Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The 5 Factor Diet - Beauty Spending Edition

Have you all heard of the "5 Factor Diet"? Apparently Halle Berry went on it before starring in the movie "Catwoman". She looked pretty phenomenal (c'mon, its Halle Berry...) the movie on the other hand was a different story...

It's a diet of all 5's. 5 meals a day, 5 minutes to prepare, 5 ingredients each, 5 x 25 minute work outs etc. 

I decided just by the mere number, that I myself will go on the 5 Factor Diet -Beauty Edition

In 2012 I challenged myself to not purchase any more than 5 lip products. I declare this a success! And you know what? It wasn't even that hard! I spent a good six months of it trying to finish one single lip gloss, so buying 15 more was out of the question.

In 2012 I also developed a huge eye shadow addiction towards the end of the year. With the assistance of lash growth serums my lashes became longer and suddenly all I thought about was eyes eyes eyes! So shadows came pouring in, while gloss and lipsticks were out.

This year, I have decided to challenge myself again, and control the reigns on all areas of make up, so....

This year I will buy no more than 5 make up products!
In each category
But that first sentence was a bit extreme right??

5 base product items, 5 lip products, 5 cheeks products, etc. 
I'm thinking the main categories are : Base, eyes, lips, cheeks.
That means in 2013 (starting February 1st it seems) the maximum amount of beauty products I can purchase will be 20. I can buy less (ideally) but I cannot purchase more than 20.

Quite honestly, that would be enough. 20 items to some people may sound high but that's less than two products a month. 
I have decided to really just nose dive into my stash and try to find some forgotten (more like un-opened) gems.

So, that is my goal for 2013! (Beauty purchase wise)
Now to fill all your blog rolls with all the purchases I made at the tail end of 2012 in my fleeting madness.

Should I do some kind of 20 product countdown on all the items I purchase?

Anyone else create any beauty resolutions?

Wish me luck...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Adding to my Burberry Line Up

Ahhh Burberry shadows, a self proclaimed weakness of mine.

I mean, just look at these beauties!

Housed in sturdy magnetic, not to mention gorgeous packaging only used to display most arguably the best quality eye shadows currently on the market.

Burberry shadows are smooth, almost creamy like, blendable, high quality shadows in shades that scream a neutral lovers dream.


A new work horse shade. Perfect for the crease or lightly all over the lid for a sheer wash. Matte neutral brown perfection.


An impulse purchase. I had only seen it online, but when I saw it in person, it was something that I was not leaving the store without. Gorgeous plum with a hint of brown and shimmer. 
Deep and sultry without being too dark.
I am not one for dark shadows, but this goes gorgeously with brown eyes to compliment and enhance the color.
Daytime suitable drama this is.

Though pricey, each shadow comes with a whopping amount of product, along with the superior quality makes it worth the cost.

I have my eyes on Taupe Brown next!

Have you tried anything from the Burberry shadow line? Any must have shades?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up

 As I sit here enjoying my coffee and procrastinating regular gym attendance, I find no better excuse than reminiscing over the past weekend.
Gotta love no work Mondays! 

Basic weekend recap. Too much Bruno Mars on repeat, clouds, and beauty blogging ladies.
Fatigue has hit again, and it seems to have effected my beauty blogging. Hopefully this extra day of rest will smack some energy back into me!
This past Sunday I was lucky enough to spend some time with both Mandy and Kari both of whom I've met via blogging
(don't you love that?)
An afternoon spend in Soho, paninni and dosa eating, Urban Outfitters sale browsing, and Japanese magazine scanning.
You gotta love the weekend :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My Picks for Office Make up (OL's)

For all my fellow Office Ladies out there!
Here are my picks are some of the best make up investments I have made for office wear.
With the holiday season being over, I think many of us, hold a few gift cards that we would like to spend, but don't know on what to purchase?
This will be my guide on some of the most user friendly and my favorite office make up purchases.

Base: I would highly recommend a primer (unless your skin is dry), more specifically the Laura Mercier foundation primer. For those long office days and commutes, we need our make up to last. This feels light because it is water base rather than silicone based so you don't have that artificial feeling on your face, and comes in various formulas for numerous skin types. I love the oil free version, but have also used the mineral version with no issues. I don't think you need mineral make up to wear the mineral version to be honest.

For daytime, I don't like foundation. The day can easily go to 12 hours and it's going to start to look faded, cakey, even with primer, it's just not going to look as good. I personally like a light base for long days. I love BB creams but I know they are not for everyone so I would recommend tinted moisturizers for long days. Just enough product to even out your skin. It will feel light, and will hydrate your skin during the day. Most offices are with shut up windows and constant heat or air conditioning, so the skin can become dehydrated and strained looking.

