Showing posts with label Tom Ford Beauty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tom Ford Beauty. Show all posts

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Summer Bronzer Edit


By popular request, I've rounded up some new bronzers I've tried this summer along with tried and true favorites. Bronzers are probably one of most favorite makeup products - there's just something about a glowing tan that I love. Living in Southern California we have warm sunny weather almost year round. I do use sun protection for the face and body, but living here there's just no avoiding the sun - but I love it.

I've pulled an extensive list of bronzers and split them by type. It's by no means a comprehensive list of all the bronzers on the market, nor is it a list of all the bronzers I have tried or own (that would be a post a mile long). I have picked out the ones I thought were either new and interesting, tried and true or new found loves. A quick note before I go into the details - I have medium olive toned skin with normal/combination skin. I prefer warmer bronzers as cool-toned bronzers often look ashy or grey on my complexion. Foundation shades most reached for include the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation in 6 + 7 mixed, NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in Groenland and St. Moritz mixed. I love bronzers of all types whether it's liquid, powder, shimmer or matte.

Finding the right shade or formula for you will depend skin undertone (pink or yellow), skin tone (fair, light, medium, tan or deep), skin type (oily, dry, combo, etc.) and also things such as shimmer or formula preference.

Up first are some matte bronzing powders. Several of you have asked for recommendations on more affordable options. Two lines I've tried I think are excellent are the Colour Pop and Benefit.


Shown above:
  • Urban Decay Beached Bronzer in Bronzed (reviewed here) is a deep warm matte bronze, I think this is best suited for deeper skintones, on me it's a bit dark, but good for days I want a more dramatic look.
  • Colour Pop Super Shock Cheek Bronzer in Skinnydip is a soft light neutral matte bronze that looks like a skintone color for me, for those with fair skins who find most options too dark, this might be a good option to look at.
  • Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzing Powder (c/o) is a classic that is neutral so it will work with a wide range of skin undertones, it's one of the best more affordable matte bronzers I've tried.
  • Marc Jacobs O!Mega Bronzer Tantric (c/o, on the face here) is another well-loved one by me, it's huge! The color and pigment is semi sheer but buildable, so if you're looking for one that is impossible to overdo, this is a good one.
  • Tom Ford Bronzing Powder in Terra and Bronze Age (c/o review and both shown on the face here), Terra is one of the few wearable cool-toned bronzers I can wear, Bronze Age is one of the darkest bronzers I own, it's a deep warm golden color, if you need something deeper try the Chanel Les Beiges Summer Duo reviewed here.


Next up are more luminous glowy bronzers ranging from a soft shimmer to high shimmer.


Shown above:
  • Colour Pop Super Shock Cheek Bronzer in Poolside (medium-deep bronze) and Paradise Cove (cool-toned neutral) both have a soft luminous finish. They have a unique formula that I thought would be powders but are more of a bouncy gel cream. The price is affordable but the amount of product you get pretty small at 4.2g. Still I think these are fun and easy to build.
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Radiant Bronze Light (reviewed here) is a soft luminous highlighter + bronzer in one. More details on the review linked above. It's almost identical on my skin to the lighter version Luminous Bronze Light which happens to be the shade in the Nordstrom Hourglass Luminous Light Palette.
  • Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow in Medium- Dark (review + look here) is a gorgeous bronze and orange shimmer duo. It's more dramatic on me, but still wearable. For tan to deeper skintones I think you will love this one. More details in the review linked above.
  • Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder in Sunlight is one of the latest additions to the celestial powder line, it's not really a bronzer, but on my skintone it is. It's a medium to deep golden shimmer that gives my skin a golden sunkissed look. (It's also coming soon in the Celestial Skin Liquid formula, available for pre-order.)
  • Edward Bess Black Sea Golden Hour Mousse Bronzer is something I bought while in New York. It's the most beautiful warm golden coppery shimmer I've ever seen. It's a mousse formula that is super lightweight and easy to blend. I swatched it with a heavy hand below but once you blend it on the skin it becomes a more soft glowy gold that gives the face a beautiful golden glow. I highly recommend it.


Liquid bronzers up next. I have used and liked the Armani Liquid Summer Bronzers but didn't love it enough to repurchase (even though they added more shades). A few more affordable options below.


