17 September 2015

nars eyeshadow duo in st-paul-de-vence

NARS Eyeshadow Duo in St-Paul-de-Vence ($35) shows that barely-there does not mean boring. It was  limited edition and part of the Spring 2015 Color collection, however it still appears to be available online. This is a surprisingly unique eyeshadow duo with a strong peachy tone, the overall effect is very soft and warm. The left shade is a shimmery frosty apricot, and the right side has a matte/satin soft warm brown. I like to use it over a flesh toned base like UDPP in Eden, it makes it easier to build the color since they are on the sheer side. I've also layered these over a brown cream shadow to deepen the color.

As I mentioned in my TMSLA haul, I've also purchased the coordinating single in Valhalla. Since the colors are all so soft, it makes for a very soft and easy work or weekend look. I like to use Valhalla on the inner lid and corner, the shimmery left side of St-Paul-de-Vence on the outer corner and slightly into the crease, and finally the matte right side to blend out the crease and under the eye. I've even applied the shimmery shades with my fingers to help build them up. Some black eyeliner and mascara and done!

31 August 2015

chanel caroube and fall 2015 collection

I had serious FOMO last week as I watched Anna's video where she uses the Chanel Stylo Eyeshadow in 147 Caroube. I had practiced restraint and passed on it when it was in stores, reasoning that I had too many bronze eyeshadows already. However as I watched Anna I realized I NEEDED it. Lucky for me it was still available on their website, and I am so glad it was. I have two other Chanel Stylo Eyeshadows and they are one of the few stick eyeshadow formulas that work for me. It does crease slightly throughout the day which can be minimized when I use a primer, but it does not have that weird sticky texture at all. The color is gorgeous and actually not a standard bronze. It has a more plum/pink tone instead of a gold tone. This now permanently resides in my gym makeup bag for a truly quick eye look. Seriously considering getting a backup. Just watch Anna's video, and that is pretty much how I use it as well.

Since I was already ordering from Chanel, I decided to splurge a few of the new Fall collection pieces. It's been getting great reviews from some of my favorite bloggers and the colors really caught my eye. The Les 4 Ombres Eyeshadow in 254 Tissé D'Automne is such a classic fall palette with the greens. The light peach on the top right is a pretty sheer highlight that blends in with my skintone and just gives a glowy effect. Moving counterclockwise, the light olive green is absolutely the standout shade in the palette, hopefully you can see the complexity of the golden sheen in the photos. The warm bronze really helps to compliment the greens and gives them structure, I like to use it in the crease to create a "sunset" effect around the edge. Last is the deep matte olive green that is perfect in the outer corner to add depth. This is the first time I've tried one of the new Chanel quads and I was not disappointed. All four shades blend so easily and can be layered and built up when used over a primer (which I always do). They do have a slightly powdery texture that is expected in a baked type of product.

I also bought my first Rouge Coco Shine lipstick in 99 Mélancolie. The color is a rich reddish nude brown with copper shimmer. The shimmer is a little scary in the tube but does not look frosty when applied, it just adds to the shine. It's a very comfortable glossy formula that lasts a solid 3-4 hours. It pairs perfectly with either eyeshadow for either a monochrome look or a contrasting effect. I've worn it almost everyday since it arrived, this is one of those lipsticks I could see myself finishing.

26 August 2015

nars fall 2015 color collection

It's over 90° this week in LA, which obviously means that fall makeup collections are out in force. Fall releases are always my favorite, I love the deeper berries and browns and plums.

The dual intensity eyeshadows were first on my wishlist. A sheer wash or a rich smoky eye are effortless with both of these, and using them wet is not even necessary. Telesto is a stunning warm golden bronze that applies beautifully. I've been using it blended over black eyeliner along the lash line for a simple daytime look. Pasiphae looks like a normal duochrome at a glance, and it's described by NARS as a "shimmering peacock burgundy". However, it comes across as a complex olive green with a brown undertone. I don't notice a lot of color shift like you would with a regular duochrome. I like the effect of this all on its own as a light wash of color all over the lid, it gives a soft grungy look with a twist and pairs well with just about any bright or deep lipstick.

The velvet shadow sticks were the other big part of this collection. I decided to stick to the lighter, neutral colors. Neither color that I picked up has any glitter, at most there is a very fine shimmer that gives depth. They are so smooth and blend easily with fingers or a brush. Hollywoodland is a light warm pearly gold, it works great as a highlight, both on the eye and on the face. Again, no glitter here, just a soft golden sheen. Oaxaca is a soft neutral taupe with a satin finish that makes an easy wash of color. These have a similar texture to the Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks or the By Terry Ombre Blackstars, so if you are in the majority that love those I'm sure you'll love these as well. However because of that, I run into a similar problem. I need an oil based remover to remove swatches on my hand, but on my lids they remain annoyingly tacky throughout the day. I'll continue to use them as a base for powder shadow or with translucent powder on top, but I really hoped they would be more like the Mally, Clinique, or Chanel eyeshadow sticks which all work really well for me.

