Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Brunch @ MUD

 Do you brunch?
I always feel like brunch is so...casually luxurious. 
I always think of  Sex and the City, meeting the girls and having chats, nibbling on overpriced priced fruit salad with a splash of mimosa.
Though my life is noting like Carrie's I do enjoy food, chats, and mimosa's - so I brunch.

This past Sunday over a delicious chai latte and walks under the finally bloomed cherry blossom tree's, I brunched.


I've seen the MUD coffee truck all over Manhattan but finally checked out the physical store.
Inside is tiny, but cute and comfortable. A great atmosphere for a coffee and a bit of catch up.


Honestly the food was pretty meh-hence lack of photo. The chai latte is something definitely worth re ordering though as a note.

Afterwards to enjoy the much awaited sunshine, we hit the streets for a bit of walking and people watching.


We ended our day by rewarding ourselves reward with a scoop of pistachio almond while catching up on my celebrity news.

You know, because tomorrow was Monday.


Hoping this spring continues with ice cream, mimosa's, and chai latte's to come! ;)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Revlon's Highlighting Palettes-A Review

 It's been a while since a drugstore product caught my eye. 
I've been trying to be good beauty wise but when I saw these in stores I managed to pass the first few times, but when Kate mentioned how pretty the pink shade was, I cracked. 
CVS coupon in hand I purchased during a BOGO deal the Bronze and Rose shade of the new Revlon Highlighter palettes.


The first thing I noticed was the price- hence the need for the coupon. $11.49 each? Pretty pricey...but I decided to take the plunge. 

Now the reason these initially caught my eye was they seemed incredibly reminiscent to the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks. There have been many imitators but I have never found a true dupe. Bobbi's Shimmer Brick in Bronze is an absolute staple in my collection, it's complete love. So why would I buy a drugstore version of something I already own and love?
I am DEAD scared of carrying around my Shimmer Bricks. They are so fragile that if they broke I would probably wail out a very long "Nooooooo"
I thought if these were a close dupe they can be carried around with me for glow on the go.

So let's see these babies.
Bobbi's Bronze vs. Revlon's Bronze
Can you see how much I love my Shimmer Brick? :)


Do you see the resemblance?
Let's give them a swatch!

 
From left to right: Revlon's Rose, Revlon's Bronze, Bobbi's Bronze
Hmmm...Revlon's bronze looks far more orange in comparison and Bobbi's looks incredibly shimmery in comparison but on the face, the results show the true results


The Rose Highlight Palette is sheer... I had to really build it up to get the color to show on my skin, about 2-3 layers, but it is buildable. It lasted on my skin about 6 hours. The color is a bit interesting. At first glance I thought it would be a baby pink, but a true pink actually was revealed once the layers went on. It was not as shimmery as anticipated and looks quite subtle in indoor lighting shimmer wise but in the sun it was all shimmer. This can bring the face to life to those who stay and work mostly indoors.

Next up is Revlon's Bronze

 
So........this is quite a burnt orange....
The color payoff of this shade is FAR stronger. I had applied the pink first and was a bit disappointed in the color payoff but when I used the bronze I was desperately trying to wipe most of it off! 
I was surprised from just looking at the palette at how orange in tone this was. 
Honestly...I love orangy bronzers but this was just too Willy Wonka for me.

Now on to Bobbi's

 
I wear the Bronze Shimmer Brick as a blush often. I find it perfect to warm up the face, adds a nice bit of color and sheen to liven the skin.
Do you remember the swatch photo above and how shimmery this product looked?
On the skin is melds into a less intense effect leaving behind a bit of sheen for life and color that needs to be built up but lasts all day. A good 7 hours on my skin. I repeat, love love love.

So in the end, I conclude by saying the Revlon palette's were not what I expected. One being less pigmented than expected, one being too pigmented and orange, I find these are not close enough dupes to carry in my purse.

I do love Revlon's products but these were just not for me. Maybe it was the colors I chose. I found out they had a peach shade after I purchased these-dang!
These are to me just slightly below average.
I was not in love with either the lower of higher pigment, in the sun these looked a bit too crazy, and the lasting power was not as good even with primer. 
I do like the pink shade, but I also own Bobbi's Shimmer Brick in Rose - not swatched here because it's still not opened :X

The Bronze shade may work for someone with a deeper skin tone, but those who are fair, may want to seek the other shades.

In the end, in my humble opinion I know one is drugstore and one is higher end but Bobbi's Shimmer Brick still remains supreme against it's imitators.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Finished Products Jan-March 2014

It's April 2014...still can't believe it's still 2014 let alone April.
The end of the first quarter means for the blog, the reveal of the empties!


I've been trying since the beginning of 2013 to REALLY use my samples and I think I'm improving. I'm actually surprised how long some of these samples last...


Honestly though some samples last ages, some only last 1-2 uses so I have close to zero comment on the Khiels samples I have. The wrinkled wrapper and the tiny pot with the blue lid. One use unless my skin feels like it's boiling, usually leaves me impartial to judgement.