Shown above:
  • Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops (c/o) come in 4 highlighter shades and 2 bronzers. I'll have a post on the entire collection soon, but for now a quick peek at the bronzers in Sunset and Sunkissed. Both are neutral to cool toned. Sunset offers a deeper bronzed look. If I look in the bottle there is a sheen but on the face it looks more creamy. Sunkissed is my skin but better. These have been swatched heavily but blend out nicely and are very easy to layer and blend.
  • Benefit Dew the Hoola (c/o) looks super orangey in the swatch, but let me assure you, it is not orangey on the face. It is on the warm and peachy side but I think that's what makes it work. It's sheer but buildable and dries to a semi-matte finish. I've worn it alone or with a tiny bit of powder blush layered on top.
  • NARS Laguna Liquid Bronzer is another new one that looks super warm and almost orangey in the swatch but often times with any kind of cheek product what you swatch on the hand/arm looks very different on the face. I love this one because it's fluid and blends into a very soft finish on the cheeks. It leaves a soft sheen without looking greasy. I almost hate posting these swatches because I think they will deter many of you from trying it, but I really urge you to try if you have a NARS counter near you. It's one of the most natural looking bronzers I've tried that is visible but looks like your skin, just better and with a bit more life.


Last but not least, the three I consider classic staples:
  • Edward Bess Ultra Luminous Bronzer in Daydream is my holy grail of all bronzers. It's soft and luminous just like the name implies, it's impossible to overdo, not too shimmery and warms up the skin beautifully.
  • NARS Laguna Tiare (limited-edition Tiare version shown) is a classic with a scented twist for summer. It's the same as the classic Laguna but has a summery tiare scent added in a special limited-edition packaging. The original was one of the first high end bronzers I splurged on and it lasted for what seemed like forever. It's a classic soft luminous medium bronze that doubles as a soft contour powder. In the event you don't want something scented or want this in a palette form, there are a few Nordstrom Sets you may want to check out including the Cult Survival Kit or the Nordstrom's Best Cheek Palette.
  • Tom Ford Bronzing Powder in Gold Dust is another classic, it was quite the splurge when I first bought it because they only had the large size which is over $90. They've since launched smaller versions for the past couple of years which are still pricey but more affordable and nice to travel with.


For those who were asking for a summer bronzer roundup, I hope you found this helpful! I focused mainly on stand alone bronzers rather than ones in palettes. If you have any favorites please share them in the comments along with your skintone, maybe 1 foundation shade you use for reader reference.


Press samples featured indicated with c/o.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Summer Date Night Beauty Favorites and Clutch Essentials


Summer is in full swing and I thought I'd put together a roundup of some date night beauty favorites for the season. I like to keep things on the makeup side soft and shimmery - pretty much the same as everyday kind of colors but add more on the eyes. A good neutral lip can give a nice polished look and will go with every color of outfit. A good classic red, coral or bright pink lip can add more oomph to your look - if you like a good bright classic, I think the best color and formula right now are from the Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips and Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo lines. If you're a neutral lip lover, read on for my top picks.

First a note on clutches and pouches. Finding a good classic flat zip clutch is harder than you would think. For as long as I can remember I've been into the simple classic streamlined zip pouch, but being petite at 5'3" it's hard for me to find one that isn't too large. I'm forever looking for good classic options. The envelope style is pretty chic (one affordable option featured in this post here also eyeing this nude blush one here) but for some reason my heart belong to the flat zip ones.

My two most-used clutches are the Clare V Leopard Clutch (8" H x 11" W) and Truffle Privacy Clutch (6 1/2" H x 10 1/2" W). Small compact coin purses or card cases are also essentials for me. Any kind of textured leather makes wallets more sturdy and last longer, the Chanel classic quilted caviar is one of my favorites. The Tory Burch Robinson Coin Case is actually more like card case but also works as a more affordable option but still extremely well made and sturdy.


The best date night fragrances for me, some come in the tiny roller ball or small spritzer version to fit inside a clutch:
  • Diptyque L'Ombre Dans L'Eau which comes in a limited-edition travel size for summer. It's the fragrance version of Baies candle which I was surprised works well as perfume and has a mix of blackcurrant leaves and rose.
  • Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb is the ultimate date night fragrance (travel spray was taken with me on my summer trip). For daytime I feel like it's more of a fall/winter fragrance, but I think it's amazing for summer nights. It's a hard one to describe but the notes are bergamot, tea, freesia, jasmine, orange blossom, orchid, rose, patchouli.
  • Chloé Eau de Parfume is another favorite, I have a small bottle, but you can find it in a travel size as well, it's another classic floral with notes of Pink Peony, Freesia, Lychee, Magnolia Flower, Lily of the Valley, Rose, Cedarwood, Amber, Honey.
  • For those who want something more unique, Byredo is always a good option. I bought the Discovery Set over the holiday which has a sampler mix of scents. It's been discontinued but the current version is the Floral Discovery 6 Piece Set which has Blanche, La Tulipe, Bal D'Afrique, Inflorescence, Flowerhead and Rose Of No Man's Land. I highly recommend the travel/discovery sets. It's a great way to try out different ones without having to splurge on the full size bottle. Another option is the Nécessaire de Voyage Eau de Parfum Travel Set which has Black Saffron and Blanche with a case.


For eyes I like shadow sticks because they're easy to apply and blend with the fingers. They're great for touch ups or if you're on the go and compact enough to carry in a clutch if you don't have time to go back home to fix your makeup for date.