If you have combination or oily skin, a quick blotting paper at lunch along with a blot powder, can make you look calm, cool, and collected for the remainder of the day.

Concealer is a huge thing for me. Especially the under eyes! Let's look awake for work, just because it's Monday doesn't mean everyone in the office should know you slept in all weekend and crawled to get to your cube. Under eye concealer to open your face up. A brightening under eye concealer can also do wonders! I personally love the Maybelline Brightener!
Overall concealer to just conceal redness on the face which can look unfinished for daytime.

Cheeks: My favorite blushes for the office are hands down Laura Mercier Lush Nectarine,  NARS Doucer, and Bobbi Brown Pink Rose. One is more peach, one is a plummy brown rose, one is a muted pink.
Laura Mercier is light but has a slight glow to it and can really lift your face, it's polished but has youth to it from the slight orange tinged hue. Doucer just looks like cheekbones and sophistication in an easy to go compact form. No bronzer needed. Pink Rose from Bobbi Brown is a brighter version of Blushbaby from MAC. It's neutral but has enough pink in it to show up on the skin to bring it up again.
From the drugstore, I am loving Rimmel's Santa Rose which is a very light peach with fine shimmer and the tiniest brown red tinge, no pink, just windswept and English rose look.
If you like bronzer, I do like NARS Laguna but have also found Physicians Formula's Bronze Booster to be quite nice for office wear and drugstore price.
If you don't have too much time for blush+bronzer+highlight. Try finding a bronzer with a pink or peachy tone and apply it all over your temples, and concentrate on the cheeks for a very even all over color boost using just one product. I am a huge fan of Guerlain's Mosaic Bronzer.

Eyes: I would recommend even if you don't wear mascara to curl your lashes! Invest in a proper lash curler so you don't damage your lashes, and give them a quick squeeze in the morning. Open up your eyes and still look natural. I prefer water proof mascara for work, because we are so busy there, touch ups are not really an option. Waterproof mascaras hold the curl better and have less of a chance of running which don't need as much touch up during the day.

Not everyone is an eye shadow person, but if you want to invest, I would recommend a palette. You only need one (Don't mind the three I have in the photo) I think if you have 1 palette, it takes alot of the guess work out on complimentary colors and you will probably have it for years. It takes eons to finish one, so they are worth the investment.
If you are lazy like me, one cream shadow all over the lid will do! Just to cover up any redness, and giving your eyelids an even base that brightens your eyes more ways than you will know!
For shimmer I have been using Benefits RSVP Crease less cream so I don't even apply a primer
(again, lazy) but for matte lids, try Soft Ocher or Painterly Paint Pots from MAC.
The Maybelline Color Tattoos are an amazing budget and last all day option.

My picks for palettes however would be the Laura Mercier Artist eye Palette, Bobbi Brown shadows 
( I made this one, and it is comprised of Bone, Taupe, and Espresso) and Inglot which is very affordable per shadow and can create a multitude of palette designs to your own taste. I would attempt a palette of mixed matte and shimmer. For those worried about fine lines and wrinkles, matte all the way.
*The Laura Mercier palette is no longer available in the states but I have heard it has yet to reach our freinds overseas, so perhaps keep an eye out for this one*

I would also recommend a nude pencil for the waterline. It brightens and highlights the eyes incredibly well while still maintaining a very natural appearance. Nude, not white.

Eye primer is my last recommendation for this category. Not the most exciting purchase, but most indefinitely utilized. 

Lips: For lips effortless, and easy is the key. Most of the time we are so busy at work to hear about an impromptu meeting, a quick coffee, or a business lunch means freshening up without a trip to the bathroom. Try to pick something you can apply without a mirror. My picks for lipstick would be NARS Dolce Vita lipstick which is a rose color, Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector, which looks healthy but pretty, or Burts Bees Chap stick with tint, I am partial to Pink Blossom but they have recently come out with new shades!

Highlighters: This is not necessary but sometimes office lighting is quite drab, and if you have to present or speak you want to look awake, so the audience can see how knowledgeable you are about the topic. Powder wise for office wear I would recommend the Dior Amber Diamond which is a pricey but should last you through a few titles up the ranks in terms of years. If that is too expensive, you can always grab a drugstore light reflecting concealer in a shade a bit lighter than your natural skin color yo bring those features out. Or use a shimmery white or light shadow.

