Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dupe Me – Chanel Nail Polishes

Today I had a little bit of fun by swinging by the Chanel counter to look at a red nail polish that has recently been brought up in a few YouTube Guru's videos as a favorite. Chanel Pirate 08. 

While at the counter, and meeting a lovely SA (for a change) 
I swatched Pirate on my hands and fell in love with the rich but bright shade.
I know I swore never to buy Chanel polishes again, but my hunt for the perfect red continues, so I bit the bullet and handed over the credit card. 

In indoor lighting it was the perfect red I was looking for. Bright, made my hands look clean but polished, super shiny, not too warm, and a tiniest hint of berry. I walked out feeling quite pleased with myself.

Until I got in the car...
As we drove farther and farther away from the mall I could see the color in direct sunlight and the raspberry tones showed through. Still gorgeous but, familiar...
Revlon's Cherries in the Snow, I thought. I own a dupe. I just paid $26 dollars for something I already have. "Nooooo."
I came home for a swatch session to find that they are thankfully slightly different but noticed many items in my collection seem to match the hand I swatched a few Chanel shades on.

I decided to put the French house polishes against my own to come up with a dupe list.

Swatch fest at the Chanel counter
Index: Vendetta, Middles: Pirate, Pinkie: Frenzy

The dupes



Can you see the differences?

The Dupes:
OPI Linkin Park After Dark, Revlon Cherries in the Snow, OPI Skull and Glossbones

Swatch by Swatch Test:
Chanel Vendetta vs. OPI Linkin Park after Dark
(Please ignore the blurriness, this was the first time I had ever used my camera timer)

Both shades have that dark deep purple that is nearly black. When reflected against artificial light they both reflect nearly identical blue micro shimmers. 
Vendetta in two coats still remains an incredibly deep purple.
Linkin Park After Dark begins to turn on the verge of black in two coats, and it is more difficult to distinct it's purple undertones.

Chanel Pirate vs. Revlon Cherries in the Snow

Quite a close match up!
In artificial and indoor lighting Chanel's Pirate is more of a true blue based red, with raspberry undertones which are not as prominent as it is in direct sunlight. 
Revlon's shade is just a touch more raspberry pink, where Chanel has a drop more red.
When I look at my hands with the Revlon, I can see the pink undertones regardless of setting and it looks more of a retro shade. The Chanel version with that extra bit of red really adds in a bit of sophistication and again in doors,  is probably the best red I have ever tried while really brightening my hands. 
This is one I can wear to the office and feel quite grown up sporting. 

Close up of the Revlon from a former blog post found here

Lastly a new upcoming cult favorite
Chanel Frenzy vs. OPI Skull and Glossbones

I have owned Chanel Frenzy before and had returned it.
Swatched side by side Frenzy is more muted, like a minky version of Essie's Sand Tropez. It is supposed to be a mixture of grey with slight lavender and perhaps a touch of taupe mix.  OPI is a clear but bright light grey that looks like the best looking cement you have ever seen LOL

Close up of Skull and Glossbones

Now when Frenzy came out, I was dead set on buying it because I thought it would look like this
Chanel Le Vernis Frenzy
aka n*de grey perfection
But on my skin it looked like this

You can really see the minkiness of this grey against my skin tone. 
In the end this made my hands just look a bit dull. Though the color was interesting enough it but looked far better on others and in the end was sent back.

Have any of you succumb to the beautiful polish offerings by Chanel?
Any favorite shades or dupes?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

One Season Behind

You know when you walk into the shoe store looking for perfect sandals to wear because it's August but all you see are non stop rows of snow boots?
You realize, you apparently missed the season's shoes and now have to wait.

I am like this with make up!!!!!

All these collections come out one season ahead, so when the season finally comes and nearly ends I notice what's out there and realize:
It's no longer on the shelves!

That's when the hunt begins.
Usually it does not go past a Google shopping search but I hope to one day get this timing thing right!

Debating on weather I should post these.
Most of them are previous seasons and you can still get them but they are no longer on the shelves.
Yay or Nay to Posts?

