Showing posts with label Shu Uemura. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shu Uemura. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cleansing Oil Testing | Tatcha, MAC, Shu Uemura, Josie Maran, Chanel and Dior


I've used cleansing oils for years but just recently started using them on a regular basis. I have been really impressed with the long-wear formulas brands have been releasing in foundation, powder, blush and concealer. Who doesn't want their makeup to last all day without touching up or fading? For me, the long-wear factor has had one downside: it doesn't come all the way off with a regular cleanser and leads to clogged pores and breakouts. Using stronger cleansers tend to irritate my skin.

I have my local Chanel artists to thank for recommending that I add a cleansing oil to my daily skincare routine. I did quite a bit of research, pulled out some samples, looked for online promo codes for minis with purchases and bought a few small trial/travel sized oils to do some extensive testing.

This year I've explored more in skincare than I have previous years and have found it's all a slow learning process for me. I am not an expert with skincare ingredients - I know many of you are passionate about skincare and know much more than I do about specific ingredients, formulas and what to avoid. I rely on the product specialists I talk to with various brands, online reviews and personal testing to determine what works for me. As always, I share what I've experienced personally - due to different skin types, your mileage may vary.


You might be wondering if you really need a cleansing oil. If you wear long-wear makeup like me and find yourself with small areas of clogged pores, I will say yes. To see how effective your current cleanser is, take a cotton pad soaked with cleansing water or a wipe and swipe your face after your normal process. You might be shocked to see remnants of product transfer to the cotton after you wipe your face down which means you didn't clean it enough. I've found Cleansing Oils and Cleansing Waters help break down long-wearing makeup for cleaner skin. I've found the best way to use these is to apply them to a dry face with dry hands and massage all over. Rinse with warm water to activate the foaming quality and emulsify to cleanse the skin. Some are designed to cleanse the skin fully and claim to have no film leftover so you don't need to double cleanse. I still prefer to use the two step method of a Cleansing Oil + Foaming Cleanser.

I've put 9 different cleansing oils to the test with various minis, samples and travel-sized options. I wish more brands would offer sampler/trial sets for skincare. I would be more likely to try new products and brands if sampler sizes were offered.