I like a good shimmer for the eyes because it dresses them up a bit whether it's to add highlight or deepen with a golden smokey shade. Favorites shown and swatched below include:


For lips, I'm all about the soft pink and peachy shades. Current favorites shown below to mix and match or layer:


Shown above but not swatched:
Swatched below:


For pressed powders, the two I've been reaching for the most include the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Powder in No. 20 and Clinique Stay Matte Sheer Pressed Powder in Stay Neutral. I've been on the hunt for a good retractable brush that's flat but not too small and I finally found one from Hakuhodo which is the H611 Portable Brush. It's soft and fluffy and super compact. If you don't need a powder to touch up, but want a good blotting paper to carry to absorb shine, the Tatcha Blotting Papers are the best ones I've tried (details on why they're the best in this review here).


That rounds up my summer date night beauty favorites! As always I'd love to hear what you love to wear and/or carry with you. If you have any favorite clutches or zip pouches - please share! One last note, shoes featured are from Ann Taylor.




Press samples featured include Tatcha Blotting Papers, Tom Ford Lip Color, Edward Bess Lip Definers, Truffle Clutch.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Loving Right Now



Right now it's sandal season and I've been on the hunt for cute new sandals. I splurged on a pair of the Tory Burch Miller Flip Flops and am beyond obsessed. They are super comfy and I found them to be true to size. For the toes I usually love bright corals and reds but I've been wearing Tom Ford Sugar Dune and it's always so perfect. You can see the sandal + polish combo shown on the toes here, original review here. (P.S. The image above is interactive so you can shop the products by clicking the icons on the image.)

A few of you have asked about the sunglasses I've been featuring lately - if you remember posts from last year, I discovered the Marc by Marc Jacobs Rimless Aviators which were the perfect small frames and I bought like 5 of the colors because they were so affordable and the size was just right. Since the Marc by Marc Jacobs line has been discontinued the style I had sold out eventually as the line was phased out. I bought newly listed ones by Marc Jacobs called the 59MM Semi Rimless Sunglasses and found that they are identical with the exception of the frame sides. They have a slightly different look and now say Marc Jacobs. Aside from that they are a bit more expensive but the same small size and they fit me perfectly.

Makeup wise I tried the Anastasia Liquid Lipsticks in Stripped and Crush both of which are perfect neutrals but look really dried out with the matte look. I add a clear gloss like the Chanel or a balm like the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Magic on top to give it a bit of shine and the color lasts all day without caking, creasing or budging. Balms help prevent them from drying out my lips a bit more but overall they are still like MAC lipsticks to me in the sense that they dry out my lips by the next day they are peeling. Still the colors are beyond perfect and adding a balm makes them more wearable.

I also picked up some of the Anastasia Eyeshadows and OMG they are incredible! The size of the pans are same to MAC's but the texture of the Anastasia shadows are rich and velvety with impressive pigment payoff. The quad above has colors Sateen (cream shimmer), Chiffon (olive shimmer), Warm Taupe (soft matte taupe) and Chocolate (shimmering cool brown). You buy the pans individually and there is a 4-pan palette you can buy separately to put the shadows in. Review to follow soon.

For the face I just rediscovered Becca Mineral Blushes. Wild Honey is the perfect warm nude neutral. I still think the Luminous Blushes (reviewed here) are beyond amazing but if you need something less shimmery the Mineral Blushes are the way to go. The Estée Edit Flash Illuminators are a pretty close dupe to the Tom Ford Skin Illuminator in Fire Lust in terms of finish. I picked up two shades, Day Light is shown above and is the closest to Fire Lust. They aren't identical - but pretty close and the Estée Edit version is a lot cheaper.

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint is my go-to base of the season and I've been reaching for the Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer a lot because the color is a good match and it really does stay in place without creasing or separating as the day progresses. I picked up the concealer during my color correcting makeover back in March. For those curious about what I think about the whole color correcting trend months after it was seen everywhere - I think it's been life changing. The green corrector has been a life saver for covering dark spots for me. The Algenist Color Drops in Blue help brighten the overall complexion. Out of all the tips I learned - I would say I use the green corrector the most frequently. The other steps I use on a weekly basis depending on what my skin needs. 

Scent of the day is Diptyque Florabellio in the limited-edition travel size although I've been rotating scents on a daily basis. Summer fragrance roundup to follow soon as well.

What have you been loving these days? Do you have any sandal favorites?


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

My Summer Beauty Essentials


Summer is just around the corner but it's on my mind right now. For the beauty world, seasonal collections launch ahead of season so many of you have probably already started to update your makeup wardrobe for warm weather. For me - I love wearing summery bronze shades year round, it's a color I like to incorporate in bits to add warmth and life. I've teamed up with Nordstrom to share some of my summer beauty favorites covering a bit of everything from lips, eyes, cheeks, skin and fragrance. They have an entire page dedicated to Sexy Summer Must-Haves if you're looking for something new. Up first are fragrance and body must-haves.