Items: MAC Pro Sculpting Cream (still in stores), Chanel Eye shadow Duo in 37 Sable Emouvant, Bobbi Brown Desert Twilight Palette, YSL Terre Saharienne Bronzing Powder in 2:Sunkissed 
(I noticed in some countries this is also called "Healthy Glow"

Behind the times make up shoppers out there?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Holding out for the Sale

I have been slowly ( slowly being the operative word) using up some of my basic make up items.
Yes, I do have quite a few things that can be suitable replacements but sometimes, I only have one of each thing because they're not exactly "fun" to buy, and the rest? Well that's just make up love ;)

Current Sephora FF Wish list (prepared it early this year!)

Sephora FF Sale

Though I am out of a few things, or just plain running low, I am going to try not just hold out for the sale that usually happens in the fall to stock up on a few things that are both needed and the rest are just wanted.

YSL Sheer Candy in Cool Guava, Armani blush in 2 or 10, Benefit's Hervana, Benetint, Armani Stretch Mascara, NARS eye shadow base, Dior Iconic Mascara, Laura Mercier Mulberry Lip Stain, Lancome Cils Booster, and Sunday Riley's Effortless Tinted Primer.
*Not pictured is Anastasia Brow Gel, Shiseido Foundation brush, Clarasonic brush heads*

I may not get everything above (mainly the face primer due to complete lack of need)
but a girl can dream...

Other items I am currently lusting after which is unavailable from Sephora

Chanel lipstick in 28, Romantic, NARS Mykonos cream shadow and lastly, Burberry's eye shadow in Almond.

While composing this list I also saw this as "New" on the Sephora site from Laura Mercier, hmmm

What are your current wish list items?
Are you holding out for the sale like me?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday Swoon

From the house of A Wang.
Yes please.
Genius and lust worthy.
Come on Christmas. 

Oh yes, it also comes in leopard

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Golden Eye

Recently I have been semi obsessed with a fashion blogger.
She is Swiss, has incredible style, astounding photos, and is ridiculously beautiful.
She was even in the Miss Switzerland pageant. 
What I could not stop staring at though, was her signature make up.
Amber shadow rings around her eyes showcasing and highlighting how blue they are with a kitten flick.
I wish I knew the shade, it looks to be in the family of Woodwinked or even Amber lights sometimes.
Drawing from inspiration, I rounded up some of my favorite shadows that I use frequently for this effect.
A soft golden smoke of shadow ringing around the eyes.
Though I cannot pull off woodwinked all over ( as much as I would LOVE that and have futilely tried)
The colors that seem to work with my skin tone and coloring are quite golden bronze shades that are far from cool but no where near the family orange.

Some of my favorites:

Armani Gold Blitz: Reserved for special occasions because it’s fool proof, the color is incredibly complimentary, and the Armani name makes it feel more lux. I always line this with Power Surge eye kohl from MAC which is wonderful for brown eyes to add slight definition without the harshness.

Smashbox Bark: From the Photo Op Palette for Brown eyes. It’s quite possibly the last color I touched in this palette because it looks like a gold green with a touch of mustard…described as a deep bronze 
( I beg to differ…)
This is my favorite shade from the palette and I use it every time I wear glasses.
When wearing glasses you can get away with a bit more eye make up, I shade this in all around my eyes and it really helps highlight my skin color along with complimenting the brown frames I have.


Urban Decay Smog: Chrissstttiiiiine told me about this shade. She said it was her favorite from the N*ked Palette. I admit tingly use the N*ked palette more along the lines of ... never, but if I do, this is the only shade I touch.
Great brown bronze.

Ochre from La Metier de Beaute: I did not swatch this. I returned this palette for a reason I can explain soon, but this shade brought out my brown eyes in a way very few shadows can.  I purchased a kaleidoscope based on this one shade alone.
It’s a real shame they do not sell this shade as a single. I would snatch it up!
Now on the my least favorite by far

Patina by MAC.
This is where I learned cool toned golds just don’t work for me.
On pale skin women I have seen this shade transform their eyes, but on my light medium skin, "wow" this is just awful. It really does go on “muddy” which is a nice way of saying dirt.

You can see in the swatches how Patina looks almost grey on my skin. I don’t know what happened to the gold, and I wished this worked for me, but this will be parting ways from my collection.

Swatches from R to L:
Patina, Bark, Gold Blitz, Powersurge

So there is my round up! 
My favorite all over shades for brown eyes!
For those doe eyed ladies, do you have any “all around” favorites?