I've tested each oil for a minimum of 6 uses each over the past few months. With all of these, the best way to use them is to apply to a dry face with dry hands right on top of the makeup and massage it in circular motions all over the face.
  • Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil ($12 for 1.9 oz) I purchased the small travel size online based on the 4.2 out of 5 star rating on Sephora. I found this one to be my least favorite of all the oils even though I had high hopes. It has a very thick texture that feels goopy on the skin. It does a very effective job at cleaning and removing makeup, but I couldn't get past the texture. The scent is also too sweet for my taste and the flip open cap of the mini leaked product all over the place. It also made my skin feel a bit too tight after application.
  • Tatcha One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil ($12 for .08 fl oz or $48 for 5.1 fl oz) I was really pleased to find out large the trial size was after ordering it online from the Travel Sized beauty category. I was also happy to see the small version come with a good pump and also with good packaging. Sometimes minis are cased in cheap containers but the Tatcha is very well designed. This turned out to be one of my favorites. It has a medium-thin texture which applies well to the face. Massaging the product emulsifies on the skin. It cleanses well with water and gave the skin a moisturizing feel without any residue feeling. It has the signature Tatcha Camellia scent which is soothing and gentle.
  • MAC Cleanse Off Oil ($10 for 1 fl oz) has been a long-time favorite of mine. I like to keep the mini bottle and refill it for travel although it comes in the mini size. The $10 price seemed very affordable for a trial (when I first tried it many years ago). This is the best one for removing all trace of waterproof eye makeup without stinging the eyes.
  • MAC Tranquil Cleanse Off Oil ($10 for 1 fl oz) was a purchase I made after reading so many rave reviews, I liked the texture and soft scent, but found it less effective compared to the regular version. If you have super sensitive skin or want something more gentle this is a good option for you.
  • Chanel Le Blanc Immediate Brightening Oil-Gel Makeup Remover (mini sample shown, $60 for 5 oz) is something that has been used on my at several Chanel events. It's a clear gel that turns into an oil as you work it into the skin. It's lightly scented which might bother some of you, but it is extremely effective. It's the only one that will remove all traces of mascara and eyeliner. The upside of the gel texture is that it's slightly thick so it doesn't run into the eyes if you work it on the eye area. Even though it's thicker, it's not goopy and is very emollient once massaged but not greasy. This is the most unique formula I've tried.
  • Shu Uemura Anti/Oxi Skin Refining Oil (green sample gwp shown, $37-$77 for full size) has had so many raves online. It cleansed well and I found it emulsified nicely too. I couldn't get over the scent. It smells like green tea with an emphasis on the herbal side. I liked that it left no residue on the skin but it left my skin feeling a bit tight.
  • Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Cleansing Oil (brown sample gwp shown, $42-$90 for full size) is most like a traditional cleansing oil. It reminds me of the older versions Shu Uemura used to have. It's gentle yet very efficient leaving skin feeling clean.
  • Shu Uemura Whitefficient Clear Brightening Cleansing Oil (blue sample gwp shown, $38-$81 for full size) is a brightening oil, this one has the best scent out of all the ones I've tried, it's a refreshing clean scent, kinda like dryer sheets, but not quite as sharp. This one emulsified really well and is more gentle compared to the Ultime8.
  • Dior Instant Gentle Cleansing Oil (mini gwp shown, $36 for 6.7 fl oz) is one I had high hopes for. So many have raved about this one too. I did not like this one. It has a slightly sticky feel making it a bit hard to massage over the face. It didn't tug or pull, but didn't emulsify quite as well as the other more fluid options. After cleansing with water the skin felt sticky.
Here are how the minis size up next to each other and compare in packaging design, some of these were samples, some purchased. The packaging of the full size versions are usually better in quality and typically come with a pump.

Samples I purchased below: Tatcha, Josie Maran, MAC. Online samples with codes: Shu Uemura. Samples at the counter: Dior and Chanel.


To summarize my thoughts:
Best at removing all traces of makeup 
Tatcha One-Step, Chanel Le Blanc Oil Gel and MAC Cleanse Off Oil

Most gentle 
 Shu Uemura Whitefficient and MAC Tranquil Cleanse Off
Most moisturizing 
Tatcha and Ultime8
Best scent 
Tatcha and Shu Uemura Whitefficient

Top picks
1) MAC Cleanse-Off Oil
2) Tatcha One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil
3) Shu Uemura Whitefficient

I hope you found this roundup helpful. I've found that adding a cleansing oil to my routine has helped clean my skin better and has significantly decreased the amount of clogged pores and tiny bumps on the face. Do note that your mileage may vary depending on your skin type. I have normal but sensitive skin. If you are oily or dry you might find different oils work better for you.

What are your experiences with cleansing oils? Do you have any favorites or stories you'd like to share on what worked for you or what didn't work out so well? 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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


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

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

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

Friday, July 18, 2014

In Rotation | Beauty Look Book Mascara and Lash Primer Picks


I typically limit myself to a couple of mascaras I use at any given time since I keep them for 3 months max before tossing but I've been testing new ones and I've discovered some new favorites. I have half a dozen I'm using right now and I've picked out my favorites to share.

When it comes to my lashes, I'm really picky with mascaras or lash primers. I have really straight ones that often don't hold the curl with most mascaras even with a lash curler (my essentials here). I also find a lot of black mascaras turn grayish looking after they dry on my lashes, smudge or end up feeling crunchy and flake during the day. When it comes to mascara I look for something that will last all day without clumping, flaking, smudging and something that stays a true lush black color and holds the curl.

