Kat Von D Beauty Lock-It Foundation ($35 for 1 fl oz/30 ml) and I've been clearly missing out for quite some time. The line just launched a special limited-edition set called the KVD + beautyblender® Customizable Complexion Set ($46) which includes your choice of Lock-It Foundation, a full size beautyblender® pro and minis of the liquid blendercleanser® and Lock-It Featherweight Primer (set valued at $55). I received several shades to try out and was immediately impressed by the flawless full coverage velvety finish the Lock-It Foundation had. This is a high pigment full-coverage foundation that gives the skin an almost porcelain doll-like look. The formula is very concentrated, but if blended properly has a smooth streak-free, cake-free, perfect finish. Lasting power is excellent with or without a primer, however I did feel the primer sample made a difference in application. With the primer nothing settles into fine lines. Without a proper base if you have any dry patches the foundation is prone to settling into tiny crevices, but as long as your skin is properly moisturized you can probably skip the primer. That being said I'm so impressed with the primer I've added it to my shopping list for this weekend.

The packaging is well designed. It comes with a clear case so you can see the product inside. The top of the pump is flush with the top of the bottle which makes it convenient for travel. There's a small black cap to place on the actual dispenser itself which acts as a lock so you don't accidentally dispense product if you press on the top. For me a little goes a long way, I only need 2 pumps to cover the entire face. Foundation needs very little layering to get full coverage - you just need to apply and blend.


For application, I tried this with a few damp beautyblenders® in the Original (pink) and Pro (black) (both reviewed here) along with several foundation brushes including the Marc Jacobs Beauty The Face III Buffing Foundation Brush and Sephora Pro Full Coverage Airbrush #53 (both reviewed here). I still stand by my original review that the Original Pink beautyblender® is better than the beautyblender® Pro, but I found with this particular foundation both sponges worked equally well. I'm not sure if the Pro version has changed at all over the years but this round of testing had black sponges that seemed softer with more bounce than what I remember. Either way - a dampened sponge helps control the amount of product you apply. Since the Lock-It Foundation is a very concentrated and full coverage finish foundation, you want to make sure you don't apply too much up front (it will just end up looking cakey). Dab, blend and build and the finish will be perfect.

Color selection was a bit tricky for me. I did find some colors swatched to a perfect match on the skin but they oxidize immediately (within 5-10 minutes) to a half shade darker. Medium 54 was a perfect match when I applied it but it darkened so my face did not match my neck - it's close and I doubt anyone but me would notice but I'm picky when it comes to matching my face shade to my neck. I tried two additional shades lighter. Medium 53 has amazing golden undertones (I wish more foundation lines had undertones like this one) but it also darkens on my skin right now. Medium 52 looks too pale when I first apply it but darkens to the perfect match. After the initial oxidizing which I found happens very quickly it stays the same shade once it sets and dries and doesn't darken further. My best match right now is Medium 52.


A look at the ingredients:


Some comparison swatches to other formulas and brands for shade reference. right now my perfect match is Becca Aqua Luminous Foundation in Beige - but do note the formula is not as opaque as the Kat Von D Beauty Lock-It Foundation and has some sheerness to it which makes it more forgiving.


NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Groenland
Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation in Beige (review here)
Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation in Bisque and Natural (review here)
NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in St. Moritz

If you do try this in store or get a sample, I highly recommend testing out a few shades and see how it sets. I normally would have given up on finding a match if I tested one and found it oxidized, but the formula of the Kat Von D Lock-It is so good taking the time to test different shades is well worth the effort. I've been playing with this formula for a few weeks now - no break outs and no irritation which is a huge plus for my sensitive skin. I have normal combination skin and it holds up very well without budging or getting shiny all day long. I wouldn't say it's 100% transfer resistant (if you rub your sleeve or anything on your face it will come off) but it does stay put very well. I always set foundation with a powder and found this performed best when set as well (my favorites rounded up in this post here).


If you're debating whether to buy the individual or spend a little bit more to get the set, I would say try out the set. Even though the beautyblender® pro isn't my favorite out of all the beautyblender® options (I think the Original Pink and Nude are the best), I still think it's a good tool the set is a nice way to the minis of the primer and liquid sponge cleanser. The liquid cleanser is a one-time use (it was for me) but the primer sample can last 3-4 uses (it lasted 4 days for me).

Bottom line, definitely worth checking out. You can find the KVD + beautyblender® Customizable Complexion Set for $46 at Sephora and Kat Von D Beauty. Do note it's limited-edition, but you can always buy the full-sized items included in the separately.

Have you tried this foundation before? What did you think?

KVD + beautyblender® Customizable Complexion Sets provided courtesy of Kat Von D Beauty for review consideration.

 

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