Tuesday, January 27, 2015

2014 Favorites

Long over due but better late than never. My yearly favorites.

Due to my own incredible lack of blogging, this post should provide some insight to some of the best items I have tried this year, and loved.

Very few skin care favorites, both moisturizers and both highly recommended.
I use the Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream for day and the famed Embryolisse at night.
Both are thick but apply thin and hydrating on the skin. Non fragrant, no special colors, and sink in to feed the skin.

The Kiehls is excellent for day to remove any hints of dry patches, and base make up applied on top always seems to look more even and smooth. The Embryolisse I apply heavily at night. I look shiny and it does feel a touch sticky but in the AM, all that vanishes and I am left with soft and hydrated look to the skin.
My husband has noticed the effects of this cream. He states after using this, it looks like my skin has absorbed a large amount of vitamins!
I doubt there are much vitamins in this cream to be honest, but the comment leaves me to believe my skin looks and feels overall better.
An added bonus is this product can now be easily be found on the Sephora website, but I pick my tubes up from Urban Outfitters.

For the best base, this year the overall favorite came from the budget friendly brand of Bourjois.
My review can be found here but here are the reasons why Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum was my #1.
1. Glowy finish-check
2. Light and breathable on the skin -check
3. Light to medium coverage -check
4. No break outs-check!

This foundation has a slight fragrance which I can ignore as it quickly dissipates but by far the best drugstore foundation I have found, and one of my favorite bases in general. My shade is 53.

My favorite way to apply it was with my Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Face brush.
Short handled and convenient. It reminds me of the Sigma face brushes but I feel this one provides just as quick of an application and is just as perfecting but doesn't rub onto my skin as much. It feels gentler on my face, thus I prefer this.

2014 was the year I appreciated the combination of just highlighter and bronzer being all I needed.

Highlight of the year was easily the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone. I used this nearly everyday for about five months and still have more than half the tube left.
The amount used impressed me considering I used about half a pea size a day.
This is easily my HOLY GRAIL liquid illuminator. Love, love, love.

The two bronzers which I could not decide between for favorites are the Chanel Terre Ambre bronzer (discontinued-sorry!) and the NARS Multiple in Palm Beach.

The Chanel bronzer lasts on my skin for over 12 hours, blends seamlessly to look like it was a part of my skin rather than being just on top, and the color and slight shimmer are what I go for. Admittedly a touch orange which works for me!

The NARS bronzer looks intimating but is so much smoother than other multiples I have tried from NARS-they are not created equal it seems. In the summer when my skin actually had a color this looked AMAZING on. Natural, fresh, undetectable, and healthy.
If you thought the NARS multiples were pretty meh, like I did, give this one a try to restore your faith.

2014 was the year I discovered to love firstly cream blushes, secondly nude blushes.
When I found a nude cream blush I deemed it..."Perfect".

The YSL Kiss and Blush in shade 12 looks pretty subdue and passable in the pot, but applied on the cheek with the very sweet applicator left the most amazing nude beige shade on the cheeks.
It looks like nothing, it looks like something.
It looks natural, subdue, and as if I was not wearing a shade.
Build able, and lasted 12 hours.
Applied on the lips- it's just ok. but on the cheeks and lips with a gloss, it's called a Down Town Abbey look with a modern twist when added with frivolous applications of highlighter-a must for me.

Eye shadows of the year went to NARS All About Eve.
I was on the fence to shell out the cash for this for years, When I finally bit the bullet, I. Fell. Hard.
These are the shadows for me.
Virtually non existent but provides just a touch of  youthful life.

I don't crave make up to make me look made up. I reach for products that enhance, look barely there, and adds vitality. These shadows with these products provide that effect. 

I must point out, I only love this with a specific type of brush. Specifically  the Bobbi Brown eye blender brush.
I love a wash of these shades. When applied with a normal shadow brush it looks too heavy for my taste.
The wash of sheer almost there color has led to me find this as my most reached daily palette.
Fluffy 224, 217, or Bobbi like brushes converted me to be a shadow lover.

Lastly are the lip products.
Three to report.

The Gloss: Tom Ford in Sahara Pink
Worn on my wedding day. A testament to my love for this.
Saturated pink rose. Creamy, non shimmery, not bright, but brightening.
Non sticky but admitting not very long lasting. Still a favorite.

The Pencil: NARS Sati Lip Pencil in Isola Bella
Smooth, pigmented, moisturizing, and easy to apply.
No mirror needed, the color is peachy with a touch of brown- a non deathly nude, and feels comfortable. A+ to NARS.