I'm hesitant to try lash primers and lash serums because I don't like having an extra layer of product on my sensitive eyes. I'm a novice in this area so if you have any recommendations I am all ears.
The mascara and lash products I have in rotation right now:

  • Shu Uemura Lash Builder ($33) is a lash builder serum to help create a longer lusher lash look, I've been testing this for a few weeks and am still undecided on what I think but it's been in my lash rotation, it darkens and defines the lashes when you apply it but I haven't seen a visible difference after I apply colored mascara, reviews seem to indicate you will see results over time
  • Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum ($28.50) is something I've used for several years, I don't use it everyday but it's a favorite base that helps mascara adhere better to the lashes and makes it catch the lashes resulting in a fuller look, I like that it doesn't impact the curl after using a lash curler
  • Guerlain Maxi Lash Waterproof ($30) is something I discovered thanks to RaeView, it's the first waterproof mascara I've tried that doesn't make my lashes feel crunchy, this one needs 2-3 uses to break it in, it gives lush rich black lashes, volumizes, doesn't clump/flake/smudge and defines the lashes nicely, I haven't tested it at the beach or pool but it seems to be sweat proof and lasts all day
  • Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Stretch ($32) is a staple in my beauty arsenal, I've repurchased this numerous times (probably a dozen tubes by now), it's my favorite mascara of all time because it does everything I want - lengthens, defines, thickens, darkens the color and stays put, it's easy to apply and gets the little corners easily because of the tapered brush tip, the bristles are well designed to grab on to the lashes and glides on easily
  • Chanel Le Volume de Chanel ($30) is the only Chanel mascara I like, it's a lightweight mascara that glides on easily and doesn't clump, it stays put and doesn't dry to a grayish finish like other Chanel mascaras do (at least for me), I like the Black and Bleu (navy) for fun, but mostly use the black
  • NARS Larger than Life Volumizing Mascara ($25) is another favorite that I've repurchased numerous times, it is one of my favorite volumizing mascaras that doesn't flake or smudge, this one has a big fluffy brush so it can be prone to clumping after a while due to buildup, I wipe down the brush with a small piece of paper wrapped around the tip (tissue or paper towels will get caught in the bristles, so paper actually is best to clean the brush) and then it's back to perfection
If I were pressed to pick just one mascara to live with the rest of my life, it would be the Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Stretch. If you're looking for something more wallet-friendly, a few other  less expensive favorites I've tested and purchased numerous times include Clinique High Impact Mascara ($16), Topshop 3d Curve Mascara ($20, or in this Eyeliner/Mascara Set for $24) and MAC Plushlash Mascara ($16) has been a long-time favorite. I've tried dozens of drugstore mascaras (literally) and for some reason they've all turned grayish in color on my lashes and I've never found one that holds the curl.



What are your holy grail lash primers, serums and mascaras? I've been researching lash serums and would love your thoughts on any you've tried.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

On My Radar


Here are a few things on my radar this week. Fall collections are starting to arrive and I'm excited about the upcoming releases. From the top left, clockwise:
  • NARS Fall 2014 launches this week online at narscosmetics.com, I have my eye on Dolomites Eyeshadow Duo, Unlawful Blush and the two new Satin Lip Pencils in Bansar and Mandore
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty has launched some new Lust for Lacquer lip glosses, there are three new Lip Vinyl Sheers in Shiny, Magic and Superstar and two new Lip Vinyl Full shades in Shooting Stars and Satisfaction
  • I've been on the hunt for new sunglasses and after hours of searching, I think I'm finally narrowed it down to either these Marc by Marc Jacobs aviators or some Kate Spade classic shades that are on sale
  • Chanel Les 4 Ombres have hit counters, I'm in love with Poésie and Tissé Rivoli but have my eye on Tissé Vénitien (greens), Tissé Grabrielle (smokey) and Tissé Vendome because the formula is just so amazing with rich smooth pigment
  • For the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, I picked up the MAC Coral Look in a Box, the eyeshadow trio has really pretty pigmented colors and the lips options are stunning peachy corals, I'll review this soon but I give this a huge thumbs up
  • In the past few months I've been testing out some cleansing oils from Chanel, Tatcha and Shu Uemura, I'll have a report soon on the ones I've tested but in the meantime I'd love to hear what your favorites are