Sunnies by Marc Jacobs here, hat from Nordstrom here

First up are items for the skin and body. In the summer I love a bright nail polish whether it's bright coral, red, orange or pink. My current obsession of the moment is Chanel Espadrilles which is a bright orangey-red cream. Two coats give full coverage and the new formula is a huge improvement in terms of lasting power over the original (even though I was a fan of the original). For fragrance, Tom Ford Soleil Blanc is the perfect white floral for summer but if you want something lighter the new Neroli Portofino Acqua (c/o) is really quite amazing. I've been wearing this for a few months now but haven't felt like I was ready to talk about it just yet - it's one of the lightest Tom Ford scents to date but still has very good lasting power. If you found the original Neroli Portofino too strong, the new Acqua version is the best one yet.

For self tanners - I've tried quite a few and they either smell really bad or cause an allergic reaction on my skin. A long-time favorite for a very natural gradual glow is the Clarins Radiance Plus Golden Glow Booster which you mix in with moisturizer, but the effect is very natural. I read a ton of reviews online to find another one before deciding to cave and try the Soleil de La Mer Face and Body Gradual Tan. It's quite pricey but worth every penny. I've only tried on the body so far, but it gives a nice golden tan and smells amazing for a self tanner. You can use until you get the color you want, I found it worked for me after 4 days of use. Color lasts several days while fading gradually afterwards. It's streak free, didn't stain white jean shorts and non-orangey.

Protecting your skin with sunscreen that lasts is important. I have very sensitive skin and most sunscreens cause tiny little bumps to form on my skin by the end of the day. Two that I swear by are the Supergoop! Sunscreen Oil with SPF 50 and Coola Sunscreen Sprays which range from SPF 30 to 50 and come in unscented or scented options. I like the Coola because I can apply to my back easily in harder to reach areas. It's weightless so you don't feel like it's greasy or heavy on the skin. I ask my husband to try out sunscreens I use as well - he's really particular about products having a non-greasy feel and he approves of the Coola line.


For the lips, even though many associate summer color with brights or bronze shades, I love pinks, nudes and corals for a softer look. The best nude I've tried in a long time is Tom Ford Ultra Rich Lip Color in Revolve Around Me (c/o). It looks boring in the tube but on the lips it's so so good! The Tom Ford Moisturecore Lip Colors (c/o) are perfect color-wise and come in six options ranging from a soft gold nude, deep copper, berry, coral and a few neutrals. The one I've been reaching for the most is Pipa (I bought back ups of both shades).

Chanel launched new Glossimers in the summer collection. I'll have a full review on all the shades soon, but they are a new formula called Aqua Glossimer which comes with a slightly different applicator and a sheerer almost jelly like finish.

In an attempt to find more affordable color options to the Tom Ford I picked up a few other formulas. The Bobbi Brown Sheer Lip Color has a similar finish and feel to the Moisturecore Lip Colors but feels so much smoother and glide on the lips. I picked up Boho Bronze which is similar to Cala di Volpe and is $27 vs the $55 price tag of the Tom Ford. MAC Huggable Lip Colors have been a favorite (Touche is a really good nude) for an effortless kind of lip color that adheres well to the lips and makes them glow with a natural hint of color. They launched a few more shades recently and I picked up Seoul-Ful, Bare Hug and Bonsai Bloom.

Last but not least I was really excited to see a new Kevyn Aucoin Lip Gloss in Sunlight. It's one of the prettiest bronzey shades I've tried. However when I got home I found it really close to Chanel Unity Glossimer.




For eyes I love shimmer. Even neutral shimmers add a little something that's fun but wearable for every day. I've been on the hunt for a good copper nude shimmer. Many coppers are too warm or red for my eyes/skintone. Bronze has been a go-to but I have been on the hunt for something a little different.


Long-time readers know Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Rose Gold is a staple of mine. Shadow sticks are so easy to use and convenient to apply - you just smudge and blend with a finger. If you're looking for something a little more glitzy, the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Golden Pink is more shimmery and more visible on the skin. If you want something lighter for an all over wash Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes in Opale (c/o) is really one of the best there is.

For other shadow sticks, the Burberry Eye Color Contour Smoke and Sculpt Pens are really good. Pale Copper is more of a bronzey taupe on my skin but still very pretty. A more affordable option is the new MAC Pro Longwear Waterproof Color Sticks which are pretty much budgeproof after you apply them.

In terms of golden copper shades, Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerize in Bette is one of my favorites. I know a few of you have mentioned you found it too emollient for your skin type in which case I'd recommend you try Tom Ford ones or the Burberry Eye Color Creams which has a harder stiffer texture and more suitable for oily lids.