And of course
Some photos that caused the inspiration.



Link to her site here!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Current Favorite Lip Combination

In a previous post I was showed my excitement to finally open some brand new lippies from my collection.
I picked out all the shades I couldn't wait to swatch and use daily.
Well, it did not really work out that way...

I only opened one, the Clarins Lip Perfector and have only use it a hand ful of times. I leave it at home. Why?
Why aren't I playing with my lovely new goodies?

Because I felt guilty...

How can I open and use all of these, when I have so many already opened items??
So I put the caps back on ( notice I did not swatch anything) put them back in their boxes, back in the drawer, and stared at my desk to see what I could use next.

Items I previously adored that moved to the waist side.

I "Shopped my Stash" and arose to a combination I am utterly in love with.

Tarte Cheekstain in Flush and Ample Pink Plushglass

Tarte's Flush is a very nice blue based red stain, but on me it can be a bit too blue toned and almost have a streak of fuscia if I am too heavy handed, yikes!

I decided to to it as a lip stain.
It was a bit strong for daytime, but a lovely sheer red. I added Ample Pink (one of the best products I ever purchased from MAC, and highly recommend ) to tone down the color

I was left with this very romantic and girly pink lip, perfect for everyday!

I have been wearing this combination non stop.
Though I am excited to finally break open some of my new items one of these days, I am enjoying using what I have and finding new ways to love old products.

Do you go back and try to form relationships anew with forgotten products?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Short Beauty Tip # 4

The Clarasonic is a skin care staple to many who have heard of it's claims of zapping and decreasing pore size. Some (like myself) purchased it in aims to help my sensitive acne prone skin gain some sort of clarity.

While the device did little to help with my stubborn spots I had recently seen a video by the talented Nurberxo on how to capitalize on it's pore concentration abilities to decrease the size of those impossible buggers!

By simply dissecting the brush head you can push out the center of the Clarasonic brush and re attach it to the main handle portion of the device. By doing this you gain more control on the areas around the nose, chin, forehead, or any area where pores are a problem for you.

The pieces snap back in as easily as they snap out.

Here is a the actual video for further details.

Big win on the fight against those "Pore Devils!"

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser Review

Previously I had briefly mentioned and highly recommended a cleanser from Clarins.

Clarins is not a brand I hear many people speaking about in much regard outside their lip perfectos and random creams here and there, but I think I found something that I will be quite loyal to for quite some time to come.

The Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Cottonseed

I admit tingly purchased this during their GWP purchase season and tossed it into my bag.
A Cleanser designed for normal to combination skin types.

It was approaching winter and my skin was quite normal at the time so I thought "Why not?"

This cleanser costs $21 dollars in the US but lasted me nearly  9 months, so I do believe it is not very expensive considering how long it lasted me.
It comes out a white thick cream. You only need about a big pea size for your whole face.
The lather is great, and when you start applying it to the skin, you can really feel it cleaning.
It’s not super intense, as in squeaky clean, but you can feel it’s getting the dirt out.
I will note I only use this cleanser in the morning.
Having sensitive –ish skin I felt no harshness nor had any adverse reactions to this product.
It works beautifully with the Clarasonic if you prefer that method.
The reason why I regarded this so highly was because though I purchased this in the winter when my skin was normal, and used it in spring when my skin remained normal, and finished it off during summer while my skin REMAINED normal and I realized, I hadn't use powder for about  6 months. I didn’t need it anymore.
With toner and adjusting moisturizers throughout the year, this cleanser really seemed to assist in normalizing my skin and keeping it balanced.
The cleansers abilities I believe does work because I’ve had far less acne this year, most likely due to lack of oil production as a direct result from this product.
I would repurchase this as I am just  about out of it, but when I originally purchased this cleanser (unknowing that it would last 9 months) I also purchased the oily skin version which has micro beads.
I may use that next, though fall is approaching to see which I prefer, but if you are new to Clarins, I believe this may be an outstanding first product to try.