What's on your radar this week? Were you able to pick up anything from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale yet? With fall beauty collections starting to trickle in stores, what do you have your eye on?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Inside My Makeup Bag


My makeup bag started this week with only 4 items (EB Daydream, Lancome Juicy Tube, mini blush brush, Chanel Boy Rouge Coco Shine), but since Monday it's accumulated quite a few more things this long work-week. Today, what is inside my Laura Mercier zebra print makeup bag:
  1. NARS Tzarine Eyeshadow Duo
  2. MAC Blonde MSF (limited edition from January 2009)
  3. Burberry Misty Blush (new for spring, review to come soon)
  4. Chanel Boy Rouge Coco Shine
  5. Laura Mercier Mini Double Sided Brush
  6. MAC Wolf Pearlglide (limited edition from 2008ish)
  7. Lancôme Yayoi Kusama Edition Juicy Tube in Dot Apricot (now at Nordstrom)
  8. Edward Bess Daydream Bronzer (my holy grail bronzer, reviewed numerous times here)
  9. Le Métier de Beauté Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss Ibiza
  10. Le Métier de Beauté Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss Captiva
  11. Shu Uemura ME Black 990
  12. Bobbi Brown Mini Blush Brush
Close Ups Labeled:


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer Guide To My Bronzer Favorites

Perhaps it is the California girl in me that is obsessed with bronzers, but I've always been one who prefers to be tan rather than fair. Right now I am a Chanel Teint Innocence Shell (equivalent to what's in between MAC NC30 and NC35, neither is an exact match for me), hardly "tan" but luckily I have bronzers to help me feel not-so-pale since I have little patience for tanning in the sun.


There are so many different effects one can achieve with bronzers. One's skintone and skintype will also affect one's preference for formula and finish. A bit of information about my skin & personal bronzer preferences: I have normal skin with olive tones. I get a bit oily in the T-zone only when it's really humid. I prefer something that gives noticeable tanned look. My top 3 requirements for bronzer:
  1. Don't turn orangey as my skin
  2. Don't make me look dirty/muddy
  3. Too much shimmer = copper bronze statue

Powder Bronzers:



Edward Bess Ultra Luminous Bronzer - Daydream $48 This is my favorite bronzer ever! Not being able to see this in person, I purchased it based on the recommendations of Leslie (see her guest review on the EB line here). Her description was right on. It's neither shimmery nor matte but somewhere in between. It's a goof-proof bronzer that I can never go wrong with and makes the skin glow. I like it alone or layered over a luminizer like NARS Multiples or Edward Bess's All Over Seduction. I recently bought the other bronzer shade shade from EB, Desert Sun, and will be reviewing it soon.



Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powder - Bali Brown $33 Part of her Illuminating Bronzer formula, I don't find this one all that "illuminating" even though there are sparkles in this one. For some reason it applies more matte and I find the sparkle/shimmers don't show up on my skin. This one is more pigmented so I have to apply it with a light hand in layers or else I get an intense brown streak across my face. I would say this gives a more earthy-brown look rather than illuminating glow.



NARS Bronzing Powder - Laguna & Irresistiblement $32 NARS Laguna has achieved cult status as the most well-known and popular bronzer. It was one of my first bronzers and I used it every single day while I was in college because I found it so versatile. It worked well alone and when layered with other blushes. Irresistiblement is the newest powder bronzer from NARS. It looks rather orange in the compact and when I saw it I immediately wrote it off. However, I saw it featured on Em from Too Much Blush and it looked so good on her pale skin I had to try it. See her review here. See it on her lovely face here. She's done a few looks with it and her review is extremely helpful. I highly recommend searching through her archives for inspiration on how to use this. I tried this at Nordstrom and fell in love.