My perfect copper shade is the Kevyn Aucoin Loose Shimmer Eyeshadow in Sunstone which comes with a rollerball applicator. Just glide them across the eyes and then blend with a finger or brush.

The hunt for the perfect bronze eyeliner ends with NARS Larger than Life Eyeliner in Via Appia for me. No matter what other colors or brands I try, this one is my tried and true.


For complexion I love glowing skin. I wear bronzer year round so when summer rolls around I'm happy that bronzer is "in." I've already reviewed a number of these shown below on the blog - some of which are back-up worthy in my mind which is why I have pristine new ones featured below. I've added other swatch shades as well for reference.

If you ask me what one bronzer I would recommend - it would be a very tough choice for me to pick just one. If you like a luminous glow, the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzing Powders are really good because they mix highlighter and bronzer in one. They can pull warm and if you are fair you may find them too dark or too warm in which case I'd recommend Tom Ford Bronzing Powder in Terra which is a cooler-toned matte. My personal favorite is Gold Dust (shown below) because it's the perfect mix of tan and gold in one. Both are goof-proof - the texture is really smooth and easy to layer without overdoing it.

NARS Laguna Bronzer is always a classic staple you can't go wrong with. They launched a Liquid Laguna Bronzer this year which is easier to control for a soft sheer warm glow. Also new is a Laguna-Tiare Bronzer in a scented option which smells heavenly!!

If you're set on bronzer and just want something to add to your cheeks for a glow, Tom Ford Fire Lust is hands down the best liquid illuminator I've tried. It's subtle but one of the prettiest I've tried. It's steep in price but worth it. You get a lot of product so it will last a long time.

In terms of blush, two that I deem absolute must-haves are Tom Ford Cream Cheek Color in Pink Sand and NARS Dual Intensity Blush in Sexual Content (c/o). Pink Sand was limited-edition last year but brought back again this season. It's a really special pink gold cream that is oh so pretty. NARS Dual Intensity Blushes aren't new but there are two new shades for summer in Sexual Content (shown below) and Liberation. The best thing about these is they have a unique cream to powder texture which is good for warm weather - it holds up on my skin without getting greasy or oily looking.

Last but not least - for foundation, I think finding the right one depends on skin type, coverage preference, color options and humidity levels. I've been loving the NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint (c/o) for months now - it offers natural medium coverage and blends perfectly into the skin. I wore this over the holiday weekend - we went to the desert in Borrego Springs and it was almost 90 degrees (it was dry vs humid). The foundation stayed put all day long without needing a single touch up. This is my foundation of choice right now and I will be taking it with me while I travel later this month.

Above: hat from Nordstrom here (I bought it in both colors because it's a perfect fit)




I hope you enjoyed this summer beauty roundup! I tried to include swatches of multiple colors as a reference guide in case you're looking for a specific color or formula. Sometimes you'll find the perfect color in a lipstick or eyeshadow but want it in a different formula (ie powder vs cream). Or you may find a bronzer formula you like but want it in a matte version vs shimmer. I love mixing things up. Many of you have asked for a dedicated summer bronzer post so stay tuned for that one in the upcoming weeks. I'm still testing out a few to see if they will make the cut for what I would recommend.



As always please share your favorites for summer below. Especially if you have sensitive skin, would love to hear about what you've tried and love for sunscreen and self tanning! I've seen a few sunscreen sprays pop up that are new for the season  but would love to hear about your favorites too.

Many thanks to Nordstrom for partnering to sponsor this post. Some items in the post were press samples marked with a c/o next to the product names. More information in my Disclosures.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Bright + Fresh Fragrance Favorites for the Spring to Summer Transition


I have another fragrance roundup of a few new perfumes I've been trying out combined with a repeat of a few favorites I've been loving right now. I have summer on my mind but it's still spring so I don't feel quite ready to wear full-on summer scents yet. I did my first round up earlier this year here (for him and her). Here are a few more to check out if you're in the market for something new as we transition from the spring to summer season.

Up first are two from Diptyque. The Eau de Sens is the latest fragrance release from Diptyque (my favorites from the brand rounded up here). It's one of the few orange blossom scents I feel I can wear. The combination of orange and floral is usually too powdery for me to wear although I do love orange-based fragrances. Many are great as a home fragrance whether it's a spray or candle but I simply cannot wear a lot of them. Eau de Sens is the first one I've fallen in love with - it's bright and lifts the mood.

Florabellio isn't a new fragrance, but it was recently launched in a Travel Size 30 ml size as part of the Voyage Collection and is cute beyond words. There are select items available in the collection, a few perfumes include Philosykos, Do Son, L'Ombre Dans L'Eau and Tam Dao. There are a few small size candles available in the special print boxes (jars are still clear glass) and a few minis of the body products. As of right now the entire collection is limited-edition and at most Diptyque retailers if you purchase any 3 items from the travel line you can get a complimentary travel zip pouch. More on the travel collection in a separate post but Florabellio is the most unique sweet floral with apple that I've ever tried. I would have never thought to wear something with apple blossoms, apricot, fennel, sea salt, coffee and toasted sesame - but it's really quite nice, especially for spring.