Nail Polish: This may vary on how conservative your office is, but shades such as Essie's Sugar Daddy Mademoiselle, or Topless and Barefoot are winners for me (I'm an Essie girl).  Hand Cream along with Anti bacterial gel at your desk is useful. The soap from the bathrooms can be harsh so some hand cream will soften your hands again. Anti bacterial on your desk will stop germs from spreading all over your keyboard and phone which you touch all day.

Tools: I would recommend for your desk to have the following: Mini hair brush: If your co workers and yourself decide to go out for cocktail hour, showing up 5 minutes later with a bright red lipstick may be shocking, a quick brush looks put together after grabbing your head all day with just questions that come to you from all over the place that you wonder how they found your desk. Mini Lint brush: For all of us who wear black to work but are covered with feathers from coats, or lint in general. Mini Tide Stick: Nothing like a fresh coffee stain on the white shirt you just ironed that morning to perk up a Monday! 

And that's it! 

Hopefully those of you who were looking for a brand new you for the office in the New Year can pick up a few gems from the list.
Anyone care to share some of their office friendly favorites?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

DIY Tutorial on Fixing Broken Powder Items

Ever drop your favorite compact powder and as it falls to the ground, you’re pretty scared to pick it up to potentially see 145,322,145,566,718  broken pieces?
Have no fear, the DIY repressing tutorial is here!

I learned how to repress my broken powders from this post. But decided to re create the DIY as one night I came home to find my contour powder had cracked.
Ironically, it was the same powder as Celina's tutorial. NYX Taupe.

All you will need are some paper towels, rubbing alcohol, a toothpick, and hand sanitizer.

Place paper towels below the powder for a clean working surface
Take the broken powder and break it up into chunks, to create finer pieces use a tooth pick
Add in the rubbing alcohol until you can get a paste like consistency

Create a flat top surface to the best of your ability
Take another piece of paper towel and lay it on top of the compact to remove all the liquids 
(Sanitize your hands before this step)
Keep pressing the paper towels a few times until the powder feels quite dry, and you feel no more liquids can be removed.

Let it sit for a few hours- in my case over night, and ta da! Good as new!

Hope you all found this tutorial useful! 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Madewell Wannabe OOTD

Weekend wear definition: 
Comfortable shoes for walking, loose shirt for junk food eating, big strappy bag for stuffing random receipts, hair; out of the way.

Polka dot blouse:Korea, Peach Cardigan: JCrew, Jeans: BDG, Shoes: Dolce Vita, Bag: Mulberry 

Do you know what one of my favorite clothing stores is? Madewell.
Do you know how much I actually own from Madewell? I think three things, all from the sale section.
Being the sister store of JCrew, and preferring their semi preppy offerings mixed with girliness makes me walk into the store each time with a wish list consisting of the entire seasons current catalog.
Though I love the look of the clothes, I never felt like many of the items were worth the amount they charged.
I put together an outfit that was Madewell-esque and reminded me of the store's vibe.
You just need to be inspired ladies, no need for the exact thing all the time.

Friday, January 11, 2013

How I Finish my Make up Part II - The Replacements

The looooooooooong awaited complimentary follow up post to my "How I finish my Make up" series.
This took so long, because I had to finish some make up first! 

A brand new year will start off with a brand new face! 

The items I have used up and pretty much used every day since August.
Most of the product overviews can he found here.
Listed are Lancome Dual finish powder, Guerlain bronzer, Jemma Kidd highlight, L'Oreal, MAC, and NARS lip glosses, Maybelline + Clinique mascaras, Dermaphil chap stick, Benefit speed brow, Laura Mercier eye primer, Dior concealer, and a Ferregamo perfume.

That was the before.

This is the after.

Now that my whole routine is pretty much gone, I have set forth to find a new "Go to" face. 
I highly believe having a normal stable routine is the best way to not only get out the door in the morning with minimal time spent "putting on the face", but to use up your products. 
I generally notice when my items are slowly starting to dry out or pan out, that new items from my collection need to be re discovered. 
I try not to buy new make up for a brand new routine. I attempt to follow  the seasons, and bring out the items that I wouldn't use in summer but in the winter. This is their time to shine.

I also try to pick products that can all fit in one convenient make up bag without being bulging.

I take about 3 weeks to play around with my collection. I will plop out an eye shadow I haven't used, and try it for a few days, then a blush I haven't touched for a while will be used for a few days, and I will weed out what I like or what I have re discovered.
So without further ado, my new "Go To" face routine.
The Replacements to the products photographed above.

