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

Friday, September 26, 2014

Formula X Translucents in Remarkable and Wonderous


Above: Leather pink clutch by Truffle, leopard clutch by Clare V, iPhone case by Gray Malin, Marc Jacobs Lipgloss in Pink Diamond, notepad by Garance Dore x Rifle Paper Co.

I stopped by Sephora a few weeks ago and picked up two of the Formula X Translucent nail polishes in Remarkable and Wonderous ($10.50 each for 12 ml/0.4 fl oz). I've been putting them to the test and they've held up extremely well. Both lasted 5 days before any tip wear started to show when used in conjunction with Formula X Base and Top Coats from The System set.


Remarkable is a sheer beige pink that applies more like a pale ivory on my nails. It's extremely sheer like the name implies but applies very smoothly on the nails. With two coats the whites of my nails show through. I applied it with three coats on my own to get more coverage. With two coats I had some uneven spots but overall it was still pretty smooth.




Wonderous is a sheer transparent pink. The color is also very sheer but it applies smoothly with two coats. I had an easier time getting this one on the nails with a flawless smooth finish. It gives the nails a very sheer polished and natural look. 




Overall huge thumbs up. I've been really impressed with all the colors I've tried so far from Sephora's Formula X line and the Translucent shades I just tested prove to be just as good in terms of lasting power (see more of my reviews, swatches and details on brush by clicking on the Formula X tag).

For more inspiration and swatch photos of more colors, I recommend you check out FormulaX.com which has a collage of swatches and photos of nail art. You can buy Formula X polishes online and instores at Sephora.


Do you have any favorites? I'd love to hear what shades you've tried!

Friday, August 22, 2014

New Shades of YSL Volupté Sheer Candy | 14 Belle Cannelle, 15 Rose Candy, 16 Cherise Désir, 17 Fraise Ganache


There are four new shades of YSL Volupté Sheer Candy in 14 Belle Cannelle, 15 Rose Candy, 16 Cherise Désir, 17 Fraise Ganache ($34 each, currently exclusive to Sephora). The YSL Volupté Sheer Candy formula is a sheer glossy tinted lip balm. I feel those who have tried these either really love them or hate them. I was thoroughly unimpressed when I first one I tried these several years ago. I gave them a second try last year early in 2013 and my opinion had changed completely. Funny how personal taste on beauty and style can change. Although the YSL Volupté Sheer Candy lip balms are indeed very sheer, they feel phenomenal on the lips and help transform texture with a super lush hydrating feel. These are heavily scented with something I feel is a mango and grapefruit blend, but to me it's not artificially sweet. I love these for a swipe and go kind of lip product that doesn't require a mirror and that will always look natural. Some of the colors are more visible on my lips than others, but all are still pretty sheer. If you want more color and pigment, I'd recommend you opt for the YSL Volupté Shines (reviews and swatches on my picks here).

The four new shades appear to be exclusive to Sephora. All look a lot lighter and brighter in real life compared to online square swatches. The actual lip balm tubes don't have names on them, just the numbers.

  • #14 is warmer brownish nude
  • #15 is medium hot sheer pink
  • #16 is a brighter fuchsia pink that is still very soft 
  • #17 is a soft mauve with subtle shimmer particles




If you've tried the Volupté Sheer Candies, you know swatches are difficult to photograph because of the sheer glossy finish. These are colors that show up better on the lips. I've swatched them below with a lip brush to pick up more color. I recommend you also check out swatches on Best Things in Beauty - her swatches show what the color will look like straight from the tube.



Here are close ups and lip swatches of each shade. As usual with lip swatches, no added liner or base unless specified. On the lips I applied the colors straight from the tube, swiping back and forth around 2 to 3 times each lip:














A few comparisons, same set but with two views, Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy, Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Fetiche, YSL Rouge Volupte Shine #7, 8 and 9:




I'm really happy with the four new shades. They are sheer but have such a lovely natural tint to them. They smooth and hydrate the lips and are really luscious. You can find them now in stores and online at Sephora.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black


Elizabeth and James launched the Nirvana Black and White Eau de Parfum as a Sephora Exclusive earlier this year. When the line launched, Sephora had adorable mini roll-ons available as 100 point perks for Beauty Insiders. They literally flew off out of stores but I was lucky to find them online via Sephora.com and I used up my points to redeem for both (and a couple backups of each). I fell head over heels in love with Nirvana Black and purchased the full size 1.0 fl oz ($55) version during the Summer Surge Event.

Nirvana Black is described as a "blend of alluring violet, sensual sandalwood, and rich vanilla that strike the perfect balance between masculine and feminine." I'm a fan of fragrances that have a hint of sandalwood which gives scents a sort of smoky, spicy, dark touch. On me it's more of a date-night kind of fragrance but I love it during both day and night. It has really good lasting power in both the roll-on and spray, I like the mini roll-ons because they fit easily into a compact makeup bag or clutch and don't take up much space.


I spritzed Nirvana White on me in store at Sephora when these first launched. I tend to prefer lighter scents and thought I would prefer the lighter version. By itself I found it too floral although my husband loves it on me. The Nirvana White is described as having "delicate peony, chic muguet, and tender musk for a feminine scent with dark sophistication." I'm not a fan of wearing peony scents on the skin, as I find them too floral and powdery, although I love the actual flower scent just as flowers. 

Book: Influence

After posting several snapshots of the mini roll-ons, several readers have suggested I layer them both.  It does create an interesting blend of floral and spice but I still lean more towards preferring the Nirvana Black. I love the simple design with the gold detail. When it comes to fragrance, the packaging design matters a lot to me. There are some fragrances I have not purchased that I love the scents of simply because the bottles are either too gaudy or just plain hideous. I like the textured grooves in the surface because it makes these more interesting without looking like spikes.




Nirvana Black is a bit too spicy for warm hot summer days but I still wear it. I personally think it will be perfect for fall. Bottom line love and I hope they extend the line to include home fragrance or oils.

Nirvana Black is available exclusively at Sephora in different sizes. $22 for the 0.34 oz rollerball, $55 for the 1.0 fl oz bottle, or $75 for the 1.7 fl oz bottle. Both minis are also available in the Sephora Favorites Bottled Dreams Fragrance Sampler $58 (you get a scent certificate to any US Sephora store to redeem for a full-size bottle at no extra cost, see website for details on how to redeem).

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 Simplehuman.com 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.

 

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