In general Diptyque fragrances have a medium lasting power. I have a very sensitive nose and can usually detect remnants of the scent many hours later even though often times others around me cannot. The scents do start to fade by hour 4-5 of wear.
 

Lumira Paradisium is also another one I adore. This is the perfect spring to summer kind of scent that makes me feel very much put together. It has bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, fig nectar, guava, vetiver, sea moss and cedarwood. It's a fig scent I can actually wear. I love fig scents for the home but whenever I try it in perfume form I feel like I'm wearing a sweet dessert. The bergamot, vetiver and cedarwood give this a slightly raw feel that balances out the sweetness. I've been wearing this one for a couples years now and I hope it's here to stay forever. In terms of lasting power this is one of the best and longest lasting. It's up there with Tom Ford and Frederic Malle.


Maison Margiela Replica scents are simply incredible. I first tried Beach Walk in a rollerball and it's definitely one of those perfect summertime scents. Lipstick On is a classic feminine blush kind of scent that smells like vintage makeup. If you don't really care for the makeup-like vibe Lipstick On has but do like the level of intensity/feminine quality it has, you might want to check out Flower Market or Promenade in the Garden. Both florals that are very wearable.

Flower Market smells just like a flower market. It's a soft bright floral that has freesia, sambac jasmine, Egyptian jasmine, tuberose, rose, peach, cedarwood and oak moss. To me it smells primarily of jasmine and with a hint of tuberose and moss.

Promenade in the Gardens is more green and less floral. It has a mix of green accord, freesia accord, coriander oil, turkish rose oil, peony accord, sambac jasmine, patchouli, vetiver and Australian sandalwood. It's clearly feminine to me, but it's not girly like Flower Market or Lipstick On if that makes sense.

The Replica scents are medium to long lasting on my skin. They're strong enough to notice hours after but aren't overpowering when you first spray them which is nice.


 Beautiful floral arrangement created by Hessney & Co @chrishessney


If you like to layer bright spring florals with shower gels and body lotions, Molton Brown is always a good idea :) The Dewy Lily of the Valley Star Anise Collection has everything covered including Hand Creams. If you're one is really particular about florals and wants something that isn't too strong, too powdery or too mature, this one is a good one. Notes are as follows:

Top notes: star anise, magnolia, green mandarin
Heart notes: lily of the valley, peony, white tea
Base notes: ylang-ylang, sandalwood and white musk

To me it resembles a more green + lily version of Diptyque Florabellio so it's no surprise this is one I like as well. I can smell the white tea and green mandarin and lily of the valley. It has a refreshing bright feel like jasmine even though there aren't any jasmine notes. If I had to describe this one in one word it would be fresh. You can buy items individually but they have a few sets that are beautifully packaged. The Fragrance Gift Set has the shower gel, body lotion and perfume at a value price. Lasting power of the Eau de Toilette is medium to long.

Last but not least is the Tom Ford Soleil Blanc which I know many would designate as a summer fragrance. It's a white floral that has beachy summer vibes but it's not so summery that I can't wear it right now (I've actually bought this months ago and have been loving it). In my experience Tom Ford fragrances are among the ones that last the longest on me from morning until late evening - but it does vary a little bit per scent. Some are stronger than others, but even the lighter ones still last a long time.


If you're looking for a new fragrance I hope you found this roundup helpful! I don't know if many of you are like me - but I feel the need to rotate scents frequently. I have some close friends who stick to 2-3 signature scents each season. I like to play around with different ones each season.

Do you have any favorites in rotation right now? If yes please let me know! I always love to read about your loves - especially when it comes to fragrance, layering etc.

Press samples featured include the Lumira Pardisium, Diptyque Eau de Sens, Replica and Molton Brown. Other items purchased by me.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

What's In My Bag


I'm spilling what's inside my bag this week - as usual I have a couple small cosmetic bags or pouches to help keep makeup separated and somewhat organized from the rest of what I carry with me. Most of the purses I have tend to be open totes without dividers or pockets. I finally splurged on a Neverfull MM which has some pockets inside and comes with a flat zip pouch, but for the most part it's one of those open totes. Shown above is the Tory Burch York Cosmetic Case (also cute in red) and the Truffle Small Clarity Clutch (also available in mini and large). iPhone Case is one of the Gray Malin Lisbon prints.