I start by mixing my La Roche Posay sunscreen (tinted) with my Laura Mercier primer oil free. This is my daily "foundation" The coverage is enough for me, which is my preference, my skin is protected, and it feels light. Mixing it with my primer, makes my make up last all day regardless.
For concealer I'm still using the same ones, but they are not in any of the photos (blogging mistake) I mix L'Oreal true match concealer with MUFE full cover to get the right color match.
For under eyes I don't love this, but I want to just use it up. The Kevin Beauty maker under eye concealer. it's not bad, but its not as seamless as I would like. I quickly do a light dusting of L'Oreal True Match powder in W2 on my T zone to just set my concealer.
I decided somewhere in 2012 that I don't like blush with bronzer, added with highlighter anymore. 
Blush and highlight or bronzer with highlight, not all three.
I dust on the YSL bronzing powder which I love, but recently since using solely bronzer for about six months, I have been reaching for my Rimmel Santa Rose blush (a new purchase- on sale!) I apply it with my Bobbi Brown bronzer brush which is bigger than the entire packaging of the Rimmel blush for just a sweep of barely there color. I highlight with MAC's MSF in Redhead (LE)
For eyes I was using Bare Study Paint pot (which I have lost the tub for) and have replaced it with Benefit's RSVP  crease less cream sample which is lasting quite a while! If I feel fancy I'll top the color off with Naked Lunch from MAC which is complimentary but not a favorite shade of mine- i'm just trying to use it because I have neglected it forever. If I am in a hurry, I also sometimes sweep the remains of Santa Rose blush on my eyes. The peachy shade does not make my eyes look sick. It actually works well with the blush and the face looks quite put together and harmonious.
My brows are still being done up with NYX eyebrow cake, and groomed into place with Anastasia's brow gel. The lashes are then tight lined with UD Zero liner and mascara is Maybelline the Falsies Fared which is my current favorite from the Falsies line anyway.
*Since drafting this post I have fallen for L'Oreal's Telescopic, move over Falsies!*
Lip balm is Burts Bees, with a day time gloss of a GWP item from Lancome in the color"Flushed" which is very natural. I alternate between this gloss and the Clarins lip perfector.
My night time gloss of choice has become Laura Mericer's "Rose" which looks very pretty against Santa Rose blush and my now paler complexion.
I finish everything off with a healthy spritz of Jo Malone's cologne in Dark Amber and Ginger Lilly which is my first "musky" scent, and I love it. 

For night time if I ever feel like doing something (rare) I will line my bottom lash line with MAC's Prunella liner which is a brown with purple, from the outer corner to the iris, and set with MAC's Satin Taupe to bring out the purple and my eyes.

That's it! My current routine, and what I would consider a current favorites post.
I will probably stick to this routine for all of winter and most of spring. Hopefully by summer, I can swap out a few things, and live on bronzer and sunscreen again.
So tell me ladies, do you follow daily beauty routines?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mid-Week Adventures

Today, we entered the Danger Zone 


I’m pretty convinced Wednesdays has at least 25 hours.
It just seems like a longer day most of the time, but once you past this mid-week hurdle the rest of the week is suddenly do able, and not as oppressing as when originally perceived on Monday.

Do people here like to eat from food trucks? I think Los Angeles is the one city giving New York a run for its money in terms of the meals on wheels notion.
In my iPhone I have dozens of pictures of these trucks. Pink ones, ones with cinnibuns, some wish fish, others with cows, it’s pretty interesting!
Today, I decided to grab a falafel and banana smoothie. Strange, but still delicious. – this will teach me from watching too much Food Network.
Specifically  “Eat Street”
Never had a banana date lime smoothie before, but I would have it again!

After work I made a small trip over to SAKS. I actually never go to SAKS because I consider it a complete danger zone!
Tom Ford, Dolce & Gabanna, Diptique. Nooooo.
I was quite good though and just came out with the one thing I had intended.
Wrong, I went in and purchased the one thing intended for someone else, then saw the Burberry counter. 
Enough said. 
The SA was friendly, the eye shadow was swatched, the shadow was applied leading to ooo's and ahhh's all around, which led to me adding it to my bag. 
Burberry's Mulberry is now mine! I try not to tell you ladies to run out and buy anything, but I would definitely suggest briskly walking to swatch this shade!! 
I also predict taupe brown in my near future. 

SAKS is conveniently right next to Sephora in this neighborhood, just a quick peek because this is one of the prettiest Sephora's in Manhattan. Again, nothing for me but always fun to browse.

Finishing up the night with a piece of homemade pumpkin pie made my boss’ wife, milky chai tea, and crochet.

The weeks is only up from here! ^^

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