I also recommend for those who have this product to cut open the tube when you feel the product is done. 
I was able to scrape out enough product for an additional month! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New In

Sharing a few new purchases over the last few weeks

A mixed bag of products collected mostly during my recent holiday and quick home coming to New York, and of course, a bit of Duty Free

Longchamp bag ( I have joined the ranks of half the world's female population, my chosen shade is plum), mini Bioderma for gym days, Bourjois 3D effect Lip glosses ( Do lip product bans remain even on vacation??), Chanel Illusion d'ombre in Emervielle ( long time wish listed!), MAC Rice Paper (B2M!), Necklaces from H&M, Chocolates Case from Barcelona to hold my bobby pins and hair do dads.

Not pictured but purchased is Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Eye cream.

Anyone else for recent purchases?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Finished Products of July and August 2012

I was saving this post for when I finished more make up products but the skin care was brimming out of the bag I keep these products in to a level where I realized, I needed to throw out some empty containers...

Mostly skin care, yet again!
I'm working on the make up products, promise!

Alba Body Cream in Kukui Nut: In my slow effort to include more organic products in my life I have come to try Alba’s Body cream and I love this!

I don’t really like body lotions, I love body butters and creams which are more hydrating

(I hate parched skin)

This scent is so warm and great for winter. I would repurchase and recommend this.

Lancome High Resolution Collaser X: I received this with a GWP and had no idea what it was for. Face? I ended up just using it on my hands at night, to prevent my hands from looking too old.

Good way to use up these kinds of products...

Laura Mercier hand cream: The last of a Christmas set I purchased for myself. No regrets. All are so indulgent and a beautiful nightly treatment for a bit of pampering. The moisturizing benefits are lovely and if I see another hand cream set from the brand, I would not hesitate!

Bath and Body Works Lotion: Nothing special but pretty good if you get it on sale. I would not recommend it at full price.

Neutrogena Acne Wash: Staple.

Lush Tea Tree Toner: A summer staple. Light and fresh and does seem to help keep my skin less spotty in the summer when the temperature flies and perspiration with make up on is plentiful!

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel and Lotion: There are lovers and haters, but everyone has tried these!

While they are not my HG, if I don’t have any moisturizers to use I know I can fall back on these which are not horrendously priced due to the incredibly large size of these bottles and know my skin won’t go nuts.

I will probably repurchase this on and off for years.

Nuetrogena Acne Wash for Stress: I think I have tried MOST of Nuetrogena’s skin care lines. I have not tried their new ones because I’ve pretty much had enough. This wash is probably the most sensitive I have tried from the brand. This actually quite reminds me of the Avene cleanser for acne.

Simmilar lather, scent, and effect! It’s cheaper than Avene but has more chemicals unlike Avene which is more natural and paraben free. Also, the Avene cleanser lasted about 3x longer than Neutrogena’s so the price may be reflected in this.

The Neutrogena item has a nice pump and is readily available.

To be honest between the two I would probably keep repurchasing the Neutrogena because it just seems slightly better at controlling acne to Avene but the results are quite similar though Avene is more natural to those who are more attracted to that aspect.

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil: Another relic from my collection. I was all set to order boatloads of Bioderma but saw this in my collection (this JUMBO sized container) and decided to finish it up.

This product has a large following of fans but I don’t really prefer oils to cleanse.

Usually I am paranoid and cleanse with an extremely mild cleanser after to just remove any remnants. This 1 extra step is the reason why I prefer Bioderma and other removers of it’s kind to oils.

Burts Bees Acne Moisturizer: My skin seems to like this when it is more tolerant, when my skin is sensitive I don't use this. It is moisturizing enough for combo to oily skin but for normal skin, you may crave more hydration.

Acne prevention: minimal, but better when used in conjunction with an acne focused routine.

Boscia Black Mask: I think this is one of Boscia’s best selling products. You can read my review here, but I can state now that I saw very little effect and would not recommend this to anyone.

Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Cottonseed: I believe this may be one of the best cleansers I have tried to date. Full review will come in the future, but until then, I highly recommend this!

Boscia Blotting Sheets: HG! The best! Have repurchased countless times.

Boots Eye Make Up Remover: Target ran out of my preferred Sonia Kashuk remover. I don’t mind this but this leaves more of an oily residue around my eyes after use. I still prefer SK for the same price as this product.

Boots Rose Water Toner: I’ve become quite a fan of rose water as a toner! Though most seem to feel like water and are simple, I never realized much of a difference between brands.