The Stain: Stila Convertible Color in Poppy
I own of a few of these cream blushes, but this shade is the only one I LOVE on the lips.
A wearable day time red which can be built up. Its not a straight blue toned red. It looks to have a hint of coral in it to make it wearable. Long lasting and face brightening. Noticing a theme?

AND I believe that's it for the overall yearly favorites BUT before leaving I will mention three honorable mentions.

The RMS Living Luminizer: Dewy and healthy looking when applied in a convenient pot.
OPI Don't Touch my Tutu: An actual 2014 favorite but could not find the actual bottle for this post.Ugh.
Thin, you need three coats to be applied but it's a sheer white. A jelly and shiny finish. Also worn on my wedding day for that I don't want to wear pink and sheer but a white and sheer effect.
Hourglass blush in Luminous Flush: The last wedding day mentioned product!
I didn't actually like most of the shades from the Hourglass blush line but when I tried this I knew...I had to have it. I normally don't wear pink blushes but this is one of the few I highly recommend. Light on the face, a very pretty amount of pigmentation, along with a great non traditional but *brightening* yes I did! pink.

Though my favorites are late, thank you VERY much for reading!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holiday Week

Holiday Season is here!
The city is decorated, the shoppers are out, and the snow has fallen.

Here are a few pictures of some of the things I did this week while trying to get through the bustling city.

Honestly speaking, during the holidays I hate walking through midtown. 
I pass the Rockafeller tree daily and never can look up due to the 1000's of people taking photos in a 100 foot radius. 
It can be frustrating and lead to madness.  I took a small weekend from it all to ski and escape.
The conditions were perfect, my ski skills were not, but the trip was one everyone was thankful for.
 Even though the crowds get to me, the hustle and bustle is almost all worth it everytime I walk into Saks which looks like a winter wonderland for the holidays.

If it always looked like this...

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Rediscovering the Beauty Blender

In terms of make up habits, the honest truth is- I have never been a foundation person.
I find them fascinating. The claims for illuminated, pore less, perfect looking skin that supposedly lasts all day. 
I get sucked in, I sample, I purchase, but never use.

I hate the heavy feeling of make up on my face. I hate blending foundation, and after eight hours most look like crap on my face. The running liners, and blotchy blush sometimes don't help the cause, but I usually blame the foundation.

Recently I've had a look at my growing base collection-where all these come from a person who doesn't like bases mystifies me...

Every foundation in my collection I like or love. If it's meh it goes. 
Though they don't get as much love as they deserve I have recently been barging into my stash determined to find a way to get through these bases which I never finish.

I've been experimenting with brushes, hands, tools, and have rediscovered the beauty of the blender.

I bought this from both curiosity, and raves-oh yea it's also pink (duh!)
I didn't really get into it originally because once I sit at my make up table I'm READY to start and think to have to get up and wet this is too much of a hassle.

Recently I've been getting my arse up and growing this pink sponge under the faucet and application of foundations post this movement are now tolerable!

My thin foundations finally feel and look thinner. The coverage is lower but this is a preferred preference and in my book a win!

Bless you pink spongy goodness. 

I've heard the beauty blender also gives that barely there blush look with cream blushes- will keep you posted as I will try this asap!

beautyblender - beautyblender® micro.mini
So as a follow up I ask you:
Has anyone tried the mini ones? Are they worth it?
Has anyone else found a love this?
Gotta admit, they look so CUTE!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Struggle is Real

I've struggled with blogging lately. 
There are numerous reasons. Mostly small, but annoyingly there.

While my blogging inspiration may be lagging, my ever longing determination to finish products never seems to waiver.
I think I will be doing a MASSIVE emptites post at the end of the year - because I HAVE been saving all those empty containers for my hopeful comeback but until then, a taste.

I have been watching alot of Finish by Christmas videos where a small items are targeted with the goal of December 25th to use up. I most likely will give myself until the end of the year but here is my small pile of targets.

I'm not going to lie. It's been a struggle...
I have not used powder blushes or bronzers for a few months- I have recently converted to only creams which I love love love. 
I think I may have finally found the perfect finish for my skin with a few new favorites, but until I can enjoy them fully, these products needs to get outta here...

Make Up Forever Face and Body Foundation, Edward Bess Bronzer in Daydream, MAC Peaches, Clarins mini lip perfector, and a Chanel lipstick. 

I have a few more make up items I am targeting, but here is the major chunk.
FYI: There is nothing wrong with the above products, it's beauty boredom at this stage. Nothing more.

Full reviews to come once these are finally empty. 
Praying that day is soon coming.