Face Products:

Skin care and hand care:
  • Tatcha Indigo Hand Cream (travel size) is a go-to for calming and hydrating, the full size one is actually compact enough to carry around with me, but the small one is best for those who prefer to carry smaller bags, the entire Indigo line is really good for sensitive skin and helps calm down irritation or flare ups, they have a four piece set called the Soothing Indigo Mini Set which I highly recommend if you want to try the line in smaller sizes
  • The Lotus Leaf and Camellia Mist from Peach and Lily was sent as a sample for me to try, it's hydrating and refreshing with a soft citrus scent - the mist pump dispenses a fine mist which calms the skin. I've been playing with it for a few weeks now and am obsessed.
  • Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist (travel size) is the best-designed travel sized mist - it's been a go-to staple for a long long time, the packaging is really the best I've ever seen. If you haven't tried this you need to!
  • Le Labo Santal is one of my latest discoveries (actually from a few months ago), it's not really a spring scent to me since it has sandalwood, amber and musk, but I still love it. At this time I'm still working my way through a few of the mini vials - I don't know that I love it enough to buy the full size, but I suspect it's because I'm feeling the spring to summer vibes.
  • Molton Brown Hand Cream in Pink Pepperpod is probably my favorite scented hand cream of all time, I just can't get enough of the scent - I'm seriously considering buying the perfume version. If you love Molton Brown hand creams, they just launched the Dewy Lily of the Valley Star Anise which is the ultimate floral lily spring scent (review on this one soon).
Lips:
I'm always on lip overload when it comes to what I carry in my bag, right now I have:
  • Tom Ford Moisturecore Lip Color in Mustique (reviewed here) is such a pretty baby pink that is on the light side but doesn't wash out the complexion.
  • Glossier Cherry Balm Dotcom is one of three new flavored lip balms from the line, I ordered immediately and have been obsessed with all of them - if you click this link here you can save 20% off your first purchase.
  • Edward Bess Deep Shine Lip Gloss in Lover's Desire is a pretty peachy pink with a rich shine, I love all the glosses I've tried from his line, they add the prettiest healthy gloss to the lips. I like using them on top of lipstick. If you like a cool-nude, Nude Satin is amazing.
  • Edward Bess Defining Lip Liner in Natural (swatched here) is my holy grail go with everything neutral, if I were forced to live with one lipliner color the rest of my life this would be it, although his newest shade Barely is pretty awesome too.
  • Tarte Tarteist Lip Paint in Goals is a pretty full pigment glossy warm pink (review soon).
  • Tom Ford Lips and Boys in Eddie (on the lips here) is a a pretty shimmering cool beige neutral that's easy to throw on for a neutral wash of shimmer.
Lip swatches with Anastasia Vintage as a comparison:

Eyes:

I have two items for the eyes in my bag, the By Terry Mascara is one of my favorites these days because it thickens and lengthens without smudging. Also in my bag is the Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Base in Dune. These come with a twist click packaging and brush applicator at the end. The one I have shown is a brand new one but I keep multiples so I don't run out. It evens out the lids and preps the eyes for powder shadow. It's my holy grail and comes in three colors. Swatched below next to Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Rose Gold which I use a lot as an eye base and also next to NARS Concealers in Custard and Ginger as a baseline (full concealer roundup from last fall here). The Edward Bess Eye Bases have a more pink undertone which is exactly what I want on my lids. Yellow concealers match my skin for concealing but on the lids the pink helps neutralize red a bit and evens out without making the face look sallow.


I hope you enjoyed peeking into my bag! Also hope the swatches helped in case you're new to any of the color items I featured. What's in your bag this week? Do you have any favorites you are carrying with you right now?

Press samples featured include the MustaeV Easy Go Brush, Tom Ford Mustique, Edward Bess Natural, Edward Bess Lover's Desire, Lotus Face Mist, Tatcha Indigo Hand Cream, Truffle Clarity Clutch.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Tom Ford Soleil Collection - Soleil Contouring Compact in The Afternooner, Sheer Cheek Duo in Bicoastal + Skin Illuminator in Fire Lust


Today's post is the last feature on the Tom Ford Soleil color collection for this summer. There are three products for the face including the Soleil Contouring Compact in The Afternooner ($108), Sheer Cheek Duo in Bicoastal ($78) and Skin Illuminator in Fire Lust ($65). Two of the items are new which include the Contouring Cheek Trio and Sheer Blush Duo and one is a repromote which is the Skin Illuminator in Fire Lust. All three will provide a summery look with glow from within kind of feel. Each product has some shimmer in it without being too frosty or overly shimmery.



Soleil Contouring Compact in The Afternooner ($108) has three colors of highlighter, blush and bronzer in one large mirrored compact. The texture of the items is similar to that of the Moodlight Skin Illuminating Duo. It has a powder finish but an almost creamy feel to it. The surface is embossed with a cross-hatch pattern. Application for this is smooth and easy to build. It does not emphasize pores which is a plus. Pigment is medium but easy to sheer out or layer for more color. The colors include a warm golden ivory shimmer, a peachy coral pink satin and a warm bronze matte. Overall this pulled very warm on my skin. It's not too warm that it turns orange but it is warmer than I expected. Lasting power is very good - I found it stayed put on the cheeks from early morning into late afternoon without fading or darkening.