The Khiels Ultra Facial Moisturizer is a great day cream for those with combination and normal skin-leaning more towards oily than dry. Fragrance free, sinks in easily into the skin, and works well under make up. The Clarins Toner and Eye Cream were both just ok products. Nothing worth trying twice. The Clarins HydraQuench cream was surprisingly great for my dry winter skin. It was thick but I slathered it on anyway, and woke up everyday with zero flakes. Win! for dry skinned ladies. There is a Khiels Rose Artica - Light moisturizer which I believe the full price for the normal container is about $60 dollars, honestly the Clarins HydraQuench was more hydrating and I would purcase that product over the Rose Artica. I understand Rose Artica has heavier version a well but I still prefer the Clarins nd I have tried both versions in the past.
The Jo Malone mini body lotion in Grapefruit. Very hydrating, sinked in well, but was not a fan of the scent. Had I received a sample in a fragrance I enjoyed I would have rationed this. If you feel like an incredible pamper these are quite nice.
Bobbi Brown's Moisturing Eye Cream was also a surprisingly good find. If you are a person whose main concern is dry under eyes or around your eyes, this is another excellent option.
In terms of make up I used up the NARS primer in two uses so have no opinions. The Stila Liquid Liner is a blogger favorite but mine dried up in like 3 weeks, I think it may have been a dud. Lancome Definicils mascara is probably the prettiest day time mascara I have tried from the brand. Separated, fanned out, lengthened lashes. Perfect for work or meeting the parents. Sugar Lip Balm, everyone loves these... I think they're nice, but not worth the full price- just being honest...


I went sheet mask crazy these last few months. Here are the few I saved to remind myself to mention them. I have always loved the Silk Whitia masks but these Cel Derma ones are also fantastic and a new favorite. I used up my Shisiedo Tsubaki shampoo, the empty bag is there because you just buy the bags after your initial purchase and keep refilling your bottles. Also shown is a Tsubaki hair mask which I have had FOREVER. I never remembered to use it and one day I thought "I'm using this up!"
A year later after that proclamation it's finally gone . This was nice, smells good, lasts forever, hydrates and softens the hair but I'm really no longer a hair mask person so I doubt I would repurchase. This is not from a poor performance from the product, but my laziness.


Nivea Touch of Happiness, Body Shop Body Butters, L'Occitaine Hand Cream (Extra Large size) are all products I love, re purchase regularly and are staples in my life.
The Clarins Body cream is the most hydrating body lotion I have tried. I usually purchase body butters because I have dry skin on my body, but for a lotion this is the most hydrating I have sampled. I give this product a thumbs up. If you want a rich lotion but not a thick butter this may be for you.


For full sized beauty the Fresh High Noon is my second completed tube. Think of this as a more pigmented Origins Vitazing. Delivering a sheen, slight color boost, and works as a base/primer makes this one of my favorites for the summer where this is all I use as a base.
Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Concealer in Brightener-so glad this is gone. Really did not enjoy this. Creased everyday within seconds like crazy, color was too pink which wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that it was so hard to blend and the ending results looked a bit too cakey for my taste. Thumbs down.
Sonia Kashuk's tinted brow gel, loved this. I used this for about a year, every single time I did my brows. Not only did this remove the step of needing a pencil or brushing my brows with powder, but this tint provided enough pigmentation and control with the wand to just use this solely everyday. Kept my brows in place and lasted all day. I think the color is quite universal and for the price I think this is a drugstore gem. I recently purchased Benefit's Gimme Brow for a change but prefer Sonia's!


Lastly is my skin care empties.
Bioderma, Neutrogena Acne Stress Control, CeraVe PM are all my HG's pretty much. I have reviewed them countless times but HG's pretty much sums it up.

Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner, honest option: "meh"
When I first tried this I purchased the dry skin formula and the first night it stung my face like craaazy. I can't imagine what the oily skin version would be like...it took me about three uses to get used to it. Honestly the results if any were so minimal and I probably did more damage than benefit from  this on my skin. Glycolic acid is one of the last ingredients for this toner but it was just not a product for me. One of those, "I'm glad I tried, but would not get again" Same goes for the Lumene Toner. I think I posted about this product in a products I regret purchasing. Zero improvement or change in my skin.
Khiels Ultra Facial Cream, the step up from the lotion. I liked the lotion so much I went back for another but by then my skin was ridden with dry patches and I was apprehensive to try the cream which sounded thick. Not only is this weightless but lasts much longer than the lotion. I can use less products but have a more hydrated finish. This is the smaller tub of the cream, after I used this small tub up, I went out to buy the biggest tub they sold! Love it.
Bobbi Brown's Extra Repair Eye Cream lasted me nearly two years. I spent a few weeks without it trying to use samples but I couldn't take it anymore. Hydrating, super thick, and with slight anti wrinkle properties, this had to come back to my bathroom.
The Oxy pimple cream is my favorite benzoyl peroxide product I use on my skin sparingly when I have a spot already on my skin. This zaps it away in a flash. The Origins being salicylic acid based I use when I feel spots under my skin. This container looks small - sample small! - but lasted me over a year! It worked for me sometimes...sometimes it did nothing. I think it depended on when I caught the spot in it's life cycle but I prefer the Clinique equivalent which is cheaper and more effective for me, so I would not repurchase the Origins but am glad I tried it.
Last is a very used up Clarasonic brush head.