Shade & sunlight swatches. From left to right: Pasiphae, Telesto, Hollywoodland, Oaxaca

17 August 2015


Time to go through my trash! Empties are one of my favorite posts to read, so it's about time I share mine. I don't tend to finish things I don't like, so many of these are products that I repurchase often.

First up, so many mascaras! Waterproof is my preferred formula since they are the only thing that hold a curl for me. Makeup Forever Aqua Smoky Lash really brought the drama, it was tricky to apply evenly but gave thick, dark lashes once I got the hang of it. No length though, and actually smudged a little throughout the day. Urban Decay Cannonball Mascara is one of the most lengthening mascaras I've found, it is a fiber mascara so it can get a little out of control if you aren't careful. Not a lot of volume unless I layered it, which can be problematic with the fibers, and it left my lashes a little crunchy. Throughout all of these, I was using Maybelline Lash Discovery on my lower lashes. Worked well, but the extra time to use two mascaras just isn't worth it for me. Essence Lashmania Waterproof Mascara was a cheap one that had caught my eye. It did the job but nothing remarkable, it had a really large brush and smudged a little by the end of the day. L'Oreal Voluminous Waterproof was a favorite for a while as you can tell. Great daytime mascara that gave both subtle volume and length. This is the most truly waterproof mascara I've used, you can go swimming with this and not end up with raccoon eyes. My current favorite is actually the Carbon Black Waterproof version of this, it's a little more dramatic and doesn't leave my lashes quite as crunchy. I had a free sample of Lancome Definicils mascara which I didn't like at all. Surprising since it's such a cult favorite, but then again I should have known better than to try a non-waterproof.

Paul Mitchell Hot Off The Press is absolutely incredible for curling or straightening my hair. The curls will hold for two entire days. This is a must have for me, and this is one of probably three bottles I've gone through. MoroccanOil Medium Hold Hairspray is another must have, I've probably gone through five of these. I'm really picky with my hairspray, I can't handle the smell of any from the drugstore and they don't have the lasting power I demand. This one has that amazing signature scent, lasts all day, and doesn't get white or flaky. L'Oreal Elnett is another cult classic that I didn't get along with. I found the smell to be unbearable, and it lingered all day long.

BareMinerals Pressed Mineral Veil is still a favorite as you can see, however I started running into some trouble when I got really pale last winter. I started to notice a slight pink cast on my skin. From there I tried the NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder which is incredible, it really helps my foundation last longer and gives a diffused look to the skin that is hard to explain. The only problem is that it is really pricy for something that I finish in about a month. I found the Sonia Kashuk Chic Luminosity Glow powder at Target, I think it is supposed to be a dupe for the NARS powder at 1/3 the price. It performs similarly, but it has a more visible powdery look than the NARS one. I've been using the Sonia Kashuk for every day and saving the NARS for special occasions. Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder is another must have, I use this every day to set my under eye concealer. It brightens and prevents creasing all day, but never looks dry or powdery. I didn't realize how essential this was for me until I ran out!

Clinique Air Brush Concealer sat unused for a while because the SA convinced me to get a color that was a little too dark at the time. I ended up using as my under eye concealer when I had a tan last summer and it was fine. Not a lot of coverage which is to be expected from this type of concealer, but quick and easy to use. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer is another must have for me. This was probably one of about three that I finished. I use Custard normally, and also have it in Ginger for when I have a tan. Creamy enough for under eyes, but dry enough to use on my face as well. 

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer is one of the few face primers that doesn't make me break out, it's very lightweight and gives my skin a really nice soft glowy finish. I went through several samples and travel sizes before I finally broke down and bought a full size at TMSLA. NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray was my go to during the winter when my skin was a little drier. Actually, this reminds me that I have wanted to try the matte version now that I have oily summer skin.

I'll keep this one simple, Urban Decay Primer Potion is the classic, but NARS Pro Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base is significantly better in my opinion. My eyeshadow looks the same at the end of the day as when I first applied it. Almost done with a second tube right now.