This is different. This was probably the weakest, most water-ed down rose water I have tried and would not recommend it.

Rose water is relatively not expensive, and this product’s price point is similar to those with better performance in terms of hydration, brightness, and soothing.

L'Occitaine Lotion: These hand creams are among my favorite for my hand bag. I love all the varying scents. These are hydrating while not being greasy. The only con is, the packages are quite small.

Biotherm Gel Moisturizer: A gift from my mother when in Duty Free. This is hydrating and light but only for summer and those again with combo to oily skin. It sinks in, but is very heavily perfumed and ran out quickly. I do not think I would buy this on my own but I do love these jars. I used Biotherm for a period in HS and use the jars to hold my stud earrings.

Anti Bacertial Gel: I have a mountain of these and go just go through them like peanuts.

Bare Study Paint Pot: At laaaasssst *cue in the music*

I thought this would NEVER finish. I think I’ve had this for 2.5 years? With semi consistent use. I would skip it for maybe 2 months but would come back and use it non stop for 5 and it never seemed to waiver.

I own other Paint pots outside this, but this is the only one anywhere near a dent and completed. I’m sure the others have fully dried out by now.

This is a slightly shimmery beige cream product that some people use as a primer. Though it creased on me, in the winter this as a primer worked just fine. The texture is smooth but does get more dry over time. Storing them upside down with tightly closed lids helps with longevity.

I will probably never purchase another PP again.

They’re not bad products but they’re not that great to me.

The texture is a bit dry over time so I feel as if I am tugging my eyes to apply this.

Also when I am too tanned, a sheer wash of this looks stark white on my lids.

It had dried out a few times on me where it was just not blending, period, so I would have to scrape out the most exterior product to expose a creamy consistency again which wastes products.

I noticed my Benefit Creaseless creams never dry out and remain creamy far longer than PP’s.

I know many people are a fan of these but I told myself years ago, this was my one and only.

Anastasia Brow Pencil in Ash Blonde: Quite a nice pencil with a convenient spooly which is actually a decent one. Anastasia’s formula seems more waxy than other brands I have tried so for this reason I feel less need for brow gel or wax products. A good product in my opinion.

Estee Lauder Lip Gloss: I’m pretty sure this shade was LE but it was just a coral pink with gold shimmer. Not very unique. Not too sticky, and had a pleasant scent. I prefer doe foot applicators to brush which is what this has, but overall Estee Lauder glosses seem quite nice.

Majorlica Majorca Lash Primer: One of the best lash primers I have tried!!! Too bad it is not readily available to me here in the states. If this was available this would be a repurchase as it held my curl and added noticeable length, very slight volume.

Have you finished anything recently? Some winners to recommend?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Back to Reality Blues OOTD

My outfit for my first day back to work was described by several colleagues of mine as
Lol oops!

Yes, glasses, braided hair, and casual clothes for my return.
I was just not ready to get back into those pencil skirts
( which I wore the following day to show everyone I had not lost my mind)

Blouse: Korea, Pants: Theory, Belt: J Crew, Shoes: Dolce Vita, Bag: Mulberry, Necklace: Etsy, Watch: Michael Khors

My loose clothing felt so airy and wonderful until I realized NY had some kind of strange cold front that day!

The blouse looks tucked in the photos, but it is only in the front. I left the back loose for an asymmetrical design but tucked it all in for my meetings and changed my shoes.

These pants are in so many of my OOTD's! (Thank you sample sale!)
My Dolce Vita shoes, I love the grey neutral color that goes with everything but the peek of hot pink just adds some brightness.
My Mulberry bag and gold jewelry are staples for when I wear blue because I love the color contrast.

Nails are Le Metier de Beaute. A Sample I received.
The brush was SO TINY it took so long to do my nails!
I am not a fan of chrome nail polishes but the shade looked so incredible in the bottle I had to give it a spin.
Shade: High "Something" of course the label broke exactly where the shade name is!

Back to the grind ladies!
So tell me, what do you wear on your lazy days?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Madrid and Valencia Travel Diaries

Postcards from Madrid and Valencia!

Good bye Spain, I will miss your endless blue skies, iberian ham, and always readily available Sangria! ;)

Note: All photos were taken with my iphone using the app Camera Plus
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