Sheer Cheek Duo in Bicoastal ($78) is my favorite item in the entire Soleil Collection. This has a similar finish and texture to The Afternooner, but Bicoastal has a bit more shimmer and sheen compared to the trio, but it's not as frosty as the NARS Dual Intensity Blushes. The colors pull neutral to cool on my skin but brighten the complexion with a soft rosy pink glow. Right now this one is a bit hard to find as it has not yet arrived at most counters yet (at least at the time of this post), but I highly recommend you put this on your list.

Skin Illuminator in Fire Lust ($65) is a repromote. If you missed out on it in previous seasons I recommend you give it a try. It is on the pricey side but one bottle will last you a long time as a little goes a long way. This is a sheer peachy illuminator that I like to use mixed in with foundation or as a subtle highlight on top of powders. It does sheer out a lot so it won't give the skin a lot of color but it has the prettiest sheen that I find flattering on the skin. On warmer days and in the summer I find my skin gets a bit on the oily side and this is one of the few liquid illuminators I can wear that won't get too shiny by mid-day.

Close ups of each and lots of comparisons, Soleil Contouring Compact in The Afternooner:


Comparison Set 1 shows how finely milled the shimmer in The Afternooner Trio is. By swatch comparing it to other highlighters, blushes and bronzers hopefully you can see it has a satiny sheen that isn't overly frosty or overly matte.

Charlotte Tilbury Norman Parkinson Highlighter (reviewed here)
MAC Ellie Goulding Blush Bronzer Duo I'll Hold My Breath (reviewed here)
MAC Powder Blush in Fleur Powder
Tom Ford Blush in Flush
Tom Ford Bronzer in Gold Dust (swatched here)


Comparison Set 2:

Tom Ford Skin Illuminating Duo in Moodlight (reviewed here)
Tom Ford Contouring Cheek Duo in Stroked (reviewed here, discontinued)
Urban Decay Naked Flushed Trio in Streak (reviewed here)


Sheer Cheek Duo in Bicoastal


Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in Las Salinas (reviewed here)
Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Liquid in Starlight (reviewed here)
NARS Dual Intensity Blushes in Adoration and Fervor
Tom Ford Blush in Wicked


Skin Illuminator in Fire Lust has a lot of dupes from other lines and brands that will give you a similar effect. The best thing I find about the Tom Ford is the texture - it's smooth and non-greasy and has the best feel overall but in terms of color there are a lot of less expensive alternatives.


Swatches straight from the tube and then blended (same colors in each set):

Armani Fluid Sheer #5 (reviewed here)
Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Skin Liquid Candlelight and Starlight  (reviewed here)
NARS Illuminator in Orgasm
MAC Lustre Drops in Pink Rebel and Barbados Girl



One last look:


Overall all three perform really well in terms of pigment and how smooth they look on the skin. If you're looking for a less expensive alternative of The Afternooner you may want to look into the Urban Decay Naked Flushed face trios. In my previous review I've mentioned the colors are really good but they emphasize my pores and look chalky on my skin - however I am in the minority with my opinion. The trios work well for most people. I do believe that while the texture and finish of The Afternooner is superior to other face/cheek compacts, the colors can be easily duped so you may want to shop your stash before buying. Having all three in a single compact does make it more convenient and I like that it's large in size so you don't have to worry about mixing colors with a brush if you want to layer separately.

The Sheer Cheek Duo in Bicoastal isn't really sheer like the name implies but the texture is soft and easy to blend which makes it easy to sheer out. I really love the look and finish of this one - the colors are similar to the NARS Dual Intensity Blush in Adoration but the shimmer in the Tom Ford duo is softer and less harsh. Texture of Bicoastal is softer which makes it easier to blend.

Fire Lust is a must in my makeup collection but it is on the sheer side so your mileage may vary on this depending on what kind of pigment or color you are looking for.

In summary I give these a thumbs up - they are easy to use and applying them is pretty much goof-proof. The colors are versatile and will go with a wide variety of looks and can take your beauty look from day to night for that summery natural healthy glow. My opinion is that Bicoastal is the most unique and the highlight of the collection. Had I been able to play with The Afternooner in person before purchasing I would have skipped because I already own a lot of colors similar to the items in the palette. However that being said - if you love Tom Ford beauty products I will say the colors don't really replicate items individual items in the current Tom Ford line.

You can find the Tom Ford Soleil Collection at all Tom Ford Beauty counters now. Online at Sephora, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Tom Ford.

Have you checked out any of these yet? What did you think?

Fire Lust and Bicoastal provided courtesy of Tom Ford for review. The Afternooner purchased by me.
 

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