MAC Bronzing Powder - Golden & Bronze $22 I find these to be the most natural and sheer bronzing powders. Golden is very subtle on me because it's close to my natural skintone (when applied) so I like to use it as a contouring powder or over powder blushes to add a bit of warmth. I've hit pan on this one twice. Bronze is similar just a few shades darker and warmer. These give a soft bronzed glow. I like the simple mirrored compact. If you find these too sheer, try MAC's Refined Golden instead.



Armani Sheer Bronzer #1 & #5 $49 #1 is the most brown-based bronzer I have. Looks like it would be too brown in the compact but goes on a nice tanned bronze. I would call #5 my most glowy bronzer. It on the shimmery side but doesn't apply frosty. It's a warm golden bronze that makes the skin glow. Darker skinned girls will find this less dramatic and more glowy than bronzey.


Cream Bronzers:



Chanel Soleil de Tan Bronzing Makeup Base $48 This replaced the Bronze Universel de Chanel Sun Illuminator. Comes in the same tub and compact. Looks virtually identical to the original. I believe it was simply reformulated and given a new name. My favorite cream bronzer for a natural contour. The tub is huge and lasts forever. This is my second tub. Looks brown but blends out naturally.



Armani Fluid Sheer #11 $59 This is more of a peachy bronze shade. I like Fluid Sheer #3 as well but find it extremely sheer. The Fluid Sheer #11 is one of the shades that shows up better. It has enough color on me to wear alone as a blush. I apply this over powder and foundation with a foundation brush and it doesn't cake or get greasy.



NARS Multiple - South Beach $38 Another pretty peachy-bronze shimmer. More shimmery than the Armani. I like this with a powder bronzer (like MAC Golden or Bronze) layered on top. Love how this can be used on eyes, lips and cheeks. The challenge for me with this is making it last. It's so emollient I find it hard to make last throughout the day. Still, the color is so pretty, the non-existent lasting power won't stop me from wearing it.



MAC To the Beach Cream Bronzer - Weekend $25 I didn't think I would like this because it looked so reddish in the container, but it works well as a subtle bronzer with warmth. Fair skinned girls will probably find this too red. If I were slightly paler this would turn orangey on me.



Discontinued Loves:


  • Chanel Irreelle Soleil Silky Bronzing Powder in Sierra 22 This was the best bronzer Chanel made. Then they discontinued the formula and came out with something I feel is chalky which just sits on the skin instead of blending in with it.
  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish - So Ceylon, Sunny by Nature, Global Glow I find these can be a bit intense so I like these with a skunk brush.
  • Shu Uemura Loose Powder in Luster Bronze I don't remember which year this came out, I think back in the summer of 2005? I got this at Bergdorf Goodman when I was in New York summers ago. I use it only for special occasions because I love the color so much I'm afraid to use this up.

Tools:

I like brushes that are more on the fluffy side for bronzer to get a sheerer application. These are my most frequently used brushes. For the creams, most of the time I use my fingers but my staple is the Prescriptives Foundation brush which is no longer available. Listed left to right:
  • Prescriptives Foundation Brush
  • MAC 129 Powder/Blush Brush $34
  • MAC 187 Duo Fibre Brush $42
  • MAC 138 Tapered $52
  • Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush $50


My Top Bronzer Picks:
  • Best Bronzer Hands Down - Edward Bess Daydream
  • Best Bronzer For the Price - MAC Golden or Bronze
  • Most Natural Bronzer - MAC Golden & Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base
  • Best Bronzer Brush - MAC 129 (because it's the most versatile)

A Side Note: I do have a number of other bronzers from the same brands listed above and other brands like Guerlain, Laura Mercier, Le Metier de Beaute, Dolce & Gabbana, Becca and Dior. The ones listed above are just my favorites for the formula and price. Also, I just got a new computer which I am trying to get used to. You may see a slight difference in the photos from my normal posting. Please bear with me as I am trying to figure out all the new settings with a new version of photoshop as well.

