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

Friday, May 22, 2015

Favorite Face Cotton Pads


For many years I was a loyal user of Shiseido Face Cotton. Even though it's more expensive than the cotton pads you find at drug stores, I found it significantly softer in texture, relatively thick and dense and didn't disintegrate with makeup remover. I like to use it on the face to remove makeup or for skin toners. For nail polishes I mainly use drug store rounds from Rite Aid although quality isn't consistent among all the options, many leave tiny bits of fibers on the face, so I save them for polish removal. Out of curiosity and raves from friends, I started exploring more options over the past few years. Today I have a roundup of the five cotton pads I like to rotate between. I've stocked up on several since I go through these quickly.


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Chanel Le Coton ($20 for 100 pads) are the largest cotton pads I've bought. I purchased a box of the Chanel at a makeover event to qualify for the gift with purchase they were offering and fell head over heels in love. The Chanel is larger and thicker in size compared to the Shiseido. I find it sturdier but still very gentle on the skin. The square is large enough that I can use one half for my dual-phase eye makeup removers and the other half for cleansing water for the rest of my face. Just when I found my holy grail of luxury cottons, Chanel discontinued it for a while which broke my heart. Thank goodness they brought it back. The thickness allows for just the right amount of toner or makeup remover to be absorbed and apply to the skin. This is by far my favorite. These come in a white box which helps keep the shape in tact and protects the cotton from getting smashed.



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A few friends told me to try the face cotton from Clé de Peau Beauté ($20 for 120 pads) stating it was the best thing they've ever used. A couple readers had e-mailed me too saying they thought I should try it so I did. It's really quite amazing. It's the thickest of all the cotton pads I've tried but still has a relatively tight weave making it sturdy. In terms of size it's larger than Shiseido but smaller than Chanel. I like that these come in a box so they keep the shape.



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Shiseido Facial Cotton ($9.50 for 165 pads) is a classic staple. It's soft but firm and won't fall apart easily. One pad is sufficient for the entire face. It is thinner than Chanel or Cle de Peau Beaute though. These come in a soft plastic casing without any support so make sure you store them away from things that can smash the package or else they will become smushed.



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Rite Aid and CVS have cotton pads that I buy frequently. Below are the Premium Cotton Rounds from Rite Aid. I prefer the ones with a vertical line weave at the top versus the honeycomb because I find those softer in texture and they also don't leave any fibers on the face but I can't always find those specific ones. These run around $3-$4 depending on the store and what sales they have going on.



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Sephora Collection Soft Touch Cotton Pads ($4 for 70 rounds) are softer than most drug store brands. Since they are smaller and thinner I usually need 2-3 rounds to remove my makeup entirely. For the price if you can get away with one pad these are really good although they are significantly thinner and not as plush as the Chanel, Shiseido or Cle de Peau. I had hoped these would be the same as the other luxury cotton rectangles at a cheaper price. They just aren't the same.



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In summary, my top two picks are Chanel and Cle de Peau Beaute - it's impossible for me to pick between the two. Shiseido is the next best option but still not as thick or plush and the smaller size means I have to use 2 pads on occasion. A quick reference on pricing and availability of each. You can find the cotton at a number of retailers, I'll list places I've bought mine before:


Do you have a favorite facial cotton? What have you tried, liked or didn't like?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sephora Beauty Insider Sale / VIB Rouge Haul


I took advantage of the Sephora Beauty Insider sale and used my VIB Rouge discount for a massive haul. I planned on stocking up on skincare and haircare staples, but there seemed to be a wave of new beauty launches too. I ended up placing a couple of orders online. Here is the majority of what I bought. I have one more package coming in the mail but I'll be out of town when it arrives at my home later this week. Be warned, this list is very long.

1 + 2 + 3 / Surratt Beauty just launched at Sephora, most of what I wanted was already sold out by the time the sale started, but I managed to order three Artistique Blushes in Guimauve, Parfait and Aurelole plus the Large Custom Palette Case. I also bought one Lip Lustre in Coquette.

4 / Urban Decay released the Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation in a wide range of colors. Each of the main shades come in Warm, Neutral and Cool. I picked out Medium Light Warm, I hope this is the right color for me, it's hard to tell in stores.

5 / Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders in Dim Light and Diffused Light come highly recommended by my readers as all over setting powders. I have Dim Light in the Palette Form which I really like but feel it's easier to dip a large fluffy brush in a larger compact. I've been obsessed with Diffused Light after testing it for a few days, it's the perfect all over setting powder.

6 / Koh Gen Do Cleansing Wipes are a must for me. I stocked up on the 3-pack.