Until next quarter ;)

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Month of March


Some of my March moments captured.


New York is still currently quite chilly, and rainy but the signs of spring have started. 
I think everyone is very ready for some much needed sunshine.
According to my instagram feed most of the world is getting warmer while we still wait patiently.

Come on Mr. Sun
We are waiting for YOU-no pressure ;)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

March Favorites

Sharing a few of my favorite things from the month of March.
Even though the weather has yet to show spring- we have the coldest 55 degrees you will ever experience- I have been itching to break out some of my warm weather favorites.
Here are my almost spring make up faves.


First up is the Tangle Teezer. A new handbag essential!
I've heard of the hype and was curious...but not being an online shopper and never seeing this store stopped me from purchase, until I saw it one day in Urban Outfitters and in my basket it went.
I don't know how it works really, its pretty simple looking but the shape makes it so easy to brush through the hair everyday and really does help de tangle.
I usually carried my Mason Pearson brush in my bag but felt bad because it was starting to look banged up. This I just toss in my bucket of a bag since its just plastic and so light and I feel no guilt! Also the color makes it really stand out in my purse for an easy spotting.


My current everyday eyeshadow is the NARS All About Eve Duo. While I had swatched the now infamous Narssist palette in store a few times...I knew I would just get more use from this duo and purchased this instead.
I know from first glance you are thinking...it's quite bland...
And you're right, it is.

I've come to the realization that most eye shadows just don't look good on me, or at least I don't think they do-so I've been sticking to shades like these to just make my eyes look bigger, brighter, and since these shades are so neutral when I mess up, no one can even tell!

L'Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black finishes off my eyes. One of my favorite from the drugstore. Best lengthening mascara I've found in the aisles of CVS while still holding the curl. Thumbs up!


The spring part of my make up is my blush. Bobbi Brown's Fresh Melon Pot Rouge has been gracing the cheeks for that showcase of color. My skin is still pretty pale so this blush on me looks bright! The blush pulls pretty peachy on me and I love it, but I would only recommend this to pale skin ladies because once I go back to NC25 this will disappear on the skin, so I'm milking this while I'm still fair. And loving it.

Next up is my favorite lip gloss of the moment. I've had this in my stash and pulled it out one day thinking hmmm... pink brown...but on the lips I was thinking, wow pink BROWN works! This looks dull and too dark in the tube but on the lips it's perfect for everyday. My lips but better of course.
Laura Mercier's Lip Glace in Blush


My final  favorite are these sheet masks.
The Cel Derma Hydro gel masks


My cousin from Korea sent me a pile of these masks along with most of the female members of my family and they are great! Especially for the winter. The hydrogel is very moisturizing and hydrating without feeling heavy in the slightest. Once you remove the masks most of the gel has been absorbed into the skin leaving it supple and bouncy. These masks can be found on eBay and Amazon but the review on Amazon said they were old, but if you have the opportunity to try these, I say they are great. I think all skin types could benefit as it is not heavy nor greasy while being hydrating.
It reminded me of the Clinique Moisture Surge Line in mask form.

And that's it!
Hope you enjoyed my favorites for the month, now please share yours!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Burberry's Almond-The Workhorse

Recently make up has taken a back seat in my life. Not due to a lack of love, but a lack of time.
I wake up about 6:30 am and aim to be on the 7:05 bus. My make up is quick and sometimes pretty non existent. It's just not that important when it's that early in the morning.
After a coffee, I begin to come to my senses and realize I need to make some kind of "effort" 

That's where Burberry's Almond comes in.
My make up bag now carries a few key items that are small in size but pack a punch in terms of usability. 

Within this perfectly packaged compact lays the perfect all over face shade. Yes, that's right, face.

 
 
 The color is a neutral brown that can lean warm when applies heavily or if your skin is very fair.

Below is a finger swatch along with brush swatch to show the shade against my current NC20 skin.


Against my skin the shade is perfect for contouring the face, the fact that it's matte is also a huge plus.
Did I mention Burberry's matte formula is spot on? Well, it is.


Armed with my beloved Laura Mercier blending brush-another work horse I -depending on how much I feel like I need- begin to contour.

I begin with my cheekbones, right from the ear to mid jaw, and a bit under the chin. Followed by the remaining powder down the sides of my nose for subtly. I add a bit of the shade to either my lids or my crease, wherever I aim, and where ever the brush lands is more likely. Lastly, if I did leave the house without the brows - rare! I add a bit with an angled brush.

This little shadow is a multi tasking beauty that I find invaluable during hectic mornings. The perfectly beautiful and compact case makes this a very valuable part of my daily routine.

Have you used shadow for other places outside the eyes?
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