A Note About These Swatches: Please take these with a grain of salt. These were swatched on a bare arm without primer or moisturizer. Bronzers apply better over foundation + powder for me, so these swatches aren't really true to life. I put as many as I could fit on my arm. There might be a few missing. Please don't be alarmed by the furry thing at the bottom, he's my kitty.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Do You Have a Beauty Emergency Kit?

Last week I had one of those days where I had a million things to do during the day with no time to stop by home before a special occasion dinner. I packed my car with my laptop, papers, textbooks, backpack, purse, a change of clothes and an extra pair of shoes (to transition from day to night) but neglected to pack my makeup bag and brushes to touch up.

Luckily, I had my Edward Bess Compact Rouge in Island Rose (for lips/cheeks) and a mini Diorshow mascara tucked away in my backpack which was enough to freshen my look a bit. But it made me realize I needed to put together an emergency beauty kit to keep in my car for those times I need a last-minute touch up or days I forget to bring my makeup bag with me.

I looked to one of my favorite beauty books by Trish McEvoy "The Power of Makeup" for her tips on what to include in a beauty emergency kit. This is what I put together for my own using my trusty quilted planner:

  • Trish McEvoy Power of Makeup Simply Chic Page (Pink Innocence Lip + Cheek, Nude Innocence Lip + Cheek, Golden Peach AOC, Peony Pink Blush, Sand/Pink Shimmer/Snow/Blackberry Eyeshadows)
  • Laura Mercier Eyemakeup Remover
  • Edward Bess Love Always Deep Shine Lipgloss
  • NARS Luxor Multiple
  • Diorshow Mini Mascara
  • MAC Fix + (travel size)
  • Chanel DPF Compact
  • Chanel Spices Quadra Eyeshadow
  • MAC Cremestick Lipliners in Sublime Culture and Beurre
  • Chanel Ebene Waterproof Eyeliner
  • Laura Mercier Brown Copper Eye Kohl
  • Chantecaille Crystalline Gloss
  • Shu Uemura Tweezers
  • A bunch of mini brushes

My so-called "emergency kit" turned out to be quite a bit more than I intended. It's probably the equivalent to a travel kit or a weekend-away kit. Yes, I am rather high maintenance, so this will probably be a work in progress. But at least I know that by having this tucked away in my car, I will always be well prepared to touch up, redo or refresh my makeup and not have to worry about finding the time to try and get back to the house before a last minute appointment or spur of the moment evening out.

Do you have a beauty emergency kit? What do you have inside yours?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Few Reader Requests

Some of you have requested info, photos and swatches on a few items in the past few weeks. I apologize for the delay, I have not forgotten - here are the swatches and info you have requested. For reference, I am a Chanel Shell 1.5 in Teint Innocence (the liquid version). To see what other foundation shades I am, check out the sidebar - there's a link to my foundation shades.

1) Can you swatch Edward Bess Bare Rose on your lips alone? Here it is by itself, please excuse the skin I don't have any foundation or powder on:


2) Please swatch Paul & Joe 06 Nail Polish! I like this better in the bottle. On my fingers, I feel it's a bit muddy looking. I've seen it on my tan friends (who are the equivalent to NC40 and a bit darker) and it looks gorgeous on them though. Here it is (2 coats):


3) How does NARS Love Devotion compare to last year's Outsider?
Love Devotion is brighter and sheerer. Here they are also compared to Beautiful Liar:


4) Can you swatch Shu IR Brown 850 compared to Shu ME 850? Sure, I'll do one better. Here it is next to the other Shu Uemura taupes that I have. I find it fascinating how the base pulls out different undertones in each taupey color. These are swatched over a moisturized arm:


5) Can you write a post on how you pick out your makeup-of-the-day/look-of-the-day? There's not much to write about this one. I pick out my clothes first and this is based on my mood. Makeup looks are picked out depending how much time I have and the colors I'm wearing for clothes. Sometimes, I'll pick one product and create a look around that color. I'd like to say it's more planned out through a more creative process, but it's really just based on whatever works.