7 / Laura Mercier Baked Blush Bronze Compact in Ritual is new for me, but I don't think it's a new shade. I have swiped it a couple times on the hand and it looks very dark, but there is a pretty pink glow mixed in. From what I have read, each one has different swirl patterns.

8 / Lavanila is new to me and I usually buy Dove deodorants but the concept of a soft vanilla scent in deodorant seemed really interesting. Fresh Vanilla Lemon is a light vanilla with a hint of citrus.

9 / SK-II Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil has been on my list to try for a long time. I decided to use the discount to save on this since full retail is $70. Review to come as I play with this.

10 / Christian Louboutin Nail Colour in Wherever is a deep but bright blue cream. I reviewed all of The Nudes here. I have several of the brighter Pops Colors and love the formula.

11 / Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No. 7 in The Lolita and The Lover are really pretty neutrals. Swatches and review posted here.

12 / Tatcha Aburatorigami Japanese Beauty Papers Duo is a Sephora exclusive. Review of the full size version here. This duo has a small pack of Evening Papers in a darker color that is purse-sized. I haven't tried them yet but I couldn't resist a small one for clutches or small bags.

13 / YSL Gloss Volupte in Nude Carat has been on my radar for a while. The sale made me do it.

14 / I've loved everything I've tried from the Drybar line. These Hold Me Hair Clips are perfect for sectioning hair up when you curl, straighten or blow dry the hair. They are large and angled so they really grip large sections of hair without tugging, pulling or getting tangled without leaving dents.

15 / Tarte is a line I haven't explored much of but the Smolder Eyes Amazonian Clay Waterproof Eyeliner has gotten so many raves. I bought Sunstone Bronze.

16 / Surratt Beauty Surreal Skin Concealer seems promising as it comes highly recommended by Beauty Professor. I don't have immediate access but I ordered Shades 4 and 5 based on her swatches. I'm excited to try it.

Other items on their way include some haircare, skincare and lipgloss:

Make Up For Ever Plexi Gloss in 101, 201 and 105P

There are still a few more hours left to shop the sale. It ends tonight online, codes valid through end of today 4/21/2015 11:59 PM PDT.

VIB Rouge Members get 15% off with code ROUGELOVE
VIB Members get 15% off with code VIBLOVE
Beauty Insider Members get 10% off with code BILOVE

Did you buy anything from the Sephora sale? I would love to hear about your hauls!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Sephora Collection Festival Favorites Giveaway


This year Sephora celebrates its second year as the exclusive beauty sponsor of the 2015 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. They've created a special selection of beauty products inspired by the Palm Springs landscape with curated picks from their SEPHORA COLLECTION. If you are able to attend the festival this weekend from April 17-19, be sure to check out their DIY Beauty Bar, Fiber Mask fire pit lounge, panoramic images, faux grass, and live plant life installation, all inside a massive 40’ by 40’ tent located next to the Mojave Stage. For those able to attend, Sephora encourages you to share your experience to earn a surprise reward at the SEPHORA COLLECTION Instagram Vending Machine by tagging @Sephora #SephoraCoachella.

I will not be attending this year, but the Sephora team was kind enough to send over a package of select Sephora Collection items for me to giveaway. One winner will be selected at random via the Rafflecopter widget below. There are multiple ways to enter in, this will be for US only and you must be.

Inside the giveaway pack will include the following items, all Sephora Collection items:

Face Mask in Rose and Pomegranate
Luster Matte Long-Wear Lip Color in Electra Pink and Nude Pink
Colorful Shadow & Liner in Let it Snow and Fresh Limeade

I'll be collecting entries through the Rafflecopter widget below now through April 24, 2015. You must submit your own entries through the Rafflecopter widget to qualify. One winner will be selected the last week of April 2015 and be contacted via the e-mail address entered in the widget.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Items in this giveaway were provided courtesy of Sephora.
 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No. 7 in The Lolita and The Lover


I took advantage of the Sephora Beauty Insider sale going on this week and purchased two of the Marc Jacobs Beauty Style Eye-Con No. 7 Plush Shadow Palettes ($59 each) in The Lolita #206 and The Lover #220. The Lolita has been on my wish list for over a year now. It's one I keep swatching in store but kept waiting on because of the one glittery shade. The Lover is new for summer and it's quite stunning. Online Sephora has helpful descriptions of each palette which I find pretty accurate:

  • The Lolita has eyeshadows in matte off-white cream, matte nude, matte dark coffee brown, metallic warm pink with iridescent glitter, iridescent champagne pink sheen, light peach sheen, rosy copper sheen
  • The Lover has eyeshadows in matte baby pink, sandy pink shimmer, light caramel sheen, matte apricot-rose, copper rose shimmer, seashell pink sheen, matte cappuccino

Both palettes contain a mix of textures and finishes but in neutral colors. I've been a huge fan of The Enigma (cooler tones) and The Dreamer (warmer tones) and as a neutral makeup lover, both The Lolita and The Lover do not disappoint.