Has anyone else set a few beauty goals with a deadline before ringing in the New Year?
 If so, I wish us all success! 

Desperately trying it sounds now-lol.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Current Foundation Favorites

It's rare for me to love a base. 
I secretly feel whenever I wear a base product daily, my skin starts to need it. Spots begin to form and more product is required. A cycle I avoid like the plague.
Months can go by without me applying a foundation but recently to my total surprise, I found two I am utterly loving.

One drugstore, one high end, but both amazing.

First the Bourjois

Encased in a glass bottle and easy working pump gave this bargain immediate bonus points. Once applied the quality of the base was evident. It melds in the skin, with application of fingers or a brush. It has an obvious fruity fragrance but it dissipates soon after application. The coverage is sheer and the finish is dewy.

In the winter when the complexion can become dull, this serum foundation can bring a jolt of life. 
I've been careful not to apply this daily in fear of a reaction to the scent but so far so good-  
"Thank God!" because this product needs to be in my life.

I wear the shade 53 for my NC 25 skin tone and it seems to match well. I believe this would be a good choice for those in the NC25-30 range. The color choices are admit tingly limited but if you fall into a shade category match, and have been on the fence, I would go for it ;)
It is probably the best drugstore foundation I have used thus far.
Highly recommend.

New to my collection ( VIB sale has got me again) is the Givenchy Photo'Perfexion foundation.

I feel like this product gets little love in the Internet beauty world. Actually Givenchy in general now that I think of it.
I had never even heard of this foundation but I once saw a random video where a woman claimed she had gone through 10 bottles of this foundation and kept returning for more. For some strange reason that always stuck in my head. 10 bottles of the same foundation!? I just couldn't wrap my head on loving something that much -especially a base! I never found anything like that!

I investigated, I sampled quite a few colors but purchased this in shade 5 Perfect Praline. It has less of a yellow tone and more of a neutral base, but seems to match well enough. The shade range was honestly pretty meh...

The consistency of this is thin. Thinner than NARS Sheer Glow and MUFE HD, but ever so slightly thicker than the Bourjois mentioned above which is a serum aka thin foundation.

The coverage achieved will be medium at best and the finish I was told would be satin but seems  more like satin with a glow. With primer, this lasted all day with minimal powder in the morning and just a blot paper for the afternoon.

It felt comfortable, the blend ability was great when applied with a brush, and the finish looked natural and un mask like which I despise.

This foundation also had a slight fragrance but does not linger.

The only real cons I have found is the so-so shade range, and the fact that you do not receive 1 fluid once which seems industry standard, but pay a luxury price tag for less product.

Never the less, the finish, consistency, and longevity are what I was after. The additional 20% off seemed to help the case, but I am very pleased with this new addition.

Swatches: Givenchy on top with more of a neutral under tone, and Bourjois on the bottom with a yellow undertone.

Both blend into my skin well and offer a beautiful finish with a slight glow which I go for.

Two winners in my opinion, and for the next few months, I think I will not be avoiding my bases anymore!

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Little White Dress

Between early morning meetings, my World Cup obsession, and wedding planning I recently had to find time to shop. Window shopping I'm all for, but purchase, I am always hesitant and calculated. AKA Slow.

After days of dismay looking for what I imaged as the perfect summer dress for my engagement shoot, I actually found something of a gem from the always "I'll just take a look" H&M.

The requirements were simple. 
1. White 
2. Plain and comfortable 
3. Something I can wear again easily 
4. Not too fussy

My fiance was going to wear semi casual clothing and I did not want to looked dressed up in comparison. It's all about comfort!
The fact that this beauty was on sale was just an extra check which I found out at the till. SCORE.

Quite cute details on a very simple summer dress. 
Like the little black dress that every woman should have in her closet, the little white dress which symbolizes long summer days and breezy nights is also a wardrobe staple.

I wore this very simple dress for my engagement shoot today. The double layers on the skirt offered no worries for lines, and the back has a lovely peep hole that allows ventilation but is strategically placed to not show any bra straps. Extra wins!

Though I am unable to locate this dress on the online site, I saw it just yesterday in 2 H&M's on the sale rack. 
Now is the time!

In terms of my upcoming wedding, another item has been ticked off the never ending to do list. Check!  
So satisfying to do that. 

My engagement photos were finally taken today. I believe we re scheduled 4+ times due to rain. 
FYI it rains alot here during May-June apparently!

The skies finally cleared and showed bright blue.

 Below is one of the backdrops we had at our shoot location.

I can't wait to see the results of our shoot.
So while I watch the last futball match of the day, it's time to tackle those wedding invitations!

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! ;)

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