6) Will you show stash/closet pics? Most likely not. It might seem like I'm organized, but I am far from it. Just ask my husband. Granted, I do keep an organized mess - everything has their own section/pile - but it's still very chaotic. I will share an old photo of my purse organization (this is an older photo from long before I started blogging, before I started my MBA, back when I was much more organized):


7) Did you purchase the new Chanel Shanghai-Paris Nail Polishes? What are your thoughts? But of course! How could I resist? I wasn't going to write about these because so many other bloggers did, but since I've received several requests, I will. This one will be a bit more comprehensive, so I will do a separate post on this topic in a few days or so.

8) Will you be swatching NARS Versailles? Here's a swatch, but I plan on this being my next manicure, so stay tuned for more pics! (FYI, I've seen this swatched on other blogs and it looked very streaky, I had to apply with a really steady hand to get an unstreaky result on my finger.)


9) Is there a dupe for Rescue Beauty Lounge Pink Shimmer? Yes - I've found 2 dupes, Chanel Le Perle (long discontinued) and China Glaze Heaven. They look really different in the bottles, but on the nails, the result is strikingly similar. If you look close you can see the difference in finish and opacity, but's not really noticable from afar.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Mini Shu Uemura + Laura Mercier Haul

I had a $50 giftcard to Neimans that expired on the 18th and since Shu Uemura was going to be pulled from the store soon, I decided to look at the line to see if there was anything I could find. I found two shadows that I didn't recognize in IR Brown 850 and P Purple 781, and to reach the $50 minimum for my gift card, I decided on one of the new Laura Mercier summer lipglosses in Glistening Sand. I also had a few cards I received in the mail for a mini Rouge Coco in Legende and a mini DiorShow. I had received the cards in the mail about a month ago - but they didn't get their samples in until recently.




Laura Mercier has 3 featured glosses for the summer collection: Glistening Sand (a beige with gold sparkles), Bon Bon (repromote, a bright salmon coral pink), and another bright coral (forget the name). She reformulated her bronzers with a wave-like pattern, but as far as I could tell they looked the same as the older ones. There were also 3 new eyeshadows which I neglected to pay attention to, one was a teal, the others were golden. Glistening Sand seems pretty sheer unfortunately - but it will be pretty over other beigey-nude lipsticks. (I don't test glosses at the counter for sanitary reasons.)

The Shu Uemura eyeshadows have good pigment when applied over a base or with a damp brush. IR Brown 850 is a taupe with a slight greenish tinge on my skin. P Purple 781 is a matte purple-brownish base with silver micro-sparkles.

Eyeshadows are swatched wet (with a damp brush) and dry:



Minis: DiorShow Mascara + Chanel Legende Rouge Coco


All in all, not bad for $15!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Color Focus: Soft Peach & Peachy-Gold Eyeshadows

You can't go wrong with a soft peachy-gold eyeshadow for an all-over easy & quick eye look. For girls with medium skintone, there are tons of your-lids-but-better options out there for a no-fail shimmery peach. My all time favorite is Chanel Abricot which I hear has now been discontinued. Luckily you can probably still find it at one of your local counters. Some of the peachy shades look pale on my skin even though they look peachy in the container.


Dior Beige Select, Chanel Abricot, Trish McEvoy Golden Apricot, Bobbi Brown Golden Peach, Laura Mercier Guava (old formula)


MAC Rubenesque & Shu Uemura Cream P Beige


MAC Hush, Motif, Jest, Arena (in pro-palette form)


Urban Decay Blaze, MAC Evening Aura, MAC Say Yeah


Paul & Joe #22, Paul & Joe #003, Armani Maestro #19


MAC Jardin Aires Pigment, MAC Melon Pigment, Laura Mercier Gemstone Mineral Eye Color, Laura Mercier Peach Luster Mineral Eye Color


All the shades grouped together (note, I apologize for the error below, but the color labeled Dazzleray is actually Jardin Aires):



 

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