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First up is The Lolita. The first three shades are matte with very good pigment. You have a buttercream, a soft tan and a dusty brown. The middle shade is a glittery champagne which I find best applied as a topper patted on lightly over other colors. A patting motion helps the color stay on, otherwise if you apply it in the traditional way swiped or brushed over the lid, I found the glitter fell off the lids and onto my cheeks. The last three shades are stunning shimmers. You have an opalescent pink pearl, a shimmering champagne peach and a warm coppery rose shimmer. All the colors are extremely flattering and pretty on the lids (except for the glitter shade mainly because I am not a huge glitter fan). I was worried the colors would all look the same on my lids, but on my medium tone skin they look different.


Close ups:






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Next up is The Lover which is a new palette for summer. It's listed as limited-edition online but I hope it remains permanent. For those who like a palette that has colors similar to each other for a soft gradient, The Lover offers some really gorgeous neutrals with a modern twist. In the mix you have some wearable soft pinks, lilac, tan and a peachy-copper shimmer. On the lids you can create a soft gradient and wash of color that is neutral but not your typical neutral-beiges. It's like The Dreamer but softer in overall feel with more pinks rather than the coppery-golds. The colors are well pigmented although the third and fourth shades are softer and are close to my natural skin tone so they aren't as dramatic as the other colors. They do layer on the eyes better than my arm.


Close ups:




Swatches:



One last shot side by side:


Side by side swatches:


I really adore both. If I had to pick only one, I would have to say that I have a slight preference for The Lover right now mainly because it's glitter-free, although The Lolita is pretty amazing for a neutral palette. That being said I do think it can be duplicated with a number of other colors from singles or other palettes. I love that The Lover is neutral and light without being too neutral that it's invisible on my eyes - the colors show up well and layer nicely together.

You can find the Marc Jacobs Beauty Style Eye-Con No. 7 Palettes for $59 each at Marc Jacobs Beauty and Sephora. Right now the Sephora Beauty Insider sale is going on through the 21st. For VIB Rouge enter the code ROUGELOVE at checkout for 15% off, VIBs enter code VIBLOVE for 15% off, BI members will get access starting tomorrow with 10% off with code BILOVE. In store you will need to show the card you received in the mail or e-mail sent to you with the barcode.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipsticks and Butter Cream Lipsticks


The lipsticks from Bite Beauty have been on my radar for quite some time. There's something appealing about the simple and basic packaging of their lipsticks that always has me going "ooohh" when I see them online. I picked up a few lipsticks in two of the formulas:

Luminous Crème Lipsticks ($24 each) in Pepper and Musk
Butter Cream Lipsticks ($28 each) in Caramel, Pecan and Heather

Both formulas are rich and creamy with a very natural lipstick-like scent. The texture is on the thick side but they do glide on the lips nicely. The colors are super saturated and cover the lip entirely, although I do recommend a neutral lipliner blended around the edges to help the finish look a bit more natural/blended in with the lip. I bought colors based on recs from my readers - sometimes neutrals with brown or plum undertones can look very dark and drab on my olive skintone (i.e. MAC Spirit and Twig). The ones recommended to me are truly neutral with the pinky-brown base but they aren't too dark and actually have a lot of color in them.

I personally found both formulas to perform the same on my lips. The Butter Cream formula is slightly glossier and thicker in texture so you have more of a sheen on the lips. The Luminous Creme melds into the lip for a more natural look, but it has enough color so you can still tell you are wearing lipstick.

The packaging and lipstick designs are different. I prefer the traditional angled tip because it makes lipstick easier to apply. The flat tip of the Butter Cream is designed to expose the creamy center, but it just feels awkward to apply and I don't notice additional creaminess because of the design. The thick texture makes it stick slightly to the lips and I felt like I was going to break the lipstick at the base (luckily I did not on any of them). All of these look fairly similar. In store lighting they looked different but once I got home I realized most of these are really close to each other. On the lips they have slight differences in undertone.