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer is just the perfect bronzer and contour shade for my skin. I finished the sample size and have since bought a full size version. Bonus points for smelling like cocoa powder! Fresh Sugar Mini Lip Balm in Rose was a really nice everyday tinted pink balm, until it melted and squished into an unusable disaster. Perhaps the full size ones are more durable, but I'm just not sure that it would be worth it for the price. Milani Eye Tech Extreme Liquid Eye Liner is the best pen-style eyeliner at the drugstore. It had a nice opaque deep black color, and that perfectly bendy felt tip that helped to get a thin black line. 

10 August 2015

kiko haul

KIKO is finally available in the US! Every time I see their products on European blogs I get so jealous, as if I needed another reason to dream of traveling to Italy. So, I spent about an hour adding and removing things from my online cart, and here's what I ended up with. 

(Apologies in advance for the photo quality, had some difficulties with my normal camera and took these all on my iPhone!)

The main thing I knew I wanted was their stick cream shadows. I have trouble with many common brands of these (Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown, even By Terry), they don't set on my lids and end up feeling sticky all day. I end up using them as bases for powder. These Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadows are not nearly as sticky as most, I can wear them on their own with minimal issues. 15 Lilac is a lot pinker than I was expecting, but is really nice as a sheer wash on the lid. It also makes a nice base to give depth to sheer powder shadows. 07 Golden Beige is the dud for me, hello chunky glitter. 06 Golden Brown however is a great simple warm shimmery brown color for an easy wash of color on the lids.  05 Rosy Brown is another awesome one and done type of color, it has a pinky purple undertone with a slightly silvery shimmer which gives it that wet look. This has a very similar effect to By Terry Misty Rock if you are looking for an affordable alternative!

Their Infinity Eyeshadows are, first of all, huge! They are 2g each, for reference a normal MAC single shadow is 1.3g. I went for some basic colors to get an idea of the formula. I expected 201 Sparking Silk to be a satin finish, but (as the name would imply) it is matte with some fine sparkle. Luckily when you use a brush most of the sparkle seems to dust away. The Infinity+ Sparkle Eyeshadow in 402 Chocolate is basically a wash of shimmer. It's relatively sheer and has a lot of fall out. I like the look of it pressed over the top of a colored cream shadow (Lilac works nicely!). 240 Mat Dark Taupe is exactly what I had wanted, a medium dark matte neutral brown that is perfect for contouring the crease. It's very smooth and blends easily, I can see this becoming a staple. I also bought the Eyes Clics 03 Palette to house all three shadows, but it's a total disappointment. I was hoping for a compact palette but this thing is huge, probably about 3/4" thick. Is it meant to store other products inside? You totally can if you want.

The Unforgettable Mascara sounded promising, it's described as a long lasting curling mascara. However it does not curl or hold a lash curler curl on my lashes, as expected. Only waterproof mascara seems to work for me unfortunately. The other problem with this is the strong smell, anyone with a sensitive noise should beware.

Universal Fit Hydrating Foundation was something I was curious to try after seeing it on Lily Pebbles blog. It has a really nice lightweight texture, thin consistency, and a light/medium coverage. It sets to a nice satin finish and I almost don't feel the need to use a setting powder. The color I picked, 13 Warm Beige, is a shade dark for me right now but should be perfect when I get a bit of a tan. For now I've been mixing it with a tinted moisturizer that is a little too light, and it makes a nice sheer everyday base applied with a beautyblender sponge.

I loved their selection of colored pen type eyeliners. Miami Click Slick Eyeliner 05 Vivacious Blue is so bright and perfect for a colorful summer look! It is a little sheer and needs 2-3 layers to reach full opacity, as shown in the swatches. The "click" style dispenser is far from perfect also, have a tissue handy for the extra. The Ultimate Pen Longwear Eyeliner in 03 Green is really fun. I've been wearing dark blue liner a lot recently so I've enjoyed switching it up with the dark green, the effect is subtle enough to still wear to work also. The quality is great, opaque in one swipe and very long wearing.

I couldn't finish up my order without trying a few lipsticks as well. Smart Lipstick 917 Mauve Pink is a very simple lipstick, the color comes across a little light and frosted on my pigmented lips so I'm not sure I'll get much wear out of it. The Ultra Glossy Stylo Lipstick in 805 Strawberry Pink is probably my favorite of the three. It has a thick glossy texture that is comfortable, long wearing, and flattering on lip lines. I'd like to get some other colors of this, the pink is fun but a little bright for everyday. Finally, the Crystal Sheer Lipstick in 406 Tropical Orange. The packaging on this is pretty terrible, bulky plastic and tricky to open. The color though is amazing, love the sheer tint of orange. Make sure to exfoliate your lips a little though, it's comfortable but does emphasize any flakiness.