Pepper is a browned pink rose
Musk is the perfect neutral nude pink rose
Caramel is a lovely nude beige flesh color
Pecan is a peachy pink brown nude
Heather is a bright but muted rose pink




Here they are swatched on the lips, for foundation I have on NARS Punjab in some photos and the Chanel CC Cream in Beige 30 in others (still testing this one out):






A few swatch comparisons to other neutral lipsticks:


Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Creme in Infamous (swatched on lips here)
Marc Jacobs Sheer Lip Gel in Understudy and Roleplay (reviews here)
Tom Ford Lip Color Matte in First Time (swatched here)
Charlotte Tilbury Lipsticks in Nude Kate and Stoned Rose (lip swatch here)
NARS Audacious Lipsticks in Barbara and Anita (lip swatches here)

The formula of the Bite Beauty Lipsticks reminds me of the NARS Audacious Lipsticks in terms of the coverage and blendability. Both are rich and opaque but don't look flat on the lips like some full-coverage lipsticks can. I do find the Bite Beauty Lipsticks slightly thicker in texture and you can definitely feel them on the lips - but not in a bad way and they don't feel like they are sliding off. The thick texture of the Bite Butter Cream Lipsticks makes them feel like you have a veil of moisture on the lips - I found them very hydrating. Out of the two formulas, I have a very slight preference for the Butter Cream because of the color options, but I really prefer the traditional angled shape of the Luminous Cremes.


Bottom line: lots to love about these. I have a few more of the Butter Creams sitting in my online cart but given the fact that they are just slight variations of the ones I have and also combined with the fact that I'm not too thrilled with the flat tip, I will probably pass on more and stick with the ones I have. 

You can find the Bite Beauty Lipsticks online and in select Sephora stores. The Luminous Crème Lipsticks retail for $24 each while the Butter Cream Lipsticks are $28 each. Have you tried any of the Bite Beauty Lipsticks? Which ones?

P.S. the Sephora VIB Rouge 15% off is going on now through the 21st with code ROUGELOVE
VIBs get 15% off starting the 16th with code VIBLOVE
BIs get 10% off starting the 17th with code BILOVE


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sephora Beauty Insider VIB Rouge 15% Off Event Starts Today: 4/12 through 4/21/2015


The Sephora Beauty Insider event is happening this month! VIB Rouge Members get early access starting today where you can get 15% off your purchases online at Sephora.com with code ROUGELOVE and in stores by showing the mailer or copy of the e-mail you received with the barcodes 4/12 through 4/21. VIB and other Beauty Insider Members will have access at later dates (will update as more as I receive more info).

I placed an order online this morning to avoid the crowds, although quite a few of the Surratt Beauty items I had on my wish list sold out already. I'll have my haul to share with you in the next week (my package is expected to arrive Tuesday or Wednesday).

In the meantime if you need some recommendations here is a list of items I've reviewed from the past few years that are good to save on. Sales on mid to high-end luxury products rarely occur except with the occasional friends and family discounts. In the mix a few splurges along with classic staples.

Row 1, left to right:

Row 2, left to right

Row 3, left to right:

Row 4, left to right: 

Did you buy anything for the VIB Rouge Beauty Insider sale at Sephora? If you're shopping online be sure to enter in the code ROUGELOVE at checkout. If you're a VIB/Beauty Insider Member, what's on your wish list or in your shopping cart?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

New In Beauty / On My Radar


Today I have another roundup of new beauty items on my radar. This time of year is my favorite because all the pretty spring-summery colors and fragrances start coming out. The Sephora Beauty Insider sale starts soon (the 12th for VIB Rouge) so if you're a beauty addict like me, you've probably started a wish list and have been moving things in and out of your online shipping cart.

1 / Last week I was lucky to get an early sneak peek at the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzers ($50 each). You can see a little preview here and here. I'm hoping to have the review up this weekend but I can say right now they are amazing. They are currently available exclusively at Sephora.com for VIB/VIB Rouge Members, launch for everyone on 4/15 online at Sephora and Hourglass Cosmetics and hit stores in May.

2 / To celebrate the opening of the Diptyque Beverly Hills Boutique, the store has released a limited-edition Beverly Hills Candle ($70) exclusive to the store that has lemon + mint essential oils,  orchid and freesia accord. 10% of the proceeds will be donated to LA> a leading independent nonprofit contemporary art space in Los Angeles supporting artistic and curatorial freedom. The candle is exclusive to the boutique, you can order one by calling the Beverly Hills store at (310) 385-5941.

3 / Also new from Diptyque is the Florabellio Eau de Toilette (in a 50 ml is $90 and 100 ml is $125). It's available starting this month and is supposed to be a mix of sweet, salty, apple blossom and apricot-scented osmanthus mist. The Diptyque South Coast Plaza Boutique has a promo going on if you pre-order the fragrance they will include a 12 ml mini of Florabellio as a gift with purchase. You can reach the store at (714) 850-9995, ask for Raven.

4 / Christopher Kane for NARS Summer 2015 Collection features some stunning beauty pieces. It launches online at Narscosmetics.com and Boutiques on April 15th, everywhere else May 1st. 

5 / Jo Malone has three newly packaged colognes that are special-edition versions of some previously released scents ($125 each for 3.4 oz). Plum Blossom comes in a purple cap and label, Osmanthus Blossom comes with a spring green packaging, Sakura Cherry Blossom comes with the pink packaging.

6 / Laura Mercier has released eight new shades of the Creme Lip Color Smooth Formula ($27 each). The new shades include a mix of nudes and rose and plum: Lychee Parfait, Biscotti, Milky Way, Crushed Pecan, Praline Cream, Rose, Audrey and Dry Rose. Some of the names look familiar to me from her older formulas. I think a trip to the counter is in order for me soon.

7 / Tarte has a new Showstopper Clay Palette ($38) which looks perfect for summer. It has six warm-toned shadows, blush, bronzer and highlighter all in one. It's in my Sephora shopping cart right now since the store locator function shows it's online only right at this moment.

8 / Caudalie has four new masks. I ordered all four on Monday since I'm on the verge of running out of my Glamglow and Aesop masks. I have high hopes for these and will review once I put them to the test. I like the concept of different masks for different needs. The four options include the Purifying Mask, the Instant Detox Mask, the Moisturizing Mask and the Glycolic Peel Mask ($39 each).

What's on your beauty radar this week? Are you planning your Sephora haul like me?
What's in your shopping cart?

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Marc Jacobs Beauty Style Eye-Con No. 7 - The Dreamer #212


Something that's been on my favorites list for a couple months now is the Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No. 7 in The Dreamer ($59 for 7 shadows each 7 g / 0.24 oz). The Marc Jacobs palettes come with an eyeshadow they call a plush shadow formula that contains a mix of textures from "shimmery metallics, buttery mattes, and lustrous sheens." If you've played with any of the palettes in a Sephora store you know first hand that most of the colors are indeed plush with a buttery pigmented smooth texture. I reviewed The Enigma last year which has a mix of cool neutrals and darker shades. It has a lovely unique mix of colors to give a modern smokey eye that's different from the regular grey/black colors. The Dreamer is a warmer neutral option that is perfect for spring to summer. It's rare to find eyeshadow palettes with more than 4 shades where I am 100% in love with each color. This one (much like The Enigma) is pure love.

The colors in the palette are neutral to warm, but not too warm. The last color on the far right scared me a bit because it's so warm and yellow but it layers really nicely over the other colors to add warmth and depth without making the skin look sallow. The mattes in this palette are rich in pigment and ultra smooth in coverage so they won't make the lids look dry and even though they are neutral they show up well on the skin.

The colors as I see them described below:

Matte beige cream that has a very smooth soft texture
Shimmering sandy champagne beige
Light and pale yellow cream shimmer
Matte warm brown
Matte peach beige with a hint of pink
Shimmering coral with gold shimmer
Warm frosted marigold shimmer



Close ups of the palette:




Swatches:



The colors layer well together although I don't usually wear more than 5 shades of shadow on the lid at any given time. I like the matte brown because it looks warm in the pan but it has super saturated pigment and applies deeper so it's dark enough to be a liner. Even though something like a matte brown is basic, I really love this one because it can change the look for something more dramatic by smoking it out - it's a matte that blends like a dream.

The colors are well coordinated in a way that they all go together quite nicely - no other shadows from other singles or palettes needed to tweak the look. At the same time there is enough variation between each of the colors that they don't end up looking identical on the skin or the eyes.

I literally could go on and on about how much I like this one, but in short, it's a really good one that I can wear on any day for any occasion. The colors perform really well and adhere nicely to the lids even without primer and last all day long without budging. The colors are so well-coordinated so this is a palette I can swipe on easily and not have to think about how to use or blend. I give this one a huge thumbs up.

You can find the Style Eye-Con No. 7 palettes at Sephora and Marc Jacobs Beauty. If you've tried any of the shadows I'd love to hear about your favorites. The Lolita has been on my wishlist since the line launched but I've been trying to resist as I already have so many neutrals. I suspect it's only a matter of time before I cave and buy that one.

The Dreamer was provided courtesy of Marc Jacobs Beauty for review consideration.

 

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